God’s Ten Commandments versus Jesus’ Two Commandments

What are the differences? How can the “supposed” Son of God change the commands of God? Or, did He change them??? Let us look into this, it has always been on my mind and have not researched or even sought an answer…

ten-commandments

So, it is agreed, for the sake of this discussion that God did give to Moses, His servant, the Ten Commandments for Israel to adhere to and follow all the days of their lives and they were first given in Exodus 20:1-17 NKJV.

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And Jesus came along and gave us the Greatest Commandment in Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV, which is derived from Deuteronomy 6:1-3 NKJV.

Consider, for a moment or two, that there was a reason that Jesus simplified that which was already simple. How so, you might ask? Well, let’s take a good look:  The Jews were reminded that the Lord God lead them out of Egypt and the land of bondage.And the Sabbath was/is on a Saturday.

It is my contention that the Ten Commandments were, specifically geared toward the Jewish people, the very chosen people of God, Himself! Whereas, the modified Greatest Commandment was aimed toward the Jews but moreso in preparation for the Gentiles to adopted into the family of God.

As Christians, or sons and daughters who are adopted into the family of God (adoptive Jews, so to say) we were not lead from Egypt, we celebrate the Lord’s day on Sunday as it was the day upon which Jesus rose from the dead. Also, under the laws work was very specifically defined, such as walking beyond straight from one’s home to the synagogue was considered labor and other things as such. Jesus called out the Sanhedrin and Pharisees on such hypocrisies.

The Lord gave the Jews the land of milk and honey, i.e. Israel. While all of this world is the Lord’s, and everything therein…the land we live on was not given to us as the land (nation of Israel) was given to the Jews. While we can debate upon this matter, to a certain extent, we have not had to battle to maintain our land in our possessions as the Jewish people continue to do.

As I do think it a moot point that Jesus made the Lord simplified the Commandments which we are to live by, in that you either love God or you do not. Can we agree on that point, at least?

Let’s look at the Greatest Commandment which Jesus simplified for us:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV

  • First of all, Jesus stated that “You shall love the Lord“, which makes these two commands individualistic and personal. Meaning they are demanded of each and every one of us who follow the Christ. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. We are to do so by choice, not by force
    • We are to love Him “with all our heart“, which means we are to be sincere in our love toward God. After all, God can see our hearts and therefore love is the first and great thing that we should devote to him.
    • We are to love Him “with all our soul“, which means the soul must be engaged for him, and all things carried out toward and for Him and for His glory.
    • We are to love Him “with all our mind“, which means God gave us a mind with which to think things out and to reason with. That said, we must glorify God with our power of thought and reason. We must use our minds to learn all we can of God and to pass that on towards others; thereby, to mentor and disciple others.
    • To love God as the One True and Only God and Creator of all, is the greatest test of all. After all, do you truly believe such a thing? And do you truly show your love toward God? Only you can answer such a question and you know that God can see your heart.
    • You love the Lord God when you honor Him, when you hold Him in the highest esteem because you know & believe that He created you and placed the breath of life in your nostrils. You honor God when you place nothing else before yourself in order to worship or love as your creator.
    • If you honor God daily, is there a necessity to have a special day? Good question, and each of us will have an opinion on such a subject. However, it cannot hurt to honor God on Sundays, despite your honoring Him everyday. Every day which you wake and rise with the breath of life in you…is, after all, a day of the Lord…is it not??

Some people make each concept (heart, soul, & mind) to denote one and the same thing, to love him with all our powers; others differentiate each term; the heart, soul, and mind, are the will, affections, and understanding. Our love of God must be a sincere love, and not in word and tongue only, as theirs is who say they love him, but their hearts are not with him. In my opinion, the Lord Jesus inferred that each term should be understood on their own merit(s) and as the sum of their merit(s), together. It is always wise to look at them from every angle possible, as God did grant us a mind to reason with.

  • Secondly, Jesus commanded us to …love your neighbor as yourself.” Sound familiar? It ought to, that pesky Golden Rule that we were taught as children. To love one’s neighbor as one’s self we need to follow last five of the ten commandments:
    • Honoring our parents, while not our neighbors but they are those over us who are commanded to rear us up in the word of God and teach us all His ways. We are instructed to hold those in high regard who are our elders.
    • Murder, adultery, stealing, false witnessing, and coveting – these each affect those around us, our neighbors, friends, etc. We would not appreciate any of these things happening to us; therefore, we are not to treat others so heinously! Our civil society is based upon these things; in fact, our laws are based upon these things. You honor and glorify God when you love your neighbor as yourself.

