Light on the Rock Blogs

The blogs are short articles, almost like a “sermonette” compared to a sermon. They are on a variety of topics, please enjoy.

Did you pray for President Obama today?

This holyday season, we are looking forward to, and celebrating the time when all the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.
My blog is short today. Though we are “not of this world” in terms of its politics, agenda or religious beliefs, we live here. And so it’s easy for us to lean more to one political persuasion or another. It’s easy to be either liberal or conservative – or “in the middle, a moderate”. It becomes easy to be for or against the leaders we have.
This topic came up because one of the meanings of Yom Kippur – literally meaning “the day of Covering” – or Day of Atonement – is the banishment of Satan for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-2, 7) while the King sets up His kingdom. We long for that day. But in the meantime, we are told to maintain a certain attitude towards our leaders, whether we like them or not, or agree with them or not. So maybe this topic is a timely topic. So just for reminders, here’s what we’re told: 

1 Timothy 2:1-3
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
1 Peter 2:17
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Proverbs 24:21 “My son, fear YHVH and the king…”
I’ve done it too. I’ve badmouthed our leaders. I’m no fan of most of our leaders. I want to make it a thing of the past as I try to be more obedient. There’s no place for God’s children to be speaking evil of our leaders. Ministers need to stop doing this too. Many of you don’t even believe in voting – and yet feel free to criticize and condemn. Voting is another topic. But how can anyone feel free to criticize if they don’t participate in the process? And whether you believe you should participate or not in the political process, we’re told to be respectful of our leaders.
So as we look forward to the time we have a new king, let’s obey that coming King and do what He says: honor those HE has put over us. Here are a few more reminders, as we humble ourselves for Atonement and prepare to replace the kings and leaders of this world, in His time, in His way:
Titus 3:1-2
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
2 Peter 2:10-11
They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
Jude 8-9
“Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
Exodus 22:28 -- "You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”
Ecclesiastes 10:20 -- “Do not curse the king, even in your thought ….”
Romans 13:1-7
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Have you got anything to repent of on this solemn day of repentance and atonement? Maybe this blog has given you some food for thought where we have gone astray at least once recently in this matter.

Continue reading
  1300 Hits
  0 Comments
1300 Hits
0 Comments

A Big Lesson from a little garden

“You reap what you sow”.  How often have we heard that one?

 In previous homes, we often had a little garden. There are SO many lessons for God’s children from such a small plot of ground.  In the house we live in now, there is not much sun-filled areas due to all the trees around so we have not had a vegetable garden. But after watching an episode on gardens from “Little Bear”, my three old niece asked me if we could have a garden for her. So we dug up a small patch together, and she and I planted a few carrots, beans, peas and even a couple tomato plants.  It was fun teaching her to scatter the seed in an organized way rather than empty the whole packet of seeds in one spot! But Poppy and granddaughter had fun with that.  That little patch is getting interesting and got me thinking about a message I had given a couple years ago. 

Sometimes it gets downright discouraging reaping some of what we’ve sown.  Sometimes what comes up doesn’t even resemble what you thought you had sown. Other times, we know there was some bad seed in there too.  We’ve all surely experienced that.  Haven’t we all, at times in our lives – especially when younger and more foolish – sown wild oats and then prayed for a crop failure?  Or sowed even good seed, but didn’t watch it, and so over time the bugs, birds, slugs and mildew – or overcrowding weeds – ruined our hoped-for harvest.

 But here’s one of my favorite many lessons from a home garden:

 If your hoped-for Garden of Eden looks more like a Garden of Weedin’ – it doesn’t have to stay that way. Maybe somehow a lot of weed seeds got in that soil. That’s what got planted – and so that is what you’re reaping. But I learned that if I worked the soil, pulled out the weeds before they went to seed, planted new flowers and vegetables, in time – guess what? I started reaping what I had sown again. But this time, over time, it was becoming a beautiful garden again.

