Accounting – Top Five Blog Entries

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Journal,

It is time for an update on my blog. Of over 700 personal entries that are accessible on my blog, I wanted to narrow down the top five entries that have received the most readership.

As for blog statistics, to date I’ve had 144,985 reads with total visitors of 116,675. While this isn’t a great number, I remain thankful that the Lord has given me another outlet for sharing the gospel story.

Here is a map that shows where my blog has been or is being read –

Blog readership

 

Entries that Have Received the Most Readers

Here is a list of the top five entries. This simply show where the greatest interest has been. I’ll begin with the most read and work it from there.

 

1. “My Story” continues at the top of the list – For some reason this entry has far exceeded anything that I have written. It includes some of my personal background and my own life-journey of faith. It is not intended to be offensive against my church background, but rather to explains some issues that are hard to understand.

http://buddymartin.net/blog/testimony/

2. “Passing Through the Valley of Baca” has high readership. This study reaches back to 2010, and continues to be one of the most read. It deals with the struggles we have in life and how that the Lord can always be found in the background of our situations, in helping us process through our tears and our victories. It begins with Betty and I, at the grave of our child.

http://buddymartin.net/blog/passing-through-the-valley-of-baca/

3. “500+” is next. This includes both the archives and a great many other studies. There are well over 700 studies that can be found at this site. Look at the titles. They pretty much tell you what the study is about.

http://buddymartin.net/blog/500-2/

4. “Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement.” This study reaches back to 2009. This entry takes its lead from the two hurricanes that hit Louisiana, and how the Lord brought to my attention the difference between the sinner-sinner, and the religious sinner. There is a saying that will appear quite strange to many. It goes like this – “The sinner knows the Lord. The priest is trying to find Him.”

http://buddymartin.net/blog/mercy-triumphs-over-judgment/

5. “Jesus, the Wonder and Mystery of the Bible.” This study reaches back to 2009, and takes in the Old Testament, Hebrew background that shows who Jesus really is. It remains one of the most popular and helps to explain what the prophet meant when he wrote, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

http://buddymartin.net/blog/jesus-the-wonder-and-mystery-of-the-bible/

Hope you take time for these studies. Perhaps the Lord has something to share with you.

In Christ always,

Buddy

Seahawks – All American Team

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“God’s given me this amazing talent to throw the football. Even though I’m 5-foot-11 and people said I couldn’t do it, nobody can stop what God has for you.”  Russell Wilson

Journal,

It is not a matter of extolling the Seahawks simply because they have a number of believers on their team. Every football team in America, has true Jesus followers. Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos is a great example. Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, is another. There are many, many more.

However, I wanted to share how the Seahawks set forth the best of America.  

First, it struck me how strongly the Seahawks correlated as a team. It seemed as if every play had been choreographed. [Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified.]

I realize that all teams do this. Yet, as I watched the Super Bowl yesterday, I was amazed at the coordination and speed of the Seahawks. I had also seen this before, when they defeated the Saints, twice. (To my dismay.)

The truth be known, I’ve been neither a Seahawk’s fan or a Bronco’s fan. To me both teams are amazing. But as I watched the Super Bowl, it said something to me about the great country that we live in. Every time our national anthem is sung, or another of America’s glorious songs, it brings tears to my eyes.

In fact all of our sports events extol the ‘God-given’ uniqueness of our country. 

There has never been a nation on this planet like America. Our uniqueness reaches into the core of who we are as a people, into the fabric of our very being.

Yes, we’ve had our struggles and our failures, yet when the right moment comes, this nation has always been able to pull together in much the same way that the Seahawks played their game. 

Certainly it comes back to our basic spiritual values as a nation. Think about our pledge of allegience –

I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.

Our nation was founded on a principle of a unity that can only have one source. We credit that source as the almighty God Himself.

Not only in our pledge of allegiance, but it is set forth in America’s ‘Declaration of Independance’.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Another thing that touched my heart about the Seahawks, had to do with interviews that had been conducted by Mark Driscoll, with several Seahawk believers before the Super Bowl game. What a blessing to see these men shared their Christian faith in a forum that could be seen by multitudes of people through the earth.

With that in mind, I wanted my readers to see a couple of videos where Seahawk believers are saying, ‘Whether we win or lose the Super Bowl, Jesus is first.’

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Hope you enjoyed this.

In Christ always,

Buddy

What About the Animals

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Lion and Lamb“But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

“Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.

“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them.

“Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

“The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa 11:4-9)

 

Readers,

Is it just me? Am I imagining things? It seems like there is a nature change slowly taking place in the animal world. 

Well, perhaps I am out into left field. Simply humor me in this reading.

To begin with, take time to contemplate the Scriptures at the beginning of this entry. They belong to the second coming of Jesus, and especially to what is commonly noted as the millennium. (The 1000 year reign on Christ Jesus on the earth.)

Notice very carefully how Isaiah, sets forth a nature change that will affect the animals in general. It would be wrong to think of these Scriptures as merely Hebrew exaggeration. Even with Biblical symbolism there is always a literal meaning in the background. 

Let’s begin with …

 

Why Biblical Prophecy is So Important

I have been a minister of the gospel for close to fifty years. My forte of study has long been both the Hebraic and the prophetic background of the Christian faith. I am well acquainted with prophecies that set forth the age and the generation that will see the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is not a matter of setting dates. However, there is no question in my mind that we are of the generation that will see the second coming.

With regard to the prophetic Word, the Lord explained to the apostles, the intent of the Scriptures.

“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 … “ (Luk 24:44-48)

Did you see it? All prophecy must be fulfilled in their time.  

This brings me to these special prophecies in Isaiah that have to do with …

 

The Witness of Creation

There are a number of things the Lord said we are to look for with regard to His second coming. The one I am drawing attention that has to do with the ‘all of creation’.  

The apostle Paul said –

“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Rom 8:19-21)

The term ‘creation’ is the Greek word ‘ktis’-is’. The apostle Paul is setting forth that the whole of the unredeemed creation, that is, rational and irrational will undergo a nature change at the second coming of the Lord Jesus.

Here is Vine’s Word Study definition of the word ‘creation.’ [The bold underline is for emphasis.]

