Hebrews 9:22 – The Shedding of the Blood

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This specific verse has come up a couple of times in the last week or so. When this happens, I try to write something about it.

I’m not sure if I have mentioned in an earlier post but I had been praying to God about what His plan is for me. In fact, I may have been in my car going to work. Sometimes I do my best thinking in the car.

As I was driving, I asked Him “What is it that You will have me do to further Your work?

I have always wondered this. I am trying to study as much as I can and learn about His Word but I always felt that I needed to do more. While I was driving, a word came to me:

Write.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my own thoughts in my head. It just hit me out of the blue so I’m pretty sure it was Him telling me what He wanted me to do. So that’s what I’m trying to do, as much as I can.

One of those topics is Hebrews 9:22. I’ve heard it mentioned more than a few times in the last week so I thought I would write something about it.

And almost all things are by the law purged with the blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22 KJV)

In order to properly understand what this passage is saying, we need to go back to the time of Moses and the laws of sacrifice.

Back in those days, there was no Messiah to whom you could turn for salvation and forgiveness. The sins committed by the people against God needed to be atoned for. To that end, the priest would sacrifice calves and goats. He would take their blood and pour it out around the altar and sprinkle it on the altar itself. This was part of the Old Testament covenant. The sins were not forgiven. The power of the sin was still there. The sin was simply atoned for.

Now move ahead some two thousand years later when Jesus Christ comes on the scene. He is the one and only Son of God; He is the Lamb of God who is willing to give of Himself for the remission of our sins. Not just as an atonement as in the days of the old covenant. His sacrifice on the cross will completely wash us of our sins. Every sin we have committed and will ever commit. The forgiveness of that sin can be found in the sacrifice made on the cross. This is the symbol of the new covenant which God has made with us! The shedding of His blood on the cross was necessary for the remission of our sins. Without the shedding of the blood, there is no remission of sins.

Every time I read the Bible or do an online Bible study (Chuck Missler is a great resource), I am amazed at the new and wonderful things I find. If anyone says that the Bible is a book of fairy tales, then they just haven’t taken the time to actually read it.

If you have not done so already, I invite you to take advantage of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and place your trust in Him. Repent of the sins that you have committed, ask for forgiveness, and believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and you will be guaranteed a place in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Thank you for reading and God Bless!

The Zombie Apocolypse, Courtesy of the Mobile Phone. 

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As I write this, I am on a plane thirty-three thousand feet off the ground, somewhere between Florida and Pennsylvania. You’re probably wondering what any of my plane flight has to do with zombies. Fear not, my faithful fans. I can assure you that I’ll tie it all together.

I’ll be up front and say that I don’t watch zombie shows that are currently running on any one of a number of cable channels. I tend to shy away from this kind of entertainment. I know these shows are quite popular but they aren’t my cup of tea.

Now, where was I?.  Oh yes…the reason I’m writing this in the first place.

My wife and I are returning from a ‘just the two of us’ trip to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. I’ll start by saying that the trip was awesome and we had an awesome time (especially the time spent at the hotel pool).

I also want to say that it was crowded. There were crowds everywhere; from the hotel to each of the two parks that we went to. The hotel was hosting two different conferences so that wasn’t fun for a few days. And the parks were crowded with kids of all ages. My first thought was “Why are they in school? It’s the first week of May, for crying out loud!”

Well, we came to find that there were a number of teens and tweens because there was a cheer-leading competition in the area. Oh, goody…

And, out of all of the kids who were in the park, many of them were mindlessly staring at their mobile phones. My wife and I had the unfortunate opportunity to sit next to a couple of young girls who spend the entire ‘It’s a Small World’ ride on their phones. In fact, one of them was so adept that it looked like she could have been working the virtual screen in ‘The Minority Report.’

Have we become so integrated with and dependent on technology that we are lost without it? I’m older so I grew up in a time when we didn’t have these fancy phones that can get you out on the interwebs or download your email. I grew up in a much simpler time when you actually sat through a ride and enjoyed it instead of trying to figure out what Justin Bieber is up to next (is he even still around?)

