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End Time Stuff- a-2013

END TIME STUFF A 2013

 

 

1904 JERUSALEM DIVIDED?

 

I want to pick up a little from the last post- but I also got with the street guys yesterday and maybe will make a few comments.

 

Yesterday we talked about the first century context of the Jewish people- as it relates to the Messiah.

 

That is the Jewish nation was waiting for centuries for the promised one who would come and deliver them.

 

Jesus showed up on the scene and claimed to be the One.

 

The early followers of Jesus- all Jews- did not fully grasp the spiritual nature of Gods kingdom.

 

He would teach them principles about the kingdom that seemed to go against the flow of normal life.

 

‘The last shall be first’

 

‘He that dies shall live’

 

‘You have heard an eye for an eye- but I say love your enemies…’

 

All these principles were showing them that the Kingdom that Jesus was talking about was a spiritual kingdom- that would also affect the world as we know it- but at its heart it was not about material stuff.

 

 

Okay- now- the Jewish people at the time of Christ were wanting a national deliverance- they were pre-occupied with getting free from the rule of Rome- and their hopes- like many people today- were tied up in the advance of their nation- their people.

 

But you have the writings of the early apostles talking about this new kingdom- where Jesus died for all people [Jews and Gentiles] and he ‘reconciled both [groups] unto God in One Body on the Cross’. [Ephesians]

 

So- your getting a different picture here- Paul the Apostle is saying that we are all now part of this new community of God- he says ‘we are now partakers with the Jewish people- we are this new commonwealth’.

 

The actual teaching- from the bible- is very advanced for its time.

 

I mean if you think about it- these words were written 2 thousand years ago- and they speak about relations between groups that the modern church seems to miss.

 

 

When we- in our day- appeal to the Old Testament verses about God giving land to Israel- and we couch all of our ‘end times’ preaching in scenarios that have one side killing the other- or when Western Christians visit the ‘Holy Land’- talking about the staging of the final ‘assault’ [Armageddon] and how many Arabs [Muslims] will be slaughtered by a Jewish army- lead by Christ- I mean do we really realize what we are saying?

 

 

I just read Revelation chapter 4- and it had nothing to do with this post- but as a side note it said there was thing angel flying in heaven- preaching the ‘everlasting gospel’ to all nations that dwell on the earth.

 

 

The gospel means ‘good news’- we often read the book of Revelation- and use it to back up the scenarios I just spoke about.

 

But this verse says the intent of God is to tell the good news to ALL ETHNIC GROUPS.

 

No one is left out- do you hear this?

 

Arabs- Jews- everyone- the good news is Christ brought us all back to God by his death for us.

 

That’s good news.

 

Would it be good news if I said ‘hey Arab- guess what- Christ is coming back- oh- he will lead a war against you and your kids- if you get lucky you might be killed by Christ’.

 

Now- I know this sounds absurd- but that’s the majority teaching in the American Protestant church today.

 

 

Just last night I caught a little of the coverage of the Democrat convention.

 

They were reporting on a ‘big’ news event.

 

What was it?

 

That the Dem’s took the wording out of their platform that said they believed Jerusalem should be the undivided capitol of Israel.

 

Why would this big a big deal?

 

It dates back to the 19th century- and the rise of what we call Dispensational theology.

 

Basically the development of this whole teaching that I just covered.

 

Eventually the teaching would influence large swaths of American Protestantism.

 

And it would seep in to the political world.

 

Yes- the actual statement that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel- found in the political parties of our day- stem straight from the influence of the Dispensationalists of the 19th century.

 

 

Okay- what am I saying?

 

 

Do I advocate for the Palestinians getting half of Jerusalem?

 

[See- now I’m getting into politics]

 

Practically speaking- I don’t see how that could ever be workable.

 

 

You have Hamas- a recognized terror group by the U.S. – holding elected positions in Palestine.

 

 

So- I don’t see how this same group can share Jerusalem- practically speaking.

 

But- when you begin basing your political agenda on your view of the bible which might very well be wrong- then that’s when we get into trouble.

 

 

See?

 

 

 

The New Testament apostles saw Jesus as the Messiah that they were waiting for.

 

All Jewish people do not see it that way- that’s their right- they have the freedom to believe the way they want.

 

 

Arab people have the freedom to believe the way they want.

 

 

Christians have the freedom to believe the way they want.

 

We as believers should share the Good News with all people groups.

 

That’s our mandate.

 

I just fear that much of what we are preaching is not good news.

 

See?

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1903 JEWS AND THE END TIMES?

 

 

I want to delve into a hard issue for the church.

 

The last few weeks I have been watching the documentaries from net flix.

 

I mentioned that most [if not all?] are done from the liberal perspective- which I’m okay with.

 

But it is important on all issues to see both sides.

 

One of the things they dealt with was the history of the church and anti Semitism.

 

Yes- the Christian church has had a long history of treating the Jewish people badly.

 

Why?

 

As a Protestant- those of you who have been reading my posts for a while- well you realize that I’m not in the ‘normal’ category of Protestantism.

 

Many of the subjects I hit on are going against the strain of what we normally view as American Evangelicalism.

 

I often reference the Pope- in a good way- or talk about our Catholic brothers and sisters- well- as brothers and sisters!

 

So- I realize I have rubbed many the wrong way.

 

So- this subject of the treatment of the Jewish people has seen extremes- and in the American Evangelical church- much too much of the ‘end times’ stuff- in my view- is missing the boat.

 

As we read the New Testament we see Jesus and the disciples [all Jewish by the way] living at a time when the Roman govt. ruled over the Jewish people- and the Jewish people were waiting for their ‘salvation’ by means of a Jewish Messiah who would come and deliver them from their oppressors.

 

Much of their understanding of salvation was tied in to a national deliverance.

 

When you read the prayers/praises of both John the Baptists dad- and also Mary’s praise [called the Magnificat] you see a strong sense of national deliverance.

 

 

They speak about God sending the Messiah to deliver the people form their oppressors.

 

 

Okay- in this milieu we have Jesus and his guys living and believing that the ‘salvation’ of God is near.

 

 

It was only natural for the disciples- especially those who we call Zealots [Simon- not Peter] to think that this whole salvation story was about God restoring natural Israel back to a place of prominence once again- no more Roman rule type of thing.

 

 

But we see an interesting thing with Jesus- he keeps making statements that seem to lead the disciples away from seeing things this way.

 

‘My kingdom is not of this world- or my men would fight’

 

‘Put up the sword- those who live by it will die by it’

 

And the verse I quoted the other day ‘see all these buildings- temple- there will not be one stone left upon another’.

 

 

He basically is rejecting the nationalistic idea of him being the Messiah who would redeem Israel in a nationalist way.

 

He’s showing them that his purpose is different- it’s salvific for sure- but not in the way they perceive.

