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

4 Apr

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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.

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

Do You Feel Like A Failure?

24 Jun

Romans 1:1  “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle…”

These words touched me today as I have felt very low spiritually speaking due to an experience that happened while at work this past week.  I will not go into the details, but basically I missed a golden opportunity to witness to someone due to some emotional stress that happened the day before.  I felt so bad that I let Jesus down that seriously I wanted to die.  Today, I read these words… “Paul, called to be an apostle.”  What does that mean?  It means that we are called to seek our place in our Father’s kingdom and that place and calling is irrevocable.  Every saint and Christian that ever sought to please God has had to endure times of bitter testing and self sacrifice – feelings of disappointment and times of personal failure.  Noah, Moses, David, Elijah (the list goes on and on) all had to face temptations, trials and times of personal testing and moments of weakness in their walk with God.  Not that that is any excuse, but rather it should be a reminder to and for us of the tender mercies of our God.  We are all human and need God desperately and should be eager to learn from our past mistakes and failures.  We are called to do bring glory God the best we can, regardless of our present circumstances and situations.  Paul could have said I am a great apostle, but rather he chose the words I am called to be an apostle.  In other words, there is always room for improvement and looking toward the day when we shall meet our Master face to face.  I may not be perfect in my walk with God right now, but I know I am called to be a blessing wherever God sends me.  This was the attitude of the early church – and this should be our attitude today.

I have much more that I could write but after working all day in the heat I am tired and need to rest.

God bless you and I will promise to post more often – I have been so tired after work these past few weeks but am ashamed and know I am supposed to write more often.   I apologize if this post had little to no impact on you but it did for me.  Thank you for reading and may God bless you  – John

Going Back To The Beginning…

16 May

This was the first post I ever wrote…  Hope you enjoy it… John

Editors Note:  This was copied from a previous blog entry at a different website dated April 13, 2008.  Hope you enjoy it.

Today I was reading in the book of Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: I had recently done some traveling and have noticed one thing in particular:  We need the Holy Ghost in our lives above everything else!  We pray for more possessions, freedom from our responsibilities, etc, yet many of these blessings actually can become more of a snare than a real blessing so often of the time.  What we really need today more than ever before is for men and women to rise up like Anna in the New Testament who, awaiting the coming of her savior, dedicated her life to prayer and intercession on behalf of her fellow countrymen. We need Christians who know how to pray and that love the practice of prayer, who study their Bible: not to gain some intellectual advantage over their peers, but who with a broken heart search out even the hardest sayings in the Bible, whose hearts cry out like the psalmist David, Search me O God, and try me: see if there be any wicked way in me, anything that might hinder someone from finding and loving you.” (pp)  We need believer’s who hunger for God to be seen flowing in and through them more than they yearn for financial success or the praise and adulation of men: men and women of all ages who possess within them a deep and burning desire to see lives changed; who have spent quality time in prayer, and who’s very lives testify against a society that has become absolutely barbaric and shocking in the sins of which it now openly practices, applauds, commits and accepts.

We have programs inside of our churches for everything that so much of the time replaces the original and true reason for Christian fellowship: empowerment.  Every time members of the early church came together the results were always the same: the Holy Ghost filling their hearts with the love and empowerment to win souls, to be kind to their enemies, to pray for their nation’s rebellious leaders (instead of tearing them down), etc.  Do you leave your church excited, bursting inside with the need to tell someone about the love of Jesus Christ? If you don’t chances are there may be something lacking either in your pastors’ personal prayer time or in your own walk with the Lord.  While on a vacation (during which God allowed me graciously to have the time to create this website) I purchased at a fairly reasonable price a new Bible software program that I had been praying for for quite some time.  Although I now have this software I know from experience that this in and of itself cannot magically make me a better Bible student.  I must first ask the Holy Ghost to help me so that:

1) I will not waste time playing with parts of this program that I do not need and am certainly not ready to use.

2) So that He will lead me to share the Scriptures as accurately as I can and with great joy and enthusiasm.

3) To empower my study so that He will cause Himself to remain glorified through the work if my hands, and through all the day.

