Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't be caught sleeping!

Wow, what a difference a couple of months make. I stated before that people need to be aware of who they elect into office. Once in office, we need to continue watch their actions like hawks. They need to be held accountable, afterall they are public servants right?

Bear with me a bit. In the recent topic of the Mark of the Beast, we talked about a "Big Brother" type of government that would eventually give way to the rise of the Antichrist. The man that will eventually come to lead the world to Armageddon will rise out of this government. But millions of souls will be lost at this man's whim.

Before we go further, we aren't there yet. As I said earlier, that man CAN'T come to power without the Holy Spirit being taken out of the way first, ie: the Rapture. (II Thessalonians 2) That hasn't happened yet, so for right now we are good.

However, I'm seeing some disturbing signs that show me that we are headed that way rapidly. The stars are aligning themselves, to quote a cryptic pun.

First, we see the massive bailout of Wall Street by the US Government. Was this a good move? I honestly don't know, that remains to be seen. What disturbs me about this most is the fact that the US Government is pouring money into commercial private banks. Thus getting their hands in it. This shouldn't be happening.

Another new example is the news story about the CEO of an automaker pressured by the Fed to resign. The said company had indeed taken bailout money from the government. Here's another example of interference in private businesses by the lawmakers.

The government at the time of the Antichrist is involved in EVERYTHING. Even to the point of dictating personal behavior and responsibility.

A recent and silly example of this is the story (that was eventually dropped by popular demand) in NY State that the government would tax soda drinkers because it is "bad for you." WE KNOW THAT! But is it government's responsibility to dictate our behavior and tell us what they think is right or wrong to drink and eat???

Some state governments are actually considering putting a mileage tax on the books. The way it will work, if it passes, is that a GPS tracking device will be installed onto your vehicle. They will then calculate how many miles you travel in a given time and then tax you accordingly. I don't know about you, but I don't want anyone adding a GPS to my car without my blessing. I don't want anyone to be able to track me like that. What I do and where I go is my business. But of this does pass, it will open the door for the Mark, just like I said.
Going along with GPS and people's rights, do an internet search a case in New York concerning a man convicted of a crime where police installed a GPS device on his car without a warrant. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction because the device was "in plain sight." This case was recently heard by the State Court of Appeals. Stay tuned for their decision.

There will eventually be a one-world economy. This has to happen for the Mark of the Beast to be truly controlling. I can hear the whispers from Capitol Hill where some are unbelievably calling for a world monetary unit. It appears to be working in the European Union, it might only be a matter of time for the US.
With banks buying out other banks, this might be around the corner if the value of the Dollar keeps falling like a brick.
Am I saying that somone in our government is the Antichrist? No. Could they be? Maybe, but that isn't for me to say. This isn't the time for fingerpointing. The time is for people to wake up and see what is going on around them.
It is indeed very possible that the people in power right now don't have your best interests at heart. There is an agenda at work, and it is bringing about changes to our way of life. If we aren't careful, the Bill of Rights won't exist anymore because it was erased under our very noses.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's not instant, it's a process

Have you ever taken a vacation where you drive to your destination? I've taken several over the years. You know what I find sometimes? The journey is sometimes more eventful than the actual destination.
I find that you learn more with your companions, share things with them that you normally wouldn't if you had just flown and got there quicker.
Life is kinda like that. Everything is a journey. We're in a constant state of travelling to our destination, learning new things along the way.

Our spiritual lives illustrate that more than anything. When you become saved by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you begin a new journey. You are now on a different road than you were originally travelling on.

Put bluntly, when we were dead in our sins, we were on the road to destruction. Maybe not right then or there, but eventually we would face your Maker as a lost sinner. When you get saved by the mighty power of Jesus, you take the fork in the road and start the trip anew. The slate is wiped clean!

But the journey isn't over. You still have a life to live. Something that should be pointed out is the fact that there will be bumps along the road. It isn't all straight driving ahead. The road will wind and turn, and we now more than ever have to be watchful. We need to mind our surroundings and watch out for hazards along the way. We can't click on the auto-pilot and sit back and relax.

Why? Because it is a process getting to our destination. That's why we live our entire lives. Every twist and turn causes us to react differently than we did to the one before it. We learn along the way.
I'm sure that most of us learned the hard way not to touch a hot pot. Children learn lessons like that. Cause and effect, there are consequences to every action and decision that we make. That's what life is, one big lesson for us to learn.

