The Goshen of America

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“Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.’” (Gen 47:4-6)

 

 

Journal,

There is no question in my mind that the United States of America is a God-created nation. From sea to shining sea we are unique in all the world. We are a fiercely independent people united as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The one major reason that makes America so unique in the world is that our government was set in place by the founders based upon Christian core values. And to this day 78.4% of Americans associate themselves with the Christian faith. (1.7% Jewish; .6% Muslim; .7% Buddhist; .4% Hindu; 16.1% Unaffiliated. [Statistics by 'The Pew Forum])

Note: On a world-wide basis 33% of the world’s population associate with Christianity, 19:6% Muslims, Hindus 13.4%

It is our Christian core values that has made American a beacon to the world. And while the United States is overwhelmingly Christian, yet it was the wisdom of our founders not to set up a state religion. We offer freedom to all who come to us.

Thus the compassion of America is best seen in the poem by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, 
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips.
‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Our Southern Bible Culture

I like to refer to our southern states as the ‘Goshen’ of America. What may seem odd is that statistics consistently show that the most patriotic people in America to this day are from the South. We southerners fully accept that it was God’s providence that this nation not be divided into two nations.

Probably the least understood issue has to do with the Civil War itself. The Civil War wasn’t actually a civil war in the truest sense. A civil war is about taking over the government of a nation by a faction. The southern states wanted to see two nations who could coöperate on the world scene in matters that involved both nations.

What is called the civil war was actually about succession. All the states held to the right of succession. While slavery was an issue it was not the dominate issue. (Slavery was on its way out in short time.)

For southerners the war was more about independence and culture. The south had a strong Bible emphasis built into their culture. It was not the same with the northern states. It remains that way even today.

According to Gallup polls the ten most religious states are: (Kentucky and Texas share same %. Notice the Bible Belt largely makes up the Southern Confederacy.)

85% Mississippi

The Bible Belt of America

82% Alabama
80% South Carolina
79% Tennessee
78% Louisiana
78% Arkansas
76% Georgia
76% North Carolina
75% Oklahoma
74% Kentucky
74% Texas

 The ten least religious states:

42% Vermont
46% New Hampshire
48% Maine
48% Massachusetts
51% Alaska
52% Washington
53% Oregon
53% Rhode Island
54% Nevada
55% Connecticut

A Southern Migration

Coming Home

But why? Why has there been for the past several years a migration from the north to the southern states? The short answer has to do with culture.

In the South you find a culture built around generations of a strong Bible emphasis. Out of this emphasis comes friendliness, hospitably, a special ‘spiritual’ kinship, and a genuine care for one another.

It is so sad how the South has often been displayed over time. ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ was written by a woman who had never been to the south nor had she ever been on a plantation. (Harriet Beecher Stowe.)

For those who would like to read up on the real culture of the South, I recommend, ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to The South (and Why It Will Rise Again) by Clint Johnson. (There is also a Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War.)

There are a couple of movies that can help people gain a better understanding of southern culture: Gods and Generals, and, ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales. (Directed and starred in by Clint Eastwood).

Yes, it really is about culture. And, yes, I dearly love the United States of America. My family has fought in every war of this nation from the Revolutionary War on. We southerners love ‘Old Glory.’ We’ve fought for her and will fight for her again.

And by the way, the North really needs us. (Think about it. Whoever heard of ‘Northern Gospel Music.)

As for culture take time to view this clip, titled, ‘

A Tribute To Our Black Confederate Heroes

In love with Jesus,

Buddy

Will Israel Turn to Jesus

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“Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them; the manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation. Israel has been saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated to all eternity.” (Isa 45:15-17)


“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.’” (Rom 11:25-27)

 

 

Journal,

There is a mystery that exists between Christianity and Judaism. If you were to categorize the two religions it would be fairly simple: Christianity rests its case upon Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah of the ages. Judaism does not. The picture can be much more complicated but this is the bottom line issue.

Another reason that must be taken into consideration is that the new covenant was actually made with Israel as a people group. This is plainly stated in Scripture. And so the redemption of the cross began in Jerusalem, it reaches into all the world, and it will fulfill its end in Jerusalem.

Yes, Israel is going to turn to Jesus.

 

A Story not Ended

In this very hour there are untold numbers of Jews who are turning to Jesus as the true Messiah of Israel. The hearts of many Jews are tiring of all the misinformation written about Jesus by their sages and otherwise.

For centuries the Jewish people did not even know that Jesus and all the apostles were ‘sabras’. (Native born Israeli.) It had been planted in their thinking that Jesus was some sort of Roman god, or at best an apostate Jew. Jews everywhere are beginning to realize that Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior of all people.

The heart of the Jew is turning.

It is here that I would like to share the testimony of how certain Jewish notables over time have come to view Jesus. Please take your time to read these testimonies:

 

The testimony of notable Jews, about Jesus…

Joseph Klausner, Jewish author:

“Jesus was a Jew and a Jew he remained till his last breath. His one idea was to implant within his nation the idea of the coming of the Messiah and, by repentance and good works, hasten the ‘end’…. In all this, Jesus is the most Jewish of Jews, more Jewish than Simeon ben Shetah, more Jewish even than Hillel.”

 

Modern Jewish theologian and rabbi, Pinchas Lapide, notes:

“The love of Jesus and the academic interest in him and his impact were implanted in me by Jewish teachers like Joseph Klausner, for whom Jesus was ‘The most Jewish of all Jews,’ Martin Buber, who perceived him as ‘his great brother,’ and Leo Baeck, the last luminary of the German school of rabbis, who in the year 1938 at the time of the Nazi Kristallnacht managed to write of him: ‘We see before us a man who according to all the signs of his personality discloses the Jewish character, in whom the purity and worth of Judaism is so specially and so clearly revealed.’”

 

Heinrich Graetz, considered by many to be the greatest of Jewish historians:

“Like Hillel, Jesus looked on the promotion of peace and forgiveness of injuries as the highest forms of virtue. His whole being was permeated by that deeper religion which contributed to the mildness of his face. He has made humanity honour; he has carried the highest wisdom to the homes of the lowly and the ignorant of the world. He has carried it beyond all barriers of schools and temples, and for this, only, he had to die a death of shame.

“The redeemer of the poor, the teacher of the ignorant, the friend of all that faint with toil and are oppressed with cares must die on the cross. Over the supreme tragedy let the angel of sorrow spread his wings. Veil thy face, sun! Be darkened, sky! Let the earth tremble and men mourn in tears! The most angelic of men, the most loving of teachers, the meek and humble prophet is to die by the death of the cross.

“He felt within himself the call to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel…. He, by word and example, raised the sinner and the publican, and filled the hearts of those poor, neglected, thoughtless beings with the love of God, transforming them into dutiful children of their Heavenly Father. He animated them with his own piety and fervor, and improved their conduct by the hope he gave them of being able to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Moritz Lazarus, philosopher:

“I am of the opinion that we should endeavor with all possible zeal to obtain an exact understanding of the great personality of Jesus and to reclaim him for Judaism.”

