Thursday, December 31, 2009

FALSE TEACHERS DAMNABLE HERESIES APOSTACY

False Teachers – Damnable Heresies – Apostasy



“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.



I was listening to a radio call in program the other day when a man came on and asked the radio host if he knew anything about a new offer by a college to teach anyone how to become a biblical prophet for a mere $4,000 dollars. In other words they will sell you the gift of prophecy. “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Acts 8:18-20.



The gifts given us by God through His Holy Spirit can’t be bought as Simon found out. They are a gift and they are given to whomever He chooses.



“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.



Paul tells us that we’re each given a gift, but that those gifts vary. Not everyone is given the gift of healing. Similarly, not everyone is given the gift of prophecy. You can pay one million dollars to become a biblical prophet but if the Holy Spirit hasn’t given you that gift then you’ve just wasted a million bucks. The people that promote this type of heresy are false teachers and the Bible says they will abound in the end times.



We’re also told in the Bible that in the end times the Church will go into a massive and destructive stance of overwhelming apostasy. In my estimation, most of the Church today hasn’t a clue as to what’s happening or that the apostasy is here. The most pervasive and gross attacks on the Christian Church today will come from within the church body itself. False teachers are rarely attacking the Church from the outside. More than anything else the false teachers are standing behind the pulpits.



People know the truth from reading the scriptures yet teach false doctrines for the purpose of promoting themselves and for obtaining financial gain from their followers. “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:” These folks either don’t care or don’t understand that they are receiving their reward now in this life. “And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness...” 2 Peter 2:13.



“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 1:11. There is no greater curse on the earth than empty, vain religion; “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud..., unholy..., lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 4b, 5. Many Christians are afraid of secular humanism or atheism or the world. But false teaching is far more dangerous, and sends more people to hell than anything else. These who teach thusly are going the way of Cain, ungodly, greedy, and finally apostasy.



False teachers twist scripture like nothing we’ve ever seen before and all to fit their own fancies. Evangelists have appeared on the national scene many of who the uninformed simple minded folks swoon over because of their appeal and charisma. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” And by the sheer number of email responses I receive from folks who have been taught false doctrine, there must be a great amount of these preachers on the scene today.



I receive letters from folks who tell me the Trinity is a false teaching because the word Trinity isn’t in the Bible. Next they’ll complain because I equate Jesus to God because (they say) everyone knows Jesus isn’t God, even Jesus Himself never said He was God. They continue with the following lie, if you aren’t baptized you’re not saved. Others say if you can’t speak in tongues you’re not saved. Here’s one that really gets me. If you worship on Sunday you’ve taken the mark of the beast. Then of course there are always those who condemn me for teaching on the Rapture of the Church which they see as heresy, and on and on it goes. What in the world are these people being taught? And what does the person who’s teaching them this tripe hope to gain?



God, in His word, isn’t condemning those who honestly misinterpret a verse or make a mistake, but who are open to correction. He’s speaking about blatant and persistent false representation of His word. Lying for the purpose of fulfilling one’s own agenda, such as monetary gain, that’s the heretical teaching God hates.



Heresy is akin to leaven; it only takes a small amount to infect the whole bunch. Heresy spreads beginning from a small misrepresentation and almost without notice this lie begins to grow, and before long it has infested the whole congregation. Then some of those lie polluted people leave that congregation for another and they take the lies they’ve been taught with them. Within a very short period of time the Christian Church becomes replete with heretical teachings and false doctrines.



A friend of mine recently told me of a book he is reading where the author gives all authority for the interpretation of scriptures to the Catholic Church. How many people are going to read this same book and be swayed by the author’s un-biblical arguments? This is just one instance of leading people astray. How many Christians and non-Christians read the Da Vinci Codes and were swayed by Dan Browns attempt at fiction? Millions. Then the movie did it’s best to give credence to this same heresy. The same can be said for the book entitled “The Shack”. A book of fiction, yes, but with horrible misrepresentations of God, and the simple minded are led astray.



These are the times Jesus speaks about “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:4. How many today are following Jesus admonition? By what I see going on in the media and different ministries, not many.



Peter tells us that such teachings are “damnable heresies”. What does damnable mean? The Greek word used here is “apōleia” Which is explained in my concordance as the destruction which consists of eternal misery in Hell. People who teach others heresies are on a one way trip to Hell.



Can you just imagine the snowball effect associated with the promotion of a heresy? Here’s an example to consider, Joseph Smith claimed he was visited by an angel named Moroni . This angel told him that he was giving Smith a new gospel because the original had become corrupt. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9. Paul repeats the condemnation twice, “let him be accursed”. I’ve noticed in the scriptures that anytime something is reiterated twice it carries much more weight.



Joseph Smith was certainly accursed; he soon became involved in a shootout in which he died a horrible bloody death. And of course he is in Sheol awaiting his turn to appear before the White Throne Judgment Seat of God which occurs at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ here on earth.



How severe will Joseph Smiths punishment be? Well he started off with a handful of converts to Mormonism leading people away from the true Gospel and over the years the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has grown into a huge conglomerate, a false religion of which millions of followers are already condemned to Hell. Joseph Smith is responsible for the condemnation of millions of simple minded people who are all perishing because of his false teaching. How severe will his punishment be? We mere humans would probably consider Smiths punishment extreme. But through his own actions Smith condemned himself.



Another man who is awaiting his turn before the White Throne Judgment seat of God and who is even today continually adding more and more severe condemnation to himself is Charles Russell. Russell was the first president of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russell originally denied the doctrine of Hell, and would go on to reject nearly every other Christian doctrine, as well as add many physically and spiritually dangerous doctrines of his own making. Many of these unique and bizarre teachings were to be found in his six volume series titled, Studies in the Scriptures.



For the year 2000, the Watchtower Society claimed a worldwide membership of over six million (about one million U.S. ) in more than 91,000 congregations in 235 countries speaking 340 languages, and takes in approximately 300,000 new members each year (288,907 in 2000). Charles Russell no longer denies the doctrine of Hell; he has since learned that Hell is a real place. What kind of severe punishment will Russell endure? God knows.



“Denying the Lord that bought them” Peter continues with his explanation of the false teachers and what they can expect as punishment. But what constitutes false teaching? Anything that adds to, or takes away from, or that runs contrary to God’s inerrant word.



When men and women stand before an audience, and deceive that audience for the explicit purpose of monetary gain or some other agenda or write books for the same purpose, those folks are void of conscience. They are reaping their reward here on earth. They should do everything they can to live the happiest life they can because when all is said and done and they leave planet earth for their eternal destination, the fun and games will be over.



“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15. Wolves in sheep’s clothing? In other words they will look like you and I. They will speak words that seem to be so true. They will give great advice and lecture on current societal problems which will make all the sense in the world. But their motives will be selfish. Many will follow their evil ways. They will begin to behave in bazaar manners but they will be recognized as leaders in the Christian evangelical movement. Beware!



Some of these wolves will be debased sexually and after they’ve deceived many their dark secrets will be revealed, but it will be too late for they will have influenced many of the weak minded and biblically unstudied masses. People, this is going on right now in many Christian churches and it needs to be nipped in the bud. We need to make a stand against anyone who stands against Christ in any way. We need to remove leaders who don’t actually believe what they teach, and all who teach false doctrines.



And just how do we know they are teaching falsehoods? We study our Bibles and we learn the scriptures for ourselves. This way no church leader or any other Bible teacher can deceive us with words of deception. If this were the case those who teach false doctrines wouldn’t make it past a sentence or two before someone in the congregation would stand up and call them on the lie they are proclaiming.



The rub is we must study our Bibles otherwise I can promise you, you will be deceived. Whether intentionally or not, false doctrine will creep into your congregation when the flock hasn’t the biblical knowledge needed to confront those heresies. “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:29, 30.



We are held responsible to know the truth, each one of us individually. We are to work out our own salvation as Paul tells us “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. Paul means to put forth real effort into our Christians lives. This is not to work our salvation in the sense of accomplishing it, but to work out our salvation - to see it evident in every area of our lives, and to activate this salvation God freely gave us. The believer must know God’s word so as not to be led astray.



Only those foolish enough to believe every word someone tells them are foolish enough to be led like sheep to the slaughter. Don’t allow this to happen to your family or to your congregation; don’t allow deceptions and false doctrine to ruin your life and your eternal destiny. Continue to study God’s word, and stay alert.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV

Saturday, December 26, 2009

GOD CAME - LET'S CELEBRATE

God Came – Let’s Celebrate



“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7.