The word [ktis’-is] may signify either the creative act (as Rom_1:20), or the thing created (Mar_10:6; Mar_13:19; Mar_16:15; Col_1:23; Heb_4:13). See on 1Pe_2:13. Here in the latter sense. The interpretations vary: 1. The whole unredeemed creation, rational and irrational. 2. All creation, except humanity. The point of difference is the inclusion or exclusion of humanity. The second explanation is preferable, the non-rational creation viewed collectively, animate and inanimate. Equivalent to all nature.

All of creation is waiting for the unveiling of the sons [children] of God. In this present age, the glory of God’s children is shrouded in bodies of flesh. Our full glory is yet to come.

Take note of these references [bold is for special emphasis] –

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1Jn 3:1-2)

“Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:25-27)

“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.'” (Heb 2:9-12 Caps represents quotes from the Old Testament.)

There is more with regard to all of creation.

The Psalmist said …

 

Let Everything That Has Breath

I realize that much of this is far beyond our greatest imaginations. But did not the apostle speak of God’s doings that are far beyond all that we can ask or even think. 

So, stay with me as we look at more Scriptures. [Note carefully the statements in bold. Let your heart think on these things]

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” (Psa 150:6)

“The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, and Your godly ones shall bless You.” (Psa 145:9-10)

Praise the LORD from the earth, sea monsters and all deeps; fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and all hills; fruit trees and all cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and winged fowl; kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and virgins; old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.” (Psa 148:7-13)

“Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field will glorify Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people. The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.” (Isa 43:19-21)

“And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.'” (Rev 5:13)

Are you still with me?

Good. Now lets go to the main question of …

 

What Are We Observing With the Animals

I want to take note of a couple of things. First of all, there seems to have always been certain animals that have shared an affinity with humankind. We know that dogs have long carried the tag, ‘man’s best friend’.

Why is this? Could it be that of God’s many creatures, He made the dog to fulfill so many special companion needs of the human heart. For the sake of humor, perhaps this video tells us much of what we dog-lovers understand. It is titled, ‘So God Made a Dog.

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But this isn’t simply about dogs. Have you noticed that there are other animals that share an affinity with human kind?  How about dolphins that have saved humans from the sharks.

Just do a YouTube search on ‘Animals that protect humans’, or, ‘Animals adopting each other’, or, ‘Animal odd couples’.

My point is simple – I’ve been seeing more and more stories where animals that are normally aggressor and prey, have become in separable, which is contrary to their very nature. Examples are a leopard adopting a baby baboon, and a lioness adopting a baby antelope.

But there is one thing that always stands out to me. It has to do with the maternal instinct that is shared in the animal kingdom. This is one thing that is shared with the human family. 

Here is another video you will enjoy. After you view this video, note the ending screen where you can click on a number of other videos that relate to the nature changes in the animal kingdom. 

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One question remains …

 

Has It Always Been this Way

I realize that the animal kingdom is not completed changed. And perhaps the animal kingdom has always been this way, but I have a different thought.

Could it be that we are seeing a witness taking shape in the animal king that precedes the coming King?

As for me, yes, I believe the King is soon to come. My prayer is the last recorded prayer in the book of Revelation. –

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev 22:20)

Here is a final video. Take time to listen to, ‘The King is Coming’ by Tony Hebson.

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In Christ Always,

Buddy

Music Tells the Tale

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Music“The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.” (Psa 118:14-15)

 

Journal,

The sacred text reveals that God has a purpose for music. Music was created to be a spiritual conduit for man’s well-being. In this sense, music carries in it something of spiritual nature.

This is why music can be so uplifting. Godly music has healing power in it. The reason is that Godly music carries  with it the very presence of God.  

Music gives shape to the world we live in. Let’s consider some Biblical examples of …

 

The Power of Godly Music

Here are three examples of the power of Godly music.

The first example is where King Saul, recognizes the spiritual power in David’s music.

“Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer.

“Saul sent to Jesse, saying, ‘Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.’

“So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him. (1Sa 16:21-23)

Next is when the Lord instructs the armies of Israel, that when entering into battle, though greatly outnumbered, to begin singing to the Lord.

“They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said,

“‘Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.’

“When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.’

“When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. (2Ch 20:20-22)

 The apostles of our faith also knew the power of the song. We see this with Paul and Silas, when in prison.

“When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. (Act 16:23-26)

 You can …

 

Sing Your Way to Victory

I’m not going to tell you that singing is a cure-all for everything, but it is the key to many things. Worshiping in song will often be the deliverance key to victory in your circumstances, often even the healing of our body.

Shana, was running a high fever. I said to her, “Let’s sing to the Lord.” When we began to sing, the fever actually broke. Our daughter, Shana was released into the wellness of God.

A former warlock priest who had come to the Lord, told me that the hardest times for warlocks and witches to practice their craft, was when the churches were in services. This generally meant Sundays and Wednesdays. He contributed it to the worship and ministry times of God’s people. The presence of God forced back the powers of darkness. 

Did you know that God placed in the Bible a song book to aid the believer’s walk of victory. That is what the book of Psalms is about. Psalms is the only book in the Bible, that is specifically given a direct connection to living in, with, and by the Spirit.

Listen to the apostle Paul – [The man who sang his way out of prison.] 

“So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation …

” … but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” (Eph 5:17-20)

I have often taught the band of believers who meet at Christian Challenge, the benefits given to us in the book of Psalms. Psalms is a prophetic book, a book fill with the spiritual principles of victorious living.

Here is my story (I’ve shared it before) ….

About the Book of Psalms

It happened in 1976. The ministry was just starting up. We had no congregation, and no source of income. The house we rented was for $75.00 a month. It was a bit drafty. In fact when it rained, the roof leaked in one of the bed rooms.

All I had from the Lord was a stewardship to raise up a ministry in Central Louisiana, on the basis of the ‘school of prophets’ of the Old Testament. This meant that Christian Challenge was to be a disciple-making ministry that would utilize ‘mentoring’ as its major foundation principle.

Oddly enough, the Lord would not even allow us to pass offering places. He was teaching me something about a life of faith. How were we going to do this?

