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ABOVE AND BEYOND

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Exodus 20:4-6

(4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that

is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

(5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am

a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth

generation of them that hate me; (6) And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me,

and keep my commandments. 
King James Version

 

Many do not perceive the difference between the first and second commandments.

The first stresses the uniqueness of the Creator God, who is the Source of truth,

right values, and standards that will produce right relationships. It deals with what 

we worship. An idol is something we make and assign value to here on earth, but God

comes into our life from beyond this physical realm.

The second commandment covers a specific area of idolatry, God's spirituality. 

Jesus says we must worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). God wants us to

worship, be devoted, and respond to what He is and what He is doing, not what we

think He looks like. He wants us to emulate His character and the way He lives.

The second commandment deals with the way we worship.

The second commandment's most obvious aspect governs the use of physical

"helps" or "aids" in worshipping the invisible, spiritual God. It prohibits the use of

anything that represents God or could become an object of veneration. It forbids any

kind of likeness of Christ such as crucifixes, pictures, and statues. John W. Ritenbaugh



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Thanks to you, and the choices youve made; God Surely guided you, kept you continuously working to keep a family together.

You are amazing and such a blessing. YOUVE GIVEN A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO THE WORD BROTHER!!

Amazing man! Exceptional role model! I'm sure your Mom is smiling down on you from heaven. You are a hero!

When he built all of these homes for single mothers, I knew he was an angel in disguise.

I'll bet he stands for our National Anthem.

..............SL,BD,GCB

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-- Edited by clarity101 on Monday 19th of August 2019 09:24:02 AM

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CERN and Bible Prophecy Jesus said the last days leading up to His return would be as the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37). Back in the days of Noah, an attempt to open a door into the spiritual realm was made with the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). Today, CERN is another attempt at doing the same thing... What is CERN? CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and they operate the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, where the renowned Large Hadron Collider (LHC) resides. The Hadron Collider (also referred to as CERN) is the worlds largest and most powerful particle accelerator and the largest machine man has ever made; its a whopping seventeen miles long and buried 574 feet beneath the earths surface. Many eminent physicists believe it has the potential to destroy not just the world, but the universe itself. Without going into the details or a technical definition, the LHC was designed to smash sub-atomic particles together at or close to the speed of light in order to break them apart and find the original particle that ignited or started the universe a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the so-called God Particle. But what exactly are the scientists at CERN hoping to accomplish by this? All the signs of the last days are converging at the same time. Bible Prophecy is happening right before our eyes and like birth pains, the predicted events are happening more frequently and more intently. Never, in the history throughout the world have so many forces, including economic, scientific, techno-logic, ecologic, cultural, geopolitical, moral, spiritual and religion, converged together to bring this world that's already teetering over the edge into the abyss, to a point of no return. Jesus said when you see all these signs happening, know that I am near, even at the door. For more in-depth studies, commentary, and analysis of Bible Prophecy and End Times events visit our web site www.prophecyupdate.com and sign-up for our free newsletter

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Deuteronomy 11:16

(16) Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived,

and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 
King James Version 

God says, "Take heed to yourselves." What does this tell us? This means pay attention! Take care. Guard yourself. Watch out. We cannot just skip our way into the Kingdom of God. It will take a great deal of effort.

Does not Christ tell us to "watch and pray always" (Luke 21:36)? But He does not say to watch just world events. One of the things that we have to watch most closely is ourselves.

"Take heed to yourselves"what we are allowing yourself to do; what we are getting involved in; who our friends are, how much time we are spending on this, that, and the other thing. How close is our relationship with God? That is what we must watch and take heed of.

God wants us to jealously protect our spiritual growth. Once we develop a trait of godly character, we should never give it up! Guard that eternal life that has been built within usby God's grace and our yieldedness.

Most of the time, people become deceived because they are not watching what is going on. They are in "la-la land." Something intrudes into their lives, and they follow it because they have no strength to resist. They have not been watching themselves.

God's way requires constant vigilance. "Watch and pray always," Jesus says. Our guard has to be up against deception all the time. We have to have our antennas out, making sure that what we hear is true. Thus, if we become deceived, whose fault is it? Is it God's or ours? God says, "Take heed to yourself." He has shown us the way to live. He has revealed it to us. He has left nothing hidden that we need to know. So whose fault is it, if we get tripped up? We are not going to be able to accuse God of it. So who is left? We are.

