Monday, August 31, 2009
There is a dreaded disease far more destructive and insidious even than A.I.D.S., and has a far higher mortality rate as well. This disease has effected every man, woman and child on the planet.
A.I.D.S. results from HIV which can incubate for up to 15 years without symptoms showing. This deadlier disease always results in death, and everyone has tested ‘positive’.
Indeed, we are all S.I.N.+ and symptoms show almost immediately in our existence.
Sin is so devastating that it’s affected the heart (that is, the core essence of one’s being or “spirit”) to such a detrimental level as to be considered irreversible.
We find this passage in Jeremiah 17:9 –10
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."
The Hebrew word for “desperately” means “incurable”!
Even God can’t cure a heart that has been ruined by sin? No, even God is unable to accomplish this, as incredible as that sounds.
What God must do is replace the sin-infested heart with an entirely new one, completely and utterly free of even the slightest trace of sin: a totally pure heart, fully holy and untainted.
The LORD Jesus who said “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, also said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:3, 8)
By what means does God perform this astounding miracle?
We’ll get to that presently; first I must address something of utmost importance. All of this talk of “sin” and “judgment” and holy demands of perfect obedience to the Law could mislead people into thinking that God is a harsh and cruel judge, vindictively intent on the condemnation of hopeless sinners.
Many have turned away from God for this very reason.
Atheists and humanists believe that God’s love is a sham, because while on the one hand, He offers this salvation and love to all; if any reject His offer, then He casts them into hell! “What sort of love is that?” they ask. “‘Either you love Me or you perish in hell’?”
We must remember that from the time when Adam sinned by partaking of that forbidden fruit, he not only condemned himself to the judgment of a Holy God that must judge sin
in order to vindicate His Holiness; but Adam, acting as the corporate Head of humanity likewise condemned all of his offspring through his fall.
We were all headed to that Throne of Judgment, there to be condemned by the Judge of all the Earth, long before Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin, was raised in that small town where He was trained as a carpenter by His step-father, Joseph; long before He began His ministry at thirty years of age.
It was an act of intervention on God’s part that interrupted our eventual flow down river and into damnation. So, any who reject God’s offer of salvation, isn’t then determined to be cast into hell, but merely continues uninterrupted towards destruction.
As it states in John’s Gospel, 3:18 –
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
The truth of the matter is that God loves you, personally. He has gone to the greatest length and furthest extent to demonstrate this love, as we shall see.
God knows you intimately, for He created you. He knows you even better than you know yourself, believe it or not. He knows your every thought, your dearest dreams, your heaviest burdens, your deepest sorrows and your fondest hopes. He’s well acquainted with your times of loneliness, frustration, anxiety and your harshest struggles in life.
He knows what you will say and do tomorrow as well as every sin you’ve ever committed or thought about committing, and for all that, He loves you and yearns for you!
Yet there is a dilemma: While God’s nature is “love” (1 John 4:16), God is also holy and He cannot partake of sin, but as the holy Judge of all souls, by His Divine, holy nature, He must judge sin. Were He to ignore or overlook sin, it would violate His Holy nature.
Still, His love remains and He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9)! God drags His feet when He brings judgment, but sprints to deliver mercy!
This is why God so hates sin, why He is so opposed to it: because sin separates those which He dearly loves apart from Him: that’s you!
Isaiah said it quite clearly:
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
God knew full well the choices that our father, Adam and our mother, Eve would make while in the garden of Eden; yet He allowed them their free will in order for them to demonstrate either their love and devotion to Him, freely given, or their disobedience to His command, that resulted in the fallen human race we see today.
From eternity, from that lofty vantage point, the Almighty foresaw this great infraction of iniquity and was fully prepared in offering the one remedy that would prove abundantly and gloriously effective! And so His plan began to be revealed:
From Genesis 3:15 God Almighty, King of all Creation made His Royal declaration of war against the serpent a.k.a. the devil (whom Jesus called a “murderer” and “the father of lies” for it was through his lies, he deceived Eve, and Adam followed along with her into sin, effectively murdering, spiritually speaking, the human race).
God warned Adam that the day in which he would partake of that forbidden fruit, he would surely die, that is, in the Hebrew: “dying, you shall die.” However Adam lived for hundreds of years after he took that forbidden fruit, on a physical level. Spiritually, Adam died when he disobeyed God by taking the forbidden fruit; being severed through sin, from the very Life Source that is God alone, and thus began the process of death - spiritually it was immediate; physically it was a slow, wearisome ordeal.
Separation from God always leads to death, just as a fish separated from water, a plant from the soil, an astronaut cut off from his life line while space-walking outside his space shuttle results in eventual death.
In God’s mind, there resided a plan by which sin would eventually be obliterated and its deadly effects nullified. It began in Genesis as God pronounced before the first human couple:
“And I will put enmity between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Note that peculiar phrase “the seed of the woman” – that is a Messianic title, the first of many throughout the Bible; since the woman bears the egg, not the seed, this title hints of the virgin birth of Christ.
