|Posted on January 3, 2015 at 9:20 AM|
You are what you are when nobody's watching. If we make fun of "gays" behind closed doors when they can't hear it, how are we any better than the world? We are not helping people with same-sex attractions if we merely criticize their "behavior" as if that was something outside their human existence that they could cut off just like that. We are not helpiing anybody if we separate between "out-and-proud" gays that we attack and those in the closet that we reach out to. Yes, we need to confront certain political agendas, publicly voiced statements and the like, but we become very hypocrite when our goal is not lovingly saving souls, but attacking them like lone crusaders while complaining about the consequences that might bring for our private lives. As Christians we know that what we believe in and what we stand for will not only bring us friends. However, we also know that it is by our fruit that they shall reckognize us. Tertullian, one of the first Christians, said about the way others should be looking at us, "See how they love one another!". Honestly, I miss a good part of that in today's Christianity. And yes, I definitely include myself into that. I have to refoculs as well. Yet bringing up something like "You did it too!" gets us back to the age-old question, "If I jump off a cliff, will you jump after me?" We all are sinners - does that make sin acceptable? I don't think so. The Bible says that a house that is divided cannot stand and there is way too much division in today's Christianity - including the "ex-gay movement". I am in some "gay" facebook groups as well and sometimes I am well reminded why people with same-sex attractions are drawn into that life... We all still have much to learn and I reach out to each and everyone - whether they like me/us or not. If we keep on fighting ourselves, we will not get anywhere. God told us to love and forgive one another, to bear each other's burden. Having said that, I forgive and ask for forgiveness and will do my best to love. Only then will we make the difference in this world.
|Posted on February 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM|
taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)
I am not one to hold that dreams have any significance as a rule. At least, not for me. But on occasion one may come along that may influence my world view or other important aspects of my life.
Before I continue, I would like it to be known that God in times past and perhaps even today does and has given dreams to prophets and others which were terrifically important and significant. For example we read in the Book of Daniel “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in later days. Your dream, and visions of your head upon your bed, were these.” Dan. 2:28
Here Daniel proceeds to tell the king a prophecy illustrated by a statue which King Nebuchadnezzar saw in a vision, a dream. The prophecy was what will transpire from that time forward till the last days. That is to say that 5 world empires will dominate the world beginning with King Nebuchadnezzar represented as a head of gold and ending with the Roman Empire followed by the final Kingdom of God. Dan. 2:31-45
This prophecy has largely been fulfilled, but not completely. King Nebuchadnezzar was the first ruler, ruling from Babylon, Dan. 2:37-38;7 :1-4, followed by Media-Persia Dan. 7:5, 8:20 then Grecian Empire ruled by Alexander the Great Dan.2:39; 7:6; 8:21. Next was the Roman Empire Dan. 2:40-43Dan. 7:7, this has largely been fulfilled but part is yet to pass. And lastly the Final world Empire, the Kingdom of Heaven ruled by none other than God Himself, Jesus Christ. Dan. 2:44-45
Through dreams God will sometimes give instructions as to what He wants others to do for His purposes.
Job 33:15-16 15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds,16 Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their
Matthew20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Some dreams given by the Lord have good outcomes, while others do not. Most of us are familiar with the dreams of Joseph while he was in prison falsely charged with raping Potiphar’s wife.
5 Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation. 6 And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”
8 And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.”
So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”
9 Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, 10 and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. 11 Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”
12 And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. 13 Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. 14 But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. 15 For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.”
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. 17 In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”
18 So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.” Genesis 40:5-18
So, last night I had a dream which impacted me and has caused me to reflect on my sins of late and what I should do about it. Like many dreams I have, I cannot recall the whole thing, but the last part stood out.
I was dreaming about an old friend whom I have not seen in many years. The last time I did see him I had the opportunity to witness to him and he came to church with me once. In this dream I was again witnessing to him at one point. In the dream itself I found myself sleeping and having a dream within my dream. (Victor is the name of my friend, please pray for his salvation)
In this particular dream God showed me a bunch of skeletons dressed in robes revealing their bones beneath. I was immediately reminded of the prophecy of Israel whom would return to their land after having been dispersed for a few thousand years. The following prophecy shows not only will the people of Israel return to their own land, but that they will also in the last days return to the Lord as believers, following and obeying God.
The Dry Bones Live (Ezekiel chpt. 37:1-14)
37 The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”’” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. 9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’”
The following verses likewise show and prophecy that the twelve tribes of Israel shall be re-gathered to rejoin Israel as may many of the gentile nations will likewise do, turning to the Lord God, following and obeying Him.
One Kingdom, One King (Ezekiel 37:15-28)
15 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. 18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”’”
What this reminded me of in my dream, is that I, like the people of Israel of old, am a sinner, often running away from God, doing my own thing.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
I am worthy of death, having my flesh to rot away, never to be ever again welcomed into His presence. I, a sinner am worthy of death.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
But God does not leave us hanging in the wind to die of our sins. If we are faithful to confess our sins and return to Him, 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God has promised to re-gather His people Israel, and draw them back to Him, making them a nation again, which He has already done, but he goes one step further in drawing them back to Him spiritually so that they will worship Him, and He will be their God once again.
God has offered Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of my sins, so that I may enjoy eternity with Him, to be freed once and for all from the influences of sin.
John3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What this vision of dry bones also reminded me of is that though we may sin now, I must remember that God will not allow us to get away with our sins completely. God punished Israel by dispersing them from their land because of their constant returning to idol’s and because of their habitual sins and unbelief. But, He has promised to restore them back to their land and back into His fold.
How Jesus lamented over Israel.
Matt. 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Likewise He laments over us when we turn away from Him. With a vision like that, I am compelled firstly to confess my sins before Him and to repent fully, not repeating the same sins over and over again.
Let us not be like Israel of old continuing on in our sins, but repent less we become like them, being nothing more than a people of dry bones clothed in unrighteousness.
The days are getting shorter. The hand drawing is on the wall. It is not too difficult to see that we are in the last days as prophesied by Jesus.
Matt. Chpt. 24
Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple
24 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what willbe the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceivesyou. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ andwill deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Seethat you are not troubled; for all[a] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, andkingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[b] and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning ofsorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and youwill be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many willbe offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And becauselawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’[c] spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it[d] is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f] your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant
45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’[g] 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Do not wait till it is too late to change your ways. Do not be as the slothful virgins, unwise virgins of Matt. 25;1-13.
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming.?”
Be assured, He is coming soon. Will He come and find you unprepared. Will He come and find you in some uncompromising situation in which you will be ashamed?
Get ready now, repent once and for all of your sins.
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”