This is what happened. I’m lying in bed when the ‘how‘, ‘what‘, ‘where‘, and ‘who‘ worries began. ‘How will I take care of my family?’ ‘How will we survive?’ ‘Lord, what am I doing here?’ ‘Where will we turn?’ ‘Who will I turn to?’

Then I had this impression in my spirit that the Lord wanted to talk to me. I got up from the bed, grabbed my Bible, went into the kitchen, placed the Bible on the table, and closed my eyes in prayer. (I’m relating this as best I can recall what happened. But this kind of memory is a life-time thing.)

When I reached for my Bible, it fell open to the book of Psalms. That is when I begin to receive my spiritual enlightenment from the Lord. Wish I knew how to relate this properly. I’ll do my best.

What I began to hear in my heart was explanations on why the Lord had this book placed in the sacred writ.

The book of Psalm will teach us how to think, how to pray, how to worship and praise, how to believe, what to believe, how to speak. It will teach us about God’s providence, His provisions, His promises, how to live a life of the Spirit, and much more.

When I got up from the kitchen table, my whole world had changed. The worries were gone and my heart was filled with the victory of Jesus. It has pretty much been that way ever since.

To this very day when I awake each morning, there is usually a song of worship and praise going through my heart and mind. Even when I’m traveling, it seems I want to sing much of the time. It isn’t put on. My spirit has been trained.

What I’ve shared is the spiritual side of music for believers. But there is also an unchurched cultural side that I’d need to discuss. It is a total swing from the music that is born from heaven to that which is born of hell.

 

Music Defines the Morality of a Culture

There is no question that music speaks to the human spirit in a way that is unparalleled. Whereas those who are born of heaven have their own music, it is also true that the world defines itself by its own music. Music is a powerful cultural medium. And Satan uses it to his advantage.

It can be said whereas Godly music carries the presence of God, even so very much of worldly music also carries the spirit of the demonic. Satan is called the ruler of this world.

At any given time in history, music will define the spirit of that generation. This is why I can speak with such sadness about the spiritual digress in our present culture.

From the time of my youth in the 1940s, to this generation, I’ve observed how music has plunged deeper and deeper into a world of darkness. Much music today, and especially rap, is totally dehumanizing. It glorifies sexual deviance, drugs, cop killing, violence against women, promiscuity, and so much more.

Psychologist will tell you that there is no better recruiter for the porn industry than the rappers.

Yet many parents are totally naïve to the dangers of the music that their children listen to. One writer says that rap music is blatant Satanism. Do you wonder why your child has become so rebellious? Think about it. 

Here is an example of just one rap song by ‘Three 6 (666) Mafia’. (Forgive me for allowing things in print that I would normally not allow. Just need to tell it like it is.)

Fuckin Wit Dis Click” : 

“I’m on a cross Lucifer please cut me free (cut me free)
I’ll draw your portrait if you pull these nails out my feet (nails out my feet)
My cross turns upside down”

“No Lord could stop us now
Cause the demons reborn again”

“Follow me into the trees
Watch me rob Adam
And watch me rape Eve”

The issue is that many young people today have plunged deeply into this world of spiritual debauchery. (Indulgence in sensual pleasures; excessive or immoral activities involving sex, alcohol, food, or drugs.)

My point is simple – To be forewarned is to be forearmed. 

But there is more. It has to do with …

 

The Battle Plan of the Lord

It is not as if we are left without a warning with regard to these times. There are a great many Scriptures that describe the great moral breakdown before the second coming of the Lord.

Here is what the apostle Paul said –

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers …

“… disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power [power of the cross]; Avoid such men as these.” (2Ti 3:1-5)

However, neither is it as though we have no battle plan. Listen carefully to our final ‘war plan’ instructions in the book of Psalms – God will glorify His people with the victory of Jesus Christ.

Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.

“Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.

“For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.

“Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds.

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written.

This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD!” (Psa 149:1-9)

Take God’s Word in your mouth. Shout and sing the victory of Christ. Sing the Psalms. Be encouraged. Satan is a defeated foe.

There is so much more to be noted. My advice to any believer is to take this to the Lord. Your instructions will come directly from Him.

In the meantime here is a song for your spiritual edification. Its about, ‘Not giving up.’

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In Christ always,

Buddy

 

A Standard For the Nations

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Receive

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isa 52:7)

 

Journal,

For the last couple of days I been thinking about something the prophet Isaiah said about how the enemy works, and how that God works. I especially love where the King James Bible sets this forth in Isaiah 59:19.

Listen  –

“So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isa 59:19)

Two things stand out in this one verse. First, the name of the Lord and His glory is to go forth to cover the earth from the very rising of the sun. Many do not realize how this very thing is taking place today. The gospel is penetrating the darkest corners of planet earth. (Of course the news media isn’t about to share this bit of news.)

One of the best examples of the spreading gospel, has to do with the multiplied thousands of Muslims who are coming to faith in the Lord Jesus.

The Jews are not far behind. Hear what this anti-Christ, Jewish rabbi has this to say –

‘Why have more Jews converted to Christianity in the last 19 years than in the last 1900 years.’ (This actually appeared in an ad in the Jerusalem Post.) 

Then we have the second part of Isaiah 59:19, that has rested on my heart of late. It is where God says, ‘When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.’

Well, the enemy is going forth about the earth in his attempt to deceive the nations. He continues to make inroads into our western societies. What a moral breakdown we are seeing. 

Yet I keep hearing in the deep of my heart, ‘The Lord shall lift up a standard against him!’ 

 

Standards Are Being Lifted

From a personal testimony point of view, when the Lord gave me a stewardship to raise up a ministry in Central Louisiana, to be named, ‘Christian Challenge International’, my instructions were to set up the ministry on the order of the Old Testament school of the prophets. This meant that the ministry would be a mentoring society. The older disciples would teach the younger disciples.

I also believe the Lord gave me accilogo2 logo that we could use. Briefly, the mountains represents the nations and kingdoms of the world, the circle speaks to the rising and the setting of the sun, and the dove and Bible is the gospel message being proclaimed among the nations.

But the Lord also gave me a theme song for our ministry. It is titled, ‘How Beautiful Upon the Mountains.’

The reason I share this is not to honor myself or Christian Challenge. I merely wish to speak to the standards being lifted today. Christian Challenge is only a very small part in the untold number of standards being lifted up.