Even then, in the garden, God took away the fig leaves Adam and Eve wore (for they learned that they were naked) and gave them coats of skins, that is, animal skins. Imagine the horror on their faces when they witnessed for the first time ever, the slaughter of animals, the shedding of blood, death and dying, for their own sakes, so that they could be covered from their shame. Even in this, they began to understand that by the death of another, they would be delivered!
God likewise made a pronouncement to Abram (“father of many”), later called Abraham (“father of many nations”), saying that through him, the father of the Hebrew nation, all the nations of the world will be blessed. In Genesis 15, God promised Abram the land that would later come to be known as Canaan, and would eventually become the land of Israel. God also promised Abraham a son, Isaac, through whom these promises would be fulfilled.
In Genesis 22, God did the unthinkable: He commanded Abraham to take his son, (in God’s eyes, his only son even though he had an older son, Ishmael) whom he loved, and offer him up in sacrifice in the place that God would show him!
God never commanded any one else to perform a child sacrifice, and elsewhere condemns this very practice; He actually prevented Abraham from carrying out the command in the end. So, why the big performance? God was actually teaching Abraham, and via the recorded scripture of this event, all of us who read it, what His plan would entail.
God showed Abraham where he would offer up Isaac, and Abraham called that place, “Jehovah-Jireh” that is, “in the mount of the LORD, it shall be seen.” What was seen there? I believe that God gave Abraham a vision that paralleled what he himself was enacting when he laid the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s back, when he led him to that place of sacrifice, when he bound the hands of his beloved son, and poised the knife to strike. Remember the words of Jesus Christ . . .
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad."
For there would come a day when another Son had wood laid on His back, the cross-beam of a crucifix; He likewise was bound, and brought to the place of sacrifice (many biblical scholars and archeologists believe that the place where Abraham offered his son, was the same mount that was later called Golgotha, or Calvary, the place where Christ was crucified).
Slowly, throughout the centuries, God inspired various prophets to write the holy scriptures, and to them were given visions, oracles, and divinely granted understanding in regards to the mystery of him who is called “the Messiah”, that is, “the anointed one” (being anointed by the Spirit of God, and thus empowered to be both the King, and Savior of all Israel).
Two primary chapters that speak of the Messiah-King or “Meschiach-Nagid” in Hebrew are Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53. May I encourage you to read these passages before you continue on with this article? I’ll sit here and wait for you to finish!
In Psalm 22, the very first and last verses are the same first and last statements that Jesus Christ made on the cross:
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?"
"They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this."
That phrase in vs. 31 “that he hath done this” can easily be translated “that he hath finished this” and that’s what Jesus declared – “It is finished.” More about this distinguishing phrase later on.
Rather than review the physical aspects of crucifixion as Psalm 22 prophetically entails, I believe it would prove useful, not to mention emotionally moving, to examine the
following articles by physicians who’ve studied the crucifixion and the physiological aspects people suffered during this excruciating process. There is also a video file on the last link for you to watch.
One thing I will say: I was leaving the theater one day after seeing Mel Gibson’s The Passion, and overheard two girls talking. One of them said she felt that the film wasn’t accurate, that the violence done to Jesus was exaggerated. I gently interjected and said to her, “You’re right about that film, it isn’t at all accurate.
“As a Bible student of over twenty five years, I’ve studied this, and what I can tell you is that this film doesn’t even come close to the violence done to Jesus!
According to what we saw in this film the actor James Cavaziel who played Jesus was still recognizable as a man; you could distinguish his features quite readily, even through the blood. Yet in the book of Isaiah, it states that he wasn’t even recognizable as a human being, He was so beaten and abused!” (Isaiah 52:14)
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ - The death of Jesus on a cross.
Once the last prophet of the Old Testament canon completed his writings (Malachi), there was a span of four hundred years when there was no holy oracle given by any other prophet. It seemed that God had gone mute, but no further revelation was necessary than what they already received; sufficient were the scriptures imparted to Israel in order for them to rightly identify their Messiah who would come.
Finally one last prophet arose, who would herald the arrival of the Messiah: John the Baptist; and while John wrote no scriptures, he was indeed the last and greatest of all the Old Testament prophets as stated by the LORD Jesus Himself (Matthew 11:11), and he boldly declared the need for the nation of Israel to repent of her sins, and to make ready the way for the Messiah their King.
This is not the end by far, but because of length, I have divided the message up into 4 parts. Tomorrow we will conclude with part 4 of "The Simple and Serious Gospel of Salvation", which will cover the crucifixion of Jesus; His work on the cross; and the foundation of fellowship with our new Father.
Lord, for those readers questioning where they stand with you in eternal matters, open the eyes of their understanding, open their ears so that they can hear you, and soften their hearts to receive You as Lord and Savior of their lives.
For more about the Gospel of salvation where it concerns sanctification, the process of becoming more holy and resembling the LORD Jesus character by growing in His grace, please visit Phase II: The Sanctifier is the Saint's Fire - The Next Step For New Believers in Christ Read more!