To much of our time as Christians is spent on performing tasks that we are not really yet ready to handle or do not need.  I think of all the millions of dollars that are spent for things that steal our time away from Christ: especially for temporary entertainment and personal pleasure. I wonder where Christianity would be today if the first disciples instead of fasting and prayer gathered in that upper room for the sole purpose of playing video games  on their desert Sony X boxes and Play Station 2’s and 3’s. Sit and think for a while on how much time we waste.  Why don’t we a Christians put our idols away and pray for a generation of young people that have never known what it is to experience the love of Jesus Christ.  We should compare our lives as the followers of Christ to the writings found in the gospels and other portions of New Testament scripture and not to those that just happen to live and work around us.  How do our lives measure against the words of Jesus and not our western neighbors?  After all, that is how we will be judged at the resurrection.  Remember the words of Jesus “that those that have much, much will be required.”  We in America have more wealth than any other nation on earth.  How will we as Christians be judged who live in it, who consume so much of the resources that God give us on ourselves, in light of the affliction and poverty of those that we see all perhaps by television or the internet all around us.  Have our hearts become that hardened that we are unwilling to even share our bread with those that so desperately need it, not to mention the true bread that we have inside of us; the living Word of God.  Recall especially Matthew 25 where we find the parable of the talents, the wise and foolish virgins, and the parable of the sheep and the goats.  It was not so much what these so called believers did but what they didn’t do that excluded them from them partaking in the marriage supper of the lamb.

Today is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us all do our very, very best for Him.

Quote of the day: Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, wrote: “How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice . . . Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit . . . They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake God’s banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts . . . Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.”

Editors Note#2:  I wrote this very quickly while on vacation and without a whole lot of editing.  Apologize for any mistakes.  John Butzu

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PDF “What we really need”

Do You Still Have A Love For God’s Word?

16 Apr

God put this on my heart Sunday night but did not allow me to finish it – I did not know why at the time… After the recent tragedy in Boston I believe I this is crucial to not only this website but to all Christians everywhere… –  John

Many Christians would rather watch hours and hours of TV or run after other forms of entertainment than to seek God’s face and read His holy word.  Where are you at in your walk with God?  This has been on my heart to share… we are living in a time of gross immorality and human depravity.  The internet, social media, etc is filled with pollution and sin that breaks God’s heart.  Is your desire and love for God the same as when you first met him?  Have you ever experienced the love of the Father that comes from walking in obedience to his commandments?  Or are you slipping in your walk for him.  Don’t be led astray!  The Bible says in the last days that scoffers and mockers will arise in their hearts saying “Is there really a God… is He really coming back to judge the living and the dead?”  Do not be deceived my beloved, God is not mocked – what a man sows that he shall also reap.  Are you sowing to yourselves a life of wisdom and maturity that comes from a closer walk than normal with our Savior   Or will you be left withing little to nothing to show for your love for God on judgement day?  We in America are on the brink of a financial holocaust – while terrible things are happening all around us.  Just look at the news – the Boston Marathon is just one example of what a nation can expect that turns their back on God.  We are under judgement my dear brothers and sisters and this is only the beginning, I’m afraid.  Soon, many will be wondering why did God let this happen or that… as disasters of various kinds begin to unfold.  Do you think those people that were at the race were ready to meet God when the bombs went off?  Do not waste anymore time!  God needs holy men and women to stand up and be ready to give hope and an answer when calamities of this nature strike.  Let us pray for God’s blessing but be prepared for his quick return.  Jesus said in the book of Revelation that he would rather you be hot or cold – because you are no good to anybody if you are in the middle and just playing games with God and breaking his heart.*  May God bless you my beloved.

Sincerely,

John Mark Butzu

*Thus being lukewarm… (see Revelation 3:16)

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

Why The Emphasis On Hebrew?

7 Sep

I couldn’t sleep last night and wound up finding this article on the internet that sums up perfectly so many things – but for one, why so many Christians are tracing their roots back to the Old Testament, Judaism and Ancient Hebrew.  It is taken from an excerpt from a book that is supposed to come out sometime in 2013 written by J.K. Mckee (see note 1).

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“It is indeed phenomenal that many Believers are coming to a revelation of the Hebraic Roots of our faith, are adopting a Torah obedient lifestyle, and are seeing themselves as a part of Israel. But as with any move of God, there are concerns that exist—concerns that sometimes wrench at the heart and soul of what we should be doing, as opposed to what we should not be doing. We should be proclaiming the gospel message of salvation and discipling others as they grow and mature in their faith, fulfilling Yeshua’s Great Commission, and aiming to see the restoration of God’s people and the Kingdom to Israel.

