Friend, are you unable to read the Bible, that is, make sense of it? Or do some parts make sense, but others, such as Leviticus or Revelation or Romans seem totally bewildering? Are you desiring to go deeper, or reach a higher ground, spiritually, but your difficulty in comprehending scripture is holding you back? It may well be you need to consider that the Bible is essentially Messianic--that is, it exists to tell you about the Messiah and Savior, and virtually everything in the Bible points to Him. With this understanding, you are on your way to unlocking the scriptures and opening the door to Yeshua--for they are, in truth, a living Person, Jesus (Yeshua), who delights in His Name, the Word (John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Now it is claimed in Islam that Mohammed ascended to heaven from the Shrine of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It is claimed Buddha attained to Nirvana, the absorption of all selfhood into the universal something that is a grandiose nothing. It is claimed...it is claimed...but only Jesus Christ is absolutely factual--he actually died on a Cross for all men and actually rose from the dead (and the evidence for this will stand in any court run on universally recognized rules for evidence!). Mention Jesus Christ, and interfaith crumbles or turns hostile. Mention God, and you get interfaith-promoting smiles of acceptance and approval. That is just too bad for interfaith-ism and the New Age religion, we Christians are not going to quit making Jesus Christ an issue with this society and world! The interfaith people certainly are vigorous in propagating their "faith," are they not? Financed with billions of Western oil money, mosques and Islamic schools are being built all over the world, by the tens of thousands, even across the U.S., and throughout Europe, while no churches are allowed to be built in Moslem countries (Turkey and Arabia are two notorious such countries I know forbid churches being built, and it is the ruling Moslem establishments, not the common people, who are at fault). All we Christians are asking is equal time, a fair shake in the marketplace of ideas.
That is not too much to ask, Saudi King of Arabia, and Pres. Assad of Syria and Pres. Chavez of Venezuela [Chavez, who is not the champion of the oppressed that he claims to be, has kicked out all the New Tribes missionaries for "oppressing" the native tribes, when they are providing literacy training and also health care, not to mention the Good News of Jesus, who is the only one who can give them salvation and a good life!] and all the rest of you oppressing monarchs and tyrants of the earth, not to mention, Osama bin Ladin and the Israel and U.S-hating Iranian president!
I just listened to a portion of Laura Ingraham's excellent radio program with two men debating on the subject of Islam and terrorism. The Moslem man was a scholar, defending Islam against the other man's criticisms, claiming there is no discrimination by Islam and that people in countries that Mohammed attacked with his armies willingly embraced Islam, even the native Egyptian Coptic Christians inviting the Moslem Arabs in to take over their homeland of Egypt, which was ruled then by the "oppressive" Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Christian Romans. He also pointed out Spanish history, where there was an amazing degree of amity between Jews and Moslems and Christians in a Moslem state! This is partly true, that the Byzantine Eastern Orthodox emperors and their Constantinople-based patriarch were oppressing the Egyptian church which had a different slant on theology, and that there was a certain tolerance by Moslem authorities toward those they subjected and governed, but any uprisings by Coptic Christians, of course, resulted in savage massacres--for subject peoples such as Christians had no right to change their minds under the Islamic system--no right they did not want to pay for without being beheaded! To this day, Coptics are oppressed and held in a third or second-class citizenship in their own country (and they were there thousands of years before the Moslem Arabs came in the 7th century A.D.!). How much better was the Islamic rule than the Byzantine over Egypt? Moslem takeover resulted in over 1,300 years of servitude and second-class citizenship at best! It also resulted in continual social suppression and lack of equal employment rights and...outbreaks of persecution and killings every so often. The persecution and killings still go on--right up to this date, though they go unreported generally in the world press.
If quiescent, these subject Christians would only be taxed beyond any tax imposed on Moslems--how fair and tolerant was that? They also were forbidden to witness of their faith in any public way. Their churches were closed, and only a few permitted to operate. They could not make any additions or repairs either (just go to Turkey, if you can, and see the state of hundreds of churches--they are ruins, or museums, one or the other). Many were converted to granaries and other uses too.
