ATTITUDES ARE IMPORTANT

A BIBLICAL VIEW OF OUR ATTITUDES, AND GOD’S RESPONSES TO THEM.     

Like the Spiritual health “Check Up” which we did a few weeks ago, I believe that an “ATTITUDINAL HEALTH CHECK UP” is as important, or at least nearly as important, and some of these attitudes definitely affect our spiritual health .   If you have not read   A SPIRITUAL HEALTH CHECK FOR CHRISTIANS  the following link will take you to the article.   https://lexcullen.com/2018/03/19/a-spiritual-health-check-for-true-christians/ 

GOD WANTS TO BLESS US, — BUT  — WE BLOCK HIM BY OUR  ATTITUDES.      So let’s look at some of the attitudes that will block God’s blessing in our lives.      

A LAZY ATTITUDE    What does  God think of laziness? well, I think the following passage  of scripture sums it up beautifully.   Heb 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.    Heb 6:11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.
Heb 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.    NIV  

Speaking for myself, I know that there are times when I have been lazy in some areas of my Christian Service for the Lord;  times when I just feel too tired to bother doing another “Post” to my readers.   I convince myself that so few people ever read them, why spend all that time and effort, and rarely does any one ever thinks to post it on to their friends or relatives for them to be blessed, challenged, or comforted etc.   Why bother?   GUILTY!!!    Of course I make excuses, “I’m too busy, or I don’t feel well,” I always have a (reason) excuse. 

The Bible says that by our LOVE for HIM we help, comfort, strengthen and encourage other people in their Christian walk when they feel down, and of course the same thing happens in reverse; their love, friendship and presence also helps comfort and encourage us when we feel down.     When we cut ourselves off from the Lord, don’t read His word, don’t communicate with Him, we BLOCK His blessings to us.   In the same way, when we cut ourselves off from our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we block them from being able to bless and encourage and strengthen us, BUT we also block the blessing to them, which our love and encouragement should be imparting to them. 

The Bible makes it very clear that the closer we get to the Lord’s return, the more important it becomes for us to BE THERE for each other.    Heb 10:24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
Heb 10:25  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.   NIV     2 Tim 3:1ff  warns us clearly, that there will be terrible times, (perilous times) in the last days.   In these days you need to know I have your back, and I also need to know that you have my back, in fact, we all need to know that we all have each others back, because if  WE don’t, — the devil will — with a fiery dart in it. 

A  WATCHFUL  ATTITUDE   1Thess 5:1-6  Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,  for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.   But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.   You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.  So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 

It is when we are spiritually half asleep, and not watchful as we should be, that we can become like the five foolish virgins of  Matt 25:1-13  and allow our lamps to burn too low, to be of any use, or even to go out without replenishing the oil (Holy Spirit).    If the Holy Spirit is not burning within us we will not be taken to the marriage.   It is so important that we keep replenishing the Holy Spirit in our lives, as the five wise virgins did when the call went out to go out and greet the Bridegroom, they had plenty of oil stored up.   

Note that they were all VIRGINS, they had all started with oil in their lamps  –  Mat 25:8   The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’  Note that they were not right out of oil, but they had gone off to buy some more and missed the Bridegroom’s coming.    We must watch out that we do not get slack in our Christian walk and allow the Holy Spirit to become a non essential part of our daily life, otherwise we may find that although we are watching and waiting, as all ten Virgins were, we are actually NOT ready when the moment arrives.

Rev 3:2&3    Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.   Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

A GENEROUS ATTITUDE    God wants a people who are like He is, loving, kind, merciful, patient, faithful, gentle, temperate, full of joy and peace and goodness, or generosity.    GAL 5:22-23    This is the fruit of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.   As True Christians, our lives should be full of this kind of the Holy Spirit’s Fruit all the time.   Do not let it dry up!  

God wants to bless us, but we can block His blessings by wrong attitudes in our lives.   The fruit of the Holy Spirit brings us great blessing, but not only to us, but to those with whom we live, work, worship and communicate.     Let us learn a lesson from  2 Cor  9:6-10    “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.   You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”   And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.    As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor.  Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 

Once again, this is as much about God blessing us as it is about us blessing God.    God wants to bless us, in fact, God LONGS to bless us, because we are HIS Children.  But as Paul says, DON’T give reluctantly, and DON’T give because you are being PRESSURED to give, but give cheerfully what you have decided in your own heart to give, as a response to GOD’S prompting, and to God’s love, otherwise you are better not to give anything at all,  because it is being given with a wrong attitude.  God loves a CHEERFUL giver, not a RELUCTANT giver.

Luke 21:1-4  “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.     He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.     “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.     All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Was Jesus putting down the rich people who gave their gifts?  Not at all!   They gave out of  their wealth, but they didn’t HAVE to give.   They gave what they had decided in their hearts to give, not reluctantly, but as a service to the Lord God whom they worshipped.    What Jesus was trying to convey here is the fact that this poor widow loved God so much, that she was happy to give her all to Him.    She trusted God to bless her with what she would require to live on, and as she gave I’m sure that she had learned in life, that when you put God first in your life, you have no need to worry, maybe she had heard Jesus’ teaching, recorded for us also in Matt 6:31-34  “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’   For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.   But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Well, enough to chew on for now, I will bring some more on attitudes next time, soon I hope.   In the meantime, know I love you all, and I’ve got your back in the Lord.

