The Apple Of God's Eye

July 31, 2011

God’s Required Qualifications For Grace!

wjcollier3.wordpress.com

Some Christians believe we should still keep much if not all of the law. Some say that because Jesus fulfilled the law we are not bound at all to any of it. Like most polarizing issues, a right understanding is found in allowing God to guide our Bible study.

.There is a distinction between a birthright and grace we ought to understand. A birthright is normally passed on from father to eldest son. There are no conditions which the recipient is required to meet. The son does nothing to qualify for it. He receives it as his right for no other reason than he happened to be born his father’s son. He has a right to it without earning it or qualifying to be worthy of it. He could however, disqualify himself to keep, or even to receive it.

But the gift of immortality received by grace does have qualifying conditions. It is not your right, or mine, to receive the gift of eternal life. Think what conditions would result if it were. A rebellious, defiant, hostile, God-hating criminal or atheist could shake his fist at God and say:

“Look, God! I hate you. I defy you! I refuse to obey you! But I demand your gift of eternal life! It’s my right! I want to receive all the power of a son of God, so that I can use that power to oppose you! I want to make your family a house divided against itself. I will cause friction, hostility, hatred, unhappiness among all your children. I demand that power, as your gift, as my right, so that I may abuse that power – use it for evil!” (more…)

April 10, 2011

Now Carry It!

Filed under: Cross — melchia @ 8:52 pm
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thewindowshowsitall.blogspot.com

Do you sometimes feel the burden of the world is on your shoulders? Christ did! Yet how many professing Christians do you know who believe that Jesus “did it all” for us on the cross — that His sacrifice did away with God’s law and freed us from any responsibility to keep God’s commandments?

Millions of Christians believe that this is exactly what happened! But is that what God’s Word really says? Let’s see.

If Jesus did it all for us, then why does He require us, on the authority of the New Testament, to repent of our sins and obey the commandments (Acts 2:38, I John 2:3-4)? If there is no law, how could we be guilty of sins of which we must repent?

No, there is much we must do. Jesus’ sacrifice was only the beginning of God’s plan of salvation. We have a great responsibility to fulfill as a result of that sacrifice.

What we must do is captured for us in the example of Simon of Cyrene.

He carried the cross

Remember that Jesus was required to carry His own cross up the hill of Golgotha, and this after an unbelievably painful and exhausting nightlong scourging by Roman soldiers. The Greek word for “cross” can mean a straight tree without its branches, or a stake.

At one point along the path, which was lined with gaping spectators, Jesus may have stumbled under the heavy weight of His own crucifixion stake.

Perhaps He dropped to one knee and inhaled deeply, refilling His burning lungs, and attempted to reposition the heavy tree or stake so He could rise again and carry it on.

But the strength Jesus had enjoyed in much better times was sapped, His body critically injured and weakened by the vicious beating He had endured. Jesus no longer even looked like a human being (Isa. 52:14)!

A burly Roman officer standing nearby observed the impossibility of Jesus’ continuing with the cross and looked menacingly at the crowd, evaluating who might be able-bodied enough to be drafted to help the exhausted carpenter carry His death instrument.

Out of the hooting crowd the soldiers pulled Simon of Cyrene, probably a large, stocky farmer who had come in from the country to keep the Spring Holy Days. “You — yes, you!” one of the soldiers screamed. “Get over here and carry this stake!”

Simon probably was thinking: Why do they have to bother me? I don’t want anything to do with this business. What if they nail me to the stake instead of Him? Say, this is heavy. Wonder what He did to deserve this? (more…)

March 28, 2011

Geology Reveals: Two Creations, Two Worldwide Floods

findingtruthmatters.org

Here is startling proof — from the Bible and geology — demonstrating not only two widely separated creations, but two world-wide destructions! Few have understood this astonishing truth!

Contrary to what millions have been led to believe — the true facts of science and the truth of your Bible agree! Theologians have long kept hidden this surprising truth. It conflicts with their theology. Atheistic professors have suppressed it. Science has refused to believe it.

Only a few understand where the key which unlocks the amazing geologic history of the earth is. It has been in the FIRST TWO VERSES OF YOUR BIBLE all these years — and you probably never noticed it.