Laura mentioned a Christian woman in Malaysia she knows of who is suffering stiff persecution by Moslems, and lives in fear. The Moslem apologist could not deny the incident, and was sorry for it--but that does not change the reality for millions of Christians living today in Islamic states--where persecution, reprisal, and even execution for practicing the Christian faith is routine. The Moslem scholar must not know the repressive laws of his own religion and the brutal enforcement you find being carried out in Moslem countries from Pakistan and Indonesia to Sudan!
The true issue is this: is Christ who He said He is, or is he not? Do we all belong to Him and need to follow Him alone, or is there someone else who is God's Son or supreme representative on earth? Is Christ the Son of God and the Savior of the World, or is Allah and Mohammed his prophet the way for earth to go? Is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob God, or is Allah? The devils knows the truth, and chose to follow Satan to their doom. The devils know that Jesus is Lord and Savior, but chose someone else. But humanity is confused. Most do not know this basic truth: that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the World. And most people are trying vainly to work their way to heaven and God's approval by their good works, a terrible mistake.
We have to all make a choice sooner or later. It is not something you can be "born into" or inherit from your parents, though millions of Christians so-called and Moslems (it is possible to be converted to Islam but not possible to be born-agin in Islam) think so. Yeshua's dealing with Nicodemus points out clearly every human being must be born again by the Spirit of God to be a child of God, accepted and forgiven of his or her sins by the Father. It is not a religion--it is the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross and our restored relationship with God resulting from that act that saves. Because we Christians failed to bring this Good News to the Eastern peoples and those in Africa and most of Asia too, Islam filled the aching void in millions of men's empty, hungry souls. Religion always will (or sex, or materialism, or money, or power) try to fill the void. But the void can only be filled with the true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who sent His only son Jesus Christ (Yeshua, or Issa) into the world to save it by His subsitutionary death on the Cross. Mohammed died for no one. Buddha died for no one. It takes the death of a completely innocent, sinless man to do the work of the Lamb of God in substitution for our sins. Nothing less will do--and that man could only be Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, and conceived by the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus was sinless from birth to death. Now we know that Mohammed sinned, and Buddha sinned, and Zoroaster, and Confucius, and every other holy man sinned. So, no man born of an earthly father and an earthly mother, both born in sin by sinful parents, was ever good enough to die for us--only the man Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, and conceived by the Holy Spirit could be the holy, perfect, innocent, immaculate, sinless Lamb of God. There is no other way to be saved, to be born again as a true child of God, to know true life and receive eternal life with God in heaven, except through this perfect Son of God, Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for us, which we could never do, nor could any holy man, do for ourselves since we were sinner s, condemned to death and hell.
All else will not work, for God has prepared only this one way--as the Bible testifies. There is no Mohammed or Buddha or Hare Krishna in the Bible--they are found in other books which God did not inspire--claims to the contrary, notwithstanding. Jesus Christ himself verifies and affirms again and again the Bible as God's word. He quoted from it many times, and there was no error in it! He said to the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar, "Salvation is of the Jews." How so? Well, God gave His Jewish people the Word of God, which was the only Word of God on earth still remains the only Word of God on Earth. The Jews could save nobody, not even themselves (for many of them went to hell for their sins), but the Word of God given to them could save if believed. God has only this one holy Book of Life. There is no addition, no sequel, no series--there is only the Bible, the Word of God. All other "holy" books will not avail for new life and eternity in heaven, because however inspired and exalted they may seem, they are not God's Book. Even a book cannot save, even if it is the Bible, if it is not believed and that Word comes into a person's soul, bringing forth repentance, a transformation, and new life! A Bible on the coffee table saves nobody. Even a theologian is not saved by how much he knows about the Bible, or how much he can quote from memory. Even parrots can quote scriptures (as a missionary aunt's of mine did to visitors at her house in Brazil!), but the parrot was not saved. Only God, acting through the Word, can save us by His Spirit. We are regenerated, brought to life from an utterly dead spirit to a living spirit of Christ--but the Word does it, activated by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, the coffee table would be saved--right--because the Bible is lying upon it! (That is the thinking of so many deceived people who suppose they are Christians by mere church attendance or association with Christians or being children raised by Christian parents, when they are not truly born again, regenerated, saved Christians!)
