Thursday, December 24, 2009

SATAN'S LITTLE HELPERS

Santa lives at the North Pole. He has little elves help him make toys for little kids. He flies through the air when it is dark, roaming the earth once a year spreading good cheer. Santa and his elfish helpers don’t exist.

Satan lives on the planet earth. He has little demons do his bidding (Matt. 9:44; 12:24; Luke 11:15). He is “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2), loves darkness (John 3:20), and he roams “to and fro on the earth” (Job 1:7), “like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan and his demons exist: so you’d better watch out!

In Star Trek the Klingons own a cloaking device that renders their space ship invisible to their enemies. In The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo Baggins or Frodo put on the ring they became invisible. Governments spend Billions of dollars developing “Stealth Bombers” and "Stealth Fighters” etc. Invisibility has its benefits! The enemy is blind to you.

Satan and his little helpers are invisible. The trouble is that they don’t just appear and chuck broken toys down chimneys at Christmas. They are around all year round seeking to keep broken human beings broken and in the state of sin and misery!

Demons are good angels gone bad. As He did humans, God created all angels good. However, unlike humanity – which fell when Adam, humanity’s original representative before God, rebelled, - only perhaps a third of the angels fell (Rev. 12:4). “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to earth, and his angels were cast out with him” Revelation 12:9.

So here we have a spirit-being with a multitude of spirit-beings under his charge, deceiving a whole world full of spirit-beings, a.k.a., human beings like you and me – only doing it all invisibly!

Man is a soul-spirit with a body. Satan and his little helpers are invisible to us because we are spiritually dead on account of being fallen in Adam (Rom. 5:12f.). We all are “Naturalists” at heart: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Therefore, Satan, his little helpers, good angels, and even Almighty God Himself, all remain invisible to mankind – which had its spiritual eyes poked out when Adam joined Satan in rebellion against God way back at the beginning.

By stealth Satan and his little helpers like to keep you in darkness where they feed you darkness because you, even though you won’t admit it, love darkness. You won’t come out of Satan’s kingdom of darkness and into the Son of God’s glorious kingdom of light unless and until you receive God’s Christmas gift. You will continue to deny that you, like a demon, are Satan’s little helper, until God opens up your eyes, i.e., your spiritually blind eyes.

This Christmas "put away childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11). Do as you did with Santa and his little helpers.

Rather, seek God in Jesus Christ for His gift of everlasting life. Ask Him to give you eyes that you may see the reality of evil in this world, and the reality of your own heart that breaks His Commandments by lying, lusting, coveting etc. These things are a serpent, a boa-constrictor, that has squeezed the life out of you. But there is Good News!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” John 3:16-21.

Don’t be a dyslexic, mixing the existent Satan up with a non-existent Santa - and then thinking that neither exist! This Christmas come to the Light and see things as they really are. Come to the Light of the World! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has crushed that serpent Satan’s head and now has authority over his demonic helpers.

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” 1 John 3:8.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

THE CHRISTMAS INDENTURE

I’ve no idea where we got the words, but when we were kids we used to sing: All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth! Now that I’m older a new set of dentures would be nice! But what do you want for Christmas? Two front teeth? A new set of dentures? What is Christmas to you?

Maybe I’m strange, but Christmas reminds me of marriage as instituted in the beginning of creation by the Triune God. After He had created Adam from the dust of the earth He said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” Genesis 2:18. So God made Eve and joined the two together in the covenant of marriage. Thus the two became one flesh (Matt. 19:5&6; Eph. 5:31). Husband and wife are bound by “indenture”. The husband is the indentor, the wife the indented. Some couples remind themselves of their covenant by wearing one half of a medallion each. The two halves fit together perfectly like husband and wife, like a new set of well-made dentures!

Now, back to Christmas. What’s it all about? Well, Christmas has become many things to many people. However, the very first "Christmas" was the time when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” John 1:14. The middle Person of the Trinity clothed Himself in our flesh: Immanuel, which is ‘God with us.’ Thus the Son of God became also the Son of Man forever. Christmas, then, is about marriage, i.e., God’s marriage to man. When Jesus was conceived in the womb and born of the virgin, God the Son became one flesh with us (Eph. 5:30 KJV).

The first Christmas came about because God is true to His Word. Again, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Man, fallen man needs another helper. Jesus Christ is the missing piece of the covenant we broke when Adam sinned against God in the Garden.

