Friday, January 15, 2016

Being Weak



        There are times when weakness and vulnerability are necessary to living a Godly life. Why do I say that? It’s simple… God can work with a weak and vulnerable person. God can teach His ways to a person who is weak and vulnerable. God is near to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He is near to those who are lowly. In Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

        I would like to say that I am a man of Godly character, or a man that is strong in the Lord, or a man with courage to face any giant. But, that’s just not the case. I am a weak and vulnerable man. I have been struggling with my own sexual sins lately. I don’t go around having sex with every woman I see, but I do lust after them. I know that it’s not right, but it is a weakness that I am struggling with. There have been days when I do well, but there are other days when I fail miserably and have to ask God for forgiveness. I just hope that I can overcome this. God has given us people in the bible to teach us that we can come to him in our weaknesses.

        David, King of Israel, had a weakness with women as well. He had many wives, but it wasn’t enough for him when Beersheba came along bathing naked right in front of him. If this is a graphic image than forgive me: it’s what happened. David gave in to his lust, had sex with Beersheba, and killed her husband. David did horrible things in a period of life when he was weak. It’s not an excuse because David was accountable for what happened. When Nathan confronted him by the Word of the Lord, David confessed. The consequences were that the child of Beersheba died, and a curse came on David’s house forever.

        However, God didn’t take His Holy Spirit from David like He did to Saul, nor did He take his mercy away from him and his house. David still became one of the greatest kings of Israel—even with his character flaws. I, sometimes, hoped that my own flaws would just go away and be covered up like David tried to do before Nathan confronted him. It doesn’t work that way. Sin will always come to the surface, and the consequences will always happen to someone. I am in a period in my life when I am weak, and that’s when the devil takes advantage. Satan wants you to sin, so he can tell God of how much you are not worth saving. God is gracious and merciful: David was delivered from his son, Absalom, who wanted to take his throne. God also kept David for his Kingdom because in Ezekiel, God said that David would be prince over Israel.

        I am weak and vulnerable. Sometimes I am weak and vulnerable because of my own sins, and sometimes because of things that I have no control over. In November 2012, I had been diagnosis with Schizophrenia, and had to take certain meds that make me weak and vulnerable while I sleep—if I sleep at all. The meds make it difficult to sleep at times, and I pray every night for a good night’s rest. I pray every night that the meds would do the job in getting rid of the mental illness—although God could just heal me if He chose. However, that is not what is happening, and I am reminded of Paul’s ordeal with the thorn to the flesh. He was told that Christ’s grace is sufficient for him, and that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. This is in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

        Paul boasted of his weaknesses because it made Christ strong through him. I don’t consider my weaknesses and vulnerabilities a thing to boast about. But, I am realizing that the more I am weak and vulnerable, the more that God is gracious, merciful, and strong in my life. So, if you are weak and vulnerable, boast in them because God is gracious and strong through you. God loves you as he loves me, and He wants you to be in his kingdom. You have weaknesses? You have sins? You have vulnerabilities? Give them to God because he is strong, gracious and merciful. Not only that, Jesus Christ died for you, so that He could get rid of those past sins with His own blood. He can also heal you with his wounded body. Stay close to Him in your weaknesses and vulnerabilities because He will never fail you.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

America, Why Are You Still Defying Him?

