Category Archives: Something to think about

A Blameless Conscience Before GOD and Men

Man sitting in a crowdHaving a hope in GOD
Which these men cherish themselves
That there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked
In view of this
I also do my best to maintain always, a blameless conscience
Both before GOD and before men
Acts 24:15-16

In Acts chapter 24, the apostle Paul was standing before the governor Felix (a roman who had been given the authority and responsibility to govern over Judah and Samaria at Caesarea), giving his defense against the false charges brought by the Sanhedrin (council of Pharisees and Sadducees who had been given limited authority over certain religious, civil, and criminal matters by Rome).

Paul denied being guilty of the false charges brought against him, and confessed that he served GOD, and believed in The LAW of GOD that was written in the prophets (Act 24:10-14). He further confesses that he has the same hope in GOD, that the Council did, concerning the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (Act 24:15). Paul then brings us to the basis of this message, because he believed in the resurrection of JESUS (Act 24:21), and the resurrection of all men, he did his best to always maintain a blameless conscience both before GOD and men.

What did Paul mean by a blameless conscience? This question is best answered by looking at the definition of each word separately:

  • To be blameless is to be free from blame; without fault; without guilt; innocent; refrain from sin.
  • The conscience is a personal awareness of right and wrong that is used to guide your actions to do right; a knowledge or sense of right and wrong; an inner feeling or voice as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of behavior.

How can you know if you have a conscience? Our Beloved LORD GOD wrote HIS Law on our hearts (Rom 2:15), so we know when we are doing right or wrong as confirmed by the following Scriptures:

For our transgressions are multiplied before YOU
And our sins testify against us
For our transgressions are with us
And we know our iniquities
Isaiah 59:12

“Although our iniquities testify against us,
O LORD, act for YOUR NAME’s sake!
Truly our apostasies have been many,
We have sinned against YOU.
Jeremiah 14:7

By means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron
1 Timothy 4:2

Is there a difference between a blameless conscience before GOD and before men? For the godly there is no difference. Our love of CHRIST controls us (2 Cor 5:14), so our private walk is the same as our public profession. We serve our Beloved LORD GOD from our soul or innermost being (Psa 51:6, Psa 15:1-2). We know our GOD sees all and will bring every act to judgment (Pro 15:3, Jer 16:17, Ecc 12:14). For the ungodly and disobedient their private life is shameful, and their public life is praiseworthy. We see this demonstrated by the Pharisees (Mat 6:1-6, Mat 23:27-28).

Why do the ungodly and disobedient walk this way? There are at least ten reasons, they:

  1. Don’t think GOD sees them (Psa 94:3-7) as demonstrated by the elders in the temple of GOD (Eze 8:7-12)
  2. Think their sins are hidden (Jhn 3:19, Eph 5:11-13) though those very sins are exposed before GOD (Psa 90:8, Heb 4:13)
  3. Seek glory (honor and respect) from men, instead of GOD (Jhn 5:41-44, Jhn 7:18)
  4. Love the approval of men, rather than the approval of GOD (Jhn 12:43)
  5. Are men pleasers (Gal 1:10, 1 Ths 2:4)
  6. Obey unrighteousness, lusts, the sinful nature (Rom 2:8, Rom 6:12, Rom 6:16)
  7. Serve self and money (Php 2:3-4, Mat 6:24)
  8. Love self, money, pleasure, the world, and the things in it (2 Tim 3:2-4, 1 Jhn 2:15-16)
  9. Continually walk with the ungodly (1 Cor 5:9-11, Eph 5:11-12)
  10. Fear man, rather than GOD (Pro 29:25, Luk 12:4-5, Jhn 12:42-43)

Points of clarification:

From 1 Timothy 4:2, a seared conscience is one that has become insensitive to what is right and wrong. As an example, if you do something that is wrong, for example binge watching, gaming, gambling or adultery, at first your conscience bothers you, because GOD has written in your heart that it is wrong (Rom 2:15). But if you continue to do it, you are no longer convicted of your wrongdoing, in fact you begin to justify it.

To obey GOD means to:

  • Listen to HIS Voice (Psa 81:11-16, Pro 1:33, Pro 8:34)
  • Do HIS Will (Mrk 3:35, Luk 6:46, 1 Pet 4:2)
  • Act upon HIS WORD (Luk 6:47-49, Jam 1:22-25)

To serve means to seek after. To serve self means seeking after one’s own interests (Php 2:21); selfish, looking out for their own personal interests (Php 2:3-4). And serving money means to seek after it (Pro 23:4, Luk 12:21, 1 Tim 6:9, 1 Tim 6:17).

To walk with means to hang out with; occupy one’s time with; follow as a companion; how one conducts themselves (Amo 3:3, Gen 5:22-24, Gen 6:9, Gen 48:15, Jhn 14:23, Jhn 15:4-10, 1 Jhn 2:4-6).

 

Now, Israel
What does The LORD your GOD require from you
But to fear The LORD your GOD
To walk in all HIS Ways and love HIM
And to serve The LORD your GOD
With all your heart and with all your soul
And to keep The LORD’s Commandments
And HIS Statutes
Which I am commanding you today for your good?
Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Taking Up Arms

taking up arms for home defenseDo not be afraid of sudden fear

Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes

For The LORD will be your confidence

And will keep your foot from being caught

Proverbs 3:25-26

Our Beloved LORD GOD forewarned us that in the last days times would be exceedingly difficult; hard to bear; perilous; troublesome; and dangerous. Those times would be so because of the extremely sinful condition of ungodly men (2 Tim 3:1-5).

Today we are currently living in the last days, and those perilous times have come upon us. So much so, that in the last few months, more Christians have begun to ask about the BIBLICAL perspective on:

  1. taking up arms (securing weapons), in order to defend their lives, their loved ones, and their homes
  2. taking the life of a perpetrator

Before we respond to what our Beloved LORD GOD says on these matters, there are four questions every Christian should carefully consider:

  1. Do you trust GOD?
  2. Do you trust HIS WORD?
  3. Do you trust in the power of HIS NAME?
  4. Do you trust HIS plan?

If your answer to any one of these questions is “I think so”, “I am not sure”, “No” then the following response will be of no value to you. And you are in a far more perilous place than you realize, both in this present life and the next life. This position may seem harsh, but it is truth, and we will take a moment to explain.

If you do not trust GOD, not trust in HIS WORD, then you will die (Jhn 8:241 Exd 3:14, Jhn 8:56-58). Why, because you are refusing to believe in The only ONE WHO can save you. We have as an example of the unbelieving Israelites who came out of the Egyptian exile (Deu 1:29-36, Heb 3:12-19). Our merciful GOD (Psa 145:8-9), repeatedly warns us that death is the outcome for anyone who trusts anyone or anything instead of HIM (Psa 135:15-18, Pro 11:28, Pro 14:12, Pro 28:26, Jer 17:5, Eze 33:13). HE also warns us that we will get exactly what we expect when we do not trust HIM, nothing (Jam 1:7).

However, if you trust GOD, you trust HIS WORD, and you trust in the power of HIS NAME, you will experience many blessings (Psa 32:10, Jer 17:7); your prayers will be answered (Psa 34:17, Psa 116:1-2); you will have peace in all circumstances (Isa 26:3, Jhn 14:27); and you will witness miracles (Psa 22:4-5, Dan 3:24-28, Dan 6:18-23); as did three women who had nothing in common but their trust in GOD, HIS WORD, and the power of HIS NAME. Pauline Jacobi a 92-year-old woman living in Dyersburg, Tennessee; Marion Chadwick, an owner of a small store in Frisco, Texas; Nayara Goncalves, a 20-year-old manager of a phone store in Boca Raton, Florida. All three women faced death by a robber holding a gun, pointed at each one of them. When a masked man pointed his gun at Marion and demanded money, she commanded him to leave her store in The NAME of JESUS. He demanded money again, she responded again for him to leave her store in The NAME of JESUS. He turned and walked out. When robbers pointed guns at Pauline and Nayara and demanded money in exchange for their lives, they began to speak with them about JESUS. Pauline’s gunmen wept as she spoke with him about JESUS. She then handed him all the money she had, $10. He kissed her on the cheek and departed. Nayara’s gunmen held his head down as she spoke about JESUS, admitting he was a Christian desperate to get money to pay his rent. He left Nayara with an apology, and none of the store’s money.

When you trust GOD, trust HIS WORD, and trust in the power of HIS NAME, you will also trust in HIS plans. This level of trust can come only by knowing HIM personally. And this begins with knowing through HIS WORD, HIS ways and HIS will. As reflected in the example of five male Christian missionaries from America. In 1956 these five men left their wives and children behind in an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani (Waodani) people of the tropical rain forest of Eastern Ecuador, in what was known as Operation Auca, The young son of one of the missionaries spotted a gun in his father’s plane and asked his father: If the Waodani attack, will you defend yourself? Will you use your guns? His father Nate Saint answered: Son, we can’t shoot the Waodani. They’re not ready for heaven… we are. Nate Saint, and the four other male missionaries were killed by a group of the Waodani tribe. But as a result of their deaths, the entire tribe eventually came to CHRIST.

Completely trusting our Beloved LORD GOD, means we completely trust HIM, HIS WORD, the power of HIS NAME, and HIS plans. There are countless more, but we introduced you to eight Christians who completely trusted GOD and know HIS WORD, which gave them understanding of HIS perspective. They didn’t meet violence with violence, they met violence with trust in HIM and HIS WORD. Their trust, changed the hearts, lives and souls of their attackers.

Our Precious LORD JESUS tells us in Matthew 5:38-39, “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” HIS WORD is counter-intuitive to our thoughts and actions, and yet HE also tells us, “For MY thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways MY ways,” declares The LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are MY ways higher than your ways and MY thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8-9).

Do not take up arms. Trust in The LORD. Weapons give you a false sense of security. Our Beloved LORD GOD will keep you secure (Pro 1:33).

 

O give us help against the adversary,

For deliverance by man is in vain.

Through GOD we shall do valiantly,

And it is HE WHO will tread down our adversaries.

Psalm 60:11-12

Sorcery

Pharmakeia 2But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers

And immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars

Their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone

Which is the second death

Revelation 21:8

There are many references in The BIBLE to sorcerer (Deu 18:10), sorcerers (Exd 7:11, Jer 27:9, Dan 2:2, Mal 3:5, Rev 21:8, Rev 22:15), sorcery (2 Chr 33:6, Gal 5:20, Rev 18:23), sorceries (Isa 47:9-12, Mic 5:12, Nah 3:4, Rev 9:21) or magic (Eze 13:18-20, Act 8:9-11, Act 19:19).  

Sorcery, magic, witchcraft is the same thing, and is evil in GOD’s sight. This practice is both detestable, and an abomination to HIM (Deu 18:9-13, 2 Chr 33:1-6). And those who practice such things will be judged by GOD HIMSELF, WHO will be a swift witness, bringing compelling evidence against them (Mal 3:5).

Sorcery takes two forms:

  1. The practice of sorcery, witchcraft or magic is to deceive by lies, manipulation and drugs (Exd 7:11, Jer 27:9, Eze 13:18-20, Dan 2:2, Act 8:9-11, Act 19:19, Rev 18:23).
  2. The use of drugs (whether prescribed, illegal, or magic potions) to satisfy the flesh by bringing the mind to an altered state (Gal 5:19-21, Rev 9:21, Rev 21:8, Rev 22:15). And the dispensing of drugs (druggists, pharmacists, or drug dealers) as demonstrated by the graphic above, in the first definition of “Pharmakeia” OT:5331.

The first form of sorcery is spoken of throughout the BIBLE. And with the global distribution of thousands of books, movies, games, etc., for Beauty and the Beast, Brave, Cinderella, Doctor Strange, Frozen, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Seventh Son, Snow White, The Chronicles of Narnia Trilogy, The Hobbit Trilogy… magic has become so widely accepted that many Christians are ensnared. They are deceived into thinking these movies are okay, because good magic always triumphs over evil magic. Failing to understand two things, first, any type of magic is sorcery, making all magic evil. And second our Heavenly FATHER has warned that much sorrow, grief, misery, trouble and affliction (woe) will come to those who call good what HE has called evil (Isa 5:20-24). In conclusion, our Beloved LORD GOD has commanded that sorcerers or witches should not be found among us (Deu 18:9-14), which means even the books, movies, games, etc. that contain them, should not be brought into our homes.

Numerous Christians are unaware that the use of drugs (whether prescribed, illegal, or used for magic potions) for one’s own gratification is sorcery. The non-medical application of prescription drugs is just as grave physically and spiritually as illegal drugs. When medications prescribed by a doctor or other medical professional are used in a way that was not intended for those medications to be used, abuse occurs. Many who abuse prescription drugs are deceived into thinking that taking prescribed drugs will not lead to addiction (a compulsive, ongoing, destructive behavior). Yet any drug which opens the mind to an altered state, opens that mind up to demonic activity. Countless people worldwide did not believe their prescribed medications to reduce anxiety, relieve stress or irritability, stop pain, stimulate the brain to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or relieve certain symptoms while providing a feeling of well-being (marijuana), would lead to addiction. And yet it did. When legally prescribed drugs produce the same behavior as consummation of illegal drugs, or influence by magic potions; the mind is being controlled or influenced by something or someone else, this is sorcery. And any drug dealer who purposely provides drugs knowing they will alter the physical, mental and spiritual state of an individual, is a sorcerer.  

How would one know they are not taking legal medicine as prescribed? The following are the top signs of prescription drug addiction provided by Medical and Addiction Recovery Professionals:

  1. Continued use of the drug, even after the pain it was prescribed for has ceased.
  2. Complaining about vague symptoms to get more medication.
  3. Lack of interest in treatment options other than medications.
  4. Mood and behavior changes, such as becoming hostile, volatile, agitated or anxious.
  5. Secretive or deceitful behavior in order to obtain the drug, such as stealing prescriptions, forging them, “losing” them, having multiple prescriptions from more than one doctor or buying and selling them on the street.
  6. Using prescription pills prescribed for others.
  7. Physical withdrawal symptoms when doses are missed. Flu-like symptoms such as joint and muscle aches, night sweats and insomnia. In fact, any major increases and decreases in sleep are signs of prescription drug addiction.
  8. Acting extremely hyper or revved up, acting sedated, or acting stuporous (having slow or confused reactions, groggy).
  9. Using more than the recommended amount of medication.
  10. Developing a high tolerance so that more pills are needed for the same desired effect.
  11. Withdrawal from friends, family and society, especially if people close to you, say you have a problem.
  12. Financial problems associated with having to purchase more and more pills.
  13. History of drug addiction.
  14. Poor decision making in general.

Our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST calls us to pursue and acquire true wisdom (the ability to know what is true or right – Heb 5:14, Jam 1:5). True wisdom is only found in HIM and HIS WORD (Pro 2:1-8, Jam 3:17). Wisdom not from above is earthly and demonic (Jam 3:15), that is why HE warns us not to lean on our own understanding (Pro 3:5, 1 Cor 3:18-20); for doing so will also cause much sorrow, grief, misery, trouble and affliction (woe – Isa 5:21). So if you have completed this study and you have reservations, we ask that you will prayerfully study the Scriptures, and go back to the original language (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek), and see if what has been laid out in this study is so.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident

Which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery

Enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions

Factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these

Of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you

That those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of GOD

Galatians 5:19-21

Discerning the Times

Red skies in OhioThe Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing JESUS
They asked HIM to show them a sign from heaven.
But HE replied to them
When it is evening, you say, ‘it will be fair weather, for the sky is red’
And in the morning, ‘there will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening’
Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky
But cannot discern the signs of the times?
An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign
And a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah
And HE left them and went away.
Matthew 16:1-4

In this passage of Scripture we saw religious leaders wanting JESUS to prove that HE was indeed the Messiah sent by GOD, by providing a miracle from heaven (such as when fire came down from heaven to the earth, proving Elijah was the prophet sent by The true GOD in Israel (1 Kings 18:36-39).

Our Beloved LORD JESUS WHO had already performed many miracles up to this point, had provided sufficient proofs that HE was WHO HE claimed to be. Yet these religious leaders still did not believe in HIM. Knowing that sufficient proof of the truth would never be enough for hardened and unbelieving hearts, HE simply stated “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” HIS statement to the unbelieving religious leaders was expounded upon in Matthew 12:39-41:

But HE answered and said to them,
An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign
And yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet
For just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER
So will The SON of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth
“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it
because they repented at the preaching of Jonah
and behold, something greater than Jonah is here

The Pharisees and Sadducees did not believe in our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST, doubting that HE spoke absolute truth. To this very day, unbelievers doubt the BIBLE as being both absolute (100% true with no exceptions-Psa 119:160, Jhn 17:17) and infallible (always perfect, always accurate, no errors – Psa 19:7). And because of their unbelief, unbelievers will:
Test or question the truth, not because they want to learn, but for the purpose of discrediting it (Luk 11:16, Mat 12:38–42, Luk 16:27-31). Those who reject the truth will always be deceived (1 Kin 18:36-39, Rev 13:11-14 Mal 4:5, Mat 17:10:13, 2 Ths 2:10-12).
Mock the truth, choosing to ridicule rather than earnestly search for it (Php 3:17–19, 2 Tim 4:3-4, 2 Pet 3:3-7, Jud 1:18). Insulting the truth rather than clinging to it, will always lead to destruction (2 Chr 36:15-17, Pro 1:20-33, 2 Ths 1:8-9).
Ignore or reject the truth, as they are not willing to turn from their evil ways. They reject both HIM (Heb 12:25-28) and HIS messengers (Zec 7:11-14). Which leads to both physical (Luk 17:26-27, Gen 7:17-23, 2 Pet 2:5) and spiritual death (Rev 21:8).

Only through The BIBLE (The WORD of GOD), can we discern (understand or recognize) the times we are currently living in, and understand what we should do (1 Chr 12:32). Discernment of the times we are currently living in, brings:

  1. Knowledge of what we should do (1 Ths 5:1-8), and what type of people ought we to be (2 Pet 3:14-15).
  2. Insight through both The SPIRIT of GOD and The WORD of GOD, enables us to see and clearly understand people, circumstances, and events all around us (Psa 119:99-100, Isa 41:20, Dan 11:33, Dan 12:10, 1 Cor 2:14-16).
  3. Watchfulness that keeps us from being caught off-guard; unprepared; asleep (Mat 24:42-44, Mrk 13:32-37, Luk 12:35-40, Rom 13:11).
  4. Peace which surpasses all understanding (Php 4:7), the peace which GOD gives (Jhn 14:27). We are not filled with fear like those who have no discernment (Luk 21:25-26), instead we should be filled with expectation (Isa 26:3, 2 Ths 3:16).

Just one final point, fully understanding that we are in the very last days does not mean we should give up and quit living. We should do quite the opposite, following the lead of our Beloved SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. Knowing that HIS departure from this life was near, HE did not quit, HE continued to minister until HIS very last breath (Jhn 13:1-20, Jhn 19:28-30).

But what about the non-ministry part of our lives, how should we live, knowing that time is short? We will answer this in two parts. First, we should live wisely (Psa 90:12). You might be wondering what it means “to live wisely or have a heart of wisdom.” It means to understand our lives are fleeting (Job 14:1-2, Psa 144:4, Jam 4:14), therefore being careful how we live (Pro 19:16, Eph 5:15-17), because we know we will appear before the judgment seat of CHRIST, and give an account of how we lived (2 Cor 5:10). Second, every part of your life should be ministry. To minister means to serve, to provide, take care of, to distribute, to do the things necessary to sustain life. Whether it is physical life, emotional life or spiritual life, we are each called to minister throughout our lives.

But when these things begin to take place
Straighten up and lift up your heads
Because your redemption is drawing near

Then HE told them a parable
Behold the fig tree and all the trees
As soon as they put forth leaves
You see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near
So you also, when you see these things happening
Recognize that the Kingdom of GOD is near
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away
Until all things take place
Heaven and earth will pass away
But MY WORDS will not pass away

Luke 21:28-33

LORD, LORD

Lord, Lord before the throne“Not everyone who says to ME

“Lord, Lord”

Will enter the kingdom of heaven

But he who does the will of My Father

WHO is in heaven will enter

Matthew 7:21

On this 26th day of April 2020, the news headlines for just the last week, are filled with many prophetic events from Ezekiel, Matthew and Revelation. And though not included in the illustration below, the current global headlines also included earthquakes, wars and raging fires:

  • Ezekiel 14:21 speaks of four severe, catastrophic, or dreadful judgments (war, famine, wild beasts and plague) to cut off men and animals because of sin.
  • Matthew 24:3-9 speaks of events (war, famines, earthquakes, persecution) that will signal HIS return. Matthew 24:8 identifies these events as birth pangs, indicating things will get more severe as HIS return draws nearer.
  • Revelation 6:1-9 gives more detail concerning the events spoken of in Matthew 24:3-9, and tells us the birth pangs being experienced on earth are actually seals being opened in heaven.

Global Current Headlines

On March 29, 2020 our Beloved LORD GOD sent me with the message “Take Heed.” The time of sleeping is over, it is time to be sober and alert, to the events happening all around us, events which signal HIS imminent return. Today, almost a month later, HE has sent me with the same message, HE first sent through HIS apostle Peter more than 2000 years ago.

May GOD give you more and more grace and peace

As you grow in your knowledge of GOD and JESUS our LORD

By HIS divine power, GOD has given us everything we need for living a godly life

We have received all of this by coming to know HIM

The ONE who called us to HIMSELF, by means of HIS marvelous glory and excellence

And because of HIS glory and excellence, HE has given us great and precious promises

These are the promises that enable you to share HIS divine nature

And escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to GOD’s promises

Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence

And moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control

And self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness

And godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be

In your knowledge of our LORD JESUS CHRIST

But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind

Forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove

That you really are among those GOD has called and chosen

Do these things, and you will never fall away

Then GOD will give you a grand entrance

Into the eternal Kingdom of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

2 Peter 1:2-11 (New Living Translation)

As a result of this message it is imperative that we examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). We should start by honestly analyzing who is Lord of our lives.