 Father in heaven wants to encourage us. His children encourage their brothers and sisters as well. When we see someone who had once planted a lot of wild oats reaping what he/she had sown, tell them: “you can plant a new garden and have a new life, a new crop in time. You don’t have to think your life will always be a garden of weeds because of what you sowed long ago”. Encourage that person.  Believe he’s entitled to enjoy his new garden. The old weedy garden is gone. It’s a thing of the past. There’s no need to remind him of the past, ugly garden he once had.

 What am I saying?

 Don’t despair if you are reaping the consequences of bad seed you once sowed.  In time, a new crop comes up. Father lets us start over and He believes in his power to change us, even if some people don’t believe in real conversion. People like to go back and harp on the past. That’s what the Accuser of the Brethren does, but God’s children aren’t like the Accuser.

 Someone sent me a message the other day that said the reason our windshield is a lot bigger than our rear view mirror is because our future is more important and still ahead of us.  The past is why we are at the spot we are… but the windshield says, “Look, there’s so much more out there ahead of you. Look ahead, be new, be bold, go in a new direction. Don’t stop where you are.”

 Gardens are like that too. Your life is a like that garden. It won’t stay the way it is now. We have to work our lives.  The main work is on our knees and coming to know our Savior and Father more and more, and to fall deeper in love with our Husband and let His mind work in us.  Work the soil of your life. Plant a new crop – and reap new future. Don’t let carnal people who love to point to your past discourage you.  Plant your new garden.  This works even for facets of our lives. If our marriage, or finances, or child rearing, or coping with stresses need improvement – “plant a new garden” in those areas.  If we want our lives to change, we have to sow new seed. And we will, in time, have a new life. But if we do nothing, or keep doing the same thing, the garden will go to weeds.

 Beware, however. Our Adversary (Satan the accuser) likes to remind you of what you were. Just point to the new life we have in Christ, by His power, His righteousness working in our lives – and rebuke those Satanic thoughts to despairingly look back. Yes, I have to do this frequently myself.

 Father tells us that He sees the way we end up – not the way we started. Yesterday’s shortcomings and sins – the weeds of life -- are forgiven by the court of heaven, whether people do or not. Take heart in that. Believe in HIS word, regardless of the painful whispers and actions from the accusers of the brethren who may even unknowingly be working for their dad, The Accuser of the brethren.

 Ezekiel 18:21-23

21 "But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord God, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

 Now go read verse 24. It’s always how we end up which matters most to God.  None of us is yet what we want to be or will be. But praise be to Yahweh – we aren’t what we once were.

 Many of you who will read this someday may be going through your own world of hurt because of bad seed you planted.  Learn from it. Rip out those old weeds and bad seed. Dig deep. Bring in new soil. Sow new seed of doing good and believing in the new creation Father is making of you.

 The angels in heaven are high-fiving in your behalf. The prodigal’s father is rushing out to meet you as you come home (Luke 15:20).  He wants you back with everyone!  And, brethren who have our Father’s mindset will be treating you the same way: welcoming you to the body of Christ as they see you have changed and are changing (read 2 Cor. 2:5-11 for example). I hope you and I are like that: encouraging and accepting of others. Even those who spent all they had on pigs and whores and did other shameful acts …. know the story of the Prodigal son (Luke 15)?  If you realize we all are, to some degree, a prodigal or even the whore in the story – you’ll know the story.  It’s our story.  Yes, even yours.  Compared to God’s holiness, our life, our garden – has often been pretty weedy and even now is a long shot from being a Garden of Eden.  In spite of that, Father is welcoming us home. He sees us belonging here, with him and the rest of the community.

Continue reading
  1293 Hits
  0 Comments
1293 Hits
0 Comments

Justice - or mercy?

