Thursday, July 28, 2011

JUDGMENT - GOD'S STYLE

Judgment – God’s Style

7/28/2011



“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” Romans 1:20-23. These days there seems to be a barrage of questions concerning when will God judge America. We can find a plethora of commentaries focused on this same question. Little do most of these questioners realize it but God sent His judgment upon this nation many decades ago, which began our spiraling downward freefall into the abyss of no return.



Not just America, but many other nations as well have been judged by God and found wanting. Billy Graham quipped many years ago “If God doesn’t judge America He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” If you’re waiting for an atomic bomb blast aimed at destroying America in one fell swoop you’ll probably need to wait until America completely turns its back on Israel; God’s word says that every nation will turn against Israel in the last days. Now I’m not saying an atomic war won’t break out; as a matter of fact I’m certain it will happen one day with a few hundred or even thousand atomic bombs hitting the amber waves of grain. But the current judgment that God placed on America and all other nations of the world which have turned their collective backs on Him has not come in the form of an atomic bomb. When it’s all said and done many may wish it had.



What national movement is taking America by storm? And for that matter, what international movement is doing likewise? If you haven’t already guessed it’s the condoning and the almost overwhelming promotion of the abomination known as homosexuality. Not very many Christians realize that this once hidden “in the closet” filth which is now permeating our world is God’s judgment on all societies that have rejected Him. How do I know? The Bible tells me so. Keep reading.



Most Societies are now moving in the direction of “God gave them over to.” I’ll explain that statement shortly. But why has God done this? People know He exists, yet they refuse to acknowledge Him as God and do not give Him the glory He deserves as our Creator. Our God is a jealous God; we may cringe at the fact, even dislike the idea, that our God has the propensity of being jealous. But the fact remains He won’t share or give up His Godhead to anyone or anything.



The first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans is directed at the pagan world. Paul gives an extensive explanation on just how foolish these people are. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:18-20. According to God’s Word He holds everyone accountable to know He exists and to seek Him. He does this through the obviousness of His creation. But these pagans Paul addresses here ignore the truth and worship idols made of things which were created instead of the One who is the Creator of all things. Therefore God gives them something special, something only these folks would cling to and bask in. Unbeknownst to them God’s judgment is on them and society as a whole because society has gone over to the enemy’s camp. God gives such societies over to be filled with lust as they too condone such behavior.



“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” Romans 1:24. The Greek word for the phrase “gave them up” is paradidōmi and it actually means: to give them up to evil desires. Who gave them up? God. Why? Because they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man. They should know God exits through His Creation, yet they ignore the fact that God has revealed Himself, even His eternal Godhead, so they have no excuse for their refusal to glorify Him as God. In the above verse, the Greek word for “uncleanness” is akatharsia and it means: to give them up to impurity, lustful living. The Greek word for lust is epithymia which means to: desire, crave, long for. God has given these pagans up to a lifestyle they can’t resist, and they think this lifestyle is one they’ve chosen for themselves. The phrase “dishonour their own bodies between themselves” has the Greek word atimazō embedded in it which means: to treat with contempt, whether in word, deed or thought. “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:25. So the societies which refuse to honor God as Creator and Lord are, as they turn their backs on Him and worship the created thing, being judged - including America.



Just in case you’re wondering what the dictionary uses as an explanation for the word pagan here it is “an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody who does not acknowledge the God of the Bible, Torah, or Koran”. Actually no one should recognize the god of the Koran. At any rate, the word pagan fits those who reject God, and offensive as it might sound God’s judgment is much worse. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” Romans 1:26-28. Here we see it again – God giving these foolish pagan people up, this time to a reprobate mind. In the Greek the word reprobate is adokimos and it refers to something that should be cast away as unfit as in something we would reject or throw out. God is in control here and He will not put up with whole societies turning their backs on Him.



Have you ever wondered why homosexuality has flourished in America and has become the norm in what was once thought of as a mostly Christian society? Today, even many professing Christians see no harm in homosexuality nor do they regard homosexuality as a sin. “More than 100 ordained Christian ministers have signed the proclamation, including leaders from Lutheran, Episcopalian, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, and Presbyterian churches which states homosexuality is not a sin.” Source: Onenewsnow.com. These pastors, as well as most of their congregations, don’t just look the other way but actually condone this abominable lifestyle. There are many professing Christians that see this sinful lifestyle as nothing more than two people of the same sex loving each other. I wonder just how many people actually understand how homosexuals, when it comes to the act of sexual intercourse, actually go about it. Not to be too graphic here, but it would probably make most people especially Christians sick if they actually understood what was involved when these depraved minds speak of loving or making love with one another, and if it doesn’t – shame on them.



Please don’t misunderstand God’s motives as He judges whole societies by giving them over to a reprobate mind. God loves everyone equally. He is no respecter of men. We were all born with the sin nature in us, it’s hereditary. We are all sons of Adam thus we all inherit the sin gene. Therefore the propensity for all humans to become homosexual is no different as far as sinning goes as stealing, lying, murder, adultery, and so on. It’s all sin and we usually embrace one or more of them until we become a “son of God.” Only then are we given the ability to say no to sin, because sin no longer reigns in our lives. But until we became born again we were all slaves to sin. Those who reject God cannot resist sin; they have no way to fight a battle against sin, and as a matter of fact they don’t even recognize their actions as sin.