 

 

Okay- I’m beginning to realize I won’t be able to cover the whole thing in this post.

 

 

Maybe I’ll do a few more like this in the next few days.

 

The point is- I want you to see that God’s purpose for our Jewish friends- our Muslim friends- for all races and ethnic groups.

 

His purpose is not to pit one side against the other.

 

It’s not about Jesus defending one side- at his second coming- and actually leading that side in a real war- where he shoots people- or kills them with a sword!

 

No- these scenarios- which prevail in the End Times books you see at Wal mart.

 

These ‘narratives’ if you will- go against the entire grain of the teachings of Jesus.

 

This is why you see me so negative at times- against the Evangelical church.

 

Many Protestants- well meaning people- have such a negative view of the historic church- that they reject the ancient church’s position on these things.

 

For the most part- the historic church took a position called A-Millennialism.

 

Basically it’s a kind of spiritual way of seeing all these things.

 

God’s kingdom is not seen thru the eyes of natural war- but thru the eyes of a heavenly kingdom.

 

I think that’s the correct position- for the most part.

 

 

But most American protestants believe that this position is just one of the many ‘doctrines of the Whore of Babylon’ see what I mean?

 

 

Okay- lets end there- think on some of this stuff- read the New Testament with this in your mind.

 

 

Why does the Apostle John refer to natural Jerusalem as ‘spiritual Sodom and Egypt’? [Revelation]

 

Was his intent to be anti Semitic?

 

No- he was showing us that God’s concern was for all people groups- no longer was it about a nationalistic thing- a type of salvation that the disciples at first were thinking of.

 

 

As I end this post- I want to make sure that all my friends- Jews- Muslims- all- understand that my position is that God loves us all- and he’s not in the business of backing any side- militarily.

 

 

I hope to show you this in the coming days.

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1896  SIGNS OF THE TIMES

 

‘Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee- is burned up with fire’ Isaiah 64:11.

 

Yesterday I mentioned that I watched a couple of negative documentaries about Christianity- they were done from the extreme skeptic’s perspective.

 

 

In these types of shows they usually have a few Christians/preachers that they portray as idiots.

 

In some cases- we can’t help ourselves!

 

One of the scenes was this group of protestant Christians traveling to Israel on a holy land tour.

 

When they are at the site of the temple mount [a real big deal for certain protestants- called Dispensationalists].

 

The pastor is speaking- very loudly- and quoting Jesus from Matthew 24.

 

He says ‘Jesus said there would be no stone left upon another- he meant it- all these stones will come down’!

 

Now- I know he meant well- and it must have felt exhilarating for him to kind of be standing up for Jesus- but we all know that there is this huge gold mosque sitting right at the spot where the temple used to be.

 

 

And this is where- for some Protestants- the rubber meets the road.

 

The above verse comes from the Old Testament prophet- the people of God [Israel] were being judged- they lost their homeland and eventually their holy temple would be destroyed.

 

Over a period of time they would return to their land and the temple would be re built.

 

During the days of Jesus you had a 3rd temple- even though the 2nd rebuilt one was never destroyed- yet Herod [the father of king Herod whom we read about in the bible] would undergo this huge rebuilding project- and he turned the temple of Jesus day into this huge majestic place.

 

So- when the disciples were with Jesus one day [matt 24] they said ‘look at all these great buildings Jesus’.

 

And that’s when he gave the response ‘their will not be left one stone upon another that shall not be cast down’.

 

 

This event took place in the year AD 70- the Roman general Titus would sack Jerusalem and the temple was cast down- there was not ‘one stone left on another’ literally.

 

After the destruction- many went in and searched thru the rubble for the gold that melted and fell between the stones- they actually laid every stone bare during this process.

 

So- the actual words the minister quoted from Jesus- these words were not defending the glory of the temple- which in Christ’s day came to represent religion apart from God.

 

No- the words of Jesus were actually a rebuke to those who put too  much emphasis on the temple itself [which just happened to be the camp that the above minister was in- ouch!]

 

Christians do have a problem with stuff like this- lots.

 

 

I also caught a few preaching shows over the past week- and many of them had the same theme.

 

One man was ranting against Muslims- he was quoting verses in the Bible that talk about avoiding the evil person.

 

I actually just posted on this a few weeks ago.

 

These verses come from the Apostle Paul’s pen- in his letter to the church at Corinth.

 

 

He was not saying to have no contact with unbelievers [or people of other faiths]- he was talking about ‘church members’ who were living in open sin.

 

I got into it the other day- don’t want to rehash it again.

 

The point was- even though this minister meant well- he was giving the opinion that Christians should have no peaceful dealings with Muslims- or any other religion for that matter.

 

Is this right?

 

No.

 

The bible says we should live peaceably with all men.

 

In the Old Testament we read the story of Joseph.

 

He became the second most powerful figure in the land of Egypt- only Pharaoh was over him.

 

 

Joseph was living- and functioning- in the midst of the Egyptian people- who did indeed have different religious beliefs than Joseph.

 

Yet we read how Joseph earned great respect from the Egyptians- and when Joseph’s dad died [Jacob- who was named Israel] they respected the wishes of Joseph and even mourned with him.

 

Now- this is a great example of believers having friends- functioning in society- without purposefully offending people.

 

I do not claim to have perfect understanding about the end times- but I do see some major flaws with what most people think about when they hear ‘end times’.

 

Many Christians see a future restoration of the temple in Jerusalem.

 

They see a huge problem that the mosque sits on the temple site- and they have various scenarios to see the thing removed.

 

 

These same believers- all good people mind you- also see Jesus restoring the sacrificial system- and him ruling over Jerusalem- with the sacrifices taking place once again.

 

Problem?

 

 

In the book of Hebrews- in our bibles- the writer says ‘those who continue the sacrificial system- after the crucifixion of Christ- are doing disgrace to the Cross of Christ.’

 

Theologically- the above end time’s scenario does much harm to the basic message of the Cross.

 

Geopolitically- it spells disaster.

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1892- WHAT A DEAL!

 

Well I finally sold the Mustang last night [a car- not horse].

 

 

I put it on Craigslist for about a week- geez- too many calls.

 

People would ask for directions- I’d give them the address and directions- then they would call back ‘well- I don’t speak English too good [lots of Mexicans buy the cars from this area and sell them in Mexico] – I’m still in the parking lot ‘[Wal mart].

 

Okay- would could I do?

 

 

I told a few people ‘look- I gave you the address- directions- part of this project is you need to be able to get here- if you can’t complete this part of the ‘mission’ then I guess you won’t be buying the car brother’.

 

Yeah- they need that type of tough love.

 

 

 

So anyway it sold for 700.

 

That was a steal to be honest.

 

1998 mustang- runs good- does need a starter.

 

Another one was selling for 1500- with a blown motor!