The standards are being lifted up by myriads of ministries, both in missionary efforts and by radio and television, and by the multitude of testimonies of salvation that are be proclaimed to all the nations. 

For the sake of time, I want to share one special testimony that is becoming a drawing card for the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, today. It has to do with Mel Gibson’s movie, ‘The Passion of Christ.’

It is the testimony of …

 

The Man Who Portrayed Christ

Did you know the man who played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel, is a truly born-again believer with an amazing story of His own passion for the Lord Jesus?

Here is the one interview that every Christian, and prayerfully, that many thousands of people around the world should take time for. I can assure you, you will not be disappointed. It has its special place in reaching the hearts of thousands, including those in the movie industry.

Take time for it. This man can speak for himself.

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In Christ always,

Buddy

Lord, Give Me a Listening Ear

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Ears to HearOpen my ears, O Lord, to Hear

“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, he awakens my ear to listen as a disciple.” (Isa 50:4)

 

Journal,

It is the design of God in the new covenant, that all who come to faith in Jesus, are to learn to listen for the Shepherd’s voice. This is a learning experience. The ability to hear comes with spiritual growth and with our willingness to walk in obedience to God.

Jesus said,

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (Joh 10:27-28)

The sad note is that those of the Jewish people who refused to accept Jesus as God’s Messiah, is that they not only lost their place as the earthly kingdom of God, but they also lost their ability to hear clearly and directly from God. Israel would become a scattered people, like sheep without a Shepherd.

 

The Time Was Coming

John the Baptist had given the warning –

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?‘ … 

“‘The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

“‘As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'” (Mat 3:6-11)

In this context, every time John uses the term ‘fire’, he is speaking of a judgment to come. It is important to understand this. (From the time of John the Baptist to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, there would be 40 years. The 40 years had to do with that generation.)

Then in verse 12 of that same setting, John says,

“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Mat 3:12)

The wheat represents the believing Jewish people. The chaff represents the Christ-rejecting people.

 

The Chapter Closes 

As the book of Acts closes, the time for the out-gathering of the Jews was nearing the end of its forty-year apex. Jerusalem would soon lie smoldering in flames. The temple and every trace of the Old Testament covenant of Law, would be no more. When the sacrifice of the cross is rejected, there is no other sacrifice to be had.

The apostle Paul has these last words for the Jews in Rome, as he quotes the prophet Isaiah —

“And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word,

“The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive …  

” … for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their eyes they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and I would heal them.

“Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.” (Act 28:25-28)

Makes you wonder how many today fit this category. Yes, there is a judgment coming. I pray that none of my readers have closed their eyes and their ears. Have you?

Let’s come back to the issue of the listening ear with regard to Christians.

 

Listen So that You May Live 

We begin as babes in Christ, and afterwards we continue to grow in all areas of our walk with Him. Jesus gave a gauge to set the tone for our new covenant walk with Him. It has to do with ‘seeking’. We are to seek His kingdom rule, and to seek His righteous path.

Seeking the kingdom has to do with seeking the direct rule of God over our lives. Seeking for His righteousness has to do with walking in the path that the Lord has ordained for us. David said the Lord leads us in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.

The prophets had long spoken of the Messiah’s kingdom to come. It was this knowledge that Jesus used to cause discomfort among the Jewish religious leaders. Various ones would try to trip Him up. The Lord disarmed each of His opponents. 

It is at this juncture that the Lord asks them a question. He said,

“How is it that they say the Christ is David’s son? For David himself says in the book of Psalms, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”‘

“Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord,’ and how is He his son?” (Luke 20:40-44)

Jesus is quoting from Psalm 110. What caused the religious leaders concern was that the people fully accepted Psalm 110, in regard to the Messiah. They knew Messiah was to be a descendant of David. Yet in this Psalm, David actually calls the Messiah his Lord.

How can Messiah be David’s son, and yet also be David’s Lord?

David does much more. He also calls the Messiah, God’s Son. Listen –

“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 2:10-12)

Do you again see the judgment language. It all centers on doing homage to the Son.

This doing homage to the Son is especially seen on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus. The disciples are terrified. But the message is clear –

“Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said,

‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’

“When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.” (Mat 17:4-6)

Did you catch it? Who are we to listen to? 

For the sake of repeating myself, let me say it again. The Lord did not come to give us another religion, a better religion, or a more-correct religion. He came to give us life. This life is found in the Son. Learn to listen to Him, and you will learn to walk in the life.

Now let’s talk about …

 

The Decree of the Cross

If you are not familiar with the decree of the cross, here it is –

“And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Act2:21; Rom10:13)

But there is more at hand. Since Jesus is talking to disciples in the sermon on the mountain, He is laying out kingdom principles. The word for kingdom is ‘besileia’. This word translates over into English as royal power, kingship, dominion, rule.

Jesus is not speaking of a kingdom that can be measured by borders. Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world. It will be a kingdom of the heart.

What we are to seek is the royal rule of the King in our lives. This is the essence of kingdom Life.

Paul has this in mind, in saying,

“As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” (Col2:6)

The apostle is telling us to live out our lives in the sphere of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus said we were to seek His kingdom rule, and His ‘righteous’ plan for our lives.

The issue here is not the righteousness we are given when we are born again. Every believer is given perfect righteousness before the throne of God when they are born again. However, the issue here is ‘pathways.’ (How to live out our life.)

 

Seek the Pathway of the Lord

In the new covenant every person has direct access to the throne of heaven, all the time, every time, wherever and whenever. Notice that Jesus places our kingdom-righteous walk in the care of our loving Father. 

Peter elaborates on this, when he says,

“Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2Pet1:3)

Paul says much the same;

“So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or the world or life or death of things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.” (1Co3:21,23)

Here is the point at hand –

Have you ever noticed that as a believer becomes really serious about seeking and serving the Lord, that their lot in life begins to improve. It is because the Lord sees to both to our spiritual needs and our temporal needs.

This means more than having our needs met. Seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness means we have an obligation to see where we fit in the Father’s business. The most miserable Christian on earth is that one who gets caught up in seeking blessings, but does not seek his or her place of service.

