Thursday, January 31, 2013

THE DELUSIONAL AMONG US

The Delusional Among Us
1/31/2013
 
“…for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” 2 Thessalonians 2:11. The Greek word “energeia” is translated into our English language as “strong”. Interestingly, this Greek word is used in the New Testament only of superhuman strength. God shall send them strong delusion. The English words “should and believe” stem from one Greek word “pisteuō” which means: to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in.
The fact that there are people today walking around in a state of delusion is obvious. Here’s an example of delusional: Many people right here in America view their current president as the messiah – is that not delusional?  “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:5. Our current president may not verbally claim to be the Christ, although many others in positions of authority and the media here in the US have done just that, he nonetheless has deceived many – and he never refutes those delusional declarations promoting his deity.
 
The Greek word for delusion is “planē” and it means: a wandering, a straying about, one led astray from the right way. Metaphorically speaking it means: mental straying, error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion, error which shows itself in action, a wrong mode of acting, that which leads into deceit or fraud – deception. The Greek word “pseudos” is translated into our English as “lie”. The actual meaning of the Greek word is: conscious and intentional falsehood. Last year at the Democratic convention our Creator God was overwhelmingly booed, thus forcefully removed from that gathering. But the liar (the current occupier of the Oval Office) was hailed as god. Is that not a conscious and intentional falsehood – is that not essence of delusional?
 
Who are “they” that Paul is speaking of in 2 Thessalonians 2:11? “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:12. They are those who’ve been presented with the truth of God’s word and yet they’ve rejected it as false. This verse then takes us a step further in describing these truth rejecters. They had pleasure in unrighteousness. The Greek word translated into English as unrighteousness comes from a Greek root word that actually means deceitful; in other words, besides having no reverence for God these folks take pleasure in being deceitful.
 
The delusion which God has sent cannot be of any human origin, nor will “they” be able to resist this delusion. It is supernatural and it is of such power that those who will not believe the truth will stand before the White Throne Judgment seat of Almighty God – they are condemned. “…he that believeth not is condemned already…” John 3:18
 
“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. This strong delusion has not been lying dormant but has been active for quite some time now. This God sent delusion has been spreading over the nations of this world and is taking its toll on those who live their life as though there is no God. They are quite delusional, and even though they can produce an abundance of excuses as to why they don’t believe, God sees them wholly without excuse.
 
“…there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13:1. In other words, those who are in authority over any populous in any nation have been placed in those positions by God Himself. We are told we should obey the powers that rule our land. This holds true with paying our taxes and being in obedience to the laws of the land. However, nothing can supersede God’s precepts. We follow our God first and if we are told to vary from God’s ways we must respectfully decline to do so. The strong delusion that God has placed over this planet will only affect the unbelieving, and that includes the unbelieving who are ordained by God.
 
Those with the propensity to believe a lie because they’ve refused the truth are being led into what can only be referred to as the great abyss. Those who see the current leadership in America as well as other nations as benevolent are delusional. To the true “in Christ” believer there is no doubt as to the direction this nation is heading via its current leadership. As I’ve pointed out previously, the word of God tells us that He is the power that decides who will fill the positions of authority in every nation. Believing that God has only benevolence in mind towards the nations of the world when ordaining such persons for authority is an erroneous assumption; He loves us all, and occasionally He chastises those who love Him. That being true, how does He perceive and deal with those who love Him not? Judgment!
 
“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 1:21-23. Some of these foolish people (pagans) spoken of in Romans chapter 1 above have recently been elected to Congress. Are they there to do God’s will? Yes! But the question must be asked “Why would God place these foolish, ungodly people into offices of authority over Americans?” Could there be judgment in store for the good ‘ol US of A? Certainly the enemy’s agenda, to place Christians under persecution and even destroying us, is now nearing fulfillment.
 
Under this current administration’s many new directives, Christians are being discriminated against. The persecution most American Christians at one time believed would never materialize here in the land of the free and the home of the brave has done just that. Why does it seem this particular administration is different than the last few administrations? Simple, America is in the way. In the way of what, you might ask. Prophecy being fulfilled – which includes a one world order.
 
America was originally established to be self-sufficient in the governance of its populous; we needed no interference from outsiders. Indeed we would not even tolerate interference of any kind. With our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence we hold exclusivity, and that exclusivity is not conducive to a one world anything, especially not a one world government. Therefore something must “change” or America remains a stumbling block to the power elite. In this instance it is the laws of the land which will be diverted to promote a more worldly order, thus allowing the greatness of America to diminish while a one world regime arises on the scene.
 