 

 Richard T. Ritenbaugh

 



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 Nehemiah 5:14-15

(14) Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. (15) But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God. 
King James Version   Change your email Bible version

Few of us know much about Nehemiah or the times he lived in. Our mental picture of him is that he was austere, harsh, and perhaps even pharisaical. From what the Bible presents of him, he was undoubtedly serious about his responsibilities, brave, and circumspect, and he loved and feared God. His character displays a lofty nobleness. Regardless of our estimation, God thinks highly of him, and his life was so remarkable He included a few vignettes of it in His Word for our instruction.

When the Persian king appointed him governor of the Jewish exiles who had returned to Palestine from Babylon, Nehemiah discovered that the governors before him were in the habit of "squeezing" the people for their own gain. Nobody would have wondered if Nehemiah had done the same. Is that not the way people in government operate? Everybody does it! The people would have simply shrugged their shoulders, fully expecting it as the way things are done. It was the custom. Nehemiah's standard, however, was exceedingly higher: His hands must be absolutely clean.

Why did he do it? He feared God! Nehemiah's way of living reached down into the nitty-gritty of everyday life and may have involved considerable sacrifice. He would not operate the way the world does. Certainly, the laborer is worthy of his hire, but sometimes sacrifices must be made, and Nehemiah determined this was one of them. He would not conform to what everyone else did. Several other vignettes from the same book confirm this was not a one-time occurrence. Unless we are willing to say, "No," to what everybody else is doing, and do it often, our Christian life will be static from its outset.

God and the world do not have the same perspectives on how to live life. Once we have the right standards, God's standards, saying, "No," to ourselves is of paramount importance if we want to put on the image of God and remove the image of this world. The world, combined with our own carnality, keeps pressuring us to conform to its attitudes and ways, and if we are passive, it is easy for us to drift with its way of thinking. We must make choices. Sometimes, they are very difficult because of the sacrifice involved. In them, we will show whether we respect God and His purpose or this world.

The fear of God must become a foundation stone to us, one of the kind of nobility and strength of character Nehemiah possessed. It does not matter whether the issue is losing weight because of gluttony or eliminating debt because of covetousness. The people of the world take little notice of God until trouble is already upon them. But we must learn to do all things to glorify God, and it takes deeply respecting Him to do this. Honestly, would Jesus allow Himself to drift from His focus on glorifying God to become obese or in debt to the point of bankruptcy? His respect forfear ofGod would not permit Him to do these things.

The Christian has to rip himself from the world's way of thinking and doing. He must be a nonconformist in this regard. He must always understand that the world, though mentioning God frequently, does not fear Him, as its conduct shows. Romans 3:18 asserts, "There is no fear of God before their eyes." A Christian must consciously march to the beat of a different drummer.

Why do we not all conduct our life the way Nehemiah did? Partly because of laziness, to a degree because of cowardice, and sometimes because of ignorance. At times, we are so out of touch with God, we become swept up in sinful activity before we are aware what is going on. Yet, at other times, we fail because of this powerful sheep characteristic to give in to the impulse of the moment because everybody else is doing it. There is no tyranny like the tyranny of the majority. It can be every bit as harsh as the tyranny of a despot. Either can put us into bondage. Unless we are willing to look at things through the eyes of God and stand on our own two feet because we fear Him, we will be just as helplessly enslaved to the opinions of the hour as ever.

It is a historical truism that truth on an issue often lies with the minority. The opinions and ways of the majority are often impulsive, taking the path of least resistance without being concerned about the long-range effects. Those in the minority usually have the advantage of thinking things through because they know their ideas will be unpopular and resisted, and so they prepare themselves better.

God is most concerned about how things end, the conclusion of a matter. He wants us to understand what the fruit of an action will be. Nehemiah was willing to be different, a non-conformist if conforming was wrong. His respect for God and what God thought was greater than his fear of what men would think of him or what he would have to deny himself.

