Category Archives: other stuff and gripes

An Observation on the Mindset of Israelites and Christians

“Relieve the distress of my heart,
free me from my sufferings.
See my misery and pain,
forgive all my sins.”

Psalm 25:17-18

From what i have learned over the years, there is a slight difference of what “sin” is in the mindset of the Jews of the ancients and how Christians view it. AS I approach it, take no offence in what I write. I am not declaring myself as an expert. I just have made an observation that we don’t look at scriptures the same way and it is mainly because of how we perceive “sin.” Christians take sin much more seriously than did the Jews even in Christ’s time. To the Believers of Paul’s doctrines and the early chruch, sin was grievous. Sin was what put us out of the Garden of Eden. Sin is the Offences against God and only He can forgive or we go to hell for eternity.

But for the Jews, it is not a big deal. In their minds, or so I’ve been taught, sin is just making a mistake or more literally, missing the mark. There is no fear of the loss of Heaven as most Jews did not even believe in man going to heaven. There is life then there is Shoal or Hades…a place of death. Sin is not damnation to Hell. Perhaps that is also why the philosophy of the Jews was more temporal than spiritual. To them it was more important to please God for fear of being struck down rather than obeying God for His Love.

An as a philosophy of life, the Hebrew People looked at sin as missed opportunities rather than offences against God. That brings me to another point, a good point that other religions do not incorporate in their faiths. The Jewish faith is a fatalist faith, based on result of making the best of life, of not missing opportunities or missing the mark. The Christian faith is based on seeing God’s opportunities made for us to take, or living life in God’s will. No other religions have either of these understandings, both which rely on opportunities of God for man. Each other religion either traps the believer into a vicious cycle of life, death,new life and new death which offered no out or advancement in this life; or they are pure carnal-ism with promises of more of the same in the next life. Judaism and Christianity are the only walks that promise hope in this world and the next, in this lifetime and in the eternal life.

I want to look at the “missed opportunities” of Judaism. There is repentance but it seems that reconciliation is missing. Even though the Prophets all said to “Repent!” and there is the cry to restore my soul, The Jews still look for a kingdom on earth while the Christians seek after the Kingdom of Heaven. So it is in my mind the the Jews of Christ’s day not only “missed the mark” they missed the boat. [A little humour there…don’t take me to seriously] But then the Christians also may have taken sin more serious that it was intended. Yes sin is offensive to God,Yes sin can earn us damnation, but not because of the offence of sin itself but because we have taken our eyes off of God and put them on the things of earth.

We too have missed the mark, we have taken our eyes off the target which is the love of god and the Justice of His Law. Our sin offends God more because they mean we no longer seek after His Heart, we desire temporal, carnal and selfish things rather than the goodness of His Promise. That is the sin, That is what Adam did in the Garden, that is what Lucifer did in the heavens, that is what the Jews did time and time again which led them into captivity. So it is not so much that the mindset of the Jews and Christians are different as to the goal of each is not the same. Both seek to love God,Both rely on God and both put their hope in God. But also both miss the mark in Loving God in the fullest. The other religions of the world don’t have a target to miss, they are shooting into the wind without God to guide their shots. Ina closing shot, I say to each of you. Focus not on the sins of the past, they have missed and gone astray, but instead focus on the making the mark with goodness, mercy and compassion. Seek after the Heart of God though the offering of Christ and rejoice in hitting the target God has set before you.

It’s a Crime to “Preach” the Gospel about Sin

In Great Britain it has been declared a crime to openly preach about homosexuality. Arrests have been made of those passing out bible tracts or speaking out about homosexuality as a sin. Because the homosexual community has gathered much strength in America, soon it will be the same here as well.

I wonder how long it will take before preaching about any form of sin will be outlawed. Already we have dismissed divorce as a sin, lying is practiced openly and adultery is acceptable as well as fornication. Soon all sin will be legal and to openly preach about them will become the crime.

The courts in this land are ruling that Christian groups in universities must allow homosexuals and non-Christians be allowed to join and even become leaders. A judge tried to rule that the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional. Atheism, Islam and even Marxism are allowed in our school curriculum but the Word of God that is the foundation of out laws is not.

How long will we stand quiet and let our nation slip into paganism? Soon nations like China will have more religious freedom and protection of Christian rights than England, U.S.A. and other “Free” Nations.

We need to put our voices and our hands to work and speak, write and march for protection of Christians to use their rights of free speech, assembly and press to openly share the Gospel in the public square and in the media. We need to gather freinds in the Media to fight for our rights and to protect our freedoms. Here in America and in Europe, Christians are being marginalized and pushed aside because of our Faith. People like Stephen Hawking are given air time to mock our beliefs and space to condemn us in the schools and on Television. Shows that promote false teachings, heresies and rumors are aired all the time but the Truth is hidden from view. Christian organizations should demand equal time and the right to refute these distortions of history and lies with the facts of the Gospel.

