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Bible Verse of The Day — God is Our Strength

In Bible Study, Importance of Prayer, Inspirational on March 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm

2 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

This wonderful verse written by the Apostle Peter, brings so many important messages for the Christian to take to heart. First of all he refers to the “God of all grace.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines grace as: “Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.” Our God is a God of unmerited love and favor. Despite our sin, despite our shortcomings, despite our past, God still wants to pour out His love on us and show His favor in our lives. Not a god of war or of gold or of lightning, God is a God of grace. Loving us even when we denied Him. Peter knew this personally as he denied Christ at the time of Christ’s arrest. How sad and sorrowful must he have felt knowing he let his good friend, teacher and Savior done at the bleakest hour! Yet Christ, in His resurrected body and given all power over Heaven and Earth, did not condemn Peter. He did not tell him “I told you so!” or ask Peter “how could you do that to me?” Instead, He forgave Him. That is grace.

Next we see that God in saving us through Jesus Christ, has also called us to eternal glory. Webster’s states glory is: “The felicity of heaven prepared for the children of God; celestial bliss.” For those who will receive God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, Heaven awaits! God is calling us to come to it. And will it be good? Well the Bible tells us: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9).

But while we are still alive here on Earth, we still face problems, challenges, tragedies and pain. We cry, we suffer and we become ill. Yes, Heaven is awaiting a saved believer in Christ, but Earth still holds problems and drama. The good news is that The Lord is here for us now as well. We will suffer, but have faith, because the strength of Our Lord is perfected in our weakness. When Elijah was on the run from the satanic Queen Jezebel, he cried out to God to die rather than deal with her wrath. As he laid under a juniper tree hopeless and frightened, God responded by sending an angel to comfort him and supernaturally feed him for the journey to Mt. Horeb. He strengthened him for his challenges ahead and stablished him by reminding Elijah that it’s not his battle. The Lord reassured Elijah that He provides what is needed to sustain us. And it got Elijah back on mission.  God is our strength! When we have faith The Lord fights for us. And that knowledge gives a peace that can settle us. A peace that passeth all understanding. When you suffer Beloved, cry out to your God. And trust in Him to feed you, comfort you and strengthen you for the road ahead. All because He loves you so much.

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The Nephilim – Giants in the Bible

In End-Times/Eschatology, Nephilim/Aliens on March 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm

David slaying the giant Goliath -- "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that.."

Numbers 13:31But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

When Moses sent his spies to scout the Promised Land so the children of Israel could enter it, the spies reported seeing beings there who were giants. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that there were races of people at that time who were so large, that regular sized men appeared as “grasshoppers” before them (other references can be found in Deuteronomy 2:10-11, 2:21, and 3:11 or the story of David and Goliath for starters). And we see that when the great servant of the Lord, Joshua, was sent to conquer the Promised Land that God commands him to kill all of the men, women and children of these giant races. They were to be wiped as if any remnant of their kind would post a great danger.

So what is this all about? The Bible of course has the answers. Since the day Satan was removed from his position serving God and cast out of godly service as the first sinner and a traitor (Ezekiel 28), he has been conspiring to try and thwart God’s plan of creation and redemption for humanity. And part of his conspiracy is what caused the flood in Genesis. This conspiracy is going to play out all the way to the End of Ages and as we know will end with our King and Savior Jesus Christ being triumphant over Satan and his armies.

The Days of Noah

So let’s start with Matthew 24:26. In Matthew 24 Jesus discusses the temple in Jerusalem being destroyed while it was still under construction. This prophecy of course came true in 70 AD when Titus destroyed the temple and Israel as a nation. Everything else in Matthew 24 is discussing the period known as The Tribulation. We know this from Matthew 24:3 which states: And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

So clearly we see these are questions regarding the end times. And in Matthew 24:36 The Word says: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Jesus explains that the times on Earth will be like the days of Noah before the flood. So now we should look to those times to see what made them unique. In Genesis chapter 6 the Bible states: 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose… 4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Now many people have debated whether the “sons of God” refers to angels or men. And this is precisely why we have to examine the Bible as a complete book and not just hang ideas on one verse. First of all, the Hebrew words for the “sons of God” is B’nai Ha Elohim, which would means these are Heavenly beings, giving credence to them being fallen angels. And then we see the children of these sons of God and daughters of men were “mighty men” and of “renown.” They were also “giants.” Something in their genetics made them super-sized people. And it was their fallen angelic parentage.