 John W. Ritenbaugh



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GOD is calling End Time America to : *REPENT, embrace the LORD 100%,

be 'spotless & blameless' (Ephes 5:27 ) & 'STOP SINNING'

(1Cor 15:34) --VS-- LUKEWARM TV Preachers, false shepherds,

false prophets LEADING GOD's people astray. All like 'VOMIT'

in the LORD's mouth. (Rev 3:16)



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FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

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Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen



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Amen.

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"Only an alert & knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial & military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods & goals, so that security & liberty may prosper together".    Dwight D.Eisenhower.



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Hebrews 8:6-13

(6) But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (8) For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (9) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (11) And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (13) In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. 
King James Version   Change your email Bible version

In verses 8-12, Paul quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-34. The writer begins by telling us that God found fault with the men of old, and this leads to the quotation from Jeremiah 31 in Hebrews 8:8.

From the failures of the past, Jeremiah turned his vision to the future. There are four significant things prophesied by Jeremiah and quoted by Paul about the new covenant in verses 10-12:

First, the New Covenant is inward and dynamic: It is written on the hearts and minds of the people. A shortcoming of the Old had been its outwardness. It had divinely given laws, but it was written on tablets of stone. Jeremiah looked for a time when people would not simply obey an external code but would be so transformed that God's own laws would be written in their inmost beings.

Second, there is a close relationship between the God who will be "their God" and the people, he says, who will be "My people." The change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant is that while the formula of the covenant remains the same from age to age, it is capable of being filled with fresh meaning to a point where it can be described as a "new" covenant. "I will be your God" acquires fuller meaning with every further revelation of the character of God.

Third, all who enter it will have knowledge of God. There will be no need for a person to instruct his neighbor. The word rendered neighbor in verse 11 means "citizen," and thus a "fellow-citizen." Jeremiah moves from the wider relationship in the community to the narrower relationship in the family, saying that in neither case will there be a need to exhort anyone to know God because everyone will know Him.

This does not mean that under the conditions of the New Covenant there will be no place for a teacher. There will always be the need for those who have advanced in the Christian way to pass on to others the benefit of their knowledge. Rather, the meaning is that the knowledge of God will not be confined to a privileged few (as with the priesthood of ancient Israel). All those under the New Covenant will have their own intimate and personal knowledge of their God.

Fourth, under the New Covenant, sins are forgiven. Following repentance of sins and acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, sins are forgiven. The superior sacrifice of Christ is offered once and for all, paying the penalty of sin for those who repent.

 Martin G. Collins



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Shawnee_B wrote:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen


 

 

 AMEN!

 



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Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen



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LET'S GO BRANDON!

 



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Psalm 91 King James Version (KJV)

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.



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SELLC wrote:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen


 i have spent my entire life. as far back as i can remember, in prayer....

and that was the first prayer i learned.....Matthew 6:9-13

 

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June 1957

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-- Edited by clarity101 on Friday 23rd of August 2019 12:16:09 PM

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Romans 5:12

(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 
King James Version 

 

When Adam and Eve sinned, God judged them. Since they were the father and mother of all of mankind, and they were the only representatives of mankind at the time, all of mankind figuratively sinned in Adam and Eve. God's judgment was correct, because given the chance, every human has sinned.

What then happened to Adam and Eve? They were ushered out of the Garden, and God put a cherubim at its entrance to guard the Garden and the Tree of Life so that nobody could get back in. This is why at times the Bible bids people to return to God when they had never seemingly turned away from Him. Yet, all of mankind did turn away from God in Adam and Eve, and He invites us to return to the place, symbolically, where everything started, back to the environs He occupies, where the Tree of Life is.

The relationship with God is everything to our salvation. Without what Christ did in dying for our sins, we would not be in the position to have one with Him. Christ's payment of our sins opens up the way for a relationship to be built and for us to grow in the Holy Spirit, because now we have access to the Tree of Life in a relationship with God.

 

 John W. Ritenbaugh



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 Zechariah 3:1-5

(1) And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. (2) And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. (4) And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (5) And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. 
King James Version 

Zechariah 3 shows a future fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. This book was written after Judah's return from Babylon. Even after that national chastening, the people were still carnal, just as Israel is today. Here, the prophet receives a vision of the high priest, Joshua. Notably, the chapter contains the same elements and sequence as Leviticus 16. It starts with the cleansing of the high priest and ends with the cleansing of the nation. What is missing is the sacrificial animals, and this is because, here, God is providing the atonement through a different means.