“Throw the bum outa here!”  How often we've heard, thought, or even said that. But do we want justice or mercy? Interestingly enough, in listing the “weightier matters of the law”, Messiah lists, in order, “justice, mercy, faith” (Matthew 23:23). Is it a coincidence they are listed in that order? Do you want justice or mercy? How much mercy will you and I be shown in The Judgment or even now?  Here’s a scary verse just in case we haven’t read it lately:

James 2:13
“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

I don’t think any of us want “judgment without mercy”.  I've decided it’s in my best interest to not be as harsh, impatient, judgmental, critical and - - unmerciful – as I at times have been. How about you? 

It’s inspiring to be around people who have the gift of merciful joy no matter how rough the circumstances.  They smile at incompetent people and say, “no worries, it’s OK.”  Children of God who can overlook and forgive stinging jabs of gossip aimed at them – and leave behind a blessing in return. Blessed saints who seem able to mercifully accept the injustices and wrongs perpetrated against them – and speak a kind word in response.  I marvel at them and pray and hope to join their ranks in time. How enjoyable it is to be around people who aren't sizing everyone up all the time – usually negatively.  How gratifying it is to be around that special breed of people who believe in the best, hope for the best.  They let people who have really messed up in life have a fresh start.  The merciful.  The blessed of God.

These are very gentle and merciful people. Jesus was like that. He must have exuded mercy and an accepting spirit to have had so many friends among the general public. Our Savior was known as a friend to cheats (tax collectors/publicans) and drunkards and women of ill repute (Luke 7:34). And HE’S going to be the judge (John 5:22-27)!  But “sinners” still felt at ease around him. Don’t forget, Yeshua was an exact replica, a perfect image of his and our heavenly Father, God in the Highest (Heb. 1:3).

As we grow up, we too should be looking like, talking like and acting more and more like our Abba as well.  And Abba is known as a wonderfully merciful father and God. He is also perfectly just. In fact we are told to exercise righteous judgment (John 7:24). But justice is covered with mercy in God’s house.

Matthew 23:23 lists justice, mercy and faith as “weightier” matters of law. Which is most weighty?  Since we've all broken the law – I’m looking more for mercy than justice. And according to the story at the end of Matthew 18, if we remember how much mercy has been extended to each of us, you’d think we’d all be experts at doling out mercy. You’d think.

In the Holy of Holies was the ark of the covenant which contained the testimony, the Ten Commandments.  Of course it was the 2nd set, as Moses had already broken all ten himself when he dashed the 2 tablets to the ground when he saw the sin of the Israelites with the golden calf (Ex. 32:19). But my point is, inside the ark, the throne of God on earth, were the Ten Commandments, the law. It represented justice, a  foundation of God’s rule.  Breaking the ten commandments required justice.

But ABOVE the law, atop the box called the Ark, was the solid gold Mercy Seat.  No wonder it says “Mercy triumphs over justice.”  Mercy sat higher and covered the Law. Have you thought of it that way?

If we each really understood how much we've been forgiven, Jesus said we would be among those who “love much” as well (Lk 7:47).  Such was the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:37-50).  She knew what she was – or had been. She knew how despised she was by the elders of her synagogue and community.  They were wondering how she got in to their pious assemblage. But she also knew the loving mercy of this great man Jesus, the son of God, and it moved her to tears and repentance.  Yeshua let her not only in His presence, but He allowed her to touch His perfect, holy body. More than that, he forgave her and accepted her. He offered His grace and love to her.

Jesus has not changed. Jesus’ body on earth today still accepts despised repentant sinners in its midst (see 1 Cor. 6:9-12). Jesus cleanses us of ALL sin (1 John 1:9). Focus on Luke 7:44-50. There we see it: justice – her sins were many. Mercy was extended. And then Savior concludes by telling her that her faith saved her. As a result, she could enjoy peace. Justice, mercy, faith. In that order. She received mercy and peace that day. Those despising her – got a dose of justice and no joy, no peace.

We can all tend to be harsh to those who messed up big time, even if it was years ago.  Brethren, that’s not Father’s way.  His way is for each of us to recognize we are ALL sinners, we each have been the Prodigal son, we are all worthy of the same penalty:  death. But the prodigal son’s father was rushing to welcome him back into full fellowship in their community even before the son had spoken a word to him. They celebrated his return. But the elder son didn't want his brother who had shamed them all back into fellowship. Of course not! He couldn't even call him his brother (Luke 15:30). As I said in another blog, we don’t get to pick our brothers and sisters. This elder brother was acting like the prodigal had just now squandered everything on harlots.  No love, no welcoming smile.  Instead of offering him the right hand of fellowship, he gave him the cold shoulder.  That’s not Father’s way.

Horrible sinners who have repented need to see the Father’s love in the eyes of their brothers and sisters. It’s easier to forgive and accept yourself when you experience forgiveness and acceptance from others.  But the elder brother was not merciful like his father.  So what happened? While everyone was rejoicing in the father’s mercy, the elder son ended up being the one outside the joyous and merciful festivities.

Continue reading
  1285 Hits
  0 Comments
1285 Hits
0 Comments

"I’m SO glad they lost my baggage"

A lesson for children of God

I fly more than the average person and every now and again my bags get misdirected – or lost. I've learned to pack a change of clothes and toiletries in my carry-on! I've never said, “I’m so glad they lost my baggage”. Today I want to review how our Father has purposely lost our baggage – and given us suitcases full of the best new clothes imaginable. A new look, a new you, clean new garments. We’ll contrast that with what carnal people do – who try to be sure you never get to lose old baggage, and want to bring out your dirty underwear and old junk in old baggage you thought was long gone and display it for all to see. 

When it comes to our spiritual lives, I want to lose my old baggage. God offers me that. People don’t – unless they are truly children of God. Do you help people lose their old baggage and allow them a new look in Christ, covered by the righteousness imparted by the Spirit of God as one of God’s gifts? Isn't that what the father of the prodigal son said right away: “Bring out the best robe… put sandals on his feet… let’s celebrate, for my son who was dead has returned!” – Luke 15:20-31. It was the elder, the older brother, who resisted allowing the other to be accepted back into the church and family community. After all, he had some baggage! The elder, the older brother considered the younger one to be a shame to the community and church, unworthy of fellowship. But Yeshua teaches how the loving father was so happy to have him back. That’s why Paul taught in 2 Cor. 2:5-11 that there does come a time to reaffirm, love, encourage and accept one another back into community and into the body of Christ.


Carnal people are fond of digging up dirt on people and then carefully chronicling it. Maybe it makes us feel better to find out someone has done something worse than we have done. Even too many ministers pick up the dirt shovel and exchange data on people. Most of us call it gossip. My Mom used to tell me, “If someone is willing to gossip to you, they’ll be willing to gossip about you.” Beware of what you tell people, even ministers, unless you absolutely know they are not corpse diggers. By “data” I mean sins that have long been repented of, forgiven and buried in the blood of the son of God. Do we really want to be guilty of grave-digging in the blood of our Savior? But boy oh boy, some of those data tidbits are so juicy, so awful, and so nasty – that we all too often let people bring back someone’s old baggage. All of us have our own “old man” buried in Messiah’s blood, and that’s where the “old man” – the old self we were – should stay buried. Some even relish and specialize in the very Satanic and cruel act of chronicling sins of their fellow sinner humans – and then mail it around to all interested readers. We see it every day in the tabloids – and even in places which dare call themselves the “church of God”.