This time of year brings great joy to folks all over the world and from just about every walk of life. Admittedly we’ve entered a very festive season, but few recognize the real reason behind all the festivities. As strange as it may seem many folks have no clue that Christmas is a birthday celebration. Christian’s especially enjoy this time of the year because we know whose birth we’re celebrating.



2,000 years ago God came. He entered His Creation and became a man, the man Jesus Christ. The Bible declares it; that should be enough evidence for anyone to believe it, and many do. But many disregard what the Bible says about the birth of the Savior of the world. Hey it’s a holiday, that’s good enough.



God went from being spirit to being a flesh and blood man. A perfect God became a perfect man. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. Jesus is our Messiah, our perfect God, and our Great Savior, and Redeemer. He’s the Creator of the entire universe. He came to set us free.



Most have either heard or read the account of Jesus’ birth. Jesus began His earthly life as an infant. He was born in a manger and His birth was heralded by an angel. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11.



Undoubtedly great joy and celebration erupted in Heaven when the little baby Jesus cried His very first cry proclaiming the beginning of His human life. And here on earth that very night a whole host of angels appeared before those lowly shepherds “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13, 14. Peace on earth? It won’t be long now.



God came as a propitiation for our sins. Those sins began four thousand years before Christ’s birth and they have continued for 2,000 years after His death, burial, and resurrection. Even though sin abounds today there is salvation, there is forgiveness, and there is hope for all who have sinned. And all have sinned. I guess that means there’s hope for some us, right? No, it means there’s hope for everyone. The angel that appeared to the shepherds that night told them that there would be great joy for all people, all people. We are all invited to accept the free gift that God gave to the world that night. When baby Jesus grew into manhood He became the sin offering for all of mankind, “for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” Hebrews 7:27b



Trying to explain to the lost that God came and that He died on a cross for the sins of the entire world can be an arduous task. Why? Because preaching the cross and Christ crucified is foolishness to most people. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18. They either refuse to believe in a God of the universe, or they believe in God but refuse to believe He could die, let alone die for the sins of man. But He did. “And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in him.” 1 John 3:5.



Even before Jesus became a full grown man He knew He had an eternal plan to accomplish. That plan was conceived between Father and Son before the foundation of the world and accomplished on an old wooden cross. Jesus’ death was not a tragedy, it was an achievement. Although God the Father and God the Son both knew few would enter through the narrow gate they still went ahead with their plan.



God knew from the beginning that man would fail the test of following His commands to the letter, and was fully aware of what He would need to do to move His children back into a right relationship with Himself. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.



The Pharisees of Jesus’ time believed they could obtain eternal life because of their strict adherence to the scriptures, but Jesus told them “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. Sadly, many today have the same mindset as those Pharisees of old.



Preachers have been pounding the tops of pulpits for years trying to get the Gospel message out to a rebellious people so they might grasp the truth. Many have succeeded in their attempts, but many more have not. Rebellion is a difficult thing to counter. Moms and dads know this all too well. Children begin to rebel almost from birth. “No” becomes their favorite word in many cases. Whether or not you’d like to admit it folks, that’s rebellion. That’s what God sees in His children, but that’s what He overlooks once we’ve heard the Gospel and believed.



Each year the unbelieving world seek to change the name of this particular season to “winter festival” or some other non-biblical name, anything to take the emphases off Christ and His birth. All those who wish to eliminate Christmas from the season and change the name and the meaning of the 25th of December to “happy holidays” will soon get their wish. Here comes Santa Claus will be the only reference to this particular day in the not so distant future. After the Rapture of the Church there will be no further resistance to changing the name of the season. But there will be nothing to ho, ho, ho about either.



Call it what you will, God came to replace death with life. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. There’s no denying the facts for those of us whose blinders have been removed. Believers could no more deny Christ or the fact that He came than deny the sun shines every day.



But for many lost souls denying Christ is prominent, many times in the forefront of their minds and at this time of year the denial becomes even more extreme. Some of those who deny Christ become abusive and lash out at any reference to God and Jesus during the Christmas season.



But all the denial in the world doesn’t change the facts, God came. The Bible contains many scriptures about the Christ child and His arrival. Go ahead deny the Bible that’s easy, but you must deny truth at the same time. The Bible is true and complete; all of life’s questions can be answered from the Bible. As I’ve stated in previous commentaries the Bible was written as a history lesson in advance. That’s how God authenticates His word.



Reading and studying the Bible brings comfort in the form of truth. The Bible is God speaking to us and His words comfort our soul. This time of year can be especially comforting as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and King, our Messiah, Jesus.



Many people refuse to believe that God came because of what they’ve been taught; a lie that has been handed down from generation to generation is still a lie. People become convinced there is no God and then they choose to remain in their unbelief. Some when they are presented with the truth believe, but many more don’t. However, nothing can stop the forward progress of God’s advancing Kingdom, whether we run into unbelief or rebellion of any kind, God will not be stopped. He’s proved this time and again.



Those who reject the true fact that God came are in for a surprise of enormous proportions. It’s not going to be a pleasant surprise of course, but most certainly enormous. You see, all those who continue in unbelief continue to belong to Satan and they are condemned. God has made it plain that to reject His truth is to stand against Him. All who reject the truth announced throughout the scriptures of the birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah of the world are only following their father the devil.



God came, and Jesus is God. This biblical truth is disparaged by various religions as well as the Christian cults. In their case condemnation reigns supreme. But that condemnation can be avoided. How? “...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ...” Acts 16:31a. By believing that Jesus is who He says He is, earth’s populace can avoid condemnation. But many just flat out refuse to believe, thus they remain Satan’s property.



Jesus Christ is the Messiah that came, a descendant from the tribe of Judah , to proclaim salvation to the Jews. The Jews, many still in rebellion to this day, rejected their Messiah. The Gentiles, on the other hand, were excited about their Messiah and embraced Him with open arms and the Church was born. Many Jews heard the Apostles preaching and believed and joined the body of Christ. Many more did not. And to this day have not.



The Church is God’s creation and He had it in His mind to send His Son to begin the Church at a specific time. Yet many still don’t get it, so we pray for them, family members and friends. We pray that the scales that cover their eyes would melt away just as they did from our own, and the truth would become crystal clear.



All those who believe God came, will, one day soon, accompany Him to Heaven. All those who don’t believe will remain behind and life will be very different here for them once the Church is removed. Even though God came and died for all men He’s willing to allow men their freedom and their choice. He’s willing to refrain from interfering with man’s decision of where to spend eternity. You see, it really isn’t sin that sends people to Hell. No, it’s the refusal of God’s free gift of salvation. Jesus paid the price for the sins of the world. All we must do is believe in the Gospel of Christ.



Rebellion is rebellion, some get over it but we are all born with it. Some never get past that childish rebellious nature of saying “NO” so they can come to the truth of the Gospel. If you’re reading this commentary and you’re at a point in your life where you are beginning to feel a tugging on your heart that something is amiss in your life, then you might want to heed these words. The Holy Spirit of God is doing the tugging/drawing and if you’ll let Him He’ll help you remove those old stubborn scales covering your eyes and toss away that infantile rebellion you’ve been clinging onto for all these years.



Well, that’s it, that’s the whole shebang, the whole enchilada. It’s really that simple. God came, showed up here on earth as a little baby boy, grew to manhood, still fully God and fully man. If you believe that fact, if you believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the propitiation for our sins you will no longer be under condemnation, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1.



Christmas is so much more than ho, ho, ho. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.



A Gift Idea:

We are given a perfect opportunity to explain the Gospel to folks who at other times of the year may not be in the frame of mind to hear it. Christmas is a time of joy and many feel the need to give and so why not give the gift that keeps on giving. Give them this gift. Give them the message of the Gospel of Christ.



Merry Christmas, and God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

SURELY I COME QUICKLY

SURELY I COME QUICKLY

2 Peter 3:10-12 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 1.But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10. Who died for us,
that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

KEEP MAKING YOUR LOVE FOR CHRIST YOUR FIRST PRIORITY

Rev 2:4-5 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.


Deuteronomy 6:5-7 5. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6. And these words, which I command thee, that they shall be in thine heart. 7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sitteth in thine house, and when thou walketh by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou riseth up.

Deuteronomy 11:1. Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

Deuteronomy 30:16-20 16.In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18. I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20. That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Luke 10:27. And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

DO NOT TOLERATE FALSE DOCTRINE OR FALSE TEACHERS

Rev 2:14-16 14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. 16. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

HOLD FAST TO THE WORD OF CHRIST'S PATIENCE

Rev 3:10-12 10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

HOLD FAST THE SAYINGS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK

Rev 21:10-11 10.And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;...

