And Jehovah answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it.
(Habakkuk 2:2 [ASV])





_________




Eight Souls
In the age when men lived to be nearly a thousand years old, wickedness became so great that God only saved eight people.

Power Of Prayer
A look at prayer and and its great importance to a genuine Christian.

Prayer: Standing In The Gap



An Open Letter To Black Lives Matter:
How to avoid being ensnared in the ongoing Federal operation 'Ni∓∓er Catcher' and 'Black Snare', run out of the US intelligence community and certain sections of Law Enforcement. These operations do exist, though naturally not with those pejorative titles. They are not legal, nor are they officially recognized but key people in high positions run these operations that specifically target Black Americans and certain White Americans who seek justice, truth and use their rights to bring these things back to our once great nation. The impetus comes from the US Intelligence community - LE does the footwork. This is what they did to so many civil rights leaders back in the 60's and 70's. They have honed their skills for the technology of the 21st century.


An Open Letter To Senator Mikulski And The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence


_____



Last Updated
26 Mar 2020


MARKSWATSON.COM
Watson's Web
Biblical Perspective For Our Times



For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he cometh in his own glory,
and the glory of the Father,
and of the holy angels.
(Luke 9:26 [ASV])


I have set Jehovah always before me:
Because he is at my right hand, I
 shall not be moved.
(Psalms 16:8 [ASV])
***


Mark can be reached
here.
 

26 Mar

Nehemiah Part LV


Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things?
yet among many nations was there no king like him,
and he was beloved of his God,
and God made him king over all Israel:
nevertheless even him did foreign women cause to sin.
Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, t
o trespass against our God in marrying foreign women?
(Neh 13:26-27 ASV)


We continue our look into the book of Nehemiah with the continuation of Nehemiah's religious reforms. This time we return to the issue of foreign wives, which if you remember from an earlier chapter, was a major issue among the returnee's. It is one that Ezra had to deal with a few decades before as well as Nehemiah. In continuing to chide his hearers, he reminded them of the sin that Solomon had committed. Solomon as we all know loved many foreign wives and they turned his heart from serving the Lord. He was once very special to God and built him a great temple. But his heart was drawn to foreign women and they caused him to err and commit apostasy. See 1Kings 11:1ff what Solomon did and just how God felt about it.
This was the danger that the Lord warned about in the law (Deut 17:17). Solomon fell for this trap of the devil and that is all it was and is. Any person place or thing that tries to get us to get out of God's commandments is wittingly or unwittingly an agent of the devil. Even Peter, with the best of intentions was used of him (Matt 16:23).

We must always remember this. Solomon got into bed with all of these foreign women and then started worshiping all of those strange gods and goddesses. Solomon was probably the biggest reason Israel went into apostasy after David, for as the King does, so do the people. Since then there was a constant string of false gods, idolatry and other abominations in Israel. Why did this happen? The reason is in the passage above "But king Solomon loved many strange women..."

Nehemiah's reforms were designed to put a stop to the same errors that transpired before and here he reminds the people of this great sin of the past. He knew exactly what would happen. These women would bring their idols into the homes of his people and bring error to his people entice the men of Israel to their temples and religious celebrations.

Why are Foreign Gods So Enticing?

I think this is one thing that we should talk about because it is very relevant today.

Other gods, they are often 'elastic' enough morally speaking, where adultery, perversions, lying, stealing, fraud, trucebreaking, arrogance, hate, warmongering and even murder are allowed. The devils religions are designed to do one thing - to give people a warm religious feeling while they commit sin against God and move along the railroad tracks to hellfire. That is the key spiritual purpose of any and all false religion.

People today don't want to deal with moral absolutes. Don't lie, don't steal, be faithful to your spouse, etc, these things are seen as too constraining. They don't want a religion that makes them live a little humbler and quieter and one that takes away their sinful pleasures or ill gotten revenue streams. They want a religion that lets them do whatever they want and even encourages them in so doing.

As you all know, many of those false religions in the days of the kings of Israel allowed for huge sexual orgies. This is the kind of religion many people flock to. Then the people say, "who is the Lord? We don't know him - "We brought ourselves out of Egypt" or "by or own strength we are protected" or "my idol blesses me everyday" or "Molech has prospered me" or "Ashtoreth healed me from my boils". The people forget the God who did wonders for them. Why? It was more fun to go to the orgy than to Temple. There was more money in defrauding your neighbor than dealing honestly with him. It was cheaper to kill the guy who owned the land you wanted to buy than to pay him for it. Who would notice, since the you and the Judge who would hear the case are drinking buddies and went to the temple of Molech together.

This is the morality that many people really like, then and now. Oh sure, they decry these things in public or when they are the victims of crime and evil, but they are more than willing to engage in wickedness when they see something in it for them.

But the religion of the Lord is not that way. It is one of the few religions with a clear-cut no non-sense moral code. That code is 180 degrees opposite to the 'situational ethics' of today the quasi-eastern religions and new age religions and philosophies that are becoming more popular here in the west. These days, religion is being used to put a stamp of approval on sin and evil, justify it and codify it into law, not rebuke it.

For we Christians today, the admonition above about being unequally yoked is your best guide in marriage with unbelievers as is the experience of ancient Israel and Solomon. Marriage is trouble enough when married to a fellow believer.

Nehemiah realized that marriage to these strange women was a grievous sin and it was. God loved Solomon, blessed him and gave him enormous responsibility and yet these foreign women turned his head and his heart against the Lord. Nehemiah asks the question. Should we listen to you and let this happen again? Should we sin again against the Lord, Is that your counsel?

Nehemiah was having none of this. if nothing else they were going to have a clear witness against them and their evil. Nehemiah was calling them out.


And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib
the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat
the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

(Neh 13:28 ASV)

The exact reason or Nehemiah's ejection of Eliashib is not clearly stated, but I think it is inferred from the earlier verse when Nehemiah asked if transgressing God's commandment was his counsel. This to me would follow. Here is what K&D says about this passage.
Nehemiah acted with greater severity towards one of the sons of Joiada the high priest, and son-in-law of Sanballat. He drove him from him (מעלי, that he might not be a burden to me).

The reason for this is not expressly stated, but is involved in the fact that he was son-in-law to Sanballat, i.e., had married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite (Neh 2:10), who was so hostile to Nehemiah and to the Jewish community in general, and would not comply with the demand of Nehemiah that he should dismiss this wife.

In this case, Nehemiah was obliged to interfere with authority. For this marriage was a pollution of the priesthood, and a breach of the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. - K&D Commentary

This person had a vested interest in seeing to it the nation remained in rebellion against God and that foreign wife of his was the reason. Again, this is just like Moses said it would turn the hearts of the people away from him. We must remember that this was a priestly bloodline. So this was a pretty important spiritual issue for the future of Israel. A shepherd in rebellion can only lead his sheep in the same direction.

