Christian based commentaries and observations.

Quote of Note

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation

: 'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free.
: Amen!'

Who is Jesus


Friday, September 08, 2006

War on the People of God

There has been a lot said in the last few years about why "they" hate us. Here is my take on the subject.
First of all let me define the "us" and "they" of my opening line. The "us" is the United States, but also inseparable from the "us" are the people who worship the God of heaven, that is the Jews and the Christians. The "they" are the smaller subset of Islamic extremists within the larger group known as the "World". The World (capital "W") is not the globe of the Earth. The World is:
...That organized body of people, contrary and opposed to the things of God and Christ, whose head, whether they know it or not is Satan!

Why "they" hate "us" is as simple as Cain and Able.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
GE 4:6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
GE 4:8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Cain and Able were presenting sacrifices to God. Cain's sacrifice was not of the kind that God wanted. God needed there to be a blood sacrifice to remind them, and be representative, of the sacrifice that was to come in the person of Jesus. The supreme sacrifice for sins, once and for all, would be the Christ, Messiah, Son of God. Until that day happened, animal sacrifice with the shedding of blood, reminded the presenter of sin = death, and a price must be paid. There could be no relationship with God and life without first paying the price of sin.
Who exactly was Cain angry at, was it God or Able? I think he was jealous of Able and angry at God. Notice that his face was "downcast" that is a position of sadness but also of shame.
Didn't God say, "If you do what is right, will you not also be accepted?" Cain sought to erase the shame of his unacceptance, but on his pride filled terms. He couldn't make war on God so he made war on the man of God's favor! As if God would change his mind once the favored standard had been erased.

4000 years later...

Roll forward 4000 years. The scene is the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus is in front of the
Sanhedrin...The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." MT 26:64 "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Filled with pride of their position, they were faced to acknowledge Jesus as God and worship him properly or kill him. 4000 years after Cain killed Able the Jewish leaders did the same to Jesus. In both cases Blood was indeed shed to cover shame of guilt. Some even shed their own blood, while killing others, in a futile attempt at acceptance.

2000 more years...

Another two thousand years have gone by. Once again it is time for the Living God to show up and receive the sacrifice of worship from his beloved creation, and once again those who are filled with pride are attempting to erase the accepted of God: the standard of righteousness from the Earth. Those who hate us are filled with pride. They can't make war on God so they make war on the people of God. The Jews are the "chosen people" and God has said that at the last they will know their Messiah. Satan is once again attempting to make God's word a lie. Once again he is attempting to exterminate the Jews so that all of God's word concerning them cannot become truth in fact. And while the Jews did not accept the Messiah at first, they still insist on worshipping the God of heaven instead of Satan. Satan hates the Jews for this and because God has said, "they are his". Satan controls the "World" with the ring of pride in their nose and will use the "World to TRY to destroy the Jews.
Christians have offered up the proper sacrifice. That is to have "believed on Christ". Paul says, "RO 11:17 If some of the branches [Jews] have been broken off, and you [gentile Christians], though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root" That makes "us" in the eyes of God accepted, favored, and chosen people of God as well. Therefore the "World", which is angry at God and jealous or our acceptance and blessing, hates us as much as the Jews, and wants to destroy us!

A world without God and guilt

The "World" wants a world without God and guilt. They have made up their own gods who tell them what they want to hear and do. They feel that if they can erase the standard of truth, they can erase the guilt of sin, and so they make war on the people of God.
America, though not all Christian, is viewed a Christian, and as a protector of the Jews. The "World "cannot create the world that they want until America has been brought down to insignificance. At the present all we are hearing through the media is that everything USA and everything religion is bad. It seems to be that the "World" mantra is if you can't say anything negative about USA, Israel, and Christianity, then don't say anything at all. All good publicity and good deeds are suppressed and ostracized. America's enemies are inside this country as well as outside. This country and the truth and freedom that it stands for will not last long in its present form. Satan knows his time is short. He wants ALL the people of the earth to be subject to him and worship him. He will not stop until he reaches that end or until intervened upon by God.

In the late 1700's Jonathan Edwards wrote, " if there is not an revival soon, there will be a Christian holocaust". We are again at that point in time. Pray for another "great awakening" and remember that Jonathan Edwards went out and started one.

