El Cid
Since May 9, 1998

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Semi-Retired and living in Silicon Valley.
Vice of paying too much attention to political noise (they weren't joking when they said freerepublic is addictive).
But enough about me. This is about you, and my sincere well wishes for you all:

Advice: Remember that our God, the Creator of the Universe, and our World, has everything completely under control.
History is HIS Story. God has brought up and brought down nations in the preparation of the Way for HIS Son.
IF we as a people: repent of our sin, and pray; then our merciful, eternally patient, God who is in Heaven, will remember us and heal our land... Pray.

Philippians 4:6-9 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Thank God for such a Saviour - True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely ... Keep your eyes on Jesus...

Previously I’ve written up a couple of short blurbs titled: ‘Don’t make this mistake’, and ‘The Christmas Story’. The first was posted in 2007, and the second in 2009.
I’ve decided to add another short commentary (September 2013) regarding the following questions:

Why do people reject the Gospel message?
What obstacle(s) prevent them from striving to obtain their only Hope?
What keeps them from entering in by the strait and narrow way to Life Eternal?

I have a two-fold purpose for posing these questions. First, as someone who ‘rejected’ (or at least ‘did not accept’) the Gospel message for the first 40 years of my life, I am trying to recollect what exactly was my problem. It actually isn’t that easy. My memory is fuzzy on my rationale for rejecting the Gospel. I remember once, when I was probably around 12 years old, or so, my Grandmother brought my brother and me to some Baptist tent revival hoe-down, and they were asking people to standup and ‘accept Christ’. They had some hymn going on with people singing the refrain, ‘Why not? Why not? Blah-blah Blah-blah’. My Grandmother whispered in my ear and asked if I wanted to standup. I was horrified. No way I was going to standup and embarrass myself. To me, religion was something very personal that you just did not talk about - ever. So I was a man of steel - ‘invitations’ bounced off like harmless bullets bounced off of Superman. But although I was a Christ rejecter, I slowly came to the Truth. For some, it is supposedly an instantaneous event – accompanied by weeping and tears. But for me it was slower. As I look back, the spark itself might have been an instantaneous event, but the fanning of the spark into a real flame took a bit of time.
And the second purpose of these questions is that I puzzle as to why I am unable to get the message through to other people. I know that I do not have a glib tongue, nor am I skilled in the arts of persuasion, but as I stand here today – I see that the message is so very obvious. It IS the Truth – a Light that shineth in a dark place. Yet, I also acknowledge that I rejected the same arguments in the past.

So what is the problem? I believe it comes from an inability, or a resistance, to the recognition of the fact that God IS The Creator. Not just the Creator of Heaven and Earth – but your Creator.
My Creator.

We are created beings, and we were brought into existence by a Creator. The word "Creator" might roll off our lips, and from an intellectual level we might acknowledge the fact that the evidence of Creation and a Creator abounds all around us. We see His Design everywhere – from our telescopic observations of the galaxies and stars, to our microscopic investigations of the minute structures of cellular life. Design is all around us, and we see the handiwork of the Creator.
But do we really recognize that He is our Creator?
And as such, He can do whatever He pleases.
By definition, whatever God does is Good. We need to recognize that point. People will foolishly say, ‘God would not do that’, or ‘a Good God would not do this…’ We need to overcome, and stamp down, our innate nature to make ourselves ‘God’ – and stop telling God what is right. Whatever God does IS right and Good. If we don’t like it, WE need to align our minds to what God says. God does not need to (nor will HE) amend His thinking and His ways to our thoughts and our ways.
As the prophet Isaiah said:
Isaiah 45:9 “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?”
Or as Paul wrote:
Romans 9:20-21 “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”

We need to wrap our brains around that fact – God is our Creator. We are here to glorify Him. We are to search out what He desires and seek to serve Him.
Step 1 – Read God’s Word. He gave it to us for a reason.
Step 2 – Learn to live God’s Word.
Step 3 – Love God’s Word. And Pray. Call out to the Living God to help us understand, to help us in our walk, to increase our faith.

Until we recognize that God IS our Creator – we are stumbling about in darkness. We make ourselves into ‘God’ as we try to mold God into our image. We say foolish things like a ‘loving God would not do this or that.’ Whatever God does IS Good and He made us. Our sole duty and privilege is to obey Him and Glorify Him in all that we do. We Love Him because He first loved us.
Don’t get me wrong. Although God can do anything, and whatever He does do is by definition, ‘Good’ - Our God is not a capricious God, He is not a mystic, unknowable God where we throw up our hands and say, ‘It is Allah’s Will’.
We can know much about God. HE wants us to know much about Him. We will never comprehend everything about Him as He IS infinite and HE IS our (and THE) Creator – but HE tells us about Himself in His Word. We know God IS Love. We know He is long suffering - not willing that any should perish (even though we are all sinners and deserving of damnation before a perfectly Holy and Just God) - and of great kindness. We know also that HE is pure and Holy and no sin can come into His presence. And HE is perfectly Just and cannot wink at sin and transgressions. But through the Good News of the Gospel – We know that God has bridged this seemingly impassable chasm by HIS Love:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God made Christ, who knew no sin, to become sin for us, who knew no Righteousness, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor 5:21). That is, Christ bore our sins to the cross and became the sacrifice that consumed the fire of God’s wrath AND Christ gave us His Righteousness that we former blots of soiled sinful flesh could be made clean and holy and unspotted and appear before the thrice Holy God.
Praise the Lord. Recognize, and act on, the fact that God IS our Creator. Give Him all honor, praise, and love. It is all due Him (and due to Him).

There are around 12,000 words in the Bible, but here is a Short Version of the Message:

We are all helpless sinners.
God IS Light and in HIM there is no darkness at all.
God hates sin. It cannot exist with HIM.
God IS completely JUST, HE cannot lie.

We are sinners. We have all broken the moral Law. Those who think they have kept the Ten Commandments perfectly – need only hear how Jesus clarified its meaning. If one has lusted in their hearts, they have committed adultery. If one has hated, they have committed murder. If one has desired something more than what God has given them, they are guilty of covetousness and idolatry.

God hates sin. God being perfect and just, requires a judgment against sin. We are sinners. We require judgment and the judgment, our wages, is death and eternal damnation.

So far – sounds like a pretty bleak message – eh?

You do the math.
Our hopes seem to be a null set.

But No!

Only GOD could have come up with an answer.
Only a GOD of LOVE could save us (or even want to save us: Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.).

For God so loved the world, that HE gave HIS only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Justice of GOD is satisfied through HIS Son.
God manifest in the Flesh, as HIS Son, and our Saviour – the Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. HE was perfect. HE perfectly met the moral Law of GOD. He ALONE was fit to make the payment for our sins.

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Who is this He?

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The Name by which we are Saved is Jesus.
Believe in HIM as your LORD and Saviour.
Be In Christ and you will be saved.

Important Questions to Those Who do Not Know THE LORD

All of us have an appointment with death.
So What is Your Plan?

Are you planning on taking a perpetual dirt nap?

Are you planning on reincarnating yourself? (i.e., ‘ye shall be as gods’…)

Or, just ignore this question and ‘hope’ for the best?
…Or, do your thoughts go something like this?

Is that it?
Is this a plan??

This is the most important question that you’ll face in life.
Our time here is short. It is nothing compared to eternity.
If you do not believe in eternity; If you are someone who says: ‘when I’ve completed my mortal toil, it’s off to the grave for me, to a sleep from which I’ll never wake…’ – then I can understand why you would not be concerned about the question of where you’ll spend eternity.

One question though.

Are you sure you are right?

You must not be wrong.
You must not.

Check it out.
Search hard.
What does the Bible say about you and God?
Do you really believe it is gibberish?
Have you honestly sat down and tried to read the Bible?
Are you so much wiser than the people who came before you and stood on this Book as being the Word of God?

You may comfort yourself by pointing at all the hypocrites who claimed to be Believers but yet led ungodly lives and unleashed mayhem at various points in history.

Does not the Bible say that we are all sinners in desperate need of a Saviour?

There is none Righteous, no, not one.

Now consider those nations who took a stand to honor God. Did not God bless them?
Did not Great Britain become great when they stood on the Bible?
Did their decay not begin with their acceptance of the gods of Darwinism and their turning away from the Almighty Creator?
Has the United States not been uncommonly blessed?
America was founded by Believers, and was a nation founded on Christ.
From the Mayflower Compact, to Jamestown, to early Colonial Charters – they all gave reverence and glory to God.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence were churchmen who entrusted their protection to the Providence of God.

We are not what we once were, but not to recognize the uncommon blessings (warts notwithstanding) that have rained upon America and not give thanks to the Author of this Providence is to have willingly blinded one’s self to the Truth.

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Oh LORD, please let not America become one of those nations that have forgotten our God.

It bares repeating.
You cannot be wrong.

Or perhaps you are one of those folks who plan on reincarnating themselves (or letting ‘karma’ take care of the reincarnation).
This is just a variation on Satan’s old lie to Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3) – ‘ye will be as gods’…
No, only when you reside and live in Jesus Christ can you be as gods. Not God, but sons of God and you will have eternal life with the Word.

Or maybe your response is simply, ‘Thus says you – I don’t believe it’…

I can only say – Read the Bible and see that it rings true.

You cannot be wrong.

Or is this your plan: Ignore this question and hope for the best?

Would you give your life savings to someone and walk away and ignore what happened to it?
Just hope for the best?
Of course not!

You’d perform a detailed investigation of the performance, history, and credibility of the person to whom you entrusted your wealth.
Now we are talking about a treasure more valuable than all the gold in Fort Knox.
Your soul.

Are you really going to ignore its destination and hope for the best?

Come now, you don’t really believe that this is the course taken by a rational person.

Read the Bible.
Investigate the arguments.
Understand that you are not saved unless you believe in the LORD Jesus Christ.
Learn what that means. Repent and seek the LORD with your whole heart.
He turns none away who seek Him and asks for HIS mercy.

Our standards are not God’s. We might be the ‘best’ do-gooder in the land, but if we are not resting and trusting in the LORD alone (not our ‘works’, not our church, not our pedigree, etc) we are resting on filthy rags.

You Can’t Be Wrong

There are a lot of things that you can be wrong about in life. Mistakes can be painful, and we often need to deal with the consequences – sometimes for years, but we can muddle through.

Didn’t study hard enough in school? Except for the rare individual, this one falls into the mistake category. The ramifications are such that you don’t get the job or career that you once aspired to attain. But you muddle on, you get through.

Picked the wrong major in College? You might waste years pursuing a career that ultimately is a poor fit for your skills or personality. But you can muddle through.

Picked a fight with the wrong person? Although this can be a fatal mistake, in the vast majority of cases it is merely a stupid mistake. You learn not to do that again, and recover from your bruises and move on.

Picked the wrong partner to marry? Again, this is a terrible mistake that can affect many lives – but again, you can get through it.

So in Life, there are many successes, and many mistakes and setbacks. It is part of living. How we deal with our successes and our mistakes determines the type of person we become.

But there is one area where we cannot be wrong. One area where there are no do-overs, nor second chances. No muddling through no matter what the circumstances.

You cannot make a mistake with your Salvation.

There is a Heaven, and there is a Hell.
The destination of our journey ends in one of these two places. There is not a third choice.
You cannot afford to make the plaintive cry of Jeremiah 8:20

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

There is a season for the harvest, and there is a season for Salvation. The time for Salvation is today. Now is the time to seek HIM who Saves. The Prophet Jeremiah was incredulous that his people would not seek their Saviour. He cried out in verse 22 of the same Chapter 8:

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?

There is a healing balm. There is a great physician.

Seek HIM today and seek HIM now. Do not be idle and do not allow this harvest to pass.

Seek ye the LORD while HE may be found, call ye upon HIM while HE is near

There is a resurrection on the last day and there is only ONE who can get you through this day. There is Only One man who Fulfilled the Law of Righteousness (the Ten Commandments), and HE is the only one capable of fullfilling the Law and covering all those that believe on HIM. We are covered by HIS robes of Righteousness, and cleansed eternally from all sins, because HE not only is man, but because He also IS God. It is Only by being in Him that we are considered Righteous (Romans 10:4)… So Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and Make Him the LORD of Your Life.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said … I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Believest thou this?

There is one question in life that you must answer correctly:

What think ye of Christ?

This is for next Christmas (when I'll move it back to the top...)...

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story. We all know it. The First Noel. The Three Wise Men. Baby Jesus in a Manger…
But amongst the distraction of the times: the orgy of shopping, and gift giving, and gift receiving, and decorations, and feasting … we oft lose sight of the Christmas Story, and what it means…What it really means … …

In the Beginning…God created the Heavens and Earth and all that therein is – and all was very good. Perfect.
In the dimensions where the angels reside there was a ‘rebellion’. The details are sketchy. The how and why are not very clear. But one of the head Angels - the ‘anointed cherub’, Lucifer, coveted the position of God – and said that he’d be like the most High… Or if not to be in the position of God, Lucifer expected to be the most exalted of all of God's Creation. But shockingly, that was not the case - God gave that position to man (Psalms 8:4-6 "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet"...; and again, Genesis 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth".). In a jealous rage Lucifer rebelled, and he and a third of the Angels were tossed out of Heaven. With hatred for man, he set out to destroy them. Lucifer ‘possessed’ the serpent and deceived the woman, Eve. The serpent called God a liar, and Eve fell for the seductive lie that ‘ye shall be as God’. Adam, also, shirked his duty as the head of the household, and in so doing he essentially knelt to Lucifer – and satan thus became ‘the god of this world’… All the seed of Adam (all mankind) became subject to the curse of sin, and the ravages of its effects: pride, disease, hatred, lusts, and death… But yet, through the awful Fall, and the curse of sin that put us against God and meriting (and requiring) HIS wrath, there was a promise. God, who cannot lie, promised a Deliverer. A Saviour of mankind. A seed of the woman would come who would crush the head of the serpent. A spotless, pure, and Holy Saviour who would bare our sins (2 Cor 5:21 'For God hath made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, who knew no righteousness, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him), and take the wrath that we earned. The serpent, satan, who brought death into the world would be defeated, and as a consequence, death would be destroyed (‘He will swallow up death in victory’… ‘I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death. Oh death I will be thy plagues. Oh grave I will be thy destruction’ ).

So all of mankind looked for this Saviour. Eve, herself, was presumptuous and thought that her first born Son was this Saviour. She understood enough that the Deliverer would have to be the God-man (as she said in Genesis 4: ‘… I’ve gotten me a man with God…’) – but she was sorely mistaken. She missed the part that this son would be borne of a Virgin (‘a seed of the woman…’).

Man’s mythologies have always looked for this Saviour. This message also appears to have been encoded in the stars and constellations - passed down from generation to generation, perhaps from Adam to Seth and to each succeeding patriarch, for these strange messages in the stars have been found to be virtually the same in the ancient civilizations of Babylon, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and India…
From Virgo on one end of the night sky to Leo on at the other end of the celestial circle. Virgo, the Virgin, with ‘the branch’ in one hand, and Spica, the prime seed, in the other. And both the Branch and the prime seed deep in their significance. The Branch pointing at the Promised one in Scriptures: Isaiah 11:1-5 "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins"; and Jeremiah 23:5 "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth". And the Conquering Lion, Leo pouncing on the serpent Hydra: Rev 5:5b "... behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David...", – the Gospel message was given to us in an indelible, permanent pen on the canvas of the sky (‘The Heavens declare the Glory of God…’)…

And God repeated HIS promise through HIS chosen people as HE spoke through the prophets: Holy men of God spake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The coming God-man who was to be Prophet, Priest, and King.

Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Where he would be borne:
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

The Priest who would make the blood atonement for our souls:
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Or, as perhaps put more clearly in the New Testament:
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

And the time that HE was to come…

[*] Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

[*] Daniel 9:25-27 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Not just the seed of the woman, borne of a Virgin, but to be borne of the House of David.

The LORD speaketh to David:
2 Samuel 7:12-16 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

At the right time, in the right place, of the right lineage.
The promised Saviour came into the World. God manifest in the flesh. Immanuel.
He came to save a lost mankind.
His name would be called Jesus, “for HE shall save his people from their sins”. To redeem a lost people. "God and sinners reconciled". There was and is only one way - "...by the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, our Lord and King..."

Merry Christmas!

(2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift)

[*] Footnote on Genesis 49:10. "Shiloh" is Messiah. Judah, although beaten down at times, provided Kings, councilors, and governors in Judah until the time of Roman conquest (63 BC). And even during Herod's reign they provided some influence, but at his death (4 BC) - and the division of Judah into three separate kingdoms - the lawgiving power (and the ability to execute the death penalty) was in the hands of the Romans. In 70 AD the Temple and Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus and the Roman army. In 135 AD the Romans squashed the last Jewish rebellion, and scattered the Jews to all 4 corners of the Roman Empire (now near the zenith of its land mass). Jews are banned from living in Jerusalem.
[*] Daniel 9:25-27 frames the time of Messiah the Prince as being 'seven weeks and three-score and two weeks from the command to restore and build Jerusalem'. Or approximately 483 years (or some recalculate this time period using 'prophetic years' of 360 days - or 476 years) after the command to rebuild Jerusalem, and the wall (usually taken as King Artexerxes I's decree in 445 BC). Thus, the expectation of Anna and Simeon (and in fact, of all Judah) in this time frame - as they knew the promised Saviour/Messiah was to come.