If the Church put as much effort in defending the Faith and defining true science and reliable as apposed to theory and speculation, we would gather merit in the public eye and find more people willing to stand with us. Let us become vocal, vibrant and even outrageous in the defense of Christ and the Gospel. Let us also remind the public that Christianity opened the doors of modern science, medicine and education. It was the Christian Church that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages. The first Universities were Christian. The Rule of Law came from the Church and the moral codes that provide protection for woman, children and minorities are all based on Christian understandings. Without the Church, we would still be living under either anarchy or a oppressive governments like Nazism, Fascism or Marxism. Without the Biblical Belief System, Tyranny would be the rule, the law of the strong and powerful rather than the grace of godly understanding.

In spite of what secular non-religious promoters what to tell our children, with out God’s Law to guide us, we would be dysfunctional. Our rights to share the Word of God and to promote godly living is the foundation of civilization and for the common good. Let us fight the Good Fight for Christ!

Even the “Best” of Them, Error

At our weekly Bible Fellowship a while back, the Lord told me to read a passage from Isaiah for our leader who is moving away the next month. The purpose was to give encouragement and honor to the family as they left all their freinds behind and start a new life a thousand miles away.

I read the passage from the bible I had with me and it is one that is thought highly of by many scholars, yet as I read it everybody went, “Huh?” It did not agree with any of their versions of the text. So when I got home, I prayed and I researched the verse form several translations. And I found that only the ESV, my new bible, read the verse in the context that I read. All other versions clearly stated something totally different and now I must find a Hebrew reader to convey to me what is right and what is wrong. Are there any out there who can help me?

Let me give you the text as the ESV has put it; “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray,” This sounds like the prophet is saying that fools will walk the road of Holiness and not stray from it but even in the footnote at the bottom of the page, it says, “or, if they are fools,they shall not wander on it.” The word “astray” is a very poor choice and gives a false impression as well as being out of place in this context. At least that is how I, a simple man reads it.

Because of the wording chosen by the translators, readers are left in confusion. This is why it is so important that we research and confirm scriptures at every turn. If I had not been questioning the way the verse was translated, I would have felt that the poor choice of words were the best ones instead of the other way around. The best translation I found was from the NLT; “And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there.” and to the point, if we continue to walk in the ways of the foolish, living sinful lives, we cannot walk in the Highway of Holiness. If we don’t walk in the ways of the LORD, we are not traveling on the path of righteousness not traveling with Christ. We can not travel on two paths at the same time. We must choose, God’s way or the way of the lost.

I would like to say more on the subject of , but I have not prepared myself with much prayer and study. To the family who are moving it was a message of hope and of endurance. They are going to a new area and will continue with a new Bible Fellowship in their new home. This passage was to let them know that God has gone before them and has prepared a place for them. Because they walk in righteousness and because they are devout in their understanding of the message of God for their lives, He will stand with them. I only hope that we can continue with the Bible Fellowship here. Colleen and I are struggling with the concept that we are to lead it. At the present time, we are not confident in that charge. I would take on the endeavor, but it may not be in God’s will. We await for a new leader, one who is strong in the Spirit and who others will hear the word with clear and focused ears and eyes.

Meanwhile, I advise each of you to test the scriptures and the ones who present the Word so that you not be deceived, even by accident, as to the true meanings of God’s Testimonies. If those who have studied the Word, the languages and the histories of the Jews can make errors, who am I to think that I have a lock on the Word? It is only by the Grace of God, and the Love of His Word, that I have any voice at all. I like to think that I understand His ways but it is made clear to me that much of what I write is only an opinion and I need never be locked into a belief or understanding that someone else may find to be in error. I just express my own understanding and hope to Glory it is right with God. Let those who are truly wise in the ways of the Lord judge me and let Christ Jesus have mercy on my thinking. I want only to serve His Grace of Forgiveness and the Mercy of His Salvation. As the Word tells us, do not lean on our own understanding but the Truth of the Spirit.

p.s. Further research has shown that there are two versions of this text from older manuscripts. One does state that even the simple-minded can travel the road and not wander from it and the other reads that the foolish (e.i. wicked) cant travel on the Highway. It seems that even the ancients could not agree on the text but mainly it has to do with a lack of articles, multi word usage and phrasing that conflict with one use or another. In a new book I received for Christmas, I discovered that the Hebrew word for compassion root meaning is the same for bowel and for womb. It is now wonder that we have so many translations of the Word of God that seem to conflict with each other.