So what is the point here? You need to know that the only instant thing that happens when you become saved is where your soul ends up. How and when you get there is your choice. It is a journey that we MUST travel.

That's what I was getting at earlier when I talked about driving to your destination as opposed to flying there. You tend to learn more about yourself on the trip. Although, life is more of a walk than a drive. However you look at it, it takes a while.

When you are saved, does that mean that you instantly stop sinning? Absolutely not! Unfortunately we still live in a mortal body that is riddled with sin. Jesus Christ died to save us from those sins. We are forgiven forever because of His perfect sacrifice, but we have to make the choice not to act on sinful thoughts.
The mind is a battlefield! That's where the fight begins. Satan whispers thoughts into your ear and you now have the choice to act or not. We are supposed to throw scripture right back into his face and reject the thought.
That's what Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert by Satan. (Luke 4)
For everything that the devil said to Jesus, He spoke the Word of God to counter the argument.
That's what we're supposed to do!
"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction." (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV)

The Word needs to be on our tongues, ready to roll off when the time comes. But how do we get to that point? By reading and meditating on the Word of God. Take it in and eventually you will recall the Word for every situation. It doesn't happen instantly, it is a process.

The Bible tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16.) Each day, every day we need to obey His teaching. We train ourselves to be ready.

We run the race (Hebrews 12:1-2) and eventually when the twists and turns come, we are ready for them. But as the journey progresses, so do we in our spiritual walk with God. We will become more like Him. That's the goal!

We will never be without the twists and turns, but we will know how to deal with them according to His will. We will be stronger with every trial and tribulation.

So let's continue on the road and see where it takes us. It will never be dull!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Right Side of the Tracks

A lot of people tend to have problems with the Bible. One of these problems is a very simple diagnosis, they pick and choose what they want to accept from it.

"I believe in the Bible is a nice book with a nice set of stories that tell us how we should act. But I don't agree with everything."

Why not? How can you choose to believe one thing, but not another. Do you think the Author was a bit delusional in certain parts? If that is so, how can you believe any of it.

In a way, it's kind of like listening to the liar say "I am a liar, trust me," and then trusting him. How can you do that? If you believe he is a liar, how do you accept what he says as truth?

The Bible is a book of absolutes, period. One side of the train tracks or the other. There is a middle of the tracks, but that's reserved for the train only. So, we as readers of the Bible, have to read it and choose what side of the tracks we need to be on. Or more to the point, actually accept what side of the tracks God wants us on and get there. Preferably with some haste and sense of purpose.

The Bible was written with an all or nothing mentality: you can't have one with out the other. Or here's one: you can't have your cake and eat it too! It's all or nothing!

Here are some of the simple arguments that become stumbling blocks for themselves.

"I believe that God is love. He loves everyone equally and won't send anyone to hell."
While true on all counts, someone can and will eventually go to hell.
God is indeed love. (I John 4:8 KJV)
God is no respecter of persons. (Romans 2:11 KJV)
God doesn't send people to hell, people send themselves to hell. (John 3:17, 2 Peter 3:9 KJV)
As we have seen in the earlier mark of the beast discussion, the Bible clearly states that people will go to hell.

"I don't believe in hell."
Really?! One believes in the almighty power of God, that He created heaven and the earth, yet that small part about a place of judgement was a misprint?
I got some news for you, hell exists and you don't want to go there.

"Jesus was just a good teacher. Similar to Ghandi and Mother Teresa."
Did either one of these others go to the cross for the sins of the world and die for you? Did they heal people simply by touching them or speaking a word to them?
It is a historical FACT that Jesus died on the cross as a form of execution.
But again, if you believe that the Bible speaks the truth about the life of Jesus, why won't you believe what is says about His death and resurrection?

"I don't believe in the devil."
Got more news for you, he doesn't care! Actually, he would prefer that you didn't even acknowledge him. It will make it easier for him to accomplish his mission (John 10:10 KJV.)

Do any of these arguments sound familiar? I've heard them hundreds of times from many different people. I tell them the same thing: Believe it or don't. Take it or leave it! It's your choice.

The Bible wasn't made into what it is today for people to go through and cherrypick the good stories and morals. It was meant to be taken as a whole (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV, Revelations 22:18-19 KJV.)