God Bless.    Lex Cullen

SPECIAL DAYS AHEAD, BE PREPARED.

More signs of preparations being made for war, and more signs that the end of this age is drawing to a close very soon.    I have mentioned in previous posts that Israel reveals to us God’s Time Clock.    The Bible is centred around God’s chosen people, and the end of this age of grace is centred around the return of Israel to their own land, plus the many signs that Jesus gave in MATTHEW ch 24 and LUKE ch 21, regarding the chaos in the world, and the upheaval of climate change that would begin to increase dramatically.   

Paul spoke of the depravity on men and women which would become rife in the last days in 2 TIMOTHY 3:1-5  concludes by saying that they would have a FORM of godliness but that they would deny its power.    ALL  of these prophecies regarding the things which would take place in the world immediately prior to the Rapture of the True Church, also called “The Body of Christ” and “The Bride of Christ” are present today.     For the True Christian it is all about RELATIONSHIP!!!

God said regarding marriage for a man to a woman,  MARK 10:7 & 8  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, v 8 and the two shall become one flesh, so they are no longer two, but one flesh.    This does not mean that when you get married and are joined together that one of you suddenly disappears, it means that you are a unit, you have been joined by a bond not of glue, but of love for each other.   

I believe that this is a “Type” or “Shadow” of things to come, and it applies spiritually  to our relationship with Jesus Christ.    Jesus is the head, and we are HIS BODY,  and His love for us will unite with our love for Him, and we will become ONE in Him in Spirit as His BRIDE.       We will become a unit, joined together not by an earthly physical love, which is weak and carnal, and so often breaks down, but joined with Him by the “Agape” love of God, a love which can never fail, can never be broken, can never be divided, and always works together in unison and harmony.     GALATIANS 3:27 & 28   For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  v 28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.

Most of you will know well, I have always said and believed that Jesus can come back at any moment of any day of any month of any year.    But I have also often said to you, YES, there are definitely some special days in God’s dealings with mankind, and that these “Special days” should attract our attention as being worthy of extra note.    Jesus gave many indications in His teachings of how things would be at the time of the Rapture, and of the fact that many would be caught unawares, asleep at the wheel.   

Drivers who go to sleep at the wheel crash out and suffer the consequences.  Christians caught asleep at the wheel will also crash out into the Great Tribulation, and suffer the consequences of not being ready, watching and waiting, not looking for and longing for the return of the Lord Jesus.    

Be aware that there are a number of Special days, “Anniversaries” coming up in the next few days and weeks, and that God LOVES ANNIVERSARIES, these are often called  “The Feasts of the Lord”.    Easter Friday is the Feast of Pesach  “PASSOVER”.     Easter Saturday is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread.     Easter Sunday is called The Feast of “First Fruits”  –   “RESURRECTION MORNING”   –   Seven weeks later we have the feast of “Shavuot”   –  “PENTECOST SUNDAY”  etc.     

The word “FEAST” in Hebrew is the word Mô‛êd  pronounced Mo’ade and it really means “an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season,  conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose)”;  which really means ALL the feast days were an appointment with The Lord God,  fixed annually for a definite purpose, basically an Anniversary of an important occasion both for The Lord, and for the nation of Israel.     

These Appointments were commanded by the Lord, were a “Shadow” of things to come, to be fulfilled by The Lord Jesus Himself.   Passover – the Lamb of God slain for our sins etc. as shown below, and Israel should have known these things, and many did, but most of them rejected Him anyway; they wanted a WARRIOR KING to destroy the Roman Empire and set them free on this earth.   They could not see that they needed to be set free from sin, so that they could SEE the Kingdom of Heaven and enter in to it.

So I want to remind you that we have a number of SPECIAL DAYS coming up, starting tomorrow, Easter Friday – Passover,  the day Jesus died for us and carried our sins to His grave to set us free from the power of sin.  –   Easter Saturday – The day OUR  sin or (leaven) was destroyed, cleansed out from His dead body, making a way for us to be cleansed and forgiven.     Easter Sunday  –  Resurrection Morning, the day Jesus rose from the dead.    –   Does Jesus’ Bride have a very Special Appointment with her Bridegroom on one of these days?    It could very well be.     

Then seven weeks later we have Shavuot  –  Pentecost Sunday on 20th MAY  – Pentecost, the day Jesus’ Bride to be was empowered to serve Him in this world, some say the BIRTHDAY of the Church.    Does Jesus’ Bride have a Special Appointment with her Bridegroom on the birthday of the Church?    Some Bible Scholars believe it could well be.

Please do not rule out any of these days, because although Jesus CAN come any time, He does love Anniversaries, AND I believe He  LOVES surprises for his Bride.

I have become much more aware recently, that any one of us could die suddenly, or be killed in an accident, or a terrorist attack etc. etc.    Would we be ready if such an event were to take us when we were not expecting it?      Then there are also some other Anniversaries coming up VERY SOON,  –  May 14th – ISRAEL’S 70th BIRTHDAY,  the day Israel was declared a Nation again after nearly 2000 years.   A day the world said “It will NEVER happen”   But it was written, and God said “Let it be as it was written some 2000 years ago” and it was so.     MATTHEW 24:34  Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.   Is May 14th the end of this generation Jesus spoke about?   Who knows?  It could be.  Are WE ready if it is?   We definitely need to be!