We will continue the last section of Nehemiah next week God willing, and then perhaps the following week a summary of the book. 

Grace and peace to you all in Christ Jesus.


Brother Mark


24 Mar

Pause And Consider...

What is my thinking on this virus from a spiritual perspective?
I say this under no special spiritual unction, only some random personal, thoughts.

I think this is a warning. It's a warning not to China or Iran; the US or Russia but to the world. It's a warning that is going to be just painful enough to make sure it gets everyone's full attention. God may be warning the world of its direction. He may be warning these nations who dabble in bioweapons they need to stop. He may be warning a sinful, wicked, world that he is coming to the limit of his patience.

In short - I think me may be warning every man woman and child, Christian or Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist, Black or White, old or young that our world needs to change its ways.

Will the world listen? No. I rather think not. One day he may raise up a prophet to speak to the nations about its direction. I think he might. Of course he will be laughed at and mocked, they will do Saturday Night Live skits on him but God will be watching.... carefully how the world reacts to those he sends to warn them.

Is the clock running out for 'sin planet'; our troubled earth? It may very well be. Many problems are on the horizon of which this pandemic is just one and in my view a small one when one considers the diseases that have hit Africa (Ebola, Lassa Fever, etc), the problems we have had with Locusts, the overall demographic issues many nations are facing. The rise of hate, racism, violent nationalism, wealth and income disparity, grinding poverty and then the drugs... we must not forget the drugs of which this nation is particularly a problem. Sex sins openly paraded, abominations and murder with powerful political lobbies. God see's all of this. His silence thus far is NOT a mark of approval, but one of patience.

Look at the kinds of greed and corruption going on in America, Wall Street and elsewhere. Look at the murder rates on some cities. Look at the millions of people hooked on dope - legal and illegal mind and emotion altering substances.

Look at the wars America has started, the bloodbaths that are now ongoing as a direct result of American 'intervention' - look at Libya! Look at our world, look at the race hate in Ukraine, a nation where they name street's after Hitler's Henchmen and Nazi's the world over gather. So your own search on Asgardsrei festival. There is a massive global (let me stress that word) network of Nazi's now being erected and connected in a place that is getting millions of aid from you and me via taxpayer dollars. No one really gets what's going on there as our media has done an excellent job at keeping the whole truth about Ukraine out of the public debate. But this is what the west has sunk to. Don't blame the so called 'racist' Trump for this - it was Obama-Biden that started this whole mess and Trump who tried to put a stop to it...

...and got impeached when he tried.

There are hundreds of excellent articles, studies. background papers and blog posts on US support for Nazi's in Ukraine, if you care to take the time to look.

Folks... let me say something here you all need to hear for the umpteenth time - the devil is a master deceiver. He knows how to fool folks... and if you don't think you can be, you already have  been. Those on the left don't believe that their leaders would knowingly support this kind of thing, but who was it who was beating the President over the head for not giving them the money... and arms? How do they get away with it? Because the people even and particularly those in their own party.... in reality just don't care, they want the party to open up the government 'free stuff' window for them, not worry about genocidal maniacs getting money and arms on the American dime.

But I suspect that one day they will care, as these networks of racists are right here in the US. Some according to news reports are planning on weaponizing the coronavirus to target Jews and cops. Have we seen these forces shoot up Black Churches and Synagogues? Yes. Will we see more? As long as Uncle Sam writes a check to them you can bet we will - many, many more as they recruit people in law enforcement; local, state AND Federal.

There is a deep darkness in the American deep state that not even the President can control. 

Then there is the crime. The Mayor of Baltimore has called on residents to stop shooting each other. His concern is that they will need those hospital beds for the virus. He's got a problem. There was a mass shooting a few days ago there. Didn't hear about it? Not surprising you didn't... since it happens so much in the city. Go do your favorite news search engine and type in the words Baltimore shooting just for the past week... you'll see how many and what I mean. Do the same for Chicago.

I have been Black for a long, long time and I will tell you what I think. God has a serious controversy with much of Black America. He is not going to rest until its settled... one way or the other. He will deal with what is broken and he may do it by sending them leaders they think are their friends and 'love them' who will sell them down the river for a campaign donation. No brothers, he is not happy about what's going on in that neck of the woods.

In a time of rising human trafficking and slavery the specter of a return to chains and an auction block may not be so far away as some may think. Don't think God can't or won't do it? He did it to his own people once before when they rejected him. He's the same God. He has not changed. Your skin color is not a 'get out of hell free' card. The fact that your great great great grandparents were slaves is not going to move the Lord to tears as a defense. He will merely point to your own actions made under your own free will. They alone will condemn those steeped in such violence... of any race. You'll be stuttering excuses and the Lord will point to the blood of your brother dripping from your own hands.

Then there is the Church. As I am going through the book of Samuel for insiders the whole episode of Eli's house should be a major warning to religious leaders that God is watching and when you cross a line, he will deal with you in the most severe fashion. Here is a bit I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

The Philistines had won a great military victory over Israel because Israel had sinned and the Priesthood who was supposed to be guiding the people to God were involved in some of the worst kind of wickedness.
Brothers and sisters, don't let anyone tell you that God cannot and will not curse people, places and things. He can and will. This episode (1 Sam chapter 5) was to teach the Philistines a key lesson as to the power of the God of Israel and that they should not gloat over their victory over Israel. Israel's loss was not about Philistine military power or their god Dagon, but it was about the sins of Israel and the abominations of the Priesthood symbolized by the house of Eli.

I see in this an important lesson. I believe that one day, God is going to allow many a Church to fail, fall into disrepute, get destroyed in natural disasters and many pastors to be held up to open shame and even killed. This will be for the same reasons he allowed disaster to fall upon Israel in the days of Eli. The sins reached to heaven and was a serious stench before God's throne. God did not want his name associated with the sins of Israel or the House of Eli (the Priesthood) and he does not want his name to be associated with many of the abominations going on in many Western churches today.

Understand, I know many pastors are doing right and really are trying hard to serve God in these most difficult times. Pastors and men of God are not perfect, but the good ones strive towards perfection. But many more are not, they simply do not have any desire to obey the Lord in all things (or any thing) and thus, lead their sheep astray. Religion is entertainment or a game or a way to have social position or a way to make money with such pastors and Church leaders. God and serving him in spirit and in truth is not within the purview of their understanding.

But the heathen who just won a 'victory' over God's people have found that in reality that their 'victory' had a cost that none of them even remotely considered. See what happened to the Philistines in 1 Samuel chapter five when they thought they had a major war trophy and found out that what they really did was bring in something that proved to be an existential threat to them if they hung on to it.

