THE MEANING OF EASTER – THE PRODIGAL SON – ARE YOU COMING HOME?

April 4, 2012

“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Luke 15:1-10 KJV

Joy in the presence of God is celebrating when one sheep is lost and then found. All the Angels in Heaven are celebrating when one comes to repentance. That’s what the gospel is about. But these two parables were just an appetizer to the next one Jesus was about to tell. The Story of the Prodigal Son. The Greatest Short Story of all times. Jesus gave us this powerful story in the Book of Luke. Think of a time when someone extended “grace” to you: they could have blamed you or shamed you but they didn’t. They gave you love and understanding when you deserved something else. How did it feel? This is the story of a father’s grace which witnesses to God’s grace in Jesus. The definition of Prodigal is: Spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant. The story starts here in the Bible, and Jesus says, “And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” Luke 15:11-13 KJV Jesus sets up this scene with these two sons with a wealthy father. The younger son has this independent streak in him and he tells his father I don’t care if you live or die, just give me my inheritance now! He just thought life on the farm with his father, as lovely as it was, it was just holding him back from the good life. He wanted something more, he wanted something else. He was restless, he was running, he had to get a hold of what was forbidden. In doing this, he dishonored his father. He is so disrespectful, he disowned his family. It is an outrageous dis meaning request. Father give me what’s coming to me, I want it NOW! Sometimes love is tough, you have to let your child go when they are bound and determined to go his or her way. Well he is on his way to a far country. We don’t know where. Most likely it was a Gentile country. His heart was already there. He heard about the lights, heard about the parties, heard about the pleasures. He wanted it bad! When he gets there he is spending money left and right. He has friends all around him. Unfortunately the party doesn’t go on and on and on and on…..His friends bail out on him of course. They leave when the money runs out. This boy found out that his friends weren’t friends after all. They were just using him. When he hit rock bottom he was reaping what he sowed. His life is gone as he had known it. Have you ever been there? Have you ever had a D.U.I. and been arrested? Lost your job? Or maybe your marriage is on shaky grounds and your wife has come to you and asked for a divorce. Maybe you just feel you have hit rock bottom. Maybe your heart is far away from Jesus like both of the father’s sons. The son that stayed home with his father, his heart was just as far away as the Prodigal son‘s heart. It was just as the self-righteous people listening to Jesus as it was to this long-lost boy in this long-lost country. You could be someone raised in a christian home and grow up with a heart far from Jesus. Well by now the boy is now broke and hungry so he has to get a job. Jesus tells part of the parable here, “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.” Luke 15:14-16 KJV This was about the lowest of the low to get a job feeding pigs. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he was eating not even good left over rubbish from the pigs. You see sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, cost you far more than you want to pay. Sin never delivers on its promises, sin promises freedom, but delivers bondage. Sin promises success, but delivers defeat. Sin promises that there is pleasure, and there is pleasure for a season, for a little while, but ultimately it delivers pain. “The wages of sin is death.” This boy thought happiness was not on the farm with his father, but in the big city with lights “doing his own thing his way.” We are all prodigal’s. We are all born with are backs towards God. We are all born with this rebellious streak, this attitude to live independent without the father. We have the idea we can live life our own way. If it weren’t for the Grace of God, we would all live in the far country, broken, wasted, and ruined. Maybe you are living the Prodigal Son’s life. Are you wasting your life away? This boy is representing all of us that is far from God. Finally the boy comes to his senses and says, I must be crazy to live a life-like this. He takes responsibility for his own sin. He takes responsibility of his life. He says, I own this, I did this. He came to himself. This is the turning point of the parable. Jesus tells it here, “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” Luke 15:17 KJV It’s the turning point in our lives. When we come to the place in our lives where we recognize we need to repent. Repent means to change your mind. That is what the boy is doing here. He is coming to his senses. He wakes up, he remembers that he is loved at home. He remembers the joy and the provisions in the father’s house and he is home sick. Do you want to know why you are feeling alone, longing for a home that is secure, a place where it is safe. Maybe it is because you are far from home. This boy now knows that everything he’s looking for is at home with his father. And everything you are looking for is a relationship with God. It’s knowing the Father, experiencing His love, His Grace, His forgiveness in your life, that’s what it’s about. So the boy said, I will go home! He could have said one of these days I will go home. Just like you would say, one of these days I will come to Christ. I’ll get my life right with God. He could have said I’m to far gone. My life is so upside down it’s never going to be right side up. I’ll never get my life back and my father will never take me back, but then he remembers, yes my father will receive me again. It doesn’t matter how far gone you feel, God’s love and Grace is waiting for you. All you have to do is like this boy did and say, I have sinned, I have sinned against Heaven and Earth and my Father. Confess your sin and repent of it. Jesus tells some more of the parable here, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:18-24 KJV His father came rushing to him kissing again and again and again……..It didn’t matter that he was dirty and smelly from working in the pig pen, and his clothes were like old rags. He had waited so long for this moment, for his son to finally to come home. When he embraces his son with his arms it is as if he is covering his sin. He is holding on to the one that is lost. His heart went out to him. What a “Picture of God” on a run to rescue us. If you will just take that first step home, He will run to you. He is standing at the door of your life and knocking, and if you hear His voice, open the door and He will come in. It’s not to late to say yes to Jesus. Just open your heart to him and confess your sins and commit your life to Him. Jesus’ death on the cross was in our place to pay for our sins through His mighty resurrection which has bought our Justification and purchased our Redemption through His blood, for the forgiveness of our sins. He will take off the rags of stench of sins, by the blood of His cross and the power of His resurrection He will restore and renew you as His son. And you will say this is where I belong, with my Father, with a relationship with God.