But again, we must keep searching the Bible to make certain of meaning. The Bible is self-confirming and one passage of Scripture can always be confirmed by another. We see the term “sons of God” next used in the book of Job. Job 2:1 states: Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

The Hebrew term here once again is B’nai Ha Elohim. And as we know these sons of God here are clearly Angelic beings who are presenting themselves before The Lord (in Heaven). And Satan is among them (who of course is a fallen cherubim – a type of Heavenly being). So there should be no mistaking what the Hebrew term now means. The implication here is that fallen angels married human women and produced children with them. And this act was so abhorrent to The Lord that He punished them. First with the flood and then with imprisonment.

In Jude 1:6 the Bible states: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

Here we see a reference to angels who left their “habitation” and are reserved in chains until Judgment Day. So which angels could these be? Clearly we should all agree that this is not a reference to Satan. Satan is not in hell. He is roaming the Earth seeking to destroy and deceive as many people as possible (see Job 2 again where the devil says he was walking “to and fro” on the Earth). The Devil and most of his fallen angels are on Earth doing spiritual warfare and will not be sent to Hell until their time of Judgment (Revelations 20). The fallen angels being referenced in Jude are the same angels who had relations with “the daughters of men” (human women). We see the immediate reference to Sodom and Gomorrha afterwards indicating sexual sin (in addition to other lascivious behaviors, the men of Sodom were sexually attracted to the male angels staying with Lot). And as for the “habitation” the angels left, it is the spiritual realm. Many scholars say this habitation refers to the fallen angels leaving Heaven, but again that would not explain why they would already be in hell under chains until Judgment Day since the fallen angels are not in Hell yet.

Looking at 1 Peter 3:19 we see more confirmation: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

So again we see there are spirits who are “in prison” meaning they are already in bondage of Hell. Hell or Sheol at this time, was the holding place for the unsaved who died and Jesus went there to make a triumph over them (Colossians 2:15). And plus, verse 20 makes it clear that the disobedience of these spirits took place at the time of Noah, right before the flood! So again, it all comes back to this time and the specific activity that caused some of the fallen angels to be put in prison before Judgment.

The book of 2 Peter gives even further confirmation: 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; The angels who are already in Hell are again linked to Noah. Plus there is a reference to the sexual sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.

So the question at this point is: why were fallen angels doing this? And why was this such a serious offense that the offending angels were put in Hell immediately? The answer lies in Genesis 3:15.

3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall break thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This amazing, beautiful verse is the first promise of a redeemer, our Messiah Jesus Christ. The Lord is telling Satan that the seed of a woman will eventually crush him. Now we know all over the Bible the lines of genealogy are described through men. The same for a seed (i.e., the seed of Abraham). But the one seed spoken of from a woman is Jesus Christ (“Behold a virgin shall conceive a son and His Name shall be Emmanuel..”). The only way we could be saved was through a virgin birth with The Lord providing the baby to a virgin woman. Jesus being both 100% man and 100% God allowed him to take all sins of humanity and save us all. So Satan, seeking to stop this plan thought of a way to corrupt it: by having fallen angels taking women and having children with them! By doing this he could ruin the lineage of the coming Messiah by making him part fallen angel. And to no surprise, the people who were becoming increasingly mixed with fallen angels were becoming increasingly evil.

The corruption was so bad the Lord states: Genesis 6:5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
The Lord shows regret for even making any living creatures.

But Noah found Grace in the Eyes of God.

In addition to being a faithful servant to The Lord Genesis 6:9 tells us that Noah was “perfect in his generations.” As opposed to referring to his moral perfection (and Noah of course being a man, was not perfect) this phrase meant was that Noah’s lineage was 100% human. Noah did not have any Nephilim in his family line so he was able to carry on the lineage that would lead to Jesus Christ. And we see Genesis 11 goes to great detail to list the lineage going from Noah to Abraham so there is a record.

