12/29/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Righteousness and Ice-cream


Righteousness and Ice-cream

Because I believe that Jesus will return and make this world better and that the redeemed of all ages will live here in God-imitating righteousness I believe that earth will keep its Jubilee (as the old hymn Jesus Saves says). Because I believe that, I agree with the old man in Irving Bacheller’s little book called Eben Holden when he described heaven in the terms that follow.

Old doctor Bigsby, so faithful to the community of Paradise Valley and so compassionate toward the sick, was out on a bitter, 30-below-zero wintry night that was simply too much for him. His horse brought him to David Brower’s house where “uncle” Eben Holden and his young nephew Billy were staying as permanent guests as well as workers. The doctor recovered for a few moments in the warmth but died with words of concern for some patient he had yet to visit.

“If a man oughter go to heaven, he had,” Eben said of the doctor.
“Think he’s in heaven?” Billy asked.
The uncle said there was no doubt about it and the boy asked what kind of place heaven was.
“To my way of thinkin’ it’ll be a good deal like David Brower’s farm—nice smooth land and no stun on it, an’ hills an’ valley’s an’ white clover aplenty, an’ wheat an’ corn higher’n a man’s head. No bull thistles, no hard winters, no narrer contracted fools; no long faces, an’ plenty o’ work. Folk sayin’ ‘How d’y do ‘stid o’ goodbye,’ all the while—comin’ sted o’ goin’. There’s goin’ t’ be some kind o’ fun there. I aint’ no idee what tis. Folks like it an’ I kind o’ believe ‘at when God gin a thing t’ everybody he thinks purty middlin well uv it.”

I believe that pretty well sums up the new heaven and earth phase of human living when the Christ returns to right all wrongs and set everything in order.

But beyond the joys and pleasures of full human life with golden harvests, fully loaded orchards and all the other forms of fruitfulness which the earth simply aches to produce—beyond all that, “heaven” will be that way of living where we’ll rejoice in doing righteousness and when we’ll find as much pleasure in being good as we find when enjoying the rewards of honest work and or the pleasures of good food and good company.

I can only imagine—and with difficulty—a coming time when I will enjoy doing the right thing for the right reasons as much as I enjoyed coming home from digging ditches when I was a young guy. I wish to find deep pleasure in being selfless, to find it thrilling to speak the truth openly and with the full intention of helping and not hurting. I usually eat breakfast early and it’s something I look forward to when I go to bed at night. I’d like to feel the same degree of pleasure in being kind and caring that I feel in having my cereal and wheaten bread in the quietness of the morning.

I experience that to some degree now and then but you can’t know how far I am from being where I wish to be in this matter. I don’t spend hours in the day dreaming of that level of spiritual maturity—I’m not that spiritually refined—but when I do reflect on it I feel both an awful dissatisfaction with myself and a deep hunger for the joy of doing right!

I’m looking forward to the day when Ethel can walk and is done with the years of chronic illness she has toiled with, I’m looking forward to the day when Death has been obliterated and the days when the planet is nurtured and pours forth all its gifts for all its peoples but in my better moments it’s Christ-likeness I want for me and mine, and others. I want the rich blessings and the disease-free and death-free life but sweet Lord Jesus I want to know the joy, the thrill, the pleasure of being a person of integrity, righteousness and holiness. I want more than doing and saying what is right—I want the sheer pleasure that comes along with all that.

I want to enjoy being righteous as I enjoy a good meal when I’m hungry or a great shower when I’m dirty. I want the pleasure in doing righteousness that I find when eating a bowl of vanilla ice-cream with a chocolate syrup covering.

Mmmm. Love the very thought of it!

