Monday, August 27, 2018


Are you sealed with the mark of Cain or by the Holy Spirit.  It all depends on the blood to which you respond. 

        Most everyone is familiar with the story of Cain and Abel.  Most everyone is familiar with the crucifixion of Jesus. Many people do not realize, according to scripture, the shed blood of Abel and the shed blood of Jesus have voices that cry out.  If you consider yourself a person of faith or a person who follows God, you are probably relating to God by either the blood of Jesus or the blood of Abel.  

 A Little Background

        In the story of Cain and Abel, you know Cain killed his brother Abel due to jealousy.  God spoke to Cain twice. First, warning him to get his act together.  In the second encounter, God asks Cain for the where about of his brother, to which Cain responds with one of the most famous lines from scripture, "Am I my brother's keeper."  God then informs Cain, "Your brother Abel's blood cries out..." and as a result, Cain lives the rest of his life under a curse.  

         Approximately 3000 years later, on a hill just outside Jerusalem, a man named Yeshua was crucified.  This man's blood was shed by hate and jealousy, same as of Abel's.  According to the book of Hebrews, the blood of Yeshua also has a voice, a voice which speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:24  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 

What's it all about?

      Abel's blood cries out, Jesus' blood speaks... what's it all about? What's all this talking blood saying, and what does any of it have to do with me?

       Cain killed Abel after God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's.  Abel offered a blood sacrifice, signifying he understood the wages of sin equals death.  Cain offered the yield of his labors, grain or some produce from the field.  God accepted Abel's offering as it revealed Abel's heart of contrition.  Cain's offering  was rejected for it was work of his flesh. In essence, Cain was asking God to accept him based on his works while Abel was acknowledging his need for forgiveness.

         God, warned Cain, in essence saying, "Abel offered a suitable sacrifice, Abel is good, be like Abel."  I believe Cain heard, "Abel is the standard to which you are measured."  Cain attempted to eliminate the standard.  In a jealous fit of rage, Cain killed his brother, rather than submitting to God.  Cain failed to realize his relationship with God was personal.  Abel's blood was shed so Cain's works would be acceptable to God.  

          Jesus died because God knows the works of man are inadequate.  Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

 Whose blood are you listening to?

      So, the big question is: Whose blood are you listening to?  If you are under the blood of Abel, you are attempting to reach God by your own merit.  This is an impossible and frustrating endeavor!  Mother Teresa, the very epitome of service to God, wrote letters to her confidants expressing the spiritual emptiness she experienced.  Mother Teresa attempted to reach God by dedicating her life to good works, never trusting in the finished work of Christ. By her own admission, the more she served, the more she felt distant from God, the exact opposite of what she was trying to accomplish.

      If you are under the blood of Christ - you recognize you have no merit, no authorization to approach God except the authorization given you by Christ

Standing at the Crossroads

    Just like Robert Johnson, who met Satan at the Crossroads.  Many people come to the Crossroads and must choose a path to God.  One path is paved by the blood of Christ and leads to salvation, the other, paved by the blood of Abel, leading to hell as sure as signing a contract with the devil. 

      It has been said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."  I will go one step further and say the road to hell is paved with good works.  If you are attempting to be good enough on your own merit, you will fail.  

Without faith it is impossible to please God

      All the good works, acts of kindness and self sacrifice in the world will not help your soul, unless these things are the result of faith in Christ. Hebrews 11:6  And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 

         Whose blood are you under?  Abel's blood which enslaves you and sends you to hell, or the blood of Christ which cleanses you and endows you with righteousness?

           If you follow the blood of Abel, you are marked with the curse of Cain.  If you follow the blood of Christ, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  Abel's blood was shed to hide sin in good works, Christ's blood was shed to cleanse sin.  Be sure your sins are cleansed and your good works count.

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018



   How in the world does this happen in the        name of God?  What insanity would     
    allow anyone to think this is ok?  

 How in the world does a church bar people because of skin color?  How can so called people of God get it so wrong so often - the answer is bad doctrine. 