All this simply should not be, brothers and sisters in Christ.People doing these things are simply following their leader, the prince of darkness. They use his tactics, for he is “the Adversary who slanders”. That’s what “Satan the devil” literally means. God’s kids should have no part in this slander and gossip and bringing back old baggage. What’s really sad is when the children of the Highest start to copy the Slanderer’s children. No, God’s children let a person start over. They know “love covers all sins” (1 Pet. 4:8; Prov. 10:12), especially if repented of long ago. God’s kids encourage people to turn and change (James 5:20). God’s kids know we've all sinned. God’s kids know we all need a new start. God’s kids know we have no business calling someone’s sins – “unforgivable”, for our Savior forgave us of ALL sin (1 John 1:9). They know whisperers separate the closest of friends (Prov. 17:9). God’s children want nothing to do with that dark way of living. People who chronicle forgiven sin and spread it around identify themselves as hateful children of the Adversary – at least for a time.

One pastor even called me years ago to urge me to watch the expose on TV that afternoon of a well-known televangelist’s sins, caught in the act on camera. He seemed disappointed when I said I would not watch it. I knew that televangelist must have been dying a thousand deaths to know it was being splashed all over TV. Instead of watching it – and I never did – I prayed for him and his family. I understand what he was going through, for we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. And I've experienced my sins splashed all over too and know how bad it feels.
This is opposite to what our kind Abba wants from his children. He encourages his kids to “keep no record of wrong”, as just one of the descriptions of his kind of love (1 Cor. 13:4-7 Apologetics Study Bible). In fact in verse 6 He teaches us that HIS children find no joy in unrighteousness or in spreading it. God’s children believe in the power of the new creation that we become in Christ.

God’s children are glad to help you lose your baggage. God’s children will not be chronicling sins or spreading it or discussing it, especially if they are forgiven sins from years ago. Those who do those things are not showing the sign of being followers, disciples of Christ: “By THIS shall all men know you are my disciples -- that you love one another as I have loved you”.

“As I have loved you”. How was that? While we were STILL sinners, he forgave us. He asked for that while hanging on his cross. “Father forgive them…”, remember? Those who follow Him do what he does, walk as he walked, and speak as he spoke more and more and more. True children of God love one another. Love covers a multitude of sin. Satan’s way is to unearth it and then buy a professional grade manure spreader to make sure the “good stuff” we unearthed really gets into every nook and cranny out there.

Continue reading
  1293 Hits
  0 Comments
1293 Hits
0 Comments

A not-to-be-missed summer destination

The Most Amazing place

Summer’s here and many of us will be taking off a week here or there to go see wonderful sites, cities, campgrounds, nature vistas – or just hanging out with family and grand-kids – which is amazing all by itself. Could we end up missing the most amazing summer destination of all though? 

Be sure you go there. It’s astonishing how so many of God’s kids bypass this destination, or rush through it when they finally get there on their summer travels. It’s SO good, so important, you need to go to this place often! This summer, be sure you spend a lot of time at this #1 place to go be at. There are so many places to see and so much to do in the short summers – it’s not surprising so many end up missing this one all summer long.


Perhaps many of you are ahead of me already. The #1 destination site, especially in the busy summer months, surely is the throne room of our heavenly father and of His Son – our future husband, Jesus the Christ. All this is set on the sea of glass – a vast plain of exquisite crystalline, shimmering beauty. The light from our Father creates rainbows all around as His light is transformed by the crystal. There are powerful, radiant angelic beings coming and going. Some look like us, some look like intelligent white stallions or other creatures we are familiar with. There you’ll find thundering and lightning-like flashes of fire. Before you get to see this vast area of crystal and the throne of majesty, you’ll see hills and mountains soaring up 1,500 miles. Gates of solid mother of pearl. Streets of spiritual gold. We have a very interesting sermon on our website given by an elder who is a friend of mine – and so look for “the Big Picture”, as he goes into much more detail about this wondrous city in that sermon.

But think of it, how could we possibly miss this? Surely this tops anything “out there”, if we have eyes to see and understand what’s up there.

Anyway, you know the drill. We get busy, way too busy, to even pray each morning and night as we talk to, and listen to, our Father. We should never be so busy as to miss this #1 destination site. And yes, we can listen to Father and our Savior in prayer as well as being able to talk to them. I have a sermon series on the website about hearing God speak to us. Be sure to check it out….