Exorcism, Demons, Witchcraft, and Astrology by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1198

Exorcism, Demons, Witchcraft, and Astrology

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Many theories have been advanced to account for the origin of demons. Some say demons are the offspring of angels cohabiting with women (Genesis 6:1-4). But angels are sexless beings who apparently are incapable of such unions (Matthew 22:30). Instead, “sons of God” and “daughters of men” in Genesis chapter six is an idiomatic expression for the intermingling of good people with bad people—which inevitably results in moral corruption (1 Corinthians 15:33) [see Major, 1993].
Some say demons are the spirits of wicked dead men whom God permitted to leave the hadean realm to indwell some people in harmony with His divine purposes. Still others say demons are fallen angels who were allowed to escape their confinement (cf. Jude 6) to accomplish some divine purpose. The fact of the matter is, the Bible simply does not tell us where demons came from. No legitimate or useful purpose is served by dwelling on the matter.
On the other hand, the Bible does tell us many things about demons. For example, demons are spirits (Matthew 8:16; Luke 24:39). Demons are always depicted as unclean, evil, and malevolent. They are associated with Satan’s influence (Matthew 9:34; 12:24,43,45; Luke 11:15). Demons also are shown to be conscious, intelligent entities who possess true knowledge of God and Christ. In Mark 1:24, a demon spoke to Jesus, “I know who you are—the holy one of God.” Demons exercised volition and even locomotion (Matthew 12:44-45).
Demons frequently caused physical and/or mental illness. For instance, in Matthew 9:32, the victim of demon possession experienced “dumbness,” i.e., the inability to talk. Such illnesses were distinguishable from the demons themselves (Matthew 4:24). Some say demons have never actually existed, and that the Bible account of demons is simply the superstitious, pre-scientific explanation of epilepsy and other physical or emotional disorders. But in the New Testament, a clear distinction is drawn between demons and the illnesses that a demon might cause. Some demons had superhuman strength (Mark 5:4; Acts 19:16). No reason is given in the New Testament for why some individuals were singled out for demon possession. Included were men (Matthew 9:32), women (Luke 8:2), and even children (Mark 7:30).
What was the purpose of demons, and what was their relationship to God? It is clear from the Bible that God had ultimate control over them. For example, in Luke 10:17, the seventy returned from their preaching tour and said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us through your name.” A careful study of the New Testament will disclose the fact that demon possession was divinely permitted to show the supreme authority of Christ and His inspired representatives. During His earthly stay, Jesus demonstrated His power over: (1) nature and the created order (Mark 4:31); (2) disease (Mark 1:32-34); (3) physical substances (John 2:9); (4) death (John 11:44); and (5) the spirit realm and Satan (Mark 1:27). This supreme authority and manifestation of power set the stage for the establishment of His kingdom. In Luke 11:20, Jesus said: “But if I, with the finger of God, cast out demons, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” The reader is urged to study carefully John 12:31, Ephesians 2:2 and 4:8, Colossians 2:15, Acts 10:38, Luke 10:17-20, and Matthew 12:28-29. John explained that “he who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose, the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). John’s statement correlates well with Hebrews 2:14, where the writer states: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
These passages show that when Christ effected His death, resurrection, and kingdom, Satan’s power was dealt a blow that resulted in a measure of limitation. He was restrained to the extent that direct, supernatural influence over a human being ended. Just as the ability to expel demons has ceased (Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 13:8-10), so the ability of demons to possess humans has ceased. When direct miraculous ability gradually ceased as the apostolic age drew to a close, so demonic activity also ceased.
That is the Bible picture. This picture is very different from the claims being made today regarding demon possession and Satanism. In the New Testament, Jesus expelled evil spirits publicly and in the presence of multitudes (Luke 4:36). But much of the work of exorcists today is hidden and only reported second hand. The alleged exorcisms by those who are daring enough to operate publicly are contrived and unconvincing.
In the New Testament, expulsion of demons was achieved by a word with immediate results. For example, “Jesus rebuked the demon; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour” (Matthew 17:18). Read also Acts 19:12. But exorcism today is a long, drawn-out process in which multiple attempts are made. In the New Testament, demon possession caused the malfunction of otherwise normal body traits. You simply do not find in the New Testament the theatrical manifestations alleged by those who affirm demon possession occurs today—fire from the mouth, bulging eyes, transparent teeth, green slime spewing forth, and electricity emitted from fingers.
Another significant difference between demon possession in the Bible and alleged demon possession today is that in the New Testament, demons were respectful of deity and acknowledged Jesus as the “holy one of God” (Mark 1:24; 3:11). Demons knew that Jesus ultimately would banish them to torment (Matthew 8:29). They did not blaspheme deity. But claims today include curses and blasphemy directed against God.
In view of these biblical facts, what must we conclude? Demons do not possess people today. The Old Testament predicted that demon possession would cease in the first century.
In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day says the Lord of hosts that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land (Zechariah 13:1-2).
In addition, the Bible everywhere condemns those who practice spiritualism, sorcery, witchcraft, astrology, and all other forms of divination. Moses warned the Israelites as they were about to enter Canaan:
When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the lord; and because of these detestable things the lord your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, NASB).
To God, all of these magical arts were an abomination.
Isaiah declared that all of Babylon’s sorceries and spells would be unable to avert the punishment that God would inflict against her (Isaiah 47:8-15). This observation points to a significant conclusion. The Bible repeatedly portrays those who claim sorcerous powers as fakes and counterfeits (e.g., Genesis 41:8; Exodus 7:10-12; Daniel 2:2-11). Even the action of the so-called “witch of Endor,” who actually is identified in the text as a “medium” (NKJV) or having a “familiar spirit” (KJV) [1 Samuel 28:3ff.], must be deemed fraudulent for three reasons: (1) she was surprised that a spirit actually appeared (vs. 12); (2) she thought the spirit was elohim—the Hebrew word for God or gods (vs. 13); and (3) she did not recognize Samuel, but had to describe him to Saul who in turn recognized him (vs. 14). In the New Testament, the claims of both Simon in Acts 8 and Elymas in Acts 13 also were bogus. All these sorcerers and astrologers were fakes who had no real power—though they fooled a lot of people into thinking they did.
Astrology, witchcraft, sorcery, spiritualism, and yes, those who claim to be “psychic mediums,” are all condemned by God. Why? Because these practices implicitly present themselves as substitutes for God, the one and only true power of the Universe, and His Word, the one and only valid spiritual guide. No wonder witchcraft is listed as a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:20). No wonder the Bible declares in no uncertain terms that “sorcerers...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). The only “crossing over” that is actually occurring is by those whose spirits exit their bodies (i.e., they die) and who then are transported to the hadean realm to await the Day of Judgment and eternity. Their abode is fixed and unchanging (Luke 16:26-31).

CONCLUSION

The Bible speaks decisively and definitively on the subject of demon possession, witchcraft, astrology, sorcery, divination, enchantment, and wizardry. With a united and concerted voice, God’s Word condemns it and pronounces it false. People could be possessed by demons for a brief period of time in the first century. But this phenomenon has ceased. Those who wish to be Christians—those who wish to be pleasing to God—will give no credence to such claims today. No doubt, many of us like to break open that fortune cookie at the oriental restaurant and read the note inside; we might even occasionally glance at our horoscope in the newspaper—but only as a source of amusement, because there is absolutely no validity to it. The moment a person puts trust in such, and thinks that the future is determined by such, he or she is trusting in something other than God, and is sinning.
The only reliable guide in life is the Bible. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). The Word of God is living and active, quick and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). It is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). By that Word we will be judged one day (John 12:48). May we set aside all other claims to guidance and rely solely and strictly upon the Bible, wonderful words of life—the all-sufficient and authoritative Word of God.

REFERENCES

Major, Trevor (1993), “Genesis 6:1-4 and the ‘Sons of God,’” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/reprints_pdf/sonsgod.pdf.

From Mark Copeland... The Problem With Riches (Mark 10:17-27)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   The Problem With Riches (10:17-27)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our text, we read of a rich man who was so right, yet wrong...
   a. He came to the right person - Mk 10:17
      1) He came to Jesus
      2) Who could tell Him the way to eternal life
   b. He asked the right questions - Mk 10:17
      1) "What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"
      2) "What do I still lack?" - cf. Mt 19:20
   c. He certainly received the right answers - Mk 10:19-21
      1) "...if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments"
         (suitable for one living under the OT covenant) - cf. Mt 19:17-19
      2) "If you want to be perfect, go, sell...give to the poor...and
         come, follow Me" (fitting for one who would become a disciple
         and follow Jesus during His ministry) - cf. Mt 19:21
   d. But in the end, he made the wrong decision - Mk 10:22
      1) He went away sorrowful
      2) For he had great possessions

2. As the rich man went away sadly, Jesus told His disciples about the
   difficulty of riches...
   a. It is hard for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of
      God - Mk 10:23-24
   b. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle - Mk 10:25

3. What is it about being rich that makes salvation so difficult...?
   a. Are we aware of the dangers of riches?
   b. Do we have the proper attitudes toward wealth, whether rich or
      poor?

[Let's first consider...]

I. THE PROBLEM WITH RICHES

   A. THE ABSORBING INTEREST OF RICHES...
      1. Riches do not satisfy, and we foolishly think that simply more
         riches will bring satisfaction - cf. Ec 1:8; 5:10
      2. With riches comes the preoccupation with them:  how to use,
         maintain, store, etc.
      -- Like a black hole, the accumulation of riches can absorb what
         time and energy we have so that we have little for anything
         else (such as family, church, the Lord)

   B. THE DECEITFUL PROMISE OF RICHES...
      1. Jesus warned about the deceitfulness of riches - Mk 4:19
      2. Riches promise much, but really offer little in return
         a. They can easily disappear, rust, or be stolen - Pr 23:5; Mt 6:19
         b. They cannot buy one's salvation - Ps 49:6-9,16-20
         c. Neither can they protect one from God's wrath - Zep 1:18
      -- Riches can deceive one into thinking they are in need of
         nothing; the parable of the rich fool illustrates the folly of
         such thinking - Lk 12:16-21

   C. THE FOOLISH PRIDE OF RICHES...
      1. Wealth tends to promote a sense of arrogance and pride - cf.
         Deu 8:11-17
      2. It was such pride that was the downfall of Sodom and Israel
         - Eze 16:49-50; Hos 13:4-6
      -- Blinded by such pride, one will not seek God - Ps 10:4

   D. THE HARDENING SELFISHNESS OF RICHES...
      1. The wealthy, while in a position to help others, often close
         their hearts to the cry of the poor
      2. This was one of Israel's sins - Am 2:6; 5:11-12; 8:4-6
      -- Abusing the poor to make money, failing to respond to their
         cries for justice, interested more in money than the welfare of
         the poor, such are the problems that often afflict the rich

[Certainly not all who are rich are guilty of such things.  Some of the
most godly people in the Bible were rich (Job, Abraham, Joseph, David,
Solomon, Barnabas, Philemon, Lydia).  But these are reasons why it is so
hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  If they let mammon
become their god, they will not be willing to serve the true God! (cf.
Mt 6:24)  From what we have seen about the danger of wealth, let's now
draw some...]

II. LESSONS GLEANED FROM THE PROBLEM OF RICHES

   A. THE FOLLY OF COVETOUSNESS...
      1. Why be so anxious to be rich, when riches might prove to be a
         curse for us?
      2. Besides, covetousness is viewed by God as a form of idolatry
         - Ep 5:5; Col 3:5
      3. It not a sin to be rich, but the desire to be rich is wrong
         a. Those who desire to be rich will fall into temptation, and
            not go unpunished - 1Ti 6:9; Pr 28:20
         b. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil - 1Ti 6:10
            1) For which some have strayed from the faith
            2) And suffered many sorrows
      -- Beware of covetousness! - Lk 12:15

   B. THE DUTY OF CONTENTMENT...
      1. Contentment along with godliness is true wealth - 1Ti 6:6-7
         a. "He is richest who is content with the least." - Socrates
         b. "Contentment comes not so much from great wealth as from few
            wants" - Croft M. Pentz (The Complete Book of Zingers)
      2. Contentment is a virtue that is learned - e.g., Php 4:11-12
         a. By having a proper perspective on life - 1Ti 6:7
            1) "You can't take it with you"
            2) Ever see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer?
         b. By understanding what is truly essential in life - 1Ti 6:8
            1) Food and clothing...anything more is a luxury
            2) Realizing this, we will appreciate how blessed we are!
      -- Learn to be content! - He 13:5

   C. THE NEED FOR SYMPATHY FOR THE RICH...
      1. Jesus loved the rich young ruler - Mk 10:21
         a. We should certainly love those who are rich
         b. We should not be envious, nor despise them
      2. If the rich are overcome by their riches, we should remember...
         a. That the desire to be rich affects both the rich and those
            who want to be rich
         b. That the rich face many temptations that the poor do not
      -- The rich are in need of salvation as much as the poorest
         beggar! - Ro 3:23; 6:23

   D. FAITH IN THE POWER OF GOD...
      1. Though it is hard for a rich person to be saved, it is not
         impossible - Mk 10:23-27
         a. No one can save themselves, whether rich or poor
         b. But God can save the rich by His own power, through the
            gospel - Ro 1:16-17
      2. There were many rich people who became Jesus' disciples
         a. Those that supported Him during His earthly ministry - Lk 8:1-3
         b. Others such as Zacchaeus, Matthew, Barnabas, Lydia, Aquila
            and Priscilla, Gaius, Philemon
         c. Such people used their riches in service to God and others
            - cf. 1Ti 6:17-19
      3. Therefore...
         a. The rich should have the gospel preached to them
         b. We should pray for the rich
         c. We should rejoice greatly that there are rich men and women
            in the kingdom of God
      -- With God, nothing is impossible! - Mk 10:27

CONCLUSION

1. The issue of wealth is often one of contention...
   a. The poor are often envious of the rich
   b. The rich often despise the poor

2. But riches and poverty both have their difficulties...
   a. Wealth can one make one arrogant, less receptive to the gospel and
      the kingdom
   b. Poverty can make one bitter, filled with envy of others

3. Whether rich or poor, all should be aware...
   a. Of our need for salvation that comes only by the grace of God
   b. That we can share together in the riches of salvation

Have you become an heir to the "unsearchable riches of Christ"...? - Ep3:8

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading December 29



Bible Reading   

December 29

The World English Bible


Dec. 29
Zechariah 9-12

Zec 9:1 An oracle. The word of Yahweh is against the land of Hadrach, and will rest upon Damascus; for the eye of man and of all the tribes of Israel is toward Yahweh;
Zec 9:2 and Hamath, also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, because they are very wise.
Zec 9:3 Tyre built herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver like the dust, and fine gold like the mire of the streets.
Zec 9:4 Behold, the Lord will dispossess her, and he will strike her power in the sea; and she will be devoured with fire.
Zec 9:5 Ashkelon will see it, and fear; Gaza also, and will writhe in agony; as will Ekron, for her expectation will be disappointed; and the king will perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
Zec 9:6 Foreigners will dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
Zec 9:7 I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth; and he also will be a remnant for our God; and he will be as a chieftain in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.
Zec 9:8 I will encamp around my house against the army, that none pass through or return; and no oppressor will pass through them any more: for now I have seen with my eyes.
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zec 9:10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow will be cut off; and he will speak peace to the nations: and his dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Zec 9:11 As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I have set free your prisoners from the pit in which is no water.
Zec 9:12 Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope! Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.
Zec 9:13 For indeed I bend Judah as a bow for me. I have filled the bow with Ephraim; and I will stir up your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and will make you like the sword of a mighty man.
Zec 9:14 Yahweh will be seen over them; and his arrow will go flash like lightning; and the Lord Yahweh will blow the trumpet, and will go with whirlwinds of the south.
Zec 9:15 Yahweh of Armies will defend them; and they will destroy and overcome with sling stones; and they will drink, and roar as through wine; and they will be filled like bowls, like the corners of the altar.
Zec 9:16 Yahweh their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they are like the jewels of a crown, lifted on high over his land.
Zec 9:17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.
Zec 10:1 Ask of Yahweh rain in the spring time, Yahweh who makes storm clouds, and he gives rain showers to everyone for the plants in the field.
Zec 10:2 For the teraphim have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie; and they have told false dreams. They comfort in vain. Therefore they go their way like sheep. They are oppressed, because there is no shepherd.
Zec 10:3 My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the male goats; For Yahweh of Armies has visited his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as his majestic horse in the battle.
Zec 10:4 From him will come forth the cornerstone, from him the nail, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler together.
Zec 10:5 They shall be as mighty men, treading down muddy streets in the battle; and they shall fight, because Yahweh is with them; and the riders on horses will be confounded.
Zec 10:6 "I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them back; for I have mercy on them; and they will be as though I had not cast them off: for I am Yahweh their God, and I will hear them.
Zec 10:7 Ephraim will be like a mighty man, and their heart will rejoice as through wine; yes, their children will see it, and rejoice. Their heart will be glad in Yahweh.
Zec 10:8 I will signal for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them; and they will increase as they have increased.
Zec 10:9 I will sow them among the peoples; and they will remember me in far countries; and they will live with their children, and will return.
Zec 10:10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and there won't be room enough for them.
Zec 10:11 He will pass through the sea of affliction, and will strike the waves in the sea, and all the depths of the Nile will dry up; and the pride of Assyria will be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt will depart.
Zec 10:12 I will strengthen them in Yahweh; and they will walk up and down in his name," says Yahweh.
Zec 11:1 Open your doors, Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars.
Zec 11:2 Wail, fir tree, for the cedar has fallen, because the stately ones are destroyed. Wail, you oaks of Bashan, for the strong forest has come down.
Zec 11:3 A voice of the wailing of the shepherds! For their glory is destroyed: a voice of the roaring of young lions! For the pride of the Jordan is ruined.
Zec 11:4 Thus says Yahweh my God: "Feed the flock of slaughter.
Zec 11:5 Their buyers slaughter them, and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, 'Blessed be Yahweh, for I am rich;' and their own shepherds don't pity them.
Zec 11:6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land," says Yahweh; "but, behold, I will deliver the men everyone into his neighbor's hand, and into the hand of his king. They will strike the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them."
Zec 11:7 So I fed the flock of slaughter, especially the oppressed of the flock. I took for myself two staffs. The one I called "Favor," and the other I called "Union," and I fed the flock.
Zec 11:8 I cut off the three shepherds in one month; for my soul was weary of them, and their soul also loathed me.
Zec 11:9 Then I said, "I will not feed you. That which dies, let it die; and that which is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let those who are left eat each other's flesh."
Zec 11:10 I took my staff Favor, and cut it apart, that I might break my covenant that I had made with all the peoples.
Zec 11:11 It was broken in that day; and thus the poor of the flock that listened to me knew that it was the word of Yahweh.
Zec 11:12 I said to them, "If you think it best, give me my wages; and if not, keep them." So they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
Zec 11:13 Yahweh said to me, "Throw it to the potter, the handsome price that I was valued at by them!" I took the thirty pieces of silver, and threw them to the potter, in the house of Yahweh.
Zec 11:14 Then I cut apart my other staff, even Union, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
Zec 11:15 Yahweh said to me, "Take for yourself yet again the equipment of a foolish shepherd.
Zec 11:16 For, behold, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, who will not visit those who are cut off, neither will seek those who are scattered, nor heal that which is broken, nor feed that which is sound; but he will eat the flesh of the fat sheep, and will tear their hoofs in pieces.
Zec 11:17 Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! The sword will be on his arm, and on his right eye. His arm will be completely withered, and his right eye will be totally blinded!"
Zec 12:1 An oracle. The word of Yahweh concerning Israel. Yahweh, who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him says:
Zec 12:2 "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the surrounding peoples, and on Judah also will it be in the siege against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:3 It will happen in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples. All who burden themselves with it will be severely wounded, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it.
Zec 12:4 In that day," says Yahweh, "I will strike every horse with terror, and his rider with madness; and I will open my eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.
Zec 12:5 The chieftains of Judah will say in their heart, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yahweh of Armies their God.'
Zec 12:6 In that day I will make the chieftains of Judah like a pan of fire among wood, and like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they will devour all the surrounding peoples, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem will yet again dwell in their own place, even in Jerusalem.
Zec 12:7 Yahweh also will save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem not be magnified above Judah.
Zec 12:8 In that day Yahweh will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He who is feeble among them at that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Yahweh before them.
Zec 12:9 It will happen in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:10 I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn.
Zec 12:11 In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
Zec 12:12 The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
Zec 12:13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart;
Zec 12:14 all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. 

 
Dec. 29
Revelation 19, 20

Rev 19:1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God:
Rev 19:2 for true and righteous are his judgments. For he has judged the great prostitute, who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and he has avenged the blood of his servants at her hand."
Rev 19:3 A second said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke goes up forever and ever."
Rev 19:4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, "Amen! Hallelujah!"
Rev 19:5 A voice came forth from the throne, saying, "Give praise to our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, the small and the great!"
Rev 19:6 I heard something like the voice of a great multitude, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!
Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready."
Rev 19:8 It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Rev 19:9 He said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' " He said to me, "These are true words of God."
Rev 19:10 I fell down before his feet to worship him. He said to me, "Look! Don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy."
Rev 19:11 I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has names written and a name written which no one knows but he himself.
Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called "The Word of God."
Rev 19:14 The armies which are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in white, pure, fine linen.
Rev 19:15 Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.
Rev 19:16 He has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
Rev 19:17 I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky, "Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God,
Rev 19:18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, and small and great."
Rev 19:19 I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army.
Rev 19:20 The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
Rev 19:21 The rest were killed with the sword of him who sat on the horse, the sword which came forth out of his mouth. All the birds were filled with their flesh.

Rev 20:1 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished. After this, he must be freed for a short time.
Rev 20:4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn't worship the beast nor his image, and didn't receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 The rest of the dead didn't live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
Rev 20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,
Rev 20:8 and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9 They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Rev 20:11 I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.
Rev 20:14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Rev 20:15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.

From Gary... To move, moving and having moved


The world we live in is a wonderful place, an exciting amalgam of cultures, ideas and possibilities.  We are able to do things that would have seemed magical only a few centuries ago.  With this, there is the danger of thinking that we can do anything, be anything- even god. The allure of this is power, and when coupled with an ever increasing technology it can become irresistible.  The things in and of this world have the potential of separating us from GOD. (See Mt. 13:22) However, we are also in the time of year where it is customary to reflect upon the events of the past twelve months and determine to do better next year. Most people do not keep their "New Years Resolutions", but a few actually do. If you are feeling far away from God, then perhaps you have allowed other things to take HIS PLACE. If this is true for YOU, then listen to what the apostle James says directly to you!!!


James, Chapter 4
 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  9 Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.  10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.


It is a hard thing to admit sin and even more difficult to actually do something about it. But, when you sincerely do, God is there and will exalt you for your attitude and actions. God has never moved from you; its you who have moved from HIM!!!  You and I have life remaining to us- it is time we did things God's way!!! Let the New Year be a New Time for a New YOU!!! 


PS. You won't be alone- for I will be right with you, seeking God as well!!!