 

Christ was the mouthpiece of God…

Baruch Spinoza, the great Jewish philosopher:

“Christ was not so much a prophet as the mouthpiece of God. Christ was sent to teach not only Jews, but the whole human race; and therefore it was not enough that his mind should be accommodated to the opinions of the Jews alone, but also to the opinion and fundamental teaching common to the whole human race; in other words, to ideas universal and truth.”

 

Max Nordau, author and Zionist leader:

“Jesus is the soul of our soul as he is the flesh of our flesh. Who then could think of excluding him from the people of Israel? St. Peter will remain the only Jew who said of the Son of David: ‘I know not the man.’ If the Jews up to the present have not rendered homage to the sublime beauty of the figure of Jesus, it is because their tormentors have always persecuted, tortured and assassinated in his name.”

 

Dr. Claude Montefiore, president of the Jewish Religious Union:

“I cannot conceive that a time will come when the figure of Jesus will no longer be a star of the first magnitude in the spiritual heavens, when he will no longer be regarded as one of the greatest religious heroes and teachers the world has seen….

“The religion of the future will be, as I believe, a developed and purified Judaism, but from that developed and purified Judaism the records will tell, however imperfectly, of perhaps its greatest teacher. Certainly its most potent and influential teacher will not be excluded.

“We Jews do not mind saying that the greatest influence upon European and American history and civilization has been the Bible. But we too often forget that the Bible which has had this influence is not merely the Old Testament. It is the Old Testament and the New Testament combined.

“And of the two, it is the New Testament which has undoubtedly had the greater influence and has been of the greater importance. Jesus is the most important Jew that has ever lived, to whom the sinner and the outcast age after age have owed a great debt of gratitude.”

 

Hans Joachim Schoeps, Jewish theologian:

“The church of Jesus Christ has preserved no portrait of its lord and saviour. If Jesus were to come again tomorrow, no Christian would know his face. But it might well be that he who is coming at the end of days, he who is awaited by the synagogue as by the church, is one, with one and the same face.”

 

Let us Jews be thankful there was a Jesus…

Rabbi Emmanuel Weill:

“Let us then as Jews be thankful there was a Jesus and a Paul. I do not know the secret of God, but I believe that Jesus and Christianity were providential means, useful to the Deity in guiding all men gradually and by an effort, keeping pace with the mental state of the majority of men, from paganism up to the pure and true idea of the divinity.”

 

Rabbi J.L. Levy:

“I have little but contempt for those who cannot see in Jesus of Nazareth something to admire. I have little respect for those who cannot find in the Nazarene something good and worthy of our deep esteem. I personally regard him as one of the greatest spiritual teachers the world has ever known. I look upon him as one of the noblest spiritual teachers the human family has ever had the privilege of observing. We have great faith in the noble character of his life, in the beauty of his teaching that may safely be attributed to him. We have great admiration for the pure life offered for the good of humanity.”

 

Rabbi H.G. Enelow, D.D., reform rabbi, writer and scholar:

“Among the great and the good that the human race has produced, none has ever approached Jesus in universality of appeal and sway. He has become the most fascinating figure in history. In him is combined what is best and most mysterious and most enchanting in Israel — the eternal people whose child he was. The Jew cannot help glorying in what he has meant to the world, nor can he help hoping that Jesus may yet serve as a bond of union between Jew and Christian.

“What does the modern Jew think of Jesus? A Prophet? Yes, crowning a great tradition, and who can compute all that Jesus has meant to humanity? The love he has inspired, the solace he has given, the good he has engendered, the hope and joy he has kindled — all that is unequaled in human history.”

 

Rabbi David Phillipson, Ph.D., reform Jewish leader:

“There is no backwardness nor hesitancy on the part of modern Jewish thought in acknowledging the greatness of the teacher of Nazareth, the sweetness of his character, the power of his genius.”

 

He was a gift of love…

Rabbi Gross of Brooklyn’s Union Temple:

“I, a rabbi of Israel, think we should accept Jesus. I think we should teach Jesus to children much as we teach them about Abraham, Moses and Jeremiah, and the rest of the great teachers and prophets. Jesus, as we all know, was a Jew. He was a gift of love.”

 

Rabbi Rudolph Grossman, D.D.:

“We Jews honor the Nazarene as our brother in faith, sprung from our loins, nurtured at Israel’s knee, a teacher of sweet and beautiful ideals, a preacher whose influence has been and still is among the mightiest spiritualizing factors in the world.”

 

Rabbi Gustav Gottheil, Ph.D., one of the founders of the Federation of American Zionists:

“The keynote of prophetic religion of the Jewish prophets was holiness of life and purity of heart…. To place the Master of Nazareth by their side can surely be no dishonor to him, nor can it dim the luster of his name. If he has added to their spiritual bequests new jewels of religious truth, and spoken words which are words of life, because they touch the deepest springs of the human heart, why should we Jews not glorify in him?”

 

Rabbi Maurice H. Harris:

“Unlike the Messiahs before him — all mediocre men — his name (Jesus) has been treasured ever since as one of the great religious teachers of the world…. Let us not lose our Almighty Father in pantheistic vagueness, merging Him in nature; let us view Him as our Living redeemer, our Saviour, for we often need to be saved –sometimes from the world, sometimes from ourselves.”

 

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Ph.D., founder of the American Jewish Congress and the Federation of American Zionists:

“Even if Jesus had not been born unto Israel, even if he had borne no relation to the people of Israel, it becomes of importance for Israel to determine for itself what shall be its relation to the man who has touched the world nearly two thousand years as has no other single figure in history….It is no mean joy and ignoble pride in us of the House of Israel to recognize, to honor and to cherish among our brothers — Jesus the Jew.”

 

Had it not been for Jesus, the Jews would be little known…

Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of England:

“The pupil of Moses may ask himself whether all the princes of the House of David have done so much for the Jews as that Prince who was crucified…. Had it not been for him, the Jews would have been comparatively unknown or known only as a high Oriental Caste which had lost its country. Has not he made their history the most famous history in the world?”

 

Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, President of Hebrew Union College:

“No ethical system or religious catechism, however broad and pure, could equal the efficiency of this great personality, standing, unlike any other, midway between heaven and earth, equally near to God and to man….

“Jesus, the helper of the poor, the friend of the sinner, the brother of every fellow-sufferer, the comforter of every sorrow-laden, the healer of the sick, the up-lifter of the fallen, the lover of man, the redeemer of woman, won the heart of mankind by storm. Jesus, the meekest of men, the most despised of the despised race of the Jews, mounted the world’s throne to be the earth’s Great King.”

 

Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, reform rabbi, scholar and author:

“Scores of men have believed themselves to be the Messiah and have convinced many of their contemporaries, but those who believed Jesus to be the Messiah have built a great church upon
the rock of their belief. He is still the living comrade of countless lives. No Moslem ever sings, ‘Mohammed, lover of my soul’, nor does any Jew say of Moses, the Teacher, ‘I need thee every hour.’”

