Repentance

repentance

Just as we learned from Jonah, where the Lord “repented,” though it was not actually the Lord who repented but the Ninevites…the Lord changed His course of action because of the Ninevites’ repentance.  So, cannot God do with us as the potter deals with his creation?

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to  build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. ~Jeremiah 18:1-10 NKJV 

The funny thing is that many look at this and believe this is a contradiction…but is it truly a contradiction? No, I do not believe so. God does not repent in the traditional sense of the word as man would repent. So, what is repentance? According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, repentance means:

There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb _metamelomai_ is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3).

(2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3) the cognate noun _metanoia_, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.

The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4).

Was God truly “repentant”? No, but as the word means, in one of it’s definitions, He changed His mind. Was it proper for the writer to use the word that he chose to use? Probably not, but it was a means to get across the message that God would change His wrath to joyfulness, because the penitent changed from their evil ways to the ways of God.

 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. ~Luke 15:7 NKJV

With this promise to later on be said by Jesus, could you imagine the joy over the Ninevite’s turning over a new leaf and turning their lives over to God? Such joy to be had and noticed!So, was God sorry? No, He was glad and joyful that those who followed a path of evil had changed their minds and hearts to align with God’s heart and will. But He did change His course of action, instead of destroying the people of Nineveh He blessed them. Jonah went up on the hill to watch the Ninevites revert back to their old ways, because in Jonah’s mind “you just cannot trust a Ninevite!” On a side note God is always sorry and heartbroken that man chooses a path that leads him to Hell, because God “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

But, of course, man needs to want to do so, man needs to choose for himself that God’s way is the right way, and man needs to believe the word of God. These are choices that we all must make, if we happen to choose the opposite view we are on the precipice of choosing our own destruction and have no recourse of action. Nor can we truly blame God for our actions as we chose to do so of our own volition. This is why I taught and firmly believe that choice is man’s greatest blessing and greatest curse all wrapped up in one!It was on that hill that God had to teach the prophet, or evangelist, a lesson, or two, and gain him back to God’s way of thinking, again. And He did it through a vine.
As mentioned in an earlier post that man tends to get attached to the strangest things. Sadly, it doesn’t take too much for any of us to get attached to much of anything these days. Dogs, cats, lizards, money, work, etc. The list can get very long! Why was Jonah on the hill? Because he just knew that the Ninevites would fail and revert back to their old ways. Thereby, reverting back to their sinful ways and actions…business as usual. 

In the book of Ezekiel, and other places within the biblical text, we are told:

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul. ~Ezekiel 3:17-21 NKJV

God is forgiving, if we are repentant. But God will hold each of us accountable for the sins of our neighbors and brothers IF we do not warn them as we are told to do. We are each called to be ministers, priests, and evangelists. Bearers of the Word of God and therefore, we are to warn all peoples we come into contact with that their souls may live with God.

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We are the “Watchmen”, for the sake of men’s souls and eternal life! This is the endgame of bringing the word to others…to open their hearts in order to bring about a repentant heart that God my yield his mercy and forgiveness. Regardless of how repentant we may be, none of us is good…NO NOT ONE!

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May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences

Choices-Mantra

Racist, homophobe, Islamophobe, Zionist, bigot, xenophobe, white supremacist, hater, etc. are not actual arguments against points people make. They are simply character assassinations against whomever you perceive as your enemy. Yet, you cannot have dialogue without some form of discussion…pretty simple! You can continue to divide and conquer those you disagree with with the empty rhetorical assertions based on half-truths, lies, and misunderstandings OR you can enter into good faith talks with those you disagree with and either come to an agreement, compromise, or agree to disagree.

There are those who say you kill or destroy your enemies by making them your friend. It is  a hard feat to accomplish, but it can be done.

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I live, try to at least, by a certain moral standard – the tenets of the Christian faith espoused within the biblical text. Yet, I am considered a hater. Hmmmmmmmm, a bit hypocritical I believe! Considering the fact that those people who claim me and those who believe as I believe are haters are the ones demanding inclusivity, toleration of their acts and beliefs, etc. Yet, they are so intolerant of my thoughts, beliefs and ideas. It is a sad world we live in these days and it is getting much worse, day by day.

Sadly when you attempt to discuss anything, you get no where because you are deemed to be such a bigoted ass-hat. On that same note, when they want the floor to say something an you yield to them…part of their argument is to denigrate you, part is to assert that theirs is the moral high ground (without proof), and in some cases the rest of the dialogue is espousing anyone who thinks like you should be neutered to prevent any further spreading of this tripe which you speak.