Is one set of commandments any better than the other? No, I don’t think so. But the commandments from Jesus were the true cumulative effect of all the Old Testament Laws and words of the prophets brought together in one paragraph.

I hope you found this interesting and helpful. My prayer is that we all can affect change in society through our changes toward how we treat our neighbors. Godspeed to you all!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Understanding Balaam’s Error

balaams error

Now this is a tough one, to say the least; as there are differing opinions as to what Balaam’s error actually was. It is quite the dilemma in my mind as well, but let us delve into this to see if we cannot come to an understanding of his problem and what he had done wrong in God’s eyes.

Now, I will not insert the full biblical reference, but rather will start off with Numbers 22 and you can refer back to it in the bible. Let’s see if we cannot weave in and out of this menagerie of problems.

Let us face it, we as the species of man have a tendency, perhaps even the habit, of using God’s gifts blessed in our care for our own, meaningless, and even selfish reasons and purposes. We tend to misuse the numerous gifts (the breath of life, our life in general, our work, our abilities to sing, organize, wisely & thriftily spend the resource of money in our care, and many many other known and unknown gifts – but we use them for selfish and meaningless reasons and purposes. That being said, let us move along with Balaam and his dilemma…

As we start out in Numbers 22 we see that Balak son of Zippor saw what Israel had done to his neighbors, the Amorites. Fear set in his mind, and as always in every society when the unknown occurs fear is promoted and preached among the people. This is the only way politicians can get anything done in their own societies.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country. ~Hermann Goring

This seems to be the way that not just the politicians, but also numerous small groups who desire to play the victim while all the time creating the havoc around them. People, mankind , in general, does not do any homework and believes the majority of what he hears in the news or from others. Instead of what they should be doing and that is the use of the brain and God given wisdom which he had received at birth and throughout his maturing years. But we no longer teach our children HOW to think, but rather what to think and to jump on the bandwagon. There was a book published back in 1928: PROPAGANDA By EDWARD L. BERNAYS who was the German Propaganda Minister for Adolf Hitler. Moving on…

Now, Balaam had a great reputation of knowing who was blessed and who was cursed. If he blessed them, they indeed were blessed; if he cursed them, they were indeed cursed. And the bible indeed indicates, in Numbers 22:12 where it states: “you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” And God warned him not to go with the leaders sent by Balak to bring Balaam to curse the Israelites. You just cannot get any clearer than that where God stated to him: “You shall not go with them” ~Numbers 22:12. One of the first errors of Balaam was he told the leaders: “Go back to your own country, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” ~Numbers 22:13. Which is interpreted to mean in today’s vernacular: “Well, I really, really, really want to go with you, but my Father won’t let me.” Which is an enticement for the other party to help entice you even further into sin. Instead, Balaam should have stated precisely what God stated to him. (1)

Another error accomplished by Balaam was that of falling into a form of greed. Balak sent other leaders, more numerous and more distinguished than the first group. But they offered riches and wealth. And by going was giving into such weakness of man…greed. It indicated to others, or could be inferred by others, that maybe God will change His mind if I go with them and see what Balak sees. (1)

I will reward you handsomely” ~Numbers 22:17 NKJV

Balak sent an offer to Balaam. And by Balaam’s answer, as mentioned, it could be inferred other ways. Meaning, perhaps, that God might just change His mind concerning this invading people and Balaam could obtain some extra money on the side.

