Police States?

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 


The Roman Colosseum – images from pixabay.com

GOD Provides us with Governments to Serve the People not Themselves.

Matthew 20:28 ESV

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Sinful humans abuse this power for selfish gain and power. The struggle initiates violent conflict, abuse of human rights and persecution. Jesus

Catacombs – images from pixabay.com

advocated peace, love and forgiveness. This philosophy left aggressive violent people with the impression Christians were meek and docile and easy prey: Persecution followed.  What these  perpetrators did not realize, long after they were to be gone Christianity would prevail.

Matthew 22:17-21 ESV

Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Roman Republic – images from pixabay.com

Slavic Christian Community- Famous Song about Persecution by Brandon Heath: Dmitri’s Song

Todd Smith (Video)  – “Dmitri’s Song (Jesus Is Alive)”

https://youtu.be/GD4EYlGXZkc

Recent News Indicated Persecution Still Occurs

Yes even today:

https://factsandtrends.net/2018/01/29/quarter-billion-christians-face-major-persecution-2018/

San-Sebastian – images from pixabay.com

Governments limit, forbid or attempt to annihilate Christians even today. The negative forces have the opposite affect. When Christians face these most dire conditions they go underground and there Faith grows stronger and their numbers increase.


Police States May Oppose and Control Humans of a  Race, Political View, Ideology, a Creed or Religion.


Though the USA is considered a police state by some that is hyperbole – having over a million law enforcement personnel may make it seem so, but our population is over 325 million .

These are the current police states in the world according to Business Insider magazine:

https://www.businessinsider.com/police-force-per-capita-2011-5


Icon – images from pixabay.com

 

THEY MAY HAVE BEGUN BECAUSE OF LAWLESSNESS – Crime, Corruption or violence.Then Absolute Power Corrupted the Good with Evil making matters worse.


2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Next Week: The Value of Humans

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.

What is the Meaning?

Staff – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

Old and New Ways – images from pixabay.com

Three Ways to Approach the Bible

Translations of the Holy Bible abound in many languages but there is only three approaches to translating into your language (with some blending of these in some versions): a) Word for Word, b) Thought-for-thought and c) Paraphrase.

Hebrew – images from pixabay.com
Scroll – images from pixabay.com

If you were alive when the Bible was written in Hebrew and Aramaic and translated with precision into Greek and you knew these languages all the modern versions would not be necessary. It is because of this we often refer to several versions in English or another language to grasp meaning as accurately as possible.

 

Reading a Scroll – images from pixabay.com

https://www.ucg.org/vertical-thought/infographic-types-of-bible-translations


SONG: Thy Word – Amy Grant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u_NMSH3hR8


Egyptian Papyrus – images from pixabay.com
Dead Sea Scrolls – images from pixabay.com

The Holy Spirit Helps

John 14:26 ESV

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

When you became (or become) a Christian you receive(d) The Holy Spirit to help you understand and acquire better skills as to what is right and what is wrong.

Mysteries Unfold

Christianity shares one aspect with other religions because as humans we have a number of hindrances that limit our understanding of somethings. These are not mystical or crime mysteries however: The Trinity, How GOD hears all our prayers . . . and so on.

Colossians 2:1-3 ESV

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

Bottom Line

Electronic Book – images from pixabay.com

We begin as an infant in The Lord and learn to crawl, walk and then run with knowledge and understanding; we become more Christ Like if we are obedient and diligently study The Word.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

 

 

NEXT WEEK: How to Become a Christian

THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Art has Meaning, a Message, Mirrors People

Staff – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 

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Christian Radio and Online Programs in YOUR Language:

https://www.twr360.org/


Song Lyrics  . . .

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

. . . entertainment, casual banter and typical behavior reveals a society’s or culture’s morality, sense of justice and respect for fellow citizens – or lack of respect. Glorifying, encouraging or promoting hate, abuse of others or a lack of respect for authority erodes the peace and tranquility of a society.

Psalm 105:2 ESV

Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!


SONG: Chris Tomlin – Lord I Need You

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rR_Rdb1CTE


The Written Word . . .

Books – images from pixabay.com

Mine Kumpf (My Fight) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mein_Kampf by Adolph Hitler, The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and the Holy Bible are three of the most influential books.  Of course I refer to the blessings derived from GOD’s word as the main message of this blog.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Hebrews 4:12 ESV

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Music . . .

Musical Score – images from pixabay.com

Music and songs can stir us in our hearts and minds: Taps at funerals, The Star Spangled Banner, Classical music, Christian Hymns and a myriad of popular songs and music – good, bad and meaningless.

Guitarist – images from pixabay.com

Ephesians 5:19 ESV

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,


Amazing Grace

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDdvReNKKuk


 

Psalm 126:2 ESV

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

Visual Arts, Dance, Theater and Cinema ..