Of course, with this restoration comes many things, such as the realization that our Heavenly Father does not have two groups of elect as is commonly supposed, Israel and “the Church,” but rather one, the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13; Galatians 6:16). As all Believers, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, are a part of the community of Israel, such an Israel is called to obey God’s Torah, and via their obedience to Him be a light to the entire world (Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 4:5-8).

Many Believers who are seeing the eternal validity of the Torah think that it is important to learn the Hebrew language, the language of the Tanach or Old Testament. This is to be commended and encouraged, as these Scriptures make up the first two-thirds of our Bible that many Christians, sadly, ignore or feel are important only for Bible history. However, there is another portion of the Bible, the Apostolic Scriptures or Messianic Writings, commonly known as the New Testament, which is not written in Hebrew, and should not be cast by the wayside.”

 Notes:

1)  Mckee is the editor of TNN Online (www.tnnonline.net) and is a Messianic apologist. He is a 2009 recipient of the Zondervan Biblical Languages Award for Greek. He is author of numerous books, dealing with a wide range of topics that are important for today’s Messianic Believers. He has also written many articles on theological issues, and is presently focusing his attention on Messianic commentaries of various books of the Bible.  (Taken directly from author’s website).

All Christians Must Die (Part 2)

2 Sep

This is what Jesus meant when he said, “He that loves his own [fleshly] life will lose it!  Christians that choose not to respond to the Holy Spirit’s beckoning and prompting to lay down one’s life (i.e. their own carnal dreams, lusts, ambitions and desires) will lose much on the final day when the whole earth is judged.  They will be ashamed as they will have so little fruit to bring to Christ!  These Christians will suffer great loss as they will have to relive with horror every act – every intent of the heart – those things that they thought were “good deeds” before the eyes of a Holy God.  Christ, with a broken heart will say “no that was not from me” while burning up many of their works before them.  They may escape the judgments of hell, but will have little reward throughout eternity.  They will have to live with the fact that they could have done so much more for Jesus while they were alive.  Their deeds will be counted as filthy rags and will not stand the fire and purity of Jesus’ gaze.  Oh what an awful day awaits Christians that play games with the Word of God!

If we wish to live like Jesus lived, then let us examine what he truly was like.  Jesus said in Matthew 16:24: “If any man wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”  And again in 1st John 2:6: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”  That’s is what it truly means to be a Christian.

Going back to our original text (John 12) we read in verse 26-27: “Now is my soul troubled and what shall I say?  Father save me from this hour?  But for this cause I came into the world –  Father, glorify your name!”  This is the clearest example we have of what it means to live according to the Spirit and detached from our own carnal lusts and desires.  Jesus had to make a decision, one that in so doing would change the course of history.  Yet, as a man he felt terrible sorrow as he knew his decision to go to the cross would mean extreme amounts of mental and physical pain – more pain than anyone one us reading I believe ever had to or ever will endure.

It was not that Jesus had to die – he had done nothing worthy of a Roman death on the cross.  But he knew what his purpose was, and as always, was obedient to the loving heavenly Father.  We too, can and should know our purpose – why God put us on this earth – and thus be willing to follow that path until Jesus takes us home to be with him in glory.

The longer I am a Christian, the easier it becomes for me to, as Paul the apostle says – die daily.  The reason, I believe for this is that I know the fruit that I produce for my heavenly Father when ever I choose to submit my will to his own.  I am not yet perfected, and I know I can easily stumble – but not for too long.  Proverbs 24:16 says, “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.”  I have become very sensitive to what the Spirit wants to do – and thus I know my heavenly Father is well pleased with me.  This is not always easy, but I do know the joy that comes from being a follower of Jesus.  That is what it means to be a disciple.

All Christians Must Die! (Part One)

2 Sep

Note:  This is a sermon that I intend to preach one day.  For now it will have to suffice only on the internet.  I wrote this while waiting for a bus after someone had stolen my truck.  I will copy it word for word unless there is some profound reason not to.  Take care and be blessed!

