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Fukuoka, Japan
Christian blogger, KJV Bible apologist, legal researcher, teacher, learner, family man, writer, entrepreneur, born Jamaican, son of the soil, traveler... it's complicated. "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 (KJV)

This Blog

"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works." ~ Psalm 9:1 (KJV). This blog contains and explains the truth of God's Word. The Epignosis of the Word of God is what every servant of God must teach.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Jesus had been crucified and buried. The scripture (Mark 16) tells us that when the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) had passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary James’ mother and Salome went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body (v.1). It was the rising of the sun on Sunday morning, the first day of the week (v.2).

As they approached the tomb they were wondering who would roll away the very large stone from the door (v.3) but when they looked, it was already rolled away (v.4). They entered the tomb where they saw a young man. He told them that Jesus was risen (v.5-6). He also told them to go and tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus was raised and that He would see them in Galilee as He had told them (v.7). They ran away quickly because they were trembling, fearful and astonished but they told no one what they had seen (v.8).

After that, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene (v.9) and she went to tell the disciples that Jesus was raised from the dead (v.10). They were crying when she got there but did not believe her testimony that Jesus had risen (v.11). Two of the disciples were walking on the road into the country when Jesus appeared unto them as well. They returned and told the others who still did not believe their testimony (v.12-13).

Jesus then appeared unto the eleven as they were sitting to eat and He reprimanded them for not believing the others who had seen Him after he had risen (v.14). He then told them to go into the entire world and preach the gospel (v.15). Jesus told them that anyone who believes their message about Him and was baptized would be saved but that those who did not believe would be condemned (v.16). Now look at what Jesus said after that:

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (v.17-18)

Jesus told them that there were certain signs, which would follow them that believe.

The word ‘believe’ is translated from the Greek word PISTEUO, pronounced pē-styü'-ō (Strong’s G4100). It refers to someone’s trust in Jesus or God as being able to support them either in obtaining or in doing something. Most importantly it is the exercise of faith that saves someone. The scripture did not limit which believer would have the signs. It says: “them that believe!” This tells me that anyone who believes will have these signs following them.

The word ‘signs’ is translated from the Greek word SEMEION, pronounced sā-mā'-on (Strong’s G4592). It refers to that thing which distinguishes a person from others and makes that person known. In this instance it is a token that God uses to let us know that the person sent by Him is authentic.

The word ‘follow’ is translated from the Greek word PARAKOLOUTHEO, pronounced pä-rä-ko-lü-the'-ō (Strong’s G3877). It literally means to follow closely or faithfully, and to always be there, to always be present or to attend to something or someone. So these authenticators shall always be present with believers and believers shall do the following:

1. Shall cast out devils. This term ‘cast out’ is translated from the Greek word EKBALLO, pronounced ek-bä'l-lō (Strong’s G1544), and means to drive out, send out or cast out, and to do so with or without violence. The word ‘devils’ is translated from the Greek word DAIMONION, pronounced dī-mo'-nē-on (Strong’s G1140). It refers to evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil.

2. Shall speak with new tongues. The word ‘speak’ is translated from the Greek word LALEO, pronounced lä-le'-ō (Strong’s G2980). It means to utter a voice or emit an articulate sound, preach, and tell. The word ‘new’ is translated from the Greek word KAINOS, pronounced kī-no's (Strong’s G2537). It refers to something new in form and substance or new in the sense that the newness of the thing is far better than what it was before, or newer than that which exists already. It also means fresh. The word ‘tongues’ is translated from the Greek word GLOSSA, pronounced glō's-sä (Strong’s G1100). It refers to the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.

3. Shall not be hurt by serpents or deadly drink. The word ‘not’ is translated from the Greek word OUME, pronounced ü mā' (Strong’s G3364), meaning never, certainly not, not at all, and by no means. The word ‘hurt’ is translated from the Greek word BLAPTO, pronounced blä'p-tō (Strong’s G984), meaning to hurt, harm, injure. The word ‘deadly’ is translated from the Greek word THANASIMOS, pronounced thä-nä'-sē-mos (Strong’s G2286). This is the only place in scripture this Greek word is used. It refers to something that can kill and is talking about a drink that can kill a person.

4. Shall lay hands on the sick and the sick shall recover. The word ‘lay’ is translated from the Greek word EPITITHEMI, pronounced e-pē-tē'-thā-mē (Strong’s G2007). It means to put or lay upon. The word ‘hands’ is translated from the Greek word CHEIR, pronounced khā'r (Strong’s G5495). It refers literally to the hand that operates under the help, agency, might, activity and power of God.

The word ‘shall’ is translated from the Greek word MELLO, pronounced me'l-lō (Strong’s G3195). It denotes something one will do by fixed necessity or by divine appointment.

Firstly, the usage of the word ‘shall’ in this scripture does not signify a command but indicates the substantiation or evidence of being something, performing something or possessing something. It is an adverb as used in: “they shall recover” in v.18; or, as in: “For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his worksMatthew 16:27. Secondly, all four ‘shall’ words above are equally important signatories of the believer.

These scriptures say many things. We are believers who have signs that shall follow us. Evil spirits exist and we shall cast them out. By the Holy Spirit we shall speak the language of another nation even though we don’t know that language. We shall not be injured by serpents and if we drink anything that can kill, it shall not kill us. We shall lay hands on sick people and they shall recover because we lay the hands that operate with the power of God.

Believers are powerful but few act with authority and power because they either don’t know these truths or they don’t believe them even though they believe in Christ.

Be one of them that believe and operate in the power of God!

Monday, November 21, 2011

HOLY BIBLE 101 - SEALED & FILLED with the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to be sealed with the Holy Spirit and what does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Is there a difference?

When a person believes in and accepts Christ as Lord and Saviour s/he is instantly born-again in their spirit. The scripture says the born-again believer is ‘sealed’ with the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. The word sealed comes from the Greek word SPHRAGIZO, pronounced sfrä-gē'-zō (Strong's G4972). It means to be authenticated or to be marked. This authentication or marking takes place upon the born-again believer’s spirit.

“In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13)

Here the scripture establishes the process of being born again. It says believers:

1. Hear the Word of truth;
2. Trust in Christ after hearing the Word of Truth;
3. Believe Christ; and
4. Are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Being sealed with the Holy Spirit is not a physical visible mark but is a mark that is recognizable with spiritual eyes. Compare the sight of the men in Luke 24:31. Now let us see what the scripture says about being filled with the Holy Spirit.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

The word ‘filled’ comes from the Greek word PIMPLEMI, pronounced pē'm-plā-mē (Strong's G4130). It refers to being completed, fulfilled or filled up. When the believers in the book of Acts were filled with the Holy Spirit, He gave them utterance and they spoke in other languages as evidence to the people around them. When believers are filled with the Holy Spirit they become (Hebrew 6:4) partakers of the Holy Spirit.

A ‘partaker’ of the Holy Spirit is a person who has become a colleague with the Holy Spirit and shares in His divine nature. The word partaker comes from the Greek word METOCHOS, pronounced me'-to-khos (Strong's G3353). Partakers are empowered when they are filled with the divine nature. This is an indwelling.

"Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?" (Isaiah 63:11) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Partakers share the office, work and dignity of the Holy Spirit. All born-again believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit but not all are partakers of the Holy Spirit. We should all desire to be partakers of the Holy Spirit and ask God to fill us with Him.

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13)

It is when we are filled that we gain real power and manifest the evidence of that power!


Did you know that you were created to have a loving relationship with God? He is patiently and lovingly waiting for you to respond to His invitation to salvation. Yes, you can receive forgiveness for your sins and assurance of eternal life through faith in His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17). "Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3)

You may be asking yourself: "How can I know God?" Man is able to know the true and Living God through His Word the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible reveals God's character and His plan for mankind. It is through reading His Word that we come to the knowledge of the righteousness of God and all that He requires of us.

What is it that prevents us from personally knowing God? Our sin has separated us from God — our corruption is to such a degree that we cannot know Him personally and cannot experience His love. God's Word says:

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Man was created to have fellowship with God, but because of his sin (i.e., anything that is against the righteousness revealed in God's Word) he is prevented from that fellowship. This includes anything less than perfect obedience to God's commands.

"The wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23a)

The ultimate result of this death is an eternity in Hell. This spiritual death forces a separation from God. Man is sinful and God is holy. This creates an unbridgeable gulf between man and God making fellowship impossible. The only solution is a divine bridge and that bridge is Christ.

God created a way by sending His Son to pay the price for our sin.

"God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

He died in our place; He who knew no sin became sin for us. This removed our burden of sin and allows us to enter into that desired fellowship if we follow His way in obedience.
He is the only way. Jesus said:

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

It is not just enough that you know these truths. We must individually place our trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is by repenting of our sins and by believing in Christ that we can know God personally and experience His love.

"But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." (John 1:12) "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10) "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

You can receive Jesus Christ right now by faith.

"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)

If you now believe God and place your faith in His Son, congratulations, YOU ARE BORN-AGAIN in your spirit! Welcome to the family. We His children all share in a heavenly inheritance! We are heirs to heaven and are promised the eternal pleasure of glorifying God. As our life here on earth progresses, God will continue to work in our hearts. We are being conformed daily to the image of Christ, Himself. We will begin to live lives of righteousness. Obedience to God will not be a burden to us, but rather a joy.

You may wonder, now that you are a Christian, "What now?" The greatest recommendation for believers, new and old, is fourfold:

1) Find a church so you might hear the preaching of the Word and rejoice in the fellowship of other Christians;
2) Study the Bible because that is where we learn of God and His plans;
3) Pray to Him to strengthen your faith and increase your love toward Him; and,
4) enjoy the blessings given by God in the heavenly ordained sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper.

All of these will work to encourage and build upon your faith. If you have any questions, search the Scriptures, ask your Pastor, or please feel free to ask me by sending me an email at: smorganministries@gmail.com.

Adapted from Blue Letter Bible with a vision to reach the lost for Christ.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HOLY BIBLE 101 - CONFORMITY & Non-conformity

Sin is a degenerative condition that inflicts human beings in a creeping fashion from the flesh to the soul. From the time that Adam disobeyed God everything under the sun has waxed worse. It is evident to me and to most born-again believers that the world we live in is in a similar spiritual state like the one in Noah’s time, which was destroyed by water.

Entire kingdoms, civilizations and families from Noah’s time to now have succumbed to utter devastation because of people’s dramatic erosion into immorality, rebellion and perversion. We have examples like Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-25) and Korah (Numbers 16:30-33). Shouldn’t the thought of these be a wake-up-call to all of us? But no! People want to perpetuate depravity, insurgence and hedonism because it feels good.

The Apostle Peter wrote to the pilgrims throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, in a manner similar to how I am writing to you now. They were strangers scattered throughout five territories that were not their natural homelands. He wrote:

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16 (KJV)

This is a powerful exhortation. My focus here is verse 14, which says you MUST NOT fashion yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance but be obedient children. This phrase ‘fashioning yourselves according to’ was translated from the Greek word SYSCHEMATIZO (Strong’s G4964). It is pronounced sü-skhā-mä-tē'-zō and refers to conforming one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to someone else's pattern. In this case it refers to 'former lusts', a pattern that is anti-Christ.

Peter was telling these sojourners they should not fall back into the former lusts that they had been delivered from. As children of God we were delivered from some very diabolical circumstances and conditions. We MUST NOT fashion ourselves according to those former lusts that are gaining more and more acceptance in this very dark world. The Apostle Paul told the Roman Christians the same thing. He said:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)

Paul urged many things here but my focus for the purpose of this study is on the fact that we MUST NOT be conformed to this world. What is interesting is, in this scripture (it is no coincidence), the words ‘be’ and ‘conformed’ are also translated from the Greek word SYSCHEMATIZO. These three uses are the only places where the word is found in the Greek concordance of the New Testament.

Our mandate as born-again believers is crystal clear. We were delivered from conformity to the pattern of the world and cannot allow ourselves to kowtow to it anymore. The world cannot and MUST NOT determine who our associations are, where we are on the social ladder, whether or not we hold status in society, how we talk, joke, dress, or look, and more importantly, what our ideologies are or how we worship God!

The scriptures say we MUST gather the thoughts of our mind together, soberly, in everything we do, and be holy like Christ. We MUST dedicate our bodies to God and renew our minds (with God’s Word through the Holy Spirit) so that we can know what His good, acceptable and perfect will is. Mind renewal brings about transformation. This is not a mere request from the Apostles Peter and Paul but a direct command from God. We MUST obey God!


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Absalom: “Hey Chris!”

Christian: “Yes Absalom.”

Absalom: “I have a real problem with your teaching that says people must keep themselves from participating in the things of the world. These things are unavoidable in most circumstances and if we don’t involve ourselves in some of them, we won’t be able to survive in this world. That’s a problem for me so this is why I just can’t accept your Way Chris. Besides it’s complicated and nobody’s perfect. Nobody can live such a holy life so why try! It all seems so uptight. I mean, I pray and go to church and tithe and all that good stuff!”

Christian: “I understand what you’re saying Absalom and I disagree with you. There is a way that seems right to people but that way always leads to destruction! And it’s not about ‘my’ Way it’s about Christ. He is the true WAY. He is the way, the truth and the life.”

Absalom: “See, there you go again. Why do you always do that? You think you know everything man. I hate it when you do that. YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING CHRIS!!! You’re a real scripture quoting know-it-all. Sheesh! Why do I even talk to you?”

Christian: “There are three things that Satan uses in a most subtle way to draw people away from being obedient to the Word of God.”

Absalom: “Only three things? (rolling eyes) Here we go again!”

Christian: “Well, yes, these three sum up ALL sin and everything contrary to God’s Word. Look at what the scripture says:

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17 KJV)

The word ‘world’ is translated from the Greek word KOSMOS (Strong’s G2889). It refers to the natural order of the universe as well as to everything earthly including people in general. It refers also to riches, advantages, pleasures, etc., which are hollow, frail and fleeting, stir up desire, seduce people away from God, and are obstacles to mankind’s advancement in the way of Christ.”

Absalom: “Hmmm! What does this mean anyway: 'The lust of flesh'?”

Christian: “Well, the Greek word used here for ‘flesh’ is SARX (Strong’s G4561). It refers to the body. This flesh is mentioned in Matthew 26:41.

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The same word is also translated ‘carnally’ and ‘carnal’ in Romans 8:6-7 and refers specifically to the nature of man.

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

The Greek word translated ‘lust’ is EPITHYMIA (Strong’s G1939). It refers to desire, craving, longing, and specifically to the desire for something that is forbidden. This means that when a person is born-again, the fleshly or carnal nature is forbidden. The cravings for the pleasures that satisfy the carnal nature are these lusts and they are forbidden as well.”

Absalom: “I understand this meaning of lust but how would that apply to the ‘lust of the eyes’?”

Christian: “The Greek word translated ‘eyes’ is OPHTHALMUS (Strong’s G3788). It refers to the physical eyes that see as well as to the ‘eyes of the mind’ or the faculty of knowing and understanding. Here is a great example: the men in Luke 24:31 were not physically blind yet the scripture uses this word for both eyes and sight.

“And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”

They simply did not know that they were talking to Jesus who had been raised from the dead. Since lust refers to craving and eyes refers to both physical and mental sight, we can conclude that this ‘lust of the eyes’ has direct relation to craving to look at things that are forbidden as well as craving forbidden knowledge and understanding.”

Absalom: “Wow! Now I really want to hear your explanation about this ‘pride of life’!”

Christian: “Ha ha ha ha! Not ‘my’ explanation Absalom but the Holy Spirit speaking through me. I don’t know these things of myself.”

Absalom: “Yes true, have to give credit where it is due. Speak Holy Spirit!”

Christian: “The word 'life' refers to the entire course of life as we know it. What is interesting is that this word ‘pride’ is translated from the Greek word ALAZONEIA (Strong’s G212). People today call it ‘swagger’. It refers to boasting in a way that is similar to how people act nowadays! The same word is translated ‘boastings’ in James 4:16.

“But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.”

Absalom: “C’mon man, what do you mean, 'swagger' is bad?”

Christian: “Well, Thayer’s Lexicon defines ALAZONEIA this way:

“…empty, braggart talk, empty display in act, swagger; an insolent and empty assurance, which trusts in its own power and resources and shamefully despises and violates divine laws and human rights; an impious and empty presumption which trusts in the stability of earthy things…”

Absalom: “I’m speechless! So, many things we accept as normal today conflict in many ways with scripture. Wow!”

Christian: “Yes indeed Absalom my friend! This is why as a born-again Christian it is most important to rely on the Holy Spirit when you search the scriptures and keep yourself unspotted from the world.”

Thursday, November 10, 2011

HOLY BIBLE 101 - SIN & Repentance

King David wrote Psalm 51 as a prayer of repentance. He had done some terrible things (kidnapping, adultery and murder) and God was displeased with him. Let me tell you the story from 2 Samuel 11:1-27.

It was a time when all kings in the region now called the Middle East were at war with each other. David, King of Israel, sent his nephew Joab a General of his army, with all his servants, to fight the king of Ammon while he stayed behind in Jerusalem.

And so it was, at eventide, the time between sunset and twilight, that David got up off his bed and walked to the roof of his house. As he looked out he saw a very beautiful woman bathing on the roof of her house. David sent and inquired who she was and someone told him that she was Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite. David immediately sent messengers and snatched her away. Although she was snatched away from her home, Bathsheba came in unto David and he lay with her. She then returned to her house. Bathsheba became pregnant and sent and told King David.

David had a plan. He sent a message to his nephew Joab telling him to send Uriah to him. When Uriah came to David, David questioned him about how the war was going then sent him to his house with a large portion of the king’s meat. But Uriah was distraught and felt guilty that he would be in his house eating and drinking while the ark of the Lord, Israel and Judah were in tents and his soldiers were on the battlefield fighting and dying. He told David that he could not go home.

David promised to send Uriah back to the encampment in a few days. David called Uriah to eat with him and got him drunk but Uriah still did not go home. David wanted Uriah to go home and lay with Bathsheba so that Uriah would think she got pregnant at that time. However, because of Uriah’s feelings of guilt about not being with the encampment and because Uriah refused to go home, David’s plan was not working.

David decided to kill Uriah. He wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. The letter said that Joab should put Uriah on the frontline in the heat of battle and withdraw from him so that he would be killed. Joab did as he was commanded by his uncle the king, and Uriah was killed in battle with some of David’s soldiers.

Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead and went into mourning. At the end of the period of her mourning, David moved her into his house, married her and she had his son (who later took ill and died). It is obvious that David married and moved her in quickly to hide his own sins of adultery and murder, and to ensure that Bathsheba was not disgraced for bearing a child that could not have belonged to her husband. What treachery by the man of God!

God sent Nathan the prophet to David to tell him about his sin. David repented immediately by praying Psalm 51 to God. In this Psalm David uses nine (9) different Hebrew words to describe his sin.

1. Transgression (v.1)
This was translated from the Hebrew word PESHAH (Strong's H6588), which literally means defection and rebellion but is also translated trespass and sin (Genesis 50:17). It is used to refer to defection and rebellion against individuals, nations, and God (Job 34:37).

2. Iniquity (v.2)
This was translated from the Hebrew word AVON (Strong's H5771), which literally refers to perversity and depravity. It is also translated fault (Psalm 59:4) and mischief (2 Kings 7:9). It comes from the root word AVAH (Strong's H5753), which refers to bending, twisting, perverting or distorting something (Job 33:27).

3. Sin (v.3)
This was translated from the Hebrew word CHATTA’ATH (Strong’s H2403), which refers to the condition of sin. This Hebrew word derives from the root CHATA. It is also translated punishment (Lamentations 4:6).

4. Sinned (v.4)
This was translated from the Hebrew word CHATA (Strong's H2398), which means miss the way, go wrong, incur guilt, forfeit and miss the mark like an archer would miss hitting the bulls eye. It also means making a false step or stumbling (Proverbs 19:2). This specifically refers to someone taking the consequence for sin. When anyone misses the mark they become liable to a penalty or a forfeiture of something. The penalty for sin is death or eternal separation from God but Christ paid the penalty. If people sin without repenting, continue in sin, and die in it then they bear the penalty themselves.

5. Evil (v.4)
This was translated from the Hebrew word RA (Strong’s H7451), which refers to malignant, disagreeable, miserable, unhappy evil calamity and wickedness. It is also translated wickedness and sin (Genesis 6:5).

6. Sin (v.5)
This was translated from the Hebrew word CHET (Strong’s H2399), which refers to sin the fault and calamity the consequence for the fault.

7. Transgressors (v.13)
This was translated from the Hebrew word PASHA (Strong’s H6586), which refers specifically to rebellion and revolt resulting in falling away and breaking a covenant (Isaiah 1:28; Ezekiel 18:31).

8. Sinners (v.13)
This was translated from the Hebrew word CHATTA (Strong’s H2400), which refers to an offender who is exposed to condemnation. This specifically refers to one who bears the weight of blame or one who has not been regenerated. The word is used of the sinners in Sodom (Genesis 13:13).

9. Bloodguiltiness (v.14)
This was translated from the Hebrew word DAM (Strong’s H1818), which refers to bloodshed and slaughter, the guilt of it and the shedding of innocent blood.

David painted a vivid picture of sin. It is defection from and rebellion against God; it is perversity and depravity, fault and mischief as well as bending, twisting, perverting or distorting something; it is a condition and it is a false step or stumbling as well as missing the mark like an archer missing the bull’s eye. Moreover, it is a fault that brings consequences and the offender is exposed to condemnation. David’s actions displeased God and there were a slew of consequences following theses occurrences. You can read about them in 2 Samuel 12. In spite of the consequences of their actions and the death of their first child, God still blessed David and Bathsheba afterwards with their son Solomon.

One of the marks of our calling as born-again believers is that we must ABSTAIN from every way that is contrary to God and be OBEDIENT to God’s Word. We cannot use the excuse: “everybody sins” to justify disobedience to God’s Word. We cannot think that because we are weak and sin-prone that we must not do our best to walk in obedience. We cannot expose ourselves to the consequences of sinful actions. We must use the “one-day-at-a-time” method to be obedient. If we can’t do one-day-at-a-time then we can try to do “one-hour-at-a-time” until we can build up to one-day-at-a-time.

There is no room for compromise!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TO PUMPKIN OR NOT TO PUMPKIN? That is the question!

When I post this Halloween will have ended. Many believe Halloween to be "...a time of celebration...". The costumes, the candy, carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples and trick or treating sound fun but what does it all mean, really?

I read an article at History.com which gives a concise history of Halloween. It reads:

"Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter."

So Halloween began around the same time that Christ came to earth but was (and still is) concerned more with celebrating the dead and giving comfort to people by temporarily chasing away troublesome ghosts and other spirits (demons) that return every year. How did some of these Halloween practices originate?

Lets first look at what the article says about "bobbing for apples".

"By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween."

What does it say about "trick or treat"?

"The American Halloween tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money."

What about dressing up in "costumes"?

"The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter."

So how did "celebrating" Halloween get into the Church? Look at what the article says:

"On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III (731–741) later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1. By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted the older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It is widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween."

Sounds familiar? No pun intended. So, Halloween originated with the Celts but was incorporated into the Roman Church traditions and rituals. Interesting!

What is striking is that we are Protestants so WHY are our Churches practicing Halloween? Didn't Protestants challenge and separate from the traditional pagan-inspired practices of the Roman Church? Didn't they fight and die so that we would not be enslaved by man's interpretation of God's Word? Didn't they pave the way so we could find out for ourselves what God's Word says? Are we Protestants or not? Are we still enslaved by paganism or are we TRUE BELIEVERS who are BORN AGAIN?


Reference: HALLOWEEN.