Thursday, July 30, 2015

Faith's Final Focus

If God is really real and
Heaven and Hell are final
If the Bible is truly by His hand
And He suffers no rude denial
What better use does our time demand
What lustful pursuit not vile?

So let us focus our faith on Jesus
While He is anxious now to teach us
Before the grasp of death doth seize us
Too late His loving heart to reach us.

Rayburn Blair at 84

Sunday, July 26, 2015

An Email From Our Youngest Son, Robert, On "The Called"

From: Robert Blair 
To: Dad  
Sent: Saturday, July 25, 2015 

Subject: Who are "the called" in scripture?

Hi Dad,  Romans 8:28 came up in my devotions this morning and it caused me to want to look into "the called" a bit including the Matthew 22:14 verse. I want to have a strong, logical and accurate position in the debate of "calling and predestination".  I have studied this many times but never compared the Matthew ref to the Romans ref.

Mt 22:14  "For many are called, but few are chosen."

"Called" is an invitation.  Many are invited to accept Christ as their Savior but "few" actually accept the invitation.  Many could refer to everyone because everyone would be many but more importantly Jesus promised in John 16:7-11 that when he went back to Heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to convict the world (every human being) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.  In addition, God has been revealing Himself to all men and women through His creation... from Adam & Eve to the present world population (Romans 1:20).  It is "clearly seen" for anyone who will take time to notice.

"Chosen" in Mt 22:14 are those who have accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord... they become the Chosen of God... Christians... His Children.

Another calling, invitation.

Romans 8:28-30 
28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
30 "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

In this portion of scripture, the "called" (Greek-kletos) in v 28 are the few of the many who are called and have accepted the invitation, therefore chosen of God and they have submitted to His purpose in their lives.  All things work together for their good.

In verse 30, the "called" (Greek-kaleo) who are apparently the few of the many who are called, but those who God knew, before they were born, would accept the invitation.  When they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they become "chosen", justified (declared righteous in God's eyes through Jesus' blood) and glorified (honored, praised, celebrated).

Finally, God would prefer that none perish... "but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9), that is why God "lighteth every man (human being) that cometh into the world" (John 1:9) with His true Divine Light.

Thanks dad
In your patience possess ye your souls. Luke 21:19

From: Rayburn Blair
To: Robert Blair
Subject: Who are "the called" in scripture

Thank YOU, my son, for sharing that with me and for your love of God's word.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Artificial Intelligence Expands The Power Of Knowledge... For Good Or Bad

The power of (AI), Artificial Intelligence, is the near limitless accumulation, precise manipulation, singular intellectualization and controlled dissemination of factual information ... for good or evil. This phenomenon was prophesied 534 years before the birth of Jesus. You should read the entire book of Daniel but especially the 12th chapter.

Daniel's amazing prophecy of the end times was concluded, by God, in the 12th and last chapter,  God told Daniel in 12:4 to "shut up" the prophecy "and seal the book even to the time of the end" when, He said, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."  It is obvious to me the book of Daniel is coming unsealed.and opening up right now. And yes, "In these end times ... knowledge shall be increased".  Neither Daniel nor anyone else understood the unbelievable extent unto which "Knowledge" would be increased "in the time of the end". It is becoming more clear every day that you and I are living in that "information age" which is also "the time of the end". We are seeing with our very own eyes Lucifer's conclusive, drive for fulfillment of his treasonous desire to be "like" God in omniscience (all knowledge) and to give men that same limitless knowledge. God quoted Lucifer's own ambitious words, to that effect, in Isa. 14:14 "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." That would include God's omnipotence (all power), His omnipresence (present everywhere) and His omniscience (all knowledge).

Because Lucifer lusted to dethrone God and BE GOD, he was cast out of heaven into the earth, to which he brought his darkness, having lost his Luz ... light and therefore "darkness was upon the face of the earth". Gen.1:2. Later God said, "Let there be light" and proceeded to create a world of things including the tree of life, and the "tree of knowledge of good and evil".  Then he made Adam and Eve. The first thing God told them was that they could eat any thing they desired including the tree of life. There was just one thing excluded and sequestered for God alone ... the tree of all knowledge, both good and bad. This was the very tree Lucifer lusted after and enticed Eve and then Adam to partake of since he, himself, was then in the form of a snake and couldnot eat fruit.

What was it, about the tree of knowledge, so appealing to Lucifer and humanity ?
Lucifer called God a liar and suggested that God was just greedy and stingy with His knowledge and didn't want to share His total knowledge or His Godhood with anyone else. "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (all the facets of knowledge)." Gen.3:5.

So what was God's response to people's lust to be their own gods with Godlike omniscience (all knowledge), and do whatever they desired with the knowledge and power to do it?  "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden ....." Gen.3:22-24. These verses tell us of Lucifer's and humanity's choice of "all knowledge, good and bad" over eternal life from the tree of life, which has become symbolic of the redemptive tree of Calvary upon which Jesus gave His life to purchase our forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

At Babel, it was the lust for human omnipresence (all humanity as one), human omnipotence (all powers united) and human omniscience (all knowledge) that motivated the human race, against God's will, to unite as one and thereby gain power to do as they pleased, consolidating all their individual knowledge and skill into a single united body or nation kingdom. They determined, by their own united presence, knowledge and power, to build, by their own hands, their own way to heaven, a stairway in the form of a tower from Babel up to Deity. Theirs was the sin of Lucifer , recorded in Isa.14:13-14, who 5 times in two verses said "I will" instead of, as Jesus prayed the night before His crucifixion,  "Not my will but thine be done".  So Lucifer and most of mankind still shout out in rebellion, "Not thy will but mine be done".

And so the sin of Lucifer has become the will and pride of the fleshly human heart. It is to seek and give others, as the highest compliment to fleshly ears, their desire for appearance (presence), influence (power) and education (knowledge). It was her vain need for these lofty, exalted attributes which motivated a crafty, intelligent woman of Tekoaho to approach King David to mislead him in a conspiracy. When the King discerned she was lying, she thought to appeal to his own vanity with her highest flattery and adulation. She eulogized King David,
"As an angel of God, so is my lord the King, to discern good and bad .... My lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth." 2 Sam.14 & 20. This highest form of deified flattery was born in the mind of Lucifer, a fallen "angel of God" who first yielded to its magnetic allurement and then passed it on to worldly men and women, including this woman of Tekoah. It is also often seen in the rich, famous and powerful as well as sociopaths of today.

So now, intelligent men have created a means of compounding knowledge, and are installing it in the brain cavity of robots. Though Artificial Intelligence is in its infancy, it already surpasses human intelligence in many ways and is rising rapidly.

Nevertheless, be it known that "knowledge", like truth, is neutral. A matter may be bad but the truth of a matter is always a good thing. So, a thing may be evil within itself, but the "knowledge" of the thing is always good. "Knowledge" implies truth and facts whether it concerns good or bad. It is not knowledge which is bad, but the thing it defines and who is using it in evil ways. RB

Exodus 31:3   "And I (the Lord) have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship." 

Isaiah 33:6   "And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation."

Prov. 1:22 "Fools hate knowledge."

Proverbs 10:14   'Wise men lay up knowledge".

Friday, July 10, 2015

Resist The Fury Of Satan's Attacks, Spiritually And Physically

Some Christians believe God does not want us to resist the devil, but to do nothing except pray in the face of vicious attacks and just leave it up to God. But God used His people throughout the Old Testament to physically fight and resist the powers of evil and taught us in the New Testament to "... Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7. "Resist" is not a pacifistic word. It is an action verb. When Jesus said He would build his church, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it", the primary emphasis here is not evil gates attacking the church but the church attacking the evil gates and the gates would "not "prevail". Matt.16:18. Gates defend positions and enclose or incarcerate people, they do not attack. Yes, I know, this is spiritual language describing spiritual warfare, but spiritual warfare regularly breaks out in physical warfare. And though it becomes physical, army against army, criminals against police or homeowner against home invader, it still has it's spiritual roots, cause and effect, evil against good and good against evil.

God's message to His people in Heb.12:4,  included the statement, "You have not yet resisted unto blood", which infers the likelihood that they shall resist unto blood when their resistance reaches it's zenith ... of physical wounds and even death.

"Giving tithes unto God", a spiritual act, doesn't mean throwing your money into heaven or placing it in the actual hand of God, but bringing it into the physical storehouse of God, His church, and putting it in physical leadership's hands and they into other people's physical hands, Likewise, the only way we can resist the devil is to resist temptation and sin, in our own flesh, and the evil actions of the wicked around us who visit their depraved actions upon others.  Yes, we must stay prayed up and maintain regular Bible study, but then we must take action by supporting society's "God ordained law enforcement" agencies (Gen.9:5-6). God reviewed that civil law decree, and it's enforcers, in Rom.13:4-6. But supporting law enforcement and military action is not the end of our personal responsibility to "resist the devil" and thereby put him to flight. Resistance sometimes includes the personal use of weapons against evil doers who physically attack us or those around us. Surely that is why Jesus told His Apostles to "buy some swords". The fact that two of those Apostles were already carrying swords says volumes. "Then said he unto them ...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy oneFor I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough." Luke 22:36-38. 

Now that, my friends, is physically "resisting" the devil and is authorized by Jesus Himself as a spiritual, physical action. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Locked Out, In, Up Or Down? Here Is The Key Combination To The Lock On Your Bondage Or Need

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you...." Matt.7:7. Here is a combination lock which requires three key, action words to "open unto you".  Those three words are, Ask, Seek and Knock. 

The first key word to the combination of this "lock" on your life is "Ask".
The very first thing we should do when confronted with a need, a crisis or a problem is to "ask" our Heavenly Father about it. He has all the answers and remedies to every question and problem which might arise in our lives. So first go to God in prayer and "ask" for His wisdom, strength, leadership and help in your  deliverance and freedom from physical, mental or spiritual bondage. You might also "ask" the most spiritual person you know, not who talks it but walks it, for their advice and prayer concerning this problem.

The second turn of the combination is to "seek" an answer to your need in God's word, the Holy Bible, where He answers all of the serious questions of life. The scriptures contain the keys to the kingdom of God and the combination to every evil lock which Satan may chain us up with. That is why we are admonished, in scripture, to  "search the scriptures" Jn.5:39 and to "study to show ourselves approved unto God ... rightly dividing the word of truth...." 2Tim.2:15. It is only through searching and studying the Bible that we store up in our memories certain verses and phrases which will come to mind when needed.  If you can't find an answer to your question there, if your need is legal, medical or some other secular thing, "seek" out an expert in that field or "seek" an answer online where any physical, financial or legal information can be found ... or "seek" out other sources of expert advice.

If you still do not have an answer you have peace about, "knock" on God's door and leave that need or problem with Him and rest it there. You can trust God to always do what is right and best for you and everyone involved. A verse I have rested in for many years is Colossians 3:15 ..."And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called ... and be ye thankful."

This verse simply says that after you have prayed about a need, searched God's word for an answer and sought out spiritual  and expert advice, and still do not know what to do, give it to God until He gives you peace about what to do. The word "rule" in this verse has a meaning similar to "umpire". In other words, "Let the peace of God umpire the decision". Don't make the decision until you have peace in your heart about it .... But after the decision is made, by faith, rest in the fact you made the right decision and spend the rest of your life making it work. Then be thankful for God's gift of "peace" concerning the matter. RB

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It's Me, It's Me O Lord

In a world of irresponsibility,
"I" must be my first responsibility.

In a world of uninformed judgement,
I must be the object of my first judgement.

In a world of half truths and lies,
I must be true to myself and others. 

In a world of indifference toward God,
His view of me must be my primary concern. RB

In the words of the old African American spiritual,

Not my brother, nor my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer;
It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer; RB

Not the preacher, nor the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer;
It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer;

Not my father, nor my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer;
It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer;