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“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”Luke 22:31-32 HCSB
I find this interaction between Christ and the disciples fascinating and very comforting because of the truth that is being revealed here. Holy Spirit is speaking and I pray we are listening.
Upon further study, due to dual use of the English word 'you', in most English translations, it seems as though Jesus is only talking to Peter, but he is speaking to all the disciples. Although Jesus begins by calling out Simon Peter to listen up, when he says "Satan has asked to sift you like wheat", the Greek word for 'you' here is plural! It's more like our 'you all' we use when we want to be clear we're referring to everyone. This is why the NET Bible translates it more clearly saying this in vs 31, "Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat ". Then in the next verse he is redirecting his words back to Peter again, because the next 'you' is singular! This would be hard to detect in most more literal translations without Greek study notes. But some more dynamic translations help by adding the clarifying words...as you can see above. Also we can deduct Jesus is redirecting to Simon Peter with the second you because we read the following context of Peter denying Christ. But the NET makes the true Greek stand out better saying vs 32 like this in saying Simon's name," but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." These are the reasons it's good to read multiple Bible Translations if you are able...and in the English language we are truly blessed with many!
Now why is this important? Well because a major truth is being made known here; an important reassuring one at that! Jesus is saying that the devil has to get permission for what he does against us. If Satan had his way, he would totally destroy and torment every Christian alive! But Jesus said Satan came to God seeking permission to put all the disciples through serious tribulation and temptation; to "sift them like wheat! " Jesus then reassured Simon that he interceded for him and he would come back from his failed testing. Implying that he gave Satan permission to go after Simon Peter only for reasons God determined. That in itself is faith building. But this is even more blessed...Jesus is telling us that Satan has no power to act, except that which God allows him to do! (Luke 10:17)
If you face trials and temptations from the devil, God not only knows, but He has allowed it! And for his good purposes in our lives!
While some may be upset at this statement of truth that God is allowing our sufferings to happen; those who haven't really "tasted and seen that God is good", I for one, as many of you, have come to see the way our God is our Savior! He makes beauty from ashes; He humbles us, helps us to die, breaks us down, in order to raise us up in glory, and give us new Life to make us beautiful in His time. His perfected members of his Bride, the Church!!
Psalm 84:11 declares, "For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right."
I believe this! I know this in my own life! God is our sun, meaning our source of provision for all our need, and He is our shield, meaning our defender, our protector! And nothing is withheld from us that is good and right! Now this is usually only thought of in the most pleasant of ways, but in reality for a child to grow and mature, we parents have to enact testing and trials as a means of discipline to help our little ones develop and not be spoiled and of little use. So when God allows Satan to hurt you and test you, which clearly is only done under God's permissions, then this too is a GOOD thing! His careful limits, watchful eyes and heart of love for us helps us grow into the people he requires us to be. It is not evil or bad. No nothing that comes into the life of a Believer is ultimately bad, no matter how painful or terrible it may seem at the time. God's Word says "Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" -Heb 12:7 Yes I take great comfort in this powerful truth, that Satan and his demon hordes cannot touch me, except for that which is filtered through the hands of my loving Father who wants to make me perfected for his Son; to be like him... and will never abandon me nor forsake me! (Heb 13:5) God really is in control... And He is for me, not against me! (Rom 8:31) This is exactly where I always want to be! What about you? Do you know the perfect Father God? (Ps 18:30)
These life tests will prove whom are His... Or not. Those that fall away, sadly are proven to not have ever "known" the heart of God as lover of their soul, may it not be so about you. Do you 'know' Jesus. If you do, the Spirit will cry out in you to Father God, "Abba, Father" ! (Rom 8:15)
May the peace of Christ fill you as you meditate on this life-changing truth.
When you describe only one attribute of someone, are you actually describing that person, or are you creating a false image of them? Lets make an analogy. A man became stranded on a tropical island with no fresh water and he was about to die, but he had a two-way radio with signal in which I could communicate with him, and let's assume I knew for a fact that that island had coconut trees with water filled coconuts and it was the right season for young coconuts, but that man knew very little about coconuts and the life-giving water found inside.