Rev 21:22-27 22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev 22:1-7 1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

DO ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST AND BE BLESSED

Rev 22:10-15 10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14. Blessed 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. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

JESUS OFFERS FREELY THE WATER OF LIFE TO WHOMSOEVER WILL TAKE IT

Rev 22:16-21 16. I 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. 17. And 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. 18. For 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: 19. And 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. 20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Agape
Craig & Zelma

Thursday, December 03, 2009

MY GOD WON'T SEND ME TO HELL

My God Won’t Send Me to Hell!



“But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee?” Jeremiah 2:28a. Clearly many people create their own god–one which will conveniently suit their personal needs. Basically what they’re creating for themselves is a designer god. “My god won’t send me to Hell!” Here we go.



Why would a loving God, a God who is described as pure love, condemn any of his children to Hell? This is very a common question especially among those who don’t believe the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or who have little to no Bible knowledge. Believe it or not even Christians ask this question, and few are able to give a sound, Biblical answer.



A common statement from non-believers is “My god would never send anyone to Hell, he’s a loving god. Only an evil god would create people and then send them to Hell.” Good point, but since these folks are non-believers their god is Satan. And his main modus operandi is to convince man that he is god and that he would never send anyone to Hell. Well he certainly isn’t God, but he is very efficient and persuasive when it comes to promoting his lies. After all he’s been at it for 6,000 years give or take a year or so.



What I tell these folks is that my God wouldn’t send any human being to Hell either. Now this really throws them for a loop and even some of my readers might be scratching their heads right about now.



Here’s what I tell these doubters. Since I’m a believer “In Christ” my God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. My God is the God of the Old Testament and of the New. My God is the Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty, Creator of the universe and everything in it. There is no other God. Now they’re saying “Well, your God sends people to Hell; He’s not my god. The God of the Old Testament was a horrible and gruesome God full of hate for the very people He created.”



So, what do we tell a person such as this? They don’t want anything to do with the God of the Bible because they assume He sends people to Hell. They’ve made up their own god, thanks to Satan, to associate with and to accommodate them in this life. Then they classify and condemn God, God Almighty, the one and only true God, as evil, unloving, and uncaring.



To obtain a little knowledge can be useful but sometimes a little knowledge of the Bible can be dangerous, even destructive. This is exactly how cults get started. People try reading the Bible without any discernment from God and they usually begin in the Old Testament and find scriptures where God condemned whole cities. Or they read where God would command his people to go into a particular city and kill all inhabitants. But because they don’t understand what God was doing in those instances they look at God as an evil and maniacal God, completely out of control, and certainly without love.



“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Arguably the most quoted verse in the entire Bible. If God loves the whole world why does He condemn some people to Hell? How can this presumed hateful God of the Old Testament be the same God of the New Testament?



There are many picture types of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament; Bible teachers will claim Jesus Christ is on every page. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. When Jesus made that statement to the Pharisees the only scriptures in their possession were what we call the Old Testament. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1.



Clearly Jesus the Messiah is the God of the Old and New Testament. The writer of Hebrews tells us “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. So God never changes and since Jesus is God and always has been He must be the same God, Old Testament and New.



How can that be? Jesus is very loving when we read about Him in the New Testament. Jesus never changes He was as loving before the foundation of the world, when He and the Father came up with the plan to save their Creation from destruction, as He is today.



Now that we’ve established that Jesus Christ is the God of the Old and New Testaments let’s get back to the question at hand. Why does God send people to Hell? The simple answer is He doesn’t.



“Wait a minute, you’ve told me that if I don’t accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, if I don’t believe He died for my sins and repent then I will go to Hell when I die.” Yep, that’s what the Bible tells us. “Well I’m not going to believe in who you call your God so why am I going to Hell if your God doesn’t send me there?”



Wow, you’ve just about got it. God, in His word, gave us the keys to entering Heaven. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. God Almighty tells us that only through Him (Jesus Christ) may we enter Heaven, and that any other means of getting there which we perceive is a possibility is actually just foolishness. “My god would never send anyone to Hell!” Nor would mine, but the question remains, who’s your god?



You don’t want to believe the truth so you’ve made up your own personal god who won’t send you to Hell no matter how you live your life. This is exactly what Satan promotes. You might want to rethink placing your faith in some nonexistent god. Here’s what has happened, you’ve accepted the following lie from the enemy. “God will never send me to Hell, I’m a good person” While it’s true that God doesn’t send people to Hell, we can see the lie of the enemy in that statement, “I’m a good person”. “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” Mark 10:18.



People who want to believe they can get to Heaven just by being good are horribly deceived. Many people live an exemplary life and are convinced they’re going to Heaven because of how they’ve lived, how generous they are, how loving they are, how respected they are. The cults will confirm this same lie just to get you into their fold. But it’s all still a lie, and a very destructive one at that.



Being sent to Hell only comes from one entity, you. You are the only one that is responsible for your eternal destination. God made it easy. “...believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29b. It’s not very difficult, it only takes faith. But then again so does belief in your designer god, or no god. If you think you can get to Heaven by being good and nothing else, that my friend, still takes faith, albeit your faith is in a lie.



Many have said they just don’t believe this salvation thing can be that easy, there must be more to it than that. They just can’t get their minds around the fact that God had to die a horrible death on some old cross so the rest of us could go to Heaven instead of Hell. That unbelief is the condemnation that people just don’t understand. A hardened heart will never get it, and Satan is diligent in his efforts to keep you in that state of mind.



God made it easy for His creation to believe and be saved. But it was not easy for Him. He had to stand by and watch as man spit, beat, and humiliated His Son. Then surely the tears flowed as He watched man drive spikes into the hands and feet of His only begotten Son when they placed Him on that cross. God’s creation was instrumental in placing Jesus the Christ on that cross. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.



Nope, it couldn’t have been easy for God. Yet, He loved us so much He was willing to watch from the sideline as His Son died. Now the awesome part is God (the Lord Jesus Christ) arose from the grave three days later. That accomplishment (prophesied throughout Old Testament Scriptures) is what it took to redeem mankind in God’s eyes. The only thing we must do to be redeemed (saved) is to believe that He did what He said He did. “...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...,” Acts 16:31. Yes, it must have been hard for God and we may never understand just how hard but God doesn’t ask us to attempt to understand His pain. He only asks us to believe.



People, you can believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior or choose not to believe, but you can’t blame God for sending you to Hell. He did His very loving part in sending His Son Jesus our Messiah to die for our sins. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and we must do our part, and accept that fact as truth. God’s free gift of everlasting life is not costly; His free gift of salvation is not a hindrance. He did all the work. We get to enjoy all the benefits of eternal life without paying a cent, or being nailed to the old rugged cross ourselves, which, by the way, should have been our punishment not Jesus’.



You may be steadfast in your unbelief but that rebellious attitude will not diminish the fact that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world. My God, Jesus the Christ, will not send you to Hell. Only your unbelief can do that. God made Hell for Satan and his minions of evil, it was not meant for mankind. But it’s there and wide open to anyone who chooses to follow Satan and enter that realm for eternity. Satan and all those angels that fell from grace with him prefer Hell. By the way, there’s no truth to annihilation, and there isn’t any truth to the Catholic concept of purgatory, both of those doctrines are unbiblical.



You’ve made your choice to continue in your rebellion to God, to live your life in unbelief and spend eternity in Hell. Remember this, when you die in that state of mind there’s no going back on that decision. There will be no reprieve from the governor, or the president or any other earthly leader. There will be no commutation of your sentence or any time off for good behavior. Once you’re there, you’re there for eternity.



If you’re not a believer today, right this minute, God says you’re already condemned. “...he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18b. God’s not condemning anyone to Hell with this statement. He is, though, making it quite obvious what the consequences are in rejecting His free gift of salvation. Those who are condemned are so destined because of their unbelief. Consequently, those folks are sending themselves to Hell because of their own foolish rebellion. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18.



This foolishness doesn’t need to last. You can come out of that lost state and believe the truth. Your life doesn’t need to end in rebellion. Just say yes to Jesus Christ right now. Become born again. Place your faith and your trust, even your very lives, completely in His hands. If you would still rather not believe in the God who saves instead of the god who destroys then your destination is already set, Hell it is. My advice–choose life.



So go ahead, you keep your god, because he won’t send anyone to Hell and I’ll stay with the one true God, Jesus Christ, who similarly will never send anyone to Hell, but who will allow you to make your own decision as to where you would like to spend eternity. I can tell you this, only one of us is right. Are you willing to stake your eternal existence on a god which the enemy planted in your brain and who is completely nonexistent? Eternity is a very long time, without end.