Listen

And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. [1] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 35:8 Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it


Listen

And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz; for before the boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

The Lord spoke to me again: “Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”

Be broken, [1] you peoples, and be shattered; [2]
give ear, all you far countries;
strap on your armor and be shattered;
strap on your armor and be shattered.
10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
speak a word, but it will not stand,
for God is with us. [3] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 8:9 Or Be evil
[2] 8:9 Or dismayed
[3] 8:10 The Hebrew for God is with us is Immanuel

Post # 200 And Wishing All a Merry and Blessed Christmas.

They will call upon My Name, and I will answer them. I will say, “They are My People”; and they will say, The Lord is My God.”

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people and raised up a horn of Salvation for us in the House of His servant David.”

“Look! The Virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning God is with us).”

It is my earnest wish that all who read my site at this time of year are blessed with the Grace of the Everlasting and Merciful God. To those who live under the threat of persecution, may you find rest. To those who struggle with lose of jobs and/or homes, may you find shelter in these hard times. And to all who love the Lord Our Savior, may His precious love consume you.

Take time this year to offer yourselves up as a gift to Chirst as He has offered Himself for your redemption. Before you open your gifts, eat your morning meal or anything else, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift God has given you. While we are uncertain as to the year or the season of the birth of Jesus, this time of year is set aside to celebrate an event in history that began the fulfilment of all the prophecies told to the people of Israel regarding the redemption of the world.

Forget about the “jolly old elf” and the secularism of man and rejoice in the event of the birth of Jesus. It was the tradition of my family to go to mass both at midnight on Dec. 24 and to first mass in the morning and many of the protestant families had Christmas morning services as well. Now in the American Nation, I know of no protestant churches that have their doors open on Christmas morning and it saddens me greatly. Christians in America have cast aside the true belief of Christmas and have replaced it with holidays that have nothing to do with the birth of the Salvation of the souls of Man. It is time for Christian Americans to take a stand and restore Christ to Christmas. Let us celebrate a feast of rejoicing through prayer and thanksgiving.

Grant us the Grace to Love
Show us the Peace of understanding.
May our lives be filled to the brim
With the Your Mercy Everlasting.

Go with God’s Grace, and have a Blessed time with Christ this year. Paul Shiras

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Listen

And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (ESV)


Listen

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David, (ESV)


Listen

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). (ESV)

I Have a Fan! And I Want More.

One of the neat things about my Web Administrator is the Stat Counter that came with it. With it I can track who reads my writings, who is just a browser and who is a person of interest. The only fall back is; I don’t know exactly who they are, only from were the browser is. It took me a long time to find that my good friend in Hanover, Germany was the reader whose browser was in Bremmen. A friend in Seattle uses her computer at work to read stuff during her “down time” and her work place uses a browser from California.

But my biggest fan is in the UK. Now this person interests me because I have no known friend in England. The one problem with having a Web Site that is read all over the world, is that very few people actually make comments and some of those who do, I’d rather they didn’t (not to many though). But it would be nice if those who read my ramblings and ideas would write to my comments and tell me what they think, if they agree or not, or if they have something to add. I would really like to know who my English fan is because of his (or her) exhaustive interest in what I write. I appeal to that person; make a comment and let me know who you are and I will write to you directly.

As for the rest of you, some day I may set up a Face-book account and I want as many of you as wish to be a part of it. The people I want to hear from most are those who work in ministry “overseas” or who have family who are in the mission field. I would also like to hear from those who partake in Home Churches, Cell Gatherings and Underground Churches.

God bless you all and may His Mercies abound in all you do.

Thanks to all who have read my writings over the last two years and may you continue to do so.
Paul in the Desert.

On the Net for Christ

It has been two years now that Wholy4Christ has been on the Net and I must state that because of the zeal I have for Christ, it has been a blessing for me to be able to articulate the understanding I have for Christ’s Word. I know that what I have come to believe, and by which I live, has been a burden in my fellowship with some others who walk in Faith. I know that even my own son disagrees with much of what I write about.

The Wholeness of Christ is the basis of my understanding and while you and I may not seem to be in one accord, the truth of the matter is that whenever two or three can gather in Christ, we can work together for God. I have been accused of being a Calvinist, a Wesleyan-Arminius and a Catholic. To these accusations I can say that in some respects I am all three, plus others as well. If my writing seems to stray toward works it is because I respond to Christ’s teaching that works are a part of being a disciple. If I spend a long time writing about persecutions it is because we live in an age of persecutions that are greater than any other time in the history of the Faith. And if I seem to complain that we ignore the teachings of the Old Testament and the Commandment of God to His people, it is because we are spoiled and pampered into believing that we have no responsibility to Love God wholly.

Because of my desire to live wholly, Faithful to the Whole Word of God, I have been challenged to live with love of the law of God and to live with love for all mankind. I am challenged to work for the fulfillment of Christ’s Law to obey the Second Great Commandment equally as I obey the First Great Commandment because if I fail to do both, I fail God. But the greatest joy in what I believe is that even if you don’t agree with me, my walk with God is strong, unwavering and founded in Scripture. The weaknesses of man and the folly of believing in watered-down theologies do not concern me; they live by their choices. If I can help even one other struggling Christian grow in Faith, I have served God well.