The essential function of the high priest was to represent the nation to God, which is part of why the Golden Calf incident was so appallingthe nation's representative was directly involved in the sin of idolatry. Similarly, in Zechariah 3:3, the high priest is depicted in filthy garments, yet in verse 4, the filth and iniquity are taken away. The high priest receives rich robes, symbolic of righteousness from God Himself (compare Revelation 19:8).

Verse 5 mentions the high priest's turban. Exodus 28:38 reveals that the purpose of the turban was to bear iniquity, so the high priest symbolically carried iniquity throughout the year. Then, on Atonement, the iniquity was symbolically transferred to the goat of departure and sent away. In Zechariah's vision, the priestly garments are filthy, and a clean turban is needed. The high priest's defilement shows that the nation had been completely unclean. But God restores the high priest, giving His explanation in verses 8-9:

Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, you and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription, says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Zechariah makes no mention of animal sacrifices. This removal of iniquity can only come through the Messiah, the Branch mentioned in verse 8 (see also Isaiah 4:211:1Jeremiah 23:533:15Zechariah 6:12).

Leviticus 18:28 speaks of the land becoming defiled and vomiting out its inhabitants. The Day of Atonement is an annual type of bearing away of sin, out of the land, so the land and its people become clean before God. This national cleansing of land and nation, however, did not happen at Christ's first coming. Though the means of that true cleansing was created through His sacrifice, it has not yet been applied. God's cleansing of the land and people of Israel is still future.

The beginning of this vision (verses 1-2) contains another significant factor. Note that God rebukes Satan before He cleanses the nation. There is a possible connection here with Satan's binding (Revelation 20:1-3): In other instances of God rebuking a party, it typically goes beyond divine words and involves divine action (see Psalm 9:568:30Isaiah 17:1-3). God's rebuke may find its fulfillment in Satan's binding, and Israel's cleansing follows it.

The critical point is that atonementexpiation, satisfaction of the legal debtcan come only through Christ's removal of guilt, not through anything that happens to Satan. The nation is cleansed by God removing the iniquity, not through rebuking the accuser. In this vision, if Satan were only rebukedand in parallel, if Satan were just boundthe nation would remain in its defiled state, still separated from God, unatoned.

 

 David C. Grabbe



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Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,

to them who are the called according to his purpose.



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Deuteronomy 31:6  ~ Be strong and of a good courage, fear not,

nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee;

he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Amen

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Preacher Perverts Scripture To Support Socialism - DC Dirty Laundry

When politicians aka criminals in government misrepresent God's word, it is to be expected since these individuals seek to justify their bad behavior and coerce the weak-minded to accept their immoral, illegal and corrupt ways. However, when a man professing to be a "man of God" misrepresents the Word of God to promote the immoral ways of socialism, ...

Read the article on dcdirtylaundry.com >


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Baby Killers

By Joan Swirsky: Since Roe v Wade was passed in January 1973, over 61 million babies have

been killed--legally...Now Democrats are going much further and supporting abortion all the

way up to the moment of birth... "Thou shalt not kill." - Exodus 20:13 "...I have set before you

life and death, blessings and curses.

Read the article on capitolhilloutsider.com >


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Hosea 4:1-2

(1) Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. (2) By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

  Hosea 4:11-12

(11) Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. (12) My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. 
King James Version   Change Bible versions

The Hebrew word zanah, translated as "harlotry," is not the word used to indicate a single act of adultery. Instead, it means "sexually wanton," meaning something done repeatedly as a way of life. Ultimately, it is understood spiritually to signify idolatry. Hosea 4:11-12 defines it in this manner: "Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart. My people ask counsel from the wooden idols, and their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, and they have played the harlot against their God."

By linking zanah, harlotry, with wine and new wine, God is showing that this spiritual harlotry has addictive power. "Enslave the heart" illustrates that this faithless spirit bends the heart to obey its desires, and in the process, it destroys discretion and understanding. Recall that Psalm 119 repeatedly states that meditating on God's Word and obeying His commandments give understanding, indicating a major way in which we come to know God. However, if a person practices faithlessness, loss of understanding results. No constructive wisdom ever results from breaking any of God's commands.