We all begin our walk under the auspices of some sort of church life. This is well and good as far as it goes. Yet the very purpose of our gathering as a flock is so that we can be taught how to live under the personal Lordship of Jesus.

If the church begins to take the place of the personal Lordship of Jesus, then we have entered into the zone of religion-worship. Whether we realize this or not, we are exchanging Lordship of Jesus for our religion. (Think about it.)

 

The Key Will Always be Lordship

The first time I heard the Lord speak directly to my heart was in 1964. Jesus spoke to me from the Scriptures, and said, ‘Have I been so long time with you Buddy, and you do not know who I am.” 

Rather than elaborate on this, you may wish to read my personal story: http://buddymartin.net/blog/testimony/

From that time on my life has been a journey of seeking and finding. Over these almost fifty years of walking with the Lord Jesus, He has often spoken to me. He has spoken by impressions of the heart, by visions and dreams, many times through others, and often by a direct word from His mouth.

In all this I was learning how to listen. Have I ever missed it? Yes, several times. But that goes with the ‘learning’.

I thought it would be good to share one of my personal stories. For lack of a better term, I’ll call it…

The Gate to Miracle Land

Having pastored our first church and afterwards entering into the evangelistic field, I was beginning to experience spiritual fatigue. I was tired. My family was tired. More than anything else, I needed a spiritual restructuring of my life. So, in 1971, I left the full time ministry for a season.

The next three years would prove to be crucial to the Lord’s plans for my future. It was during that season that the Lord baptized me into His Word. I realize how strange that sounds, but I don’t know any other way to explain it. The sacred Scriptures began to take on a life that has continued to this very day. 

Early in 1975, the time came. I was at the place where I could say, “Lord, I’ll go anywhere you want me to go. I’ll do anything you want me to do. All I ask is that You tell me Yourself what you want me to do. Don’t send someone to tell me.” 

The dye was set. In just a few short weeks the Lord offered me an invitation to walk through what I can only term, ‘the gate to miracle land.’

It happened Friday morning, January 19, 1975. That morning I was playing my guitar and singing to the Lord. I even remember the song. It was about the Battle of Armageddon.

That is when it happened. While I was singing and worshipping, I heard the Lord say, ‘Go home!’ It was so real, that Betty and I took our children out of school and headed north. We were living in South Louisiana and home was Central Louisiana.

I kept trying to figure out what the Lord had in store. I began making plans to visit a number of churches that I had held revivals in. I thought perhaps the Lord wanted me to share my testimony. Was I ever wrong. That wasn’t what the Lord had in store at all.

We took our children to my sister’s home. Across the road from her house was a church I had held my first revival in. The lights were on. I found it odd since it wasn’t a church night. Cars were everywhere. I thought this must be where I am to begin.

We stepped in the door and sat quietly in the back. A service was in progress. I waited, but the Lord said nothing else. ‘What are we doing here?’ 

That is when the minister recognized me, he said, “Welcome brother and sister Martin. Brother Martin, do you have anything you would like to share.”

I absolutely did not know what to say. I simply stood, and said, “Brother, I don’t know why the Lord sent me, but I am here.”

When I spoke those first words, there was a holy hush. Then I heard weeping in the congregation. What I didn’t know was they had lost a pastor, and they had been praying for the Lord to send them ‘their’ pastor.

The Lord had given them the witness. Their pastor was standing in their midst. That was the beginning of my new venture into the world that I had only skirted around. It was the world of a disciple.

Was it easy? No. I had a business in South Louisiana. How could I refuse. Yet the struggle in my mind continued as we drove 120 miles each way, each week, to begin pastoring that country church.

But the Lord never leaves us hanging loose. While sitting on the platform with my struggles, once again I heard the Lord speak in my heart. He said, ‘I have given you the heart of a pastor.’

At that very moment something happened inside me. The struggle was over. 

I could share story after story of how the Lord has provided for us, and has continued to do so from that day. He has taught us principles of discipleship. And through that gate to miracle land would come another ministry called, Christian Challenge International, a ministry that would be entrusted with teaching believers how to live the life of a disciple. 

But as a believer, you will have many of your own stories to tell. 

Walking through that gate was the best thing that had ever happened to my wife and me. It brought us to where we are today.

And it all had to do with having my ears opened to hear from the Lord.

 

How About You?

Is there a gate the Lord would have you walk through?

Rather than add anything else at this point, let me simply point out that the level of our walk with the Lord can always be measured by how we respond to the principles of His kingdom. I only shared one principle. The Sermon on the Mountains is filled with instructions for the disciple.

You may want to read through the sermon again. Do it like it is a first time. Listen to the Spirit of the Lord. Just put your disciple ‘glasses’ on as you read it.

In the mean time take a listen to Eric Tom, as he sings, ‘Here I am Lord.’

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Your brother in Christ,

Buddy

Israel’s Greater Sin

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 Caiaphas Sets the Stage for the Rejection of Jesus

 

“So Pilate said to Him, ‘You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I Caiaphashave authority to crucify You?’

“Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you [Caiaphas] has the greater sin.'” (Joh 19:10-11 NASB)

 

Journal,

In the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Sanhedrin represented the supreme leadership of world Judaism. When the chief priests and elders delivered Jesus over to the Roman authorities to be crucified, they set in motion a chain of events that would have negative effects on the Jewish people throughout their generations.

We see this taking form in 70 AD, with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. Was the destruction a judgment from God? According to the gospels, yes. Even according to the Talmudic writings, also a yes. While the reasons given may differ, that it was a judgment from God was accepted early on.

However, it was Caiaphas who set things into motion. Caiaphas was the high priest and as such had the defining role in having Jesus crucified.

“The high priest stood up and said to Him, ‘Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?’

“But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, ‘I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.’

“Jesus said to him, ‘You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.’

“Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?’

“They answered, ‘He deserves death!'” (Mat 26:62-66)

The response that Jesus gave is very important to understand. Two things stand out –

1. Jesus responded to Caiaphas, with, ‘You have said it yourself’. This meant that Caiaphas had identified who Jesus really was. Why is this important? Keep in mind that Jesus gave a parable to set forth that the Jewish leadership knew He was the Messiah. The parable puts in place the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. (Take time to read Matthew 21:33-46.)

2. When Jesus said, ‘hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN,’ this term is an expression of deity. It is rooted in the very writings of Moses.