Yes, as these crisis hit our nation and world let us consider most carefully something - God is on the throne. You can mock, ignore and even blaspheme him, but he does have a vengeful streak in him. This is a side of God's character many don't recognize. YOU DO NOT MESS WITH THE ALMIGHTY. When he says Vengeance is mine, that is exactly what me means (see Rom 12:9).

Our nation, our world is in a heap of trouble. But leaders tend to mock rather than turn to God. A nation like Britain that used to be a bastion of Christianity is now turning mostly Atheist. Islam is also rising there. What will turn people back to God?

One thing I can truly thank this President for and that is for recently calling for a day of prayer over this whole virus situation.

Pain and suffering and recognizing that if they want relief from their suffering in this life and the world to come there is only one place to go. That's God. But right now people are fat, selfish, full of pleasures, full of dope, full of themselves and full of the other stuff (for the most part) and God just does not figure into their calculations.... right now. As long as they 'got theirs' they are happy just where they are. Considerable discomfort is often about the only remedy for such people, should God be gracious enough to deal with them in this fashion.

Gracious enough you say? Yes, gracious enough.

As many as I love, I reprove and chasten:
 be zealous therefore, and repent.
(Rev 3:19 - ASV)

This is the crux of the matter. People think that when God brings in trouble to souls gone astray he is being evil or it is judgement. Often it is a kind of loving chastisement to get people to change course because they won't do it any other way. They won't hear prophets, pastors or priests. So that only leaves one voice they will hear - the voice of their own suffering.

That often gets folks attention. Full and undivided attention.

So if this chastisement does not bring about a change of heart to much of 'planet sin' - more may very well be prepared for it, I strongly suspect.

Consider this. If this coronavirus is a bio-weapon and I am fairly certain it is, nations are going to want to know who launched it. They are going to 'tear out a thousand tongues' to find out who did this. When they do find out what do you think they are going to do? I will tell you what they won't do and that is sit and sulk. So this may be just the very beginning of a biowar that goes on between forces the people will never be allowed to discover. My point is an important one. If this disease does not get mankind's attention, other things may very well follow that will be even more 'attention getting'.

How does this play out prophetically? Is anyone going to hear?

And the rest of mankind,
who were not killed with these plagues,
repented not of the works of their hands,
that they should not worship demons,
and the idols of gold, and of silver,
and of brass, and of stone, and of wood;
which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk: 
and they repented not of their murders,
nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication,
nor of their thefts.  
(Rev 9:20-21 - ASV )


The so-called Church will not be immune to these things, they too will be called to the altar of repentance. In fact, the Church will be one of the key points of focus in judgement.

 For the time is come for judgment
to begin at the house of God:
and if it begin first at us,
what shall be the end of them
that obey not the gospel of God?
 And if the righteous is scarcely saved,
where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? 
Wherefore let them also that suffer
according to the will of God
 commit their souls in well-doing
unto a faithful Creator. 
(I Peter 4:17-19 - ASV)


Even now the 'gods' of America are being challenged. The gods of Wall Street, bonds, stock markets, gold, futures, derivatives, hedge funds, silver, the dollar and material wealth. Take a look at the markets and the unprecedented steps the Treasury and Fed are taking to keep the system from collapsing.

These are troubling times.

***

These are just my own personal ruminations and not given as any kind of divinely inspired 'word'. I hope they get Christians and others to step back and think carefully about our sinful world and where we are heading and to call the Church to get back to basics and a rock solid biblical foundation.

Let the nation and world pause and consider its ways - Christian, Jew and Muslim; old and young; black and white.

But to also know that God has an open hand of fellowship and love prepared for any man or woman and of any race who answers the call.

 And the Spirit and the bride say,
Come. And he that heareth,
let him say, Come. And he that is athirst,
let him come: he that will,
let him take the water of life freely. 
(Rev 22:17 ASV)

May God richly bless you all and may you pray, seek God's face on these things, pause and consider your ways and the ways of our increasingly wicked world and be careful about where you go and what times you go there during this health emergency.


19 Mar

Nehemiah Part LIV

And I commanded the Levites
that they should purify themselves,
and that they should come
and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day.
Remember unto me, O my God, this also,
and spare me according to the greatness
of thy lovingkindness.
(Neh 13:22 ASV)

We left off last time with Nehemiah threatening with arrest the traders who were loitering outside of the city gates on the Sabbath so that they could get into the city and trade their wares. This passage appears to show that a shifting of responsibility for keeping of the gates on the Sabbath.

Because this gate keeping on the sabbath was basically a religious issue and part of Nehemiah's religious reforms it was the Levites who were given this duty but again, it appears this is only on the Sabbath. This was probably not the city gates but the gates that led to the temple but the passage does not preclude it being the city gates.

Then Nehemiah utters another prayer to the Lord after having accomplished one of his reforms. The last time he did this was in verse 14 when he reformed the keeping of the Temple storehouse. But this time note the subtle difference. He asks God spare him according to his mercy. This is rather interesting because as Nehemiah continually has to make reforms and often seemingly with little to no help from the elders of Israel. He may be sensing something spiritually. That being that he is starting to see a dangerous pattern of apostasy already in God's people. Consequently he prays that if God should show displeasure with this people, God would not lump him in with the rebellious. Let such a prayer be on the lips of every saint who lives in modern Babylon and who has found himself inside a Church that no longer preaches sound doctrine. Don't get lumped in with the chaff.

  In those days also saw I the Jews
that had married women of Ashdod,
of Ammon, and of Moab: and their
children spake half in the speech of Ashdod,
and could not speak in the Jews’ language,
but according to the language of each people.
(Nehemiah 13:23-24 - ASV)


This issue is one that keeps cropping up and again Nehemiah must once more, remind what is slowly demonstrating to be a stiff-necked people that intermarriage with foreigners was strictly forbidden under Jewish law. The People's of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab, there were clear prohibitions concerning them (Deut 23:3-4) to congregate with, let alone marry. The were not even allowed into the Congregation/Assembly of God's people.

Brothers, the Lord has a long memory when others do his people wrong. He does not forget. The schemes of the Ammonites were deceitful and devious. Yet God is far wiser than the schemes of men. He see's them coming from long before those who plot were even born. The enemies of God have no idea the just how powerful the God we Christians serve is. They work against us and know not that they dig only their own graves in the process.

But the sins of the Ammonites in those days was enough to make sure that God separated that spiritual poison from his people.

While I am certain that anthropologist and historians and other know-it-alls will say that the modern day Palestinians bear no genealogical relationship to the ancient Philistines, I cannot help but note the location of these cities and the Palestinians today and their attitude to the Jewish people and nation (Wikipedia has a map showing the Philistine Pentapolis you can easily find). No, the evidence is hardly conclusive, but still I cannot help but wonder if there is more spiritually going on with the Israeli-Palestinian fight that just land and militant Islam. This is not said to denigrate modern Palestinians and the Christians who live among them. But to give you all just a bit of food for thought.