Say I talked to him and told him about how wonderful coconuts were. That coconuts are brown on the outside and have this fibrous husk and wood-like shell, and maybe I talked about how the coconut can be made into nice little wooden bowls. Would I be doing that poor thirsty person any good? No, not unless it rained before he died! If I told him coconut is wood, and certainly they are wood all over; would I be giving that person a real and accurate view of what a coconut really was? It's inaccurate to tell someone a coconut is wood only, it's a partial or a functionally incomplete description the thing called a coconut and its benefits. Actually quite a useless conversation to that person dying of thirst. Although it's really not inaccurate to say coconuts have fibrous hard shells; to say that only in describing a coconut to someone who does not know what a coconut is, would be a part-truth that is in reality a deception or a lie; a distortion of truth. A false image. The image I described above in reality is a false image of what a coconut really is.
In this story above, not only is it a twisting of truth, it's downright evil, because I have knowledge of the truth of how that coconut could save his life, but I did not inform and help him find the full useful truth of that coconut. Truth is vitally important to someone who does not know enough of it. Coconuts are so much more than wood! Wood is one of many attributes of a coconut. Coconuts are full of water and nutritious fleshy food also. Their husks make great firewood for cooking and warming . Later in their cycle they can be pressed into beneficial oils. There are many attributes of coconuts. Nothing at all what you would think if all you knew was what I said above.
What am I getting at?
Many well-meaning people today are giving a false reality of who God is and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has made it very clear. He hates falsehood! He hates false images being made of him, misrepresenting him as something lopsided or one dimensional emphasizing only the attributes of which we prefer for our own selfish reasons! God spoke long ago and even coded it into the law given Moses . "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth." (Ex 20:4). Then Jesus Christ himself repeated this timeless truth when he spoke to the woman at the well in John 4:23-24 when he said,"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
Truth. God wants us to know him in truth, through the empowerment of his Spirit though our spirits. Truth is so important because if we misrepresent
it in some important way as to leave someone with a twisted or one-sided view of God, then they like the man above in the fictional story, will likely perish.
We need to care about people enough to tell them the truth about God as graciously as possible. I recently watched the TV special of "The Passion" play, hoping in vain that truth about Jesus Christ might be brought out in such a way as to demonstrate what the love of God was all about some 2000 years ago when Jesus died for us. I turned off the TV feeling so incomplete and unfulfilled. It really only spoke of Gods love in a confusing way and for us to love our fellow man and basically all get along. They all sang familiar hit songs of modernity that wrought out human emotions and many were in tears watching and enjoying what they felt was the Love of God on display. But was it really?
What we saw on TV that day was a false image, an Idol. The very thing God hates! The Gospel of Christ and the passion of which it was conceived and brought forth in to living flesh was only done in response to the eternal holiness and justice of God Almighty! Yahweh, God I AM, cannot and will not let the guilty go unpunished. Listen to what God said about himself to Moses: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” (Ex 34:6-7)
This God of love, who is very much described as Love throughout the Bible, is also the God from which all mankind must learn to tremble...tremble...TREMBLE! He is high and lifted up in extreme searing holiness! Even the demons bow before Jesus and tremble in fear! (James 2:19) But rarely does proud and arrogant man. No. We just want to add Jesus to our portfolio of niceties and love songs to make us feel happily deluded so we can go about our way living as we so please. But God, he is a perfect God in whom no darkness exists ( 1 John 1:5) and who requires each and every one of us to likewise be perfect as He is perfect (Matt 5:48) in order to not face judgement to a life in eternal fire punishment! (Matt 13:42) The Word of God says, "Our God is a consuming fire!" (Heb 12:29) The Gospel is good news of God! But good news about what? It is in the Gospel we come to see the true love of God and what HE did to rescue us. But what was Jesus really rescuing us from? Was it from Satan and hell? Sure..but what is hell and what is the power of Satan over us? It's quite simply the justice of God being worked out in our lives for all our lawlessness and rebellion....for our sins. There was only one mention of the word sin on that Passion TV show that I heard when Perry said Christ came to save from our sins. But in this world, who knows what this means? No one speaks of it anymore. We are all told we are basically good people who just need a little direction and love of God in our lives. Who doesn't want love? Sure we all like that. But what we do not like is to be told we are sick and utterly ruined and depraved to the core! But without this part of the Truth, we will not repent and we will accept a false vision of God, not God at all, but a coconut god, an Idol. Yet this is what we are and this is why Jesus came to die. He humbled himself and the majestic Son of God became like one of us to die and become the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God to atone for our evil doings.Without the shedding of pure blood there is no forgiveness of sin! (Heb 9:22) God alone could only do this because no person, no not one of us is good and thus are unable to save ourselves from the very righteous ANGER from God over sin (Rom 3:10); God the very One who created us in love to know him intimately and be his children. God's love compelled him to do this for us, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! (Rom 5:8) This is the real God of the Bible. The God who hates sin, and the God who came and died for our sins, and then proved his power over sin and death and rose victoriously from the grave on that Resurrection Sunday! Do you really think God would go to all that extreme measure if He did not both love His holiness and his people? Gods blood took place of our eternal punishment! Christ paid the price and took the blows from the justice of God the Father! This God demands holiness. You must likewise be holy in order to live. Come before him unclean and you perish forever in Gods burning wrath! So by God's grace and love he did for us what we could not ever do. He spilled his own atoning blood.