Many Americans and foreigners alike now see the above scenario as the necessary ingredient for moving humanity into the utopian existence they perceive is currently waiting just out of sight. These folks are delusional. The strong delusion that God has already sent to confound the unbelieving populous of planet earth is so strong that these people are now horribly blinded and they may never see the light of truth again. They will follow any lie which is perceived as truth. This is because the ability to distinguish the difference between truth and lies has been removed by God’s strong delusion; all because of their unbelief.
 
At this point you might be asking “What lie is it that you are referring to which will lead the masses astray?” It’s not one lie but a whole mindset of confusion. The strong delusion that God has sent leads the unbelieving world into the realm of delusion. Think about it like this. Have we not become painfully aware over the past four years that the man who occupies the Oval Office is a notorious liar? Did God not place him in that position over us – twice? It shouldn’t be too difficult for the truly born again to recognize a narcissistic, consummate liar. But those who’ve rejected the truth of God’s word find him irresistible. Why? The lie, the strong delusion, is upon them, while being completely devoid of godly discernment. Remember this, the antichrist will promote and build his agenda on “a lie”.
 
What can we do about all this delusion taking place? God has sent a strong delusion so that the people who would not believe His truth would in turn believe “a lie”. There is nothing we can do about this God sent delusion except continue to be the light in a dark and unbelieving world.
 
We are living in the last days, and soon Jesus will take His Ekklesia home. Therefore should we not be about our Father’s business? Here in America, as well as around the world, there are already many who are completely delusional. The longer we stand on the sidelines waiting to enter the game, the more delusional people will take the field before us. Get in the game. All the unbelieving Christ rejecters in this world are without hope – give them that hope. The Holy Spirit is always at work. Shouldn’t we join Him?  
 
The children of God should find great distinctions between the delusional and themselves. We can plainly see that the delusion that has gripped so many can only be of supernatural origin. But lest we ever forget, Christian’s have been given a mandate from their King. We are to love one another, we are to help our brethren in need, we are to love our enemies, we are to be the light in a dark world while proclaiming the Gospel message to the lost, we are to hold fast to the faith, and we are to occupy ‘til He comes. Although the delusional are among us today in great numbers, and growing at an exponential rate, none of the mandates in the list above should ever be eliminated simply because people are turning delusional. They are God’s mandates for His children and nowhere in His word does He tell us to cease spreading His Gospel.
 
We are living in very exciting times in which we have been given the opportunity to witness the beginnings of the birth pangs Jesus speaks about in Matthew chapter 24. Christians can sojourn in this world ignoring the signs that indicate the lateness of the hour, and put off until tomorrow the spreading of the Gospel of Christ. Or, we can be everything our God and Saviour is expecting from His children – today. Your choice.
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham
 
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed
 
Please continue your prayers for my health. My eyesight has become a major problem, and the Myasthenia is worsening, none of the treatments have been successful. I’m in stage 2 diabetes which is caused by the steroids I’m taking as a treatment for the MG. The prostate cancer is back and I have begun hormone treatments again. Through all this “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”



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Sunday, January 27, 2013

WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN

When Will We Ever Learn
1/24/2013
 
“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.” Isaiah 26:9. God’s judgment is not only currently and firmly on American soil, but on planet earth as a whole. As this world’s civilization moves ever closer into the arena of that of the antediluvian world we shall see heartache and pain move from the micro to the macro. Then “the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
 
I peruse various news sites on the web attempting to get an idea of what’s happening around this globe, this is something I’ve done for quite some time now. The comments which appear at the bottom of many news articles are disturbing to say the least. They are consistently overwhelmingly posted by folks who are either fed up with the Fed or sick of the current administration’s attempts at regulating their lives. The comments themselves are filled with disdain for our American government’s leadership. This may be difficult to comprehend by folks in other countries as our government’s leadership is elected by a majority of voters here in America.
 