Also food for thought is that God's offer of salvation today includes those from all of the above named cities today. Jew, Gentile and Palestinian.

But in Nehemiah's time, this forbidden form of intermarriage was clearly fairly common. They spoke a different language than Hebrew. Nehemiah could hear it in his daily conversation.

Another interesting note regarding the Palestinians in Gaza is that before the 1967 war, Gaza was part of Egypt. Now note what Albert Barnes says about the speech of the Ashdodites in those days.
The speech of Ashdod - The Philistine language, which was akin to that of Egypt.

According to the language of each people - The children spoke a mixed dialect - half-Philistine, half-Hebrew. - Albert Barnes

The key here to understand is that this was not a minor issue. This was a major problem in the past and one reason why Israel apostatized in the past. They married foreign wives and they led their husbands into worshiping idols. Back in those days, the oracles of 'political correctness' had not been enshrined as they have in the modern western world. They were under the Mosaic law, not the laws of Modern day gods of 'Political Correctness', and these laws that Nehemiah were trying to impress on the Jews were designed to prevent the moral degeneracy of Israel. The Pulpit Commentary has some interesting thoughts on this in the Unholy Alliance section (towards the bottom) on this link. It's long but very insightful.

Now we can get a better understanding as to why this issue was not only important, it was essential. If the Children of Israel could not obey the Lord in this, then they would not be able remain favored by him and what happened before could happen again... exile.

Nehemiah understood these things. Why did not anyone else see it? I don't know but this I do know. Peace and prosperity, are often the greatest enemies of God's people. The settle in, get fat and forget God. This may have been part of the problem. Things were looking up, the center of Jewish life was restored as were the walls. Commerce was booming in the city. When things like this happen that is when lukewarmness and apostasy set in. Remember Laodicea.

And I contended with them,
and cursed them, and smote certain of them,
and plucked off their hair,
and made them swear by God, saying,
Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons,
nor take their daughters for your sons,
or for yourselves.
(Nehemiah 13:25 - ASV)


Nehemiah was very upset and wanted them to know just what was at stake. Nehemiah basically, if we used the common vernacular, "cussed them out - up one side and down the other". He was very, very angry and like our Lord when he went into the temple and overthrew the tables, got physically violent.

The commandments were clear. They knew the law, they a stood in a solemn assembly and heard it read in their hearing. The problem? They just weren't going to obey it. But this generation of out of all all should have known better. The were in exile and felt the hand of the Lord upon them and are now rebuilding the city after it was reduced to rubble by their enemies. Why? They refused to listen to the prophets God had sent them. They were being stiffnecked, defiant and rebellious and this is what got Nehemiah so angry. Did they want to bring the Lord's wrath down on them again?

Brothers then as now the Lord demands that his people be separate (2Cor 6:17). This separation today is not based on race, but solely on spiritual 'familyhood' - those who are born from God (Born again into God's family) from those who are not.

To many people who read this they may see God as being too harsh and Nehemiah as too draconian. The fact is, most Christians just don't really understand God... at all. Their view of God has often been clouded by today's (I'll say it) gutless 'political correctness'. That God really does expect obedience and holiness in his people. These are not optional. But in those times and ours there were important differences to what God expected - one being the old covenant and the other the new. In the New ALL nations/peoples can participate in God's salvation, blessings and not face the prospect of having to pay for their own sins. All sinners are called. There is no special sin that precludes one from being called to fellowship with God. The only prerequisite here is REPENTANCE from those sins. 

The idea of separation probably best understood as God separating man from his sins - his evil. But when others are steeped in it, he does not want it to rub off on us. This is why he does not like his people spending too much time around those who don't know him and his ways. They will very often lead his people astray.

Yes all are called to fellowship with God, not just Israel as it was in the Old covenant.

But God still has standards and he expects us to meet them. One of them is separation.

Well, we will continue this book next week the good Lord willing.

Grace and peace to you all in Christ Jesus!
17 Mar

Prayer

I do want to say that we all should pray. It may sound cliche, but I really do think we should pray and make some subtle and not so subtle changes in our lifestyle. First stay home more. Second, we should really get before the Lord before we go anywhere. Just ask the Lord about it. Should you go out to that restaurant tonight? Should you go shopping at the busiest times like you usually do? Ever thought about shopping at 11PM on a weeknight? If you are lucky enough not to have to work at a 9-5 or are off because of the virus (like many teachers) a shift like that may be a good idea. My point is that too often we do things out of habit or desire rather than seeking God's face on them. Give your car a rest! Stay at home keep yourself safe and if you are sick, keep others safe. Be considerate; very considerate of others. You may fare well with the virus if you get it, but that 80 year old lady you bumped into at the store may not do so well if she catches it.

The death toll from this could be high, particularly in older folks, those who are already suffering from something else and certain ethnic communities who are more susceptible to the virus.

Will there be a vaccine? Probably, but it may not be developed in the US and I don't want to sound too cynical but even if it did it would be too expensive to deploy and those who created it would demand that government take up the financial slack. In short, my suspicion is that they might 'blackmail' Uncle Sam for the billions they will claim is needed.

This may sound too cynical for many of you, but I personally have little confidence in the whole Big Pharmacy-FDA-Congressional Oversight system to deliver anything to the country other than a massive doctor/medical/vaccine bill... for something of questionable medical effectiveness, but whose profits will find their way back into political campaigns of the Congress who will authorize payment for it. Who else could develop a vaccine? The Russians? Maybe. Israel? Could be. The Germans? They might. There is a radio show I heard this AM you may want to check out over at MEforum.org called Itai Bloch on Israel's COVID-19 Vaccine. Check it out its quite interesting. The point here is that a viable vaccine or treatment may not necessarily come out of the US.

But let's not panic, the flu kills a lot of people as well... every single year. We must put this in perspective and not let panic mongers either on the web or in power freak us out. There has been too much panic and fear in the halls of power these past few days all over the world.

Let us also pray for the President, our leaders in the House and Senate who deserve our prayers and others who are in decision making positions. Pray for your local leaders as well, who often get a power complex when a crisis like this develops.

Prayer and seeking of guidance from the Lord will help us all through this crisis.

  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night,
Nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
   For the pestilence that walketh in darkness,
Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
   A thousand shall fall at thy side,
And ten thousand at thy right hand;
But it shall not come nigh thee.
   Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold,
And see the reward of the wicked.
(Psalms 91:5-8 - ASV)

Let we who serve the Lord in spirit and in truth put our full trust and faith, not in our leaders, country or in a vaccine, but in the Lord our God!!

13 Mar

Battle Lines

Blessings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, I want to leave off all the news and just talk a bit about spiritual matters that I think are important. As I watch events in China and how the government reacts - a wholly authoritarian and yes, I see as a spiritually 'dark', anti-God government, I cannot help but pause and consider a few things.Understand, I am not railing against the Chinese people or even those good souls who work in government and are trying to change things for the better there. Rather this is about Xi and the hard left turn towards hard line communism he has taken China. I want to take some time today and give a short spiritual commentary... just some observations I think will help spiritually mature saints better grasp the times.

I think one thing we should keep in mind is that the devil's systems tend to be utterly incompetent. At least in the things that make the lives of people better. But we must remember that the Devil's MO is not to make things better for man. He has a different MO and Christ told us what that was in the gospels. It is to steal, kill and destroy (SK&D). That appears to be what is happening in China. Do your own research on Human Rights and China. Take a look at how Hong Kong is reacting to China's hoped for expansion of authority there.

But this is just one example of the real effect of these kinds of authoritarian systems of governance. They are run by dark spiritual forces and men who willingly serve such systems do the devils work wittingly or often completely unwittingly with alarming skill. They preach a new age, a new order, a golden age and deliver the nation mass graves, death camps and torture chambers. Do your OWN research with terms like 'torture', 'China', 'labor camps'. Such systems preach life and often, only deliver death. This is the way of authoritarian systems, particularly those that have a strong 'cult of personality' individual running the show.

But this is the heart of satanic governance, particularly in the 20th and 21st century. We saw these things in Hitlers Germany, Mao's China, Stalin's Russia and now we are seeing it in Xi's China (with their labor camps for Muslims) and what are almost certainly political purges now going on in China under the cover of the very real pandemic. Remember, China has a 'great firewall' that is designed to both keep information the power does not want from getting in and information that the people have and the power does not want released from getting out. Reports have come to light that in China, you can't log onto the internet without facial recognition. Say something the power does not line and you may find yourself in a labor camp... or worse because they know EXACTLY who you are.

When we see such governments we need to see them as a kind of preview to the rise of the man of sin. This is what he will be about. Preach peace and bring death. He will be diametrically opposed to the God of heaven and will set up an image to be worshiped. So as we see the kinds of incompetence that typifies these kinds of systems, just know that there is a deep satanic methodology to the madness these men bring to their countries - SK&D.

We must also keep this firmly in mind, we who have had our eyes opened by the Lord and his Holy Spirit. While there are some unsaved souls out there who still have enough sense to see something wholly wrong with these systems, many times the promise that these systems and men offer is too much for the ordinary lost soul to resist. They get seduced. Hitler's ideology was most seductive to a great many Germans. It gave a defeated, broken and battered Germany pride and purpose and thousands, later millions bought into it. Stalin carried on the great proletariat revolution. There is something seductive about these things to some people and the promises for the future these leaders bring. The same can be said of Xi, he has his own peculiar vision of the future, which is firmly rooted in the Maoist/Communist past.

I write this little piece today, because I like many others, am slowly beginning to see the promise and hope of democracy die. Pew Research did a most insightful piece on the dissatisfaction with democracy globally about a year ago, that lays out many of the reasons why and polled people all over the world.

I think we are moving to a point where democracy cannot or will no longer work. I hate to say that but I think it is a day that is not so slowly approaching. It's not that democracy is bad. No, it's that evil men have found a thousand and one ways of thwarting the will of the people even with elections that have the votes counted right. Voting and putting in new leaders brings in no substantive positive change. The reasons for this are many and won't be delved into here. The point here is that as democracy wanes, something else or rather someone else will choose our leaders and make policies for us with less or perhaps none of our input.

Once a major global crisis ensues, I think a new system a global one may be foisted on us all and America may not have much say about it as she may be seen as the primary problem the world faces. What is that problem? Here is one for starters....

Try our debts. Here is just the interest we pay on it.


It's those amazing deficits that when they can no longer be serviced is going to bring in some serious global chaos. So know this. A crisis is coming. There is no way around it at this point in time. Even now with this virus or rather in my view, the over-reaction to it, market experts even major banks are warning something is seriously amiss in the markets - particularly the Treasury Markets.... that is how the US funds its outrageous expenditures. It's a question of when it happens and what solutions are imposed on the world once it does. Those are the questions and if the next crisis is the 'big one' we may have a pretty good idea what it will eventually bring about.

But we may see a major transformation of the world first. A Post American world order take shape before we see the rise of the man of sin. A world order where America will never again be allowed to rise to the heights she once did, but remains a lesser kingdom of the end times. In other words, we may see a time of serious chastisement on America first. But such a scenario I don't (personally) think lines up very well with the prophets and their words on the end times. This country may fall when she is at the heights and while the city (I want to stress that word CITY as it is used six times
Rev 17:18; Rev 18:10; 18:16; 18:18; 18:19; 18:21 to describe Mystery Babylon) is destroyed. The major city that represents Babylon may go, but major parts of the nation may very well remain. Though I think it will ultimately be a goat nation (let the reader understand that).

Let us remember that when Christ returns he is going to do so in power and splendor. He is going to have a host of warrior angels with him to divvy up justice the old fashioned, righteous and holy way. Excuses will not sway him, flattery will anger him and two words that so many in the western world hates today - personal responsibility - for ones words and deeds will be the issues that will be weighed.

But when the Son of man shall come in his glory,
and all the angels with him, then shall
he sit on the throne of his glory: 
and before him shall be gathered all the nations:
and he shall separate them one from another,
as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; 
and he shall set the sheep on his right hand,
 but the goats on the left.
(Matthew 25:31-33 [ASV])

While it is true America has done much for Christians in the past and the key point of judgement in the above passage is how these nations treated Christians, this nation for the most part has a very good record. Except the last President whose administration it seemed to this author to encourage or at least 'accidentally' assist a considerable amount of highly deniable 'collateral damage' to be perpetrated on Christians world-wide. It took him several years for him to even acknowledge publicly that we Christians were being slaughtered when we so clearly were. I just personally saw something very dark spiritually that the Obama administration had over it. But it is not just him, there is and always has been a strong spiritually dark element within parts of our deep state (the real people/networks who run the country and make key policies). Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about devil worship or anything like that, but people who have been fully deceived by and can be used by the devil in powerful ways and not know that's what they are doing. And then the masses follow such people because they are in the right political party, have the right look about them or the right skin color. How did Shakespeare put it?

"The Devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape."
- Shakespeare

A pretty face, fine words and wonderful promises have seduced many a person in both sex and politics. The devil knows how to get people to follow him. Promise them the moon and once they've been fooled, deliver coffins instead. He's been doing in for many centuries and it works time and time again.