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," Yeshua (Jesus, Issa) says. "No man comes to the Father but by Me." That saves, when the Spirit of God implants it in a humble person's soul, producing the regeneration of that person's spirit from a state of death to a state of eternal life and fellowship with God. Nothing else will do! As the scripture says, "Let God be true, and every man a liar.
I personally did this--I went to God, and called on Jesus Christ to be my personal Lord and Savior, and I confessed my sins. God in an instant, forgave me all my sins, past, present, and future--and I was regenerated on the spot, made a New Creature in Christ, for all eternity. It was all God's doing, but I had to submit to God's way, I had to submit to Jesus Christ, the only Way God provided for me, a sinner, to be forgiven and saved and regenerated and made an heir of Christ and co-laborer with Him on Earth.
I choose to believe Jesus Christ speaking to me in the Word over any man, however many holy robes he has on, or turbans, or vestments, and how many holy orders he has to his credit, or how much theological training he has had. Jesus alone is necessary for my salvation, He alone is sufficient, now and for all eternity. All other claimants and pretenders will fade away and be utterly cast into shame and outer darkness, for no one can take the place of Jesus Christ and what He is and did for us sinners. All Praise to God and His Son Jesus Christ!
We will re-publish a booklet here called "The Gods Were Silent," by Paul Ariga, "the testimony of one of Japan's leading youth evangelists," in which he tells how God spoke to him through a coffin of a friend who got sick and suddenly died as a boy. Paul was of the Shinto religion, a main religion in Japan in which something like 8 million gods were worshipped. He was drawn by his own sin to seek God, and God drew him out of the darkness of pagan religion (and this proves that other faiths are darkness, from which only Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, can save us). Interfaith, or faith in anything but Jesus, does not and cannot save any human soul from sin and damnation. Listen to Paul Ariga's own words when his still vibrant testimony comes on-line. (This booklet was printed by Eddie Karnes in English, an evangelist to Japan from Tacoma, Washington, known by my mother, who has since passed away after a lifetime of service to the Lord. Printed in 1964, it carries no copyright, and the addresses are probably not extant. We hope this testimony of a pagan youth who came miraculously to faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord will be a blessing to others and also to Paul Auriga's ministry, wherever it may now be located in Japan. We are sorry we do not have any contact address other than the one in the booklet. Kind permission to re-print here is requested by us, if anyone knows of his whereabouts. The testimony will be printed here as it appears, exactly. My mother, Mrs. Pearl Ginther, has known the Karneses for many years, and we have a picture of my mother with Mrs. Dorothy Karnes (Pearl Ginther on left, and Mrs. Karnes on the right).--Ed.
"Where is that guy coming from?" A Discussion of Important Issues and Influences on the Instructor, by Duane L. Smith
"Smith Wigglesworth," Apostle of Faith, biography by Stanley Howard Frodsham, Radiant Books, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Missouri
"George Muller, Man of Faith and Miracles," biography hy Basil Miller, Bethany Fellowship, Dimension Books, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Tortured for Christ," autobiography of Richard Wurmbrand, Diane Books, Glendale, California
"Hope for Man in a Hopeless World," by Basilea Schlink, Bethany Fellowship, Dimension Books, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Glory in the Church, the Coming Revival," by Edward E. Hindson, Thomas Nelson Publishers, New York/Nashville
"Czechmate," autobiographical account of imprisonment of author in a communist country for Bible smuggling
"The Everyday Guide to "God," A to Z Listing of God's Attributes, with Scriptures, by Amy Ng Wong, Humble Creek Publisher, Uhricksville, Ohio
"The Complete Book of Bible Lists," by lH.L. Willmingon, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois
"God Sent a Man," the story of Joseph, by Carylye B. Haynes, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C.
"Israel Act III," The Bible and the Mideast in prophecy, by Richard Wolff, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois
"Eric Liddell, Pure Gold," biography by David McCasland, Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"C.S. Lewis," Heroes of the Faith series biography, by Sam Wellman, Barbour Publishing, Uhrichsville, Ohio
"A Passion for the Impossible," The Life of Lilias Trotter, by Miriam Huffman Rockness, Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Jerusalem Countdown," A Warning to the world, containing a prophetic view of Iran's role in coming world events affecting or centered on Israel, with parallels between Joseph and Jesus tieing in with these events and others of the Eng-Times, by John Hagee, Frontline (A Strang Company), Lake Mary, Florida
We really need to reread Genesis--for Genesis proves God was intimately involved with His creation from the first, no matter what "happened." He didn't make sin "happen," but when it "happened" he had a perfect Cure ready--the Promised Seed of Woman.
So too at this present time--in 21st century America or the other nations of this world: God is intimately, daily, minute by minute, involved with us, in this time, in this place! Well, by logical extension, the business world where most of us spend some good part of our working day, is also intimately involved with God. It is not sacrosanct, it is not a moral no-man's land, as university professors of economics have taught their classes for decades. On the contrary! Business is God's purlieu, and He can and does intervene anytime He so chooses--objecting economists notwithstanding! How can that be proved?
On the news today, it is clear that God is involved with GM and its withdrawal from sponsorship for the ungodly product of morally-diseased minds, the so-called "Survivor" TV series. GM is too much a moral coward to say why, naturally, so we will speak the truth for GM's morally-challenged leadership. The show has endorsed politically incorrect racial stereotypes, racial profiling and separation of contestants by "ethnicity--the divisive race card is being played here for sensationism and the big buck and boost ratings, in other words.
Now back to our point: God is dealing with corporations--which are groups of real people--not faceless entities or buildings or products and factories. These particular groups of people have endorsed very ungodly things like abortion and same sex marriage and gay sex and denial of the Lord Jesus Christ in preference to the gods of this world--money, power, sex, celebrity--all in favor and support of America's politically correct gods--Diversity, Multiculturalism, Ecology, Feminism, Interfaith and New Age Religion, and so on. We are seeing God's judgment on corporations (which are mere human creations, that will crash and all fade away into nothing someday). Why judgment? Simple: their ungodly practices that defy God's authority over them. To name a few of these judged corporations that are going downhill at a fast clip--GM, World.com, Enron, United (a particular choice target of terrorists, right?), Pay N' Save (long defunct, thanks to the Donald's mismanagement and cupidity), Ford, IBM, and this is just a tiny but significant list of proud, ungodly, godless corporations in this country. God is bringing down the giants, from high places they thought they would never have to give up. God is dealing with them, giving them rope to hang themselves, allowing them to go so far, but now he is also evidently befuddling the leadership, leading them into the pits of profitless folly, withdrawing the blessing of prosperity from them. This is a "revolutionary word," to be sure. I have not heard it anywhere, from anyone. Christian leaders just don't dare speak up. But if God doesn't judge ungodly sin, He ceases to be God, and the ACLU and the Ruling Humanists of our secularized society have won--they have defeated the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob whom they hate with a passion! But the events on the Cross and the Resurrection tell us without question the Devil and his organizations are defeated--whether that is evident now or not. Let's review Psalm 1, everyone. Where in it does the ungodly triumph? Nowhere. God is always triumphant, Genesis to Revelation. The defeat of God His enemies are working night and day for isn't ever going to happen--GOD IS ALIVE AND WELL IN HIS UNSTOPPABLE OMNIPOTENCE, AND HE IS STILL THE GOD OF SINAI AND MOSES, AND HE STILL HAS A TEN COMMANDMENTS HE HOLD US ALL--INCLUDING INDIVIDUALS AND CORPORATIONS AND CITY GOVERNMENTS LIKE MAYOR NAGIN'S IN NEW ORLEANS--RESPONSIBLE TO. What part of "responsible" don't we understand? Based on Psalm 1:
E--for God the three-Personed Elohim of Genesis is still the God of all the earth!
S--for Salvation rests in Christ Jesus alone--not in any other god manufactured by men and nations and corporations and Madison Avenue advertizing or Hollywood!
P--for Pray to God, confess honestly, and God will forgive your sin, and my sin!
O--for Only Jesus can turn this nation around and save it (including the terrorists, who are going to be judged too for their cruel, bloody, vengeful, ungodly acts but also are ALLOWED BY GOD TO ACT TEMPORARILY AND IN A LIMITED WAY as God's instruments of judgment on our sins if we stubbornly keep going the ungodly way we have been going!
N--for New Life is given us in Jesus, by asking Him to be our Savior and Lord--there is no New Life and life everlasting in any other Name on earth (sorry, Dr. Phil and Ophrah can get standng ovations by simply walking on stage in front of the audience and cameras but they cannot give us true Life and eternal blessedness in heaven!)
S--for Sin is the basic, foundational problem with us--it is our "big, huge, major problem"--not someone else, or genes, or events, or Republicans, or George Bush, or Osama Bin Laden, or poverty, or social injustice, or the UN, or chemical dependency, or my bad luck, or whatever--sin is our problem, individually and collectively.
I--for I need to be down-to-the-nitty-gritty-honest with God--I cannot fool everyone around me, and fool myself, but I can never, never, not one instant, fool God--He sees everything--every act, every thought, and every feeling I have, or will ever have--how can I be unreal with Him?--I need to get real with God before my time on earth runs out!
B--Believing God's Word will turn me and my falling nation around--and God's Word is always true and right for whatever I am going through or facing!
I--for Into a church that truly believes the Bible, cover to cover, and preaches it cover to cover, I need to go, in order to continue to know God better and better and also learn how to be a servant of others, Christians and non-Christians!
L, I, T, Y--you can fill them out, okay?--you can finish the acronym as well as I can, and Psalm 1, the first, foundational Psalm for our lives, will give you all you need for those last four letters and principles.--Ed.
War can be just, as God defines just wars in His Word. God is a God of war, not only of peace. As Ecclesiastes states, there is a time for war, and a time for peace. War is not an aberration, as secular humanists like to think. War can become a necessity, if we are to preserve our freedom and our lives against tyrants and aggressors.
God is not, like us, in danger of international aggression by rogue states or terrorist organizations. But He himself is continually at war with sin and the Devil, and though they are defeated foes, they are, like the headless snake, still wriggling vigorously about in this sin-sick world and still doing a lot of damage to souls. It is foolish to deny the reality of sin and the necessity of just warfare. To take a pacifist position, in regard to sin, is folly. Sin will defeat you, unless you take an offensive position against it, actively opposing sin in your life. Sin will defeat me, the writer, unless I actively oppose it, and surrender myself to Christ daily in repentance. If this were a righteous world, Helvetia and Sweden would be the general rule, and their present position would be righteous. As it is, they are held responsible to God's Word--which judges unjust scales. The Bible says over and over that God hates unjust scales! Swiss scales are unjust, when it comes to war and peace, and economics as well. They have profited from international crime, from tyranny, from economic depressions, from the suffering even of God's Chosen People, the Jews, before and during World War II when Hitler and the Nazis confiscated and stole the German Jew's banked money, fortunes, houses, shops, factories, and and possessions, not to mention, killing as many as they could get their claws on. When called to account for this traffiking in human souls and this unconscionable profiteering on the pelf of crime lords and tyrants, they show no shame or remorse--only arrogance and the self-assurance of people who presume to think they can never be held to account by the rest of the world. They have always looked down from their hitherto unconquerable mountain fastnesses and despised those below who dared call them to account. But international law--which, surprisingly, is somewhat based on ethics--is reaching them of late! They are being brought, kicking and screaming and dragging their heels, to account for swallowing billions of dollars of Jewish funds from the World War II period.
Of course, the more important thing is revival and repentance in Hevetia, not just just reparations to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust! Germany has made a considerable attempt to repay the Israelis in money, as a sign of accepting its guilt for its treatment of the Jews in World War II and the years of Hitler's rise to power. But Switzerland? It has been very tardy, indeed! It continued, all these years since the Second World War, to sit on billions of Jewish assets--profiting from them--while Jews suffered and died in poverty, while the rich, well-housed, comfortable Swiss held those Jews' funds and valuables in their banks. What a crime against humanity, and what a crime against the Jewish People, the Chosen People of God, and the Apple of God's Eye!