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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21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
(Rom 9:)



JUDAS: PREDICTED OR PREMEDITATED


Why was it necessary for Judas to betray Jesus?


17Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:)


31Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.. . . . . 39Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, 40And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. (John 10:)


59Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (John 8:)


25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? (John 7:)


56Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? 57Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should show it, that they might take him. (John 11:)


2And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. 3Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. (Luke 22:)


2And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. (John 18:)


55In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. (Mat 26:)


Is it possible that Judas' betrayal of Jesus was for no other purpose than to fulfill Scripture?


52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? . . . . . 56But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. (Mat 26:)


4All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. (Mat 21:)


70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6:)


20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (Rom 9:)


4And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. 5Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. (Jer 18:)


4That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; (1Thes 4:)


19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (2Tim 2:)


15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. (Acts 9:)


5I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:)



TWO ANGELS OF THE LORD?


13And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. (Mat 2:)


Just a thought: Jesus is supposed to be the One who appeared in a pre-incarnate state to those of the Old Testament. Now He is a child under the care of Joseph and Mary. Yet He appeared to Joseph at the same time. Of course the appearance is not a true appearance as with Jacob who actually wrestled with an angel, but rather in a dream.

Just something to think about.



READING AND THE IMAGINATION


Have you ever written a letter to someone, only to have them completely misread what you had intended and react accordingly? I'm sure you have. And when you reread what you have written, you find that you have clearly stated your intentions, and can not possibly see how your words could have been so maligned.

Isn't it a treat when you're able to communicate with someone who, if they misunderstand you, will tell you what they think you said so you can correct their understanding, rather than destroy the relationship by overreacting to what hasn't been said?


When I read a letter, book, article or any such thing, I read it from my own perspective, that is, I regard it as it applies to my own personal experience. "Of course," you might say, "who doesn't?"

And that is certainly true: "Who doesn't?"


If I should read a story about a family going about their daily life, I would picture a father who gets in his car and drives to work each day. He might wear a business suit, or a pair of overalls, or maybe casual wear. I would picture the mother in an apron going about her house doing the daily chores, perhaps with the TV or a radio going in the background, and a toddler at her side. I would picture the children with shiny faces, properly attired, well fed, and on their way to catch an awaiting school bus.


Why would I picture such a family? Because that has been my experience of a family. It is such a family that I grew up in, that I saw all around me, and that is (or was) portrayed on the media.


But what if I were to tell you that this family in the story being considered was not from our own culture? What if I were to tell you that the family in question lived amongst rice paddies in China? Or what if they lived in darkest Africa? Or the North Pole? Or they were Native Americans from 200 years ago?


When we read the Bible we have this same problem. We naturally read into the Bible what we know (or consider) to be correct. In the case of the family above, we think of our own family, its behavior and circumstances, and assume it is the same with those in another country thousands of years ago.

We are fortunate in this "enlightened" period of time to have resources to correct such a view. With but little effort we can know that the fathers of that day did not wear suits, but a robe. They did not drive a car but rather they walked or rode a beast of burden. We know that the mother did not have a TV blaring in the background; and that the children were not waiting for a school bus, nor were they very likely shiny faced or even well fed.

We also know that the house they lived in very likely had a dirt floor, no indoor plumbing, nor even a dinner table or bed and other such furniture as we know them today.


When we read the Bible, we have to mentally "shift gears" so-to-speak. We have to take ourselves out of the world we live in and imagine ourselves in the world that is being portrayed. If we do not do this, the Bible will make little sense to us. We must read what is written, not what we think we already know.


As in the misrepresented letter above, we have a tendency to read what we think a person is saying, or is going to say. If we have done something we know we shouldn't have, we expect words that will be accusative and reprimanding. And if we have done something special for that person, we expect words of appreciation and pleasure. Because we have a preconceived notion as to what is going to be said, we ignore any other words that do not fit our expectation, and react according to what we feel, not what has been said.


Another reason we might have created preconceived notions is from what we have been told and taught. We believe what we have been told is true. And the more we esteem the person who has instructed us, the more credibility we attribute to their words.

Once we are given answers, we no longer consider the questions that form the need of an answer. We no longer seek that which we think we have found.

This holds true of the misunderstood letter, and it is equally true of God's Word to us, the Bible.


Most of us of any age at all have grown up in a church of one sort or another. We have formed our conception of God and His Word from what we have been taught in the church. But even those who have never attended church have formed opinions of God and His Word. That opinion might have come from friends, parents, or as is so common today, the media. Even staunch church goers have acquired more of their conceptions of the Bible from the movies and TV specials than they have from reading the Word for themselves.