My point is that Trump may be an aberration to what we may see in the future when the Democrats get power again. We may see America begin to use its covert power to secretly target Christians. Remember ISIS and the whole 'we tripped and fell and handed loads of arms to terrorists by mistake' fiasco's we once had under the last administration? ISIS stole from, killed and destroyed (SK&D) many Christians and Churches. The devil's work.

The point here is that those of you who hate Trump or don't like him because he is White, or rich, or has a loud mouth, does not act 'Presidential' or is too old or you don't like his wife or (insert your reason here) should consider that in THE key thing that separates the Sheep Nations from the Goat Nations, on that great day. Trump is moving America into the Sheep nation category and remember there is only one criteria. How did they treat Christ's brethren?

And the King shall answer and say unto them,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it
unto one of these my brethren, even these least,
ye did it unto me.
(Matt 25:40 [ASV])

It's not how much you spent on welfare, did you win a war in Afghanistan, how many Gay weddings you performed or protested against. No, it is how did you treat Christ's brethren - his REAL brethren who will almost certainly be social and political outcasts and not necessarily 'acceptable' churchmen in robes or televangelists driving brand new luxury cars.

I think this is because there is going to come a time when we will be hated - literally HATED by ALL NATIONS for Christ's sake. Some kind of mass propaganda campaign that will be highly effective will demonize us all and it will be very difficult to give aid and assistance to the true body of Christ. It could be a time of enormous betrayal as well.

So I will keep my eyes on Xi, Modi as well as Putin and observe how these leaders use their power and the methods they use to attack Christians. Through in Russia, they have a somewhat different approach. The Orthodox Church has full state approval but other smaller Christian sects are under considerable attack. Forum18 often has some good stories on events in Russia and Eurasia.

The devil is busy brothers, very busy, but he does his work in ways that many don't recognize it for what it is.

Growing authoritarianism? Cult of personality? These I think are signposts to the future our God has warned us about in the books of the prophets in the Old and New Testament.


***

In closing, I know I have not written much at all on the virus on the public site. Much privately, not much here. The only thing I will say is that I am not panicked in the least. The death rate for this thing from all I have read is just not that high. Yes, a lot of people are going to get it and lots will get sick and sadly some will die. Until an evidence based system of treatment that does not cost a fortune and does not require a hospital stay is found, this is just going to be a problem for some time. I personally am not looking for any kind of 'cure' to happen for many long months or years. But a system of effective treatment could appear before long. Perhaps one will become available when its been demonstrated to work and is known to be safe.

But let us keep this in some perspective. At least 20,000 people have died so far this season...

...from the flu.

I have refrained from posting too much information because there are some aspects to this officials clearly want to downplay. I will respect that desire because frankly people have a tendency to overreact, freak out and even lash out at the wrong things. So I have saved my better more informative and speculative posts on the virus for older more mature (private) readers.

That will remain the policy for the foreseeable. People have seriously abused my work and analysis before and the worst offenders were those in government. I am not going to let that happen again.


10 Mar

Nehemiah Part LIII

  Then I contended with the nobles of Judah,
and said unto them, What evil thing is this
that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 
Did not your fathers thus, and did
not our God bring all this evil upon us,
and upon this city? yet ye bring more
wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. 
(Nehemiah 13:17-18 - ASV)
This whole idea of profaning the sabbath may have become the 'new normal' in Israel, but God's firebrand, Nehemiah was not going to sit still for it. In this passage, he goes to the nobles and elite of Judah and pleads with them on this issue. Nehemiah was really making sure that religious reform was real and not just a day of singing to the Lord during a celebration. There is a lot more to serving God than that. This was one of Israel's obligations, to keep the sabbath. The nobles were not only negligent, but frankly were rebellions in their attitude to this.

Nehemiah reminds the nobles that this is why all the mess they went through happened to them. They stopped obeying the Lord. The implication being 'do you want to go through all that again'? That is what the last phrase in the above passage means. They were heading down the same path as their fathers and were on their way to bringing God's wrath upon the city and its inhabitants. When these sins go uncorrected by the nobles, they will eventually be corrected by the Lord. Do you get the impression that if God had not raised up a man like Nehemiah that Israel would have lapsed right back into apostasy long before the first generation of returnees had passed on? I do.
Again, we are not given the reaction that Nehemiah's angry rebuke had on the nobles. I suspect they didn't do much, but bob their heads in a agreement and do what most rulers do... nothing. It isn't like the Nobles didn't know what was going on and it isn't like they had never heard of the sabbath. The guilt was theirs.
I note in the next passage what Nehemiah's reaction was after the meeting.

  And it came to pass that,
when the gates of Jerusalem
began to be dark before the sabbath,
I commanded that the doors should be shut,
and commanded that they should not be opened
till after the sabbath: and some of my servants
set I over the gates, that there should
no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 
So the merchants and sellers
of all kind of wares lodged
without Jerusalem once or twice.
(Nehemiah 13:19-20 ASV)

What the nobles decided to do is not known to us, what is known is that Nehemiah was a man of action. He was not going to wait for the Nobles to debate the issue, he was going to make sure Israel did not fall back into sin. So he put some men around the city and made it clear. "You aren't bringing your stuff in here today, it's the sabbath. Come back when it's over, and you will be welcome."
He did this at the outset of the Sabbath.

It is interesting that Nehemiah had to set the men to do this and the elders of the city did not.

Then I testified against them, and said unto them,
Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again,
I will lay hands on you. From that time
forth came they no more on the sabbath.

(Nehemiah 13:21 - ASV)

When they could not get into the city, they hung about outside the wall waiting to get in. Perhaps they figured they could set up shop in the choice spots if they got into the city first. This apparently happened the first two Sabbath's after Nehemiah's reforms. This did not make Nehemiah happy at all. So he spoke against them and asked them why they were loitering. This was a rhetorical question, he know exactly why. They wanted into the city and were barred entry. This was a wise move on Nehemiah's part because once they knew they could not loiter outside the walls, they would not carry all of their wares on the sabbath towards the city on sabbath. Then we get a look at just how serious Nehemiah took this issue. Remember he was the effective governor and was operating under the Kings command. So his threat to lay hands on them was no idle street-bully boast. He had men at arms and the legal authority that could make it happen.
This whole episode goes to the character of Nehemiah and the theme of this book. The issue of religious reform for the returning exiles. The kings and rulers of old as well as the nobles of Nehemiah time may have been wimpy when it came to making sure the people observed the law, but not Nehemiah. This is a man with a mission and he meant business. If it meant that the law was going to be enforced by his police, then that is what was going to happen.

We will continue on with the last few verses of this amazing book next week as we look at more of Nehemiah's religious reforms, God willing!!

