Sustaining Joy

Murphy JamesEver wonder how some people have a joy about them even when everything seems against them? Then there are people who seem to have it all yet always complain and seem depressed! What makes the difference? Why are some totally devastated when their car breaks down yet another who had their home destroyed by a hurricane have inner peace and joy despite “losing it all?”

You will know a true follower of Jesus Christ by the way they live, and respond to difficult and challenging issues. The same is true of someone who is a church goer with no real relationship with the LORD. They are usually focused on self, consumed by their circumstances and live by how they feel rather than staying focused on a greater purpose of fulfilling their destiny in Christ. Knowing the LORD brings joy and the Word of God says for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Composite image of valentines coupleRemember being in love and all you looked forward to was seeing that special person? It didn’t matter how you felt because as soon as that person showed up everything was okay and you had joy unspeakable! A relationship with a person rarely produces a forever sustaining joy  because we are human and ultimately will let each other down at some time. BUT when we have true fellowship with the LORD this Joy is sustained because He never fails.  The key to sustaining joy in this world -for me, is knowing my destiny and knowing in Whom I believe. It is that simple. The LORD desires “whosoever will” (choose) –to know Him. Knowing Him gives sustaining joy nothing in this life can steal. Neither disease, not death, not ISIS, nor even a nuclear bomb has the power to steal our joy. Sustaining Joy comes from being intimately involved in an everlasting relationship with Almighty God through Jesus Christ. My future is in His hands so why should I fear?

Hebrews 12:2   fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Know what the joy set before Jesus was? It was doing the Father’s will. The Joy set before Him was knowing that “it is finished” at Calvary’s Cross, making The Way for you to become a child of God (which was God’s plan throughout history) became a reality.

Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

There is a sustaining Joy knowing the LORD. The only way to have this Joy is to get to KNOW JESUS.portrait of jesus holding the world



Perception of Pain

On my medication bottle it reads “take one every 6 hours as needed for pain.” Problem 1. Pain med seldom work for 6 hours. Problem 2. Even if the pain med worked for 6 hours, they will not prescribe the amount needed to get through a month taking it “as prescribed.” This world is a painful place to live and we all at sometime –seek long term relief -whatever the “PAIN” may be. For this reason temporary solutions do not have the power long term HOPE does. Psalm 38:15 For in thee, O Lord, do I hope

” Our perception is our reality” is a concept I was taught many years ago. Time is an example of how our perception can change. When I was 20 years old, I thought my friend who was 25 at the time was “old.” Now that I am older someone who is 25 is young. What changed? My perception.

Physical, emotional, spiritual - All Pain Hurts

Physical, emotional, spiritual – All Pain Hurts

When the pain is severe a second can seem like an hour and a day can seem like an eternity. We seem to put more emphasis on living the “good life” investing in new homes, cars, raising family and building a future on earth. There is nothing wrong with these things. But we need to not neglect what God says about life.

James 4:14 For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

There are many things I do not know. The one thing I do know is to stay focused in the Word of God. His Word is Truth. God’s Word doesn’t change with my perception. His Truth stands unchanged even when everything changes around us. Life is like a vapor – obviously a short time in comparison to Heavens’ forever and ever. I am determined to stay focus to live my “vapor” to the best of my ability to share the Gospel, Good news to the world. John 3:16 Then One Day those of us who have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ will be with Him forever.

Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior will experience pain as I cannot describe and it will never end. God doesn’t send any human to Hell, it the choice man makes. Do not reject such a great salvation available by accepting Jesus Christ. Hell is a real place and even if life now is difficult and things we go through are painful; it is nothing compared to spending forever in Hell.

Hell is for the devil and his angels Matt. 25:41 and for all whose name is not written the book of life. Rev. 20:15

Hell is described as: a “furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth” Matthew 13:50

Hell is forever, never gets better, pain/anguish will have no remedy -“the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night” Revelation 14:11

GOD LOVES YOU and He is gives you the free will to know Him or do your own thing and ignore this great salvation. Choices have consequences so choose wisely.

Pain is a reality of life on earth. Some people go through more, some people have very little, so it seems. My perception of pain has changed and infused with Hope. I know it won’t last forever. God’s Word says life is “like a vapor.” In the midst of it all by God’s grace live my “vapor” well for God’s honor and glory. cropped-cropped-someday-free.jpg

Romans 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Forever is a long, long time – I choose Christ, who do you choose?

Click here to find out how to make Jesus LORD and Savior of your life.



Using The Pain

Pain is a constant companion I despise. It is with me always and seldom goes away. Medication helps me deal with this unwanted companion but like boomerang it keeps coming back.

Pain keeps coming back!

It keeps coming back!

So how do I…we use the pain in our lives? Whether our pain is physical, emotional, or spiritual we can choose to use it. I cannot deal with pain on my own because it is too powerful and overwhelming. However, I know the One Who created me and has never failed. Seeking His wisdom on “using” the pain of our lives rather than becoming a victim of it is how I begin to battle pain. Pain can put us in a desperate place of isolation. I often feel like my body is a prison of pain but that is when my heart is unfocused.

The key that releases me from the grip of pain is focusing on His WORD.  The pain is still there but I will not allow it to have power over me. It has caused me to seek out and find solid Hope, a prevailing hope and purpose in life. I found the ONE Who sustains me through it and by His grace be productive in life and help others.

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

63 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life to destroy it,
Will go into the depths of the earth.
10 They will be delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.

Whatever your pain is you can choose to use it. Instead of trying to figure out why or trying run from it, I choose to face it with joy even if mixed with my tears -in the midst of pain.. I choose to worship the One Who Knows and loves me and will never leave me. The Bible never says life on this earth will be easy. But God does promise never to leave us and His Word is Truth. We can go through pain and challenges and even praise Him in the midst of it because He is with us! We don’t have to know why -we need to know WHO will bring us through these times. We need to trust our Creator Who knows the beginning from the end.

If pain is a part of your life, choose to use it -read the Word and really get to know the ONE Who works all things out for His Glory. Do what you can to resolve pain but at the same time know He is well able to bring you through the Storms of this life. One day my friend, He will wipe away all tears and there will be no more pain.

REV3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Until then, knowing the LORD and His Word is my Prevailing Hope.


Christianity: One’s Reality or Actuality

This is a tough article (blog) to write. It isn’t that I don’t know the answer to my own question, but that theory itself has been so entrenched with partial truth that “the truth, WHOLE TRUTH and nothing other than the truth” has been diluted to one’s reality and politically correct actuality. I fear many will someday stand before a judge and claim to have lived a politically correct social life, but by whose definition are they calling politically correct?

Perception Vs Reality Fact Fiction Proving Truth Versus MythThe hot topic today, but not the purpose of this blog is the bible and homosexuality. A reader recently wrote to me: “I threw out my bible.” I asked why? He stated, “It is full of lies and it doesn’t fit [my] reality.” Wow! Does he even have a clue? Reality is one’s perception; not necessarily actuality. There was a time when then modern science claimed the world was flat. That was their reality until some guy proved actuality… it is round. Let’s leave this paragraph with Adam and Eve (actuality); not Adam and Steve (perceived and preferred reality). You go figure.

The question is, “what is Christianity?” This is such a loosely used word it defies definition and is seen as religions that have multiple versions or guises of being Christian. Giving a single definition to or trying to lump one’s perception of what Christianity is into a finite statement is impossible; that is, as far as the world goes.

Let’s go back to some very basic precepts. In Islam there are two primary documents that define Islam and a Muslim’s way of life; the Koran (Quran) and the Hadith. The first is their written word of rules for life. The second is, as define by Wikipedia, “the collections of the reports purporting to quote what the Islamic prophet Muhammad said [and did in life] verbatim on any matter.” (emphasis mine)

Islam Explained in Layman’s Term

Here is a perspective by Dr. Peter Hammond, a former Muslim. Dr Hammond’s doctorate is in Theology.  He was born in Cape Town in 1960, grew up in Rhodesia and converted to Christianity in 1977.  Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam:  The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:  Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

The synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Holy Word of God (bible) are somewhat similar to what a Muslim calls the Hadith. The Gospels show and record what Jesus did while on earth and what he said. The difference is that the Gospels were written over 600 years before Mohammad was even born. This makes the bible actuality and Islam someone’s new reality; just a perception of what is the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth. True Christianity, per living a life patterned after Jesus in the Gospels is the same thing… a way of life; not a religion or a cult. Anything less than a way of life is one’s preferred definition of a religion s/he wants to call Christianity.

This is why and where some confusion and modern day deception of end time comes in. The first Seal [beginning of End Time or end of time as we now understand it, described in Revelation is “a great deception” of mankind. If the world is allowed to (re) define what Christianity is or for all that matters, what so-called Christian religion is supposed to be is to ignore what Christ said and did as recorded in the Gospels. To ignore what Christ DID in life and what He taught is not an alternative option to actuality, but a position against Christ’s teachings. We are to live a life patterned after that of Christ. Islam claims that Muslims are to do the same thing but pattern it after Mohammed. That being true, he was as much a military man as a preacher of death to infidels (i.e. America in modern day terminology; anyone who is not a Muslim).

Many religions that identify, as often the world tries to re-identify as so-called Christian, (a very generic term in modern days) are anything but. True Christianity is a way of life, not a religion of on-again and off-again practice usually reserved for and limited to any given Sunday and being politically correct according to the rules of man. TV shows, as is in the news reports today are on the increase trying to point out the evils or misguided practices of “Christian churches and ministers; the extremist or inferred lunatic.” To the casual observer, this puts a brand on the Christian that is not actuality; it is their reality though. I taught a marketing principle in my college marketing classes that one’s perception is their reality even when that is not the facts of actuality. Therefore in the mind of someone with limited information, s/he takes it as actuality.” How wrong but s/he will then make a broad judgment based upon partial truth.

Bottom line: Is Christianity one’s perception of reality or one’s actuality in living? One’s answer to this is also the answer to his or her life in Christ and the promised eternity with God and Jesus Christ.

PS; Muslims practice their beliefs 7-days a week. This is precisely why they cannot and never will assimilate to any other way of living even at the cost of his or her life. It is their reality AND their actuality. The world and most religions simply don’t understand this. It is a way of, not an exception to one’s way of life. This is not negotiable. Neither is God’s actuality.


Living Upside Down

bytheShadowServing my mom by helping her balance, pick up stuff, and opening the door is such a joy to me. In a world that seems to be getting more self absorbed and self-centered, so many are missing out on the Joy of giving of themselves. Our friend, Bob Burg, who with John David Mann wrote the book The Go-Giver shares some great wisdom. Bob Burg lives the life of a go-giver.

Murphy practicing a cat's concept of living the upside down life.

Murphy practicing a cat’s concept of living the upside down life.

It seems like the upside down life. You don’t give to get but when you give–you get. Like when I open the door for my mom I get praise and a pat or a hug. Not much beats that in my book. Even when there is  seemingly no pay off for serving there is a reward and it has a value greater than one can convey.

We Service Dogs are called Leader Dogs when we serve the blind. Whether a dog is a leader dog, mobility dog like I am, PTSD dog for a  War Veteran, or Search and Rescue dog or in the many other areas of service…we all are leaders in serving and giving. This makes us Go-Givers in the canine world. We add great value to the lives of our “humans.” Just ask my mom!

Our friend Bob Burg wrote,“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” The Go-Giver may seem targeted to business but it can easily be applied to every aspect of life. A Go-Giver is one who gives….could be a smile, good advice, helping a friend move, buying lunch for a stranger or any other act of kindness. Giving at its highest level is motivated by love. There is no love greater than to lay down your life for a friend. Most of us probably won’t be faced with that choice but some will. The truth is I will lay down my life to protect my mom. Mom told me her earnest prayer is if the need arise she would lay down her life for her friends without a second thought. Even when the going gets tough we will live the Go-Giver way and perhaps die a Go-Giver. In a way, it is like living in upside down world when you live not for self; but to put others first. Who is first in your life? Is living without giving – truly living?









­­jStark3Purpose for writing Zechariah:

Power Point Study for Zechariah 14

Zechariah was written to comfort and encourage the returning Babylonian remnant to repent of their evil ways, to return to the Lord and to rebuild the temple. The people who had just returned from Babylonian exile felt like their efforts were insignificant and the future was uncertain. Not only were they just a remnant of the Jews, their kindred tribesman of Judah who still lived in Babylon, they weren’t even an independent nation – just a client state of a mighty Mede-Persian empire.

Book of ZechariahZechariah’s message focuses on the future of Israel-Judah and proclaims that God would send the Messiah to establish His Kingdom through the submission, then destruction of the Gentile empires; i.e. the salvation of His people Israel.

JIV NOTE: I find it amusing and a bit proverbial that the New Testament Zechariah (a priest by the same name as O.T. Zechariah) was the father of John the Baptist whose sole purpose in his life was to proclaim that the first advent of the Messiah had come. Elisabeth was Mary’s cousin and gave birth to John the Baptist 3 or 4 months prior to our “Jesus is born in Bethlehem” history. O.T. Zechariah prophesied to the End Time; the second advent of Christ. Keep in mind that Zechariah means: “God/the Lord remembers”

Here is a list with locations of the 8 *visions in Zechariah:

*Vision 1 The man on a red horse in the Myrtle trees Zechariah 1:7-17
*Vision 2 The 4 *horns and the 4 workmen Zechariah 1:18-21
*Vision 3 The man who is measuring Jerusalem Zechariah 2:1-5
*Vision 4 The chief priest Zechariah 3:1-10
*Vision 5 The *lampstand and the 2 *olive trees Zechariah 4:1-14
*Vision 6 The flying *scroll Zechariah 5:1-4
*Vision 7 The woman in the basket Zechariah 5:5-11
*Vision 8 The 4 *chariots Zechariah 6:1-8


Most Bible students think that the *visions connect together somehow. Unfortunately, they do not all agree on how they connect.

Here is one idea:

*visions 1, 2 and 3 are about the return from *exile;

*visions 4 and 5 are about the leader;

*visions 6, 7 and 8 are about the removal of *sin.

Here is another idea:

*visions 1, 2 and 8 are about the relationship of Judah with other countries;

*visions 3-7 are about the future of Judah/Israel as a nation.

Probably both ideas are useful to Bible students.

Four *visions (1, 3, 4 and 5) also have messages from the *LORD. They are in:

*Vision 1 – Zechariah 1:13-17;

*Vision 3 – Zechariah 2:6-13;

*Vision 4 – Zechariah 3:6-10;

*Vision 5 – Zechariah 4:5-10

Reference Prophecy of the Savior
Zechariah 2:4–5, 10–13 Christ will dwell with His people (see Revelation 22:1–5).
Zechariah 3; 6:10–15 Joshua is a type for the great High Priest (see Hebrews 3:1).
Zechariah 3:8–9; 6:12 Jesus is the Branch who will atone for us (see Jeremiah 23:5–6).
Zechariah 9:9 Jesus will enter Jerusalem triumphantly as King, riding a donkey (see Matthew 21:1–11).
Zechariah 11:12–13 The Savior will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (see Matthew 26:14–16; 27:3–10).
Zechariah 13:6 The Jews will ask Jesus about the wounds in His hands (see D&C 45:51–53).
Zechariah 13:7 The shepherd will be smitten and the sheep scattered (see Matthew 26:31).


Minor Prophets: There is a coded Bible message within the Minor Prophets and the focus of their writings or meaning of their names. Read the following as if it is a statement. WHY? Because there is a message to “them who have ears to hear” (Revelation 2 & 3: to the 7 churches).

  • Hosea (Osee)                                    Salvation;
  • Joel                                                     Day of the Lord; YHWY is God;
  • Amos                                                  Carried; he preached during a time of a very large earthquake
  • Obadiah (Abdias)                             Servant of YHWY; the divine judgment and restoration of Israel
  • Jonah (Jonas)                                    Dove; (Holy Spirit, the comforter?)
  • Micah (Micheas)                              Who is like YHWY
  • Nahum                                               Comforter;
  • Habakkuk (Habacuc)                       Embrace;
  • Zephaniah (Sophanias)                   YHWH has hidden;
  • Haggai (Aggeus)                                festive; festival; celebration
  • Zechariah (Zacharias)                      YHWY remembers
  • Malachi (Malachias)                        my messenger

Salvation, the Day of the Lord; YHWY is God; carried the servant of YHWY, the divine judgment and restoration of Israel [like a] Dove [of peace]. Who is like YHWY, the comforter? Embrace YHWY [for a] festival and celebration [is] hidden. YHWY remembers [his] messengers.

Yes, there are hidden bible codes; coded messages of reassurance to which we must pay attention but only those close or in tune with GOD/YHWY will ever understand.

July, 2015

I Think I Wanna Be A Cat

bytheShadowHaving Murphy the cat around has taught me how easy life is for a cat! He just does whatever he wants, however he wants and only when he wants to! What a life! Eat, drink and be merry! I have to work. I love to work but maybe I just wanna be a do nothing cat, sounds easy and fun. Murphy is like a free loader. In defense of Murphy, my mom says I need to mention the value he adds to our lives. Okay, okay, this Service Dog has to think deep….a cat that adds value…

Okay, Murphy the cat can be entertaining. Especially fun to chase if I get away with it. Usually, my mom tells me to knock it off or “kennel.” Murphy does have a heart too, I watch him lick my mom tears away and cuddle next to her on one of her difficult days. (I get a bit upset when Murphy starts acting like a Service Dog though).

MurphyJMe wanting the easy life of a cat and Murphy the cat acting like a Service dog can be a bit confusing. Murphy has even picked up a pen my mom dropped (just to chew on it not bring it back to her like I would do). He is messing with my harness while it is propped up against the wall, when I am not working. He better not be getting any big ideas. I am the Service dog, he is the cat!

My mom told me the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. She reminds me if I was a cat I will have to go potty in a box, and stay in the apartment. My mom even mentions how I may have to hack up hair balls. That did it. I don’t want to be cat.

Seems like everybody wants to be somebody else. Take it from a Service Dog- I learned a new lesson in life. We are created to be who we are; no one else can replace us, nor can we be them, even if we tried.  You are unique and have a great purpose for your life that only you can fulfill. Enjoy being YOU. You can not be a better someone else because that isn’t who G-d created you to be. You are beautiful just the way you are. Be YOU!

What Time Is It?

jStark3When we think of anything it usually includes something within a time. When is one’s appointment? When is one expected at work? What are a store’s open hours? When is the company coming over? Is there a good or better time to visit, meet, go somewhere, do something, have a discussion about something or with someone? Time – time – time!

This is why humans have such difficulty getting a good grasp on what is really eternity. We equate “sitting around the Throne of God” as something that is on the clock and might become boring after a few thousand years. In fact, time is what I needed to write this blog. Even aging is time relevant just as birthdays are marked by time. The days of a week are a form of time. We live by the seasons and calendar. When is the winter or summer solstice?

What time is it??

                                                           What is TIME

Everything we know is based upon time – time – time! What most do NOT KNOW is that “time” is a creation of God, just as are humans and the tree outside your window. It isn’t until verse 5 in Genesis 1 that God calls light ‘day’ and darkness ‘night’; “…and there was evening and there was morning – the first day” (NIV). Up to this verse, what God (trinity) created is just an existence of, uh, what He created.

Not a subject of this blog, but the heavens above and earth were already in created by verse 5. There could be a countless gap between this creation and the creation of light (the sun and solar system). Verse 2 of Genesis 1 clearly states that darkness already existed but this is a different discussion (for additional insights go to verses Genesis 1:14-19 and Genesis 1:31). However, we must stay true to the subject of this blog. A GAP (not the store) is subject to a time frame of when it began and when it ended. It began when God spoke it into existence. It ended when God created day and night; i.e. time.

When we sing songs like Ten Thousand Years (eternity will have just begun); The Dawning of That Day; … are scripturally incorrect. Eternity is timeless. It might be closer, yet still not correct, to call eternity ‘infinity.’ Wikipedia defines infinity as “an abstract concept describing something without limits.” However, giving it a definition effectively puts limits on it.

TIME to get real with this blog…:)

How many “times” has someone stated that eternity with nothing to do but sit around a throne in Heaven is not for him or her? This person simply does not understand eternity. The Bible is full of hints as to what this might be like. The problem comes in when we equate such a prolonged period of time as just that… a prolonged period of time. Time is no more. It went away when God ended it (Matthew 24:31; Psalm 102:26; Psalm 119: 89; Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 5:18need more convincing? Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; 2 Peter 3:10; Jeremiah 31:36, 37; Revelation 6: 14).

Consider a moment (a synonym for time) when everything in life seemed simply wonderful; even if it was a thrill ride on a roller coaster. What happens to this MOMENT IN TIME? Well, things move on and time destroys that moment with other issues. If time didn’t do that, a moment of elation would remain be a constant. We wouldn’t tire; we wouldn’t be subjected to other moments that bring us back to reality on earth; but then, this is how things are in a created world. Time moves on as does life. In an eternity with eternal actualities there is no such thing to destroy our moment(s) of elation.

When a Christian steps into his or her eternal body, s/he will for the first time see the heavens and as Revelation 21:1-7 explains. It will be a NEW heaven and a NEW earth. Since this is our introduction to eternity, this moment will become our reality AND our actuality. The Bible does not explain what this ‘new’ is. Why? We couldn’t understand it since we are framed in by what we now know as time meaning this is how we try to grasp it. This is why songs that describe eternity in verse or chorus as a number in days or years are scripturally incorrect. It is all we understand. It is folded into our minute time capsule minds and equated understood as limited or numbered.

Scripture gives us a sense or feel for what life will be like up through the end of Jesus Christ’s millennial reign on earth. This is a true scenario where we can know the end but not understand the new beginning? Why? Because it never before existed. Evolutionists should rally around this new heaven and new earth promise in Revelation 21 as this new creation is something that didn’t exist before. It evolves out of the old order of things and will be superior to what we now understand what exists. However, we lose these people when all of the “NEW” happens when God speaks it into existence (*Revelation 21:6) instead of being buried in evolutionists’ supposition that all is hidden in this “over millions of years” theory.

Revelation 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” v6 Then He said to me, “It is *done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

*ghin’-om-ahee: to bring into existence (what wasn’t before); to cause [it] to be.

An important truth we often don’t consider or think about is that ‘END TIME‘ simply means the end of time.

Time for me to move on to other places to be, things to do and people to see. Boy! Will I be delighted when time is irrelevant; beside the point; not a point in, uh, time.


The church vs. the Church Part 2

Paul Hoffmaster

Paul Hoffmaster

God’s intent, based solely on Biblical context, was to restore His chosen people to a place of prominence in the world.  But due to their rebellion, the way to kingdom reality was blocked by the hardening of their hearts.  The Jews wanted a status position where they become the conquerors instead of the conquered.  As one studies the Scripture, one can readily see the intent of Kingdom building in God’s plan, but due to the sinfulness of His people, God had to first deal with their rebellious heart.  Zachariah’s prophesy was a basic continuation of Old Testament prophesies that Israel would be delivered from their physical enemies.  When that was accomplished, the Jews would be able to serve Him without fear.  They would be before God in “…holiness and righteousness,” all the days of their life. (Luke 1:67-75)  That was God’s plan, but due to the sinfulness of His people, their physical deliverance would not be achieved until their hearts were changed.  To bring about that change, Jesus would come as a Savior, not a physical deliverer.  For the Jewish people to understand what the ministry of the Messiah would be, a forerunner would come to change the people’s concept of why the Messiah was coming.  Instead of looking for a physical deliverance, they needed to see the importance of a changed heart.  John the Baptizer would present Jesus as the “lamb of God” who would take away their sins. (John 1:29)  John was stressing the importance of changing their preconceived notions by way of repentance.

The Apostle Paul, understanding the foundation of the Christian faith, made a proclamation that the only thing that really mattered was, “… Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (I Corinthians 2:2).  Whenever the Church loses sight of the Cross, its foundation will be in jeopardy.  Whenever the Church manipulates Scripture to promote an excitement transfusion, it has lost its power.  Whenever the Church proclaims financial prosperity while ignoring fiscal responsibility, it has misdirected the use of God’s money.  Whenever the Church stresses physical healing over spiritual healing, it has lost its vision.  Whenever the Church seeks signs and wonders instead of displaying Holiness, it has become a broken vessel.

The majority of agnostics and non-believers are witnessing the displays of the “people’s church”, rather than God’s Church.  The alarming thing is the actions of the people’s church are getting all the attention, while God’s Church experiences collateral damage. One of the problems that face the Church today is how it responds to the “rebellious church.”  If it fails to address false doctrines by not promoting Biblical truths, it will negatively answer Jesus question, “…nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)  The true Church will be defined by how it responds to its identity crisis.

The conduct of the people’s church invites ridicule.   It hurts to see God’s Church the recipient of ridicule because of unbiblical actions by those who claim to be Believers. The media, from the news conglomerates to the entertainment industry, are exposing the people’s church for what it is, but the tragedy is they think that it is God’s Church that they are exposing.  Believers are anticipating an external challenge to the Church, when we need to look within the Christian circle.  Satan realizes that the best way to derail the true Church is to build new tracks on which the people’s church will travel farther and farther away from God’s intent.

The church vs. The Church – Part 1

Paul Hoffmaster

Paul Hoffmaster

There have always been itching ears and searching eyes that scan the spiritual horizon waiting for some sign that God will manifest Himself in a new and exciting way.  Every few years there is a resurgence of distorted Biblical truths that seem to bring a ray of hope to the floundering church.  I am reminded of the Biblical Jews that were waiting for the Messiah who would set them free from the bondage of oppression.  This would be done by setting up an earthly kingdom that was ruled by God Himself.  When the Jewish people saw their physical dilemmas, they reverted to the hope that someone would come who would lead them back to a place of prominence in their world.  To help the process along, the Pharisees begin promoting their own interpretation of the Law and Prophets.  Regulations and extra Biblical teachings were promoted to evidence that God was still in charge.  The problem was the Jewish people exchanged hope for a continuing mountain-valley experience.  Every new or expanded “truth” was met with excitement.  But soon it turned into disappointment and a searching for yet another movement that would excite them into hopeful expectations.

When the Messiah did come, they did not recognize Him.  They thought Jesus was a prophet or great teacher that would reintroduce the Jewish Kingdom.  As quickly as they were exposed to the Truth, the Truth was adjusted and altered to promote a physical manifestation rather than a spiritual deliverance.  The people craved miracles that would help them grasp the reality of God.  Jesus knew that the heart of man was desperately wicked and the only hope for God’s chosen people was circumcision of the heart. (Romans 2:29)  Jesus realized that His greatest mission would be the “religious” community.  The Jews responded to Jesus as a supplier of their physical needs, rather than the “lamb of God” which would restore them to a right standing with God.  Jesus’ ministry in the Synagogues was short lived, for His message conflicted with their traditions.  For three years, Jesus reached out with the Love of God to a people who were indifferent to the real Truth.  Wherever He went, the religious authorities followed with contradictory teachings that confused the people.  Finally, the “religionists” crucified Him!  It wasn’t until after Jesus’ ascension that the real truth of God’s love was revealed.  In that “upper room” the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples, the unfiltered truth flooded their spirits, and the Church was born!

There is such a similarity today to the earthly ministry of Jesus.  Our religious institutions have developed communities of diversity.  The ability to recognize Biblical Truth has become a difficult task.  Doctrines of devils have disguised their way into the Church.  Laughing spirits have become a mockery unto the Lord.  Spiritual “drunkenness” has elevated the flesh into mocking displays of tainted truth.  The Church is eager to acknowledge sin in our country, but remains silent when it comes to sin in the Church.  When are we going to realize that as the Church goes, so goes our country!  When the Church fails to represent God, our country will represent Satan!  Believers must stop cultivating “Christian cults” and start planting and harvesting from the true seed of God’s Word.

There is a talk of a great revival coming, but it cannot become a reality while the counterfeit church is in session. God wants to visit His Church, but not until we turn the Church back to Him.