COMING SOON: http://www.thecupofsalvation.com

My Name is Jeff Ellinger

and

I AM SECOND

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THE CHRISTMAS STORY – A MESSY PLAN ABOUT THE MAN WHO MISSED CHRISTMAS

December 20, 2011

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7, Micah 5:2 KJV

The Christmas Story about the man who missed Christmas starts here in the Bible. It doesn’t tell us the name of this man, but we can read his story in the Gospel According to Luke 2:7.  That verse tells us enough, and more than enough, about the innkeeper, the man who missed Christmas: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 KJV   Why was there no room for Mary and Joseph and their expected Baby, except in a stable? Bethlehem was a small town, and in those days most small towns perhaps had only one inn. The inn in Bethlehem was already filled. No other accommodation was available. He was too busy to notice a woman about to give birth to a Baby, to a Child who would grow up to become the most famous Man in all of history, and more than a Man, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace.

While they were there it was time for the baby to be born, she gave birth to the first-born, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn. God had this messy plan, a plan to save the world, and to do that He was going to send His Son. Where does the God of the universe send His Son? Where does the king of kings and the Lord of lords come? To a barn, a stable, a manger. Of all places, certainly not a place fit for a King. Then again this was no ordinary King. When I say it was messy, I mean messy! It was a barn, a stable, so you got animals, animal stuff, manure, mud, a pitiful place for people. Much less a place for the King of Kings to be born. Why would God do that? Isaiah explains that here, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 53:6, 55:8 KJV   You see, Jesus came to this messy Place, a barn, a manger, it’s just a mess! So why did he come into this messy world? The Shepard was coming to take care of his sheep to prepare away for them to go home. That’s what a Shepard does. The Bible says, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11 KJV  He lives where the sheep are, He sleeps where they sleep, He eats where they eat. That got Jesus in trouble. Why did Jesus eat with sinners? Because that is what the Shepard does. And then an Angel appeared to the shepherds in the field and said, this will be a sign to you. You will find a babe wrapped in clothes laying in a manger. The Bible says, “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 KJV  Do you ever wonder why this was a sign? Being a servant is messy. Jesus set this incredible example for us. He got down on His knees and washed feet. God of the universe, deserved the best of everything, got down on His knees, He laid in a feeding trough. Why of all such places? Why such a messy place? He was following a messy plan. He came to this world not as royalty, but as a baby born in a stable full of muck and animals, to humble Himself to become one of us. Paul says it best here, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:7-8 KJV  

Christmas represents a hope, a unique joy, felt only at Christmastime, because Christ the Savior is born. Are you lost today? What better time for you to be found than at this Christmas season? Don’t be like the man who missed Christmas. Do you have room for Jesus Christ? Or are you so busy and so occupied with the trimmings of Christmas that you miss its triumph, as the innkeeper did long ago? Have you crowded Jesus out so that there is no room for Him in the inn of your heart? Let the Christ of Christmas come in to your heart today.

That first Christmas was dirty, grimy, filthy, but thank God it was because without it,  what a mess we would be in!

