FRANCE RESPONDS [will it work?]
HUMANIZING VICTIMS[on all sides]
https://youtu.be/tfs7W2lHxJY [France responds]
https://youtu.be/xVgWS7LrZho [Humanizing victims]
1- Can you kill an ideology?
2- France strikes back
3- When are you [Jesus] ‘coming back’?
4- Iraq Christians
5- More troops?
6- Read the whole bible
7- Pray too!
9- Visigoths [Alaric?]
10- At war with Islam?
PAST POSTS [verses below]-
Judaism in transition.
Did they ‘move on’ ?
Who was Elazar ben Yair?
In the last video I spoke about what happened to the Jews after the letter to the Hebrews was written.
In a way- the Jewish people made a transition- though forcibly- into some of the exhortations we read about in this letter-
They no longer offered animal sacrifices- why?
The Jews saw the destruction of their city and temple in AD 70 under the Roman leader Titus-
Some continued to resist Rome- they took over the fortress of Masada- a great fortress built by the late King Herod- Herod the Great.
They held the fort for around 3 years- until the Romans built a rampart to invade it.
The fortress was built high on a cliff by the Dead Sea-
The only way to get to it was from a narrow road- called the snake.
It had no ‘hand rails’ or walls to protect you- it was built this way on purpose.
So when the Roman soldiers tried to capture the Jews in the fortress- a small group could easily fight back- and hold the fort.
So the Romans built this rampart- it took about 2 years- and right before they reached the fort- the Jews holed up inside killed themselves.
They chose 10 men by lot- who would kill all inside the fort [women and kids too].
Out of the 10- they drew lots for one of them to kill the other 9- then he killed himself.
Elazar ben Yair was the leader of the Jewish resistance- we read the account in the writings of Josephus Flavius- the great historian who too fought against the Romans.
Here’s a quote from Elazar ben Yair "Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice ...We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom."
Flavius wrote 4 great works [we read about this account in Jewish Wars] - after the rebellion was over- Josephus was brought to Rome- and he began writing his historical works in order to show the Romans that the Jewish people were a great people- with a great history.
Many scholars refer to Josephus works [mostly Antiquities] because they give us history that we don’t find in the bible- it sort of fills in the gaps- and gives us historical context.
The Bar Kokhba Revolt-
The Jews had their last revolt against Rome around 130-132 AD-
Under the leadership of Shimon Bar Kokhba they resisted Rome- Emperor Hadrian would eventually prevail- and ban the Jews from their land- and make laws outlawing Jewish religious practice.
Over time the Jewish people learned/adapted to practice their religion- without Temple/Priest or sacrifice.
The Seder meal became the memorial of Gods deliverance from Egypt- they use the bone of a lamb- but they do not actually have the Passover sacrifice [which the letter to the Hebrews exhorts them to do- to not practice animal sacrifices any more].
The priests were no more- but the people had Rabbis- one in particular tried to help the people transition after such a cultural loss.
He taught them that the ‘new way’ of sacrifice and worship would be thru acts of charity- and prayer ‘sacrifice and offering I do not want’ a quote from the Old testament Prophets.
So- in a way- the Jewish people did ‘move on’ from the Old sacrificial system- and embraced a ‘more Christian’ view of religion.
Of course there are Jews today who fully embrace Jesus as the messiah- but over all- as a people- their Old Law system was done away-
Today you have various forms of Judaism- ranking form the most strict- to the most liberal [we see this in Christianity as well].
But none of them practice ritual sacrifice any more-
Some Christians [and Jews] actually believe the Temple will be restored- and at that time the sacrifices will be re-instituted.
I actually do not hold to this end time view-
But for now- that system has been done away with [or put on hold- if that’s your view].
And the ‘new works’ of religion- are charity and prayer and Mercy-
The same theme we read in this letter to the Hebrews-
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith , Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: Hebrews 10:5
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is , the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15
JOHN LOCKE- JESUS- AND MONEY.