The judgment on societies is different than the individual committing a sin. There are many born again Christians who live in countries where homosexuality has already been greatly manifested. So Christians are seeing the results of God’s judgment first hand. God’s judgment on America and the other nations that have turned against Him will become even more steeped in this abomination. This judgment will wax worse and worse as time goes by, especially as the opposition to the whole homosexual agenda wanes. “More than 50 percent of the current American voting public now have no problem with this spreading phenomenon, homosexuality.” Source: The Barna Research Group



We already see it openly in our military and the president of the United States has now made it known that he will no longer allow the Attorney General of the United States to fight for the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. There are now six states which have passed laws that allow homosexuals to get married and many more are working on the legislation to do the same. And now we see California, the leader in the promotion of homosexuality, passing laws that demand that homosexuality and its history be taught in schools, and setting up homosexuals as role models for impressionable children. I wonder if the lesson God gave us concerning Sodom and Gomorrah is going to be a part of that history taught in public schools. Openly homosexual judges are now running our court systems and homosexuality is permeating our land. Need I go on?



“Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:29-32. God gave them (these God rejecting pagan people) over to all the above mentioned adjectives because He will not be ignored nor will He be humiliated by foolish people who want to replace Him with some inanimate object as the focus of their worship. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is our Creator God. It’s a slap in His face to believe in anything contrary to that truth. Therefore since so many Americans enjoy slapping the face of God, God has been forced to act by judging America.



Read those words again from Romans chapter 1 verses 29 thru 32 and then think about all the evil in the news of late. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1. The Greek word for perilous is chalepos which actually means: hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous, (harsh, fierce, savage). Savage? Are we not living in savage times? Mothers killing their children, fathers killing their families, mass murders occurring all over this country and around the world – sounds pretty savage to me.



As we are all aware, the teaching of the fact that we have a Creator God who we are all accountable to has in recent years become a forbidden subject in our government run, completely secular public school system. We know God is not pleased with the American people’s decision to eliminate Him from their consciences. Therefore we are paying a heavy price for this disobedience in the form of rampant homosexuality. Don’t look for it to end any time soon. As long as we stay the path we’ve chosen the judgment will continue and it will increase in its intensity – like birth pangs on a pregnant woman. If you are a Christian reading this commentary all I can say is beware of more evil coming. You might want to learn to pray the following prayer “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. God is not speaking to the pagans but to His people. His children need to turn from our wicked ways, repent, to become doers of His word and put away the apathy and ignorance that has infiltrated His Church.



So, the next time someone asks you if or when you think God will judge America you can tell them America has been under judgment since we took the Bible out of our public schools and replaced it with the most horrible of lies - evolution. This extremely pervasive lie is completely satanic from its inception. Yet the vast majority of humanity, including many professing Christians, accepts it as truth over God’s word.



For many years now, worldwide, we’ve been killing the unborn babies in the womb at the rate of approximately 50 million per year, how then can God not judge the nations who’ve committed such atrocities and turned their backs on Him and His blessings? All children are a blessing from God. How can He just simply ignore this attitude of hate towards Him? Judgment has come to those nations who’ve found it necessary to embrace evil and eschew good, with America being a major promoter of evil around the world.



God’s judgment has come in the form of giving the foolish people who hate Him over to their own lusts. They don’t see it of course, but God’s judgment has befallen America as well as every other nation on earth who all dance to the same tune – they are without a doubt followers of Satan.



God help us,



Ron Graham

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DECEPTION AT THE END

Deception at the End

7/21/2011



“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” Revelation 20:7-8. The number of those who will be deceived at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ will be as numerous as the sand of the sea. Wow! These people have lived with Christ and seen Him in His glorified body. They know Him, yet they still follow Satan and rebel against Him. How does Satan do it?



The believers who live through the Tribulation will be mortal. They will live and repopulate the earth during the Millennial Kingdom. Without the devastation of sin taking its toll, we can imagine the population increase during the Millennium will be enormous, almost incomprehensible. All those who are born during the millennium will enjoy the benefits and blessings of Christ's reign on the earth, but they will still be born with a sin nature, and they will still have to freely repent and believe the Gospel, personally choosing Christ as Savior and Lord.



Jesus Christ will take His rightful place on His Throne as the world’s monarch, only His monarchy will be perfect, unlike those of earth’s past. He will insure a perfect form of justice, while not tolerating the sin so prevalent in today's society “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee…I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron… Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalm 2:7-12. When Jesus comes back to set up His Kingdom on earth He will not come as a suffering servant this time around, but as a conquering King. In military terms, He won’t put up with any dissention in the ranks.



We can only imagine such a time of “heaven on earth.". With God on His earthly throne is there any doubt that the earth will be filled with all the provisions people will need such as food and water? Everything folks need to live a comfortable life will be abundant. No one will lack anything. We, His saints, will rule and reign with Him in various capacities. One of our duties will certainly be to instruct those born during the millennium about Jesus Christ and teach them what He did for His creation. The people born during the millennium will not need to have faith that Jesus Christ exists as His existence will be obvious. He will be here so all eyes can see Him, but they will need to believe in His death, burial, and resurrection, just as we do now. As the Old Testament saints were looking forward in faith to His coming, we (the Church) look back on the cross and believe; faith is the binding tie. The tribulation saints will also look to the cross, as will those who are born during the millennium reign of Christ. They must become born again to be saved and to be able to enter Heaven. Even during Christ’s 1,000 year reign He will still be the way, the truth, and the life, and no man will be able to come to the Father but by the Son.



Apparently, since so many will be deceived by the father of all lies (Satan) towards the end of the millennium, we are given a clue here that unbelief isn’t reliant upon Satan’s lies since He will be bound in the bottomless pit for most of that duration. Life will be good during the millennial reign of Christ on earth. We will live under His perfect justice without sin, and even though the curse which is currently over all of God’s creation will have been lifted, the sin nature inherent in all humans will be a determining factor in the mass rebellion against our Lord as the end of the millennium approaches its climax.



