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Isaiah’s Prophetic Message
In poetic language and metaphor Isaiah expressed the message of the Feast of Trumpets the Day of Reckoning. It is a sobering warning to everyone for all time, but most importantly to the leaders who dictate political, social, economic, and military policy. No matter who you are or where you are, God is promising to cut down the proud and the arrogant. He will destroy the great economic system – their magnificent ship of state – along with the builders. Much later the apostle John wrote a similar vision in the book of Revelation. John revisited this theme of the Feast of Trumpets the Day of Reckoning when he scribed the message, “The great Babylon is fallen, fallen…” He recorded God’s judgment against the elite rulers of the world who had built a life of luxury on the backs of those they had enslaved. They would fall in a day and be brought to ruin in a single hour. And the merchants of the world who had profited from this tyrannical but profitable system would mourn its destruction. But why would God judge them so harshly? More
Vaccination was a concept introduced into Western medical history in the 1700’s in an effort to prevent lethal cases of smallpox. The application of vaccination in its many forms created numerous stories, both of success and disaster. The resulting debate over the safety and efficacy of vaccination has continued for 300 years.
But the history of smallpox goes back thousands of years.
“Smallpox plagued human populations for thousands of years. Researchers who examined the mummy of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses V (died 1157 BCE) observed scarring similar to that from smallpox on his remains.”
To gain a biblical perspective we can go back to an even earlier time period in biblical history to examine what the scriptures have to say on this topic of virulent communicable disease. The scriptures do not give us a definitive statement on “Thou shalt not vaccinate!” But they do provide us with the knowledge we need to make an informed decision based on sound biblical precepts. It is these precepts that will keep us safe, and help us maintain physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Knowing that the Egyptians suffered from these communicable disease plagues we can appreciate God’s instructions to Moses: More
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Privilege with Obligations
In a world where the epithet of ‘white privilege’ is voiced in a spirit of ignorance or resentment, it might be wise to consider the issue of spiritual privilege. Understanding our spiritual privilege as Christians, and children of God, is a key to our spiritual future. This privilege comes as the result of a covenant made millennia ago with the father of the faith, Abraham. God’s covenant meant that God acknowledged Abraham as his own kin. What a privilege to be part of God’s family. And with this covenant came promises of great blessings. But the covenant also included obligations. God expected Abraham to ‘Keep the way of the Lord.’ He was obliged to communicate God’s family values of what was right and wrong to his children. In fact, God had chosen Abraham because he knew his character, that he would teach his children God’s standards of right living. So are you among the privileged? More
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The tenth commandment — avoiding covetousness — is perhaps the most challenging of God’s divine directives. God is very concerned about what we think, as thought often leads to action. Covetous thoughts, those keen, overwhelming, selfish desires must be overcome. The scripture contrasts the passionate fleshly lusts and urges against the passionate godly desires. But how can we know whether our passions are good or bad? It is only through a thorough understanding of God’s law that we can understand is will. Those caught up in covetousness are those guilty of ‘anomia,’ lawlessness. More
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Christianity without Christ?
Is America being subverted by a fake Christianity – a Christianity without Christ and his teaching? A recent Barna study concluded that being Christian in America in 2021 has very little connection to the message of scripture. Modern Christians are not ‘sola scriptura’ Christians as were the Celtic Christians of the 400’s AD or the European Reformers of the 1500’s. In fact you might think that these Christians consider Eve’s choice of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as the wiser choice…if they even know the biblical story. We might wonder if the decline in America is a consequence of an erosion of basic values and the watered-down Christianity that is the most popular religious worldview. More
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Introduction: Solving the Mystery of the Ten Lost Tribes
The ultimate promise that God made to Abraham and his descendants was that they would inherit the world and eternal life. This promise was accepted by Abraham in an attitude of complete and total trust that our cynical age finds extremely hard to even begin to understanding, much less emulate it.
The story of Israel is the story of a single family that was chosen for divine service by the One who asserts that He created all humanity from one blood (cf. Acts 17:26). The Israelites were a people born by a series of divine miracles, as well as, circumstances common to the human condition. They were a “chosen” people, but in no way could they ever have been considered a “pet” people either in antiquity or now. After all, God is not a respecter of persons.
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Hosea Speaks to Political Turmoil
Hosea witnessed the decline and ultimate fall of the 10 tribe confederation of Israel, and his messages resonate with us today. Decades earlier the once united Kingdom that had flourished under the reigns of David and Solomon became divided into two warring factions. The ten northern tribes led by Ephraim chose Samaria as their stronghold. The 3 tribes under the Davidic dynasty in the south continued to be ruled from Jerusalem. But it wasn’t long before the northern kingdom dissolved into political chaos.
The nation had experienced a time of great prosperity and expansion under the rule of Jeroboam II, but in Hosea’s day trouble was on the horizon. In short succession within a 13 year period, 5 kings rose to power through a series of murders, intrigue, and barbarism. This time of great instability led to a situation where the dominant power of the day, Assyria, stepped into the political fray. The Assyrian king, Pul, demanded a tribute of 1000 talents. And the Israelite ‘puppet’ king willingly extorted the money from his wealthiest citizens in order to secure his position of power. More