Now, I do not know about you but I always had problems discerning the error(s) with respect to the avenging Angel, the donkey, and Balaam. On the cursory view of the matter, everything appeared to be on the up and up, with respect to the mandate of God which is spelled out in verse 20.  And as you read the passage, it still is not spelled out for us. However, we must go by inference with respect to the problem(s) at hand. He is associating and even working with those who are against God’s chosen people. For example, there are those of us (knowingly or unknowingly) who associate with or work with those companies or charities that are blatantly anti-Israel. (3) If we are truly men and women of God we will/would always align with God’s people. We do such things in order to garner support, favor, and acceptability with the secular society. In so doing we are cursing Israel and going against God. We are reminded in the Book of Genesis:

I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” ~Genesis 12:3 NKJV

Matthew Henry’s Commentary spells out quite a bit, in which, the Israelite people’s presence is so that they (Moabites) might come to know the righteousness of the Lord (MHC reference, Micah 6:5 KJV). Balak sent a diplomatic dispatch, of sorts, to Balaam in order to get the Israelites cursed, but you cannot curse that which God has blessed…can you?

God fulfilled His  promise to Israel by showing His displeasure with Balaam by having His angel stand in the way of Balaam, who was protected by his donkey shich he beat three times. It was at that point the Angel was revealed to him. (Numbers 22:21-34 NKJV, (4), MHC ref) We are intended to, and obligated to, follow God’s word, demands of us, requirements, etc. because if we do not we are in sin against God Himself and we will thus separate ourselves from Him!

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” ~ Isaiah 59:2 NKJV

We have a tendency to be blinded by our thoughts or our desires that we are unable to see the dangers ahead of us. God will give us some warning signs and some of us will notice and change our direction. Unfortunately, if you are like me you tend to be a bit thick in the head, stubborn, or just oblivious to what is happening and blame it all on Murphy’s Law, until such time as you notice it was God all along trying to get your attention.

murphys-law

Eventually, we all show our true colors in any given situation, that is a fact! For example, when you claim a friendship with someone and say you are there for them, excepting only those times when they truly need you…you know, stuff like that! But getting back to Balaam, when he told the second set of ambassadors to remain the night. The reason this was wrong, as with many of us, is that we tend to think God will change His mind for our benefit, because it is something we desire to do. There is no need to check with God a second time for anything, as His word is final and is the Law. We need to face something…God’s word is final. (2)

I am truly hoping that I ave not confused any of you, and that I was able to aid in your understanding of Balaam. It is quite difficult, at best. I needed to do some extra biblical reading on the subject, myself.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

References:

(1) The Error of Balaam

(2) Balaam the prophet of error

(3) Balaam’s Error

(4) Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Balaam

 

 

…a new birth of freedom…

immancipation-proc

— that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ~The Gettysburg Address

With our present election, for 2016, all but a joke…in my humble opinion…it would seem that the dreams of our founding fathers and that of Abraham Lincoln are all but trampled into the ground with our rights and liberties being buried deep within the earth, right along side of the dreams of the founders of this once great nation. There is an old adage that tells us that God gives us bad leadership because of a judgement against us. This could not be any truer today! Even during the time of Moses when the people chose to be lead by a king like all other nations, were enticed by their fellow man and coveted what they had. The Israelites were not content or happy with what they had. They rejected God. Consider the following:

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.” ~1 Samuel 8:6-8

We the species of man are always looking for the greener pastures, the easiest way out of doing something, the wealth without any of the work — so-to-say! We want the brass ring. You have to wonder, will we ever learn? Our youth strive toward socio-communistic ideologies. Generally people grow wiser as they get older, but it doesn’t seem to be a rite of passage for everyone these days. I believe this speaks volumes from Winston Churchill:

churchill

 

While this particular blog, along with others are inspired by the election, it’s process, and other political banter, it/they are not invalid in their contextual belief. Is America a great nation? Well, the answer to that question is for the most part relative to each person and their definition of “what makes America truly great” in the first place. If you truly desire America to be great, as well as any other nation in the world…they must align with God and His word! (…and all of the tenets and doctrines therein! None of this mix-n-matching to suit your own personal needs or desires.)

At one point in time in the history of this once great nation, we believed in God as the basis of our rights and liberties, now those have all but been transferred over to the government. So if the government says you don’t have a particular right…you have lost it. hmmmmmmmm! Sad, but a truism for certain. God, our Creator, is the basis and the author of our lives and all of our rights and liberties while we are alive with the breath of life that He has blessed us with. That includes the right to life, liberty, and happiness; although, we must chase after each with a passion and hold on to them with a defensive fury, if you will, and must do so eachone for ourselves and for our neighbors.

voltaire quote

There are many a time where we do not agree with those we keep company with, but we must be willing to see and understand their point. Does that mean you must change your belief, no; but it does mean that you need to see and understand their point with the possibility and potential that you could be wrong…but they may be wrong as well. This is why we share our faith with others so they can understand where we come from and we can also see the potentiality of we  being wrong or even having a weak argument for our position. We have an obligation to God and our faith to be strong in our faith and rethink our arguments. If there are holes in our arguments, by sharing our faith we will expose them either to ourselves or through those we are discussing them with.