The final Anniversary  important to Israel and to the Lord is Sunday  May 13th  –   Jerusalem Day.   On this day in 1967 The Jews took back the City of Jerusalem along with Judea and Samaria, which for over 20 years had been under Arab and Syrian domination.   A day worthy of celebration for the Jews.   A day important to God also!

REVELATION 3:3   Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 

LUKE  17:26 – 29   And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:  v 27  They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  v  28  Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot:  They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;  v 29  but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.                        Make sure you are not left behind in SODOM when the Rapture takes place!!!

 MATTHEW 25:13  “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”   If you have not read my post called  “A Spiritual Health Check for Christians” posted ten days ago.    I believe it is important that you read it now to see how your Christian life stacks up against God’s word and His criteria for “True Christians.    It is posted under  the Category ” Bible Teaching”

God Bless.

Lex Cullen

A Spiritual Health Check For Christians.

Obviously we must allow for God’s grace in our lives, and obviously none of us is perfect or able to live a completely sinless life as yet; that is coming though, and I believe it is coming very very soon, hence the need for a health check now!     I would like you to treat this more as a Bible Study rather than just another blog, as I believe it is extremely important for all of us to check our relationship with Jesus each day.

Many of the following checklist items are ABSOLUTELY essential if we are to be considered “True Christians”, others may be debated as NON ESSENTIAL but very helpful.    I shall put forward my views, but I leave you to prayerfully consider them for yourself, but please take into account the words of scripture, and do not minimise the Lord’s  intent in the passage/s. 

HAVE YOU BEEN BORN AGAIN?   JOHN 3:3  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are BORN AGAIN, you CANNOT SEE the Kingdom of God.”      The kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom, flesh and blood cannot enter a spiritual realm.          JOHN 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.   Many professing Christians tell us that being born again is just radical over the top nonsense.   Jesus disagrees with them, He says this is essential to becoming a True Christian.   (An Imperitive)

HAVE YOU ASKED THE LORD FOR SALVATION?   ROMANS 10:13    “For whosoever SHALL CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.   In another scripture, Jesus says “You don’t have things because you don’t ask for them”,  Paraphrase of  JOHN 16:24.   Clearly we have to ASK God for salvation, it is not inherited through our parents, it is not an automatic thing we receive because we go to church or because we live a good life, or we married a True Christian etc.    (An Imperitive)

HAVE YOU TRULY REPENTED OF ALL SIN AND TURNED AWAY FROM SIN?  ACTS 3:19  “REPENT and be converted, that your sins may be BLOTTED OUT”.     Right through the Bible we are taught that TRUE REPENTANCE is key to God’s forgiveness.  If there is no turning away from our old sinful life, and no turning to obedience to God’s ways, there can be NO forgiveness and no salvation.      (An Imperitive)

DO YOU FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST YOU?    The Lord’s prayer asks the Father to forgive us our sins, AS WE FORGIVE those who sin against us.  The word used here is DEBT  (“opheilēma” something owed,  a due, or morally, a fault.)    But in  MATTHEW  6:14 & 15  “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  v 15  But if you do NOT forgive others their sins, your Father will NOT forgive your sins”.   (New Living Translation.)  The word used is (“paraptōma”  wilful transgression: – fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass.)    (An Imperitive)

ARE YOU IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD?     2 CORINTHIANS  11:2    “For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself.  I promised you as a pure BRIDE to one husband—Christ”.    To be engaged is to be in a relationship.  &    REV 22:17  “The Spirit and THE BRIDE say, “come.”    The Bride is related to her Bridegroom.    In the Lord’s prayer we pray, “Our FATHER who art in heaven”.    A child is related to His father.    Clearly if you are not part of Christ’s bride, you will NOT be part of the “Rapture” because Jesus is coming to collect His BRIDE for their Wedding.     (An Imperitive)

DO YOU CONFESS JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD?   MATTHEW 10: 32-33  “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,  I will  ALSO CONFESS him before my Father which is in heaven. v 33  But whosoever shall deny me before men, I will ALSO  DENY him before my Father which is in heaven”.      Hiding the fact that you are a Christian before your friends and workmates is actually denying Jesus Christ before them, as it means you have to agree with their talk and their actions.  That is why it is written in  ROMANS 10:9  that  “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”.      (An Imperitive.)  

ARE YOU LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, OR BY YOUR OWN DESIRES?      GALATIONS   5:19-21    “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that ANYONE living that sort of life WILL NOT INHERIT the Kingdom of God.”      Regarding  “Sexual Immorality”  this term is broad and covers many sexual sins.     For example  ROMANS 1:26 & 27 covers ALL types of homosexuality.        ROMANS 1:29  covers fornication.       2 PETER 2:14    covers adultery.   All of these types of sin are covered in several different places in the Bible.      1 PETER 1:16   “For the Scriptures say, ““You MUST be holy because I am holy.””   So as Paul says,   says  ANYONE living that sort of life WILL NOT INHERIT the Kingdom of God.”    (An Imperitive.)