But... But not everyone has their sins atoned. While the blood of Christ is enough to atone for all peoples sins, only those who choose to follow Jesus by surrendering their life to him and be his forever slave will find this great and eternal Salvation and be set free! Jesus said it in many ways, but in a succinct manner in John 3:16 " God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." But it is not enough to leave it at that one summary statement, we must hear the full counsel of Gods Word and the teachings of Jesus and see the bigger picture of truth so we do not end up with a crazy coconut belief about God. Jesus explained what it means to believe and he demonstrated it. He said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."(Luke 14:26) Belief means obeying and following Jesus as Master and owner, forsaking all else as of little importance compared to him. This is the Jesus of Calvary who died for us! This is the God who calls us to "repent" and have obedient faith! When we fall on our knees before him willing to surrender it all to him, then we are given the new life of the Spirit, born-again into the eternal family of God with new power to overcome sin and live for Him. This is what the Gospel is about, humbling ourselves before God so that HE will then lift us up! This is love, not that we loved him, but that he loved us first and called us out from among sin and death to live no longer for ourselves, but for him who was crucified and rose from the grave, our Master... Jesus of Nazareth!
No more Coconut gods ! Please no more just talking about the love of God out of context of how and why that love was expressed on on the bloody Roman cross! Go help people see the real God; the real Jesus living in you and preach in loving grace, knowing but by the grace of God, we too should have perished, but preaching the truth of the holiness of God and the wickedness of man. For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God...Every human needs to repent.
Jesus came to declare the Truth. His truth is this: We all are sinners, utterly wicked by comparison to Holy God. We all will perish by the very anger of God against us for our sins. God loves us so much he came and died for us in the person of Jesus Christ and rose and ascended to the right hand of the Father in Heaven. Truth is we must repent and accept by humble faith God's free offer of salvation in order to receive Christ's atoning blood as our payment and restoration. This faith means following and obeying Christ as Master of everything in your life.
Truth is... This is the Biblical faith that saves!
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. - 2 Cor 5:21
God created us to know him intimately and to find true riches when we consider him our greatest treasure and prize. God created us to not just be loved by him, but for us to love him. True love seeks its lover, and God's true love for us has promised that he will respond to our love, but God desires that we show our love by pursuing him also. Yes he first sought us and redeemed us in Christ, apart from that we would have remained lost, but as in all relationships, we too should seek him back. This is what love does. Seek Christ with all of your heart and you will know the most grand treasure possible in this life and joy for all eternity!
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart -Jer 29:13
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing - Ps 34:10
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you - Ps 9:10
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you - Mat 7:7
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. - Mat 6:33
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Mat 6:19-21
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. - Jesus. Do you know his voice as your spiritual and life shepherd?
I was put to death on the cross with Christ, and I do not live anymore—it is Christ who lives in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself to save me. - Galatians 2:20 NCV This bold statement of our death was preceded by Paul's explanation that we who have given our lives to Christ by faith, have in essence, died to trying to save ourselves. He says we died to the law, so we can now live for God. The Law represents your attempts to be holy by your own power.
It can be easy to add our own interpretations of what Paul is saying here. Indeed there are many things we have "died" to, so personally this statement can be a long laundry list of specifics, but in context this is speaking of one particular thought. So reading and thinking about this in context is important if we want to gain the full truth being revealed here. If you read this passage in context you can see that Paul is preaching that we are not justified by the law. In other words, we are not made holy and pure before God by following a set of rules of right and wrong. This is our natural human thinking. In reality we all know every wrong demands justice, but justice is not doing some good every time we do a wrong. Justice is about punishment for the wrong. Doing a good deed never undoes the wrong. If that were the case I could kill someone who I didn't like and then simply go save another person from dying to undo my other wrong and be clean. No! You have to pay for your sins. All of them. This is the great error of all other non-christian beliefs. The flaw in most human thinking is that we think doing some "right", some kind of equal opposing good deed will nullify the wrong. Humanity deludes themselves this way to cope with our own inherent evil. The problem is any good we do, never wipes out or nullifies any wrong. It is like you are a glass of pure water. You pour in some arsenic. The water is now poisoned. I can add some more pure water into my glass to attempt to purify it. While I may dilute the poison somewhat, I still am impure and contaminated. I am worth nothing more than to be discarded and poured out, unclean as God has described. Also to make matters worse, because we are already polluted by sin, the good we try to pour in is also dirty and thus we are defiled all the more. As Paul preached, the Law only exposes our impurity and is the standard that shows our filth before Holy God. Good deeds never wipe out our sins. Each sin is still in need of being paid. Justice demands to take an equal eternal punishment of death from the sinner for every sin committed, since each sin is a violation against the eternal holiness of God for which we were created. He who has broken one law, has broken the entire law (James 2:10). Once broken it is broke, and you and I cannot repair it. Bleak and despairing thought indeed.
Paul's point in this passage above is not about all the many sins that I have "died" to (even though it is true all our sins were nailed to the cross), but rather in this context, what primarily was crucified with Christ is our root of sin...The sin of self-sufficiency; Pride.
Pride is the thought that I can do anything good on my own and save myself in any way. I cannot, neither can you. We all need God to save us. This is why the Word became flesh, Jesus, and came among us to die in our place. Isaiah 64:6 made it crystal clear. " We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."
So the day we fall on our knees and cry out to Jesus saying, "My God have mercy on me a sinner", realizing we have no good in us apart from his life, that is when we are crucified with Christ, born-again so that we can then and now live for God. Christ's blood alone can pay for my sin, apart from that, eternal death on my part for every one of them is my lot! So, when we do good, it is not done tainted for personal reasons of payment for past wrongs done, to supposedly balance the scales, but rather out of pure love; love for God and love for man. With my sin paid for, I can love purely and do good things purely, even if by human measures it is tainted with sin. My sin is paid, so no poison remains. This is the pure saving cleansing love of God at work in us. ....nevertheless, I live still in this crucified body with Christ. I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Praise God, because of the love of God, I have died to the Law and now I live.
Science is simply the study of the observable creation. The problem with evolutionary scientists is that they have stepped off into a quagmire of illogical delusion in trying to make assumptions about life's origins and purpose, exempting from their possibility truth; the biblical God who they cannot see or measure, into creating for themselves a substitute evolutionary 'creator' that has absolutely no evidence for existence, has no mind nor intelligence, who has no cause, who has no beginning origin itself, nor has any purpose for evolving things into this dying and decaying Universe that had a finite and definite beginning a relatively short time back, and will one day grow cold and cease to exist as we know it and can readily observe.
Now this is what is most insane about it all: The very Creator God they deny, because they cannot "touch, see or measure" with their carnal minds and so refuse to acknowledge, has been replaced with a fantasy god called "Random Chance" (RC) that created all the intelligence and beauty we see, plus the laws of physics, laws of math, stability on planet earth for the very existence and sustenance of life in a very inhospitable life-destroying universe, and this non-thinking, non living RC god, somehow coded all life with intelligent blueprint we call the alphabet of DNA, and yet, THIS god also cannot be seen or measured or touched!! Now how insane is that?
