Tuesday, February 27, 2007


May His Force Be With You

The question posed by Nicodemus fits with the one-sided : ( discussion at God Still Speaks on God’s judgment. Jesus’ answer speaks of “a requirement for eternal life, for being in the kingdom of God, and THAT is as DEFINITE and SPECIFIC as birth.” (CIJ, p 138) Although society here has reached the inhumane low of toying with physical birth, leaving half-dead aborted babies to finish dying because they can’t decide if the infants are born or not, birth, for most, is well defined. You either are born or you are not born—it takes little time to become born in the scheme of things. Jesus says there is a time of decision in EVERY LIFE, that revealing span of time which is brief but true, when we turn toward God in search of salvation or away from Him, with pride and self-sufficiency. You see, Edith Schaeffer is convinced, if you’re not for ‘im, you’re ag’inst ‘im. Call it dead, blinded, ignorant, foolish, hardened, closed-minded or uninformed; the line has been drawn since Eden. “Believe Me, don’t touch the fruit and LIVE or deny My truth and die,” God said. For Adam and Eve, it wasn’t about the Cross…yet. But no sooner had sin entered the world that God sacrificed animal blood to cover Adam and Eve, because they were ashamed. Already, God was providing a way to come to Him by covering the shame we carry with us every day due to our continuous failing. God was immediately pointing to the One Way to come to Him.

Jesus continues teaching the teacher, recalling the familiar-to-Nicodemus story of Moses with the people in the wilderness. They were under the penalty of death for worshipping false gods, the very way mankind, EVERYONE, remains under the one-time curse placed on Adam, for turning from the One and only True God. What saved Israel? Moses’ obedience to God! He lifted up the brass serpent for their healing, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “SO must the Son of Man be lifted up…that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Not only on the Cross was Jesus to be lifted. Jesus Christ must be lifted high in your life and mine. You believe in God but not His Son? You trust God but not His Word? How silly is that? Nonsense! It can’t be done! Jesus Christ is the central being and centering force of God!

Minus Christ, God is pure judgment and wrath for we have no prayer against it. Take out Messiah, and there is no Comforter…no Counselor, no King but a tyrant, no Priest and mediator, no Prince of Peace. Think about who God was to the Israelites: awesome and fearsome. Who managed to have relationship with God back in the Old Testament? It was only those who submitted and trusted God’s unrevealed salvation to come: the Promise. Although He introduced God’s Love, Christ divided the world from day one of creation! Sin has always been made clear to us, at first by God’s Law and condemnation with the atonement by blood sacrifice directing us toward Messiah. Finally, Christ the Savior from sin and self, shown as a narrow gate, continued the division of men. Either way, by judgment or salvation and grace, wrath or love, the line has always been drawn. The decision has been forever to accept these revealed truths of God’s reality and OUR reality, or to deny them. Born or unborn. Stuck in the birth canal? Not for long for as in real life, it’s C-section time or die. There is no fence sitting; indecision means imminent death.

Going back to John the Baptist, hear these words of divisive truth, “He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him.” ~John 3:36
Here is the same faithful life, which in a previous setting announced loudly, pronounced clearly, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” ~John 1:29

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Truth That Transforms

“Born again” are the words of Jesus, not a modern slang of crazed charismatics! Dr. D. James Kennedy has spoken on the doctrine, saying how one of the greats of church history, George Whitefield, frequently settled on the words, “Ye must be born again.” Kennedy then underlines the point with a pointed expression: “Born once, die twice; born twice, die once. The second death is referring to the Judgment of God when the separation between heaven and hell will be final. But here, the focus is on Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in John’s third chapter of his Gospel. “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God, unless he is born again.” (v. 3)
Leafing through a new book we just acquired yesterday, The Truth That Transformed Me, on the life of Dr. Kennedy, my eyes, by no coincidence, fell on a bulleted list of explanations of what many consider a deep mystery. Even Nicodemus, who truly understood God’s Word and knew the Law and Prophets well, was stymied by Jesus’ statement! He could only picture physical birth because, not unlike contemporary church goers, his world was physical. Jesus’ birth was physical, out of the spiritual realm and into ours. Thing is, God's Son did not lose His spirit eyes. Bless His soul, He was often taken aback by our adherence to physical laws of nature. Much like Christian evolutionists, God, in their thinking, surely used natural processes to make such an amazing creation. What they don’t realize is how like Nicodemus they are, unable to see the supernatural, miraculous possibilities in this narrow way of thinking and seeing. Did Jesus God somehow naturally resurrect Himself from death or can it be explained that He never actually died, quite, all the way dead? Science surely could discover how that all came about, yes? You see, thinking becomes very narrow without God's Spirit eyes.