ARE YOU DOING GOD’S WILL, OR YOUR OWN?    MATTHEW 7:21   “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those WHO DO the WILL OF MY FATHER in heaven will enter.”      Jesus was addressing those who are using (or abusing perhaps,) God’s power to cast out demons, heal the sick etc. to build their own kingdoms, thereby making themselves immensely rich, and bringing glory to themselves.     Thus instead of bringing glory to GOD, they have amassed wealth and glory to themselves.    According to Jesus, “Doing God’s will” is  (An Imperitive.)

DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT DWELL IN YOU?    1 CORINTHIANS 3:16  “Do you not know that you are the TEMPLE OF GOD and the Spirit of God DWELLS in YOU?”     When we are BORN AGAIN it is the Holy Spirit who enters our heart to complete the work of salvation, changing us from death to life.    EPHESIANS 2:1  “And you who were dead in trespasses and sins, He made alive,”     BECAUSE    ROMANS 8:11  “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you…..”     SO – No Holy Spirit living in you, no spiritual life – no salvation!    (An Imperitive.)

DO YOU ABIDE IN JESUS AND DOES HE ABIDE IN YOU?     JOHN 15:6   “If a man abide NOT in me, he is CAST FORTH as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned”.    ROMANS 8:10  “And if Christ abides in you, the body is DEAD because of sin, but the Spirit is ALIVE because of righteousness.”   Basically if we are not living in Jesus, (JOHN 1:1   “In the beginning was the Word…….)”   So if we are not living in God’s Son / The Word, then God’s Son / The Word cannot bear spiritual fruit in our lives, so we will be cast out.    (An Imperitive.)

IS YOUR LIFE PRODUCING THE FRUIT OF GODLINESS ?   JOHN 15:4   “REMAIN in me, and I WILL remain in you.  A branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you CANNOT be fruitful unless you REMAIN in me.”    Same reason as is given above for abiding in Christ.    (An Imperitive.)

DO YOU LOVE THIS WORLD?   1 JOHN  2:15  “LOVE NOT THE WORLD, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  &   JAMES 4:4 tells us that  “the friendship of the world is ENMITY with God?”      This present world belongs (temporarily) to Satan, but not for much longer.     Rev 11:15  “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”    Do not love Satan’s world.      (An Imperitive.)

WOULD YOU BE PREPARED TO DIE FOR JESUS RATHER THAN DENY HIM AS YOUR LORD?   MATTHEW 16:24  “Jesus said unto his disciples, If anyone will come after me, let him deny HIMSELF, AND take up HIS CROSS, and follow me.”     REVELATION 12:11  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”    Jesus is looking for OVERCOMERS,  Satan is looking for UNDERTAKERS.     Deny Jesus, and Jesus will DENY YOU,   as seen above in the sectionDo you confess Jesus”     (An Imperitive.)

DO YOU LOVE THE LORD MORE THAN YOU LOVE YOUR OWN FAMILY?   MATTHEW 10:37   “If you love your father or mother MORE than you love me, you are NOT WORTHY of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter MORE than me, you are NOT WORTHY of being mine.”    If we love our family, or our girl friends or boy friends more than Jesus, they can often influence us away from the Lord to live in the world and become part of the world.    We see this all too often, and it is so sad.    To me to be NOT WORTHY of belonging to Jesus, means we have missed the mark.  I think this one has to be   –   (An Imperitive.)

DO YOU LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD?     MATTHEW   22:37      “Jesus said to him, You shall LOVE the LORD your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first COMMANDMENT.    If you do not love God, you are immediately out of His will.    You will not obey or respect Him, you will not read His Word, you will not have any meaningful RELATIONSHIP with Him.    (An Imperitive.)

DO YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF?    MATTHEW 22:39  “And the second command is like the first: ‘LOVE your neighbor THE SAME AS you love yourself.”   WHY?   MATTHEW  22:40   (Because)  “ALL of the law and the writings  of the prophets ARE SUMMED UP in these two commands.”   So the same thing applies as to loving  God.     (An Imperitive.)

DO YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER?    JOHN  13:34 & 35    “So now I am giving you A NEW COMMANDMENT:  –   LOVE EACH OTHER,  just as I have loved you, you should love each other. v35  Your love for one another will PROVE to the world that you are my disciples.”      In other words, it is our love for each other that is the proof that we are indeed TRUE CHRISTIANS.      (An Imperitive.)

DO YOU LOVE YOUR ENEMIES?    MATTHEW  5:44    “I say to you, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, bless those who curse you, do GOOD to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”.     Again this LOVE is the proof of our love for, and obedience to God.      (An Imperitive.)

HAVE YOU BEEN BAPTISED IN WATER?    ACTS  2:38  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and BE BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”   Peter thinks it is essential for the remission of sins.     MARK 16:16   Jesus says  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…………”     Even although it is not mentioned in every text concerning getting saved, I believe baptism is the confession mentioned in  ROMANS 10:10  ” …….   and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”   

When we get baptised, we confess to the world that Jesus is our Saviour.     We need to understand that when we get baptised, we are saying to the world;  “as a Christian, my old sinful nature is dead, now I am burying it, and when I come up out of the water/grave I am confessing that my new nature, is led and guided by the Holy Spirit which God exchanged for my old nature when I became a Christian”.    