Let’s take a trip back in time and try to see a parallel between the Garden of Eden and the end of the Millennium. We read in the book of Genesis that apparently God enjoyed walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. Adam, being immortal before his huge stumble that brought about the fall of mankind, saw God; they spoke, apparently, face to face. If God were to show Himself to any of us right now, we being mortal would most certainly die. Adam did not need faith to believe God existed. Nor will the people born during the millennium need faith to believe that God exists since He will be present and they will be able to see Him as He exists today in His glorified body. Still Adam rebelled against God. Why? His wife, Eve, was beguiled by the serpent in the Garden. Adam blew it by even allowing his wife to speak to this being, let alone be beguiled by him.



“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:14-15. Lucifer was at one time the anointed cherub that covers, in other words he was God’s number one angel. His name means “light bearer”. He was an angel of light, the most beautiful of all angels. He probably beguiled Eve with his beauty. Yes, in Genesis he’s referred to as the serpent, but that word in the Hebrew is “nachash”, meaning the shinning one. That word can also be translated as diviner, someone who practices divination. He first shows up as a serpent, but this serpent could have been a very beautiful and beguiling being. Certainly Lucifer still had the ability to present himself as something that would not frighten Eve but convince her of his sincere desire to help her. This being (the serpent) had the uncanny ability to place doubt in Eve’s mind; after the doubt was established he went on with the lie, both of which he’s promoted over and over again for the past 6,000 years.



Lucifer asked Eve a question which instilled that first bit of doubt in her “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1b. After he heard Eve’s response he blatantly lied to her while tempting her at the same time. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5. As I mentioned, this has been Satan’s modus operandi since the beginning. He’s good at it, and during the millennial reign of Christ, Satan will have a thousand years to perfect his craft to the nth degree.



Have you ever known a liar? I mean a real liar, one who is so convincing they could sell refrigerators to Eskimos? You know the kind of person I’m talking about, they are incredibly persuasive, they have a huge abundance of charisma, and many of them these days take up residency in Washington DC. But no matter how well a human works at perfecting their ability to lie and deceive others they can never best their father, the god of all lies. How will Satan convince those living during and at the end of the millennium to reject Jesus Christ and follow him? The same way he’s done it with multitudes of earth’s inhabitants of the past. First create doubt, and then put forth the lie. Many people would rather believe a lie than the truth. Many of the folks living in those still fleshly bodies will be just as susceptible to the doubt and lie as Eve was, even more so when we consider she was immortal and where she was living at the time.



In the beginning Adam and Eve were created immortal. When God proclaimed everything He had just finished making was very good – it was perfect in His thinking, no flaws, therefore we can conclude Adam and Eve were immortal. Yet they freely gave up their immortality for the taste of what they thought would be a better life, so will multitudes at the end of the millennium. They, being unbelievers, will want to taste the lie which will be promoted by the father of all lies, Satan himself. But it will be much worse for them than it was for Adam and Eve. Don’t misunderstand, there will still be those who come to Christ during the millennium, but the vast majority, just as it is today, will reject the Messiah and they will go down in flames. “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:9. They will have had more time than any other people of earth to discover who their King is and believe, but alas, many will make no such discovery as they will perish in unbelief.



Why is it easier or more fun to believe a lie? I imagine it’s like believing in evolution and the big bang theory. Throughout all the years these two impossible theories have been postulated there has never been a shred of proof to substantiate either theory. Yet, people believe them. Why? I suppose it’s like that old adage “Don’t confuse me with facts.” “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” Genesis 1:1. Yet this Bible verse is totally rejected by the majority of earth dwellers. Why? The lie has become the truth and the truth dismissed as merely fable or myth. The theory of evolution, as well as the big bang theory both are quite satanic in their totality. Even many professing Christians believe this lie. So, how will Satan deceive the vast majority of none believers at the end of the millennium? Isn’t it obvious?



Satan and his cronies will stop at nothing to try to defeat God. Impossible I know, but Satan has such a hatred for humanity that he can’t see the impossibility in his actions. That’s a lot of hate. And the longer we live on this planet the more his hate grows. Evolution, the big bang, and the creation of other gods are all part of Satan’s plan to convince man that there is either no God at all, or that there are many gods and many ways to Heaven. Either way, with these lies, he’s become the winner of many souls. These souls will occupy the same eternity as Satan (Hell). Satan has always opposed God, and God has done more to save His Creation than a billion Satan’s could even think to do. Yet Satan is still followed by the vast majority of earth’s populace. Most of God’s creation, even though God died to save them and keep them out of that horrible place (Hell), will continue in their rejection of His free gift of salvation. That free gift was not free for God as He had to give His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, to die for His creation. And die He did but thankfully He has risen and is alive today. We serve a living, loving God who would do anything to see us come to Him instead of to His adversary, Satan.



Jesus Christ will still be rejected by multitudes living during the millennium just as He is today. This is a hard pill to swallow for anyone who lives every day for Jesus Christ. Still the Bible is true and we can believe every word. Many will follow their father the devil right into Hell and probably without a second thought.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE EARTH

All the Peoples of the Earth

7/14/2011



The following verse has been the lead off verse in many of my past commentaries and yet it seems I’m continually forced to explain it or defend it – here we go again. “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. What could Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, have possibly meant by proclaiming such a statement so completely exclusive as to thoroughly eliminate any other way of obtaining eternal life? Do you suppose He was only referring to those people who’ve heard the Gospel and made their choice to either believe in Him or reject Him? Surely He couldn’t have been considering the 1.5 billion adherents to the religion of Islam, right? And what about those people who live in the deepest regions of earth’s most obscure locations? How do they fare in regards to that verse above? Would it be fair of God to punish those who’ve never heard the Gospel or who’ve been taught another way to paradise?