 

Ellis Rivkin, professor of Jewish history at Hebrew Union College:

“Of these Messianic claimants, only one, Jesus of Nazareth, so impressed his disciples that he became their Messiah. And he did so after the very crucifixion which should have refuted his claims decisively. But it was not Jesus’ life which proved beyond question that he was the Messiah, the Christ. It was his resurrection.”

 

Pinchas E. Lapide, senior lecturer at Bar-Ilan University:

“I have the suspicion that Jesus was more loyal to the Torah than I am as an Orthodox Jew.”

David Flusser, professor of religious history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem:

“I do not think that many Jews would object if the Messiah — when he came — was the Jew Jesus.”

Dr. Chaim Zhitlowsky, Jewish scholar and author:

“Every Jew should be proud of the fact that Jesus is our brother, flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood. We desire to put him back where he belongs.”

 

Is it only the Jew who is unable to see and hear? …

Constantine Brunner, Jewish philosopher:

“What is this? Is it only the Jew who is unable to see and hear? Are the Jews stricken with blindness and deafness as regards Christ, so that to them only he has nothing to say? Is he to be of no importance to us Jews? Understand then what we shall do. We shall bring him back to us.

“Christ is not dead for us — for us he has not yet lived; and he will not slay us, he will make us live again. His profound and holy words, and all that is true and heart-appealing in the New Testament, must from now on be heard in our synagogues and taught to our children, in order that the wrong we had committed may be made good, the curse turned into a blessing, and that he at last may find us who has always been seeking after us.”

 

Israel Zangwill, Jewish author:

“We shall never get the future straight until we disentangle the past. To disentangle the past means to re-examine the trial of Jesus — myths woven purposely by our leaders around the greatest and most notable personality in history, only that we may not see and recognize the real Jesus.

“To us, my brethren, in this our day, is given the privilege to reclaim the Christ we have lost for so many centuries. Has not the crucified Christ more than fulfilled the highest and noblest of our greatest prophets? Is not he the incarnation of the essence of what the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets taught?”

 

When Jews become Christians…

Max Brod, Jewish author:

“I am constantly amazed at the naiveté of our teachers and leaders who are surprised when I tell them that the best of our youth, our intellectuals, become Christians out of conviction…. Our ‘leaders’ do not believe it. To them, a Jew never becomes a Christian unless he wants to better his position.

“That Christianity has drawn to itself such noble souls as Pascal, Novalis, Kirkegaard, Amiel, Dostoyevsky, Claudel, etc., etc., and that it exercises a most overwhelming influence on the most earnest truth-seekers among us, of that our teachers know nothing.”

 

Gustav Lazlo, Jewish author:

“The movement for the recognition of Christ by the Jews is not a fantasy arising from (my) brain. In the hearts and minds of many men, ordinary men like myself, traders, men of affairs, the fact that Christ is the only leader who can take us anywhere worth going to is coming to new recognition.”

 

Ernest R. Trattner, Jewish author:

“No Jewish prophet before Jesus ever searched out the miserable, the sick, the weak, and the down-trodden in order to pour forth love and compassionate service. He went out of his way to redeem the lowly by a touch of human sympathy that is altogether unique in Jewish history.”

 

Sholem Asch, Jewish novelist:

“Jesus Christ, to me, is the outstanding personality of all time, of all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today, and that is something you can say of no other man, alive or dead….

“Every act and word of Jesus has value for all of us, wherever we are. He became the Light of the World. Why shouldn’t I, a Jew, be proud of that? No other religious leader, either, has ever become so personal a part of people as the Nazarene. When you understand Jesus, you understand that he came to save you, to come into your personality. It isn’t just a case of a misty, uncertain relationship between a worshiper and an unseen God. That is abstract; Jesus is personal.”

 

Jesus of Nazareth, the Jew of Jews…

Isidore Singer, Ph.D., managing editor of The Jewish Encyclopedia:

“I regard Jesus of Nazareth as a Jew of Jews, one whom all Jewish people are learning to love. His teachings have been an immense service to the world in bringing Israel’s God to the knowledge of hundreds of millions of mankind…. We are all glad to claim Jesus as one of our people.”

 

Harris Weinstock, labor leader:

“Without Jesus and without Paul, the God of Israel would still have been the God of a handful, the God of a petty, obscure and insignificant tribe. Let the Jew, despite the centuries of persecution and suffering,

“…be thankful that there was a Jesus and a Paul. Let him more fully appreciate that through the wonderful influence of these heroic characters the mission of the Jew is being fulfilled, and his teachings are being spread to the remotest nooks and corners of the world by Christianity.”

 

An interview with Albert Einstein…

Saturday Evening Post, in 1929:

“To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?”

“As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.”

“Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?”

“Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.”

“You accept the historical Jesus?”

“Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

 

……. End of quotes ……

 

Here is a web site with a vast list of notable Jews who turned to Jesus as Messiah and Savior of Israel. Included are testimonies of former Chief Rabbis, of Jewish Nobel Prize winners, Prime Ministers, professors and many more.

http://www.israelinprophecy.org/ENGLISH/live_site/brief_list-most_famous_messianic_jews.html

 

 

There it is. I’ve only scratched the surface. According to one Jewish writer, more Jews have turned to Jesus in the last nineteen years than in the last nineteen hundred hears. Something to think about.

And it has just begun. Paul said that at the proper point in God’s plan of redemption all of Israel will turn to Jesus. Isn’t it interesting that the Bible is the only book on earth that tells history before it happens!

Think on these things. Here is a song for your meditation. ‘Shalom Jerusalem’ by Paul Wilbur.

 



Much love coming your way,

Buddy

 

Time for a Journal Update

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“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mat 24:14)

 

Journal,

I am very pleased with the direction my blog is taking. Since I began my blog in 2010, I’ve had 73,263 page views. This year alone my blog is projected to reach almost 100,000 views. How can that be? How can an old-timey preacher man reach the world with the message of Jesus Christ and do it all from an office in his home. It simply astounds me. (Just think – My blog is only one of thousands of blogs and web sites that are sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the whole world.)

My blog has received viewers from every state in the Union. Internationally I’ve reached 107 different nations. The top fifteen countries that my viewers come from are:

(1) United Kingdom. (2) Canada. (3) Philippines. (4) Australia. (5) India. (6) Nigeria. (7) Netherlands. (8) Indonesia. (9) South Africa. (10) Italy. (11) Brazil. (12) France. (13) Pakistan. (14) Singapore. (15) Malaysia. (Plus 92 other nations.)

My most popular journal entry by far has to do with salvation.

http://buddymartin.net/blog/salvation/

 

Other Notable Entries About Salvation

In addition to the above salvation entry, here are some recent entries that I recommend. Each of them explains something about salvation and the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.

Lord Jesus, remember me http://buddymartin.net/blog/2011/06/lord-jesus-remember-me/

A Case for the Christianhttp://buddymartin.net/blog/2011/06/a-case-for-the-christian/

To Die Without Christhttp://buddymartin.net/blog/2011/06/to-die-without-christ/

 

I’ve made two additions  to my blog…

 

Forum Dialog

Notice at the top menu section of my blog there are several buttons. The ‘Forum‘ button is new. This is where ‘registered’ members can take part in dialog exchanges. So far I have three categories that will be opened for dialog: ‘Biblical dialog’, ‘The First Christians’, and ‘Current events.’

