Sunday, June 29, 2014

Conversation with Gluttony: The friend I didn't know!

This is also called God's Diet because with God as your guide, you're not alone.

Gluttony: Good morning sir, how are you today?
Me: I'm very well, thank you, but to whom am I speaking?
Gluttony: We've met before. It's just that you always turn your back on me!
Me: I'm a Christian! I certainly wouldn't do that!
Gluttony: Christians are the worst you know. They're always the first to deny me. James tells us that we are to treat everybody the same without regard, but you, my friend, stick up your nose and totally ignore me! It seems that you don 't think I'm good enough to be recognized.
Me: My apologies, if you think that, but I assure you that I'm not a respecter of persons. I just don't know you!
Gluttony: That's called "Denial". He's not a friend of mine, but I see that you and he have been good friends for years!
Me: I don't know anyone named "Denial" either. Are you playing mind games with me?
Gluttony: No sir! I see you with Denial quite often and as you approach me, Denial points toward others to distract you. It seems that Denial uses slight-of-hand and trickery to keep you best friends with Pleasure, Indulgence and Immediacy.
Me: Those are my secret friends, but I I like Obedience, Sacrifice and Resolution as well! It's just that people don't understand my friendship with Pleasure, Indulgence and Immediacy; so we do things in private just so others will  mind their own business!
Gluttony: You just think that it's in secret. True, Denial helps you to keep others from being your friend.
Me: What are you talking about? It's others who're judging me and that's wrong! People should accept me as I am and quit looking for my faults. They're a bunch of hypocrites if they judge me!
Gluttony: You're right about others, but how do you judge yourself? Quit using others failures as your excuse!
Me: Well, others are no better than I am!
Gluttony: They know Denial too, but having a mutual friend doesn't help your situation any. They can look at you and tell just how important Sacrifice is in your life.
Me: How so?
Gluttony: You're red-faced, out of breath and overweight. Your appearance reveals your secret. Denial can never cover for you for you give yourself away.
Me: So what if I do know you Gluttony? That's not wrong is it?
Gluttony: Knowing me is good! It's a first step to knowing Insight. Although Insight and I don't get along well, I must admit that if you don't accept Insight, I have no chance of you recognizing me as a friend.
Me: I guess I really do know you, but you are a big guy and I'm ashamed to be seen with you. Everybody likes Pleasure and Indulgence, but you're so... so...
Gluttony: Undesirable and ugly?
Me: I didn't want to say that, but you aren't very attractive.
Gluttony: Yes, I know that, but I'm like family to you. You were raised with me, yet there was always something separating us. It hurt that you would see me every day, but would never look me in the eye!
Me: I just have other friends to worry about. I pray that I run with the right crowd. I try to flee when I see Theft, Hate, Envy, Strife, and even Lust. I've given up so many friends because I have a changed heart!
Gluttony: I don't want to be your friend anymore. I just want you to love me or leave me too! It hurts more to be a friend whom you deny more than it does being a past friend. We just need to be honest with each other!
Me: I listen to God and read his Word all the time. He helped me to recognize that Hate, Envy, Strife and that gang are bad, but you Gluttony, he failed to mention! You're not s important as you think you are.
Gluttony: Now, that hurts. God does mention me though. Maybe you missed that part because Denial made those Bible pages blank for you.
Me: How does he do that?
Gluttony: Denial is a secret friend of Satan. He wants you to fail God in all ways. If he can get you to accept your shortcomings in one area of your life, he's on the way to defeating you in others. Aren't you more afraid of me on the inside than you are of even Theft? You would never think of stealing, but you befriend me every day! It's as if I'm your worst enemy, but you live with me anyhow. I'm like a monkey on your back.
Me: (As Denial steps aside): I like you, and just where does God say that you are wrong for me?
Gluttony:  Well Moses wrote of it long ago: He said: Deuteronomy 21:20 "And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard."
Me: That was a long time ago! Times change.
Gluttony: Not with God. He's unchanging! It's mentioned again with derision several places in the New Testament too!
Me: What I do and how I look are my own business!
Gluttony: You must have missed that part too! Denial stays busy covering up for Lies. Here's what Truth says: 1 Corinthians 6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
Me: I read that part, but I guess I just didn't think about that. It just seems so abstract.
Gluttony: No, it's really important. When the Hebrews built God a temple in which to live it was the finest cedars of Lebanon covered with pure Gold. It's was a sight to behold! Now, look at how his temple has deteriorated so! I know that your heart is right inside, but that temple sure is in a state of disrepair! How can others look at you and tell that God lives in you?
Me: Is that important?
Gluttony: You are to be an example for others. Paul said: 1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Yes, you are to be an example! You can't just pick and choose. With God you must be a complete package!
Me: But overeating is the least of my worries. I still hang out with Lust and Hate some. I worry more about those!
Gluttony: It's true that overeating won't damn you, but it's still God's will: Matthew 5:19 "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." It seems that there are degrees to the rewards we'll receive in heaven. Go for them all! That's God's will for you.
Me: But I can't do it on my own!
Gluttony: That's why God left us his Spirit. He's to comfort us in our trials and help us with our daily living. It's by listening to the Holy Spirit that we are righteous. Proverbs 25:28 (ESV) "A man without self-control   is like a city broken into and left without walls." See, there's that unfit temple again. You're like a broken city. Your failure to control your own desires tears down the walls and exposes what is in disrepair inside.
Me: Wow! I never thought about that!
Gluttony: You're not alone. Everybody struggles with something and God doesn't pick on you. He just wants to steer you toward what's good for you and what pleases him! 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
Me: You mean that I don't have to do it myself?
Gluttony: Nope! God is faithful if you have faith yourself; even faith as small as a grain of mustard seed. You can move mighty mountains if only your faith is strong enough. Of course you need to pray for God's will.
Me: (as Denial slips off stage): What's God will for me?
Gluttony: His will is that you won't be defeated with this sin!
Me: Sin? I didn't know that we're talking about him!
Gluttony: Denial has done his job well! Overeating is wrong in God's eyes. You see that by doing so you are living for your friend Pleasure. You are putting him before Sacrifice. Your body is to be a Living Sacrifice. we're told by God. When sacrificing to God, it must be a perfect sacrifice. He doesn't want a blemished lamb, but a healthy one. God wants the firstlings of the flock, not the what would be rejected as unfit.
Me: I feel so humiliated. I thought God loves me just the way I am!
Gluttony: He loves you, yes he does! He loves you so much that he wants to take care of you. You are destroying what God created and he's not happy with you. He loves you so much that he'll help you control Pleasure; to put him in his place.
Me: But with Pleasure aside, who will befriend me?
Gluttony: Joy and Peace shall be your friends. They love the obese as well, but they know that a pleasing building is a good place to live while a falling building is chaos.
Me: Gluttony. I'm sorry that Denial betrayed you. I don't want to be your friend, but I do appreciate your friendship with Truth and Honesty. I have a plan now, thanks to you!
Gluttony: And that plan is to...?
Me: You can go the way of those who are trying to self destruct. Truth has befriended me now. He says Philippians 3:19 (ESV) "Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things." I guess I can now teach you a few things since Denial has left me for good!
Gluttony: I love food, but I do accept Truth.
Me: The Truth is your enemy Mr, Gluttony. Truth has set me free!
Gluttony: I don't care if I'm all alone just so people recognize me as much as Theft, Lust, Lies and Envy. I just want people to consider me as a friend. It hurts to live with somebody all the time and just be ignored!
Me: I'll never ignore you again. You are important, but unfortunately for you, it's just not in God's will that you be my friend! Since I no longer have a friend named Denial, I'm going to be the friend of Discipline now.
Gluttony: We've been close. What will Discipline do for you that I didn't?
Me: I will exercise without fail nor will I no longer play with Excuse. I will eat moderately and healthy with Nutrition, my new friend! Confidence will assist me as we get to know Healthy who resides with us now. Sin will feel alone, but he will be gone from my life, at least gone with you, Gluttony!
Gluttony: Master will be so unhappy with me. I'm supposed to run with Denial, but thanks to the Word, I am now on bad terms with Sin.
Me: Woe is you, but the Spirit is happy with me because Obedience and I are now close friends; thanks be to God!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Undercover Boss

We watch "Underover Boss", the reality show where "the boss' disguises himself and becomes one of "the help" to see exactly where his people are first hand.

Here's how it works: There is trouble in the company. Things are going awry, profits decline, there is little camaraderie, and rules aren't being followed. What was created to be a wholesome inviting company where all the employees profit, chaos ensues.