The new birth of freedom is that which lies within us, to include but not limited to:

  • Our Faith
  • Our Beliefs
  • Our Integrity
  • Our Character
  • Our Rights
  • Our Liberty
  • Our Sovereignty
  • Our Understanding of Our God, His Son, and His Spirit…

By paying attention to our beliefs, our faith and our arguments with which we share our faith to others we will grow stronger. While in the beginning of our walk with the Christian faith we may get some things wrong, we may get some arguments wrong…in fact, we may get a lot wrong and sense we have failed God, as well as our faith. But you have not, you simply had another learning lesson within your long life of what you may consider failings in life…but instead they are only lessons we have learned from. Something you may not understand right now, but in time you will grasp hold of it: Our heroes, all of them, spent at very least 70% of their time failing at something…YES! You read that right…70% of their time at being great they failed!

Here is a speech you may, or may not have heard before from the movie “ROCKY BALBOA”, it truly gives you the crux of a new found freedom within each and everyone of us. It is not necessarily a Christian message, but my understanding is that Stallone is a Christian. However, this is a great and motivating speech…listen up, my friends…

When life gets tough for each of us we, those of us who are not so great, tend to blame someone or some thing as to why we didn’t make it, didn’t win. Guess what, that is rationalism…those are excuses. If you want to win in life, in Christ, in business…you must remember life was never promised to be easy. It was just promised to you, YOU must fight to live as a good man or woman. You have to fight to be honorable. You have to fight to be the best you can possibly be, because life was a gift (including everything in it) but to make it the best life you can you must fight to be the best that you can be and that includes staying on the straight and narrow path that God has set before you.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Upon the Rise of the Zombie Apocalypse, How Will You Act & Rule?

These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’
Says the Lord.”  ~Ezekiel 8:16-17

judgement2

I believe it to be a very fair question, even though, there is NO likelihood, nor any probability, of such a thing happening. From an imaginative and horror aspect it is intriguing to expand your imagination to let it run wild, at times, as to not lose that childlike quality. IF you are a Walking Dead fan, then the question posited to all is: How will you act? And if the leader of a group of survivors, how will you lead and rule?

Will you be a cruel relentless leader such as the Governor or Negan? Or will you be a live at peace with all, if possible, as King Ezekiel? Or more of the middle of the road as in the likes of Rick Grimes? Only you can truly decide this matter for yourself! But, in my opinion, this is an excellent exercise in our moral philosophies on life. Will we be willing to truly test ourselves? Or, and I am not a fan of the series, but are you “morally flexible” as in the character Saul in “Better Call Saul”? Think about it…

We each have what we perceive of ourselves as our morally superior self, we all have ourselves depicted as the warrior that is possessed within each of us as well; but are we able to make such “judgments” with respect to our own clan, group or society as it’s leader? “Judgments” which are for “truth, justice, and peace” of the group as a whole ? Of course, we each say yes to this question without any forethought to the actual implication of the question, at large…

…BUT…

could you sentence someone to their death? Could you excommunicate someone from your society or clan for the remainder of their natural lives? Could you make such decisions with such harsh ramifications, both for the people of your clan, society, or community as a whole, for the person of whom is the target of the decision, and for the moral mind set of even yourself? Could you?? I have found, even with my own children and grandchildren, while the decision may be necessary…it can be heart wrenching. And consider the life of another which is held in the balance based upon YOUR decision…could you take or order the taking of another’s life because of what they have done? It is one thing to make judgment on someone who has taken the life of another, or had defiled the life of another (rape & molestation) but what of theft in the zombie apocalypse…could you sentence another to die? Would you excommunicate them, only giving them the chance to join another group and yielding them an opportunity to render a revenging attack on you for the “wrong” you committed against him?

