November 26, 2006

Whose Land Is It Anyway?

Numbers 34:2-15; Joshua 11:16-23; 13:1-11

"It's 1938, and Iran is Germany," Benjamin Netanyahu said on November 14, 2006 in a speech to the North American Jewish community. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [the Iranian president], Netanyahu continued, "is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state." See for further details.

It is said that Tehran cannot consider a nuclear holocaust against Israel because that would be tantamount to killing large numbers of Muslims whose lives it has sworn to protect. However, the fear in Israel is that Islamists will spare no one in their quest to rid the Jewish state. Case in point, in Iraq, the killing of non-combatants (in particular, non-combantant Muslims) has grown so astronomically as to resist an accurate count. During the recent war in the north with Lebanon, nearly half of the Israeli civilians killed by Katyusha rockets fired by Iran's client militia Hezbollah, were Arabs.

It’s interesting to read in the Jewish newspapers that in recent decades, radical re-interpreta-tions of Koranic law suggest a growing willingness among Islamic extremists as well as clerics to justify the killing of Muslim by-standers in a suicide bombing. The prevailing ideology of suicide bombing holds that the "involuntary martyrdom" of Muslim bystanders killed in a suicide bombing is viewed as "no less glorious for being unintentional."

The first striking observation is that the Koranic law is subject to change, depending on the circumstances and needs of their “faithful”. In contrast, God’s Law is unchanging, good, holy, perfect and perpetual. The Law gives the knowledge of sin and is designed to lead to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Indeed, it was written in stone (Exodus 20); it is immutable.

The second item of interest is the ongoing argument of Israel’s real estate. If you look at God’s blueprint, it is very clear in the Bible that Israel’s boundaries are recorded in Numbers 34:2-15; Joshua 11:16-23; 13:1-11; and Ezekiel 47 & 48. Pastor John Hagee refers to it as God’s Land Grant to the Jews and is a perpetual covenant (Genesis 17:8) between God and Jacob (and his seed) that declares that the land of Canaan is an everlasting possession.

Indeed, on May 15, 1947 the Jewish State of Israel was established against all odds. After all, history records the wars against the Jews by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Romans, the Crusaders, the Spanish Inquisition, Nazi Germany and others. If history points to anything, the Jews have overcome formidable obstacles, including history itself, because of God Jehovah (not god Allah, which is a polytheistic god of Islam). If you have any doubt, start with Genesis 1:1 to learn who God really is.

The final observation is about the Arabs’ anti-Semitic zeal. This fervent hatred is rooted in its historic struggles between Abraham’s descendants from the tribes of Ishmael and Isaac as well as from the tribes of Jacob and Esau. Consider Genesis 16:12 about the source of the Arabs’ hate for the Jews. These rivalries stretch for thousands of years.

In the end, the differences between Jehovah and Allah come down to this: For Jesus, God is a loving father; for Muhammad, Allah is a demanding task-master. Christ told the parable of the Lost Lamb as He related God’s search for us. What a beautiful knowledge to have about God the Father who searches for the one lost lamb, until He finds it and brings it home rejoicing! I invite you to read the Bible and see for yourself the love God has for you (John 3:16). Come and join His family.

One last thought: It is said, “If the Arabs (Muslims) put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Israelis put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.”

Support Israel in Her right to defend Herself!

November 19, 2006

Putting Away Our Ornaments

Exodus 33:1-7

Sam Harris wrote an Op-Ed piece entitled, “Faith Won’t Heal Our Divided World” in the Washington Post web site (for further details go directly to on November 14, 2006. He is “a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University, has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, and is now completing a doctorate in neuroscience. He makes regular appearances on television and radio to discuss the danger that religion now poses to modern societies.” So ,it is not a stretch of the imagination that Mr. Harris finds no use for religion or God. Despite the admonishment of Matthew 7:6, I entered the debate and posted my views on his piece. Here are some of the reactions and responses posted on the web page:

“[The] divide between faiths is propagated by the systematic brain washing of our children who are too young to understand the impact of the belief systems that are relentlessly pounded into their heads.”

“When persons of faith judge others and try to impose their belief systems on others (they do not seem to be able to resist), all we get is intolerance, wars and death.”

“Perhaps we need a new GOD. Clearly the old one isn't doing the job.”

“I wonder sometimes if all religious groups aren’t from their so-called Hell, trying to destroy what few sane people (Atheists) there are on earth.”

“Why not just do away with the concept of evangelism in religion, and let individuals find their own ways to resolve their fear of the unknown?”

“What is even scarier (and in my opinion, insane) is that this scenario of nuclear destruction actually plays into Christian prophecy of the second coming of Christ, WHICH WILL BE WELCOMED!!!”

“[S]top using the phrase ‘It's a miracle’ which is so clueless. If somebody escapes tragedy then it's a matter of luck, being in the right place at the right time just as where you are born is simply random.”

Pastor Skip Hietzig said that pride is the national religion of Hell. It’s pride that the sinner proudly glories in. Wicked people will not seek after God; that is, they will not call upon Him. They live without prayer without God. They have many thoughts, many objects and devices, but don’t bother to think of the Lord. There is no submission to His will. The cause of this is, of course, pride.

In Exodus 33:1-7, the Hebrews had forsaken God, forgotten about their covenant with Him, had fashioned a golden calf and had not obeyed God’s Word. C’mon, now! After witnessing the miracle of deliverance of the Red Sea, after receiving the manna and water, after being given quail to eat, this is how they thanked God? No wonder He called them a stiff-necked people. It’s a miracle in itself that He just didn’t smite them on the spot! But that speaks of God’s incredible grace and mercy. And the reason they were stiff-necked was because they were lovers of themselves rather than of God; they were sinful and they were proud. As a consequence, God refused to go with the people up to Canaan. Upon hearing this, the people were grieved and took their ornaments and jewelry off. By their stripping off their ornaments, the Lord discerned the first symptoms of contrition. The people were ashamed and sorrowful for their behavior. Des-pite their knowledge of God, they acted against Him. What good would these objets d’art do? Nothing. The removal of the tent of the meeting place was moved outside their camp, too. Now, that their communion with God had been removed, they realized the implications of moving forward without God.

So, where does that leave us in the 21st Century? Humanists and their kind believe that there can be peace without Jesus Christ, but the truth of the matter is that there can be no peace without Him. This belief and ideology stem, in part, from the Hellenistic time. The Greco-Roman influence in philosophy and science, among other things. You can say they were pre-Missouri types: Their attitude was “Show me.” They prided themselves in their knowledge. And therein lies the problem. Human knowledge can only take you so far.

You see, when you make an absolute statement, such as “There is no God”, absolute proof is required. The declaration "There is no God" is what is known as an absolute statement. For an absolute statement to be true, you must have absolute knowledge. Is it possible that there is knowledge you haven't yet come across to prove that God does indeed exist? If you are truly reasonable, you will have to say, "Having the limited knowledge that I have at present, I believe that there is no God." In other words, you don't know if God exists, so you are not an "atheist". Instead, you are what is commonly known as an "agnostic." You are like a man who looks at a building, and doesn't know if there was a builder. You are the proverbial fence-sitter who doesn’t mind the discomfort of indecision.

Since neither side can empirically prove or disprove the existence of God, it comes down to faith. For those who require the necessary evidence, I have one simple message: Don’t worry, on the Day of Judgment, you will have all the necessary proof that God is real. In fact, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Unfortunately, by then it will too late to repent. That’s why it’s very important to trust in the Lord NOW rather than later. God doesn't want you to go to Hell. Please, forget your philosophical arguments, repent and put your trust in Jesus and be saved from God's wrath. Make Psalm 51 your prayer (include the name Jesus in your prayers), then read your Bible daily and always obey what you read. So, please put away your pride, that hollow orna-ment of man, and repent. Come to Christ and have eternal life. Believe it and you shall have it.

November 16, 2006

God Bless You

Exodus 12:13 & Matthew 26:26-29

An etymologist (someone who studies the origin of words) once said that the word bless is a gracious word with a grisly history. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the verb bless comes from Old English bledsian, which means “to consecrate with blood, to mark with blood.” Now, when the Greek and Latin translators of the Bible came across the Hebrew word barukh (which means “to kneel”), there wasn’t a direct translation, so they filled in the words of eulogeitos and benedicere, respectively, for the Hebrew word. By the time the Greek and Latin texts made it to the early English church, bless was chosen to translate those classical words. So when we say, “God bless you,” we are actually saying, “God bathe you in blood.” Which begs the question: Whose blood?

I like the fact that both the Old English and Hebrew words follow a certain Christian logic because the concept of blood, blessing and kneeling flows from the same source: God. Remember, there are two Biblical Passovers (Exodus 12:13 & Matthew 26:26-29); one is concealed, the other, revealed. In other words, we have been given a beautiful blessing (Ephesians 1:3) in Jesus Christ. Because of the blood He shed on the cross for you and me, we kneel and praise God for His gift (John 3:16). It is His blood and only the blood of our Passover Lamb that saves us from the grips of an everlasting death. Everything falls into place once you recognize the great treasure of Jesus Christ.

I invite you to reflect upon the meaning of blessing within your own life. Who has blessed your life in the past? Whom have you blessed? What images come to mind? Your children, family, friends? Think about the people at work, at the grocery store, and the ones you pass up in traffic. Do you leave space in your life to bless them and the common humanity you share with them? F.E. Marsh has listed some of God's blessings:

An acceptance that can never be questioned. (Ephesians 1:6).
An inheritance that can never be lost (I Peter 1:3-5).
A deliverance that can never be excelled (I Corinthians l:10).
A grace that can never be limited (II Corinthians 12:9).
A hope that can never be disappointed. (Hebrews 6:18, 19).
A bounty that can never be withdrawn. (I Colossians 3:21-23).
A joy that need never be diminished (John 15:11).
A nearness to God that can never be reversed (Ephesians 2:13).
A peace that can never be disturbed (John 14:27).
A righteousness that can never be tarnished (II Corinthians 5:21).
A salvation that can never be canceled (Hebrews 5:9).

One final thought: The etymologist made an interesting word choice in calling the history of bless “grisly”, which means gruesome, horrific, repugnant. The word serves to remind us the price Christ paid for our sins (Romans 6:23). It is nothing but the blood that saves us. My hope and prayer is that you will come to Christ and walk with Him. May God bless you.

November 01, 2006

The Plan of Salvation

What about you, dear Reader? It's still not too late if you're not saved. Here's how:

1.     Admit you are a sinner."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"(Romans 3:10, 23)

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"(Romans 5:12)

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10)

2.     Be willing to turn from sin (repent). Jesus said: "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5)

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:30)

3.     Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead."For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."(John 3:16)

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners. Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)

4.     Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Saviour."For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."(Romans 10:13)

5.     Then pray: Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Your Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sins. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour and Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friend, drop a line on this blog if you prayed this prayer and I'll put you on my prayer list. And, if you need to find a place of worship where the Word of God is studied and preached seriously, I'll do my best to locate a church near you. Congratulations and rejoice in the Lord always, because His mercies are new every day!