Archive for the ‘Judges’ Category

Miracles. Signs, wonders, and mighty deeds. Who wouldn’t be interested in being around someone who could perform miracles that would be beneficial to ourselves and others? The Jews of Christ’s day certainly were amazed and followed Him. Had we been there, I’m sure that we would have liked to see Him do such things for us and our loved ones who were sick, diseased, crippled, and/or demon possessed.

B.T.W.  Did you know that while a Christian can’t be demon possessed (2 Corinthians 6:14-17), he can be tormented by demons if he has an unforgiving or bitter spirit or other unconfessed sins in his life (Matthew 18:34; 2 Timothy 2:26; Hebrews 12:15)? This may be just one way God chastens His rebellious children whom He loves (1 Corinthians 11:30; Hebrews 12:5ff). What do you know about the sin unto death (1 John 5:16; James 5:19, 20)?

Loaves/Fishes. Having just seen Jesus perform the miracle of feeding five thousand men plus women and children (Matthew 14:21) from five loaves and two small fish, the crowd wanted more from this miracle worker. In fact, they wanted to make Him their King (John 6:15). But surprisingly, He didn’t let that happen. Do you know why He turned down their offer? Do you ever sing songs in church that talk about our crowning Jesus as the King? Had Jesus allowed them to make Him their King, they would have had control over Him. But this was/is not according to God’s plan or timing (Psalm 2). God the Father won’t cause Jesus to rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16) until the Jews have repented (i.e., changed their minds about the Lord Jesus Christ). He is the Lord (God), Jesus (Savior), Christ (Messiah, the resurrected and glorified One).

Remnant. When the Jews are about to be annihilated at Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation, the believing remnant will acknowledge Jesus to be their True Messiah and the God-man as it was predicted in the Old Testament (Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 23:39; John 1:1-18). For a Jew to be saved today, he must believe in the Deity of Jesus and His bodily resurrection which implies that Christ died for his sins too (Romans 10:9).  Jews must be saved the same way that non-Jews are saved by believing the same Gospel (Romans 1:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). They aren’t saved by a separate covenant as is falsely being taught. Eventually everyone, believers and unbelievers will admit that Jesus is the Lord (i.e., God-man) to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). However, this doesn’t mean that everyone, including the devil and demons, will be saved eventually because God is love and wouldn’t send anyone to hell to suffer forever. If this were true, God’s Word would be a lie because hell is eternal and the devil and his demons and all unbelievers will suffer there forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Jude 1:13).

The Miracle Workers And Magicians

Imagine. There was no doubt about it. Miraculously Jesus fed a multitude of over 5,000 people by multiplying a boy’s lunch that consisted of five barley loves and two small fish (John 6:9-11). Imagine what it must have been like. Suppose a hamburger shop had 5,000 people come in for just one burger. It might overwhelm the employees in the store and they might not even have enough food to make that many burgers. How long would it have taken to feed such a crowd until they were full and satisfied?

Jesus And His Agents. On another occasion Jesus sent out His twelve disciples and gave them power over unclean spirits and to cast them out of people. They also were enabled to heal all kinds of sick people of their diseases (Matthew10:1). In the early days of the church, some believers were given the supernatural gifts of healing people to authenticate those who brought oral revelation to the new Christians before the New Testament was complete (1 Corinthians 12:28; 13:10). The credentials of a true apostle was his ability to perform three types of miracles: sign miracles, wonder miracles, and mighty deeds miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12). In the Old Testament times Moses performed many miracles before Pharaoh and the Egyptians to prove that the God of the Jews was the only true and living God (Exodus 7:3; 8:19).

Satan And His Agents. The devil is a master counterfeiter and has deceived and is still deceiving many people today through false prophets and teachers who proclaim another gospel and another way of salvation by good works (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). We trust that you aren’t being deceived by them. After Moses had performed a few miracles, Pharaoh’s magicians imitated some of them to try to discredit them through their magic tricks (Exodus 7:22). But when it came to the plague of the lice, they weren’t able to duplicate it and acknowledged that it had to have come from the finger of God (Exodus 8:19).