The FOUNDATION of Knowledge

The very first truth revealed in your Bible is: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This earth was created so perfect, so beautiful, that “the morning stars {the angels — Rev. 1:20} sang for joy” (Job 38:7).

Yet the very next inspired verse of your Bible reveals that this perfect earth was destroyed by a terrible catastrophe! Genesis 1:2 reveals, “And the earth was without form, and void.”

The original Hebrew word, which the King James translators translated “was” in verse two, ought to be translated “became.” It is so translated in Genesis 19:26, in Genesis 2:7, and in many other verses of the Bible. Turn to the example in Genesis 19:26. In this verse the same Hebrew word which is INCORRECTLY translated “WAS” in Genesis 1:2 is here CORRECTLY translated “BECAME.”

Notice, God warned Lot and his wife not to look behind as they escaped from the burning city of Sodom. Lot’s wife disobeyed this command and looked back longingly at the wicked city of Sodom, “She BECAME a pillar of salt” (v. 26).

Obviously, Lot’s wife had not always been a pillar of salt! But when she sinned, she became a pillar of salt.

In like manner, the earth wasn’t originally created a waste and in confusion! The correct translation of Genesis 1:2 from the original inspired Hebrew makes clear: “The earth BECAME without form, and void.”

This truth is further brought out when we note in Genesis 1:2 that the English “without form” was translated from the original Hebrew word “tohu,” which means “desolation” or “confusion.” Is God the author of confusion?

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write: “God is not the author of confusion” (I Cor. 14:33).

Isaiah said, “He {God} created it {the earth} NOT IN VAIN {“tohu” in Hebrew — that is, not in chaos and confusion} (Isa. 45:18). It BECAME that way! (more…)

February 3, 2011

Abraham: Was His Child By Hagar Adultery?

iamachild.wordpress.com

The Creator of the universe set in motion a living, dynamic, active law. That law, when violated, brings on misery, heartache and death, unless repented of. Abraham violated that law, and he suffered the penalty.

Abraham and Sarah for the moment lacked faith in God’s promise to provide them with an heir (Genesis 15:1-6), and Sarah urged Abraham to produce an heir through Hagar, her maid (Genesis 16:2).

Let’s notice the result: “Then Sarai said unto Abram, ‘My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she [Hagar] saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes’ ” (Genesis 16:5).

Yes, they knew they had sinned. Not only did their consciences trouble them, but their deeds brought family problems, animosity, resentment and contempt. The rest of their physical lives was not to be the same. Abraham and Sarah learned an important lesson.

Too many people have the idea that God is a harsh monster who fiendishly punishes human beings the moment they step out of line. No such thing — God set a law in motion to bring us peace and happiness. When we break that law, we bring on ourselves the penalty of sin and suffering.

God designed human beings as free moral agents with capability of making decisions, thereby developing character through experience. God gave man His law to help guide and direct him in living a happy, abundant life. David said: “Oh, how I love Your law! … Your word is a lamp to my feet” (Psalm 119:97, 105).

Yes, Abraham did break God’s law, and it was a bitter lesson not soon forgotten. Abraham did repent, of course, and was blessed by God. But that mistake of Sarah’s and Abraham’s is with us yet — in the animosity between Jew and Arab today!

Source: The Good News, April 1985

September 1, 2009

The Power Of Parental Example

“He’s the spitting image of his father.”  — “He’s a chip off the old block.”   — “Like mother, like daughter.”

Expressions like these reflect that we tend to follow the example set by our parents.  How good or how bad an example do you set as a parent?

Children are richly blessed in life if they have good examples to follow. This leaves you as a parent with a major question to answer: By following your parental example, where will your children end up?

To help answer that question, let’s look at some ways that your children learn from your example. Here are several traits you may occasionally exemplify, and what those examples will produce in your children.

Hostility

A child living with hostility will learn to fight. Have you ever been out somewhere and observed children who punch, scratch, pinch, push, bully, swear at and tattle on other children?

If this is their behavior in public, then what must the example they see at home be like?  Are your children guilty of such conduct? If so, from whom do they learn it?