The last thing Satan wants is for you to believe in the God of the Bible. He’s working overtime trying to get you to see things his way. He uses many deceptive devises. He convinces men who’ve hardened their hearts against the God of the Bible to promote his schemes and many are more than willing to do so. He wants you to either believe in a god that doesn’t really exist or, better yet, no God at all. Either way you lose.



Choose Christ and live.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV

Friday, November 27, 2009

Believers Need Boldness

Believers Need Boldness

Matthew 28:19-20
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15-16
15. And he (Jesus) said unto them,
Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature.
16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Proverbs 28:1:
The wicked flee when no man pursueth:
but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Psalms 27:1-5
1. A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2. When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh,
they stumbled and fell.
3. Though an host should encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear:
though war should rise against me,
in this will I be confident.
4. One thing have I desired of the LORD,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to inquire in his temple.
5. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:
in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;
he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 112:5-10
5. A good man showeth favour, and lendeth:
he will guide his affairs with discretion.
6. Surely he shall not be moved for ever:
the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
7. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings:
his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
8. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid,
until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor;
his righteousness endureth for ever;
his horn shall be exalted with honour.
10. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved;
he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away:
the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Isaiah 26:3-10
3. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4. Trust ye in the LORD for ever:
for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
5. For he bringeth down them that dwell on high;
the lofty city, he layeth it low;
he layeth it low, even to the ground;
he bringeth it even to the dust.
6. The foot shall tread it down,
even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
7. The way of the just is uprightness:
thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
8. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee;
the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
9. With my soul have I desired thee in the night;
yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:
for when thy judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
10. Let favour be showed to the wicked,
yet will he not learn righteousness:
in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly,
and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

Daniel 3:15-18
15. Now if ye be ready that at what time
ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut,
psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music,
ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well:
but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour
into the midst of a burning fiery furnace;
and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
16. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king,
O Nebuchadnezzar,
we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able
to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,
and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king,
that we will not serve thy gods,
nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Acts 4:10-13
10. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel,
that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead,
even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders,
which is become the head of the corner.
12. Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved.
13. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 14:1-3
1. And it came to pass in Iconium,
that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake,
that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles,
and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3. Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord,
which gave testimony unto the word of his grace,
and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-2
1. For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you,
that it was not in vain:
2. But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated,
as ye know, at Philippi,
we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God
with much contention.

Jeremiah 1:4-10
4.Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
5. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;
and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,
and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child:
for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee,
and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8. Be not afraid of their faces:
for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
9. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth.
And the LORD said unto me,
Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
10. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms,
to root out, and to pull down,
and to destroy, and to throw down,
to build, and to plant.

Acts 5:27-29
27. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council:
and the high priest asked them, 28: Saying,
Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?
and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine,
and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
29. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said,
We ought to obey God rather than men.
Agape
Craig and Zelma


Friday, November 13, 2009

I'M One of them By Ron Graham

“I’m one of them”



In a recent speech Obama admitted that he is a Muslim. What could that possibly mean for America today? What’s wrong with a Muslim president? Keep reading.



Obama admits he is a Muslim, “I'm one of them.” “I will convey our deep appreciation of the Islamic faith which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world...a great and celebrated culture...I know civilization's debt to Islam...that carried the light of learning through so many centuries paving the way for Europe's renaissance and enlightenment...US has been enriched by Muslim Americans....” Source: Obama admits he is a Muslim – Caryl Productions



How? Where? When? What have the Muslims done in America that has afforded them so much acclaim by a sitting president? Why does the president of the United States of America dote on the Muslims as though they were the answer to all of life’s problems? It’s as though he believes the Muslims have the answer to just how to find the way the truth and the life.


I’m one of them? One American Muslim, Major Nidal Malik Hasan who was just practicing his religion, saw fit to practice it recently by murdering 13 Americans and wounding another 29 who were going about their daily routine just doing their duty, not off in a foreign country fighting to preserve our freedoms, but just going about their business on a military base right here in the safety and security of the good ‘ol USA.



Others who saw fit to practice their Muslim religion here in America were 19 Arabs who murdered 3000 innocents on September 11, 2001, a tragedy of enormous proportions causing a few billion dollars worth of damage. Obama overtly praises and glorifies this religion–his religion–which he campaigns for and sees it to be his duty as President to continue forging its Ummah (domination) into America .



Those of you who take the name of Christ and who’ve proclaimed His gospel to the lost of this world and yet voted for Obama should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves. America is fought for land. For hundreds of years men and women have been fighting and dying to preserve our way of life, and in the blink of an eye many of you who call yourselves Christian gave our rights away to the Muslims who have only one desire and that is world domination. All of you Obama supporters just gave the Muslims a huge leg up. We may, very soon now, find out, up front and personal what life as a Muslim is all about.



You see Muslims won’t accept anything less than total adherence to their religion. If you decide to abstain from becoming a Muslim you’ll no longer have any worries, you’ll have no pains in your body, and you’ll never again be commanded to pay taxes. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it. You might ask, “What’s wrong with that Ron, no more taxes, no pain, no worries, I say bring it on” Yes life will be grand. Oops, did I forget to mention that the reason you’ll lack pain and suffering is that you’ll no longer have a head attached to your body? It is written in their Koran that if you choose not to become a Muslim you must forfeit something near and dear to you – your head.



All of the above leads many to ask me the question, “Is Obama God’s judgment on America?” Let’s look at some pertinent information concerning our commander in chief. Has Obama actually paid his lawyers $1.7 million so far to keep his birth, college, and travel records confidential? I’ve read this many times on different news agency websites. If so, why? If you are like me you’d probably like to know the whole truth. Some day the truth will be revealed. That day may well be after Obama has left office, or maybe God’s judgment is that he never leaves office. Maybe we will have one Obama after another here in the new land of Allah.



If the truth be told that Obama was born in Kenya then he will have violated Article II Section 1 Paragraph 5 of the Constitution which states: “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.” Thus he will have set a new precedence for holding the office of President here in the US. From that point on it will be a simple process for those constitution hating lawyers to convince an ignorant citizenry that anyone no matter where they were born in the world can be President of the United States of America. Wouldn’t that send a message heard round the world?



There has been no proof of a real birth certificate for Obama as to where he was born. Only that he was alive when he reached Hawaii with his mom and dad. It’s a statement of live birth, that’s it. No information on the time of delivery, or the doctor that delivered him. What his weight and his length were at birth or even a foot print that is usually present on hospital birth forms. It was not an actual birth certificate but that fact will never be proven because of who is behind this man.



Interestingly, a video that circulated for a while on the internet during Obama’s campaign for president, which has now been pulled, included Obama’s grandmother making the statement that she was at BHO’s birth in Kenya . Funny how things like this seem to disappear at the most inopportune moments. Of course it was quite opportune for Obama.



Our constitution has been trampled on for some time now but Obama and company are doing more than treading on it, they are actually discarding it for their own set of rules and regulations. It’s a new world we live in and a new country, that’s for sure. We should be getting used to the new rules. Here’s a new one that was just signed into law by the Kenyan, it’s no longer okay to preach from certain portions of the word of God because they are accusatory in nature and you will be arrested for being hateful to your fellow Americans.



This is nothing new. Other countries have already enacted such legislation and have actually sent ministers to jail for disobeying their new law. America the beautiful ain’t so beautiful anymore is it? A country that was once a joy to be a resident of, or a native of, or even a visitor to is now growing into a nation of ugly. You disagree? Just keep watching the up and coming events as they unfold. You will become more and more convinced that even ugly hardly describes the new US.



One thing about Obama is he’s not prejudice, I don’t believe he likes anyone. How can you say that Ron? It’s simple, Satan has indwelt Obama and Satan hates all humans. Go ahead and disagree with me, send me your condescending emails, tell me how I can’t be a believer if I say the things I say about Obama. Then we’ll all set back and play the wait and see game.



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nothing derogatory sticks to this guy. He walks around spouting off “in error” about whatever subject he pleases and the ignorant masses still just swoon over him as though he’s perfect. The scales on people’s eyes are so heavy I doubt they’ll ever see the truth. As long as Obama allows Satan to control his every move masses will follow him right straight down that path that leads to destruction.



No real birth certificate? Who cares? Obama is doing great and wonderful things for this country and for the whole world. Abortion? He’s added to the abortion debate by opening up US funding for abortions worldwide, that’s a pretty big one. Homosexuality? He’s filled his cabinet with homosexuals and all sorts of perverts, go figure. Debt? He added trillions of dollars to the US debt, that’s no big deal we’ll just print more money to cover all that. Surely he wouldn’t put that burden on the American taxpayers that voted for him or their children, would he?