Friday, August 28, 2009
A Divine Diagnosis
Just as with any visit to the doctor’s office, before the necessity of treatment can be ascertained, there must be a proper diagnosis to determine what is wrong. Likewise before one perceives the need for salvation, there must first be evidenced the deficiency of righteousness and holiness, both of which God requires of all of us:
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. "
1 Peter 1:16
"Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
The Ten Commandments (found in Exodus, chapter 20), as well as the Law in general, found throughout the Old Testament, is God’s righteous standard, a yard stick so to speak, to see how we all measure up. Even a superficial overview of the Ten Commandments will snag every one of us, yours truly included, in at least one point.
Failure to obey God’s command is generally known as ‘sin’. One may endeavor in all sincerity to obey God’s law, but never quite obtain a perfect performance. We “fall short of the mark” much like a contestant at a carnival, who, with hammer in hand, tries to strike the bell high above, but as he strikes, the iron ball rises, only to fall back down, without sounding the bell. He has fallen short of the mark, he has failed.
A different kind of offense is one in which a person knowingly disregards the Law of God, and in a spirit of rebellion, disobeys His Holy command. This is known as ‘transgression’. For such an example in our every day world: 55 m.p.h. Enough said!
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, any sin committed by a living soul will reap the judgment of God and due punishment:
"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die."
The justice of God is inescapable and we will all one day come Face to face with our Maker!
We are all diagnosed with sin. If we look into the Law of God - - this Law (i.e., as in the Word of God) is very much like a mirror (“But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass [mirror]; for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and immediately forgetteth what manner of man he was.” James 1:22-24); it reveals our sinful condition and our need for a remedy.
Even the most religious and ceremonious leaders in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees, were convicted of their own imperfections and sins:
"And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, (4)They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. (5)Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
John 8:7, 9
"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (9)"And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst."
Jesus shocked His hearers when He declared this, in regards to the ‘professional law-keepers’ and ‘religious leaders’:
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
The Pharisees deluded themselves into thinking they were pleasing God, that they were in obedience to the LORD; they in fact believed they could be saved by the Law; yet the LORD Jesus rebuked them for their outward religious show, and formalism (a superficial observance and adherence to a religious belief system w/o having any inward effect on spiritual purity and moral integrity, known also as “legalism”) as in Matthew 23: 25-33.
The LORD raised the standard regarding the intent of the Law, in his preaching of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 43-44), thus rightly using the Law for its Divinely appointed purpose – to reveal what’s in our hearts:
Matthew 15:18, 19
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:"
It is our hearts, much more than our actions that God will judge!
This leads to a verse found in the book of James that many have misunderstood and think that this passage is terribly unfair:
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
Why would God find someone guilty of breaking all the Law, if in fact they kept it all, but failed in one point?
When one commits a sin, this reveals a spiritual truth – that this person is a sinner. Without the sin nature one would not be compelled to commit sins, yet this nature so drives the human race!
You can’t expect a dog not to bark, or a fish not to swim, or a bird not to fly, or for a sinner to not sin. Each will act according to their nature; to do otherwise would be unnatural.
Thus, having a sinful nature, all one requires is time and availability to have such lusts manifested in one’s heart which God will judge; it’s the nature of a sinful heart, more than sinful actions committed that is being addressed here by James.
Right now, you could be thinking, “If that’s the case, then God is asking for the impossible! I can’t be expected to live such a holy, sinless life!”
Exactly right! Romans 3: 20 makes it quite clear:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
What hope then do any of us have to obtain God’s favor and acceptance, and to earn the right of passage into heaven? Excellent questions we will address in the following section of this article entitled "The Salvation Solution" where we will find hope, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Read more!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Gospel in the modern, materialistic world has been at best misunderstood, and at worst, perverted into a “happy” gospel that seems to have more to do with successful living than with the salvation of a life.
During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s we’ve watched televangelists declare that if “you have enough faith, you can acquire health and wealth, fat bank accounts, a big house, an expensive car and be blessed with all the amenities of a real “King’s kid.”
The poor, the sick, and the needy, these were the weak in faith that were despised by the so-called spiritually mature which looked down on them with disdainful disapproval.
In our current environment, Christianity has sunk even deeper into an apostate, carnal belief system as an increasing number of pastors, leaders, bible teachers, and lay people endorse an “emergent” philosophy that denies the Gospel by declaring it unnecessary (Note to reader: review the excellent article on TNT by A.M. Kisly regarding the Emergent Church Movement- “Invasion of the ‘Body’ Snatchers” and my own article on FROM the MIND of FIRE, “Triumphant But Tragic Trojan”)!
Yet because of all these deviations we’ve never had a time in which the pure, unadulterated Gospel was needed more than in this world succumbing to increasing darkness.
While strenuous endeavors to ‘un-gospelize’ the church by emergent influences continue (and thereby accommodating it to a universal religion comprised of an amalgam of the major belief systems represented in Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.), those of us who are called by the Name of Jesus Christ our LORD must stand firmly in our convictions based solely on the very Word of God, the exclusive source of spiritual Truth, to combat these falsehoods.