Almost immediately after the election of 2008 a bombardment of complaints began concerning America’s then current leadership and pointed, in particular, at the newly elected president who had determined that America was headed in the wrong direction. It became apparent that he had an agenda which included correcting the path the US had been on for many years. He ran his campaign on the premise of change. For a large part of the last four years I continually read and heard the mass cry “Anyone but Obama” as an alternative to Obama’s apparent mismanagement of our Federal Government. All this came from a fed up populous of voters who were excited as they fully anticipated a change in leadership would befall the US on November 6, 2012.
 
Interestingly, by a huge majority of delusional American’s this man with his agenda of change was re-elected, I presume so that he might continue his agenda unimpeded. Even before this man was inaugurated for his second term in office the voices and rhetoric of distain had begun again. As I stated, the current president was re-elected by a huge majority, and I might add that for all intents and purposes he destroyed his opponent’s political career.
 
So, what does this mean in terms of the future of America? It means that the people of this great nation have spoken, and quite loudly I might add. What this man did in his first four years in office will be seen as nothing more than political maneuvering compared to the changes he’s poised to make in his next four. There are those in leadership who are now calling for a change in the United States Constitution so this man can be placed in office for a third term, or even be re-elected for life.
 
So the question, which is also the title of this commentary, “When Will We Ever Learn” seems quite appropriate at this juncture. We now have a newly enacted law that covers our healthcare in this country. Apparently, unbeknownst to many, it includes some very restricting language that will eventually affect every American. This legislation which was and is very unpopular with the very same electorate who placed this man in office for a second term will be the undoing of many of our God given rights. Now we see this president pushing to remove guns from the hands of every law abiding American citizen (watch for the confiscation of our Bibles with huge bonfires to follow).
 
Taxes have skyrocketed with the beginning of 2013 and not just for the wealthy but for all, and of course the lion’s share will come as usual from those who cannot afford them. Our current leader has been rejuvenated by his success at the voting poles and now feels fully justified in his liberal agenda, which includes an aggressive push on the following: the promotion of the legitimacy of homosexuality which of course includes same sex marriage, abortion on demand, and the trimester murder of  fully developed and perfectly healthy human beings (all incidentally funded by the government) and now we see the push to fully open our borders to all, free healthcare along with welfare payments for all new arrivals from other countries, but not for the natural born citizen, and of course it goes on and on.
 
At a recent prophecy conference in Texas, Hal Lindsey had spoken about how America as it was purposed and as we once knew it is already gone. I agree, and I’m sure there are other writers who will agree, that America has seen its better days. We are no longer in decline but we have hit bottom, which is obvious from the electorate and their overwhelming desire to place a man who sees himself as our messiah, and who shows his every aspiration is that of a dictator. America will not survive in this mode. Since we don’t find America in Bible prophecy, this could be a clue as to why. With what is currently and constantly being exposed through various news sites on the web, and I assume from your local TV stations, this world has turned very angry and evil. Kind of reminds me of what we read about in our Bibles, and many of us believe transpired, in the book of Genesis chapter 6.
 
This nation of ours has fallen from grace. By eliminating the source of all good (God Himself) from the sphere of our elected officials we have set the stage for a coup. Satan orchestrated that coup and has now set up camp in Washington DC with his headquarters at 1900 Pennsylvania Avenue. Of course, he has branch offices set up in the halls of Congress, as well as in the Supreme Court building. So Americans can now be assured that all three branches of government are firmly in the control of the worst enemy humanity could possibly imagine. Breaking that stronghold cannot and will not be accomplished by the unbelieving masses which allowed and even encouraged that coup.
 
So what is the mindset of most of those who are the complainers on these blogs I’ve mentioned? “We’ll take our country back. We will surely see another civil war on American soil, and soon. We will secede from the Federal government and run our own states our own way.” Oh, I see. What you are saying is that a bunch of softies who, for the most part, have never had to defend themselves against a foreign enemy and who are now living very comfortable lives and growing old and debilitated are going to stand up against the Feds by means of an armed revolt?
 
Let’s consider the logistics of that little maneuver and how it might play out. We the people, well some of us at least, armed with pistols, shotguns, a few deer rifles, and the crème de la crème those pesky little AR15’s and Ak47’s (which our current president and most liberals and progressives simply hate) are going to engage an enemy of far superior strength and weaponry? Our purpose will be to take back our government, or perhaps we will simply secede from the US. That scenario sounds a lot like the Revolutionary War on a mass of steroids. The Revolutionary War was, for the most part, equal in terms of weaponry. There is currently no equal, on this continent at least, of the might of the US military.
 