revenge

Would YOU be committed to a moral society, community, or clan? And what would, or could, you do to ensure such a “utopia” or paradise of sorts?

utopia-sign

And to just make matters worse, if that is possible, by seeking to create your utopian society – which everyone seems to like accomplishing without any knowledge of how to do so – we tend to fail miserably at the actual journey of creating said paradise for mankind, in general.

paradise

Without a doubt, we will fight every up-hill battle, regardless of it’s actual value for the society at large, or for our own growth & knowledge. Most of the battles we take on, good or bad, have no value for us, nor any value for our clan or people! This is why it is important to prioritize your needs and resources. Even Jesus spoke of the necessity for determining if you had the resources to go to war or not. (reference: Luke 14:31-33 NIV)

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

While determining the benefits and welfare of those whom you both serve and care for, you must, at certain points in time, be willing to compromise. Because some of those times when our leaders in the heat of argument and anger, or frustration, tend to get their people into wars that the people had nothing to do with…BUT are forced to send their children into battle for their country’s honor. Remember prior to the time when Saul was made king of Israel? The warning that Samuel gave the Israelites after they desired to have a king:

“This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. ~ 1Samuel 8:10-18 NIV

Our children, and we, will always tend to be food & fodder for wars at the behest of those in charge of the countries at hand…whichever one we happen to be a citizen of at the time!

Hermann-Goering-quote

But how can you as a leader, as a people, as a society or community or as a clan actually remain as a moral body? You MUST teach, learn, and act from the word of God as an emissary or as an ambassador of Christ and God the Father. It is only through the bible itself that we can learn this and understand this through much prayer! We are but children of God, and brothers to Christ, and vessels for the Holy spirit to accomplish it’s works through, but if we bide our time, learn the word, and apply it diligently in our lives…faith will grow. It was noted that Father Zossima stated, “Love your neighbor, really love him…” and it will really open in your heart the faith that you truly seek. (The original quote escapes me but this was a mish-mash synopsis of it.)

If you are to be a person of God, you will remember this one thing:

Overview

In his inspiring new book, You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader, Mark Sanborn, the author of the national bestseller The Fred Factor, shows how each of us can be a leader in our daily lives and make a positive difference, whatever our title or position.

Through the stories of a number of unsung heroes, Sanborn reveals the keys each one of us can use to improve our organizations and enhance our careers.

Genuine leadership – leadership with a “little l”, as he puts it, is not conferred by a title, or limited to the executive suite. Rather, it is shown through our everyday actions and the way we influence the lives of those around us. Among the qualities that genuine leaders share:

• Acting with purpose rather than getting bogged down by mindless activity

• Caring about and listening to others

• Looking for ways to encourage the contributions and development of others rather than focusing solely on personal achievements

• Creating a legacy of accomplishment and contribution in everything they do

As readers across the country discovered in The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn has an unparalleled ability to explain fundamental business and leadership truths through simple stories and anecdotes. You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader offers an inspiring message to anyone who wants to take control of their life and make a positive difference.

…Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace…

Within your clan, society, or community YOU must lead & YOU must judge rightly!

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Forgiveness & Punishment

forgiveness

Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

And Moses said to the Lord: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’  And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying,  ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice,  they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.  Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.” ~Numbers 14:11-25 NKJV

Even though God forgave the Israelites at the behest of Moses, He still knew that this choicespresent generation (20 years of age and older are considered adults in the eyes of the Old testament.) Even though man is forgiven his transgression and iniquities which he has committed, He still must receive punishment and chastisement for them. We are not immune from the judgment of God.

Even though, we as followers of Christ, believers in the Lord Jesus, and are saved by the grace of God…we are also sinful men who always remain in the nature of man, i.e. sinful and evil. Otherwise, under the grace of salvation of the One True God through the Lord Jesus the Christ, we would no longer possess our greatest gift and curse…choice. There are those who believe, choices1“Once saved always saved.” I, of course, do not believe this and believe it to be a misinterpretation of the biblical doctrine. To follow Jesus and live under God’s laws and commandments is, and always will be, a choice. A momentary, daily, weekly, annual, and life choice with eternal consequences. If we are, “Once saved always saved,” what prevents any of us from choosing to do evil? Think on that! Because if we are in such a state of grace by God, and at such a point in time that we cannot do any wrong that we lose our salvation, then we are free to do as we please…much as a heathen or hedonist. Throughout the Psalms and all that was written on King David, we see, despite his being a man after God’s own heart, the apple of His eye, he also knew that he was in constant danger of judgment by his own Creator. We are much in the same boat, if you will.

