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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19b so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (Rom 1:)


LOOP HOLES


When a man loves a maid, and wants her to be his bride, he will look for every possible means available to make his dream come true. He will change his career, his interests and even his personality and habits if necessary in order to win his ladylove. Whether or not he continues in these changes after he has made his conquest is another matter. But here, for this study, I will only be considering those who are dealing from an honest heart.

When love is at its peak, nothing is too much to give up in order to attain, and/or retain the object of our love. And this is true not only in love, but in other areas of life as well; for instance we will make big sacrifices in order to obtain that high-paying job with the stiff requirements, or curtail our desires (like drinking) in order to keep out of jail.

We will gladly become a slave, ever at the beck-and-call of that one who is the object of our total love.


Until we have achieved our goal.


There are two particular aspects of human nature that seems to plague us all, even the most sincere of us. The first is that we have a very shallow boredom threshold. We tire quickly of those things that are readily available, ever seeking that which is just beyond our reach. We are like the mule who follows the carrot dangling on a string before his eyes. That carrot is all that is important to the mule, until he catches it, and then it is forgotten and he is off searching for something else to satisfy his appetite.

A child (or even an adult) may dream of nothing else but to visit Disneyland. And his fondest wish is to live or work in Disneyland. But should he have the opportunity to satisfy that dream, that is, to explore Disneyland for two weeks in a row, he will seek another dream that is just beyond his reach.


The second aspect of our nature is that we look down on anyone who looks up to us. In this same vein we demean anything that is easily obtainable by us.

That bank who is trying so hard to get you to open an account with them; unless you are quite wealthy, you know the bank is either desperate to get anyone to invest in them, or they just plain don't know you at all. That College who is willing to make some special concession to get you to attend their school must be having a hard time filling their role sheet or hasn't yet checked your school records. Or that nice girl who is trying so hard to get acquainted with you, while you, the geek of Geeksville dream about the head cheerleader of the football team. (I have used "you" as an example; that is presumptuous of me; I really mean "me" because unlike you, I have a lousy school record and live by the skin of my teeth.)


There's an old saying; "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that is so desperate that it will accept me as a member." This certainly applies to me. And of those who are able to view themselves realistically, I believe it applies to the rest of humanity as well.

A scenario:

You have finally captured that girl of your dreams. You are in Seventh Heaven..... for a while. Then comes the end of the Honeymoon.

You have no doubts but that your new wife has seen through your facade, that is the veil you present to the World in order to convince everyone that you are other than the person you truly know yourself to be. After all, just how long can even the best of performers be expected to stand on their tiptoes?

But yours is not the only veil that has been lifted; you have been given a glimpse into what lies behind the veil of perfection worn by your ladylove as well. And if the flaws she possesses is not of any consequence, you now find that you seek out flaws in her nature in order to pull her down to your own level in order to prove that even the best of people are no better than the worst of you. This is particularly true if you find that one of her flaws is the innate ability to find and point out flaws she has found in you.


Of course there are exceptions to the bleak picture I have painted here of human nature. But I believe that most, if not all those exceptional couples who do not fit the picture have gone through this experience. And they were able to hang on to what is important in their relationship, until they matured enough to realize that no one is without flaws . They found that looking at the values of the other partner and the relationship is more important than the dream.


But those of us who have not reached that level of maturity, or who continue to pursue their dream, whatever that might entail, start reading the fine print of their agreement. That is they search for loopholes through which they may wiggle their way out of the agreement they have made. When we discover that we are of a base sort, that is, we have proven that we are as low of a creature as we believed ourself to be, then our integrity is of little value to us as long as we can satisfy our immediate desires.

Love is not the only area in which we will cast aside our integrity in order to fulfill our lust. Consider the offer, or the promise you made to mow the lawn or wash the car next Saturday, only to discover that you have been given the opportunity to attend a great game that day, or the weather is just right for a round of golf.


Some people's life is made up of one loophole after another. These people can quickly and easily agree to anything that will get them what they want because they have no intention of completing their part of the agreement. These people are the extreme rather than the norm. We have a special name for such people - con men and liars. And although we avoid such people when they have made their character known, how many of us are just the same, though we are not so blatant, therefore we do not see ourselves in the same light?


