Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Don't Know

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." {Isaiah 55:8,9}


It's time to be honest. Where did God come from? I don't know. The Word declares... "In the beginning, God..." {Genesis 1:1} The Word declares "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." {Genesis 1:2} The Word declares "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."{John 1:1} The Word declares "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. {John 1:10} The Word declares "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." {John 1:14} In the beginning, we see that God The Father, The Holy Spirit, and the Son were. Where did they come from? I don't know.

When you look at the Theory of Evolution, honestly, and you put that Theory to the Scientific Test, You see that it is actually scientifically impossible. Why? The simplest of all explanations, nothing from nothing is nothing. Nothing added to nothing is nothing. There had to first be a something. That something is God.

Do I know this to be fact? Yup. Where did God come from? I don't know. He was here, and all things we have, know, and are, are formed by Him. That I know, and where He came from really matters not, to my one on one relationship with Him.

Why does bad things happen to good people? I don't know. I do not this. The Word declares "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5} The Word declares " for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;" {Genesis 8:21} Truth is, most of the evils in this world are created by man. We put ourselves in the situations that cause harm and danger. We have Free Will.

Free Will? The Word declares "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." {John 3:16} IF you believe in Him. Jesus. The Word declares, "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” {Jesus in John 8:24}Unless you believe in Me, says Jesus. We have Free Will. Paul wrote this in his letter to the Churches of Galatia, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do." {Galatians 5:16-17 }

Ever see a movie, or worse yet, know someone that deals with criminal elements. You see this guy get "Whacked" {Killed} because he did not pay off his debt to the Loan Shark? See someone OD? Watch some of the Rich and Famous of Hollywood spiral out of control to the point of, and even including, death? Did God do this to them? No. They put themselves in these situations. I have Free Will to drive 55. If I chose to speed, then I subject myself to being pulled over and issued a ticket, or even being arrested. Baretta said it best. "If you don't want to do the time, don't do the crime."

I also know this. Sometimes we end up in situations for God to work through us. "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." {{Luke 22: 30-32} This, what we would call a bad thing, was about to happen to Peter. Jesus told him it was. Why? "strengthen thy brethren." Also consider the Woman with the issue of Blood.

Mark 5:
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
This woman was inflicted of this for 12 years. 12 YEARS. She's bankrupt. She suffered much. I would say this is a bad thing happening to her. Yet at this moment in time, SHE was a tool for Jesus to show his Compassion, Power, and Majesty. A tool for Jesus to teach about the power of Faith.

Then we read that this took so much time, that Jairus's Daughter died. I would say that is bad. But what happened? Jesus turned and,,,well, let's keep reading..
35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.

40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.

42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
"Be not afraid, only believe." Then He raised her from the dead, and demanded that they give her something to eat. When bad things happen to good people, sometimes we do not know the reason, but we do know this "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." {Romans 8:28}

If God so loves us, that He sent Jesus into the world to die for us, why does He not just destroy the Devil and rid us of Sin once and for all. Uh, He WILL. When? I don't know. Here is something to think about. Neither does anyone else. "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." {Matthew 24:36} "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed." {2 Peter 3:10} Anyone telling you that the World is going to end next Tuesday, is lying to you. Truth is, no one knows, nor can they.

Why does God only seem to call a few elect people? I don't know. I do know that the Word declares "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." {2 Peter 3:9} God wants ALL to come to repentance and wants NO ONE to end up in Hell. Perhaps it goes back to the whole Free Will thing. He can call you, but it's up to you to chose to follow Him or not. Think about Judas. He Chose Him. Did He choose him because He knew what he would do? Did He choose him TO do what he did? I don't know. But He chose Judas, and Judas betrayed Him leading up to the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Think about that also. Would you call it bad, what the people did to Jesus? Strip Him. Beat Him. Drive Nails into Him, hanging Him on a Cross? I do not think I would chose this for a casual Friday activity. But look what Jesus said to Peter. "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" {Matthew 26:52-54}

Sometime we must go across a Street, pass through the River, go over a Mountain, to get to the other side. Sometimes we must pass through Storms to see the Sun. We must have Nights, so that we can have Days. Do I know everything about God? No. I can't. He is God, and I am not. Truth is, what God Himself said to us..
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." {Isaiah 55:8,9}
We must simply trust in Him. We must simply trust in His Word. We must allow Him to be our Father, and us, His Children. I don't know everything. But I know He does..

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Paradox, Mystery, and Contradiction

Special Guest, RC Sproul

The influence of various movements within our culture such as New Age, Eastern religion, and irrational philosophy have led to a crisis of understanding. A new form of mysticism has arisen that exalts the absurd as a hallmark of religious truth. We think of the Zen-Buddhist maxim that "God is one hand clapping" as an illustration of this pattern.

To say that God is one hand clapping sounds profound. It puzzles the conscious mind because it strikes against normal patterns of thought. It sounds "deep" and intriguing until we analyze it carefully and discover that at root it is simply a nonsense statement.