Today’s video [and post] is one of those ‘spur of the moment’ ones-
I made the video/post yesterday- ‘off the cuff’-
I’m at the ranch as I write- and have no WiFi out here- or I’d post it now- I also don’t have my on-line concordance- so I’ll try and remember exactly where some of the verses are and add them in [I do have my on-line bible saved to the drive!]
This video/post is in keeping with some of the stuff I’ve been recently teaching.
As Christians- we often look for the things we are supposed to do.
Which is fine- but what I have learned in my experience of doing ministry for many years- is many Pastors/ministers- learn a certain pattern/form- early on-
And as well-meaning as these men are- they often unconsciously do not realize they are violating scripture in their efforts to do the right thing.
When people feel God has called them ‘to preach’ [ called into ministry] most of the times they are taught that this means ‘starting a local church’.
In the American mindset- this means starting a nonprofit 501 c3- either renting or building some type of structure to meet in-
And then teaching a form of giving- usually called ‘the tithe’ [meaning 10 percent]-
And then saying ‘the local church is this place/501c3- the storehouse- and you will be cursed if you do not tithe to the storehouse’.
And without realizing it- in the more extreme cases- actually teaching people that they will fall under the curse of God- if they do not put 10% of their income into the ‘local church’.This verse from Malachi is often used- Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And this basic idea of ‘church government’ is then propagated thru out the land.
I’ve discussed this recently- and for these short videos- I just want to note that the New Testament churches we read about in the bible- are talking about communities of believers living in your city/area.
The early Christians met in homes- and later on in church buildings-
I am not against any of these formats- but we need to be careful that we are not unconsciously telling people they will be under the curse of God if they do not ‘tithe to the storehouse’ [then applying the ‘storehouse’ to the building- and it’s 501c3 status- as- quote ‘the local church’].
The tithe was actually an income tax for the nation of Israel in the Old Testament- and it entailed more than simply putting goods/money into an ‘offering’ plate-
No- it was a system that supported 3 main things in the Jewish economy-
The Priests [who were forbidden to own property].
The poor [meeting their needs].
And for banquets-
So- in short- the churches we read about in the bible were communities of people who supported one another- and this included- yes- financial support for the minsters too-
That’s all ok-
But the balance about money in the New Testament is it is a tool to be used to help others-
And is never something we should seek after- sort of like ‘God has called me to become rich so I can fund ministries’ type thing. No- that ‘calling’ would violate many actual teachings in the bible- that warn against seeking to be rich- even for noble causes-
I’ve copied some of those verses the last few days-
So- as we continue to teach thru the bible in the next year- look at the relationship we see in these New Testament letters between giving and receiving-
How the early Christians viewed their roles in the church-
How the ministers related to the people-
The bible does give us guidelines about all of this- it actually makes it quite clear-
Ok- enjoy the video/post- talk to you soon.
1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Acts 20:18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
Acts 20:19 Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
Acts 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
(594) Yesterday morning I got up early and prayed a weekly prayer that includes the nations. Part of this time goes like this ‘Lord I pray for all religions outside of the covenant of your Son. All Jewish people, that they would see Jesus their messiah. All Muslim people, that you would give them signs and prophetic visions and dreams to show them Jesus is the way’. Then this morning I had a dream that family members were converting to Islam. That they were being ‘attacked’ or influenced by the ‘spirit of Islam’. In the dream I felt helpless against this force. We went to sleep [in the dream!] and I awoke [still dreaming this] with a radical spirit of intercession. I began praying and breaking the power of Islam off of the family members that just a few hours earlier seemed to be fully lost to Islam. I felt this dream spoke to the effectiveness we have been having recently with Muslims. These last few weeks have given opportunity to share with a homeless Muslim Iraq war veteran. Good friend. Then a Muslim friend from England started conversing with me and