Even Jesus felt it necessary to get baptised,  MATTHEW  3:16    “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.”    So we could say this was Jesus’ baptism in water, and it was followed by the Holy Spirit coming upon Him, as seen in ACTS 2:4 when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples.  When we understand this, we understand why it is (An Imperitive.)

HAVE YOU BEEN BAPTISED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT?     In ACTS 1 verse 4  Jesus commands His disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to “TARRY” for the promise of the Father.    In ACTS 1:8  Jesus tell them WHY   “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”    Christians who have never experienced the POWER of the Holy Spirit coming UPON them, will nearly always struggle to witness for Jesus, and many will fall away, as we can see in the world today.    As the command came from Jesus Himself, I believe I would mark this as   (An Imperitive for the best.)   ( A NON ESSENTIAL but very helpful) as the very least.”

DO YOU LONG FOR THE RETURN OF JESUS AND LOOK FOR HIS RETURN EACH DAY?   2 TIMOTHY   4:8   “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of RIGHTEOUSNESS, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.”   Does this imply that only those who long for Jesus to come will receive the crown of righteousness?    It seems to be so in this verse.    Surely True Christians who truly love Him would strive to receive a crown of righteousness?   &   2  PETER  3:12  indicates that we should be  “LOOKING FORWARD to the day of God and HURRYING it along…………..”   Are we looking forward to the day?   True Christians should be.    How long do we want to live in Satan’s territory, “This world is NOT my home, I’m just a passing through”, you could say that we are living in enemy territory, our enemy being Satan is bombing us from all sides daily with the filth of this world?    So as Peter says we should be hurrying that day along,  but HOW?  “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.   I believe prayer is the answer, The Lord’s prayer is a request, is it not?    This could be debated as being  NON ESSENTIAL but very helpful.     Finally, let us remember the words of Jesus to the Churches in REVELATION 3:3  “…………..Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”

So we can see that to be a True Christian there is a lot more to it than just saying I believe that Jesus is God’s Son, and that He died for my sins, please God forgive me my sins, and I ask Jesus to come into my heart and be my saviour, Amen.      That is merely the first step, there are many more steps which are imperatives, and which must be taken before we reach our goal.   

God bless.

Lex Cullen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL – PART TWO

ISRAEL IN GOD’S COVENANTS.

Gen 15:17  “And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.    Gen 15:18  On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— ”   

Israel has not yet come into full possession of this covenant which God made with Abram.  This covenant will be fully realised during the millennial period, and even the honest Muslims admit that to be the case.       Palestinians say Israel occupies their lands, — but a Jordanian Muslim says the Koran teaches the land belong to Israel.  Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi – “God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle there. In addition, it is predicted that before the end of days, God will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of the Land, gathering them from the different countries and nations”  (Sura 17:104)    See article  http://www.quora.com/Does-the-Quran-say-that-the-land-of-Israel-is-for-the-Jews

Also from the same article, the following quote from Sheikh Ahmad Adwan  who introduces himself as a Muslim scholar who lives in Jordan, said on his personal Facebook page that “there is no such thing as “Palestine” in the Koran. Allah has assigned the Holy Land to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment” (Koran, Sura 5 – “The Sura of the Table”, Verse 21), and also  “We made the Children of Israel the inheritors (of the land)” (Koran, Sura 26 – “The Sura of the Poets”, Verse 59).   And there are many others who agree that  God’s promise to the Children of Israel has never been broken.    (Same article.)

Genesis 17:7-8  “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”   Gen 17:10  “This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you:  Every male child among you shall be circumcised.”    God’s part of the covenant  “I will give you and all of your descendants  all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession.”   Abram’s part of the covenant,   “Every male child among you shall be circumcised”.

This was an Everlasting Covenant which God made with Israel, and God cannot lie nor change His mind.  Num 23:19.   Add to this the fact that Israel did also honour their part of the covenant, even though it was God’s covenant, not Abram’s, and to this day every Israeli / Jewish male child is circumcised on the eighth day.

People who do not fully understand the power of “Covenant” in ancient times, believe it is just a contract that can be broken if or when it suits.  In ancient times however, to break a covenant was virtually a death sentence on the party breaking the covenant, as the covenant was sealed by the mingling of the blood of both parties.

Sadly, many Christians have been misled by their leaders, and taught that the Covenant has passed now to the Church, and the Holy land now belongs to the Church.    They say this happened when God created a “New Covenant”   For this reason, many Christians have become Jew haters, and side with the Palestinians in accusing Israel of being “Occupiers” of the land of Israel.

As seen above, even the honest Muslims believe the Holy land belongs to the Jews, and that the Jews will come back before the end of this age of grace from all four corners of the earth to retake their land.    This is being fulfilled today as Jews from all over the world are flocking back to Israel.

GOD’S NEW COVENANT.   The error that the false teaching of “Replacement Theology” makes, is in not fully understanding The New Covenant.    The New Covenant does not replace the old Covenant, but rather it is given to the “CHURCH”  which is made up of  BOTH — JEWS and Gentiles.   The Old Covenant was given to NATIONAL ISRAEL.    That Covenant is still in force today AS WE HAVE SEEN.    National Israel will still inherit the earth, (that is the unsaved Israelis and Jews at Jesus Second Coming to the EARTH, not into the clouds for His Bride) they will then turn to their Messiah and repent in sackcloth and ashes.  see Zech 12:10.

The CHURCH has been grafted into Spiritual Israel  (see Rom 11:17&18) and consists of ALL “TRUE” Christians  —  BOTH — JEWS and Gentiles who have been Born Again during the age of grace,  and the CHURCH shall become the BRIDE OF JESUS.    The CHURCH inherits HEAVEN with Jesus as Her Bridegroom.    National Israel inherits the The Promised Land, on the earth, and they along with all the other nations of the earth, will be ruled by Jesus and His Bride, the Church.   Rev_5:10   &  Rev_20:6. 

Psalm 2:1  Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?      Because Satan wants every Jew, Israeli and Christian on the face of the earth dead.  

As Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad speaking on Al-Hekma TV said in March 2012: “Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.  See   http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2017/12/13/oops-arab-historian-admits-there-is-no-palestinian-people.html            This was confirmed again by Mahmoud Abbas in the following article.      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196194#.VZx-YPlS7T9

Now on to more current events and News items, the following items will confirm that if the Lord does not come soon, there will be no one left to come back for.   Imagine a world in which people who hold a certain political ideology could be sought out and summarily executed with surgical precision using autonomous microdrones and with no collateral damage. While this may seem like a great way to eliminate terrorist organizations like ISIS or Al-Qaeda, it could also be used by them to wipe you out.      See    http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1806      You need to watch the video at the end of this article, as these “slaughterbots’  are being used today, and they are to be mass produced in the USA by the millions very soon if not stopped.

Iran’s Syria Bases Near Israel Have Apocalyptic Intent        If you don’t believe the Lord is coming soon for His Church, you need to read this article.    Iran being Shia Muslim, have always said that their “Mahdi” will not come back until there is a massive war against the infidels,  (Jews and Christians), at which time the “Mahdi will return with Jesus to fight the infidels and destroy them at Armageddon, which we know is still a few years away yet, but their intent can already be seen in this article below.    http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1802     Syria is already full of Iranian soldiers weapons, rockets etc. and since their war efforts in helping Iraq and Syria defeat ISIS, they now have a free road from Iran through Iraq and Syria all the way to Israel.     It is possible that they may try to take out Israel first,  (“First the little Satan, see Psalm 83, then the big Satan – America).    We will have to wait and see, however, the Church will be gone years before Armageddon.

Luk_17:28  “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;  v:29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” 
v:30  “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.    Lot’s day was known for its sexual debauchery, hence the fire and brimstone from heaven.”    Read the following.   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-42260548     The World takes note as Australia also follows in the footsteps of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

The Lord’s return is very close, and I could fill a page of News Items nearly every day in which we see end time prophecies either being fulfilled, or lining up in preparation of being fulfilled.   In closing, remember the words of Jesus and the words of Paul.

Jesus said in Mat 24:44  “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”      Could be tomorrow or Christmas day,  no one knows, and no one will be expecting Him.   

And Paul tells us in   Heb 9:28b   He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are EAGERLY WAITING FOR HIM.

Are you TRULY READY if Jesus comes for His Bride TOMORROW?   Are you really  EAGERLY WAITING for Him?       God bless.       Lex

 

 

ISRAEL

ISRAEL  — GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE.

The whole of the Bible is centred around ISRAEL.    It is HIStory, — God’s record of His chosen people, past, present and future.   The Bible is the history of the nation whom God called  “The apple of my eye”.   Zec 2:8 For this is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies says:    “In pursuit of glory I was sent to the nations who plundered you, because “whoever injures you,  injures the pupil of my eye.”  (ISV).   

Nations of the world today should be very very careful of how they treat Israel, because world history shows that when a nation blesses Israel and treats them well, they in turn are very blessed and prosper exceedingly.    The latest nation to be blessed because of their stand for Israel was the USA, until they decided that they needed ARAB OIL more than they needed Israel.    To gain Arab Oil, meant they had to side with the Arab nations and the Palestinians against Israel, and call for the division of Israel, by giving back Judea, Samaria and the West Bank to the Palestinians.    This decision was a very bad choice, as from that time on America began its steady decline into debt and into the constant fear of terrorism, both of which were unheard of in America until then. 

The nation prior to the USA to bless Israel was the UK who brought forth the BALFOUR DECLARATION, which gave Israel back their own land again in 1917, and it was said later the sun never set on the British Empire, as wherever it was daytime the sun was over a British Colony somewhere in the world.    However, that ended when Britain refused entry to the Jewish people from EUROPE during World War Two, and sent thousands of Jews back to Germany, where they became victims of the holocaust, another very bad choice, and for that God removed His blessing from the UK, and it declined to the mediocre power it is today, lagging behind many other countries in the world.

God promised that this would happen right back at the very beginning in Genesis chapter 12  where he promised Abram, later to be called Abraham, Gen 12:2   “I’ll make a great nation of your descendants, I’ll bless you, and I’ll make your reputation great, so that you will be a blessing.”  Gen 12:3  “I’ll bless those who bless you, but I’ll curse the one who curses you, and through you all the people of the earth will be blessed.”  (ISV).     God, being the faithful God He is, has honoured that promise down through the ages, and is still honouring that promise today, despite Israel’s unfaithfulness to God for so much of the time.   