So here is my first thought on born again. It is a spiritual birth which requires entering the spiritual life, which knows no physical bounds! It is the beginning of a new life, actually seeing from God’s perspective. Of course, at first, we don’t see very clearly, we have short memory and we are exceedingly vulnerable! Newborns need to be fed and require care and protection. The fellowship with hopefully more developed children of God is not optional. I found great nourishment in the speakers and writers who have reached the masses with a more tested teaching. Most of all, the Word must become your measure of Truth. Back to The Truth That Transformed Me.

Mary Lou Davis quoted Dr. Kennedy’s ideas of what happens when we leave one life behind and enter a new life. It is a specific moment of commitment and turning. It is a change of heart, mind, soul and strength.
· It means you have decided to open up to trusting God and hearing His Truth.
· It means you repent; that is, you willingly turn from whatever might displease God to a life of trying wholeheartedly to make the Father happy, so we might hear one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
· Repentance reveals your need to be saved. So born again is trusting Jesus’ death and resurrection really happened in history and has the supernatural power to save you. Nothing else will!
· Deciding to turn, change, believe is one thing. Born again also is when the Holy Spirit brings new life and new power to “ride the wave”, to be carried, driven, controlled by your new Lord. Jesus is now and forever Lord of your life! Everything you see, hear, think and do is to be handed over in prayer and submission. This is what is meant by relationship. You have been born into God’s world. The Bible calls it Kingdom. Picture a newborn opening its eyes for the first time! SEE God’s loving face!

This is not the quoted text from the book, by the way. I have expounded as in, got carried away a bit! The new realm of existence is where many people don’t see, even nominal Christians; Nicodemus had never seen it, as much as he had given thought to God, until he met Christ Jesus.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Temptation 3

The third temptation of Jesus is where it really gets creepy. This is where the devil starts quoting God! “Well, y’ know, it IS written…” and Satan himself tells Jesus to jump off of the Temple roof! Distortion of the Word; sounds familiar. Yep, Lucifer quotes Psalm 91, promising the protection of angels. The problem is that we are not to intentionally go around doing stupid things. We do enough stupidity minus the premeditation!

In context, the Psalm exhorts us to stay close to God and trust or rest in Him, which is the idea previously mentioned as the source of Jesus’ strength under duress. “…His truth shall be thy sword and buckler.”

Why wasn’t Jesus fooled this time? He knew the Word! This Psalm made it to Iraq, the part that no doubt Jesus CLUNG to as well, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee…Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation…”

And then Jesus shot His own weapon of Divine power! “Ye shall not tempt the Lord you God as ye tempted Him in Massah.” ~Deuteronomy 6:16~ The quote holds so much more than the average reader could ever grasp. I love with a passion, the depth of teaching found in CIJ. The time: Israel under Moses. The place: The wilderness. The atmosphere: Tense. Jesus is pointing back at the sign from thence pointed to His coming. Moses was to strike the rock ONCE according to God’s specific instruction. Living water, the spiritual life found in Christ, was symbolized in the water that flowed from the rock for the Israelites. Jesus is saying, “I’m gonna die ONCE and it is not time yet.” Jesus, the Rock, was the source of the Water by which our thirst is permanently quenched.

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them into living fountains of waters…and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.” ~Revelation 7:17

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Temptation 2

Jesus knew God the Father. “I and the Father are One.” ~John 10:30
Edith Schaeffer points out that when Jesus was tempted, Jesus answered with Old Testament quotes. “You see,” she writes, “Jesus is emphasizing the fact that the Old Testament IS the Word of God, and He is using that which is available as knowledge to any man, knowledge of true truth which God has had written for men. Jesus IS NOT using the personal knowledge of which He has an infinite store, but referring to the verbalized, recorded Word of God.” (p. 134, Christianity is Jewish, emphasis added)

So when asked to worship Satan, Jesus was, in effect, being tempted to bow to the root of all other religions based on lies and deception, the father of every false god and the current cancerous version of misguided dilution and distortion of Truth, mixed with humanistic philosophies. All other religions besides the Christian faith are man’s struggle to reach God. The God of the Gospel struggles to reach men and has been victorious by the Perfect life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah. Jesus Christ, the King of kings, did not bow but quoted the Word, and WAS the Word.

