God Speaks To Mankind

God has spoken to mankind over the centuries in many different ways, and in these last days He has given specific instructions.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, [2] in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Heb. 1:1-2 (emphasis added)

And then again,

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James a and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. [2] And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. [3] And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. [4] Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” [5] While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

Matt 17:1-5 (emphasis added)

That is pretty plain, is it not? God, the Father, has spoken to us through His Beloved Son, Jesus. By reading the Bible we can find out what He said. If someone claims to speak for Him, it will line up with what Jesus said. If it does not, the person is not speaking for God.

Thank you, God, for making it so simple!

No secret societies, no rituals, special prayer methods, magic words, secret oaths or mystic ceremonies. Just read what Jesus said in the Bible to know what God has said.

Carl

How religious is your state?

By Michael Lipka and Benjamin Wormald

Mississippi, Alabama and other Southern states are among the most highly religious states in the nation, while New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine in New England are among the least devout, according to some of the key measures used to determine levels of religiosity in the Pew Research Center’s most recent Religious Landscape Study.

To begin, select a state to see where it ranks in terms of overall religiosity. In exploring the interactive it is important to keep in mind that differences between two states may not always be statistically significant due to the margins of error that are inherent in this survey data.

To select a state click here.

“I Know Every Bird of The Mountains”

Cedar Waxwings

“I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is mine.”

The Lord – Psalms 50:11

Every winter we look forward to the arrival of the goldfinches and cedar waxwings. The flock of goldfinches arrived this morning and swarmed the sunflower seed and thistle feeders. The ground seems alive with all the birds moving around, feeding on the spillage.

The cedar waxwing flock will appear later in February or early March. They come for the red berries on the Holly tree. They do not come to the feeders. Sometimes the only way we know they are in the area, is we awake to find all of the berries gone. Occasionally you will see the flock in the trees but you have to wait for the Japanese plums to ripen to see the flock in action, diving, flying and fighting one another for the juicy plums.

I believe Jesus rejoiced greatly when He created the birds. Someone has said that butterflies are “flying flowers”. I think the same is true of most songbirds, the painted bunting, cardinals, cedar wax wings, indigo bunting, and such.

As I watch the birds feeding in the yard, I am always reminded of what the Lord told the disciples about the sparrows:

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food and the body than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”

Jesus – Matthew 6:25-26

May you remember His words the next time you see a sparrow or some other type of bird. Our Heavenly Father is just that, a Father, and He will take care of His children. And that is what biblically born again Christians are, His children.

He meets our every need. From the air that we breathe to the bed we lie down in at night, to the food that we partake of and the clothes that we wear. He even gives us the faith to believe the gospel and the grace to walk it out. He protects us from unseen evil and opens our eyes to understand that their are just some things we need to flee from. He has even prepared a place in His heaven for us and will take us there one day.

He truly is a father to us, His children.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name…

John 1:12

May each earthly need be met and rich, spiritual blessings be in your life!

Carl

Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”

Beth Moore Tempest (or How We Should Approach Bible Study)

The following is an excellent short article on how we should approach Bible study. It is written by Wallace Henley, a former White House and Congressional aide, who is senior associate pastor at Houston’s Second Baptist Church.  The article was published in The Christian Post on January 7, 2019.  I hope this speaks to you. God bless. Carl

Beth Moore Tempest

Beth Moore, my fellow Houstonian, has stirred quite a tempest in the teapot of social (and often anti-social) media. “Spending time with God and spending time with the Bible is not the same thing,” she said.

I had to settle the issue for myself in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when I was running from God’s core calling for my life—church-centered ministry. As a newspaper reporter, I interviewed Thomas Altizer, the prime celebrity of the “god-is-dead” movement, Episcopal Bishop James Pike, who was toying with the occult, and a famed Bible translator who himself was uncertain about the Bible’s inspiration.

And that’s just a sampling.

It was a period of intoxicating relativism, making even great theologians inebriated, some crazy-drunk, others merely tipsy.
In 1973, after a decade in journalism and government, God dramatically renewed the call to church ministry He had given me when I was fifteen. Within months, still somewhat under the influence of theological liberalism, I was pastor of a small Alabama congregation.

One Sunday, an elderly parishioner told me he loved my preaching. My head swelled until he told me the reason: My sermons were Bible-lite, short enough to get home for a nap and Sunday afternoon TV sports, and not long enough to put him to sleep in the pew.
As for the church, there was little growth in those early months, especially in baptisms.
Fresh from the Watergate White House when I entered the pastorate, I thought I was walking into a calm garden. Not so. People were desperately ill, families were in crisis, there were emergency pastoral calls in the wee hours.