Parents who stand on the sidelines of sporting events yelling and urging their children to win at all costs — and who get upset and angry when their children lose — are teaching a spirit of competitiveness. They are also teaching that winning is all that matters.

Do you know parents who will only play sports if they can win all of the time and who are extremely irritated at losing? They will not play with people they cannot beat. Ever wonder what attitude their children will adopt toward fair play and being able to lose gracefully?

Why not teach children by example, that winning, though important, is not the supreme goal? Playing the game in sportsmanlike fashion and showing concern for the other players is most important.

Children exposed to bad sporting examples quickly absorb the message that to solve a problem you argue and fight. What a pity they are not rather learning that peace comes from practicing the principles that make for peace (Jas. 3:18).

Criticism

A child who lives with constant criticism will learn to grumble and complain. Is the family dinner table a place for gossip, criticism and cynical remarks? If it is, then children are learning to be complainers.

Do you have gripe sessions in front of them? If you must air grievances, do it privately, away from young, impressionable minds. This may take restraint on your part when you have the urge to be critical. Better still, overcome such negative habits.

Certainly, you should teach your children to accept criticism — it’s a tool for growth — but criticism should always be constructive and be given in a spirit of love.

Disregard for law

It is surprising to see the extent to which some “Christians” flout vehicle speed laws and parking directions. Some apparently feel that traffic regulations are “only man’s laws anyway.”

What is of greater concern about such disregard, beyond that you could wind up hurt physically, is that you are nourishing a belief in your heart that you are above law. This teaches children double standards. Derogatory remarks about authority figures — whether police, teachers, government officials or ministers — also set a bad example.

Paul warns, “Obey those who rule over you” (Heb. 13:17) — even when you consider the rules inadequate or foolish. Your purpose is to learn to submit to authority. If you don’t set the example, how can you expect your children to submit to you? Disregard for law and order encourages rebellion.

Unequal love

Isaac grew up in a family atmosphere that reflected unequal love toward his half brother Ishmael (Gen. 21:8-11). Eventually Ishmael was forced out of the camp and separated from his father, Abraham, because of Sarah’s and Hagar’s feelings against each other.

In time, Isaac had his own family — twin sons — Esau and Jacob. But personality differences took root in the family because Isaac favored Esau while Rebekah gave more of her love to Jacob (Gen. 25:28). This led eventually to Jacob’s taking Esau’s birthright by deceptive means worked out by his mother. Not the best example of family togetherness. But where did Isaac learn to conduct his family this way?

Favoritism

If you practice favoritism, your children will learn to be partial. Continuing with the above story, we read that Jacob had many children from his two wives and their handmaids. But the child Jacob loved most was the youngest, Joseph.

The problem with this was in being so open about it before the others, culminating in the special gift of the coat of many colors (Gen. 37:3-4). This produced family jealousy and rivalry.

Of course, Joseph’s dreams and his approach in telling his brothers didn’t help matters either (verses 5-11). The end result of Jacob’s practicing partiality was that Joseph was sold into Egypt as a slave.

Joseph, himself, was partial years later in Egypt when he gave a banquet for all his brothers. Guess who got the biggest share of food? Benjamin, the youngest, was openly favored (Gen. 43:34).

This resurrected a family resentment that resurfaced at the death of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers became fearful, thinking that with the patriarch out of the way, Joseph would take revenge on them (Gen. 50:15).

Hypocrisy

Children see through hypocrisy, especially in the Christian example you set. Do you say one thing — or even tell your children to do one thing — while you yourself do something else?

Does your child know and see that you pray, study the Bible, fast, get anointed when you are sick and serve others? Or does he see a show at Church services each week and general disinterest the other six days? Whatever you practice, your children see and tend to copy, whether for the good or bad.

But what if you yourself have been the victim of bad parental influences and find yourself struggling to change?

God gives encouragement through the prophet Ezekiel. As long as you are willing to take heed to your ways, to consider right and wrong and seek to change faults, you can avoid being an injurious example to your own children (Ezek. 18:14-17, 27-28). You can, if you are willing to make the effort, teach them God’s way.

Joseph and Mary must have set a fine example for Jesus. God the Father must have been especially mindful that a right kind of family environment would be needed to nurture and admonish Jesus during His boyhood years.