When Adam broke the Covenant of Works/Life - when he broke that creational covenant - he separated himself and all his posterity with him from God. And unless God intervened man would spend the rest of eternity “alone,” i.e., without the comfort of God’s presence in Hell.

This, being alone, is “not good.” Some have joked that all their friends will be in Hell. However, Hell is not the place of friendship but rather of broken friendship. It is to be forever divorced from God. Hell is the place of conscious everlasting torment (Mark 9:43-48). But the good news is that God has provided us a Helper comparable to us. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…” Galatians 4:4. Mary, when a virgin, became the mother of Christ’s human nature. God is His Father. Two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. The two pieces of the broken first covenant are brought together in The Divine Person Jesus Christ. He is our renewed covenant (Isa. 42:6); our Christmas indenture.

Jesus loves His bride (i.e., His believing Church) and has laid down His life for her. On the cross He satisfied God’s justice by receiving the punishment due all covenant breakers. He perfectly kept the Covenant of Works on behalf of those who love and obey Him as a wife her loving husband. Jesus was raised from the dead as proof that God’s justice is satisfied with His good works.

Christmas, therefore, is about God and man being reconciled and reunited in Jesus Christ. Hence no one’s life is complete until they know Jesus Christ. He is our “better” half. He is the healer of the broken and yearning heart. He makes us whole again. He is the Husband. All who hope in Him are the bride.

What do you want this Christmas? Surely your need is God in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

CHRISTMAS WRAPPING

The conception and birth of Jesus is a miraculous matter! His conception and birth was forecast by God through Isaiah some seven hundred years before the actual event: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14. Seven hundred years later when the angel told Mary that she was the virgin spoken of by Isaiah she said to the angel, “‘How can this be, since I don’t know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’” Luke 1:34&35.

Who is this Man whom all the angels of God worship? (Heb. 1:6). He is God the Son, the Word become flesh. (John 1:14). He is the Seed of the Woman, the virgin. (Gen. 3:15; Matt. 1:23, Gal. 3:16). He is the One who holds all creation together. (Col. 1:17). He is God’s gift to the world. (John 3:16; Rom. 6:23). And He is the One who will in the process of time present the saved world as a gift to God the Father. (1 Cor. 15:24).

Jesus’ conception and birth was God the Son wrapping Himself in the dust of this earth. (Heb. 2:14). And the Day of Pentecost was when God began wrapping His creation in His Holy Spirit. (Psalm 139:7-10; Acts 1:8; 2:1f.) However, this is not to suggest the Creator/creature distinction is being removed. But it does mean that God’s creation has been saved and will therefore continue to be held together by Jesus Christ forever. To be sure, creation will be renewed. But just as Jesus after His crucifixion burst forth from the tomb with the same body He had before His death, so will this same creation be resurrected on the Last Day. (Psalm 102:25&26; Luke 24:39-43; Rev. 21:1f.).

The birth of Christ is testimony that God’s creation will not be annihilated (Gen. 8:21; John 3:17). This promise was ratified by His death and resurrection, and, is presently being consummated by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is God and Man in one divine Person forever. His divinity will never absorb His humanity, nor will His humanity take on attributes of divinity. His two natures will remain distinct for evermore. The mixing of these distinctions results in their mutual annihilation. For it would mean that God would become the creation and the creation would become God. But God says in the 1st Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me” Exodus 20:3. Thus God must forever remain distinct from His creation.

Theologians speak of the ‘pre-incarnate Christ’, i.e., temporary appearances of Christ before His permanent incarnation. Indeed Christ is the Older Testament’s ‘Angel of the LORD’. We believe it was He who walked in the Garden with Adam. He was the Angel in the burning bush who spoke to Moses. He was the Angel who spoke to Abraham. He was the Man Jacob wrestled with. He was the Angel who spoke to Manoah, Samson’s father. He was the Angel in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. The LORD through His prophet Malachi some four hundred years before the event promised: “‘And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ says the LORD of hosts” Malachi 3:1.