“Well God is a fair God; surely He wouldn’t send someone to Hell for an eternity just because they weren’t given the opportunity to hear the Gospel message, or they were taught completely contrary to what the Gospel of Christ teaches.” Let’s get something straight right now before we venture any further into this seemingly controversial subject. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41. God created Hell for Satan and His angels, not for man. When people end up in Hell it’s by their choice, not God’s. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. Never has it been God’s choice to send people to Hell, nor will it ever be. It is always each individual’s choice. That’s what love is; God loves us so much He gave us a way to avoid Hell but He won’t interfere with our choice if we decide to choose Hell over an eternity spent with Him.



“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16. This is the theme of Paul’s entire letter to the Roman Christians. Paul gladly proclaimed it as God’s panacea for mankind’s spiritual need. Paul indentified the Gospel of Christ as the “infinite resources of God” applied toward the goal of salvation in the life of everyone who believes regardless of racial background. And there is only one stipulation to obtaining God’s infinite resources and that is all people on earth no matter who they are or where they are must, individually, believe in the Gospel of Christ. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved…” 1 Corinthians 15: 1-2a.



For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Romans 1:18. Humans have a very difficult time grasping in their finite minds the meaning behind the “Wrath of God”. God’s wrath is not based on His emotions or anger, which is a human trait. Humans are motivated by selfish personal reasons and wrath in human terms would fall into a category of a need to punish or get back at someone – such as a need for revenge. But God is not motivated by human emotions. He is completely righteous in His character, and the fairness which is derived out of the minds of men is insufficient as far as God is concerned. What we believe is fair is subjective. Everyone has different motivating factors when it comes to their concept of what fairness is. Man’s subjective ideas of what fairness represents isn’t a quality that God considers when it comes to judging whether or not a person is born again. Fairness can’t save anyone. Just because you don’t think God is being fair won’t change His character. He’ll still do things His way. His way is just and perfect. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.



So what do we do about all those people who don’t have Bibles and can’t read even if they had a Bible? What about the Muslims who are not taught about Jesus as Savior and Lord? Many people on this earth are taught that evolution is true and there is no God and that human beings evolved from pond scum. This lie has been taught in public schools as truth for decades; many of these folks may never hear the truth of the Gospel. What is God to do with these folks? To be fair in men’s minds He would need to place these people under some other type of judgment that would uniquely pertain to them and their circumstances. Unlike the rest of those who’ve heard the Gospel yet still reject the truth, those who’ve accepted evolution and the lie that there is no God should get a more fair shake from our Creator, right? Wrong!



What about those who’ve been taught some other religion, something which is completely contrary to the Bible and God’s provision for salvation? Will they go to Hell because they’ve been taught erroneously yet believe that lie? Yes. Every individual on the face of this planet is held accountable to God to seek the truth “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” Romans 1:19a. Some want to believe that this verse is referring to God manifesting Himself into the conscience of every man, but that’s not what this verse is saying. Verse 19 refers to the fact of His revelation and the next verse, verse 20 will explain the process by which that revelation takes place.



“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Romans 1:20. Paul wrote this verse as a condemnation to all those who reject God. “Clearly seen” means just that, clearly seen. And “understood by the things that are made” means that what God has made is not only clearly seen but understandable by observing the things which He alone has made. People of earth can’t say they didn’t know God nor can they say they’ve never had a chance to know God since God has made even the invisible things of Himself known to man through His creation, “even His eternal power and Godhead; so they are without excuse.”(v20b) God never said He inserted who He is into the brain (conscience) of every human; He said He showed it to them through His creation. They either accept that revelation or they reject it. Their choice.



Paul simply explains that we are all held accountable by God to know He exists, and that knowledge of His existence is evident by the fact that we can observe His creation every day. But, and this is imperative that everyone fully understand, the knowledge that God exists will not save anyone, including the people in darkest Africa who have never heard the Gospel message. Paul never refers to salvation in verse 20, only that they who reject God are without excuse. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.



Anybody who has a question about how the people in darkest Africa, or Muslims for that matter, are to hear the Gospel Jesus has the answer “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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.” Matthew 28:18-20. How many of you reading this commentary have stepped up to the plate so to speak and preached the Gospel to others? How many of you have ventured out of your comfort zone to make sure everyone you know has heard the Gospel message? Where is your heart? Is there a burden on your heart for the lost and perishing? Charles Spurgeon says “If you don’t have a burden for the lost you may be lost yourself.” If there is one person on the face of this earth who hasn’t heard the Gospel message, who does that put at fault? Who did Jesus give this commandment to? Was it not given to all those who claimed to be His disciples? Perhaps you’re one of those who believe that, that commandment was meant for only a select few and not Christ’s Church in its entirety.



Again, speaking of the fairness of God, our God is a just God and what you and I might consider fair may not even be a part of God’s attributes. Humanity’s idea of fairness is always going to be based on skewed emotions. For a moment, let’s give fairness some real hard human thought. In our human estimation of fairness, just how fair was it that God had to endure watching His only begotten Son being scourged – tortured like a criminal almost to the point of death, while being mocked, scorned, and even spit upon? How fair was it that God had to stand idly by watching as His Son endured the most extreme humiliation? How fair was it that after God created man that His creation would rebel against Him and need reconciliation so we wouldn’t all end up in Hell? Finally, was it fair that God would be subjected to watching while His only begotten Son was nailed to a cross, naked to the world, and finally die while hanging there still being verbally abused? We serve an awesome and just God; human ideals and human concepts of fairness have nothing to do with Who we serve and how He dispenses His justice.



“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39. Jesus paid the full price for our sins, He didn’t deserve what He went through, but we humans do deserve punishment – we deserve God’s wrath. Every last human being on the face of this planet is guilty – born guilty – awaiting to face God’s judgment. Because God did not allow the cup to pass from His only begotten Son we know that there is no other way for a person to obtain salvation and eternal life than through believing in Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection.