With the help of this fine family example, Jesus grew up to be “in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

Could there be a better goal in child training than this, that as a result of the godly family environment you create for your children, they grow up to be “in favor with God and men”? How richly blessed your children will be if this happens. And what a commendation for you as a parent!

If your family environment reflects criticism, hostility, ridicule and competitiveness, your child will learn to fight, to feel shy and guilty, to be spiteful and hateful and perhaps be destined to end up as an ineffective parent himself.

But if your family environment reflects tolerance, encouragement, praise, fairness, honesty, security and approval, your child will learn acceptance, patience, confidence, justice, faith and to find true and enduring friendships.

The parental example you set has great impact upon your children. Make your example a good one!

Source: The Good News, May 1983

May 31, 2009

The Universe: Evolution Or The Work Of God’s Fingers?

antifan-real.deviantart.com

Whenever we read about evolution, it’s usually preceded by the word theory. A theory, according to Webster’s, is described as “speculation, an idea, hypothesis or a scheme.” A theory then is an unproven statement.

Darwin’s theory of evolution teaches that the first life upon the earth came by “spontaneous generation,” or by “electrochemical action,” or some unknown process millions of years ago in the warm ocean slime. Thus it is the theory of evolution that life sprang out of dead matter, or that the living came from the non-living.

Now probability is the mathematics of chance, and therefore probability should have a great deal to do with evolution.
Given a monkey, a typewriter and a stack of paper, by chance alone, words, sentences, even whole books could be written, right? This is a doctrine deemed holy by a not-insignificant number of educated men in the biological and geological sciences today. (more…)

May 16, 2009

Creating Hate With Hate Crime Bills

Editors Comment: The following article, from theTrumpet.com, was so insightful, I decided to post it in its entirety, because anything else would only detract from the excellent content. If you think reverse discrimination is a myth in America, start reading here to find out how your rights are vanishing at an alarming rate.

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weatherlyentertainment.com

weatherlyentertainment.com

Should sexual perverts have more legal protection than you? According to our elected officials, the answer is yes. The House just passed a Senate bill, expanding the definition of federal “hate crime,” last Wednesday. Special rights and benefits for sexual deviants: homosexuals, lesbians, and transsexuals, have now been codified into federal law. But will the new laws actually reduce hate in America?

“I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on the important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance,” President Barack Obama said before the vote (emphasis mine).

The new hate laws do give special legal status and benefits to those engaging in immoral sexual behavior, but contrary to President Obama’s assertion, they do not protect all of our citizens.

Why shouldn’t all Americans be equal under the law?

For example, under the hate crime laws, a person who assaults a minority while shouting derogatory racist or “homophobic” insults would face federal prosecution and receive a much harsher penalty than if that person had assaulted a heterosexual of Caucasian descent.

Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia describes this new law this way: If Miss California had slapped the homosexual judge who derided her on stage (and later across the Internet), under the new law she could be indicted as a “violent hate criminal,” facing a possible 10 years in prison. But if the homosexual judge had slapped her, she would have had no special protection.

Why are lawmakers so intent on pushing legislation for homosexuals? America has numerous protections, rights and freedoms guaranteed to minorities—the same laws that protect the rest of us. How is justice served when a person who kills a white person gets less jail time than someone who kills an Asian or African American? Murder is murder. And the deterrent against it and penalty for it should be the same for all.

Additionally, there is scant evidence to suggest that homosexuals or cross-dressers do not currently receive equal protection under the law. More likely, under the politically correct influence within the justice system today, they may be more inclined to receive preferential treatment. Incidents of hate crimes have fallen across America for the past 10 years, according to the fbi. And America is more open and accepting of deviant behavior and multiculturalism than it has ever been. America has a half-black president. It has openly homosexual members of the Senate and the House. Homosexual judges rule from the bench. Affirmative action and political correctness in the workplace make it extremely risky for many employers to discriminate.

There is nothing new about politicians pandering to special-interest groups, but what makes these laws so dangerous—besides the fact that they promote deviant sexual behavior that destroys families—is that they divide America into groups of more-favored versus the less. Legislating such laws sends the signal that some people are more important or “more equal” under the law than others.

These hate laws are creating the very thing they are supposed to combat.

Few things stir anger and resentment as quickly as perceived or real injustice. Take the case of the New Haven, Connecticut, firefighters. In the past, New Haven used test scores to determine if a firefighter was qualified to become a lieutenant or captain. However, the city decided to scrap those tests because too few minorities scored high enough to pass.

Of the 118 people who took the most recent test, in 2003, 56 passed. The top 15 high scorers qualified for the lieutenant and captain positions. However, 14 of the top scorers were Caucasian, and one was of Hispanic descent. Since no African Americans or Asians qualified, city officials decided the test was somehow racist and threw out the results in order to promote black firefighters.

The city was so afraid of being labeled racist that it was willing to promote minorities—regardless of merit—at the expense of sacrificing the safety of New Haven’s inhabitants.

The 15 firefighters who were passed over for promotion sued the city on charges that they were the victims of reverse discrimination. The case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. In case you are wondering if the test really was racist, the test syllabus was derived from nationally recognized fire science and tactical textbooks and was composed with the input and approval of the fire department’s top two officials, one of whom is black. Additionally, the candidates took verbal examinations in front of panels dominated by minorities (each of the 10 panels had only one white assessor).

The Obama administration has said it sides with the city, but recommends allowing the lawsuit to proceed on a limited basis. Some business interests have also sided with the city. Why? They are worried that if the court decides in favor of the white and Hispanic firefighters, they would face not only the racial discrimination lawsuits from minorities they are already dealing with, but also from those of Caucasian descent too, according to the Associated Press.

What a mess. But it is going to get messier now that homosexuals, transgenders, and other sexual deviants will have federal hate laws giving them special rights.

America may be about to find that merit-based tests are not just supposedly racist, but also “homophobic.”

The new expanded federal hate laws also have the potential to muzzle free speech, especially regarding freedom of religion.

Churches, synagogues and mosques—anyone who dares say that God regards homosexuality as a sin—could become a target under the new hate laws. According to Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, the legislation could be used to prosecute pastors for preaching the Bible under the concept of “inducement” to violence, which is part of the new law.

For example, if an extremist were to listen to a sermon or read a piece of literature that said homosexuality was a sin, or that God killed the sodomites in Sodom and Gomorrah, and he or she then went and murdered a homosexual, the church or minister could be federally prosecuted for inciting a hate crime.

These hate laws hand the homosexual and lesbian lobby, and every other minority with an axe to grind, an industrial-grade sharpener.

The homosexual movement is rapidly progressing toward its goal, wrote Joel Hilliker in his April 15 column—the goal being “to be able to silence, with the full force of the law, anyone who objects to their immoral behavior.”

Mr. Hilliker noted that 20 states and over 180 cities and counties across the country have already passed legislation specifically banning discrimination against homosexuals and, in most cases, transsexuals, prior to the passage of the federal hate laws. Now the full force of this radical cultural engineering will be felt in terms of heavy lawsuits, financial penalties and castigation, as well as jail time.

But far from reducing hate or discrimination in America, legislating special-interest groups’ unique rights will only increase social friction and hate, because to achieve the ends of these groups, the means inevitably oppress others.

God is not a respecter of persons. Anciently, He commanded Israel that all Israelites were to be equal under the law. The law was not to respect certain individuals or groups more than others. “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour” (Leviticus 19:15).

In Zechariah 7:9-10, God says, “Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.”

God loves all people, regardless or race or even sexual orientation—despite the fact that all people are sinners (Romans 3:23). But God also hates sin—and He demands that all people work to overcome it. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

And what is God’s perfect definition of sin? “[S]in is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4)—biblical law. We used to teach it to our children, but no longer. Today we have lost our understanding of what our Maker defined as right and wrong!

Bible prophecy predicted America would reach a time when justice would leave the land; a time when the nation would proudly declare its blatant, mainstream sins, and minority groups and self-interests would rule. You can read about it in Isaiah 3 and Deuteronomy 28:43-45.

The Prophet Zechariah also gives a warning for today. “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. … I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate” (Zechariah 7:11-14).

It is impossible to bring people together by making laws that set people apart. And no lasting peace or prosperity can come to a nation when it creates laws that are against God.

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