People will refuse to accept your position as being valid – not because they have a valid argument that refutes your position, or that  your position is invalid, but rather because it is the antithesis of the all-inclusive agenda that is being pushed throughout liberal progressive America. Mob mentality, in essence, is what they live by and how they defeat we Christians is through gang and guerilla warfare. There are no arguments based upon common sense, wisdom, natural law, or true sciences. (I refrain from mentioning legal and lawful statutes because they are slowly changing toward the liberal hedonistic agendas that are being espoused since the 1950’s. Then, to make matters worse, they spew hateful epithets, slurs, character assassinations and we Christians are deemed to be the intolerant, bigoted, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, ass-hats…REALLY?

What has happened to society that it has allowed logic and common sense to flee from it’s ability to reason with wisdom, natural law, history, and truthful science???

As a Christian, man or woman does not matter, you are presently in the wrong, simply because you have a moral standard upon which you stand and base your life upon. As mentioned, I try to live by that standard, but I fail daily and I fail miserably! But God is forgiving if you seek His forgiveness. He is gracious to grant each of us forgiveness and salvation of our sins if we are willing to accept His gift.

Salvation is when God forgives a person of his/her sins and saves him from damnation — which is the righteous judgment upon all who have broken his law (i.e., do not lie, do not steal).  This judgment consists of God condemning the sinner to eternal punishment in hell (Matt. 25:46).  This is the destination of all who reject God’s provision for the forgiveness of sins. Being saved from this judgment is only accomplished through faith in Jesus as Savior who is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9). He died on the cross for sins (1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). If you want salvation, you need to trust in what Jesus did on the cross, receive him (John 1:12) and turn from your sins (Acts 3:19). Only then can you have eternal life and be with God (Eph. 2:8-9). ~WHAT IS SALVATION? by Matt Slick

Matt Click, a Christian Apologist and host to CARM.org (Christian Apologetic Research Ministry), explains assurance of salvation this way:

Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” ~THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

While we are assured of our salvation through our faith in Jesus and what He did for us (i.e., dying on the cross in our place.) We each should be crucified for our sins, but we have already yielded a sacrifice. God gave His one and only Son, Jesus, and substituted Him for our place. We each are to be regenerated and renewed creatures in Christ upon our submitting our lives to God and asking Jesus into our hearts. Though we may continue to sin, and yeah that is rhetorical, it is not a license to sin when we give our lives to Jesus. It is we who must rule over our carnal natures, our sinful and the wanton desires of our hearts. By delving into the bible, God’s inspired Word, we can become wiser with respect to what God desires of us and His very will and purpose for us.

Most of us have the problem of focusing on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Most of us have the problem of focusing on the example that Jesus showed us in His life here on earth. Most of us have the problem of using our God give will power to rule over those natural desires that give us immediate pleasure. We are not, nor have we been, promised a pleasurable life of hedonistic tendencies. We were promised a life, one human life here on this earth. We get one chance at this. We will answer for our sins in the flesh during our time on this earth.

Hence, the consequences for our choices while in the flesh. We will be judged. That is why we each must follow the word, not what someone say the word says…but we must read it and follow it ourselves!

If Jesus were alive today, on this earth, instead of the adulterous woman being caught it would have been a homosexual caught in the act (yet, the participant would have been let free because he would have been a man of the higher clergy or something similar.) Jesus’ words would have been just as memorable and applicable to the accusers of the homosexual caught in the act:

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

“…where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

…said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said… “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” ~John 8:1-11 NKJV

Jesus’ words ring true even today. Whether we want them to or not! Trust in Jesus and seek His wisdom. Find a way to get past your anger, lack of focus, and inability to rule over your own mind or body and work harder at it…struggle at it until your dying breath!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

…the way, the truth, and the life…

There is but one way to enter in to heaven, and that is through Jesus the Christ!

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6 NKJV

In the words of Dr. Michael Licona, or some variation as I recall, “If there is a true religion, then I owe it my allegiance. If there is the one true God, then I owe Him my true allegiance.”

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Now, there are great reasons to believe that Jesus is the true Son of the Living God. The historical aspect, archaeological aspect, textual reliance and other witness accounts, perhaps the witness accounts of those who are extra-biblical and non-Christians. Perhaps, in comparing the numerous different religions is enough for you and the claims. What of the numerous documentaries comparing Christ to those perceived and asserted other gods, which were supposedly risen from the dead in the same exact way and so on. Unfortunately, if you do the homework and make the comparisons yourself you will find that those assertions are false.