Grant it, I am not against technology. It does have it usefulness. But at what price? We have become mindless people who can’t walk outside without staring at Facebook or checking any one of a number of text messages that they just received.

I think the phrase ‘Wake up and smell the coffee’ is quite apropos. Put the device down and look at the world around you. Take it all in. It’s all of God’s beauty and majesty right in front of you. Take some time to appreciate it.

Of course, if Apple develops a phone that can also generate smells, then people won’t have to go too far to smell the coffee.

If that happens, we are all definitely doomed.

An Easter Message

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Well, it’s that time of year again.

The eggs are laid carefully in small wicker baskets, carefully lined with plastic grass, a marshmallow chick carefully guarding each colored ovoid. You might even have a rather large chocolate rabbit sitting in box somewhere near the basket. I know I did. I used to bite the ears off first. Not sure why. Maybe to keep it from hearing me eat the rest of it over the next week?

We then get dressed in our finest clothes and make our way to church to celebrate the season.

This day isn’t about the eggs or the rabbit or Easter egg hunts. The true message that we should take away is this: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That’s it. It couldn’t be more simple than that and yet there is so much more to it than that.

It’s about the love of a Father for his creation:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

It’s about a Son willing to sacrifice Himself and His body for the sins of mankind:

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted, but He as wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJV)

He was tortured, brutalized, and hung on a tree to die as a common criminal, guilty of only one thing: taking the sins of the world onto Himself.

On this Easter Sunday, let’s make sure to thank God for the sacrifice of His Son for our sins and to Jesus for willing giving of Himself for the iniquities of us all. Those who believe on Him will share in His grace and forgiveness of our sins.

If you haven’t accepted Christ, there is no better time than now. Right now, as you read this. If you have ever wondered where you are going to go when you die, then make the choice to follow Christ and be assured of your eternal destination.

God bless!

We Will Serve the Lord

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It’s amazing how the Lord works.

I’ve been trying to come up with a new topic to write about. There are times when I find it difficult to come up with something new rather than trying to piggyback off of a story that’s already out there.

Then I saw the same Bible verse from Joshua twice in the same week from two different sources. I think He’s telling me where to start. Now I give it to the Holy Spirit to give me the words to put on the page.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 KJV).

At this time, Joshua has just brought the people of Israel into the promised land. The land of Canaan, at this time, was occupied by the Amorties. They had their own set of gods and did not worship God. Because of their worship of other gods, I believe some of the Israelites began to worship these gods. They had already begun doing this when Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments. They forced Aaron to make them a golden calf so that they could worship it.

I believe this to be the reason Joshua stated what he did in the above passage. If the Israelites were to enjoy the blessings of God, they needed to turn to Him and serve and worship Him and Him alone.

Do some of us worship our own gods? Money? Power? Cars? Jewelry? Social media?

These are all materialistic things and, in the grand scheme, have no value where God is concerned. We are always striving for the most expensive car or the nicest clothes and jewelry.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to have nice things but at what point do we start to worship these things rather than asking God for his provision?

We’ve become a materialistic society and our reliance on God has waned. We try to do better than what we think God would do for us. We are the ‘me me me’ generation. And I have fallen into this many times in my life. But now I’m trying to take a different perspective, with the understanding that God will provide all our needs. He may not give us what we want but He will provide exactly what we need.

And as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

God Bless!

The Abnormal of the Paranormal

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I will start this post by admitting that I was a big fan of ‘Ghost Hunters’ on the SyFy Channel. I would make sure I had the DVR set because I normally wouldn’t be able to catch in when it aired on Wednesday nights.

It was fun to watch the team walk through different sites and try to capture everything from actual physical manifestations to EVPs and the like. It kept me riveted to the TV for an hour (or more if I had shows that were backed up in the queue).

It wasn’t until I started learning more about this unseen realm that I realized it wasn’t all it seems to be.