6 Mar

Wait

Right now, I want to talk about something that is one of hardest things for Christians to do. It is hard and at the same time, it is a test of our faith. No, it's not arduous, it is not anything that is going to make us break a sweat or have to burn the midnight oil over. It's not anything that is going to cause us to have to come off with some money or fill out forms in triplicate. It's not going to do any of those things.

What is it that can be so difficult but will certainly cause many to stumble and fall. Is it resisting sin?

No.
 
What is it?
When going through parts of the book of Isaiah Sunday, I was struck by how the Lord blesses those that do one thing for him in particular. What is that?
 Yea, in the way of thy judgments,
 O Jehovah, have we waited for thee; to thy name,
even to thy memorial name, is the desire of our soul.
(Isaiah 26:8 ASV)

 One thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
at the threat of five shall ye flee:
till ye be left as a beacon upon
the top of a mountain,
and as an ensign on a hill. 
And therefore will Jehovah wait,
that he may be gracious unto you;
and therefore will he be exalted,
that he may have mercy upon you:
for Jehovah is a God of justice;
blessed are all they that wait for him. 
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
thou shalt weep no more; he will surely
be gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry;
when he shall hear, he will answer thee.
(Isaiah 30:17-19 ASV)

 And it shall be said in that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him,
and he will save us: this is Jehovah;
we have waited for him,
we will be glad and rejoice
 in his salvation.
(Isaiah 25:9 ASV)
There are many such passages in Isaiah and all through the Bible. Waiting on God (he often waits on us!) is so very important but it can also be difficult. It can also be a major stumbling block for some. Just waiting on God can be very hard. There is no work involved, no mission fields to preach the gospel in with hostile populations trying to stop you from proclaiming and teaching. No government agents trying to entrap you and get you to appear to commit a crime. No, just waiting alone is going to cause many Christians to stumble and even fall. How did our Lord put it?
But if that servant shall say in his heart,
My lord delayeth his coming;
and shall begin to beat the menservants
 and the maidservants, and to eat and drink,
and to be drunken; the lord of that
servant shall come in a day when he expecteth not,
and in an hour when he knoweth not,
and shall cut him asunder,
and appoint his portion with the unfaithful.
(Luke 12:45 ASV)
So we see how impatience led this particular servant to fall into sin, rebellion and lose his soul.

The Psalmist also exhorts us to wait on the Lord.

 Wait for Jehovah, and keep his way,
And he will exalt thee to inherit the land:
When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
 (Psalms 37:34 ASV)

Brothers, waiting on God in these times is not so easy. It can be very hard. There are so many distractions and allurements in the world and we just have to keep focused on our God.

While this passage in Revelation (14:13) may not deal specifically with waiting, I think it speaks volumes to the final generation who shall live during the time of the Mark of the Beast, when apostasy and blasphemy will be at truly epidemic proportions and many believers will have already gone by the wayside, many simply fearing for their lives. To that generation, waiting on God and delivering up our lives in his service will not be easy. Some of us already know we are to die for the Lord. Others of us may not think the Lord will require it of them. It may be hard for those believers to be steady in their faith and WAIT on the salvation of God. That kind of waiting requires faith, real faith.

Do you have it?

What if our faith one day drives us out of our homes and into the hills, forests or even sewers while the servants of anti-Christ try and hunt us down?

Brothers, even the redeemed, those who have already gone before us and given their lives to the Lord; did you know that they have to wait as well? Yes, there is waiting in heaven as well for the redeemed.

   And when he opened the fifth seal,
I saw underneath the altar the souls
of them that had been slain for the word of God,
and for the testimony which they held: 
and they cried with a great voice, saying,
How long, O Master, the holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood
on them that dwell on the earth? 
And there was given them to each one a white robe;
and it was said unto them, that they should
rest yet for a little time, until their
fellow-servants
also and their brethren, who should be killed
even as they were, should have fulfilled their course.  
(Rev 6:9-11 ASV)

This salvation/redemption thing is about much more than our petty, childish impatience. There is the whole creation God has to think about and God has is own reasons for doing things the way he does them. He does not need to explain himself to us. We on the other hand are indeed given a commandment that can be summarized.

   Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandman waiteth
for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain. 
Be ye also patient; establish your hearts:
for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 
Murmur not, brethren, one against another,
that ye be not judged: behold, the judge standeth
before the doors. Take, brethren,
for an example
of suffering and of patience,
the prophets
who spake in the name of the Lord
Behold, we call them blessed that endured:
ye have heard of the patience of Job,
and have seen the end of the Lord,
how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful. 
(James 5:7-11 ASV)

Blessings to you all who serve and honor Christ Jesus!

***


2 Mar



Nehemiah Part LII

Remember me, O my God, concerning this,
 and wipe not out my good deeds
that I have done for the house of my God,
and for the observances thereof. 
(Nehemiah 13:14 ASV)

Here Nehemiah lays out a prayer after the events dealing with Tobiah's ejection from the Temple and the appointment of new overseer's of the temple and its stores. Nehemiah asks God to remember him, in that he has stood up for the Lord in this very important matter. The prayer is of note because the phrase of wiping out good deeds is not seen elsewhere in the OT.

The Cambridge Bible commentary notes two passages that seem to be clearly related, 2Chr 32:32 and 2Chr 35:26, where the chronicler sets forth the idea of good works being remembered. Nehemiah wants God to remember him.

Nehemiah is probably keenly aware, as any true saint is of his own failings, frailties and mistakes but nevertheless, wants God not so much to overlook those, but just to remember what he has done in the name of and for the name of the Lord.

Nehemiah wants God to remember the deeds he has done to restore the pure religion of Jehovah as well as the Mosaic rituals to the returned exiles.

  In those days saw I in Judah some men
treading wine-presses on the sabbath,
and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses therewith;
as also wine, grapes, and figs,
and all manner of burdens,
which they brought into Jerusalem
on the sabbath day: and I testified against them
 in the day wherein they sold victuals. 
There dwelt men of Tyre also therein,
who brought in fish, and all manner of wares,
and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah,
and in Jerusalem.
(Nehemiah 13:15-16 ASV)

Here Nehemiah was doing what the Priests should have been doing and clearly weren't. People were working on the Sabbath, a clear prohibition in the Law. Yet here they were treading grapes for wine and hauling agricultural goods and, depending on how one reads verse 15, were selling them. Nehemiah seems to have been seriously taken aback. They had to know about the Sabbath but yet were not going to observe it. Why was this? Did they just decide to ignore the law? Were they just paying lip-service to Nehemiah and the other reformers?
That answer is not clear, but it does seem likely that because there were many foreigners who lived in the area who were not bound by the Jewish law. They would work, the Jews were prohibited. This would be an impediment to their businesses and give the foreigners an unfair 'competitive advantage'. But keeping the sabbath was a constant problem with their forbears as well. The prophets of old spoke of it incessantly. No one heeded. This was one of the reasons that they went into exile. No, certainly not the only reason, but it was one reason the Lord got so angry with Israel. This was a problem even before the prophets who warned of the exile and the Lord was none too pleased. Here is how the prophet Ezekiel put it.