           O America, this is the seventh year in God's cycle. What I mean by that is that this is the year that we are suppose to forgive debts, let the land rest (Leviticus 25:1-7), and set your slaves free. since we don't have slaves in this nation, we don't have to worry about that. However, we are suppose to do a land rest, and forgive debts. This nation has the most fertile land in the world, and we need to take care of that land. Part of the reason why God wanted the land to rest was because the nutrients that it needs will go back into the soil in order for the land to remain fertile. If you don't do a land rest to refresh the land, you have to use fertilizers to give the land what it needs instead of doing it naturally. Because this nation vowed a vow of defiance against God, we won't do what He says to do. That will cost us dearly. We haven't learned from the last two seven year cycles. We had the terrorist attacks in 2001, and the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. What will happen when we won't obey God this time?
            America, how long will you defy the LORD with your arrogance? We are now allowing homosexuals to marry, which is contrary to God's way of life. God created man and woman for the purpose of producing Godly seed. Homosexuals cannot procreate, and they will die in their sins. God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah because they had people who were homosexuals. Do you think, O Fairest in the land, that you will live as a nation for doing the samething? What you are doing is an abomination! The law says in Leviticus 18:22 that men laying with another man as with a woman is a abomination. Paul also said, in I Corinthians 6:9, that homosexuality will prevent you from inheriting the Kingdom of God, so we need to repent as a people for allowing this. This nation is under the judgment of God, and nothing but repentance from our wickedness and having a humble heart can save us. Only this can give the LORD Jesus Christ a reason to intercede for us.
              I don't consider myself a prophet; for God chooses to speak through anyone who He wishes to speak through. He chooses to speak through the WORD of God, which is the bible. We need to listen. We need to do what the word says to do, and that includes following Jesus Christ from the heart. I am not perfect like any other man and woman on the earth. Only Jesus Christ was perfect. That's how He was able to cleanse us of our sins with His blood, and heal us of our wounds with His body. Passover is coming up, and those who are baptized and have the Spirit of God in them will partake of the bread and the wine, which Christ instructed to do on the Passover. Most Americans will celebrate Easter deceived into believing that a Christianized pagan holiday will please the LORD. We are suppose to keep His days that were written in Leviticus 23.
              I asked you, O reader, what would happen to America if we didn't obey God. I cannot predict what will God do because He never told me directly. God can show us what He will do through signs, but that requires us knowing how He thinks and acts in the affairs of men. This means reading His Word, and learning from history. In America, God punished the nation by giving them a depression in the 1930s, and that depression affected Europe as well. It was because of this depression in Germany that allowed Hitler to rise to power. Germans were out of work, and turned to the government to get them working again. The Nazis promised the people that they would get them back to work, so the people voted them in. Before the Germans realized the danger they were in, Hitler seized power.  If history repeats itself, and America goes into another depression. The world will also go into another depression, and that will surely bring about a leader in Europe to bring the people back to work using the mark of the beast system. I cannot say that America will come into a depression, but history has taught us how God works.
               O America, God is merciful, and is willing to forgive if we just turn to Him and forsake our own way. However, if we don't do that, God will raise up a power to fight against us. Because of our sins, we will be destroyed. God doesn't want the death of the wicked, but for the wicked to repent and turn to Him by doing what is lawful and right. God doesn't change because man doesn't change. Believing that we have all the answers without God's involvement is like the people of Babel whom built themselves a tower. God scattered them, confused their language, and they stopped building the tower. What do you think, O America, would happen when we do the samething? This is a time for getting our house in order, and returning to our Creator. How long will we, as a nation, defy Him before we get it?

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Second Adam



        When you hear the name Adam, you automatically think about the first created human being. God created him from the dust of the ground to be in His image and of His likeness. Adam was designed for perfection from the beginning because God said that his creation was good, and that included man. Adam was the first self-governing human being in history, and God gave him law and freedom. The law was to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and freedom was to be able to eat from every other tree in the Garden of Eden. Eating the forbidden fruit made one know good and evil, and the consequence of that led to death. Breaking the law of God is sin, and the wages of sin is death.

        Had Adam not sinned, he could have been the perfect being to give mankind eternal life through the tree of life that was planted in the Garden. But, Adam sinned, ate the forbidden fruit and broke the law, and death reigned from Adam. Because of his sin, God had to separate Adam and Eve from the tree of life. Man wanted to do it their own way without God by knowing good and evil—even though the only way to truly know good and evil is to learn it from the Being that can discern good from evil: God. But, God wanted something better for us: he wanted us to have life and life eternal. Because death reigned from Adam, we were in desperate need of a Savior to reverse what Adam did.

        Then the second Adam came through the womb of the Virgin Mary, and he was called Jesus the Christ. It was said from Gabriel the archangel that Jesus was to save us from our sins, and He was to be the Son of God. It’s true that Jesus is the Son of God, and the signs and wonders that were performed through Him were proofs of his divinity. Jesus had a union with God the Father that only a family relationship can have between a Father and His Son. Adam could have had this family relationship with God, but he chose to separate himself from God. Jesus chose to stay close to God with every move that he made on earth—even in prayer. There are other attributes that the second Adam had that the first Adam didn’t have.

        According to Robert Lewis’s Raising a Modern-Day Knight, the first thing that Jesus had that Adam didn’t was the following: he rejected passivity. While Adam looked on when Eve was seduced by the serpent to eat of the forbidden fruit, Adam didn’t try to stop Eve from eating the fruit or defend God’s command to not eat of it. He passively let the serpent seduce Eve. On contrary, Jesus rejected being passive. He was active all throughout his ministry. He even provoked the Scribes and Pharisees by healing on the Sabbath. It was forbidden to heal on the Sabbath according to the Pharisee’s oral law, but that was a tradition of men. Jesus knew it, and actively broke the oral law to heal on the Sabbath.

        The second thing that Jesus had that Adam didn’t was the following: He accepted his responsibility while Adam ran from his responsibility. When Adam sinned and his eyes were open knowing good and evil, what did he do when God confronted him with what happened? He ran away, hid himself because of his shame, and even blamed Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. He didn’t take responsibility for his own actions. Jesus did the opposite. He accepted his responsibility of the crucifixion for us even though he prayed that the cup pass from him. He prayed sweating blood to avoid the suffering, but once he realized the will of God, He faced it like a man. “For the Lord God will help me; / Therefore I will not be disgraced; / Therefore I have set My face like a flint, / And I know that I will not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7).

        The third thing that Jesus had that Adam didn’t was the following: He led courageously. Adam let Eve eat of the forbidden fruit, and did not rebuke her. He also let Eve convince him to eat of the fruit; he didn’t lead courageously to stop the serpent or Eve from sinning. He let Eve be in charge, and that’s why God said that the woman had to submit to her husband. On the contrary, Jesus actively provoked the Scribes and Pharisees because of their traditions. Jesus even proclaimed a series of woes against them knowing that they were plotting to kill Him. Jesus publicly proclaimed that the temple would be desolate because of the sins of the Scribes and Pharisees. It took a lot of courage to publicly proclaim destruction for a place, but Jesus did it.

        The fourth thing that Jesus had that Adam didn’t was the following: He expected a Godly reward. Adam was handed everything that He had by God. He had abundance of food, had animals to play with, and a wife to love. Adam didn’t have to expect a reward for his actions because he was already handed the best things by God. Adam even had the tree of life in the Garden with him, but didn’t eat of it. Adam lost the best things when he sinned. Jesus, on the other hand, often spoke to the disciples about his death and the reward of His resurrection. Jesus looked to the Godly reward of the resurrection in order to face the terrible torment of His crucifixion. Jesus knew that His Father would resurrect Him from the dead after the 3rd day.

        The last thing that I will mention that Jesus had that Adam didn’t was the following: He’s a life giving Spirit while Adam was made from the dust of the ground. Adam was an example of how man can fail without God. Adam was a life-taking person that drew his life from Eve, and not from God. But Jesus is the giver of life to all men, and He’s in union with God the Father. Jesus didn’t speak anything unless the Father gave Him the words to speak. Before He became flesh, Jesus was the Word of God. Through Him, God created the Heavens and the earth as well as all of mankind. He gave man his very breath of life. Adam never knew what it was like to live eternally, but Jesus did. Jesus can also give life eternal to the children of God by the authority of God the Father.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Temple Mount



        Have you been able to visit the Dome of the Rock lately? Have you been able to see the structure that was built in the 7th century? I haven’t lately. It’s one of the shrines of Islam because they believe that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a horse at this place. This was at Jerusalem so it must be true right? I am not so sure. They say that the dome was built on top of the site where Solomon’s temple was. Is that true? Where does the evidence lead? I am going to take you on a journey through time, and give you the truth about the Dome of the Rock, and about Solomon’s temple. I am going to use history, and scripture to explain what’s actually there. Hopefully, I would be able to measure out the temple mount at the location where the evidence leads.

        Here is a brief history of the Dome of the Rock. The building was built in 685-691 by Umayyad Caliph Abdul al-Malik. A former rabbi named Ka’ab Al-Ahbar told the builders that the site that they were building on was Solomon’s temple—even though it was built on top of a large rock. Today that rock is still inside the middle of the main building. The building was not built to replace Solomon’s temple. It was a building used to convert Christians to Islam by walking into the building, reading the Arabic inscriptions denouncing the divinity of Jesus Christ centered around a rock, and exiting the building in the direction of Mecca. If you didn’t convert, you were considered an infidel by the Muslims.

        Muslims building the Dome of the Rock weren’t thinking about the Temple of Solomon at the time because there were mostly Christians in Jerusalem. In fact, Solomon’s Temple was never built on top of a single large rock at all. It was built on top of a threshing floor of wheat. When King David of ancient Israel numbered the people, God was displeased with him and sent a plague on Israel for three days. To stop the plague, David was commended by God to build an altar on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. When David finished the altar and gave God burnt and peace offerings, the plague stopped. David said after this in I Chronicles 22:1: “This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel”. Solomon never built the Temple of God on top of a rock, but on ground paved with the stumping of oxen.

        The threshing floor was an outdoors floor made with small rocks. It’s slightly sloped in order to avoid water build up from the rain. The slope would help wash away the water from the floor. Josephus said: “Now this temple as I have already said, was built upon a strong hill. At first the plain at the top was hardly sufficient for the holy house and the altar, for the ground about it was very uneven” (The Wars of the Jews Book 5 chapter 5). Because the land was uneven, although useful for a threshing floor, the temple would need a foundation to keep it leveled. The foundation had been built with stones that you see at the western wall today. You don’t use a big cornerstone for the foundation because it wouldn’t fit the side of the hill. The Dome of the Rock has a foundation stone under it. It makes no sense to use a large cornerstone for a project that has to be built on a hill. You have to use small stones.

        Before the Dome of the Rock was built, there was another structure built before it. It was the Roman Fortress of Antonia. Josephus said: “Now as to the tower of Antonia, it was situated at the corner of two cloisters of the court of the temple; of that on the west, and that on the north” “It was erected upon a rock, of fifty cubits in height”. “it contained also four other distinct towers at its four corners; whereof the others were but fifty cubits high; whereas that which lay upon the southeast corner was seventy cubits high, that from thence the whole temple might be viewed.” (The Wars of the Jews Book 5 Chapter 5). It makes sense to not measure the court of the temple because it was given to the Gentiles in the form of the Dome of the Rock because the dome was built where the Romans built the Fort of Antonia.

In measuring Solomon’s Temple, a cubit is used. A cubit is a measure from the elbow to the middle finger, which is about 18 inches: a feet and a half. The temple was measured as followed: “its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty cubits” (1 kings 6:2) Today, the measurements would be a length of 90 feet, width of 30 feet, and a height of 45 feet. The vestibule in front of the front door of the temple was twenty cubits wide, and ten cubits long. The vestibule was 30 feet by 15 feet in today’s measurements. The altar of God would most likely be located at the vestibule of the temple. Solomon also built side chambers on both sides of the temple that were five cubits high (seven feet, six inches). 

“The temple resembled a citadel” a first-century Roman historian named Tacitus said in the histories “It contained an inexhaustible spring”. How could the temple have a spring? there was only one source of water in Jerusalem; that source of water was the Gihon Spring. Aristeas of Egypt wrote in 285 B.C. that the temple had an inexhaustible spring that was welled up in the interior of the temple. That spring was needed for the washing of the priests and Levis during and after sacrifices. In the tabernacle that Moses made, a bronze laver was used for the washing rituals. That changed with the building of the temple in the days of Solomon. The Gihon spring was used for Solomon’s temple, and was also used for the second temple. It will be used again for the third temple as well.
 
        Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians on 586 B.C. It remained desolate until Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return to the Holy land and rebuild the temple. “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, / And he shall perform all My pleasure, / Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” / And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”’” (Isaiah 44:28). “The hands of Zerubbabel / Have laid the foundation of this temple; / His hands shall also finish it. / Then you will know / That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.” (Zechariah 4:9). The second temple foundation and building was done by Zerubbabel, and it took 46 years to complete the temple. It stood from 516 B.C. until 70 A.D.
         

The second temple was destroyed by the Roman’s because the Jews didn’t accept Jesus as the messiah during His first coming. Jesus saw the foundation stones and said: “not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down”. Jesus was prophesying about the destruction of the temple by the Romans at 70 A.D. Yet Jesus must have known about a third Temple that has yet to be built today, but will be built soon. First the temple needs to be built in the right location, and that location requires a spring. The Temple needs to be at the Gihon Spring, and the court of the temple was given to the Gentiles. The Dome of the Rock was built on the same rock as Fort Antonia, and the Fort was built on the court of the Temple. The Dome of the Rock is at the court of the Temple.