     There is a growing argument among Christians concerning theology and doctrine.  Some say we need to forget doctrine because of the division it causes and focus on Christ's love.  Others say we have to know what we believe and why we believe it in order to share our faith effectively.  Who's right,  can both be right, or are both wrong?        

     What good is theology when millions of people are heading for hell?   What good is theology when, what people really need to know is Jesus loves them?  What purpose does it serve arguing the mode of baptism if we are not actually baptizing anyone?  Arguing free will vs. God's sovereignty, while ignoring the lost, is a tragic misdirection of Satan.  The cliche, "no one cares what you know, unless they know you care," is true, but does it negate the need to actually know doctrine?  

Doctrine: A belief or set of beliefs held by a group.

      So is doctrine important, or are we majoring on the minors and missing the point of our faith?  

     What distinguishes denominations? Doctrine.  Do we then declare doctrine divisive and abandon it all together?  

     What if division is caused by man's attempt to use theology as justification for pre-conceived ideas about God?  What if pride, jealousy, greed and hate were the driving forces behind the development of many false doctrines held by many denominations and congregations?  

       Last week, I attempted to demonstrate some of what we erroneously believe about Satan is a result of Anti-Semitism in the early Church.  Much of what we get wrong about end time theology is attributed to the same thing.  

        You may be surprised to know John Calvin had his detractors burned at the stake and Martin Luther, a rabid hater of Jews, advocated burning down Jewish synagogues and homes.  How could these men have strayed so far from the clear teachings of scripture?  Bad doctrine.  

         The point: doctrine is important.  Knowing what you believe and why you believe it is the responsibility of every believer.  We are not all called to be theologians, but we are all called to study scripture that we may know God.  

           Bad doctrine leads to all kinds of heresy.  Just listen to the ridiculous lies that spew forth from the mouth of Pope Francis, who makes many a Vatican official cringe, and you can see how important it becomes we know what the Bible teaches.  

            The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch burnings, Waco Texas, the Jonestown Massacre - all can be attributed to bad doctrine.  Snake handlers, charlatan faith healers and televangelists all are fueled by bad doctrine.  Bad doctrine kills.

   How can we ensure our theology is good and accurate?

1.  Study the Bible as a whole document, rather than picking and choosing the stuff that seems to agree with what you already 

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what the scripture says.

3. Study the Bible in context.

4. Make sure what you believe lines up with the teachings of Jesus.

5. Know anything  promoting hate or violence against others is not of God.

      One of the most misused and taken out of context chapters of the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13 - the love chapter.  While it is nice to preach from at weddings and the second Sunday in February, the intent of the passage, sandwiched between two chapters on the proper use of spiritual gifts, is to be a guide for checking your doctrine.  The basic message presented: everything we believe should cause us to love sacrificially for the sake of the Great Commission.

    We find this kind of love spoken addressed, at length, in the first epistle of John.  If your theology does not cause you to love others above your own wants and needs, your theology is worthless, according to the 1 Corinthians 13.  

     Doctrine matters and we are commanded by scripture to study and learn: 2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth  Clearly we are told to learn doctrine.  

Know what you believe and why you believe it. Test what you believe by the Bible, test what you believe by 1 Corinthians 13.  Do not throw away doctrine because others misuse it, apply it correctly and be the difference.

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


     The iconic book, The Art of War, tells us, "Know your enemy..."  The most iconic book of all, The Holy Bible, tells us Satan is our enemy.       

    What do you really know about your enemy, Satan?  Where do you get your information?  Most of what we think we know about Satan is found in the writings of early church fathers, some of whom were labeled heretics.  Scripture gives us only glimpses into the unseen spirit world inhabited by angels, demons and even Satan himself.  Man has attempted to fill in the blanks and construct a history that may or may not be very accurate.   

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name?

      What if I told you Satan's name is not really Lucifer?  Well it's not and we will revisit this in a few moments.  The point is, a great deal of speculation has been taught as fact and most people just accept what they are told without ever checking for themselves.  In fact, much of what people think they know about the Bible or God is what has been heard from others, not from the actual source, the Bible itself.
Allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste.