And most of all, make the time to stop by your heavenly home every day and to say hello to our Abba, our dear Father as well as our wonderfully loving King Jesus. We have to seek first this kingdom. It must be put into first place in our lives. It won’t just slide into first place on its own. We will all find time for what we find most urgent, most important, most interesting and the most fun. If we have spiritual eyes to see, clearly the throne of God IS the most urgent, most important, most interesting and yes, even the most fun, of all possible summer destination sites.

Why wait? It’s easy to visit there. Why not take a few minutes right now to zoom into Father’s glorious presence? Without a doubt, I know he’d love to hear from you -- His kids. I’ll join you there.

Continue reading
  1216 Hits
  0 Comments
1216 Hits
0 Comments

A new look at the “Gates of Hell”

Matthew 16:18. Do we have this all wrong?

I've heard countless sermons where Matthew 16:18 is used to show God‟s church will never die. It can‟t, the preacher says, as “it says right here „the gates of hell shall not prevail‟ against the church.” We know the word “hell” here is hades in Greek, meaning death, the grave. So on first glance, the preacher is right. It does, after all, speak of something “against the church”. But that leaves the picture of God‟s church barely hanging on by a thread, and somehow it manages to survive.Since when do gates go on the attack? 

That‟s not at all what our Master is saying. Read it again. The Messiah is saying he will build his church and he‟s not acting timidly and defensively but going on the attack against death and hell! When attacking a castle or fortress, the final defensive line is the gates of the castle. We've always read Matthew 16:18 to say hell/grave is attacking us, the church, but death/hades won‟t prevail. In fact, it’s the other way around! Read it again. We, the church, are the ones doing the attacking! We, the church, are the ones on the offensive against hell and death. I don‟t know about you, but I‟m not into being a timid, cowering Christian. And I've never heard of gates going on the attack!

We’re the ones attacking sin and death. Christ is simply saying that in the end, hell‟s gates won‟t withstand our barrage. The gates of hell/death won‟t prevail against the church‟s attacks. That‟s the correct way to read this passage and it clearly is saying that. We WIN, in other words. We go on the offensive and win. God is not timid. God‟s church is not timid. We can be strong and go on offense with the sword of God‟s spirit.

Strong gates are defenders‟ last hope against an invading army attacking a fortress. Strong, closed gates keep an invading army from marching right on in to the fortress. Death and hell are the ones on defense; we‟re attacking. I like that much better.

Our King is saying he’s building a church that will be so strong that over time it will overcome everything in its way, including death itself. Christ is not making the point that his church will never die but that He and His way will bring an end even to death itself. WE are the ones on the attack against hell and the grave. Hades won’t withstand OUR attacks against it.

1 Corinthians 15:25-26 - For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

The LAST enemy is death. That is why Yeshua, our Savior, says death/hades won’t prevail.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

How?

By the blood of the Lamb. Sin, breaking God‟s law, is the sting of death. We‟ve all sinned and therefore earned death as our wages. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:33). But God sent His Son to pay our death penalty so everyone who believes in Him and surrenders their lives to him will never die the 2nd death – but have everlasting life (John 3:16-17).
Hebrews 2:14-15 (also see 2 Timothy 1:10)

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?

Not to be seen when it is all said and done. In the new world that our King will set up, there will be no more death, no more dying, no more tears.

Revelation 21:4
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

Continue reading
  1335 Hits
  0 Comments
1335 Hits
0 Comments

"The Islamic Antichrist"

Recommended reading: intriguing book by Joel Richardson

 Over the past couple years, I've been advocating that in terms of prophecy, we need to be willing to “pivot” and being willing to adjust our cherished notions about prophecy as we see events unfolding.  This blog will encourage you to look at a best-selling book which will at least make you pause. You will learn about the Mahdi and the Islamic view of Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary of Nazareth. What Islam says about Jesus will absolutely blow you away.  This book goes into this, and much more – in fascinating detail. 