All creation ought to thank God for sending the gift of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. For, He has redeemed the dust of creation.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Growing up in 1960s Scotland before it went smoke free had certain advantages. It meant that children could send their want-lists to Santa Claus simply by writing them on a piece of paper and sending them up the lum! House-chimney fires used to be a common feature in Scotland especially on Christmas Eve! But it stood to reason, if Santa came down the chimney to deliver his presents, then he could read the children’s requests on the messages sent up the chimney (in flames!) But who isn’t touched to hear of a little child, instead of asking for toys, asking Santa to return their daddy or granny, or some other loved one, who has died. The tragedy is that the child is confusing Santa with the true and living God. Only God is able to bring the dead back to life. And that is why He sent His only begotten Son into the world. That is why Jesus Christ was born in the first place.
As a child I used to join the other children and line the streets for the switching on of the Christmas lights in our hometown. The atmosphere was electric! There’d be a parade. The man in the red suit would be there, laughing all the way! As a child Christmas was a time of hope – hope of receiving gifts! But nowadays Christmas is going up the chimney! But, is it all bad?

I must admit as a non-Christian child growing up in Scotland I knew more about Father Christmas than God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. The Santa we were taught about was omnipresent and omniscient, for in the song ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ we sang, ‘He sees when you are sleeping/He knows when you're awake/He knows if you've been bad or good/So be good for goodness sake!’ But isn’t God the only all-seeing and all-knowing One? Is it any wonder that people grow up confused about God, equating belief in Him with belief in Santa, only to reject both?

The ‘Politically Correct’ movement is intolerant of Christ and Christians, otherwise they wouldn’t be seeking to have Christ removed from Christmas! But, should Christians seek to have Christ remain in Christmas? Some Christians see no Biblical warrant for celebrating Christmas and are happy to hand the whole thing over to Santa Claus as a gift! But regardless of what you think should be done about Christmas, it cannot be denied that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ John 3:16-18.

The birth of Jesus, then, was about God the Father giving the gift of His Son to save the world from condemnation. Jesus is the Saviour. Therefore to believe in Him is to trust Him to save you from God’s condemnation on Judgment Day. Therefore Jesus Christ is the Good News of God to fallen mankind. But, as there is today, so there was a time in the past when people were intolerant of Christ and Christians. The baby Jesus grew up and was nailed to a tree. He received the condemnation of men for claiming to be the Son of God! Christians were persecuted for believing the same thing. But God gives good gifts, for, ‘Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.’ James 1:17. Therefore, when God gives a gift that gift stays given! Thus God raised the murdered Jesus Christ back to life. And we discover that His death was to pay the penalty owed for our shunning and removing every last vestige of God and Christ from our lives – as, eg, the PCs are trying to do to Christmas!

Dear reader, whatever you think of Christmas please at least acknowledge that God alone is Almighty, all-knowing, and all-present. He sees you when you’re sleeping or awake and knows you’ve been bad. His Son really was born in Bethlehem, really died at Jerusalem, and really was physically raised back to life. And He is able to raise you back to life. Therefore Jesus Christ really is the Saviour of the world. Ask God for His gift of salvation. Do not be unbelieving but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to receive the good and the perfect gift from the Father of lights. May God be pleased to switch on your ‘Christmas lights’ today!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

THE BREATH OF GOD

Remembering that we are dust, when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son (Gen. 2:7; 3:19; Psa. 103:14; Gal. 4:4). Thus eternity entered the hourglass to be united with the dust of time. Then the Living Stone, the foundation and cornerstone of the new and everlasting world order, was laid on earth: Jesus was born (Pas. 118:22; Isa. 28:16; 1 Pet. 2:6-8). The hands of time clapped with grateful applause as the earth welcomed its Maker while heaven’s heart beat in time to the angel song, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’ (Luke 2:14). Pre-briefed by the angel Gabriel, the virgin was subsequently overcome by the Holy Spirit, and overshadowed by the power of the Highest. Thus the Son of Man was conceived in her womb (Luke 1:35).

As oil floats on water, so the Son of God as God remains above and distinct from His humanity. Yet humanity and deity are one in Christ, the Holy One. Divine. All creation marches to the beat of His drum, the sound of which keeps on echoing out into infinity! Tick-tock, rat-a-tat, time goes marching on till He orders it to pause for the grand transformation of the heavens and the earth.

‘Made of a woman, made under the Law;’ from the day He opened the womb, from the first moment the Royal lungs sucked in air, He breathed the same air His mother breathed – as you and I breathe. Eve, at the birth of her first son, said, ‘I have acquired a man from the LORD.’ Genesis 4:1. Her son turned out to be a destroyer of men. Mary’s Son is completely different. He is our Saviour.
Knowing the promises of the older covenant, before His birth Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour’ Luke 1:46-47. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth said upon Mary’s visit, ‘Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43. Mary is the mother of the Lord! God is His Father. There is only one Lord, the Godman, the Divine Jesus Christ.