God’s word is truth, you cannot escape from it, God told Israel He would punish them if they turned away from Him and worshipped false god’s, and He has been faithful to His word  all the way through.    All who worship God are blessed, those who worship false gods are being, or will be, punished.

Bad choices, choices made against God and against His Word the Bible, always result in bad outcomes.    Let us look at some prophecies concerning the “last days” or the “end times”.   These prophecies are currently in progress.

Zech 1:18 & 19  Then I looked up and saw four horns.    I asked the angel who was talking to me, “What are those?” So he answered me, “Those are the forces that have dispersed Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”  (ISV)   (Horns in scripture nearly always refer to Empires, or World Powers.  See also Daniel 7:24  &  Rev 17:7    —-   The four horns spoken of here are the four known today as “The Quartet”  —  the United States, – the EU,  –  Russia and the United Nations.   These four powers or “four horns” are working together to create a “Peace Plan” which will divide God’s land, – ISRAEL, and give half of it to the Palestinians.     Let me say here that ALL the nations who work together and vote together with the four horns, to take God’s land away from Israel and give it to God’s enemies will be judged by God for doing that.   See  Joel 3: 1 & 2.

 Joel 3: 1 & 2  “Look, now! In those very days and at that time, when I restore prosperity to Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations, bringing them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. I will set out my case against them there,  (I will judge them) on behalf of my people, my heritage Israel, whom they scattered among the nations, apportioning my land among themselves.  (ISV).

ISRAEL’S ENEMIES.     I believe that Israel’s enemies, are of necessity also enemies of God, or God’s enemies, because of God’s covenants with Israel.    It is not my intention here to go through naming nations, as we are only dealing with God’s Land – Israel, and the surrounding nations which are mentioned in the Bible.    It is very interesting to note, but also logical, that Israel’s enemies today, are the very same enemies Israel battled in the Bible.     It is also very interesting to note that those enemies of yesteryear, have all become Islamic nations, and without exception, all swear to exterminate the Israelis from the face of the earth.     Also of note those same nations are also virulently anti Christian, and have vowed to cleanse the earth of all Christians as well as all “Jews”.  (Read Israelis).   

Jer 46:10 That day belongs to the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. It is a day of vengeance to take vengeance on his foes. The sword will devour and be satisfied, and will drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord GOD of the Heavenly Armies will hold a sacrifice in the land of the north, by the Euphrates river.  (ISV)   We were created in the likeness and image of God.   Are you capable of hate?  so is God.   Are you capable of jealousy?  so is God.   Are you capable of vengeance?  so is God.    The difference is that God’s hate, jealousy, vengeance etc.etc. are just and holy, whereas ours are driven by passion and often go beyond being just.    That is why the Lord tells us in Rom 12:19 Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me. I will pay them back, declares the Lord.” 

Eze 30:3 “For comes now the day—comes now the Day of the LORD, the day of clouds! The time of the gentiles is fulfilled!   Compare with      Rom_11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.   (ISV)    Ezekiel prophesies here that the Day of the Lord will come when the Gentiles is finished.

ISRAEL  —  GOD’S CLOCK.  

I think we need to understand these passages clearly so we have no misconceptions as to what the Lord is telling us here.   What the Lord is saying here is that when the day of the Lord comes, at that time the Gentiles domination of the world will cease.    The Day of the Lord is a time of Judgement upon the unsaved peoples of the world.    During this time, the Lord is trying desperately to bring sinners to salvation, knowing the end is near.   

The success of this time of judgement is seen in Rev 7:9 where we are told that “After these things ( i.e. After the first six seals of God’s wrath have been executed) I looked, and there was a crowd so large that no one was able to count it! They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language. They were standing in front of the throne and the lamb and were wearing white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”   In verse 14 we are told where this great crowd of people have come from, when the Elder tells John, “So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

These are the people who have seen that God is serious about cleansing the earth of sin and all manner of evil and wickedness, and they have been prepared to become martyrs in order to gain salvation and eternal life, by putting their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.    The rest of the world continue in their unbelief, in their evil and wicked ways, cursing God for what is happening, but not prepared to give up their evil and wicked practices.

I believe that the times of the Gentiles is perilously close to coming to an end, as more and more pressure is brought against God’s chosen people Israel to give up some of  God’s land to God’s enemies, and when they force Israel to accede to their peace plan, then God will say “Finish” and the times of the Gentiles will be over, and God’s judgement will commence.  

President Trump and his team of peacemakers are believed to be on the cusp of making an announcement right now.    It is believed that both sides will have to give up some of their demands, but that both sides will also gain previously unattainable concessions from the other side.    If this is correct, and a date is set for the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians and the Arabs etc. then look for 1Thess 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman; and they shall not escape. 

As the whole world cries out for peace and safety at any price, keep your eyes on Israel, Israel is God’s clock, and they will be the ones who have to pay the main price in this “peace at any price” deal with the Palestinians, and while watching Israel, don’t forget to keep your eyes on the Lord as HE brings to pass HIS word.

DON’T GIVE UP!

I want to take you back to my post titled “Rapture Thoughts” dated 12/09/2015, where I posited the following idea to think about.

Maybe Jesus does not set us free on the Feast of Trumpets as so many believe.   Maybe The Feasts were given to the Jews to observe, not to the Church, so maybe He is not bound to take the Church at the Feast of Trumpets, maybe He can take the Church at any moment of any day of any month of any year He wishes.  

