Truth Or More Tragedy??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 18

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 18   Truth Or More Tragedy???

 

I had a topic for today’s post, but after reading an article just this morning, I feel I must address what I see as as dangerous mindset of many today.  It seems we are so biblically uninformed that we are willing to trade our biblical foundations for cultural ideologies.  Much like the passage that I had originally intended to focus on, God spoke to Jeremiah about what Israel had traded truth for.

Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this,

and be horribly afraid,

be ye very desolate,

saith the LORD.

13 For my people have committed two evils;

they have forsaken me

the fountain of living waters,

and hewed them out cisterns,

broken cisterns,

that can hold no water.”   Jeremiah 2:12-13

I am intimately acquainted with “hold no water” today, after having “plumbing issues” this week, and because our hot water heater wouldn’t “hold water” we had to have things re-routed, moved, changed and replaced.  It seems that is what we are doing with our biblical faith!  It is falling prey to popular or even unpopular cultural ideas, and that’s what I want to talk with you about this afternoon.  I saw an article that was calling on a certain group of believers to change a symbol of their denomination—and in my opinion not just their denominational icon, but the very core of our faith!  We must take a stand on truth—we must stop trading truth for appeasement, we must stop interpreting our faith through the eyes of our culture and start to, once again, interpret our culture in light of biblical truth.  Please, our very future depends upon our choices today!  Jesus told us that we would face opposition, but it shouldn’t come from within (but it often does, even as it did with our Lord!).  We should be leading people to the cross not away from it.  We are to help the world see Jesus and HIM crucified, not erase the very paths that lead to the cross and salvation.

As it is written,

Behold, I lay in Sion

a stumblingstone

and rock of offence:

and whosoever believeth on him

shall not be ashamed.”   Romans 9:33

Paul addressed this truth of the offense of the gospel to the world, and throughout history we have had to “stand fast in the evil day” to hold to the cross of our Lord Jesus!

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture,

Behold,

I lay in Sion a chief corner stone,

elect,

precious:

and he that believeth on him

shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe

he is precious:

but unto them which be disobedient,

the stone which the builders disallowed,

the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling,

and a rock of offence,

even to them which stumble

at the word,

being disobedient:

whereunto also they were

appointed.

9 But ye are a chosen generation,

a royal priesthood,

an holy nation,

a peculiar people;

that ye should shew forth the praises

of him who hath called you

out of darkness

into his marvellous light:” 1 Peter 2:6-9

The article that I read made some valid personal observations, but, in my opinion, the conclusions that he made were interpreting the ‘symbols’ through his cultural experience (which I am not denying are very important) but we can’t change the gospel or the truth of what the cross stands for because some have perverted it!  The cross of Christ Jesus is the very “corner stone” of our faith.

And said unto him,

Art thou he that should come,

 or do we look for another?

4 Jesus answered and said unto them,

Go and shew John again those things

which ye do hear and see:

5 The blind receive their sight,

and the lame walk,

the lepers are cleansed,

and the deaf hear,

the dead are raised up,

and the poor have the gospel

preached to them.

6 And blessed is he,

whosoever shall not be offended

in me.”  Matthew 11:3-6

Paul warned the Ephesian leaders that the time would come, and even people would come, who would challenge the truth of the cross, even coming from among their midst!

Wherefore I take you to record this day,

that I am pure from the blood of all men.

27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you

all the counsel of God.

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves,

and to all the flock,

over the which the Holy Ghost

hath made you overseers,

to feed the church of God,

which he hath purchased

with his own blood.

29 For I know this, that after my departing

shall grievous wolves enter in

among you,

not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves

shall men arise,

speaking perverse things,

to draw away disciples

after them.”  Acts 20:26-30

As God’s children, and followers of Jesus Christ, we must hold to HIM and HIS truth—we must interpret the events around us in light of the freedom of the cross, not let culture change it into a perverted object that evil men have tried to make it through the centuries.  Where will we stand, or more importantly “come down” (or fall down)?  On the side of the gospel, which interprets all things in light of God and HIS Word (truth), rather than the twisted words of men!  (Peter talks about the men of ‘twisted words’ [read 2 Peter 2]!), those who take God’s words and try to make them suit an agenda, and greed, rather than aligning our lives in accord with God’s Word—the whole counsel of God!).  Paul only had one message, and I pray that I will live the same way!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

for it is the power of God

unto salvation

to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first,

and also to the Greek.

17 For therein is the righteousness of God

revealed

from faith to faith:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven

against all ungodliness

and unrighteousness of men,

who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God

is manifest in them;

for God hath shewed it

unto them.”  Romans 1:16-19

May we join Paul and stand fast on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the power of the cross—the only power that matters—no matter how others have perverted it in the past, in the present or may in the future!