Judgment Day. On judgment day, many false teachers and preachers who had prophesied in the Lord’s name, who had cast out demons in His name, and who had done many wonders in His name, will hear Jesus say to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23). Sadly, many believers in Ephesus were involved in magic. But after seeing a demon possessed man overpower the seven sons of Sceva, they burned their magic books that had cost them 50,000 pieces of silver. After they did this the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed (Acts 19:11-20). If you’re a Christian, what sin in your life may be keeping the Word of God from spreading to others?

Deception. The greatest deception will take place during the days of the seven year Tribulation. It seems to be very near at hand. The Antichrist (Lawless One) will be able to imitate the three kinds of miracles that Christ and His apostles performed (Acts 2:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). His power will come from the devil (Revelation 13: ). Thankfully his reign will be limited to seven years (Daniel 9:27). Were God to allow it to go on any longer, no one would survive (Matthew 24:22). During this awful time in human history, one half of the population will die (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). You won’t want to be here during the Tribulation. Do you know how you can escape it without dying (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)? We understand that there are some environmental groups who believe that the population of the world needs to be reduced by 90%. The question is, “Whom do they want to eliminate and how?”

The Water Walkers

Jesus. To the chagrin of the unbelievers, miracles have happened. A miracle is nothing more than the circumvention of the normal laws (phenomenon) of nature. Since Jesus, as the God-man, is the One who established all these laws (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2), He is free to change them when He wants to do so. By His walking on the water Jesus demonstrated that He was/is the Master over nature itself (John 6:19; See Psalm 65:7; 107:29). Earlier in His ministry He had changed water into wine (John 2:6-11). He also calmed a raging sea with a command (Matthew 8:23-27). Being omnipotent, there is nothing too hard for Him (Revelation 1:8; See Hebrews 7:25).

Peter. Don’t you just love this man? He was vocal, impetuous, and a man of action. Many of us are a lot like him. When he saw Jesus walking on the water on that stormy night, he asked that Jesus grant to him the ability to walk on the water to come out to Him (Matthew 14:28-31). Jesus told him to “Come.” After a short distance Peter took notice of the boisterous wind and waves and began to sink. Some have suggested that his real problem was concerning the true identity of Jesus. Was He just a man, God or the God-man? Later on Peter made this confession, “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). This is the confession that a person had to make to be saved prior to Christ’s death for our sins…and His bodily resurrection (See 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

The Counterfeit Master

Expelled. During the latter half of the seven years of the Tribulation, when Satan will be kicked out of heaven for good (Revelation 12:9), his man, the Antichrist will attempt to wipe out the Jewish people who will refuse to bow to the image which the false prophet has erected of him (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27). The devil will be enabled to send a flood on the Jews who will be fleeing from Judea to Petra (Sela) in Jordan (Revelation 12:14-17; Isaiah 16:1). But God will cause the earth to open up and swallow the flood that otherwise would have killed all of them.

Indestructible. Folks, the Jewish nation cannot be annihilated in spite of what their enemies vow to do. They are the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) and the reason God preserves this earth. Since Satan hates the Jews, who provided us with the Scriptures and the Savior, he will bring all the nations of the world against Israel in the campaign of the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). The devastation of those who come against the Jews is almost indescribable (Zechariah 14:12-15; See Genesis 12:1-3).

News Heavens/Earth. When God creates the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1ff), the Jewish believers will inherit the new earth where righteousness will finally settle down and feel at home (Romans 4:13; 2 Peter 3:13). Christians are the inheritors of the New Jerusalem in heaven (Revelation 21:9ff; See John 14:1-3). Will you be in one of these places or with the devil and his angels (demons) in the lake of fire to suffer forever (Matthew 25:30, 42, 46)? What you do with Jesus while you’re alive on earth will determine your future destiny. The choice is yours – accept Him or reject Him (John 1:12).