Now let’s see what the Feds have up their sleeve in regards to crushing any dissention in the ranks. Last I heard the Feds had developed a fleet of drones that are operated from some air base in Arizona. These crafts are stealth-like and even if they are shot down no military personnel lose their lives. These crafts are equipped with plenty of munitions which consist of payloads which will ensure the decapitation of any armed civilian revolt. Need I go any further? Okay let’s try this one. The Feds have at their disposal an enormous fleet of Military armored vehicles such as M1A1/2 Abrams, which is the main battle tank of the US that any revolutionaries would be wise to steer far clear of. If one of these tanks rolls up your driveway looking for hostile American terrorists (and that’s what you will be classified as), you’re toast.
 
Keep in mind now that revolution takes an army, and here in America there is already a standing army of soldiers, all of which have sworn to protect the United States of America. What is a rag tag bunch of armchair quarterbacks and deer hunters who have been seeking only pleasure for years now going to do against a well trained military presence that already occupies massive areas in every state in this nation? To be sure, the Fed’s military will have been given orders to shoot on sight anyone attempting to bring revolt against an otherwise peaceful nation. Military personnel will be convinced that they are protecting the people of America against an invading army of terrorists. They won’t be told that the people they are killing in battle are essentially the same people they’ve swore to protect.
 
Now that America has turned the corner and is headed full on into obscurity, what of God’s children? We are sinners, every one of us. We’ve sinned greatly as we have given in to the enemy on every front. We’ve exchanged our morals for advantage, our rights for luxury, and our minds for programmed television – and God got the boot. But “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” 1 John 2:1. We have been forgiven for all our failings. Now is the time to turn from all unrighteousness and embrace God’s precepts for our lives. God is very close at hand and will not wait much longer before removing His Ekklesia from this planet. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12.
 
Americans live in a nation whose roots are were established as a people escaping tyranny. But by an obvious majority, Americans are now fully accepting and even embracing the very concept of tyranny. This is a sad commentary on America but true. What can we do as God’s children when confronted, as we are, with the obvious bleak future of life in America, and the entire world for that matter? “When Will We Ever Learn?” 
 
As Christians we are to stand firm on God’s word without wavering, but many who claim to be Christians are not so inclined. As we look around at the disappearance of our nation’s God given rights, our once revered values, and the fact that the populous has been horribly dummbed down, we who proclaim Christ until He comes can be assured of this truth – God has not abandoned His children. We will not face even one day of America’s future without Him. He is with us always. “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5.
 
We, the children of God, have the power the failing governments of the world can only dream of securing. Christians alone have been given this power. We are the children of the Most High God. How do we activate that power? Prayer. We have a direct line of communication to the Throne Room of God. Pray without ceasing. Take that step now. Move into contact mode with your Father on High. He is fully able to guard His children from the enemy’s antics. Jesus Christ is our shield and our protection. We are His righteous children. He’s waiting; His deep desire is to hear from us – all of us. How many of you will join me in praying that Jesus our Messiah removes His Ekklesia before the enemy gains any further strongholds in our land, or for that matter anywhere on this globe?
 
God bless us all,
 
Ron Graham
 
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed
 
Please continue your prayers for my health. The diabetes has taken a detrimental effect on my eyesight, the Myasthenia is worsening and both the MG and the diabetes have begun to take a real toll on my body. The prostate cancer is back and I must begin hormone treatments again.  Through all this “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.
.


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

COLLECTING...FOR THE SAINTS

Collecting… for the Saints
1/17/2013
 
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.” 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. First notice that Paul says “concerning the collection for the saints” Paul specifically states who the collection is for… the Jerusalem saints. The purpose of the collection was to help provide the saints in Jerusalem with sustenance – apparently they were in great need.
 
Secondly, we find the true understanding of the verse above to be somewhat diverted in our English translations. The English phrase “the first day of the week” is translated from the Greek words “mia sabbaton”. The Greek word “mia” means “only one or someone” and it comes from a root word that simply means “one”; it does not mean “every” such as every week. The Greek word “sabbaton” is translated into Greek from the Hebrew word “Sabbath”. Sabbaton means seventh, as in the seventh day of the week, or it can simply “week.”
 