I needed to go into the pulpit every Sunday with an assuring, confident, “Thus saith the Lord!” — a proclamation that would feed and strengthen the people God gave me to serve. Churches in America and Europe were shriveling under the tenuous, hedge-all-bets preaching that said, “… maybe God might be saying…”

Cal Thomas was and is a friend from our Washington days. One day Cal phoned, and told me of hearing a certain philosopher speak at a Houston church. “Have you ever read Francis Schaeffer?” he asked. I hadn’t, but soon plowed into Schaeffer’s writings.
“The Bible is the weapon which enables us to join with our Lord on the offensive in defeating the spiritual hosts of wickedness,” Schaeffer wrote. “But,” he continued, “It must be the Bible as the Word of God in everything it teaches…”

Jesus’ words were echoing all through this process, and even now reverberate in my spirit.

At one point Jesus thanked the Father for having “hidden” His profound revelation “from the wise and intelligent” and “revealed them to infants.” (Matthew 11:25) The Lord said that “unless you are converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

It hit me that I must be “converted” in my approach to Scripture, and become like a child.
That led me to what I call the “Wow!” principle of biblical interpretation.

So, if you want to meet God in the Bible and Him to meet you, approach it as a little child. Rather than noodling on “how” a virgin could get pregnant, a man could walk on water, heal the sick, cast out demons, atone for the sins of the world, rise from the dead, shout “Wow!”

In other words, move from “How?” to “Wow!” in reading the Bible.

As I write these words I look right across my desk and see a photo of Jim DeLoach. It’s on the cover of his funeral bulletin, dated December 4, 2018. The photograph shows Jim holding up a Bible in his left hand, and driving home a point with his right. I have never known a person who loved the Bible more than Jim.

He was in his nineties when he died, and still teaching a Bible class.

Jim was a “Wow!” guy with every reason in the world to get marooned on “How?” He was one of the few people who fought in both the Pacific and Atlantic in the Second World War. His best shipmate died agonizing from burns, in Jim’s arms. Later in life, Jim would spend long hours at the side of his beloved wife as she sank into illness, and died.

Nevertheless, Jim stayed in “Wow!” mode.

After leaving military service, Jim became a teaching assistant at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Among his students was a feisty young Mississippi boy full of “How?” questions. Jim recognized greatness in the young man, and nurtured in him a high view of Scripture midst a seminary that had gone far into the liberal theology camp.
The young man was Ed Young, destined to become the pastor of America’s largest Baptist Church—Second Baptist of Houston, with, at this writing, more than eighty thousand members, and preacher on “Winning Walk”, a global broadcast into more than a hundred nations.

Jim would spend more than forty years at Ed Young’s side as his friend, mentor and primary associate pastor.

I doubt there was ever a day when Jim DeLoach did not meet God in the Bible every time he opened its pages.

I know Ed Young, on whom Jim had so much influence, spends time with God when he spends time in the Bible because it is evident in his preaching and leadership.

So Beth Moore is both right and wrong: Read the Bible with the “How?” approach, and you probably won’t be spending time with God there.

Take the “Wow!” attitude of childlike wonder, and you will discover that you have indeed spent quality time with God.
Wallace Henley, a former White House and Congressional aide, is senior associate pastor at Houston’s Second Baptist Church. He is founder of Belhaven University’s Master of Ministry Leadership degree. He is co-author of God and Churchill, with the late Jonathan Sandys, Winston Churchill’s great-grandson.

 

Is The New Spirituality Correct About The Existence of Sin?

New age gurus, spirit guides, higher selfs, Ascended Masters, Cosmic Christs, “Master Jesus”, and other spirit entities teach their adherents that there is no sin, the person controls their destiny, and, since the adherent is god himself (so they teach), there is no coming judgement for sin only evolving into a higher plane of being.

This is a great deception like has never been seen in the western world before. Tens of millions, both religious and non-religious, are believing these doctrines of demons. Pew Research Center’s survey (December 2017) found that 60% of self-identified American Christians held at least one New Age belief. The evil spirits who masquerade as these entities know the truth. They are leading these people to the same destruction that awaits them.

To counter the New Age lies about there being no “sin” and “future judgement”, please consider the following:

  • There is a Day of Reckoning
  • There are Books containing the record of our sins.
  • You can pay for your own sins.
  • There is a better way.

THERE IS A DAY OF RECKONING

The truth is that there is a judgement of the dead. The following biblical Scriptures give us a glimpse of this yet to come event:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” Revelation 20:11-12

And

I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire.

A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10

This is the Great White Throne Judgement at the end of time. Holy God is the Judge and “thousands upon thousands” holy angels are attending Him. The others are the physically dead who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior.

There are several books present. One is the book of Life which contains the names of the redeemed. These are the saved who have trusted in the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.  His death on the cross paid for their sins. This book will be opened to see if the person’s name is listed as “redeemed”.

THERE ARE OTHER BOOKS CONTAINING RECORDS OF OUR SINS

The scripture also says “and books were opened”. What are these books? Well, these books contain our sins, more specifically our ungodly deeds. Not only our ungodly deeds though but our ungodly words also. Listen to Jesus’ half-brother Jude and Jesus Himself:

 “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”   Jude 14-15

Concerning our “words” Jesus Himself said:

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”      Matthew 12:36

So God has a record of not only a person’s ungodly deeds but his ungodly words also. Not only does “sin” exist, but there is a Holy God who is keeping track of each person’s “sin”. That is very sobering. Every ungodly thing you or I have ever done or said is written down in heaven.