Hunting ghosts and goblins would appear, on the outside, to be a harmless activity but the reality is that it’s anything but. Many years ago (before I was saved), I used to dabble in this sort of practice. Some friends of mine and I would gather together and seances and cast spells hoping to bring back a family member to speak with them.

Let me tell you, from firsthand experience, that’s not a good thing. When you start seeing shadow figures and hearing conversations when no one is around, you start to realize that what you’re doing is not going to end well.

God tells us explicitly that we are not to engage in this practice:

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of time, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord:…” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 KJV)

Personally, I don’t believe that the dead are coming back to talk with us:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV)

I believe that what is coming into this realm is the demonic; the minions of Satan. They can learn and interact with us so it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to believe that they can learn about deceased relatives and take on their shape as an apparition.

So when you see people on shows like ‘Ghost Hunters’, ‘Ghost Adventures’, ‘Ghost Brothers’, et. al., realize that they are, more than likely, speaking with demons.

I believe this to be part of the deception Jesus warns us about in Matthew 24. Unless the pastors out there confront this head-on with their congregations, then many in the body of Christ will be led down that path of deception.

Folks, we need to be prepared for what is to come. There are too many ‘let me tell you what you want to hear’ churches out there. This is only adding to the deception. Many are being fed the milk rather than the meat.

Whether I write an original blog or add to a story that’s already out there, I will do my best to get this information out to whomever is willing to read it.

But always know that we have our refuge in Jesus. Just call on him and believe and you shall be saved.

God bless!

Beauty and the Beast: Not Quite the Tale as Old as Time.

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I happened to be on Facebook earlier today and saw a post from Charisma News. The link to the story is at the end of the article.

The article states that there are Christians who believe that we (Christians) should go see ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and use it as a teaching tool for their children.

I couldn’t disagree more. I think there are things better left unsaid (and un-watched). Now, that being said, I will be the first to admit that I have not seen the movie but I have seen some of the character depictions and read about the story line, specifically the homosexual relationship part.

I would recommend you forgo the movie and opt for the cartoon instead. While I have heard claims that there is occult symbolism throughout many of Disney’s cartoons, I have yet to explore that area and may do so for a later post. For now, I think the cartoon is the better choice.

My first issue with the movie is the character of the Beast himself. The original cartoon portrayed him without horns. The live action version of the movie does not. The character does look familiar to another character we have seen before:

The above image is that of the Baphomet. The Baphomet’s origins are somewhat murky but it was believed that the Knights Templar worshiped this idol. It was then incorporated into various occult practices. It is currently the ‘mascot’ for the Church of Satan.

Why did Disney decide that the beast should have horns? I’m not sure we will ever get a definitive answer to that question but I thought it was worth mentioning.

My second issue is with the gay scene where LeFou has a romantic interest in Gaston and is scene dancing with a man during another scene. While these may seem harmless on the surface, they go against what God has stated in Leviticus and Romans:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with woman-kind; it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22 KJV).

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.” (Romans 1:27 KJV).

the scene, in and of itself, is completely unnecessary for the film. It was not in the cartoon version so why does it need to be in the live action version?

With all this being said, I think that movies like this should be avoided. Teach your children what is right and what is wrong in the eyes of God and they will be able to discern for themselves what the right thing to do is. Taking them to see this movie and using it as a teaching tool is, to me absurd. Where does it end? Do we show them pornography so they know what the world is like so we can teach against it? The answer to that is a resounding no.

This plays to a larger issue with the church (buildings) not feeding the church (body of Christ) proper nutrition. What I am typing in this (as good or bad as it might be) should be taught at a church service. I don’t see that happening. I see post after post of people saying that their church spends the majority of the service doing everything but praying and teaching from the Bible. We truly do need a revival.

As someone in the article stated (paraphrasing): ‘this is the world God gave us.’

Sorry, ma’am, but it isn’t. God gave us the Garden of Eden but Satan saw to it that it wouldn’t remain pure and perfect forever.

And it’s been going downhill ever since.

It’s sad that many Christians don’t care about this sort of thing will go with their children anyway.

And Satan will probably be cheering all of you on from the projection room.

 

Source: Why Some Parents Say Christians Should Watch Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ — Charisma News

We Are the Fruit Bearers

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The other night, I was driving home from work and I was listening to a pastor on the Sirius/XM Family Talk station. He started his teaching on the book of John. I don’t remember how he got on the topic but he started speaking about bearing fruit. He said that when we come to Christ as believers, we are given a gift. Do we bear fruit with that gift or do we bury it?

When he said the phrase ‘bury it’, I immediately thought about the parable Jesus taught in Matthew 25:14-30. I won’t type it all out here because it’s quite lengthy but I’ll give a summary of it.

Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a man who was traveling abroad. He gathered his servants and onto one of them, he gave five talents, to another he gave two talent and to a third he gave one talent; each according to their abilities.

The servant who received the five talents went and made five talents more. Likewise, the servant who received two talents when and made two more talents. But the servant who received the one talent went and buried it in the ground.

The lord of those servants returned from his journey and reckoned with them. The servants who doubled what they were given were praised and given many things to rule over. The one who buried the talent had it taken away and he lord was angry with him for not doing more with the talent he was given.

The two servants who doubled what they were given bore fruit for their lord; the third servant did not.

As Christians, are we doubling what we have been given or are we taking the gospel message and burying it rather than going out and preaching it to all who will hear? Are we bearing fruit or burying it?

If you are among those who bury your gifts rather than use them to bear fruit, you aren’t alone. I can count myself among you as well. I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough for the kingdom. Should I be on a street corner preaching? Should I be going up to people everywhere asking them if they know about Jesus?

One day I was praying about this very thing, asking God what I can do to help get the gospel message out there. As I sat there, the word ‘write’ popped into my head. At first I wasn’t sure if that was me who thought of the word or if it was the Holy Spirit. Now I’m pretty sure it was the Holy Spirit. That’s part of where I’m trying to go with my blog posts.

I may not have a lot of people reading them or a lot of followers but I do know that this is one way that I know of to get the message out there to anyone who will read them. God uses people in different ways and I think writing is His way of using me. And as long as I can, I will continue doing it.

Thank you for reading and God Bless.

Their Playbook.

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Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV)

The above video is from Pastor Mike Tyler from Michigan (please keep in mind that the title is misleading and should, in no way, be off-putting). It’s amazing how God works. This video came to my attention when my wife sent the link to me. I had just posted a blog about how both the body of believers and the churches themselves are straying from the core teachings and opting more for a ‘seeker friendly’ type of church experience.

We are living in an age where good is evil and evil is good. Where it is okay for men to use the lady’s room; where we no longer have two genders but ninety-six (or more); where sex and violence are more and more prevalent in our television shows and movies; where Planned Parenthood’s number one goal is to perform as many abortions as possible.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We are living in an age where transhumanism is going to be all the rage. People who want to become immortal will be clamoring for the technology that will get them there. They’ll upload their consciousness into synthetic bodies as a way to gain immortality. But is it the same immortality that will be given to us by Jesus?

No, not by a long shot. Eventually, a synthetic body will wear out. Parts will need to be replaced. What happens when the batteries die? Does the whole thing stop working? Where does the person’s consciousness go when that happens? Is it backed up to a ‘hard drive’ of some kind? It’s all pretty spooky and weird and evil at the same time.

In all of this, they forget the one thing that will get them where they want to be: Jesus Christ.

Their faith in Him will give them the immortality that they desire. As Pastor Russ Dizdar says: “an indestructible irreversible immortality.” The only ‘price’ they may pay is the repentance of their sins and their continued effort to follow in the ways and teachings of Jesus.

That’s too much for them. They want the carnality of life. They don’t want to be accountable for anything they’ve done in their lives and they don’t want to stop doing those things now.

It’s sad to see how far we have fallen but for those of us in Christ, we know that one day soon, the Messiah will come back for those who believe. It’s not too late to make a change in your life for the better. Repent of your sins and come to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness and to follow in His ways. It’s a change in your life you won’t regret.

God Bless!

The Apostasy of the Church is Here.

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I was recently reading through a website called Charisma News. I saw the following article:

Historic Calvary Baptist Church Hires Lesbian Couple as Pastors — Charisma News

I wasnt’ quite sure how to write about this. Or if I even should have written about this. But, in the end, I decided that it would be best to address the apostasy we are now seeing in the church.

The word apostasy comes from the Greek word ‘apostasia.’ It means a change in beliefs from one type to another. It is oftentimes coupled with a complete rejection of the beliefs you previously held in favor of the new beliefs. Converting to Islam from Christianity would be an example of this.

The apostles warned that the day will come when false teachers and false prophets will begin to infiltrate the church:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn away from the truth, and be turn aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

By making the decision to hire a lesbian couple as pastors, the Calvary Baptist Church has now, in my opinion, become an apostate church. They are going against the teachings of the moral laws (see Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26-27).

I believe this to be part of a larger problem with the church. And by that, I mean, both the body of believers and the buildings themselves. For me, personally, it’s something that’s been keeping me from attending church.

I was attending a church for a bit but as I became more ‘awake’, I (and my wife) noticed that they weren’t doing a lot of Bible teaching or anything like that. There wasn’t much in the way of prayer or spiritual warfare; there was a lot of worship music (nothing wrong with worship music) but not a lot of time spent teaching the body about the things that are going on in the world and what we can do about it. I categorize this as being ‘seeker-friendly.’ They only want to portray what is good and leave the bad stuff out. It’s not about equipping the body…it’s about filling the seats.

The body of Christ needs to get out of its slumber and realize that the end of days is upon us and we need to be ready. The infiltration of the church is under way and we better wake up before it’s too late.

His Plans for Us.

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Windows 10 has this nice little feature called Sticky Notes. It’s like Post-It notes for your monitor. It keeps my brain from getting more cluttered than it already is.

Other than notes about things I need to do at work, I have two Bible verses: one is Philippians 4:13 and the other is Jeremiah 29:11. I have seen both pop up in random places over the last year or so. Both have powerful messages of strength and hope but I’m going to focus on Jeremiah 29:11 Here is the verse:

For I know the thoughts I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

At this point in history, the Israelites had been carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Hananiah the prophet (a false prophet, at that) has broken the yoke from Jeremiah. The people then believed the words of Hananiah. Because of this, the Lord spoke and told Hananiah that he would die within six month and the people would be led into captivity in Babylon because the believe the words of a prophet the Lord did not send.

Jeremiah had written a letter to the remaining elders concerning their captivity. God has instructed Jeremiah in what to write in the letter. The letter states that the Lord has caused this captivity but to not be afraid. In seventy years He will come and free them from their captivity and return them to Jerusalem.

Even though the Israelites were being held captive in Jerusalem, God had a plan for them and the plan for them was good and not evil. I believe the same can be said for us today.

God has a plan for each of us. Our biggest challenge is stopping long enough in this ever-moving world to listen to what He has to tell us about where He wants us to be. Trust me, I know how hard it can be (been there, done that).

Even in the toughest times, we can be assured that God will be there to pull us through. He knows the plans He has for us. Suffering may be part of those plans (as the Israelites saw under Nebuchadnezzar) but this suffering will allow us to see that we need God to help us get through each and every day. With that relationship established, we will see that He truly does have thoughts of peace and not of evil.

If you are reading this and are going through life trying to figure out where you need to be or what you are doing, I invite you to consider reaching out to our Lord and Savior. Repent of your pass transgressions and ask for forgiveness. Pick up a Bible and start to read it. It may be a bit daunting at first but don’t be discouraged. A whole world will open up to you and you will find yourself charting a more complete and rewarding course.

God bless!