Most of us, though we might try to squirm out of our promises and agreements, will follow through once we are put to the test. Unfortunately, the best of us find even this low level of integrity elusive when dealing with our spouse and our children. These are people to whom our highest level of integrity should be displayed, but rarely is. Instead we reserve our integrity for our In-laws and our church, or others we seek to impress and who we see less often.

Are you one of those who seeks loopholes through which to crawl like a shyster lawyer? Here's a test: listen to your spouse and especially your children - how many times do they confront you with: "But you said," or "But you promised"? This will give you a pretty good indication of how negligent you are toward fulfilling that which you promise to do. But more than this, it also presents you with an opportunity to learn something about your integrity. When you are confronted with your own words, what is your first response (spoken or unspoken)? Do you try to squirm out of your deal? Or are you thankful to them that they reminded you of something important to you (your integrity) that you had earnestly forgotten. Of course there is yet another possible reaction you might find yourself having, and that is disappointment because you had been hoping they wouldn't remember what you said; at least until after it was too late for you to fulfill your word.


How do we feel about others who minimize the importance of their "word"? Would you trust such people? Do you have any particular name for them?


God does.

God calls such people "Liars," and "Deceitful," and here is what He says will be their final outcome:

14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Rev 22:)

BUTTON PUSHERS


Don't you just hate button-pushers? In case there are those of you who haven't heard the expression before, a Button-Pusher is someone who likes to find things that irritate other people, and to annoy them by pushing that sensitive "Button." For instance, if a person is sensitive about their weight, the Button-Pusher will tease them about their being fat. This holds true about any thing a person is sensitive about, whether it is a problem or not. Some people are sensitive about being tall, or short, or wearing glasses, or big ears, or small ears, or red hair. It makes no difference, the Button pusher will probe around until he or she finds a sensitive spot and jab at it until the person either explodes (at which time the Button-Pusher will plead total innocence), or until the button becomes callused or is no longer a sensitive spot.


Some people are hired to be Button-Pushers. In fact, you and I pay big bucks to have our buttons pushed. For instance, when we go to the doctor to have an examination, we hope to hear him say there is nothing wrong with us, that is, there is no button to push. But if there is such a button, for instance, the fear button called Cancer or Heart Problems, we want him to push it, that is to say we want him to tell us about it even though we know it is going to bring up our worst fears, so we can do something about it.

Psychiatrists are another breed of Button-Pushers. Of course there are many Psychiatrists who don't push button, and of course these are very popular and very expensive. They are also quite ineffectual because they teach us how to cover our button rather than deal with it. Solomon tells us that it is better to be kicked in the chins by a friend in order to straighten our path than to be showered with compliments that keep us from improving ourselves (paraphrase of Prov 27:5,6).

Drill Sergeants in the Armed Forces are another group of people who's job it is to drive a person to the brink of exasperation in order to strengthen them.


Are you a Button-Pusher? Did you know that you are serving God's work if you are a Button-Pusher? Did you know that Button-Pushers are doing God's work?

We tend to think of Button-Pushers as evil and of the devil. We think of them as opposing God standing in the way of Christians. We think that, as Christians, life would be just a bed of roses if it weren't for the Button-Pushers who try to make us feel guilty for being Christians.

But the Button-Pusher is the very one God has placed with us in order to make us into the Christian who is acceptable to be in the presence of God. I know this is not what you are told in church, but it is what we are told in God's Word. You don't think so? Well, since this is not a study on the subject, and I have shown the truth of this statement in plenty of other studies, I won't give Scripture of support here. Instead I will give examples as the rule has been in effect in the lives of others.

The Twelve Apostles: did Jesus tell them that because they were faithful to Him that life was going to be a field of clover for them? Or did He tell them that, if they were to remain part of the World that the World would accept them; but because they chose to follow Him, life would be hard and dangerous and the World, that is the Button-Pushers would end up killing them?

The early Christians: did their choice to be a Christian present them with lots of goodies sent from God? Or did it, with their full foreknowledge (having "counted the cost") present them with much evil and death?

Jesus, Himself, was surrounded by the most powerful and skillful Button-Pushers of His day: the Pharisees and the Scribes. Did Jesus say: "If these Button-Pushers would just leave me alone I could get a lot more work done"? Or did He say: "The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?" The "cup" is death on the cross, which He told the disciples (and us, as disciples) they would bear (Luke 22:42; John 18:11; Mat 20:23; Luke 14:27).