No one needs to define the Gospel, nor is the Gospel open to interpretation by theologians, pastors and Bible teachers (particularly of the liberal sort). Further, there is only one Gospel of Salvation, and the apostle Paul expressly stated that Christians are to accept NO SUBSTITUTES (See 2 Corinthians 11:4)! The Bible itself states quite plainly and succinctly what the Gospel is, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3)For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
Dr. Schofield comments in his study Bible on 1 Corinthians 15:1-8:
“In vs. 1-8 the apostle outlines the Gospel of God’s grace. (1) It concerns a Person – the Christ of the Scriptures and history. (2) It concerns His death – “for our sins according to the Scriptures.” His burial is asserted as the evidence of His death; and that He was seen alive is declared as the proof of His resurrection. This is the Gospel that Paul preached; that the early Church accepted; and by which men are saved (vs. 1-2)”
The very word “Gospel” means “glad tidings” or good news, and it’s intertwined irrevocably with the term “saved”.
In today’s preaching, even among evangelical churches, the issue and reality of hell is seldom mentioned; when an offer of receiving Christ Jesus and His salvation is made, it's associated with a better life, an improved marriage, the means to solve problems, lift burdens, break bondage, brighten gloomy, down-trodden souls and other benefits.
Certainly such things as listed above may result as a by-product of salvation, yet the primary purposes of the Gospel are the forgiveness of sin, without which the unrepentant sinner will perish and spend eternity in hell (in regards to that horrible, deplorable situation, I’ve often said, “There are no exit signs in hell”); as well as this, the redemption of a lost soul via the spiritual birth in Christ Jesus and the new life that this brings to the believer.
We must wonder, where are the on-fire preachers of days gone by, full of zealous love for God, and for sinners? Where are the holy heralders of the Truth, who refuse to compromise or soft-pedal God’s Word? Where are the thundering pulpits that boldly declare the desperately wicked condition of fallen, sinful man and proclaim warnings of an interminable torment in the flames of hell-fire?
How can a people acknowledge their need of salvation, if they don’t know what they’re being saved from?
Since the fall of Adam, our human father and the progenitor of our race, sin has been passed on to all of us and no amount of religious devotion, no substantial weight of prayer (ritualistic or otherwise); no sacrifice or religious duties fulfilled can ever erase the deadly reality of sin in our lives. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ and “believing faith” in such can redeem us from sin, and from its inevitable penalty, hell.
I’ve been given this opportunity and privilege to share the Gospel in this article, and I pray that the LORD is honored by it, and that all who read this are blessed, particularly those who do not yet know Jesus as their LORD and Savior.
In my next article, we shall examine the doctrine of salvation by biblical ‘exposition’ (that is, what does the Bible mean?) to determine what the Gospel actually is. We will ask, and prayerfully answer, why salvation is necessary, as well as why Christ alone sacrificed on our behalf is sufficient as payment for the sins of the world, including yours and mine.
Further, we shall delve even deeper into this study and examine the component ‘parts’ of salvation and see how they relate to the newly born and saved in Christ, and the maturing saint, as well as the saint who has passed from this life into the next.
You may prefer to read the scriptural references in your own version. I will be posting verses here in the King James Version, but please feel free to grab your own Bible and look them up.
Tomorrow, we will uncover together "A divine Diagnosis and The Salvation Solution" in Part 2 of this article. You are welcome to leave your comments or questions by clicking on comments and following the instructions to post.
Until then, I pray that the LORD Jesus bless you all . . . WAY TOO MUCH!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Here we go folks! The Constitution as we know it is continually being abused and trampled upon by those who say, "We're trying to think outside the box." Does it matter to anyone that we are losing our liberty and freedoms on a daily basis? We cannot allow government leaders to misinterpret and rewrite constitutional law for their own agendas. Taking away the rights of law abiding citizens to deal with gang related issues is a smokescreen to set a precedent for further abuse of our constitutional rights.
I am not advocating violence or crime of any sort, but let's deal with those who are carrying out these acts, not a CITY WIDE curfew for LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. Adult curfews are usually associated with the imposition of martial law, which typically is restricted to emergencies, wartime or military occupation.
This is not about staying up all hours of the night, to think so is completely absurd. It is about keeping and protecting our freedom in this country, and it should be of the greatest concern and value to the holders of it. I cannot stress enough just how important it is for you to stand up for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If we don't, we will no longer be a free nation, and we will simply succumb to those who have no respect for life, or faith, or freedom, or liberty.
Our aim is that our readers will be well-informed of the coming events, be prepared for future events, and continue to be steadfast in faith. I personally would like to post recipes and jokes at this point, but we are living in evil times. Our hope and our confidence is in the Lord Jesus Christ, but we must continue to stand up for righteousness and protect life and the liberties that we hold dear.
Be strong and take heed that you are not deceived in this evil day!
New Jersey City May Impose Nation's First Curfew for Adults
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Folks, pay attention to this one. As the Scriptures say in 1Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
U.S. Representative, Barney Frank is responding to what he called the “unusual nature of the health care debate.” He intends to host a town hall meeting on the national effort to overhaul the health care system.