Of course Satan continued to conspire against The Lord from that point and continues today. The repeated temptation of the Israelites to worship him (in the form of other gods like Baal and Molech), tempting Christ in the wilderness and then going into Judas to provoke the conspiracy to have Christ killed. All these things fulfilled The Lord’s plan because He all along knows what is going to take place and moves all things, good and evil towards His Ultimate just and righteous Purpose. So in the end times will the Nephilim return? It’s possible. Many speculate the alien phenomena could be a “disguise” for this. But the main point for the Christian is to not be deceived by any of this.  Instead, let us rejoice in knowing that no matter what the adversary attempts the ultimate victory lies with Jesus Christ our Risen Savior.

Arizona Town Bans Bible Study

In Persecuted Church, Political Issues on March 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Biblical Principles

Proverbs 25:29 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Matthew 5:10 10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Well the time of outright American persecution seems to have arrived. The story of a the town of Gilbert Arizona banning home Bible studies of town residents has been getting a decent of media coverage. Here is a basic summary:

In November 2009, Oasis of Truth Church was ordered in a letter from a Gilbert code compliance officer to stop church meetings in Pastor Joe Sutherland’s home, based on the town’s Land Development Code. The officer was not responding to a complaint, but to signs he came across near Sutherland’s home about the meetings.

The town contends that, under its zoning code, churches within its borders cannot have any home meetings of any size, including Bible studies, three-person church leadership meetings, and potluck dinners. This ban is defended based upon traffic, parking, and building safety concerns. However, nothing in its zoning code prevents weekly Cub Scouts meetings, Monday Night Football parties with numerous attendees, or large business parties from being held on a regular basis in private homes. In fact, the zoning code explicitly allows some day cares to operate from homes.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal advocacy group that has done great work over the past several years to defend the rights of Christians in America, has now filed an appeal to overturn the town’s decision. The ruling on this is expected today. But the message is clear: there are actual concerted effort to truly limit the Free Exercise of Christianity in America.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The law appears to be on the side of the Church.

When the Apostles were ordered by the authorities to stop preaching in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior they made their feelings clear:
5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Christians do not need to form their own government, secede or start any type of revolution. We also do not need to fight anyone. That is not what Jesus did on Earth and its certainly not what He commanded us to do. But He did command us to worship God, to believe on Him, to care for others and to share the Gospel. And we are to study our Word and pray with each other. And these are things that we should never have to compromise because of a “law.” I pray for the town of Gilbert to repeal this ordinance and for believers nation-wide to see this disturbing trend and increase their faith and devotion for the days ahead.

Nigeria – Christian Killing Fields

In Persecuted Church on March 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Nigerian Christians view a mass grave.

Biblical Principles

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

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

The news is giving very good and extensive coverage of the slaughter of as many as 500 Christians in northern Nigeria, in addition to the scores of other victims who were badly injured during an attack this week. Large groups of Muslim attackers went into three villages and set homes on fire, blocked exit streets and went door to door hacking and murdering Christians with machetes. The military restored order far too late in the eyes of many of the residents there, some accusing them of complicity in the attacks. Even tiny children were not spared from the brutal attacks as they were struck with machetes as well.

Again we see that our brothers and sisters in Christ are being targeted just for their faith. The persecution around the world continues to spread at a rapid pace. We must continue to pray for Christians who are suffering overseas that their faith remains strong in the face of persecution. All of this is what Jesus prophesied 2,000 years ago. The Apostle Paul was constantly suffering persecution, whether it was being attacked or thrown in jail or attempts on his life. But yet when he wrote his disciple Timothy he simply stated: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). And for those of us in countries where we are not being attacked for our faith by marauding gangs, let us give thanks To The Lord and use our time and freedom to spread the Gospel, build up one another in the faith and share the love of Jesus Christ. So when persecution comes, we will be ready to trust in our Savior and face it.

Bible Verse of The Day — God Wants Us All in Heaven

In Bible Study, Inspirational, Love on March 9, 2010 at 8:02 pm

2 Peter 3:9 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.

What a wonderful promise that we have in this epistle of Peter. At times we wonder why the wickedness and sin in the world continues to flourish and thrive. We see those who promote sinful living doing well. And we wonder when is God going to come and judge the world! Well hold that thought and consider how loving, kind and merciful our God is. The more time it takes for God to bring in the end-times and judgment, the longer everyone has to find salvation in Jesus Christ. God is suffering a sinful world with the hope that more sinners will acknowledge their sin and look to Christ Jesus as their Savior before it’s too late. He is giving more time out of love for us. For a non-believer, consider this a blessing. God is letting you know that He does not want you or any of the worst criminals, despots or tyrants in the world to die in their sins and suffer eternal punishment. His Will is that “ALL should come to repentance” (emphasis added).