For Christ sent me not to baptize,

but to preach the gospel:

not with wisdom of words,

lest the cross of Christ

should be made of none effect.

18 For the preaching of the cross

 is to them that perish

foolishness;

but unto us which are saved

it is the power of God.

19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and will bring to nothing

the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise?

where is the scribe?

where is the disputer of this world?

hath not God made foolish

the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God

the world by wisdom knew not God,

 it pleased God

by the foolishness of preaching

to save them that believe.”  1 Corinthians 1:17-21

May the cross ever BE our banner of truth.

And I, brethren, when I came to you,

came not with excellency of speech

or of wisdom,

declaring unto you the testimony

of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing

among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.

3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear,

and in much trembling.

4 And my speech and my preaching

was not with enticing words

of man’s wisdom,

but in demonstration

of the Spirit

and of power:

5 That your faith should not stand

 in the wisdom of men,

but in the power of God.”   1 Corinthians 2:1-5

May my/your life always be lived and testify of what the Christ of the cross has done for me/you.  Will you join me and stand fast on Christ Jesus, crucified, risen and coming again.  May we be found faithful to HIS cross for it truly is the only “power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”!  What about you?

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

I stand fast on the truth of The Word of God.

For I determined not to know any thing

among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.”  1 Corinthians 2:2

Crucified for my sin and yours—Jesus who died as my/your substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice for sin—for all who will believe!  I will not abandon the cross.  And just for extra measure:

I indeed baptize you with water

unto repentance:

but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,

whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:

he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost,

and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand,

and he will throughly purge his floor,

and gather his wheat into the garner;

but he will burn up the chaff

with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12

Amen and Amen!!!

The Builder’s Guarantee!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #667

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #667 The Builder’s Guarantee!!!

 

Praise ye the LORD:

for it is good to sing praises unto our God;

for it is pleasant;

and praise is comely.

2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem:

he gathereth together

the outcasts of Israel.

3 He healeth the broken in heart,

and bindeth up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:1-3

Oh, how grateful I am that when we have the Lord as our Master Builder, He grants us grace, wisdom and sufficiency to live for HIM!   I would simply like to share a few passages of encouragement with you today, as we all wrestle with the crises at hand.  Remember, my friends, if God is your Master Builder (through Jesus Christ and the salvation HE provided at Calvary!) then you can walk in confidence—because our God reigns!

Behold, the days come,

saith the LORD,

that I will sow the house of Israel

and the house of Judah

with the seed of man,

and with the seed of beast.

28 And it shall come to pass,

that like as I have watched over them,

 to pluck up,

and to break down,

and to throw down,

and to destroy,

and to afflict;

so will I watch over them,

 to build,

 and to plant,

saith the LORD.”  Jeremiah 31:27-28

This was God’s message for Jeremiah to deliver to Israel—that though He would judge their sin, HE would also bring them back into HIS presence when their heart was repentant and open to HIS Redeemer.  Even as God told Jeremiah when He called him, that HE was about to judge the nation who had, as a whole, rejected Him and His Word.

But the LORD said unto me,

Say not, I am a child:

for thou shalt go to all

that I shall send thee,

and whatsoever I command thee

thou shalt speak.

8 Be not afraid of their faces:

for I am with thee

to deliver thee,

saith the LORD.

9 Then the LORD put forth his hand,

and touched my mouth.

And the LORD said unto me,

Behold, I have put my words

in thy mouth.

10 See, I have this day

set thee over the nations

and over the kingdoms,

to root out,

and to pull down,

and to destroy,

and to throw down,

to build,

and to plant.”  Jeremiah 1:7-10

While I personally believe we are experiencing the judgment of God on our world (as well as setting the stage for the prophetic future of the scriptures which is close at hand), we can rest assured that the judgment of God is always tempered by His grace and mercy; but there is a step too far, and God does and will judge sin!  And that was the heavy message that Jeremiah was called to deliver to a people who, for the most part, refused to receive the message of God and repent.  Our God truly reigns and cares for HIS own!

And I heard as it were the voice

of a great multitude,

and as the voice

of many waters,

and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying,

Alleluia:

for the Lord God omnipotent

reigneth.”  Revelation. 19:6

And the LORD said,

My spirit

shall not always strive

with man,

for that he also is flesh…”.   Genesis 6:1a

Jesus saith unto them,

Did ye never read in the scriptures,

The stone

which the builders rejected,

the same

is become the head of the corner:

this is the Lord’s doing,

and it is marvellous

in our eyes?”  Matthew 21:42

So, what is our response to be to this Sovereign God of all?  Well, it’s pretty simple really (not easy, but it is simple), we must recognize our sin, repent (turn away from sin and turn toward God) of our sin, and believe in and receive Jesus payment for our sin—HIS substitutionary (in my place), atoning (paid my sin debit) , sacrifice (died and rose again  for my salvation)!  Once we receive Jesus, we become a new creature and are called to live in His power, grace and holiness –all by the power of HIS indwelling Holy Spirit.