And in my struggle to walk in Christ, it is not a burden but a joy. Even though I find conflict with denominational teachings, I am comfortable worshiping with them and hearing what they have to offer. I fellowship with a home group and with a denomination because wherever the Word is taught, I learn. God revealed to me just the other day that as Jesus said the Son of Man has no place to lay His head, I will never be able to “join” membership in another church. I will fellowship, tithe and break bread with many walks and celebrate the union of Believers wherever I am. I will never be asked to speak in someone’s church nor will I be able to participate in activities as a leader of a church. This is my mission, to spread the teaching of the Wholeness of the Word of God to His people and to invite the world to share in the fellowship of each other for His Sake and not for the confines of man’s thinking.

So as I continue with my studies, and as God reveals more and more to me on how I should walk with Him, I will continue to write and to share with the world. All I ask of you is to continue to pray so that we can grow together for His Greater Glory and may our lives be a praise offering to The God Most High; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

With this I end with one of my favorite verses: “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His Ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”


Listen

128:1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. (ESV)

Chevron’s Deal with the “Devil”

Asia News International reports that two energy giants, Trout Industries (France) and Chevron Corp (USA). have been helping Myanmar (Burma) train its forces to kill, imprison and abuse its citizens to the tune of US$ 5 billion!

This report has been confirmed by many other news sources including Yahoo News, The Himalayan Times, Sydney Morning News, the Seattle P.I. and the Daily News(Bangladesh). I have reported in the past the need for prayer for the people of Burma, especially the children, but to find out that an American Icon, Chevron is financing the slaughter of these children for the expectation of Natural gas purchases is “Making a deal with the Devil.”

To all Americans, I say it is vital that we express our outrage at these actions by condemning Chevron with our pocketbooks, not only boycotting them and their products but writing to the company, emailing them and publicly proclaiming out disdain. That a company that proudly proclaims that it is a true American Symbol and quietly pay off a violent government and hide the money in banks in Singapore, is equal to murder for hire. The money are used to “train” Myanmar to protect the gas fields, but in reality, they are used to commit forced labor, murder, and bribery. As a Free People and a People of God, our voices should be heard and we are to be the voice of the tormented and oppressed. Say no to chevron and to any enterprise that profit from the death of chirldren and tha manipulation of human rights.

Give of Your Body, Life for Others!

“Honor the LORD with your wealth and the firstfruits of all your produce, then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” I looked through out the Bible for a verse that would be appropiate with the topic I want to broach upon now. Every few weeks I donate blood to the Blood Bank and the last two times my iron was very low. My wife, who also gives blood, iron level was too low to donate. This stressed us greatly and we made plans too change our diets to include more iron rich foods and to improve our bodies.

But this reminded me that we had indicated that we would like our organs, eyes, skin and whatever to be used in case of death. A while ago, I asked a friend of mine if I could donate one of my kidneys to her because she suffers total kindey failure. I was shocked to find out that because of my age (I just turned 65) I WAS TOO OLD! I was really disapointed about this because I felt that God directed me to offer my kidney for her. But the more I thought about it, the more I upset I got that healthy people could not donate just because of their age.

Then again, I thought perhaps God want’s me to reach out to those who are younger than me and let them know that I gift of yourself for a friend or a stranger is exactly what Jesus would have done. As far as my organs, skin and eyes are concerned, I am past my prime, I have out lived my usefulness. But to the many young, healthy and vigorous people, this is your time! To find out how you can help the many people who need kidneys, platlets, bone marrow, plasma or skin tissue, contact: www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org
or research the web for the nearest organization that you can assist.

My Running Battle with DSL

For the last six months I have been arguing with my DSL provider, the Computer Work Shop and the billing department about the speed of my service. I have been paying for 3Mb speed and getting .75Mb service. In fact, in the end I bought new computers for my wife and myself and instead of getting the faster speed I requested again and again, the speed dropped to .52Mb. In my latest inquiry, I found that I HAVE NEVER received the service that I have paid for.

The problem has risen to the level that I am ready to complain to the Dreaded Media about the lack of service and satisfaction from my provider. ALMOST but not quite. Just this morning we found out that the problem may simply be that the provider does not talk to itself and the local office never was told that we were being billed for the higher service so they never started it. How dumb is that?

It is not the fact that I NEED the high speed as much as it is the point that I have been paying for something that I never received. It is not that I once asked for the slow speed and later upgraded, I always wanted the higher speed. It is like going to a restaurant and asking for a steak dinner and getting a hamburger patty. Now that we have found the source of our problems, maybe we can get satisfaction (and speed) and we can be compensated for the lousy service we have put up with for the last four years.