In verse 16 of Romans chapter 1 where Paul speaks of salvation, he also mentions what we are being saved from. It’s the wrath of God. Those of us who are born again have dodged that bullet by placing our faith, trust, and hope in God’s only begotten Son and what He accomplished on that cross. The Gospel message is imperative for coming to that conclusion and making a decision for Christ. No Gospel message taught in darkest Africa? No salvation is possible.



“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. The Creator of the universe tells us that we must be born again to see Heaven. According to Jesus this can only occur when we believe that He died for the sin of the world, that He was buried, and that He’s alive today because the grave couldn’t hold Him. The resurrection of our Lord and Savior is true, and documented by His disciples who saw the empty tomb and who watched as He entered the room where they were all hiding. Then some 500 others bore witness to the fact that He is alive and that He had been resurrected. The Gospel message is essential to the salvation of mankind and Christianity is built on this Gospel and no other. Just believing that there is a God through His special revelation (creation) won’t get you into Heaven. God is adamant in His word that salvation comes through no one or nothing else. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. That name is Jesus the Christ. The Messiah of Israel – mashiyach nagiyd, Messiah the King – the anointed of God. There is no other NAME under heaven given among men, whereby we MUST be saved.



My wife mentioned something the other day I thought was quite profound. She said “People play cards and board games and they, for the most part, play by the rules set down by the designer of that game. But when it comes to God’s rules (our Creator) people always want to make changes that better fit their lives and emotions – their concept of fairness”. Amen! This is exactly what we observe in the erroneous explanations of how the people of the deepest jungles and recesses on planet earth will be accepted by the Father in lieu of salvation through His only begotten Son. When people feel the need to placate the masses through politically correct means concerning some 1.5 billion people who worship the god of Islam the same logic is used.



Here’s a newsflash for all those who like to think the Muslims are not part of the equation when it comes to following Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation. They are all condemned to Hell. They play by a totally different set of rules than Christians who worship the only true and living God and designer of the game, and they have already lost.



Unless someone tells the Muslims the truth – the Gospel message – and they repent and place their faith, trust, and hope in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation they will remain on the broad way that leads only to destruction, as will the natives of deepest darkest Africa. “…for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” Matthew 7:13. How many is many? We aren’t told but in contrast in the next verse Jesus mentions that few will enter in through the strait way and narrow gate. Both words representing many and few in the Greek are used denoting numbers. We can only guess at what number the Creator of the universe was trying to convey, but I suggest He’s quite serious about the fact that many will perish and few will be given everlasting life.



Many of us are guilty of redesigning God into an image that falls more in line with our humanistic thinking. But what we should be doing with our self-made God is comparing him to the reality of the God of the Bible. Then we should make the appropriate alterations to our thinking which will put us in tune with our Creator and His truth and remove any foolish inclinations.



The fact that salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone is true and biblical and that truth can’t be skewed even a little for those who wish to distance themselves from the fact that perhaps they’ve never really committed to following Jesus’ commandment concerning preaching the Gospel to the world. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that there will be some who will be exempt from the necessity of hearing the Gospel and believing, nowhere. This concept is, in its entirety, a man made doctrine built on man’s emotions and ideals. God has never changed His mind about salvation. The Old Testament believers were looking to and believing in faith that their coming Messiah would be their salvation. Today we look back at the cross, at where our Messiah was hung and where He died. Then we look to His resurrection as our hope for eternal life. Without the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, without believing in His death, burial, and resurrection our hope is in vain. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. …And if Christ be not raised… ye are yet in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17.



“…No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6b. Let me just add, period.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

Saturday, July 09, 2011

DO YOU TRUST HIM

Do You Trust Him

7/7/2011



“…The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour…” 2 Samuel 22:2b-3a. David knew his God and he trusted God. God knew David; He knew David trusted Him in all things. How about you? Do you trust God and does God know you trust Him? Everyday God finds a new way to ask us “Do you trust Me?”



Trusting in God means we’ve laid aside our feeble attempts at trying to run our own lives and have now turned all aspects of our lives over to Him. His abilities are far greater than we can imagine. God is fully capable of directing our paths but we, holding onto various portions of our own lives, might never realize the opportunities that God’s directions would provide simply because we are lacking sufficient trust in Him. With God it’s all or nothing. We fully trust God or we don’t. God knows if your trust is deficient, He knows you better than you know yourself.



Everyone remembers the story of how David faced down the giant Goliath, but there is a part of that story that many never pick up on. First, before we get into that very interesting yet little known fact, let’s get a little bit of background into this amazing feat of courage displayed by this youngster, David. “David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…” 1 Samuel 17:37. Was David’s remarks based on his own courage or did he fully trust in the One and only living God? It was David’s trust in God which gave him the courage to face this giant.



Now let’s discover the depth of David’s trust in God. “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:40. Did David, even though fully trusting God to deliver him out of the hand of this Philistine, actually think he would need five stones to defeat Goliath? David slew the giant but used only one stone. So why did David, trusting fully in his God, need four extra stones? Not part of this story is that little tidbit of fact I mentioned earlier. Goliath had four brothers (1 Chronicles 20:4-8.) David was ready for them all. Was David depending on his own courage, his own abilities? Not in any way. David completely and totally trusted in God that day? David trusted God to not only deliver him out of the hand of Goliath but also if need be out of the hands of Goliath’s four brothers, hence the four extra stones. David knew God, he had a personal relationship with God, and David was victorious only because he trusted in His God to be there at that battle with him.



We all go through battles; sometimes it seems they’re a daily occurrence. When we are fighting against supernatural foes we must always trust in our God to defeat those foes. No matter how much we’d like to fight our own battles, mere humans are no match for malevolent supernatural beings. After all, we can’t even see them, but God can and does. When we trust God to fight those battles for us, His and our enemy’s stand no chance. If our trust in God is lacking, our ability to stand the test of those battles will also be lacking.



