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Archive for June, 2011

Sometimes we forget God is the judge, not mankind. When Christ walked the earth he did not hang out with the wealthy. Instead he fellow-shipped with the poor, downtrodden, derelicts and the people society had rejected. Christ himself said that he came for sinners. Matthew 9: 13 “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Jesus was sent to reconcile mankind back to God. Christ himself stated that none of us are good, it’s only when he enters we can live righteously (or holy).We have to live according to God’s laws, but God alone judges.

We should have love, compassion and understanding for all people. It doesn’t mean that we should not take a stand. It doesn’t mean that we don’t speak up, for our faith or beliefs. What we all need is sound doctrine, not a watering down of the gospel. We should never be self righteous, ever. Fighting with the homosexual community is not going to change their behavior. We have to show love, be grounded and rooted in love to our fellow men. Teach them what the bible says about the practice. Factions of our societies don’t believe in the bible much less God for that matter.

Homosexuality is mentioned about twelve times in the Bible
• 2 refer to rape (Genesis 19:5, Judges 19:22)
• 5 refer to cult prostitution (Deuteronomy 23:17-18, 1 Kings 14:23-24, 15:12-13, 22:46, 2 Kings 23:6-8)
• 1 refers to prostitution and pederasty (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
• 4 are nonspecific (Leviticus 18:21-22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:8-10)

This tells me that the issue is pretty significant to God. Individuals who do not follow biblical teachings feel they can carry on with licentious behavior. Mankind has always wanted to do what he wants, irrespective of the laws laid down by God. You see most of us haven’t been taught sound biblical doctrine. To appropriate biblical teaching, you must believe in the veracity of the bible. Huge segments of our society don’t read the bible much less believe in God. This is part of the problem we are facing today. God has become irrelevant, a non issue. Some people ask what God has done for me lately? Not realizing that everything is warped, things are out of order, jacked up so to speak. How did we get this way? Someone gets a notion, that things should be a certain way. Where do we get our ideas from, our beliefs, our values and our code of behavior? In present society all the lines seemed blurred. We act not realizing we are being programmed to say yes. There are no guidelines on morality, everything goes these days. The media, television, the entertainment industry and the amalgamation of wealth in the wrong hands have us bamboozled. We are on self righteous high; images which we had internalized, our diet for so long have now become our reality. Is it any wonder that we are now passing legislation that undermines the very foundation of everything we have known about ourselves?

Homosexuality is not new:
The practice has abounded in most cultures around the globe. Artifacts and graffiti from early as 10th millennium BC suggest an appreciation for homosexual eroticism. The first recorded evidence of homosexuality is found in Mesopotamia; circa 3000 B.C. Homosexuality flourished in both Greek and Roman cultures, though the traditional relationships between male and female still dominated. So what has happened in contemporary society? It seems the practice has flourished and grown in stature, it has taken on a life of its own. In fact the very fabric, the essence of modern societies has been impacted in ways never before seen.

The first mention of homosexuality in the bible is in Genesis 19:1-13:
The wicked men of Sodom attempted a homosexual rape of two messengers from God who had come to visit Lot. As a result of this and other widespread wickedness, God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in a storm of fire and brimstone.

The Book of Leviticus:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (NKJ, Leviticus 18:22)
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (NKJ, Leviticus 20:13)

The bible is clear about sexual immorality. We are so out of order that everything is okay, but by whose standards. It seems mankind is openly defying God; there are always consequences to every action. Spiritual laws govern life, whether we abide by them or not. We do not fight with God; no one has ever fought God and won. The new legislations and policies that are coming are anti –God. Well it remains to be seen who will win this war. By all indications, biblical and modern day God has never lost a battle yet.

Scriptures to reflect on:
What comes out of you is what defiles you. For from within, out of your hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile you. (TNIV, Mark 7:20-23)

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (NIV, 1st Corinthians 6:9-11)

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator– who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (NIV, Romans 1:25-27).

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching (Timothy 1:8-10).

Of men and an angel of Note:

Satan (angel) was the first created being that started the rebellion against God. Satan wanted to be God, but essentially he wanted to run things his way. He was kicked out from heaven; he will never ever go back there. In the war (Revelation 12:7) in heaven Satan was defeated. Jesus defeated Satan on resurrection morning. Satan don’t like order, his followers are out-of-order.

Remember the brutal dictators of recent history:

Stalin, Hitler, etc…

Previously:

Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, The people from Noah’s time etc…

What these stories have in common? By defying God we make ourselves God.There is only one God!

A people who don’t remember history will always repeat it much to their own folly!

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Daniel

Humanity is at a crossroads. Major upheavals in nature, coinciding with the egregious decisions of a few authoritative figures globally, have resulted in the un-precedented suffering and devastation of many lives. The Holy Bible is replete with the stories of courageous men and women who stood in defiance against the edicts of government, and corrupt religious institutions. Contemporary society demands the emergence of revolutionary individuals. Social conformity doesn’t seem to be working well in our societies, evidenced by the violence, inequality, and unrest across the world. As role models, we have failed the next generation, if our legacy is one of mistakes, scandals, carefree spending and loose morals. Youths require exemplary role models to make the transition into adulthood. In modern societies with complex problems it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find great leaders. A study of Daniel, a biblical figure who lived in ancient Babylon is particularly apt for our generation. We are living in extraordinary times, and I do believe that “extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures” Benet Wilson.

Daniel was an Israelite, born of princely lineage. He lived around 506-538 BC. His Hebrew name means ‘Justice from God’ or ‘God is my judge’. The story of Daniel’s rise to prominence from slavery to one of the most influential man in the Babylonian court is extraordinary in itself. The book of Daniel tells of the fall of Judah into the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:1).King Nebuchadnezzar’s victory over Judah was manifold. Nebuchadnezzar desecrated the temple of God in the carrying away of the worship vessels, signifying his God was superior to the Israelite’s God. ‘He carried the vessels into the land at Shinar to the house of his God’ (Daniel 1:2). The people of Judah were carried away also into captivity. The rape and pillage of the land and people also included the harnessing of Israel’s intellectual property. As the brightest and the most intelligent of the youths including Daniel were indoctrinated into the Babylonian system.

Daniel’s upbringing had facilitated his early education, at fourteen he already stood out from among his peers. Hence his selection to the Babylonian court by Nebuchadnezzar aides (Daniel 1:3). At fourteen Daniel was already a eunuch; serving also in that capacity. Did he choose to become one? Eunuch is a term usually reserved for those castrated (without their consent) in order to perform a specific social function, as was historically common in many societies (Wikipedia).Daniel was to be trained to be of service to the king. The most valuable asset Daniel possessed was his mind. His life belonged to the king; the Babylonian system restricted Daniel’s personal freedom, because Daniel was in essence property. Stripped of your manhood, and trained as an advisor Daniel would be dealing with matters concerning king and country.

The Babylonian system had castrated these young men so there would be no progeny. The youth’s names were also changed; this was done to erase their identity. One could argue that the story of Daniel and his people resonates with contemporary society. Individuals in authority represent the systems that are in control of our physical lives. Throughout the ages optimism has been replaced by defeat, people have become captives and then forced into slavery.Why the Babylonian system went through such lengths to control Daniel? The only logical answer and the only valuable commodity Daniel possessed was his mind. Daniel example shows us that humans are really powerful if they harness their intellectual capacity. God had allowed these things to befall the Israelites because they had been disobedient. Second kings 20:18 ‘And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon”.

God always work in a way that everything comes back to him. If we follow the figures in the bible God has left as examples. We notice some of the ways in which God works out his purposes. Nothing surprises God; he is always positioning certain individuals for prominence even from childhood. Great examples are Joseph, David, Jesus our savior and of course Daniel. Daniel was a man of uncommon courage, imagine living in the court of a king that just ransacked your homeland and placed your people in bondage. You are castrated; the only comfort in a strange land, three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Daniel could have acquiesced to Nebuchadnezzar’s demands but he took a stand. After being through so much he should have been cowering in fear but he had strength. Where did he find this type of fortitude? Daniel knew who God was even after all he’d been through, that’s what unwavering faith is. ‘Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank. . . ” ( Daniel 1:8). Daniel chose to trust God rather than obey man. In today’s world it is very difficult to make that choice. When we understand Daniels struggles it doesn’t make sense that he should have taken a stand; it boggles the mind that Daniel would defy the king.

Daniel was never king yet he ruled behind the scenes for generations, affecting and orchestrating change. He outlived many kings and lived to see the change of an empire (5:30-31).God accomplished many victories in Daniels life. Daniel’s prophetic words, dreams and vision holds sway over our lives. We know he lived an interesting life, in a very difficult time. I just skimmed the surface of his book. I encourage my readers to read the book of Daniel in the Holy Bible. The Babylonian system that had tried to assimilate and indoctrinate these men had failed. Daniel’s story also reminds us that pagan systems, and pagan agendas seek to dismiss and usurp the authority of God. God always and will all ways have his way. As the age draws to a close, Satan is pitting mankind against God. The bible warns us that this period in the history of the earth will bring devastation. We can never fight with God and win, history shows us that time and time again.

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Kirk Franklin

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Quotes

‘Meekness is a quality not a state of being’ by Joszann St.John

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