If Joel Richardson’s theories are wrong, you still will have learned much about looming Islam and how that will affect western cultures more and more.  If he is right, or even just partially right, you will at least have learned of news, people and areas in the world to be watching that you probably are not doing right now…and maybe, just maybe, be watching a whole area of world news in a way you hadn’t before. Net result? Less likely to be totally caught off guard.

 Keep in mind Yeshua our Messiah (Jesus the Christ) prophesied he will return at a time we think not (Matthew 24:36,44).  And yet the apostle Paul says we of the light should not be caught totally off guard (1 Thessalonians 5:3-5). The hints I see from scripture tell me the timing and even the events leading up to the return of Messiah could be very different than we have thought.

 For example, most Christian groups – not just the "Church of God" groups by any means – have taught there will be a final 10 nation group that will be unified under one “Beast” leader and a "False Prophet".  We call them simply "the Beast and the False prophet". Many believe the final "false prophet" will be a future Pope.  Even apart from Joel Richardson’s book, I've for years said that probably will not be the case. We have said the 10 nation Beast power will be composed of 10 western and eastern European leaders, led by a super leader.  We've also taught that the European union will be the "king of the north" and Islam will be "the king of the south".

 What if all this is only partially right or not right at all? Whether right or wrong, surely Islam will play a major role in end time events.  Islam already is playing a major role in world events.

 Even a few years ago I’ve taught it could be very different. I've said it could be ten regions of the world -- not just Europe – each under their own "king".  The world has been divided into ten regions for quite some time now. Revelation 13 says this coming "beast" power will be heralded by all nations, all people, all tribes and all languages!

 But Joel Richardson presents yet another case.

 This blog is simply to say this book "The Islamic Antichrist" is worth reading. I am not yet saying I have been convinced of his conclusions, but I’m pondering them carefully. By reading it, you will learn about the expected coming 12th Imam, the Mahdi. You’ll learn how Sunni Muslims view the coming Mahdi differently than the Shiites.

 On September 17, 2005, Ahmadinejad – the new leader (at that time) of Iran (Persia of Biblical days) addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. At the end of his message, he openly prayed for Allah to reveal the mysterious Islamic messiah figure called the Mahdi.

 To quote the back jacket of Richardson’s book:"This groundbreaking book examines in detail who the Mahdi is according to Islamic belief and the many striking similarities that he bears to the biblical Antichrist.  Through theologically sound research, Christian author Joel Richardson makes a convincing case that the Antichrist, his religion, and his empire will emerge our out of the heart of the Middle East rather than Europe, as many prophecy scholars had assumed."

 What I personally found fascinating was Richardson’s examination of the Islamic view of Jesus Christ.  He shows us how the Islamic view of the return of Jesus clashes with Holy Scripture. Remember Jesus warned us not to believe it when someone claiming to be him appears in the desert some place (Matthew 24:23-28). This book will make Jesus' prediction of the end-time confusion surrounding his coming come to light. Find out what Islam teaches about the coming of a Jesus to Islam, and this end-time Jesus’ ability to work miracles, and what their end-time Jesus, the son of Mary, will say and do to Christians and Jews. It’s fascinating. Don’t be caught off guard. Matthew 24:23-28 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.  24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  25 See, I have told you beforehand." 26 "Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it.  27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together."

Continue reading
  1293 Hits
  0 Comments
1293 Hits
0 Comments

A new look at Amos 3:3 and walking together

(Have we misused and misunderstood this verse before?)