This life we’ve been given is as fleeting as a vapor of smoke, but as short as it can be there is a reason we were created and it isn’t to procure a wealth of treasures here on earth before we die. We’ve been given life so we and our Creator God can build a super relationship together, but we must place our trust and faith in Him for that relationship to fully develop. Trust is the basis for the relationship, and God knows this truth better than we do. Not one day will pass in our life that God will neglect to ask us the question “Do you trust Me?”



In the human mind it just isn’t natural to place our full trust in someone we can’t even see. But the born again believer knows that this trust is built on faith, and is essential to our faith. As our faith in our Creator God grows so does our trust in Him. That’s what God wants from us. He’s asking each of us who have placed our faith, trust, and hope for our salvation in His only begotten Son and Him alone, “Now, do you really trust me?” You and I must decide for ourselves if we truly trust God. If we are inclined to place our trust in our own abilities, in our own strengths, in picking ourselves up by own bootstraps, God knows those inclinations. But He wants us to trust in Him and His abilities and He’s showing us all the time how we can fully trust Him. We must see God’s works in our lives as His works not our own.



There is a lot more to trusting God as we live out our lives here on earth than we can even imagine. God is our Creator and as such He wants recognition for that aspect. “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. If you don’t believe God is the Creator of all things in this universe then it’s apparent that you do not trust Him because you don’t believe His word. Think about it. Is there any part of God’s word that you dismiss as myth or fable or even legend? God’s Word is truth, but if we can’t get our minds around His word as fully true then we’ll never fully trust Him to tell us the truth.



We trust God that there will always be air to breath, or do we? First we must have faith that God will always supply our needs, and air, water, and food are all essential to those needs. Take one of those three elements away from us and we die. Does God supply our needs or do we supply our own needs. Do we believe air, water, and our food supply are just magically tossed before us? Do we trust in ourselves to supply food for our families, or is our trust in God as our needs are met every single day? Is it merely our self-effort that gives us our hope that tomorrow there will be food on the table, water to drink, air to breathe?



My family and I lived ten years on the coast of Oregon and many times we would take a trip to the south coast town of Brookings to shop at our favorite department store. On every trip we crossed a bridge, the “Thomas Creek Bridge” which is promoted as the tallest bridge in Oregon. The bridge was built at a height of 345 feet, and it spans a vast ravine. Each time we crossed that bridge my thoughts went to the engineer who designed and built it. Each time I had to place my life and that of my family in the hands of someone I didn’t know, someone who might have been drunk or on drugs when he designed that bridge. Who was this guy? I know he’s an engineer but I also know he’s just a man – a fallible man and with problems of his own which could have affected his judgments and his math. So, do those who cross that bridge everyday or once a week trust man that it will remain in place, or should those folks be trusting God that that bridge is safe? You see how God works? Every day He finds a new way to ask the question “Do you trust Me?” I can add to that question these words, “Or do you trust man?” Do you trust the Creator or the creation, the Potter or the clay, who do you trust?



Every aspect of our lives has God fully involved. Those who don’t acknowledge God or believe He even exists aren’t going to admit they trust Him. But whether they trust Him or not, He’s fully involved in supplying their needs just as He does with those who love Him and trust Him. No one on planet earth can survive without God. Those who are perishing wouldn’t agree with me as they, for the most part, believe we evolved from pond scum therefore there is no God and we are all responsible for our own existence. In their minds, everything we see, everything we can touch, smell, and enjoy with all our senses came from nothing. It all just happened one day billions of years ago. There’s an old song I used to listen to when I was younger but I never really paid attention to the words. These words were a part of that song “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing” those words mean so much more to me now than they ever did when I was a young man. Trusting in God means we don’t believe every theory man throws at us. Man will always attempt to usurp the authority and omnipotence of God. But God, everyday finds a new way to ask the same question “Do you trust Me?”



When you give of yourself or your resources God is involved. He asks you to trust Him and He will return your efforts or your resources to you many times over. How can He do that? He’s God. An old pastor I used to listen to on the radio once said “You can’t out give God” no matter what God places on your heart to do for others when you follow through with God’s will it means you trust Him. God will bless your faithfulness. Don’t think so? Try Him. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10. What’s God saying? You got it. “Do you trust Me?” In other words, if you trust God enough to bless others with a portion of what He’s blessed you with He promises to pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Being a good steward with God’s property simply means you trust God.



“Do you trust Me?” These are God’s words spoken to believers in Christ. But God is asking a similar question of all those who reject Him, “Won’t you trust Me?” He’s not giving up on even one soul. When God gains their trust He gains another child. When we say “Yes Lord, I trust You” we admit we are a child of God. We must trust God that His Word is true and that He did enter His creation and become a man, the man Jesus the Christ. That He did die on a cross to save His creation. Only a perfect God could have accomplished this for His rebellious creation, and all He asks of each rebellious child is “Do you trust Me?”



“I trust You, God” is easy to say, but do you really trust Him? To trust in God fully we must turn our lives over to Him, completely. That means whether or not we are financially secure, whether we are in good health or not, whether we are being persecuted and mistreated for our faith. In all things we must trust God. We might, as Christians, be living in a very comfortable environment where we’ve become very content in our surroundings and nothing seems to be able to penetrate our perfect peace. Nevertheless He still asks “Do you trust Me?” Why? Because tomorrow a tornado or flood might wipe away everything we hold dear.