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us the ministry

of reconciliation;

19 To wit,

that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world

unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,

as though God did beseech you by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:17-21

And a message of encouragement from the Apostle Paul to lift your heart today (and while it’s a big lengthy, I think it worth our time).

That ye put off

concerning the former conversation

the old man,

which is corrupt

according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed

in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on

the new man,

which after God is created

in righteousness

and true holiness.

25 Wherefore putting away lying,

speak every man truth with his neighbour:

for we are members

one of another.

26 Be ye angry,

and sin not:

let not the sun go down

upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place

to the devil.

28 Let him that stole

steal no more:

but rather let him labour,

working with his hands

the thing which is good,

that he may have

to give to him that needeth.

29 Let no corrupt communication

proceed out of your mouth,

but that which is good to the use

of edifying,

 that it may minister grace

unto the hearers.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,

whereby ye are sealed

unto the day of redemption.”   Ephesians 4:22-30

Amen and Amen!!!

Except The Lord Builds??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #665

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #665 Except The Lord Builds???

 

Except the LORD build the house,

they labour in vain

that build it:

except the LORD keep the city,

the watchman waketh

but in vain.

2 It is vain for you to rise up early,

to sit up late,

to eat the bread of sorrows:

for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

3 Lo, children are an heritage

of the LORD:

and the fruit of the womb

is his reward.

4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;

so are children of the youth.

5 Happy is the man

that hath his quiver full of them:

they shall not be ashamed,

but they shall speak

with the enemies in the gate.”   Psalm 127:1-5

I would like us to consider the nature of our “building” activity; for it seems to me that we have become a nation of ‘independent’ builders—doing our own thing—rather than relying on the master builder—The Lord God Almighty!!!

The Psalmist tells us that when we don’t rely upon God’s work, and ‘do our own thing’, so to speak—it is vanity, and even when we set ‘the watchman’ it is vain, if we aren’t relying on God.  It reminds me of the picture that Jesus painted in Matthew 7 about the “wise man” in contrast to the “foolish man”!  The story implies that the houses looked the same on the outside, but the foundation makes the difference between success and failure (heaven and hell)!  If we build on “the rock of my salvation”, Jesus, we can stand fast, because our foundation, Jesus, is sure.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings

of mine, and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings

of mine, and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

We are in a culture war today, and people are choosing to build on the sand—our world has bought the lies of the enemy, and unlike the Psalmist, we (as a nation) don’t want God’s hand in our “stuff”—our world/nation wants to build its own way (on the sand), to reject the ‘master builder’ and set the foxes to guard the hen house, so to speak.  And I find it most interesting how the Psalmist ties the blessing of children into the blessing and gifts of the “master builder”; and that is one of the core issues of the battle we are in today—the value of life; life for the unborn, the old, the infirmed.

I find it interesting that the “land of promise” here in America (and in other prosperous nations) has become the “land of greed’!  We have forgotten that our very own “Declaration of Independence”, didn’t promise wealth, ease, and the promotion of greed, but rather

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

The opportunity to work and earn one’s success!  But when we leave God behind—or out completely—we will reap the consequences of our choices!  And I can’t help but believe that we are seeing the vanity of wrong choices all around us!  But my friends, we must stop ignoring the problem and seek our God’s face—His convicting move amongst us—the repentance of God’s people—and the restoration of the ‘light’ and ‘salt’ of HIS people!  After all, remember, that ‘revival’ is for God’s people; and when we will get right with our God, great and mighty things can happen as a result.

In closing, I would simply like to share some words from the scripture for us to ponder!

Seek ye the LORD

while he may be found,

call ye upon him

while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

and let him return unto the LORD,

and he will have mercy upon him;

and to our God,

for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts

are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways

my ways, saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher

than your ways,

and my thoughts

than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:6-9

For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion,

and as a young lion to the house of Judah:

I, even I,

will tear

and go away;

I will take away,

and none shall rescue him.

15 I will go and return to my place,

till they acknowledge their offence,

and seek my face:

in their affliction

they will seek me early.”   Hosea 5:14-15

Even Jesus told the people of His day to repent!

There were present at that season some

that told him of the Galilaeans,

whose blood Pilate had mingled

with their sacrifices.

2 And Jesus answering said unto them,

Suppose ye that these Galilaeans

were sinners above all the Galilaeans,

because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, Nay:

but, except ye repent,

ye shall all likewise perish.

4 Or those eighteen,

upon whom the tower in Siloam fell,

and slew them,

think ye that they were sinners

above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?”  Luke 13:1-5

And as we have seen quoted regularly, may we truly hear what God is saying.

If my people,

which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves,

and pray,

and seek my face,

and turn from their wicked ways;

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land.”   2 Chronicles 7:14

God has spoken, He is speaking—if we will but receive His call—and He will accomplish His purpose through HIS SON Jesus Christ our Lord!  HE is coming again!

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name

which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of things in heaven,

and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue

should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory

of God the Father.”   Philippians 2:8-11

Amen and Amen!!!

Who’s building your ‘world’?

Good Citizens For Jesus’ Sake!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #664

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #664  Good Citizens For Jesus’ Sake!!!

 

I would simply like to wish each of you a most blessed and “Happy Independence Day”-4th of July, here in the US!  And a blessed and joyous day to all!  I just want to share a message from God through the Apostle Paul in regard to our duty to our governmental leaders no matter where we live, no matter the perilous times we may live in!  We as believers and followers of Jesus, are called to follow God and respect the authorities that God has established.  I simply want to share a couple of passages for your perusal sometime this weekend as you spend time with family and friends, celebrating the blessings of God in establishing this great country!  And I pray that God will please “Bless America”, and “deliver us from evil”!  Amen!

Let every soul be subject

unto the higher powers.

For there is no power

but of God:

the powers that be

are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power,

resisteth the ordinance of God:

and they that resist

shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works,

but to the evil.

Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?

do that which is good,

and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee

for good.

But if thou do that which is evil,

be afraid;

for he beareth not the sword in vain:

for he is the minister of God,

a revenger to execute wrath

upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject,

not only for wrath,

but also for conscience sake.

6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also:

for they are God’s ministers,

attending continually

upon this very thing.

7 Render therefore

to all their dues:

tribute

to whom tribute is due;

custom

to whom custom;

fear

to whom fear;

honour

to whom honour.

8 Owe no man any thing,

but to love one another:

for he that loveth another

hath fulfilled the law.”   Romans 13:1-8

And from Paul’s letter to his son-in-the-ministry, Timothy!

I exhort therefore, that, first of all,

supplications,

prayers,

intercessions,

and giving of thanks,

be made for all men;

2 For kings,

and for all that are in authority;

that we may lead a quiet

and peaceable life

in all godliness

and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable

in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved,

and to come unto

the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God,

and one mediator

between God and men,

the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom

for all,

to be testified in due time.”   1 Timothy 2:1-6

And may we, each one, seek to please our Lord in all we say and do, letting our “little light shine”!

Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks:

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus

concerning you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

May God’s blessing be seen at every turn in your life—He’s there—are we paying attention?  Let’s do!

Amen and Amen!!!

Standing, Sitting, Or Sleeping??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #663

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #663  Standing, Sitting, Or Sleeping???

 

I just want to share a word of encouragement today as we see so much going on around us.  God has called us to stand fast—but we can only do that as we “stand” in HIM!  Here’s my presentation of the passage that I go to daily.  I pray that it will help to adjust your focus!

Finally, my brethren, (now—2 Corinthians 6:2)

be strong in the Lord,

and in the power of

his might.  

(in God’s Spirit and power-Gal.5:16 &25)

11 Put on the whole armour of God,

(His provision—Philippians 4:13)

that ye may be able to stand

(persevere—James 4:7)

against the wiles of the devil.

(resist—1 Peter 5:8)

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

but (not ‘when’ but continually in the battle–

       1 Peter 5:9-10)

against principalities,

against powers,

against the rulers of the darkness

of this world,

against spiritual wickedness

in high places.

(the unseen things—Ephesians 2:1-3)

13 Wherefore take unto you

the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to withstand

in the evil day,

and having done all, to stand.

(persist in God’s light—Romans 13:12)

14 Stand therefore,

(Don’t quit—1 Corinthians 16:13)

having your loins girt about

with truth,

       (Jesus—John. 14:6)

and having on the breastplate

of righteousness;

(Jesus—2 Corinthians 5:21)

15 And your feet shod

with the preparation

of the gospel of peace;

(Jesus—Romans 5:1-2)

16 Above all,

taking the shield of faith,

wherewith ye shall be able

to quench all the fiery darts

of the wicked.

                             (Jesus—John 12:46)

17 And take the helmet of salvation,

(Jesus—Philippians 2:5-8)

and the sword of the Spirit,

which is the word of God:

       (Jesus—John 1:1-5, 14 & Hebrews 4:12-13)

18 Praying always

with all prayer

and supplication

in the Spirit,

              (In Jesus—John 15:16)

and watching thereunto

with all perseverance

and supplication

for all saints;”   Ephesians 6:10-18

(Through Jesus our intercessor—John 16:26 & Hebrews 7:25)

May God open our eyes to see beyond this world and “withstand in the evil day”?  Suit up my friends, the only victory is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen and Amen!!!