Just think about standing alone before the Holy God of all creation and His Holy Host and being judged. All of our sinful deeds and words being revealed in such an pure and holy company and we’re having to answer for our actions!

THERE ARE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES IF YOU PAY FOR YOUR OWN SINS

This judgement will be a horrible for the person who has rejected Christ’s atoning sacrifice for their sins.  There is no way of escape. The person is already physically dead and the “second death” now looms before him. Payday has come.

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23

Since the person has rejected God’s payment for their sins, now they have to pay. He rejected God’s Love Gift to the world that paid for the world’s sins.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”   John 3: 16-17

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:8-10

This very Judge the person is standing before is the very One who was in-Christ on the cross reconciling the world to Himself. In other words, the Judge has already paid for the person’s sins but they rejected this free gift of salvation.

“… that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them…”  II Cor. 5:20

All hope will now flee away.  Despair. Terror. No ONE will escape.

The consequence of choosing to pay for your own sins, is to experience the “second death”. At the end of the person’s judgement and his guilt has been proven before a Holy God and the host of heaven, an angel will come forth and cast the person into the lake of fire where they will spend eternity.

This is how people will pay for their sins if they reject Christ.

This lake of fire was created by God for the devil and his angels, not man. God never intended for man to go there. This is what the new age spirit guides, Ascended Masters, higher selfs, false prophets and other spirit entities do not want you to know.

BUT IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son in to the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. John 3:16-17

Lord Jesus paid for our sins on the cross and God sent Him into the world for this purpose.

…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Therefore, repent (change your mind) of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today and be saved from the wrath of God that is coming. When I did this earlier in my life, God had an angel write in my sin account, PAID IN FULL BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.

Listen to what a murderer who repented and was saved, said about this:

And when you were dead in your transgressions…He made you alive together with Him, having FORGIVEN US ALL OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

Do you want your “certificate of debt” to be cancelled? Or do you want to stand before a Holy God and pay the “certificate of debt” yourself with your eternal well-being?

Flee to the cross of Jesus Christ. The proof that God accepted His sacrifice for your and my sins is that He raised Jesus from the dead.  He is now interceding for the believers in heaven.

Put your trust in what He did for you. Ask Him to save you and forgive you for all of your sins. And to come into your life and be your Lord.

The evil spirits that are deceiving millions in the New Spirituality or New Age movement know all of this. That is why they are working such deception and taking millions of souls captive through their lies. They know what awaits them, they can not repent and be saved.

But you can. Seize the opportunity before it is too late.

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered.
“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”  Romans 4:7-8

May your sins be covered by the precious blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

Carl

Adam and Eve or DNA “Bottleneck”?

Some media outlets announced evidence of the creation account, or at least the great Flood, after a study published in Human Evolution found that mitochondrial diversity in almost all species points to a common starting point about as early as 100,000 years ago.

In an effort to prove that mitochondrial DNA, found in organelles in each cell and which is distinct from the DNA in the nucleus of cells, is a reliable tool for identifying distinct lines with species or organisms, researchers Mark Stoeckle and David Thaler discovered that the 7.6 billion humans living on earth likely emerged from “a small population in which a sequence from one mother became the ancestor for all modern human mitochondrial sequences”.

Based on similar low genetic variation that they found among five million specimens of 100,000 animal species, they deduced that more than 90 percent of animal genetic lines emerged at the same time; and, they related the genetic bottlenecks in both humans and animals to “near extinction events.”

Although they used specific language to suggest that a worldwide catastrophe caused a reboot of sorts for all humans from a single ancestor, in response to the firestorm about their findings, Stoeckle and Thaler have since told at least one media outlet, “Our study follows mainstream views of human evolution. We do not propose there was a single ‘Adam’ or ‘Eve’. We do not propose any catastrophic events.”

Others have interpreted their research to claim that the human species has to “revamp” itself in the evolutionary process., and that through some unknown mechanism it occurs “in unison” with all animals.

Although the scientist reject the notion of an Adam and Eve creation, and presumably a Noah and Naamah reboot of creation, their work does provide some support for a number of points about creation that are made in Scripture.

For instance, their conclusions point to a sudden appearance of modern man and animals, which is consistent with both the creation and flood accounts.

Likewise, they did not find any “in-between” species.

This would appear to frustrate Darwin’s theory of evolution which is founded in part on the premise of “intermediate gradations, whereas species were formerly connected”. On the other hand, this finding is enterly consistent with the language of creation which uses language such as “after its kind” to describe the process for populating the earth.

(Cultural News – Baptist Message December 13, 2018)

The Bible says:

Genesis 1:26-28 NASBS

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

In the New Testament we discover the following about Jesus:

Colossians 1:15-16 NASBS

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. …

What a mighty God we serve. And He wants to have a relationship with us! Amazing.

May He bless you today as you follow Him.

Carl