  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did not the Sanhedrin show His dead and mutilated body to the people?
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles preach the resurrection message to the people in Jerusalem? (Where the punishment was certain death by stoning.)
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles die cruel and inhumane deaths without denying their Lord and Savior?
  • There are those who believe in the “Swoon Theory,” but there is too much to discredit such a belief.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.~Romans 1:16 NKJV

So, what is salvation? According to Matt Slick, CARM.org, “Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner…All who have sinned against God are under the judgment of God.  This judgment is known as damnation where God condemns to eternal hell all those who have offended Him by breaking His Law.” One allegorical representation of the weight of sin upon our soul is:

A Chinese evangelist was once preaching on salvation and the weight of sin. A heckler did what hecklers do best, attempt to shame or embarrass  the evangelist. The response was epic: “If you have a corpse lying in his coffin, will he feel a hundred pound weight on his chest any more than a fifty pound weight?” ~ROMANS, vol. 1, pg. 170, David Grey Barnhouse, (1989)

We are warned by the Apostle Paul for the benefit of our souls that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV) And at the same time we are promised eternal life being the gift of God, His gift of Salvation through His grace! All we have to do is ask for it and freely receive it. It is that simple, but people do not trust free or simple things. By considering the previously mentioned allegorical representation of sin upon our souls, this statement by the Apostle Paul should help solidify the matter. Our hearts should be weighted down AND we should be looking for the EXIT sign to get out of the cage/prison which we have cornered ourselves into, through every means of deceit, trickery, lying, deciding, etc. YES, we decided our way into a corner and must decide our way out of that very same corner. The decision should be easy and the solution is even easier! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing He is the Son of the Living God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.

It is easy to accept, but rather hard to believe, isn’t it? That is why we must seek for ourselves…researching and studying the word of God. Because we were mandated to:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Which means we are to love God all our essence and being and by loving Him with all our mind, we are to love Him NOT with blind faith but rather with well informed, studied and researched faith. Loving Him with all our logic and reason! Many people, not just Atheists, believe that to believe in God we give up our reason and logic for blind faith upon the word of the bible alone. That is just not true at all!

God destined us to determine for ourselves through free will to guide our own paths. That includes turning off the primrose path by making mistakes and sinning, because God desired us all to love and honor Him with all of our heart by our free will choice. We will never be perfect, until God makes us so. But we must keep living the life as though we can be perfect by modeling the life of Jesus the Christ. By ascribing ourselves to the word of God and by living our lives accordingly. Not by the law, as presented in the Old Testament, but according to the simple teachings of Christ as presented by His Apostles & Disciples. Those words in the New Testament give a great representation of who Christ was and how He lived. If we use Jesus as the model, how could we go wrong?

Two final caveats:

  1. If the Apostle Paul was changed so dramatically on the road to Damascus from a Christian hating and torturing Jew to become one of Jesus’ greatest Evangelists and Apologists…how can we doubt such a change? How can we doubt such a drastic and dramatic change?
  2. The deaths of the Apostles were gruesome and heinous, to say the least. But no one recanted their faith or belief that Jesus was, in fact, the One True Son of the Living God, the Messiah, whom the Jews had been awaiting. That is another factoid which we must keep in mind. (Consider when the Watergate Scandal was plaguing the Nixon Administration each each of the major players involved made a plea deal and received felony indictments. Each turned on their master.) It defies logic and reason to discount their sincerity!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Some other things you may enjoy from great teachers:

Is Jesus the Only Way? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Is Jesus the only way to be saved? (CARM)

Cancer: The War

There are several different ideas on cancer and this is mine. There are several battles that are going on with respect to the cancer that grows in a person, and they are: The mental battle, the spiritual battle, and the physical battle…these are the war within a person. All of these battles within you comprise the war for survival.

The mental battle is, quite honestly, in tow with the spiritual battle within you. Mentally you find it difficult to believe that you have cancer, let alone you must fight to survive. You are wondering how to maintain a positive outlook despite the horrific things you will endure and what you have heard.

The spiritual battle is along the same lines but on a differing plane of reality. You find yourself doubting your faith (we tend to do this naturally, without the help of cancer.) How can you believe a God who is good could allow such a thing to happen to anyone, let alone you?

And let us not forget the physical battle. Where something, some group of cells wages war upon the rest of you living body. It’s purpose is to over-take, conquer and destroy your living body until there is no more life left.

