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September 15th, 2010 | Author:

Runnin’ late today. I’ll finish it and update here … sometime. :)

Saturday morning update:  I finally had a block of time and some brain power, so here’s my Word for Saturday.

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A few days ago a visitor to my blog was referred to last week’s WFW when they searched for today’s post title:  how can good truly overcome evil? The question has stayed in my heart, and I’ve wondered about the person who asked it.  I realized how far away from this viewpoint most Americans live, so I’ve decided, with a little trepidation, to try to answer.  The question deserves an answer.

The question is based on scripture, so I’ll start with the relevant passages:

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the LORD will reward you. (Proverbs 25:21-22)

Paul expands on the idea in his letter to the Romans.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)

When I first read this as a new Christian I didn’t understand it, but I really liked the part about heaping burning coals on someone’s head.  “That’ll fix ‘em,” I thought.  Even now, I hear Christians that think that this is a means of getting even or bringing down the wrath of God on someone, but I don’t believe that’s the attitude this verse is supposed to encourage.

Instead, by resisting the human urge for revenge, the “enemy” might feel shame for what he has done and might be brought to repentance and reconciliation with God, which should be the goal of every Christian. Resisting that urge is not an easy thing to do, of course, because our natural instinct when we are hurt is to strike back.  If our child or another innocent is hurt, we want to strike back twice as hard.  But here are some examples, so it can be done.

In II Kings, Chapter 6, the king of Aram was warring with Israel, intent on being its king.  He would send war parties to attack, but Elisha the prophet would send advance warning, and the king of Aram was unsuccessful.  So he sent a great army, but Elisha prayed that they would be blinded, so they were captured and brought before the king of Israel.  We pick it up after Elisha has prayed for their sight to be restored.

Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” He answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” So he prepared a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel. (2 Kings 6:21-23)

A more modern example comes from The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, p. 215.  In case you’re not familiar with the story, Corrie worked as part of the underground who protected Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland.  She and her sister were arrested and sent to a concentration camp, where her sister died.  After Corrie’s release, and then the end of the war, she traveled around Europe encouraging people to heal by turning to Jesus and forgiving their enemies.

It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, the former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck.  He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time.  And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.

He came up to me as the church was empyting, beaming and bowing.  “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” he said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!”

His hand was thrust out to shake mine.  And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them.  Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more?  Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.

I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand.  I could not.  I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity.  And so again I breathed a silent prayer.  Jesus, I cannot forgive him.  Give me Your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened.  From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.

And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His.  When He tells us love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.

And that, I think, answers the “how” of the question.  How can good truly overcome evil? When the Holy Spirit enters our heart, He brings the goodness and love of God for us to dispense as needed, if we are lead by the Spirit and not the flesh.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (Galatians 5:16-17)

In that short passage from Corrie, I can see from the other side, as well.  I strongly identify with the Nazi soldier’s statement, “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!”  That sense of amazement is related in my testimony.  I was subsequently filled with gratitude to God, which gave me the desire to be changed into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ – who is, of course, the best example of good overcoming evil.

Here are a few more related verses, so I’ll leave the “last word” to God’s Word.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.(James 1:17)

and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. (Philemon 1:6)

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

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September 12th, 2010 | Author:

If you search the title of this post, you’ll get hundreds of links and a screen full of rhetoric from both sides.  So like Joe Friday in the old Dragnet show, I adopted a “just the facts, ma’am” mentality.  What follows comes from usually reliable sources, with no comment from me … at least for now.

S1619 summary from Open Congress:

A bill to establish the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, to establish the Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities, to establish a comprehensive planning grant program, to establish a sustainability challenge grant program, and for other purposes.

S1619 status from govtrack.us:

This bill was considered in committee which has recommended it be considered by the Senate as a whole. Although it has been placed on a calendar of business, the order in which legislation is considered and voted on is determined by the majority party leadership. Keep in mind that sometimes the text of one bill is incorporated into another bill, and in those cases the original bill, as it would appear here, would seem to be abandoned. [Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 6:34AM]

complete Sec. 3 Purposes from the text of S1619 from Thomas, Library of Congress:

[Please Note:  Most of the links from Thomas, Library of Congress, appear to "time out."  If the link doesn't work, go to Thomas.gov, select "bill number" search, and enter S1619 in the search box.]