Why question that which we already know?

Why have a yearly physical when we already know we are healthy and that our teeth are in good shape?

Because we just might be wrong!


When we read the Bible we read, not what God has said, but what we expect Him to say. We read what we have been told the Words are saying, and if the words don't say what we expect them to say, then we consider ourself unlearned, and so we accept what others have told us is true.


The Bible tells us of two types of people who can not understand the Bible: the unlearned, and the educated:


9Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. 11And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (Isaiah 29:)


13But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Mat 15:)


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. (Mat 23:)


When we read the Bible, we are taught that certain "truths" are to be followed and not be ignored. Because of this, we doubt ourselves when we read what doesn't fit into these "truths."

Perhaps the first of these truths, and the most prevalent, is that of the "simplicity of the Bible." We are told that God wrote His book so that everyone can easily understand it. We are told the Jesus spoke in parables so that His words can easily be understood by everyone:


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. (Isaiah 28:)


10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:)


10And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. (Mark 4:)


We hear what we want to hear; we believe what we want to believe. We accept that which makes us feel comfortable and important, and that which makes sense to us. If someone tells us what we don't already accept, or that we don't want to believe, we turn to them a deaf ear - just as did the Pharisees and the rulers of Jesus' day.

But turning a deaf ear to God is like ignoring the words of the doctor that says you have a cancerous tumor that must be removed. However, the doctor's words will effect only the brief life we have here on earth. Ignoring God's Words will effect our eternal destination.


As I look at my hand, I see me. I see what is most important to me. I see that which is with me constantly, that which affects me most distinctly and clearly. Although I can hurt for someone in pain, I am not nearly as affected by that pain as I am when it is my own body that is in pain.

The closer something is to us, the more real it becomes.

We are in essence the center of our own universe. This is not only true of us humans, but of every living creature as well. The tiger feels no qualms about killing an innocent fawn; but he cowers and is in fear if he, himself is threatened.

Because we are the center of our universe, we think others should consider us the center of the universe as well. We think everyone should bow down and serve us. Oh, most of us would not come right out and say such a thing: we might not even let ourself think such a thing. But it is true none the less.

There were probably no people more in tune with Jesus, and therefore giving of themselves than the Apostles who had followed Jesus for three and a half years, and they said:


35And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. (Mark 10:)


24And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mat 20)


We direct the world and our surroundings so that our path might be laden with a bed of roses. Some take this to an extreme, grabbing the roses of others for themselves while leaving them with nothing but the thorns. We can see this exemplified in the lives of the rulers Jesus had to contend with.

What are some of the roses we plant by our bed that will likely distort our understanding of God's Word?

I have listed just a few below. None of this is to say that one or the other of these might in fact be true. I am merely placing them here as examples of the preconceived notions we have when we read the Bible that will color what God is saying. We make His Words conform to these notions, and when they seem to differ, we discount that difference.

Take a look at these and see if they are not part of your own belief system:


  • Man has a soul that is eternal, it never dies. Because the soul is everlasting, there must be an everlasting place where it must abide. Question: When does this eternal soul begin? At birth? At conception? From "before the foundation of the world"?

  • Heaven is a place up in the sky somewhere. Heaven is a place on a cloud where we will be as angels with nothing to do but "fly around Heaven all day" and play upon our golden harp. Eternity will be spent in a huge "mansion" 1,500 miles cubed (or in the shape of a pyramid) with monstrous gates and many levels. Question: Hmmmm!

  • God is this huge man who is siting on a throne somewhere on a cloud watching over us just waiting for us to change our mind and come to Him so He won't have to cast us into that fiery pit with the devil and his angels. Question: Have we considered? 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:)


We are important. We are what God is all about. We, that is the "Christian" is special and an elite group of people, destined for eternal bliss, given favors here on earth, and sons and daughters of He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Question: What did God tell Adam and Eve? 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Gen 3:)


And how about these verses? How do they fit into the concept of man being valuable?


6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people [Jesus speaking of Himself through David]. (Psalm 22:)


5I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Rev 3:)


We read what we're taught is being said. We don't question what we're taught. We are taught not to question what we are told, and this from birth. Yet it is those who do question, and who doubt what they are taught who have become great, who have been the inventors, the innovators of this world. While most of the world are like lemmings that follow their leader by the thousands and fall headlong over a cliff and into the sea where they drown. Lemmings, as I read the Bible are not what God is seeking to live with forever, but rather the courageous, those who depart from the crowd and take chances, seeking the truth. He wants those who will stand up for His Word, who will listen to what He is telling us rather than what some man says He is telling us. He is looking for people who will live and die for Him.

Is this the way you read the Bible? Is this what you're told from the pulpit and in your Bible study groups? If this isn't what you read or that you are being taught, then I hope you are a very good swimmer.



RULING AND REIGNING


"When I get to be Corporal, then I'll buckle down and start soldiering."

"Not me. I'm not going to get serious about this Army business until they make me at least a General."

"Are you guys nuts? What makes you think you're going to get anything but trouble if you don't buckle down and do what you're told to do right now, and do it with all you got?"


10He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? (Luke 16:)


29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 25:)



CHANGES


It was not long ago that God reigned as the center of this nation's universe. We saw His name everywhere we went, and heard music dedicated to Him every time we heard a radio or passed by where there was music playing. It mattered not a whit the type of music being played: Rock and Roll, C&W, Pop; a fair amount of it would be about God and of Jesus.

"Under God" was part of the Pledge of Allegiance that every child recited before their class began (just before or just after prayer). Today not only God has been taken out of the schoolroom, but so has the Pledge or any other form of concern for this nation and those we share it with.


God was part of our courts. Because God was a part of our justice system we felt at least a sense of accountability from those who we pay to protect and defend us. Today we are bugs, and God does not exist. With such an attitude, what hope can we have that those who stand behind the seat of justice will serve anything more than their popularity and their own pocket book? It is interesting that although we have kicked God out of our courtroom, we, the hypocrites we are, still demand that anyone taking the stand swear "by God" on a Bible written by someone we have declared does not exist. And since we have declared God an nonentity, what reason does the one taking the oath have for keeping that vow to someone he has been taught does not exist?

On the money we use to purchase those things that God has graciously supplied for us there was imprinted on it: "In God We Trust." Although there are still some antiquated bills and coins in circulation with this imprint, there is no belief in those words or the meaning behind them. Little by little those words are disappearing from our monetary system. As God disappears from our money, so does the value of our money diminish. While God does not stand behind our money any more, neither does our government nor our banks stand behind it. We are now living on air, on green toilet paper with no more value than that value we place on God who gave us this nation and our wealth.


The value of our money is not the only values disappearing with our rejection of God. In our schools where God is no longer welcome, the quality of education and the learning of worthwhile subjects also suffer. Teachers no longer have the respect nor the support of their nation they once had, neither the respect of their students, nor the parents. And why should parents lend their support to a system who allows them no say-so nor allows them any control over their own child or the morals (or lack thereof) they are taught?


During the last hundred years this nation had grown from a floundering, mediocre people to become a people and a nation to be looked up to, if not fully respected and feared as such; a nation to lead the way and lend its support to those nations of the world that were in want. Everyone knew that God was the One responsible for the success of our nation. And we knew that if we ever fell from grace, we could fail as a nation.

We fell away from God, and we are now next to being lowest of all people in the eyes of the world: a people to be despised and destroyed as a blight on the universe. This is especially so with those monotheistic nations of the world, with whom we share our God, but who, in their own eyes, are working to follow the God they believe in, but that we have rejected. And, oddly enough, that God they serve is the very same God we purportedly served when we were looked up to rather than hated and despised.


We used to say: "If only we could get a Christian President, then things would be different!"

We got our Christian President, just as Fundamental a President as one could possibly have....

And, indeed, things have changed!


Half a century ago you were not asked if you went to church, you were asked what church you belonged to. Now, to belong to a church is an indication that there is something psychologically wrong with you.

We no longer seek God for change in our life, we seek Godless Psychologists, therapists and books (and drugs) to alter our life.

Prisons are a place we send those who are not able to function in society in a socially acceptable manner. Prisons are where we send youngsters just beginning their life of crime where they can learn from those more advanced and skillful in the ways of crime so they can further their education and succeed in their chosen field of endeavor without being detected and punished.

The Bible used to be the tool used to help counter the direction these young offenders were taking. Now Bibles are not allowed in many, if not most of the prisons anymore, because it hinders and contradicts what the wardens and the Psychologists are telling the prisoners.

At one time becoming a Christian was a fairly good indication that a person was on the way to mending his or her soul. Now, to say one is a Christian is to indicate one is deceived and not fit for society, a society of people well-aware of their bug status, but totally unaware of their deceived condition.