The only dialog in place for now is under ‘The First Christians.’ The subject is: ‘What did early Christianity look like.’

Here is my introduction to this dialog:

Acts 1:6“Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

This one small Scripture speaks to the history of the Church age. The new covenant begins with Israel, it then reaches into all the world, and in the final states of church history, it returns to Israel. The first Christians were Hebrew men and women. Their whole world centralized on Moses and the prophets. Their New Testament was the Old Testament. Their hearts and minds had been opened to the glory of Christ in all the former writings.

My prayer today is, ‘Lord, help us to keep a heart on fire for Jesus like the first Christians, in that we wonderfully find Jesus from Genesis 1:1 to Malachi 4:6.”

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Categories and subject will likely change over time. Please feel free to register. I would love to see lively dialog taking place with the varied subjects.

Another addition to my journal has to do with …

 

Donations – For the Kingdom

On the right side of my blog near the bottom is a new feature called, ‘For the Kingdom’. It has to do with making donations.

Christian Challenge is a faith-based ministry. We do not go into debt and we do not badger people for money. In fact, in our church services, we don’t even pass an offering plate. We learned a long time ago that God has to be our source.

But we have also learned that God’s people needed to be given an opportunity to give.

And so my admonition is always the same - Do whatever the Lord puts on your heart to do.

If you have been blessed by the ministries of Christian Challenge and would like to take part in helping us to minister to others, you can send contributions by way of PalPal.

Here is a song that will minister to your heart – ‘Father of Creation.’

 

 

Your Servant in Christ,

Buddy

 

Does God Really Care About Little Animals

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“How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God.” (Psa 84:1-3)

 

Journal,

Sometimes I receive questions from children wanting to know if there will be animals in heaven. Often it has to do with the loss of a pet. I always assure them that their little dog or cat will certainly be there.

Have you ever thought about it? Have you ever wondered if God really does care much for the animals he has created? I say that He does. I believe that God’s love is directed to all of creation.

Notice how Jesus points to God’s care for the animals:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.” (Luk 12:6)

Did you catch it? Not one sparrow is ever forgotten before God.

Perhaps the best way I know to share about God’s love for animals is with a true story of a godly Christian woman that the Lord used to help a small dog. See if this story touches your heart.

 

The Story of Our Little Hobo

You’re probably wondering, “Where in the world is she going with this.” God loves hobos?

This story is about a four-legged hobo who showed up in my front yard homeless, neglected, hungry, and almost lifeless, two weeks ago. It was obvious he hadn’t been loved and cared for.

It was our larger dog, Leroy, who found the little guy when he was going for his last walk of the day. My husband opened my front door, dropped a big ball of fur in my lap and said, “Look what Leroy found.” At first glance I couldn’t even tell what it was.

It was late so we decided to put him in a cage for the night and attempt to locate the owner the next day. My husband found the owner half a block away but it seems she had thrown this precious baby out of her house and said, “He’s not right. I don’t want him anymore.”

I had the day off so decided to take our little visitor to the vet to have him checked out. He was in pretty bad shape with ear infection in both ears, conjunctivitis, infected with fleas, matted hair, and it was obvious he hadn’t been fed properly and only weighed four pounds. We gave him all his shots, medicated him for the infections and treated him to a day at the spa (groomers).

I began posting pictures and sharing about the life of this little dog on Facebook. I was amazed by the love and concern that was being shown for our little hobo. He was pretty quiet at first but within a few days he decided he would try to become leader of the pack. Leroy and Alex didn’t approve of his decision and voted not to allow this to happen.

But our little visitor never gave up. He was getting a lot of love and attention and he didn’t want to share any of it with the big boys.

For some reason I knew this was not to be his final home. I guess my first clue was not being able to name him. We nicknamed him our little hobo because he was homeless and looked a little rugged at first. But I knew he would have a name some day and would also have an owner who would love and care for him.

I have no doubt that God temporarily placed him in our care to nurture him back to health and to care for him while he was preparing his permanent home. I somehow knew that God was preparing a heart to receive this little special gift that he created.

Last night I brought him to my room and laid him on my bed while I worked from my computer. I glanced over at his little eyes and noticed him staring at me and watching every move I made. It was unusual for him to be up that late but he was wide awake looking at me as if he knew something I didn’t.

I began to talk to God and tell him that I knew he was preparing his home and I knew in my heart he was working on building a little mansion just for him. He was once homeless, neglected, abused, and thrown away because he wasn’t perfect, but I knew he was perfect in Gods eyes and I also knew he would be perfect in the eyes of whoever God chose to receive him.

On my way to work this morning I thought of the little dog again as I prayed, and I asked God to let this day be all about Jesus.

Today was not going to be a typical work day. Myself and three others had to drive to Malvern for defensive driving. On the way to Malvern I began to share the story of our little dog with another driver who was sitting across from me. I didn’t realize that our driver, Keith, was paying attention to our conversation.

As he turned and looked at me, I noticed tears coming from his eyes. Now this is not unusual for Keith because he is very tender-hearted. He is a pastor and a servant to our Lord and Savior and has such a passion for Christ. We have had many conversations about the Lord and I always enjoy being around someone who knows Christ personally.

He began to share how he and his wife, especially his wife, had wanted a Yorkie for over a year. He said they had discussed it many times but the timing was never right. He knew immediately when listening to our conversation that this was from God. He knew this little Yorkie was a “God thing” and was meant to be.

I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing something else with you. He said today after we got back from class he went home, knelt down and prayed over what had just happened. God touched a heart through the life of a little hobo and I imagine Keith felt the love of God and wanted to give him thanks, and praise him for giving them their hearts desire.

How Awesome is our God!!

Normally after a class I would drive the rest of the day, but today there were no vehicles available for me to drive so I had the afternoon off. We planned to meet back at the base at 4pm to let him meet his gift God had just given him.

I came home and loved on our little hobo and wondered if I was doing the right thing. I began to miss him already and dreaded handing him over. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it so I asked for Gods help. I asked him if it was his will, would he take this lump out of my throat and take the hurt away.

God definitely has a sense of humor. The little hobo jumped down from my lap, ran in the dining room and pee’d twice in the floor. I had to laugh because it reminded me of a song “you’ve lost that loving feeling, oh that loving feeling.”

I got a little upset with the little hobo and lost that loving feeling, at least long enough to transfer ownership.

That loving feeling is back now, but it’s more for my father who entrusted me with the care of one of his creations who was abandoned, abused, neglected and thrown away because a human didn’t think he was good enough.

Aren’t you glad our father doesn’t throw us away or forget about us because we aren’t good enough?

We don’t have to earn his Love. He loves us no matter how many mistakes we make, and forgets our past when we come to him through faith. He loves us and knows our hearts desire. He loved this couple enough to give them their hearts desire and if he can see a fallen sparrow he can surely see a lost and lonely puppy who just wants to be loved and cared for.

I miss the little hobo tonight, but my heart is filled with joy because I got to see how God works and I just spent a day with it being “All about Jesus.”

