If you are looking for my examination of the uncut Cultures of Revolution video, click on this link to go to the MAVI MARMARA report.
We've had a fitful summer in Vancouver. Many days were cloudy, some were rainy, but there were glorious days of warmth in between those times. Vancouver has a reputation for rain, but it's not usually that rainy in July. At least the weather was not cold.
It was an eventful month, some good, some bad, but all in God's hands. My stepfather has lived longer than expected, though he is currently in a hospice. Many people are grieving the loss of loved ones that were cruelly taken from them in the past month; the US is reeling from shock over the events that occurred in Aurora, Colorado. Some of those who were in that theatre, though, say that they realized more deeply the faithfulness of God through that terrible experience.
A pastor once described life to be like the underside of a tapestry. From our Earth point of view, it looks like a tangled mess, but God knows what He is doing, and the end result is a thing of beauty. If one knows the Lord, that is, for it is only those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus who have the promise that all things work together for their good.
There are some who think that they know God, but do they really know Him? Do they know what His terms are? Many assume that they will end up in Heaven, if their good works outweigh their bad works, but who said that is how their eternal destiny is determined? How can they be sure that the Creator runs things that way?
Is it just their sense of fair play that dictates that is the way that it is or should be? Why would anyone take a chance that they could be wrong? What if the cost of being wrong is what the Bible says it is – an eternity of separation from God and never again knowing love or any kind of comfort or pleasure – being lonely forever and ever, and in pain, thirsty, hungry, dead tired, but with no chance of ever having even a moment of rest, subject to shame, humiliation, stench, horror, and eternal regrets for passing up all the chances one was given to get saved?
Ah, but many people don't believe the Bible; they say it was just written by men to try to control people. Well, not believing that the Bible is true doesn't necessarily make the Bible untrue. What if the Bible IS true, and one has been wrong to disbelieve it? That's a huge chance to take. Rather than blithely assuming that one knows the truth about judgment and the afterlife, one should make a serious study of the Bible, for it could be unbearably costly to be wrong about the Bible's veracity.
One thing that the Bible teaches for sure is that there is no such thing as going to Heaven, if one's good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. It says that no sin can abide in the Presence of God. One has to be absolutely perfect, and there is only One who has ever fulfilled ALL righteousness. The Bible names this person; He is Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus Christ? Some say that He never claimed to be God. They are sure wrong about that. Jesus claimed over and over that He is God. The Pharisees understood what He meant when He said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." They picked up stones to throw at Him, seeking to kill Him, for they thought He had spoken blasphemy; that He was claiming be God. He had not only said that He is timeless (which is what God is), but He also had uttered the sacred Name, claiming it as His own.
When His disciple Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content," Jesus sighed with exasperation and replied, "Philip, have I been with you all this time, and you don't yet realize that I AM the Father?"
Most people don't realize what the Bible means when it says that Jesus is the Son of God, and that includes many Christians. They think of a son only in the human sense, the son being a separate individual. In the sense that the Bible means Son of God, it means that Jesus is the physical manifestation of God. God the Father always remains on His Throne to keep the Universe under His control, but when He wants to interface with His little creatures, His essence takes on a physical form about their size, so that He can speak with them without being too overwhelming. He comes from the Father, as a son comes from a father, but He is still all God. He is not a separate entity from God. He is the physical form of God whereby He interacts one on one with His creatures. He can do this in many places all at the same time in His resurrected body, for one of the attributes of God is that He is always everywhere all at once.
The Son came to Earth at various times before He manifested as Jesus Christ, and the Bible tells us about this. It says in Genesis that He walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. The Book of Genesis also says that Abraham talked face to face to God about sparing the city of Sodom, if God could find ten righteous people within it. It says that He appeared to Joshua the night before the Israelites went into the Promised Land, appearing as the Captain of the Hosts. Joshua knew who He was and fell down and worshipped Him; the Messenger of the Lord would not have allowed this, if He was not an emanation of the Father, for God's angels never allow themselves to be worshipped; they direct all glory to God.
Some claim that God incarnated in other forms, which the Bible does not tell us about. As Buddha, or Krishna? No, they might claim it, but the Bible does not bear witness to this, for those men preached messages contrary to the Bible and they are dead, and remain so. There is only one time that an incarnation of God ever died, and that incarnation did not stay in His grave.
God appeared in physical form throughout the history of His people, such as when He appeared in the fiery furnace to deliver three faithful servants who had refused to bow to false gods, but that body was immortal. It could not die. God needed a body that could die, so that He could redeem Mankind from their sins. The body He chose was that of Jesus of Nazareth, of the lineage of King David, the progeny of a virgin, as the Scriptures prophesied. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, so to ransom Mankind from their sins, our Redeemer had to die in our place.
All the sins of Mankind were rolled onto Him when He hung on the cross, and He paid the penalty. What a magnificent God! He is holy and He taught Mankind, through the commandments that He handed down on Sinai, about His holy nature, to show us that we ALL fall short of His righteousness, for God does not only judge deeds, but also thoughts and motives. There is none who has kept all His laws in their thoughts and hearts, even if they have not erred outwardly. He set forth His Laws, and the penalty for breaking them, and then came down to Earth to pay the penalty Himself, so that we can be washed from our sins, forgiven, and restored to Him.
Is this forgiveness automatically offered to all Mankind? The answer to that is yes, BUT it doesn't do any of us any good, unless we REPENT of our sins and receive His forgiveness. What does it mean to repent? Does it mean to be sorry for our sins? It all depends in what sense one is sorry. If they are sorry for the consequences of their sins, and not sorry for the sin itself, and they would continue to sin, if they could do it without the consequences, then they have not truly repented.
Repentance means to realize that one has been wrong and to turn around, to go in the direction of God, instead of rebelling against Him. Suppose there is a road that is a pleasant journey in itself, supplying all sorts of things that appeal to the flesh (and there is such a road; many choose it), but at the end of the road, there is destruction. There is a way that seems right to a man, the Bible says, but the end thereof is destruction. When one repents, they are not only turning away from the destruction at the end of the road, but also the destruction along the way – the things that destroy their character.
Real repentance is when a person realizes that what they are doing is contrary to the holiness of God and they turn away from their deeds in abhorrence. They don't simply fear retribution for their sins; they hate their sins. That is when they are in the right place to receive salvation. They turn their back on their sinning and face the cross and acknowledge in their hearts that they deserved to die on that cross, not Jesus Christ, the perfect, sinless Lamb of God. They surrender to Him who died for them, and receive His Spirit, so that they can now live for Him. In surrender on their knees beneath that cross, they are now in the right position for His precious blood to flow down on them (in the spiritual realm) and wash away all their guilty stains.
That repentance alone is what makes a person righteous. It is not their deeds, but if their repentance is genuine, good deeds will follow, out of gratitude to God for the salvation of their soul. Those good deeds are nothing more than their duty, but God, in His lavish generosity, rewards His redeemed ones for doing their duty to Him. "What we weave in Time," it has been said, "is what we wear in eternity." Some people in Heaven have only the garments of salvation, having either gotten saved in the last moments of their life, but others wear robes of righteousness over their garments of salvation, which tell of their acts of faith.
What of the good deeds of those who have not received Jesus as their Saviour? Do they get no recompense at all? Good deeds may do some good to others in this life, but they do not count for eternity, unless they have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus. The Bible says that self–righteousness, that is, righteousness that is not based entirely on the righteousness of Jesus Christ, is as filthy rags. The words for filthy rags indicate a menstruous cloth; nobody who is clothed in a sticky, stinky, gooey rag is wearing the right clothes for an audience with the King of kings. Under examination, good deeds outside of Jesus Christ are tainted with self-interest, such as for the sake of reputation or fame.
There is one sin that condemns people to Hell. It is not homosexuality, though the Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination to God. It is not murder or lying or thievery or any other sin, except just this one: rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Anyone who turns their back on Him, considering the immensity of what it cost Him to redeem us, deserves to go to Hell, and there in Hell they will pay for their individual sins, because they did not let Jesus pay the ransom for them. In refusing to receive Him as their Saviour, they have refused holiness.
The acceptance into God's Kingdom is the same for all. Whether one has committed many sins or a few, huge sins or only little sins, they are accepted alike into God's Kingdom, if they sincerely repent of their sins. The Bible says, "A humble and contrite spirit, He will not despise." Even if their sins were atrocities that affected millions, they are clean washed away, when one turns with all their heart to the Saviour.
This August 10, I will have been a Christian for forty years, and the Gospel makes more and more sense with each passing year. I've lived in the 1950's, and remember the relative wholesomeness of that time. Certainly, there was evil in those days: white slavery, the residential schools where native kids were abused, and other ills, but, society in general, had moral values. Children were safer than they are now. Most had both a mother and a father, who had not been married to anyone else, and they stayed together, providing some stability for their kids to grow up in.
Most teen–aged girls looked fresh and wholesome, not like hookers–in–training. Swearing was never allowed on the airwaves; the closest it got the public's ears on TV was when Miss America candidates would say "darn," to demonstrate how wholesome they were, compared to vulgar girls who came right out with the swear word. Clean–minded, Scripture–loving people did not approve of any words that substituted for swear words and criticized the young misses for saying darn.
I lived through the sixties and saw them morph into a drug culture that ensnared the youth and gave rise to all sorts of rebellion against morals and decency. I escaped the drugs, but tossed my reputation away to get some sexual jollies, as well as physical affection, which I craved, but Jesus came into my life in 1972 to give me true Love. Thank God for that, else I probably would not have lived past the age of twenty. Society was changing its attitude towards sex, but I always knew it was wrong and I hated myself for going that route. I ended up feeling lonelier the longer I stayed on that path.
One of the wonders of salvation is having God Himself living in my heart, connected with my spirit. Wow! People assume that God lives in everyone, but it doesn't work that way, according to the Bible. The Bible says that there are two families; the family of God and the family of satan. It is only the redeemed whom the Spirit of God inhabits, at their invitation, and He accepts that invitation only if the house has first been washed clean by the redeeming blood of the Lamb.
It makes some people very angry when a person says that the Bible is the only truth, that Jesus is the only way of salvation, but there's nothing I can do about that. Truth is Truth, and if one doesn't like the Bible's truth, then their argument is not with me, but with God, who gave us the Bible to help lead us back to Him. If I were to deny the Truth, it would not negate the Truth; it would just make me a liar.
The Bible is not be "politically correct,"but political correctness, in the sense that it is used nowadays, is just a euphenism for mind control. It is politically correct to get all worked up about cruelty to animals, but to be hardened towards children in the womb and abort them, if they represent an inconvenience to the parents or to society. It is politically correct to insist that it's wrong to eat animals, but okay to use the aborted bodies of human beings as ingredients for cosmetics, or to use in experiments, and even to use some of the cells in taste tests for food production. Sumtin's all messed up there.
We should be kind to animals, but we should have much more compassion on humans. The world seems to rapidly be going insane, and it's due to people having lost the mooring of the Bible to keep them sound of mind and direct them towards purity of heart. Instead, political correctness is imposing itself on people to herd them into behaviours that are convenient for the purposes of selfish, greedy people who want to enslave the world's population and preserve its resources for their own progeny. The only real freedom that this Earth has ever known has been freedom that was birthed from Biblical principles.
The seventies saw me through my early twenties and joy of "young love," though I didn't know much about real love in those days. The early eighties were years of betrayal and disillusionment, of learning that Jesus is the only one who is truly faithful and totally trustworthy, and the rest of that decade consisted of learning to lean on Him.
The nineties exploded into deeper revelation of His Word, sometimes joyful, sometimes horrifying in relation to prophecies that have yet to come to pass, but always interesting and exciting.
The following decade was a stripping away of denial, of seeing what goes on behind the curtains, in order to bring our planet under the control of satan, and, yup, the Bible makes more sense than ever because of it. The Book of Revelation is what opened my eyes back in 1972, with its 2000 year old prophecies of the last days, and for the last forty years, I have been watching the world conform to what the Bible says will precede the revealing of the antichrist.
There are many who will dismiss tracking technology as simply the natural outcome of advances in science, but the Bible speaks of taking a mark that will enslave the soul forever, from which there will never be redemption. It could refer to a microchip implanted in the hand, or a visible tattoo; perhaps it will be a combination of both.
Whoever takes that mark will become the living dead; perhaps not visibly, at first. They may be capable of aping emotions, in order to ensnare others into taking the mark, appearing to have sensitivity and compassion, but they will be empty husks, devoid of any capacity to love, for their damnation will be sealed. Eventually, they will lose all their beauty, if they have any, for the Bible says that those who take the mark will, at some point, become afflicted with boils, and gnaw their tongues for pain. The mark probably poisons their body, but even if it doesn't, since God has said that this is to be part of their retribution, nothing can stop it from happening.
One man, who believes himself to be a Christian, said to me that, if he took the mark of the Beast, God could forgive him even of that. I was shocked. Obviously, he really did not believe the Bible, for the Bible says that God WON'T forgive that sin. It seemed to me that the man was a coward, and he was preparing himself to cave in when he was forced to choose between God and satan. He believes that everyone will go to Heaven, whether they believe in Jesus or not, regardless of how evil they have been. There is no support in the Bible for that belief, without mangling and twisting Scripture.
I am not a brave person; there is only one thing that stands between me and craven cowardice, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. I see the storm clouds gathering and the future looks ominous, but one thing I can do, with the Lord's help, is to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, taking one step of obedience at a time, and expect Him to take me through the fires when they flare up around me. So, I leave you today with a favourite song that encourages my heart, and I hope it will encourage yours, as well. It is called "He's Still in the Fire." Jesus said He will never leave or forsake those who put their trust in Him, but He will be with them even to the end of the world.
Copyright © 2012, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on August 6, 2012
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.