Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The King Selects His Chosen From Among All Of The Volunteers

A certain King advertised, and sent out invitations, for volunteers to go on a special mission into foreign lands to represent his Royal interests. No salary was offered. Most of his subjects were too busy with their own interests and income to volunteer. They didn't trust their King to treat them fairly and reward them for their service. He would deal with their distrust later.

Among the volunteers were a few who were so sick of themselves, and so loved the King that they were more concerned with his interests than their own, but knew that if they looked after his interests he would look after theirs. Their main concern was to please their King and do his Royal will. They trusted in him.

Also among the volunteers were some who didn't want the job but were afraid not to volunteer lest the King seek vengeance upon them. Others were so bored with their present life, husband or wife that they volunteered on the chance they might be happier somewhere else or find a new, more desirable mate. Then, there were those volunteers who wanted a free vacation with new acquaintances in a different environment.  Some thought volunteering might strengthen their resume or that they might meet new prospective customers for their own business if they joined the King's service. A few even thought that if they volunteered, the King might drop all criminal charges against them so they could avoid His judgement and remain free to do their own thing.

What none of them knew was that the King had a divine, super computer program containing all of the knowledge in all of the libraries and public records and in all of the universe about everything and everybody ... including them. He knew each of them better than they knew themselves.

So, on a day appointed, all the volunteers, sincere and insincere, came before the King as a volunteer. As he passed before each of them, he "selected" one here and one there according to his "foreknowledge" of each and every one of the volunteers. He set those he chose, selected and elected aside for training in the King's service. They were first sent to the Royal Bath, cleaned up, groomed and properly attired. They were then sent to their studies of the Royal Manuscripts and thoroughly prepared to represent the King all over the world.

The English word "select" is from the Latin word "selectus" and means to elect or "select aside" or "set aside" for special reasons... or to "separate the chosen from all those not chosen". "Sanctification" is the same thing.

It has not been determined which came first, Latin or Greek, but each has formed with root words in the other. English has absorbed many words from both.

Jesus used the word "sanctified" in His prayer concerning those he selected, elected  and chose: Bear in mind the Greek word "hagiazo" translated "sanctify" in the New Testament, means "to set apart".  Jesus prayed for his disciples in Bible days and also for His "set apart", chosen ones of today, in John 17:15-20.

"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word."

"Wherefore (YOU) come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord ...." 2Cor.6:17.

You may not yet be among those chosen, selected, elected or sanctified but if you are sincere and desire to serve the King, you must first be among the volunteers. He will not force you into His service, but said, "Come unto Me." John 7:37.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Measurment Of True Greatness From The Lips Of Jesus

From the beginning of time, men have labored, sacrificed, and cheated, lied and killed in a never ending struggle to surpass. succeed, exceed, and increase in power, possessions, position, wealth and fame. Cain killed Abel, in a fit of jealousy, because he thought himself less than his brother. Kings, warriors, politicians and sociopaths have sought power, wealth and fame in order to have more, be more, and know more than everyone else. Some even seek power, wealth and fame in a kind of reverse approach to fulfill their burning ambition by publicly defending the poor, and attacking the wealthy, as educators, politicians, or millionaire movie stars.... and even as Preachers. Strange antics indeed in the feverish climb up the ladder of recognition and greatness in the eyes of other men an women...but what of God's approval? How does He reckon greatness?

Even the Apostles were absorbed with "greatness" in spiritual matters. "Greatness" in Christ's Church and in the Kingdom Of God as well....
"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Matt.18:1.

Jesus answered the question by taking a little child up into his lap and said ....
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matt.18:4. So, learning from the lips of Jesus, himself, "humility" reflects greatness. Something few rich, famous and powerful people in men's estimation, have much of.... ordinarily. I truly believe that there is no great spirituality where there is no great humility. In fact, "Jesus humility" is not caused by poverty, starvation, inferiority or weakness, but something more divine. Jesus, as God in the flesh, owns all the of the universe. He owns all of the food, all of the power, all of the strength, all of the fame ... and yet, He was humble and saw true humility in that little child. Also notice that his words, "humble himself" indicate that we are personally responsible for our humility or the lack of it.

Jesus is our example of humility. Paul says , in Phil.2:8. "...He humbled himself...." by taking on a human body and becoming a man so he could sacrifice that body on the cross. Jesus said of himself, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly ...." Matt.11:29.  Some would say He violated humility when, at Passover, He angrily drove the greedy Money Changers and sellers out of God's holy Temple with a whip, in John 2:13-16, or
when he called the Pharisees whitewashed graves full of rotting dead men's bones. But being humble does not negate boldness, holy anger or the necessity of speaking the truth.

Another key to true greatness is revealed by Jesus in Matt.23:11-12. "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." 
So true greatness is wrapped up in humble service to God and to those "Created in the image and likeness of God". That is the mind of God.

Whether God keeps a list of "lesser/superior greatness" or not, He knows precisely where each of us is in relation to His own judgement of our faithfulness, callings, obedience and sincerity. He sees and knows the extent and level of each of our humility and service. Though all Christians are equally saved, by grace, we are not all equal in our service to God and awards at the Judgement Seat Of Christ. But each of millions of Christians has a unique place on God's faithfulness scale which only He can know.... thankfully.
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Matt.16:27.