The purposes of this Act are–
(1) to facilitate and improve the coordination of housing, community development, transportation, energy, and environmental policy in the United States;
(2) to coordinate Federal policies and investments to promote sustainable development;
(3) to encourage regional planning for livable communities and the adoption of sustainable development techniques, including transit-oriented development;
(4) to provide a variety of safe, reliable transportation choices, with special emphasis on public transportation and complete streets, in order to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on foreign oil;
(5) to provide affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities, and to make the combined costs of housing and transportation more affordable to families;
(6) to support, revitalize, and encourage growth in existing communities, in order to maximize the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure and preserve undeveloped lands;
(7) to promote economic development and competitiveness by connecting the housing and employment locations of workers, reducing traffic congestion, and providing families with access to essential services;
(8) to preserve the environment and natural resources, including agricultural and rural land and green spaces; and
(9) to support public health and improve quality of life for the residents of and workers in communities by promoting healthy, walkable neighborhoods, access to green space, and the mobility to pursue greater opportunities.

selected Sec. 4 Definitions from the text of S1619 from Thomas, Library of Congress:

(2) CENSUS TRACT- The term `census tract’ means a small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county, delineated by a local committee of census data users for the purpose of presenting data.

(4) COMPLETE STREET- The term `complete street’ means a street that enables all travelers, particularly public transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians (including individuals of all ages and individuals with disabilities), and motorists, to use the street safely and efficiently.

(5) COMPREHENSIVE REGIONAL PLAN- The term `comprehensive regional plan’ means a plan that–
(A) identifies land use, transportation, community development, housing, economic development, environmental, energy, and infrastructure needs and goals in a region;
(B) provides strategies for meeting the needs and goals described in subparagraph (A), including strategies for–
(i) providing affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities;
(ii) reducing growth in vehicle miles traveled, in order to reduce traffic congestion and regional greenhouse gas emissions from transportation;
(iii) encouraging economic competitiveness and economic development; and
(iv) increasing the connectivity of the region by increasing public transportation ridership and improving access to transportation alternatives; and
(C) prioritizes projects for funding and implementation.

(13) LOCATION-EFFICIENT- The term `location-efficient’ characterizes development, housing, or neighborhoods that integrate land use, mixed-use housing and commercial development, employment, and transportation–
(A) to enhance mobility;
(B) to encourage transit-oriented development;
(C) to encourage infill development and the use of existing infrastructure; and
(D) to reduce growth in vehicle miles traveled and the transportation costs and energy requirements associated with ownership or rental of a home.

(23) SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT- The term `sustainable development’ means a pattern of resource use designed to create livable communities by–
(A) providing a variety of safe and reliable transportation choices;
(B) providing affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all income levels, ages, races, and ethnicities;
(C) supporting, revitalizing, and encouraging the growth of communities and maximizing the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure;
(D) promoting economic development and economic competitiveness;
(E) preserving the environment and natural resources;
(F) protecting agricultural land, rural land, and green spaces; and
(G) supporting public health and improving the quality of life for residents of and workers in a community.

(24) TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT- The term `transit-oriented development’ means high-density, walkable, mixed-use development (including commercial development, affordable housing, and market-rate housing) that is within walking distance of and accessible to 1 or more public transportation facilities.

organizations in support of S1619 from MAPLight.org:

American Institute of Architects
American Public Transportation Association
American Public Works Association
Children’s Defense Fund
Habitat for Humanity
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
National Association of Realtors
National Housing Trust
National League of Cities
Policylink
Sierra Club
Trust for America’s Health
U.S. Conference of Mayors
U.S. Green Building Council

public opinion on S1619 from WashingtonWatch.com:

cover page of Agenda 21 from the United Nations:

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.