Sincerely  –  John

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John 12:23-25: “And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Some Christians choose not to die to their own dreams, ambitions and pride – thus they are left alone to reap the consequences of a bitter life apart from the one who suffered in their stead.  The self in us must die completely before Christ can fully manifest his glory in our lives.  Only then will we truly be able to minister effectively with others – leading the lost to salvation and spreading the good news with joy.

Of course, it is possible along the way to bear fruit to God each and every day – even as new Christians – but the longer we are saved the more the Holy Spirit will prod and probe the innermost thoughts and recesses of the human heart.  This process of pruning (see note 1) is designed to bring about a deeper understanding of exactly how Jesus lived and what he wants each of us to do with our lives.  This process is excruciatingly painful – as dying to one’s own fleshly desires is never easy.  Yet, this is a mandatory process for the immature and carnally minded Christian to experience if they truly want to live a life that is pleasing to the God the Father, his blessed Son and the Holy Spirit.

John 12 verse 25 states: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  Although there is a much deeper meaning in this verse, still I believe it is useful in explaining this wonderful yet altogether painful truth.  Those Christians that love their natural lives down here (hence the American dream) without taking to heart the suffering and chaos all around them will themselves suffer great loss in the day of judgement – perhaps missing heaven altogether!  Jesus said in Matthew 25 that he will separate on that day those that reached out to the needy and those who remained idle, standing by.  There is no mention of sins such as adultery, fornication or covetousness, just the sin of doing nothing with the life God had given them (see note 2).

Just because you sit in a pew does not mean you are going to heaven!  Jesus himself warned about this in Matthew 7:22-23  “Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and cast out devils in our name and in your name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me you that are filled with impure motives and lawlessness!”  In other words Jesus will say to them … “Who gave you the right to do the things you do – your heart was not once aligned with my will – depart from me – you who took my name and sacrifices that I made on the cross for granted!”

You see, some Christians try to escape the cross that Jesus has set before them by doing things that they are naturally good at doing – things that are easy for them to do.  Donating money, running charity programs, playing Christian music and even public speaking or ministry may come naturally for many born again believers.  Yet without the inner workings of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the affairs of the heart  – all that work amounts to nothing – having all been done without the expressed consent of God – thus they are works of the flesh for they are done without God’s approval.

Believers must seek a honest relationship with God born out of a holy awe and respect for Jesus before ever pushing out into any form of public ministry.  This is not to put a damper on personal evangelism for the new believer, as many souls have been won this way – but after a season, just like the apostle Paul, a desert experience is altogether necessary to groom the heart for a more effective witness for the sake of the souls that are suffering alone and apart from God.  Paul had to spend 13 years alone with God before he was truly ready to venture out into a Roman society that was cruel, wicked and abounding in sexual depravity, idol worshipers, pride and every other imaginable lust of the flesh.  The reason God did this was to teach Paul the ways of the Holy Spirit – for it says in the book of Isaiah: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Thus, a great distinction will be made between those believers who allowed themselves to be trained to listen to the Holy Spirit and those that recklessly plunged ahead in what they thought was the will of God, being driven by their own lusts for personal success and larger than life egos.  What a shock it will be when these “too busy to pray” secondary group of believers will have to stand before a holy God and try to explain why they refused to bend their will to the will of the one who created them and loved them.  Mind you, those whom God has called he will train – unless the human heart cries out otherwise!  Many are called to follow Christ – yes – but few are truly chosen.  Jesus Christ himself said: “Strive to enter into the narrow gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many follow its path.”

Notes:

1.  Every branch in me not bearing fruit, God removes it. And every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, so that it may bear more fruit.  John 15:2

2  Here is the whole account of how Jesus will judge Christians in glory: (Matthew 25:31-46)  “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

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.

Jesus On The Cross

17 Jul

Jesus stretched out his hands on a cross for you…  not to mention being in sheer agony from the beatings he had previously received.

What are you doing to show you love him today?

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>

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.

Pastors – Preach the Truth!