To get to the bottom of it all (root-cause the problem) the Boss puts on another appearance so that he can see firsthand what's wrong with the people and why his standards aren't working. Some of the time the boss finds that people are willing and able, but corruption has roadblocked success. Even the "good" employees get bogged down in regulations and impractical standards and they too "just give up"! Some of the employees are just troublemakers and are there to do the bare minimum for the same payment. Others are just there to loaf and have a good time at company expense. None of these are what the boss has in mind!
Ephesians 3:4 "Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel..."
The mystery of Christ! He was with us all the time. We just failed to see his presence and his grace!  Like "The Boss" who came to consort with the employees in the company, God changed his appearance and came to mankind so that he could experience what we experience. He wanted to empathize with us by feeling our pain!  God's appearance was manifested by human flesh such that only the discerning recognize him.

Like the Boss, all the employees saw the disguised Boss, but few knew who he really was; mankind has seen Jesus, even read his words, but still cannot fathom that Jesus is God. He's the Supreme "Boss"  who came into this world to offer hope!  After sharing our concerns, our toils and love, Jesus recognized those "good employees"... those who did a good job "fishing for men"!  He chose twelve men, who were rewarded for their genuineness, love and willingness, and of those twelve "good employees", there was only one bad egg (Judas)!

At the end of the show the Boss reveals himself so that all employees will know who he is. Some are ashamed of their work and fear facing him on that last day. Others were dedicated and faithful employees and we're overjoyed to meet the Boss. The Boss with genuine appreciation for their devotion basically says "Well done good and faithful servants !" as will Jesus to all of his faithful workers!

Then the Boss begins to reward those who were dedicated and faithful. He gives them much more than their work deserved. He saw that their dedication deserves reward and a few were given much, not because they were the "best" in other walks of life, but because they persevered and did good work in spite of obstacles! Likewise, Jesus revealed his true identity, confessing that he is indeed God!  The dedicated believed in him even before he revealed his true identity. Like the Boss, they saw a caring person. Jesus revealed, the mystery of Christ, brings tears of joy to those who are dedicated to him and love him.

The Boss regarding a few, is akin to the Supreme Boss, rewarding his faithful servants. We too will be rewarded with what we don't deserve!

Some employees were rewarded with cash, promotions, medical care, food and housing. God offers the faithful workers all the same, but in addition we're have eternal life and will never be punished for our misdeeds!

The Boss, when he reveals himself, sometimes disciplines or fires bad employees. He hates to do that, but he has expectations that they failed to meet. Likewise, God will punish those who fail to meet his expectations!  The empathetic Boss has fair standards. So does God. The good Boss never gives us more than we can do. Neither does God! In fact all we have to do to be rewarded by the Supreme Boss is to believe! He then rewards us just as the Undercover Boss does his own workers. Just as the Undercover Boss shows grace to good employees and discipline to those who are "bad seeds", God, with his justice and grace does the same!

Life is more than a reality show, but if we're discerning, God will reveal himself to us. We need only to read his word and what he desires will be shown to us! He's already revealed his identity, paid the price for even the bad employees, and we have no need for him to do that again. It's just a matter of love and obedience to be steadfast workers for him and they next time he comes, it will be the final reward for some and remorse for those who don't like the company they're in!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Evil: Stepping Around It

The prince of the world is Satan. We know that from:
Ephesians 2:2 "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience..." and John 12:31 "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."
So for a time the world belongs to Satan. He's the temporary ruler and just as most bad rulers in history, he will be deposed! Satan's modus operandi is evil! Soon Satan will be cast into the fiery pit. His days are numbered! Why in the world would we align ourselves with rulers whom we know are going the way of Hitler and Sadam Hussein? Any rational person would turn their backs on purveyors of evil.

President Bush used the expression "evil doers" in condemning Islamic terrorists. Although they certainly are aligned with evil, most of the world is too! What is evil? It's "wickedness" which on the Christian scale, is behavior or activities God deems wrong. Simply put evil is hateful behavior. One might ask "How is infidelity and homosexuality hateful behavior?" It's disobedience to God. By failure to disobey God's dictates sinful humans show disdain for God. Those sinners in "victimless sins" hate God because God tells them not to do things their rational mind tells them is okay. They do it anyway!

Pain always go with evil. The effects of evil-doing is suffering, injury, or destruction. It may not happen right now, but sooner or later, evil leads to pain. If nothing else evil-doers, without repentance, suffer eternal suffering.  AIDs is a consequence of sinful behaviors. Herpes and syphilis are diseases associated with infidelity, but even if participants miss that joy (sic), psychological pain still occurs. People get depressed when relationships go awry. People are suicidal because of infidelity! There is no such thing as "victimless sin"!

Evil is when we yield to temptation. It could be for pleasure, power, prestige or money, but in the end, evil is the result of people looking for pleasure! Of course there are benign pleasures, but when pleasure supersedes worship, then there's a problem! Many Christians put pleasure over praise. There are many pleasures I enjoy, but I don't live for them. God allows me to have pleasure because I place God first in my life! How is that done?
2 Thessalonians 3:3 "But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil."
How is the Lord faithful?
 Timothy 2:13 "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."
He's always ready for our repentance. God takes no vacations. Whenever our heart submits, he's always there! He has to be because he said he would be! He said that a long time ago and God's true to his word. He's faithful:
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
If God isn't there as he promised he would be, when using Jeremiah as a mouthpiece, then he denies himself. God always speaks truth and is unchanging. He can't say one thing one time and not another, and he can't say he'll do something then not do it! That's the faith of God!

Then he will "stablish" the faithful. That is an antiquated word which means that God will establish us in the faith. Faith will become a walk
 2 Corinthians 5:7 "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"
This is a great verse and it's a promise! I laugh when I visualize this. I see myself with dark glasses and a cane shaped in the form of a cross. As I walk I lean on the cross and use it to feel my way through hazardous traffic. The cross is reliable. It keeps me from harm. It even takes the stupidity out of my actions which I would have if I use my own sight!  Sometimes we go ahead and take risks when we see, but when we lean on the cross, God protects us from harm. I'm protected from harming myself because I'm walking in faith without the interference of sight!

Walking blind and leaning on the cross is the faith he establishes in me! With that faith comes divine guidance. The hazards which God helps me with are evil and evil-doers. Life is an obstacle course and this blind man is led through the potholes by faith; leaning on the cross of God. I avoid evil because I have faith. Faith is a work, but it's a gift of God too! It then happens that God bestows faith on me and I walk in that faith, and with faith, I'm protected from evil! Isn't that a great plan? God did good again!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Columbus Improved my Chances of Knowing Christ

Columbus discovered what became the The New World, the Americas in 1492, landing on what we now believe is San Salvadore. He sought a new route to Asia going the opposite direction that others were going. In seeking a shortcut he mistook the western hemisphere for India. Columbus was so certain that the world is round that he staked his reputation on it and was able to convince King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain that he was right.

Columbus has been denigrated now by history revision. Modern peoples just can't stand the thought that Columbus battled pagans and introduced civilization to the uncivilized. However, Columbus was a man of noble character and was little different than any adventurer of that age except for one thing: He believed the Bible to be so true that he ignored science and experience! Whereas, the people believed that the earth is flat and a foolish adventurer would fall off the edge, Columbus believed that the earth is round and that the origin of a journey may be found by circumnavigating the world until the origin is again reached! What a novel idea... or was it?
Isaiah 40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in..."
Columbus read the Bible. He believed what he read! He recognized that God knows what he's talking about because God created it all. God sits "upon the circle of the earth"!  It was revealed to Isaiah by God before 800 B.C. that the earth is circular, of course in all directions, making it a sphere. Isaiah knew that the world is round while everybody, but Columbus that is, still believed the earth to be flat 2300 years later. Is that  due to God's omnipotence or what! Columbus "got out of the box" and stepped out. He was right, but if he had been wrong, then he would have made the Spanish Court a bunch of idiots and God's word would have been erroneous! However, Columbus was right because God is truth.

As a result of Columbus believing God's Word the entire western hemisphere is "Christian". No, everyone in the Americas is not Christian, but Christ is taught in all the Americas and has been since Columbus infringed upon the life of the heathen. Because Columbus believed God, the heathen then had a chance to believe! Millions of souls have entered heaven because Columbus believed God's Word!