How many of you know that salvation of our souls came not just with believing that both JESUS CHRIST is The only Begotten SON of GOD (Jhn 3:16), and GOD raised HIM from the dead as proof of WHO HE is (Rom 10:9-10, Act 17:31), but also that we must fully surrender our lives to HIM (Rom 10:9)? We are no longer the boss of our lives HE is!

Our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST tells us on judgment day (Mat 7:21), many will come before HIM saying “Lord, Lord” hoping to be given entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. But sadly HE will turn them away, because HE is not their LORD, and HE doesn’t know them because they continually lived a life of disobedience (Mat 7:22-23). This is a powerful lesson for all of us, doing things you think are pleasing to GOD, means nothing if you are not living a life obedient to GOD (1 Cor 13:1-3, 1 Jhn 4:16, Jhn 14:23).

There are two devastating statements not one of us would ever want to hear from our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST:

  • “I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS” (Matt 7:23)
  • “Why do you call ME, ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say?” (Luk 6:46)

Regrettably, many professing Christians do not know that JESUS HIMSELF will be The One WHO we will stand before to be judged for everything we did in our physical bodies (Act 17:30-31). Many have been quoted two passages from John (Jhn 3:17, Jhn 12:47), as the basis why JESUS does not judge. But if they had been good Bereans, or studied GOD’s WORD for themselves they would know HIS first coming was for salvation only, but HIS second coming will be for judgment (2 Cor 5:10). Each one of us will give an account of ourselves to GOD (Rom 14:12, Mat 16:27) for our:

  • Words (Mat 12:34-37, Eph 4:29, Jam 3:9-10)
  • Obedience (Mat 7:21-23, Luk 6:46)
  • Relationship with HIM (Luk 13:22-30, Tit 1:16)
  • Love for others (Mat 25:31-46, 1 Jhn 3:16-18)
  • Readiness (Mat 25:1-13, Luk 12:35-38, Heb 9:28)

This message is not to bring fear and uncertainty about your relationship with our Beloved LORD GOD and Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST, instead in HIS great mercy and compassion, we are each being given an opportunity to examine ourselves.

And these words of comfort from HIM, for HIS faithful followers:

But if anyone loves GOD

He is known by HIM

1 Corinthians 8:3

No one who abides in HIM sins

No one who sins

Has seen HIM

Or knows HIM

1 John 3:6

According to 1 John 3:6, no one who sins, knows HIM. How can one not sin? If you carefully re-read 1 John 3:6, you will see the very first statement is “No one who abides in HIM sins.” That means if you abide in our Beloved LORD GOD and HE abides in you, you will not continually live a life of sin (practice – 1 Jhn 3:4-10).

If after examining your lifestyle through Scripture, and you feel convicted about something you are continually doing, knowing it is not pleasing to GOD. Seek HIS forgiveness (1 Jhn 1:9) and seek HIS help (Psa 51:6-13). HE promises not to cast out those who come to HIM (Jhn 6:37-40).

Now may the GOD of peace HIMSELF sanctify you entirely

And may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete

Without blame at the coming of our LORD JESUS CHRIST

Faithful is HE who calls you, and HE also will bring it to pass

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Take HEED

Take Heed frog in boiling potThe Revelation of JESUS CHRIST

Which GOD gave HIM to show to HIS bond-servants

The things which must soon take place

And HE sent and communicated it by HIS angel to HIS bond-servant John

Who testified to THE WORD of GOD and to the testimony of JESUS CHRIST

Even to all that he saw

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy

And heed the things which are written in it

For the time is near

Revelation 1:1-3

We open up this message to “take Heed” looking at a very distressed frog in a boiling pot of water. This picture is based on a metaphor conveying the thought “If the frog in the boiling pot, had been heeding the gradual change of the temperature in the pot, he would have been saved from injury or even death.”

Many of GOD’s people today, is that frog in the boiling pot. The LORD has continually sent messengers like me to tell HIS people they need to spend time with HIM, in prayer and study of HIS WORD. But they are too busy. Even now, the entire world has been shut down due to the coronavirus. People all over the globe have been forced by their governing authorities to remain in their places of residence, except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety or welfare. But instead of taking this time to seek HIS face through prayer and study as individuals and families, social networking, television watching, online streaming, and video gaming has increased.

Because they don’t know GOD’s WORD, they are not taking heed to the things written. Nor are they aware that the things happening all around the world, are prophecies being fulfilled, signaling that the second coming of JESUS CHRIST is near (Rev 1:3, Rev 22:7-12).

For the last couple of months the news has daily reported on the coronavirus. Informing us that because of it, millions of people around the world have lost their jobs, hundreds of thousands have been infected, and thousands have died. But just three months ago the local, national and global news was filled with reports of fires burning down homes, entire neighborhoods, and 92 million acres of woodland, grassland and rainforest around the world. And before that, the world’s focus was on catastrophic weather events due to global warming. Along with all this, there has continually been reports of wars being fought around the world, continual gun violence, and escalating forms of crime. All spoken of in The BIBLE. And if GOD’s people would read HIS WORD they would understand why there is no reason for them to fear like the rest of the world (Isa 41:10).

What does it mean to take heed? It means to pay close attention to, to take careful notice of. Using the Message translation (a personal paraphrase of the Bible in English by Eugene Peterson from the original languages), we see Romans 13:11-14 says:

But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to GOD. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what GOD is doing! GOD is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in CHRIST, and be up and about!

In Hebrews 9:28 our Beloved LORD GOD tells us that our Precious JESUS CHRIST first came to this earth to save us from our sins, and that HE will come a second time to save those who eagerly await HIM from the wrath of GOD. Please don’t miss that only those who eagerly await HIM, are the ones who will be saved from GOD’s wrath.

What does it mean to “eagerly await” JESUS CHRIST? It means to be:

  • expecting HIS return, like someone who stays on alert because news of a thief in the neighborhood (Mat 24:42-44, 2 Pet 3:10, 1 The 5:2-8, Rev 3:1-3)
  • waiting for HIS return, like the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom (Mat 25:1), or creation anxiously longing for the revelation of GOD’s true children (Rom 8:18-19, 1 Jhn 3:2)
  • ready for HIS return, like the Israelites were the night death passed over every household in Egypt (Exd 12:11), or the five wise virgins who took along extra oil for their lamps (Mat 25:4, Luk 12:35-38, Ecc 9:8)

Many know the Gospel concerning JESUS CHRIST and why HE came to earth the first time (Mat 1:21, Jhn 1:29, Act 13:38-39), but not many know HE returns for HIS faithful saints to save them from GOD’s wrath (Zep 1:14-18, Rom 5:8-9, 1 The 1:10, 1 The 5:9) that will be revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18).

GOD is merciful to those who will forsake their sins and return to HIM (Isa 55:7), but out of love HE will discipline those who refuse to obey, though that discipline may grow more and more severe (Lev 26:14-39) until they turn from their evil ways (Lev 26:39-42). As it is not HIS desire for anyone to perish.