So the question I’ve posed throughout this commentary is God’s question to each of you and it really takes some thought. Don’t say “Yes God I trust You” if you still hold to some form of unbelief or you hold onto certain aspects of your life that God really wouldn’t want any part of (sin). We can only answer that question truthfully if we study it and allow it permeate our souls. Do I trust You, God? I hope the answer is yes, but remember God knows the truth no matter how you answer that question.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

twotug@embarqmail.com

Friday, July 08, 2011

THE MYSTERY OF SPIRIT SOUL AND BODY

The mystery of spirit, soul and body

I would like to talk about a fascinating subject that not only ties in with our everyday living but also very much relates to the Rapture, Tribulation and Millennium. Just like this subject by nature has a progression to it the article will also take on a systematic order.I believe you will enjoy and relate to this writing.

I would like to start with the practical interpretation and go into the prophetic implication towards the end of the article. If we don't understand the progression of what I am saying we will only have a surface understanding of the prophetic implication of some pivotal end-time prophecy verses involved in the number 3.

I like writing articles to edify Believers in Christ but also to invite people that don't know Jesus Christ into their hearts.

This present article was a search-quest for what I did not know. This has got to be one of the most amazing subjects I have ever had the privilege of writing yet it was the most difficult. I have found that we serve a good God. When God sees us searching He starts to reveal His riches in His grace.

The sum of one plus two equals three. As Believes in Jesus Christ we probably will go through 1 and 2 by experience to get to 3. We are Saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2: 8-9). If a Christian dies early he or she may not go through this process.

One (sovereign), two (division) and three ( complete). The mystery of any problems we struggle with is found in our make up (1) Spirit (2) Soul (3) Body. The Apostle Paul says we are comprised of 3 parts (1 Thes. 5:23).

Number 3 is so important. From a Biblical point of view 3 denotes divine perfection.

(1) Spirit, (2) Soul and (3) Body. We have to ask ourselves how the Tabernacle was built. This is paramount for us to understand this because we are comprised of three parts.

When we walk through life we are so conditioned to say (1) Body (2) Soul and (3) Spirit but this is not what the Bible teaches. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.1 Thes. 5:23.

Notice the order (1) Spirit, (2) Soul (3) Body. There was a reason why the Apostle Paul started with spirit and ended with body. This is how the Tabernacle was constructed. In 1 Cor. 3: 16 the Bible says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

When anybody really looks at the construction of the Tabernacle God wanted to dwell not only among His people but in His people. The Ark of the Covenant was constructed first and that went in the Holy of Holies to be covered by the Mercy Seat. The Ark represents Jesus Christ (Yeshua). Everything else was built around the Ark.

This is because Jesus Christ changes a person from the inside out. The Bible says in Numbers chapter 2 that the Tabernacle was to be placed in the center of the Twelve Tribes. Everything in the Tabernacle points to Jesus Christ but even more specific our salvation past, present and future are all in Him.The Tabernacle gives us a picture of this.

The outer court represents our spirit and our Salvation in the past tense ( Romans 10: 9-10). The inner court represents our soul and our Salvation in the present tense ( Philippians 2:12). That would be our sanctification through our salvation in the past tense. The Holy of Holies represents our body or our salvation in the future tense. When we get to heaven our body, soul and spirit will be one in Him. Everything that was constructed in the Tabernacle were all symbols of the salvation to come through Jesus Christ.

In Exodus 25:2 relative to the outer court of the Tabernacle God encourages the people to give with their hearts. This involves the spirit of man. The Brazen Altar symbolizes the Cross of Jesus Christ and the Lavor symbolizes the Resurrection.

When we got Saved we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts ( Spirit) because He died on the Cross ( Brazen Altar) and rose from the dead ( Lavor). Do we see why the Apostle Paul could not say (1) Body (2) Soul (3) Spirit in 1 Thes. 5:23.

When we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts we did not do that with our body.We did that with our spirit. The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16.

For the most part the world tries to find God with their soul and body but it can not be done. This was made of bronze and this speaks of judgment. Our sins had to be judged ( bronze). In Lev. 6:13 the Bible tells us the fire was never to go out. This spoke of Jesus Christ dying on the Cross once and for all to take care of the sin problem.

When the people went into the outer court they were very aware that blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. This is exactly what Jesus did for us. He shed His blood for our sins. Heb. 9:22.

The inner court of the Tabernacle which involves our soul or the present tense of our salvation is spoken of in Philippians 2:12-13.This really gives us an incredible picture of our experiential walk with Christ. There is a soulish battle that we have to go through in life and the table of showbread speaks of our experience with Christ on a daily basis.

The Lamp Stand speaks of the body of Christ. We as part of His body are the light of the world. Luke 11:33. There was beaten gold in the inner court which represents our experiences in life. Only the priests could go into the inner court but according to the New Testament in 1 Peter 2:5, Rev. 1:6 we are priests so we are allowed to eat of the Bread of Life ( table of showbread). We read the Scriptures and feed on the Person of Jesus Christ. He is our daily Manna.

Since the veil of the Temple was torn in two we can now come into the presence of God. We obviously need that presence to go through our soulish struggles in life.

After the inner court came the Holy of Holies which is represented of our body or the future tense of our salvation. If the rapture happens as soon as we think it might then we will be airlifted ( raptured) into heaven ( Holy of Holies ).

The High Priest went into the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement. Heb. 9:7. This involves the physical presence of God. We will have our resurrected bodies in His eternal presence. The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies. Jesus Christ is our Ark. In Exodus 30 the incense was in the inner court and in Hebrews chapter 9 the incense was probably moved from the inner court to the Holy of Holies because our communion is now very close to God because of what Jesus Christ did for us at the Cross. We will be in the very physical presence of God with our new resurrected bodies after the rapture of the Church ( Holy of Holies).

Do you remember when the Apostle Paul got saved? He was really excited and started a church in Damascus but you never heard of those Believers again. Paul probably started that Church in the flesh and they just dwindled off. Paul had to be moved to complete need by Jesus Christ Himself. Perhaps when Paul had a thorn in his flesh he was at the number 2 level. This denotes division and it is being highlighted in his life. This was his soulish struggle.