 

 

Okay- let’s do another verse from the prophet.

 

‘In all their affliction he was afflicted- and the angel of his presence saved them’ Isaiah 63:9

 

If you read the entire chapter you get a scene of someone treading the Winepress.

 

I spoke about this a while back- the imagery of a Winepress- a place where you crush the grapes and make the wine- is used by the prophets in the bible.

 

Jesus himself uses the same imagery in the gospels.

 

 

 

Here you have God saying ‘I looked for a man- someone to do this mission- and I found no one- so my own arm brought salvation’.

 

 

It is important to note that in this chapter we see God [Jesus] stained with the blood of those who are being trampled at the Winepress.

 

 

In the book of Revelation we this same thing.

 

 

Many modern prophecy teachers [another pet peeve of mine by the way] have an end time scenario all figured out- they see these things thru the ‘lens’ of modern warfare- which nation should get which piece of land [Israel- Palestine- etc.]

 

But they fail to see how the New Testament focuses on all ethnic groups- Jews, Palestinians- etc-  as being One New Man in Christ [Ephesians].

 

So- this image of the winepress sometimes is associated with a final battle of Armageddon scenario- that makes me cringe when I hear it proclaimed- in an ethnic way- from the media pulpits.

 

 

‘John- how should we take it then’?

 

Look- I’m not saying ‘my way’ is the only way- or the right way.

 

 

But when we read the bible- we must also take into consideration the broader themes of the love and grace of God- yes- judgment too- I don’t deny that- but the mercy of God must be there as well.

 

 

So- in this imagery of Jesus being stained with the blood of sinners- at a Winepress- the ‘place of pressing’ [like the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus started to bleed- pouring out his blood].

 

We can also see this as a type of the Cross- the place where the judgment and wrath of God was poured out- on Christ himself.

 

 

Maybe the blood that the ‘treader’ is soaked in- maybe its redemptive- just maybe.

 

See?

 

But the actual verse I wanted to hit on was that ‘in all our affliction- he is afflicted’ [which by the way fits in more with what I just said].

 

 

In 1st Peter 4 we read that we are partakers of Christ’s suffering.

 

The apostle Paul said ‘I fill up the sufferings of Christ’.

 

They saw their trials as being redemptive in nature- that is they felt like the things they were going thru in life were for a higher purpose.

 

 

They did not view the Christian experience thru a lens that was primarily seeking self benefit.

 

 

Many today see ‘church’ and Christianity as a means of self improvement- often times you hear the same thing from the pulpits as you hear on the weekend self help infomercials [or the ‘how to get rich’ guys].

 

Is this a right view?

 

No.

 

 

We are on the earth to glorify God- and to finish the work he gave us to do.

 

 

If part of the cost is suffering- then so be it.

 

These verses I have quoted show us in no uncertain terms that we are called- at times- to suffer.

 

 

 

As a student of all types of scholars- I must confess that our Catholic brothers and sisters get this right- much more often than Protestants.

 

So- those of you who have been tracking this journey- you have seen some flat tires- some wrecked trucks- and yeah- some up’s and downs.

 

 

I’m not saying all of this is equal to the sufferings of the early apostles- but in a small way- we can identify- and gain comfort- to know that these are not ‘strange trials’ these are things we all go thru in life.

 

 

I just wish we could take turns!

 

LOL

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1883- ALL AND ALL IT’S JUST ANOTHER BRICK [NOTE] IN THE WALL?

 

 

So the news for the last few days has focused on Romney’s ‘world tour’.

 

As most of you know- he embarked on this trip to boost his foreign policy credentials.

 

And of course- the ‘main stream media’ has made it sound like he has made the worst gaffs since the time Biden told one of his political ‘close friends’ to stand up at some rally.

 

 

 

Biden ‘go ahead- stand- don’t be shy’ of course the guy sat there- still- hoping Biden would move on.

 

Not Biden.

 

‘Go ahead stand man- stand damn it- enough of this false MODESTY- stand!!”

 

 

Finally- someone from the audience yelled ‘he’s crippled you ….’

 

Close friend- remember?

 

 

So- in London Romney’s asked about the Olympics- does he think there might be some security problems.

 

And as a former CEO who ran the Olympics in the past- he was honest- he said there might be some difficulties with the security people who were hired to do the job.

 

 

Oh my- the press in the U.K. and the U.S. made it sound like this was the worst thing in the world.

 

They spent days- top headlines- top world news- yes- ‘how can this be- Romney singlehandedly has destroyed the greatest coalition ever- NATO and the Brits will fall apart now!! Oh my!!!’

 

 

I mean it’s hilarious.

 

 

Most don’t realize that Romney simply expressed- in a nice way- what the British press has been saying for weeks.

 

 

As a matter of fact- the security company who was hired to do security were about 3,000 men short.

 

 

The British military filled the gap.

 

 

This is bad- very- very bad.

 

 

Though I’m sure the military are good guys- yet they are not trained for this type of job.

 

 

The London games is a major target for terrorism- and if the truth be told- Romney’s comments were mild.

 

 

But because they decided to portray them the way they did- now the media are stuck in a way- because the games have had a bad start.

 

 

Most of the seats are empty- they actually need people to attend the events.

 

 

Yet- you have people who can’t get tickets.

 

 

Why?

 

They don’t know for sure- but it might be that lots of companies bought tickets- and gave them to their people- and the people are not going.

 

 

I mean I’m sure it couldn’t be the fact that the media have been reporting for weeks that the security is in fact not good- no- it can’t be that.

 

 

Either way- Romney was right- and those who follow the news know it.

 

 

Then- Romney trotted off to Israel.

 

Of course the media have found their niche- they are waiting to stomp on him every time they get a chance.

 

 

So- he tells the Israelis ‘your culture obviously has contributed to your success as a nation’.

 

Okay- is this true or not?

 

Look- as a bald faced statement- it is true.

 

 

What did the media say?

 

Oh my- Romney has insulted the Arab world- he has defamed the Palestinians- how could he ever have made a statement like this!

 

 

Now- as an independent- I do not always side with U.S. policy in that part of the world.

 

And- I think the American Evangelical church has made some big mistakes when they read the bible- and try to fit current U.S. policy in with their interpretation of end time events.

 

 

So- I do not see the Palestinian problem as one side being the enemy [Palestinians] and the other as the ‘people of God inheriting the land’.

 

 

For the most part those are Old Testament mindsets that overlook the New Testament view- that we are all called to inherit the kingdom thru the Cross.

 

 

 

So- just wanted to make that clear.

 

 

But- the truth is Israel has one of strongest Democracies in that region of the world.

 

They are governed with a system of courts and laws- that have even ruled on the side of Arab people- against their own govt.!

 

 

That’s rare- very rare- you do not find that in Arab states- that a court in Iran would rule against their leaders- and side with a Jew.