 John W. Ritenbaugh



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Thousands of people chose to give their lives to Jesus this weekend at an 

Anaheim, Calif. crusade that honored God and country.

 
FOXNEWS.COM
 
100,000 attend California crusade focused on God and country


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Romans 12:1 (1)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

King James Version

The reality of the New Testament's teaching is that becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ obligates a person to a great deal of sacrificeeven to the point of becoming what the apostle Paul calls being a living sacrifice." The disciple of Christ is clearly the sacrifice. Why do the sanctified ones make these sacrifices since the price they pay for forgiveness is dedicated, obedient devotion to the leadership of Jesus Christ?

This price requires the sacrifice of every function of a Christian's body, mind, and spirit to the way of God. It can be very costly. It may cost the Christian His employment because of work requirements on the Sabbath. He may lose his family attachments because the family may not accept his beliefs. He may lose his general acceptance within a community for the same reason.

We commit to Christ for two primary reasons. The first is personal and somewhat self-centered: We want to be delivered from the burden of the death penalty, and we desire the awesome rewards God promises like everlasting life and, sharing eternity with our Creator and Savior. The second is generally slower to grow within us but proves far more critical in the end: We love God and desire the completion of His purpose in us. Through baptism, we want the means to express that love for God and for others as He continues with His creative purposes, preparing us for active participation in His Family in the Kingdom of God.

We should never let the encouraging Romans 5:1-5 slip from our minds:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

These verses, naming gifts God gives us upon our agreeing to the New Covenant, remain as a brief but constant reminder of how the New Covenant enables us. They inspire and empower our faith in ways no prior covenant, even with God, has. But the New Covenant does not erase God's laws, just the penalty we have incurred by breaking them. Even the sacrificial laws involving animals, though they no longer have to be physically made, remain part of the Word of God because we can learn so much from them. They deepen and broaden our understanding of the sacrifices we must make under the New Covenant to show love to both God and men.

 John W. Ritenbaugh



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TIMESOFISRAEL.COM

Newly deciphered Moabite inscription may be first use of written word Hebrews

Archaeology is cool!



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God has been faithful. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 -

The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.



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 Proverbs 4:23-27

(23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

(24) Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

(25) Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

(26) Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

(27) Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. 
King James Version

The sense of "keep your heart" is that we need to exert more vigilance in guarding our minds than men do over anything else. Governments go to great pains to guard their installations, plans, and secrets, but God says that it is even more important to guard what we allow to reside in our minds.

Why is this is so important? Because our hearts, our minds, guide and direct everything we do, and if we do not guard and protect them from the ungodly ideas, beliefs, and entertainments, they can cause our spiritual downfall. It is in our minds and hearts that our characters are shaped, and if we allow perverse and unrighteous character to enter, the righteous character that God wants to see in us will never form.

The other instructions that Solomon gives spring from this. He tells us to ponder and control what comes out of our mouth and what we allow our eyes to view. He teaches us to make sure our feet stay on the right path, as well as to work on establishing our habits and manner of living, meaning we should not become involved in insensitive, hasty, careless, and destructive actions. The prophet Haggai puts all this very concisely, "Consider your ways!" (Haggai 1:5, 7).

 

 John O. Reid 



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 Deuteronomy 7:7-11

(7) The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: (8) But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (9) Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; (10) And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. (11) Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. 
King James Version 

Being chosen to be God's special treasure and become holy had nothing to do with any of our accomplishments, race, nationality, gender, IQ, or academic training. We are special and thus blessed because God loves us and because He is faithful to His promises to the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He reinforces these points by emphasizing that He is faithful, as well as by warning us that He is a God of justice.

Therefore, He is clearly stating that the foundation of this relationship is based completely in what He is within Himself, otherwise the relationship would have never gotten past the casual stage of mere acquaintance. The vast majority in the world who call themselves Christian are merely acquainted with God. By God's personal calling (John 6:44, 65), we have been made specialto have an intense and intimate relationship with Him. The very character of God, not any excellence in those He has chosen, is the basis for our being special.

This gives us no room for pride. He was not somehow attracted to us because we had been seeking Him all our lives, were so attractive, or had done so many good things. On the other hand, this blessing gives cause for a great deal of gratitude, and just as in a marriage, this specialness brings responsibilities.