 Moreover also I sware unto them in the wilderness,
 that I would not bring them into the land
which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey,
 which is the glory of all lands;
because they rejected mine ordinances,
and walked not in my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths:
for their heart went after their idols. 
Nevertheless mine eye spared them,
and I destroyed them not, neither did I make
a full end of them in the wilderness.   
And I said unto their children in the wilderness,
Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers,
neither observe their ordinances,
nor defile yourselves with their idols.
 I am Jehovah your God: walk in my statutes,
and keep mine ordinances, and do them; 
and hallow my sabbaths; and they shall
be a sign between me and you, that ye may
know that I am Jehovah your God. 
But the children rebelled against me;
they walked not in my statutes,
neither kept mine ordinances to do them,
which if a man do, he shall live in them;
they profaned my sabbaths.
Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them,
to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
(Ezekiel 20:15-21 ASV)

You will find reference to sabbath breaking in many of your old time prophetic works. (See also Jer 17:21-27) Nehemiah was going to ensure that that mistake was not repeated and that Israel got off on the right foot. This generation knew full well the cost exile had, Nehemiah for one did not want to repeat that mistake. Albert Barnes makes comment that bringing back the sabbath may have been the most difficult part of the Jewish law to re-institute.
Old habits die hard and living among the Babylonians for so long as well as those who were in Jerusalem being under foreign rule, the habit of working on the Sabbath was probably just part of daily living for decades. In verse 16 we see how foreign traders and businessmen were a big part of the problem. They would come into the city bring their wares to Jerusalem and sell them. They were not Jewish and had no respect for Jewish law so why should they observe the Sabbath? And you know what? They didn't. The Tyrian's brought in their fish and goods and sold them on whatever day suited them and the People of Israel bought them, on whatever day they were available. Clearly they were not giving the Lord or his law the proper respect and Nehemiah, God's firebrand, was going to deal with the leaders of Judah who allowed this to go on. Nehemiah testified against those who engaged in this practice
Nehemiah was basically letting them know that God see's what they were doing and it was sin and that God would lay charge to those who broke the Law.

We will continue Nehemiah and how he upbraided the leaders for this lapse in the next installment, God willing!

They Won't Be Back

This is a hard, hard lesson but all of is need to learn it and not let the realities of Christian living get us down. One of those realities is that...
And then shall many stumble,
and shall deliver up one another,
 and shall hate one another.
(Matthew 24:10 - ASV)

I hate to break this to you, but in these times, the closer we come to the rise of the man of sin, the beast system's final form and the coming of Christ, falling away will be a very, very common thing. Many will fall away, not a few. This will be particularly true when persecution comes and comes hard. That will be the real test for western Christians. What are you really going to do when your walk with Christ costs... I mean really costs?

I know this is a theme I have talked about a few times before but it bears serious repeating. Those who come to know Christ and willfully and knowingly turn on the cross of Christ are in a very serious spiritual condition. In many cases, the simple fact is, they can never come back. Some of you think I am hard on this issue. No brothers, God is most merciful but at the same time our Lord, through his Apostles made some things very clear.

  For as touching those who were
once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift,
and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
 and tasted the good word of God,
and the powers of the age to come,
and then fell away, it is impossible
to renew them again unto repentance;
seeing they crucify to themselves
the Son of God afresh, a
nd put him to an open shame.
(Hebrews 6:4-6 ASV)


It is not my place to say if anyone has placed himself into this category or not. I do not know. What I know is that there is a form of apostasy that precludes any future offer of salvation. In other words, you can't come back. Why is this?

I do not know for certain, but part of the reason is stated in the above passage. They brought great shame to the gospel by their apostasy. The other reason I think has to do with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is a rather sensitive issue with the Lord. His person and work are not to be taken lightly. Let us remember that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the only unpardonable sin (Mark 3:29). Also remember that its work is essential in the work of salvation. If God's Spirit will not draw that person to Christ (or back to Christ) then the path to salvation is blocked. Keep in mind what Jesus said. 

No man can come to me,
except the Father that sent me draw him:
and I will raise him up in the last day.
(John 6:44 ASV)

A person must be drawn and if the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration (Titus 3:5) is no longer possible, that person is in extreme spiritual danger. When a person shows spite to the Holy Spirit, and turns away from the path of salvation there is frankly little if any hope for them.

  A man that hath set at nought Moses’
law dieth without compassion
on the word of two or three witnesses: 
of how much sorer punishment, think ye,
shall he be judged worthy, who hath
trodden under foot the Son of God,
and hath counted the blood of the covenant
wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing,
and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
(Hebrews 10:28-29 ASV)


I don't say these things to depress any of you or say that there is absolutely no hope for your associates who have fallen away, but to say that in our times, you had best get used to seeing this kind of thing... a lot. Our main task is two fold. First to make sure we are not like Lot's wife, looking back on spiritual Sodom or in the case of the Children of Israel, Egypt.

Looking back is bad enough, but going back is clearly forbidden and for many, that trip is one way, you won't be back even if you wanted to, not without the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Second, I would exhort you to not be too full of sorrow and pity for such. They made their choice - to turn on the Lord. You must make yours, to stay with him even if all others forsake him. That is your job. Remember how Samuel was distressed over Saul and his apostasy? He was deeply grieved. But did the Lord join in Samuel's 'pity party'? No. He rebuked Samuel who had work to do and is excessive whining over Saul may have been effecting his work as a prophet and was nothing more than criticism of the Lord and his sovereign decision.

And Jehovah said unto Samuel,
How long wilt thou mourn for Saul,
seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel?
fill thy horn with oil, and go:
I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite;
for I have provided me a king among his sons.
 (I Samuel 16:1 - ASV)


The Lord chided Samuel and for good reason. Why was he whining about this reprobate king who in the very next verse Samuel is concerned that he may kill him? Who knows, but for a long time Saul and Samuel were probably pretty close. It was hard for Samuel to see Saul go down the path he had taken. But Samuel knew his duty. He was a prophet of the Lord and his representative and he had to do as the Lord bid. The first thing was to dry his tears for Saul and the second, to go and anoint a new King.

There comes a time when we have to let go of relationships and old friends sometimes change and change for the worse. God does not want us to be friends with liars, murderers, traitors, adulterers and thieves and when people start to go down that road, we need to move away and stay away.

So if you see this happen to someone you know, don't spend too much time weeping over such people. What should you do instead?

And he said unto all,
If any man would come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.
(Luke 9:23 ASV)




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