The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.

from the UN Agenda 21 preamble:

1.1. Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can – in a global partnership for sustainable development.

from The United Nations Millennium Papers - Issue 2, page 5 [pdf]

Participating in a UN-advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society such as the National Rifle Association, citizen militias and some members of Congress. This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So, we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or smart growth. [or sustainable development or Livable Communities]

from the Bible, New American Standard Version:

But He [Jesus] replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:2-3)

It was also given to him [the beast, the antichrist] to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (Revelation 13:7-8)

Further reading:

S1619 The Livable Communities Act of 2009, Library of Congress

H.R.4690 Livable Communities Act of 2010, Library of Congress; the House companion bill

Agenda 21 Table of Contents, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Agenda 21, The U.N. Plan for Your “Sustainable” Community biblical analysis by Berit Kjos, 1998

UN Agenda 21 – Coming to a Neighborhood near You political analysis by Scott Strzelczyk and Richard Rothschild at The American Thinker, 2009

The Bible, NASB, Book of Revelation, Chapter 13

The Bible, NASB, Book of Daniel, Chapter 2

The bible, NASB, Book of Daniel, Chapter 7

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September 10th, 2010 | Author:

Brannon S. Howse has written the best Christian analysis of the Glenn Beck phenomena that I have read.    I encourage you to read the whole thing, but here’s a taste.

First, Howse referenced his own earlier warning to evangelicals that “partnering with Beck in a spiritual enterprise would send the message that Mormons are Christians.”  Then he quoted Mormon Greg West:

Hallelujah! The light bulb has been switched on after nearly two centuries! Every single member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that a person must be “born again” and receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and Redeemer. Our holy books teach that salvation comes only in and through the atonement of Christ and that there is no other way a person can be saved…Glenn Beck’s beliefs are mainstream Mormon beliefs. Joseph Smith, the Church’s founder, was a Christian prophet. He was an apostolic witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So what Howse warned of  has been accomplished.  Mormons are now considered born-again Christians, despite their many aberrant beliefs.

Howse then points to the deficiency of Christian leadership:

I believe what happen[ed] over the weekend was a seismic shift within evangelicalism; an historic event that will go unnoticed by most Christian leaders.  A few leaders may eventually understand the nature of what happen[ed] but it will be weeks if not months before they respond. Many of these leaders waited years to provide the defense against Oprah’s pagan spirituality and when they did it was too late for many of the goats within their flock of sheep that had already consumed Oprah’s spiritual poison.

Sadly, most Christian leaders and pastors are completely deficient in understanding the ideas and philosophies that have, and continue, to be the force behind the rushing cultural stream. As a result; the members of their own congregation hear no advanced warning of the coming spiritual undertow nor do they acquire the needed Biblical knowledge that keeps them from being children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, (Ephesians 4:14).

Howse then identifies the similarity between Mormonism and the New Age movement, and shows that Beck adheres to both:

Beck used the phrase “higher self” three times in the interview with Chris Wallace.  No one talks that way unless they know exactly what they are saying. One New Age website says:

“There are many great words to describe Who or What your highest identity or Self truly is. Below are just a few: Higher Self, I am Presence, I Am That I Am…Cosmic Consciousness, God, Christ, Holy Spirit And the list goes on…”

Notice that “I AM that I AM” is another word for “higher self”. Last week on his radio program Beck said, “I Am That I Am is the most powerful phrase in any language as it is the name of god, never use it in vain; use it to create who you want to be. I AM blank.”

I AM is a title that is to be reserved for God Himself. In Exodus 3:14 God told Moses that when the people of Israel ask for My name tell them, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” In John 8:58* we read, “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’”

“I AM” is to be reserved as a title for God yet it is being blasphemed in the pagan practice of what is called “the law of attraction.”

The fact that people like Beck on the right and Oprah on the left are proclaiming the “I AM” message is a sign that we are living in the last days according to Jesus Himself in Luke 21:7-8:

And they asked Him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, “Take heed that yet be not deceived: for many will come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near; go ye not therefore after them.”

