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
  6 Aug

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.
 


6 Aug

Econ Watch

Weather we wish to accept it or not. Economic issues are of great importance in our times. They are also believe it or not, of some prophetic importance. When money is talked about here, it is not about greed or making a profit off of this stock or that great investment. Rather, I try and bring issues that are of importance both prophetically and in our day to day living. We cannot ignore the issue of money in either realm. For one day, the whole money system will be 'Satan-ified' and no one will be able to buy or sell save that he have the mark of the devil.

The False Prophet (a powerful demonic entity) is the one who causes all to worship the beast and his image. Religion and economics come together in a full-court satanic press in the last hours of this age. I have long talked about and said that I believe that the fall of Babylon and the institution of the mark of the beast are very closely related. In fact, I strongly suspect that it will be that gigantic economic catastrophe of Babylon's fall that will basically compel the world's leaders to come up with a solution to the destruction of so much wealth evaporating and the glut of IOU's directly related to the Babylon's fall. I think Revelation chapter 14 gives is a strong hint of this, if one see's the clear sequence in Rev 14:8ff. Babylon falls and then comes the warning not to take the mark. One hour these ten kings have to their plan to destroy the harlot. They have to have a 'follow on' plan once she is gone. The Mark of the Beast may be a big part of it. Given the global nature of commerce and its increasing digitization, some kind of one world global economic system like this is something that anyone can see is not only possible, but probable in our future. So on that note lets take a look at some events in the economy today. Despite all the talk of recovery, it is very ugly out there...

Let's talk just a moment about the eviction tidal wave that is coming. Now in my county they won't start hearing such cases in the courts until Aug 31st. Without some kind of extension on the moratorium there is going to be some trouble out there. The good news is that here in this county, it has set up an assistance fund for those impacted by the virus. States and local governments will have to do something if they want to avoid a trainwreck and a significant increase in homelessness. But in my state, as long as the state of emergency lasts, there is a statewide moratorium on evictions that applies under certain conditions. So this State is not not such bad shape if one is a renter and lost their job or got their hours seriously cut. This will help those who worked in shops that were forced to be closed. It does not help landlords who have their own bills to pay. I only use my home state as an example as many of the same things are probably happening on many other states as well but are just not making big headlines.

Then there is the whole Brick and Mortar meltdown thing. What is going to happen to all of those stores that have been closed for months. I have a mall that is a stone's throw from where I live and it was dying before the pandemic. It's closed and when it will reopen is anyone's guess. With all of these retail chains going broke, it may never do so. Here is an SEC filing for one major Real Estate Trust that deals with Shopping centers. You can scroll down and see how much they lost... before the lockdowns took full effect. On page 47 of that link they mention their concerns for the future. So this whole retail Brick and Mortar retail meltdown is no dark fantasy of some obscure bloggers. It's real and it looks like its going to get worse.

The only bright side is that eCommerce is doing very well. For much of this you can only blame many of these retail chains. They like it has been said of the dinosaurs of old, just did not adapt to the new environment. I have long said that if I were running a chain of stores like say Sears I would have really pushed eCommnerce hard and got drivers in all the major cities to do what Amazon is doing now. They already had the presence, the warehousing, the deals with suppliers. Instead, they have just about gone out of businesses. Last count I read was that Sears-Kmart will soon be down to under 100 stores nationwide.

But this in my view is what happens when companies rely too heavily on various forms of borrowing. It's what I see wrong with much of the US economy. This includes a great many companies in the so called 'new economy'  - many of them don't make money. Do a search on on 'Wall Street Unicorn start up and debt' and see what you find. I am not knocking debt but rather, the over reliance on it. This has been a national obsession. What do I mean? I won't bore you with another US debt chart. But will pass on that this President has followed in the footsteps of all recent US Presidents and raised the US deficits significantly. When Inaugurated, the US debt stood at $19.9 trillions. Today it stands at $26.5 trillions (that Treasury link strangely ceased working - here is another one  - here as well). What does it cost just in interest on this kind of debt?

Chart Source: US Treasury
Treasury's Interest
                                                exepense chart ao 7-20
Does anyone care? There are some 'deficit hawks' in the Senate who seem to be holding up the latest stimulus  bill and making it far less ambitious and this is one reason why.

We will hear much wailing and gnashing of teeth because leaders don't open up the coffers and start giving away more money, but the American economy even as big and resilient as it is can only stand so much of a 'debt drag' on it. The key I think that very few are talking about is that we are indeed having some issues with financing ourselves even with the usual way of it - borrowing. These days the Fed is buying just about everything to 'calm' and support the markets. It's bond buying programs can be read about in many mainstream sites and blogs. I won't recount the issues here other than to say that when a nation like this has the kinds of debts we have accumulated coupled with the continual need to borrow more, there comes a time when the market - not the Fed - but the market (those wanting a real return on their investment) become less enthusiastic about lending to someone so heavily indebted and with no realistic plan to deal with it.


               Source: BEA

This is why I see the Fed's move as part of the end game for the US dollar. In my view what we are doing is not all that dissimilar to what they did in the Weimar Republic and what Zimbabwe has done with its currency. It's just far more sophisticated and deceptive. We just keep on printing it and much of that money heads right over into the stock market and drives the price of stocks to the moon for companies that don't, haven't and some are not likely to ever make any money. My view? It's the scam economy. If you got friends who will 'lend' you money on the Street, you too can be a corporate billionaire. You never have to make a dime in profit, just wow them with a great prospectus, scratch a few well heeled backs and you too can become a billionaire and when it all comes to the end, you can sell your stock at the highs and retire wealthy.

This is what our economy has descended to in my view, a system that looks too much like some kind of White Collar quasi-criminal enterprise to me to be comfortable with. Honest money, honest work with people that build and create often are sidelined in favor of moguls at 'Debt Inc.' a closed circle of economic elitists who decide which companies are allowed to exist, which ones get squeezed, which community will grow and which turns into a slum. Don't get me wrong, rarely are laws actually broken. They are just maneuvered around to such degree that what the law was designed to prevent, transpires in a 'legal' way. We have in my view, turned a good, well functioning economy into a racket any mobster would be very comfortable in and be totally familiar with. It's due for a complete collapse. When, no one can say. The world is still afraid of America and the consequences of shifting its trading from dollars to something else. Two tried and died (Saddam and Ghadffi) and two more have tried and got onto America's 'manure list' (Putin and Xi).

So what does this mean? Don't write the US economy off yet. This current dance of the debtors can last a good while longer. As long as they can keep the value of the dollar on the global markets high and tradable for goods and services, the US should be OK from a purely economic perspective. Given the situation in much of the world, the US currency is still by far one of the least ugly ducklings out there, despite its ocean of red ink. So let us be clear, right now the dollar is holding up fairly well despite some of the recent events regarding it and the economy in general. But what happens when the dollar starts to sink in value and reflects the true state of American finances?

Let's go back to the Bible and get an old time example. Keep in mind that there were no schools on economics back in the olden days, Even thousands of years after this, the basics of economics were not studied or really known. We have the benefit of 6000+ years of human history and can see many of the cause and effect relationships in certain economic and monetary actions. So let's go back to the times of the patriarchs. It is hardly an exact example, but one I think still fitting to remember in our times.

 And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt,
and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for our money faileth. And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle,
if money fail

And they brought their cattle unto Joseph;
and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses,
 and for the flocks, and for the herds, and for the asses:
and he fed them with bread in exchange
for all their cattle for that year.
(Genesis 47:15-17 - ASV)


There was a famine in the land and from the text it appears that first they may have had some money but then it ran out. Even if they had it, money does not appear to be what people were taking in exchange for real goods. Weather it failed because it ran out or failed because people were not taking it anymore for bread, the effect is the same. For us today, it would be kind of like money and paper towels become essentially of equal value. This is what happens when a currency fails. Whatever the mechanics behind it that caused it in the above passage, it ceases to be that key medium of exchange for trade and purchases. People just cease to accept it. Now I am not necessarily saying this is going to happen to the US dollar, though some prophets have predicted just such a thing. One many years ago said this would happen and that the US would go into a time of reflection and that she would try and rise again to her old heights but could not... ever again. 

My point is that I see a time when our whole system will go into crisis, we are already seeing it in many parts of the country in education, in the economy, in jobs, in the riots and protests. I just think things are going to get so much worse until the nation acknowledges its sins and turns from them and turns its face towards God. As I see no repentance, just the same old sins and abominations being given the stamp of approval, so the nation I suspect will see more trouble and even tribulation on many fronts including the economic one as the years pass and the nations sins continue to overflow in the cup of her deeds.


This is why I ask you all to keep your eyes on the obvious and listen less and less to explanations as to why what looks to be totally off kilter is (according to these 'explanations') perfectly fine... like the nation's fiscal situation and her deficits. There is nothing normal about this scope of the nations debts any more than there is anything normal about a man with a tree trunk growing out of his forehead. Whatever explanations are given in either case, both are crying out for some kind of corrective action.

My view is that the nation's debt situation is a reflection of the whole national psyche. It's 'have a good time now' and pay it back never. Borrow, party, fornicate and dope oneself up with a credit card till you can't borrow anymore. This mentality is true for a lot of American's. In government, it's shift trillions of dollars to corporate and wealthy donors via government contracts and sweetheart regulations while in office and pays for it with deficits. Party now and don't worry about paying for it; this seems more and more to be the fiscal mantra of the day. But this licentious attitude towards finance will have a very bitter end for many of us. Everyone thinks the government will come in and solve the crisis and bail them out. The days that they can continue to do that are not eternal. When the economy has to rely of the Fed to take in reams of debt to 'stabilize' the economy, the signs of the 'end game' to this ridiculous and tragic economic model touted by so called 'economists' are clear for all to see.

What happens when that great economic bastion of the last days falls and all the commerce that goes with it is gone forever? Something will have to take its place. What will it be? Perhaps the scriptures are telling us that in the book of Revelation.


And he causeth all, the small and the great,
and the rich and the poor,
and the free and the bond,
that there be given them a mark
on their right hand,
or upon their forehead;
and that no man should be able to buy or to sell,
save he that hath the mark,
even the name of the beast
or the number of his name.
 Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding,
let him count the number of the beast;
for it is the number of a man:
and his number is
Six hundred and sixty and six.
(Rev 13:16-18 ASV)

Economics and religion will become seriously intertwined in that final system. Let us keep our eyes open and watch.

Also keep this in mind, when the economics of Joseph's time failed, the saints too were deeply effected. These kinds of things can and will effect us all. So let us be wise as serpents in these times and get before God about our finances lest we get caught in a snare of our own making.


Note: This piece is personal opinion and commentary and not financial advice. Please make wise and informed decisions, preferably with some kind of professional advisor before making any important financial decision.

4 Aug

Job Part VII

Then Job arose, and rent his robe,
and shaved his head,
and fell down upon the ground,
and worshipped; and he said,
Naked came I out of my mother's womb,
 and naked shall I return thither:
Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away;
blessed be the name of Jehovah.
In all this Job sinned not,
nor charged God foolishly.
(Job 1:20-22 ASV)


When we left off last time, Job had gotten a heavy load of bad news. His kids were dead, his wealth stolen and much if not all of what made him an important man in his times was gone, all in one single day. Disaster had struck Job. Moreover Job hardly deserved such treatment, being a righteous man. Yet it did happen and it happened to him.
How did Job react? I think some of us would have gotten mad at the Lord and wonder why he did not protect us or why he did not do this or allow that and had just been pretty upset with God. But God was not the source of his troubles. The source of his troubles was Satan, but Job did not know that. Instead of charging God foolishly, he tore his overcoat, which was a sign of extreme distress. This was not just common among the Jews but was also a custom throughout the ancient world as evidenced in many ancient writers. He also shaved his head, another expression of deep sorrow. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped God. The passage is clearly showing that Job was in deep distress. He did not take all this loss with a ho-hum attitude. He lost his children and his wealth and Job was as human as the rest of us. He felt deep, deep sorrow and his behavior was meant to reflect that.
Job then says, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.". This is a powerful perspective on life and Job is spot on. The idea is one that Paul sets down in his writings.

for we brought nothing into the world,
for neither can we carry anything out;
but having food and covering
we shall be therewith content.
(1Ti 6:7-8 ASV)

Even today we have a saying 'You can't take it with you', or as some have said, "When was the last time you saw a U-Haul van pull up to a cemetery"? The last may be full of a little dark humor but the idea is the same. There is nothing here on earth you can take with you when you die.
Facing trials? Things not going according to YOUR plans? Had a horrible day at the office? Just get a pink slip? Find out your daughter is hooked on opium? Brothers, as bad as these things are, no one down here escapes trouble.

Again it came to pass on the day when
the sons of God came to present
themselves before Jehovah,
that Satan came also among them
to present himself before Jehovah.
And Jehovah said unto Satan,
From whence comest thou?
And Satan answered Jehovah, and said,
From going to and fro in the earth,
 and from walking up and down in it.
(Job 2:1-2 ASV)


Again the angels or more linguistically accurate Benay Elohim have assembled to present themselves before God. This appears to be a periodic occurrence. How often, it if is scheduled or the result of a summons, we are not told. We only know that this is the second time it has happened with relation to Job. Verse two is very much like Verse 1:7 and may be a standard answer that certain classes of angels reply to God when asked before they give greater detail.
And Jehovah said unto Satan,
Hast thou considered my servant Job?
for there is none like him in the earth,
a perfect and an upright man,
one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil:
and he still holdeth fast his integrity,
although thou movedst me against him,
to destroy him without cause.
(Job 2:3 ASV)

Once again the Lord starts to 'brag' about his servant Job. I always like the way this next phrase reads, "there is none like him in the earth". I tell you, I would like to have a report about my character from the Lord like that! It is something we should all strive for, to be pleasing to the Lord and get an excellent report from him. The Lord this time had even more to be pleased about. Satan came in and made a total wreck of Job's life and yet Job maintained his faith in God and his personal integrity. Note that the Lord himself marks that Job's trials were completely without cause. This was not about Job and often when we go through trials, it is not about us or our behavior. God has is own reasons for bringing them that he sometimes reveals and sometimes does not.
No one likes trials. I certainly don't. But when we look back on them, sometimes we get a better understanding as to why we go through them.

Sadly as we will see in the following verses, because of the devil, Job's trials were just starting.

We will continue our look at Job next week, God willing!!


29 July

Vaccines

Note: I am not one of those who thinks all Vaccines are evil. I think they have done a lot of good... once. But I do think the way the whole Medical Establishment has been financialized has made them in the 21st century a cause for any reasonable and informed person to be cautiously concerned. So this is neither a piece for or against vaccines in general, rather it's a look at some issues related to any future approved Covid-19 vaccine.

What follows is a cut and paste of snippets of several posts that have been on the insiders page since the crisis began. If it flows poorly... that is why (!).

It's written to provoke thought, rather than answer questions. It is written to get people to ask better questions in the hopes that people and decision makers are more logical and informed as they look at the current pandemic and the solutions being proposed and offered.

The first step to getting the right answer is to ask the right questions. - MSW

***

A Vaccine Passport? Yes, this vaccine madness just keeps on coming. I think you all saw the story that the new vaccine is going to cost about $3000 bucks a pop. In this one little fact I think we can all understand that this may very well be  one of the main reasons why there is such a push on. This, I strongly suspect is about Money and in time, population control and this is why I suspect the 'panic button' has to keep being pushed in global media every time someone sneezes. You all may find this very brief piece of interest.
Also on the scientific front, the US government is stuck with millions of doses of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). This after the FDA (which I have always seen as being captured by Big Pharma) revoked permission for its use against Covid-19. Citing concern about side effects, they no longer allow its emergency use, according to news reports. The problem as I see it, is the the studies I have seen carefully left out key ingredients to the previously reported successful treatment with HCQ, one being simple Zinc.

One cannot help but wonder and ask the question if the studies were not rigged from the beginning in order to stop a cheap and easy treatment to make sure that billions of dollars are spent on vaccines. Over the years watching the FDA and their approval process, I have little faith in their ability to do real science. Fake science that makes the big companies billions, yes. Real science that gets to the truth? Not so much. You all may find a piece out of the American Association for the Advancement of Science called "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns" of interest.
I just cannot help but wonder how many lives would have been saved if these studies and been honest enough to use all the ingredients that reportedly work with HCQ that many others have said are effective. Keep this in mind as well. This HCQ just can't be that harmful as it is still being used to treat other ailments, like Malaria. But now, suddenly, reports imply that its too dangerous to use, while significant money for a vaccine is being sought from the government. You all may find a piece called "Delingpole: Chloroquine Known as Effective Against Coronavirus Since 2005" of interest out of Breitbart. What I don't want to say is that there are no side effects using HCQ. There are and some of them are quite important to recognize.
But I confess I am highly suspicious of the Global health system. Their history, the money, the people involved and the kinds of science that gets pushed out into the media as being 'authoritative' makes me highly suspicious of it. Add to that the number of ordinary people who trust the system to make them well who only get raked over the financial coals (sometimes into bankruptcy) when they use the system just shows me that the system has become more of a financial racket than a place to get well. To me, it just looks like we have come to a time when Al Capone in too many cases, is now your family doctor.
However, I like to check on the status of the recent candidates for vaccines. There are some sites I check and other times I just search on 'Covid-19 vaccine candidates'. I try and see how operation Warp Speed is going and generally get a sense for what is happening along these lines. The President wants to rush things, somehow thinking that in his hurry it will be a political feather in his cap.

Me? I am highly suspicious of vaccines, the way this pandemic was handled and even its original source. I know how governments work and I know how they lie and I know that when billions of dollars of contracts are at stake that the political, administrative and scientific 'knives' will be unsheathed and be ready to slash anyone who stands in the way of that money. Look how the President's son was 'silenced' when he talked about HCQ just the other day!

I think a video by front line doctors that came our recently should interest all of you who are curious and intelligent enough to ask questions and not just believe any and everything coming off a Facebook post or out of the MSM. The video is here. Listen to that Nigerian Doctor...

You will probably find this of interest as well as the links next time somebody in power says 'science' proves HCQ does not work.

But sadly, scientists will die in the swordplay. Search up a name 'Bing Liu'. That is the one we have heard about. Usually such murders (this one so far is being widely labeled at present a murder-suicide) are covered up by not linking it to the reasons why someone powerful might want them dead in news reports. Someone clearly wanted the world to know the skullduggery now going on out there in the search for a series of vaccine contracts worth billions. So this story and the connection to virus research was put in the press regarding this suspicious death. Keep in mind that there have been numerous cyberattacks on vaccine research facilities since the epidemic. State actors and others appear to be playing hard ball.

Is Mandatory Vaccination Legal in Time of Epidemic?

That is the question. In some states, it's law for children. California is one of those states. The Sacbee has a story on how the 'industry' interacted in the state before some of its laws were passed. There is big money in vaccines, despite what Big Pharma's apologists will tell us.

One of the bigger problems that we will never hear about that I see is how the whole National Security system (like intelligence agencies) and other people are involved in the debate and censoring views that may cost their benefactors serious money if aired publicly. This has long been my deep suspicion based on long conversations (with people who know - really know what is going on) and considerable research I had done many years ago. That there would one day be a major push for a whole swath of mandatory vaccines because back then, Big Pharma was having some real financial difficulties and many of its major profit making drugs would soon find their way into the generic markets.

My research let me to this hypothesis - some saw vaccines as the new route to significant profitability, but it would take considerable legislative 'influencing' and on the 'darker' side, perhaps the actual creation of pandemics to scare the world into draconian solutions. How would you do that theoretically? You would get an 'in' with those people who are specially trained for such things and doing it most secretly. I am not going to get into details for obvious reasons, but it is one reason why I have not jumped to any conclusions about this current pandemic and its causes. Clearly Wuhan was at the very least peripherally involved, but I am not sure that they were the primary mover here, except perhaps through what some have characterized as a long pattern of bio-safety procedural negligence.

There appears to be much more here than meets the eye. In fact, recently a FOIA request was made to the NIH related to COVID-19 and some research contracted out and the NIH. But the NIH could not cough up the docs.... there is an ongoing investigation (see "NIH: We Can’t Release Our Papers about the Wuhan Institute of Virology Because of a Pending Investigation", from the National Review). And yes, you do want to read that one. We have had Senators ask some pointed questions and later fall silent. I strongly suspect that there is a very quiet, far reaching investigation into the origins of Covid-19 whose real/actual results will never (ever!) be allowed to be made public.  Often the whole truth about the role of key people and organizations can never be told, sometimes for good reasons, others not so much and I just don't think the whole truth about this is going to ever see the light of day. My point is this - let us
not let our imaginations run wild, we don't have enough facts to point the finger at anyone.

The Times of India has a story that you may all find of interest called, "Top US health advisor Dr Fauci backed controversial Wuhan lab for risky coronavirus research: Report". I already showed you the link, right from the CDC site on how the US was working with China on training on the safety of the lab. So yes, there was a connection between the US and China at that lab, clear and undeniable, though not necessarily malevolent. What exactly went on between the two on the matter of research (if any) however, we can only speculate based upon the very limited information that has leaked out. Dave Emory, the anti-Fascist researcher always has a deep, informative look at these things. His research seems to indicate that this whole thing is part of some major covert operation. More here.

Once again, I am not going to point the finger at ANYONE but that also means that NO ONE is free from being suspected either. And while everyone is focusing in on Dr. Fauci, I am careful... I am not blaming him for anything... Why not? You may ask. We just don't know much about where the US is with regards to research in this realm and who is involved if such research is taking place; nor will we... ever. So we must be most careful about pointing fingers. An awful lot goes on in this country and in our world that we the people are never going to be told and sometimes major decisions have to be made at the top based on hard, cold geopolitical realities rather than 'antiseptic' moral choices. This is a very tough world and Americans, the vast majority of them have been laying in that red, white and blue cradle, drinking opioid laced babymilk for far too long. They think they know, but most really don't know just how tough and cruel many parts of this world really is. 'Tough' to them is when NetFlix goes down or they can't get in contact with their local recreational chemical provider.
  
But I
don't know weather they will make vaccines mandatory or not. I do think some states will try and do it, while others may take a more measured approach (medical professionals, those in high contact careers, etc). But I think inside the beltway with the real decision makers and movers, they realize that there are significant risks on many levels with such a plan. Here are a few.

First off they don't want to reward those who may have begun this whole thing covertly. No, they really don't. It would only encourage others to do the same. This was a question that was brought up to some degree with an outbreak in Africa. It was intimated to me that someone may very well have been trying to make some money off a vaccine they had developed. Man, I got a rash of you-know-what when I pointed to some connections way back then. But this whole aspect of pandemics - intentionally created and spread to make money - was of deep concern to many and almost certainly still is. Biological Warfare, solely for reasons of profit? Wake up dear reader, quit dreaming and come out of your movie-streaming and drug induced mental coma.... this is the real world today! In the minds of many of the world's elite the supreme god to them is profit and they are more than willing to make 'sacrifice' and 'offering' to that god for more.

Secondly are the ingredients needed. As I have shown before China supplies the US with many of its drugs. But the current state of affairs with China and the US has given China all the justification it needs to screw up the supply chain of key ingredients with God knows what, causing who knows what kinds of long term medical conditions.

Third, is the the deep divisiveness the issue of vaccines will cause if made mandatory. A lot of people, particularly those of color would not go for it, they know the deal. Some Black leaders are already warning folks about them. The whole idea of putting reproductive control ingredients in Vaccines is not conspiracy theory, they have indeed been caught before doing this and major vaccine advocates state publicly about the use for vaccines for these kinds of purposes. Globally we have indeed seen protests against such vaccine campaigns. Given the recent riots and unrest, another spate of that is not something I think policy makers would want to contemplate.

Finally is the subject of simple logic. If the vaccine is so effective, those who want it should be able to get it, those that don't should not have to - the virus will only spread to those who chose not to get it. Such logic flies in the face of profits.

Another reason? Mandatory vaccines must be made so, because if major health conditions show up in those who have taken it that do not show up in others who have not, the vaccine can be quickly and easily pointed to as the cause. If not, 'fake science' paid for by rich, powerful men, duly spread around into journals and the news media will be able to shift the blame elsewhere.


We Christians need to keep in mind that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and we should not put things in our bodies that could do us serious harm.

I am
not going to tell anyone what they should or should not do, but I personally think we should be most careful about letting these multi-billion dollar companies inject something into us that we (and many of them) don't really understand, other than it's going to make them big money.

 Or know ye not that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you,
which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; 
for ye were bought with a price:
glorify God therefore in your body. 
(I Cor ASV)


My view is this whole thing stinks to high heaven. What really bothers me is that I am pretty sure these people know (and knew) this virus was made in a lab, yet story after story in the news for months kept saying it wasn't. Now how can you put your trust in a system that is so fundamentally untruthful?


I think you all should check out this little interview. The link is here and skip head to about 47 minutes if you are pressed for time. It is quite interesting and it is an interview with RFK Jr.

Brothers and sisters, I just get the impression that some of these people who are making these vaccines are not the least bit interested in saving lives, but in making billions of dollars. I suspect that HCQ if done right with all the ingredients (Zinc and the antibiotic) will probably do quite well in treating many of the very sick, though not without some side effects. I suspect that if they can get a vaccine approved for global usage, it may contain some ingredients that have been seen in the past that make women sterile. The ingredient in question is called hCG and you can find a paper on this here. More here. Another paper you may find of interest to see the possible racial aspect of this is called "HCG Found in WHO Tetanus Vaccine in Kenya Raises Concern in the Developing World". Is this the reason why this crisis is being played up for all its worth globally? The radical population control people have not gone away and while I cannot say with any degree of certainty that this is the case regarding any future vaccine (that has not even been approved yet), I cannot help but wonder why everything seems to be pushing for a rush vaccine to a disease that causes death in probably less than 1% of those who catch it and many if not most of those are very old or already have significant health problems or both.

I just see another agenda here that has not been revealed to the mask wearing, staring eviction in the face, barely making ends meet, lost their job and even in some parts of the world, complete survival mode, world at large all because of the panic stricken reaction to this virus.

I cannot end this without saying this. This virus is hitting certain ethnic communities hard. Black and Native Americans have had some stories written on them regarding their infection rates. I just cannot help but wonder if this is one reason why the HCQ is not approved for use - it's hitting what some powerful forces deem as 'racially undesirable' groups with added vigor. I hope I am wrong about this, but given the history of these two groups in America and the hate and discrimination each has faced, such a question needs to be asked and asked again.

Moreover I don't want this observation to become a new cause for those infected with a terminal case of
Trump Derangement Syndrome to start a new campaign of hate against the President Trump who is often called a racist. Remember it was Trump who told the country about HCQ in the first place and got a rash of 'de-bunkers' in the media as well as becoming the target of the usual Social Networking craziness for having done so. Last I read he was still taking it. He has not been sick yet. I have long suspected his non-mask wearing was his non-verbal signaling to the country (without verbally undercutting his advisors) that HCQ works and he put his health where his mouth was.

***

The world's problems, I just don't see any political solution to them. They have gotten to be too big and those who wish to exacerbate the problems for profit are too powerful. I think our world is heading into a time of great perplexity. This is the word that comes to mind.

For it is a day of discomfiture,
and of treading down, and of perplexity,
 from the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, in the valley of vision;
a breaking down of the walls,
 and a crying to the mountains.

(Isa 22:5 ASV)


 Their hands are upon that which is evil
to do it diligently; the prince asketh,
and the judge is ready for a reward;
 and the great man, he uttereth the evil desire of his soul:
thus they weave it together. The best of them is as a brier;
the most upright is worse than a thorn hedge:
the day of thy watchmen, even thy visitation,
is come; now shall be their perplexity.
Trust ye not in a neighbor;
put ye not confidence in a friend;
keep the doors of thy mouth from her
that lieth in thy bosom.
(Mic 7:3-5 ASV)

But this distress will not just be social, economic and political. It will also be natural.

And there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars;
and upon the earth distress of nations,
in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the billows;
men fainting for fear, and for expectation
of the things which are coming on the world:
for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
(Luk 21:25-26 ASV)


Like a woman in labor, I just see today's chaos as another set of contractions that are needful before childbirth. Things may indeed settle down for a bit, but only to have another set of chaotic events yet more intense than the last transpire.

Let us all be watchful unto prayer in these times brothers.


In Christ,

Brother Mark


God bless you all in Christ!


Brother Mark

Note: This piece is all personal opinion and not any kind of medical advice. I am not a doctor or medical professional - Please do your own research and make your own wise and informed decisions.


28 July

Job Part VI


And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold,
all that he hath is in thy power;
only upon himself put not forth thy hand.
So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah.
(Job 1:12 ASV)

We left off last time Satan had leveled a key accusation against Job, whom the Lord judged as an upright man. The devil, who has is own 'agenda' did not see it, or more perhaps, just perhaps more accurately did not want anyone else to see it that way. The Lord upon hearing this accusation against his servant allows Satan to test him. Why? This goes to one of the perennial questions in the book of Job and with human suffering. Why does God allow it? Perhaps we can understand it with wicked and unrepentant men, but why so for those whom the Lord deems as righteous? The Lord has his own reasons and even here, he does not explain them to the sons of God (Angels) in his presence. No, he gives the devil the authority to bring trouble and woe into Job's life.

I do not know all the reasons why the Lord allows this. But one reason seems to be to clear Job of this foul accusation from the devil. The only way to do that was to test Job. God is not going to be seen as a respecter of persons and to a small degree, this accusation may have struck at the Lord's integrity as well, who judged him to be a good man. Satan said no.

What if we rephrased the question/accusation satan leveled like this, "Sure, he worships and honors you, you fill his purse with gold and his slippers with silver. It's the only way you can get people to serve you. You buy them off!!!"

That certainly is not the correct translation, but I suspect that this was the imputation that Satan was leveling at both Job and the Lord. Did the Lord believe Satan's accusations? Clearly not, but had is own reasons for proving his point in the method that follows.

So after the devil got his 'permission slip' from the Lord, he does what he does best, wrecks havoc and this he did in Job's life. We must keep in mind that without that permission, Satan was powerless. We can glean this because as the passage states, the Lord had built a hedge about him. The word for hedge in the KJV is Strong's H7753 and it means protection or even fence.


So as we see God was protecting his servant with a hedge, or spiritual fence of some kind that was of great effectiveness. By implication, Satan could not or would not cross that barrier to get at Job.

And it fell on a day
when his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in their eldest brother's house,
that there came a messenger unto Job,
and said, The oxen were plowing,
and the asses feeding beside them;
and the Sabeans fell upon them,
and took them away: yea,
they have slain the servants
with the edge of the sword;
 and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
(Job 1:13-15 ASV)

So the trial begins. First he learns of his children who were having what can best be called a dinner party at the oldest brothers house. Their flock of livestock were stolen by marauders. His children it does not seem were the ones that were carried away, rather the livestock and their servants killed. Reading the passage one could get the impression Job's children were also carried away, but that is not the case, as we will see.
This passage is one reason some believe that Job was of Arabian origin. Again, we don't know for sure but the clues in the book lead a reasonable person to that conclusion. The Sabeans? The word for them is Strong's H7614. The word seems to have a strong relationship to and is derived from the word Sheba and according to the BDB dictionary, was located in southern Arabia.

I am not going to spend time on this subject. The Jewish encyclopedia has a great entry on this here.

So the first 'bomb' dropped on Job. More would follow.

While he was yet speaking,
there came also another,
and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven,
and hath burned up the sheep and the servants,
 and consumed them;
and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
(Job 1:16 - ASV)

The very first phrase of verse 16 I think is most telling. This all happens at the same time. One man comes up and gives him some horrible news and another arrives just as the previous one finishes his report.

The second woe that hit Job was he lost much of his property, both livestock and servants. This was seen by the messenger as being from God as it was 'fire from God'.


While he was yet speaking,
there came also another, and said,
The Chaldeans made three bands,
and fell upon the camels,
and have taken them away, yea,
and slain the servants with
the edge of the sword;
and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
(Job 1:17 - ASV)

Here, another part of Job's wealth is attacked by Satan. This time by the Chaldean's. This time another part of his livestock are hit. In verse 16 it was his sheep, in this verse it was his camels. We can safely surmise that they were both located in different locations. It was not the Sabeans whom Satan used on this occasions, but the Chaldeans. The devil always has those who are willing to do his will.
I think the devil had long planned this and he had his people at the ready waiting for the go ahead as soon as the divine 'hedge' was  removed.
But in this passage we get another hint that this was probably far to the east of Israel which at the time of this story, probably did not yet exist. But this passage is another reason why many see Job as dwelling in or near Arabia.
But what is happening here is Bible (NT) basics. How can we determine who serves the devil? It is very, very simple. They steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Clearly these marauders were acting under satanic influence.
But Job's woe's were not over. Another, probably the most devastating was to follow. The loss of loved ones.
 While he was yet speaking,
there came also another, and said,
Thy sons and thy daughters were
eating and drinking wine in their
eldest brother’s house;  and, behold,
 there came a great wind from the wilderness,
and smote the four corners of the house,
and it fell upon the young men,
and they are dead;
and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 
(Job 1:18-19 - ASV)

Job's woes were horrible. They truly were. Such disasters and woe's in a single day! Job basically lost everything except his (poison tongued) wife, whom clearly the devil left alive to tempt him. Keep in mind that in each and every instance one person was left alive to give Job the bad news. His wife, I think was left alive to try and get him to 'curse God and die', as we shall see.

We will continue Job next week God willing and see how he reacted to all of this misfortune. To me this is one of the more remarkable reactions and portions of scripture.


13 July

Updates should return the last week of July!


9 July

Job Part V


And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?
Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said,
From going to and fro in the earth,
and from walking up and down in it.
(Job 1:7 ASV)

Here the Lord asks Satan a question. Where have you been? Did the Lord really need to ask this? No. He knows all things and knew exactly where Satan was, the question was rhetorical or perhaps so that the answer would benefit the rest of the Lord's counsel who probably did not know where he was. Satan (the adversary/accuser) tells the Lord he was down on earth moving about where he chose.

Some think this shows that the devil thinks all this belongs to him and he just goes wherever he wants. Another view (mine) is that Satan is given a place at council because he is still in his official duties given him before he sinned. In other words, he has not been officially fired or 'relived of duty'. I kind of see it like him being like Jeff Sessions was just before he got the boot. For a while, they still hold their jobs, but the letter of dismissal, while being drafted has not yet reached their desk, but will soon be signed and out the door they will go. In the mean time, Satan does what he can while in office to hinder and prevent God's holy purposes, but again - this is just my view.

But he still acts like other Angels do and patrols the earth as this appears to be one of his/their duties. Yet, when he does it, he does it to undermine God's authority and build up his own. We see other spiritual beings in in the book of Zechariah who also go to and fro in the earth and report loyally to the Lord.

And the man that stood among the myrtle-trees
answered and said, These are they whom Jehovah
hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
And they answered the angel of Jehovah that
stood among the myrtle-trees, and said,
We have walked to and fro through the earth,
and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
(Zec 1:10-11 ASV)
So this going to and fro may not be so much an exercise of arrogance as it is something that Angels do and then report back to the Lord what they saw. As we will see in the following verses, this is exactly what Satan does.

And Jehovah said unto Satan,
Hast thou considered my servant Job?
for there is none like him in the earth,
a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God,
and turneth away from evil.
(Job 1:8 ASV)

Here the Lord asks Satan if he had considered Job. The Lord considered Job's righteous conduct a matter for some consideration. In a world full of prayerless, godless and wicked people, have you considered Job and his virtue? This may be one way to look at the question. But I sense there is another issue here that has not been stated in the text and has been carefully omitted that is the real underlying issue. That this battle over the righteous soul of Job is part of some deeper controversy within the Lord's counsel and the Lord's question is designed to deal with part of it. Could it be that Satan in his jealousy has been trying to get God to rid the world of mankind and that in his travels, he reported to the Lord all the sins and evils to the Lord, exaggerated them and then denigrated those righteous souls on earth, like Job? I say this only by way of a question. To me, there may be a deeper underlying issue here that the text does not explore.

The Lord then extols Job's virtues and lays out to him just what a Godly man Job is. In fact, the Lord's praise is without parallel in the Bible for a fallen son of man. He says there is
  • None like him in all the earth.
  • A perfect man.
  • An upright/perfect Man
  • He fears God.
  • And rejects evil.
This is very high praise and coming from the Lord himself, there can be none higher. The Lord was bragging on Job - that is how some preachers put it and to a large degree, they are right. Could the Lord give such praise about how you or I live? Could he really? Aside from the atoning work of Christ on the cross, the answer is no. I know I cannot. I have never met anyone whose righteousness was this remarkable. No one in my over five decades years on earth. The world is full of Ahab's, Pontius Pilate's, Judas Iscariot's and Jezebel's, but Job's are very, very rare.

Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said,
Doth Job fear God for nought?
Hast not thou made a hedge about him,
and about his house, and about all that he hath,
on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands,
and his substance is increased in the land.
But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he hath,
and he will renounce thee to thy face.
(Job 1:9-11 ASV)

Now the devil spits forth is accusation. His satanic accusation. He accused Job of loving God only for the wealth it brought him. That is what the accuser does, he accuses us night and day before the Throne of God. Yes, he does but one day it will stop.

And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent,
he that is called the Devil and Satan,
the deceiver of the whole world;
he was cast down to the earth,
and his angels were cast down with him.
And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying,
Now is come the salvation, and the power,
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ:
for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,
who accuseth them before our God
day and night.
(Rev 12:9-10 ASV)


Here we see how the devil did not do this just to Job, but to all of those whom the Lord finds precious. You will find the same satanic spirit in many others and it is just that - a SATANIC spirit. It is one that is constantly accusing God's people of this and that, lying, slandering and speaking all manner of evil against the Lord's people.

Lord... do I know that spirit!! Beware of it. I say this to make this clear to all of you. When you see someone begin to go on a rant and start to accuse you of any and every crime in the book, they almost certainly have fallen under demonic influence. But it is par for the course. Satan and his agents will also contort the legal system to get at you and create evidence, lie, bear false witness against you. I know, some have tried this on me in the past. Think about it -  this is how they did Christ. They accused him falsely of as many crimes as they could think of.

And he questioned him in many words;
but he answered him nothing.
And the chief priests and the scribes stood,
vehemently accusing him. And Herod
with his soldiers set him at nought,
and mocked him, and arraying him in gorgeous apparel
 sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate
became friends with each other that very day:
for before they were at enmity between themselves.
And Pilate called together the chief priests
and the rulers and the people, and said unto them,
Ye brought unto me this man,
as one that perverteth the people: and behold,
 I, having examined him before you,
found no fault in this man touching
those things whereof ye accuse him:
(Luk 23:9-14 ASV)

Accusing the godly? This has always been the devils business and he can get his servants to do the same thing. Note in the above passage that it was the RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT who accused him. They too were operating under satanic influence (Matt:23:15, John 8:44). Leveling wild accusations against God's elect is satanic business and every time you see it, be assured the devil is in the mix. How did Paul deal with the subject of the charges leveled against us?
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?
 It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth?
It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather,
that was raised from the dead,
who is at the right hand of God,
who also maketh intercession for us.
(Rom 8:33-34 ASV)

Let the devil and his imps rave! They lost this war before it was even started! We who have been redeemed are justified by the blood and resurrection of Christ and our faith in him, blessed be his name forever and ever, Amen!

We will continue the Book of Job soon, God willing!!

7 July

A Dream

Thank you to the reader who sent this. I ask you all, if you have 20 minutes or so to check it out. It's about the coming persecution.

I hope you get a chance to look at that dream. I cannot vouch for its 'authenticity' but I got the impression the pastor was very sincere. Many of the things he shared were things that I have been sensing for some time and have posted many articles along those lines. Like that those closest to you may be the avenue of betrayal in the last days.


  
And brother shall deliver up brother to death,
and the father his child; and children shall rise up
against parents, and cause them to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:
 but he that endureth to the end,
 the same shall be saved.
(Mar 13:12-13 ASV)

I just got the sense from that dream that the word 'hated' in the above verse is something we need to keep in mind. The world is literally going to hate us. The social, political and educational brainwashing of those  and even these days will lead men just to where the devil wants them, in a mental state that not only do they not want to hear the gospel, they want to silence and even kill those that preach it.

Those are the times I see coming.

I don't want to write fear and dread, but we need to be aware of the times, particularly in light of some of the madness now going on in the country.

The devil is real and he has real people who help him and he would like nothing better than to get rid of every Christian on earth. He will be able to come close to that goal when the beast and his image are set up.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them,
and judgment was given unto them:
and I saw the souls of them that had been
beheaded for the testimony of Jesus,
and for the word of God, and such as
worshipped not the beast, neither his image,
and received not the mark upon their forehead
and upon their hand; and they lived,
and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(Rev 20:4 ASV)


I guess what I am saying to you all is this - don't think for a second that the devil is not making preparations for just such an hour as he can persecute and then behead the followers of Jesus Christ.


29 June

Job Part IV



 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 
His substance also was seven thousand sheep,
and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen,
 and five hundred she-asses, and a very great household;
 so that this man was the greatest of all
 the children of the east.
(Job 1:2-3 - ASV)


Let's start off with a key observation before we start looking at this verse. In ancient east, it was conventional wisdom that it always went well with the righteous and bad for the wicked. The Book of Job runs totally 'counter narrative' to this prevailing view. Job, by virtue of his wealth and size of this family was viewed as a righteous man. His wealth was in those times was excellent evidence of his high ethics. As we move through the book, we will better understand just how hard set this view was and how this book of Job sets that view on its head.

The numbers of his sons is numerically correct. However, the numbers of this livestock many believe to be allegorical. The point to me is a moot one. The key here is that by eastern standards, Job was very wealthy. He was the 'Warren Buffet' of his age as far as wealth was concerned. He was well known and well respected. Job for a man of his day, had it all. As the last stanza of verse 3 states, he was 'the greatest of the all the children of the east'. Thus Job was known as a righteous man and in the eastern mind of those days, his wealth 'proved' it.

Camels as well were well known in the east and it is natural that a man of his wealth in this part of the world should have a considerable number of them.

 And his sons went and held a feast
in the house of each one upon his day;
and they sent and called for their three sisters
 to eat and to drink with them. And it was so,
when the days of their feasting were gone about,
that Job sent and sanctified them,
 and rose up early in the morning,
and offered burnt-offerings according
to the number of them all: for Job said,
It may be that my sons have sinned,
and renounced God in their hearts.
 Thus did Job continually. 

(Job 1:4-5 - ASV)

Even with a person of Job's moral standing he had his problems with children. The problem of the "rich man's kids" is not endemic only to the modern age. Children who grow up with money, wealth and position tend to often be more wayward and pleasure seeking and a more little haughty and cold as well. This certainly is not true of all of them as many wealthy parents are smart enough not to overindulge their offspring and teach them the virtues of work and ethical living. Job's children, it does not appear were these kinds of children. The passage here seems to indicate that these children of Job were party animals, they caroused from one house to the other.

We cannot be sure Job did not rebuke his kids, but there is no mention of it. Nor is there any mention of him cutting off their allowance or whatever method they had for doling out money to offspring. Yet clearly Job was not blind, he did do at least one of the two steps required to bring correction to his children, he brought the matter up before the Lord. I say these things not so much in criticism of Job but only to mark that many of the problems that wealthy parents have with their kids was clearly something Job had to struggle with too. So Job not just prayed for them, but offered sacrifice to the Lord in their behalf. He did this not just once but, "Thus did Job continually." He was concerned they may have
'renounced (cursed - KJV) God in their hearts'.

The fact that Job's children are mentioned in this manner is rather interesting as a prelude to the Heavenly council that is about to transpire in the following section.

Now it came to pass on the day
when the sons of God came to present themselves
before Jehovah, that Satan also came among them.
(Job 1:6 - ASV)

The sons of God present themselves to the Lord. The passage is interesting and I am going to spend a moment on it The phrase here is Benay Elohim or sons of God's. These are clearly angels or heavenly beings who are are summoned to the Lord for some kind of council See Kings 22:19, Heb 1:14, Job 38:7). Job 38:7 precludes this being any kind of man, because at the time referenced, man had not been created yet. The same phrase Benay Elohim is used. Satan (the adversary H7854) was among them. This passage is interesting and deserves considerable comment on the role of angels and the role of Satan before the advent of Christ; more comment than will be made today. But clearly he has some kind of office before the Lord and is subject to God and is assembled with the other Son's of God to perhaps render an account or report. Angels do make reports on what is going on down here to God - See Zech 1:11). This assembly here looks perhaps to be some kind of periodic report made to the Lord by these ministering spirits. If Satan's role here was to do this kind of reporting along with the other angels, his criticism of Job while certainly unfair, did fall within the purview of such an office. Moreover the Lord did directly ask him about Job (in an upcoming verse).

We have dealt with the issue of the Son's of God (Benay Elohim) in other places on this site on other occasions so we will not get into that here. What is key is that there is a divine council and God has called the Benay Elohim to attend and Satan is there among them.
What is also clear is that Satan has direct access to the Lord and his council. He was not prevented from entering in and moreover, he is addressed by the Lord with a specific question (in the next verse). There are no wild accusations leveled at Satan, no spitting of hate at Satan by the others and he is given access and it appears is given considerable respect. Why is this? There are many reasons for it - some pretty clear in scripture, others that have not been revealed to us. But we must remember that Satan/Lucifer/the Old Serpent/the Devil was an angel of considerable power, wisdom and beauty. God has a purpose for keeping him around and even letting him run around loose. Yes, God could have consigned him to the abyss on the day he led man into temptation. But he did not, rather he allowed and allows man to be tempted of him.
In this age where Satan is doing his level best to 'rehabilitate' his image in the world with TV shows, and a slew of satanic temples and even legal initiatives we must be careful about who he is, his enormous power and his ability to tempt, deceive and accuse us and that God allows this for his purposes. In short, while the devil is powerful, he is merely being used as tool for a far greater purposes that have only partially been revealed to us. In this particular episode as we shall see, he is used for both of the afore mentioned purposes - to accuse Job and to tempt/test him. God allows it.
We will continue our look at the book of Job next week, the Lord willing!!!

Brother Mark


25 June

Revival


Several weeks ago, a reader wanted me to take a look at the way God is moving elsewhere in the world. They commented that while there may not be much visible repentance here in the US, there sure looks to be moves of God in other parts of the world. Thanks to the reader who sent the link and for their insightful comments.

I am not so sure repentance is on the 'American agenda'. But it looks like revival may very well be a reality in other parts of the world. 

 if that nation, concerning which I have spoken,
turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil
that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant
I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning
a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if they do that
which is evil in my sight, that they obey not my voice,
 then I will repent of the good,
wherewith I said I would benefit them.
(Jeremiah 18:8-10 [ASV])


The Lord's reward is in his hand both for individual men and for nations.

Why won't there be revival here in the US? Some think it is possible, others think it is certain. I am not nearly as sure. Why not? I cannot answer that question authoritatively but let me leave you with these thoughts.

Like the ancient children of Israel, America is an idolatrous nation. No, we don't fall down before gods of stone with men with bulls heads or women with a fishes tail. No, we go crazy over brand names like Mercedes and Nike; we praise the gods of Hedge Funds, 401(k), Wall Street, Sports, secularism, science, witchcraft, drugs, etc. We have a whole new 21st century pantheon of gods and goddesses the nation worships at the feet of.

Until these gods are done away with, men will still seek happiness and salvation in them. Men must decide to put these gods away - this will be one of the first steps to any signs of repentance in this nation. Now understand. I am not anti-science. But I am against science when it sets itself against God and many in the profession have long sought to do just that. Many of those who fund science also have their anti-God agenda; it is part and parcel of the agenda of some fund it. To make money and to fundamentally change the nation's spiritual makeup. From the worship of God to the worship of man with a priesthood of scientists in a religion of humanism (a man rather than God centered ethos). Listen to leaders across the nation talk about 'science based' solutions and then turn around and attack the Church. There is an agenda its to replace the man in the black cassock with the man in the white smock who gets paid by a guy, who owns a company that is in turn, owned by a another guy who runs 20 hedge funds and has enough money to bankrupt whole nations.

But these things are all just symptoms of a major spiritual shift that has taken place in our world, particularly America and the west, which has with each succeeding decade, cast off Christianity and embraced whatever gave temporary pleasure, wealth, sexual gratification or power - the usual enticements that Satan lays out to those who serve him, knowingly accepted from his hand or not.

But revival? In far off places God, I have long suspected will move and do so powerfully at the hour of his (not our) choosing.

Another hindrance to revival here? In my opinion it's the Church or what calls itself the Church. There are many false pastors, false prophets and a whole 'Laodicean' feel about many of America's Churches. They may have the 'mechanics' of revival but not the spirit of it. People may be seeking God, but when they attend the local services they just are not getting real Godly spiritual teachings. So yes, I think many Churches are a serious hindrance to real, on fire, Holy Spirit outpouring kind of revival.

Revival? That is not going to happen until the Church takes off its blinders, cast away its idols and individual members learn to be truly humble, learn the value of quiet prayerful meditation on God's word and then living for and walking closer to Christ based upon the revealed word of God. New Christian rock banks are not going to bring it, a new powerful book written by a Christian celebrity is not going to do it, a new chain of Mega Churches is not going to do it. It's going to take a fundamental altering of the spiritual makeup of the ordinary Church member, towards living a humble, charitable, holy, peaceful and most importantly obedient and faith-filled lives in Christ. Revival will start in the hearts and souls of God's people before it spreads anywhere of consequence.

But let us pray that God moves overseas and gets more believers into the Kingdom!!


23 Jun

Job Part III

There was a man in the land of Uz,
whose name was Job; and that man was
perfect and upright, and one that feared God,
and turned away from evil.

(Job 1:1 - ASV)


As noted earlier, this book begins with a non-poetic narrative. It is merely setting the stage for the drama, the poetic drama which is to unfold. From the first part of this verse we learn two things. The name of the key person and the place where he lived.

The land of Uz is located... well, we are not 100% certain. Scholars disagree. But most generally place it in the land of Idomea roughly located in Southern Israel and Jordan. That is the most prevalent theory of the location that I came across and seems to line up with other passages written much later in the scriptures (Jer 25:20 and Lam 4:21). But this 'consensus' does not preclude the Uz of Job's time as being in a very different place. Some place it far to the east of this near the southern end of the Euphrates.

In short, Jeremiah's Uz may not be the Uz of Job and some evidence within the book indicates that they may indeed be different. This is not conclusive, for simply put, the antiquity of the book does not make it  possible that the location of Uz in Patriarchal times to be completely ascertained with any degree of real certainty.

As we move through the book, I will explain why I am far less certain of the generally accepted location than others are.

The second part of the passage gives us Job's name. The Strong's entry for his name is H347.

Many scholars seem to concur that Job and his name may have been of Arabian origin.  We do not know with any degree of certainty what kind of position he held, weather he was some kind of tribal elder, a ruler or a wealthy merchant. Many have offered opinions but the book does not make it clear.

I don't want to digress into a lot of unedifying theological debate, but as we go through the book this little bit of background may help us to better understand the book, its history and enlighten us on certain settings within the passages within the book. So I thank you all for bearing with me on what seems a bit arcane debate.


The above verse notes that Job was perfect and upright. This is high praise for a son of man. Clearly in the very first passage the author is making setting the stage here as to the reason for both suffering and the book. Job was perfect and upright. In other words, all of the things that one would expect to win divine favor and avoid tribulation, chastisement, correction and woe were done by Job. He feared God and 'eschewed' evil. The word here simply means to put away, to depart from and to withdraw from evil. This is a powerful testimony to a man's life and the author wanted it right here, front and center in the very first verse of the book.

The word for perfect is H8535 to which the Cambridge Bible makes plain that this does not mean sinless perfection, but that certain sins that would ordinarily bring down the clear disapproval of God were not apparent in the life of Job. The Jewish Septuagint, which was translated for Jews in the diaspora expands this using many words to describe Job, like blameless and pious (Barnes).

As we will see this verse is key to the whole theme of the book.

In closing today's entry I want to stress that this is a long book and what I will do is go slow in some parts and move much more quickly in others. The book is 42 chapters long and even if I were to do one whole chapter in a week, it would take the bulk of the rest of the year to finish.

But the doctrine of suffering? Any Christian who thinks this is an unimportant topic for we believers in Christ... well, they have a lot of spiritual growing up to do. Looking around the troubles in this country and this world, that 'growing up' for some could come sooner, rather than later.


18 Jun

News Affecting The Church

There have been some events worthy of our godly attention. It is my hope that in your quiet time, you lift some of these issues up before the Lord.

As you all probably know, several Christians were hacked to death in yet another attack in Nigeria.
JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Women and children were among nine Christians shot or hacked to death in an attack on Wednesday (June 3) in north-central Nigeria, with seven others kidnapped, sources said.

While more than 30 corpses of slain Christians still lay in nearby villages from prior attacks, Muslim Fulani herdsmen invaded predominantly Christian Tudun Doka village, Kajuru County in Kaduna state, early in the morning, area residents said. - Morning Star News
These attacks continue unabated. Morning Star News also has a story about a 16 year old Christian boy who was reportedly stoned to death for his faith in India. These are perilous times for believers in many parts of the world.
The Indian Government has reportedly denied entry to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Also in India, Persecution.org is reporting that a Church in India was set on fire.
06/15/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – On June 12, 2020, an independent church in the state of Tamil Nadu, southern India, was set on fire on Friday night by unknown aggressors. The fire brought down the entire roof, affected the building structure, furniture, speaker boxes, and amplifier, causing damages estimated around US $2,700. While the reason for the attack is not yet apparent, members of the church suspect radical Hindu nationalists, who have been egregious in that region in the last few years. - Persecution.org
Then there are the things going on in Russia. Yes, Russia. Here, this is more of the state sponsored version of persecution transpiring. Now I am not a Jehovah's Witness and frankly have some very serious issues with many of their doctrines. Yet this does not mean I in any way agree with the state persecuting them. But at the same time, what is happening to them in Russia is only a preview of what could very well follow for other non-Russian Orthodox religions. This from Forum18...
(Forum18) On 9 June, a court in Pskov in northern European Russia handed 61-year-old Gennady Shpakovsky the longest jail sentence given to a Jehovah's Witness after the 2017 Supreme Court ban on Jehovah's Witness activity - six and a half years' imprisonment in a general-regime labour camp ("correctional colony"). This is the second-longest jail term yet handed down on "extremism"-related charges for meeting with others to pray and study beliefs.

Shpakovsky, from Pskov, will have to serve the full term, should his appeal be unsuccessful, as he has spent no time in pre-trial detention (see below - on link).

After his release, Shpakovsky will also undergo another year of restrictions on freedom, his lawyer explained to Forum 18. These comprise an 11 pm to 6 am curfew and a ban on leaving his home town. He will also be barred from leading or participating in any religious activity for three-years (see below).

Prisoner of conscience Shpakovsky's six-and-a-half-year sentence is the second-longest sentence imposed for meeting with others to pray and study beliefs. Ilgar Vagif-ogly Aliyev, who met with other Muslims to study Islam and theologian Said Nursi's texts, was jailed in June 2018 in Izberbash for eight years. Aliyev, however, spent a year and three months in detention, meaning that he is due to be released after about six years and 1.5 months, in September 2024. - Forum18
This is a very interesting and detailed report and shows you just how high up these charges against the JW's come from. There is also another story from the same site on an incident in Crimea. Russia is clearly moving against religious movements it deems as extremist. As I have said before to you all here, this all appears to be a key part of the whole SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) agenda, led by China, of which Russia is a key member. What is a key part of that agenda? To tackle what they call the 'Three Evils' of terrorism, separatism and religious extremism. The man who was jailed for six and a half years for two jars of small donations, which were described as being used to finance a world theocratic state? That is extremism in Russia today, collecting a little chump change in jar.
In the UK, the government is reporting that there were a record number of abortions performed in 2019. The statistics can be found in a UK government report called "Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2019 Summary information from the abortion notification forms returned to the Chief Medical Officers of England and Wales. January to December 2019".

In North Korea, Kim Jong-un's sister has reportedly called Bible distributors 'scum'.
Here stateside, another Catholic diocese (Rockville Centre) is considering bankruptcy, according to news reports. The reason? Abuse lawsuits.
There is a reported Corona outbreak in Churches in West Virginia.
Finally there is the Supreme Court's decision to protect the rights of homosexuals and transgender people. Roberts and Gorsuch, shifted from the conservative stance to join the liberals. Basically, it makes it a crime to fire someone simply because they are gay or transsexual. Such discrimination is now a crime and firmly puts the issue of sexual identity and orientation on the books as being protected under Civil Rights law.
As a deeply conservative Christian as I am (but a firm political independent), I don't think gays should be fired from their jobs just because they are gay in a secular job. The courts have a duty to protect the rights of all of us, not just Christians. To deny them the basic right to work would relegate them to second class status and perhaps economic underdogs in our society. No, I cannot fault the court for this decision on a purely legal basis, but at the same time, it is going to open up a dozen can of worms across the nation, generating millions in legal fee's, which too often seems to be the result of the courts decisions. You can read more about this decision in this CRS report.
But on a spiritual level, what can I say? When a society gets to this kind of thing, protecting those things that God calls abomination, one can understand why our nation is in so much trouble today. The peace and prosperity that we once enjoyed from the hand of God seems to be slowly taken away. There are reports of lawyers who have been arrested for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails during protests and reports mass resignations of cops across the nation. I am shocked at what is happening to the country. I really am. But we Americans have enjoyed the bounty from God, peace here at home, prosperity, freedom and far too many of us have spit in God's face and turned our backsides up at him in return. God see's these things and how we behave. Let me tell you something none of you save a precious few are going to want to hear. Are you ready? Here it is.

He is not going to forget it.

Son of man, when a land sinneth against me
by committing a trespass, and I stretch out my hand upon it,
and break the staff of the bread thereof,
and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast;
 though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job,
were in it, they should deliver but their
own souls by their righteousness,
saith the Lord Jehovah.
(Eze 14:13-14 ASV)

We as a nation must get back to the Biblical basics or we are going to go into the devil's jungle. We as a nation must learn to honor and respect the God who has blessed us so because the same God who can bless, can also bring a curse and the fastest way I know to go there is to show him the kinds of disrespect that is showing up all over the country. I hear this disrespect when I tune in the local radio station. I listen to the talk radio and the activists and I am often shocked at the open contempt for God, pastors and the Church I hear from some quarters. It is shocking to me and saddening to see how far this nation has fallen from God.

But I have steeled myself, I think the country has just only begun to apostatize and rebel against the most high and the further we get from God and his ways, the more trouble this nation may very well face. As my mother used to say, 'God ain't gonna bless no mess' and America is slowly getting to the point where God simply cannot continue to bless us.

I am not blaming the government, I am not blaming the courts, I am not blaming the Democrats or the Republicans. The blame lies with an ever growing swath of the American people, particularly those who have taken from the Lord's hand and not returned his bounty with respect, honor and genuine thanksgiving to him, but rather did those things he hates.

What will follow? I just don't think this country will be governable much longer the more anti-God and reprobate her citizens become. I see major divides in this country and the conflicts are I think, no longer repairable without very serious political and perhaps even violent conflict. Anger and hate seem to be more and more substituted for reason and thought and the political left is no less hate-filled than the right, no less ignorant and no less intolerant of opposing views and as these riots have shown, no less violent. Violent resolution to civil conflict only ensures the bloodiest gets power, not the best and he who comes to power by blood, usually has to rule by it.

Americans just need to forgo the use of any kind of violence to settle the country's deep differences.

I just see a slow, inevitable breakdown of American governance and its ability to deal with major issues facing the country. Dealing with rioters, dealing responsibly with massive deficits, dealing effectively with the stench of political corruption. Sometimes because of the law, sometimes because of the interpretation of the law, sometimes because leaders who lack the courage to do their jobs, even in the face of serious public criticism. Sometimes because those that try wind up wearing cement shoes at the bottom of the river.

I just see the situation as being ripe for more instability.

And the Church? The entity that should be giving moral and spiritual guidance in these times? She has got major problems of her own and has yet in many places to get its own house in order.

Let us all pray for our leaders both secular and Church in the hopes that God sends in a spiritual and moral 'janitor' to clean out the mess we have made of both our country and much of what calls itself the Church.


Grace and peace to you all here in Christ Jesus.


Brother Mark

16 Jun

Job Part II

Today, we are going to do a little more on the introduction to Job before we begin the verse by verse. We got a bit into the issue of when Job was written. Today we are going to spend a bit of time on who and then deal with a couple of other minor topics

We do not know who wrote the book of Job anymore than we can be certain of when it was written. I will give you a list of candidates that scholars have debated as being the author.
Moses
Solomon
Isaiah
Ezra
An unknown Arabian writer
Elihu, one of Job's friends who only appears towards the books end.
Rather than get into a long debate about who wrote it and the arguments great scholars have used in the past to support their case, I will not go there today. I do not think such a long detailed debate would be edifying or worthy of the time it would take. What I will say is that the book itself appears to me to have been set down probably in Solomonic times. This is quite possible. Solomon wrote most of what we know as the Wisdom books of the Bible (Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song Of Solomon and portions of the Psalms). It stands to reason that he may have set down or caused to be set down the story of Job. This may not have been done before as the story of Job may have been only carried on by oral tradition, coupled with references to him in ancient writings long since lost. My view is that the story of Job is almost certainly from the days of the Patriarchs, but was never properly or rather, authoritatively set down until much later. Moreover I think the following personal comment will be of interest as we approach this book.

This book uses two powerful literary devices. One is poetry the other is drama. Except the opening passages and the very end, the entire book is written in Hebrew poetry. Secondly the book reads like a play. Where each person takes his turn in first showing sympathy with Job and then later cutting him down with their words and were later seriously rebuked by the Lord for their ill considered accusations. One of his friends calls Job a wind bag, full of hot air!!

 How long wilt thou speak these things?
And how long shall the words of thy mouth
be like a mighty wind?

(Job 8:2 - ASV)
I point this out to make plain that this book is one of real person with real sufferings set down in a liberal poetic and dramatic style. I look at the book almost like I look at a Shakespearean work, whose dramatic and poetic style brought to life many historical figures with such beautiful language and poetic meter and rhyme, that hundreds of years later, his plays are still very much in fashion.
So as we read this book keep in mind the poetic license that the writer took when we read some of the passages.
But the book is well organized and set down and as some commentators have noted, there are no interruptions and no matter how cutting and sarcastic the remarks, everyone has a chance to finish his thoughts, in turn.

How should we look at Job? I look at the book of Job as a prophetic, historic and poetic book that liberally uses literary devices to make its point. The early Jews looked upon the book as being historical (as opposed to allegorical). The authorship of Job was hotly debated during the time of the reformation as well and in the age of higher criticism when it has come under considerable attack. I view it as wholly historical, with many allegorical and poetic devices that add to, rather than take away from the power of the main theme of the book - the problem of suffering. Why do we suffer? What explanation does a vain man have for it? What the book of Job tells us is that with human reasoning, there is no rhyme or reason for it - we can attribute it all to our sins, but that does not tell the whole story. With Job in the opening chapters, we get to the real reason of Job's suffering. It was to test him, try him and purify one who was already greatly beloved of God. The Lord was bragging on Job and Satan (the accuser of mankind) did what he always does - accused Job of only loving the good things that God had given him challenging the Lord to take it all away and Job would 'renounce thee to thy face' (Job 1:11).
Job's most miserable comforters did not know the real reason for it either, they could not have unless they had stood in the councils of the almighty. They had not. So they used human reasons to accuse Job of great sins. This is one lesson I think we can learn from Job. To not judge another. What seems to be, sometimes isn't and what we sometimes 'know' to be true is often nothing but self deception.
Let us take care on how we judge others, especially those who are suffering. Sometimes what they are going through may be justified by their behavior, other times we are not privy to the reason. But should God hear a sneer or a snicker at a man or woman of God who is beloved of him during the hour of their trial, that person may find his own life in the Lord's crosshairs as Job's miserable comforters nearly did.
We as Christians have a deeper revelation though than those of Job and his friends. We have a better understanding of the problem of suffering, particularly for we who fully serve Christ Jesus.

Next week, we will begin the verse by verse. Because Job is a long book it may take quite some time to complete.


11 Jun

Lot's going on brothers. Let's take a quick look at a couple of things with the Church. CSS's Russian Analytical Digest has a pdf on the Orthodox Church you all may find of interest in light of the issues it faces in the Russian-Ukraine standoff. Its called 'Russian Orthodoxy' (no. 252). It talks about the situation, but more on a religious-political level than a spiritual one. Still, it's worthy of note. There is a battle now being waged within Orthodoxy.

Here Stateside, an article appeared in Church Militant that discusses the state of affairs in Detroit's Archdiocese (Monumental Meltdown - 28 May). It talks about the slow decline of the Church and its resources. The WaPo has a piece on this written last month predicting that many Church's will not survive. I have seen many a story about Churches here in the US and how they are having some financial issues. So keep your eyes on the Church and how this crisis effects it. Many are going to be hurt and hurt badly in the pocketbook because of this. People who are not working can't give offerings. So look for some big issues to be coming to a Church near you.

However, I am of the personal opinion that the Church needs a financial wake up call. I often think that the way the Church operates in the West is not right. Huge buildings that cost thousands a month in rent or a mortgage to use once or twice a week. I just don't see that as a wise use of funds. I can remember years ago, there was an assembly of believers I hooked up with that did not have a Church building, they just tried to find owners of abandoned warehouses, unused facilities and whatnot and asked them if they could hold their services there. I got a powerful prophecy spoken over me at one of these meetings some 25 years ago. But something along these lines would be better than the enormous sums that are paid to real estate companies or banks for Church buildings, in my opinion. I am not saying this should be the case in all Churches only that in some cases, this may be a better alternative at least until something better turns up. Even in a serious crisis God can do a lot of good, if his people (and Pastors/Church Board's) listen to him.
So yes, I suspect that many smaller Churches are having very significant financial challenges right now, particularly if many of their parishioners can't pay rent or can just barely pay it. How are they going to pay their offerings? If this crisis goes on the way I suspect it might, Church funds in many places may fall from 10-50% for the foreseeable; lockdown or no lockdown.

The good news regarding this pandemic is that according to recent news stories online, people are more interested in learning about Christ and in some places, an increase in Church attendance has been noted.
Yet I do think for parishioners, if you have a pastor or Church that is really doing right by the Lord, you should not neglect your offerings. Always remember to put God's work FIRST.
My own view is simply this - I am not a big believer in tithes, though many preachers preach it. No, that is the old Law and we are not under it. But we should give as the Spirit leads and again, parishioners who are in a good Church (key) where the pastor is really preaching and living right (also key), even if you can't go to Church, you should give what God has led you to give in this crisis. God can supply your needs. The earth and the fullness thereof is God's, he can and will fill your needs. But we must make sure we are doing what God wants us to do, where he wants us to be and when this is so, if we keep faith with God, no matter what he will be there for us when the storms of life hit our rowboat of life. Get in your prayer closet and seek the Lord.

If I have any personal word to those of you out there during this pandemic and the economic uncertainty it brings it is this. Don't lose faith in God. Bring your troubles before him. Even if you have to be like the woman who kept on bugging the judge to bring her justice. He was not inclined to do anything, but she was wearing him out with her requests (Luke 18:5). So don't be shy, bring your problems up before God and if you truly put your trust in him, he will hear you. In his own way and in his own time.

But when he acts as he certainly will, never forget what he did for you. Mark it down and remember it for God loves to be thanked and appreciated for what he does for his people. God knows who you are and your needs. So if you have an issue, a sick relative, can't find work, your spouse can't find work, kids at locked down at home driving you nuts - the first thing you should do is not complain or worry; it's pray!

Finally today, let's talk about an issue not many are. That's hunger and Covid-19. Here in the US its not a big problem at least not yet. But in other parts of the world is is. VOA has a story called UN warns of Latin America Hunger Crisis Amid COVID-19 Pandemic. So don't kid yourself for many, this crisis has become as much about food as it is about sickness. Often international organizations do provide the best insight into such issues and the World Food Program has some stories on this. Even in Europe food has been an issue in some countries. Those who once had jobs, now have to rely on the largess of others to get food on the table. Many rely on the local food bank to get by.
In fact the UN Secretary General has forecast record hunger in this Post COVID-19 world. He noted that this is where the health crisis meets the economic crisis. In many places food prices are increasing and the FAO has some data on that. They are seeking 350 million dollars to fight COVID-19 related activities, according to news reports. Africa is well is having some serious issues. A search on - Africa, food shortages and Covid-19 - should give you some decent results.

FEWS also has a great report issued on on the 28th that delves into some forecasts for food insecure populations. It can be accessed here.
Then there are the war zones. Let's not talk about Yemen today, let's look at Afghanistan. The Special IG there has some info you all may find of interest.
Rising Food Prices in Key Urban Centers

• In a sign that food supplies may be running short (and/or that vendors are price-gouging), the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), in late March, recorded price spikes for key food commodities in certain heavily populated parts of Afghanistan. In eight major Afghan urban centers—including Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad—prices for certain key items like wheat, wheat flour, and cooking oil increased substantially, according to the UN.

• By April 15, WFP data showed that the price of wheat flour had increased by 15–18% and the price of cooking oil by 17%. The WFP found that, simultaneously, the purchasing power of casual laborers and pastoralists had declined by 20% and 14%, respectively. Deterioration in Kabul, where the purchasing power of casual laborers fell by as much as 31%, was especially significant.

 • Given the UN’s assessment that 14.3 million Afghans were already experiencing some degree of food insecurity in March 2020, rising food prices and lower purchasing power among vulnerable Afghans are a major concern. - SIGAR Quarterly Report  (copyright info)
So this health crisis is turning into both an economic crisis and a food crisis.
And I heard as it were a voice in the midst
of the four living creatures saying,
A measure of wheat for a shilling, a
nd three measures of barley for a shilling;
and the oil and the wine hurt thou not. 
(Rev 6:6 ASV)
No, this I do not think is any kind of fulfillment yet, but I think what we are about to witness is going to be a preview of what could soon come to pass. I say this because this is the third horse. Famine follows the war and the kind of war that I suspect this prophecy envisions has not happened yet. But keep your eyes on the tension between east and west, the US and China. War (a hot, kinetic war) more and more seems a serious possibility. Remember that the fourth Horseman is death and he has a whole toolbox of ways to bring about his desired goal; the sword (weapons), Famine, and death itself as well as the animals of the field. This whole vision seems, at least to me to portend a kind of breakdown not just of ordinary daily living but of the whole natural order as animals usually have an inherent fear of man. But these days, animals probably can and one day will have that fear genetically removed and become much more aggressive. Did you know that Russia right now is dealing with a species of 'mutant' ticks that bring disease?

So let us keep our eyes open spiritually brothers and not slumber as is the habit of some. Let us keep our lamps burning and be good stewards of whatever God has given to us. Let us not be as the one who had one talent and went and hid it. The Lord was sore displeased with that one.


Brother Mark

***

A Charity that may interest some of you....



9 Jun

Job Part I

Well, I was not sure which book to do next. I got a strong urge to do Job. I have always loved that book. Anyone who has suffered under the Lord's hand will eventually come to Job and come to understand him. When I was studying in College (many long years ago!), I had a teacher who was truly an expert on Job and I believe he wrote a commentary on it. He was one of the most scholarly men I knew, I don't know how many degree's he had, but he knew an awful lot. if I remember correctly, Job was one of his favorite books too. My old professor died late last year.

FYI, this series was written beginning in early 2018 but has been and will be mildly updated/reworked for the public site.

Greatly beloved - let us always keep those words in mind as we go through the book of Job. While he was going through his ordeal, he was still greatly beloved of God. God had a plan and a purpose for what he was doing that he never revealed to Job. The first couple of sections of this study are going to bore many of you, but I ask you take a minute and just kind of familiarize yourself with this and some of the links to older commentaries. This is because as we go through the book, we need to understand the times speakers are 'at' spiritually, in terms of the times they lived in and the customs they used and their very early concept of God's personality.

I want to spend some time with this book and understanding when it was written and some other background will be helpful as we spend this year and next going verse by verse in this most wonderful, yet tragic and still yet most interesting an insightful book.
Why did I choose Job? The question of suffering is one that has been with man for the longest. Why do we suffer? Why do the saints suffer? Why is there so much suffering in the world today? We can offer simplistic explanations, as we will see Job's friends did. But in the drama that unfolds, the real reason for Job''s calamities were hidden from all. They all had an opinion, but all were wrong, save Job who did not know but clung to his faith in God in the face of this most ruthless trial invented by the devil himself. God allowed it for reasons that will be revealed to us, but were not to Job nor his friends.
In these most troubled of times, we - particularly in the west, need to better acquaint ourselves with the whole idea of suffering. Remember who will be set loose for 42 months in the very last days and the fate of those who refuse to serve the devil's system in those days. Right now, this may all seem academic, but that could all change and change sooner and faster than many of us think. Many will fall away when things get tough. That was a sore temptation that Job faced. He was angry, hurt and at times got a little too high on his 'self-righteousness' horse, but he never forsook the Lord or turned on him.
The more perplexing problems with the book of Job are two fold. First is the authorship and second is the dating. Frankly we know almost nothing of either. Many see the book as being written in the times of the Patriarchs. Others see it written either during or after the times of Moses. There are strong arguments for each of these. Job does appear to be familiar with the Law or at least customs that became part of the law, and his use of the name Jehovah (1:21) which was given to Moses lends considerable credence that it was indeed written during or after the time of Moses. But then again, while the scriptures do not say it, it is not wholly improbable that he revealed his name to Job at an earlier date, not recorded in Scripture.
What is interesting is that within the book, Job uses the Mosaic revealed name for God, but his friends tend to use other names. This has made many believe this was written in the days of the Patriarch's. This and the fact that Job lived to be 140 years old. This type of longevity was common only in the days of the Patriarchs (see Gen 25:7; Gen 35:28) and even longer before the flood.
Once again we cannot be certain of the dating. If there were more historical references, the name of a king or the reference to a battle, we would know better when this was written. But the book is devoid of that. The only things we really have to go by are the listing of some of the customs.
Some scholars mark the books authorship as late as the times of the prophets before the exile, but to me this seems unlikely, though the book may not have been set down to parchment for many centuries after the events described. Again, we have little to go on. But most scholars seem to agree that it was during the time of the Patriarchs though when exactly during that age there is room for considerable doubt.
Yet I would be remiss in not mentioning something of import here. The story of Job was well known throughout the near east and not just with the Hebrews. While doing a little reading when writing this, I came across this most interesting 'note' that is found in Adam Clarke's Bible commentary. I want to stress one thing here. In the days of the Patriarchs, there was no Mosaic law and God had not revealed himself to the degree he did from the time of Moses onwards.
Ancient records from that time that are not necessarily from Israel and should not be looked upon in a negative light. Times were very different than today, which is why when we get to the verse by verse, we will better understand something of the tribal societal makeup of those days. 

One should not miss Adam Clarke's comments on the authorship of Job, for those of you interested.

In closing, I make no claims to being a scholar, or authority, or prophet and or pastor nor do I wish to be known as one. I am just a blogger who serves the Lord, Jesus Christ with the gifts he has commanded me to use.

This is going to be a long study and at times may seem a little boring, but hang in there, some of you may be facing your hour of 'Jobian' trail before you know it, as our troubled times just seem to be getting crazier and crazier.

I pray that if it happens, you face it with the same grit, faith and determination that Job did and get the special blessings for having done so!

Keep faith with God and he will keep faith with you!!

Grace and peace to all who server the Lord in Spirit and in Truth; Faith and Love.

Brother Mark


4 Jun

Hasn't Happened Yet: Repentance

Today, let's talk about repentance. Most of you remember I wrote a piece back in April called Covid-19 Thoughts, where I touched on this issue in relation to the Pandemic. I believed then and even more so now that if there was (is) no repentance, even worse things could very well follow for the nation. That post is still on this page, towards the bottom.

I have not seen anything remotely like repentance out there in the nation, have you? While listening to the radio yesterday and hearing many of those from the political left 'whine' about how horrible it is being Black in America, I never once heard any sense of responsibility for Black America's state placed on anyone who was Black. It was always the police, the government, Trump, 'the system' but never many of the self-created social problems that exist in Black communities that can only be solved by Black Americans. Start with out of wedlock births and the YBM who grow up without the steady guiding hand of a father. Don't think there is a connection between that and many Black cities crime rates?

I am not going to go on a rant today about Black America because this whole spirit of 'whine' and 'entitlement' is prevalent in all segments of the country. Everyone wants to blame someone else for their situation, when as often as not, the best place to start to solve many of these problems starts with a four letter word - 'self'.

Now, I am not for one moment going to say that Black Americans don't have a right to be most angry about the way some cops treat us. It's a long running scandal and if Trump bears any responsibility for it at all, it goes back to some of the things he did when he first took office and AG Sessions was running the DOJ. During the Obama administration there were some Bipartisan efforts to really bring in Police reform. One solution was Consent Decree's set up with many of the nations Police Departments. But Sessions ordered the DOJ to review Consent Decree's. You can find the actual Memo here. A cursory search on Sessions and Consent Decree will yield up many news stories on this, including why the decree's were needed in the first place. So let it not be said that I am not acutely aware of this very serious problem. If police reform has been slow, the President bears some of the blame.

But in America there has been no deeper self analysis of our individual or collective behavior. No thought about God and what he thinks about our society, which is swimming in rivers of porn, sodomy, adultery, hate, violence, fraud, bribery, drugs and corruption of every sort. The nation has not embarked on a rigid or even cursory self examination. It has continued on the way it has with most people hoping things go back to the way they were before the pandemic and now, these riots.

You see, I see America as a sick man walking. Like a man who has cancer and does not know it and only has a few years to live, this is how I see the country. Since there is no immediate pain, the subject does not realize he is dying. So I see this country. We have been dying of a spiritual cancer for some time and now the symptoms are getting bad enough where a 'medical' professional needs to be sought. This however is not a medical condition, but a spiritual and moral one. America just does not really understand how decadent she has become and how fast she is sliding in the wrong direction.

Other nations see it, but we don't. We have exchanged the word freedom with freedom from personal responsibility; freedom from doing right over doing wrong; freedom has turned into license and license to licentiousness. This is what freedom has turned into and we have made a mess of one of the greatest political experiments ever to be embarked upon.

That experiment was that a free people can freely elect leaders who will govern us and protect our rights, persons and property. It was a novel idea back in the day and until about I would say the late 20th century, it worked fairly well. But as the people became more reprobate, so the system has lost the basis for its continued existence. Namely, that the people who choose who governed them had to have a basic sense of right and wrong, a respect for God and understand their part in the social, political and economic system.

President Lincoln who confronted the greatest threat so far to that system said it well.
"...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." - President Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
As then so now, the threat to that form of government is not coming so much from abroad, but from within. Witness these riots and with each situation then and now, race relations plays a key role.

I think that what we are witnessing is the inevitable result of a people who are more concerned about rights than responsibility, particularly, personal responsibility both to their fellow man but more importantly to God. It is no coincidence that Lincoln mentioned God in his address.

When a nation forgets God, they are on a fast track to self and later divine destruction and that is the path this nation is on. We don't see it or ourselves as being decadent, but it is safe to say that neither did Sodom nor Gomorrah. They were down right indignant when Lot tried to correct that attempted gang rape of his house guests. Who was he to judge them? 'Bring our your guests so that we can have some fun!' That was the cry of the wicked and while America has not slipped that far yet, she is rapidly moving in that direction.

Look at the violence in our cities. Look at what is going on right now, from coast to coast. Most major cities have seen at least some level of disturbance. I read today where several cops were shot in last nights protests.


I just have long suspected that this great American democratic experiment is on its way to failure, not because it can't work, but because it can't work with the kinds of people who now reside in the country. This new generation of people and even many of my own age group, there just seems to be something fundamentally wrong with them, their moral compass and their ability to process information. Education, brainwashing, media, propaganda... take your pick of causes. I think it boils down to this. The nation and its people at first started to stray from God, and that straying now has turned into a rapid sprint away from him and his ways. As the new Left began to take over America's schools back in the 60's the whole face of education changed and with that came other changes as well in society as the early-age social conditioning began to take effect when the people got older. Education became more of a tool for social indoctrination than for education. It's why I think we have so many politically correct half-wits in the country today, Hypersensitive wimps who are 'offended' by anything that they don't agree with and then start taking anti-depressants and often try and turn their thin-skin into a political cause or some new medical condition. My view is that some of this emerging generation of emotional basket cases should not even be allowed to walk the streets alone at night without adult supervision, let alone walk into a polling booth and vote.

I am always struck by the parallels that exist between the US and Rome and the social, economic and political paths that sent Rome downwards and what is now sending the US whirling down the same socioeconomic loo.

No, what this nation needs is a strong dose of reality. Spiritual reality that only God can give. That wickedness, licentiousness and ignorance has its own reward and that we may be well on the way to reaping it. If COVID-19 did not get the nation's attention, these riots might. If that does not work, there may be much more trouble from other directions to come.

You see, I think the Lord is slowly removing his hand of protection from the country. Not because he hates us but because he is insisting that the nation needs to change direction and repent. Will we? I rather think not, at least not yet. Most people don't see anything wrong with how they live, the dope they take, the adultery they commit, the frauds they engage in, the lies they tell. They see everyone else doing it and that is often their justification. It's the herd morality and its going to send the nation stampeding over a spiritual cliff.

So no, I don't see any signs of repentance yet, but God may very will begin to turn up the 'heat' so to speak so that people begin to or perhaps are forced to make some spiritual choices.

God bless all who serve the Lord, in Spirit and in Truth

Brother Mark



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