Listen to part of the song that Moses and Israel sang, after Israel’s deliverance through the Red Sea.

“Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; and the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea.The deeps cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone.

“Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.

“And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff.” (Exo 15:4-7)

Caiaphas had set in place the official rejection of Jesus as God’s Messiah. Yet God would allow forty more years of grace so that the gospel could be preached as a testimony to Israel, before a judgement would come. Out of the judgement in 70 AD, the Sanhedrin and the high priest would be no more.

From 70 AD until May 14, 1948, there would be no nation of Israel found on planet earth. Rather than being a nation-state, the Jewish people would become regulated to a religion and a culture.

Do you recall the tears that Jesus shed over Jerusalem? Listen –

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

“So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

“Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

“Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'” (Mat 23:29-39)

What happened after 70 a.d.?

 

Out of the Ashes Came a Religion

Sadly enough, out of the ashes of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d., would evolve a new Judaism that would have no likeness to the ancient worship of Moses and David. The rabbis set about to fashion a Judaism where they would become raised figures.

This new Judaism would become known as Rabbinical Judaism or Talmudic Judaism. It would become an expanded continuation of the Pharisees. (The Sadducee and the priestly temple ministry had disappeared.)

The rabbi who carried the greater responsibility for the reinvention of Judaism was Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai. According to John Lightfoot, Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai knew Jesus and most certainly had encounters with the apostles. He was likely one of the Sanhedrin members who held responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus.

Zaccai escaped the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. He afterwards determined that the blood sacrifices were no longer needed, and that prayer, good deeds, and fasting were all that was needed to get God’s forgiveness.

It is important to understand the time line of Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai. He was one of the top religious figures in Jerusalem during the time of Christ and up to and after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Zaccai lived to be 120 years old. He held such a honored role in Judaism that he became known as, ‘The Light of Israel, Pillar of the Right Hand, Strong Hammer.’ Zaccai was well acquainted with the Christian movement.

The sad note in all this comes from the Talmudic writings themselves where the death of Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai is recorded.

“When R. Jochanan ben Zaccai was taken ill, his disciples went to visit him. As soon as he beheld them, he began to weep. His disciples said unto him, ‘O Light of Israel, Pillar of the Right Hand, Strong Hammer, why dost thou weep?’ He answered and said unto them… ‘Now when I am to be led into the presence of the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, who lives and is through all eternities, whose anger — if He is angry with me — is an eternal anger; whose fetters — if He will bind me — are everlasting fetters; and whose death — if He put me to death — is an eternal death; whom I cannot appease with words, nor bribe with money; and not only so, …

” … but two ways open before me — the one leading to Paradise and the other to hell (Gehenna), and I do not know upon which of these two ways I shall be led, shall I not weep?‘”

 

Self honoring

The Judaism that Zaccai helped create, held great responsibility that sallied forth with all kinds of strange notions about God. But the prophets said this would happen. The strangest notion of all had to do with the self-honor that the rabbis placed upon themselves. In honor of Zaccai, we hear in Bava Bathra that this Rabbi was said to understand the language of devils, of trees, and of angels. Of course this is pure fabrication.

It should be noted, however, that the Talmud sets precedence for necromancy. (The belief in magical spells that harness occult forces or evil spirits to produce unnatural effects in the world; conjuring up the dead, especially for prophesying.)

But there was a purpose in this new Judaism. The new Judaism had to have its own power structure and authority. The rabbis set themselves up as the last voice of God. This is why the new Judaism is often called Rabbinic Judaism. They even went so far as to tell the story of how they outwitted God Himself.

Now back to a bit of history on Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai. Does the Bible itself ever call attention to this rabbi? Perhaps so. According to Lightfoot, a preeminent Christian scholar on the Talmuds, Rabbi Zaccai was most likely the ‘John’ that sat on the council who commanded Peter and John to stop preaching in the name of Jesus. The gathered rulers included,

“Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.” (Cf. Acts 4)

The reason that the name John is mentioned without further identification is because Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai was so well-known among the Jews that no other term was required. Note how this John is placed right in the center of Annas, Caiaphas, and Alexander. It says they were all of high-priestly descent. This would include John.

As I mention earlier, it is quite likely that Rabbi Zaccai knew Jesus and was involved in His being turned over to Pilate. Notice carefully what happens when the apostles are brought before these men. It says,

“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” (v13)

OK, let’s move on.

 

What About Those Who Accepted Jesus

First a comparison.

Would you like to see what distinguishes the death of Rabbi Zaccai, and another  rabbi who accepted Jesus as the Messiah of Israel? Whether we can apply the term ‘rabbi’ to Paul before he became a believer is not known. Rabbis were simply teachers.

We do know that Paul was a disciple of Gamaliel and a persecutor of the church. When this apostle was facing death, this is what we read about him:

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (Cf. 2Ti 4:7,8)

Do you see the difference? Rabbi Zaccai was terrified. The apostle Paul was ready for his journey home. What made the difference? It all comes back to the atonement sacrifice.

To reject the cross is to reject any hope of salvation. And it is not as though Zaccai had no warning. A special letter was sent to Jewish people by an apostolic writer not long before the destruction of the temple. In it we read:

“For if we go on sinning [the sin of rejection of Jesus] willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

“How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Cf. Heb 10:26- 29)

And yet…

 

There is More to the Story

As a minister of well over 45 years, I’ve attended the last hours of various believers. These were precious moments. There was no fear. And when it neared the time of passage, there was a special anointing that came upon the child of God. It was as though they were already experiencing the heaven side of their passage. As for others — I’ll leave that unsaid.

What about Israel that became a nation in 1948?

This is the story yet to be told. But it is recorded in the writings of Moses and the prophets, and of Jesus and the apostles. One day the Jewish people will realize that they’ve been duped and misled in their Talmudic religion about Jesus.

God spoke through the prophet, saying,

“Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” (Isa 29:14)

It seems to me that day is not too far removed from where we are today.