God Bless, Jeff Ellinger

 


This Thanksgiving, We as Christians Should Focus on the Reasons Why We Celebrate the Truth about Being Thankful

November 18, 2011

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Colossians 1:3,12,14 KJV

The Thanksgiving Holiday:

Christians look forward to the time of the year when we celebrate this important holiday, Thanksgiving. This holiday has its beginnings and roots in Christian celebrations. The word holiday actually means “holy day”; hence this event should be remembered and celebrated in a holy way. We have strayed from that purpose over the years as we have embraced many unholy practices and worldly customs and added them to our “holy days.” Thanksgiving is one of our main national holidays here in the U.S.A. A good question to ask is “Are we as Christians celebrating it the way the Lord would have us celebrate, or have we compromised with the world?” Have we lost the emphasis on thanksgiving and prayer and shifted it to a gluttonous feast of food, drink and games like those in the world have done? God wants us to enjoy family, friends and feasting, but leaving God out of the day breaks His heart. More and more the media is referring to this holiday as “turkey day” instead of Thanksgiving Day. They also eliminate the object of who we are to offer our thanks. We are just to be “thankful” we are told. Who should our thanks be directed to? The object of our thanks for our many blessings, should be directed to the Lord God. It should not just be a general “thanks.”

The Origin of Thanksgiving Day:

The original thanksgiving celebration was held by the Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts during their second winter in America in December, 1621. The first winter had killed 44 of the original 102 colonists. At one point their daily food ration was down to five kernels of corn apiece, but then an unexpected trading vessel arrived, swapping them beaver pelts for corn, providing for their severe need. The next summer’s crop brought hope, and Governor William Bradford decreed that December 13, 1621, be set aside as a day of feasting and prayer to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive. These Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom and opportunity in America, gave thanks to God for His provision for them in helping them find 20 acres of cleared land, for the fact that there were no hostile Indians in that area, for their newfound religious freedom, and for God’s provision of an interpreter to the Indians in Squanto. Along with the feasting and games involving the colonists and more than 80 friendly Indians (who added to the feast by bringing wild turkeys and venison), prayers, sermons, and songs of praise were important in the celebration. Three days were spent in feasting and prayer. From that time forward, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to give thanks to God for His gracious and sufficient provision. President Abraham Lincoln officially set aside the last Thursday of November, in 1863, “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” In 1941, Congress ruled that after 1941, the fourth Thursday of November be observed as Thanksgiving Day and be a legal holiday.

What Does The Bible Say:

President George Washington made the following proclamation in 1789:

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection, aid, and favors …

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day

of November next, to be devoted by the people of the United States to the

service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of

all the good that was, and is, or that will be; and that we may all then

unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind

care and protection of the people of this country, and for all the great and

various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.”

This country has forgotten God. It is virtually illegal in this country to mention God unless one is using His name as a curse word. Yet the founding fathers of this nation recognized that it was because of God’s mercy and blessings that they existed. It is because of God’s great love for men today hat they have such abundance of clothes, shelter, and food. The Bible says, “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:” Psalms 50:14 KJV  All men and women need to be thankful this week for the families they have and for the privilege of living in a free country. People need to learn how to thank God even during times of hardships. Some turn to drugs – legal and illegal. Some commit suicide. Others gripe and complain and make everyone around them as miserable as they are. Yet people need to learn joy and thankfulness in spite of circumstances. If men could focus on the Lord and forget about themselves, they could learn to be joyful, not because of circumstances, but in spite of circumstances. The Bible says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11 KJV  Paul was in prison when he wrote this. He had learned to be content under any circumstance. He kept his attention focused on serving God first and others second and he placed himself third. By doing this, he was content. The Bible also says, “And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.” Leviticus 22:29 KJV  Here the OT scriptures speak of a “sacrifice of thanksgiving” which Israel would offer long ago. The Lord wanted this to be offered from a person’s “own free will.” He did not want anyone coerced or forced to do this. When a person is forced to say “thank-you,” then he might as well have said nothing. An expression of thanksgiving is accepted only when it is truly meant and not forced.