Job was doing just fine, living the life of Riley; until God sicced His Chief Button-Pusher on him. Was it because Job was sinful that God turned him over to Satan for testing? Not at all. In fact Job's three friends, who were apparently much more sinful than the one they were accusing of harboring a sin he wouldn't admit to, were doing just fine. They believed that the more righteous a person was, the more they would be blessed. And the more wicked was a person, the more they would be cursed. This is why the disciples asked Jesus who sinned that the man who Jesus healed was born blind; and why they were amazed when Jesus told them that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.


Jesus had two Button-Pushers in his group of twelve. One of the Button-pushers was not intending to be, but because he was, we understand a lot more about Jesus than we would have been able to understand without him. This one was Peter. It seems that Peter was right there to question almost every statement that Jesus made. And because of his questions, we, too, have the answers. Peter even contradicted Jesus when He said He was going to die on the cross. Jesus called him a "Satan" (which means "Adversary" that is one who stands against; or, in colloquial terms a "Button Pusher"), which Peter was being at that time.

The disciples, and especially Peter, had stood strong with Jesus when there was no real threat against them, just a bunch of Button-pushers that the disciples knew Jesus could wipe out with just a word. But when Jesus was arrested, the disciple's true nature showed itself, that of disbelief and cowardice which was buried far beneath the surface. This nature had to be brought out and recognized in order to show that, in spite of how we might feel about ourselves, we are but worms and unfit for Heaven. If we don't recognize this truth, and by failing to do so believe we are worthy of God, we are doomed to hell. If we fully recognize and admit ("confess") our worthlessness, that we are but dust, then we will be able to recognize that the only worth we have is the Holy Spirit, that is, the Spirit of God Who will form us chunks of clay into the image of God.

Like Job, the disciples had to learn of their own worthlessness so they could recognized that Pentecost, that is the Holy Spirit was what made them special, not anything about themselves or any of their own doing.

Had Peter not discovered his cowardice under fire and continued to believe himself a wonderful person and disciple; can you just imagine what a swelled head he would have had after Pentecost?

Judas, though fairly silent normally, except when it came to spending money, was chosen by God the Father to be Jesus' Prime Button-Pusher (John 17:12). Even though Judas was doing God's work, was he exempt from punishment? Not according to Luke 22:21-22.


Button-Pushers come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, what can bring up your ire, therefore your anger and impatience any more than a pesky gnat or a fly? Bosses, spouses and children are often annoyances thereby teaching us patience and anger management. Governments, called "Principalities and Powers that are to be obeyed regardless if they are fair or not (consider what these powers did to Jesus and the Apostles -- Eph 5:22; 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:15; Titus 3:1-3; Heb 13:17; 1Pet 2:13; 5:5).

Button-Pushers of the World, we thank you. Without you we, that is the Christian who is pressing for the mark, running the race, and not shirking from being in the forefront of battle could not be Overcomers as Jesus was an Overcomer. However, I must inform you that the Bible says, even though you are doing a mighty work of God, that there are dire consequences for you; Even though you may be strong in the church, even a man of the cloth. Here is what the Bible says regarding you:


1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Mat 18:)


11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. 23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Mat 23:)


21The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. (Mark 14:)


20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. 23Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 24But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. 30Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 39And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 41And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. 43For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 46And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:)


38And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 40Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? 41But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 42But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 43Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. 44Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

45Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. 46And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. 47Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. 49Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: 50That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 51From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. 52Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. 53And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: 54Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. (Luke 11:)


Have you ever wondered what a "Woe" was?


Woe G3759 ?´? ouai oo-ah'ee A primary excamation of grief; "woe": - alas, woe.


Doesn't sound like much does it? Here are some examples of "woes" given in the Bible.


10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Rev 12:)


7The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 8And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. 10And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. 12And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. 13And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! (Rev 8:)


3And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Rev 11:)


Pastors and Parents should be Button-Pushers, but unfortunately they are no longer so. It used to be that parents would work to correct their children and bring them up in the way that would be of service to themselves, to God and to mankind in general. This is no longer the case, at least not in this country. In fact, to do such a thing as correct a child could well cause imprisonment for the parent seeing as how "correction," at least Biblical correction, is now reinterpreted as "Abuse."