asking how to become Christian. He is reading this site! It never dawned on me that these were fruits from the prayer time! Like I said before, I can be dense at times. Let me cover some church history. I have had someone argue with me about the history of Islam. Not a Muslim, but a Christian who was saying ‘why do you say Islam started in the 7th century, it started around the 11th’. My answer was ‘Muhammad lived in the 7th century’. Not to hard to see this. So I thought I should cover some history. During the time of the rise of Islam, the Christian church was already dividing from east and west. After Constantine [4th century Roman emperor] consolidated the Roman Empire in the 4th century he set up the capital city of the eastern empire, Constantinople [named after him]. As time progressed the western church would take on the form of Roman Catholicism, the eastern [Constantinople area. Modern day Turkey-Istanbul] would be known as ‘Orthodox’. Though the official split of eastern and western [Catholic-Rome!] churches occurred in 1054 AD, yet the division started years before. The official split is called ‘the great schism’ of the 11th century; it would not be until 500 years later that the church would have her ‘reformation’. The official reason for this split was over a rather silly thing. For centuries the Catholic church had an expression that said ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father’ than they included ‘he proceeds from the father and the Son’. Well the eastern brothers didn’t like Rome telling them what to believe and used this as the official reason to ‘have the schism’. To be honest the divisions were coming for years. After the Roman Empire consolidated under Constantine, he tried to strengthen the eastern territories of his empire and for centuries you had the struggle for which region would be the most influential. At first you had 5 major areas that were divided under 5 main Bishops. As time went on the argument would be ‘which bishop has the most say so’ and it was really a power struggle. Finally Rome said ‘the bishop of Rome is the FIRST AMONG EQUALS [a term that many in the Protestant strain of the discipling movement would later embrace] he holds Peters seat’ and this is really where the divisions started. Eventually Muhammad would rise and Islam would take control of the eastern capital. This later became the reason for the crusades. The Catholic church wanted to regain the territories that she lost in the east. The eastern churches are very much Catholic in many ways. They also hold to a view of Christianity that sees man being ‘joined’ with God and becoming pleasing to God thru Christ’s grace uniting with us and making us like him. A perfectly scriptural view, but a different emphasis from the strong intellectual power that you read about from the western fathers of the church. The Catholic church is noted for her social action in ways that the eastern church is not. So both of these communions have good things to bring to the table. The Orthodox [eastern] churches would not be affected by the major social and political upheavals that took place in the west. The Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment had major impacts on western Christianity, while not affecting the eastern church in the same way. During the 13th- 15th centuries you would have ‘pre reformers’ rise up in the western church. John Wycliffe, the great Catholic Priest who was at the center of learning in France would become known for his translating the scriptures into the common language. Then you have John Huss and John Knox [3 Johns, scripture says 3 fold cords are not easily broken!] who would have their own influence in western Christianity. At this time you had whole movements of believers who would be seen as neither ‘western or eastern’ but restorationist [the restoring of the early practices and beliefs of the church] Peter Waldo would be the Father of the Waldensians and in the 12th century you would have the Albigenses in the south of France. These groups would be looked upon as ‘cults’ [though the term was not used yet] by the traditional church. So you can see how the church has been growing and reforming ever since the first century. Even though we see many divisions that exist till this day, there are strides being made for unity. The eastern and western church are very close to‘re uniting’ once again. While I do not personally hold to the doctrine of the Pope being the occupier of Peter’s seat, I also see him as a Christian man who is striving for unity in Christ’s church. Some believe the whole attempt for outward unity is futile. The more ardent Protestants see it as ‘the one world church of the anti christ’ I reject that language out of hand. Well I hope you got something out of this short overview of world history [real short!].
