Friday, May 27, 2016

A Tale of Two Cities

This is from the blog The Lion's Den:

Allow me to set the table for context before the main event. In a comment of 6 mere words, you will see the ugly fruit of  bias, ignorance, arrogance, willful blindness, pride, and I may add, one of the most insane observations ever sent my way on THIS blog.

Image result for ancient jerusalem
Hide and seek the game is called. Oh artifacts from history come out come out wherever you are.  Yes, I call it a game, this so-called seeking for stuff and nonsense to ‘disprove’ the scripture narrative. Please. For God’s sake, if He wanted the burial-place of Moses kept reserved and far from eyes who would worship the lawgiver, God certainly could keep hidden Abraham’s shoelaces, the staff of David, as well as the nine waterpots of Cana.

I hardly need proof that Abraham had legs, David tended sheep, and that there was a wedding in Galilee. I do not care one whit that the basket used to lower Paul from a building was used for firewood and that the ashes cannot be found. I do not care that the fishing nets of Peter and John have rotted into oblivion.

But children must play; unfortunately the scriptures have become the great playground of unbelief. Yep, that’s a fact, where the pseudo scholars go round and round getting no closer to the truth of a thing, while the so-called archaeo-diggers turn their shovels as they mine for Something, anything that could possibly contradict God’s word, and yet avoiding the center of that truth which never moves: the word of God.

‘We can’t find anything, there is no proof, there is no evidence Jacob lived, there is no proof Joseph had a coat of many colors; there is no proof Daniel interpreted the kings dreams; there is no proof  Zecharias was married to Elizabeth and birthed a son named John.  Yak yak yak, and round and round the boring merry-goes-round.

Meanwhile…. the magnum opus and singular place of historical and archaeological importance stands tall, and is heard by everyone, but JERUSALEM is laughed at, ridiculed as it were, as a place with no more relevance than Detroit, Quito, or Mexico City. To this I say: Really?

In response to an observation I made regarding the never-ending awe of the city of David, the following snide and rather revealing  remark was immediately spit out to equate the relevance of another city, (let me clear my throat) with Jerusalem, Israel. Ouch.

“Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town.  So?—“
Right on schedule we see the disdain for common sense and reason while hiding the head in the sand. We see the myopic eyesight that is blind to history which is confirmed through scripture. We see the stupid arrogance of denying the city of gold its innate worth. What then is the true archaeological testament to time and history? Why, it is the city of Jerusalem itself, a city which is the metropolis of the earth, both then, now, and tomorrow.

Noooooo, no difference between the mettle of let’s say, Benjamin Netanyahu and Rahm Immanuel of Chicago. No difference between Netanyahu and the cartoon Yasser Arafat. No difference between Jerusalem physicians who tend to life, and the PLO who want to send Jerusalem Jews to the bottom of the sea.

Image result for jerusalem

So what means Jerusalem?
Nothing. Everything.  Kings despise it. Kings love it. It is hated by most. It is loved by many.
To a person who thinks Jerusalem is no more relevant than Chicago USA, then it means nothing.
But aah, to a person who knows that the city of David is the city of the great King, Jerusalem means everything.
And it is precisely THIS reasoning that by the way, does not allow daylight to enter a closed  mind, as it is blind to this thing called context. A city thousands of years old, which title-deed is contested, is no more relevant than a city a few hundred years old, and which will disappear into obscurity such as Chicago? Please.
 So there it stands. A city attacked. A city desired. The city of David and Solomon that sings the grand tune of God’s preservation and lasting promises to keep and protect the apple of His eye. Ah but some hate apples! Yep, Ben Gurion declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and how things change overnight. Those darn apples.

The Lord Christ Himself showed His affection for Jerusalem:  And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it. And on another occasion He said this:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Did Chicago kill the prophets sent unto it? Did the King ride a donkey into Chicago? Is Chicago the city on the hill? Did Solomon erect his magnificent house in the windy city? And where pray tell is the greatest place where LOVE was demonstrated if not on Golgotha’s hill, in Jerusalem? That’s correct, not Chicago, nor any other city on earth.
Image result for inside ancient jerusalem temple
The holy city. The city of the great King. Jerusalem. Over 800 times in the scriptures. Paris, New York, Madrid? Zero. So yeah, one could honestly suggest that Jerusalem has a bit more relevance than Chicago.
And WHERE did the gospel begin? In the place where the greatest act of sin abounded, where also our Lord was crucified; in Jerusalem, but ah, where sin abounds, grace did much more abound, so the commission was given: take the word, BEGINNING at Jerusalem. Such is God’s favor.
But time would fail to document the inspiration, the hatred, the killing, the politics, the false spirituality, the romance, the ignorance, and the outright dismissal of the apple of God’s eye.

There was a discussion I must include which is chart topping, as Moses and Elijah appeared with the Lord and spake…….of His decease…….which He should accomplish…………at……….Jerusalem. Oh yes, representatives of the law and the prophets.