Pastors are another group of people that are to be Button-Pushers. Not long ago when a person attended a church, or a tent meeting, they expected to hear fire 'n brimstone messages from the podium. Any more what is heard is love and sweetness messages that say: "You're OK and God loves you just the way you are, so you needn't bother to change." And, like the Big Boss who loves "Yes Men," the people eat it up. Who doesn't like to be told they are fine just the way they are? And if (when) this nation goes the direction Canada has chosen, churches will not be allowed to be Button-pushers because talking about sin will be a crime punishable by imprisonment. (Committing the sin is not a crime; talking against the sin is the crime.)

How would it be if your doctor said you were fine just the way you are, even though you were in great pain and had a huge lump where it ought not to be? How would it be if your Psychiatrist said you were fine just the way you are even though you were scared to death to walk out of your own front door?

What if your parents told you were fine even though you were spending half your time in jail, dealing drugs, and out of your mind and unable to function half the time?

My brother was told not to worry about a "cyst" he had on his head. And he didn't. Five months later he was dead from cancer.

Time after time I have seen men told they were "cured" by the Psychiatrists, only to be returned to prison again and again.

Pastors are telling their parishioners that they are "Fine and acceptable to God," while God says they, without having their buttons pushed, are on the broad road to hell.


12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Rev 12:)


11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:)


And what does it take to be written in the Lamb's Book of Life? To submit to the Button-Pushers that God leads into our life in order to bring out our bad fruit in order that it may be "pruned" (cut off) so that we may be Holy with nothing in us but the Spirit of God, therefore, in the Image of God.


17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:)


13Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1Pet 2:)


5Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1Pet 5:)



So the next time you find someone pushing your button, thank that person, and sincerely hope he or she finds a button, if it exists, so that God can do His work in you.


9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:)


12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Mat 6:)


38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:)


WRATH OF GOD?


Surely not!

It's been my understanding that God's wrath has been abated by the death of His Son. Isn't that what many of the Protestant churches teach? I mean, some churches have taken this to such an extreme that they say everyone is now going to Heaven because there is no sin in the World. Jesus died for all sin, and for everybody.

Have you heard anything like that before?

But then, this is John the Baptist talking here, and maybe he hadn't heard about this aspect of Jesus' mission.

Just to be on the safe side, let's take a look at this verse through a microscope.

First let me tell you how this all came about. I was listening to a tape and the speaker was talking about the book of John. When he got to the third chapter he read the 36th verse, and it struck a cord in me. So I thought I would look it up.

Here is the verse:


36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:)


First off, I wonder about the word "wrath." perhaps it has another meaning than what we mean when we say wrath.


Wrath G3709 ?´? orge or-gay' From G3713; properly desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), that is, (by analogy) violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence); by implication punishment: - anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.


Nope. As far as I can see, John is saying that God is mad. I guess God hasn't read the commentaries or heard the preachers that tell and show proofs that this just cannot be so.

Well, it would be hard to get around the fact that when John said wrath, he meant wrath.


But, there's still hope. Let's take a look at that other word he used. Maybe there's a misunderstanding with the word "abide." Let's see.


Abide G3306 µ´? meno¯ men'-o A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own.


Again, it looks to me like the Greek bears out John's statement.


Just to be sure, let's look at some other places "abide" has been used. Maybe we can learn something there.


35And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. (John 8:)


4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:)


17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1John 2:)


23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. (1John 3:)


There are many more times the word "abide" has been used, but they all say the same thing.

But perhaps the word "Wrath" was a fluke. That is, maybe John was referring to something else besides this present day and age; after all, Jesus did say that John was the last of the Old Age that was to pass away.

So let's see where else "Wrath" was used.


7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Mat 3:)


22For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 25And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Luke 21:)


2But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11For there is no respect of persons with God. 12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Rom 2:)


6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 5:)


5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. (Col 3:)


9For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1Thes 1:)


10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. 12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:)


11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Rev 19:)


Well, what do you think? Are the preachers of "Peace, Peace" right?





5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (1Tim 1:)


1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2Tim 4:)


 

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