If we back up a few chapters to 1 Corinthians 7:1 we find that Paul has received a letter from Corinth. He’s attempting to answer the concerns of that particular assembly. In chapter 16 Paul continues his reply to that same assembly, this time it’s in regards to a collection for the saints in Jerusalem. Paul spends two chapters on this subject – the ministering to the saints. He’s concerned for the plight of the saint’s in Jerusalem. As Paul did with the assemblies in Galatia, he requests that those in Corinth help their brethren in Jerusalem.
 
I’ve received numerous letters from my readers who’ve requested a biblical explanation of tithing. I’ll not attempt to turn my brethren away from giving. On the contrary, I wholeheartedly convinced that giving of our abundance as we purpose in our own hearts is of God. We, as the children of God, more than any other people on earth should be of the mindset of helping our brothers and sisters “in Christ” who are in need. In this commentary I will attempt to set many minds at ease when it comes to tithing, using the inerrant word of God as our guide.
 
What is God’s view of tithing? There is no example of tithing in the New Testament. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10% of everything they earned back to God. One reason for giving back a portion of what God had blessed them with was the need of the Levites. The Levites were priests, thus they had been given no land. Without any land they had no way to sustain themselves. They relied on the rest of the Israelite tribes for their sustenance.
 
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart…” 2 Corinthians 9:7. On the other hand, the “ekklēsia” (the called out congregation of Jesus’ followers) was never given the commandment or directive to tithe. Giving with a glad heart pleases God, giving one percent or ten percent of our abundance, or giving everything we have, is a decision based solely on how we purpose giving in our own heart. No man should be provoking another brother to give or to give more than they’ve purposed in their heart.
 
We are given confirmation of the Greek word “mia” meaning “one” and not “every” in another verse in Matthew. “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.” Matthew 28:1. Clearly Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the sepulcher only once. They didn’t arrive “every week” seeking to prepare the body of our Lord for burial, but one time only.
 
“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:” 2 Corinthians 9:1. The Greek word “perissos” is translated into our English word “superfluous”, and a more defined meaning would be: over and above, more than is necessary. In other words by now its apparent from Paul’s statement above that the assembly at Corinth were keenly aware of what Paul expected of them concerning the collection for the saints… unto Jerusalem
 
1 Corinthians 16 and 2 Corinthians 9 are the two main chapters used by those who wish to bind the Ekklesia of Christ with a stumbling block - one of tithing. Yet, as we study the original Greek language, we find these two chapters have nothing to do with tithing or giving on a continual weekly basis. Nor do we find in Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians any exhorting of the faithful to collect weekly, not to mention for the purposes for which they are collected today.
 
Basically what Paul is requesting is “one” offering to take place on the seventh day of the week. Remember who he’s writing to. These were Gentiles who had become Christians, they had never been observers of the Sabbath. Nor did this offering have anything to do with worship services; Paul wasn’t telling the Corinthians to worship on “Sabbaton” but to collect liberality (a onetime gift)… on the seventh day. And, as I’ve already mentioned, to give it to those saints who were suffering in Jerusalem. Don’t take my word for the correct rendering of the original Greek but look them up in your own concordance/dictionaries.
 
The correct interpretation of 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 indicates that the collection Paul requested was not something he admonished the parishioners to repeat every week. It was a onetime blessing for the saints in Jerusalem collected from the assemblies in Galatia and Corinth. Paul made it clear he intended to send one of the brothers of the Corinth congregation to Jerusalem with this one time offering. That was it. Paul never says bring your tithes every Sabbaton so we can build new beautiful buildings, pay pastoral salaries, pay for grounds upkeep, musical instruments, stages, lighting, sound systems, and all the rest of the entertainment specialties that people seem to need today. These verses have been used to accommodate the hierarchy (the clergy) for hundreds of years, but as I’ve just demonstrated this was clearly not God’s intent.
 
Please don’t misunderstand my intentions with this commentary. I’m only trying to give my readers a clearer picture of the correct interpretation when it comes to tithing – from scripture. There are many pastors who are under extreme pressure from their board of directors to squeeze more from their congregations in regards to funding. In most cases these funds are not used to help the suffering brethren but, as I’ve already mentioned, to add sources of entertainment or pay for overhead to an already bloated building fund.
 
Supporting others in need through our own abundance is exactly what Jesus teaches us in the parable of the Samaritan. Almost immediately, as Jesus begins this parable, He uses the word compassion. However, He never mentions that this Samaritan was under orders from his pastor or anyone else to help the man who had been attacked by thieves. The parable tells us that the Samaritan purposed in his own heart to help this man. Instead of passing by, Jesus showed that this Samaritan loved this man with a sacrificial love. He didn’t wait to be asked; seeing the need right in front of him was enough to compel him to action. He also gave freely of both his time and his resources.  He didn’t filter his giving through a “benevolence” fund or send it to a charity where most of the funds were siphoned off for administration purposes, but shouldered the responsibility himself. By laying out this parable, Jesus was attempting to answer the question “Who is our neighbor?” What we come to understand from this parable is that everyone is our neighbor. We should have compassion for our fellow man, no matter who that person may be.    
 
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” James 2:15-16.  In many cases we pray for the hungry, naked, and destitute but give them little if anything at all to eat, cover themselves with, or help them pay their monthly heating cost. If we are of no help to others what profit, or what benefit, is it to them? Here’s a suggestion. Look around your own community or congregation and see who is in need, then help them directly. Even if you want to stay anonymous there are ways to accomplish that also.
 
Anyone who tells you that if you don’t tithe you can’t be born again is mistaken. Many in Christian leadership continually insist that the members of their congregations who don’t tithe are standing against God’s precepts. Jesus Christ is our Saviour and He is our King, and a King doesn’t tax his own children. We’re free to give as we prosper and as we purpose in our hearts.
 
“…so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7. The Greek word “lypē” is translated into our English word “grudgingly”, and it means: sorrow, pain, grief. We aren’t to be in serious state of wanting ourselves when we give because then we will be giving grudgingly. The Greek word “anagkē” is translated into our English word “necessity” and it means: imposed either by the circumstances, or by law of duty regarding to one’s advantage, custom, argument, calamity, distress, straits. In other words, no one should be provoking us or brow beating us into giving or tithing. Clearly when we give we are to give out of our love for someone else – God says give cheerfully, joyfully; when we do so we honor God pleasing Him in love.
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham

Thursday, January 03, 2013

DISTRACTIONS, DIVERSIONS, AND DECEPTIONS

Distractions, Diversions, and Deceptions
1/03/2013
 
“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Revelation 20:2. Until Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit for a thousand years, his deceptive influence will remain here on earth. Satan is the father of deceptions and roams to and fro across the globe deceiving earth’s populous. Over the past 6,000 years or so he’s perfected his lying, deceitful ways and promoted his craftiness with all tenacity. Many of us can plainly see his blatant attempts at distracting mankind, leading them into all sorts of diversions which ultimately lead them to believe his deceptions. But there are many satanic distractions which most people, even professing Christians, would never associate with Satan.
 
Let’s first get an idea of just what those three words – distractions, diversions, and deceptions mean.
 
1.)  Distractions: anything which takes a person’s attention away from something else.
2.)   Diversion: a change in the direction or path away from what was originally set forth.
3.)  Deceptions: the practice of deliberately making somebody believe things that are not true, an act, trick, or contrivance intended to deceive or mislead somebody.
 
All three of the above nouns described above are promoted by the satanic realm for the purpose of manipulation. Who is being manipulated? You and I. As Christians, when we become distracted or diverted from what God would have us be involved in, it’s then that the deceptions of the enemy begin to have an adverse effect on our lives. Imagine the effect those three D’s named above have on the unsuspecting Christ rejecters.
 
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18. We can’t see into the realm of the eternal, but Christians believe there is another dimension where those who’ve not rejected God’s free gift of salvation will end up. There are marvelous unseen things in Heaven awaiting the children of God. Although it’s probably a real good thing that we can’t currently see into the realm of the supernatural, because along with the marvelous things that await us there’s a realm of extreme evil which surrounds us. But thanks to God it’s invisible to humans. The malevolent realm of the supernatural has been kept from our sight because of our inability to contend with pure evil. We have a difficult enough time avoiding the pitfalls of the enemy as it is.
 
The worldly distractions with which we’ve all been overwhelmed in this life are actually diversions created for an express purpose. Nothing we see or do which brings pleasure into our lives is of God, unless God is centered in that pleasure. From birth to death our God should be our center. God Himself is never going to involve us in schemes and diversions that drag us farther away from following Him and His word. All distractions which eliminate or supplant God are satanically created to deceive, and they are endless.
 
There are too many satanic distractions, diversions, and deceptions to mention them all. Suffice it to say they are all tried and true as far as creating a wall of separation between us and our God. As I’ve stated numerous times in various commentaries, television is the enemy’s three D’s tool of choice. If we are staring at a television screen watching re-runs of LA Law, are we not being diverted away from God? When our senses are inflamed with obscene jocularity by watching some perverse TV comedian are we giving any thought to God? The internet with its saturation of instant pornography must surely follow at a close second behind Television’s huge allure. There are many other distractions which can easily be seen for what they are. Using the common sense God gave us to evaluate distractions, diversions, and deceptions isn’t difficult, but we must be willing.
 
Diverting us away from God is the enemy’s goal as he attacks us with his endless lies. Satan will never cease his deceiving ways, especially as long as we continually comply with his agenda. Some people are thoroughly reliant on those three D’s for their entertainment. It’s not until we finally realize what Satan is doing and resist him that he will flee from us. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.
 
Our young children attend public schools where God is forbidden to enter. How long are we going to allow our children to be indoctrinated with the humanistic agenda? I’ll tell you. Long enough to allow the enemy to divert them away from God, the God who created them in His likeness. Research shows that 95% of all Christian students who graduate from a secular high school leave behind all Christian fellowship by the time they enter collage. This is a disturbing statistic and it can be verified by doing a search on the Barna Research Group website.
 
For many years the world has been introducing our young children to every kind of immoral and degrading wickedness known to man. Large numbers of very young children are now experimenting with sex, drugs, and alcohol. The enemy has begun a series of distractions, diversions, and deceptions aimed predominately at preschoolers through teens. The enemy’s tactic is to convince them to not only accept his deceptions as truth, but to fully embrace all his doctrines. Abortion, homosexuality, sex out of wedlock, mind altering drugs, the list goes on and on. 
 
Organized and professional sports can be just as deceptive when we consider how much time we devote to them. The distractions and frenzied actions of crazed fans that we see displayed in the modern sports stadiums has its roots in the ancient Roman coliseum where violence and death were condoned. Those Roman games were staged to entertain the populous. As the citizens of Rome watched people being beaten, stabbed, and run through with spears, they were worked into such a frenzy that they became a part of the slaughter urging the participants to either let the defeated participant live or die. What they were watching was the very public spectacle of sanctioned murder. Then it occurred to the leaders of Rome that it would be highly beneficial to Caesar’s rule to eliminate that new sect of people who were not bowing to Rome’s god – Christians – and the deceived masses went wild. I am fully aware of the fact that many of my brethren feel they couldn’t get by without sports. Be that as it may, this is an area where Satan has excelled at his deceptions and he will never stop. 
 
“What do you suggest we do for entertainment and fun, Ron?” exciting and fulfilling. There is pure joy in serving God, and is better than any worldly sport. When we do we will find our joy and satisfaction complete in Christ. Each time you watch an individual get baptized after becoming born again you’ll be cheering right along with God and all the whole host of godly angels as you recognize the joy of the Lord in that event. That baptism would be far superior to any 100 yard touchdown or grand slam ever witnessed.
 
The question the children of God should be concerned with is how do all these distractions honor God? When we finally stand before our Christ at His Bema seat of judgment, how will we respond to this question Jesus might pose “I’ve watched you through the years and I see you’ve memorized the baseball scores of your favorite teams, but can you quote 5 verses from my word?”
 
Of course I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to all of the successful satanic distractions, diversions, and deceptions with which humanity is continually being tempted. This commentary could go on and on and I’m sure right about now many of you will think me quite legalistic or a raving lunatic. If you are still focused on baseball you probably think I’m way out in left field somewhere. Let me finish by saying that in Heaven there will not be any of the satanic distractions, diversions, and deceptions that keep our minds off our God. And no, you will not miss them.
 
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:3-4. When we get to Heaven we will truly desire to be a part of God’s Kingdom. The desires of our heart will be fully aligned with our God’s heart. Some claim the verse above points to our being given the desires of our heart when we reach Heaven – including sports of any kind. We can’t claim the verse above pertains to what our desires will be in Heaven because of the verse that precedes it “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land.” The context of the entirety of those verses point to dwelling in the land – on earth. Therefore, if you believe the desire of your heart is to crave professional sports after you leave planet earth then the desires of your heart are most assuredly satanic. Nothing of Satan’s will ever enter Heaven again, only the things of God.
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham
 
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed