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Psalms 89 – God’s Loyalty To His Children (Hesed)

4 Apr

bible-and-candle_1043_1024x768

Note: This is a condensed revised version of just one aspect of the Hebrew word hesed, perhaps the greatest word in all of the Hebrew Testament.

Psalms 89:1  “I will sing of the mercies (hesed) of the LORD forever: with my mouth will I make known your faithfulness to all generations.”

Since my last blog was disturbing… (even to me) I have decided to write something really nice.  The Hebrew word hesed is to me one of the greatest words in all the Old Testament… so much so that for years I have been unable to publish even one iota of my research on this word as it is so important and valuable, even to me.  It is a type of how Jesus treats his church.  The word hesed is so beautiful, that even the demons tremble at the sound of it, as it is God’s covenant between heaven and earth… the whole Bible summed up in one word, it is the most beautiful word in all of Hebrew.  This will just be an introduction to my favorite word in all the Bible as it is so important to me.  Let us begin.

As we can see in the scripture above, the angels sing over God’s creation.  The scripture says, I will sing.  If we can sing and we are made in the image of God, than for sure the angels, who are more beautiful than anything God has ever created on this earth (besides women of course) also have a right to sing when they are pleased with faithful stewards of God’s creation, namely people both men and women.  God gave Adam the right to choose between Good and Evil and he failed… it was eve the woman who had to pick him back up again after such a terrible fall, at least emotionally.  Thus sex began again, this time outside the garden and man was told by God that it was his responsibility to work to provide for his offspring.  Adam failed, Jesus shed his blood and now the story goes on and on about how much we love God.  There is more to the story but for the sake of my readers, I will move on.  (For more on this wonderful story please see note 1.)

042709-1750-1.pngFigure 1

As you can see from the drawing above, the Hebrew word Hesed is a beautiful word.  You can see it branch out in the English language as all of the words in the above diagram.  Can you spot the most important word?  It is the one in purple!  The color of majesty!  God always keeps his covenant with his faithful… that is beyond question!  So basically, you can replace the word Hesed with God’s love!  Hesed is the deepest expression of God’s love and thus is the reason why the Lord asked me to wait to write this one.  I needed to see something in real life to know that God does keep his covenant as I was saved at a very early age.  Some Christians barely get in, others God says no.  You can go to church all your life, be a good person and still miss what matters most – God’s heart.  Thank you to that wonderful pastor in seminary school who sent me his email that thoroughly defined the word.  His website will be listed at the bottom of this post.  I highly recommend you read his work… it is delicious food to feed the hungry.  We have been friends online for years now and he occasionally sends me some of his writings for me to review and expound on.  He is truly a man of God and a man of holy communion and of course, prayer.  Thank you pastor for making my life complete!  He is a true friend.

 Medieval-Hebrew-Manuscript

Hesed in the reason why I became a true believer of the Jewish Bible.  It is the only word that actually makes the Bible complete; for without God’s love, we would all be lost souls looking for a savior.  Hesed can be seen in about every instance of the Bible for it is God’s mercy for mankind.  God expects us to keep our covenant of love with Him, and in exchange He rewards us with unlimited mercy for our many sins.  I am writing this way because God showed me at some point the very sins you consider minor become a major problem the longer we walk with God.  For example, most Christians in America won’t steal, won’t lie, but they keep money in their fat wallets while hungry people suffer all around the globe.  Not good for those false Christians!  What is communion but a chance to start over again with God’s creation?  God gave Adam the responsibility of taking care of the animals in the garden, watering the garden, etc.  When he broke covenant with God, Satan took over and now look what we have here on earth.  Terrible people do terrible things… you ever wonder why?  Satan may come as an angel of light to some people but to others they call him a father too.  What a terrible decision not to go all the way with God.  The Bible tells us that all men have free choice to serve God, but eventually their time runs out and then Satan, laughing claims them for his own.  Women can be this way too, but generally the men are the masters of their own home and thus pay a higher penalty for what they allow especially on television and in the private home computers, especially in front of other people… never mind God!

 042709-1750-2.pngFig.2 (Please see note 2)

Please allow me, my faithful friends and defenders of all that is holy to continue this at a later time… rest in sweet eternal bliss… my dear friend and fellow lover of truth… Robert Chupick (1930-2015)

Note 1: This is just one interpretation… A far stretch albeit… but worth the read, I’m sure!  I was thinking about the Garden of Eden while I was suffering a few years ago… the results are wonderful and I believe faithful to the scriptures that we have for us to learn about Jesus today.  Adam was so in love with his soul mate that he intentionally ate the fruit… choosing his wife over Yahweh.  Which of course Yahweh already knew about and was already prepared for.  A lamb was already being prepared already to cover his sin… Perhaps Eve desired Adam in the Garden and until this point sex was something that was not yet invented… so to speak… Maybe not, but this is one view.  Was it God’s plan at that particular moment in time to let them see each other naked… but without sex… as the angels covered their every move?  This we do not know for sure.  Once Adam made his decision to eat the fruit which I believe contained the only poison in the garden – (a type of fermented fruit perhaps) he got a little tipsy and wound tying the knot with his beautiful lover and soul mate.  Know where in the Bible is it ever recorded that God married Eve to Adam (or vice versa) but God obviously planned it and thus their union was blessed.  Even the serpent played into God’s hand by seducing eve to try the fruit… as sex was God’s idea in the first place (be fruitful and multiply) and something the angels never ever even think about doing… the fallen ones are a different story and are considered in this day and age haters of man and demons… or aliens… which ever you prefer.

 jesus saying

Note 2.  Now that you see a true Hebrew diagram… the donate button Jesus has never wanted on this blog till now… if anyone can afford me a new/used computer please feel free to contact me via email or whatever… thank you so much for your friendship in expanding the wonderful language of our Risen Savior… Sincerely, your faithful steward in the Lord, John Mark Butzu.

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What is a Scorner?

10 Feb

I was researching this word because of my kid brother who thinks he knows more about God than me… to begin, he is half my age (first mistake)… and yes I do love him, albeit at this time from far away… He jumps in and out of Christianity yet wants to tell me how good Jesus is… Brother, if you know how good God is and brag about everyone one on Sunday and then want to have sex the next with a prostitute how good is God really?  You don’t even love yourself kiddo… Anyway… here is my study on scorners in the Bible… and yes he probably forgot years ago about my website so not to offend my readers… Thanks, John

Scorner: Strongs# 3887 /
Interpret : AHLB# 1271

According to Strong’s dictionary, a scorner (one who scorns God’s most basic teachings) is someone that in the Hebrew makes mouths at.  See… that is why you cannot rely on an English translation alone… what on planet earth does it mean to make mouths at?  Let us continue…

In Hebrew, there are three letters that make up the word scorner… an L, a V, and a TZ, sound… which is pronounced with a pause between the two letters as in the Hebrew word Tsadeik, (Tsaw deek)  almost like an s… (the t is almost silent it happens so fast).  Let us examine each of these letters carefully.

The first letter, the L is the Hebrew letter Lamed.  It means to teach or to learn.

The second letter is the Hebrew letter Vav (from where we get our letter V).  This is an interesting letter in Hebrew.  The letter Vav is shaped like a man whose head is reaching up at heaven… now for the bad news… it can be a sign of pure joy or mockery… for one can easily mock God’s creation.  The letter also means Ray of light and a pillar …of truth!  The opposite if that is a proud stubborn heart that refuses to yield to the teachings of the Torah (or Bible… whichever you prefer).

The third letter is the Hebrew word Tsadik.  It can mean righteous or unrighteous one…

In Hebrew synagogues… you will hear taught that the Lamed (our letter “L”) as representing “the contemplation of the heart.”  (By the way, in case you didn’t know even the shape of the ancient Hebrew letters had great significance).  The Lamed is shaped like a shepherd’s staff (remember, in the Bible times and even today… shepherd’s are considered very important… one in the physical (old) and one in the new (spiritual).  God showed me the mystery of the Bible… it is the sane idea… but that is another lesson… audio commentary coming soon!)…  Anyway, a shepherd’s staff can either guide or protect (thanks to Jeff Benner for all your help!) or be used as an instrument of punishment… thus the reverse in Hebrew (in case you were wondering).  Therefore, it can be used to guide or pull or punish the sheep… interesting, yes?

Going back to our word “scorn”… a scorner is one who makes mouths at (ie. to laugh at) God’s Word.  They know the truth but refuse to act in a way that strips them of all privileges of being one of God’s chosen peoples.  Thus, a scorner is one who understands (teach/ lamed) God’s holy word (Torah), but ultimately with time hardens his heart and rejects it (like Cain) and becomes proud in his or her own imagination.  (Thus the letter V)  He is altogether unrighteous!

The End!

Jesus Will Always Make It Up To You

8 Feb

Note: This post is about one thing – being rich in God.

Have you ever failed God or thought you did?  Do you trust him completely?  Many times one little mistake, one insecurity, one inconsistency can be the difference between success and failure; especially when it comes to people and their salvation.  One inconsideration, one day of being tired and overwhelmed can in my line of work can lead to trouble.  This can be true in construction as well as in real life.  Many people are so overwhelmed by this life’s trials that they tend to forget the greatest testimony a person can have is being able to trust God completely and to always remember to thank him for everything that he allows to come into our lives.  The good news is that Jesus really does care.  Even in death, which is the final test for many God obviously has mercy.  We do not know for instance, what a person in a coma is praying about – for many it could be their own salvation.  Yet, we do know one thing for certain – not everyone loves God in real life.  In Romans chapter 1:18-25  we read:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Christian in some parts of the world are persecuted (see here) just for being Christians.  That in itself should get you to think.  In America where I live we have a whole bunch of freedom.  Freedom to choose between right and wrong, even for such choices as abortion.  Yet we are taught never to condemn the sinner, who without the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ choose to live in a way foreign to God’s perfect desire at that given moment in their life.  Haven’t we all messed up before – have we ever missed the mark – even as good Christians?  Not that I ever condone murder, and never have but in my line of work you must believe that everyone has a right to be saved.  It is God’s greatest desire.

As Christians, we must prepare for the future.  Some take this matter to heart but only for their own earthly good.  Thus, we now have some pastors running around telling their people to stockpile guns, ammo, food you name it – hoarding is what I call it.  It is always wise to be prepared – but to what extent?  Do you not remember what Jesus said about the man who hoarded his possessions in a barn instead of being concerned about others needs?  Let’s review a passage in Luke 12 for those who are young in Christ as for well as for Christians who do not take their Bible’s seriously.  We will start in verse 16.  The scriptures say:

“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

The bottom line is that we will all be judged for what we do in this life – not for what we become in the worlds eyes (thus living by its standards), but for what we become through the eyes of Christ Jesus.  Have we learned to trust Christ daily, as laid out for us by holy women and men of God, who in the early church lost so much to follow the one they called Lord and Messiah?  Let us stop and remember dear old Matthew in the Bible my brethren.  What does our scriptures say happened when he found Christ?  The Bible clearly says that he left his old life and found a new one.  Repentance is say about Jesus called it.  No matter how hard we try, there is always more that we could do for Christ.

Thank you to all my readers all over the world.., may Jesus bless and keep you in the coming days ahead… Rest in Christ… John

Note: I am not against any sin more than another – take abortion – what done is done… i can not condone abortion as a last option for struggling moms and other life threatening situations… but whole hardheartedly share in their sorrow for having to give up a child they love down deep inside…  I am not against abortion – as much as I am wasted lives… I know this may sound bad but did Jesus condemn the woman at the well?  No, he merely pointed out where she was wrong (her sins) and then gave her the wonderful opportunity to start again… never to bring up her past pain to harm or abuse her or make her feel left out.  If more pastors led their flock by example i would have no need to write such terrible things…lol

Note: this is a rough draft that was saved on my computer for well over a year now… I hope the editing is okay… love John

Psalms 1:1 – An In Depth Hebrew Word Study

13 May

Note: I have tried to incorporate a Hebrew font into my WordPress theme but at this time I cannot figure out how or know if it is even possible.  I would like to try to make a pdf file for this post where I can use real Hebrew letters and thus expound more into the particulars of the Hebrew language but do not see that happening at this time.  I apologize in advance for any errors.

 Sincerely, John.

Psalms 1:1  (Please see note 1)

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Psalms 1:1  (Translation)

Happy [a] are those [b] who are boldly able to enter into God’s presence, who choose not to model their lives after those who are not walking on the right path! [c]  They do not form close friendships with those who habitually sin, nor do they purposely spend their free time in the homes of those who make fun of God’s laws.   

Introduction:

Psalms one is a wisdom Psalm (see note 2)  teaching us what God expects of us if we are to enter fully into his divine and holy presence.  “As Perowne has observed: in form (Psalms One) is little more than the expansion of a proverb” (see note 3).  It is believed by some that King Solomon wrote this psalm as an introduction to his father’s writings as it was not uncommon for a son “to gather the writings of his father” (again see note 3).

Note: I have taken a great deal of time in going by word by word through each word in this Psalm… verse 1 is finally complete!  Hope you enjoy it and may God richly bless you.

Verse 1: Blessed is the man (or woman)…

 Blessed –  The Hebrew word here for blessed is “esher” (eh-sher) which literally means “happy is the one who walks the straight path” (AHLB)(4).  This can only be done by a rich study of God’s word and communion with the Holy Spirit.  Many Christians feel that they can loosely take God’s precious word for granted, come into his presence on Sunday and there receive a rich blessing.  Not so!  Believers must walk a straight path before the Lord if they want their lives to be fruitful and truly blessed.(5)

Man –  The word here for man is “iysh” (eesh) and can be translated as mankind or steward.  God is not unjust and neither were the writers of the Psalms.  He loves all of his creation equally, and each of us are assigned a special place in his eternal and glorious kingdom.  Thus you should be able to put your mind to rest (for all you women out there) that this Psalm was meant only for men.  I personally choose the translation “steward,” as each of us as believers are called to be stewards of God’s holy word.

That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…

Walketh –  The Hebrew word for walk is halak (haw-lak) which basically means to walk a certain way along life’s journey (AHLB).  A great example of halak in connection to this verse can be seen in Genesis 17:1 where God tells Abraham “I am the Almighty God; walk (halak) before me, and be thou perfect.”  Obviously God is not telling Abraham to physically walk before him (that would be ridiculous) but to continue spiritually to direct his life in such a way so that he will receive all that God had promised to him.  The Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary translates this word as ‘behave’.  This is also good, but behave is an abstract term and we are talking ancient Biblical Hebrew here, not modern day English or even Greek!  Thus we will stick with the first definition – to walk in a particular way along life’s journey.   This is the basic meaning of halak.

Counsel –  The Hebrew word for counsel is ‘etsah’ (ay-tsaw) and comes from the root word ya’ats (yaw-ats) which means to advise or to counsel, receive plans from or purpose.

Ungodly – Hebrew word here is rasha’ (raw-shaw) which means “one who has departed from the correct path (AHLB)… thus to be or to do wrong (hence morally wrong) (strong’s def).

Nor standeth in the way of sinners…

Standeth – Translators used many words to portray this one Hebrew word “amad” (aw-mad).  The Hebrew word amad can be found in scripture in the KJV as stand, stay, stood, set, withstand, continue, endure, appoint, present, remain, endure… the list goes on and on.  This word can be tricky.  As you can see from the words given, ‘amad’ can take on many different meanings, but thanks once again to the AHLB (please see note 5) I have found a very simple answer to solidify this passage of scripture for me.  The original concrete meaning of the word amad is that of a pillar.  This is where we get the idea to stand, be strong with, endure, remain, etc.  Thus, we get the picture from amad as God’s warning to the pious not to stand strong with or form pillars with someone who refuses to believe the truth.  In 2 Corinthians 6:17 the Bible says: “Come out from among them, be separate and clean and I will receive you.  Two verses before we find – “Do not be unequally yoked with those who resist the truth”(please see note 6).  In other words, be strong and do not form pillars of friendship with the unsaved where you are not the stronger vessel.  This is what I learned from amad!

Way – The Hebrew word for way is derek (deh-rek) and concretely means “a road” and by implication “a way of life”.  It comes from the root word darak  (daw-rak) which means to take a step (AHLB) and also “to tread.”  This word implies a journey, manner, custom, conduct, etc and is used often in scripture.

Sinners – The Hebrew word chatta’ (khat-taw) basically means criminal or one who is found guilty and comes from the root word chata’ (khaw-taw) where we find the word the english word “sin” – or one who has missed the mark.  A hardened criminal usually does not have remorse for the things he has done and that is what makes him all the more guilty in God’s eyes, thus once again missing the mark.

Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful…

Sitteth – This is why I study Hebrew!  The word is yashab (yaw-shab) which means to dwell, to marry, etc.  Translators used the english word “sit” but this word lacks so much as to the picture of what the psalmist is actually saying.  God’s word is precious and thus every letter, every word must be examined for clarification, meaning, interpretation, etc.  The overall picture of this word implies one of resting in a particular place for an extended period of time.  Thus, it is not to merely “sit” but to dwell, abide, interact with… that is the beauty of knowing the Hebrew language!

Seat – The Hebrew word for seat is mowshab (mo-shawb) whose root has the concrete meaning of a dwelling place.  Its root is the word yashab, the word right above.

Scornful – The word here is luwts (loots) and is made up of only two Hebrew letters.  The first letter is lamed which is a picture of a staff and thus is a symbol of authority, namely God’s.  It also is a representation of the human tongue.  The second letter is tsadik and is a picture of a man laying on his side which represents trouble (AHLB).  Thus, it is easy to draw the conclusion by combining these two letters that the word luwts describes a man who is fighting God’s authority.  Another example of why I love Hebrew!

Happy [a] are those [b] who are boldly able to enter into God’s presence, who choose not to model their lives after those who are not walking on the right path! [c]  They do not form close friendships with those who habitually sin, nor do they purposely spend their free time in the homes of those who make fun of God’s laws.   


Notes on Word Study:

1) Psalms One is also a Torah Psalm (as is Psalms 19 and 119) as its emphasis is placed on the man who delights in the Torah or Law of the Adonai.

2) Taken from a Study By Bob Deffinbaugh entitled: A Psalm for All Seasons: Studies in the Book of Psalms

3) Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible by Jeff Benner

4) The Septuagint or LXX translates this word esher (blessed) as “makarios.”  We find the word in the New Testament many times, most notably perhaps in the Beatitudes.

5)

To learn more about Jeff Benner and his amazing research and studies please visit the Ancient Hebrew Research Center’s website.  Jeff’s work and dedication to the Hebrew Text is an invaluable source of wisdom to me.  You can find more about this man and his wonderful family by clicking here.

6) In the KJV the term is “unbelievers”

Commentary for Bible Translation:

a) or those who are truly able to enter into God’s presence

b) anyone who is called to be a steward of God’s word

c) they themselves being led astray

 

Trusting God When Everything In Your Life Seems to Be Going Wrong

13 Apr

Have you ever prayed for something and nothing turned out the way you expected?  Perhaps you failed God during a time of testing (or thought you did) or someone that you trusted and shared your soul with let you down and you feel like it is all your fault. Many Christians experience such pain that at times it is almost impossible to see God’s purposes or plans because of all the heartache that this world can bring; not to mention sin, negative thinking or other worldly passions and strongholds.  Many cannot see themselves as anything but “losers” in God’s kingdom despite Jesus’ promises that He loves us and that He alone holds our future in the palm of his mighty hand.  He alone is the one who will bring us through to greener pastures when the time is right – the only thing he asks of us is that we trust Him with everything that is within us – as this is our first duty as believers in the goodness and grace of Almighty God.

Many Christians struggle with feelings of guilt or betrayal from a spouse, loved one, or co-worker and you mistake these feelings as God’s punishment for a life half lived for his glory.  You beat yourself up and thus negate the grace and love of the Father.  God knew beforehand what you would do and knew before we were born all of our weaknesses and disappointments that we would encounter along life’s journey.  Don’t you dare let the devil lie to you – telling you that you are worthless or a disappointment to God – he does this because he is afraid of you because you are a child of God and greatly loved!  The devil knows how to get each one of us in our minds, telling us if only we had done this right or that then we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now in.  I have had to on more than one occasion decide that our life down here is too short to live with constant feelings of sorrow, depression and regret – as each one of us are needed as believers to do our share to advance Jesus’ kingdom of peace and goodwill to all mankind.  Don’t let the devil lie to you any longer – put down your idols and turn to God!  He alone will help you succeed in all that you do, if only you will trust Him completely for He loves you!

As bad as things may be right now (and trust me America in particular is headed for a tough time in the days ahead) we still serve a God that loves to bless his children with his very best – despite sin, failure and misaligned feelings with his holy and sovereign will.  Many saints throughout the ages have had to endure times of bitter testing – especially when praying for someone or something that is dear to their heart and mind.  I have been praying in particular for someone I love very much for sometime that God would touch their heart and yet I see so little fruit that at times I feel frustrated, confused, disappointed, etc.  Praying for someone can be discouraging especially when you know God has called you to be an intercessor –  especially if we look at the circumstances and not at the Creator of our lives.  If God has called you to pray – then don’t give up!  We have a God that loves to make the miraculous happen – just look at Moses and the Red Sea (see note 1)!  All it takes is for one person to stand in the gap and miracles can happen in and through our lives.  This is what has been on my heart today.

May God Bless you.

John

Note 1:  God did all of this (the parting of the Red Sea, etc) through one man even though he was a murderer when he was young.  Don’t let the devil lie to you saying that you are no good and/or worthless to God – that is one of his best tricks.  God loves you and needs you to be strong for His name’s sake.  So go with God – he has given you the victory and every blessing that you need to live a life pleasing to Him!

Take care and God bless,

John

Finally – Someone who thinks like I do!

8 Sep

Here is a copy from an article out of esquire (links at bottom of the page) – hope you all enjoy!

What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?

This radical Christian’s ministry for the poor, The Simple Way, has gotten him in some trouble with his fellow Evangelicals. We asked him to address those who don’t believe.

By Shane Claiborne

“To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.

Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.

The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn’s Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. He wasn’t quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don’t know Jesus.

Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, “God is not a monster.” Maybe next time I will.

The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)

The Bible that I read says that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it… it was because “God so loved the world.” That is the God I know, and I long for others to know. I did not choose to devote my life to Jesus because I was scared to death of hell or because I wanted crowns in heaven… but because he is good. For those of you who are on a sincere spiritual journey, I hope that you do not reject Christ because of Christians. We have always been a messed-up bunch, and somehow God has survived the embarrassing things we do in His name. At the core of our “Gospel” is the message that Jesus came “not [for] the healthy… but the sick.” And if you choose Jesus, may it not be simply because of a fear of hell or hope for mansions in heaven.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in the afterlife, but too often all the church has done is promise the world that there is life after death and use it as a ticket to ignore the hells around us. I am convinced that the Christian Gospel has as much to do with this life as the next, and that the message of that Gospel is not just about going up when we die but about bringing God’s Kingdom down. It was Jesus who taught us to pray that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” On earth.

One of Jesus’ most scandalous stories is the story of the Good Samaritan. As sentimental as we may have made it, the original story was about a man who gets beat up and left on the side of the road. A priest passes by. A Levite, the quintessential religious guy, also passes by on the other side (perhaps late for a meeting at church). And then comes the Samaritan… you can almost imagine a snicker in the Jewish crowd. Jews did not talk to Samaritans, or even walk through Samaria. But the Samaritan stops and takes care of the guy in the ditch and is lifted up as the hero of the story. I’m sure some of the listeners were ticked. According to the religious elite, Samaritans did not keep the right rules, and they did not have sound doctrine… but Jesus shows that true faith has to work itself out in a way that is Good News to the most bruised and broken person lying in the ditch.

It is so simple, but the pious forget this lesson constantly. God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute. In fact the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David… at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again.

After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: “The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you.” And we wonder what got him killed?

I have a friend in the UK who talks about “dirty theology” — that we have a God who is always using dirt to bring life and healing and redemption, a God who shows up in the most unlikely and scandalous ways. After all, the whole story begins with God reaching down from heaven, picking up some dirt, and breathing life into it. At one point, Jesus takes some mud, spits in it, and wipes it on a blind man’s eyes to heal him. (The priests and producers of anointing oil were not happy that day.)

In fact, the entire story of Jesus is about a God who did not just want to stay “out there” but who moves into the neighborhood, a neighborhood where folks said, “Nothing good could come.” It is this Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and rabble-rouser for hanging out with all of society’s rejects, and who died on the imperial cross of Rome reserved for bandits and failed messiahs. This is why the triumph over the cross was a triumph over everything ugly we do to ourselves and to others. It is the final promise that love wins.

It is this Jesus who was born in a stank manger in the middle of a genocide. That is the God that we are just as likely to find in the streets as in the sanctuary, who can redeem revolutionaries and tax collectors, the oppressed and the oppressors… a God who is saving some of us from the ghettos of poverty, and some of us from the ghettos of wealth.

In closing, to those who have closed the door on religion — I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, “I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you.” If those of us who believe in God do not believe God’s grace is big enough to save the whole world… well, we should at least pray that it is.

Your brother,

Shane

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/features/best-and-brightest-2009/shane-claiborne-1209#ixzz25uVEt38u

Luke 15:1-2 Jesus and the Unsaved – Updated!

23 Aug

“Then drew near unto him (Jesus) all the publicans and sinners to listen to the words of Yahweh.  And the pharisees and scribes (or religious teachers) murmured, saying, “This man loves (or receives)  sinners and eats with them.”  Luke 15:1-2  (A Mixed Translation)

In these our modern times, not much has changed in the two thousand years its been since Jesus (or Yahweh – as that is his rightful name) lived among us.  I have been in many churches that (as unbelievable as it is) wants absolutely nothing to do with sinners – or those outside the church.  “Oh, they might mess up the carpet, or steal our sound equipment.”  What terrible fools and betrayers of God’s holy words!  Jesus himself said “love your enemies, pray for them which despitefully use you and yes even persecute you.  I am in no way implying that we should allow an obvious threat to be among our children – but in this day and age (and especially in America) Christians value their love for entertainment, safety and pleasure more than they do the things of God!

Going back to the scripture at hand: Jesus hates the sin of self righteousness above all others, because Christians already have God’s approval and blessings and are commanded to love who are in our estimation – unlovable.  The greatest sin for a true born again believer is the sin of pride and of selfishness – as we have so much to be grateful for!  Those of us who live in a free and prosperous nation do not have to worry much about where our next meal is coming from, or where we will get the money to pay items such as basic health care.  Jesus condemned (better yet damned -a very strong word – see note 1) the hypocrites of his day time and time again with a holy and violent passion.  His whole life was that of reaching out to the undeserving and the less fortunate!  He hated the fact that those that knew the Torah (or Old Testament) the most chose to keep what they thought believed was the “divine word” all to themselves.  Thus, when Jesus (the Living Word) walked among them, they were afraid.  Jesus himself said in so many words that he came “not to win the self righteous (those who in their own estimation deserved the blessings of the one true God) but those that knew in their heart that they needed and were drawn to gentle and loving Savior.”

What an awful place it will be on the judgement day when those who once enjoyed the blessings of our Christ are exposed as false teachers and haters of his most beloved creation – people.  What wailing and weeping there will be for those that throughout their whole life chose to harshly and coldly condemn all of mankind (especially blatant sinners), rather that trying to extend themselves to help save.

Listen to what Rambam’s Mishneh-Torah (a Jewish Commentary written in 1178 by Moses Maimonides – a great Jewish philosopher and lover of the Torah) has to say about sinners who repent.  This is in direct relation to our wonderful passage in Luke 15.  Rambam’s Mishneh reads [concerning Jews who wish to repent] “Let not the Jew who repents/returns to [Orthodox] Judaism suppose that because of the iniquities and sins that he has committed he is kept at a distance from the level attained by righteous men.  It isn’t so.  He is loved as tenderly by the Creator as if he had never sinned.  Not only that, his reward is great, since he experienced the taste of sin and nevertheless rid himself of it by conquering his yetzer (or evil impulse).  The sages (or wise men) said, ‘Where the ba ‘al-t’ shuvah (or Jew who repents) stands, the completely righteous man cannot stand’ (B’ rakhot 34b).  That is, the level attained by the ba ‘al-t’ shuvah [Jew who repents] is higher than that of someone who never sinned at all, because the former had to strive harder to subdue the yetzer than the latter.”

I love this commentary because it embraces what we as Christians know to be true and what Jesus Christ himself said earlier in Luke 7:47: “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little, loves little.” (NIV)  This Jesus spoke of the former prostitute Mary Magdalene, of which he entirely forgave.

Summary:  What a terrible day it will be for hypocritical, self righteous Christians who refused to lend a hand to those who are in need and who knew God’s word and thoughts on topics such as love and forgiveness when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ!  Jesus paved the way for us by setting a wonderful example as recorded in Luke 15 by gladly welcoming sinners and even eating with them.  How often do you as a Christian make a habit of eating a meal with a complete stranger, who you know is not on the right pathway to eternal salvation?  In this day an age, many people outside the church relish in body art (tattoos), radical haircuts and body piercings.  I myself to this day wear my hair different than anyone else I know in the church because to me it is not a sin.  In fact, it is an evangelistic effort!  This particular style of hair (a short, but readily identifiable mohawk) allows me easier access to those who are offended by typical western holy dress: -namely the three piece suit and ever so perfectly tied tie.  Though the outward dress may offend you, we must be ever so loving toward people as Jesus so desperately wants our generation to know that they are loved -regardless of what they look like or no matter how many bad things they have done.  He hung on a cross between two thieves, after being brutally beaten just to show his love for all of mankind.  He was numbered with the transgressors and chose to touch during his earthly ministry the unlovely, the tax collector and the transgressor.  God help us as Christians to be ever so careful with those whom the Lord allows us to come in contact with!  You might never know when you might see Jesus staring right back at you smiling as you reach out to touch someone else in order to ease their pain.  I try to find Christ in everyone I meet – regardless of their outward appearance or social status.  Don’t even get me started on race!

John

Notes:

1.  (coming soon)

The Sermon on the Mount (Part One)

21 Aug

The Sermon on the Mount

A Note to the Reader...

It is highly advised to follow the notes and not to skip them as I have spent much time in preparing them.  They in essence are the framework and contain many of the justifications from which these but rough points have been attained.  This is just a preview of the work I have been working on for years and is finally coming to the surface.  This study, in its entirety will be published as a “page” on the sidebar of this website when it is completed.  Until then, every verse will receive its own post and new notes will be added keeping the current numbering system.  Some places will be left blank (as can be seen in this first post) as often there is more that I would like to write but can’t (for some particular reason or another).  This is unfortunate but necessary, mainly due to some taxing, yet irreversible time restrictions and other such limitations (often self-imposed), such as how much I can type at one time without getting sick and other weaknesses of the human experience.  Thank you for your time, thoughtfulness and comments in advance, and may God richly bless you.

John Mark Butzu

Verse One:

“Now having seen the crowds, He went up into the mountain, and after He had sat down, His disciples came to Him.”  (Analytical Literal Bible Translation)

This is a very interesting verse.  The first part of this passage reads: “Now having seen the crowds…”  (please see note 1).  As a pastor, the first thing I would have wanted to do if I saw crowds would be to run to them and proclaim the good news.  But Jesus had another thought in mind.

  • “He went up into the mountain.”

Scripture indicates that Jesus often went up into a mountain to be alone.  This was his customary experience since he was of age to be alone with the heavenly Father.  It really didn’t matter where he went to pray, but for sure mountains were a very real and logical place for holy men and women of God to go and commune with the one that they loved and wanted to be around.  Moses and Elijah are just two of the many wonderful examples of such people who the Bible actually records that chose to pray a safe distance away from the people they were destined to rule over (at least in the spirit) on the sides or tops of such places.  What better way for a prophet or watchman to get alone with God than to sit on the beautiful mountainous landscapes of Palestine that overlooked the beauty of God’s wonderful creation and pray of his or her people.  This interpretation /suggestion/nuance is often overlooked and skipped over when read but is in my estimation crucial to the text of Matthew 5-8, otherwise known as the Sermon on the Mount.

  • Next:  It was only after he was “ready” (or “set” KJV)  that his disciples came to him.  (please see note 2)

This also I found to be very interesting especially in light of the comment above.  Let me quote from the Jewish New Testament Commentary of which I am a huge fan:  “The English word “disciple” fails to convey the richness of a relationship between a rabbi and his “talmidim” (please see note 3).  These followers, or talmidim “wholeheartedly gave themselves over to their teachers (though not in a mindless way, as happens today in some cults).  The essence of the relationship was one of trust in every area of living, and its goal was to make the “talmid” (see note 4) like his rabbi [in this case Jesus] (please see note 5) in knowledge, wisdom and ethical behavior.”  Sometime we just have to go back to the original language folks!

Notes:

  1. All scripture has been carefully selected.  Unless otherwise indicated, all Biblical quotations been taken from the Analytical Literal Translation Bible.
  2. The Greek word for “set”  is “kathazo” and means much more than to just sit down.  I believe that Jesus needed the space to be able to pray away from his disciples and to recharge his natural energies as well as his spirit before delivering one of the greatest sermons ever preached.  Allthough Jesus was God, he became a man for our sakes, and thus needed to pray like anyone else.
  3. “Talmidim” is the Hebrew word for disciple.
  4. “Talmid” is the plural form of Talmidim, above.
  5. Brackets (hence [, ])  have been used to add my own thoughts within a direct quotation.

Jesus Take The Pain

21 Aug

Do you ever feel like at times you are so alone?

Do you ever feel like you cannot handle the things that God has set before you to accomplish for his name’s sake?

Do you ever worry about what the future may hold both for you and those whom you love?

Then take courage – you are not alone.

The holy spirit has brought to my mind two things that Jesus prayed that should help those who are afflicted at this time with worry and doubt about their own salvation, and with the problems of this quickly passing life.

Beloved, try to stay rest assured on the following prayers that Jesus our Lord himself prayed during his short life on earth:

1)  Not my will but thine be done – this must happen in order for the next step to happen which is…

2). Father into your hands I commend my spirit.  When this happens even the devil has no reason to test you any longer.  Yes, the devil may from time release some  rage against you for being an obedient follower of the cross of Jesus Christ but only because that is his nature.  In the book of Job (after Job passed his test from God – having lost all that he loved and held dear to his heart) satan was commanded by our Christ to leave him alone.  The devil is only allowed to test the children of God for so long.  These past few months have been very difficult personally for me and my family but with God’s help we will make it through.

Just remember this when you think or know that you are being tested.

1) Suffering is fastest and most sure fire way to be close to Jesus.

2) Jesus’ whole life was filled with pain and suffering – for he came from God and was waiting to return to God to be with the Father in glory.

2) Without suffering, we are unable to become the kind of spiritual Christains God has destined us to be.

3) Jesus the lamb of God endured more opprression and evil affliction than us all – because he was sinless from his own natural birth.

4) He left us his holy spirit to be our best friend, companion and comforter in times of distress and suffering.

5) Those that do not suffer are not really His… Even Jesus learned obedience through the things by which he suffered (Hebrews 5:8).  Hebrews 12:6 says: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

My prayer is… Jesus take the pain from my heart that I may see others clearly.

Bio-Chips and the Mark of the Beast!

6 Oct

Yesterday I received an update from Choo Thomas’ website.  This is information that we all should know and be at least somewhat familiar with.  It is time that we get serious with God and to ask Him what is his perfect will for each of our lives.  Are we truly living up to the high calling that he has for each one of us?   I have decided to post the update below for those who wish to read it.

Love in Christ,

John

“MARK OF THE BEAST (666) RFID

“He required everyone – great and small, rich and poor, slave and free – to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed to understanding this. Let the one who has understanding solve the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666” (Rev. 13:16-18 New Living Translation).

666 IS A SYSTEM OF THE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT

At the present time, computer-assisted biometric identification systems are being developed rapidly and have been readily accepted into our society. Miniature computer chips, using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, have already been embedded within electronic appliances, retail goods, livestock, and human beings. This is not tomorrow’s science fiction – it is happening today. In many parts of the world, Applied Digital Corporation’s human implanted RFID microchip (VeriChip) is used to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness, Diabetes, heart problems and it also helps to prevent kidnappings. In the near future, this type of biochip will be widely accepted and implanted for personal identification, protection, monitoring, tracking, commerce, and other uses not yet imagined. Unfortunately, such biochips store personal identification and the information generated from its use will be stored and maintained in a computer database. Your body becomes a tagged asset that is monitored and whose behavior will be tracked. Implanting the microchip in the body alters a person’s physically, mentally and ultimately – spiritually. The problem that arises from the use of biochip in humans is more than an aesthetic, medical, political, or legal issue. Satan works in the world and he shapes people and society to achieve his goals. Knowingly or not, anti-christ will force people to follow and obey an agenda that appears to be in the best interest of its people but, in following the pattern of human history and man’s rebellion to God, will bring about pain and suffering until Christ comes again. “…he [satan’s agent] deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people of the world to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was permitted to give life to this stature so that it could speak. Then the statue commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.” (Rev 13vs14-15 New Living Translation). A time is coming when society and lives will be ruled by a self-imposed system where mankind is monitored, analyzed, measured, and evaluated by computers. In those times, anyone who refuses to accept this system will be tortured then killed.

FORMATION OF A UBIQUITOUS SOCIETY

We are moving towards a ubiquitous society where people from all walks of life can access anything, anywhere, and at anytime regardless of time and location. The implementations of RFID technology in retail stores is one example. It’s estimated that the majority of retail merchandise will use RFID technology very soon and will replace bar codes, which have been used for the past 30 years. What drives such development is the belief that we will live safer, easier, richer and more enjoyable lives by using technology to manage everyday aspects of daily life. In a society that craves automated financial management, instant communication and security, it’s not a far stretch for RFID enabled biochips to be implanted into the body, and eventually replacing currency that is easily stolen, lost, or hidden. In the near future:

1) All people will be required to have a biochip. All economic operations will use this chip thereby replacing today’s unit of monetary exchange.

2) There will be privacy invasion and freedom will cease to exist.

3) A charismatic leader, who is the Anti-Christ, will rule the whole world through a system that is interconnected and interdependent.

MARK OF THE BEAST IN THE HUMAN BODY, WE MUST NOT RECEIVE IT. (REV 14:9, 14:11, 16:2)

1) Accepting this mark is the irreversible act of selling your soul to Satan. This sin is unforgivable and cannot be reversed by physically removing the mark (Rev. 14:9-11). Your soul belongs to God. Therefore if you receive this mark, you then will belong to Satan.

2) If you receive this mark, you willfully placing your faith in man and not in God. You are actively choosing to live without a loving God who desires to spend eternity with you in Heaven. God does not want you choosing Hell’s path. God knew these things beforehand, and because He loves us and wants us to acknowledge this, it was revealed to us through the writing of the apostle John in Revelation around 100 AD. If you are not taken up to heaven and are thereby left behind for the tribulation, you must not receive the mark of the beast even though you will be tortured then killed for not accepting the government’s sanctioned acts of satan. You must remember this at all times because the hope of heaven still remains until the end comes.

ALL BELOVED SAINTS IN JESUS CHRIST

The rapture is reserved for those saints who will be lifted into the sky upon God’s trumpet call, saints that are to be raptured will be lifted into the sky to meet Jesus in the clouds (1 The 4:16-17).  The rapture is reserved for those believers who wear spiritual white robes.  Their physical body will be transformed into a glorious body and will be God’s delight, (Rev. 19:7-8).

If you remain in lukewarm faith, Jesus will spew you out so you must not be like this type of believer (Rev. 3:16).   Jesus’ first coming was to bring salvation, but He is coming again to meet those who are Ready and Waiting in the clouds at the sound of the trumpets and this is call Rapture.  Lord Jesus, will take His children with Him to Heaven.  After the tribulation on earth then He will return again on earth with those who were ratpured with Him into Heaven to the New Jerusalem this will be called His Second Coming.  For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you? (1 Thess. 2:19)

At Jesus’ return, only raptured saints will be presented at the seat of glory (1 Cor. 15:49-55).  Even if we do not know the day and time of His coming, the sons of light are not in darkness therefore that day will not come upon you like a thief (1 Thess. 5:4-5).  Do not be lukewarm believers nor do not sleep but be awake and pray, (1 Thess. 5:1-4).  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard: obey it, and repent.  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you, (Rev. 3:3). Those with lukewarm faith, those who are tied to the world, and those who do not know Jesus will be left behind for the Great Tribulation.  The Great Tribulation will be the most devastating time in all of human history.  Those who are left behind in the Great Tribulation must not receive the biochip (which bears satan’s name) into their body (forehead or right hand; Rev 13vs16, 20vs4) even to the point of death. Christians who commit suicide will spend eternal life in hell. By refusing this chip, you will be tortured then killed. For the unblelievers (nonChristians) you don’t only have to refuse the chip but also you will have to confess Jesus as your Lord and savior with your lips, ask of forgiveness of your sins and believe in your heart that is the Son of the God and He died for us, Amen.”

Choo then goes on to explain the plan of salvation for those who have never heard it before in very simple terms.  If you would like information about this or other subject matter of this sort, just send me an email and I will be happy to supply you with internet resources, salvation videos, etc.  May the Lord bless you all.

John

A Sad Story with a Happy Ending!

24 Sep

I just happened to stumble upon this video over the weekend.  It is the story of a young woman who because of low self worth eventually became a prostitute before submitting her life to Jesus.  A wonderful testimony if you ask me!
John

To see similar testimonies click here!

A Time to Fast… Day One

23 Sep

Here is the video from the first day of the fast from Times Square Church, in New York City…  Enjoy!

Click Here.

Walking By Faith And Not By Sight

20 Sep

It is the nature of new Christian’s still untrained in the art of effective witnessing to attempt to win the souls of their fellow man based solely on human appearance and circumstances, rather than by allowing themselves to be led and directed by the Spirit of God. This is in no way to detract or discourage new believers from witnessing, but rather to hopefully inspire and encourage all of us to prayerfully consider what we are doing so as to have the best effect for the Lord and his Kingdom; bearing much fruit. To be frank, because of a lack of gut wrenching, heavenly influenced prayer, we often neglect many of God’s finest specimens (his special or elect instruments), all because of the very natural human tendency to instinctively judge our fellow man after the flesh.  We may see very little hope or value in a person because of sins they we know they have been guilty of committing in the past (take the woman caught in the very act of adultery in John 8:3) or because of their social or economic status (thus following in the footsteps of our friends, the self righteous Pharisees who secretly despised those whose wit, reason or finances did not closely mirror or reflect their own). On the other hand, we may see a creature full of pride, natural gifts, worldly talents, achievements, fame or notoriety that in someway excites our flesh (the part of our nature that still exists even after we have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,) thus making us ever so eager to babble about the gospel to them in spite of having to in some cases even deny what we know about God to be true, thus ignoring our own battered conscience. For instance, we all know the Bible says God resists the proud. Yet often Christians ‘feel compelled’ to share the gospel with those who inwardly have no hunger or need of God, thus they come to despise the message bearer for the intrusion. This cannot be good or what God had in mind.

Often the problem is a mixture of the heart that is responsible for producing this second mistake. We see something in a person that down deep inside we secretly admire, often to the point of even elevating that person above our own feelings of value and self worth in light of what the Bible says about us.  Therefore we sense a need or inward desire (even compulsion, perhaps) to somehow win them to the gospel, when in in all actuality this whole “spiritual” endeavor is more about us that it is about them.  Often it is us, that if we are honest inwardly desire something from them (whether love, friendship, acceptance, etc) rather they desiring the salvation that God offers: often he is far from their mind and from their heart.  In other words, it is often us that desires their presence rather than they who we claim are desiring the presence of Christ.

The disciples, on the day of Pentecost did not come out of that upper room with a need to mingle with sinners or learn their ways. Rather they were driven by the fire of the Holy Ghost and the high praises of Adonai that resulted in the true conversion of many that day which were seemingly lost and dead in their trespasses and sins. You see, the Holy Ghost had already met every inward need of theirs back in that upper room, thus enabling to see with heavenly eyes, while relieving them of any if their natural feelings of fear, inferiority and low self image.

In conclusion to this brief entry, I have made a list that I will post on a blog [below] that I feel was inspired by time with the Lord and past experiences. You may do with the list as you like.

Best wishes,
John

TSC Sermon Video: The Wayward Church Will Soon Be Ashamed

17 May

Here is another incredible sermon by Pastor Carter Conlon… it will stir your soul!  <Click>

The First Beatitude

10 May

“Blessed (happy) are the humble (or poor) in spirit, for they are in fact the very essence of the kingdom of heaven.”

Please note: This commentary is only designed and intended to but briefly deal with the translation as presented to the reader above.  It is my desire to extend this commentary a bit further at a later date; focusing more on the original grammar and syntax from the Greek perspective and text as well as to trace it’s origins to the Hebrew, from whence it was originally translated.  But for now, may it suffice to say that I believe this is by far one of the most accurate of the English translations that we have available at our disposal today; that fully embraces the thought and mindset of the Hebrew author and his intended audience.  For those that cannot (or simply do not) wish to for me to write an additional commentary on the said above, I will most happily provide for you a link (here) to a source that will help to aid you in your pursuit of understanding the linguistic nature of this passage, as it did my own.  Happy reading, God’s blessings and peace be upon you all.

Sincerely,                                                                                                 John Mark Butzu

—————————————————————

The focus of this text is not geared (as some have thought) toward the physical aspects surrounding the creature, but rather is concerned primarily with the inward status and condition of the human heart.  It is this condition above all else that determines whether the professing Christian truly experiences for himself the blessings and benefits of being identified with the kingdom of heaven; and frankly from knowing God at all.

What qualifies a believer to receive the gifts and blessings of this verse?  The answer is actually found in one word: poverty.  What qualifies a soul to partake in the kingdom of heaven is just what this verse implies.  One must be morally and spiritually without hope (and destitute) in their own sight (and in the all consuming presence and love of the Savior) to receive the love of Christ into their earthly lives.  It is strictly those men and women who possess in themselves the knowledge that without Christ they are absolutely nothing: spiritually destitute and without strength to perform anything on their own that generally receive the blessings that come from Almighty God.

The proper attitude one should always possess can be clearly seen from reading the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who were praying at the temple found in Luke 18: 9-14.  The Pharisee, who believing in his own goodness, sought to commend himself to God being motivated by his own religious efforts apart from the workings of the cross (the grace of our Lord) is beautifully contrasted against a detestable and vile sinner, who in sheer desperation, and having had the realization of his own worthlessness and wretchedness, beat his fists repeatedly upon his chest, not daring to even lift his eyes toward heaven, while pleading with God for mercy for his wicked behavior.  We see it is the first man that is clearly condemned by Jesus while the second is in essence received with open arms into the tender embrace and compassion of the heavenly Father.

It is this inward nature of the human heart that willingly embraces its own poverty in exchange for the power and love of Jesus Christ that is in essence the prerequisite if you will for obeying all other known scripture.  Without this coveted and truly remarkable, wonderful condition all hope will be lost for the individual who wishes but in vain for spiritual advancement and progress.  The human heart must above all else learn to quickly and readily identify and to despise all of its even most positive and genuine self interests apart from Christ as well as its desires and natural feelings of pride and feelings of self worth at having secured perhaps many victories and accomplishments apart from the knowledge and cross of Jesus Christ.  The following thought taken loosely from Hannah’s song of thanksgiving (1st Samuel 2) “the rich he hath sent away empty but the lowly (humble or poor in spirit) he has satisfied to their hearts content and upmost desire” is most appropriate.”  This is the heart that Christ is well pleased with and so desires.  This is the heart that hears the Saviors’ voice and obeys its every command.  And this is the kind of heart that will, as it is spend all of eternity with God.

Other examples of this beautiful condition of the human heart as well as of this beatitude can be seen in men like the apostle Paul, who in his letter to the church at Ephesus writes: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints.” There is no hint or trace of selfish boasting or feelings of pride at his spiritual achievements.  He knew that it was not by his own strength, might or reason that miracles occurred and many sinners were saved.  The human heart that has this revelation is most precious in the eyes of the Lord and is the finest thing we as Christians have to willingly offer back to God.  That is why all work and spiritual activity no matter how great it may appear to be from man’s perspective, but that does not stem from essentially a “broken heart” and “filled with compassion,” is in God’s sight essentially rubbish and an affront to his true nature and holiness.  Christian works, motivated by hearts not smitten with the love, humility and respect for a holy God will be swept away and will burn on the day that they are judged; through which all believers must stand.  Paul knew this, and I believe that this above all else is why God could truly do so much with his life.  Thus his prayerful and joyful declaration in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Another example (or aspect) of this type of heart behavior can be found in the book of James 4:9-10 which reads: Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” Here we see James instructing believers to return to their first love and to “break up the fallow ground” so to speak of their calloused and hardened hearts. (Hosea 10:12)  We find that these believers had never truly been exposed to the light and deep, inner probings of the Holy Spirit; for we find from the beginning of this chapter up until these verses complete spiritual confusion and chaos in the lives of these believers who were constantly seeking to run after and excel strictly in the things of this world. (See James 4:1-9)  It could be argued that perhaps many of these believers had at one time known the breaking of the exterior condition of the human heart, yet through willful negligence, laziness and spiritual apathy had grown cold and/or indifferent to the things of the Lord, thus allowing the flesh to dominate and wreak havoc in their personal lives.   James was calling for true and genuine repentance of exalting one’s self before the goodness and grace of our Lord, and if necessary to re-circumcise the callousness of the human heart in order to partake and to receive of the promises of the Lord once again in their lives.

The human heart in many ways is like the skin that seeks to live and to grow on top of our fingernails and toes (the cuticle).  Although some element of the cuticle is necessary for protection against bacteria and disease, too much of it tends to make the body look bad.  To stop this undesirable growth from taking place, we must continually take the pruning knife (or blade) into our hands; seeking to remove what we deem as unnecessary and counterproductive to the beauty and body as a whole.  Without careful diligence to restrict the unwanted growth, we would have a mess on our hands: literally.  In the same way, Christians must continually be on their guard against all unnecessary growth and development in the human heart that at its core is counterproductive to the life of Jesus Christ and the cause of Christianity as a whole.  If not brought under submission and checked on a daily basis through prayer, meditation and contemplation of the Word of God; our natural thoughts, mental processes and human reasoning (not the actual tissues and organs) will be alive and actively searching for an avenue to seductively creep into our daily lives, thus mixing the vile with sacred, all with the singular purpose of destroying our fellowship and sweet communion with the Spirit of God.  It is true that the apostle Paul cries out in the 8th chapter of the book of Romans: “What shall be able to separate me from the love of Christ?” with the implication that nothing of this world; neither angels or death or principalities or powers would be able to stop God from loving us.  It is we that stop ourselves from loving Him!  Note that in Jeremiah God says that our hearts are desperately wicked: who can know it?

In light of our present condition, there is only one thing that has the power to boast of possessing the remedy to our current crises: prayer!  Paul instructed his converts numerous times to be on the lookout for anything foreign that would attempt to come between them and their love for the Father.  We must continually be on our guard and endeavor to seek to maintain a watchfulness against all counter-productiveness in our walk with the Lord, so that He might be free to fully use our earthen vessels while on this earth for His awesome glory and His glory alone.  Hallelujah!  Amen.

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Times Square Church

8 May

Here is the most recent video sermon from Times Square Church… Does your pastor preach like this?  Have you ever heard anyone preach like this?  Do yourself a favor and watch it – it is that good!

You need the current version of windows media player in order to watch this.

Times Square Church Video Link

Understanding the Times in Which Live

8 May

Editor’s note:  Here is a very interesting article I found online.   It’s contains some great answers concerning the controversial subject: “Has the tribulation begun?” I urge everybody to read it.

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March 1st, 2009

The tribulation starts at Rev. 6:1 (opening of the first seal) and ends on Rev. 19: 21 (Christ returns to take control of the earth).

Starting from Rev. Chapter 6, from the opening of the First Seal to the opening of the Sixth Seal, is the Tribulation that the Church has to go through. I think this is very similar to what the Jews had to go through when they were in Egypt, where they (Jews) had to experience the first three plagues with the Egyptians, but on the 4th plague onwards, it was only towards the Egyptians.

After the sixth seal is opened, (Rev. 6:12, a great earthquake) that will be the start of the “great tribulation” and at the start of this “great tribulation” is the rapture of the church (Rev. 7: 9-17). After the sixth seal is open, and before the seventh seal is open, there are three important events that take place.
1. Start of the “Great Tribulation” (Rev. 7:14)
2. Anointing of the 144,000 Jewish believers in Christ, which will do God’s work after the Church is Raptured (Rev. Rev. 7: 3-8)
3. Rapture of the Church (Rev. 7:9-17).

After the rapture, God will severely punish the Earth, with the opening of the seventh seal (Rev. 8:1).

Daniel’s 70th week starts on Rev. 11:3 when the two witnesses appear on the world stage for 1260 days (3.5 years). At this point, Israel will sign a seven year peace treaty with the antichrist. The Two Witnesses of Rev. 11:3 will, among many other things, warn the Jews in Jerusalem about the peace treaty they signed with the antichrist (Bible calls the peace treaty a “covenant of death” for the Jews). No one will be able to kill the two witnesses for 3.5 years (Rev 11: 5-6). After the 3.5 years are up, Satan is given power for 3.5 years and he wastes no time in killing the two witnesses (to shut them up) and gets the antichrist to break the peace treaty with israel (abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel and Jesus). When this happens, the Jews in Israel must run to the mountains for safety (Rev. 12:6). This time is know as “Jacob’s trouble” because this is when Satan is thrown out of heaven (Rev. 12: 7-8) and will have power over the earth for 3.5 years. Except for the people who had flee to the mountains (Rev. 12:6, who are safe), everyone else on earth, he has the power to kill, including the two witnesses (Rev. 11:7), and new born again Christians (Rev. 13:7) from the “Great Tribulation”.

I think the key to understanding Rev. Chapter 11 and 12 is understanding Daniel’s 70th week ( a seven year period) and the timing of the two witnesses. Peter Goodgame wrote a good article on it at: http://www.redmoonrising.com/twowitnesses.htm

From the start of the tribulation at Rev. Chapter 6 to the end of Chapter 10, we do not know how long it lasts. However, from Rev. Chapter 11 to the end of Chapter 19, we know it lasts seven years (Daniel’s 70th week).

Why did I write all this you ask? The Bible tells use that we are to know the signs of the times and be watchful, a “pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36). In other words, to escape God’s judgement on the earth once the seventh seal is opened.

So where are we exactly in Bible Prophecy today? In the middle of last year, I saw a video from Prophecy in the news, called “Feasts of The Lord”. If you haven’t watched already, below is the link:

Part 1: http://choothomas.com/prophecy.wmv
Part 2: http://choothomas.com/prophecy2.wmv

What this video is saying is Sep 29 2008 is the start of a new Jewish year (of a 7 year cycle). ). At the end of this 7 year cycle, on the 7th year (Sabbatical Year) begins on Sep 24, 2014 (sunset) to Sep. 13 2015. What is interesting is that there are a series of four lunar eclipses on or near the Sabbatical Year of 2014/2015.

The four lunar eclipses will occur on:

Passover, April 15, 2014 (Before Sabbatical Year)
The Feast of Tabernacles, October 8, 2014 (in the Sabbatical Year)
Passover, April 4, 2015 (in the Sabbatical Year)
The Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015 (Few days after Sabbatical Year)

This phenomenon of four lunar eclipses on successive Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will not happen again for hundreds of years. The last time four successive lunar eclipses occurred on these holy days was in 1967-1968, the year Israel liberated Jerusalem! And before that, in 1949-1950, the year after Israel became a state! The last two successive four lunar eclipses were a sign from God that something very significant happened to Israel. Therefore, it’s very possible that the same will happen with the upcoming four successive lunar eclipses in 2014/2015.

Why did I mention the new Jewish new year (sep. 29 2008) and the four successive lunar eclipses on jewish holy days?

Jesus said in Luke 21: 25 to watch for signs in the “sun, in the moon, and in the stars” for his return. The four successive lunar eclipses, I believe, is an important sign because the last time these eclipses occurred, there were significant events associated with Israel and after the 2014/2015 eclipses, there will not be another one like it for hundreds of years.

Another important sign was what happened on Sep. 29, 2008. Many christians believe that if Israel signed a peace treaty with the Arabs on that day, that that would be the start of the seven year tribulation. However, as we just discussed, the tribulation is not seven years. Daniel’s 70th week is seven years and it starts on Rev. 11: 3. By that time, the tribulation/great tribulation will have already started (from Rev. Chapter 6 to end of Chapter 10).

On Sep. 28 2008 (Start of Jewish New Year, of 7 year cycle)
– Largest single day number drop in the History of the Dow
– Dow down 777 points
– Dow down 7%
– Wall Streets Response to Failed 700 Billion Dollar Proposed Takeover by US Government

On this day, it had God’s fingerprint all over it and was an important sign that marked the beginning of judgements on not just the United States, but the world. I believe on Sep. 28 2008 was when the seals of Rev. Chapter 6 were opened. Notice that the seals are not marked by any single event, but rather a gradual decline in specific areas of our society. The fist four seals (war, lack of peace, famine, and death) can easily be caused by our current global economic crisis, where people and societies don’t have the funds to buy what they need. If I’m right and we are living at the start of the tribulation, then our current global financial crisis will not get any better and in fact will get much much worst.

In sum, I believe the tribulation started on Sep. 29 2008 and sister Choo’s announcement that the tribulation has started a few months ago further reinforced by beliefs on this matter. I hope some of the evidences presented here will help you understand the signs of our times and better prepare you for what lies ahead.

God bless you all!!!

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If you want to see the video interview… click here!

If you want the url address to the above texted article… click here!

Who Will Be Raptured?

7 May

Editor’s Note:  This is a follow up commentary to the question: "Who will be raptured" addressed to Choo Thomas.  This is a commentary on her answer written by the website administrator (I assume) name Bill _____? 

April 1, 2009

Who will be Raptured? The answer will likely surprise you. It surprised me!

In light of Sister Choo’s Urgent Message posted on Feb. 17 2009, we, as the Body of Christ, need to be like the Berean’s and examine all messages to see if it’s scriptural (Acts 17:11).

A little bit of background about myself: I first read "Heaven is so real" in 2004 and had the privilege of corresponding with Sister Choo Thomas thorough emails. I later had the privilege of setting up her website (http://www.choothomas.com) and helped her make a short video. From 2005 onwards, I’ve met Choo and her husband Roger on three separate occasions and maintained regular contact with her via email and telephone conversations. I’ve been a Christian since 1992 and I must say that Sister Choo is the most God fearing and obedient Christian I’ve ever met, by far. No one I’ve met even comes close to her in these last two points and I believe this is why the Lord Jesus has chosen her for His end time work.

Before Sister Choo released her Feb. 17th Urgent Message, she had already told me by phone that "God said not too many Christians will be raptured and whoever does get raptured will have to stand before the judgment seat." (2 Corinthians 5:10) She also said "Even after we are raptured not too many Christians will enter His Kingdom." Her last point shocked me and when she told me on the phone about this, I was in denial and said to myself, "maybe I didn’t hear her properly" or "maybe it was her English and she meant to say something else." I suspect I’m not the only one who did this.

When Sister Choo released her Feb. 17th Urgent Message and it reiterated her point that after rapture not all believers will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, I could no longer be in denial of the meaning of her message – what she wrote on her urgent message is exactly what I heard her say on the phone. Therefore I had no choice but to look into scripture and see if her message is consistent with the Word of God, the Bible. No message or messenger is above Acts 17:11.

Interesting enough, when I went to seek God for understanding, it was not specifically related to who will be raptured, but when (the signs) and understanding the book of revelations. It was on the morning of March 7th 2009 that the Lord gave me understanding of Sister Choo’s message (praise God!) and I was stunned for the remainder of that day.

For the longest time, I held the belief that the good Christians will be raptured and the not so good ones will be left behind, but there were some scriptures that didn’t fit this scenario. Below are some examples:

1. Parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).
Matthew 25:1-13 (The Parable of the Ten Virgins)
1"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Interpretation:
The Bible often refers the church as "a chaste virgin to Christ." (2Cor 11:2) or a "bride to Christ" (Matt. 9:15). The Ten Virgins represent the Church and her meeting the bridegroom represents Jesus’ rapture of His church, for the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb." (Rev. 19:7-10). In vs5 we see that the bridegroom was delayed. I believe Jesus has delayed the rapture of His church because His bride was not ready for Him! The wise virgins had their lamps burning, being the Light of the World (Matt. 5:14). Jesus said "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness" (John 8:12). The five foolish virgins in vs4 were in darkness at the time of the rapture and thus cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. They were not given a second chance (ie. to enter God’s Kingdom via going through the great tribulation).

Luke 12:35-47 (The Faithful and Evil Servant)
35 "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour." 41 Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?" 42 And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating.

Interpretation
The above verses refer to each church member as "be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast" vs36. This is referring to the rapture because of vs46. Jesus expects His followers to be faithful and walk according to His commandments vs42-43. Jesus did not die for us so that we can live in sin (Heb. 10:26). When Jesus returns for His church (rapture), and finds any member living in certain unrepentant sins (there are certain sins God will not tolerate, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Cor. 6: 9-11), those disobedient Christians will be cast outside of the kingdom and be punished even more severely than an unbeliever vs46-47.

Mark 13:32-37 (No One Knows That Day or Hour)
32 "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35Therefore stay awake-for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning- 36lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake."

Interpretation:
Mark 13:32-37 is basically a summary of Luke 12:35-47.