The Locomotive Engineer

Other Miracles. While most of us would think that walking on the water was quite spectacular, Jesus also performed a couple other miracles at this same time. He caused the winds and the raging sea to die down instantly (Matthew 14:32; Mark 6:51). But He also caused the boat in which His disciples were sitting to be transported immediately to Capernaum, the place for which they originally were headed (John 6:17-21). You see, Jesus is the Master of time and space too. This also relates to the Christian’s hope of instantly being “caught up” (i.e., raptured) to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; John 14:1-3). The same Greek root word is used when the people came to take [Jesus] by force” to make Him their King (John 6:15).

Application. Just as Jesus calmed the raging sea, so He can calm our souls (emotions) so we can enjoy the “peace of God” that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6, 7; John 14:1-3). The Christians’ souls (emotions) aren’t saved yet but they will be at the Rapture (1 Peter 1:9). Do you know Him as your personal Savior? Would you like to be at “peace with God” (Romans 5:1)? Are you ready for the Lord to return for those who belong to Him or will you be left behind? Would you like to know what kind of bodies we’ll have in eternity (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57; Luke 24:33-43)?

Followers

Disciples. To be a disciple in Christ’s day simply meant that a person was a follower of Jesus. It didn’t mean that all of them were saved people. Judas was one of Christ’s twelve disciples but he wasn’t a true believer (John 6:71). There are many people today who say they are followers of Jesus. If you are one of them, why do you follow Him? Is it merely for you to have Him as your personal genie to meet all your personal, physical, and emotional needs? What about your spiritual needs? Have you placed your faith in Him alone to save you from hell and take you to heaven? If not, will you believe on Him as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day? If you’ve already done this, have you given evidence of your faith by being baptized (immersed)? If not, why?

Motives. They matter greatly. Christians are to judge (weigh) their own and other people’s actions, but not motives (1 Corinthians 5:3; 6:1-8; 11:28-32). “Judge not, that you be not judged,” was written to hypocrites (Matthew 7:1). Without the ability to judge, how would one know what was holy and not holy that shouldn’t be cast to dogs and swine (Matthew 7:6)? Why do you do what you do and say what you say? Why do you attend or fail to attend church? Is it to be blessed and/or to bless others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4; Hebrews 10:24, 25)? Is it to look for a mate or business contacts? Is it to have your ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:3, 4)? Be honest. What’s is really important to you – God and people or things?

Tested. The Lord will evaluate and expose each one’s works and our true motives on judgment day (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). These judgments won’t be to determine if one gets into heaven or not but to determine the degree of pleasure one will enjoy in God’s presence (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) or one’s degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 10:15). Do you know in which judgment you will participate (Hebrews 9:27)? Will your works meet the test of fire (1 Corinthians 3:13-15)? If you’re a Christian, will you receive any crowns, praise, and/or rewards from the Lord or will you meet Him empty handed? Let’s make our choices (big and small) with this in mind.

Help. If you need spiritual help and are teachable and willing to change, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this or another article has helped you, will you send it to someone else who might need it too?

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Killing Jesus

Under the Mosaic Law one witness alone was not enough to convict and condemn a man to death. But “by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established” (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). When Jesus healed a man who had been lame for 38 years, the Jews wanted to kill Him because He healed him on the Sabbath (John 5:18). Imagine that. They were more concerned about their additions to the Sabbath law than they were for a man’s physical well being. Even during His trial His enemies could not get the false witnesses to agree with each other (Mark 14:57-60).

B.T.W.  After the universal flood of Noah’s day, and throughout the rest of human history, God’s law requires the government (Romans 13:4) to carry out capital punishment on those who murder other people unjustly (Genesis 7:19; 9:6; Exodus 20:13; 21:12-29. 22:19; 31:14, 15). Those in governmental positions of authority who ignore and/or refuse to do this will bring God’s judgment on themselves. During Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth (perhaps in the very near future) just judges will carry out God’s laws that are for the good of mankind (Isaiah 1:26). 

Christ’s Five Witnesses

Killing Jesus.  Jesus knew that His enemies were looking for an occasion to kill Him (John 8:37, 40).  But before He allowed them to take Him (John 8:20; 10:10-18; 18:4-9), He provided them with five witnesses to confirm the fact that He was indeed the Messiah and the Son of God (John 20:31).

His Own Testimony. Jesus said, “If I bear witness of Myself [alone], My witness is not true [i.e., according to your requirements]” (John 5:31). Throughout His public ministry He claimed to be the eternal “I AM” ( John 5:18; 8:58; 10:30; See Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 43:11-15). He claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6; 8:45; 18:37, 38; See Hebrews 4:15). Today there are many people who believe that there are other ways to God in heaven.

His Father’s Testimony. Jesus claimed to have come down from heaven to do the Father’s will (John 3:13; 5:19; 32, 37, 38; 12:28; 17:4; See Hebrews 10:7). He directed the Magi by the star that led them to Jesus who was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:9; Micah 5:2).  God the Father made announcements at Christ’s baptism and at His transfiguration (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). Peter’s ability to proclaim “You are the Christ , the Son of the living God,” came from the Father (Matthew 16:17).

His Forerunner’s Testimony. John the Baptizer declared, “Behold? The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29-34; 5:33-35). After being imprisoned by Herod the King, John sent his disciples to inquire of Jesus, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). Then Jesus told them to tell John the things which they heard and saw. His miracles validated who He claimed to be.

His Own Works’ Testimony. John the Apostle recorded selective sign miracles to prove the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:36; John 20:31). Strangely, His own half brothers didn’t believe on Him as the Messiah and the Son of God until after His death for our sins…and bodily resurrection from the dead (John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). Everything Jesus did was what He saw God His Father doing (John 5:19). As the God-man, He subordinated His will to His Father’s. He didn’t relinquish any of His Deity; He only veiled the outward manifestations of His Deity (Philippians 2:5-11).

His Word – The Scriptures. Moses, who wrote the five books of the law, spoke of the coming Messiah as One who would be like him but greater than he was (John 5:39—47; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 5:45-47). Later prophets also announced the coming of the Messiah and what the Jews should expect of Him when He came (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 35:5, 6; Jeremiah 31:15; Micah 5:2; John 12:41).

Conclusive. The evidence for Jesus’ being who He claimed to be, The Christ (Messiah) and the Son of God, is irrefutable (John 20:31; See Matthew 16:16). But in spite of all the proofs, most people, including those in the Jewish community, refuse to believe on Him as their personal Savior. Some know and agree with the facts of the Gospel (i.e., Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead), but they don’t want to transfer their faith over to Christ alone for their salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10). They prefer to continue to “love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19).

Identification. If you claim to be a Christian, how many of the people you know would attest to the fact that you are a true Christian? How many wouldn’t? If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? What could the devil’s witnesses truthfully say about you? How should this affect your lifestyle? Are there some sins that need to be confessed and forsaken (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16)?

Help. If you’re not a Christian yet, why not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today? He can/will save anyone who believes on Him (John 3:16, 18, 36). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as them come out.

It’s hard to imagine that within two generations from Moses and Aaron, God’s chosen people, the Jews, could degenerate to such a low level of living in which everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 20:28; 21:25).  Everything seemed to be tolerated and there was no king in Israel to enforce God’s law. 

Degeneration. When a person is out of fellowship with God, things eventually go from bad to worse. A carnal Christian can act as badly or even worse than an unbeliever can since he is actively resisting God the Holy Spirit and trying to flee from Him as Jonah did (Jonah 1:3). A Christian man in the church at Corinth was engaged in an incestuous relationship with his mother (1 Corinthians 5:1ff). He was grieving God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). In obedience to the Apostle Paul’s command, the other believers put him out of the fellowship, rather than defend him for his sinful conduct.  It’s sad to say that some “churches” today tolerate such sinful conduct among their members as they did in the Apostle John’s day (Revelation 2:14).