      What do we know about Satan for sure?

  1.We know he is a supernatural being who accuses us before God. 

  2.We know he appeared as a serpent in the Garden of Eden and            tempted Eve to rebel against God.

  3.We know he will one day rule earth in the form of the Man of            Perdition, aka the Anti-Christ.  

 4.We know he will be chained for 1000 years and set loose to lead       a rebellion against Jesus, only to be defeated and cast into the           lake of fire.

  5. We know he is a liar and the father of lies
But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game.

    The dangerous thing about constructing a history without all the information is we often get things wrong.  Misdirection is the greatest tool of the con man and Satan is the greatest of all con artists.  You may be surprised to know the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LeVay, does not even believe Satan exists.  Satan has managed to con his most high profile followers!  

      Unfortunately, Satan's con game does not end with the Church of Satan, it has also infiltrated the Church of Jesus Christ.  Much of what is taught emphatically from the pulpit is not based on inferences or misunderstandings from scripture.

      Most people believe Satan and a third of the angels led a rebellion against God, tried to overthrow Him and were summarily ejected from heaven where the angels who follow Satan are now known as demons.  Please show this to me anywhere in scripture.  

        Satan has lost his position in heaven, yet, clearly we see, he currently has access to the throne of God: Job 1:6 - One day, the sons of God came to present themselves before the Yehovah and Satan also came with them.  In the days of Job, Satan is seen standing before the throne of God engaged in conversation.  Has anything changed from Job's time to now restricting Satan's access to heaven?  No, it is not until a time in our future Satan is barred from heaven: Revelation 12:10  - And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God.

      If you hold to a literal and normal interpretation of scripture, you recognize the book or Revelation is dealing with future events.  We can understand, based on Job and Revelation, Satan currently has access to God and he uses that access to bring accusations against the saints.  

     It is from the same portion of scripture, Origen, an early Church father, presented the theory of one third of the angels following Satan in rebellion against God and teaching, as fact, these angels became what we know to be demons.  Revelation 12:3-4  And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.  From this passage, an entire theology of demonism has been constructed.  Nowhere else in scripture do we find any mention of one third of the angels following Satan and nowhere are we told demons are fallen angels.  

     According to the verses following Revelation 12:10, cited above, Satan does have angels following him and they are cast to earth with him, but, again, Revelation is describing future events and the events of chapter 12 seem to take place about midway through the Great Tribulation.  

     An interesting note about Origen is he is widely regarded as a heretic due to his teachings on Universalism and his belief Satan will be restored to God at some point, directly contradicting scripture's description of the Great White Throne Judgment.

      There is no clear teaching in Scripture as to the true origins of demons, fallen angels is only one viable theory.  No where do we find this idea in the writings of ancient Jewish scribes.  

Just call me Lucifer...

     One of the biggest mistakes ever made was attributing the name Lucifer to Satan.   Lucifer is not a name, it is a Latin translation of the Hebrew word heylel meaning light bearer.  Latin, a now defunct language, originated in a province of Italy and became prominently used due to the insurgence of the Roman Empire.  Prior to the translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible, the name Lucifer did not exist.  

     Searching through the writings of ancient Hebrew scholars, we do find the name Samael, which may, indeed, be the pre-fall name of Satan.  

I've been around a long, long year, Stole many a man's soul and faith

      It seems, much of what we think we know about Satan comes from dubious sources.  Satan is the master con-artist employing misdirection as one of his greatest tools. The bold headings are quotes from Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones.  Satan would love your sympathy in order to use it against you.  

      Our society has allowed our greatest enemy to redefine himself.  Even Fox Network attempted to re-cast Luicifer as a lovable rogue. Is it possible Satan is responsible for influencing much of out entertainment?  

       Scripture tells us Satan roams around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour and we are also told, he disguises himself as an angel of light and that he is a liar and the father of lies.  Know your enemy, do not believe everything you hear, verify everything in scripture.  

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!