5 May

A personal prophecy I received from the spirit of the Lord and typed May 6, 2009…

“Woe unto those that know the truth and do not preach it; yea, woe unto them.  Adultery is in many of their hearts and covetousness too.  In their hearts they are never satisfied with the numbers of the flocks that attempt to graze in their pastures, not because of their desire to see souls saved but rather because of the tithes, gifts and offerings they receive as well as what adds to their own personal ego and sense of accomplishment.  Woe unto the pastors and shepherds that call good evil and evil good and that do not speak out against sin, especially when right before their eyes and even against specific sins that they know dwell in the midst of their flocks.   Woe unto those pastors who support and encourage only those  speakers and evangelists or musicians/entertainers (mainly false prophets) who they know will not shake or stir the current status quo of their church but will rather add to it’s growing sense of religious pride as well as it’s reputation for worldy comforts and grandiose; luxury, prosperity and ease rather than for the pure and unadulterated and uncompromised word of God.

The word that began the early church when preached, as defined in the book of Hebrews is recorded as being sharper than any two edged sword; piercing the hearts of men, and having within it the ability to distinguish and separate between the flesh and the spirit, the sanctified and the vile, the saint and the sinner.  What an awful day of judgment awaits men and women alike who willingly neglect their duties, and who in their minds put far off the evil day of the Lord.  Woe unto pastor’s and church leaders who are more concerned with spending money to beautify the appearance of their religious grounds exteriors and interiors (beautiful tombs as Jesus calls them) rather than using those finances to save the lost souls of men.  Pastors that in their heart prefer to watch sports, to surf the internet, etc (many of these are even addicted to pornography) rather than to pray for the lost souls of men will have a terrible loss at the day reckoning.

Grace mercy and peace be upon you all that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity and in truth.”

John Mark Butzu

P.S. Do you think this is a message from the Lord for you?  Pray about it and ask the Lord to give to you a heart believes even for the impossible areas in your life.  May the Lord bless you and keep you in the center of his love and will.  –  John

Pastors Message (#2)

5 May

I recently posted some video links concerning testimonies of people that died and saw (felt) heaven and/or hell.  Strangely enough, someone later hacked the site where these video were from and replaced them with the latest (I’m assuming) video from rap superstar Eminem.  (Apologies to anyone who saw them!)

The reason for this post is I later showed these videos to a friend of mine (the one from Eminem) and we prayed for him.  But here is my message to those that struggle to proclaim the ways of the Lord: Maybe you should watch this video, as it clearly shows the struggle for souls from a different perspective.  If you can understand even some of the lyrics you will see for sure that Satan know his time is now very short. What other generation has been saturated in the kind of filth that we see here day and night on secular television MTV and on the internet?  The truth is Satan wants souls to be with him in hell more than most Christians wants souls to go with them into heaven!

Here is my point:  If your preaching and teaching as a pastor doesn’t reflect the same zeal and intensity for the Lord than these singers do right now for kingdom of darkness, that what on earth are you doing?  Most people today will not relate to the cold and abstract; they want to feel, to touch, to experience.  That is the one great advantage to living in this time!  We have the Holy Ghost! He wants to break out on the left and on the right with power that you and I can only imagine, thus drawing many souls to Himself as in the days of old.  Do not block the moving of the Lord!  Pray, weep, fast and intercede for the souls of the nation wherever you live.  God declares in his Word that He is no respecter of persons and will hear and receive all who call upon him in spirit and in truth.

I do not write this to condemn anyone; but simply to encourage and hopefully edify those in the body of Christ who may be hurting yet have great potential to influence and build up others through their own healing.

I have posted this video as long as one or two others from a different source:  Here are the videos:  Please I warn you before you watch these videos that they are not for your kids!

Note: After watching this video the question occurred to me “what society ever before has endorsed this kind and level of decay and filth as acceptable for viewing and entertainment pleasure, that allows men like these to sit in their mansions writing their devilish material unopposed.  They may have their mansions now, but we get to live in ours for all of eternity! You would think someone in congress would try to stop videos like these.  I guess it really does show you who is in charge of the world.  We are living in a time of unimaginable darkness and sin.

P.S.  After watching these you may want to refresh yourself.  Here is some real music for you to enjoy:

link one

link two

link three

link four

Before you watch these it would not hurt for you to pray this prayer first out loud: “Father, I love you, I worship you with all my might.  I bind every unclean spirit and will be obedient when you ask me to shut this video off.  In Jesus mighty and most powerful name, Amen.”

For the first video: If you do not have the time or cannot stomach the whole thing just start in the middle somewhere… you’ll still get the picture.  IF you want the lyrics here you go… they’re really quite sad.