“And behold

I am coming quickly

Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things

And when I heard and saw

I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things

But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours

And of your brethren the prophets

And of those who heed the words of this book

Worship GOD”

And he said to me

Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book

For the time is near

Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong

And the one who is filthy, still be filthy

And let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness

And the one who is holy, still keep himself holy

Behold, I am coming quickly

And MY reward is with ME

To render to every man according to what he has done

Revelation 22:7-12

Transformed

butterfly transformation2And do not be conformed to this world

But be transformed by the renewing of your mind

So that you may prove what the will of GOD is

That which is good and acceptable and perfect

Romans 12:2

Most of you know that a caterpillar is an insect that physically changes into a butterfly through complex metamorphosis.

But few know, the first thing that happens during this process is that most of the caterpillar’s old body dies. It is attacked by the same sort of juices the caterpillar used in its earlier life to digest its food. Literally, the caterpillar digests itself from the inside out. This process which destroys the majority of the caterpillar’s old body is called “histolysis.” What remains of the insect’s old body after “histolysis” is tissue that was hidden within a number of special formative cells. These special formative cells played no part in the caterpillar’s life, and stayed hidden or protected during the caterpillar’s partial death. 

Once the caterpillar’s partial death “histolysis” is completed (or appears to become soup), the hidden tissue known as “imaginal-disk” will be used to rebuild the caterpillar into a butterfly.  The “imaginal-disk” will reproduce rapidly to build a new body; developing into wings, legs, hairs, antennae, etc. out of the soup or insect’s digestive juices from the old larval body.

This complex metamorphosis of a caterpillar is such a powerful visual of what happens spiritually to a person who is truly “born again.” Once a person surrenders their life to our Precious JESUS CHRIST by acknowledging that HE and not they hold the power, authority, and final decisions in their life (Rom 10:9-10); and believe that our Beloved LORD GOD raised HIM from the dead, thus declaring that JESUS CHRIST is indeed The SON of GOD (Rom 1:4, 1 Ths 1:9-10), the transformation (metamorphosis) begins.

That part of the spiritually reborn person that was hostile toward GOD, also known as ‘flesh’ (Rom 8:7-8); their human nature which is prone to sin (Rom 8:5, Gal 5:19-21), is eventually destroyed, just like the caterpillar’s body. And the spiritual “imaginal-disk” or the hidden/innermost part or the mind of man (that invisible part of man that thinks, feels, remembers, judges, perceives, understands and determines) is transformed into a new creature (2 Cor 5:17) by GOD’s SPIRIT (2 Cor 3:18, Tit 3:5) and HIS WORD (Rom 12:2).

What is the outcome of this transformation? The thoughts, desires and behavior of one who is spiritually reborn will change. This person will no longer be conformed to this world (living the same lifestyle as the ungodly in this present evil age―1 Pet 1:14, 2 Tim 3:1-5), but will be conformed to the image of JESUS (Rom 8:29, 1 Pet 1:15).

 

Therefore

If anyone is in CHRIST

He is a new creature

The old things passed away

Behold, new things have come

2 Corinthians 5:17

Tender, Unconditional, Incorruptible, Steadfast

Open heart, Light, LoveI love The LORD
Because HE hears my voice and my supplications
Because HE has inclined HIS ear to me
Therefore I shall call upon HIM as long as I live
Psalm 116:1-2

The opening Scriptures (Psa 116:1-2) are the words of my heart for my Beloved LORD GOD. I frequently think about HIM. I have a “tender affection” for my Beloved because of HIS love for me, HIS continual care of me, and our precious time spent together. I feel warm inside when I think about HIM. I think about HIS goodness, HIS gentleness, HIS powerful WORD, and the many conversations we have held together. HE is my caring family and closest friend. I am emotionally attached to my Beloved LORD GOD, I desire to continuously be in HIS presence, hearing HIS voice. In Psalm 63:1-8, King David perfectly expressed this very love.

Is this type of love “Agapee”? No, this love is identified by two names. In the Old Testament it is “ἀhab (ἀheb)” (OT:157), and in the New Testament it is “phileo” (NT:5368). “Ἀhab” and “phileo” both represent a love known for having a strong emotional attachment to, a tender affection for, and a desire to be in the presence of. It’s a love that cherishes (Psa 27:4-6, Psa 34:8, Psa 40:5, Psa 143:5-6).

“Ἀhab” in the Old Testament, can be a love that represents many different types of relationships, but for purposes of this study we will only look at the relationships that are comparable to the same love as “phileo” in the New Testament. Both “ἀhab” and “phileo” represents love between:
• parents and their children, such as ABBA FATHER has for JESUS (Jhn 5:20) and HIS other children who love JESUS (Jhn 16:27, Rev 3:19); Abraham had for Isaac (Gen 22:2); Israel had for Joseph (Gen 37:3); or Ruth had for Naomi (Rut 4:15)
• dear friends (Pro 17:17,) such as Jonathan and David (1 Sam 18:1); JESUS and HIS obedient followers (Pro 18:24, Jhn 15:14-15, Jam 2:23)
• servant and their Master (Exd 21:5-6, Deu 15:16-17, Jhn 21:15-17)
“Phileo” as reflected in various passages in the New Testament, can be a harmful love. Harmful when:
• love for family is deeper than love for JESUS CHRIST (Mat 10:37)
• the recognition as righteous, means more than being righteous (Mat 6:5, Mat 23:6-7, Luk 20:46, Mat 23:27-28)
• men love their own life/way of life so much they are not willing to give it up or change it (Mrk 8:34-37, Luk 9:24-25, Luk 17:31-33, Jhn 12:25).
When “phileo” is healthy, not only is it beneficial but also this love for our Precious JESUS CHRIST is an absolutely necessary condition of salvation! You might be wondering why this type of love for CHRIST is crucial, it’s because you will never be able to have a personal relationship with HIM if your heart is not emotionally attached to HIM. Without “phileo” your desire for HIM, will never be stronger than the desires of your flesh (Ecc 11:9, Mrk 4:19, Gal 5:24, Tit 2:12) or your attractions to the world (1 Jhn 2:15-17). This type of love for JESUS CHRIST and for The WORD of GOD (because JESUS CHRIST is The WORD – Jhn 1:1, Jhn 1:14, Rev 19:13) is so crucial, that our Beloved LORD GOD issued a very solemn warning through HIS servant Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:21-22:

The greeting is in my own hand — Paul.
If anyone does not love The LORD, he is to be accursed.
Maranatha.

In examining how serious the warning in 1 Corinthians 16:22 is:
• In 1 Corinthians 16:21, Paul’s words indicate he has stopped dictating and began writing the final greeting himself.
• In 1 Corinthians 16:22, Paul personally tells us “If anyone does not “phileo” The LORD, he is to be “anathema.”
Paul is telling us, to not have a sincere love for our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST causes one to be subject to “anathema.” Anathema is a word with Aramaic origin (NT:331), which means to be accursed (Eph 2:1-3, Col 1:21, 2 Pet 2:14), set apart for destruction (Pro 16:4, 2 Ths 1:8-9), or set apart from GOD (Mat 7:23, Luk 13:27). This might seem harsh, until you understand that one who does not love JESUS CHRIST is one who refuses to be guided by The WORD of GOD, and defies HIS authority (Jhn 14:15, Jhn 14:21, 2 Pet 2:10, Jud 1:8). The one who does not have a deep affection for our Beloved LORD, has no attachment to HIM, no trust in HIM, and no belief in HIS WORDS. And will suffer the same fate of all unbelievers and disobedient (Jhn 3:36, Jhn 16:8-9, 2 Ths 1:8-9).
• Maranatha is also a word with Aramaic origin (NT:3134) which means O LORD come, our LORD come, our LORD is coming (Php 4:5, Heb 10:37, Jam 5:8, Rev 22:20). It is an exclamation of the approaching divine judgment, for those who do not sincerely love HIM, though they make an outward profession of love. True faith in CHRIST comes with sincere love for HIM, which is reflected in obedience to HIM (Jhn 10:2-5, Jhn 10:25-28). Those who do not sincerely love HIM are warned about their exposure to GOD’s wrath (Rom 5:9, 1 Ths 1:10).

How can one know they have “Phileo” love for JESUS CHRIST? By how you live your life when you think no one is watching (Eze 9:9-10, Pro 28:13, Luk 8:17, 1 Tim 5:24-25), or if you truly believe our Beloved LORD GOD sees everything (Jer 23:24, Psa 69:5, Psa 139:12, Dan 2:22, Heb 4:13). This type of love only comes with an intimate relationship with our GOD and SAVIOR. You cannot have a close personal relationship with our Beloved and not be aware of HIS presence.
Our Beloved LORD GOD examines our heart’s attitude toward HIM (Jer 12:3), and HE calls us to examine ourselves (Lam 3:40, Psa 119:59, 2 Cor 13:5). During your prayerful examination, you might ask yourself “as a minister are my teachings in the pulpit, consistent with how I constantly live outside the pulpit (Gal 1:10, 1 Ths 2:4)?” Or “as a Christian is my public behavior consistent with my constant private behavior (Eph 6:5-6, Col 3:22-25)? Are my inner thoughts, words and behavior pleasing to GOD (Psa 19:14, Psa 104:34, Psa 119:97-103, Jhn 8:29, Jam 1:26)?”

What is “Agapee”? “Agapee” is a love that is more than feelings, it is an act of one’s will (Mat 5:43-48, Mrk 12:30-31, Eph 2:4, Eph 5:25, Col 3:19). It is a profound and constant love that is free from conditions, desires, or expectations (Job 2:9-10, Hab 3:17-19, Luk 6:35-36). It is a love that causes us to cling to our GOD (Deu 10:20, Deu 11:22, Rom 12:9↔Mat 19:16-17), and forgive others (1 Cor 13:5, 1 Pet 4:8). It is incorruptible (Eph 6:24), and steadfast (Psa 57:7-11, 1 Cor 15:58↔Heb 6:10). It is an unselfish love (Rom 5:8, Jhn 15:13, Rom 15:2). “Agapee” is a love that expresses itself through actions. GOD gave HIS SON JESUS for us (Jhn 3:16). JESUS willingly died that we might live (Jhn 10:17-18). We express “agapee” to our Beloved through our implicit obedience to HIS WORD (Jhn 14:15, Jhn 14:21, Jhn 14:23, 2 Jhn 1:6). And since we have been commanded to walk in this profound and constant love, which is free from conditions, desires, or expectations, we must walk in this love for our:
• Beloved LORD GOD at all times, even in the darkest of times (Psa 62:8, Mat 22:37-38, Heb 12:5-13, Jam 1:2-4)
• Precious LORD JESUS at all times (Jhn 8:42, 1 Jhn 5:1, Rev 12:11↔Dan 11:32-35)
• Christian brethren (Jhn 13:34-35, 1 Pet 1:22, 1 Jhn 4:7-12)
• Neighbors or fellow human beings (Mat 22:39-40, Mat 7:12, Luk 10:29-37, Rom 13:8-10)
• Enemies (Luk 6:27-28, Luk 23:34, Act 7:54-60, Rom 12:19-21)
One final note, in this section describing the love that is unconditional, incorruptible and steadfast, we have used both the Greek verb “agapaoo” (NT:25) and corresponding Greek noun “agapee” (NT:26) interchangeably.

Little children
Let us not love with word or with tongue
But in deed and truth
1 John 3:18

How GOD Makes our Faith Greater Than our Fear (Part 6 – Understanding what JESUS did on Our Behalf and Why we too must Suffer)

For Consider HIM 3

In Hebrews 12:3, when our Beloved LORD GOD says “for consider HIM WHO has endured such hostility by sinners against HIMSELF,” HE is telling us to gain understanding, by thinking about how our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST persisted despite such hatred against HIMSELF from ungodly men. By doing this, when we undergo trials, tribulations and persecutions in this life; we will not grow fatigued in our minds, and lack the courage or lose the will to obey HIM. In John 15:20, HE forewarned us “remember the word that I said to you, ‘a slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted ME, they will also persecute you; if they kept MY WORD, they will keep yours also.”

In this sixth and final part of our study in Hebrews 12:1-3, we will carefully study the different ways our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST suffered hostility from ungodly men, and how HE endured until the end.

When many people think about how CHRIST suffered, they usually only consider the illegal Jewish trial of the *Sanhedrin the night before HIS crucifixion (Mat 26:31-68), and the Gentile trials (Herod-Luk 23:6-12, Luk 23:15 and Pilate-Luk 23:1-5, Luk 23:13-25) the day of HIS crucifixion (Mat 27:1-56). In this study, we will definitely look at the suffering of our Beloved LORD JESUS in the final hours of HIS earthly life, but we will also consider HIS sufferings during HIS ministry (Isa 53:3-4).

The night before our Precious SAVIOR JESUS was crucified, HE suffered severely, both emotionally and physically. The physician Luke (Col 4:14), the writer of Luke and Acts, carefully describes the severe emotional state of our Beloved SAVIOR in the garden of gethsemane. Luke cited four indicators of our SAVIOR’s extreme emotional suffering (Luk 22:41-44):
1) An angel from heaven appeared to HIM, strengthening HIM (Luk 22:43, Isa 41:10). Literally and angel from heaven came and made himself visible to our Precious LORD JESUS, increasing the strength of GOD’s only begotten SON to complete the tasks set before HIM, in the last critical hours of HIS earthly life.
2) HE was in agony (Luk 22:44). The English word “agony” was transliterated from the Greek word “agoonia” (NT:74) and it means to be in a state of severe emotional strain and anguish.
3) HE prayed very fervently (Luk 22:44). HE prayed with intentness of mind. HIS thoughts were not wandering, they were focused and earnest.
4) HIS sweat became like drops of blood (Luk 22:44). HE was experiencing hematidrosis, a very rare condition which occurs under extreme physical or emotional stress.

Our Beloved CHRIST was taken from the garden of gethsemane (Mat 26:36, Jhn 18:26) by a large group of Roman soldiers and officers of the chief priest and Pharisees (Jhn 18:3) to the illegal Jewish trials of the Sanhedrin. In these trials HE suffered severe physical injury. Our Beloved SAVIOR was first taken to Annas, a former Jewish high priest and father-in-law of the current Jewish high priest Caiaphas (Luk 3:1-2, Jhn 18:12-24). During HIS questioning by Annas, HE was struck in the face by one of the officers of the chief priests and Pharisees (Jhn 18:19-23). During HIS questioning by Caiaphas, where the scribes and the elders were also gathered (Mat 26:57), the men who were holding our Beloved SAVIOR in custody, spat in HIS face, slapped HIS face, blindfolded HIM, beat HIM with their fists, tore out HIS beard, and mocked HIM (Isa 50:6-7, Mat 26:64-68, Mrk 14:65, Luk 22:63-65). By the time HE was delivered to Pilate the next morning, the day of HIS crucifixion (Mat 27:1-2), HE had been kept up all night, and was already swollen, bruised and bloodied from HIS severe beatings the night before.

On the day our SAVIOR was crucified HE endured a beating by the Roman soldiers so vicious that HE was not even recognizable (Isa 52:14). To fully understand how ruthless this beating was; blood vessels were ruptured, muscles were sliced through, flesh was ripped from HIS body and hung in shreds. This savage beating, caused HIM to lose a massive amount of blood. After the violent beating by the Roman soldiers, they then sadistically twisted together a crown of thorns and drove it into HIS scalp. And like the officers of the Jews they mocked HIM, spat on HIM, and began to beat HIS head with a reed, driving the crown of thorns deeper (Mat 27:27-31, Mrk 15:16-19). By the time HE was led away to be crucified HE had lost at least 20% of HIS blood, which put HIM into hypovolemic shock. HE was unable to carry HIS own cross to the execution site (Mrk 15:16-23). A detailed account of what our Beloved SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST suffered, can be found online in an article first published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965. This article written by Dr. C. Truman Davis is titled “The Crucifixion of JESUS CHRIST, A medical explanation of what JESUS endured the day HE died.” I cannot even begin to comprehend the love of our GOD, that HE would willingly become flesh (Mat 1:21-23, Act 20:28, Heb 10:4-7), to endure such horrific suffering so we could be saved from ours sins.

Our Precious JESUS CHRIST not only suffered severely in the final hours of HIS earthly life, but HE also suffered throughout HIS ministry (Isa 49:7, Isa 53:3, Psa 69:7). From the very beginning Satan tried to entice HIM to sin through temptation (Mat 4:1-11, Luk 4:1-13, Heb 2:18, Heb 4:15); HE was constantly tested (Mat 22:15-22, Mrk 8:11-13, Luk 10:25-37) and persecuted by religious men (Psa 109:1-5, Jhn 15:20-25, Mat 9:9-13, Mat 9:32-34, Mat 12:2, Mat 12:9-14-please note in the Scriptures highlighted in blue the different places these religious men followed our JESUS CHRIST in order to harass and persecute HIM); Many rejected HIS message (Mat 11:20-24, Jhn 6:41-66, Jhn 12:36-50); Several times the Jews attempted to kill HIM for blasphemy (Luk 4:16-30, Jhn 7:1, Jhn 8:31-59); HE was estranged from HIS own relatives (Psa 69:8, Mat 13:53-58, Mrk 3:20-21, Jhn 7:2-10).

Our Beloved LORD GOD has told us, HIS faithful followers, serving HIM would not be easy. HE told us “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of GOD.” (Acts 14:22). HE also told us “indeed, all who desire to live godly in CHRIST JESUS will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12). And we must daily, deny self, take up our cross and follow HIM (Mat 10:37-39, Luk 9:23-25, Luk 14:25-33).

Why does considering the suffering of JESUS, help me to endure as a Christian? First, by reflecting on how much HE suffered for us, we are given assurance of HIS love and concern (Jhn 15:13, Rom 5:8, Rom 8:38-39). Second, HE understands our suffering (Heb 2:17-18, Heb 4:14-16) so HE is there to intercede and strengthen us (Rom 8:34-37, Heb 7:24-25, Heb 9:24, 2 Ths 3:3, 2 Tim 4:17-18, 1 Pet 5:6-11). Third, HIS perfect example of trusting ABBA FATHER in the midst of adversity, encourages us to do the same. Knowing that our Beloved LORD GOD is:
Omniscient, very aware of what we are going through (Job 34:21-23, Psa 139:1-6, Heb 4:13, 1 Jhn 3:20)
Omnipresent, will not leave us alone in our suffering (Psa 46:1, Psa 139:7-10, Psa 145:18, Heb 13:5-6)
Omnipotent, there is nothing too difficult for HIM (Jer 32:17, Mat 19:26, Mrk 10:27, Luk 1:37)
And when we fully grasp that HIS eyes are continually upon those who love HIM, to strongly support them (2 Chr 16:9), we are able to trust that HE will never abandon or forsake us (1 Sam 12:22, Psa 94:14), which allows us to rest in HIM (Mat 11:28-29, Isa 32:17). It is within this rest (Psa 46:10) we will come to understand WHO HE is (Psa 100:3, Jhn 10:14, Act 20:28) and realize, our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST:
Never lost focus on eternal matters (Mrk 8:31-33, Jhn 9:4-5, Jhn 18:36-38, Jhn 19:7-11), so we must not lose focus on eternal matters (2 Cor 4:16-18, Col 3:1-3, Heb 11:13-16)
Was always obedient (Jhn 5:30, Jhn 6:38, Jhn 8:29) to the very end (Luk 22:42, Jhn 19:28-30), so we must be obedient to the very end (Mat 24:12-13, Jhn 14:15, Jhn 14:23-24, 1 Jhn 5:2-3)
Never returned evil for evil (Isa 53:7, 1 Pet 2:23), so we must never return evil for evil (Rom 12:17, 1 Ths 5:15, 1 Pet 3:8-9)
Entrusted HIMSELF to our Beloved LORD GOD (1 Pet 2:21-23), as we must entrust ourselves to HIM (1 Pet 4:19)

For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you
Truly, truly, I say to you
A slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than The ONE who sent him
John 13:15-16

* The Sanhedrin was the highest court and council of the ancient Jewish nation. It had both religious and civil functions. It was abolished with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD (Luk 19:41-44, Mat 23:37-39, Luk 13:33-35).

 

Cursed be the one who does The LORD’s work negligently

Cursed be the one who does The LORD's work negligently 2Cursed be the one who does The LORD’s work negligently
And cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood
Jeremiah 48:10

The message from our Beloved LORD GOD in Jeremiah 48:10 is a powerful message. And this message is just as relevant to us today, as it was when it was given to Jeremiah over 2,500 years ago (Rom 15:4). Furthermore, this message is for both those serving in ministry, as well as those sitting in a pew.

The Backstory of Jeremiah 48:10
The Moabites were first cousins to the Israelites. The children of Israel were Abraham’s great-grandchildren, and the Moabites were the great-grandchildren of his brother Haran. Because these two nations were family, when the children of Israel wandered in the desert because of their unbelief, our Beloved LORD GOD did not let them harass or provoke their cousins to war (Deu 2:9, Jug 11:12-18). Moab returned Israel’s kindness by considering Israel an enemy and treating them as such (1 Sam 14:47-48, Psa 83:1-8). And when Judah fell into the hands of Babylon, Moab didn’t mourn instead they rejoiced and spoke against both them and GOD, saying “Judah was no different than any other heathen nation” (Eze 25:8-11). Implying Israel’s GOD was no different than idols of heathen nations, and HIS people weren’t any different. This act of hostility, in addition to their excessive pride brought a judgment of destruction and desolation upon them (Isa 16:6, Jer 48:7-9, Jer 48:26, Jer 48:42).

GOD’s Forewarning
GOD’s declared destruction and desolation against Moab, was so definitive that HE forewarned those nations appointed to carry out HIS judgment, “negligence in carrying out HIS judgment brought a curse.” You might be wondering how such a loving GOD would make what appears to be such a harsh statement. We must first remind you that our GOD is holy (perfect, pure, untainted by evil or sin) so HE is not vindictive. HE is just (fair, impartial, righteous, upright and reasonable), and HIS decisions are always well-grounded. We will look at two examples, where our Beloved GOD’s judgment seemed harsh, if additional information had not been provided through The Scriptures:
1) King Saul and the Amalekites. During the time when the children of Israel were leaving the harsh life and severe bondage of Egypt, the nation of Amalek attacked the most vulnerable Israelites from the rear. The Israelites in the rear, were stragglers, because they were faint and weary. The Amalekites showed no fear of GOD when they attacked HIS people who could not protect themselves (Deu 25:17-19). As a result our Beloved LORD GOD had Moses stop the trek toward Mt. Sinai, and send Joshua and the fighting men out to overwhelmingly defeat the Amalekites, to stop their picking off the weak and weary Israelites (Exd 17:8-13). Our GOD further declared “the memory of Amalek would be utterly blotted out from under the heaven” (Exd 17:14-16). When the first King of Israel (King Saul) was anointed, he was given orders to exterminate Amalek as GOD has promised (1 Sam 15:1-35). But he performed his duty negligently, leaving the job to be completed by King David, the second King of Israel (1 Sam 30:11-18), and by Simeon’s descendants, a tribe of Israel (1 Chr 4:24-43).
2) The prophet Ezekiel, was grieving about the destruction of the holy city Jerusalem, but our Beloved LORD GOD comforted him by revealing the reasons why. HE showed Ezekiel the conduct and actions of escapees from Jerusalem (Eze 14:12-23), where not even one righteous man could be found to stop the destruction (Jer 5:1).

What does GOD mean by “curse” in Jeremiah 48:10? HE means to bring harm (Prv 12:21), misfortune (Jer 5:11-18), sorrow (Eze 23:25-35), anguish (Eze 7:23-27), misery and distress (Psa 107:10-21) against.

What does GOD mean by “negligently” in Jeremiah 48:10? The English word “negligently” was transliterated from the Hebrew word “remiyah” (7423) and it has two meanings. The first is to be deceitful, false, to have guile. The second is to be careless, remiss, indifferent, lax, slack, and slothful. I dug further to see how these two different meanings could be related, and our Beloved LORD GOD led me to the following information from the Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon:
1) a letting down or relaxing of the hands, indolence; to be slack, a remiss hand (Pro 12:24); idle (Pro 10:4), negligently (Jer 48:10)
2) deception, fraud; a fraudulent tongue (Psa 120:2-3); a deceitful bow, one which shoots unruly (Hos 7:16); deceptive archers, who deceive by a false flight (Psa 78:57)
The first definition from the Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, confirms the usage of the word “negligently” in Jer 48:10 as careless, remiss, indifferent, lax, slack, slothful, a letting down or relaxing of the hands, indolent. If you go back to 1 Samuel 15:1-31, and study King Saul’s behavior closely, you will find he was guilty of both definitions. He didn’t follow GOD’s word fully and then he lied about it. So King Saul was both negligent and deceitful.

How does one today “negligently” do GOD’s work? One negligently does GOD’s work when they:
1) forget WHOM they are truly serving (Pro 19:17, Mat 25:34-40, 1 Tim 1:12, Heb 6:10)
2) do not serve The LORD with a glad heart (Deu 28:47-48, Ecc 3:12-13, Php 4:4, 1 Ths 5:16)
3) become stagnant in spirit, doubting the truth of GOD’s WORD (Zep 1:12, Eze 9:9)
4) become weary of following GOD’s commands (Mic 6:3, Gal 6:7-9, 2 Ths 3:13) or weary of their calling (Isa 43:22-24, Zec 11:8, Mal 1:6-7)
5) feel that obeying or serving HIM is tiresome (Jer 18:11-12, Mal 1:13, Mal 3:14)
6) become cheerless in their service (1 Sam 2:12-17, 1 Cor 9:17↔Col 1:25, 2 Cor 9:6-15)

Why does one become “negligent” in doing GOD’s work? When one becomes lukewarm in their walk with GOD, they become lukewarm in their service to GOD (Rev 3:14-22). When one’s earthly interests become greater than their spiritual interests, they lose interest in the things of GOD because they are so tied up with things in their everyday life (2 Tim 2:3-4). Both their hearts and their interests are divided (Psa 133:1↔Php 2:2-4, Luk 16:13, 1 Cor 7:32-35).

Is being lukewarm sin? Yes, to be lukewarm means to be lacking in conviction for GOD or the things of GOD. When one lacks conviction, they no longer follow HIS command to stand firm in their belief (1 Cor 15:1-2, 1 Cor 16:13, 1 Ths 3:8); they are not diligent in their faith (1 Pet 1:1-11, 2 Pet 3:14); and they lack assurance (Heb 3:12-14, Heb 11:1). Our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST tells us whatever is not from faith is sin (Rom 14:23, Heb 11:6).

Are the other ways to confirm being lukewarm? Yes, lukewarm people continue to talk about GOD, but their heart no longer belongs to HIM (Isa 29:13, Psa 50:16-21); they follow the teachings of men, rather than the commandments of GOD (Matt 15:9, Mrk 7:1-23); they profess to know GOD but their beliefs and lifestyle deny HIM (Tit 1:16, Rom 2:17-24); deny HIS SON as The only way to salvation (Jhn 14:6, 1 Jhn 2:22-23); and deny HIS WORD by refusing to accept it as truth (Isa 30:9-11, 2 Ths 2:10-13, 2 Tim 4:3-4). Lukewarm people refuse to know GOD’s WORD, as they prefer to live the lifestyle they choose (Jer 7:24-26, Psa 81:11-13); they despise authority (2 Pet 2:10, Jud 1:8); they are arrogant, feeling they have everything they need (Rev 3:17).

What does Jeremiah 48:10 mean “and cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood”? The sword is both an offensive (used to attack or harm) and defensive (used to defend or protect) weapon used in war. It can be physical (Exd 32:25-29, SS 3:8, Jer 47:6-7, Jhn 18:10-11), spiritual (Hos 6:5, Eph 6:17, Heb 4:12, Rev 2:16, Rev 19:13-15), or figurative (Job 5:15, Psa 57:4, Pro 12:18, Isa 49:2). Our Beloved LORD GOD called King Ahab of Israel to use a physical sword, by going to war and destroying one of Israel’s deadliest enemies and it’s King (Syria and King Ben-hadad). But King Ahab, decided to let him go (1 Kin 20:1-34). As a result our Beloved LORD GOD sent HIS prophet to King Ahab to tell him, GOD would destroy him and his people, because like King Saul he chose to follow his own will instead of GOD’s (1 Kin 20:35-43).

How does “and cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood” apply to us today? Today our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST call us to use a spiritual sword (HIS WORD – Heb 4:12), when HE sends us to someone(s) with a message (Eze 33:7-9, Act 20:2-27). If we choose not to give the message because it seems too harsh, or we choose to only give positive messages (2 Tim 4:3). The LORD JESUS CHRIST will judge our disobedience and hold us responsible for the soul we chose not to warn (Eze 3:16-21).

MY son, do not reject the discipline of The LORD
Or loathe HIS reproof
For whom The LORD loves HE reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights
Proverbs 3:11-12