 

 

You have certain Arab states- that to even be Jewish would get you killed on the spot.

 

 

And some Arab states [not all!] have no real rule of law- even though they have tried- many are living a lawless existence.

 

 

 

Okay- I know there’s more to the debate- but on its face- Romney simply told the truth.

 

Yet the media are reporting it as a huge blunder- the likes of which has never been seen before!!

 

 

 

So- they show a clip of Romney putting a folded prayer request in the Wailing Wall [Jerusalem].

 

 

They then do a quick story ‘I wonder what he said’.

 

You know- it’s a traditional thing- the wall is a place for the Jewish people to connect with God- and they pray daily at the wall.

 

 

So- Romney kinda says what he wrote in the note- he says he thanked God for the source of our salvation- a few other things.

 

 

 

Then they show the shot of Obama when he did his note- of course they had the scoop form Obama’s note.

 

He asked for ‘wisdom and knowledge to govern the people’.

 

Basically the same prayer that king Solomon prayed [convenient that this slipped out- in Jerusalem!]

 

 

 

Then they had the shot of good ole G.W. [Bush].

 

 

I braced myself.

 

 

They simply showed him putting his hands on the wall.

 

 

I was waiting for Brain Ross to break in [you know- Ross is the news guy who ‘outed’ Jim Holmes from the Colorado shooting- he said he was a Tea Partier from Aurora- of course he outed an innocent man].

 

 

Yeah- I was waiting for the ‘Ross Report’.

 

 

 

‘George- I have breaking news- I don’t know if this is the same GW from Texas- but a goat herder was walking by the wall- and he found this note had fallen- strangely- it was signed by a GW from Texas’.

 

Go on Brian- what does it say man?

 

 

‘Well- like I said- we don’t know if it’s Bush- but the note says- and I quote- “What’s it like to be a wall” unquote’.

 

 

Yeah- I was waiting for the scoop.

 

 

 

So- you get the idea- the media have the power- and the desire- to depict one side as total idiots- and the other as those who can do no wrong.

 

 

I’m not on either side- trust me- but the bias is hard not to see.

 

 

Okay- I actually do have more to say- maybe tomorrow.

 

 

Right after I post this- I’ll post some pics from the weekend- now that I got my smart phone- I’m taken pics.

 

 

In a little while I will be driving my daughter to San Antonio- she’s catching a flight back to Indiana- she’s staying there for now- her boyfriend has been working across the country- right now they are in Indiana.

 

 

 

So- I’m sure I’ll take some pics.

 

 

That’s it for now- enjoy the pics.

 

And don’t forget the lesson of the day.

 

 

If you’re in a political rally- and Biden says ‘go ahead- stand up man- for the love of Pete’.

 

Just leave- it will save you from a very awkward moment for sure.

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1876- THE SPEED OF LIGHT

 

Wasn’t sure which way to go- but this morning I was walking in my yard [I get up real early!] and I thought about the story of the Unjust Judge.

 

It’s a parable that Christ told- I actually haven’t read it in a while- but remember it pretty well.

 

Jesus said in this city there was a widow who went to this judge- the judge did not ‘fear God—or care about men’.

 

She had a situation where she needed the judge to do justice on her behalf.

 

The judge at first put the woman off- but then he said ‘I better do something- because her continual nagging is driving me up the wall’ [my paraphrase].

 

Jesus then said ‘see what the judge did- how much more will my heavenly father do for those who come to him’- then he says ‘he will avenge THEM SPEEDILY’.

 

We often tell the story like this ‘see- God is like the judge- he will defend you’.

 

Actually Jesus is saying ‘God is not like the judge’.

 

This judge acted- not out of what was right- but out of pressure- you know- the lobbyist wins.

 

But God- he does what’s right.

 

 

I was thinking about my governor when this verse ‘speedily’ dropped into my head.

 

During one of the debates Rick Perry used an example- I forget what the whole thing was about- but he said ‘such and such will happen- at the speed of light- literally’.

 

I think he was talking about Iran coming into Iraq and having more dominance in the region [which by the way he was right about].

 

But- when you use an example that has ‘the speed of light’ in it- well- it’s usually Figuratively- which just happens to be the opposite of literally- you know- a minor detail.

 

Okay- I can hear my Jersey friends now ‘wow John- you got one heck of a governor in the Lone Star state’.

 

Yeah- what can I say?

 

Maybe this ‘didn’t I see Christie on the boardwalk the other day’?

 

 

Let’s let bygones be bygones- deal?

 

 

Our timing- what we think is speedily- is not the same time line of God.

 

There are many texts in the bible that talk about the ‘end of the world’ and ‘the coming of Christ’ and it says it will happen fast.

 

These verses were penned 2 thousand years ago.

 

[Actually this is a pretty in depth study- how the church has handled the verses that deal with the End Times.

 

We call this Eschatology.

 

There are different views on this- Futuristic- Historical- Preterist.

 

This entire teaching is worth doing- I have done some over the years.

 

In a nutshell- some of these verses say ‘at the end of the age’ not ‘world’.

 

In the Greek language- which the New Testament was written in- the word used is age.

 

So- they are not always saying ‘the world will end soon’.

 

But ‘the age’.

 

What age?

 

In context- the old age [dispensation] of law- the Old Covenant.

 

And the New age- the age of Grace- has come.

 

This debate does have some [lots?] of merit to it- and it ‘solves’ some of the complaints from the critics of Christianity who say ‘Jesus was wrong when he said the end of the world would happen soon’.

 

In the above context- it did happen soon- see?]

 

 

So- we all have requests- we are in a way like the woman going to the judge.

 

Ask- Knock- don’t quit.

 

Jesus said ‘men ought always to pray and not to faint’.

 

Pope John Paul said ‘prayer is strength for the weak’.

 

James said ‘the continual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much’.

 

 

Yeah- whatever the request is- the good judge will do what’s best- not because you’re bugging him nonstop- but because it’s right.

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1837- DID THE HILLS CLAP HANDS?

 

 

 

I usually end the week with a ‘week in review [news]’ type thing- but being I posted 2 political things yesterday- let’s do something spiritual.

 

The other week I mentioned I just went thru a course [again] on early Christianity.

 

The teacher- a famous scholar of the day- came from a liberal background in scholarship.

 

I do like the man- though I come from a different view- I believe the bible is inspired by God- and is ‘the word of God’.

 

Now- that statement can be expanded on- and at times I have done that.

 

There are Fundamentalist positions on biblical inspiration that at times leave much to be desired.

 

The bible has various forms of literature within it.

 

Poetry- Apocalyptic [Revelation, Daniel] – Symbolic- etc.

 

So inspiration- or reading the bible ‘literally’ simply means when you read those portions- literally- you read them as you would any other form of literature in the same class.

 

Example.