Indeed but there is more. The word for ‘decease’ there literally means ‘exodus.’ Yep, that’s right, God in His wonderful way, saw fit to explain that the death of Christ would be a ‘going out,’ and of course this was precisely what occurred at that place called Skull, with a view to leading others on that road called grace.

So yeah, sure, Jerusalem is no more relevant than Chicago. If you honestly think this, I humbly submit, there just may be a few apples missing from the bushel, or perhaps the two Jokers have usurped the deck, or even simpler, there are a few donuts missing from the dozen.

Jerusalem today: The best of times. The worst of times. Then there is always the New Jerusalem………..but that’s for another day. Other than that, Chicago is no different from Jerusalem. Uh huh sure, and birds build their nests under water, and apples come from the poison ivy tree. Next thing you know, people will saying God does not exist. Sheesh.
Image result for apples

Isaac the Syrian: “These are the causes of sin”

This is from the blog Dover Beach:

“Whoever does not voluntarily withdraw himself from the causes of the passions is involuntarily drawn away by sin. These are the causes of sin: wine, women, riches, and robust health of body. Not that by their nature these things are sins, but that nature readily inclines towards the sinful passions on their account., and for this reason man must guard himself against them with great care.”

  --Isaac the Syrian

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ark Encounter

Life-size Noah's Ark in Williamstown, Kentucky

Genesis 6: 14-22:  "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.   A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.   And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.   But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.   And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.   Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.   And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.   Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."

Ark Encounter
Noah's Ark Replica

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Naked and Barefoot

This is from the blog Unashamed 1:16:
At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. Isaiah 20:2
God commanded the prophet Isaiah to walk around naked and barefoot. Why did God do this? What can we learn from this? God was using Isaiah as a sign, a warning against Egypt of what is about to happen to them.
The purpose of me sharing this story is to think about the devotion and dedication Isaiah has to God. Many people, even today, like to call themselves prophets, but how many people are willing to sacrifice everything they have to serve The Lord? How many of us are willing to walk around “Naked and Barefoot” if God had called us to?
And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; Isaiah 20:3
For three years Isaiah walked around naked and barefoot, do you think he caught anyone’s attention? I’m sure most called Isaiah a fool and mocked him, but think about the revelations God had shown Isaiah due to his obedience. Isaiah wrote many prophecies about our Lord Jesus Christ about 700 years before he was sent.
So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. Isaiah 20:4
Eventually the Egyptians were lead into captivity, barefoot and naked, exactly the same way Isaiah walked around. Talk about a direct sign from God!  Just as when Noah was building the Ark and everyone mocked him , the same was with Isaiah
So whats my point? My point is take notice to Isaiah’s dedication and obedience to God, even when he was asked to do the unthinkable. To the temporary thinker they probably believe Isaiah lived a foolish life but to the Eternal thinker, we know Isaiah was blessed in Jesus Name Amen.

The Spirit of a Prophet

Peter of Damascus: “Patient endurance kills the despair that kills the soul”

This is from the blog Dover Beach:
“Patient endurance kills the despair that kills the soul; it teaches the soul to take comfort and not to grow listless in the face of its many battles and afflictions”
  --Peter of Damascus

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Illumination of the Spirit

This is from the blog a broken man:

I have been making my way through several of A.W. Tozer’s books lately. Never in my life have I read a book so profound, written by a mere human man. Tozer is often described as a modern-day prophet, a man used by God to bring about dramatic change in an otherwise flippant and godless generation. Here are several quotes that I studied long and hard. I hope they speak to your heart as they did to mine.

“The inability of human reason as an organ of divine knowledge arises not from its own weakness but from its unfittedness for the task by its own nature. It was not given as an organ by which to know God. The doctrine of the inability of the human mind and the need for divine illumination is so fully developed in the New Testament that it is nothing short of astonishing that we should have gone so far astray about the whole thing. Fundamentalism has stood aloof from the liberal in self-conscious superiority and has on its own part fallen into error, the error of textualism, which is simply orthodoxy without the Holy Spirit.

"Everywhere among conservatives we find persons who are Bible-taught but not Spirit-taught. They conceive truth to be something that they can grasp with the mind. If a man hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, he is thought to possess divine truth. But it does not follow. There is no truth apart from the Spirit. The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God. For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act that inspired the text.”

“The belief that the human mind is the supreme authority in the judgement of truth. . . . is the confidence in the ability of the human mind to do that which the Bible declares it was never created to do and consequently is wholly incapable of doing.”

“But for the searching of the Scriptures and true knowledge of them, an honorable life is needed, and a pure soul, and that virtue which is according to Christ; so that the intellect guiding its path by it, may be able to attain what it desires, and to comprehend it, in so far as it is accessible to human nature to learn concerning the word of God. For without a pure mind and a modeling of the life after the saints, a man could not possibly comprehend the words of the saints. . . . He that would comprehend the mind of those who speak of God needs begin by washing and cleansing his soul.”

--A.W. Tozer