Former New Ager, now Biblical Christian, Ray Yungen writes:

“Notice, ‘Christ’ is italicized in verse 8, meaning that it was not in the original manuscript. The translators of the King James Bible probably thought it awkward that it said “Many shall come saying, I am.” Probably for the sake of clarity and to be consistent with Mathew 24, the translators added the word ‘Christ.’”

Did you catch that? Jesus was saying that when people say they are god by using the title “I AM” it is a sign that we are living in the end times. We are also told to run away from the people saying “I AM”. Sadly, many of our nation’s pastor’s and Christian leaders did not run from Glenn Beck but ran to join him in a spiritual service and enterprise.

I thank Brannon Howse for clearly sounding the alarm … but is anyone listening?

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September 08th, 2010 | Author:

As the ninth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the battle continues to rage over plans to build a mosque near ground zero; a church in Gainesville, Florida has dubbed the day International Burn a Quran Day; and analysis of the 9/11 text messages posted by Wikileaks reveals that the greatest emotional response to the attack was not anxiety or sadness, but anger.   Here’s a chart showing how we felt as the day progressed:


I submit that the anger represented in this chart has only continued to increase over the past nine years.  Not satisfied with destroying Iraq and Afghanistan, with murdering  thousands of civilians, we seek further revenge.  We want to burn their holy books and prevent them from building their holy buildings.  In our hearts, we don’t want them in our country.  As many people I know would say privately, “kill the towelheads.”

I am not concerned with how the “many people” act.  As Paul told us,

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

But I am deeply concerned with those who call themselves Christians, particularly those in public places, for I am seeing and hearing little on this subject that reflects Christ.  I am particularly grieved by the common attitude that Americans “deserve” the respect of Islam, that our desires are more important than theirs, which is the complete opposite of this biblical injunction:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  (Philippians 2:3)

If we are truly living for Christ, then our concern would be to win Muslims to Christ, not satisfy our own sensibilities.

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Do not mistake my meaning.  I am not among those who think that all religions are equal, or that Muslims are going to heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)

I believe this completely, and am convinced that until I was born again at 39, I was destined to hell.   No good deeds or acts of martyrdom will gain us access to God.  Only repentance and faith that Jesus died for our sins can accomplish that.

So then, if we have truly been saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, our response should not be to banish Muslims or denigrate Muslims, because it is not Muslims that we battle:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

This is an oft-quoted verse, but at least as it relates to 9/11 and Islam, few Christians seem to actually believe it.  We respond no differently than the world.  We want to keep what we think is ours, and forget that it all belongs to God.  And we want revenge.  Oh, how we want revenge.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)

If we continue to seek revenge, if we continue to try to outlaw Muslims in this supposed land of the free, then we are exposed as hypocritical Christians and have already been overcome by evil … and Islam has won America.

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September 01st, 2010 | Author:

Most Christians acknowledge that we are living in the end times, pointing to the declining morality of the culture around us.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Some Christians acknowledge that at least part of the institutional church is in trouble, pointing to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its official acceptance of homosexuality or the likes of Ted Haggard.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. (2 John 1:7-11)

A few Christians, myself among them, are convinced that the deception has become so open and so widespread that we are watching many be mislead, just as Jesus forewarned us. [Matt 24:11]

And when it comes to the issue of church and state, America vs. God, many refuse to hear the truth, and choose instead to follow those who tell them what they want to hear, among them Barrack Obama, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck.  Like the Israelites of old, they want to follow a flesh and blood king instead of God.  [1 Samuel 8:5] The popularity of these charismatic figures fulfills another prophecy:

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

They have refused the truth and are being deceived:

Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)

If you are among them, I beseech you to wake up!  Heed the many warnings the Bible gives us about who we follow and who we associate with.  Beware of those who place love of America above love of God.   Do not follow those who, for their own selfish purposes, take advantage of your concern for our country, those who don’t enter by the door but sneak in some other way.  Turn to God, not to a wannabe king.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers. (John 10:1-5)

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