 

In Psalms [poetry type category] you read that ‘all the hills clapped their hands and sang’.

 

Okay- did the writer ‘literally’ mean this?

 

No- he was using poetry to describe the majesty of God.

 

But some people do think these verses should be read ‘literally’ and that in some way nature ‘clapped hands’.

 

The same with the book of Revelation- when we read about the Dragon- or the number of the beast- we realize these are symbols- or riddles- that we need not take ‘literally’.

 

Will there be an actual number- or code- that some future govt. will stamp on people’s heads or hands?

 

Probably not.

 

Have there been teachers/preachers who have taught this kind of thing- who have said ‘we live in a day like never before- where you can actually mark someone in the head/hand thru computer chips’.

 

So you have people who refuse to get social security cards- or avoid using the computer marker at the grocery store.

 

But these ways of looking at the bible are too simplistic- and don’t fit the actual style of the writer.

 

Is this the only time in history when we have the ability to mark people on their bodies?

 

Of course not- we read in the bible itself that in the Old Testament they actually ‘branded’ slaves- had ways to bore a hole in a person’s ear to show he belonged to an owner.

 

But we never think of this- we simply accept what we hear and that’s that.

 

The other day I was talking to a very knowledgeable man in the bible- he has read it [like me] hundreds of times over the years.

 

One time I mentioned to him the debate [among scholars] over the days of creation we read about in Genesis chapter 1[and 2].

 

I gave him various ways people interpret the text.

 

I said ‘you know- Genesis one says God created the Sun on day 4- but he made light on day 1’.

 

Now- I mentioned this as someone who does take the bible ‘literally’ but who also leaves room that the earth is much older than 6 thousand years.

 

To my surprise- my friend never thought of this ‘problem’.

 

He asked ‘what day was the sun made?’

 

Now- I know he has read the text a lot- but it never dawned on him that the Genesis account has this ‘problem’.

 

How do we solve it?

 

Some say ‘God made another source of light for the first 3 days’.

 

Okay- I don’t go for that.

 

But I do ‘go for’ the possibility that God is not giving us a scientific account of the creation of the world- be he is giving us a way we can grasp it- being everyone who reads the text is not a scientist.

 

One interesting view is God was using the 6 day [7] ‘form’ to categorize the order of things.

 

Day 1- light. Day 3- luminaries [things that give light]

 

Day 2- sky, water.  Day 4- fish- fowl [things that fill the sky- water]

 

Day 3- land- vegetation.  Day 5- animals, humans [things that eat the stuff]

 

So it seems like the first ‘3 days’ correspond to the things created on the last ‘3days’.

 

Okay- is this the only way to see it?

 

No.

 

But it shows you that sometimes there is more to the story than meets the eye.

 

You say ‘John- I will just take it like it says- the bible says it- that settles it’.

 

Actually I’m fine with that- but the ‘super’ literal way does force the reader to come up with another source of light for the first 3 days- so that interpretation has its problems as well.

 

Point?

 

Just because we have symbol- poetry- prophecy- and various forms/styles of literature in the bible- this does not mean the bible is wrong- or ‘full of holes’.

 

No- it means when we come across these various styles we leave enough room to interpret them in the style they were written.

 

Okay- there’s obviously much that can be said on this subject- maybe I’ll do more over the next week or so.

 

Like how we got our bible- the development of the Canon [how we know which books are in- and which are not ‘in’].

 

There were other writings that the early church debated over.

 

Some of these other writings were considered out and out lies.

 

But not all- some of the other books were considered okay- but for various reasons they did not make it into the bible.

 

And a few that made it in were disputed- for various reasons.

 

The church did not have a ‘complete’ canon until the 4th century.

 

It is true that the early Christians had a basic unanimity on what was in and what was out.

 

But not until the 4th century was it decided for sure.

 

So maybe I’ll do a few posts on that.

 

I do come from the ‘conservative’ view on this- I do believe the bible is ‘the word of God’.

 

But that does not always mean you take every verse ‘literally’ in the sense that the ‘hills clapped their hands’- Got it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1829- A CHINESE LAWYER AND LIVING STONES

 

 

 

 

I want to try and teach a couple of things from the letter of 1st Peter [in the New Testament] – but 1st a few comments.

 

Today the big story is the Chinese dissident- Chen Guangcheng.

 

Chen is a blind lawyer who has been under house arrest for years by the govt.

 

His main fight against the repressive communist state is their 1 child policy.

 

In China- because of the population growth- if a woman gets pregnant more than once- they force the woman to have an abortion.

 

This practice has not only killed many innocent kids- but also causes the parents to voluntarily abort the first child if it’s a girl.

 

Many of the families prefer a boy if they can only have 1 child- so the moms often abort the first [or 2nd– or 3rd] if it’s a girl.

 

So anyway- Chen miraculously escaped house arrest and made it to ‘safety’ to the U.S. embassy in China.

 

Here’s where there is some contradiction.

 

After a couple of days hiding out in the embassy- he left of his own ‘free will’ and the U.S. escorted him to a hospital [he suffered some inures during his escape].

 

Then we left him there- and he came under further persecution by the govt.

 

He called for help- and begged the U.S. to take him and his wife and family to the U.S.

 

Now- Hillary Clinton just happens to be there for talks this week- and she played down the case at first- and Chen says the U.S. rep’s told him if he didn’t leave the embassy that the Chinese officials would harm his wife.

 

Now- both sides agree that the threat was made [Chen and the U.S.] but we are denying that we related the threat to Chen.

 

Either way- the man left the protection of the embassy because of fear for his family- and he is now in danger.

 

This incident has now overshadowed the original reason for Clinton’s visit- and all the hype this week over the Bin Laden death anniversary.

 

Actually- it did look bad- as I was flipping the news channels- I saw the re-run of the NBC ‘coverage’ [more like an hour long free campaign ad].

 

They just did a special on the lead up to the death of Bin Laden- and it showed play for play coverage of the president and his team- I mean I do give the president credit for the death of Bin Laden- but they do seem to be overplaying the hand a bit much.

 

Even some of the elite Special Forces guys are complaining about his politicizing of the event.

 

So as I’m seeing clips about ‘we made the call [to kill him] it was a risk- but that’s what the job of president is- taking risks’ on and on- talking about how much of a risk it was for Obama to make ‘the call’.

 

And then on the next channel- we seem to be throwing this heroic Chinese dissident under the bus- and it seems like ‘the risk’ of actually saving the guy and his family- against the will of China [our bank] who does not want the U.S. to interfere- might be too much.

 

It is sad- I don’t want to politicize the thing- but for the media campaign to be harping on how much of a risk it was for the president to ‘make the call’- and at the very same moment- we have a crisis that needs him to ‘make a call’ it’s a bit much.

 

Okay- this morning I read a little from the letter of Peter.