“Two (or more) can’t ‘walk together’ unless they first be agreed” is quoted over and over for the reason we remain separated from other family members -- brothers and sisters in Christ. We separate in many cases to the point where we won’t visit each other’s congregations, or invite brothers and sisters in Christ to dinner. We've misread Amos 3:3 and have misused it to our shame, partly resulting in the splits upon splits we see happening in the church organizations. I know most of you understand that “the body of Christ” is not the same thing as the organizations calling themselves “church of God” or some variant thereof. Most of you understand the body of the Messiah is the group of people who are being led by His spirit regardless of where they meet.But back to Amos 3:3. Pastors have applied it to explain that brethren can’t – and mustn’t -- come together unless they first agree on every doctrinal point (or variations thereof). 

Continue reading
  1325 Hits
  0 Comments
1325 Hits
0 Comments

Coming…the REAL Royal Wedding!

The Marriage of the REAL KING to His Bride

I’ll bet a lot of you – especially the women – spent some time watching the Royal Wedding with Prince William and now Princess Kate. Indeed it WAS exciting watching the pomp and ceremony, precision of everything, sharing in the joy of a kingdom with its royals as two bodies came together as one. All that preparation and rehearsing, all that hard work to make sure it came off without a hitch, the security protocols – and the love of each for the other that made it happen in the first place…. Priceless. 

Continue reading
  1218 Hits
  0 Comments
1218 Hits
0 Comments

Well Done, Our King, well done!

We've finished Passover -- washing each other’s feet, breaking the bread and drinking of the Master’s cup of the new covenant. Now what? Jesus will say to those sheep on His right, “Well done…” Have you ever wished YOU could say to the King – “Well done, King! Well done”? It struck me, as I read the chapters of John 13-17 at the end of the service, what an incredible “command performance” we see from our Master and Savior on that Passover. 

Continue reading
  1205 Hits
  0 Comments
1205 Hits
0 Comments

I Don’t Call my Brother “Mr. Shields”

A gentleman and a lady recently called me – from two different states – as they had discovered this website. They called me “Mr. Shields”. About the 2nd time they did, I had to stop and follow my Master’s command in Matthew 23 and said, “My name’s Philip. Since I’m a brother, I’m Philip, not “Mr. Shields”. We don’t call brothers or sisters by their last name”.There was a long pause, then a delighted chuckle. 

Continue reading
  1332 Hits
  0 Comments
1332 Hits
0 Comments

“Why Just Three Arrows?”

Are we limiting what the Eternal would do?  

There’s an old, lesser known story in the Scriptures about Elisha and one of the kings which has intrigued me for years. Elisha was old and about to die. Joash, one of the righteous kings of the northern ten tribes of Israel, had come to pay his last respects apparently. Elisha asked King Joash to shoot an arrow out of an east window, and then explained that arrow symbolized victory over Syria at a future battle. Now let’s read what happened. 

Continue reading
  2020 Hits
  0 Comments
2020 Hits
0 Comments

WHAT are you praying about?

Don’t miss God’s commands to pray about these things also.

It’s very common for ‘prayer warriors’ and children of God to have prayer lists. Why? So we can go down our check list to be sure we’re praying for everyone and everything we think we should be praying about. These would include praying for people who are mentioned on various prayer request lists we see. It’s a noble thing to be spending precious prayer time in intercessory prayer for others.We would also normally be praying the central points found in the “the Lord’s Prayer”. That too, is a good list of topics to be praying about. This would include elements of “thy Kingdom come”, praying “thy will be done on earth…” and providing for our daily physical and spiritual bread. As you continue on down that sample prayer, there are other elements, such as “forgive us our trespasses”, even as you ask for help in forgiving others. There are other points as well. So far, so good.

Continue reading
  1220 Hits
  0 Comments
1220 Hits
0 Comments

We Don’t Get to Choose Our Brothers and Sisters

So many of us talk about being “children of God” or in the family of God. We say Yahweh – the Eternal God – is our Father. We call people who are of like mind, our “brothers and sisters in Christ”, or simply “brethren.” 

Continue reading
  1109 Hits
  0 Comments
1109 Hits
0 Comments