Theater – images from pixabay.com

The grand spectacles Gone with the Wind, The Ten Commandments  and the more recent The Passion of the Christ the artistic license for drama not withstanding, are moving nevertheless. Strange visual effects as used in the latter part of 2001 a Space Odyssey ,  harsh language and explicit sex are all tools used to attract and move the audiences. This art form can be used to teach as well as fill our hours with empty eye candy. Museums filled with paintings, statues and oddities can give historical and social clues about the time in which they were made. Dance can offer folk traditions as well as modern expression.

Ballet – images from pixabay.com

Psalm 149:3 ESV

Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!


Moses Parts the Sea – The Ten Commandments (6/10) Movie CLIP (1956) HD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqCTq3EeDcY


Humor at the expense of others is a misuse of art forms (at least in my opinion).


The Fat Boy Chronicles: Clip – Teacher Scolds at Jimmy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alR26IrBvvI


NEXT WEEK: What is the Meaning?

THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Still, You Can Pray

Praise – images from pixabay.com

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Tranquil Waters – images from pixabay.com

Reality: One side wonderful the other dreadful.

When Storms Come – images from pixabay.com
Praying Hands – images from pixabay.com

Easy to count our blessings in good times and times of plenty but, in times of lacking, trials and painful destructive experience what can we do?  We may feel helpless and tired and impotent . . . what can we do? Pray. No matter what, we have, a GOD of Love to pray to, in The Name of Jesus Christ.  GOD hears and GOD answers according to GOD’s will. There is always an answer from GOD: No; Yes; Not Now. Remember GOD is not human and we are not gods.

Prayer Calms Us – images from pixabay.com

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If an answer to our prayer is yes there is little room for doubt but if it is no:

SONG: Andrea Bocelli – The Lord’s Prayer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEplqV0scyo

Song: Unanswered Prayers – Garth Brooks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze4gFWuYh50

Psalm 66:18 ESV

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

When GOD says maybe (not now later) how do we respond?

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Like the soldier’s motto, “Ours is not to reason why; ours is just to do or die”. Leave it to GOD.

Jesus Pays for Sin – images from pixabay.com

Mark 14:36 ESV

And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Jesus paid the price for sin including ours and believing in Him achieves an eternity in Heaven. Yet until in the fullness of time the things of Revelation come to pass and Jesus returns, the world we live in remains flawed. Still, you can pray.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do; demonstrate the Love of GOD teach others about Jesus and Salvation.

Next Week: Can You Escape from Reality?

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Cults, Evil and Destruction

Ensemble – images from pixabay.com

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Cults distort truth and lead people astray

The Battle – images from pixabay.com
Cult Example – images from pixabay.com

Small percentages take the headlines but the vast number of people and events are lumped in as just ordinary people and events; this is the same for Christians. When Jim Jones “Peoples Temple” and David Koresh “Branch Davidians sect” came to a horrific demise along with many of their followers the news headlines around the world provided the details, editorials and religious implications.  While these tragic events commanded our attention millions upon millions of Christians went on about their lives without being noticed. Cults distort the reality of being a Christian.

Brutal Myan Cults – images from pixabay.com

2 Peter 2:1 ESV

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Evil defies the good of GOD and is the opposite . . .

 

War and Strife – images from pixabay.com

Instead of love, empathy and assistance, evil is hate, uncaring and provides no good. Just the recent news stories report  rapes,murders, home invasions, pushing elderly people down stairs, hostage taking and a great deal of stealing.  The most insidious may be killings over parking spaces, road rage or for thrills.  I find understanding and great comfort from the truth revealed in GOD’s Word The Holy Bible.

1 John 4:8 ESV

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 

Destruction undoes GOD’s creation, beauty and wonderful places and things . . .

Great Sorrow – images from pixabay.com

Killing, defacing, marring and annihilation of the good and beautiful; human nature without GOD destroys the wonderful things GOD has created and pronounced good.

Lush World – image from pixabay.com

Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day

Jesus Suffered – images from pixabay.com

The torture, disrespect and murder by Crucifixion of  Jesus Christ is the most hideous example of all that is evil.

DO NOT LOOSE HOPE. WE STILL LIVE IN GOD’S BEAUTIFUL CREATION

SONG: God Speaking by Mandisa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jUqkjDA4CA

God’s Beautiful Creation

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: Who is Your Shepherd?

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Surrounded with Darkness

Free as the Wind – images from pixabay.com

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Steven Curtis Chapman – For The Sake Of The Call [Official Music]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkmbB8LWE8&feature=youtu.be

Russian Christian Songs…All To Jesus I Surrender

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgO5KLcrGOQ

The darkness around Earth in this photo is a metaphor for the evil that surrounds us in the spiritual struggle.

Surrounded – images from pixabay.com

It is a Spiritual War played out in the flesh

Crusaders – images from pixabay.com

The Crusades were ill-conceived and therefore wrongly prosecuted because people did not fully understand the true nature of the war between good and evil – or ignored the truth.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV 

Spiritual Warrior – images from pixabay.com

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

So we may wonder how someone could slay those children in such a hideous way; why destroy life for small material gain? Abuse helpless people? Cheat those dying in a famine. Murder because they are different in appearance? The value of life so cheap? The reason behind all of it is an ongoing spiritual war:

Ephesians 6:12 ESV 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Then what can we do?

Ephesians 6:11 ESV

Metaphor for Spiritual War Prep – images from pixabay.com

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

The Word of GOD is our weapon and our protection.

Old Bible – images from pixabay.com
As Christians we are to be the light to the world as Jesus said:

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: Sudden Death

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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AMEN

The Fourth of July Special Post

Happy 242th Birthday USA

Declaration of Independence – images from pixabay.com

Time to Worship and be Revived

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Church Vocal Choir – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 

Be Revived it is Long Overdue

SONG: Chris Tomlin – Here I Am To Worship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUh8ltwxB_I&feature=youtu.be

Start with you where you are right now.
If there is any hope for this world it is not with great powers, powerful armies or strong leaders it lies with you: The individual Christian. Start with, leading your family, leading your neighborhood, leading your nation . . . To The Lord.

In our power we fall short . . . we fail to stop the evil in the world on a global scale:

Death and Destruction – images from pixabay.com
Death and harm . . . . brother against brother. . .
A Cheap Life – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 10:21 ESV

Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,

 

Famine – images from pixabay.com
Famine and illness . . . .
War Famine – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:7 ESV

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Greed – images from pixabay.com
Corrupt – images from pixabay.com
Theft, greed, oppression . . . .

Isaiah 1:17 ESV

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

God is Love – image from pixabay.com

With GOD Nothing is impossible.

Matthew 19:26 ESV

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Share the Word . . . Christian revival can help turn the trends toward evil back; it will make life on Earth Better. Thank You.

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A

Our Core Beliefs Part II

 

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Ensemble – images from pixabay.com

 

 

SONG LINK:

What makes us Christians? Part II

The tenets of Christianity is the glue that holds us in unity though we may be of a different sect or denomination.  The order we place them in may be different a little just like the Ten Command but, nevertheless important.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Grudem

6.  Atonement:

1 Peter 2:24 ESV

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Attonement – images from pixabay.com

7.  Resurrection:

1 Thessalonians 4:14 ESV

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

John 11:25 ESV

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

The Resurrection – images from pixabay.com

8.  Prayer:

Philippians 4:6 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Prayer – images from pixabay.com

 

9.  Trinity: The Mystery of Three in One.

Matthew 28:19 ESV

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

 

Father Son and Holy Spirit – images from pixabay.com

10. Bible:

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

The Bible – images from pixabay.com
We are half way through the twenty tenets of Christianity. The order may vary but these and the others to be posted next week and the following week are pretty much essential. Other traditions can and have been added and many are just that and not sinful. Only some alterations, additions and omissions constitute invalidating a Christian perspective. We, and I say, “If it is not in the Bible it is not so.”

Share the Word . . . Christian revival can help turn the trends toward evil back. Thank You.

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AMEN

Revenge: The Cycle of Death

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Revenge – images from pixabay.com

Revenge or Forgive?

Romans 12:19 ESV 

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

We Christians are like any other human beings if we are wronged or injured by another we have an upwelling of animosity that if left uncontrolled can lead us to take revenge: deliver harm to the perpetrator or their associates. The above verse points to a higher order response: let GOD handle it. Easy to say but hard to do.

Sometimes it takes a Christian response to end a cycle of  violent reprisals

Cycles of War – images from pixabay.com

The infamous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys in the West Virginia Kentucky areas in the USA is well know.  Adolf Hitler’s obsession to take revenge on the several of the World’s Nations for inflicting what the German people viewed as too harsh a price to pay for agreeing to end World War I.  That obsession to inflict more than vengeance but to dominate other people and even the plan to annihilate some  lead to the most widespread destruction and death toll the World had ever experienced.  Could all that anguish and misery been avoided if the following verses were to have been applied?

Trust GOD to Deliver Justice – images from pixabay.com

Romans 12:17-21 ESV 

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Oppressed, enslaved, conquered?

Non Violent Leaders – images from pixabay.com
Know History but Forgive and Move on
Gandhi, Dr. King and Mandela all understood all too well to give their respective people the best chance for peaceful and productive future was to work diligently at ending a cycle of violence by embracing a non-violent philosophy.

Isaiah 40:31 ESV

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

 Do you want a better future for your children? Can you forgive and forget?

A Bright Future for them – images from pixabay.com
Happy Children – images from pixabay.com

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TO KNOW ABOUT GOD AND GOD’S WAYS THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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