A Place to Run and Hide

Today's world and especially America is fixated on the X, short for extreme experience. We have Generation X, x-soft drinks, x-games, extreme dating, x-climbing, (x-sports of all kinds, for that matter), extreme wealth accumulation, and who could forget religious ex-tremists. The latter find their particular thrill in seeing bombs blow people to bits, planes crash into skyscrapers, and pulling the trigger of a snipers rifle aimed at unknown and unsuspecting innocents. It all adds up to extreme insanity. What is the point? Why press the boundaries of injury at the edge of death and suicide? My thought is the need for a dying people to feel alive, reinvigorated, powerful, temporarily invincible, and immortal.
Is this any different today than it was at any time in the past? The preacher/Solomon in Ecclesiasties says "there is nothing new under the sun". He saw all the X-games of his time and he saw that it was all vanity.
God told Adam, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." You know the story, the Serpent came slithering around and convinced Eve, with Adam watching and doing nothing, that God lied about that death thing and was in fact withholding something from them, by forbidding them to eat that beautiful fruit.

GE 3:6 When the woman (Eve) saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
GE 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
GE 3:10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

Their first death was a spiritual death, and while their spiritual eyes were darkened, their physical eyes were opened. For the first time Adam looked at Eve with lust instead of pure love and Eve looked at him with need but also contempt and distrust for his failure as a leader. Worst of all instead of knowing the joy, peace, love, and awe of the presence of God, they knew fear at the sound of his footsteps. That sound instead of ringing life in their ears was ringing death, and they hid! Physical death did finally come to Adam after 930 years. The Bible says that to God, "A day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day" Adam died a spiritual death in a physical day and a physical death in a spiritual day!
Since that day each and every human on the face of the Earth has known the feeling, from deep inside them, of impending death. And we run and hide!
All of our need for physical excitement is really a need to feel alive and dull the ache of the impending death. We are attempting to fill our spiritual emptiness, and replace the need for the life giving Holy Spirit, with physical thrills. There is a big problem here. Our thrill seeking is usually in the form of some forbidden activity, or is sin itself in trying to replace God: a form of idolatry. The result is more guilt of wrongdoing and a greater sense of impending death. Worse yet we just got a little older. Time is running out. The cycle repeats, but this time it takes a little more thrill to feel alive and numb the feeling death. So the one whose drug of choice is say, "'sex"seeks out greater and greater levels of perversion. The drug addict seeks new and more powerful drugs, and in larger quantities, the mountain climber seek to conquer Mt.Evrest. And the man of conquest steam rolls over every nation until at last, "he weeps for there are no lands left to conquer".
Paul says, "but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!(Romans 7:23-25).

God desired to fellowship with his creation/man. He promised a redeemer, one who would "crush the head of the serpent". God took the garments of leaves, that Adam and Eve made to cover themselves, and made for them garments of animal skins. In order to do this he had to have poured out the blood of that animal. It was the first blood sacrifice, a reminder of the sacrifice of a life for a life, the need for blood to cover sins, and foreshadowing of the Lamb of God to come. God provided his Son to be that lamb. It had to be his Son because every son from Adam came tainted:already a slave to sin. It takes a free man to set a slave free. This redemption came also with choice. We can choose to accept Jesus as that sacrifice for our sins, and receive the life giving Holy Spirit, or we can reject him and keep trying to obtain life on our own.
When we accept Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins, God gives us a new garment. It is the garment of righteousness, the indwelling of Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that Adam and Eve lost that day in the Garden. The same Holy Spirit that once filled them with the feeling of impending LIFE. The same one that they used to run to when they heard his footsteps coming in the "cool of the day". When we accept salvation through Jesus the repeating Law of Sin, guilt, and death is replaced with the Law of Grace, forgiveness, and life.
The is no longer a need to run and hide!

A song from Bryan Duncan

When I turn to You, You are always waiting
With a heart that understands before I speak
And I learn from You, All that really matters
Though a million years go by You'll still love me

I no longer look for a place to hide
Cause I know where I belong
When I turn to You
When I turn to You
When I turn to You, dear Lord I know that I love You

When I turn to You, You are watching over me
Through eyes that look beyond the faults I see
And I learn from You, You are always merciful
Though I remember all that You've forgiven me

I no longer look for a place to hide
Cause I know where I belong
When I turn to You
When I turn to You
When I turn to You, dear Lord I know that I love You

Bryan Duncan