The measure of true greatness, among men, is neither determined by themselves nor by other men. Who would have said of John the Baptist, when he was in prison, questioning his own faith, disgraced in the eyes of man and then beheaded, that he was the greatest man ever born prior to that time? And yet, that is exactly what Jesus said of him."Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist...." Matt.11:11. (Relates to the O.T.)

Obviously Jesus evaluates men from a totally different perspective than do other men .... even Christians. The difference is that we mortals only know what we see, hear or imagine to be true. We cannot know what is in the mind and heart of another person .... But God does, and only He can judge with complete accuracy.

Nobody has any idea who may be the greatest Christian who ever lived, except God Himself. It will probably be some unknown, humble, loving, faithful mother or a hard working, reliable, witness for Jesus who gave the nearest to 100% of himself  or herself to God, which means ... also to needy people.

True greatness, in God's eyes is not only unknown to fleshly minds but totally incomprehensible to human understanding.  His judgement alone is perfect. If there is a divine ranking from greatest to least great Christians, it is totally in the Omniscient judgement of God alone. I, for one, am content to leave it there, where it is secure for eternity.... even if I am the last Christian on the "humility and service" list.... that will be exactly where I should to be.

 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2 Cor.10:12. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Keep Moving In The Right Direction ... Even If Only In Baby Steps

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Heb.12:1.
That "race" is the Christian life, seeking His will, studying His word, a prayer life, following Him, giving witness to His judgement, love, grace, forgiveness and salvation. That is "the race that is set before" every Christian.

This scripture is not speaking to to the unsaved who are not yet in "the race", which God has set before every Christian. It does no good for non Christians to try to "lay aside every weight and besetting sin". Only those believers who have had all their sins forgiven, past present and future, who also have the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit to deal with those weights and besetting sins can overcome them. One must first have Christ before they can ever successfully do battle with the devil and temptation. Without Christ there is no hope of overcoming sin of any kind.

There must be a million different varieties of sin which hound us down, plague us throughout life even unto death, and undermine our yearnings to be more Christ-like. Sin destroys nations, churches, homes and Christian testimonies. And yet, as believers, we are God's children, and he does not give up on us any more than a good parent gives up on their child. He does allow suffering and difficulty to discipline us and get us back in the race, but He doesn't stop loving us and convincing us of our guilty sins. Though we will never be perfect, we must continually seek forgiveness and a closer walk with Jesus, to be more effective Christians.

I think the most egregious sins are religious ones, perverting the Gospel, Christ's church and His Holy word. There are certain denominational "doctrines" that are off target, out of focus theological positions, which have their appeal in the faulty mind-set of their adherents, that their witness is neutralized. Some are just perverted enough to confuse and mislead, but not so much as to alarm the hearers. A twisted, tangled mind is attracted to a twisted, tangled religion, as a perverted mind is receptive to perverted input. Satan knows all the idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities of each person's flesh and the besetting sin each of them is inclined to, and he is there to supply it.

I believe God not only knew Adam and Eve would yield to their lust for "the tree of knowledge of good and evil", but also knew the besetting sin of each of their millions of descendants ... yours and mine. The conflicts we all face daily, are nothing more or less than our individual part in this Battle Of The Ages, between good and evil, God and the devil, which every human has faced since Genesis 3. And don't delude yourself; we are all guilty to some degree .... "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8.

The whole purpose of Christ's coming into this world and paying our sin debt on that cross was to first forgive our sins and second to give us grace to overcome our besetting sins that we might effectively spread His good news to a sinful, lost world. Don't quit trying, or give up on yourself ... God hasn't. Trust Him to help you through your temptations and trials ... and keep on sharing the His saving grace. Even though you and I aren't  perfect Christians .... and never will be, we must stay in God's word, prayed up and with a repentant heart. The important thing is to keep moving in the right direction ... even if only in baby steps. RB

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Man Who Refused A Pardon

Imagine being convicted of a crime you deeply regretted – intentional or unintentional – and being offered a pardon to absolve you of any penalty. Would you accept it? Let me tell you about a man who did not.
In 1829 two men, George Wilson and James Porter, robbed a United States mail carrier. Both were subsequently captured and tried in a court of law. In May 1830 both men were found guilty of six charges, including robbery of the mail “and putting the life of the driver in jeopardy.” Both Wilson and Porter received their sentences: Execution by hanging, to be carried out on July 2.
Porter was executed on schedule, but Wilson was not. Influential friends pleaded for mercy to the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, on his behalf. President Jackson issued a formal pardon, dropping all charges. Wilson would have to serve only a prison term of 20 years for his other crimes. Incredibly, George Wilson refused the pardon!
An official report stated Wilson chose to “waive and decline any advantage or protection which might be supposed to arise from the pardon….” Wilson also stated he “…had nothing to say, and did not wish in any manner to avail himself in order to avoid sentence….” The U.S. Supreme Court determined, “The court cannot give the prisoner the benefit of the pardon, unless he claims the benefit of it…. It is a grant to him: it is his property; and he may accept it or not as he pleases.” Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, “A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws…. (But) delivery is not completed without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered, and…we have no power in a court to force it on him.”
George Wilson committed a crime, was tried and found guilty. He was sentenced for execution, but a presidential decree granted him a full pardon. When he chose to refuse that pardon, he chose to die. Reading this amazing story, we might wonder, “How could anyone refuse a pardon for the death sentence? The man was a fool!” But what if you also are refusing a pardon, one enabling you to spend eternity in the presence of God rather than eternal separation from Him in a place the Bible calls hell?
The Bible plainly teaches we all are sinners, people who have repeatedly broken God’s laws. For instance, Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Another verse says,“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
What about the penalty of sin – what are the consequences? We are told, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The Old Testament concurs: “The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That does not sound like good news, but God has provided a pardon, one He makes available to us all.
In 2 Peter 3:9 we read, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise…. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Later, 1 John 1:9 explains we must accept this pardon:“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you have not already done so, the question is this: Will you receive or reject the pardon? We each must choose.“Whoever believes in him is not condemned: but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).

Friday, November 13, 2015

"The Wheels Of God's Judgement Can Be Heard...." Billy Graham

Methuselah lived a world record of 969 years. His father, Enoch, a preacher of righteousness, gave him a prophetic name ... Methuselah, meaning "When he is dead it shall be sent" or "When he is dead, the end shall come". Immediately upon Methuselah's death, Noah's Flood began. Though this is not stated in Scripture, a study of birth dates and death dates, in Genesis, bears out the fact. When Methuselah died, the flood came the same year. Maybe the same day.

It now seems possible that, similarly, the long life and ministry of Billy Graham (he was 97 Nov.7) is coming to an end on a parallel track with the end of days. That is not to say, as with Methuselah, "when he is dead, the end shall come". But this old wicked world, which appears to be as evil as in the last days of Methuselah, seems in the same depths of "wickedness" as described in Gen.6:5.
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Then the rains came with the Flood Judgement upon the world.

I could not reprint the following article, with pictures of Billy Graham, as it appeared in American Minute. My thanks to Jim Hoch for sending it. RB

American Minute with Bill Federer
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"The wheels of God's judgment can be heard by discerning souls across the length and breadth of nations" -Billy Graham

"America has gone a long way down the wrong road. We must turn around and go back and change roads. If ever we needed God's help, it is now..." -stated Billy Graham, as he received the Congressional Gold Medal, May 2, 1996.

Billy Graham continued:

"If ever we needed spiritual renewal, it in now. And it can begin today in each one of our lives, as we repent before God and yield ourselves to Him and His Word."

Billy Graham has had an unprecedented friendship with every U.S. President since Truman.

Born NOVEMBER 7, 1918, Billy Graham wanted to be a baseball player, but after attending a revival at age 16, his life changed.

Billy Graham became an evangelist and addressed crowds around the world.

At a news conference, March 21, 1956, President Eisenhower stated:
"This is what I see in Billy Graham - A man who clearly understands that any advance in the world has got to be accompanied by a clear realization that man is, after all, a spiritual being."

John F. Kennedy told the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, March 1, 1962:
"We bear great responsibilities and great burdens not only to ourselves in this country but to so many around the world... I commend...Reverend Billy Graham, who has served this cause about which I speak so well here and around the world. He has, I think, transmitted this most important quality of our common commitments to faith in a way which makes all of us particularly proud."

Ronald Reagan introduced Billy Graham at a California rally: "Why is a representative of government here? To welcome with humble pride a man whose mission in life has been to remind us that in all our seeking...the answer to each problem is to be found in the simple words of Jesus of Nazareth, who urged us to love one another."

Billy Graham stated:
"Bad politicians are elected by good people who don't vote."

Upon receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, May 2, 1996, Billy Graham continued his message, "The Hope for America": "After World War II...we had the opportunity to rule the world... Something has happened since those days and there is much about America that is no longer good...the list is almost endless...
We have confused liberty with license - and we are paying the awful price. We are a society poised on the brink of self-destruction..."

Billy Graham continued: "What is the problem? The real problem is within ourselves... I believe the fundamental crisis of our time is a crisis of the spirit.
We have lost sight of the moral and spiritual principles on which this nation was established - principles drawn largely from the Judeo-Christian tradition as found in the Bible... What must be done? Let me briefly suggest three things.
First, we must repent. In the depths of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln called for special days of public repentance and prayer. Our need for repentance is no less today..." "What does repentance mean? Repentance means to change our thinking and our way of living. It means to turn from our sins and to commit ourselves to God and His will. Over 2700 years ago the Old Testament prophet Isaiah declared 'Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon' (Isaiah 55: 6-7, NIV)..."

Billy Graham added:
"Second, we must commit our lives to God, and to the moral and spiritual truths that have made this nation great. Think how different our nation would be if we sought to follow the simple and yet profound injunctions of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. But we must respond to God, Who is offering us forgiveness, mercy, supernatural help, and the power to change."

Billy Graham concluded:
"Third, our commitment must be translated into action - in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and in our society. Jesus taught there are only two roads in life. One in the broad road that is easy and well-traveled, but which leads to destruction. The other, He said, is the narrow road of truth and faith that at times is hard and lonely, but which leads to life and salvation... What are YOU going to do?... As I look out across this distinguished group gathered here, I see more than a few men and women who have what it takes, under God, to lead our country forward 'through the night'"

Rev. Billy Graham gave a sober warning on October 27, 2015: "In the event of a national catastrophe, much confusion, terror and consternation would reign... Suppose persecution were to come to the church in America, as it has come in other countries. The immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have experienced in the past two or three centuries is unusual. Christ strongly warned Christians that to follow Him would not be popular, and that in most circumstances it would mean cross-bearing and persecution. The Bible says that all who 'desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution' (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said that as the time of His return draws nigh, 'They will seize you and persecute you' (Luke 21:12). We have no scriptural foundation for believing that we can forever escape being persecuted for Christ's sake. The normal condition for Christians is that we should suffer persecution. Are you willing to face persecution and death for Christ's sake?"

Billy Graham continued: "Since we have experienced little religious persecution in this country, it is likely that under pressure many would deny Christ. Those who shout the loudest about their faith may surrender soonest. Many who boast of being courageous would be cowardly. Many who say, 'Though all others deny Christ, yet I will never deny Him,' would be the first to warm their hands at the campfires of the enemy. Jesus, in speaking of the last times, warned, 'Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake' (Matthew 24:9). The Scripture says, 'because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold' (Matthew 24:12). The apostle Paul, referring to the coming evil day, said, 'Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand' (Ephesians 6:13)."

Rev. Billy Graham explained further: "Even though most Americans see the storm clouds gathering on the horizon, by and large we are making few preparations to meet God. This is a time for repentance and faith. It is a time for soul-searching, to see if our anchor holds. Have you been to the cross where Christ shed His blood for your sins? Have you had the past forgiven? Have you come by faith, confessing that you are a sinner and receiving Christ as your Savior? I tell you that this cross is the only place of refuge in the midst of the storm of judgment that is fast approaching. Make sure of your relationship with God."

Billy Graham concluded: "We must fortify ourselves by meditating upon the person of Christ... Christ must be vitally real to us if we are to prove loyal to Him in the hours of crisis. Today our nation ranks as the greatest power on the face of the earth. But if we put our trust in armed might instead of Almighty God, the coming conflict could conceivably go against us. History and the Bible indicate that mechanical and material might are insufficient in times of great crisis. We need the inner strength that comes from a personal, vital relationship with God's Son, Jesus Christ. The wheels of God's judgment can be heard by discerning souls across the length and breadth of nations. Things are happening fast! The need for a return to God has never been more urgent. The words of Isaiah are appropriate for us today: 'Seek the Lord while He may be found, call you upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.'"

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Being Forgiven And Resting In That Forgiveness Are Two Different Things

Common Sense Commentary: Forgiveness of an offender is of greater benefit to the offended, who forgives, than to the offender they are forgiving.

It is easier for God to forgive you than for others, you have offended, to forgive you.... And, it is easier for them to forgive you than for you to forgive yourself.
Sociopaths have no concept of forgiveness because they have no conscience and feel no guilt. They may ask for forgiveness because they have learned it is disarming to those they have offended and therefore to their advantage. But it is not done out of sincere guilt or regret. A normal person, whether a Christian or not, has a deep need of forgiveness, for they know they are sinful, and have done wrong to others. Forgiving one's self is by far the most difficult barrier to peace of mind. God stands ready, at any moment to forgive the penitent soul ... and most people will forgive you for their own peace of mind... if not yours. But for me to forgive myself requires something in addition to repentance ... It requires faith that, not only has God forgiven me, but that He has given the person I offended the grace to forgive me and thereby healed the offence I caused. But that depends, not on me, but on the attitude of the person I offended. One of the most damaging sins a person can inflict upon themselves, to body, mind and spirit, is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness slowly degrades into bitterness and bitterness into hate. An unforgiven offence is an open wound and vulnerable to long term, spiritual infection until it is forgiven. So if you have unforgiveness in your heart, ask God for his forgiveness of your unforgiveness and then forgive your offender and yourself as well. It is the only way to find healing and rest in the peace it brings.

Here is what Jesus said about it....

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive youBut if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. " Matt.6:14-15.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Do You Truly Love Him ? If So, He Promises You This ....

"But as it is written (in Isa.64:4), Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Cor.2:9.

"Eye hath not seen...."
So, no matter how beautiful, how radiant any sunrise, sunset, Aurora Borealis, South Pacific isle, Grand Canyon majesty  or star spangled sky ... it does not compare....

".... nor ear heard...."
However glorious, stirring and comforting the orchestration, how lovely the sounds of harmony, precious the voice of a child or loved one ... it still does not compare ....

".... neither have entered into the heart of man...."
Whatever blessed promise or restful thought, however wonderful, comforting or thrilling your imagination or mental portrayal of eternal life in heaven with family, friends, Jesus Himself and God our Father.... it still falls short and does not compare with ".... the things which God hath prepared ....
.... for them that love Him."

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Mark 12:30.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Latter Times Seducing Spirits And Doctrines Of Devils" Are On The Move

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." 1 Tim.4:1.

This verse plainly says that the Holy Spirit of God does not just elude, infer, imply or insinuate the truths he wants to impart to our hearts, but "speaks expressly", clearly and directly. In this case, he "speaks expressly" about something which is going to happen in the "latter times". That particular thing is, professing believers, unsaved church members, turning away from the "faith" which they have professed but not possessed. Counterfeit Christians will come to see there is no longer any benefit in carrying on the subterfuge of falsely professing to be believers in Christ.... probably because of increasing persecution against Christians. Jesus called these counterfeits "tares" in Matt.13:24-30. They are unsaved church members who are there for social, business, traditional or other reasons besides loving, worshiping and serving God. This "departure from the faith" will be easily accomplished by their yielding to some "other" Jesus (1Cor.11:4), some false religion, or no religion and "doctrines of devils" in general.

In social science, "seduction", in the above verse, is the process of deliberately enticing a person to engage in Illicit acts. The word "seduction" stems from Latin and means literally "to lead astray". Using the word "doctrines" in conjunction with "devils" intimates a spiritual deviancy or unscriptural perversion of God's word. In other words, "doctrines of devils" reflects another of many of God's "holy" things Satan has counterfeited to confuse and mislead us into serious spiritual error. He does it with God's word, the Holy Spirit, the church, baptism, the Messiah, love, sex and every other holy thing of God. Perverted doctrine is "doctrines of devils".

There is, however, a benefit, to Christ's church, in this departure of religious unbelievers from Christian Fellowships. Persecution will, in effect, purge the church of the chaff, sucker branches, dead wood and weeds from their negative effects within the church body ... and make it more vibrant and healthy to endure latter day difficulties before the Rapture.

Friday, October 30, 2015

13 Verses Some Christians Overlook, Explain Away or Reject

When Jesus, in the beginning of his earthly ministry, was choosing his Apostles, he gave them a key doctrine reaching from the eternal past to the eternal future. It is a single verse upon which every other Christian doctrine stands and must agree with. It encompasses every Bible doctrine from The Eternal God, Love, Predestination, Creationism, Original sin, Christology, Forgiveness, Virgin Birth, Death, Resurrection, Universal Opportunity, Faith, Eternal Life, Heaven, Hell and all other Bible doctrines. That verse has become the most well known, throughout the world, of all the other verses. It is John 3:16 ...."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." In harmonic unison with that North Star verse is the lesser known doctrine of Universal Equal Opportunity espoused in the heart of God where there is no pressurised prejudice
without reason. In John 3:16, Jesus plainly tells the world that the reason God gave him, Jesus, to die in the place of this sinful world, was that he "so loved the world" of people who were created in his own image and likeness. His heavenly Father paid that awful price for "whosoever will" (Rev.22:17), without distinguishing, by "respect of persons" between sinners... "For all have sinned ...." Rom.3:23.

Here are 13 more Bible verses that tell us that God does not show "respect of persons" between rich and poor, great and small, or men and women. Not only does he not show "respect of persons", but he commands that we are not to show "respect of persons" either. In fact, he says that "respect of persons" is "unrighteousness" (Lev.19:15), "unwise and not good" (2 Chron.19:7), and is contrary to the faith (James 2:1). He also says in these verses that he "hears" all people and so should we (Deut.1:17). The reason we are not to judge and have "respect of persons" is that God is the judge and that each person will receive judgement from Him (God) for the "wrong which he hath done" (1 Peter 1:17).

Here are 13 Lighthouse verses for Christians who would walk with Jesus in holy humility.

Leviticus 19:15   Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge 

Deuteronomy 1:17   Ye shall not respect persons in judgmentbut ye shall hear the small as well as the great...."

2 Samuel 14:14   "... neither doth God respect any person...."

2 Chronicles 19:7   "... For there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons ...."

Proverbs 24:23   These things also belong to the wiseIt is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. 

Proverbs 28:21   To have respect of persons is not good...."

Acts 10:34   Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.

Romans 2:11   For there is no respect of persons with God. 

Ephesians 6:9  "... Your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. 

Colossians 3:25   But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons

James 2:1   My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons

James 2:3-4   And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool. Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of (with) evil thoughts? 

1 Peter 1:17   And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work ...."

Treating all people, no matter their circumstances, with respect is a cardenal doctrine and reveals a huge quality of Jesus. His great love for all people is rooted in their creation in the image and likeness of God. Jesus loved little children, the rich young ruler, the wealthy and the poor, the powerful and the weak, men and women ... equally. He loved the demoniac and the adultrous woman. He loved both thieves crucified with him. The one sealed his fate by believing on Jesus and the other by his disbelief. He rejected no one who did not first reject him.

When we subtract "respect of persons" from predestination, we have a pure predestination based on God's foreknowledge of every person rather than His foreknowledge being based on predestination, which is incorrect.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Where And When I Am Gone

When I lay aside my life's work
And all else I've ever known
When my final breath is taken
With a yielding painful groan
When my spirit life floats free
And leaves my flesh and bone
I Will carry no accounting
Except all my own ... alone.

When I depart this Earthy place
And go up where I belong
I will leave no big empty space
Nor a massive name in stone
But I'll hear all hymns asinging
As a single glorious song
And I'll see my Savior reigning
Where and when .... I am gone.

Rayburn Blair, an old man looking up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Frequency Of Correctness Does Not Matter; Its The Magnitude That Matters

The following is from a secular financial newsletter, The Outsider Club whose byline is, "Because you will never be on the inside".  That is no doubt true when referring to Politics, the Federal Reserve, the IMF or the World Bank. But we followers of Christ are and will be on the inside of glory for eternity.
Here is a recent message from The Outsider Club which has merit relating to financial investments.... but also Life and eternal investment. RB

The frequency of correctness does not matter; it is the magnitude of correctness that matters.
What does that mean?
It means you don't have to be right all the time. It means you don't have to have a 100% win rate — or even close to that.
But it means when you are right... you need to be really right.
That quote came from a portfolio manager who was one of 20 running money for a firm. One day, the brass got the idea to fire portfolio managers based on what percentage of their stocks beat the market.
The portfolio manager in question was among the worst when ranked by batting average — he picked fewer winners that beat the market than other managers in his company.
But his total portfolio was among the best.
Because the frequency of correctness did not matter. It was the magnitude of correctness that mattered.
My Comment:
You can be wrong about a lot of things ... minor things, but there are some things you absolutely must be correct about, and it is not "Political Correctness". You may be wrong on eating pork ... or not. You may be wrong about eating or not eating certain other things. You may be wrong on which car is the best buy or even which house to buy. You may be wrong about fashion, political questions or current events. You may even be wrong on some Bible questions like predestination or a lot of other doctrines, but the frequency of your correctness on those lesser doctrines, though they be many, will not determine your eternal destiny. But those doctrines which will determine your eternal destiny, are of such magnitude, that you must not be wrong about them. You must believe that the Holy Bible is the verbally inspired word of God or you have no other source of the gospel or foundation for your faith. "So then faith cometh by hearing ... the word of God." Rom.10:17. And since the word of God records His creation of all things, we must believe the Bible record  or we do not believe it is God's very word, after all, and we cannot therefore have true, saving faith. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Eph.2:8. Since Jesus Christ is the central figure in the entire Bible and His substitutionary death, for sinful souls, is the central message, we must repent and believe on Him as our Savior or be  lost forever."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." John 3:16. 
And finally, though Jesus Died for our sins, if he had not also arisen from the dead, Christianity would have died with Him and we would have no hope of
resurrection and eternal life either. So His good news (gospel) hinges on His death, burial and resurrection, and is a correct fact of ultimate "Magnitude" which must be believed by every true Christian.

A person may be correct on 10,000 facts of science, history, geography and 
know the precepts and doctrines of every religion on earth, but if he is wrong on Jesus, his correctness, though enormous, is  minor compared to the single, universal, eternal and Majestic correctness of God in the gospel of His Son Jesus the Christ. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. 

"...There is no other God that can 
deliver after this sort." Dan.3:29.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Can't Run? Walk. Can't Walk ? Hobble. Can't Hobble? Crawl In The Right Direction

The grandstands are full of heavenly angels, departed saints and a world of needy, seeking  souls. The race of Christian Faith and Calling is in progress. 
Young or old, you, as a Christian, are on the track ... running, walking, hobbling or crawling with the pack or turning back. So lay aside every weight of fleshly lust, besetting sin, and never quit until you cross the finish line.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily  beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." Heb.12:1.

Few people have the sincere humility, of an honest appraisal, to judge themselves, objectively. Nobody likes to admit the whole truth about themselves ... even to themselves. And when we have lived and struggled with our own human faults, failures and "besetting sin", and grow weary, and give up, over the years we begin to take those things for granted. It becomes easier and easier to ignore them... and our hearts begin to harden. Repentance is a daily spiritual bath, a way of life, a constancy in God's presence. None of us are immune to sin."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom.3:23. So sin is a human condition which plagues us all. None of us is perfect, spiritually, mentally or physically. Since we are not perfect spiritually, we are compelled to daily repentance of our sins, to relinquish our sins and only then, rest in Christ. But sin, especially "besetting sins", never cease to seek new entrance into our lives and have to be dealt with and rejected each time they return to tempt us.  Mentally, we are also imperfect. The greatest intellects and geniuses who ever lived, had flaws, failures and misconceptions mentally. In fact, I am of the opinion that we are all, mentally rather strange, peculiar and even a little crazy to some degree. I have often said to myself, "Why would you say or do such a dumb or crazy thing". Physically, I need not point out the obvious imperfections of human bodies. They are hard to miss, right there in plain sight. From hair, face, neck down to the toes, fleshly imperfection is undeniable. We can't see the spirit or mind but the body is all too visible and seldom pleasant to see.

So how do I qualify to judge all of the human race as "imperfect"? Well, first, I am one of us. I have lived the experience. I know enough about my own basic human nature to know that no one but Jesus has ever been or will ever be perfect, in this fleshly body."For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom.3:23. Jesus Christ was the only person who ever lived in a fleshly body who did no sin. "And Jesus said unto him .... there is none good but onethat is, God." Mk.10:18. "NONE" means none. Yes, you too... and me.

Since there are no sinless humans, we are all, therefore, imperfect, faulty and sinful, in the flesh ... which is not the "born again" part of us. Our flesh requires constant washing to avoid foul odors. That's not born again. It thinks bad thoughts, has pimples, pus, weakness and never ceases to deteriorate. That's not born again. It has built in humilities, gets sick, throws up and dies. THAT is not a born again body. It is the inner man, the spirit of the person, the soul, which lives in the body of flesh, that is "Born Again". The inner spirit person is the real person. To get Bible doctrine straight, we must understand the two fold nature of man. The inner, spiritual part of man and the outer, physical part of man."That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." Eph.3:16. No scripture defines the two fold nature of man like Romans 7. You must read this chapter to be able to comprehend the two-fold nature of man. I will print it at the end of this blog.

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 Jn.3:9. Not the body of flesh is born again, but the spirit person who lives in that body gets born again. That is the true person, the eternal person, born again and "cannot sin". It doesn't say "can but shouldn't", It says, "CANNOT SIN". That is not in reference to the corruptible, dying body of flesh. It is in reference to the "inner man", the born again spirit person.

I repeat, our flesh is not yet born again.... glorified. When Christians die, their spirit simply leaves the body and goes into the presence of God to await the resurrection of their dead body, molding into dust, in a grave somewhere on earth. At the initial second coming of Christ, "in the air", all of the born again spirits of all believers will return to earth with him and be rejoined to their newly resurrected, glorified, perfect bodies."Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together  with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess.4:17.  And then there is this verse for those who are still alive on earth. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him So, finally, our bodies will be glorified, "like Jesus" and rejoined with our born again spirit souls.

God knows the truth about us even if we delude ourselves and put on a self-righteous front ... we are still very faulty. It isn't easy to be that objective about one's self, but until we admit it to ourselves, we will never confess it to God and ask His forgiveness. We might as well be honest with God ... He already knows the truth of us anyway. That is why His word says ..."Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...." Titus 3:5.

Old age brings its baggage with it when it comes to visit. Though youthful lusts are diminished or gone, the lust of the flesh and of the eyes is mostly replaced by a whole new set of sins which come to tempt us oldsters. I won't mention what they are lest you watch for them in us old people... but then, you will guess at it and probably make it worse than it is. The third type of sin, the pride of life, stays just about as strong as it was in youth and follows us all the way to the casket ... where we have the mortician dress us up in our best, including jewelry, and even have a barber or beautician put every hair in place so we will look like we are going to a wedding..... Wellll, I guess we are.... the marriage of the Lamb.

1 John 2:16   For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 

So, if you can't run the race, walk it. If you can't walk it, hobble it. If you can't hobble it, crawl it. Just be sure you are going in the right direction.

Galatians 5:16   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. But constant repentance is still essential. RB

Here is the last half of Romans 7...

 Romans 7:14   For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 

  Romans 7:15   For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (The conflict between my flesh and spirit)

  Romans 7:16   If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (It taught me what sin is)

  Romans 7:17   Now then it is no more I (My spirit) that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (In my flesh)

  Romans 7:18   For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (I constantly seek the good way)

  Romans 7:19   For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 

  Romans 7:20   Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (My spirit tells me sin is wrong, but sin dwells in my fleshly body)

  Romans 7:21   I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (Constant conflict between the my spirit and my body).

  Romans 7:22   For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 

  Romans 7:23   But I see another law in my members (body), warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 

  Romans 7:24   O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

 Romans 7:25   I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (The life-long conflict between the inner man and the outer man, the spirit and the body). The two fold nature of every human.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Life is A Gift Which Must Be Returned To Him Who Gave It

I once visited a man in prison who was a convicted criminal with a heart condition. He told me that the 20 year sentence the judge imposed upon him was "a death sentence". I told him he already had a death sentence on him before the judge ever heard his case.

I also have a death sentence upon me ... and so do you. Everyone of us has been given an appointment, a day, hour and moment of death. "...It is appointed  unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb.9:27.

Far... far more important than dying is believing and living for Christ, which determines our eternal destiny  ... after our "appointment" with death.

It is not all of life to live or of death to die. Simply living, breathing, eating, sleeping, making a living, marrying and having children is not the primary purpose of life. We were created to love God with all of our hearts, minds and souls (Mk.12:30)... which means to "worship and serve Him" with our lives. And death is not an ending but a beginning of eternal life with God, or eternal death... separation from God

God, who created us and gave us life, also has a will and way for us to live ... and die.... "but after that the judgement". Yes, we will return our life to God who gave it for His judgement of our obedience to His word in Acts.16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...." and how we lived the life He gave us. Some will enter into eternal life with God and others into eternal death which is eternal separation from God. (Matt.25:34 & 41)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hardship, Trials And Pain Are An Education In Patient Endurance

".... We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope." Rom.5:3-4 

The word "tribulations" here is the Greek word "thlipsis" meaning the "pressure of afflictions" and speaks of hardships, trials, pain and loss. So these are the elements God uses to build "patience" in the Christian. This word, "patience" is the Greek word "hupomone" and means "patient endurance" or "perseverance".

The building of stronger muscles requires exposure to the pain of stretching and exercising those muscles. The building of greater knowledge requires the hard work of exposure of our minds to information. The building of patient endurance and lasting perseverance requires exposure to hardship, trials and afflictions. As God's word says, "Tribulation works patient endurance".

Impatience is a sure indication that this person hasn't been exposed to enough trials, tribulations, stress, pain and hardship. Those are the builders of patience.

When you go through those great difficulties and do not allow yourself to be changed for the better, to become more patient and able to endure, you have wasted the opportunity to grow into a more mature, balanced person. And that is a double tragedy, a double loss. You suffered ... but you didn't grow more Christlike.

If you are going through hard times of some kind, you will surely have even greater trials ahead and God is wanting to help you prepare for them. Lesser trials are like an inoculation of a weakened microbic disease bacterium which gives you a mild case of the disease to build up your immunity resistance to a full blown case of it.

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patienceBut let patience have her  perfect work, that ye may be perfect (whole) and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2-4. Suffering is always allowed of God and is an essential means of spiritual growth.

"Take .... the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patienceBehold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (endurance) of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." James 5:10-11. He allowed Job to be tested severely and brought him through it a better man.

"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." Col.1:10-11. Why? Because endurance keeps us walking the path of God's will and pleases Him.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Heb.12:1
Seeing the example set by our Lord and his prophets and disciples, let us lay aside heavy burdens and distractions and grow in faith and endurance that we might run life's race and never give up or quit God's calling.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Ultimate Symptoms And Prognosis Of A Terminal Nation

Official U.S. Government Tax Fraud 
in favor of illegal aliens is extensive 
and defended by the IRS and the 
Obama Administration.

The only question now is this. Are these kinds of symptoms due to Insanity, Ignorance, Indifference, Accident or Conspiracy? I have eliminated the first four and am convinced that the answer is a treasonous Conspiracy, within the heart of our own government. It cannot be remedied by Presidential or Congressional vote, at the ballot box, because the quisling majority of American voters are now on the government dole and will never cast another ballot for Constitutional freedoms. That only leaves three options for Constitutionalists and Christians, revolution, retreat or cowardess. The conspiracy actually goes far beyond the Presidency and Congress. It reaches around the entire world of nation power centers. Conspiracy to this global degree can only be  the design of God or Satan. Since God cannot sin (Heb.4:15) and does not tempt people to sin (Jm.1:13), the power behind these Conspirators has to be Satan. Only Satan has so much power to do evil and cause men to do what is being done on a global scale today. In our natural state, without Christ, people fall easily under the control of the "prince of the power of the air". "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the airthe spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Eph.2:2. The only restraint in this world now is the presence of the Holy Spirit who lives in true Christians. When the rapture takes place and Christians are caught up to heaven, the Holy Spirit goes with them and the world is left with Tribulation and without a witness until the two witnesses (Rev.11:3) reappear. "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (H.S.) who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way (rapture)." 2 Thess.2:7.

This from the Washington Times

IRS defends paying refunds to illegals who never filed taxes

The IRS is defending its decision to let illegal immigrants claim up to three years’ refunds on income even if they never paid income taxes, tellingCongress in a new letter last week that agency lawyers have concluded getting a Social Security number triggers the ability to go back and ask for previous refunds. President Obama’s new deportation amnesty could grant Social Security numbers to as many as 4 million illegal immigrants, making many of them eligible for tax refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit even for years when they cheated on their taxes, by working off the books and not filing tax returns.

Then there is this second example of IRS/illegal alien tax fraud.

This video is a preview, a small beginning of what Satan, through people, is capable of and will be doing during the Great Tribulation Period, after the rapture of Christians. RB

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Follow The Lord's Light By Night And His Arrow Of Deliverance By Day


When God's man, Moses, was sent to deliver God's people from slavery in Egypt, they followed Moses, as he followed 'the angel of God'who led them to the shores of the Red Sea ... where Pharaoh's army caught up to them to annihilate them. The people were sure Moses had led them into an Egyptian trap from which there was no escape. But God always provides a way of escape to do his will, where there seems to be no way (1 Cor.10:13). The darkest storm clouds are a fearsome black danger on the bottom, from the human view point, but are a brilliant glorious white on the top ... from God's view point. God had their back.
"And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them"And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these." Exodus 14:19-20. Never forget, if you are a Christian, that the same God who delivered His people Israel, is also your Father and you, His child. He has your back, your survival and your best interests in mind. You can rest in Him. He has a destination for you to pursue and a job for you to do,


The prophet Elisha, just before he died, told the desperate, besieged  king of Israel, how to defeat the Syrian enemy. He told him to open the east window and shoot an arrow toward Aphek, in the Syrian Desert, east of the Sea of Galilee. The king of Israel shot the arrow, but then showed little enthusiasm of courage and confidence, in his response to God's prophet ... to follow that arrow into the battle for deliverance. Had he followed "The arrow of the LORD's deliverance",
with stronger faith, he would have faired well. "And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance...." 2 Kings 13:17

Arrows Point the Way

All across the USA, Seventy-foot concrete arrows can be found in remote locations.

Follow them, and they’ll point you out of the desert.


They come courtesy of the US Postal Service’s Air Force and will point you all the way across the continental United States.


They were constructed in 1924 to guide postal planes in
the right direction as they carried mail from coast to coast.


These old planes couldn’t rely on radio as much at the
time, so they used these arrows, along with beacon towers, to navigate.



The arrows and beacons bisect the United States
from San Francisco to New York City.


The towers were 50 feet tall and fixed with gas lights
that could be seen from 10 miles away, in order to help
lost pilots find their way.
This is a model of the arrows and towers in their heyday.


World War II brought new advances in radio technology
that effectively made the towers and arrows system obsolete.
The towers were mostly dismantled.


There has been an effort to restore and preserve
some of them, however.
Like this one in New Mexico complete with its generator shack.



Follow God's arrow through the burning desert wastes, through the impossible trials of life, through the pains, sicknesses, discouragements, betrayals and fears of life's fight, and you will arrive at His destination for your flight.  RB