There is a reason for this. God wants us to be on the right side of the tracks when the train comes through. If your on the wrong side, you won't be able to get to the correct side then. It will be too late.
And of course, if you're walking down the middle of the tracks you'll get pulverized by the train itself. No coming back after that one!

The point I'm trying to make is that there is no middle ground. You're either hot or cold, not lukewarm. You need to be committed, enough of the lacksidasical approach to God! Wake up and realize that there is a war going on and we're right in the middle of it. Like it or not, it's happening.
It's time to just allow yourself to accept His Word and move forward. You can never get anywhere when all that you do is spin your tires. Put the vehicle in gear and get going to your destination.

It's okay to ask questions and not understand everything. That is natural when dealing with an incomprehensible God and His majesty. But we have been given the Holy Spirit that will lead us to the truth. Sometimes we just need to be still and listen for His voice. Believe me, I don't know everything and learn something new everyday. It is a constant process of learning.

Allow yourself to open up. Take the first few steps and get on the right side of the tracks. Don't wait, train's a'coming!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Bad Apples and the Gospel of Hate

You all have heard the expression concerning the "one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch." That analogy relates to so many different facets of our lives.

No more is this true than with so-called "Christian organizations" out there that preach the gospel of hate.

The reason I'm addressing this is because one such group is making noise again. I don't really want to name them because I don't want to bring anymore credability to their cause. Let's just say that they hail from a town in Kansas.

Anyway, they come preaching the "Word of God" and claim to speak for Him. They have protested at funerals for our brave fallen servicemen and women, saying that "God killed them because gays are allowed in the military." How sick and perverse! Apparently shame isn't something they were taught in their "church."

Are these people followers of Jesus? No! The proof is in what they preach.

Jesus Himself said "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:15-20 KJV)

Jesus is saying that you can tell His followers by what fruits that they produce. What kind of feelings does their message produce? Rage, hatred, defiance...these are not the good fruits that Jesus wants us to sow. Just by their own message, they are corrupt.

I guess I just want to bring to people's mind that these people can be considered the "bad apples." Their message of "God hates gays" isn't one of Jesus Christ.

In fact, that message is diabolically opposed to the teaching of Christ. If you read the Bible, you will see clearly that Jesus didn't associate with the "religious zealots" of the time. He didn't hang out with the uppity, in-crowds. Most of the time, He hung with the sinners. Why?

Because Jesus came into the world to save it! Jesus said:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16-17 KJV)

That is powerful! Did He say that it was ok to sin and continue in it? No, of course not. He reproved them. But Jesus knew what His role was and how men could find their way back to God through Him.

This is clear when the woman accused of adultery was before Jesus in the Book of John chapter 8. The people were ready to stone her according the old law. Jesus stopped them and turned the tables on them saying "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7 NIV)
Jesus went to say "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:11 NIV)

God hates sin! But God loves us more than He hates sin. The reason we need to be forgiven is because we can't enter into His Holy place while sin still is a part of us. Sin, put simply, is separation from God.
God sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins because nothing that we could ever do would be enough to blot out the sin from our souls. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice!

Let's bring this all back to our topic at hand. God hates sin, not the sinner! He doesn't laugh when tragedy falls upon us. We were created by Him so He could love us forever.

This is the true message of the love of God through Jesus Christ. Remember that when faced with ignorant people that twist His precious name into something terrible. Take heart in knowing that they are some bad apples that need the same saving power of Jesus that the defiant people that shake their fists at God need.
They don't speak for other Christians. In the words of Jesus, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Pray for them, that's what Christ wants us to do for people like that. Pray that the scales fall from their eyes and that their understanding is opened.

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Big Brother and the Mark of the Beast

"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name." (Revelations 13:16-17 NIV)

This part of scripture tends to confuse or even scare people so much that they skip the entire book of Revelations altogether. You shouldn't, it is a book of hope!

However, as we discussed earlier about the Rapture, darkness will have to fall first before good triumphs. Take this as a warning of things to come.
What people tend to focus on with this part of scripture is the following continuation:

"...This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666." (Rev. 13:18 NIV)
We won't focus on this because it is a little confusing. What I want to focus on is verses 16 and 17.

Imagine not being able to buy or sell without approval of the government. Imagine wanting to get some food but not being able to unless you have some sort of ID tag. Far fetched, hardly!