Anything Mr. Frank has to say should be thoroughly scrutinized in my opinion. Let's not forget last year's enormous BAIL OUT and the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae scandal. I remember watching the House Debates on C-Span, where Mr. Franks blamed the entire mess on the Bush Administration. Mr. Frank who was at that time ranking member and now is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, disputed the red flags that were raised in this crisis.
Well, let's just listen to Mr. Frank "In His Own Words" to what really happened just a few years before.
Is this really a guy you can trust? He wants you to believe that a government run Health Care System is a good thing. Think Again!
In this hearing, Barney Frank went as far as saying that even if there were a crisis (Freddie & Fannie), government wouldn't bail them out. Isn't that just what the government did and at what cost? They say one thing AND then do another, and when everything blows up around them, they lie about it. They are asking for another TRILLION dollars of debt without TRUST, are we mad? And if this weren't enough, they are also talking about MORE STIMULUS MONEY!
Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said, “The President and his allies in Congress are masters of confusion and deception. They create nonexistent ‘emergencies’ to scare the American people into submission. They have a political agenda which distorts the facts regarding health care. ObamaCare is not at all about insuring the uninsured. It is about Chicago-style political power which does not respect life or liberty.”
By the way, for those of us living in New York, we should also question the judgment of Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, who was also a staunch defender of these two mortgage giants.
Some will argue that we are in a crisis, I'm not sure that this so called health care "crisis" really exists. I agree that health care costs need to come down and there needs to be more affordable insurance rates, but a crisis? To me, it's beginning to feel more like a government takeover. America has a choice, to remain free, or continue to go down this road of unwelcome government control. Remember those fine pieces of parchment called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? It is the people who "govern" government (of the people, by the people and for the people), not the other way around.
In a response to Obama's Op-ed in the New York Times G. Wesley Clark, MD writes:
Mr. President, I just read your op-ed in the New York Times. You must either be incredibly ignorant (e.g., pediatricians performing tonsillectomies, surgeons being paid $50,000 for an amputation), or else you believe that Americans are incredibly stupid.
You justify a hasty and massive healthcare “reform” to save money, by spending an additional trillion dollars. You would fix a “broken” and broke Medicare system by adding another 47 million beneficiaries to government programs while arguing this will reduce overall costs.
I’ve itemized your inaccurate claims, with my comments in italics.
You assert that your healthcare reform will:
* Force insurance companies to insure pre-existing conditions. That’s like allowing bettors to wait till after the race has been run, to place their bets. That won’t cut costs.
* Eliminate lifetime limits on coverage. Unlimited lifetime coverages must increase premiums to pay for them and will raise total costs.
* Require insurance companies to pay for routine examinations, preventive care, and screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. Once again, how can you be insured against a sure thing? The only way my company can pay for a colonoscopy is to add enough onto the premium to pay for it, plus their overhead.
* Make Medicare more efficient, so tax dollars won’t enrich insurance companies. Insurance companies do not derive income from Medicare, because it is a federal program. Incidentally, its costs per patient have increased much faster than private insurance.
* Cut hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid. These programs have been in effect over 40 years — and I’ve seen the waste and inefficiency for most of that interval. Did you just find out about the waste and inefficiency now, and why hasn’t something already been done about it?
You claim that:
* “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” But didn’t you just imply this week that Medicare Advantage subsidizes insurance companies and should be eliminated to save money?
* “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” But large numbers of doctors have indicated that they will quit or retire if this plan is enacted
* “You will not be waiting in any lines.” Maybe you won’t but we will. Your plan will add up to 47 million new insureds, with no increase in the supply of primary care physicians that are already in short supply.
We physicians live with our healthcare system, all day and every day. We care about being able to heal. We hate disputing with insurance companies, and especially with government bureaucrats. Certainly changes in insurance practices are needed, and would have occurred long ago, absent a government record of 60 years of meddling with the market.
As you say, “…let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations” such as those in your op-ed, “that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed.”
And I agree, this is about America’s future: whether Americans will remain free, or be ruled by an increasingly intrusive and authoritarian statist government.
G. Wesley Clark, MD
Again, listen to what they say, but really pay attention to what they do. Read more!
This morning, I wanted to share the light and hope Jesus Christ through this morning's devotion provided by The Institute of Creation Research. Though we are going through tough times, how wonderful to be reminded that our hope and our future is with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
May you be refreshed in His Spirit today!
Provided By The Institute of Creation Research: Days of Praise
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." (Revelation 22:16)
The epilogue of Revelation contains many words of comfort to the believer. Our Lord promises, among other things, that "behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me" (v. 12), and "blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (v. 14). Likewise, there are many names for God given, such as "the Lord God of the holy prophets" (v. 6), "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (v. 13), and "the root and the offspring of David" (text). This rehearsal of names and deeds provides comfort, but why is Christ called the "bright and morning star"?
The analogy is to the planet Venus, so often seen shining brightly in the early morning. The sight of the planet provides a pledge of the coming day during which the light is brighter and the sight clearer.
Likewise, however beautiful and awe-inspiring our perception is now by the light of our Bright and Morning Star, Jesus Christ, we are promised a more complete view. Although He has "shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6), and although Christ appeared as "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person" (Hebrews 1:3), soon we shall see Him "face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12) and even "be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
Our view now constitutes only the beginning of a clearer sight--a guarantee of the glorious day that has no night, when we shall see the King in all His beauty. There will even be no need of the sun, "for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof" (Revelation 21:23). JDM
Monday, August 17, 2009
Principal and Athletic Director Face Criminal Charges for Prayer at Luncheon
What is this world coming to? Liberty Council has taken on the legal defense of a Florida High School Principal and Athletic Director. Both are facing criminal charges for saying a blessing over a meal at their booster club luncheon.
Criminal charges! For praying! Yes that what I said.
Satan has his minions in full battle mode. As of late, we have been engaging in a battle to protect the freedoms of our country. The freedom’s we enjoy are constantly under attack by those who hate God, hate Christianity, hate freedom, and hate you and me. These God haters hate America; they hate freedom and will go to any lengths to suppress freedom of religion and freedom of speech. History proves that our Nation was founded by Christian men and Christian principals. It is the 10 commandments in the Bible which govern our land. Perhaps these God haters would rather do away with the law as well.
Jesus told his disciples that they hated Him, and they will hate us as well.
We must continue to be alert, and aware of the ploys of our enemy, and we must continue to be engaged in the battle. It is not time to retreat but it is time to stand and fight. For far too long, Christian men and women have been lulled to sleep by the good life, which has left us exposed to the wiles of the devil. Whenever something would arise, we simply did not want to be bothered, after all someone else can fight those battles.
Well those days are gone. While we were playing and sleeping and having fun, Satan has taken over our government, our schools, our churches and even our family.
11And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Please keep these men in your prayers, that the gates of hell will not prevail against them.
Here’s the article:
Santa Rosa County, FL – Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman are both facing criminal contempt charges for a prayer offered at a Field House Luncheon. The luncheon included former booster club members and other adults who helped the field house project. Liberty Counsel represents Principal Lay and Director Freeman in this case.
Last year the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School District, claiming that some of the teachers and administration “endorsed” religion. Rather than fight, the School District consented to the entry of an order that prohibited, among other things, all prayer at school-sponsored events. The School District then consented to a much broader order fashioned by the ACLU, which essentially bans all employees from engaging in prayer or religious activities, whether before, during, or after school hours. Without any legal argument, the federal district court in Pensacola, Florida, entered the Consent Order. The order unconstitutionally infringes on the rights of teachers, administrators, and students. Liberty Counsel filed a motion to intervene, on behalf of Christian Educators Association International, to challenge the overreaching order.
In the meantime, the ACLU began to go against individual employees. The ACLU complained to the court that Mr. Freeman and Mr. Lay offered a prayer to bless the meal served to consenting adults at the appreciation luncheon. Based on the ACLU’s allegations, U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers has now initiated criminal contempt proceedings and has referred Messrs. Lay and Freeman to the United States Attorney’s office for prosecution. The U.S.A. has accepted the assignment and is prosecuting Mr. Lay and Mr. Freeman criminally for the mealtime prayer. Trial is scheduled for September 17. If convicted, Mr. Lay and Mr. Freeman are subject to fines and imprisonment, yet neither willfully violated any orders of the court.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “It is a sad day in America when school officials are criminally prosecuted for a prayer over a meal. The Founders believed that religion and morality are the twin pillars of the Republic. Judeo-Christianity was taught in public schools, because such teaching was the foundation of liberty. George Washington said that whoever undermines the twin pillars of religion and morality cannot be called a ‘Patriot.’ It is outrageous and an offense to the First Amendment to punish a school official for a simple prayer.”
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Breaking News from the Associated Press
The people have spoken and it's looking like they have been heard!
According to the Associated Press in Washington this morning — "President Barack Obama's administration signaled on Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run health insurance as part of his ambitious health care proposal."
"Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama's liberal supporters but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers."
The Washington Times
Time will certainly tell whether or not this battle is won, however we are encouraged by this news. We are so proud of the private citizens who have taken the time and energy to do their homework, contact their states representatives, go to town hall meetings and let their voice be heard. What a wonderful example of democracy when "we the people" begin to engage in what is our responsibility, in order to protect our freedoms and the future of our country.
While I'm not yet ready to let my guard down at this point, I am more optimistic which is a welcome change. Dear readers, continue to be diligent in your efforts to speak to your Congress and Senate about this matter and the many matters that will arise after this. Continue to be steadfast in prayer for our country and our leaders.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
A note to our readers:
We will be posting a lot of news updates and articles in the coming weeks, please be prayerful, thoughtful and open to God's leading.
The news alerts may be somewhat disturbing, but necessary. We will continue to encourage you in the Lord, but your ultimate source of comfort and strength will be from Him directly. Get in the Word and stay in prayer always. We are in dark times, we must stay close to our wonderful Lord and Savior, and always remember…He has already won! And………so will we!