Talk about big government. Our government is now in the automotive business, the banking business, the health care business, besides being embedded in about a jillion other aspects of our meager lives. Have any of you reading this commentary ever asked yourself why? Why is Obama so hell bent on taking over everything he can? What does he want to achieve for his troubles?



Where is the accountability for the Obama administration’s shenanigans? There is none. He’s not responsible to anyone. He’s certainly not responsible to the American populace, not even to those who blew it big time by casting their vote for him. Obama is King of America and there is nothing that can be done to him by his subjects. You think he can be impeached? Not with Congress behind him. He controls both houses and that means he controls America . He’s the commander in chief which means he controls the US military which is the most powerful fighting force on earth. To those of you who think Obama is a weakling and naïve, he’s also the most powerful man on the face of this round orb and with the supernatural satanic and maniacal entities pulling his strings, well folks America is in big trouble. God’s judgment? Possibly.



“Ron, you’re not telling us anything we don’t already know. We’ve heard all this before; it’s old news to us. So what are you getting at?” Just this, now pay attention. In the book of Jonah we read about the city of Nineveh , a Gentile city, and the final chance they were given by God to straighten up. God sent the Gentiles at Nineveh a warning by the mouth of Jonah. “And Jonah began to enter into the city..., and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” Jonah 3:4. America has been warned for years now, we’ve had our Jonah’s warning.



Who sits in the highest office of this land doing everything he can to destroy our way of life? That’s correct, Barack Hussein Obama, a Muslim. We must believe that God puts those of His choosing in positions of power, and for what reasons we don’t always know. It’s God’s plan and He doesn’t always let us in on the details but He does expect us to see the writing on the wall so to speak. To me it’s plain as day.



Many of you have emailed me asking why God doesn’t judge America . Then in the next sentence you complain about Obama being made president and seemingly destroying our way of life, our freedoms. So I write more commentaries with my thoughts on God’s word and how it may pertain to us here in America today.



I believe Obama is here in the capacity of President of the United States of America for one reason and one reason only. He’s here to deliver a form of judgment from God. Oh boy, please, don’t start writing me yet. Finish reading, then if you think I’m nuts go ahead and hit me with everything you’ve got.



This nation was an experiment; God used the United States of America to be a beacon of light, one of hope to the rest of the world. America sent out missionary teams by the thousands all across the globe. For what? To preach the gospel of Christ to all nations. This we did for years. As a nation we had our ups and downs but for the most part we thrived because of God’s awesome blessings.



Well guess what America sends out across the globe now? Pornography. That’s right, that’s our big export now. Do you actually think God is pleased with the way we spread “filth” to the rest of the world? Not hardly. America has turned its collective backs on God. God will not be mocked. America was His experiment as a shining light on a hill to a dark and depraved world. Obama is here for a reason.



God is not pleased with America and in a short while we’ll be toast if we don’t turn from our evil ways and repent. If Obama is actually God’s plan for our destruction or downfall, whichever comes first, He may have included a little more time for us to realize the consequences of our past actions. Maybe, but don’t count on it.



Many of my brethren are expecting judgment to come, but judgment is here. “Wait a minute Ron, we thought God’s judgment would come in the form of a storm or pestilence or an earthquake. You know Ron, something we can get the government to take care of for us” Yea, right.



God sent us an evil man which is exactly what we deserved. Now we must turn back to God or the punishment will only get worse. We must stop relying on the government for all our needs and turn once again to the creator of the Universe. God deserves our respect and our devotion, not our distain. He will not be ignored.



Nineveh had 40 days until they were to be totally destroyed. But God stayed His mighty hand. Why? Because from the king down to the least of the Ninevites all repented of their sins, all their evil ways, and God spared them. Now this action on God’s part infuriated Jonah. He was at his wits end because he wanted Nineveh to be obliterated.



Obama won’t be happy either unless his agenda is met, fully and without delay. But America ’s judgment is not up to Obama it’s up to God and it depends on the American people whether or not they will recognize what their God is doing to get their attention. With Obama continuing in office I see the judgment becoming worse not lessening.



We as believers should never stop praying for God to continue to bless us and to lift His judgment from our land. As His children He expects to hear from each and every one of us on this subject. We need to pray for our nation and for our leaders because God expects it; to not do so would be the same as giving up, throwing up our hand in defeat.



America was once a God-fearing nation, but that fear (respect) has been replaced by apathy. The judgment that God has sent is not pleasant as most of us have noticed by now. The judgment may remain for quite a while, and even get worse. Unlike the Ninevites, America may choose to just say “Oh well Obama will figure it all out, after all that’s why we elected him president”. But Obama isn’t looking for repentance from the people of America, he’s looking for adoration, a following if you will, right down that path to destruction.



Ignore God and His timely judgment at your own peril. Perhaps America will go the way of the dodo bird. The balls in your court America, what’ll it be folks?



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN

The direction this subject points me towards is exciting! I am rethinking the rapture and eternity in a good way. I was even shown more reasons why the Blessed Hope (The rapture of the Church) is soon to take place. If Jesus Christ does not tarry in His coming it is only because God is not willing that anybody should perish according to 2nd Peter 3:9.

I want to share with you how near we really are to the Lord's return and our future home. If we even understand a little bit about heaven we will never look at life, the rapture or eternity the same. Like end time Bible prophecy it is not a subject that is going to be understood all at once. Just a little understanding will give you peace from God.

Some people will say they found a church home and that is well and good but as far as I can see Heaven is our home. That is where we are going to spend eternity.

As I write about Heaven it is not necessarily going to be in sequential order. I'm going to loosen up my tie. I'm just going to trust God that He will guide my pen and bring to my mind whatever He wants to place on my heart. I have lost count of the number of books and testimonies I have read or heard.

Would you like to go to a place where the glory of God abounds and overflows? If you look at the average person they don't seem to care!

I am pretty sure the Church is just about to be raptured out of this earth into heaven. I don't believe anybody knows the day or the hour hear on earth but we are seeing more and more signs for the Antichrist which tells me that the rapture is close. There are no signs for the rapture.

I believe there have been some recent warnings on planet earth. God is trying to get the attention of the world. He is just about to come.

Looking for the Rapture with anticipation and excitement is very Biblical. It is found in 1 These. 4: 16-18, 1 Cor. 15: 51-57, Titus 2:13, 1st John 3: 2,3, 2 Tim. 4:8, John 4:1-3, Rev. 3:10, Rev. 4:1 and many other places in the Bible. We look for the Rapture not only to be with our Lord Jesus Christ but to escape the seven year Tribulation that is described in Revelation chapters 6-19.

These seven years are the most talked about time period in the Bible. When I read Revelation chapters 6-19 I have to come to the conclusion that there is just no way anybody could prepare for this time period. This is just one reason we are going to want to be part of the Rapture. We are very close to this great event.

When we get raptured we will be transformed into our resurrected spirit bodies in heaven. Upon arrival we will have the most wonderful reunion with other Believers that we could possible imagine. We will then appear before the Bema Seat ( a Greek word) so that Jesus Christ Himself will appraise everything that we truly did for Him.

Remember when we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior He died for our sins. He bore the penalty for our sins on the Cross. God cannot look at sin, so when we go to heaven we will be blameless before Him.

There will be perfect understanding on what we have truly done for Jesus Christ with the right motives when we look into the eyes of holiness and righteousness. The Bible mentions five crowns. Many articles and sermons have been spoken on this so I won't go into this subject. I would be honored just to get one. Just because only five are spoken of does not mean there won't be other rewards.

According to Revelation chapters 4 and 5 we will be laying our crowns before our Savior Jesus Christ. As I said once before, in the presence of Jesus Christ we don't need anything, so of course we will be laying our crowns before His feet.

Did you ever just read Revelation chapters 4 and 5 and fathom this incredible worship? When we are raptured Christians will participate in Revelation chapters 4 and 5.

When an individual graduates from college they go to Commencement and get their diploma (reward). Then they go out into the real world and get a job to get started with their life. We will get our rewards (commencement) then eventually we will get started with our jobs in eternity.

Can you imagine a college student hanging around Graduation ceremonies all of his life? I have never seen that.

Even the unregenerate understand that there is a vast difference between Heaven and Hell. They are the antithesis of each other. One is a place of love.The other is a place of fear.

I just want you to think about the reality of this whole thing. There is a Heaven and a Hell but there is not a medium place for average people. If we just plug that thought into our minds and hopefully our hearts, I will have an answer for you in just a little bit as to why this has to be for all eternity.