God proclaims Himself to be the faithful God, and in Deuteronomy 7:11, He broadly states the means by which we are expected to prove our faithfulness in return: We are responsible to keep His commandments, statutes, and judgments. As in a marriage, because the parties have become special to each other, they are responsible to be faithful to each other above all others. A covenant made before God binds us to this intense, marital faithfulness.

I Peter 2:9 states this responsibility in a somewhat different manner: "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him, who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." Notice his sentence begins with "but," introducing an explanation of why the chosen are to be different from the disobedient of verses 7-8, and of what they are obligated to do.

As stated here, the responsibility of God's own special people is to proclaimto show forth (KJV)the praises of Him who has called us. The proclaiming is accomplished through speech and conduct. We show forth His praises in our witness through faithful obedience, just as is commanded in Deuteronomy 7:11.

I Peter 1:13-16 shows that being a special treasure and holiness are inextricably linked:

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

God emphasizes "special treasure" to impress us with the magnitude of His blessing in making us special and the critical importance of our difference from others expressed through holy conduct.

It is important to consider our calling as God's peculiar treasure a tremendous blessing that we never allow to slip from our minds. It opens the door to the knowledge of God, faith, forgiveness, His Holy Spirit, access to Him, transformation to be like Him, and an endless supply of other things He provides, besides everlasting life. However, there are specific things we must do and cannot do because we are special.

 

 John W. Ritenbaugh



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Too many people have an unwavering loyalty to a Religious personality 

rather than to the Lord Jesus and His Word. Their unwillingness to test 

every mans teaching with Gods Word is fertile ground for deception to flourish.

 

69827657_2369870869758071_17742029550633



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Habakkuk 1:2-4

(2) O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! (3) Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. (4) Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. 
King James Version 

The anguish in his voice is palpable. "God, I've been crying out to You day and night, and still violence, perversity, and all these terrible things are happening in the land. How long will this evil last? How much longer must we endure this constant wickedness, this corruption? When are you going to act, God?" We have probably prayed similar prayers ourselves: "We need You, God. How long, O Lord?"

Ezekiel was a slightly later contemporary of Habakkuk. In Ezekiel 9:1-6 is a prophecy, a vision, that he saw while a captive in Babylon. The vision describes what God was doing in Judah and answers, at least in part, Habakkuk's question: "Why have You not judged all this evil, God?" His reply in Ezekiel 9 is, "I am going through the land, through My chosen people, and I am marking each one who sighs and cries over what is happening. I am searching out and seeing who is righteous, who has character, and whom I must destroy."

It is good that we mourn over all the corruption, wickedness, and abominations that are happening in this land. It tells God something about our heart and our character. He is seeking out those who are concerned, distressed, and repulsed by what is occurring around them, and He is setting them apart for deliverance. All the while, we must endure it, but it is a necessary wait, because it takes time for God to evaluate our character, to see what we will do over the long haul. As Jesus advises in Luke 21:19, "In your patience possess your souls."

So we must ask ourselves, "How do we react to what is happening in our nation?" How do we react to sex and violence on television, movies, and magazines, in books, on billboards, and in just about all advertising and entertainment? How do we react to terrorism, to drug use, to abortion, to oppression? How do we react to our court system, which allows so much injustice to stand? How do we react to racial inequalities? Have we become numb and hardened to all of these things, or do we still sigh and cry over the depths of this nation's depravity?

Habakkuk is certainly concerned, and so he asks God for answers, crying out, "Save us!" God replies in Habakkuk 1:5-11, and His reply is very interesting.

 

 Richard T. Ritenbaugh

To learn more, see:
Habakkuk

Listen to this sermon


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Vice President Mike Pence is urging people to spend more time on their knees in prayer than they do online, particularly when faced with challenges.

CHRISTIANPOST.COMVP Mike Pence: Spend more time in prayer than online

 

Speaking at Alliance Defending Freedom's fireside chat Tuesday, the vice president addressed the controversy that surrounded his wife, second lady Karen Pence, earlier this year when it became known that she was returning to teaching art part-time at a Christian school in northern Virginia where she previously taught when he was...



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