Saturday, June 25, 2011

And The LORD Came Down

"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."
Genesis 11:1-9

The above text was written in a literary structure commonly referred to as a chiastic pattern.  This structure is a device that the ancients often used to highlight a main topic, action, or idea and the pattern is often found in scripture in both testaments.  The subject is the center of the pattern and the stress is on this main idea so that the reader will know that it is the major event, idea, or concept to focus on.  Let's briefly outline the structure in these verses to find this middle place.  (The word "chiasm" is related to the word "cross" so that the word itself explains the idea of a center point.)

a.  Introduction--Verse 1--The Earth is one in voice under one Lord.
  b.  The people settle in a single area in rebellion to God's command to go out and multiply--verse 2.
c.  The people say let's make brick and mortar rather than choosing solid stone thus unifying ourselves (that which God made and further rebellion)--verse 3.  
d.  The people say let's join together to build our own unacceptable means to heaven which is terribly rebellious--verse 4.

*Verse 5 is the center of the structure--the stress is on the Lord coming down!

d.  God says your rebellion has not escaped the eyes of Heaven's Throne and I will not allow you to unite against Me (the unacceptable is rejected and destroyed)--verse 6.
c.  God says I will come down and confound your plans and cause your unity to cease--verse 7.
b.  The LORD scatters the people around the earth--verse 8.
a.  Conclusion--The Earth has many voices but still only ONE LORD!  Verse 9  

Yesterday we saw another example of the earth unifying itself against the LORD of all creation.  Another state has chosen to accept an abomination rather than to submit to God's plan.  Men and women are deciding that the first institution that God ordained--marriage (a shadow of salvation, God and Israel, Christ and the Church)--is now an institution that they can decide to redefine willfully against scripture as they wish.  It is one of many indicators that humanity is trying once again to unify itself against the Holy One.  From abortion, gay rights, pornography, euthanasia, divorce, and a whole host of other rebellious acts, humanity is on a collision course with the stress of the LORD coming down.  Like at Babel, God sees all of this. He even used this prophetic chiasm to outline that Heaven sees and God will act.  Where does that leave you!

What Utter Blasphemy!

I was sitting in a restaurant in Greenville, SC yesterday having lunch with beautiful wife, Melodie.  We were discussing some of the sermons we had heard in our state campmeeting and discussing the coming of the Lord.  Also, I had shared this outline with a friend of mine who is very much a mentor just a day or so prior.  Finally, I was thinking about Peters' sermon in Acts 2 as I wrote about yesterday.  That is when it hit me!  Regardless of your choice, the Lord is coming!  How He comes to you, as friend or foe, is your choice.  When the church unified themselves in prayer the Lord came down in a mighty and dramatic way in Acts 2.  When the world unified itself against the Lord in Genesis 11 He came down in a mighty and dramatic way as well.  When He comes, are you going to be found united with Him or in rebellion against Him?  Are you going to forgive your brethren, set aside petty differences, and seek the Lord as never before for the souls of men, or are you going to persist in your rebellious ways and act like a carnal worldling?  Either way, the Lord is coming down!  Get ready!  It is soon!  Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!   

Distressing News

The Gay Pride Flag at the Richmond Federal Reserve--And you wonder why our economy is in shambles? 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Forgotten Elements

First, I want to thank everyone for their prayers, concern, and their notes to me.  There are three discs involved with the neck pain and I am scheduled to see a neuro-surgeon on the 28th.   I am doing better as far as pain. There are still some problems from holding my arms up to the keyboard, but I am going to get through it.  Also, this month has been a very busy month as well.  I am writing this from the SC Church of God Campmeeting where Melodie and I have been all week.  Perry Stone and Tommy Bates have been doing a great job in the evening services.  The morning services have also been very challenging as well.  

I want to share a few thoughts on some forgotten elements that you don't hear preached often.  It is apparent to anyone that the Apostle Peter was being mightily used by the Holy Ghost to preach after the events early in Acts 2.  If he was so anointed, then much of the preaching that is done today should contain some of the same thoughts,if not all of the thoughts, frequently since the Spirit is immutable and the message is the same as what is needed today.  Also, there should not be any teaching that denies these core concepts since this is more than a prepared sermon from a master speaker, but God, Himself, is using this man mightily in such a way that three thousand turn to Him after this single message.  There are many claiming to be speaking by God's anointing, but their words do not have the same important teaching as that which Peter and the other apostles shared throughout the Bible.  In essence, they are fulfilling the warnings of Christ and the scriptures that there would be deceivers and false prophets in the last days of the church age. 

First, like many others and our Lord Jesus Himself, Peter preached that there was only one acceptable means to heaven.  Look at a portion of Acts 2:22! It says, that He was, "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God..."  Furthermore, he states, "that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36b)  The idea is simple!  There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ and the bloody cross of Calvary.  Anyone who shares a message that hails another prophet or religious path to God is nothing but a liar, deceiver, tool of Satan, and/or a heretic.  If, as some well known "Christian" preachers teach currently, that we are all God's children and we will someday all gleefully make it to heaven whether we accepted Christ or not, then why did the apostles and early martyrs of the Church shed their precious blood to preach a salvation all would someday attain anyways at some point in the future?  They endured terrible suffering for the gospel as many are still doing today.  These liars are making a mockery of those who commit and have committed wholly unto Jesus to the point of death.  The apostles could have shut up and kept their ideas about Jesus to themselves since we would all make it to Heaven in the sweet by and by.  No!  My friend, do not allow this delusion in your life.  As Peter would say later in a sermon in Acts 4, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

Second, the Holy Ghost did not dance around sin for fear of hurting someones feelings.  We do need to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and be kind and loving, but there is a time when we should speak clearly with harsh truth even as Peter did.  Look at this verse, "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."  (Acts 2:23) Can you imagine this rough fisherman standing square footed in the very crowd that contained folks who just weeks ago shouted, "Crucify Him" and pointing his finger in their face as he said this?  Where was the political correctness here?  Where was the concern for their feelings?  Sometimes, we need to be more concerned about the lost than to hide behind demonically inspired excuses.  You need not go everywhere shouting at sinners but you had better learn that there are times when a strong, unyielding witness, directed by God, is needed.  The same Holy Ghost who told us to be loving also said that, "Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."  (Proverbs 27:5-6)  So what is the missing element at the core of this harshness?  Repent!  When was the last time you heard a message calling men and women to repent of their sin and accept Christ?

Finally, Peter discussed the unending reign of the Son of David and the Son of God found in one person, Jesus Christ.  He knew that there was coming a day when the Savior would return and restore all things.  It is coming!  Are you ready?