Suffering is gift from God that nobody wants.Paul was knee deep in pain but his response was submission to God.

In Matthew 18:20 it says " For where TWO ( emphasis mine) or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." The number 2 is the number of division ( soulish struggle) but it can also be a dual meaning of two Believers coming together.

What is the basic theme of prayer meetings? The World is tough ( division) so let's gather together in prayer as Believers ( uniting). Christians go home but they are still going through the soulish struggle. Life is not nice. What is God doing? He is working through Christians in His power.

All of the characters in the Bible went through soulish struggles. Due to time I will just briefly mention 2 interesting people that made the Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter 11. Sarah and Samson.

Sarah spent most of her life in isolation and rejection yet she must have allowed God to strengthen her more toward the end of her life because she is in Hebrews chapter 11 (The Hall of Faith). Samson was a trouble maker among other things yet in those last 20 years of his life when he was blinded and held captive he must have let God strengthen him. He is in Hebrews chapter 11 ( The Hall of Faith).

The Holy Spirit is inside of us making us stronger through the grace of Jesus Christ. God wants to take Believers in Him to the third level of experiential completeness in Him. Like I said we are already positionally complete in Christ. Col. 2: 10. He understands that the world is really tough but "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him." Nahum 1:7.

If God sees something lodged inside of us that is not good then we will probably learn the hard way. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you will probably still go thorough a soulish struggle in life but never get the victory.This is only found through Jesus Christ.

You may not want to be in the script but you have already been scripted in ( past tense) before the foundation of the world because you were born. You have a choice. Since we are so close to the rapture I am praying that many people receive Jesus Christ into their hearts.

Let me just say nobody will ever know some of the really bad soulish struggles that some people did and/are enduring. It will be revealed on the other side. The Apostle Paul spoke of it in Romans chapter 6,7 and 8.

John the Baptist probably said it best in John 3:30. He said " He must increase, but I must decrease." Unless we understand the increase/decrease principle we will never allow God to take us to the third level. When God takes us from the second to third level it is a little mysterious. We will never totally be able to figure it out because a work of God is a mystery. It surpasses all understanding. I know this because that is what the Bible says in Philippians 4:7. By the way I'm not saying a Believer can't go back to the soulish level of their problems. Just because God progresses His children in His experiential power does not mean he or she won't go through another perhaps more intense trial. They probably will.

We are glad that we are just about to be raptured into the loving arms of Jesus Christ in Heaven? It is possible that God can take us so far into the spirit that we might actually forget what our soulish problem even was? In Hebrews 2:9 the Bible is saying Jesus was made for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor. In verse 10 it says our salvation is made PERFECT ( emphasis mine) through sufferings. This perfection is level 3.

This person that I am talking about is already a Christian but God is working on him. I just want to note that the Apostle Paul was circumstantially bound in prison at the end of his life but he was free on the inside through Jesus Christ (Yeshua). God brought the Apostle Paul to the third complete level and I think that it is very interesting that this is when he started writing letters to the Churches. He did not have the full wisdom of God to do this earlier in his ministry.

In Philippians 1:6 it says that God will continue to do a good work in our life until the day of Jesus Christ. I want you to see how different the first level is in comparison to the third level. On the first level (it's more about me;I have a responsibility before God to get saved -- to get right before God ) the third level ( it's all about Jesus Christ). God progresses us to a type of the Holy of Holies.

There is a fork in the road between level 2 and level 3. When we trust God we are meditating on Him.When we worry we are giving the devil meditation. The devil is not capable of granting us anything because he can not even tell the truth.

God has to test our faith. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me...Psalm 138:7.We went through many deep soulish trials and struggles and now we are trusting God that He will give us the strength to face the giants.

When I researched this it made me think about my problems. God of course keeps working on us because He sees the whole picture.

There are so many neat examples I could give you regarding this 1,2,3 principle. (1) Father (2) Son, (3) Holy Spirit. (1) Omniscience (2) Omnipresence (3) Omnipotence. (1) Eternity Past (2) Eternity Present (3) Eternity Future.

When the word Shepherd was ascribed to Jesus Christ, depending upon where He was in eternal history it progressed (1) The Good Shepherd ( John 10:14), (2) The Great Shepherd ( Heb. 13:20), (3) The Chief Shepherd ( 1 Peter 4:5). This title actually progresses from death to resurrection to His glory.

Our Lord's being is perfect and so is His office. (1) Prophet (2) Priest (3) King (Deut. 17: 18). From the back drop of Christianity a person (1) Becomes regenerated ( accepts Jesus Christ into their heart) (2) Attempts to grow in the Lord through problems and trials (soulish struggle) (3) The person hopefully becomes mature after the soulish struggle and starts to focus upon the Person of Jesus Christ to unite rather than divide in the Spirit of God.

This is where we meet God in a deep way so a person at this point has his priorities right and can now focus on Jesus Christ and put His principles into action. There is (1) Faith (2) Hope (3) Love. From the back drop of faith (1) I think I can. (2) I know I can. (3) It is already done. Maturity is a process of completion that God must accomplish in our lives as His children.

I would like to give you just one more example. (1) Primary interpretation. (2) Practical application and (3) Prophetic implication. God is not stopping at the primary and practical. He is going into the prophetic. Jesus is coming very soon.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord, Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10.

Time is truly running out. Today is the day of salvation because there might not be a tomorrow. Nobody is going to want to miss the rapture because the world will get really bad. Jesus Christ is the only answer! Receive Him into your heart and live for Him. Watch for His return and be ready at any moment. Glory to God Jesus Christ is coming very soon!
Bob D.