 

In chapter 2 Peter uses the imagery of Jesus- and of us- as being stones- spiritual stones in a ‘living temple’ who offer up spiritual sacrifices to God thru Christ.

 

I always liked this imagery- the apostle Paul also uses it in his writings [Ephesians].

 

Peter says Jesus was a tested corner stone- a tried stone- rejected of men- but approved by God.

 

We too- as living stones- will be tested and tried- and yes- rejected by men.

 

This is part of the process.

 

He will later say ‘don’t think it a strange thing- the fiery trial you are going thru- it is not only given to us to believe on Jesus- but to also suffer for him’.

 

This is one of the main themes you see run thru out the New Testament.

 

Peter even says ‘if any man suffers as a Christian [by the way- this term is only used 3 times in the New Testament] let him glorify God’

 

Yes- suffering and difficulty are part of the package- and the apostle tells us not to ‘think it strange’.

 

Why?

 

There are so many well meaning believers in our day who have been taught that suffering- hard times- lack of wealth- that all these things only happen to people who don’t have faith- who haven’t yet learned how to ‘claim their covenant rights’.

 

Now- while most of these teachers mean well- they leave out the other side of the coin.

 

And if you only hear the ‘happy’ side- then when the tough stuff hits- you ‘think it strange’ you say ‘geez- I guess I’m just not as good as so and so- after all- why would I be suffering’.

 

So Peter warns us to be aware that the trying of our faith is an important aspect of the Christian life- and there are times when believers are called upon to share in this Cross experience.

 

In chapter 2 Peter says that Jesus was a tested stone- one that went thru the process of being chipped and honed and shaped into the vessel that God wanted.

 

Part of the shaping was the rejection process.

 

God uses ‘tested’ stones in his temples.

 

In the Old Testament- when they were building the temple- the bible says they prepared the stones away from the building site- so there would be no noise of the hammers chipping away at the temple site itself.

 

But after the stone was ready- it would be brought to the site and placed into the building.

 

Often times God allows us to have ‘down time’ a place of being prepared- getting chipped away at- but when he thinks the stone is ready- it is then brought to the site and put into the building.

 

The apostle John- in the book of Revelation says ‘I John saw the holy city- the New Jerusalem- coming down from God out of heaven- and there was no temple in it’.

 

John was describing the new kingdom community [the church] that would be absent ‘the temple’ [the old system of law and temple] and would be a new people- a living temple- a kingdom of priests and kings.

 

These new people would offer up spiritual sacrifices to God- no longer the animal sacrifices of the law- and this would please God.

 

Yes- we are the people of God- kings and priests unto God.

 

John also says this in Revelation.

 

‘thou art worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof- for you were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every nation tribe and tongue- and have made us KINGS AND PRIESTS unto God- and we shall reign on the earth’.

 

Yes- kings and priests- a new community- a living spiritual temple.

 

All wonderful things- but the only stones that make it into this temple are tried stones- rejected stones- stones that got ‘chipped’ at for a long period of time.

 

Yeah- these are the precious stones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1822- CHOSEN BY GOD

 

 

Good morning to all my on line friends.

 

Today let’s cover the book of Ephesians and John 17.

 

I stumbled on them this past week- not realizing the similarity of themes.

 

In the past I have taught complete bible studies- both on radio and at the same time on the blog.

 

It took a little longer- because I would write on a chapter- then take 2 or 3 radio programs [15 minute shows] to cover it on air.

 

I’m not even sure- I think I might have already done a full Ephesians study on the blog?

 

Ephesians is written by the apostle Paul- though some scholars believe it was written by one of Paul’s disciples- they think it might be more of an elaboration on Paul’s other epistle to the Colossians.

 

There are various reasons that some scholars do stuff like this- won’t go into all the reasons- in my mind when a bible letter says within the text that Paul wrote it- then I go with that.

 

The short letter [6 chapters] starts off with a declaration that God chose the believers before he even made the world.

 

That God had a predestined purpose for them to have become children of God and for this new people of God to reveal the ‘manifold wisdom of God’ to everyone one [thing] else.

 

One of the verses says that even the angels and powers in heaven ‘learn’ the things of God thru the church.

 

This really is an amazing statement- that God uses the church to reveal Divine truths to the whole universe!

 

This theme of God choosing us [them] before the world- to fulfill a purpose that he planned before the world- is a major theme in the first 4 chapters of the book.

 

He wants them to see that this calling- this place where they are at at the present time- it is a sort of Divine appointment with destiny- that God had planned this before the creation of the world.

 

And it is now ‘in time’ that they are living out this Divine plan.

 

In John chapter 17 we read the prayer of Jesus.

 

Jesus says that he has ‘finished’ the work that God gave him to do- which was to reveal God to these disciples that God has given to him.

 

He says ‘all mine are thine- and thine are mine- and I am glorified in them’.

 

Jesus also hits on the theme of this being a work of God that he pre-planned before the world was made.

 

He prays ‘don’t take them out of the world- but keep them from the evil’.

 

The same theme that we see in the ‘Our Father’.

 

I find it interesting that one of the more popular ‘end times’ teaching of our day is the Rapture.

 

Tim Lahaye has popularized this idea in his very successful series of books about the end times.

 

In the 1980’s- the number one best seller among Christian books [I think it was actually number 1 for all categories?] was Hal Lindsey’s ‘late great planet earth’.

 

He too took the same line as Lahaye and taught the idea that God was going to take all the Christians ‘from the earth’ and that the world would wonder where they all went.

 

I have covered this in the past- how the church came to teach this- how the historic church did not teach it- and why I believe the Rapture- as a separate event from the 2nd coming- has no real biblical basis.

 

The point for this post is part of the prayer of Jesus is ‘I pray not that you would take them out of the world’ which on its face seems to be the opposite of what the Rapture doctrine teaches.

 

Okay- Jesus revealed the Father to his men.

 

The apostle Paul told the church ‘God chose you for this before the world was made’.

 

Jesus believed that these disciples [and by extension the church] were ‘given to him’ by the pre ordained will of God.

 

What all this means- in a nutshell- is that where you are at right now- all the things you are going thru- God knew it before it ever happened.

 

And he still picked you for the job!

 

The Apostle tells them to be strong in the Lord- to pray always- and put on the whole armor of God.

 

Yes- just because they were chosen- did not mean they could sit around all day doing nothing- they were chosen for a purpose- and it was up to them [by grace] to walk in that purpose.

 

I would encourage you to try and read these chapters this week- Ephesians is short- but has a lot of good stuff in it.

 

As you read- look for the theme of God choosing the church before the ‘world was made’.

 

Notice how often this idea ‘pops up’ in the writing of Paul- and how it plays a major part in the life of the church.

 

Read- and apply- the instructional aspects of the letter [on family- husbands and wives- children- workers and bosses].