Here are some other studies that I recommend for my readers, beginning with the study just prior to this entey –

1. The old Rabbi reveals the name of Messiah –

http://buddymartin.net/blog/rabbi-yitzhack-kaduri-reveals-name-messiah/

 

2. What Are We Doing Wrong –

http://buddymartin.net/blog/wrong/

 

3. Will Israel Turn to Jesus –

http://buddymartin.net/blog/will-israel-turn-to-jesus/

 

You may wish to take time for video. You will hear some amazing revelations taking place among the Jews, especially concerning Jesus.

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May the Lord bless you,. 

Buddy

Rabbi Yitzhack Kaduri Reveals the Name of the Messiah

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 Yehoshua is Messiah

 

Rabbi Kaduri“He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many [of His own] as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Joh 1:11-13)

 

Journal,

In my last journal entry (January 1st), I said,

“In my understanding of prophetic history, 2014 could well be the beginning of a turning point in the progressing of redemption. But I’ll leave that unsaid for now.”

The very next day a news report by the Jerusalem Post, said that Ariel Sharon is in critical condition and not expected to live.

You may be thinking, ‘What does this have to do with anything?’ 

It may be that what I am about to share fits into the end time progress of redemption. 

First let’s talk about the Rabbi and …

 

The Messiah Prophecy

Rabbi Yitzhack Kaduri was one of Israel’s most prominent kabbalist rabbis. Before he died on January 6, 2006, at the age of 108, the Rabbi wrote on a note the name of the Messiah, and requested that it not be revealed until after he died.

Keep in mind that this particular Rabbi had a great following. He was looked upon by the chief rabbis of Israel, as a Tsadik, that is, a Jewish saint and a righteous man. Thousands sought him for counsel. His disciples said the many miracles came from him. (More than 200,000 people crowded the streets of Jerusalem at his funeral.)

After the death of Karudi, the note was made known. It contained a disturbing revelation that shook the orthodox world. In the Hebrew language the note stated that Jesus was the Messiah. His name was coded in this sentence, ‘He will lift the people and prove that his word and law are valid.’ 

The coded abbreviation reads,

Yarim Ha’Am Veyokhiakh Shedvaro Vetorato Omdim.

Each letter in bold spells out the Hebrew name for Jesus. Yehoshua and Yeshua are the same name, and come from the root word for ‘salvation.’

While this disturbing revelation was given little report in the national news coverage in Israel, there are two other things that should be noted.

Rabbi Kaduri’s grandson said his father had met the Messiah, and that Messiah said He was coming. 

Early in 2004, Rabbi Kaduri said, “I have just seen the face of Moshiach.” 

Then we have this …

 

What Of Ariel Sharon

Another thing the Rabbi said in his note was that the Messiah would come shortly after the death of Ariel Sharon. Keep in mind that the Rabbi wrote this note seven years ago, and that Sharon has been in a seven year coma. 

Don’t misunderstand any of what I am sharing. Shortly after the death of Sharon could mean a space of time. Nor am I extolling the Rabbi as someone other than who he was. My concern with him is why did he not reveal all this information before he died.

But again, this could well have been the plan of the Lord. Had the Rabbi revealed this before he died, it may have resulted in a different scene. The Rabbi may have been set aside as demented or otherwise. 

We need to remember what Jesus said about the working revelation of salvation.

“At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, ‘I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.’

“‘All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.’” (Luk 10:21-22)

But there is no question in my mind that we are entering into the wrap up of this part of salvation history.

The reason I am sharing this is because of …

 

The Visitations of the Lord

If this were simply about Rabbi Yitzhack Kaduri, I would not press it further. But many astonishing things are happening, especially in the Middle East.

There are continual reports of visitations of the Lord among both Jews and especially with Muslims. He is appearing to many in dreams and visions, and in real appearances.

You wonder, ‘Why the Muslims.’ 

There is a reason for this. Whereas the Jewish religion, and the Orthodox in particular, by and large has defamed and ridiculed Jesus, this is not the case with the Muslims. The Muslims have had a twisted view of Jesus, but have always accepted Him as a major prophet of God.

In fact, believe it or not, Islam teaches that Jesus is the Messiah, but not in the Biblical truth of Jesus being the Son of God. What is happening, however, is that the true gospel message is reaching into the world of Islam in a way that is nothing less than astonishing.

Through the centuries many Jewish rabbis have come to accept Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. Even so today, many Muslim Clerics are also discovering the true Jesus of the Bible.

Take time for this report –

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There is so much more to be said about how the end-time redemption story is unfolding. This will give you some things to think about.

All I can say to Christians today is this …

 

Get Your House in Order

What I can tell you is that many of God’s true servants today are speaking to the church with the message of, ‘Get your house in order.’ 

I am not alone in saying that God’s people need to get in tune with heaven. The Lord told Daniel that certain things would be hidden until the end time.

Listen –

“As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, ‘My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?’

“He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.’

“‘Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.’” (Dan 12:8-10)

Pay close attention to these things:

  1. The end time message is hidden for the end time people of God.
  2. A time of purifying and refining will be in place on the planet.
  3. The wicked will continue to act wickedly and will not understand.
  4. Those with insight will clearly understand what is happening.

There is so much more to be said. Feel free to respond to this entry.

In the meantime, listen to this song – Octavia Williams is a CCM singer/songwriter from Louisiana, who released her new single “God Will Deliver”

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Your servant in Christ,

Buddy

Where Did All the Time Go – A Story Yet to Be

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Passing Time“Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.

“Even they will perish, but You endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.

“But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.

“The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before You.” (Psa 102:25-28)

 

Journal,

Here we are once again, the first day of a brand new year. What will 2014 hold for us? Perhaps better still, what will 2014 hold for the world?

In my understanding of prophetic history, 2014 could well be the beginning of a turning point in the progressing of redemption. But I’ll leave that unsaid for now.

And then I can’t help but wonder, ‘Where did all the time go?’ 

But I can truly say that two thousand thirteen was a wonderful year for us. The Lord has been so good to our family and to the ministry of Christian Challenge. In looking back, I recall there were struggles but there were also so many wonderful moments.

 

Moments to Remember

One of our great moments in 2013, happened quite recently. I’m speaking of Nathan’s and Lori’s adoption of two beautiful children from Colombia.

They are so precious. This now gives us twelve grandchildren. The number twelve is quite significant in the Bible.Karen and Anderson

Hmmmm – Kinda of makes you wonder. 