This would fit with the Church knowing the season of His coming, but not the date.   We know it will be soon, just not HOW soon.   Jesus could then fulfil the final three feasts for the Jews at His Second Coming.   In conclusion, we need to make sure we are ready watching waiting and looking and longing for His arrival to take us home to heaven at any moment of every day.

As you would all know, I have always said I believe that the Lord can Rapture His Church at any moment of any day, I still believe that, but I confess that the hype of the signs in the sky and all the talk about the Feast of Trumpets caused me to take my eye of the ball, or should I say off the “WORD” of God until the days proved or disproved in this case the theories put forward.  

I would like to examine more closely some scriptures which I believe give credence to my original posting in September 2015, but before I start, let me make another statement which may shock the pundits, and please understand that I am in NO WAY saying they are definitely wrong, OR right, but I believe the following thoughts bear thinking about.

1.    THE FEASTS AND THE LAW WERE GIVEN TO NATIONAL ISRAEL, NOT TO THE CHURCH. We are still in the times of the Gentiles UNTIL the Church is Raptured, at that moment, God will again take up the Jews and Israelis whom he has set aside “For a Time” see Romans chapter 11. 

An interesting thought here is that God may also be working according to the Gentile Calendar during this time of Grace.    

This would have two implications.  a.  The Year of Jubilee would continue on from today until the 31 December 2017.    OR  b.  The Rapture itself, WHENEVER that occurs, would thereby determine The “CHURCHES’ ”  Year of Jubilee.   AND  – “ISRAEL’S “Year of Jubilee will take place at the Second Coming.    

I also believe that as the first four High Holy Feasts of Israel were fulfilled by Jesus on the very day and hour, and in one short period of time, Springtime,  so also, Jesus will fulfil the three remaining High Holy Feasts of Israel on the very day and hour, and again, all in one short period of time, Autumn all in the one month, at THE SECOND COMING!

2.    THE CHURCH IS NOT BOUND BY LAWS, OR HOLY FEAST DAYS WHICH WERE GIVEN TO NATIONAL ISRAEL.

Col 2:16  So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.  (Feast of Trumpets is a new moon ceremony)    Paul is saying as Christians we are no longer bound by the “LAW” because Jesus has fulfilled the law on our behalf, we see this in Col 2:14  He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.     The Holy Days and the food restrictions of the Law given to Israel do not apply to Christians. 

Most Christian Jews still observe these Holy Days etc, as did the early Church, but they are NOT BOUND by them, as they are no longer under LAW.    To be bound by them again, would be to place themselves back under LAW, not GRACE.

After the Rapture, Israel will willfully revert back to the period of LAW again, not understanding that their “SIN” offerings are TOTALLY FUTILE, as Jesus has fulfilled the sin offering for everybody, FOREVER.

So we see from scripture, that Christians are no longer bound by Holy Days, or food restrictions or Sabbaths, as we see some churches still observe, all we are bound to, is the command to do the will of the Father.

3.   THE SHORTENING OF THE DAYS. 

A few more things to chew on, Jesus stated in Mat 24:22  “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”    This shortening of the days, taken in its context, is very clearly during the “Great Tribulation”, and it brings up an interesting thought, will Israel know the exact year of the return of their Messiah if the days of the Great Tribulation are shortened?  

This would make the MANY warnings of Jesus for people to “Watch and Wait” lest they be caught out unawares applicable to BOTH the Church and to National Israel and it makes sense that that would be the case. 

Jesus told many parables of the Bridegroom ( i.e. the Church) being delayed, and of the Master of the house returning unexpectedly from a far country, of good servants found doing the masters will, and of bad servants beating their fellow servants, (being Israel), indicating to both the Church and National Israel that we ALL need to be on our toes every day,  Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

I have long thought that IF the Lord’s return was to be at the “Feast of Trumpets” that millions of people would be thinking, this could be the time, all expecting His return, but that definitely conflicts with the words of Jesus Himself who said as we see above, it will happen when NOBODY thinks it is likely to happen.   Maybe tomorrow, or the end of the month, or the end of December; maybe somewhere in the middle or sometime next year, NOBODY KNOWS but we must be ready whenever it happens.

Regardless of whether the Lord is working to the Gentile Calendar or the Hebrew Calendar, we do have one thing that we know, WE are NOT Children of Darkness  1Thess 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.     WE DO KNOW that it is very close.

In closing let us remind ourselves of the Word of God  Isa 55:8  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.  v:9  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

This makes it all the more important to watch all the time and be ready at all times, because, we may think we know, but WE DON’T, – GOD DOES. 

Although all the signs of Israel’s Birth and Jubilee etc. fall exactly 20 years,  30 years or 50 years apart on our Calendar, they do NOT all fall exactly 20 years,  30 years or 50 years apart on the Hebrew Calendar!!!  

Finally, think about this, IF the Lord is using the Gentile Calendar during the “Time of the Gentiles”,  and IF the RAPTURE were to occur sometime this year, then 1. it would still be in the YEAR of Jubilee, and  2.  It would still allow the Lord to fulfill the remaining Feasts of the Lord on the EXACT DAYS,  BUT in under seven years, because of  “those days being shortened.”

Jesus can come on any day at any time.   Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.    God Bless.  

Lex Cullen