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

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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11For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 14:)



WORKS & GRACE


This subject has been worked to death. The concept of whether Works gets us into Heaven, or if it is Grace alone without any works at all that gets us into Heaven seems to be the greatest dividing line between what constitutes the "Real" church, and a cult of some nature.

Again, I have to say, both ends have to be viewed in order to see the Truth that God has provided for us. It is neither Works, nor is it Grace that will get us into Heaven. And at the same time it is both Works and Grace that will get us into Heaven.


Jesus has provided us the Grace with which to we may be allowed into the presence of God, as He was (and is) in the presence of God the Father. Without that Grace we have no hope of ever having any recognition whatever from God. This is especially true of us if we happen to be Gentiles. Gentiles, even in the days that Jesus Himself walked this earth were out of the realm of God. In fact Jesus told His disciples to go to the Jews only (Mat 10:5), and a Gentile woman who came to Him for help, He called a dog (Mat 15:26). It was Peter who opened the door to, first the Samaritans, then the Gentiles through Cornelius. And even though Peter opened the door to us, he did not minister to the Gentiles, but it was Paul who did so.


Jesus provides us the Grace. He has conquered sin so that we, mere dust of the earth, may follow in His footsteps into the presence of God and receive Eternal life.

This is where the Protestant churches stop. This is also where the Modern churches stop, to the chagrin of the Protestant and the Catholic churches.

Catholics and some other "cults" add works to what Jesus has done. This causes Protestants to rebel, even to become angry, that anyone could even think that Jesus' work on the cross was insufficient to get us into Heaven.


This above is the added on process of the Gospel. The World systems believe there is no God, and that Jesus, if He even exists, was nothing more than a "Good Man."

The Modern churches take this concept a step farther, some believing that Jesus was a Good Man, and some believing He was a little more than that. At any rate, they believe that either through the cross, or through some other means, all will be saved in spite of what they do, or who made it possible.

Some of the denominations called "cults" have added to the above that salvation is not for everybody, but just for the few who attend their church, and belong to their denomination.

Then at the top of the list of add-on's is the Catholic church. They believe, like the cults, that only their own, Catholics in this case, will be saved, and that works must be added to what Jesus has done. Works, to the Catholic, is not for the purpose of gaining Salvation as that is given freely to all Catholics. And like many of the Protestant churches, they believe that salvation can not be lost (for the Catholics). Works for them is intended to shorten their time in purgatory, having less sins to burn out, so-to-speak.


Jesus has payed for all sin. This is a given according to all Gospel believing churches. Jesus has payed for all sin, past, present and future. There is nothing we can do to add to what Jesus has done for us.

BUT!!! If we think we can rest on the Laurels of Jesus and do nothing, we are deceiving ourselves and "the Truth is not in us."

God has plainly said that He wants everything from us. He wants our total devotion. He wants us to leave all we have, all we are, all we want, and even our loved ones and follow Him, even to the cross if necessary. Anything short of this is not sufficient to get us into the presence of God.


God's Grace is there for those willing to sacrifice themselves to acquire it. And though Grace is freely given, it is only the "few" who will prove themselves worthy of that Grace.

It is not what you do that makes the difference. It is who you serve that is going to be judged in the end. Do you serve yourself? Or do you serve God at the expense of yourself? Do you love yourself, or something or someone who pleases you more than you love God and want to please Him?


Does it sound like I am saying that anything short of perfection will cause a person not to be "saved"? This is not my mission, to judge who will be saved and who will not be saved. We are not to judge another man's servant. God will make those decisions when all is said and done. What I am saying here is that God wants the ultimate from us, just as He has given His ultimate for us. And if we love the Lord, we will strive to make Him just as happy and pleased with us as we possibly can. Anything short of this is not love as I see prescribed in the Bible.


UNDERSTANDING GOD'S WILL


17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:)


OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES


I do not listen to the news, read newspapers, or watch TV. Current events pass over me like geese headed south for the winter. But from time to time something catches my eye like bird droppings from those geese flying overhead.

I recall about a year ago the new Pope making a statement that alluded to (actually downright stated) that all Protestants (non Catholics) were going to go to hell. (Don't quote me on any of this. It is all coming from my failed memory.) It appears that within a very short time of his coming into office this "infallible" spokesman of God built up and reinforced walls he was supposedly trying to tear down.


Recently I was blessed with another bird dropping or two. The Pope again, in effort to spread good will angered yet another large group of believers not of his own faith. This time it was the Muslims he offended by referring to Islam as: "Evil and inhumane." Later he apologized for his words, saying that his meaning was misunderstood. But to my way of thinking, his apology reinforced that which he was apologizing for.

It appears (from unofficial reports) that the Pope is not allowing his advisers to advise him as to what is diplomatic and what is not. Of course, if He has the ear of God, why should he be listening to human advisors?

This situation reminds me of Solomon's son Rehoboam who disregarded wise council and split the nation that time and much tradition had built.


Another bird dropping. I thought all this time that the selling of indulgences (remission of sins or the lessening of punishment in purgatory) were a thing lost in the pages of history. Not so, it appears. Our new Pope has discovered these pages and torn them from the history books and put them back into practice. I may well be mistaken about this being a renewed thing, rather the practice may have been continuing all this time under my blind eye. But either way, I find the whole thing interesting in light of these modern times and the direction the world is taking.


TEETER-TOTTER


As a child you probably played on a teeter-totter (seesaw). If not, you more than likely have watched other people play on one. When two people of the same weight ride the machine, neither can gain the advantage over the other. Both are equal. The only way for one to gain control of the ride is to shift to the rear, thereby adding leverage to their end.


Today I was thinking about how the Lord has given me the gift of understanding His Word. By that I don't mean I understand His Word, but the understanding of His intentions and desires are expressed through my fingers and transmitted to this website. I wish I could say I have understanding of what He is saying, but the evidence that I don't is shown clearly by the fact that when I read what I have written, no matter how many times I read it, I am amazed at what is written and can't recall having written most of it. Not only do I not have a memory of writing the material, but I don't know what has been said, and I am often anxious to read farther to see what is being expressed, or if the "writer" (me) is going to paint himself into a corner as it surely looks like he is doing.


I would expect gifts to come in sets. That is, I would expect a gift such as prophesy to come with the ability to speak. I would also expect the prophet to fit a mold such as Elijah and John the Baptist seemed to come from: rugged, confident and outspoken.


I find that God does not work as I would expect. For instance, King Saul was head and shoulders above everyone in Israel. But it was a little unknown shepherd boy who killed the giant.

It was also this shepherd boy, the youngest and lowliest of eight sons who God chose to be the King of His people.

It was a tribe of downtrodden nobodies God chose to populate His land.

It was the ragtag of Galilee, the slums of Israel, where Jesus preached and chose His disciples.

It is the Gentiles, the "Dogs" if you will that God is using to build His Church.

And even Jesus, one we might expect to be of highest esteem and regard, was not as we would have expected Him to be:


Psalm 22:

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.


Isaiah 53:

1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.


Matthew 1:

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child


John 8:

41bThen said they to him, We be not born of fornication; (possibly implying that they believe Jesus was.)


Luke 2:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Probably it was a filthy cave He was born in, like a barnyard littered with animals and what they leave behind.)


Matthew 2:

22But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.


John 1:

45Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.


Matthew 8:

20And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.


Mark 15:

28And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.


Galatians 3:

13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


Matthew 27:

59And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.


It is man's nature to want the upper hand. This even stands true with our relationship with God. Examples of this behavior can be seen with Adam and Eve, and with Korah and the other rebels in the wilderness.


God will not let us have the upper hand. In fact, if we try gain any control over our situation, God will remove our light from His Church, just as He did with Judas, Korah and Adam.


I said I would expect God to supply us with a package of gifts with which to perform His will for us. Certainly in my case, this has not proved itself true. Although I have been given a gift of writing His will, and this web space to present it (and many resources with which to study), God has not seen fit to provide me a memory whereby I can carry what I learn from one study to the next. Nor, even after all the typing I have done, I am no better at typing than I was when I was a teenager, and perhaps even worse. Add to this, if it were not for dictionaries, a thesaurus, and a spell check that I drive crazy with red underlines, it would be near impossible for me to write at all.


A while back I belonged to a writers group. The others in the group were capable of writing beautiful and fluid stories. And along with a gift for writing, they had good speaking voices wherewith to share those stories.

I, on the other hand, wrote stories, though interesting in my eyes, were not so well received by the others in the group. Along with this lack of acceptance, I also lacked the ability to read the stories with any skill at all. My voice turned hoarse and cracked, even monotonous, and my throat clinched like a fist around a hammer and would not release the words without great effort. Eventually (after years of enduring my failed efforts) the group decided it best if someone else read what I had written so it could better be appreciated.


Why is this so? Why am I unable to share with ease what the Lord has given me to share?

I think I know.

God does not share His Glory.

By keeping me incapable of doing what I do on my own, He keeps me on the short end of the teeter-totter. If I had the others skills required to be a good writer I could very easily come to believe it was I who am producing what comes through me. I might believe I am so good a writer, or so clever and intelligent a person that God just had to use all this ability for His purposes.


Now, would I ever do such a thing? Would I become arrogant and full of self-deception?

In a split second I would. And God very well knows I would.

For this reason I am very thankful for my poor memory, my lack of typing skills, and my inability to fully understand what I write.


Luke 14:

11For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


THE THIRD DAY


Theologians love to argue. In that way they are like Politicians who gather on one side of a fence and cast stones at those on the other side of the fence, often having no idea what their differences are.

Casting stones at one another is fine for those so involved and feel they have something to gain from their efforts. If that is what they choose to do, I say, go for it. The problem is that astraddle that fence sits you and I trying to learn what Truth the experts might finally agree upon.

Another analogy I would give to describe these "experts" would be the blind men trying to describe an elephant. But unlike the blind men who have no choice but to wander about in darkness, the Theologians have full vision, but refuse to see or admit what is before them, but instead wallow in the mire of fantasy.


A good example of this, albeit a minor one in comparison to the teachings they corrupt causing the possible destruction of those who follow their advise, is whether Jesus arose from the tomb on the third day, or after three days.


They, the Theologians don't seem to be able to settle on an answer, but let's see if we can possibly see something they are missing:


Matthew 16:

21From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.


Matthew 17:

22And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 23And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.


Matthew 20:

18Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.


Matthew 27:

62Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day,


Mark 9:

31For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.


Luke 9:

19They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. 21And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.


Luke 13:

31The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. 32And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.


Luke 18:

31Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.


Luke 24:

46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:


Luke 24:

5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.


Luke 24:

19And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.


1 Corinthians 15:

3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


If I were to tell you that I will pick you up and take you to your heart surgery appointment at 10am on the third day, and this is Friday: what day would you stand outside waiting for me? What do you think would happen if you were to stand outside after three days?


I'm sure someone could say I am using flimsy evidence here since I only have three of the four Gospel writers represented. But if you would like to research this subject further, go to a concordance and look up the word "third" and check out the Old Testament and see what things happened on the third day.


As I said, this is a minor subject, not worth considering. But how about your Eternal soul? Is that worth


considering? Then consider how the same Theologians and preachers who struggle with this minor puzzle are also the ones who you are counting on to tell you what God expects of you, and what you must do in order to be with Him for eternity.


[ Incidently, the reason the Theologians are so concerned about making it appear that Jesus was in the grave for three days (and three nights) is to reconcile the verses of Scripture where Jesus says He will be in the grave for that period of time, just as Jonah was in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights (Mat 8:31, 12:39-40: Luke 11:30-32; John 2:19; Jonah 1:17). But as you can see from the verses above, the same writers who said "three days and three nights" also said "on the third day."

Now, I have performed a superficial investigation of this discrepancy, and I find no solution as yet. But I am not surprised that I found no answer because I know that God's ways are mysterious to men, especially to me.

However, I do find that this problem is an unsolvable one, at least with what information I have available to me, because if the Theologians were to somehow prove that Jesus was in the tomb for three nights, as they are trying so hard to do, then they will be proving the verses above wrong because: "On the third day" only allows for two nights. In proving the cow patty these Theologians are standing in is the one without stink, they succeed only in stepping into another cow patty.

We are not able to know all things. In my opinion the greatest problem with doctrine as it is taught in the churches (as distinguished from God's Word, which is the doctrine (teachings) we should be following) is that we try to fill in blanks spaces and the unknowns with made-up stories (fantasies) that direct us away from the Truth. If we don't understand something, let us just say we don't understand something. Wisdom is not in appearing to know everything. Wisdom is the ability to admit we don't know everything, knowing who to go to for the answers, and the patience to wait until the answer is given us.

Until this process of wisdom is followed, we are going to find ourselves deeper and deeper in controversy, apostasy and false doctrine.

Making a big deal out of little questions may be fun with crossword puzzles, but when the little things like the above are stressed as vital, and the vital things such as what is required for Salvation and the approval of God is minimized, manipulated and ignored: we the Church suffer tremendously.

For more on the subject of filling in gaps with wild speculation, see: Fantasies, Fables and Traditions: Lucifer, Making of a Doctrine.]


 

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