As for Columbus the man, he wasn't a follower of people; he was a disciple of Christ, Although an imperfect Christian, his heart was right. He had faith and faith is what saves. As a non-believer buries the Old Person and with baptism becomes a New Creature with a new life, the Old World was buried and the New World became the focal point of Christianity. Yes, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands along with Catholic Europe were our forerunners, but America is where Christ was foremost in the hearts of our countryman. Because Columbus found a New Life for many in a New World, Europe drove their downtrodden and liberty seekers to our shores. Those seeking liberty were looking for a place to worship God without interference. That's"The Great Commission" and here's what it says:
Matthew 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
The eleven disciples carried the word to what was then to the far ends of the world. Some went east and some went to Africa, but Rome became the center of Christian life. Columbus was a Christian because faithful apostles carried the word to the center of the empire. Wales in Great Britain got the gospel in the time of Paul thanks to Roman military excursions. God used a crooked stick and persecution to spread the gospel, Thanks to the faithful apostles Columbus heard the word and believed what it said. He put belief in God into action!

Thanks to Columbus my own destiny was Christianity. I am a Christian because of what I was taught. I was taught about Christ because of my Christian heritage. My forebears were Christian because they brought their faith from Europe. My antecedents came to America because Columbus found the New World. Columbus found the New World because he had faith! Columbus had faith because of scripture. Like the world, my access to faith is a circle. "The Great Commission" followed the "circle of the earth" of which Isaiah spoke knowledgeably!

I am a New Person in Christ living in this New World. Isn't it ironic that just as God gives me a new land, since I now live in the Kingdom of God, that I got here through his sharing the truth of a New World! God knew what he was doing. All we have to do is believe!

Wasting Time Acting Christian

I often say that there ought to be "A Multiple Choice Bible". Why? Because people pick and choose what they want to believe. I'm not talking about difference in interpretation. I'm speaking of denying what scripture says as out-dated, mean-spirited and intolerant!

God is "love". He tells us that:
1 John 4:8 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
The Greek has three different words for "love" whereas English has one which encompasses all three. Hence, when we say that we "love" that can mean different things. God's type of love is the Greek word "agape".  It's a spiritual and selfless love exhibited by the life of Jesus. Jesus was "born to die". He did it voluntarily so that we don't get what we deserve. "Grace" is the giving of that type of love! The closest that man can come to that type of love is the willingness to give a life for a loved one. God gave his own life for his loved ones! That's why John 3:16 is so imperative to understand God's love and grace:
 John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
When we're willing to die for a loved one, it's normally conditional. If our child is disobedient and deserves to suffer consequences of their actions, the good parent is less willing to pay the price for them. Jesus will do that anyhow! We're all bad children, but he still died for us all! A parent may be willing to give his life if the rebellious child "straightens up". Jesus died for the rebellious child with no requirement for that child to straighten up first! That's the difference between the love man has and the love Jesus has.

Knowing that God loves us, means God always seeks what's best for us! Why else would he care about our behaviors? Just as I don't want my children to use drugs because it leads to destruction, God doesn't want us to sin at all because sin leads to destruction. That's what John 3:16 says God will save us from! We deserved a harsh penalty, but he died so that we won't be punished. Instead of languishing in the eternal prison of hate called "Hell" we get a free room in a mansion in heaven... forever with one provision: We too are to love! Love God and love others!

Since God loves the world (his creation of man and woman) he tells us the truth whether we believe it or not!
John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
All philosophers of all times dwelt on "what is truth"! Stop that right now! Truth is here. We know the truth. God's word is truth. Whatever God says is by definition of what truth is! The next question is "Where does a person find God's truth?" It's in the "Book of Truth" we call The Holy Bible!  When I wrote the name of this book I forgot to use the word "Holy". It's not only a collection of writings of Jews and Christians, but is a collection of HOLY writings:
2 Timothy 3:16a "All scripture is given by inspiration of God..."
2 Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
Jesus quoted Holy Scripture. He knew it because he inspired it, being "The Word" who was with Moses, the judges, the righteous kings, the priests and the prophets from the beginning of time. The Old Testament is truth because Jesus gave the patriarchs the thought to place on paper. It's not their words, but  "The Word's" word! If we fail to believe scripture, God's commands, desires, history and praises, we are in effect saying "God is a liar for his word is not true!", although he plainly tells us that his word is truth! For those who don't believe all God's word he tells us this:
2 Thessalonians 2:10 "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
For those who don't accept God's truth, they will be eternally damned. That's one of God's truths! If a person denies the reality of a real hell where the rebellious are punished, they are calling God a liar! They are delusional living for the rewards of pleasure!

Pleasure is the earliest enemy of truth. "Eating of the fruit of the bad  tree" was more important to Eve and Adam than having eternal life by "eating of the good tree". Both Adam and Eve chose pleasure over truth, obedience and eternal life. They spiritually died! Just as they chose pleasure over truth each time a person today disbelieves God, we too are choosing pleasure over truth. "Pleasure" is the idol that all mankind worships before they believe in and accept God after seeking forgiveness. Our  minds are deluded into accepting what's false! The tactic we use is "Reason". Reason is the fruit of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" whereas "truth" is the fruit of the "Tree of Life". That's because that "Tree of Life" is a metaphor for Jesus who IS TRUTH!

What are some of the flavors of the false fruit of "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil":

  1. God's word is not really truth.
  2. The Creator God is a bad god.
  3. The Bible is merely a book of history.
  4. Jesus is only a good teacher or prophet.
  5. The Bible contradicts itself.
  6. Science is to be believed before God.
  7. A loving God would never "send" us to hell. 
  8. Hell doesn't exist because that punishment is too harsh.
  9. Jesus wasn't born of a virgin.
  10. Jesus' miracles were merely coincidences.
  11. Bible stories are metaphors or mythological examples.
  12. Jesus never died on the Cross. He was never resurrected.
  13. God is dead.
  14. The patriarchs never knew then what we know now regarding our psychological makeup.
  15. God already died for our sins so we no longer are to obey the law..
  16. No one worships idols today.
  17. God meant for us to have fun. Pleasure is from God.
  18. With salvation we don't change our lives.
  19. God doesn't care who our mate is as long as it's for love.
  20. Marriage isn't necessary for a sexual relationship.
  21. Abortion is not murder. It's wrong to bring a child into the world unwanted.
  22. Salvation is a snapshot in time where one believes or is baptized.
  23. It's okay to hate if the person deserves it.
  24. Holiness is only for a few who devote their lives to God.
  25. Truth is relative.
  26. We deserve heaven because we're "good".
  27. We can live our life for pleasure then change before we die.
  28. Satan is a fiction. There's no demons out there.
  29. Tolerance is love. Obedience isn't necessary.
  30. We must keep separate our Christian lives from our civil beliefs.
  31. We'll let our children make up their own minds when they're adults.
  32. Telling others about Jesus is intolerant or belligerent.
  33. God's word is boring. Church is boring.
  34. We can worship by ourselves. Church attendance isn't a high priority.
  35. All religions believe in the same God.
  36. We must be tolerant of other religions.
If we believe these lies, or any of them, we must ask ourselves "Am I playing Christian or am I a biblical Christian?" Most people, if they answer truthfully" will admit "I'm just playing Christian! I don't believe all God says and I don't take him seriously!"  Of course "Reason" keeps us from admitting "the truth" about ourselves!  However, if you're discerning enough to admit just a little truth, you'll realize that either you know that you're not a Christian or you're "play-acting" the role of a Christian. God will not be fooled!

Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap"
Luke 16:15 "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."
 God knows our every thought! We justify ourselves to our fellow men and women, but God knows where the desires of our hearts are! He knows what we pleasure. We may be good "actors" and fool our cohorts, but God will not be fooled. Our acting abilities are just not good enough to fool the God who created us all!

What should bad actors do? Bad actors should quit acting!  At times we all think we're good actors, but at other times we think "Who am I fooling?" Sometimes I feel like a bad Christian. I feel like I'm an actor in a play and that the audience believes me to be real when I'm a facade. What Satan wants me to do when I feel that way is to give up my acting career and let me be me. What does Jesus want me to do? He wants me to quit acting and obey truth. He wants to see a change in my heart which will be reflected in my thoughts and actions!  Being a Christian means change and change I must! I'm a bad actor and so are you. Bad actors go to hell just as those who disbelieve.

What bad actors come to mind in scripture?
Matthew 23:25 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess."
Yes, we are at times all hypocrites, but if we seek and obey truth because we want to please God, then there is no need to put on an act. Even when we're imperfect, if we're sincere, God sees our hearts and has the grace to forgive. Each of us may have a "secret sin". It's not really a secret, but it's where we're vulnerable. God knows that sin and so does Satan. The devil uses it to deceive you further, but the Lord can forgive it if the sinner repents. We may have to pray often for forgiveness, but if we're praying for forgiveness, God is graceful.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Have you ever been called "self-righteous"?  We need to be careful who we're being "righteous" for because if it's being done to glorify the self, then it's not righteous! "Self-righteousness" is an oxymoron.

Being "righteous" is living without sin. Can I do that? Can any of us do that? "No" for the simple reason that only God is "good" and by his standard we all fail.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..."
Unfortunately, as hard as I try that means me... and you!
Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one..."
We usually focus on "there is none righteous", but never ask "Where is it written"? Here's where:
Psalm 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."
Most people will say "I do good!" We think too highly of ourselves. The meek are the ones who'll be blessed if you remember!  If we break one of God's law we may as well have broken them all:
 James 2:10 "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
 This is why we can't save ourselves. We can never be "good" enough to "not sin". That's why we need Jesus. We can't save ourselves because we will always sin. God, overlooking our guiltiness, can save us if we're sincere, repent, believe, accept and have faith. Saving the undeserved is "grace". We get the reward of salvation although we're guilty and deserve death.

Therefore, the "self" can never be righteous. We can only pretend to be!  The folks Jesus called "vipers", the Pharisees, tried to gain favor with God by obeying all the law. They failed because they forgot what's important:  loving!  The Law is all about loving God and others. The Pharisees failed miserably because they had an unloving heart. They even hated Jesus, let alone others!

Telling a person that they're "self-righteous" is just like calling them a Pharisee or a snake. Before we judge someone that harshly and condemn them, one must ask the question: "Is the perceived self-righteous person doing good to gain God's favor or to please him?" If the person has not been born-again, it's obvious that  the person is trying to make it to heaven by "works", following The Law of doing "good". Since only God is good, then we go right back to original sin. The self-righteous person is trying to be like God, emulating the person's antecedents. We can never be righteous on our own, so self-righteousness is an impossibility. The "self-righteous person" is just playing games with God!

On the other hand, a born-again Christian is called to be holy.
1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
We're to copy God who is holy. It is commanded, not suggested, that we do all in our power to please God! Again, this verse says "Because it is written". Where was it written:
Leviticus 20:7 "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God."

It comes from The Old Testament. Being holy at that time meant following The Law. Jesus tells us that he came not to replace the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). How is the law fulfilled?
Galatians 5:14 "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
It's impossible to love thy neighbor if you steal from him, lie to him, covet what he has, kill him or set a wrong example for him by not loving God. Hence, fulfilling The Law is  loving others through keeping God's Law! Some would throw The Law out the door in place of grace. However, because of God's grace, the born-again person endeavors to keep The Law, although still failing because we're mankind. Overlooking our failures is grace. God's love is manifested as grace.

Then, it's to be expected that a Christian be "sanctified" (Lev 20:7). We're to set ourselves apart from the world and be holy. Fortunately for us we're not on our own! Jesus left us, but God provided for the Holy Spirit to "comfort" us. That comfort he provides is that we have help. It's like running a race, according to Paul, but the Holy Spirit increases our adrenalin and minimizes adenosines in our muscles; so to speak. Although, we're to "work" on being "good", "goodness" cannot be achieved without faith. Faith is a work and it's a gift of God, so while we're able to work, we're able because God helps us!
James 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
Since "works" are "doing good" and following The Law, then a Christian is to do good and follow The Law! In effect James is saying "So your born-again. Demonstrate it!", not "Act like it!" as some would say because we're not to "act", we're to "do".

I sin every day. You do as well! Does that mean that I just keep on sinning? Paul answered that as well. We're not to keep on sinning so that we'll love God because he forgives us more. We're to minimize sinning! I might think bad thoughts of someone during the course of the day. Does that mean that I can go ahead and lie because I'm saved anyhow?  Not on your life. One sin is not a ticket for the liberty of sinning. Because a saved person breaks a law, doesn't mean that they're free from the law. It just means that some self-control needs to be practiced by reading scripture and  praying. (Some of our demons required fasting with prayer.)

Never accuse a Christian who's trying hard to please Jesus of being "self-righteous". By doing so, the person doing the critique is judging harshly because that person who also may be a Christian is failing by the same measure!  It takes a "snake' for a Christian to call another Christian a "snake". That's not loving others and that's the commandment we're to keep!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Antichrists: They come before The Antichrist

We've all heard of THE ANTICHRIST. He embellishes all that diminishes Jesus, THE CHRIST. He's the leader of a lost world near the end of time. For those who've never heard that the world will be destroyed at the end of time, that destruction is called "The Apocalypse". The antichrist shall be the ruler at its destruction, but much will happen before then!
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
The "elect" are the Christians. We're all called to endure:
 Matthew 10:22 "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Being a Christian is more than feeling guilty and going to the altar to repent. It's a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus! God puts a hedge around us to protect us from death just as he did with Job, but Satan is still allowed to deceive the Christian through temptation and lies to rob us of our souls. Those of us who have faith shall endure and be saved. Faith is not a snap-shot in time. It's a snap-shot of the believers state of mind at any time! We must walk in the faith (Romans 4:12).

Therefore false Christs shall arise in order to deceive Christians. Those christs will have their prophets. This implies that false churches will exist which will mislead even Christians!
 Revelation 3:14 "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

Yes, the antichrist shall have a church! It shall be as the church which is likenwd unto the one at Laodicea. A "sort of" gospel will be preached. It won't be about the blood sacrifice of Jesus, but will be all about works. Those modern churches who question Biblical inerrancy, the inspired word of God, and preach "social justice" fit the description "luke-warm" quite well. I believe those members of the "National Council of Churches" are the Laodicean Church will shall be the tabernacle of the antichrist whose headship of the global church fits well into the organization of "The World Council of Churches", to which the national organizations belong.

The first question a Christian should ask oneself when joining a church is "Does it belong to the National Council of Churches?" If it does beware! You are a candidate to be deceived. (Many antichrists belong to and manage these organizations, but many local churches of that body have no understanding of the significance of their membership!) There are and will be preachers who, because they are deceived, will preach "another gospel". It's the gospel of the antichrist, even using Jesus's name, but spewing forth vile lies mixed in with half-truths and deceptions. There are many:
1 John 4:3 "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
Even in biblical times there already had arisen a false religion (gnosticism) which taught heresy. They believed that God did not come in the flesh because "material" is evil and that the creator God was bad because he created material. Therefore, God's Spirit died on the Cross and not the Son of Man. In other words, the crucifixion of Christ was an illusion. This became the heresy of Docetism where a phanstasm was crucified and not Jesus! Many versions of Christ's death on the cross have arisen: all the way from "it didn't happen" to that "he was only a spirit" to "he didn't die, but his body arose". All deny the vicarious death of Jesus on the Cross.

Many today believe in Jesus, the prophet and teacher. Few truly believe that Jesus is God and that he suffered death for all mankind!  Looking at one of the other monotheistic religions, Islam, Wikipedia says "Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified, but was raised bodily to heaven by God, a belief purported to be found in the Gospel of Basilides, of which, if it existed, no copies survive." Hence, Islam is denies gospel truth and Mohammed and the Ayatollahs are antichrists!  Liberal churches teach that Jesus was a "good man" and "teacher", but he was no God! Some teach that Jesus "is God", but a merciful God who will never punish the unbeliever! Rather than seeking heaven through faith, it is by works and those works are focused on "loving others". That's good, but "loving God" is minimized or neglected entirely. (social  justice). We must believe that Jesus is God in the flesh. That's a REQUIREMENT for salvation because without him dying in the flesh, his sacrifice was for naught:
2 John 1:7 "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
Antichrists have a role in preparation for the apocalyptic government. Antichrists are to prepare the way for THE ANTICHRIST:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (The antichrist); :4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
 1 John 2:18 "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."
It would be foolish to say that if the antichrist came today that most people would accept him! Things won't be "normal" and then suddenly minds change. It will come gradually! "There shall be a falling away first!"  Many have heard of "creeping socialism". This is "creeping heresy", the twin brother of the vile socialist ideology. A One World false religion will be accompanied by a Global Government of which the United Nations may be the instrument allowing that to happen!

Well, who are all these antichrists who exist right now?
1 John 2:22 "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
 Anyone who denies that which is labeled the "Trinity" is an antichrist. This includes cults such as Jehovah Witnesses and liberal protestant churches. It also includes people like Hitler, Stalin, Castro and even some American presidents who profess belief in Christ, but not the Christ of the Bible! Over the years some have even accused popes of being antichrists! Anyone who teaches false doctrine is an antichrist! What doctrine do you profess, reader?

After the way is prepared, people fall away and the time is right, then the antichrist shall appear:
Daniel 7:24 "And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
At the time of the antichrist there will be an alignment of nations, a world government which will set the stage for the rise to power of the antichrist.  Church leaders will fall for his charm as the antichrist denies God! These religious leaders will do the bidding of the antichrist. He will use propaganda and the doing of good things to remold minds "he shall speak great words" to them. And for those who fail to be believers in his "goodness" (which I believe is a socialist government from the descriptions of each). Then comes force used to change minds:
Revelation 13:15 "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
The transition, with tyranny and death, has transformed "socialism" into "communism"!  The government that did "social good" now has to commit atrocities to gain acceptance! Why would people allow this? Just as in Germany and Russia, people were deceived until it was too late. It will happen to us too. It's just when!
Revelation 13:7 "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."
So you believe in the "wall of separation of church and state"? The antichrist laughs at you! He combines church and state and gains power by removing religion from the nations (as does socialism). He overcomes nations by defeating Christianity because that's the religion which stands between him and world power. (Those right-wing Christians the nation hates so much are what's standing between freedom and the dictatorship of the antichrist).

As ruler during the first years of his reign, he does good things: ends wars, conquers hunger, improves health, etc. then the man changes  things. The good guy, the Robin Hood of the world changes! His true colors are shown. He conquers what's left of the world by force.

We are to beware so that we're not deceived. The world right now hates those who tell truth! However, those immersed in God's Word know that things will get worse, not better! When things get better in the eyes of the world, then be extra cautious because the antichrist may already be here! How will we know? The leader will deny Christ's deity and the churches will still support him!

Most believe that the rapture will occur before that happens. I do too, but for those who remain and the new Christians made, it will be a time of persecution and beheadings. I strongly believe that Islam, through socialism, will declare a form of Sharia Law over the world and cause all to worship Mohammed. We'll see! Or will we?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Truth Hurts!

Truth and pleasure are natural-born enemies! Let me explain:

Truth is out there. However, truth isn't a show-off. It resides in knowledge, but it reveals itself only when knowledge is wisely displayed. Yes, truth is hidden by ignorance, ignored by knowledge and manifested by wisdom!

Truth is conformity to what's real. The question is: "What's real?" There are many theories, deceptions and lies regarding reality; but truth can be hard to swallow. People accept falsehoods because truth isn't in agreement with their own world view! As with all mankind's limitations, failure to accept truth was the "spiritual death" suffered when Eve led Adam to eat of "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". This tree was a metaphor for our two antecedents who followed the lies of the serpent Satan instead of truth, which was the fruit of "The Tree of Life"! They dishonored God by seeking to know what God knows rather than just accepting what God says as true.

Having "reason" after eating of the wrong tree is why we all fear truth. Rather than unquestioning acceptance of God's truth, mankind ever since questions his authority. We "rationalize" our own actions and behaviors by rejecting God's word and accepting lies. Lies are much easier to accept than is truth because lying is a friend of pleasure!
John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. (i.e., Jesus is God. He professed that he is). God is truth. Jesus is truth. What Jesus said is God speaking truth. Jesus is The Word. Mankind hates Jesus because Jesus speaks truth!
John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
Truth is how Christians are set apart into righteousness (sanctified). John goes on to say that God's word is truth! What are Christians set apart from? What's not right (unrighteousness). However, sanctification doesn't come naturally. The sinner and the Christian must seek truth. Where is it to be found? In scripture!

Finding truth in scripture is called "discernment". Those who're discerning recognize with their mental faculties that what God says conforms to reality. When God says that he created the universe and everything in it, the discerning person recognizes that if an all-powerful God can create all from nothing, that same God can create a history for it. God in his omnipotence does not conform to mankind's limited knowledge. He doesn't have to create an embryo earth and watch it grow. He created a mature earth already grown; just as he created the grown man Adam!

Thinking as that sets apart (sanctifies) the discerning person from those who like Adam and Eve, rationalize science and make God conform to man rather than man to conform to Truth (God). Science can never save us, but God can! I choose God!

What is your gift as a Christian? God doesn't change us without giving us gifts. One of the gifts all Christians must have is "discernment". We all must believe God at all costs and obey what he says regardless of what science or our own desires lead us to believe. Let's take for example sex. Everything today propagates sex and leads us to believe that it's just a mechanical biological function that's benign. God tells us how wrong it is outside marriage. Those who rationalize accept the benign function of sex, but the discerning person recognizes how holy marriage and sex is in God's eyes. Likewise, discernment works in truth in all aspects of living.

When my son went to drug rehab I became a discerning parent. I was taught how the users mind works and how common drug use is among all groups in society. With that knowledge I had new wisdom. I became able to detect the druggy wherever I went. I recognized the symptoms in many whom I love and who had previously fooled me. I became discerning. However, it hurt to be so discerning! I just didn't want to know which friends were druggies and that the world is a drug induced society. I was happier without that knowledge! Bliss is closing one's eyes to what's unpleasant. I had lived in an Ozzy and Harriet world where wrong was non-existent. Now, as I became discerning, wrong was everywhere. Drug use is prevalent and I now see that!

More so than drugs, I now discern wrong all through society because God has given me the gift of discernment. I now know that someday the world will be destroyed by evil people who appear to be loving, caring and successful. I now know that homosexuality will increase until the end comes. I now know that people will accept even aberrant behaviors as mere lifestyle choices and that there will be massive wars. I see what pleasures in life are abhorrent to God and that most people participate in those behaviors. All this insight is not fun. Knowing the Truth hurts! As a consequence, what most consider to be pleasure, I don't. I see wrong where it indeed exists. It would be fun to be able to drink heavily, party, be promiscuous without guilt and the like; but as a Christian with discernment, I'm set apart. I can't do this stuff.

Furthermore, it pains me to see those whom I love do wrong and know that if they don't change, they're going to suffer eternal punishment. I fear for my children and grandchildren. It will get worse. Will they submit to God or follow the beast? As did Jeremiah, I'm telling those I love (and the world through this blog) that we face destruction, but the world fails to listen. I'm just a small Jeremiah with few listeners, but just imagine how unpleasant the truth known to Jeremiah hurt. He knew that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the Jews dispersed, but few listened. Noah knew that the world faced destruction, but few listened. Empathize with him! Those prophets were discerning righteous people who knew truth and that truth overcame pleasure. The truth they knew hurt their ability to have fun (pleasure), but their pleasure is in eternity.

Those who discern and practice truth have eternal life in heaven. Only God knows where those are who spurn truth for pleasure:
2 Corinthians 4:18 "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
Accept Truth. Accept what is unseen. Recognize as possible those things beyond proof. Be discerning even if it hurts!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Influence of Music in the Church

Ask anyone: "Why did you change churches?" The answer is normally one of five things:
  • I didn't like the music.
  • The people weren't friendly.
  • The pastor was boring.
  • The service was too traditional.
  • Too much emphasis was put on punishment.
Let's look at the first "complaint". It seems that the genre of music is the most important to people. I hear them say "I hate church hymns!" or "I prefer contemporary music."  Both of those may be true, but why do we have music in the church in the first place?

Psalm 68: 3 "...let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. 4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah (Jehovah), and rejoice before him."
 "Rejoicing before God" is merrymaking because of God. We are to "sing unto God" as we make merry in his glory. You can see here that singing praises is God-centered, not self-centered. This is validated by another act of early worship.
Exodus 29:18 "And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the Lord: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord."
So just as the ram offering was pleasant to the Lord so is the song offering when we sing!  And what are we to sing?
James 5:13 "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms."
Psalms are sacred hymns or poems. Yes, they were sometimes accompanied by music. A hymn is a poem set to music in praise of God.

It would appear that singing praises to God using an orderly, respectful poetic musical number is appropriate. Most traditional music fits this description and much of contemporary music does. "Contemporary" should not frighten the believer, but the genre is important!  Since we're praising God the music should be enjoyable to God. We have no way of knowing that!  Therefore, we must find another standard.
Deuteronomy 18:9 "When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations."
Basically said, we should not copy pagans!   Any genre of music can contain paganism. "New Age" music by definition is pagan. However, mellow Christian music is much like the "New Age" genre.

The type of music which comes first to my  mind is "rock music". Don't equate "rock" with all contemporary music. "Rock" is just one aspect of contemporary. "Rock 'n Roll" music was coined in 1951 by DJ Allen Freed. The name means "back seat sex". Rock 'n Roll music originated primarily as protest music and many of the lyrics were rebellious and the beat to hammer the message home.

What's wrong with "Rock 'n Roll"? No sin can be acceptable to the Lord. There may be other genres of sinful music, but rock comes to mind first to many Christians. God is Holy and his purity cannot be defaced and God still be pleased!
1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
There are two thoughts here. We must be holy. That means that we should not pleasure in what the pagans have pleasure in. I'm not speaking of having fun, but pleasure associated with sins of the flesh. Unfortunately, rock music is associated with provocative behavior and sexual activity or at least suggestive behavior.

The second thought is that we are to be holy so that we're emulating God in whose image we're created. We are to be righteous. One might say "When I sing rock music in church, I'm not being provocative." That's reasonable, but is it the type of music God desires? I'm not the authority on what pleases God and what offends him. I only have my opinion, but I try to base it on scripture. Each of us need to do the same!

However, the main point to be considered is whether we enjoy the church music for our own selfish pleasure or to magnify God. It's the attitude we have toward the singing. Neither should we praise the singer. The intent of hymns is to praise God!

Music genres splits churches. That pains God! We each have our own preferences and we "demand" that it be what we enjoy! Traditional music, whether the younger generation likes it or not, was there first. Church music is being changed to please the young. It does get younger people to the church, but is it for the right reasons?  If we focus on the music above the sermon, then we're missing opportunities. I know many who attend church regularly, but know little about God.  People know all the lyrics to songs, but can't quote scripture!

Why pick on rock music? It's because of its negative influences in the world. Whether we agree or not, the battle within churches is between hymns and rock, not between hymns and contemporary. It's not for me to say that rock is wrong, but suggest that all examine our own attitudes toward music. Church leaders often believe that to increase church attendance we must make services entertaining. I disagree with that! If we're learning about Jesus we should be joyful! We're entertained all week. Church is for learning, praying, praise and salvation.

If you disagree, that's between you and God. I write this because music type is a major problem in modern churches. Please do a self-examination and make your own choices. Just do it with praise of God in mind. My self-evaluation is that although I prefer traditional hymns over southern gospel, contemporary or rock, that's what scripture leads me toward. However, I can tolerate other genres of music, excepting hard rock and rap music. I like to think that God and I have the same tastes, but that's pride! Maybe he's more tolerant than I am of praise music... but maybe he's not!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lawful, but not Expedient

On becoming a Christian we have liberty! Before we were in bondage and now we are free!

In Moses time the Jews in slavery to the Egyptians were in bondage to them. Egypt was a "picture" of sin and freedom from Egypt was all about being free from bondage which is a picture of freedom from sin, and being so, is a type of salvation. With the escape from Egypt came liberty. The Hebrews were free to serve God or free to disobey. For them there was a consequence for disobedience. They would be cut off from God! That's why the event which led to freedom, the Passover, was only a picture of salvation. There were consequences for disobedience.

With the advent of Jesus' sacrifice for all mankind, salvation is available to all! With true salvation we're no longer bound to the "Law", but are truly free as long as we don't deny Jesus. That's called "grace" and with grace comes Christian "liberty". We're no longer bound by the law, but obey because we love Jesus!

"Liberty" means we are free to act and believe as we want! However, Christian liberty is slightly different! We are only free to "act", but our belief must be in Jesus. As long as we have belief in Jesus we have freedom to act. That means that we don't have all the does and don'ts of Mosaic Laws, but if we love Jesus we have a desire to keep God's Laws; The Ten Commandments or as The New Testament summarizes them: loving God and loving others! Hence, liberty is not open-ended. We are obliged to believe in order to be rewarded with freedom. Actually, for Christians, salvation is partial liberty.

There us a "Perfect Law of Liberty":
James 1:25 "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
In summary, "The Perfect Law of Liberty" says that  if we seek liberty, not only are we obliged to continue in it, but do it!  Do what? Be in the state of liberty? What's that?
2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
The Lord (Jesus) is the Spirit and liberty is residing in his Spirit. Belief leading to faith provides the Spirit and with that faith comes liberty. Consequently, being in a "State of Liberty"  is residing in the Spirit of the Lord, or being steadfast in the faith as Philippians 2:12 implores us to be.

Liberty, then, is being free from bondage from the law. We are no longer required to obey for salvation, but obey because we love the Lord! Obeying the Law is called "works". We're not saved by works, but through faith (Ephesians 2:8). So that we're not braggarts, we must realize that nothing we do in excess of faith saves us. The sinner's vain attempts to be "good" are futile unless belief, acceptance, sorrow and repentance is there. That's salvation by faith!

Below we can see that "works" or following the law, doesn't consummate salvation nor prolong its gestation.  We are free to follow the Law (Mosaic Law) or not to follow it! It does nothing for our security. However, we MUST still follow God's commands if we love him:
John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Therefore, Christians will keep God's commands! What are they? Love God and love others. However, this "Greatest Commandment" and "One Like It"  are shorthand for The Ten Commandments. We show love for God by keeping his commandments to love him and others. We are to keep God's Law (The Commandments), but are free from Mosaic Law and all its trappings. We still have no other Gods, we still are to be truthful, we're still to be free from murderous thoughts and actions, but we no longer have to sacrifice, refrain from any type of activity on the Sabbath, eat kosher, be ceremonially clean, etc. The Hebrews were required to be lawful to be holy, but always came up short! To be Holy Christians must have saving faith and just be there! It's called "grace" and with grace comes faith and love!
1 Corinthians 10:23 "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."
"Expediency" is doing what's appropriate! We are freed from the law, but it may be appropriate to obey the law.   Is it lawful to hate? No! We're commanded to love. Christians never have the freedom to hate. Liberty doesn't cover hate of God nor hate of another.  Is it appropriate to rescue an ox from the pit on the Sabbath. According to Jesus, most certainly. We are in effect breaking the Sabbath by working to save the ox, but it would be cruel and unloving to allow the ox to die an unnecessary death.

Are we free to commit adultery? No! That's one of The Ten Commandments (coveting neighbor's wife). That's not only unlawful out of love (philio)  for others, but neither is it appropriate behavior for a disciple of Christ. Likewise, for murder! It's neither lawful nor expedient because we're to love others!

What then is lawful, but inappropriate? It's lawful to get intoxicated. That has nothing to do with loving God or others. We can drink all the booze we desire and get drunk. It won't send a person to hell (unless it's coupled with apostasy), but it's not expedient! Drunkenness is totally inappropriate and we're told to be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6). Since we can't think and worship God as he desires to be worshiped, when inebriated, drunkenness is lawful, but not expedient! The same goes for tattoos, yoga, horoscopes, stingy giving, uncleanliness, gluttony and the like. It 's lawful to eat non-kosher foods, and most of the time it is appropriate. However, in the older days it was not appropriate to eat unclean (non-kosher) foods because people who did often risked death. (God wanted the Jews to multiply, not die out!)

To show our love of Jesus, we must respect the will of Jesus. We no longer follow the law by sacrificing grain and animals to please God, but we are expected to sacrifice ourselves:
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
We are to be Holy by living holy! That's sacrificing ourselves. Denying ourselves the pleasures of the world AND magnifying and loving Jesus is "our reasonable service". We are TO DO that! That's the expedient work of the true Christian! If we're not sacrificing ourselves (our own desires) are we being holy? No! It's not acceptable to be unholy. We're expected to live holy lives and that is expedient!

What pleasures are we to put aside? Pleasures of this world. Priorities must be placed on what's holy. If we put anything above Jesus then we're not doing our reasonable service!

Let me ask a few questions:

  1. Do you seek entertainment over worship. Which do you do more of?
  2. Do you drink more than that one glass of wine that you claim that you only drink?
  3. Do you forgive others. Do you ever tell another that you're sorry?
  4. Are you provoking in your conversations or empathetic?
  5. Do you belittle others and gossip?
  6. Does your appearance reflect modesty or do you look as the pagans look?
  7. Are you more concerned with getting things or helping others?
  8. Do you pray for God's will or your own? Do you get answers you want or what's biblical?
  9. Do you keep the commandments" All of them? Even in your heart?
  10. Is the Bible paramount or do you disagree with some of it?
  11. If you accept the Bible as God's word, why do you continue to disappoint the Lord?
  12. Do you accept the philosophy of the world over God's truths?
  13. Can people tell that you're a Christian by observing?
  14. Is your music, movies and television ungodly or offensive to God? Is your entertainment prurient or pure?
  15. How much time in a day do you allow for the Lord? Little? Some? More? Much?
  16. You get the idea. Examine yourself. Are you doing your "reasonable service"? Are your actions expedient (appropriate if you love the Lord)?
Liberty must be edifying to the Lord. What we do must reflect well on Jesus!  The adage, "What Would Jesus Do?" is all about edifying Jesus. Does dancing like a slut edify Jesus? Does getting drunk? How about gossiping and believing the Bible is not always right? Does that edify Jesus? No it's not appropriate and consequently is not expedient! Look at the above list and other actions you do daily. WWJD? Are you edifying Jesus by your life? Only you can answer that!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The lie of Separation of Church and State

We're told often: "Never discuss politics or religion!" First off, not only are Christians to discuss "religion", but we're to proselytize the heathen. That's "The Great Commission" and as disciples of Jesus, that's our primary job! That leaves "politics". Are we to discuss ideology with others? Let's examine that issue.

Scripture is for teaching, among other things according to 2 Timothy 3:16. We are to teach others about the will of God!  God doesn't proscribe any political party. He would see both the Republican and Democrat Parties totally lacking! However, we're taught to do our civil duty, that being to be good citizens. Likewise, we're not to be apathetic (slothful) in our lives. Christians are to be active and good citizens setting the example for others which can lead to salvation. (Bad citizens are not the model for good Christians! That's the point).

(By scriptural discernment and prayer God will show us for whom to vote if we only listen.)

However, Christians have a roadblock! The roadblock was institutionalized by well-meaning Godly people sometime after the nations founding. That lie, implanted by the Deceiver, is called "the wall of separation of church and state" and Thomas Jefferson, the Deist, was the author of that!. This "separation" IS NOT part of the Constitution to the surprise of many. The First Amendment grants religious rights, not abridges nor controls them: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." In clearer terms that means that there shall be no "state" religion and citizens can worship freely with no government interference!

I contend that the modern interpretation of this amendment in fact establishes a religion! By removing God as "anyone understands him" from the public arena, the government has established atheism as the official religion, which in practice, is called "secular humanism". From evolution taught in schools to moral relativism, that's all encompassed in our state sponsored religion. However, that's not the argument to be pursued this instant. The point is that there must not be a wall of separation between church and state!

Since the U.S. Constitution did not have a clause nor an amendment with that guarantee, where did it originate? All thirteen colonies at one time had a "state religion" endorsed in their charters.  The First Amendment was not ratified until Dec 1791. At that time 12 of the 13 states still had a "state religion". The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, finally disallowing state religions in terms of the "equal protection" clause: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.". However, New Hampshire and North Carolina did not change their charters until the 1870s. Hence, it's readily seen that The U.S. Constitution never eliminated "state religions"!

Where did the "wall of separation" originate? Non-state religious denominations, mainly Baptists were jailed for preaching almost anywhere because of state sanctioned denominations. The "Traveling Church" started in Kentucky by the Craig family from Virginia who were driven from Virginia for preaching the gospel there. Their sermons were actually preached through jail house bars!

In the early colonies people were jailed for missing church without excuse! The governor often passed judgment on the violator and issue a warrant for arrest.

In southern states church tithes were taxes paid to the parish. The monetary exchange was tobacco! The vicars in Virginia would even teach landowners how to grow better tobacco crops to obtain more tithes (taxes) for the parishes!

"State churches" were an institution in America. Baptists complained to Thomas Jefferson who wrote to  the Danberry Baptists in 1802 (11 years after The First Amendment was ratified) that: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. " That was Jefferson's take. He did not write The First Amendment! James Madison was the author... not Jefferson!

"State Churches" were hated by many!  The "Holy Roman Empire" was ruled by emperors who held allegiance to the Roman Catholic Pope. In matters of religion and state, the Pope was the supreme authority! With that authority there was much abuse. In England Queen Elizabeth I, a nominal Anglican, institutionalized the Archbishop of Canterbury as the religious leader and adviser to the monarch. The King (or Queen) was actually the leader in religious affairs. In both cases, this unholy alliance created havoc in both church and state and many pilgrims and other dissidents came to America to escape papalism on the one hand and Anglican persecution on the other! Due to the abuse of power, the alliance of the church and the state was anathema to those in other belief systems!

Did God intend that there be a wall of separation?
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Philippians 4:6  " every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

The astute reader can see that scripture teaches Christians to turn to God in "every thing" and "all things work together". God made no exception for civil affairs nor government! That's man's doing and by going out on his own, as man has always done, God's will has been neglected. With disobedience the world suffers chaos. We are in chaos more now than ever before because the "new state religion" is secular humanism, what the Nazis called "Positive Christianity". That doctrine removes anything Jewish and anything the world sees as negative from scripture. Jesus is still there, but only to placate, not as a savior!

What government, then, is God-ordained?
Deuteronomy 16:18 "Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment."

God's will is that both civil and religious law be righteous!  Judges were established in the time of Moses by God:

Exodus 18:14 "And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: 16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. 17 And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said."
The alert reader will see here that God's "government" in civil and religious law had Him at the head with a "Supreme Court" (Moses) with Tertiary Courts (lesser judges). This is the pattern for the U.S. Court System. It is based on "Natural Law" which in turn is Mosiac Law and includes God's commandments! God's will is that we in fact have a civil government with God at its head and with God's law paramount. Not only is the government to be God-centered, but there is no wall of separation there at all! The reader can now see why "right wing Christians" abhor the 'wall of separation of church and state" because it has created an "unknown God" of which Paul spoke in Acts (to the Greeks)! America now worships that previously "Unknown God", the "God of Reason"... the God of disobedience and pleasure!

Kings were not what God had in mind! The Jews, in their disobedience, demanded to be like the other nations. They wanted kings over them to rule. God, to teach them a lesson, allowed kings, commencing with King Saul, who was appointed by God. Strangely enough, Saul assumed the position of his priest and God disowned him! Saul made unrighteous judgments. Lesson unlearned! He was deposed and a King (David) who listened to God emerged. Disobedient rulers ruled and the kingdom failed. Lesson still unlearned! God didn't intend for us to have kings, but in effect we recently seem to have one! He dabbles, as did Saul, where he should not dabble! He rules not from God's decree, but from his own confused heart.

God made a deal with Abraham. "If you people follow me and my commands, you will prosper. If you disobey my commands you will be punished." America is in disobedience and we are being punished. We suffer the consequences of ourselves. "We have met the enemy and he is us!" (Oliver Perry). Because we disobey God, we are being destroyed. Nikita Kruschev said that America will be defeated without them  firing a shot. That was a message, whether he knew it or not, from God!

How do we change things? How shall we again prosper? We put God back in our lives... all our lives everywhere! Pray for it. Prayer changes things and the enemy can be defeated by God if only we have faith.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Brothers mean much! That's the second most early relationship one has. While close friends can be like brothers, only brothers can be truly that close.

Jesus called two sets of brothers to be apostles.
Matthew 4:18 "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers." 
Matthew 4:21 "And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them."
What's more Jesus saw that brothers who did things together were what he wanted! In both cases Jesus chose brothers who fished together. There is camaraderie in fishing together, but just being a part of each others lives shows togetherness. There's just something "right" about brothers who just enjoy being with each other. I suppose knowing a brother and being a good brother is a good start on being a good brother in Christ!

My own brothers mean much to me! They all don't get along as brothers should, but I get along with all them. I'm not minimizing my only great sister, but it's obvious that brother and sister can't be as close as brothers. It's the nature of us. We can idolize a sister, but brothers just complement one another. The older ones can set an example, and the younger ones follow. The younger children are often the composite of the older brothers. we get their "good" and "bad" alike!

I didn't spend enough time with my older brothers as we all grew older. I had my own life and they and they had theirs. Only after two were gone did I realize that brothers are precious. Here's my take on brothers and what they mean to me:


There is much we share.
Each born with history the same.
Years apart we are not a pair,
but we share the same surname.

We were conceived in like manner.
We are of the same two.
As family we fly the same banner,
and together always together we grew!

We bickered, argued and fought.
We played and had a good time.
Truth and fact is what we sought,
each working hard for each dime!

Always while differing we were the same.
Our opinions and likes were molded early.
When in trouble we were quick to blame,
but in the end we loved the other dearly!

It's so wrong when siblings hate!
With each other we're a total part.
My brother I will never forsake.
I love them all right from the heart!

Some brothers differ so!
With the same parents how can that be?
We each choose – friend or foe,
I choose wisely, it's friend for me!

We brothers are six in number.
With one sister we are seven.
As two are gone, we are somber.
Two we hope are at home in heaven!

Who shall be next we think?
Shall it be the one who ails?
Time will tell as life's a blink,
ringing for each the dreaded death bells.

Health means nothing for our hope.
It could be that I'm the one.
It could be me and death who elope.
Rather me than others gone!

The first said “I have my brothers!”
as he lay down on death's bed.
Children should never precede their mothers.
A mother without her child is already dead!

However, now we each have the other.
Our time together is without measure.
We all each have our brother!
Brothers are indeed a family treasure!

Some brothers aren't so blessed.
They fight and spar or have total silence.
But for me, my brothers are best!
My heart's not stirred with inner violence.

God has been really good you see!
He picked my brothers way in advance.
No greater  brothers can there be...
I thank them for my life so  enhanced!

Each time we visit may be the last.
We part with that thought so strong.
Each visit now becomes the past.
Cherish each for to each we belong.

Yes, brothers are blessed so!
Our day for each other is each day.
My brothers make my heart glow!
With that said what more could I say?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What Do the Ten Plagues Symbolize?

The Jewish people always required signs and miracles to believe in God. Whenever miracles ceased to happen their enthusiasm and faith waned. When their faith turned to doubt the people sinned grievously, not trusting in God. Why did Jesus perform miracles? Mainly so that the Jews would believe! We know that even with miracles the Jews had less confidence in the Lord than did the Gentiles.

Signs, wonders and miracles are tools God uses to eliminate doubt and increase faith. Signs and miracles mean things! The Book of Revelation is full of signs. Only the discerning, informed by the Holy Ghost, can piece together the signs for a complete message. That's no accident! God uses signs to divulge knowledge! The Spirit-filled Christian, when reading those signs in Revelation gets a fairly clear picture of the end-of-days. Without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Revelation means little to the casual reader and is just mass confusion.

Likewise, the entire Old Testament is a testimony to the coming Messiah. He's with them in Spirit, but has yet to become the image that we're copied after. This is an important distinction! Jesus was not born in our image, but mankind was born in what God called "our image". We were designed, rather well I say, to resemble the yet born God Man Jesus. The entire Old Testament is about "The Word" and The Word is who put on flesh. All the "Bible Stories" are about Jesus, and just as in Revelation, man can recognize Jesus in Scripture only by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

When the casual reader reads about Moses, that reader sees little more than "Bible Stories": How God dealt with early church patriarchs. However, the inspired reader, if discerning, will soon find out that all the Old Testament stories are "all about Jesus"! With that said, is there information to be gleaned from "the ten plagues"? Let's look at some likely givens:

  1. Egypt represents sin and the Jews servitude to the Egyptians as bondage to sin.
  2. The Pharaoh represents Satan.
  3. Moses is a type of Christ.
  4. Aaron would be akin to John the Baptist.
  5. The Passover is a representation of the Crucifixion.
  6. The wooden door stop and the blood are a picture of the bloodied cross.
  7. The death of the firstborn is a picture of Christ on the Cross.
  8. The parting of the Red Sea represents Baptism
  9. Etc.
  10. What is the message of the ten plagues. There's a message there or God wouldn't have went to the extreme of going through all the motions knowing in advance that all the plagues would only harden Pharaoh.

The plagues are termed "miraculous signs and wonders." The purpose of the signs are to impart knowledge.
The plagues were designed to contrast the power of Yahweh with the impotence of Egypt's various gods
Repeated throughout the narrative is the phrase, "you will know that I am Yahweh". Hence, the plaques are to reveal God. God revealed is Immanuel (God With Us). I believe the ten plagues are all about sin, grace, salvation and Jesus!

Firstly, I must admit a preconceived notion! I thought that somehow the plagues of Moses were a picture of the plagues of Revelation. Perhaps they are, but if so, I could find no correlation. However, I put away my bias and looked at Scripture to see what I could find. Here is my "take" on each of the plagues:
  1. Change water into blood (Jesus purifying by water and blood-also the Trinity 1 John 5:6-12)
  2. Frogs come up from the river (false prophet & unclean spirits-Rev 16:13; vs. Truth of Jesus)
  3. Lice from dust (Original sin - disease passed down from Adam; Grace of Jesus)
  4. Swarms of flies (Beelzebub [Satan] literally means "Lord of the Flies", Victory in Jesus)
  5. Diseased livestock (Improper sacrifices [not fearing God]-firstlings of the flock-Deuteronomy 14:23, Fear of God)
  6. Boils from ashes (Uncleanliness [sin]-Lev 13:18-23 & recovery, forgiveness)
  7. Grievous hail (Seventh seal broken-Rev 8:7, judgement Rev 11:19)
  8. Locusts from the coast (Torment of the unsaved-Rev 9:3-10, salvation)
  9. Three days darkness (eternal life-the resurrection-Jesus time in the tomb)
  10. Death of firstborn (grace-Jesus death on the cross, crucifixion)
There are many verses which speak of water and blood being purifying. The Holy Ghost represents spiritual cleansing. Hence, I believe the first plague identifies the Trinity of which water and blood is the symbol.

Frogs represent unclean spirits and the false prophets (second plague) . That's why Jesus came! The ministry of Jesus (gospels) was the explain salvation and then demonstrate it. Jesus came to "kill the frogs" so to speak so that we would know the truth and that he is that Truth. 
Gnats or lice are the third plague. No matter which, because both represent disease and sin IS THE DISEASE of mankind. Where did disease originate? With Adam who rose up from the dust. Adam is responsible for what's called "original sin". No man is good enough to save himself. As a result we all have sinned and depend on the grace of God to save us. Grace is the antidote for the disease of sin! Grace is Jesus' vicarious death on the Cross!

Beelzebub is another name for Satan and is translated "Lord of the Flies". The fly plague (fourth) represents Satan who soon shall be defeated and bound by Jesus then thrown in the Lake of fire. Hence, the Fly will be destroyed and Jesus will be victorious!

The fifth plague is diseased livestock. Since for a proper sacrifice the firstlings of the livestock; those without disease, were a proper sacrifice. The improper sacrifice of Cain shows that we are to fear God. We think of Jesus as our Savior, but he also will mete out punishment to the wicked and thus must be feared! Proper sacrifice is fearing God and Jesus, who is God, must also be feared, not only by Pharaoh, but anyone who is in rebellion!

Boils from ashes is the sixth plague. Boils represent uncleanliness and the definition of "unclean" is "sin". Boils can be "cured". We can "recover" from boils. That "recovery" from sin spoken of in Leviticus is "forgiveness" in the New Testament.

By coincidence (?) the seventh plague corresponds to the seventh seal in Revelation! "Grievous Hail" represents "judgment" and Jesus will be the judge of mankind.

"Locusts from the Coast" is the eighth plague. Locusts represent many things, but most  prominently  is the "torment of the unsaved". Locusts represent the pangs of hell and Jesus "saves" us from eternal torment!

Three days of darkness, the ninth plague, is a picture of the resurrection. Just as Jesus remained in the tomb three days in the darkness therein, likewise the three days of darkness points toward the tomb and it emptied!

The tenth plague is the death of the first born. This clearly represents God's sacrifice of his own firstborn to a real death on the Cross. Death that he faced so that we don't have to suffer for eternity!

This all is my "take" on the meaning of the plagues. It's not to diminish the need for the Jews to desire freedom from bondage (sin), but all the plagues somehow point toward Jesus! If a person goes to a commentary little will be found about the meaning of each plague, but to me the Holy Spirit has given meaning. Of course, another may get something entirely different from the meaning, but regardless of the individual interpretations, it's obvious that taken as a whole, the plagues were all about Jesus.

I used Scripture to shed light on each of these plagues. Consider "my takes" and critique if you choose and elaborate if you will. I doubt that the Jews had incite enough to understand what the plagues were all about, but I bet Moses and Aaron knew that it was Jesus (The Word) with whom they were guided and Jesus (Incarnate) who was being identified.