God answers prayers and if he can love a little hobo and do this much for him, how much more do you think he loves us and is willing to care for our needs.

How great is our God!!

Linda

 

Thanks Linda and thanks Keith for letting me share this story.

Little Hobo has a new daddy now. Keith Lewis is one of God’s servant pastors, and Little Hobo has a new name. His new name is ‘Keynu’.

So, what do you think? Does God love little hobos? Sure he does. We were all hobos at one time.

Here is a video that will speak to your heart …

Would like to hear from my readers. Feel free to share a comment or two.

In Christ always,

Buddy

 

 

 

 

 

The Year of the Jubilee

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“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD …

“ … and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. ” (Isa 61:1-3)

 

Journal,

Some are not aware that there are two days of the Lord. The first day has come. It is the day of grace, or as Isaiah has it, ‘the favorable year of the Lord’. The term ‘favorable’ in Hebrew [rasôn] speaks of the divine favor that is extended to humanity. The time of favor came with Jesus Christ. It was placed in force at the resurrection and ascension of the Lord. We are now in that phase of God’s kingdom called, ‘the kingdom of His beloved Son.’ (Col1:13)

David speaks of two phases of the kingdom of the Son in Psalm 2:

Place your cursor over any Scripture reference and it will appear.

“But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. … [This relates to the day of Pentecost when Jesus received His kingdom in its present form; the covenant of grace. This is the gospel age where the cross is to be preached in all the world. Cf. Mat28:18,19; Acts1:9-11; Dan7:13,14; Acts2:32-36; 2Co5:18--21]

“… You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ … [Speaks to the second phase of the kingdom of the Son where He comes in judgment. Cf. Acts17:30-32; Zech12:9,10; Rev19:11-16]

“… Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psa 2:6-12) [The warning is to the world not to ignore or disregard the gospel of the cross and of God's grace. This is the time of our refuge in Christ. Cf. John14:1-3; 1Th5:9-11; Col3:1-4]

When Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61, He quotes that part that speaks of God’s Jubilee. The Jubilee had to do with freedom. But He stopped His quote with this statement, ‘the favorable year of the Lord.’ Why did Jesus not quote the fuller passage? It is because there is a second day that Isaiah speaks of that has yet to come. It is not the day of Jubilee. It is, ‘the day of vengeance of our God’.

 

We are still in the day of Jubilee

The time that precedes the second coming of Jesus is a time of great struggle and a day of mixture. While the nations are perplexed, at the same time there are multiplied millions of the Muslim faith coming to Jesus. Not only are Muslims coming to the Lord, but Jewish responses are astonishing.

The following video is a bit lengthy but well worth viewing. It is about Muslims and Jews coming to the Lord.

 

Just a reminder …

 

35th Homecoming Jubilee

Be sure to mark your calendar. March 26th and 27th is our Christian Challenge International 35th Homecoming Jubilee. Our theme is, ‘The Anchor Holds’. (There are motels close at hand.)

Saturday evening is ‘Talent Share Night.’ (Not a talent context.) It will be a great time of sharing our love for the Lord through our gifts. Jubilee itself is Sunday, March 27th. Come expect the unexpected. (There will be a special DU meeting Sunday afternoon.)

 

 

 

In Christ always,

Buddy

Egypt and the World of Islam #3

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“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Dan 12:1-4)



Notes:

(1) The “time of distress” has to do with the great tribulation period. Cf. Dan8:17; Mat24:32-34 (the fig tree is a symbol of Israel); Rev4:1 may well speak to the rapture.

(2) “Those with insight” has regard to end time believers who are given spiritual understanding and prophetic insight into the end times and are thus able to turn many to the Lord. (Includes a great gospel movement into Islam.)

(3) Parts of Daniel would be sealed for the last generation. Not even Daniel understood some of what he was given as prophecy. (1Pet1:10-12) Paul was also given special insight into the end time but was not allowed to share what he heard and saw. Cf. 2Co12:2-4.

Keep in mind that the rabbis placed a curse on anyone who tried to calculate the times by using Daniel. Daniel not only set forth the timing for the first coming of Jesus, he also set forth the timing for the second coming.

(4) “Knowledge will increase” has to do with the flow of revelation and understanding given to God’s end time people from the prophetic writings. It likely allows for an increase of human knowledge on all levels including communication and technology. The revolution in Egypt can largely be traced to Tweeter and Facebook and other forms of communication.

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.


Journal,

I want to encourage my readers to preview the two preceding entries on ‘Egypt and the World of Islam.’ (#1 and #2)

The whole world is in wonderment at what is happening in Egypt now. Of course this is only the forefront for the continual unveiling of God’s end time program of redemption. Muslims have been in upheavals for a few years; war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, disturbances in Iran, in Pakistan, in fact all across the Isl?mic nations.

I shared in an earlier entry how Satan raised up Mohammed to create an antichrist religion that has held untold millions of souls in the bondage of darkness. What is happening in Egypt and the middle east is merely a precursor to prophetic events that are unfolding in the days ahead. The end time battle lines have long been drawn. The clock is ticking.

Keep in mind that God’s time clock of redemption did not begin with this revolution in Egypt. God’s time clock was set in motion on May 14, 1948, when Israel became once again a nation among nations. (Isa66:8) It is likely that God’s prophetic seventy year wrap for this age as we know it began on that date. (Go to the entry prior to this one for how the principle of seventy figures into prophecy.)

Here is a quote from my last entry:

The place to begin is to understand the role that Islam plays with regard to the second coming. Here is the scene – Satan has always known that God’s plan of redemption completes itself with the second coming of Jesus to Jerusalem. Therefore his major line of defense has been to create a false gospel that would get around the true gospel. This false gospel would honor Jesus as one of the great Messengers of God. However, it would disallow how the gospel of Jesus saves people. This false gospel would find its center in the nations surrounding Israel. Herein you have Islam.


Leave room for adjustments

With regard to end time events it is important not to nail things down too tightly. Leave room for adjustments. In some prophecies you will see both the first and the second coming of Jesus. Prophecy is not always laid out in an exact time sequence. The Holy Spirit is the One who helps us see how things are falling into place. However, we are seeing the end time prophetic picture unfold in a way never seen.

One thing I’ve tried to stress in these entries is how very important the Old Testaments prophets are with regard to God’s plan for the ages. They often prophesied far beyond their own experiences. As I shared earlier, the New Testament church was not some upstart religion. The Christian faith is literally a fulfilling of what had been spoken by God’s ancient servants.

Consider these Scriptures:

“I sent you [apostles] to reap that for which you have not labored; others [OT prophets] have labored and you have entered into their labor.” (Joh 4:38)

“And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luk 24:25-27)

“ … that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’” (2Pe 3:2-4)


There are two things I want to discuss more fully In this entry. One has to do with what is commonly called the ‘catching away of the church.’ The other has to do with how God’s people should view the events that are now taking place.

Let’s begin with…


The People of Christ

Believers who struggle the most over their salvation are generally those who come from a ‘works-righteousness’ background. What they don’t understand is that their salvation is wholly of the Lord. No person will ever be saved because they became good enough. We are saved by grace alone.