 

And practice- as much as possible- the ‘put on the armor of God’ teaching found in chapter 6- that section ends with ‘pray for everyone’.

 

That- in my mind- is the most important part of the instruction.

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1820- WHERE THE GRAPES OF WRATH ARE STORED

 

 

 

Let’s end the week with a look at the death of Christ.

 

Today- Good Friday- is the day we remember the Passion.

 

In Psalms 22 we see a Messianic prophecy- the words king David spoke thru the Holy Spirit.

 

These are the words- feelings- that Jesus had on the night before he was crucified- he went to the Garden of Gethsemane [literally- The Olive Press] and was in extreme anguish.

 

In this Psalm we read ‘I am a worm and no man’ ‘all that see me laugh at me- they think my cause is hopeless’ ‘I cried and prayed and you never heard me- I have no rest day or night’.

 

Read the psalm later today- see the pain he went through.

 

The garden of Gethsemane was an Olive garden at the base of the ‘The Mount of Olives’.

 

It was a place where olives were crushed- the process allowed the oil to come forth- which was a picture of what Jesus was going thru- he was ‘being crushed’ so the oil [Spirit] would come forth to the world [Acts 2].

 

In the prayer he says ‘Father- if it’s possible- remove this cup- never the less- not my will but yours be done’.

 

Many of us are familiar with this phrase ‘thy will be done’ but we miss the cup part.

 

What was the cup?

 

The cup stood for ‘the cup of the wrath of God’ it was a symbol of the judgment of God coming upon the sins of the world.

 

When Jesus said ‘take away the cup’ he wasn’t afraid of dying- but he ‘feared’ the separation that was going to take place from God.

 

As he ‘drank the cup’ [the sins of the world] he would become ‘the container’ of the wrath of God- he would be cursed from God as a ‘sinful’ thing.

 

The apostle Paul says ‘he- [Jesus] became sin for us- who knew no sin- that we might become the righteousness of God in him’ [Corinthians].

 

So Jesus struggled with the cup.

 

In the book of Revelation chapter 14 we see an image of the cup and wrath.

 

There are angels coming out from the throne- we see Jesus sitting on a cloud and angels all around.

 

The angel says ‘thrust in your sickle and reap- for the harvest of the earth is ripe’ and we see the ‘Winepress of wrath’.

 

The picture is this angel reaping the earth- gathering the ‘grapes of the earth’ [Steinbeck- the Grapes of wrath] and casting them into a winepress [another type of pressing- like the olive imagery].

 

The Winepress is ‘outside the city’ [very significant image] and the blood from the press goes out for 184 miles.

 

This is a scene of judgment and wrath.

 

During the civil war the north used this verse as their theme song- The Battle Hymn of the Republic ‘mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord he is Trampling out the Vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored’.

 

Yes- the winepress was an image of where the grapes of wrath waited for the pressing- when the blood would come forth.

 

Now- this next part really deserves a full study- but let me do a brief overview.

 

The writer of Hebrews [probably Paul] speaks about an altar that sits ‘outside the city’ where the animal’s bodies were burned.

 

In Old Testament Jewish law- some of the animals bodies were not fully burned at the time of the offering- the blood that was used for the Day of Atonement was not a complete burnt offering- the animal blood was used.

 

So- the Jewish people had a spot- outside the gate of the court [outside the city] where the bodies were burned.

 

Now- the writer of Hebrews says this is a type- a picture- of the final sacrifice of Christ that took place ‘outside of the law’.

 

That is Jesus established a New Covenant in his own Blood- not part of the Old animal sacrificial system.

 

Okay- his death took place ‘outside the gate’- that’s important to see.

 

Now- as Jesus struggled with his impending death- he came to a point where he sweat drops of blood- he then said ‘if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it- then so be it’.

 

He drinks the cup ‘of the wrath of God’ and in a sense he becomes the place ‘where the grapes of wrath are stored’.

 

He himself becomes the final sin sacrifice for humanity- the place of pressing- where the ‘wine/blood comes out’.

 

As we finish this Holy Week- getting ready for the resurrection celebration this Sunday- let’s not forget that Jesus drank the cup- he became sin for us who knew no sin.

 

Yes- as the North sang ‘mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored’.

 

They weren’t seeing that the place where the grapes of wrath were stored were inside the Son of God- he drank the cup ‘to the dregs’ and was ‘trampled on’ by God’s wrath.

 

Yes- Jesus said ‘I am a worm and no man’ he was in anguish for you- and me.

 

Amen- and amen.

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1815- HEAD TRANSPLANT

 

 

 

I have been reading the San Antonio paper the last few weeks- and they have been running some ad for dental implants [fake teeth].

 

They have the ‘before/after’ pictures- whenever I see the ad- I think ‘before what? A complete head transplant’!

 

Yes- the before shots remind me much of my homeless buddies- the after shots look like glamour pictures for the ‘most beautiful person in the world’ contest.

 

This last week I have reached a sort of milestone- a few years ago I began praying [more than usual] for all types of criminal cases that I read about- or see- on the news.

 

I actually painted their names all over my gazebo- the back fence- and yes- right on the back and sides of the house [along with lots of bible verses].

 

I have hundreds of pictures/articles cut from the paper- their pinned to my office walls.

 

You say ‘John- I know you mean well- but do you think this is normal’.

 

Actually no- neither does my wife.

 

I have been threatened ‘if you keep doing this- I will paint the whole house’.

 

My paints [and brushes] have been hidden [by others!]- and when Christmas comes around- I tell the kids ‘hey- just get me another 5 gallon bucket of paint- I’m running low’ [yes- this part is a joke].

 

Some of the more severe cases- the ones that stick in my mind- I paint their names- the others I just pin up the article.

 

Sometimes I see the cases more than once- at the time of the crime- and then when they get sentenced.

 

This week Jacob Gonzales was sentenced to life without parole.

 

He plead guilty to a triple homicide he committed last year- shot 3 girls in cold blood.

 

The worst homicide the city has ever seen.

 

So I had written the name of Jacob down- and saved the article.

 

As I looked for a spot to paint the name- I realized that I already wrote the name Jacob- in big letters- on a ladder on my gazebo [long story- bible verse about Jacobs Ladder].

 

So it kinda just fit.

 

I knew his case was significant- I do ‘forever’ pray for these guys [and women] and being it was a local case- and he will be in jail for life- he would benefit more from the prayers.

 

During my normal reading for the week- I was reading Jeremiah chapter 31.

 

I usually focus on one or 2 chapters a week- and if I remember I comment on them at the end of the week.

 

As I read chapter 31- it starts with a verse that should be added to the previous chapter.

 

Sometimes you run into a chapter like that- our bible chapters and verses are really ‘man made’ that is the chapters themselves are not inspired- just the content [chapter divisions].

 

So I thought ‘heck- let me go ahead and see if the Lord has something for me in chapter 30’.