Irrationality is a type of mental chaos. It rests upon a confusion that is at odds with the Author of all truth who is not an author of confusion.

Biblical Christianity is vulnerable to such strands of exalted irrationality because of its candid admission that there is much paradox and mystery in the Bible. Because there are thin but crucial lines that divide paradox, mystery, and contradiction, it is important that we learn to distinguish among them.

We are quickly confounded when we seek to plumb the depths of God. No mortal can exhaustively comprehend God. The Bible reveals things about God that we know are true in spite of our inability to understand them fully. We have no human reference point, for example, to understand a being who is three in person and one in essence (Trinity), or a being who is one person with two distinct natures, human and divine (the person of Christ). These truths, as certain as they may be, are too "high" for us to penetrate.

We face similar problems in the natural world. We understand that gravity exists, but we do not understand it, nor do we seek to define it in irrational or contradictory terms. Most everyone agrees that motion is an integral part of reality, yet the essence of motion itself has perplexed philosophers and scientists for millennia. There is much that is mysterious about reality and much that we do not understand. But that does not warrant a leap into absurdity. Irrationality is fatal both to religion and science. Indeed, it is deadly to any truth.

The late Christian philosopher Gordon H. Clark once defined a paradox as a "charley horse between the ears." His witty remark was designed to point out that what is sometimes called a paradox is often nothing more than sloppy thinking. Clark, however, clearly recognized the legitimate role and function of paradox. The word paradox comes from the Greek root that means "to seem or to appear." Paradoxes are difficult for us because at first glance they "seem" to be contradictions, but under closer scrutiny resolutions can often be found. For example, Jesus said, "He who loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 10:39). On the surface this sounds akin to a statement like "God is one hand clapping." It sounds like a self-contradiction. What Jesus meant, however, is that if someone loses his life in one sense, he will find it in another sense. Because the losing and saving are in two different senses, there is no contradiction. I am a father and a son at the same time, but obviously not in the same relationship.

Because the term paradox has been misunderstood so often as a synonym for contradiction, it now appears in some English dictionaries as a secondary meaning of the term contradiction. A contradiction is a statement that violates the classical law of noncontradiction. The law of noncontradiction declares that A cannot be A and non-A at the same time and in the same respect. That is, something cannot be what it is and not be what it is at the same time and in the same respect. This is the most fundamental of all the laws of logic.

No one can understand a contradiction because a contradiction is inherently unintelligible. Not even God can understand contradictions. But He can certainly recognize them for what they are—falsehoods. The word contradiction comes from the Latin "to speak against." It is sometimes called an antinomy, which means "against law." For God to speak in contradictions would be for Him to be intellectually lawless, to speak with a forked tongue. It is a great insult and unconscionable blasphemy to even suggest that the Author of truth would ever speak in contradictions. Contradiction is the tool of the one who lies—the father of lies who despises the truth.

There is a relationship between mystery and contradiction that easily reduces us to confusing the two. We do not understand mysteries. We cannot understand contradictions. The point of contact between the two concepts is their unintelligible character. Mysteries may not be clear to us now simply because we lack the information or the perspective to understand them. The Bible promises further light in heaven on mysteries we are unable to understand now. Further light may resolve present mysteries. However, there is not enough light in heaven and earth to ever resolve a clear-cut contradiction.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Devil, How To Overcome

He is already defeated.


We have been talking about the Devil. Once called Lucifer, now, he has so many different names. The most common of course is Satan, or simply, the Devil. Call him what you will, just know he is real. He is not some red face, horned head, tail wagging, pitchfork wielding, demon, straight out of your nightmares. He is also not a God. He is an Angel. A fallen one at that. 

We have talked about how he operates. The fact he cannot force you to do anything. Think about this. God Himself, cannot force you to do anything. He has given Man Freewill. He Created us to live in Paradise. We, gave the Authority He gave us, to the Devil himself. God then warned us, attempted to teach us, and ultimately, was force to come and die for us. Yet, we still Sin everyday. If God Himself cannot force us to be good, you can rest assure that the Devil cannot force us to be bad.

All the Devil can really do to you, is tempt you. Whisper in your ear. Put thoughts in your head. Show you things that become desirous. Lie to you and attempt to get you to think that there is nothing wrong with this or that. Remember what Jesus told us? "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." {Matthew 5:28} So we cannot look at each other? Of course we can. But what Jesus is warning us about, is Sinful thought, if left unchecked, will lead to Sinful actions.

If you are Married, and you meet another Woman in a Hotel, you undress her, start caressing her naked body. She yours. You have committed Adultery. That's obvious and clear. Now if you are in the Mall, at Work, School, whatever, and you see a Woman that is attractive, and you undress her, start caressing her naked body. She yours. In your Mind. Jesus tells us that you have already committed "adultery with her already in his heart." Why? What if that Woman came up to you and started flirting. What if she said, I was having a fantasy about you. My place or yours? Chances are, you will see that Sin that started in your Mind, become real in the physical. "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." {James 1:15}

All Sin is, is an invitation. A calling away from God and godliness. Is all Sin deadly? In a matter of speaking, No. If you lie, chances are a lightening bolt is not going to come down from Heaven and strike you dead. However, "For the wages of sin is death," If you actively engage in lies daily, how will you ever know the Truth? Eventually, if you accept lies. You will accept other Sins. You will become numb and ignorant to Sin.

To clear something up, is all Sin equal in God's Eyes? No. If this was so, then Jesus would not have told Pilate "Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." Jesus told Pilate For I have done nothing to expose me to the power of any magistrate. I have not Sinned. I am innocent. Therefore Caiaphas, knowing this, is more blamable than you. He created a greater Sin. There are also degrees of punishment for Sin.

Luke 12:
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Not all Sin is equal, yet the end result of all Sin is Death. There is only one way to ensure this is not the case in your life, and that is accept the Spirit of Adoption. Accept Jesus's sacrifice for you.Become a Child of God. As we have discussed before, with out this Key. You already belong to the Devil himself. Jesus said "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." {John 3:18}

So, how do you overcome the Devil? Step one, leave his power and control. Without Jesus, you already belong to him. He needs to do nothing. Step one, Pray to God for the forgiveness of your Sins and for the Adoption of the Holy Spirit. Say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is, just that simple. You are now a Child of God. From this moment on, you have been bought, by the price of Blood, Jesus's own Blood. You have know, already won. Now you need to go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

However, now is not the time that the Devil will flee from you. Now you have angered him. Now he will do whatever he can to keep you from leading anyone else away. Remember, even though he is not a god, even though he can not force you to do anything, he is still the "prince of the power of the air"{Ephesians 2:2.} He is the "ruler of this world" {John 12:31}. Let's look again at the temptations of Jesus. This time, focus on how He responds to the Devil.

Matthew 4:
4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Remember, Jesus told us not to worry about our Physical needs. What we should eat, the cloths on our back. He went into great detail to tell us that these things are hardly important, yet rather "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." {Matthew 6:33} So if the Devil tempts you with Physical Needs, just remember what Jesus told you. Fear not, trust in God, your needs will be met.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
This is something you need to fully understand. The Devil knows The Word of God. He was there when it was written. He witnessed the things we read, first hand. He can and will use a twisted version of the Bible to try to convince you, that whatever he is enticing you with, is good. This is why it is so VERY important, that you spend time in The Word. If someone tells me "Why are you wasting your time? Even The Bible says "There is no God."" which it DOES. I can say to them, "The Word actually says "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."" But if I did not know that it was Psalm 14:1, or more specifically, part of Psalm 14:1 that they were quoting to me, I may believe the lie. 

Whole Religions exist today to attempt to keep people from God. I'll say that again. The World is full of Religions that have been formed to keep people from God. These are the Traditions of Men. World Religions. Religions that Jesus Himself even called out. Make no mistake about it. Religion is NOT Salvation.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Ultimately, the most powerful, and easy, temptation the Devil can, and will use, is that of which caused his fall from Grace. It is what caused Man's fall from Grace. It works more often than not. The desire to be god like or a god. It is a quest for power and control. It is also a violation of the first and greatest Commandment.

Exodus 20:
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
If you think about it Look at the Ten Commandments

Have no God before God.
Do not commit Idolatry.
Thou shall not take the Lord's Name in Vain
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honour thy father and thy mother.
Thou shall not commit Murder
Thou shall not commit Adultery.
Thou shall not Steal.
Thou shall not bare false witness.
Thou shall not covet.


Think on these things and what they truly mean, then look around and see the State of the Country and the World. You tell me that the Devil doesn't know what he is doing. We will revisit this Series soon. But understand that, now, as a Child of God, you need to be prepared for anything that may come.

2 Peter 3:
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Sorry folks, the truth is, it is going to get much worse. However, the devil is already defeated. Luke wrote,,

Luke 10:
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Truth is, when you become a Child of God, you now have the same Spirit that raised Christ Himself from the dead. You have no reason to fear ANYTHING. "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Get into The Word. Eat it. Digest it. If you can sing favorite songs, or quote scenes from your favorite movie, you can learn and understand The Word. Peter tells us...

1 Peter 5:
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
This is not new. Whatever you are being tempted with, is not new. Understand that the Devil is real. Understand How he operates. KNOW The Word and Truth according to God. Be steadfast in Faith. And Grow in your one on one relationship with Jesus and God Himself.

The Devil has already lost. You have already won. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."{Matthew 24:12} How to overcome the Devil? How do you overcome a Liar? Know the Truth. 

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Devil, How He Operates

How he operates


There is a War going on. Last time we discussed the fact that the Enemy, the Devil, is very real. Although he is NOT a god. He is an Angel, and a fallen one at that. He is still very powerful, and can really mess up your life. It is important to understand this, and understand, how he operates.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." {Genesis 1}

Now there are a few things here that you really need to understand. First, God said to Man "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Now we can discuss this curious word, "replenish" {To fill again} another time. That is an interesting study all by itself. But God gave domination over all His Creation, to Man.

Then we meet Satan for the first time. Remember, Satan fell because of the original Sin. Which was what? Pride, Greed, Envy, quest for power, and a quest to become God. What did Satan tempt Adam and Eve with? Pride, Greed, Envy, quest for power, and a quest to become God. "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." When Adam ate of it, having all authority over all that is, he gave his God given authority over to the Devil. And the Devil has been in charge of this world ever since. {Genesis 3}

Now did the Devil make Adam do this? Nope. He tempted him. Temptation is an invitation. It is not a forced action. The Devil, Satan, invited Adam to partake in the forbidden fruit. He made it desirable. He made it seem harmless. He made it seem as if there was a great reward for giving in and doing it. He could not make Adam do it. Think about this. Adam had "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Which means, he had domination over that Serpent that started talking to him.

Since that time, when Adam yielded his power and authority, in essence, knelt before Satan, Satan has become the lord of this world. The Word declares that the Devil is "prince of the power of the air" {Ephesians 2:2.} He is the "ruler of this world" {John 12:31}. Simply put, Satan is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the people who reject Christ, and those that chose not to believe.

The sad truth is, this is the majority of people walking the Earth today. Satan also influences the World’s Philosophies, Education System, the Thoughts, Ideas, Speculations, and of course, even Religions of the World, are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions. Make no mistake about it, Satan is extremely powerful, and if you reject the Truth, and or allow him to, he will destroy your life.

How does Satan operate?

Physical needs
Pride
Greed for Power

Let's look at Satan's attempt to tempt Jesus.

Matthew 4:
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Now think about this. Jesus fasted for forty days and nights. He had not eaten for a while, and his body was telling him, "you better eat something." So what is Satan's first temptation? Jesus's physical need. Food. Did you know that your physical needs can become a vehicle to Sin?

This is where addiction comes into play. People can become addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, yes even food. It is a need of our Body to feel pleasure. It is a need of our body to feel full. It is a need of our body to be happy. What would the Sin have been if Jesus was to eat something. Seriously? Who ever heard of eating food being Sin? What was Jesus doing? He was Fasting. Satan was attempting to get Him to break his Fast. Is it a Sin for me to eat Donuts? If I'm Fasting and Praying for something, then yes it would be.

Are you addicted to Drugs? That is now a Physical Need. You have to have them. Alcohol? Sex? These are the obvious. Some times though, it is not as obvious. When you have not eaten in a while, you become physically weak and can be easily tempted. When you are hungry, or become addicted to Drugs and Alcohol, you will do just about anything to get food, or more. Even to the point of lying, stealing, cheating, and even up to Murder.

Physical Needs can become a powerful tool of Satan. All he has to do is remind you that "need" something, and convince you that there is nothing wrong with getting what you "need."

When that failed? Satan attempted this.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
If you be? Satan knew who Jesus was. He knew that Jesus could without a doubt, do anything He chose to, and nothing could harm Him if He so chose. Pride? You are the Son of God. Nothing can hurt you. You are far better than this World and you can do whatever you want. Prove it.

The Devil will tell you, you are great, beautiful, successful, and admirable, especially when you are really in those positions. He will attempt to even try to convince you that he is the reason you are. Or he will attempt to tell you that if you want to stay in those positions, you must do this or that.

He will use Pride to keep you from God. Who needs God? Why would you want to go to Church with those Backwoods Hicks. Do you really want others telling you what you can and can't do? The World says there is no God. Your Neighbors do not believe.Your Family members do not believe. They are gonna think you are weird. They are going to think you are stupid. Look around you, God is nothing but an outdated and false belief system. Religion is for stupid people. You are not stupid. Why waste your time?

However, he can also use your Faith to tempt you. Does it not say that you can do anything you want and God must forgive you? Think about that. That means you have a free ticket to do anything. All you have to do is say sorry, and all will be well.

When all else failed, Satan then attempted to tempt Jesus with the original Sin. The desire to be God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
ALL the Kingdoms of the World. You see, Satan could tempt Jesus with this, because they belong to Satan already. He was saying, you know what is coming. These people you are here to save, will turn on you. They will abuse and kill you in a horrible way. Forget God. Kneel before me, and I will make you god of this world. You can rule over them however you see fit. You do not have to die at their hands. You can live a long life in total and complete control over these talking monkeys. Thankfully, this did not work.

This is not new. How did Satan attempt to tempt Job?

Job 1:
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
First Satan tempted him with Physical Needs. He asked God permission to Tempt him. God said, He is in your hand. His physical and material needs are under your control. He said "Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand." So Satan went forth and took away all Job had. The Devil even caused a "Great Wind" to take down Job's Eldest Son's house where Job's other Sons and Daughters were there gathered together, killing them. Yet, Job did not Sin.

So then Satan appeared again before God and asked God to inflict pain and sickness in Job's body. God again said "Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life." This fleshly shell we all live in, our Bodies, are physical. We need them to operate in the physical world. Who is in charge of the physical world? Yup. You got it. So Satan did inflict Job "with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown."

Now Job's story is an interesting Study all by itself, Job even said to his friends, who were convinced that Job was being punished by God due to some grievous Sin Job must have committed, "miserable comforters are ye all." His Wealth gone, his kids dead, his friends accusing him of Sin. Those Job loved telling him to curse God and die. Yet Job remained faithful. It was a happy ending.

The point is this. Satan can tempt you, in incredibly horrific ways, and he will tempt you in subtle whispers. He may do many things in your life. He will show up at the door of one addicted to alcohol and porn, with a naked woman holding a six pack. He will attempt to destroy friendships, Families, he will steal your finances. However, in all he may do, the one thing he can never do, is take your life. If you are a Child of God. If a Child of God, your life is no longer yours to give, and it sure enough is not his to take.

However, the truth is, in all that the Devil may do, he cannot "force" or "make" you do anything. We will talk more about that next time. Just understand that he IS the "prince of the power of the air"{Ephesians 2:2.} He is the "ruler of this world" {John 12:31}. The only way to even have a hope of overcoming the snares of the Devil is to understand that truth, and understand how he operates, and know, once you are Adopted into the Family of God, you are no longer of this world. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." " For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." {Romans 8}

Now think of this also. Job was tempted this severely, and remained faithful BEFORE Christ came and died for our Sins. Now, since that day, we have an advantage over Job. We have the Spirit of God in us. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

In reality, the Devil no longer stands a chance with us, as long as we understand this Truth. Again, we will talk about how to overcome next time. To start, you must be Adopted into the Family of God. You must become a New Creature. You must be born again.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Devil, He IS Real

He IS real.

Welcome to the new three part series, The Devil. In this series, we will be discussing three things.

He is real.
How he operates.
How to overcome.

Today we will be starting with the basics. Picture this. You wake up early in the morning on a Saturday. There is a War going on. You go outside and feel the cool of the morning. There is a War going on. You may decide to go into town to the local Bakery. You look around and see people coming and going. People jogging, walking dogs, just strolling down the Street. There is a War going on. The sound of Children laughing, playing. There is a war going on. Smell the sweet scents of fresh baked bread and pastries. There is a War going on. Truth is, you are on one side or the other.

However, this is not a war you can see. Well, not as you would think of a war. There are no bombs bursting in the air. Buildings collapsing. Body counts adding up. Bullets flying through the air. No. Well, not yet. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." {Ephesians 6:12} "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." {2 Corinthians 10:3-5}

As in any warfare, if you have any hopes in beating the Enemy, you must first understand the Enemy. Recognize who the Enemy is, how he operates, and how to beat him. So today, you will be introduced to the Devil. Yes, the Devil is very real. Though he may not be what you think.

First, is he real? One of the greatest accomplishments of the Devil, is convincing the World that he doesn't exist. No Devil, then no Hell. No Devil, no Hell, no Sin. No Sin, no reason for a Savior. No Savior, no God. No evil means no good. No Hell, then no Heaven. No judgement for Sin, if there is no Sin. Simply, live as you will.

Jesus tells us the Devil is real. "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you." {Luke 10:18-19} If he was not real, would Jesus warn us against him? Jesus told the Priests, and the Rulers of the Synagogues that reject Him {Jesus}, that "Ye are of your father the devil." {John 8:44}

The devil is very real. Let's go to...

Ezekiel 28:
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Who was God talking to? Lucifer. Son of the Morning. Some say the First Angel. The most beautiful Angel. In,,,,

Isaiah 14:
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.

19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.

20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
You see, the Devil is NOT, some red faced, horned head, tail waging, pitchfork wielding, demon straight out of a Hollywood Horror Movie. He is not a creature so hideous, that you would run in terror if you saw him. He is "son of the morning." He is as beautiful as "every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold." Truth is, if he was to walk into a Church, many would fall down and worship him, thinking he was Jesus Himself. He is what he is.

Second, he is NOT all powerful. This is an important fact for you to understand.The Devil IS the Lord of the Air. He is in control of this natural realm. As long as you are of this world, you are of him. You are in his hand. However, The Word tells us he needs permission to tempt the Children of God. We see this in Job 1 and 2. We see this when Jesus said to Peter "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:" {Luke 22:31}

We see this in The Word, when The Word declares "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." {James 4:7} It does not say, Resist the Devil and he MAY. It says " Resist the devil, and he WILL flee from you." We see this when Jesus tells us we should not fear the Devil. Or anything, but God Himself. "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." {Matthew 10:28}

Of course we see this in the end. When Satan is cast out and "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.?" So he is not all powerful. He is not a Creature that can simply come in and destroy you and your life and bring you into chains to torment you forever. That's Hollywood. Not the Devil.

But do not be misled. He IS very real. He is capable of many destructive things. He can ruin your life, if you let him. We will talk more about how he operates next time. He works in the ways he knows and the Sin that brought him down in the first place, is very much alive and well in this World. Pride. Think about this for a second. What was Satan's Sin? Pride, Greed, Envy, desire for power. The desire to be God.

Look at the world. "He with the most toys at the end wins." People will lie, cheat, steal, and even kill, for? Pride, Greed, Envy, desire for power. The desire to be God. Mankind fell for Pride, Greed, Envy, desire for power. The desire to be God. God told Adam not to eat of one tree. The Devil told Eve what? “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” {Genesis 3:4-5}

Truth is, it came into our nature, human nature, then. "that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Truth is, we do not need the Devil to tempt us. We are evil all by ourselves. We create evil things. We do evil things. We are evil. The Devil get's blamed for a lot of things we do, yet, truth is, it is nothing more than Human Nature. It is who we are. It is what we do.

Timothy warns the early church, that if a man desires to serve in the church, he must beware that he is in danger of falling for the same temptation of the Devil himself.

1 Timothy 3:
1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
That is our nature now. The same nature that brought down the Devil, is in our flesh. This is why it is important to be Adopted out of the family of the Devil, and into the Family of God. This is why it is so important to be "Born Again." To become a Child of God. For "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Where the Spirit of Life is, the Spirit of Death no longer has any effect. The Devil can Tempt you. You can do Sinful things. But ultimately, you belong to God. Without the Spirit of Life, you belong to the Devil himself. He doesn't have to do anything. You are already his.

Third, the end result of the Devil, is death. He has already failed. There is a War going on. You are on one side or the other. Here is the thing though, unlike the Wars in the Natural, we already know who wins and who loses. God wins. The Devil loses. Who's side are you on? Are you sure?

God is not some old breaded man, sitting on a throne, waiting to see how many He can cast into Hell. He is not sitting there waiting for you to slip up, so He can punish you. He never intended you to go to Hell at all. He created Hell for one purpose. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" {Matthew 25:41}He never intended man to go there. He wants as many to be saved from that as possible. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."{2nd Peter 3:9}

Hell itself is a fascinating study. One we may visit soon. Understand this, it was NEVER intended for you. The whole reason there is a Hell, is for Satan and the Angels that followed him. So make no mistake about it. The Devil is real. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" {1 Peter 5:8}

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? He is the only way to be freed from the Devil. The only way to resist the Devil. The only way to Salvation. Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bonnie Boxes of Love

Please take a second and check them out.

Hey folks,

I know this is not a normal posting day. For some of you, seeing this start with "Hey Folks" most likely brings back some memories. As some of you know, I started out Online back in the early nineties, on various Posting and Debate Boards. A few years later came my Political Blog. Over the years I have met and become friends with some great people. One of whom I would like to introduce to you today.

Her name is Barbara Hull Culhane. Her Husband Bill and I had many debates over the years, and became great friends, He has since passed on. He will never be forgotten.

Barbara and I have continued our friendship ever since. So when she sent me a message and asked if we could talk about Bonnie Boxes of Love, of course the answer was Yes. We had a very nice conversation, and I will most definitely be contributing to the cause, and may, even start a Martin Country Chapter with my Wife Laura.

If you are like me, you know someone who has been effected by Cancer. I have lost a couple of dear loved ones to the Disease and have educated myself a great deal in Cancer Research and Scientific Studies. I Pray that in time, we will discover a Cure for this nasty and ravishing Disease. The current Breakthroughs in several area's seems to be very promising.

Have you ever walked into a Hospital or Treatment Center and looked around? Seriously. You see many folks sitting in the Infusion Chairs, laying in the beds. Some with loved ones. Some facing it all alone. Some sad, some sick from the Treatments. It is never an all that happy sight.

So what are Bonnie Boxes of Love, and how can you get involved? This from their own Website says it all.
I originally called them Because We Care Boxes then a valiant warrior, one who seemed to always be able to pick everyone else up ended her cancer journey on Feb. 1st in her memory I renamed them Bonnie Boxes With the help of so many others and especially Kathy Donner Parara in Oregon, we began to share the idea with others on our facebook pages~and it has taken off..
I'll say it has taken off. In one month. ONE Month folks. People have started to join and even start their own Chapters. Currently, There are Chapters in AZ, CA, FL, GA, NY, OR, PA, SC, WI. in just the first month. Again from the Website...
This group has gathered to create an ongoing effort to fill shoe boxes for patients sitting in Infusion Centers in our area..so that we can bring them a little bit of love and comfort~These boxes, once decorated and filled with donated items,will then be delivered to the Nurses to hand out to patients who are alone or are having a difficult day~
Our aim is to show that others care and have been there,and understand and most importantly to give them hope~
So what goes in them? Well, Hand lotion, bottle water, chapsticks, pocket size hand sanitizer , Warm fluffy socks, soft Hats indoor gloves, pens, Small notebooks, Small inspirational books, anything homemade like bracelets, fridge magnets, necklaces. Tea cozy covers for the little tissue packets, soft stuffed animals, giumbly pets, can of ginger ale, ginger tea bags, Solar flowers, bubbles, Dove sensitive bar soap unscented , eye glass cases, crossword puzzle books , word search books, magazine light reading please, dark chocolate candy. Pretzels,chips, crackers, and things of this sort.

My Wife makes hats and these cute little stuffed Animals. She has already starting planning on what she will be making soon to put in the boxes we will be creating for the cause. You can too. If you are like me, and NOT handy or creative, you can always go out and but some of the needed items. If you wish, you can even Donate to the cause financially.

Please folks, you know me, I do not advertise ANYTHING. Especially here on TAG. However, I truly and whole hardheartedly believe that these Boxes can, and do, put a smile on the Faces of those facing this terrible and in most cases, terminal Disease. Especially if the person is facing it alone. Won't ya take a few moments and check them out.

If you DO have time, and you feel perhaps God is leading you to start a Chapter in your Area, PLEASE take the first step and Pray. Take the Second step and check out their Website. Then take the Third, and contact them directly. You can Email them from the Site, and join them on FACEBOOK. As they say "It's that easy all you need is a Heart and some free time to put a smile on some ones face. Cancer effects everyone. Won't you give a little of your time to help put a smile on a cancer patients face.

Cindy, Cathy, Barbara, and all those you will put a smile on their faces Thank you for your time and consideration. I thank you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Peter

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Can You Defend the Faith Without Ranting? Dr. Joe McKeever

Can You Defend the Faith Without Ranting? 

By Dr. Joe McKeever

“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels” (2 Timothy 2:23).

In Second Timothy 4, Paul’s final charge to his young protégé is to “preach the word, be ready in season and out, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (4:2). After all, he says, in the end times people are going to be clamoring for false teachers who will say what they want to hear, who will spread myths and will shape doctrine for their own purposes.

So, God’s people—and particularly His preachers—must hang tough and “endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (4:5).

However, no quarreling please.

That’s what he said. “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition ... ” (2:24-25).

Tough assignment, to be sure.

Stand firm, preach the word, rebuke error and be nice about it.

And sometimes, you simply walk away from an argument.

1. In 2:14, there is to be no word-wrangling. Why? It is “useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.”

2. In 2:16, there is to be no “worldly and empty chatter.” Why? Because “it will lead to further ungodliness.”

3. In 2:23, we are to avoid “foolish and ignorant speculations.” Why? Because “they produce quarrels.”

4. In 4:4, try to stay away from those who “turn away their ears from the truth.” Why? They “will turn aside to myths.”

There are among us preachers and theologians who love a good fight. Some denominations put a high prize on their debates and even publish the accounts verbatim. Perhaps there’s some value to this, I don’t know.

Our New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary does something most unusual. Each winter, they sponsor what they call the Greer-Heard Debates in which they invite in several well-known pastors and/or seminary professors to defend the faith in a series of conferences. In particular they invite a prominent atheist or, shall we say, heretic to engage in a debate on the subject for which he is notorious. In past debates, they’ve focused on whether the Bible is inerrant, evolution is plausible for Christians and Jesus Christ is divine. (Anyone wishing more information may google “Greer-Heard” or go to the campus website www.nobts.edu. Dr. Bob Stewart directs the event each year.)

The fascinating thing about these debates, perhaps, is that they are conducted respectfully and intelligently. The prominent atheist gets a warm and gracious reception. No one attacks him, either publically in the services or privately in the dining hall.

More and more, the outside academic community across New Orleans is drawn to the seminary campus for these events. Humanist professors from secular schools have remarked that their respect for Christians in general and Baptists in particular has gone through the roof as a result.

Has an atheist been converted to orthodox Christianity as a result of these debates? Probably not, and I will venture to say that is not the point.

The greatest benefit, as far as I can see, comes to the men and women sitting in the pews across Leavell Chapel who are taking in all of this, hearing charge and defense, counter-charge and comeback. Whether they follow the finer points of the debate or not, one thing is sure: these seminary students and pastors walk away with a stronger confidence that their faith is able to stand on its own feet and need not fear attack, questions or differing opinions.

After all, God has not given His preachers and missionaries and teachers the spirit of fear, timidity or cowardice. He is not pleased when His preachers shy away from controversial teachings that someone may find offensive. The preacher who pleases the Heavenly Father will preach the Word, will be ready in season and out of season, will reprove, rebuke, exhort and endure hardship.

To accomplish this—a big order to be sure—God has given to His children a spirit of power with which to face the enemy, a spirit of love with which to deal with people, and a spirit of a disciplined mind with which to face all unknowns which lie ahead.

No one can do any of this in the flesh and by himself.

We will be needing the power of Christ within us and the people of God surrounding us. Preachers need to belong to a larger community of ministers of the same faith to encourage and assist one another.

Paul said, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom, preach the Word!” (4:1-2)

Indeed.


Dr. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist and the retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Currently he loves to serve as a speaker/pulpit fill for revivals, prayer conferences, deacon trainings, leadership banquets and other church events. Visit him and enjoy his insights on nearly 50 years of ministry at JoeMcKeever.com.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

1 Peter 1

A message from Peter to "The Strangers."

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Who are "the Strangers?" Some would have you believe that they are exiled Jews. They say this because it was clear that Peter was "The Rock" on which Jesus said He would build His Church, meaning to bring the Gospel to the Jewish People. Remember, Jesus came for the Jews, not for us. It was Saul, who became Paul, that Jesus appointed to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Some others argue that "The Strangers" DO reference the Gentiles who have been converted. Being Strangers to the Jewish Religion and Traditions. Yet have now heard the Gospel and have accepted Christ. Now adopted and converted. Now Children of God and the early Churches of Christ, "Christians."

Point is, does it really matter? Remember, "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.:" In today's terminology, Neither Black or White, Male or Female, Rich or Poor, ETC. We are all one, once we are Adopted into the Family of God. There is only one color in God's Family. That color is Crimson Red. The color of the blood Jesus shed for you and me.

Think about this as well, if you get so caught up in the seventh and eighth word that Peter wrote here, you totally miss the message Peter is trying to convey. What is Peter actually writing here. I don't know and I don't care, Strangers are Jews, no Gentiles, no Christians, whatever. Get the point? Truth is, it doesn't matter who they were before the Gospel. What matters now, is the Gospel and the Adoption into the Family of God. It doesn't matter who they were, but who they are now. This is Peter's Message.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
"The Strangers" have become Children of God. He is talking to YOU. You were once a Stranger to the ways of God. You were once a Stranger to the Family of God. But now, through the "resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," you are now a new creature. Born again. Adopted into the Family of God.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Remember what Jesus told Thomas? "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Peter is conveying this same principle here. "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

Simply put, Peter is telling new Children of God, that it is through their Faith in Jesus, and His Resurrection, that they are Saved. That even though Trials and Tribulation may come, the end result of their steadfastness in their Faith in Jesus, is the key to their reward, which is Everlasting Life with God.
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Isaiah 53:
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and theLord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
This is a clear picture of who Jesus will be. He is the fulfillment of the Prophesy, and the only one that does fulfill it. He is the key. He is the Way, Truth, and Life. He is the only door. He is the only Truth.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
In other words, Peter is telling them, the things we teach you are NOT the traditions of men. They are not religious tenants. They are the Truth according to, and taught by, GOD.
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
"Gird up the loins of your mind." Read The Word. Learn the ways of God. Grow in Christ. "Be Sober." Clear headed. Jesus told us this. "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." {John 8:31-32}

"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:" Paul wrote this.

Romans 8:
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
James put it this way. "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." {James 4:4} You cannot truly be a Child of God, if you do not separate yourself from the World. If you keep doing the things you use to do, you cannot please God. You must learn Him. His Way. His Word.

"Be ye holy; for I am holy."

Leviticus 11
44 For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

45 For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
God brought YOU out of the Land of Bondage. The World. He raised you from the Dead. He gave you the Land of Milk and Honey. You have a Promised Land. You are His Child. So "be holy, for I am holy."
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Remember the 11th Commandment? "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." Jesus {John 13:34}
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Jesus told us this. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." When asked to explain this, Jesus said this. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."

You see, God created all that is, was, or ever will be. God created Man, and gave him authority over all. Man, in turn, gave this authority over to Satan. From that point on, we are all born into Sin. Jesus told us, there is only one difference in Man. Child of God, or not. He told us this. "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

We must be "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." We must accept the Adoption, or there is no difference in us and them. "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:" There is a time and a season for all things.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." {Ecclesiastes 3:1-8}
We are all born into the World the same way. There will come a time when we leave this world. How we spend our time here is our own Free Will. The choices we make now, determine three things. First, who we are. Second, how we live. Third, were we go when that time comes. We must always remember, "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." Everything else is temporal. Jesus Himself told us this. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." {Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33} Just to make sure you did not miss that.

You must be born again. Adopted into the Family of God. You must grow in Faith, and Faith comes by the Word. You must learn the Ways of God, what Jesus tells us about every and anything, and follow THAT. The World will tell you many things, but the World will pass away. Do you want to live a temporal life, or a life everlasting with The Lord? The Choice is yours.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Psalm 61

Psalm 61 1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:...