consequences

All throughout the biblical text, we are constantly in a struggle of good versus evil. We are steeped in evil from our youth and when we face the music and see our path is going in the wrong direction we then seek to better ourselves. With that said, we tend to screw-up and revert back to our old selves. Which, regardless of how you look at it, is a choice; whether it is coaxed, cajoled, enticed, lured, or guided…you chose to give in to the “dark side”! (Sorry, couldn’t help the STAR WARS pun! lol)

While reading Stu Weber’s book SPIRIT WARRIORS, I came across this tid-bit:

“The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong and sinful, but it never holds a demon accountable for it. It is a human sin and a clear human responsibility, not a demonic problem.” page 141

It is very true that not just homosexual behavior is wrong & sinful in God’s eyes, but I will go one step further by saying that anything going against the Commandments of God are wrong & sinful in God’s eyes! After all, they are NOT the Ten Suggestions, are they??

forgive-punish

Forgiveness and punishment go hand in hand, God, our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, etc. will forgive us if they are true. God is always true, but we must be true in our hearts and He can see our hearts. But eventually we will be punished for out life of wrongs as there are consequences for our actions…each and every one of them.

For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil. ~Ecclesiastes 12:14 NKJV

While this is from the Book of Ecclesiastes, a poetical book of wisdom, and if the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom…wouldn’t it be wise to pay attention to to the wisdom passed on to us from those generations from days long gone by? Especially if that wisdom was, in-fact, inspired by God as put forth in the Epistle of 2 Timothy?

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

While we may have been forgiven of all our sins, our punishment may be a lower positioning in the heavenly realm – as inspired by Dante Alighieri’s  Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise and the multiple levels and stations within each of those realms.

What we as the species of man fail to either remember or understand is the fact that when we do something wrong, something must compensate for such wrongness and iniquity. Until we get right with God by asking His forgiveness – we are separated from God until we recognize we did such and admit to such. We are reminded that:

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NKJV

But we are also reminded that when we cry out to God from our perceived grave of separation from God, that He will hear our cries and pleas in the Book of Jonah:

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice…So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. ~Jonah 2:1-2, 10 NKJV

There are many of you out there that will disagree with my belief, or assessment, be that as it may as I have stated several times throughout my writings…DO NOT TRUST ME OR ANYONE ELSE…VERIFY WHAT IS SPOKEN TO YOU AND ENSURE WHAT IS TAUGHT TO YOU IS ASCRIBED TO IN THE BIBLE!

Understand this, if nothing else is taken away from any of my writings, that YOU as well as I and everyone else were commanded to and commissioned by Jesus to:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ~Matthew 22:37 NKJV

What this means to all of us is we are to use our intellect and reason to understand and our hearts share with others and our souls as an umbilical cord to God in order to understand what is being taught to us. We are to pass this information on to (The Great Commission) our fellow man, our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors in order to help guide them to salvation. In so doing, we are to follow the command of Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves, as spoken in The Great Commandment and of the Old Testament Great Commandment. So, do you think we can uphold the two commands of Jesus which were a synopsis of 10 commandments and numerous laws? Man being steeped in evil from his youth it is not likely as we will fail time and again…BUT God is Great and will forgive us if our hearts are truly repentant!

Hope you enjoyed this one…God Bless you all!

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

lord-will-fight

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”~Exodus 14:13-4 NIV

In this passage, I truly like and appreciate the narrative of the NIV Bible! Man, by nature needs to see in order to believe the supernatural and the miracle. As a Christian, and as a Jew, we are called to believe in order for the supernatural and the miracle to transpire and occur. Man limits himself through his skeptical attitudes and absolute lack of faith in the power of God. In fact, man further limits his potential blessings by not researching for himself, or herself, but blindly following the words of others because they sound very authoritative on any particular point or matter on the dogma or doctrines of the church or the tenets espouse within the bible.