Before the middle of the last century Christianity was the norm. In the churches it was common to hear what we call "Fire and Brimstone" messages intended to drive sinners to their knees in repentance and in service to God.

Then, the war over, and so also the fear of war, we began to change our intentions and our purposes. God and sin was no longer considered. It was: "Do your own thing:" "I'm OK, Your OK;" "Peace and Love."

Rebellion was the way of the youth. Whatever made sense and worked toward the betterment of society was to be frowned upon and cast off.

This attitude soon spread from the colleges and the culture of Woodstock and Free Love to the schools of lower education, and the media, and eventually the churches. The Protestant churches fell sway to the rhythm of the Hippie generation, taking on the attitude of: "Do Your Own Thing," and God is Love." The music that emanated from the churches became indistinguishable from Woodstock unless one listened closely to the words, if those words could be heard over the overdriven guitars and the battling drums. (Today it's Rapp and other such where vulgar and violent words might possibly be replaced with "Jesus," but even the most Worldly of Rappers is unlikely to recognize the replacement.) The church has conformed to the world rather than separate itself from it as we are instructed to do by the Word of God.

Even the old established churches that had stood firm as a fencepost for a multitude of generations fell to the power of the people. The wisdom of age was no longer to be respected in the churches; it was now the noise and the immaturity of the youth who led the way. Wisdom and dedication to God had no place in the church: it was now "sit in your pew and behave like the kids," or you were encouraged to find a new church to attend.

As generations passed, those rebellious youths became the grey-hairs who rule our churches, our schools, our businesses, and yes, our government.

Youth had no reason to mature, because maturity was to be avoided at all cost. Thus we see the result of turning our world over to the Hippie generation who knew nothing more than to rebel against anything established, and to direct everything it encounters to itself.

The only ones, it seems, who refuse to budge from their firm stance of dedicated service to God as they see it, are the Jews, the Muslims, and those the respectable denominations call: "Cults."

The respectable Christians say all the above are wrong in their form of worship. I say: is there anyone right?


There are a few: a very few, who refuse to go the way of the World. In standing still these few have appeared to the multitudes who have fallen to have departed from the faith. In time to come the faithful will have shifted from being the majority to being the persecuted minority: and this by the very church who professes to follow the God they no longer recognize as their Lord. Jesus said it, and it is so:


1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. (John 16:)



DO IT, AND LIKE IT!


It's hard to accept when our parents tell us we have to do something that we don't want to do. It makes it no easier when our parents add to this commandment: "You're going to do it, and you're going to like it!

Anyone who has served in the Armed Services has also had such a command presented to them.

But parents and Army DI's are not the only ones who are given to such contradictory affirmations. No indeed. God is also prone to tell us we must do what we want least to do, and to like it:


10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Mat 5:)


12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1Pet 4:13)


37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Mat 10:)


28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:)


14But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (1Pet 3:)


35And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. (Mark 9:)


12So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:)


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;. . .48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. . (Mat 5:)


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. (Mat 5:)


17If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:)



LORD, LORD


LORD G2962 kurios koo'-ree-os From kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): - God, Lord, master, Sir.


21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Mat 7:)


46And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:)



MASTER G1320 didaskalos did-as'-kal-os From G1321; an instructor (generally or specifically): - doctor, master, teacher.



RABBI G4461 rhabbi rab-bee' Of Hebrew origin [H7227] with pronominal suffix; my master, that is, Rabbi, as an official title of honor: - Master, Rabbi.


As with so many of the original Greek and Hebrew words, "Lord, Master, and Rabbi" have rather ambiguous meanings, that is, unclear. When we say "Lord," do we mean "Hey you, Mister," or do we mean "My Lord and my God who I will serve to my death"?



ADORABLE


We use the word "adorable" to describe everything from a rag doll to whatever. But just what does the word mean according to the experts on words?


ADORE: (according to the dictionary)

to speak, pray

1 : to worship or honor as a deity or as divine

2 : to regard with loving admiration and devotion <adored his wife>

3 : to be very fond of <adores pecan pie>


Like all words, over time we minimize them and turn their meaning into nothing. Consider "Love." How much affection does a wife feel from her husband when he says he "loves" her, and at the same time, and with the same words, expresses his love for potato chips and beer.


How much regard does God give our adoration for Him? Does He count it as: "intense devotion, loyal or loving" as He requires of us, and demands of His followers? Or does He see our adoration as the final meaning above: "very fond of pecan pie"?


We need to watch our words.


36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Mat 12:)

A side note on this issue. I was rebuked on the use of this very word not long ago, thus my investigation of it. As you can see, I was wrong in treating the word lightly, and she was once again right.

There is great blessing in being wrong: it affords a person the opportunity to learn what is right. When a person is "right" all the time, they are very likely to be firmly affixed in a wrong mode and are totally unaware of it.



DIGNITY


"I wouldn't work for those low wages. It's beneath my dignity. Why, I'd rather go on welfare than degrade myself like that."


Dignity: "Deserving of respect, worthy."


The Bible tells us:


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. (Mat 23:)


We of this nation have chosen dignity over humility. Pride is the all-important characteristic to strive for.

In time past humility was our aim. Because of our direction toward humility, we achieved greatness and power. Such also was the situation with Solomon who desired wisdom to rule God's people, and for his unselfish request, he was given wealth untold as a bonus.


This nation strives for pride. We will not work for a paltry sum that is beneath our station in life. Because of this egotistic view, we have turned our jobs, our wealth, our power and our security over to those in other countries who will lower themselves to become common laborers. We have become a nation indebted to those who hate us and wish us ill. Instead of a nation that "walks softly and carries a big stick," we are now a people with no strength to carry the big stick we drag threateningly behind us.

All this in half a century. What can we expect in the future if we continue in the direction we are going?



REASONS TO ATTEND CHURCH


There are essentially two types of people who attend church. The first group, and surely the largest group of attendees are the needy. It might be monetary help they need, or it might very possibly be emotional support they need. And for certain there are many who are in need of physical (health) support.

And then, of course, there are those who want to merely have their ticket punched for their train to Glory.


The other group of church attenders are the givers. The givers attend church to contribute to the needs of others. Giving is what they do best, and what makes them feel good. They feel good because they are making a difference in this world, and they feel good because they "feel good" about themselves for their giving.


Givers give, and takers take. It is a rare occurrence when a giver is in need. And when they are in need, it is rarely, if ever, the taker who is willing to be of assistance to the giver. When in need, the giver must allow themself to be helped by another giver, or very likely a stranger who they will never see again (who, of course, is a giver desiring only to give without recompense).


The churches desire givers, but they advertise for and embrace takers. In itself this is not necessarily wrong: if the church also made any effort toward converting the taker to become givers.

But they don't.

The attitude of the churches is that everyone is perfect once they step through the portals of the door and sign their name to a pledge that can be broken at a whim without accusation or loss.

The Bible speaks of the takers, referring to them as "tares." Because of the tares, the churches are growing in size, but diminishing in effect.

This is not true of every church, of course, some churches are growing rapidly. Most of these expanding churches are classified as "cults" and have not fallen into the slacking of requirements. And many of the mainline churches are drifting toward the cult status while still posting signs stating they cling to their original belief, but according to their actions, it is clear they do not.



CREDIT


"They cut me off, how am I supposed to survive?!"

"Who cut you off?"

"My credit card company. They won't let me have any more credit, and they want me to pay off my account."

"That's not so bad. It might even be a good thing. It's too easy to go way in debt with those things."

"Not me. I wasn't doing anything unusual with my card. I just did like the company said, and like everyone else does."

"What did you use your card for?"

"Well, you know, the everyday things like food and gas and furniture and everything like that."

"Did you spend more than you make? I mean, if you had to pay for everything you put on the card out of your paycheck, could you do it easily enough?"

"Of course not. But I made sure I was able to make the minimum payment with my paycheck. That's what you're supposed to do, isn't it? That's why I'm worried, how am I supposed to survive on my paycheck, and make payments on the card too?"


We have an old expression that says: "We're living on borrowed time."

Never more was this statement true than it is today. Everyone, from all the governments right on down to the poor are living, not only on borrowed time, but borrowed income as well.


We also know, and have known for some time, that our souls are going to be required of us in the not too distant future. At this time we will have to reckon with the One who has been lending us this time and this life. We will have to give an account for what we have done with what we have been given. If we fail to repay what we owe, which there is no way that we can, especially those of us who are living on a false hope of Eternal Social Security, then we will be "sold until our debt has been paid."


23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. (Mat 18:)


11And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come . . . . .. 20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:. . . . . . . . 24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Luke 18:)


11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:)


23Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. (Luke 13:)


Just what does the above verses mean?

I for one do not want to find out.



 

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