Protective mastectomies that preserve nipple safe for women at high breast cancer risk

You either have known, or know, someone with cancer. Either they are fighting for their lives, or they have given up the fight and are awaiting their final breath. You may know someone who has died from it, or you watched them take their final breath. Perhaps, you witnessed the miracle where that person you know, or someone you knew, survived against all of the odds according to the doctor’s assessments.

But keep in mind, not all hope is lost! With God all things are possible. Also, IF you believe God exists, then miracles are possible. And IF you believe miracles are possible, then you can overcome anything in your path. Does God promise us an easy path toward our success? Not at all! As even the most difficult paths can be the most rewarding because of all the obstacles that were overcome along the way. I was purported that Thomas Alva Edison had 10,000 failures along the path to create the light bulb. However, he would say throughout history that he did not fail ten thousand times, but found ten thousand ways and methods that just didn’t work. It is much the same with our mind set, as we have a terrible problem of tucking our tails and running when things go awry. You truly have to have a very strong heart and mind to fight a battle of life and death…life is not for wimps!

I was reading a book recently entitled, “Anticancer: A New Way of Life” by David Servan-Schreiber. In which he described cancer as a war against you body, by your body. In essence, if I read and understood correctly, your body produces cells of inflammation and they continue to grow in numbers and eventually create a necrosis of cells, or in cells. As the affected area grows, and during this time your body is fighting against this inflammation by way of producing white cells. There comes a point in time where your body, or brain, tells your body to stop producing these army of white cells because it has (or should have) produced enough white cells to fight the infection and affected are. When in reality it has not. Eventually your body stops fighting all together because at some point in time your body accepts this invader as part of your body. It was also acknowledged within this book that if you give up all hope in the fight for life, your body will follow suit!

The spreading of cancer is much like the dandelion going to seed. You know how it starts off with just one dandelion in your yard and then it seeds and multiplies within days, perhaps a week, or more? It starts off as a small force and build momentum until it takes over the entire host.

Your mind and spirit are all part of this fight for survival. 

The part in the movie “BALBOA,” the last installment of the Rocky series, where Rocky is talking to his son really describes the ability to keep on fighting really rings a bell (really, no pun intended here!) It is truly inspirational and hits home in heart, mind, and soul!

All to often, I have seen the horrors of cancer and it’s ability to wreak havoc on people’s lives. And quite honestly, cancer is something that should wreak havoc on your life…we need that kind of wake-up call in our lives, at times for some of us. Don’t misunderstand me…I do not believe for an instant that anyone truly deserves such a heinous disease. But as was spoken by Job to his wife:

“…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?..”  ~Job 2:10 NKJV

And, to say the very least, cancer is no small thing in one’s life. It is no small adversity! My father died of cancer in 1989, my mother in 2012, and others have fought and survived; others fought and lost the war. It is all around us and others are either surviving the battle or succumbing to the battle waged upon them. I watched my father give up the instant that he was told that the radiation had not shrunk the tumor. He died right then and there, his body followed suit many months later. My mother, on the other hand, fought and survived for two years. Funny as it may seem, this is not unusual. Women, according to a study written about many years ago, stated that they had a greater propensity to fight because they sought to see their children married, their grandchildren, etc. Men are not built that way, mentally.

For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. ~Ecclesiastes 9:5 NKJV

I was speaking with a nurse recently, she and I were discussing the phone calls for donations, etc. and we essentially came up with the same conclusion. And that was that it seems as though the world sees breast cancer as the only cancer that needs donations. Almost every call I have received was for breast cancer, nothing for lung, nothing for pancreatic, nothing for kidney, brain, leukemia, etc., etc. It is not all about breast cancer! There are other forms of the debilitating disease out there.

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As I have mentioned in past blog posts, we were born to die. Had Adam and Eve not screwed things up we potentially could have lived for a very long long time, if not forever. Is cancer a condemnation of our sins? I cannot say that for certain, but I do believe that cancer is something that is associated with degrading genetics. And it follows to believe, or understand, that our genetics are degrading from one generation to the next. If you believe the bible to be true, people lived for hundreds of years, now we are doing well to make it to retirement age of 65 +/-.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

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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

 

Why We Must Remember the Lord Our God

remember God

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.~Deuteronomy 8:2 NKJV

Deuteronomy 8 is rather profound in it’s teaching. It was from this chapter of the Old Testament that Jesus replied to the first of the three temptations of the evil one during His time in the desert. Do you remember?

…man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. ~Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV

Remember what Jesus told the tempting spirit? Read Matthew 4:3-4!

We must know the accomplishments of God and all that He has done in order for us to honor and revere Him. We should be teaching our children these things. But as people move along in life and work harder, more overtime, more children, the spouse gets a job, etc. Man tends to forget the God that Created him. Why? Because man becomes too busy to live, survive, pay bills, pay his taxes, etc. We as the species of man are trained through commercials to spend more than we take in, get loans for those important purchases, such as cars & houses. Why is this? I suspect and believe that in order to kick God out of our lives the government needs to take God’s place. This is done by increasing your burden. How can a government do such a thing? They do so through the increase in taxes, through mandating healthcare, backing corporations which will push their products or the government can push their products through the Commerce Department, and other methods as such.

We have been brought up to have what we want NOW! Cost be damned! Have now, bratspay later, mentality for all. By promoting such a thing throughout our society, money, jobs, positions, etc. become our gods and idols of worship. Children are being taught to desire things NOW. Just recently, I was speaking with someone about an 8 or 9 year old child with a smartphone…call me old fashioned, but kids don’t need them! Children are getting away with murder, comparatively speaking to when I was growing up. Throw a tantrum, your butt was beat red. Not in an abusive way, but a corrective way. Unfortunately, children advocates, teachers and the courts have been taking people to task on this subject. Again, unfortunately, it has gotten to such a point where if you look at your child cross-eyed you could be on the receiving end of litigation.

Teacher Allegedly Banned Students From Wearing Crosses in a Tampa Florida school. Why? Because she noted that they were “gang symbols” and of course it went against her LGBT agenda which she promoted. Sadly, our teachers should only be teaching our children, not indoctrinating them! It is not their place to instill such ideologies in their minds, but rather challenge them to think, critically.

 Another problem in the parenting issue, is the fact that families don’t break bread anymore…you know dine together. “How was your day, today?” And other conversation events. Kids hardly have time for food anymore, because they are so into their computer reality games with 3D visual effects. We as parents have dropped the ball!

We should be praying together, talking together, being more open, teaching our children in the matters of importance. Lets face it…school is not the end all be all of life. They are not preparing our children for the life to come. We have a part in this. We must teach them of the greatness of our God and Creator. We must show them and teach them the morals taught to us through the Bible. Aid them to apply these new found notions. As they grow older, grant them a little leeway with decision making skills.

teach kids to follow

We as parents are our children’s first sight of how God deals with us. YEAH, read that again! As parents, we have a very heavy burden placed squarely upon our shoulders. Our children learn their morals from us, they develop many tasks, which they will carry on into their parenting lives. By how we teach and act toward our kids, we are possessed with the potential of teaching even our children’s children’s children. (Yes, you figured it out…our great-grand-children!) Our children must learn to take a stance against much of this newly founded “trans-” lifestyle choices. You know, such as: Transgender…Transracial…Transabled… Guess what comes next?

We as parents are charged with developing the moral fiber of our children, teachers are to and can help…but they are not to hinder. God passed on to us the mandates that we are to teach our children in all aspects of the Laws of God, the Word of God, the Greatness of God, the Morals that God desires us to follow and stand up for. We have permitted the government to take so many obligations from our shoulders and place these mandates on to the school officials. That is wrong.

We as parents should take back the schools and the local and federal government. NOW HEAR ME & DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME! We must do so through the ballot box. We MUST vote each and every voting cycle…like it or not, apathy is what cause a low number of registered voters from showing up at the polls. By following the laws, by forcing a change in the bad laws, and if needs be fire some people. One of my greatest pet peeves is the fact that bad teachers remain on a payroll, just like many bad politicians remain in office. This country was founded upon our rights and liberties…which, through apathy of the American people, have been widdled away at and are dwindling away daily!

There is a US Supreme Court case which states:

…the first official act of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident***.”  While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.”  – US Supreme Court, majority opinion; Gulf, Colorado & Sante Fe Railroad Co. v Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 159-160 (1897)

Think about that for a moment! Our US Supreme Court Justices have been taking away our rights and liberties through a mis-reading and mis-construing the US Constitution and thereby eroding our country and its meaning through opinion and law, not by use of the amending process provided for by the US Constitution itself. But by God’s grace and by realigning ourselves with God and by voting for those who are Godly (which is a tough one, because they all act as godly people until they take office…) We, as a nation…ONE TRUE NATION, need to turn toward God and need to do more praying. But even Israel had failed God time and again, and God forgave them and brought them through some great trials and tribulations.

I hope you enjoyed this little rant on just a few of the reasons we need to remember the Lord our God…if it makes you feel any better…I enjoyed the rant!

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