Also… these videos may be offensive to some women.

(at about 3:30 in the song above he is screaming in front of a live audience:  “the time has come, it is quite clear, our antichrist is almost here…”  incredible!)

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

What we really need

28 Apr

Editors Note:  This was copied from a previous blog entry at a different website dated April 13, 2008.  Hope you enjoy it.

Today I was reading in the book of Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: I had recently done some traveling and have noticed one thing in particular:  We need the Holy Ghost in our lives above everything else!  We pray for more possessions, freedom from our responsibilities, etc, yet many of these blessings actually can become more of a snare than a real blessing so often of the time.  What we really need today more than ever before is for men and women to rise up like Anna in the New Testament who, awaiting the coming of her savior, dedicated her life to prayer and intercession on behalf of her fellow countrymen. We need Christians who know how to pray and that love the practice of prayer, who study their Bible: not to gain some intellectual advantage over their peers, but who with a broken heart search out even the hardest sayings in the Bible, whose hearts cry out like the psalmist David, Search me O God, and try me: see if there be any wicked way in me, anything that might hinder someone from finding and loving you.(pp)  We need believer’s who hunger for God to be seen flowing in and through them more than they yearn for financial success or the praise and adulation of men: men and women of all ages who possess within them a deep and burning desire to see lives changed; who have spent quality time in prayer, and who’s very lives testify against a society that has become absolutely barbaric and shocking in the sins of which it now openly practices, applauds, commits and accepts.

We have programs inside of our churches for everything that so much of the time replaces the original and true reason for Christian fellowship: empowerment.  Every time members of the early church came together the results were always the same: the Holy Ghost filling their hearts with the love and empowerment to win souls, to be kind to their enemies, to pray for their nation’s rebellious leaders (instead of tearing them down), etc.  Do you leave your church excited, bursting inside with the need to tell someone about the love of Jesus Christ? If you don’t chances are there may be something lacking either in your pastors’ personal prayer time or in your own walk with the Lord.  While on a vacation (during which God allowed me graciously to have the time to create this website) I purchased at a fairly reasonable price a new Bible software program that I had been praying for for quite some time.  Although I now have this software I know from experience that this in and of itself cannot magically make me a better Bible student.  I must first ask the Holy Ghost to help me so that:

1) I will not waste time playing with parts of this program that I do not need and am certainly not ready to use.

2) So that He will lead me to share the Scriptures as accurately as I can and with great joy and enthusiasm.

3) To empower my study so that He will cause Himself to remain glorified through the work if my hands, and through all the day.

To much of our time as Christians is spent on performing tasks that we are not really yet ready to handle or do not need.  I think of all the millions of dollars that are spent for things that steal our time away from Christ: especially for temporary entertainment and personal pleasure. I wonder where Christianity would be today if the first disciples instead of fasting and prayer gathered in that upper room for the sole purpose of playing video games  on their desert Sony X boxes and Play Station 2’s and 3’s. Sit and think for a while on how much time we waste.  Why don’t we a Christians put our idols away and pray for a generation of young people that have never known what it is to experience the love of Jesus Christ.  We should compare our lives as the followers of Christ to the writings found in the gospels and other portions of New Testament scripture and not to those that just happen to live and work around us.  How do our lives measure against the words of Jesus and not our western neighbors?  After all, that is how we will be judged at the resurrection.  Remember the words of Jesus “that those that have much, much will be required.”  We in America have more wealth than any other nation on earth.  How will we as Christians be judged who live in it, who consume so much of the resources that God give us on ourselves, in light of the affliction and poverty of those that we see all perhaps by television or the internet all around us.  Have our hearts become that hardened that we are unwilling to even share our bread with those that so desperately need it, not to mention the true bread that we have inside of us; the living Word of God.  Recall especially Matthew 25 where we find the parable of the talents, the wise and foolish virgins, and the parable of the sheep and the goats.  It was not so much what these so called believers did but what they didn’t do that excluded them from them partaking in the marriage supper of the lamb.

Today is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us all do our very, very best for Him.

Quote of the day: Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, wrote: “How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice . . . Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit . . . They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake God’s banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts . . . Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.”

Editors Note#2:  I wrote this very quickly while on vacation and without a whole lot of editing.  Apologize for any mistakes.  John Butzu

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PDF “What we really need”

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