 

Now- this is the week where I added Jacob to my prayer group- again.

 

And I felt there was some special significance to his case.

 

In Jeremiah chapter 30 the Lord says ‘this is the time of Jacobs’s trouble- and I will save him out of it’.

 

It would take too long to teach the actual doctrine of Jacobs Trouble- but it is a long- and sometimes controversial teaching that we find all through the bible.

 

I say controversial because many [most?] Protestants have an ‘end time’ teaching about this [called Dispensationalism] that I don’t agree with.

 

I hold more to the historic churches’ view on these passages [Catholic, Orthodox, etc.]

 

But Jacob- in the bible- is the son of Isaac- the son of Abraham.

 

God changes his name to Israel [he is the father of the 12 tribes of Israel].

 

And the name obviously holds a lot of significance in the bible.

 

The ‘trouble’ part refers to the passages we find in the bible that speak about a very troubling time for Israel as a nation- in many of the End Time books/movies- it’s called ‘The Great Tribulation’.

 

But the significance for me- this week- was God kinda spoke to me thru the connection of this kid Jacob- who I prayed for all week.

 

Yes- Jacobs’ time of trouble.

 

In chapter 31 [Jeremiah] God tells Israel ‘there is coming a time when I will make a new covenant with you- not like the one I made with you during the time of Moses’.

 

This fits in with what I taught last week- how the apostle Paul said we are not under the old law [Moses and the 10 commandments] but under a new covenant- the new and everlasting covenant of the Blood of Jesus.

 

In the chapter it says God will write his law on our minds and hearts- it won’t just be an outward law- written on tables of stone- but one written on the inside.

 

Yes- he says ‘all things will be new- I will never remember your sins any more’.

 

You know- I guess complete head [heart] transplants can happen- but it takes a miracle from God.

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1767] HEDGE YOUR BETS?

 

 

Caught an interesting show last night on the business/financial channel. It was the story of some private investor who was sort of a prodigy when it came to the market.

 

As a kid he took an unusual interest in investing and as he was studying to become a doctor he started his own independent blog and eventually he went into investing full time.

 

He became famous because he was one of the first investors to spot the upcoming housing bubble [the one we already had]. As he read the data- he hedged his bets and shorted the market.

 

 

All investing is a type of ‘gambling’ you make your bet- you put money on the table- and you hope for the best.

 

But ‘shorting’ the market the way this guy did- well it was more like gambling in the sense that you bet that a certain stock will fall- and someone else is betting it will go up.

 

Well in the end he did win- but he angered a lot of his customers and his investment company would fold.

 

Overall he got it right- but he was bad with social skills- he had a form of Autism called Aspergers syndrome- it makes you bad with social skills- but excel in other areas.

 

His area of excelling was the numbers thing- yet the part of the business where you work with people- that’s what doomed him in the end.

 

Anyway I mentioned this because some numbers have come out this week- and the economy might be getting better- so if those numbers hold- or go up- then this next year might be okay [crow doesn’t taste that bad!].

 

The news? I was surprised to see the state of things go bad so fast in Iraq. Just the other day [yesterday?] the capital city had 16 bombs go off- many killed.

 

It was one of the worst bombings in a long time- right in the capital.

 

Then you had the P.M. of Iraq- AlMalaki- put out a warrant on the V.P.  The Prime Minister is Shia- the V.P. is Sunni.

 

Iraq- like all these ‘Arab Spring’ nations are divided along these religious lines- and Iraq also has a 3rd division- the Kurds in the north.

 

So the Vice President has fled north to the Kurdish area- and Malaki is demanding his return to face charges of terrorism.

 

Can you imagine a U.S. President charging the V.P. with terrorism charges? Yeah- I fear the worst is taking place in Iraq- and there is plenty of blame to go around- but these wars were doomed from the get go.

 

Okay- as we end the week- who read the chapters I mentioned in the last post? They deal with the promise of God to King David- that God would bless David’s house [dynasty] for ages to come.

 

That David’s ‘Son’ would sit on the throne for ever. I have taught this before- the New Testament shows us that this promised has been fulfilled thru Christ.

 

 

Jesus- who comes from the lineage of King David- has been raised from the dead and he sits at the right hand of God- forever.

 

An interesting note on the chapters- God says to David ‘even if the future children sin- and mess up- I will punish them- but will not totally forsake them’.

 

I think this promise is in both the Samuel chapters and Psalms 89.

 

It refers to the teaching in the bible that says when believers sin- make mistakes- mess up. God will ‘chastise’ them- but not completely leave them [Read Hebrews 12- the first few verses].

 

Hebrews says that this is proof that we are God’s kids- because he will discipline those he loves- like a parent does with a child.

 

The bible also says that humans discipline at times with other motives ‘Johnny- you made me look bad in the store today- you threw a fit because you couldn’t get the candy’ so at times parents punish because of wrong motives- but the bible says Gods discipline is perfect- it leads to restoration.

 

In the above mentioned Psalm- David says ‘Lord- why did you let the hedge [protections] fall down around me- will your anger go on forever?’

 

Even though King David had all these great promises from God- yet we know the whole story- David made some drastic mistakes- he even had an illegitimate kid with the wife of one of his top soldiers.

 

When his scheme to cover up the crime didn’t work- he had the husband killed [Uriah] and he married the wife.

 

Her name was Bathsheba. She had a son- he got sick. David knew he was being punished for what he did.

 

So he goes into his room and fast and prays for days- then the kid dies.

 

His servants are afraid to tell him that the kid died. David picks up on it and says ‘he’s dead’? Yeah.

 

Then he washes his face and gets on with life. The servants thought ‘wow- we thought he would really go downhill once he heard the kid died’.

 

But David said ‘when the boy was alive- I prayed and did what I could to change the situation- but after the boy died- there’s no more I can do. I will go to him some day- but he can’t come back now’.

 

David took the punishment- and moved on.

 

Bathsheba will bear him another child- a son by the name of Solomon. This is also the same son that God makes the promise to David in the above chapters- that he will build a temple for God.

 

So God forgave David- even used the second son from the ‘crime scene’ to do great things- but first David suffered.

 

Today’s word- wherever you are today on the journey- at the point of fasting and praying- or the mistakes- and the results have already played out- wherever you are- don’t let what has happened be the final word.

 

Hebrews also says to the person who was disciplined ‘lift up the hands that hang down- get back up- don’t let the discipline have the wrong effect- it was meant to restore you in the end’.

 

Yea- God allowed the hedge to come down around David- like our investor- he had talent- even special gifts- he ‘hedged’ his bets- but in the end he reaped some stuff.

 

Whatever has happened- its over- you can’t change it. Let’s get up and move on- there just might be a Solomon on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About ccoutreach87

my sites- www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- facebook.com/john.chiarello.5

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