Remember 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds."
We must pray, and pray without ceasing for the Lord to pull down the strongholds in this nation. We must also be informed and understand what is going on around us. Pray for discernment and wisdom. We must ask for strength, courage, and boldness to stand in the evil day, standing in righteousness. We must act by doing what is good and what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and for your fellowman.
What does the Constitution really say? Find out!
What does the Healthcare bill really say? Find out!
In an article written by Chelsea Schilling at WorldNetDaily, she states that Michael Boldin, founder of The Tenth Amendment Center, told WND (WorldNetDaily) that if citizens want to understand whether health care is constitutional, they must first understand the function of the Constitution.
"No powers can be exercised by the Congress which are prohibited by the Constitution or which are contrary to its spirit."
– Justice John McLean, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857
The article goes on to address the following question:
Is a federal government takeover of the health care system constitutional?
Some argue that under the Constitution, Congress is not authorized to regulate or subsidize health care
"The best way to look at it is that it doesn't apply to you," he said. "It doesn't apply to me. It doesn't apply to any person at all. IT APPLIES TO THE GOVERNMENT, and it sets the boundaries of what government is supposed to do."
In debating whether health care is constitutional, Boldin said citizens must look to the founding document to 1) determine whether the power is specifically listed there, or 2) if there isn't a specific power listed, look to the "Necessary and Proper Clause," or Article I, Section 8, clause 18.
Article I, Section 8, specifically lists the following powers granted to Congress:
* The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
* To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
* To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
Get "Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws" now!
* To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies
throughout the United States;
* To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
* To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
* To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
* To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
* To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
* To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
* To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
* To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
* To provide and maintain a Navy;
* To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
* To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
* To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
* To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
* To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof
To read the rest of this article, please click on the following link:
'Obamacare:' What does the Constitution have to say? Read more!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I would encourage our readers to listen to this audio segment by President Ronald Reagan. I pray that you will be open to hearing what a social health care system will really mean for America.
From the 1961 Operation Coffee Cup Campaign against Socialized Medicine as proposed by the Democrats, then a private citizen Ronald Reagan Speaks out against socialized medicine. There is no video because this was an LP sent out by the American Medical Association
RONALD REAGAN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SOCIALIZED MEDICINE & SOCIALISM.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Christians have been used by God in many ways throughout known human history and that history is ultimately about God's story. For the one who has changed the course of history more than any other is Jesus Christ.
I think it worth mentioning some of the other men and women who for their faith in Jesus Christ have laid down their lives, even in the cesspool of politics to display God’s love and compassion to this world, not just in word but in deed.
The following might serve as a wonderful bridge to a discussion of the gospel.
Christian Faith That Changed the World
In England, we saw statesmen, like William Wilberforce – who led the fight to abolish slavery. Christians such as Lord Shaftsbury were also involved with correcting child labor abuses. Christians brought about reform to insane asylums, they worked in prisons and have had a great impact on every level of society.
Christians established thousands of missions around the world including orphanages, schools, hospitals and medical clinics. Christians have led the way in bringing literacy and modern sanitation to multiplied millions of people around the world.
All these reforms were brought about by social action of godly men.
The following article explores the question of “Should Christians be involved in Politics?”
I know that some of our visitors believe that we should not, based upon the teachings that Jesus wasn’t involved in politics, nor did he tell His followers to join any specific political movement.
I personally believe that Jesus Christ not only took a stand in His day, but if look again, we will find that He took an extreme political position. He challenged the existing government by announcing a new government, the Kingdom of God and that He himself as the head of it.
At the time of Jesus, the Jews were living under the government of the Roman Empire. People could worship the gods of their choice, so long as they also worshiped the Roman Caesar, who was seen as their god.
Refusing to worship Caesar (the Emperor) was seen as an act of treason, which was punishable by death. That is why so many early Christians were persecuted by the Roman State, not because they were involved in various religions, but because the Roman authorities saw their religion as a threat to the state.
The official religion of the day was Emperor Worship; this meant that it was a political offense to not worship the Roman state. Christians were burned at the stake and eaten by wild animals because it was perceived that they were involved in crimes of treason.
Jesus Christ stated that He, and not Caesar, had all authority in heaven and earth.
Matthew 24:35 (King James Version)
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 28:18 (King James Version)
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
His disciples understood that God’s Laws took precedence over Caesar’s laws. In other words, He challenged the political and spiritual authority of the most powerful government in the world at that time.
Jesus told us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God the things which are God’s.
Mark 12:17 (King James Version)
"And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marveled at him."
(also found in Matthew 22:21 and Luke 20:25)
The Bible makes it very clear that when man’s law violates God’s Law, then we are to obey God rather than man. And we see the disciples doing this in Acts Chapter 5.
We know that Jesus’ disciples did not get involved in politics, why?
The disciples did not get involved simply because Rome was not a democratic country. Political involvement, as we know it today, did not exist.
What we do know is that Jesus Christ proposed a higher Law and a new King, Himself, and the Christians of His day were prepared to sacrifice their lives for Him. How radical is that?
It should be obvious that Jesus, and the early church, challenged the political and religious people of their times, but the question still remains if God expects us to become involved in politics today?
What do we mean by the word ‘political’? Today, we see this as the practice of governments in the civil arena; politics usually refers to involvement and influencing those who govern.
If we are going to fulfill God’s purpose in ministering to people’s needs, then surely this means that we are going to have to deal with social problems.
How can we implement God’s Word and demonstrate love for the poor if we do not get involved in politics? How do we take care of the poor, the widows and the orphans, without being involved in politics?
At the very least, we play an indirect role in being involved in politics by voting at the national and local elections. It is very important to influence government officials because the poor are usually impacted first by changes in the economy, and these changes are generally brought about by new laws and policies as passed by government.
God has also commanded us to liberate the oppressed. We often find that the greatest agents of oppression in the world are secular humanist and authoritarian governments. Wouldn’t it be an effective way of liberating the oppressed by influencing those governments to pass laws that can help rather than exploit these people?
Government policies can play a role in protecting unborn babies, who are murdered by abortion. Through political laws a country can protect women and children from the exploitative industry of pornography. Sex and violence on television, women being viewed as sex objects and abused and raped can be corrected by the passing of godly laws.
Governments govern people, they will decide if we are going to live as free people or oppressed people. They will also, by their laws, decide on how we are going to worship God – whether it be freely or under persecution. They will also set the standard of morality by the laws that are enforced.
The question is – by what standard are they going to govern?
The following four verses help us to understand what God expects from Government:
Proverbs 28:15 (King James Version)
"As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people."
In other words, A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a lion or bear attacking them.
Proverbs 29:2 (King James Version)
"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."
In other words, with good men in authority, the people rejoice, but with the wicked in power, they groan.
Proverbs 29:16 (King James Version)
"When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall."
In other words, When rulers are wicked their people are too, but good men will live to see the tyrants downfall.
Proverbs 29:18 (King James Version)
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
In other words, Where there is ignorance of God, the people run wild, but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep His laws.
While the institution of government is ordained of God, it is obvious that God does not approve of all governments. It should be obvious that God did not approve of Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Idi Amin or any other bloodthirsty dictator in history. Governments must live and rule according to God’s purpose, they need to protect the innocent, punish the guilty and preserve the peace, so that we can live peaceful and godly lives in our country.
When God’s Law comes into conflict with man’s law, then we as Christians need to obey God’s Law above man’s law. And, this might also mean that we need to physically resist the wicked when they oppose the Law given to us by God.
In 1 Timothy 2:1-4 we are instructed to pray for God’s wisdom and for direction for our leaders so that we might "live peaceable and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."
We know that the function God has given government is the dispensing of justice and the restraining of evil (Romans 13:1-4).
For God to demonstrate His justice in government, He uses godly men and women in government, to do His will.
Proverbs 28:5 (King James Version)
"Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things."
In other words, Evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow the Lord are much concerned about it.
We need godly men and women in positions of authority, so that we may have a peaceful, just and moral society. If the moral, righteous people of our country do not take their responsibility in government, then we leave the doors open for our nation to be governed by the wicked and immoral.
We need to defend those who can’t defend themselves (Proverbs 31:8). We are to give fair judgment to the poor, the afflicted and the orphans. How can this be done in a society, when Christians remain outside the areas of politics and justice?
Christians were told by the Apostles that they must not sue each other in secular courts, but that they needed to go to the church elders to settle their civil disputes. The Roman governors of the day began to appoint the early church Bishops to positions as judges, because of their reputation for integrity and high moral ethics. Rome became very insecure because their court systems became corrupt and the only way to correct this was for the Roman authorities to appoint godly men as the administrators of justice.
Christians throughout history have had a great impact on every level of society around the world, the question then becomes will we?
Thursday, August 6, 2009
LIBERAL EFFORTS TO DISCREDIT AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE NOT WORKING!
The liberal effort to discredit American citizens who are expressing their views on an issue of vital importance is completely without merit, but it is instructive. It tells us that liberals know that despite their tremendous advantages in terms of resources and power in Washington, they are losing the health care messaging war. It’s becoming clear that Americans are not ready for a government takeover of the health care system, and they aren’t going to sit by idly while Democrats ram it down their throats.
Continue to fight the good fight of faith. Pray without ceasing. Let your voice be heard. Be a good steward of the freedoms and privileges God has blessed us with.
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
VIDEO NEWS WATCH:
TIM BISHOP PROTEST, SETAUKET, NY (part one)
Lloyd Doggett's meeting on Obamacare in south Austin, TX, 1 Aug 2009
US Soldier Demands Apology From Senator Claire McCaskill at Town Hall
Crowd Explodes When Arlen Specter Urges That We "Do This Fast"
Legal Immigrant Voices Disgust At Entitlements, Arlen Specter Loves Entitlements That Are Bankrupt