The eternal Father breathed out at the beginning and creation came into being by the power of the eternal Holy Spirit with the eternal Word (Psa. 33:6). Creation is held together by and in and for the eternal Word (Col. 1:16-17). The eternal Word breathed in when He entered creation as a human being by the power of the eternal Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3,14). Thus the Father and the Son share the same breath; that breath is the Holy Spirit – who eternally spirates from both the Father and the Son. Since the beginning of time the Holy Spirit has been creation’s ‘iron lung,’ as it were working the bellows: inhalation, exhalation, inspiration, expiration. Without the Spirit’s regeneration there is only expiration.

Like one struggling to recover from a punch to the solar plexus, mankind has been unable to catch its collective breath. We became spiritually dead when our covenant or federal head, Adam, struck our first blow against God in whose image we are made. Ricochet. In the Garden and in the sweat of his face Adam beat his ploughshare into a sword and his pruning hook into a spear. We physically perspire and subsequently expire because, like our father Adam, we are sinners. We are conceived and born into the rebellious mass of humanity. We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). Thus we will remain in the torments of corruption and subsequent everlasting death – if we are not regenerated by the Holy Spirit before we die physically.

The Lord drew His first breath as a human being (probably) in a stable. He grew in wisdom and stature. As an adult He marched up Calvary’s hill. Nailed to a tree He breathed His last – until He rose again on the third day. After He was raised from the dead He breathed on His disciples, saying, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ John 20:22. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting’ Acts 2:1-2.

The Lord holds our breath in His hand, and, as the Psalmist says of God regarding animals, ‘What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.’ Psalm 104:28-30. As Elihu says of God, ‘If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to the dust.’ Job 34:14-15. As the Psalmist says to God, ‘Do not take Your Spirit from me.’ Psalm 51:11b.

You may hold your breath until you are blue in the face, but dear reader, you and I are dust falling through the hourglass. Breathe in the breath of God while there is still time. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

CLIMATEGATE & THE THEORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE

(The photos are of a summer hailstorm in my backyard in Brisbane, Australia)

I must admit that I was warming ever so slightly to the possibility of "Global Warming" when my wife asked me if I had noticed that "they" no longer seemed to be calling it "Global Warming" but were now calling it "Climate Change".

I guess the term "Climate Change" is a lot more encompassing than "Global Warming". For example, if the January temperature at the corner of Portage & Main in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada drops anywhere below the usual minus 40-degrees then it safely can be attributed to "Climate Change". Brilliant!

Mind you, now that I'm on to "their" scheming (as alluded to in "their" spin-doctoring use of terminolgy) I'm cooling off somewhat in regard to "their" notion of "Global Warming". And then came "Climategate"...

No doubt the Climate Status Quo deniers and sceptics will see the East Anglia University e-mails as inadmissable evidence in this whole "scientific" debacle regarding the earth's climate. But regardles of how the irrefutable evidence was obtained, it is the smoking gun!

"Climate Change" scientists using data to make it say whatever they want it to say? This is right up there with that other great "scientific" slight of hand, ie, the molecules to man Theory of Evolution! The latter was and still is the slippery slope to the former.

Okay, so you may disagree with the connection I'm drawing between the "sciences" of Evolutionary Theory and that of the Climate Changers, but both are desperate to make their "evidence" fit their pet theories. That's unscientific in my book! (- in anyone's book!)

Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown is calling those scientists who have not jumped on the "Global Warming" bandwagon, "Flat Earthers". This also is unscientific. One should not mix leftist politics with science!
It seems to me that two things were going on:
1) It was being touted as a fact that the global temperature was increasing.
2) It was being touted as a fact that the (supposed) global warming is man made.

It's unscientific to call theories facts. It's also unscientific to ban peer reviews of those who disagree with the theory (as is the case in regard to the molecules to man Theory of Evolution and now with the Theory of Climate Change).

Oh well, I was nearly warming to the idea of "Global Warming" (but still had a long way to go to embrace the idea that it was man made). But that's all fallen by the way now. I'm now back at square one: Climate Status Quo.