There is no set “VIP List.” No matter what your past is. No matter how vile your sins, they can all be cleansed by the blood of Christ shed on the cross. The Apostle Paul was hunting down Christians and approving of them being murdered for their faith. Yet he became one of the greatest missionary and preachers of all time. Despite his horrible past as open enemy of Jesus, he was forgiven. In Isaiah’s first chapter The Lord tells us: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;..” The Hebrew word for “reason” implies that we can be corrected or made right. It’s the justification that God wants to give us that can make the sinner who is filthy with her wrongs, clean again. But most importantly, The Lord shows us that He wants this. He invites us to eternal life. He does not want us to suffer and is not sitting back waiting with baited breath for the day He can smite the Earth and destroy every last heathen. His Will is that all should believe and be saved. For a believer, this is encouragement! Knowing this beloved, instead of counting down the days until Judgment, count yourself blessed to have more time to share the Gospel with your loved ones, friends and strangers alike. For those close to you who seem like they’ll never listen or ever believe, just remember, God has invited them. Plant the seeds of the Gospel and let the power of God to salvation in Christ do the rest. And maybe, you will see someone who was branded a “lifetime sinner” become an eternal child of the King. After all, that’s exactly what your Father in Heaven is waiting for.

Internet Safety 101 — Protecting Kids From Porn

In Family on March 8, 2010 at 7:14 am



Biblical Principles

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Mark 9:42 And whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

There is a new website devoted to providing a package of resources for parents to protect their children from all of the sin and filth on the web called Internet Safety 101. The package helps parents on using technology to block sites on computers, monitor internet use and speak to their children about the rampant porn and violence on the internet. Parents really need to get on the ball on this issue. The internet is an unprecedented portal into the sinful world. Having a computer with web access in the bedroom of a child is like leaving them alone in their room with stacks of X-rated magazines and movies every night. Not to mention that through social networking and dating sites, the ability for adults to contact children for intimate conversation or actual dating has become incredibly easy. Meanwhile the parents are none the wiser as some articles and surveys show.
To give a bit of an example, let’s look at some quick facts:

Of students aged 13 and 14 from schools across Alberta, Canada, 90 percent of males and 70 percent of females reported accessing sexually explicit media content at least once.1

The study revealed that boys do the majority of deliberate viewing, and a significant minority now plans social time around viewing porn with male friends. 2

Porn has become a major presence in the lives of youth, and while a majority of teens surveys said their parents expressed concern about sexual content, that concern has not led to discussion or supervision, and few parents are using available technology to block sexual content.3

In the survey, most kids who reported unwanted exposure were aged 13 to 17. Still, sizable numbers of 10- and 11-year-olds also had unwanted exposure — 17 percent of boys and 16 percent of girls that age. 4

A new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 4% of cell-owning teens ages 12-17 say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging, a practice also known as “sexting”; 15% say they have received such images of someone they know via text message.

There are many studies which show the damaging effects of pornography and we are living in a generation of unprecedented exposure among children thanks to the internet. And certainly from a spiritual standpoint it’s bringing sexual lust and fornication into their minds and hearts. We have a duty to protect children from this and keep them close to God. Step 1 – don’t let a child have a computer with internet access in their bedroom. And if you must find great blocking and monitoring software. Internet Safety 101 can help with all of this. Look at what your kids are up to and where they are going on the web. Get involved in their lives on the net. And keep them in prayer and in a good church so God can teach and convict them with His Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul, when writing to his disciple Timothy, stated: “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5). Timothy, one of the earliest third-generation Christians in the Bible, was strong in his faith because he had a family that raised him to be. So much so that a young age, he was prepared to go to churches on Paul’s behalf and train their congregations in The Word. All because of a godly upbringing. As parents and leaders in our homes, we should be no different.

1 Thompson, Sonya. “Study Shows 1 in 3 Boys Heavy Porn Users”. University of Alberta Study, 5 March 2007, http://www.healthnews-stat/com…0&keys=porn-rural-teens.
2. ibid
3. ibid
4. Wolak, Janis, et al. “Unwanted and Wanted Exposure to Online Pornography in a National Sample of Youth Internet Users.” Pediatrics 119 (2007); 247-257.