Everyone gets so hung up on the infallibility issue with respect to the Word of God. Are we saying that they were perfect men? By no means! David was an adulterer, murderer, liar, and a cover-up artist. Adam could not keep one simple command. Moses disobeyed God’s command. Isaiah ran away from the queen because he feared her threats, despite the proofs God had shown. Matthew was a Tax Collector (they were considered scum by all the respectable Jews in the community.) Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) was a hunter and killer of all those who followed “the Way.” Peter denied the Christ in order to save his own skin, despite his vehement denial of such an assertion by the Christ, himself. All of the Apostles hid behind closed doors after Jesus’ crucifixion and let the women go to check on the tomb; this all occurred in a cultural time-frame where women’s words were meaningless. But yet their words, initially, are a testament that show the the tomb was emptied.

So if you are a person with questionable faith, low faith, or even no faith…you are, without a doubt, among great company! All men, women, and children waver in their faith at some point in time in their lives, or at every turn on their journey. Everyone is different and handles problems differently. Like anything else, faith is just like your mind or a muscle, where it becomes stronger with use, trial, error, and yes – even failure at times! Your childhood heroes, whether they are basketball players – baseball players – football players – hockey players – wrestlers – etc. and so on…are all failures! Now, think about that for a few moments!!!

Yes, they are all failures. Why do I say this? Because all of those hoops they made, ‘Hail Mary’ passes completed, home-runs made, goals accomplished, or the pins of a lifetime against all the odds…those all came into being because of grueling training where each and every one of them sought to better themselves, accomplish a dream, and to be the absolute best that they could possibly be. Failure occurred 70 or more percent of the time, and yes it was usually more than 70% failure. But each and every one of those childhood heroes of yours stuck with the practice because deep down they knew they could and would get better, in due time!

Well guess what? Your faith works much the same way, in that, while things are going wrong – your faith dictates to you through your heart to not just look at what is happening and become discouraged…but rather, look at the Word of God and seek out His promises for His followers! What did He promise you and me?

  • Never promised an easy life, but did promise an eternal life in His glory!
  • Never promised you a life of wealth and luxury, but a life of hard work and inheritance (physical wealth or spiritual wealth…it is different for all).
  • Yes, there are a number of Millionaires & Billionaires, but there is no promise that you will be wealthy or rich; however, there are various forms of wealth, also this may be a test of your covetousness, eh?
  • You are not promised to be a hero, a great man/woman, nor perfect; BUT you were given the promise that you would be held high in God’s eye by taking every task and treating it as though YOU worked for God Himself as opposed to your boss. (read Colossians 3:22-4:1)

The Word of God says that He has your back, consider taking that to heart! Consider the present trial and tribulation as being a test or learning situation. Perhaps, just perhaps, you had need of learning something very specific, or if you are like me (Irish, a man, and hard headed, lol) you just might take a little longer to learn some of the basic things that ‘other’ people have a tendency to learn a bit quicker…hmmmmm…

I am very partial to this Psalm of David, because it was something that was strongly impressed upon me while in prayer. While I delayed, hemmed and hawed on fulfilling His command, or demand, of me. Something really simple, but me being the lazy person I tend to be and possess few skills or talents (if you will.) All I was to do was to build a simple prayer bench for myself, nothing extravagant. I looked for plans, ideas, and layouts. Then once that was done start cutting the wood, get the screws, and pre-drill, then put it together. Shouldn’t have taken more than a day in real people’s time…several months later, it still was not complete. I just hunkered down and did the work to finish it. But that is not the end…I disobeyed what God told be to do. When God tells you to do something then YOU NEED TO DO IT, NOW! Stop playing around, when YOUR Creator asks or demands something of you…JUST DO IT!

God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

A Song of Ascents.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

~Psalm 121 NKJV

According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary (MHC):

Some call this the soldier’s psalm, and think it was penned in the camp, when David was hazarding his life in the high places of the field, and thus trusted God to cover his head in the day of battle. Others call it the traveller’s psalm (for there is nothing in it of military dangers) and think David penned it when he was going abroad, and designed it pro vehiculo—for the carriage, for a good man’s convoy and companion in a journey or voyage. But we need not thus appropriate it; wherever we are, at home or abroad, we are exposed to danger more than we are aware of; and this psalm directs and encourages us to repose ourselves and our confidence in God, and by faith to put ourselves under his protection and commit ourselves to his care, which we must do, with an entire resignation and satisfaction, in singing this psalm.

We are theoretically at the doorstep of fear daily, if you read the Psalm and its basic meaning by MHC. We could potentially be killed  by any number of possibilities, or by others, or by any freak accident on the road while on our way to work, or to the store. But we are to look to God, look up to Him because 1) He created us, 2) He supplies all out help and assistance, and 3) He promises to preserve  us from all evil by preserving our soul for all eternity.

Just as the miracles of the Israelite’s occurred while escaping the Egyptians, similar miracles could happen to protect you daily. Unfortunately, it is the problem of the lack of faith of man that Jesus was unable to perform miracles in His own hometown.

Just remember: The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

The Betrayal of Jesus

betrayed1Ultimately, why did God create people knowing full well they were going to hell? This is an age old question. Whether you agree, or disagree, with the assessment is completely up to you.

The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born. ~Matthew 26:24 NKJV

Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” ~ John 21:22 NKJV

Jesus’ betrayal was predicted, foretold, foreseen, etc. at many points of time within the Old Testament. While there are many other prophecies about Jesus, we are more interested in the time-frame of His betrayal:

Prophecies
OT Scripture NT Fulfillment
1. Messiah would be betrayed. Psalm 41:9
Zechariah 11:12-13
Luke 22:47-48
Matthew 26:14-16
2. Messiah’s price money would be used to buy a potter’s field. Zechariah 11:12-13 Matthew 27:9-10
3. Messiah would be falsely accused. Psalm 35:11 Mark 14:57-58
4. Messiah would be silent before his accusers. Isaiah 53:7 Mark 15:4-5

While we won’t be discussing these prophecies, specifically, our over all discussion will be to discuss the underlying question as to why did God create people knowing full well they were going to hell? In short, if Jesus was not betrayed by someone close to Him, how would the scriptures be fulfilled? More importantly, how would we be truly saved by the blood of the Son of God? His blood had to be spilled upon us in order to do the job of salvation properly. The reason I say that is because the blood of the sacrifice was to be sprinkled on the altar, but would also be used to wash the intended person, or people, to be cleansed.

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.~Revelation 1:4-6 NKJV

Now, Judas Iscariot was a tool to accomplish a specific task. He was intended to get close to Jesus and to betray Him for the salvation of all mankind. Jesus even had the argument with His own disciples according to the Apostle John:

Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”~John 21:22 NKJV

Jesus reminded them that if He desired it for him to remain till He came again, what was it to them? They were to follow Jesus, regardless of what happened to anyone else! The more any of us look at the situation, Jesus was a forgiving man. The most forgiving man on the face of this earth. And if He chose to forgive Judas for his betrayal, that should not shock anyone at all…because He (Jesus) always did the most gracious thing for men and women around Him.

If it were not Judas, would it not have been someone else?

We each have our part to play, and we should take our part seriously! Although, we are not called to betray the living God, but we are commissioned to share the message of Jesus Christ to all others around us. This is our charge:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

We each don’t evangelize in the exact same way, but in the end we each find a way to get that message across to our subject. And in the end, it is not us but the Holy Spirit who truly drives the message home in their hearts.

As it was once explained to me that we can make no such argument that will turn a person to the Lord on their own. There is nothing we can individually do where they will change their mind or heart. It is all God and the Holy Spirit who coddles and changes one’s mind, by softening it. There is nothing that we can say so perfectly in order for another to see the error of their own way. God does all of that!

The other problem with man is his innate ability of choice to do, or not do, something, anything. God will not steal that away from either of us, because God did not want to create drones that would blindly follow Him. That is why I always see this as the greatest gift and the greatest curse on man. Because man inherently finds a way to stand in the way of God’s great blessings for us by making the wrong choice. <ha-ha> much like Murphy’s Law!

Will man ever evolve to the point where he will seek to do God’s good will? By making that one good choice? Accomplishing that one good deed? Or will he fulfill his own hedonistic desires if he were to be left on his own?

I know what I believe and I also know what I hope…all I can do is pray for all of mankind, as a whole! What about you?

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD