Who Am I In Christ?

I have been reading a great book entitled Victory Over The Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity In Christ, by author Dr. Neil T. Anderson.

In chapter two, Dr. Anderson provides a list of truths to who we are in Christ, Here are the first 12 items of the list:

I am the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13)
I am the light of the world (Matt. 5:14)
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am part of the true vine, a channel of Christ’s life (John 15:1,5)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit (John 15:16)
I am a slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:18)
I am enslaved to God (Rom. 6:22)
I am a son of God; God is spiritually my Father (Rom. 8:14,15; Gal. 3:26; 4:6)
I am joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him (Rom. 8:17)
I am a temple – a dwelling place – of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in me (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19)
I am united to the lord and am one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17)

There are 24 additional truths contained in the list, all of which are uplifting and reaffirming as to who we are in Christ Jesus. It has been a great help to me to read the list multiple times, for often I struggle with knowledge of my own inadequacy and my sinful nature. Sometimes I just don’t understand how God can think of me the way He does.

However, I am grateful and very hopeful that He loves me as much as He says He does. I guess the proof of it all is the life, death, and resurrection of His son Jesus on my behalf. Anyway, the book has been a great blessing to me and I encourage all believers to attain a copy and give it a read. You will be blessed. Amen and amen!

Jesus! Him Alone

As usual, I’ve been watching the news. What I am seeing is upsetting. There is much hatred, shouting and screaming, but not much communication, love, or understanding is evident. Particularly, I’ve seen many pro-Hamas and pro-Palestinian demonstrations going on. These is much hatred of the Jewish people. Why?

So I’ve have begun to research a bit in an attempt to answer some of my questions. For instance, what is Hamas? Who are the Palestinians? What is Islam?

I am not a religious scholar or in anyway an “expert” on the scriptures. Much of my understanding comes from faith in the name of Jesus. However, I have begun to try to deepen my understanding of Islam. Here’s what I have learned so far.

The complete meaning of “Islam” is: attaining a state of peace by submitting oneself to the will of Almighty God. Accordingly, all who have done so, including Christians, are by definition Muslims. Interesting! However, there are differences between what a Islamist believes and what a Christian believes. For instance, consider the following passage from the Qur’ann 2:136:

“Say (O Muslims): ‘We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbaat [the offspring of the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Isa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)’.”

All of these names are from people who actually lived and breathed in the scriptures of the Bible. However, only one of them is the actual son of our heavenly Father – is name is Jesus. Only Jesus received open verbal confirmation from Heaven. A voice came from on high during His baptism, saying,

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Matthew 17:1-8 describes an incident where Jesus received the same verbal commendation from on high.

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

Who did they see? Jesus alone! I’d say that is a very big distinction between Jesus and other prophets.

From my readings so far I have learned that a Muslim is not permitted to worship anyone or anything besides “Almighty God” or Allah, This is true for Christians also. God warns against worshiping the creation and not the Creator. In Romans 1:25-27 it says:

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Yes, only the Creator should be worshipped. However, we know from scripture that all created things were made through Him and for Him, and without Him, nothing was made (John 1:3). Jesus is the Creator, thus we are allowed and encouraged to worship Him. Only Jesus is the radiance of His glory (God the Father) and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).

Jesus himself said to His disciples in John 14:8-9, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”

Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, only one of many prophets, Muhammad being included in that list, he allegedly being the last and final prophet sent from God or Allah.

Some of my reading was taken from the web site of the Muslim Unity Center. On the site it states that Deuteronomy 18:18 speaks of Muhammad and not Jesus. This is patently false. The site claims that Muhammad was like Moses because they both had earthly mothers and fathers, they both were married with children, both died natural deaths, both were kings who could inflict capital punishment, both were accepted as prophets in their lifetimes, and both brought new laws to the people.

On the other hand, the father of Jesus was not of this earth. Jesus did not marry or have children. The death of Jesus was not natural, in that He was raised from the dead. Jesus was rejected by his people, Jesus was not a king on earth, and He brought no new laws. Therefore, the prophet “like Moses” cannot be Jesus, it’s Muhammad. This is erroneous, and downright ridiculous reasoning in my humble opinion.

The fact and truth of the matter is summed up in Deuteronomy 34:10-12 where it says,

Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, for all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land, and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Since Moses, no prophet has seen God face to face accept Jesus (John 6:46), and that includes Muhammad. Indeed, no man can see God and live, (Exodus 32:18-23). Therefore, the verse in Deuteronomy expressly refers only to Jesus, the son of God, who came forth from God and who alone has seen God.

Other Old Testament verses are sited as well. The site claims these verses are references predicting the appearance of Muhammad. They even go so far as to liken him to Holy Spirit. These are erroneous, untrue notions. They quote John 16:12-14, they claim,

“The Sprit of Truth, spoken about in this prophecy refers to none other than the Prophet Muhammad.”

In summation the site says:

“Some Christians say that the Comforter mentioned in these prophecies refers to the Holy Spirit. They fail to realize that the prophecy clearly says that only if Jesus (pbuh) departs will the Comforter come. The Bible states that the Holy Spirit was already present on earth before and during the time of Jesus, in the womb of Elizabeth, and again when Jesus (pbuh) was being baptized, etc. Hence this prophecy refers to none other than Prophet Muhammad.”

Am I understanding this correctly? Because the Father allowed the Holy Spirit to enter certain prophets in the past, it means that the comforter mentioned in John 16:7 cannot be the Holy Spirit from God? It has to be Muhammed? Jesus was confused? Seriously?!

This is another falsehood and misinterpretation of scripture.

Admittedly, my knowledge of Islam and the Qur’aan is very limited. I will need much more reading time and study time to attain a fuller understanding. However, in the meantime, of this unshakeable truth I am certain, as found in Acts 4:12,

there is salvation in no one else (but Jesus); for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.”

Furthermore, in Philippians 2:5-11 it says:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Did the prophet Muhammad have knees? Did he have a tongue? I think he did. That means he will bend and confess to the name of Jesus. It is all about Jesus, and no one else. Salvation is in Him and Him alone. No one gets to or comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6).

I’ll close by siting one more paragraph from the afore mentioned web site:

The essence of falsehood is the claim that Almighty God cannot deal with and forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasizing the burden of sin, as well as claiming that God cannot forgive you directly, other religions teach to despair the Mercy of God. Once they are convinced that they cannot approach God directly, people can be mislead into turning to false gods for help. These “false gods” can take various forms, such as saints, angels, or someone who is believed to be the “Son of God” or “God Incarnate”. In almost all cases, people who worship, pray to or seek help from a false god don’t consider it to be, or call it, a “god”. They claim belief in One Supreme God, but claim that they pray to and worship others beside Almighty God only to get closer to Him. In Islam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the created. There is no ambiguity in divinity – anything that is created is not deserving of worship and only the Creator is worthy of being worshiped. Some religions falsely believe that Almighty God has become part of His creation, and this has led people to believe that they can worship something created in order to reach their Creator.

Did the above paragraph say that Jesus was a false god? Wow! This directly contradicts holy scripture, thus is misguided and wrong. It actually sounds like something the Pharisees said in scripture. It shows no understanding of the One God who is, and consists of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The over-emphasizing of sin? Sin is serious and therein lies the danger, for it is part of who we are. Proverbs 20:9 says,

Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”?

It’s a rhetorical question to which the answer is – no one! There will be no sin tolerated in heaven or in the presence of God. There will be no practitioners of sin. No liers, haters, or thieves. There will be no mixing of the saved with the unsaved. So much for inclusivity.

Furthermore, scriptures teach that sin cannot be forgiven without the shedding of blood. That’s why the sacrifice of Jesus was required. It is impossible for the blood of sacrificial animals to cleanse sin (Hebrews 10:4-10). To deny in word or in deed the truth of who Jesus was is dangerous.

I John 4:1-3 says:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

As I stated previously, I have much still to learn. I will continue to grow in faith. Trusting in the name of the Son of the most high God. His blood has paid for my sin, and my stedfast faith in His name will allow my unworthy self to one day be where He is, and see Him as He is.

Now that’s Good News Only.

Genesis and the Big Bang

I want to commend this book to all who have struggled with the dueling facts of God having created all that there is in six days, with the scientific, provable facts and evidence which prove the universe is billions of years old, as recorded in our fossil records, and in the heavens above.

Through close examinations of original Hebrew language, physics, thermodynamics, gravity, space-time, Einstein’s theory of relativity, said examinations all laid out clearly in layman’s language, it explains how there is actually, literally no difference whatsoever between the six days of creation and the actual age of the universe. It wasn’t until Adam became a living soul did the passage of time as man sees it and God sees it became one. That was only 5790 years ago.

What?! Trust me. It will blow your mind.

For instance, how can there be a “morning and evening”, the first day? There was no sun or earth at the end of the first day, so what’s all this talk about morning and evening? How can all the matter that now exists in the universe at one time been compressed into the volume required for a mustard seed?

It’s all perfectly and logically explained. So awesome! This book will re-affirm your faith in God’s word, and answer many questions on which you have often pondered. Read slowly, and brush up your calculus and physics; you will be blessed.

How Much Worse?

If there are any similarities between you and I (aside from the obvious ones) then you are a person who enjoys being informed. You probably watch a bit of news, follow the shenanigans of our political leaders, and keep tabs on crime statistics. I must say it’s not looking promising, and lately I’ve started asking myself, “How much worse is it actually going to get out there?”

Indications are is that it will get much worse. Unfortunately, it seems there is no end to the depravity of which mankind is capable. As Christians, I believe a time is soon coming where we will have to suffer greatly to hold onto our beliefs. One phenomenon that really has me depressed is this entire human trafficking scenario. What our children are going through currently is a travesty, and God will surely repay us for our deeds. Here is some disturbing information I found online:

  • Human trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal trade in the world after arms dealing.
  • Human trafficking is the fastest-growing illicit trade in the world.
  • Human trafficking generates over $150 billion in profits every year.
  • 40.3 million people are living as slaves worldwide, 5 times the population of Switzerland.
  • Globally, the average cost of a “slave” – a trafficked human being – is $90.
  • The U.S. accounts for almost 52% of global human trafficking with the sex trafficking of minors accounting for the largest percentage.
  • Traffickers make over $9.5 billion annually in the U.S. alone.

Children are the prime victims, with most being less and 18 years old. The average age of a sex trafficked child is 13-14 years old. Sad!

Why is there such an appetite for this kind of activity? Didn’t we have an entire war fought in this country to end slavery? What is it in the heart of people that drives them to take sexual advantage of a child? What is going on, truly?

Sin? Evil? Godlessness? All of the above? Meanwhile, parents wanting to protect their children are labeled as domestic terrorists, by corrupt government agencies. As a nation we will be punished for how we are treating our children. If people realized how The Father in Heaven feels about the treatment of children, they would get out their mill stone necklaces.

On another front, we decry the number of people dying from drug over doses, but never is there a word mentioned about why Americans are doing drugs. Lawlessness is fostered and sponsored by city leaders, criminals go unpunished and the rights of victims are overlooked.

Honestly, I’ve given up thinking that mankind is going to do the right thing. Except for those specifically called by God, through the preaching and hearing of the Word, no one will repent. Only those whom the Lord Jesus has chosen to reveal the Father to will have a chance to escape the evil. So where are all of the righteous people? Those who pursue Godliness; where are they?

In Jeremiah 5:1 the Lord instructs His prophet: “Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, And look now and take note. And seek in her open squares, If you can find a man, If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, Then I will pardon her.”

In Psalms 14, verses 1 to 3 it says,

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.


How can we escape? Short answer: repent! Seek God, ask for forgiveness for your sins, and trust the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead as payment in full. Judgement is coming upon all evil-doers. God will hold every soul of man responsible for every deed done in the body, whether good or evil, and for every idle word spoken. You don’t want to be in that line of the unforgiven on the Lord’s Day. As believers we have to be willing to take stand for righteousness. Let us be the ones who stand up for Godliness.

How bad will it get? Well, the Lord himself said in Matthew,

“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”

Don’t put your trust in mankind, but put your trust in the loving kindness of God the Father and His Son Jesus, and in His resurrection from the dead. All else is futility. Stay strong, stay faithful, stay laser focused. Lawlessness is increasing, and because it is, the love of many shall grow cold, but he who endures to the end will be saved.

Don’t let your love grow cold. The Lord Jesus is away right now preparing a place for all those who love Him and await His return. Scriptures say that we will see Him as He is, and where He is, there we will be also. Brothers and Sisters, keep the eyes of your heart there, on things above. In due time our faithfulness will be rewarded

Now that is Good News Only.

A Word of Encouragement

Lately I have not been sleeping through the night. I wake up at 4:30 in the morning, sometimes even earlier. I stare at the ceiling for a while, and hope for sleep to overtake me again.

Instead, I decided to get up and give those early morning hours to the Lord in prayer. I read the Word, meditate on my own condition, and ponder on the state of world affairs, particularly in our own country.

I also started reading a book by Michael Medved entitled, “The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic.” I am only on page 67, but the accounts describing the early struggles of our nation are amazing. Truly, the Father had a hand in raising up this nation.

When I look at what is going on, and what our elected officials are trying to do, it causes me great worry and sorrow. Crime, inflation, drugs, corruption at the highest levels of government, the media spewing lies and misinformation; it’s easy to forget what the ultimate goal is.

I say this to myself as well as sharing it with you – the Lord God is in charge. What He desires will be accomplished on the earth. What does He desire? Easy, it’s truth, righteousness, salvation, joy, prosperity, peace! Amen!

Here are a few passages from recent readings in Isiah.

Chapter 45, verse 18:

For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Chapter 48, verses 12 and 13:

Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together.

Chapter 49, verses 8 through 11:

Thus says the LORD, In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;

Saying to those who are bound, “Go forth,” To those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” Along the roads they will feed, And their pasture will be on all bare heights.

They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them And will guide them to springs of water.

I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up.

This last passage speaks directly of the Lord, Jesus himself. It gave strength and encouragement to me.

Chapter 50, verses 4 through 10

The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.

The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient nor did I turn back.

I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

He who vindicates Me is near; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me.

Behold, the Lord GOD helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them.

Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

Finally, an exhortation to us directly from the Father is found in Chapter 51, verses 1 through 3.

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry  from which you were dug. 

Look to Abraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him.” 

Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.

Hallelujah and amen! We must emulate the Lord every day with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yes, our nation seems as if it is bent on going to hell in a hand basket, but that’s not what is in store for us. It is the Lord that raises up rulers and nations, and brings them down again. The nations are like grasshoppers in the site of the Lord. Like drifting smoke, blown dust they are.

So, a word of encouragement: don’t lose heart. Don’t let your love “grow cold”. Even if we have to suffer for the sake of righteousness, the rough places will be made smooth. Mountains will be brought down and valleys raised up. There will be a highway where only the redeemed of the Lord will walk. He has planned it from long ago, He will execute it and bring it to pass. All who long for peace and love in this world will be vindicated. The Lord Jesus will make it happen for His own sake. He has sworn by His own name; it will happen.

Truly, that is Good News Only.

The Love of Many

In the 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus talks to his disciples about the end times. He gives them many examples of what will happen and what signs to watch out for as the end draws near.

One statement He made during His dissertation has always intrigued me and left me a bit uneasy. It’s verse 12.

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”

If you are like me, you tend to spend a bit of time staying abreast of what is going on in our society. It’s not looking good out there. In many of our great American cities, Chicago, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, lawlessness is now in fashion.

In the streets there is open and public murder, looting, masturbation, defecation, prostitution, drug use, assault, robbery… you get the idea.

Elected leaders openly promote these behaviors by releasing dangerous convicted criminals from jail, reducing their due sentences, restraining and preventing police men and women from doing their jobs, and failing to prosecute or bring the perpetrators to justice. The net result is that lawlessness has indeed increased. Life is very dangerous for many innocent people.

Many law enforcement personnel have become disheartened; many have retired or otherwise given up. I sometimes feel my own soul leaning toward hopelessness. Will my lifestyle eventually consist of being afraid to go out to shop, or play, or vacation? Is this what the Lord means when He said the love of many shall grow cold? Possibly, but I recently became aware of another possibility.

A few nights ago I was watching a documentary about Los Angeles and its district attorney, I became very agitated. The actions and lack of action of that office has directly contributed to the horrible plight under which many Angelenos now find themselves living. I have loved ones living down there!

Suddenly I was filled with great anger, near rage and said something out loud that should never have left my mouth as a disciple of Jesus. Fortunately, only my wife was in the room to hear it. I later repented, and asked the Lord for forgiveness. 

Then it hit me, maybe that’s what He meant when He said the love of many shall grow cold. It’s not that people will become depressed and listless, uncaring and unmotivated. That certainly could happen in some cases; but on the other hand maybe people will become enraged. What would be the net difference? Nothing at all!

As a matter of fact, the latter would actually be a greater demonstration that one has let the current lawlessness cause his or her love of Christ to become cold. 

James 1:20 says 

for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Indeed! There is only one Lawgiver and Judge.

Matthew 7:1-3 says:

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?


The message is clear to me, as we watch and see what is going on around us, we must not let our love grow cold, neither through abject despair and sorrow, nor through outright rage and anger as I was doing. In either case the love of God is not put first. Anger may actually be fear in disguise.

In the 21st chapter of Revelations is says

But for the cowardly (fearful) and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Strange how the Word lumps of fearful right in there with the rest of the evil-doers. However, when you think about it fear is not faith, and we know that only faith can save us, not fear.

1 John4:18 says

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not been made perfect in love.

So I must remember the One who is in control. To escape judgement, I must not judge, but commit myself to a faithful God, whose will and desire will be done on earth as they are in heaven.

Let’s reassure our hearts. In Psalms 37:1-5

Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Which in my case is just peace on earth and good will toward men. 

Therefore, here is a message to myself, and maybe to you: pray for EVERYONE, don’t fret, don’t be angry, but be peaceful, trust in the Father in Heaven and His son, the Lord Jesus. All things will be made right eventually! Amen!

Now that is Good News Only.