Degradation. In the days of the Judges, after Joshua died, the Jews were doing whatever they wanted to do while ignoring or deliberately disobeying the Mosaic Law. On one occasion a Levite’s concubine was ravished all night by some perverted, homosexual, Jewish men in Gibeah who wanted her husband but got her instead (Judges 19, 20). After letting her go in the morning, she made her way back to the house where her husband was, and then she died on the doorstep (Judges 19:27, 28). By the way, all the works of the flesh, including homosexuality, are perversions of good things that God intended for us to enjoy (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:26, 27; Hebrews 13:4; Proverbs 5:15-18).

Anger. Distraught by such vile and disgusting behavior, the Levite took her dead body home and then cut her up, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them to the twelve tribes of Jacob with an explanation. This infuriated the Jews from the other eleven tribes. They went in force to punish the evil doers even though many of them were engaged in idol worship that involved perverted sexual behavior in their religious rituals.

Complicit. But when the people from the tribe of Benjamin refused to turn the wicked men like the Sodomites (Genesis 18, 19) over to them to be punished, a civil war broke out and the eleven tribes of Jacob set out to annihilate one of their own tribes. God didn’t approve of their plans or their modus operandi. He has a wonderful future in store for Jewish believers from all 12 tribes in spite of the way the Jews treated Jesus in His day by calling for His blood to be on them and their children, which has been true to this day (Matthew 27:25; Romans 11; Zechariah 12, 14). The Church hasn’t replaced Israel. Woe to those who mistreat the Jews and who try to expel them from the land that God promised to give to them (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:18-21).

Agony. After two defeats, in which 40,000 Jewish warriors from the eleven tribes were killed in battle, God gave the victory to them. They almost annihilated the whole tribe of Benjamin. But 600 men were able to escape with their lives (Judges 20:47).

Remorse. As commentator Gary Philipps wrote, “The aftermath of [Israel’s] civil war included guilt and remorse; rather than allow Benjamin to become extinct, the Israelites contrived to preserve the tribe through murder and kidnapping.”

Irrational. Yes, it’s hard to imagine that God’s chosen people could act so irrationally. What they did and how they went about it was insane, but it happened nevertheless. To keep the tribe of Benjamin from extinction, they devised a plan that would involve further killing of the Jews who hadn’t come against the tribe of Benjamin in battle.

Virgins.  Only the virgins from Jabesh Gilead would be kept alive. They would be given to the 600 men from the tribe of Benjamin who had escaped so they could have wives to replenish their tribe again (Judges 21:12). They were doing evil that good might come (Romans 3:8). We are not to use sinful methods to accomplish a good objective. (Example – ecumenical evangelism. “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?”  2 Chronicles 19:2; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Revelation 18:4) God’s work must be done God’s way if we want His approval and rewards from Christ on judgment day (2 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

Imagine. Try to imagine, if you can, how these 400 young, virgin girls must have felt after the rest of their family members were slaughtered by fellow Jews. Then they were taken by force and given to 400 men of the tribe of Benjamin who were responsible for this civil war.

Kidnapping. To make matters worse, the remaining 200 Benjamite men were allowed to kidnap 200 young Jewish girls during a yearly feast and force them to become their wives (Judges 21:15-23). Such action was forbidden by the Mosaic Law (Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7). But no one seemed to care.  There seems to be a close parallel to our day and age as many people act lawlessly and do whatever they want to do (1 Timothy 4:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:1ff).  Do you observe God’s laws and the laws of the land in which you live?  When does God allow us to disobey man’s laws (Acts 5:29)?  What attitude should we have at such times (1 Peter 4:12-19)?

Cannibal. We’re told that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 people and cannibalized his victims. In an interview he told a reporter that he had no reason to change his behavior because if there is no God, there were no universal morals, and there was no accountability in an after life. Does this attitude characterize you or someone you know? Do you think that physical death ends in your being annihilated?

Atheists. The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). An agnostic is far more honest than an atheist. Furthermore, “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Are you acting like a “practical atheist” by ignoring God and His Word?