Of course the story of our two new grandchildren will continue to unfold over time.

Another great memory in 2013, had to do with our 50th Wedding Anniversary. The celebration at Christian Challenge was wonderful beyond words.

So many friends filled the banquet tables. The laughter, the entertainment, the testimonies continue to be relived in my heart time and time again.

I don’t know how often I’ve watched the Martin family video. It brings tears to my eyes every time I see it.

With respect to our 50th celebration, I wrote a song especially for my bride of fifty years. The song is entitled, ‘You Are More Beautiful than Ever.’ It includes the statement, ‘Where did all the years of time go? It seems a bit like yesterday.’ 

OK, I’ll take a chance. You may have to increase sound to hear the guitar. Don’t expect anything professional but here it is –

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But there is more. 

 

It is About God’s Work

When I pondered what to write in this first journal entry for 2014, a Scripture came to my mind. It was part of the prayer Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father.

Listen –  

“[Father] This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

“I glorified You on the earth…

“… having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. (Joh 17:3-4)

The work of redemption is now being worked out in history. And the heart of redemption is that humanity would come to know the only true God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Then last evening at the stroke of midnight, the ball dropped at Times Square. Untold numbers of people celebrated and rejoiced. And all over this planet nations were celebrating the incoming 2014.

I thought, ‘Whether they realize it or not, this is all about Jesus.’ 

Think about it. What does the date, 2014 actually mean?  A.D. is an abbreviation for ‘anno Domini’, which is Latin for, ‘in the year of our Lord.’ The birth of Jesus Christ is the counting point of time as we know it today. It means that all time is recorded around Jesus Christ.

Wow – This recalls to mind what the prophet said –

“For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab 2:14)

But what about …

 

The Works We Are Given to do

Can it be that our heavenly Father also gives works for all His children to do, works that have to do with the redemption that came through His Son? I certainly believe so. Paul addresses this –

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand SO THAT WE WOULD WALK IN THEM.” (Eph 2:10)

Of course none of us can say like Jesus did, that we’ve accomplished the work that the Father has given us to do. The future belongs to God alone. We are simply to walk in the works of grace that He gives us to walk in. 

Naturally this brings my thoughts to Christian Challenge. As I reflect on the years 1976 to 2014, I think about how it began. It all began in a storefront building in Boyce, Louisiana.

So much has happened through the years. We’ve trained hundreds of believers for the work of the Lord. 

Actually the first missionary we sent out was our son, Nathan. He helped to raise twelve churches in Mexico. But the Lord had him eventually return home to help further the work at Christian Challenge.

The point is that Christian Challenge has never been my work.

Yes, the stewardship was given to me of the Lord, but the work is His work. The body of Christ belongs to him. We each just have our assignments. Christian Challenge would never have been had not the Lord added believers according to His purpose.

There will always be an ebb and flow in the body of Christ. This is because believers are alive in Christ and He directs our goings and our comings. 

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But we can’t live in the past. What about …

 

The Christian Challenge of 2014Christian Challenge_1-001

This picture is a sampling of our earlier years. We know where we have been. Now it is time to seek the Lord for where we are going.

It is not that we can know everything about the future. That isn’t how faith works.

Jesus Himself says that all the workings of time belongs to the Father.

Listen –

“So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’

“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses …

” … after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” (Act 1:6-9)

Many miss on what the Lord is saying. Two things especially stand out.

First, the nation of Israel will once again be received into the kingdom of God. They will turn to Jesus, in their time.

Secondly, the power of heaven will be given to believers so they can carry out the works that God gives them to do.

We are given the power to accomplish those things that God gives us to do. 

So, what does 2014 hold for Christian Challenge?

We will see. Yes, we can thank the Lord the days gone by, but the work must continue.

What is the work?

Listen once again to how Jesus prayed –

“[Father] This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Our work is to proclaim God’s work of the cross and point all men to the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Paul said it this way –

“For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. Prescribe and teach these things.” (1Ti 4:10-11)

To all believers —

May the Lord richly reward the work of your hands, and may He increase your part in the harvest.

In Christ always,

Buddy

Children of the Great King

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 “O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.Lord of Glory “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

“For the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods … (Psa 95:1-6)

 

A Story to be Told

There is a story that must be told. Not everyone understands it. It’s all about why Jesus came into our world. He came for children.

Listen carefully –

                                    WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE GREAT KING

So, if you are wondering about who Buddy and Betty Martin really are, the short side is that we are children of the Great King. Our Father owns all of creation and beyond. He is very, very, wealthy. We are representative of all the children. You see, every child of the Great King carries a special anointed seal in their heart, that signifies that he or she is a heaven’s child. Every angel recognizes this seal. Our Father, the Great King, has special angels who serve as attendants to the children. This is why the world should be very careful how they treat one of the King’s children.

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb 1:14)

“And they wandered about from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people. He permitted no man to oppress them, and He reproved kings for their sakes:'”Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.'” (Psa 105:13-15)

Of course the world does not know us since it did not know Jesus Christ. We are aliens and strangers in this world. We are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and of another world.

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (Joh 15:19)

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” (1Pe 2:9-11)

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Php 3:20-21)

Yes, we are the children of the Great King. There are many of us. Perhaps more of the children would like to speak for themselves. Feel free to chime in. It is a tale to be told. As for Betty and me, we were once young but now we are older. Of course our heavenly Father, the Great King, has always taken care of us. The Great King cares for all the needs of His children.

“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” (Psa 37:23-25)

 

You Can Be a Child, Too

All you need to do is to turn from a life of sin, recognize that Jesus died for your sins, that He arose from the grave, and call upon Him as the Lord and Savior of your life. God’s sacred Word is very clear on this.

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

And again,

“For the Scripture says, ‘WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for ‘WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'” (Rom 10:11-13)

There is so much more I’d like to share. Just keep in mind that the gospel of our salvation is all about children.

The apostle John said –

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1Jn 3:1-2)

When the Lord Jesus stands before the heavenly Father, Jesus will say,

“Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.” (Heb2:13)

 But perhaps this song will say it best. It is about the King’s Children. Let it minister to your heart.

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In Christ Always,

Buddy

If you have questions or would like to share with me, please feel free to do so.