“It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” ~Deuteronomy 6:13

Verse fourteen continues, “Ye shall not go after other gods, the gods of the people which are round about you;”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Temptation, One of Three

”No temptation has seized you except that which is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
~1Corinthians 10:13

Wherever you are in life—young, old, comfortable, struggling, confident or beaten down--our bad habits, failures, and otherwise disgusting features (you know, the stuff you wish you wouldn’t do but do it anyway), those New Year’s resolutions that keep coming back year after year are what many people refuse to call sin. But that is what they are. “SIN” left secular society’s vocabulary a while back and has been largely absent in the Christian-Left churches. Sin is behavior against ourselves, our families, friends, or peers, who are forced to put up with it. And did I mention, God! Jesus went so far as to say, “Love your enemies”, yet some of us treat our foe better than kin. Someone just the other day was asking, “What was your New Year resolution?” I’m thankful she didn’t ask me…I didn’t bother making one. Have I lost hope? More like I’ve gained realism. My struggles are ongoing and purely tiresome. Did you know, as a Christian, repentance is to be a daily episode? Try it. Try repeating that same failure; how many ways CAN we say we’re sorry? “I blew it again.” “I’m sorry God; I can’t seem to control myself.” “Forgive me Lord; I know…I did it again!” Eventually this reverts to self-loathing which is why so many think Christianity is bad, bad, bad! Why shouldn’t the conclusion be more like, “WE ARE BAD, BAD, BAD!” Reality check: we ARE so, so pathetic! And when there are little successes, we DARE not rest on our laurels.

Bear with me while I muddle through the futility. There is a point. Jesus began His ministry in the depths of satanic deception—temptation. Jesus had the expectations living right too, except His were a “do or everybody dies, forever” situation. No pressure. The story of forty days in the wilderness, fasting and solitude, is indispensable. Jesus, through His struggle, demonstrated how it’s done! First off, there IS a difference ‘tween He and we. Jesus surely recognized who He was dealing with right off. We are rarely so blessed, or wise. I do not know if Satan snarled and sneered at his greatest ever threat to his victory, but our temptations so often sound very friendly and often well-meaning. But who knows—maybe some awesomely charming person walked up to Jesus, sat down beside Him and said, “Hey man, you look hungry. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just turn these rocks into bread?” And Jesus, if only a tiny bit off guard, would say, “Well, yea, funny you should say that cause I CAN. Wanna see?”

But Jesus was hooked up to His Father, intensely aware of His need of Him—drenched in the Words that had been written. Christ, the Rock, WAS the Bread. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy—referring to the rich history of Israel and Israel’s God. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
You see, we don’t rest on our own laurels—we rest on what God has done, on what God has said…we rest on Him.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Ultimate Questions

Kicking off the month of February at God Still Speaks with a whopper of a question. Why not start out with the hardest ones? Okay, lots of reasons but just so the folks don't think I'm fooling around, I'm going straight for the throat! Curious? Hope so. See you there. (Click on the title of this post to go for it.)

Friday, February 02, 2007


The Laver

Since I have been talking about John the Baptist, In the study on the Tabernacle that I am doing, it is revealed how the priest had to be consecrated at his ordination with a bath, not just hands and feet. The basin at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting was called the laver and was the instrument for the ceremony. Never before did I realize why Jesus had to be baptized by John. He said, “It becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” ~Matthew 3:15
Jesus, the High Priest, was at His ordination, being consecrated for His three short years in ministry. There would be no law left undone for He came to fulfill the law! The Jordan River had become the laver for the kingdom of God was at hand! The Jordon River was where the object picture, the basin at the entrance to the Tabernacle, had been pointing. God the Son was bathed for service, set apart and holy in the Truest sense. As the Passover lambs were kept for observance, to be sure no imperfection surfaced, thus, Jesus would be watched with the closest scrutiny for fault. A slip of the tongue in an angry rebuttal, a fall into temptation to overuse His godly power, any evidence of imperfection would break the new covenant He came to make. Never has anyone been more scrutinized, tested even unto death…yet lived the purest, this Lamb of whitest fleece, perfectly holy, if you can imagine it, LIFE.

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