The design of Heaven is perfect because we serve a flawless, holy Savior. When we get to Heaven we will instantly know that we could not have possibly merited such a beautiful and glorious place. Eph. 2: 8,9. We will have a new understanding of the grace of God." But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1st Cor 2:9. I understand that when we get there it is going to be a breathtaking experience; however, I would like to get specific on some realities about Heaven that may edify you right now.

If you have many problems and a yoke upon your soul (a load or burden that you are having a hard time carrying) it will immediately be removed when you arrive in Heaven after the Rapture. In Matt. 11:30 Jesus promises to take it on earth but if you are having a hard time allowing God to take this then at the very least you can rest assured that it will be removed the very moment you arrive in Heaven. While we are on this earth Christians need to make this a number one priority in our hearts because Jesus Christ needs to be ruling our lives.

One man said that when we got Saved on earth ( truly accepting Jesus Christ into our hearts as our personal Savior) the Holy Spirit came into our hearts. He is living inside of us right now as we converse. The Holy Spirit is our engagement ring. When we get to Heaven we will be married to Jesus Christ.

The Bible talks about us being the Bride of Christ. In Revelation 21:2 the Word of God says,"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband." In Revelation 19: 7-9 the Bible talks about the Marriage supper of the Lamb. We are dressed in white ( purity) and in verse 9 we are considered blessed.

When the Pharisees tried to entrap Jesus with the Marriage scenario in Heaven, our Lord corrected them by saying that one redeemed in Heaven does not marry another redeemed Saint. The answer is obvious. We are the Bride of Christ. Jesus Christ will be our Husband.

By the way if the Bible is talking about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, this may be inferring that there will be food in Heaven. We will eat for pure enjoyment in Heaven. We have to eat on earth to survive. Besides all too often food, sleep and shopping become disruptions that hinder our fellowship with God. In Heaven there are no interruptions. Everything speaks of God's pure love with purpose.

Everything we do or don't do will be appropriate for the given moment. For example talking is not always appropriate because in Revelation 8:1 the Bible says," And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven about the space of half an hour."

Any created creature or redeemed Saint in Heaven will be incapable of sin (a transgression against God); however, a mistake is something different. Webster defines a mistake as a misunderstanding of the meaning or implication of something. I think we are going to have to wait and see if we will be capable of a mistake.

Remember we will not be robots in Heaven. On earth we make 10,000 decisions a day. We scratch our heads and ask," What do I do?" In Heaven, since a partial mind of Jesus Christ will be given to us ( if we received a full mind of Christ we would know everything about eternity past, present and future) we won't struggle with decisions. On earth, according to Phil. 2:5 we have to, " Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." According to this verse we have access to the mind of Christ but we can choose not to use it.

Obviously we will not have any senses to register fear with this new mind. The Holy Spirit said in 2 Tim 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Every once in a while I will hear a Christian say," When I get to Heaven I will know everything and won't have to learn anything." If we knew everything we would be on the same level as God. God is God and we are not. Besides this statement goes directly against Eph. 2:7." That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus." According to this verse in Heaven there is a learning process because God is "Showing" us for all eternity. God is described as having exceeding riches. He is kind and everything is through Jesus Christ.

In the Bible it is very obvious that everything revolves around the person of Jesus Christ. The very first sentence in the Book of Revelation says, " The Revelation of Jesus Christ"...so if you were to read Revelation chapters 19 to 22 it is very clear that when Jesus Christ sets up His rule, it will be a Theocracy not a Democracy. I thank the Lord for this because His rule will be perfect.

There will be a hierarchy in Heaven of redeemed Saints and Angels. For example Jesus said the first shall be last and the last will be first. I think it is interesting that the humble will be in positions of authority unlike this earth where all too often the prideful rule. I am not sure if every regenerated person will reign with Jesus Christ in Heaven. 2nd Tim. 2:12. This privilege does not seem to be reserved for everyone.

When you read the whole context of 1st Cor chapter 15 you may come to the same conclusion as me. The Saints in Heaven will shine in varying degrees based on what they did in their earthly life. There obviously will be no jealousy because that would be a sin.

We will all be humbled by the time this whole heavenly reality reaches full circle. The most prevalent message in the Gospels is humility. It is in our Lord's birth, the way that He lived, the way He spoke, the way He served, the way He suffered and the way He died.


I don't know about you but I have found that the greater the mistrust level is in society the greater the sin. Mistrust seems to be a barometer. In 2nd Corinthians 5:7 the Bible says we walk by faith, not by sight. In Heaven we will walk by sight not by faith; however, we will have perfect trust and perfect peace because of this wonderful privilege that God will grant us. On earth we must exercise faith in God to have His peace but not in Heaven. It will automatically be given to us. On earth we may experience something that is way out in left field but we will always know where we stand in Heaven.

Hell is just the opposite. Nobody will have peace, trust or even know where they stand because there will always be fear. Words like despairing, survival, panic, denial, problems, despondency, guilt, or loneliness will come to minds and emotions. There will be no hope. I believe some people that are consigned to this horrible place will never reach the acceptance level of what happened to them.They will stay in denial.

In answer to the thought that I asked you to ponder, why is there not a medium place for average people? The answer is God demands justice for somebody that does not accept His Son Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. They will have to pay for everyone of their sins because they don't have the Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God in their hearts.

The word fairness really does not per se come to my mind. This is the justice of God. Justice is the administration of law. People that die without Jesus Christ leave this earth under "Law" (they died in their sins), not under grace.

Good people don't go to Heaven and bad people don't go to Hell. According to the Bible we are all bad. Romans 3:23. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Only those that honestly accept Jesus Christ into their hearts will go to Heaven. Since they died without accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior they will have to bear the full weight of their sins. There will be different degrees of punishment. Luke 12:48, Revelation 20:11-15. That is a heavy burden to carry. Besides it is a Christ-less eternity with no love!

You can accept Jesus Christ into your heart now and have eternal life in Heaven if you have not already done so. Since we are so close to the return of Jesus Christ it is not wise to tarry on this decision.


I would like to return to the subject of Heaven for a little bit.

In life we can either cooperate or complete. In Heaven there is cooperation. It would be a trite point if there was not so much competition in life.

Can you imagine the jubilation after the Rapture? Can you imagine Jesus Christ Himself, the greatest teacher in the universe imparting a principle to us? Can you imagine talking to Daniel, Samson, Peter or Sarah? They have been learning in this heavenly order for thousands of years.

By the way since our Lord is a God of order I do believe there will be a law in Heaven but I just don't think we will have a hard time following it. We will have such a strong desire to obey because we were saved by God's grace and love. This zeal in us will be paramount, not just in our thinking but in our responses.

When we think about obeying something down here we usually have to start and stop at a given point but when we get to Heaven we will be in eternity.There will be no time or space to hinder us. We won't necessarily have to start at a given point. We think in terms of time now. Forever is more real than time because in eternity past God created time; therefore, time is inferior to eternity.The Creator is more powerful than the creation. It makes us think. Should we live for time or should we live for eternity? The things that are visible are temporary. The things which are invisible are eternal. Only that which we do for Jesus will last. Jesus was more pleased with Mary in comparison to Martha because what Mary was doing was eternal. What Martha was doing was temporary. Everything else will be thrown out.

There will be no gossip about our sins in Heaven. Gossip is a sin. Proverbs 16:28. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. The Bible says this in Romans 8:1. Heaven is a place where God gets the glory. Revelation chapters 4 and 5, Revelation chapters 21 and 22. It is His grace we will be praising God for all eternity, not our sins. By the way we will be praising God for His other attributes too.

In 2nd Cor. 5:17 the Bible says,"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." That happened to us when we got saved but we really will be able to see and experience this for ourselves when we get to Heaven.

By the way it won't be the order the Church has right now. Some Christians think that this is it.This is not it. Some conservatives in the Church give all the reasons why people should come over to their side and some Pentecostals give reasons as to why people should come on their side. Eph. 2:14 says," For He is our peace, who hath made both one and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us." I know the original meaning of this verse involved Jews and Gentiles but the sub-text is written.This is good news because we won't have to be concerned about a denomination.

We probably won't even have opinions in Heaven because that would denote division. Our Lord is not going to allow His Kingdom to be divided. We will be uniting in the Person of Jesus Christ. The only passport into Heaven will be Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. It won't be a denomination.