You see, Revelations is written chronologically. The Mark of the Beast doesn't come into play until the beast is unleashed upon the earth. That hasn't happened yet! The rapture has to take place first:

Then and only then can Antichrist come to power. Then there is a seven year peace pact made, but half way through someone breaks it and attacks Israel. Martial law is instituted and then the Mark of the Beast is implemented in a George Orwell-1984 way. (That is the short version of course.)

So what is the Mark and how is it used? Let's see.

The Mark, in my opinion, won't be a tattoo with the number 666 on it. People would be able to recognize that immediately and would rebel. It has to be something subtle, something that people would want to take or use. But it will also be a way for you to be tracked everywhere you go. And everything you do will be known to the authorities.

But why would anyone knowingly take this Mark? Deception! You will be told that it is something else, something that is for the best. Imagine that, government telling us what they think is best for us!?! WOW, sounds like some of the things floating around nowadays.

The Mark, in my opinion, will be a microchip or something like it. There are plenty of tiny microchips that are capable of being implanted under your skin. Look at the following link: Look at the size of those things!!! And with technology progressing like it has been, it won't be long before GPS tracking those chips become a reality.
Anyone with pets can attest to that. You can have your pet implanted with a GPS tracking chip in order to easily find them if they wander off. See, that's how it will start. Something benign enough. I don't give it long before people will call for their children to be implanted with chips like this. Kidnappings will be a thing of the past with these new chips!
Ok, so now we can see how they can track us with chips, but how does that prevent buying or selling?
I'm sure some of you know all about the new credit or debit card readers that they have out now. You don't even have to swipe anymore, you just simply pass your card over the reader and the transaction is made.
But those cards can be stolen, ID theft is a huge problem now. How can that be prevented forever and all of my bank information made safe? Have all of your information put on a chip and have it implanted. Again, I don't see this that far off in the future.
Because of terrorism in the world, people are screaming for a national ID card to prove you are who you say you are. But those cards can be faked, how can we truly get around that? You got it, implant our population with the new "National ID Chip." Again, this is just around the corner, just wait!
There will be great pressure to willingly take this Mark, or chip. The prospect of not being able to conduct business, work or even buy food can be very compelling. Here's another reason people will take the Mark, execution.
There is a clear picture of people being executed for not taking the Mark of the Beast and worshipping his image. Beheading to be exact. Not a pretty picture at all.
So what happens to those who do take the Mark? Let's find out.
"A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: 'If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.'" (Rev. 14:9-11 NIV)
WHAT?! How can they be judged if they just take the Mark in order to survive? Here's the reason, it won't be just a financial or patriotic decision. It will also be a spiritual decision. In order to receive the Mark, you have to profess that the Antichrist is God Himself. Think of it as a twisted perversion of being born-again.
The devil wants your soul, and he will have it if you take the Mark of the Beast willingly and worship him as God.
Now, do you see where God's wrath is coming from? Once you willingly take the Mark, you are doomed for eternity. Think of it as God's Scarlet Letter.
So, what's the point here? As earlier discussed, I believe that people that accepted Jesus as their Savior will miss this part of history in the future. Those left behind may have to make a decision: Take the Mark and live for a while or refuse the Mark and lose your head. Not a choice I would want to face. Keep in mind, the choice will affect where you go for eternity.
I did say though that Revelations is a book of hope, didn't I? Here it is: you can be saved right now. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you won't even be a part of that terrible future known as the Great Tribulation.
But if you are left behind, you need to know that God hasn't abandoned you. He still wants you in heaven with Him. Accept Jesus now and refuse to take the Mark of the Beast, in whatever form it comes in. Run to the hills, run for your life and your eternity.
As I said, we aren't there yet. But if you read the news and listen you can clearly see government slowly trying to take our rights away. Freedom is taking on a new meaning. The Constitution is being eroded away ever so slowly and sneakily.
The right to bear arms is under fire, conservative talk radio is being threatened. Those are listed in the Bill of Rights, 2nd and 1st Amendments respectively. Yet some want to change all that and have Big Brother government take your hand and lead you to the promise land. We, the people, aren't capable of living our lives to the fullest without someone else stepping in and dictating what is best for us. Or so some think and say.
Be watchful and informed. Don't be caught unaware.
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 25:13 KJV)
This isn't some conspiracy theory, it is happening right now as you read this. The technology of the future is aligning itself with Bible prophecy of old. The Lord is coming back soon. Please be ready!