There isn’t much I can add to what this dear sister recently wrote. It took a revelation from the Lord to bring total peace to her life.

Tina is from a Pentecostal background.

 

From a sister in the Lord

I just thought I’d share something that happened a few days ago.  I was thinking about death and having to face Jesus.  I was feeling really scared and wondering if I’d done enough.  All of a sudden, I had an image come into my head of Jesus standing there with his arms open.  Every time I started to tally up my good vs bad deeds, the image would return.  I finally got the message….  He is WAITING for me to come home.

All the good, bad, and ugly will stay here on earth.  My Savior is standing there waiting for me to come home.  Jesus already completed his mission here on earth, now it’s my turn.  He is here in spirit (Holy Ghost) helping me through this journey.  And when it’s over, I’ll be with him…period, end of sentence.

My physical flesh acts like a prison.  It keeps me in the shadows where things sometimes become fuzzy and confused.  I am living in the domain of evil. The lures of the flesh are almost like being tortured.  Sometimes we do things that are wrong before we even catch ourselves or realize that it’s wrong.

The Father knew that, and he planned for that, and sent his Son to make a way for us to be made clean.  Jesus went back to heaven, but he left the Holy Spirit here to act as a guide through the many pitfalls in life.  The HS keeps us on the right track.  When life is over, I will shed this flesh and go be with HIM!

What a blessing when God puts peace in our hearts and lets us know that we are his!  I didn’t speak in tongues or become hysterical, it was just the sweet, presence of God’s spirit that spoke to my heart.  That’s what it’s about. That’s what Paul and the apostles tried to get across over and over and over again in the New Testament.  Men get tripped up over doctrine, and when they do, they completely miss God’s plan for Salvation and life with him.

TinaP~ – Your Truth Place: http://yourtruthplace.blogspot.com/2011/02/eternal-life.html



The Catching Away

The removal of all who belong to Jesus Christ is well taught in the Scriptures. Regardless of the time element involved, and regardless of what a person believes about Pre-trib, Mid-trib, or Post-trib, this truth is well established.

I’ll share just a bit in brief. Note carefully:


For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Th 4:14-18)
The expression ‘caught up’ is the Greek word ‘harpazo[har-pad'-zo]. This word is used fourteen times in the New Testament, with the sense of sudden removal from one place to another. In this case it states that believers will be instantly caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds. Notice how Paul said that we are to comfort one another with these words. The second coming of Jesus and all that it entails is a time of glory for the Church. Our being caught up has to do with the marriage feast of the Lamb.
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Jesus spoke of this in John 14. Many don’t realize that what Jesus shared with the apostles in this setting has the Jewish wedding as its motif. The Ancient Hebrew wedding had two parts. The first was the espousal and the second part was for the bridegroom to actually come for the bride. Here is the setting:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (Joh 14:1-3)

Did you catch it? Look closely. Jesus ascended into heaven and thereby through the cross He has prepared a place for all believers. He is returning at the proper time to receive us to Himself. Because we are already espoused to the Lord, our placement in heaven has already been decreed. Positional we have already been seated with Jesus. Now we are waiting for our full glorification with Him.

There is so much more I would like to share but I’ll leave off for  now. Here is a wonderful song that will minister to your heart. It is titled, ‘There’s Something in the Air’, by the Lanny Wolfe Trio.



In Christ always,

Buddy

Egypt and the World of Islam #2

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” … in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.” (Dan 9:2)


Journal,
This is a follow-up entry on ‘Egypt and the World of Islam.’ In my last journal entry I called attention to certain prophecies about Egypt and the world of Islam and to world events that precede the second coming of Jesus Christ. I concluded that entry with a prophecy where the Lord makes His appearance with Israel. Part of the prophecy reads…

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zec 12:9-10)

I also shared a video that sets forth how the gospel is making powerful inroads into the world of Islam. The gospel penetrating into Islam is a crucial part of God’s redemption program that is to be played out before the second coming. In this entry I want to share more properties about the second coming of Jesus Christ that some may not be aware of.

The place to begin is to understand the role that Islam plays with regard to the second coming. Here is the scene – Satan has always known that God’s plan of redemption completes itself with the second coming of Jesus to Jerusalem. Therefore his major line of defense has been to create a false gospel that would avoid the true gospel. This false gospel would honor Jesus as one of the great Messengers of God. However, it would disallow how the gospel of Jesus saves people. This false gospel would find its center in the nations surrounding Israel. Herein you have Islam.

Here is a quote from my last entry:

“In the Golden Dome [on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] there is written in Arabic, ‘God has no son.’ The world of Islam has labored under a false gospel about Jesus Christ ever since Muhammad began his religion of the sword. Muhammad perverted the gospel in saying that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, that His death on the cross had nothing to do with salvation, that Jesus was simply one of the great Messengers (prophets), that Jesus would return, would die, and would be buried.”

Did you catch it? Muhammad managed to undermine the saving power of the gospel in the world of Islam by removing the very heart of the gospel. Jesus said He would build His church upon this revelation: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ Yet Muhammad said that God has no son. Muhammad literally created an antichrist religion. {Anti means in place of or over against.]

Listen to the apostle John:

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1Jn 2:22-23)


God is Taking Out a People

God is taking out for Himself a people from all the nations. This final movement of redemption is moving swiftly through Islam and will end up at Jerusalem. The redemption movement will increase in the days ahead. Consider these Scriptures:

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mat 24:14)

“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.’” (Rev 5:9)

“And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. And it will be said in that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.’” (Isa 25:7-9)

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.

 

The Principle of Seventy

The number seventy often carries a prophetic emphasis in the Scriptures. Here is a short synopsis on how the number seventy can be seen prophetically. It is possible that we are in a seventy year redemption time frame. (Place your cursor over the Scripture references.)  …
(1) Jeremiah prophesies of Israel’s captivity into Babylon for seventy years. (Jer25:10-12)

(2) Daniel’s attention is brought to Jeremiah’s prophecy. The time was at hand. (Dan9:2,3)

(3) In seeking the Lord, the angel Gabriel gives Daniel a prophecy that reaches across redemption history and takes in both the first and the second coming of the Messiah Jesus. (Dan 9:23-26) This prophecy of seventy calculated into weeks of years and pinpointed the time of the Messiah. It foretold the cutting off of Messiah until the time of restoration. (Second coming.) The rabbis later placed a curse on anyone who tried to calculate the times of Daniel’s prophecy.

(4) Gabriel left the seventieth week to itself. The seventieth week is known as ‘the time of Jacob’s troubles’ or the period of tribulation. It is understood by many that the book of Revelation largely concerns itself with the seven years of tribulation. This seven-year tribulation is also called ‘the day of God’s wrath.’ (Just as the day of grace is a defined time, even so the day of God’s wrath can be traced through the Scriptures.)

(5) Then we have another interesting notation – The city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 a.d. Israel ceased to being a nation for nearly 2000 years. Then on May 14, 1948, Israel once again became a nation among nations. (Isa66:8) It may be that God’s time clock of redemption began clicking once again in 1948. And here once again we need to consider the number seventy. No one knows the day or the hour for the second coming but Jesus said that we could know the times of His coming. So, if the seventy year time frame began in 1948, it would then end up with 2018.

(6) The removal of the church.) There are three broad beliefs about what is commonly called ‘the rapture’, Pre-trib, Mid-trib, or Post-trib. If we subtract the seven years of tribulation from 2018, we end up with 2011. This is the Pre-tribulation position. Some take a mid-tribulation position. In this case the rapture would happen in 2014. For those who do not believe in a rapture, for them the time of the second coming would be in 2018.
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(7) What is important is knowing that the coming of the Lord is near at hand. With this in mind God’s people are not to live in an attitude of fear. The second coming is a time of our completed salvation. But as for the times, there are many prophecies that describe the world as we know it today. As for the proper time itself, be it this year, in three years, seven years, or whatever time the Father has determined, keep in mind what Jesus said, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luk21:28)
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Here are some Scriptures to meditate upon


“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” (Joh14:1-4)

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.” (Isa 12:2-3)

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.” (1Th 5:9-10)

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4)

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21:1-2)
 


 



Let this song minister to your heart. ‘Morning Has Broken’ (This is a Christian hymn set to the music of a traditional Gaelic tune known as ‘Bunessan.’

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In Christ always,

Buddy


 












 


 

Egypt and the World of Islam

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“’The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians; and they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor, city against city and kingdom against kingdom. Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; and I will confound their strategy, so that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead and to mediums and spiritists. … “ (Isa 19:1-4)

“Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Great World Religions: IslamEgyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’ (Isa 19:21-25)

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.



Journal,

The upheaval is making its way through the Isl?mic world. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are other elements that must come into play. Actually the world will enter into a time of fermentation and turmoil. The Bible speaks of the shaking of the nations. All this is necessary to the second coming of Jesus Christ. However, the Lord said that when we began to see the dismay among the nations we are to lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near. (Cf. Luke 21:25-28)

As for Islam, while the most recent government overturn began in Tunisia, it has spread swiftly to Egypt and is continuing with inroads into other Muslim nations. But we need not be caught off guard. We are told beforehand of the things that will take place at the closing of this age. For one thing the prophet Isaiah calls attention to the agitation that we are now seeing in Egypt. [Read the afore Scriptures carefully for a clear description of Egypt today.]

Many are little aware of how exact the story of redemption history is laid out by the Old Testament prophets. Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ, and yet he gives exact prophecies about both the first and the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Isaiah spoke of things in eternity passed. He spoke of the times that he lived in, and he set forth how God’s redemption plan would work its way through in the far distant future. His fulfilled prophecies are too far many to try to list in this entry.

Islam also treats Isaiah as a prophet. For instance it is of great interest to see the succession of Southern Sudan into an independent nation. They are basing their move to independence on Isaiah 18. Then according to Isaiah 19, Egypt, and Assyria, and Israel are going to be in league together. It will be a league based on these nation groups turning to the Lord Jesus. [Assyria during the time of Isaiah would include Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and other regional Isl?mic nations.]

God gave these ancient servants of old the prophetic foundation for His plan of redemption. The apostles were instructed to do their work from what had already been written by the prophets. Every prophecy was to have its fulfillment.

Jesus to the apostles –

“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” (Luk 24:44-47)

Notice Jesus said that every thing that had been written by the prophets must be fulfilled. Christianity did not begin as some upstart new religion. Our very foundation comes from what had been revealed to the prophets. The apostles were to take these ancient writings by way of instruction in laying the foundation for the new covenant people of Christ. The apostle said,

“… for through Him [Jesus Christ] we both [Jew and Gentile] have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2:18-22)

The apostle also said that we are never to exceed “what is written.” (1Co4:6)

When Peter spoke to the crowd about the miracle healing of the blind man, he said,

“And now brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance [in crucifying Jesus], just as your rulers did also. But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.” (Acts3:18)

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Muslims turning to Jesus

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I won’t pretend to know how all this plays out. Some things are very clear while other things have to be seen in their time. One thing we do know is that God’s work of redemption began in Jerusalem. It will end in Jerusalem.
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The Dome of the Rock (the Golden Dome) is built on the site of the first and the second temple in Jerusalem. It remains the holiest place in Judaism. Yet Israel has no access to the Temple Mount other than to the Western Wall. (Often referred to as the Wailing Wall.)
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In the Golden Dome there is written in Arabic, ‘God has no son.’ The world of Islam has labored under a false gospel about Jesus Christ ever since Muhammad began his religion of the sword. Muhammad perverted the gospel in saying that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, that His death on the cross had nothing to do with salvation, that Jesus was simply one of the great Messengers (prophets), that Jesus would return, would die, and would be buried.
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The greatest need in Islam today is for the Muslim people to hear the true gospel of Jesus. And that is exactly what is happening on a measure that is nothing less than astonishing. Not only are Muslims being exposed to the true testimony of Jesus, but the Lord is appearing to them in dreams and visions. Jesus is speaking into the very heart of Islam. The turmoil we are seeing in the Muslim world will be played out with the greatest movement of salvation that the world has ever seen.

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The world of Islam has been preconditioned for the gospel. While the truth of Jesus Christ has been distorted in the Quran, yet Jesus is highly regarded in the Muslim faith. He is seen both as Messiah and as one of the five great Messengers of God. Of course their idea of Messiah is not that of God Himself revealed in human form. However, it is in this high regard that the gospel will make powerful inroads into their world. Keep in mind what the apostle said about the gospel of Jesus Christ –


“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’” (Rom 1:16-17)

The most powerful force on this planet today is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has the power to penetrate into the darkest of human hearts. Just as the Bamboo Curtain has fallen, and the Iron Curtain has fallen, even so the Isl?mic Curtain will also fall. Islam is the last vestige in the gospel’s final approach to Jerusalem. Oh yes, there is much more to take place, but everything is moving at a rapid pace. Jesus said that He was going to shorten the days for the sake of God’s people. Perhaps it is time to begin looking up.

As for Jerusalem, here is what the prophet Zechariah said –

 

“The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, ‘Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around …’” (Zec 12:1-3)

 

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zec 12:9-10)



Back to Islam. View this report on what is happening in the Muslim world with regard to Jesus. It is lengthy but well worth the viewing.


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In Christ always,
Buddy

In a moment in time…

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Journal,

What an awesome moment in time. Yesterday we baptized three of my family members. You might ask, ‘So, what’s so awesome about that?’ Glad you asked. Over forty years ago I began a prayer list of my family, my dad, mom, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, and cousins. Every morning I would lay the list on my open Bible, and ask the Lord to save my family. (At the time I was the only one on the list serving the Lord.)

One by one by one I saw them come to the Lord. Most I baptized. I baptized my dad thirty days before he passed over. Baptized my mom, my sisters, nephews and nieces, uncles, aunts, and cousins, not to mention a long list of many others.

Here it is some forty something years later. And the joy continues. Please note the first picture. Yesterday I baptized my dad’s youngest sister, Aunt Vallie Paul. (84 years young.) There are only two of my father’s siblings left this side of heaven. The rest have gone on. What a great honor to get to baptize Aunt Valley.

Oh no, the story doesn’t end there. This next picture is my cousin, Lane Fletcher, baptizing his sister, Martha Jane Duncan. Both Lane and Martha are children of my first cousin, Gus Fletcher. (Gus has already made the journey home.)

So the story of the list continues. Of course it has gone far beyond the original list that I made.

Is that it? No, there is one more. The last picture is my first cousin’s wife, Bernette Fletcher. Bernette is Lane’s and Martha Jan’s mother, wife of Gus Fletcher. I got to baptize her yesterday.

Is that it? No way! I’ve long since misplaced my original list, but that’s alright. I fully intend to stand in the gap for my family and for whoever else the Lord will place on my heart. Life is too short to get sidetracked.

The fact of the matter is that the business of the kingdom of God is souls. And when I stand before the Lord, I want to hear Him say to me, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things … enter the joy of your Master.” - Matt 25:21 nasb

The big question remains. Perhaps you are asking, ‘Whats the big deal on water baptism?’ Stay with me as I share a short Bible study. Let’s call it…

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Bodies Washed With Pure Water

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“Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22 nasb.

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When the writer speaks of our ‘bodies washed with pure water,’ this was a Hebraic expression for water baptism.

"The Baptism of Christ" Giclee Print

Notice the writer first draws attention to the heart being sprinkled clean from an evil conscience. The inference here is to the application of the sprinkled blood of Jesus upon the repentant sinner. Peter speaks of this in saying, “By the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled by His blood.” (1Pet1:2 in part.)

In our initial Scripture reading the background for the washing of the body with pure water is the tabernacle plan. In approaching the holy tent, you must first come to the altar of the blood sacrifice. Then you came to the laver of washing. Then you were able to enter the tent of communion. In our conversion experience the Holy Spirit first brings us to the blood and then to the water and then into full communion with Christ. (The Holy Spirit is involved in the full work of sanctification and conversion.)

For some additional background let me take a moment to draw on the ancient Jewish ritual of the proselyte baptism. This is very much in line with Christian baptism. In the law of the proselyte desiring to be joined to Israel, three things were required; a sacrifice at the temple, circumcision, and then water baptism.

Lightfoot gives this explanation: “As soon as he grows whole of the wound of circumcision, they bring him to Baptism, and being placed in the water they again instruct him in some weightier and in some lighter commands of the Law. Which being heard, he plunges himself and comes up, and, behold, he is an Israelite in all things.” The proselyte was not a completed Israelite until his or her body had been washed by full immersion.

Paul explains this as the old man (including the old master) being cut off and put away, and a newly created life now being presented. Early Christian baptism was very similar to the Jewish proselyte baptism. The sacrifice was Jesus Christ, circumcision was of the heart, and water baptism was the cutting off of the old life.

Baptism was always a full immersion. Lightfoot adds; “Every person baptized must dip his whole body, now striped and made naked, at one dipping.” He went on to say, “Wheresoever in the Law washing of the body or garments is mentioned, it means nothing less that the washing of the whole body.”

Ebersheim says that women were attended by their own sex and the rabbis stood outside the door.

The point is that for the Jews and early Christians, baptism was always a full washing of the body. And this issue of full immersion continues today in the Greek Church. Wherever the Greek Church is found in the world today, baptism is full immersion. This has been an unbroken practice from the early Jewish Christians. [Pouring water on a candidate began to make an appearance in the 2nd century and thereafter.]

doves flying to light Glitter

The early Christian writers show that immersion was employed in baptism. Barnabas is an example. He says, “We go down into the water full of sins and filth, and we come up bearing fruit in the heart.” Sounds very similar to what Ananias said to Paul; “Now, why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” (Acts22:16)

To the early Christians, water baptism related to the cutting the covenant, or cutting off the old master, or cutting off the old life. Because of this water baptism was not a thing to be toyed with. A careful reading of the Acts of the Apostles will show that a great emphasis was placed on water baptism.

In Acts, while people could be born again before water baptism, the act of water baptism was still made an issue of immediate importance. The question is why? There must be a reason that is not always understood today. For many today, water baptism has almost been nullified in importance. I believe water baptism is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Christian experience.

Let me share an example. Paul used the issue of Israel crossing the Red Sea in regard to baptism. He said, “Our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” (1Co10:1,2) Here we begin to see the issue of water baptism.

Let’s go back to Egypt. Remember the judgements of God? Do you recall the purpose of the blood being applied to the homes? The blood singled out and protected the Hebrew peoples from the judgments of God. How does this fit our experience? It is the blood of Jesus that saves us from the judgement of God.

Paul said, “Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Rom5:9) What the blood did was to reconcile us to God. We now have peace because of the blood.

Follow me here – Now while the blood on the doors of the Hebrew homes saved them from God’s judgement, why did it not protect them from Pharaoh trying to keep them in slavery? Do you recall how that Pharaoh chased after them up to the Red Sea?

door to heaven

The reason Pharaoh kept after them was because they were still in his domain, or jurisdiction. He was their old master and he had no intention of letting them go. What happened at the Red Sea? The old master was cut off. The Hebrew nation took up a new life on the other side. They were now under a new master.

There is an old song that says, “The water, spirit, and the blood, agree if we but understood, in making sinners pure and good, and take their sins away.” John tells us the blood, the water, and the Spirit are all involved in the outworking of our salvation. (1John5:6)

Just some things to consider.

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How about a song about the water. Here it is, ‘Step Into the Water,’ by Kingdom Heirs and Kirk Talley.

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Of course you know that water baptism has to do with fulfilling righteousness.

Have you thought about it?

There is much love to be found in Jesus,

Buddy

Apology to subscribers…

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Good morning readers,

I just found out that my blog has not gone out to a number of readers since December 12, 2009, when I sent, ‘Is Prosperity Knocking at Your Door.’ Don’t know what happened. Somehow in the upgrading of my blog my subscriber list was inadvertently lost. (Thank you Rose. And thank you Jenni for holding on to my list.)

"Portrait of a Sad-Eyed Saint Bernard Dog" Photographic Print

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My apologizes to everyone. I’ve sent several entries since December. (You can look them over at my blog. (Or click on the links below)

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Here is the list:

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Jan 1, 2010 ‘The Way of Eternity’ http://buddymartin.net/blog/2010/01/the-way-of-eternity/

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Jan 11, 2010 ‘Which Bible Translation is the Best’ http://buddymartin.net/blog/2010/01/which-bible-translation-is-the-best/

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Jan 17, 2010 ‘The Jesus Kids’ http://buddymartin.net/blog/2010/01/the-jesus-kids/

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Jan 20, 2010 ‘A Voice Crying in the Wilderness’ http://buddymartin.net/blog/2010/01/a-voice-crying-in-the-wilderness/

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Jan 23, 2010 ‘Exploring the World of the Disciple’ http://buddymartin.net/blog/2010/01/exploring-the-world-of-the-disciple/

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Much love coming your way,

Buddy