Look at how excited the Samaritan woman got when Jesus talked to her on earth. She was refreshed. John Chapter 4. If this can happen on earth what do you think Heaven will be like? If there is a Christian out there that you just do not like, look at how fast Jesus united Matthew and Peter on earth. They hated each other. Our Lord did that in His earthly body on a corrupt sinful planet.

It is encouraging to know that God never changes. Malachi 3:6. Jesus will be reuniting people that were at an impasse on earth and He will do it I believe on the same line that He did it with Matthew and Peter. I don't think Paul and Mark even spoke after their fight but I can guarantee you this, they are on speaking terms now in the love of God.

Right now we are in embryo ( time and space) but when we get to Heaven we will really start to understand all of the freedoms we have in Jesus Christ. Right now we don't understand the full impact of this principle, just like we don't understand everything God saved us from. We don't even understand many things about ourselves but God sees us perfectly. This is why I am inclined to believe that God will even reward us for what we would have done if we could have done it. He knows our hearts.

Sometimes I hear a Christian say,"I believe God is like that particular regenerated lady or gentleman." Then they might say something like," That is what God is like." God has all of these pure characteristics in every one of His attributes. If all of this excites you and if to a point you are up in Heaven right now, don't be so fast to come down. Understanding this will actually help us while we are still on this earth.

One of the things that we always hear in Christianity is that we have to be discerning about issues. Somebody will say something and we will be scratching our heads, looking into the Word of God and asking, "Is this true?" The Bible says in John 14:6 that Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life. Heaven will be the embodiment of truth. We won't have to look at something and wonder whether it is truth or error.

It is true, on this planet People have alternative agendas. In Heaven everybody will have pure motives. The people on earth are constantly communicating ideas through speech and motions. God's loudest message to us is His love. His love permeates His entire Being. Obviously that same love will be in us. Remember what is inside of us has to come out. We will be experiencing and expressing that love for all eternity.

I am going to combine most of what I believe to be the credible testimonies about their Heaven experiences and explain to you the common denominators. I'm not what I would call a tough jury but for those of you that are I would just like to say they cannot all be lying and most of these people don't even know each other.

A handful of people feel that since the Apostle Paul did not talk about his Heaven experience then they just dismiss somebody else's testimony; however, Enoch had plenty to say about Heaven and even touched on what he saw in Hell and was quoted by Jude in the New Testament. Jude 1:14. All I can do is look for the common denominators of these testimonials.

Let me just repeat some of the amazing things that I have heard. I am not dogmatic but I seem to hear the same things over and over. Did you ever think about the way God will communicate to us in Heaven? In so many of these testimonies it is mind to mind. There is no air in Heaven. This is a component of earth so the people listening to Jesus did not hear Him through an ear drum.

Jesus knows all tongues but there is a heavenly language. The speed is very fast. No hesitation on the part of our Savior; however, if our Lord really wants us to experience the moment He may slow the pace down.

I heard one fine scholar say we will probably be learning pure Hebrew in Heaven which he believes is God's language.

Most said they were able to explore and look around. Enoch took advantage of this privilege.

Everyone said there is an overwhelming togetherness in Heaven. Nobody was off to the side. Everyone is an integral part of everything God is doing.

When we go on to Heaven we will becoming there what we could not become here only never quite made it.This way the grace of God is exalted, not our merits. We will probably be on the genius level and will be using our minds in a way that we could not imagine down here to carry out the work that God has assigned to us. We will truly be glorifying God.

Many people that saw Heaven looked at building projects. A lot of people said there was an anticipation for a large number of people to arrive there at one time. John 14:1-4. One person said that the architecture was intricate.The horticulture was bountiful and beautiful. The colors were vibrant. When they looked at something in Heaven it was pure love, nothing but pure substance. The streets are pure gold.

Jesus Christ testified to several people that He created the music in Heaven. It is beautiful and worshipful. Notes that they never heard on earth.They were perfectly clear. One person made a comparison that there is no way you could keep up with this in your flesh.

God is bottling an aroma ( perfume) in Heaven based on the prayers of the regenerated children of Jesus Christ on earth...Revelation chapters 5 and 8.

One lady said regarding our prayers that she had the honor of going into the Throne Room of Heaven and seeing Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of the Father. The light was so bright that she had to look down. She saw energy rays go straight to the Throne Room and on one shaft of the light was her male relative's voice praying for her. God chose to answer his prayer. I tended to believe her story because she seemed to be a very credible witness.

It is amazing to me how our Father in Heaven must have a special regard for sincere earnest prayer. At the very least it gives me a whole new prospective on my prayer life. Sometimes it takes a while for things to settle in with me but I don't think I will ever look at prayer the same. I prayed for somebody the other day. Words just did not come out but God chose to answer that prayer because I believe He was looking at my heart. If you don't know the Lord, the Bible says that God will hear your prayer." For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be Saved." Romans 10:13.

I know a lot of this is conjecture but it does get me thinking. If I am going to be concerned with something down here I want it to be of eternal value. Our prospective changes when we understand this. I appreciate the fact that I am writing to a wide audience. Some are strict, loose, highly intelligent and some barely know anything about the subject; however, whatever category you are in I would think that this would make anybody think.

When we get raptured which I believe could be very soon that verse in 1st. Cor. 15:55 will come to life. "Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh Grave where is thy victory." At the very point that we are taken up in the rapture we will be experiencing this reality in that blessed resurrection. Joy will be an overflow of God's love, tears will be a healing process and I believe that we will have a pure holy sense of humor at appropriate times that is straight from God. When we look back on our life I believe that our suffering will have the greatest meaning to us. Our activity, gifts and accomplishments will not have the same deep meaning in comparison to our heartaches that we suffered for Jesus Christ. This is on a deeper level.

On a lighter note I believe that there will be animals in Heaven. In the original model of Creation God created animals. Why would Heaven be any different? I find it interesting that the horses in Revelation chapter 19 know exactly what to do and when to do it.These horses speak of the majesty of Jesus Christ. It tells me that we will be able to communicate with animals on a level that we cannot down here on earth.

I believe this last subject that I would like to briefly talk about merits a brand new paragraph because it is so special. In 1 Peter 2:5, and Rev.1:6 the Bible talks about our kingship and priesthood. Do you remember earlier in the article I told you that there will be a learning process in Heaven? As I read these verses in Peter and Revelation I just get the impression that this will be a training process. It is very difficult for me to believe that we will understand this right away. Most people know God helps and ministers to His children but according to these verses we will be ministering unto the Person of Jesus Christ for all eternity. I believe this will be the greatest privilege in the Universe.

We have not even scratched the surface as to what we are going to be doing and experiencing forever. The issues that we face on earth will probably not even be problems to us in Heaven because we will be living on a higher level.This earth is not it. Jesus Christ is more than likely just about to come. Even a little spiritual insight about our resurrection is comforting, insightful and wonderful but soon we will be experiencing the joys of Heaven with our loving Savior forever.

I AM SO EXCITED!!
See you soon,
Bob D.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marriage Covenant Study

Marriage Covenant Study


What is a Covenant?
1. The Covenant is a Union confirmed by Blood.
2. A treaty
3. An Alliance or Friendship
4. A Pledge
5. A Contract accompanied by Signs, Sacrifices and a Solemn Oath which seals the relationship.
6. It is a Declaration of Absolute Faithfulness.
You will find a part or all of these in a Marriage Covenant between a man and wife. We will consider a few in our study - A Pledge and Absolute Faithfulness.
To enter into a Covenant, you must have two parties so in the marriage covenant we have the two parties. In this we make promises and vows to one another. If one breaks the covenant, the covenant is nullified. But what is allowable to break a covenant. You must look back to the promises you and your mate made to one another.
We will start in the Book of Matthew and carefully look at the Scriptures and then try to break them down and then we will trace the line or thread throughout the New Testament.
Our method of study will be Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. These questions can be answered by all who are in this study and we need to add our own to them.
Now we know under the Law that only a male could break the marriage covenant, it was unallowable for the female to do so, as she was considered under the man in this time. In today's time, we are still under the same headship, Christ over the man, the man under Christ, and the woman under the man so we must do this study in that vein. Now saying that I must say this, I am not under a man if it goes against my conscience to the written Word of God, in other words I will not risk my walk with God in order to be pleasing to a man.
We need to look at the Sermon on the Mount which is Chapter 5 thru 7 of Matthew, it talks about marriage here, but we must also look at the whole of the three chapters to get the whole of the meaning. First off, if I am a Christian my mate is also my brother or Sister and in context I must also treat them as such in the Body of Christ. So in order to do this right, study these three chapters first and just look closely at how we are to treat one another in the body of believers and you then can look at your marriage a little differently.
Now we will just take the Scriptures out of the body of these works and do a complete study on marriage but always remember to study the verses in their original context first.
Matthew 5:31 & 32 31. It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement. 32. But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication,causeth her to commit adultery, and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Let us first consider the meaning of these words in the Greek.
Divorcement -also used in Matt. 19:7 and Mark 10:4, (if you want to include the OT(Old Testament) you may look up Deuteronomy. 24:1, 24:3, Isaiah 50:1 ) Greek word- Apostasion, adj. something separative, going back to the root word- to fall away, (comparative language the same as the church when it falls into apostasy from Christ.)-to remove, act, to revolt, to desist, to desert, depart, draw away, refrain, withdraw self. WOW!
Writing- biblos- a bill, a book, a scroll, a writing.(same word as used for Bible)
Fornication- porneia- harlotry, includes adultery or incest, Figuratively- Idolatry.
root word= to act the whore, indulge unlawful lusts, (of either sex) to practice idolatry, whore, harlot, commit any of these acts. Same definition when used anywhere in the NT(New Testament).
Adultery- adultery or apostate in action. to have a paramour, meaning is the same throughout the NT.
Well, now you can ask yourself the questions. The answers will depend on your individual walk with Christ, But always remember that we must include our mate as a Brother or Sister in the Lord.
Again go back and look at what a covenant is, Realize that when you and your mate got married, you made a covenant together. So far in our study, we have seen that divorce is an option that is only given to men, it may later take a turn and include women, I feel this is a subject of dire importance. Enjoy your study and take it as far as you can. Our Bible studies are always continuing, this is a base, my Biblical context.
Matthew 19:3-12. Read the first two verses, to get Who Jesus was talking to.
Matthew 19:3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
4. And he answered and said unto them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.
5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the twain shall be one flesh?
6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8. He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away you wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commiteth adultery: and who marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
10. His disciples say unto Him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to be married.
11. But He said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some enuchs, which were made eunuch of men: and there be eunuch, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Again we have some pretty heavy Scriptures here, and we still see the only one that can give a writ of divorcement, is still the man. Also remember that we are dealing with people who are under the Jewish law here. But we still see that there is only one reason given wherewith we can break the Covenant of Marriage between two people. I think that these Scriptures are self explanatory and need not be explained.
Cleave- proskollao- to glue, to adhere, cleave, join self. root word- pros- in this context a strengthened form of direction.
Asunde- chorizo- to place room between, to part, to go away, depart, put asunder, separate. ( this definition is only used twice in the NT also used in Mark 10:29)
One- mia- one or first,or only
Remember to ask your 6 good friends to help you with this study and see how far you can take it. Always keeping in mind the definition of Covenant. Mark comes next.
Mark 10:1 And He came from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto Him again; and, as he was wont, He taught them again.
2. And the Pharisees came to Him and asked Him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting Him.
3. And He answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
4. And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement and to put her away.
5. Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
7. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain but one flesh.
9. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
10. And In the house his disciples asked Him again of the same matter.
11. And He saith unto them, whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another commitheth adultery against her.
12. And if a woman shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Well, I do not think we need to look up any of these words for the explanation of them. It is very clear, so now I will give you the setting of this story on Marriage and Divorce.
Well we know from the setting here, that Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem, looking to the Crucifixion. We see the religious Pharisees trying to trap Him, they were trying everything in their power to give them an excuse to kill Jesus. So this was one marriage where they tried to trap Him. They full well knew the law and they were looking for a loophole to call Jesus on and as we study these Scriptures, He gives them none.
If they could get Him to make a statement that was contrary to the law of Moses, they would of won and this is what the language here is, so you are looking at the Divine Law of God for Marriage here, what it was supposed to be from the beginning.
Genesis 2:24&25
24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Still in today's world, people want to jump into any controversy, to find an excuse for what they want to do. There were two schools of thought under the Jewish law on marriage. Rabbi Shamai taught uncleanness meant only that if the mans wife was not a virgin, that he could divorce her. This is a narrow view point, but that was the only grounds for divorce in Deuteronomy. Now Rabbi Hille taught the liberal side of this, if she yelled for any reason and you could hear her voice next door, then you could divorce her, as yelling women under the law are considered unclean. So with any liberal law you make the true law of the covenant you made with that man or woman mean less. You do this by the hardness of your heart, but Jesus said from the beginning it was not so. Divorce was forbidden by Jesus and God and was very hard under the law to obtain. You as the male, had to take the bill to a Rabbi and he had to witness that it was true, she had committed adultery and he was a witness to it and then two other Rabbi had to also sign it saying they also were witnesses. The reason for this was because of the children that would be destroyed by the divorce. The same as today the children are the losers. God help us!
Gods divine idea from the beginning was man by himself is not complete, a woman alone is not complete and so the two together become one flesh. The wife is complimented by the husband, the husband is to compliment the wife and the two now are no longer two but one flesh. This is the Basic Divine Ideal established by God. But man does not want to live up to Gods Divine Ideal, they do not want to bend or give or forgive. Marriage is and has always been a giving situation and God says only from the hardness of your heart will you get a bill of divorcement.
Today we are faced with the hardness of heart. Gods Divine Law was marriage for life, still there are those who have hardened their hearts toward Gods Divine Idea. They both will not give, will not bend, and will not forgive and they then begin to set out to destroy the other mate, because of the hardness of their hearts and on this path they will get as many others as they can to harden their hearts against that mate, by their constant complaining and negative thoughts, they are saying come over to my side and see how terrible my mate is and then tell me I can leave. Dangerous grounds for all concerned here, but the truth of the Bible must be the answer, it is not feelings, this partner is one flesh with you and you cannot divide one flesh, the only grounds you have are adultery and then neither of you can remarry ever. This is a pretty tough subject and one very hard to deal with. We do not want to broaden the issue to make divorce and remarriage legal. God hates divorce, but if you get a hard hearted person, God also hates that. Our desire should be to please God, we should seek to make a good marriage, to learn to love again and to come to oneness and you can only do this thru forgiveness and looking truthfully at the situation. It is never ever all one sided, Jesus sought here to bring back the sacredness of marriage. It is an outward sign of a Spiritual work. Marriage to the right person can be heaven and marriage to the wrong person can be hell on earth. But Decisions and Covenants once made are hard if not impossible to break, I would like to be easier on this but so far I cannot be.
My advice to all is go to God and fast and pray before you ever think marriage and if you are already married go to God and fast and pray that your heart be softened toward your mate, You are one flesh. We will deal with marriage in the church of today next.
Roman 7:1-4
1. Know ye not brethren,(for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Paul is saying that to the Christian that we are free from the law or that the law is dead to us, the same as a wife or husband is free from the bonds or Covenant of Marriage if their spouse be dead, they are then free to marry another. In case of death, neither is bound by the Covenant Law of Marriage, for you pledged till death us do part and now death has parted you.
Open your Bible & Read 1 Corinthians 10. Read and study this whole chapter, it all concerns the marriage .
This chapter is very personal and I will have you to read it and then come to the conclusion that the Lord would have you to come to individually as you know the terms and condition of your marriage and I do not.
I do believe that Paul here in verses 12-17, speaks for the Lord here and so ordains it in all of the churches, if the spouse of one is unbelieving and chooses to leave then the brother or sister is not in bondage in that case and can remarry as followed by the rules in verse 15. In all my advice to any would be always that God hates divorce, but God also wants you to be at peace within yourself, I would never advise someone to stay in any relationship in which they can be harmed physically or emotionally or in any way that would hinder your walk with God, but I would also say that you cannot divorce or remarry unless you do it for grounds of adultery and then only if you harden your heart. If you find yourself with an unbeliever that wants to stay with you, then you are required to stay, but if they leave you, you are no longer under bondage.
When all is said and done you must follow God in your life with the best of your ability and always remember that when you entered into the relationship, you made vows and promises and it is a Covenant Relationship. You owe your mate Absolute Faithfulness and Absolute Love and that love should be unconditional, and if it is not ,then I would ask you why? I leave you all in the hands of God and will say what would Jesus do, if he was in your place? Ask yourself that question and then answer it truthfully and not out of your wants or desires but out of the Word of God. Would Jesus break His covenant with you and can you break the covenant with your mate? May God bless all and keep you in Perfect Peace. My love and best wishes to all and I wish you blessed hope in your everyday walk with Christ. May your mate be your complimentary half and may you both walk in the perfect and fulfilling love of Christ and the same love that He gives to His church, if not I wish you still the Grace and Mercy and Peace of God and may God fulfill the bill of being your Spouse for He will surely keep His Covenant with You.
My Love always
Zelma