Reasons to Make Thanksgiving Thankful:

First, God has qualified us. Paul wrote, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Colossians 1:12). The word qualified means “to make meet” or “to make able.” The idea is that God has enabled us to have something. Put simply, God has given us the privilege of a relationship with Him by forgiving us of our sins and providing a means to turn from the darkness and toward the light. Think about that. Through no merit of our own, God presented us with the gift of life eternal with Him. The center of the Gospel is the cross of Christ. We simply come to the cross as humble sinners, in repentance and humility, and He accepts us. Through His blood He washes away our sins. As the hymnist reminds us, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” Christ has made us fit to be partakers. He has qualified us. Second, God has delivered us. Paul said, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13). Third, God has conveyed us. Paul stated, “He … conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). Every person must make a choice sometime in his or her life to leave the kingdom of darkness and walk into the Kingdom of light through the ticket that has been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. When we do that, we can be thankful that God will take us from hate, fear and oppression and bring us into a relationship of trust, love and hope. Fourth, God has redeemed us. Paul wrote: “In whom we have redemption through His blood” (Colossians 1:14).Redemption means “to release a slave by paying a price, or to buy back.” It was a term borrowed from the ancient slave markets where someone could come in and pay a price for a slave. Once he’d paid the price, he could set the slave free. Fifth, God has forgiven us. Paul stated, “Through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). The word forgiveness means “to send away.” God took your sins and shipped them off.These three short verses in Colossians show us how thankful we should be for our salvation. We can be thankful that God has qualified us, delivered us, conveyed us, redeemed us and forgiven us. And because we are thankful to God for so great a salvation, we can pour out our lives in service to God and become a conduit of His goodness to a desperately hungry world.

Being Thankful:

Let everyone, this Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for the wonderful blessings he enjoys. Let everyone freely, without coercion, give thanks to the God who holds each one’s breath in His hand and freely gives all things to enjoy. The Bible says, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” 1 Timothy 6:17 KJV  We, like the Pilgrims, have a choice. In life there will always be those things that we can complain about (the Pilgrims had lost many loved ones), but there will also be much to be thankful for. As our society becomes increasingly secular, the actual “giving of thanks to God” during our annual Thanksgiving holiday is being overlooked, leaving only the feasting. May God grant that He may find us grateful every day for all of His gifts, spiritual and material. God is good, and every good gift comes from Him. It says in the Bible, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV  For those who know Christ, God also works everything together for good, even events we would not necessarily consider good. May He find us to be His grateful children. Before you and your family enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, or begin watching a parade or football game, be sure to take time to truly thank God in prayer and thought for the national wealth, power and prestige He has given this nation. While there is still time, make certain that you and your family are not partaking in the nationwide, unthankful attitude. Be sure to give thanks to God in the same heartfelt, sincere manner that the pilgrims did on the first Thanksgiving in North America! The best kind of thanks giving is thanks living! – showing our thanks to God by the way we live. To grow rich in God’s sight, we say our thanks and we show our thanks. Not just in words of appreciation, but deeds. To properly thank God for His gifts we must use them according to His will – 365 days a year!

God Bless, Jeff Ellinger


I Fought For You – Veteran’s Day

November 11, 2011

About This Video:

A moving, patriotic tribute to our military, past and present. Thank you for your service! A wonderful reminder to honor our vets every day. God bless the troops! Video done by the amazing Sound Tank. More from the Sound Tank: http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/producers/153/The-Sound-Tank


THANKSGIVING GOD’S GOODNESS – THE SKIT GUYS

November 3, 2011

http://skitguys.com/videos/embed/1285/


WHERE WAS GOD ON 9/11- COME TO ME, HEAR ME, I LOVE YOU – A SEPTEMBER 11 TRIBUTE

September 8, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Revelation 3:20 KJV


9/11 – WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY – 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

September 6, 2011

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”

Psalms 91:1-16 KJV

What The Bible Says About The Events:

It was ten years ago on September 11, 2001 when the smoke smoldered for months from the wreckage of the collapse of the New York World Trade Center Towers as a result of the most unbelievable terrorist attack any nation has ever witnessed. Over 3,000 people were killed in one day. The United States of America was dealt a horrific blow as foreign terrorists hi-jacked four American commercial airliners, ramming two of them into the Twin Towers and another into the Pentagon. One crashed into the country side, with its mission overthrown by brave passengers, who we found out later rose up against their aggressors and prevented another planned act of destruction. Our nation and many others who have joined the coalition against terrorism are declaring these deeds must be stopped throughout the world.  Our nation has declared war on terrorism.  The whole world is still reeling from this evil plot. Our nation has been shaken to its foundation and hearts and lives have been shattered.  Children are left without their parents, husbands and wives have lost their mates, friends are gone and  terror has gripped our hearts, as we experienced a brutal act of barbarism in demonic proportions not known in this nation until now. As many as 10,000 widows and orphans are grieving for their loved ones. God’s heart is also grieved over the loss and pain of so many.  He never wanted this to happen. Those who sought the Lord for comfort in their hour of need found it, as He promises never to leave us or forsake us. People did not know what to do or who to trust. As Christians, we knew that we could only trust in God and therefore many backsliders starting seeking Him again. Hundreds were questioning about what does all this mean.  Also asking questions about what the Bible has to say about the end times.  We certainly do not feel we have all the answers to this enormous tragedy, as it is really beyond human comprehension; however, we feel we should contribute some spiritual insight to help bring some understanding about how such evil murderous acts could have happened in our nation. After seeking the Lord, we do want to share with our Internet family some of the things the Lord is speaking to us on this major crisis on the anniversary of this event. We believe that God will bring good from what the devil meant for evil. Many well-meaning Christians are voicing their opinions. With so many personal ideas being voiced, much confusion and error are being disseminated.  I would admonish those in the body of Christ who feel they should share a word or teaching with others that they make sure they are being a spokesman of the Lord, and not just sharing their opinions so they might be heard. He wants us each to know when to share, what to share, and where to share, when we are given a revelation or teaching from God. The Bible says, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” James 3:1 KJV

Wake Up Call:

The conclusion in the events of September 11th were a wake-up call from the devil. If you were sleeping in your home and a robber broke into it and vandalized and attacked you, you would have to say the robber woke you up. However, if you had an alarm system that went off, you would say that the alarm system woke you up. Satan is described in Scripture as a thief. The Bible says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 KJV  The way God wakes us up is by speaking to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.  He also uses his preachers and prophets to warn us. He sounds an alarm!  When we fail to repent and hear His Words of warning, we leave our houses unprotected and the enemy is able to break in and do His evil work. God is never the author of evil and destruction. He comes to bring us life and blessing. However, to receive it, we must choose life and obey His Word. We have been warned that if we force God out of our homes, schools, businesses, and government, it will allow the enemy to come in and wreak havoc in our lives. God wants us to turn to Him before we experience any destruction, not be driven to Him through the destruction that comes as a result of us disobeying Him. The Bible says, “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Ephesians 5:14-18 KJV  We are warned in this scripture to “wake up” and be filled with the spirit so that we can understand what the will of God is. Because the Lord is merciful God, He does bring good out of evil, but He never instigates the evil. Satan does that. Because there have been many prayers for our nation, God is bringing good from this evil, and we are praising Him for that. Thank God for the unity, prayer meetings, and the many “God Bless America” signs that we see.  This is certainly a change of heart in our nation.   However, if we had heeded His warnings and simply turned back to Him in true repentance, we would have never had to suffer such a blow to our nation.  God tried to prevent this kind of thing from happening by speaking to His people to pray, to witness, to obey, to give, to repent and to change. It was God’s grace that a worse thing did not come upon us.  Our national sins and the sins of the church caused our promised protection to fail us, according to His Word.

Who is The Blame:

Who is to blame for the evil that came upon our nation? Is it God? Is it the devil? Is it the evil men who did the deeds? Is it all the sinners in this nation who are homosexuals, abortionists, adulterers, murderers, pornographers, and God haters? Or is it the church who has fallen into apostasy and failed to be the light and salt God called us to be? First of all, we must understand according to the Bible, God is not to blame for this evil. He is not evil and cannot do evil things. The Bible says, “Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.” Job 34:10-12 KJV  The Lord warns us in scripture not to attribute evil things to Him. This is the spirit of error according to the New Testament. It says, “Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:16-20 KJV  Definitely, the evil men who became suicide bombers are to blame, as well as the devil who motivated these men and gave them their evil plans of destruction. Certainly all sin brings a penalty with it, so sinners who do not know Christ are responsible too, as we all reap what we sow.  All who are sinners share in the blame.  However, I believe the greatest weight of blame must be placed on uncommitted Christians who serve themselves more than God

Were The Towers in New York Babylon:

“Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.” Revelation 18:6-10,17-19 KJV  The Book of Revelation is a coded book and was written for Christians so that only they could understand it.  Those who do not have the Holy Spirit are bewildered by its imagery. Even as Christians we have difficulty when approaching Revelation. How do we understand its code? The Bible interprets itself, so we can understand Revelation by looking at other portions of the Bible for clues to its interpretation. When we study one part of the Bible, we can find the same truth in another part that sheds light on what we are studying. Since Revelation is a coded book, we will not understand it without the help of God’s Spirit who inspired it. We must have a child-like approach to His Word.  We must have God’s Spirit and an understanding of the Scriptures to comprehend Revelation. Revelation was written symbolically; a great deal of it is not literal. If we do not understand that Revelation is speaking of spiritual things, then we are going to misinterpret it. We will end up looking for literal things and miss what God is saying to the church. First of all, I do not believe that New York City nor the United States is “Babylon,” in this passage of Scripture, is a symbol of the evil system representing the kingdoms of this world that are in opposition to the kingdom of God. According to the scripture, allof the nations have “drunk of her wine.” No one city or nation can alone be responsible for corrupting the earth or martyring all the saints of God; and certainly not the United States. Babylon is a system that has been on the earth throughout all of history. It is empowered through various nations, governments, philosophies, and religions–as well as through individuals. However, since the World Trade Centers housed multitudes of international corporate headquarters, it certainly could symbolically represent the world monetary system. The love of money is a snare to all that are in the world. Most of the people in the world are seeking after the things of this world. It makes no difference whether they are rich or poor; the poor want the things of this world too, but simply do not know how to get it.  This beast system has everyone seeking the wrong god. They are buying so they can sell, and selling so they can buy. The stock market and the whole monetary system is filled with that. Those who have placed their trust in that system are marked with the beast.  That is, they think like the devil, who is the ultimate beast. As Christians, we buy and sell too. But we are not buying and selling our souls like the rest of the world. “We are in the world, but we are not of the world”. We touch and handle the things of this world, but it is not in our hearts; it is not a part of us.  We are not marked with the system. As totally dedicated Christians, when God asks us to do anything, we lay everything down, leaving it behind as we go and do what He has asked.  We are able to forsake all because we are not marked with the mark of the beast; we are not caught up in the love of money. We are not caught up in the buying and selling because we know our true riches are in heaven. In Revelation it says, “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:5 KJV  Who is this woman? She is the beast system of the world, the fallen system that commits abominations. Certainly the many things that went on in the World Trade Towers were ungodly transactions that deserved judgment. However, I do not believe that the city of New York fulfills this prophecy.   I believe that any city or nation that practices evil and indulges in greed and lust would be a part of the Spiritual Babylon the Bible speaks of.  This would include all the cities down through history of which many of them also fell. The original Babylon fell and was destroyed and remains a type throughout history. However, we cannot overlook the fact that the World Trade Center Towers could certainly be a type and warning to us as a nation that our money and pride has reached into the heavens and it is now brought down by our own sins. In the Old Testament there was another tower that God did not approve of — it was the Tower of Babel.   This is how Babylon got its name. Nimrod and the men who were building this tower had the wrong motives for doing it; therefore, the Lord confounded their languages so that the work was not completed and the men were scattered abroad on the face of the earth.

Summary:

God in his love is calling America back to himself — if we ignore this warning something far worse will happen. What the terrorists meant for evil, God wishes to use it for good, to draw people, the nation and the world to Himself. If we do not heed his whispers, then he has to shout to us in our pains. If we continue to serve our idols then the death of over 3,000 people will have been in vain. We should each seek to discern what the Lord is saying to us individually and as a country, especially those in leadership need to hear God’s voice. A classic prayer of petition and confession to God for his country is that of Daniel in Dan 9:1-20. In it he confesses his own sin and that of his own people, we would do well to follow his example. There is a tension here, because we are to come out of Babylon and yet still be in the world and minister to it. Americans think only about America, get a passport and visit the third world, then you might see the roots of the hatred against America, and also understand the great good that the church can do to fulfill the Great Commission and relieve poverty. The Bible says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Romans 12:19,13:4, 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV  No one  is going to expect this anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to be as emotionally charged as the first. But that will change when they began reading the names of those who had died at the World Trade Center. The readers were the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews of the victims. The 2,792 names, precious to those who read them, brought a fresh reminder of those they had loved and lost. A person’s name represents his identity, accomplishments, and relationships. Someday our name may appear on a memorial plaque or gravestone as a mark of remembrance and honor. But there is a heavenly ledger that is the most important of all. When Jesus’ followers reported their successful service to Him, He replied, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 KJV  “Then He thanked the Father for making the way to Him simple enough for even a child to understand ” A child values a loving relationship. In that spirit, we should rejoice that through faith in Christ we belong to God and are secure in His love for all eternity. Our names are precious to Him.

By: Jeff Ellinger



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