Matthew 24:36-44 (No One Knows That Day and Hour)
36 "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Interpretation:
Jesus is talking about the rapture. vs36,vs42, and vs44. The rapture will take place before the great tribulation because of vs37-38. This is because once the world is in the great tribulation, I don’t think the world’s inhabitants will be doing much partying or marrying. vs40 describes in more detail what the rapture will be like; a sudden disappearing of believers, not mentioning if these were faithful believers in the Lord or not. Again, this implies that the spiritual state of those raptured believers is not known. This is why Jesus said "you also MUST be ready" vs44 because there will be no second chances for disobedient Christians to enter His Kingdom after they are raptured.

In summary, the scriptures that have been presented so far pertain to the rapture of the Church. Those who are raptured will be judged. Based on this judgment, some Christians will enter into the Kingdom, some will be outside of the Kingdom. This is because the disobedient Christians have had their names blotted out from the lamb’s book of life (Rev. 3:5). Contrary to what some may believe, Jesus doesn’t blot our names from the book of life every time we sin and put our names back on when we repent. He only blots unrepentant Christians from the "Book of Life" once, and that is on judgment day. This is why He says WE MUST BE READY!

Based on my study of the Bible, I now know that Sister Choo’s Feb. 17 Urgent Message on The Rapture, specifically says that some of those who are raptured may not be able to enter into God’s kingdom is entirely biblical. She also mentions that "not too many Christians will be raptured," because it’s all up to us to be raptured and enter into God’s kingdom. We all must be ready and waiting. (Luke 21:34-38)

At the time of her writing, I don’t believe Sister Choo understood the theological ramifications of her urgent message, but was just saying what the Lord Jesus Christ told her to say. When I looked into the scriptures, I realized that what she said is what the Bible has been saying to us all along! Whoever is raptured will stand in His judgement, some will enter into His Kingdom, some will be outside the Kingdom. This is why Jesus said "YOU ALSO MUST BE READY." Matt. 24:44

God bless you all!

Bill

The Tribulation has begun!

6 May

Editor’s note:  This is an urgent message copied directly from Choo Thomas’ website (minus one grammatical correction) at www.choothomas.com

During 2006, 2007 and 2008 God showed so many Christians the rapture as well as some unbelievers.  These visions made so photoman070300224_thumb[36]many people excited about the rapture and at the same time some of us were very disappointed because it had not happen yet. I believe God wanted to stir our hearts up for the rapture so we can be prepared for it at anytime.

The Lord told me a few months ago that the tribulation has already begun. He is warning and preparing people for the rapture but realized not many are paying attention to the signs of the rapture and they will be very surprised because He is going to only bring those who are ready and waiting for Him. God also said He has given enough chances for everybody to be ready for His coming. Now the tribulation has begun and this means the rapture could happen at any time for those who are ready and waiting. After He raptures His chosen ones, then the antichrist will take over the world and great disasters  will come to those left behind especially those Christians who refuse to receive the Mark of the Beast (#666). God said not too many Christians will be raptured and whoever does get raptured will have to stand before the judgment seat (2 Corinthians 5:10) and our work will be tested by fire (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Even after we are raptured not too many Christians will enter His Kingdom because their hearts are not pure enough. When God says these words they really scare me and whoever has read the book should already know these things.

Clear WaterWhen the Lord took me to Heaven the first couple of times, He showed me crystal clear water and said one’s heart has to be as clear as this in order to enter His Kingdom. When the Lord told me this, I was very scared and I wondered how anyone’s heart could be this pure. I always live in fear of God ever since He showed me the water. This is the reason why I still spend a lot of time with the Lord by praying and having a relationship with Him daily. I know it is hard for people who work to spend long hours with the Lord but please do your best to spend as much time as you can and let Him be the center of your life not just sometimes but always. Without a relationship with the Lord and not living in fear of God, one cannot please Him. We have to make sure the Holy Spirit is pleased with us continually. He is the one who raised Jesus from the dead to Heaven (Romans 8:11). My heart’s desire is that all my brothers and sisters in the Lord will be raptured.

When I saw Linda’s prophetic words, it really impressed me. I prayed about it and the Lord told me to have it posted on my imv061000030website. Some people complained about who Linda is but the truth is I did not know Linda but rather the message (the part posted on my web site) and how it is biblical. The message posted on my website from Linda is very similar to what God tells me and also what He wants His Bride to be. It hurts me to see the way some Christians live and behave and they don’t know what it takes to be the Bride of Jesus. We cannot let anyone or anything come before God no matter what the situation. We have to know that He has to be above everyone and everything in our lives. According to Luke 14:26-27, none of our family members or loved ones can ever be put before our Lord Jesus who died for us. PRAISE THE LORD. Anyone who wants to be holy has to live by the word of God. We have to walk a narrow path (Matthew 7:14). Whatever hardship comes into our lives we have to endure as good soldiers of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:3).

Some Christians believe by doing great wUnforgivenessork for God they will enter the Kingdom (Matthew 7:22-23). The most important part of our salvation is total obedience and love (Matthew 5:19; Mark 12:30-31; John 14:23-24). We must love others enough to witness to them to also be saved. Jesus died for our soul, if we truly love the Lord and want to please Him, we have to die from the world because we cannot love both (1 John 2:15-16). God is love and He wants us to love all not just believers and if we have unforgiveness in our hearts that is a great sin. We have to forgive and not hate others no matter what they have done to us. His word says the people who are living in darkness are the ones who do not forgive (1 John 2:11). If one does not forgive then they also cannot be forgiven by God and that will prevent that person from entering the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 6:14-15). As much as the Lord suffered for our eternity, whatever we sacrifice for Him is really insignificant because no suffering that we will ever endure can ever be compared to what He went through.

Some Christians think when they receive the Lord into their hearts by faith that is all they have to do in their Christian life but this actually is a deception from the Devil. According to Philippians 2:12, we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must never forget that without a pure heart no one can see the Lord (Matthew 5:8, Ephesians 5:27, Hebrews 12:14). God is so holy that any defiled thing cannot enter His Kingdom. I believe this is why God showed me so many people outside His Kingdom and that is called the valley. Some people tell me that being in the valley is better than Hell. Yes, of course it is better than Hell, but we still have a chance to receive the wonderful promises of God if we enter His Kingdom. All He requires from us is a small sacrifice and that is to be obedient and to love Him above all. Jesus suffered and died for our eternity so why shouldn’t we receive all that He prepared for us?

Imageseeker-1100134267_thumb[21]We should be looking forward to being the most beautiful Bride of Christ. Why shouldn’t we give up all worldly habits and try to please the Lord? We are only on this earth for such a short period of time but with the Lord it will be forever and the happiest time we could ever imagine. Whatever we sacrifice while we are here on  earth is all worth it. In Linda’s message she commented on how Christians are watching too much television. Truly reborn Christians do not watch worldly things on television or listen to worldly music. Like God says, we cannot enjoy both the world and Him.

We must understand that the tribulation has begun but none of us will know the day or hour when the rapture will actually occur. We have to patiently wait and never give up, just be ready and waiting for the Lord because no one can understand God’s will (Isaiah 55:8-9). I believe those who are not ready and waiting are going to be very surprised how soon the rapture could happen.

The Lord is concerned about some pastors and He is very dissatisfied with them because they are not teaching about the End times, Rapture and Mark of the Beast (# 666). God says these pastors are going to be left behind with members of their 1186521270KHdSg7 congregation and most of those church bodies will receive the Mark of the Beast because they have never been taught what will happen to them if they receive this number. This is why the Lord says most Christians left behind will become Satan’s. The Lord also said most churches that have business on His holy day (buying and selling things) and are not teaching His church bodies not to spend money on the Lord’s day. According to the Lord, Christians should only use money on the Lord’s day for tithes and offerings (Nehemiah 10:31 and 13:15, 1 Corinthians 16:2).

I am humble and thankful to God for allowing me to write this for my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I pray this message from our Lord will be a blessing and an eye opener to every reader so His Bride will be ready and waiting for the rapture of the Body of Christ, Amen.

Peace and all spiritual blessing to every reader.

To God be all the glory and honor.

MARANATHA!!!

Choo Thomas

Editor’s Note: This post has been copied with permission from Choo Thomas’ website [minus the pictures]…  You may visit her site here at www.choothomas.com.

What about Hell?

5 May

Over the last few years I have had the opportunity of reviewing a number of different testimonies concerning people that had died and seen hell.  I have compared these to what I personally experienced before I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Instead of cutting and pasting the different articles that would take up a lot of space, I will instead provide the sources for you to visit for yourself by clicking on the links below.  (Exceptions are the videos)

You may click on these links:

Written Testimonies

Testimony of 7 Columbian teens while in a prayer meeting:

– Other Links

Audio

Jennifer Perez

Mary Baxter

– To Hell and back (Dr. Rawlings)

Track 1

Track 2

Track 3

More tracks:

Video Testimonies

– Ian McCormick’s Testimony

– Bill Wiese’s Testimony

Choo Thomas (Heaven and Hell)
To Hell and Back, a study of NDE/OBE Near Death Experiences by Dr. Rawlings

Ronald Reagan

Other Links
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