The infinite and intelligent Creator God, "I Am" was rejected for a delusion; for a lie that by all mature thinking is a ridiculous childish fantasy or wishful thinking. Truly the Idol god of modernity.. Satan is still in the deceiving and blinding business. Idolatry is alive and well... especially in academia, where some of the worlds most "intelligent" people reside. Intelligence does not preclude blindness.
How prophetic and applicable is this passage in the Bible we read in relation to the RC idol god...this passage is not only about the delusion of the homosexual agenda lie, but delusion of mankind in all ways that oppose Yahweh God.
"They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen...They are... God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful...they have no understanding...Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Excerpts from Romans 1:24-32)
There was a time early in my life when I used to laugh and be amazed that people "once upon a time" actually carved idol gods out of wood and worshiped them. Not any more. Today my heart does not laugh, but cries. For this is all too real today. Today we do not use wood, but theory and stories and imagination to 'carve out' our gods. I will conclude this on this sad note that God spoke some 2900 years ago that is all too real in the modern world. People never really change.
( From Isaiah 44)
6“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
8Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
9All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.
12The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
18They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
"But there is something you do that is right: You hate what the Nicolaitans do, as much as I." - Jesus. (Rev 2:6)
Hate is not a bad word. It's only bad when it's used incorrectly. God hates and so too you see here the glorified Christ also hates. While there are places in the old testament that seem to allude that maybe God hates certain people, and we could 'out of context', argue that he hates people who sin so much as to send them into eternal punishment, but that argument would be false. Yes God hates, but he does not hate his creatures. David at times in his zeal for the Lord declares hatred for his enemies and those who are wicked and despise God. But those are not our commands to hate people, but rather to hate sin and the death is brings. Jesus clarified this by saying "Love your enemies". God simply hates that we sin. He hates our sin. Detests it! Sin, or disobedience, or falling short of his character in any way is not what he created us to be, so when we diminish our own created glory his heart breaks for us. Because He is righteous and good, He by his own nature must wipe out every dark blemish from his presence.
If we who were created to be sustained by his glory are kept away from his fountain of life, how could we possibly live? No, we would perish. God is love and because He loves us very much. He knows the decay wrought by our sins and he hates that! He did something to rescue us with an amazing love and grace!
He hates that those he created in love must be destroyed. It is not God's desire that anyone should perish (2 Peter 3:9), not even Judas or Esau; even though we are told Jacob God loved, but Esau he hated. What say we about this? Did God really create a person and then choose to hate him? No. This is a figurative comparison showing God's freedom to show Mercy upon whom he decides; to emphasize his ability to choose whom he desires and bless whom he desires. Paul tells us some are created for noble and some for ignoble purposes. Who can know fully the mind of God? Even the ignoble ones were created in love to serve him; yet we know that no one deserves grace or mercy. If we read our Bibles and are honest about it, we see that we all deserve death. Scripture says "ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" and "The soul who sins shall die". God hates, yes he does. He hates sin. He hates impurity. But he loves! He loves every human and likewise commands us to be like him and to love; even the most vile sinners ; even our enemies. Romans 5:10 says "For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" You see we too were God's enemies, but he still loved us, while all along despising our evil. Romans 5:8 speaks such an amazing truth, "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." This is the kind of Love God wants us to have for sinners, while not condoning or enabling their sins. We are to despise sin and wickedness as God defines it and yet love the person caught up in it. Our goal is to lead them to repentance and life, never to force them. God wants loving obedience, not forced robots. So let us hate; hate sin while gently steering people from sin and to Christ as we are able, but love all people whom God created in his image and let Christ be the rightful judge. We are not God and cannot read a person's heart and mind, nor know if they too are called and destined to be part of the royal priesthood, rescued by God.
God may have you in place to be the vessel through whom the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus and brings repentance to the sinner. Be a humble vessel, hate sin; especially your own, and humbly love all people, yet never failing to speak honestly the hard to hear truths of Christ. Light will expose darkness. The messengers normally are blamed and battered. Expect that. But be humble and full of love. God be with you as you love Him and love people. Love the sinner and hate the sin may be somewhat a worn out cliché in modern society. It may be a phrase Gandhi made popular also, but it still is Biblical and the way God is. We being still corrupted by sin have a hard time distinguishing between the two because of our own tendency to focus on others sins more than our own. The war on Truth that deviant communities have perpetrated on Christians has exposed far too much personal hatred rather than sin hatred, and this must stop within the Church. But this does not mean we stop trying. We persist in seeking God and following him speaking against all evil no matter what the culture says. Hate for sin is appropriate. Just don't do it in your flesh; walk by the Spirit and be full or mercy and grace, so that you can love the sinner and lead them to living waters of Jesus.
Now this is the way Christ taught: Be broken and humble, like the adulterous woman who they tried to get Jesus to stone, Christ said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." But to the proud who refuse to see God and deal their sin, God does resist and holds them accountable. Grace to the humble, but law to the proud. Remember it is unloving to allow someone to do wrong and blindly walk into disaster without telling them. Jesus used whips to drive out the proud sinners who saw no wrong selling their goods in the Temple courts. Now we are not to use whips to drive sinners into repentance ( remember Jesus is God unlike us and had a different purpose other than repentance during that event), but we too are to be zealous over the holiness of God.
So let's be zealous over both truth and love exercising both in balanced compassion towards those around us. "A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. - Revelation 1:17-18 ESV
John was given a great vision of God and saw this exalted view of Christ our Lord, who when he spoke he described "as the roar of many waters", whose hair was white as snow and whose eyes were like flames of fire and from whose mouth protruded a double edged sword (illustrative of the Word of God) and whose face shinning like the sun in it's full strength! If you can imagine, this was John, the one described as closest to Jesus in his ministry yet when John sees our glorified Lord, just like Isaiah when he sees God glorified in his vision falls on his face in total fear before him... Jesus here is pictured as the "Ancient of Days", the one who stands in judgment over all the cosmos...whose voice was like the roar of a mighty waterfall. (I have stood next to the deafening roar of falling water torrents before.) Can you imagine? If you can, then even now you would fall on your face in total humility before God. He is infinitely awesome and powerful. Let us not forget this. In our diminished view of God in our lives we can at times forget how Great is our God. Yet here is the beautiful thing. When we do humble ourselves before him today by faith, on that great and glorious day when all mankind will be on our faces in his full radiant glory, those who he knows and has called by name, those who today surrender their hearts and lives to Jesus; they like John here and like Isaiah in his vision experience will feel the hand of Almighty God reach down and touch them and through the thundering yet tender voice of Christ hear these loving and tender words...
"Fear Not..I Am..."
My question for you is this... Are you...?
Less anyone lead you astray from the true Gospel of Christ. Know this:
Jesus Christ is God (Titus 2:13). But is called the Son of God, by God the Father and the Spirit(Mat 3:17). Meaning while he is completely God, and all the fullness of God dwells in him (Col 2:9-10), those who saw him in human form did not necessarily see all of God. Even though all that God is in essence in Jesus Christ. I hope this makes sense to you. Jesus said God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth. (Jhn 4:24)He is one person of God, you must not think totally in human terms here. He is God revealed to us in human flesh as the person of God called the Son. When Jesus said, he who sees me sees the Father (Jhn 14:9), I and the Father are one (Jhn 10:30), this does not mean that when one of his disciples looked on him they saw all of God (even though all that God is existed in him, yet veiled. Remember for the time he set aside all his infinite powers as God. Phi 2:6-11). That would be impossible, God is everywhere(Jer 23:24), Omnipresent as we say, and infinite (Isa 40:28) in relation to time and space, which means multidimensional many more times than you and I. Also as sinful man, to look onto the raw and unfiltered face of Holy God, would consume us! (Ex 33:20) Too see all of God you would have to be God himself. You cannot nor will you ever. Eternity will be spent plumbing the depths of Christ to know God more completely! (Rom 11:33) This is an impossibility of a limited created four dimensional being. (Job 38:1-4, 40:1-2) All you can see of God is what he reveals to you for a time and place. In these last days God has chosen to reveal himself through his Son (Heb 1:2). Who are we to even question anything He does? We are but dust (Gen 3:19). God sees what is going on now and what is going on 10 billion years ago and 10 billion years from today. He sees and controls it all. He is outside of time and space (Job 37:16, Isaiah 46:9). Yet he also fills every corner of time and space, because He is that awesome and big (Jer 23:24, Gen 1:1) . So when you see Jesus, you are seeing God (Heb 1:3) as revealed in human form through the person of God called the Son (Luke 1:32). Jesus is God's Word proceeding out from the Father (Jhn 1:1-4,14, Jhn 16:28), and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (Jhn 16:7, 14:26) . Jesus is not one "face of God" as in God appearing in various forms, nor is he all of God as in being just a differing name of same person of God, nor is he one of 3 gods. We do not worship 3 gods. We worship one God and Creator Yahweh, God who is "I AM". Jesus, the Son is "I AM" (Jhn :58), the Holy Spirit is "I AM" (Acts 5:3-4), and the Father is "I AM" (Ex 3:14), but the Son is not the Father, nor the Father the Spirit, nor the Spirit the Son. Jesus commanded us to baptize in the singular "Name" of the Father, Son and Spirit (Mat 28:19), because our Creator God is triune in personhood, but one in essence.
We should not twist the Scriptures to create for us a God that is more comprehensible, this is the greatest source or idolatry known to man, and the basis for many false religions like Islam and Jehovah's witness and many "Apostolic vision based" false teachings.
God exists as One (Isaiah 44:6). There is only one Creator God, there are no other gods besides him... and HE has revealed himself as a much more complex being than the human mind can completely understand. He is the one who has to reveal himself and has (Heb 1:2) . This should be expected (Isa 40:13). How can a computer program fully know all about the nature of its programmer? The created things will always have limited ability to grasp their creators. How can clay really know the potter (Isa 64:8)? Only as much as the potter makes the clay able. Same with a robot run on computer code..even if you had the ability to give that code some ability of autonomy and thinking it is still going to be limited, and of less dimensions of reality than you the creator. I want to stay away from using analogies at to how to grasp in your mind the trinity nature of God, because nothing really compares and they all lead to a form of heretical thinking. Some things we cannot know and must simply accept. A God you can completely contain in your own mental box, is not the God who made you, but your own idol version of him.
He is infinite. He has no beginning and no ending (Isa 40:28, Rev 22:13). He was never alone. Since he always existed in community and fellowship. Father, Son and Spirit . He even speaks of himself in the plural as community in his creating man in his own image (man was made as Spirit, Mind and body. triune in nature in reflection of him) (Gen 1:26). Within his own nature God eternally was in perfect community and joyful fellowship, even before anything was created outside himself. He has never had need of anything! (Acts 17:25) How do we know this. Because Jesus said so. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48
God is perfect and this means perfect in every way.
Think on these things, know that Jesus is our means to know God and his eternal life and joy. (Jhn 17:3)
Trust in him, know him and begin your eternity knowing God your creator! He is our one and only Savior! He is the Rock of Ages that followed the people of Israel trough the wilderness sustaining them with miraculous water for life (1 Cor 10:4), revealing that from him alone flows rivers of living water, the Holy Spirit of God.
John 7:38 Jesus said, "Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."
AMNESTY! AMNESTY! God's loving offer of amnesty through Jesus Christ the Son is available to all. No matter how "minor" or "horrible" a sinner you are! All sin will banish you from the holiness of God forever and make you face his eternal wrath. God patiently waits to allows people to come to see his love and truth. Homosexuality is clearly one of the most hideous sins listed in the Word of God. But as always has been and always will be, the Gospel of Jesus Christ begins with REPENTANCE. Jesus Christ preached, "Repent and Believe the Good News" (Mk 1:15) This means we must agree with God what is sin and turn from it. Once we agree and turn to Christ from the sin, Jesus Saves. Only then.I am not here to gay bash, I love all people from all races, but I refuse to condone any sin as acceptable before man or God... but to clarify in the most loving way possible the truth so you too can be FREE and no longer a slave to sin! All behaviors are controllable, you are not an animal, but made in the image of God. God will provide the way for those who really seek him. You cannot both have God and your sins. The two are opposites. You cannot redefine what is sin and what is not sin, try as you may, that too is sin. All throughout God's teachings sodomy is called sin and one that the Israelites were even told to punish with the death penalty in the old testament Levitical law. New testament teachings are likewise revealing that it is a perversion of God-given sexuality between husband and wife male and female. All sex outside of this God ordained marriage covenant is sinful and a perversion and likewise is an offense to the holiness of God. Yes all sex outside of marriage is a perversion of God also. It is sin. So is uncontrolled lust of the mind.
The LBGT community of homosexuals must repent from the sins of sodomy just like I had to repent from the sins of being a womanizer with sexual lusts and perversions in order to find peace with God. I was born with the natural desire to lust, and to commit all sorts of wickedness! But being born with that desire does not make it good or right! So please do not try to excuse your sin by saying you were born that way. Serial killers say the same thing, claiming it is just the way they are!
This is true of every human being because like the prophet and king David spoke under Holy Spirit inspiration, in Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” and as Scripture declares, "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Rom 3:10) And we all will die and face God on judgment day to give account of our actions and lives. No one person escapes or will have their friends to cheer them on in their old tired excuses. For is is appointed unto man once to die and after that Judgement. (Heb 9:27)
There is no room for pride and smugness on anyone's part here! If you are human you are likewise a sinner in need of repentance and salvation. We all are but by the grace of God one moment away from judgment and hell if we have not chosen to submit to God and follow Christ. Christ followers are not sin free, but saved by grace and struggling to overcome their sin natures because they have chosen to agree with God what is right and good and to follow him... ( no matter what your vice may be). God wants to free us from the power of our sin nature and he can do that with anything he calls sin, even homosexuality or wanton lust of the mind by "straight" people. Jesus came to set us free and in him we gain exactly that. But you must choose to accept him on God's terms, not your own.
To clarify, Repentance, or turning from a sin does not mean you do not struggle with it and fight the temptations to do it, nor that you will be perfect in keeping from it always, but it means you in your heart and actions agree God is right and that you must follow him and not your own fleshly urges. God then gives the power to overcome and leave the life of sin. But power from God comes through his Holy Spirit to those who repent and receive Christ as "Lord God", Master of your life.... not as some good luck life insurance genie who magically waves a wand over your sins and allows you to keep on sinning.
Salvation comes through really accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, believing that his bloody death on the cross was payment for your sins before God's holy righteous requirement and that his resurrection from death to bodily alive to the throne of God was evidence of new life and power available to you. Jesus says we must agree with God, turn from our sins and follow him. If you are willing and say " Yes Lord Jesus" then you will be set free by this truth also.
Jesus said "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)
If you stop fighting God and surrender to Christ you can find real rest and peace. Come to Jesus. Find life.
As people of Christ, the true servants of God, we must take heed to these words of the Spirit given to us. In Christ we are set free from the bondage of the law, of sin and death! We still have our old flesh and sin nature we are working to perfect more like Christ and so we mess up and fail to be like God in many ways....Yet we are free from the consequences of our deserved punishment because of the purifying blood of Christ shed for us! This is a glorious thing! We are indeed free to live as Children of God, forgiven and humble before him. Yet never forgetting He is a holy God, a consuming fire...even in the overwhelming glorious love and grace, he still demands our hearts to come be aligned with his. We must not allow our freedom from sin and death to be a means by which to excuse sin, but rather use it as a tool and means to fight it all the more! We must never forget that but by the grace of God, we would be facing his terrible and eternal WRATH! Do not ever forget. You are saved from your own evil desires and inclination towards evil. Live as servants of the Most High God. This God of glory wants us to respect and honor everyone. To deeply love the brotherhood of Beleivers, by doing life and service with them and making them the priority of your life. And yes, God wants you to honor your president, and leaders. You and I are to not talk about president Obama in a disrespectful and demeaning way. If your disagree with his politics (of which I do in most every instance), you are not to take part in verbally or visually using disrespectful words and tones. Not only that, you must Honor him for his position and office he holds over us all. Many Christians are sold out to the devil on how they speak about our Leaders. How can we as Christians expect God to bless our nation with revival when we all live as hypocrites before Almighty God?! Evil or good, he is where He is because God has ordained it so for the time. So let's live as holy Saints of God and use kindness and respect towards all, especially weighing carefully the way we speak about our political opponents who hold office over us. This is not an option, but a command of God. You cannot pick and choose how you want to follow God. Blessings come to the faithfully obedient.