(595) Recently saw an appeal to give. The teaching [TV] was well meaning. They were showing how the scripture is loaded with the doctrine of ‘first fruits’. All good stuff on the ‘secret’ of first fruits. The teacher was being hailed as an authority on Jewish history and why ‘first fruits’ is so important. The main problem with this whole mindset is they ALWAYS seem to see giving in the context of sending money to ministries. Jesus taught THEE NUMBER ONE priority of GIVING TO GOD was to be expressed by meeting the real needs of people. Now, you do find the woman giving into ‘the offerings of God’ by giving into the Temple offering. Or giving into Jesus ministry, but the overall main doctrine on giving and how it relates at the final judgment of mankind is ALWAYS based on our treatment of our fellow man. ALWAYS! So, no matter how elaborate we get in finding the real ‘hidden truths’ of money in the Old testament, we do a grave disservice to the Christian community when we equate GIVNG TO GOD with giving money to my ministry! The world sees this and mocks us because of it. Do you not see how foolish we look when we teach GIVE TO GOD and than at the end of the teaching we equate it with GIVE TO MY MINSTRY? Do you not see that the STOREHOUSE OF GOD are the corporate people of God dwelling in the earth? The storehouse IS NOT THE CHURCH BUILDING YOU MEET IN ON SUNDAY! So no human should ever teach ‘if you don’t put 10% of your money in this basket you are under a curse’. Sorry about being riled up, but I get so tired of ministries teaching on the importance of giving to God and then equating that with sending money to them, this is outrageous!
Now that I cooled down a little, let me explain some stuff. Recently I posted our blog on another site of ‘ex Christians’ who left a cult. Good kids, very burned by cultic expressions of Christianity. One of the initial reactions was getting ‘cussed out’ [I used to say ‘cursed’ but in Texas this gives you away as a Yankee!] The kids also accused me of being a money hungry preacher who equates ‘giving to God’ with ‘giving to ME’. I realized how really offensive we are to the world when we do and teach ‘giving to God, test God in this [what?] and he will pour out a blessing’. If you rightfully interpret this verse from Malachi [the only Italian prophet in scripture! Kidding!] The ‘test me’ that God is talking about is testing him in bringing tithes and offerings into the ‘storehouse’. A room in the Old Testament tabernacle/temple where the money went. Now in the New Testament the corporate people of God are the spiritual ‘storehouse’ temple of God. This is a very basic truth. So ‘giving to God’ is really not ‘giving to your ‘church’ or my ministry [though it can include this!] But ‘giving to God’ would be giving directly to meet the real needs of humanity, whether believers or unbelievers. There are tons of verses on this. I have quoted them all over this site! So when we see a TV ministry spend an hour on
[parts] (1359) ‘Now go, write it before them on a tablet [in a table] and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, forever and ever’ Isaiah 30:8 ‘Take a large scroll and write on it with the pen of a man’ ‘Write the vision and make it plain upon tables [tablets] that he may run that reads it’ ‘all these sayings were noised abroad, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts’ [Jesus in the gospels]. Last night I caught an interesting movie ‘the book of Eli’ with Denzel Washington. If you haven’t seen it yet then don’t read the rest of this post. Eli lives in this future apocalyptic world [Mad Max] and is on this mission to travel west, he encounters all types of obstacles on the way [lots of blood and guts] and finally arrives at his destination, it’s a publishing house stuck on Alcatraz where these survivors spend all their time copying any books they can get their hands on for the future world; Eli announces ‘I have a King James Bible’ and he gets in. The book of Eli was the bible. In the above verses God shows us how important it is in the history of Salvation for people to write and record his words. In the middle ages you had the Monastic movement [Monks, monasteries] and these Catholic brothers separated themselves from the corruption of the world and became spiritual hermits. They were experts at 2 things; farming and the copying of important manuscripts. In the middle ages secular society learned farming thru the monks. The art of copying ancient books not only preserved theological works, but also secular ones. It was their dedication to saving these works that led to the Renaissance and rediscovery of the ancient works of philosophy and Greek thought. They were like the scribes of Jesus day. Do you value the ability to have and access great treasures? Even the bible, as history, is incredibly valuable. I mean how many other First century [and earlier] documents are lying all over the place and are being read and quoted by 1st graders as well as professors? With the great library system of our day [which I used extensively over a 15 year period] as well as the internet we have the ability to truly learn stuff that past generations would have given anything to have learned. Proverbs says wisdom is lying in the streets, at the crossroads of every city- yet fools have no appetite for it. I want to challenge you guys today, especially all our Pastors and leaders, take time to acquaint yourself with the great classics of western literature, read the great Christian [and non Christian] works of the centuries, don’t spend all your time reading/learning from one group or movement [especially if it’s one of these isolated Christian denominations] God [and men] have gone to too much trouble to get these valuable words copied and distributed to the world, take some time to read them.
(1357) I WILL UNCOVER THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN HIDDEN SINCE THE WORLDS FIRST DAY- [Jesus]. Yesterday I read an article in the paper that talked about an amazing dinosaur find in China; they found around 15 thousand fossils in a cave area. The amazing thing was the fact that so many dinosaurs would have been in one place right when they died. I immediately saw this as proof that would back up the creationist cataclysmic view of a worldwide flood destroying all life on the planet. As I read thru the article they explained how much of ‘fossil science’ has been done thru finds in the U.S., but over the last few years China [and the eastern world in general] have undergone their own industrial revolution and this has led to the unearthing of new ground for the purpose of construction and these new projects are unearthing these fossils. Much like what took place in the 19th century when many archaeologists were discovering ‘hidden things’ that seemed to be buried ‘since the foundation of the world’. In the 19th century it was popular for the intellectuals in theology to embrace the ‘historical/critical’ method of bible learning. Many began to reject the early dating of the New Testament [early- a.d. 50-70]
[parts] Being I’m in the middle of getting rid of lots of stuff- and doing some final repairs on cars and the house- I haven’t really had time to comment on many big news events.
This week there have been some important things that I feel I should mention.
Bradley Manning has been in court for the leaking of thousands of ‘secret’ memos to Wikileaks.
Most of you should be familiar with the case.
He has been held in solitary confinement for a few years and the govt. has charged him thru the espionage act.
Now- even though most of the stuff leaked really amounted to embarrassing details- how the U.S. govt. has done behind the scenes talks with other nations- kind of deceived folk- or the biggest leak was the video now famously referred to as Collateral Damage.
This video showed a terrible incident where our guys fired [helicopter] on a bunch of civilian reporters- by accident- thinking they were the enemy- but were later found out to be reporters.
It looked bad- really bad.
So- the question is should we view the leaking of this stuff as espionage [spy type charges] or more like a whistle blower.
That’s the debate- I personally think what he leaked does not rise to the level of life in prison- which is what the govt. is seeking.
Now- we also had the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.
During the hearings- he [and Holder- US attorney] were asked questions about killing US citizens- without due process.
As most of you know we killed a US citizen a few years back with a drone [in Yemen].
He was indeed a full blown Al-Qaida leader- and had influence with others.
Now- what most don’t know is a few weeks later we also killed his US born son- 16 years old.
His son was born in Detroit- living in Yemen.
By all accounts- his son was not an Al-Qaida operative- he of course was probably influenced by his dad’s radical views.
But he was a minor- a US citizen- and he was traveling to see his dad.
We killed him with a drone strike while he was sitting at an outdoor restaurant.
When the US govt. was asked why we killed him- one of the responses was he should have picked a better father.
Now- whatever side of the aisle you fall on- this stuff has to stop.
All this is going on at the same time we just read the Miranda rights to the son in law of Osama Bin Laden- and are putting him on civilian trial in NYC.
So- we executed a 16 year old US citizen- because his dad was a bad guy- yet we read the rights to a non citizen- who may have some type of involvement with the 9-11 attacks.
[Note- the US govt. has said the killing of the boy was a mistake- but we still killed him]
This is bad- very bad.
As the US seeks to imprison Manning- for life.
And is also attempting to get Julian Assange- the founder of WikiLeaks.
We need to ask ourselves what role the on-line media outlets play.
For instance- the NY times printed some of the same material that Manning leaked- yet the print media are considered ‘media’ and the printing of ‘secret’ stuff is considered noble- like Florida’s sunshine laws.
Yet if an on-line publisher posts the same stuff- he can be tried for espionage.
During one debate when this question came up- the pundit simply said if it’s in print- then it’s legal.
But if it’s on line- its not.
Is that really the criteria we want to use to decide that what one organization published is noble- but for the other it merits the possible death penalty [which is the level of crime Manning is charged with]?
Yes- these questions are important to answer- they should not be seen as ‘left or right’ questions [the Repub senator Rand Paul did a stand up job- literally- by doing an old fashioned filibuster on the drone issue the other day].
So yeah- if a nominee for the CIA- or the US attorney general can not say that a US president has no right to kill a citizen- in our country- without due process- then he should not be up for that position.
We as a country have gone thru many struggles since the tragic 9-11 attack.
And we [first under Bush] did give up too many rights as we overreacted- by loosening our rules on the privacy of US citizens.
But if we cant clearly say that no US president- whether Repub or Dem- has the right to kill a US citizen without due process- then we are all falling off the deep end-
As Kansas put it TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.
1968 7 PRINCES TO THE RESCUE
I want to try and comment on Micah chapter 5- an Old Testament prophet.
But first a few other things.
Last night I was watching Fox news- and Greta mentioned the top stories of the year.
Lots of the news shows do this every year.
I thought- in general- that it’s harmful to re-tell the school shootings- over and over again- right at this time.
In our media world there is a sort of voyeurism that takes place- we want to see- hear- the actual events- over and over again.
Sometimes after a tragic event- maybe it’s already a few days old.
2- I have sitting here a bunch of new teaching series from various scholars. I’m going thru one on the origins of the church- taught by an ex Benedictine Monk [Luke Timothy Johnson] who is an accredited scholar. Has lots of degrees and teaches at Harvard. The other series is an entire overview of the bible- with all the historical and theological data mixed in.
This series is also taught by a scholar- R.C. Sproul. Why mention this? One of my homeless buddies was over a few days ago- he loves learning- he walks thru my study [we usually hang out in the yard] and he says ‘who needs a university- you have everything right here’. Well- I have lots of great stuff- but a university I’m not.
The point is- we should try and do our best to learn from people who know stuff- people who are educated. Way too much of what is produced today from the ‘church’ is really at a low level. Now- I know I have been hard on ‘preachers’ in the past- and have criticized the abundance of TV/radio stuff that is simply ‘God is the answer’ which of course is true- but must we spend billions of dollars every year- for the simple exercise of having ‘our pastor’ say the same thing- that everyone else is saying- at a charge of millions of dollars?
We need to re think this stuff.
I had a talk with a friend the other day- I was discussing some of this with him. I told him how we [Christians] have taught people ‘if you don’t give 10 % of your money into the basket on Sunday- you are cursed- you are robbing God’. This teaching comes from the Old Testament Tithe- primarily taken from a proof text in the book of Malachi.
I said ‘now- when we use this verse- this way- we are usually telling the people that this teaching is mandated by God- to support his work’. Okay- I have been taught this over the years- but the part we usually leave out- is the actual teaching- from the bible- on the Tithe.
In the Old Testament the Jewish people were required to Tithe- it was more like an income tax than an offering [like the way we think of offering]. This tax was used for 3 things. A third was used to support the Levitical priests, a third was used for banquets and feasts [and wine!] and a third was used to meet the needs of the poor [a welfare system].
Now- the part that went to the priests- none of it could be used for personal wealth growth. The priests were not permitted to have personal wealth. They were taken from the tribe of Levi [one of the 12 tribes of Israel] and they were forbidden to own their own land/inheritance.
So if we taught the ‘biblical’ tithe- it would be using a third for the poor- a third for parties, and the rest went to ‘the preachers’ who were forbidden to own real estate [have personal wealth].
Now- after all the years of people teaching the Tithe- all the many hours of telling believers ‘you are robbing God if you don’t Tithe’ how hard can it be to simply do one teaching on the actual Tithe?
I mean I just taught the whole thing- and it took a few minutes.
But the contemporary church is consumed with practical stuff- and to many- it’s not practical to say ‘oh- and by the way- the preachers/pastors- according to the Tithe system- are not permitted to own stuff’ that lifestyle just doesn’t fit the modern picture.
Okay- my point today is not to condemn giving money to churches- but it’s to nudge us towards a more ‘enlightened’ Christianity- a church that asks- and seeks for truth.
A literate people- who read!
So today I think we can commend Rowling for re introducing a lost art- the art of learning. Though we as Christians do have difficulty with ‘sorcerer’s stones’ yet the fact that kids are reading again- well that’s a good thing in my book
 GREAT EXPECTATIONS? Warning- this post is graphic
The other week we celebrated Fathers day. I was getting ready to buy a new computer and figured- wait- let me just tell my daughters  that instead of getting me different stuff I don’t need, just by me the PC.
They kinda scoffed at the idea- my wife said ‘John- computers are expensive’ I said ‘Okay- I’ll pay the balance- whatever they want- they can put down- I’ll cover the rest’. I really wasn’t expecting a free computer- I just thought it was a good idea. I even told them ‘hey- my birthdays coming up- just count this as a combination present’ look- I tried my best.
So as the week wore on- I would drop hints- you know- trying to see if they made the purchase. I am notorious at this kind of stuff. Every year around Christmas time I would always trick my girls into
1- China shakes
- This weekend the Chinese markets were rocked- and financial advisors are trying to say it’s an isolated incident-
- They are wrong- in the beginning of the year many advisers put their hopes on the Asian economies.
- Yet the signs showed that China was in a bubble- all the data pointed to this.
- Yet- many simply tried to paint a picture that we are in a recovery- and we are not.
- True unemployment for the U.S. is closer to 30 percent- yet we have ways to make it look like it’s around 5 percent.
- You can fudge these numbers for so long- but eventually it will catch up.
4- ISIS is not going away-
These past few days we saw Isis attacks in 3 different countries-
It is only a matter of time before we see something happen again in the U.S.
Now- as Christians we are not to fear- but we are also supposed to be able to see the ‘signs of the times’.
Many do not want to see the writing on the wall- because their hopes are in ‘this world’.
I have not said these things based on any ‘bible prophecy’ type view- but to be honest- there are many ‘prophecy’ type people who are saying these things as well.
I’m simply giving you the real time view of where we are at.
I have said from the start of the year that I think we are going to be rocked this year-
If I am wrong- great.
But I can’t see how all of these things happening at once cannot have a very bad outcome.
The U.S. has been trying to put the best face as possible on these things- and in some cases has manipulated numbers to give a false view of security.
It is obvious- many have said this for a long time now.
These past few days were simply the inevitable showing up- things that some have said were indeed going to happen.
Let’s see what the next few weeks/days will show us.
But even in the best case scenario- we are in a global downturn- and we should be aware of it.
These are just a few verses I mention in todays video- enjoy.John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in
Matthew 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.Matthew 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Ezekiel 12:1 The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying,
Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
Ezekiel 12:3 Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious house.
Ezekiel 12:4 Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity.
Ezekiel 12:5 Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby.
Ezekiel 12:6 In their sight shalt thou bear it upon thy shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight: thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel.
Ezekiel 12:7 And I did so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the even I digged through the wall with mine hand; I brought it forth in the twilight, and I bare it upon my shoulder in their sight.
Ezekiel 12:8 And in the morning came the word of the LORD unto me, saying,
Ezekiel 12:9 Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou?
Ezekiel 12:10 Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them.
Ezekiel 12:11 Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity.
Ezekiel 12:12 And the prince that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes.
Ezekiel 12:13 My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there.
Ezekiel 12:14 And I will scatter toward every wind all that are about him to help him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them.
Ezekiel 12:15 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries.
Ezekiel 12:16 But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 12:17 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezekiel 12:18 Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness;
Ezekiel 12:19 And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord GOD of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein.
Ezekiel 12:20 And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 12:21 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Ezekiel 12:22 Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?
Ezekiel 12:23 Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.
Ezekiel 12:24 For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel.
Ezekiel 12:25 For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezekiel 12:26 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying.
Ezekiel 12:27 Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off.
Ezekiel 12:28 Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord GOD.