Deliverance. True Christians have the Good News concerning Christ to share with others. It is instrumental in saving men and women, boys and girls from the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46). When a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for all our sins, who was buried, and who rose again bodily from the grave, he/she gets saved (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:33-43). Are you saved? Are you sure (1 John 5:13)?

Sharing. If you’re a Christian, will you share this Good News with others so they can be saved? God can save anyone. Consider the kind of people He saved (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Do you fit into this category? The Gospel is the power of God unto the salvation of Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16, 17). Fellow Christian, regardless of how people respond to the Gospel or to you, be faithful to the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:2; 15:58). A few will believe (Acts 13:48; 18:9, 10). Most won’t.

Sorry? No, we’re not to apologize for the fact that God included this gruesome story in the pages of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). It should serve as a reminder that we all have hearts that are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). If a Christian says he has no sin nature, he is deceiving himself (1 John 1:8). We all need a new nature from God so we can do the things that please God (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:9).

Help. If this article has stimulated your thinking, or you still have questions, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for additional help.  Share this article with others and have a discussion with them.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

     During the “Dark Ages,” under the judges of Israel, a civil war broke out and decimated thousands of Jews (Judges 19-21).  It was sparked off by a horrific event when a Levite (a religious man) mutilated his wife’s body and cut her up into twelve pieces and sent them to the 12 tribes of Israel. 

     Raped.  Before doing this she had been brutally raped by some Sodomites who wanted to rape the Levite himself when he, his wife, and his servant came into their town one evening. But instead of raping him they ended up ravishing his wife all night. As morning dawned, they let her go and she went back to the place where they were staying and then she died on the doorstep.

     Outraged.  As you can imagine, when the Israelites from the other 11 tribes heard about it they were aghast and determined to take vengeance on those who were responsible for such a vile and gruesome deed.  But to their surprise, when they demanded that the Sodomites be turned over to them for punishment, the tribe of Benjamin refused to do so and defended these wicked men.  The Benjamites had 700 “sharp shooters” who could sling stones with precise accuracy and great velocity to kill their enemies.  Remember the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)?

     Slaughter.  A 400,000 man army came from the 11 tribes to exterminate one of the twelve tribes of Israel.  But when they went to attack the city where the Sodomites were, 40,000 soldiers from the 11 tribes were killed during two separate attempts.  Apparently God allowed this to happen because many of the Jews from all 12 tribes were also worshiping the false gods of the Canaanites and engaging in a sensual, disgusting, syncretistic religion.  A purging needed to take place among God’s chosen people.

     Victory.  After two devastating losses, the 11 tribes finally were able to gain a victory over the tribe of Benjamin.  They slaughtered everyone (men, women, and children) but 600 men fled into the wilderness.

     Senseless.  All this could have been avoided if the Jews had been true to their pledge to God when they promised to keep God’s commandments (Exodus 19:8).  They failed to realize that their hearts (minds, wills, and emotions) were deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).  The heart of man hasn’t changed to this day. We all have a sin nature that is bent on doing just the opposite of what God tells us to do. God gave us His assessment of mankind in Romans 3:9-23.  Do you agree or disagree with it?

     About Us.  Are we that much different from these Israelites?  Haven’t we defended and given special privileges to those who are morally depraved and treated them better than the upright citizens?  Do you think God’s heart isn’t aching as He sees infants in the womb being chopped up or poisoned to death?  Over 50 million of these helpless babies have been killed in our country since Roe v Wade in 1973.  Do you come across people who call good evil, and evil good as they did in days gone by (Isaiah 5:20)?  What about you? Do you live lawlessly and disregard what God has said in His Word? Do you understand the “Dispensational” distinctions in Scripture?  Do you live any way you want to live as long as you can get by with it?

     Religious.  Many people around the world are religious  and sincere, but they are not fit for heaven because they are trying to earn their way into heaven by their good works rather than trusting in the Christ of the Scriptures who died for all our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day.

     Many Ways?  How often have you heard it said, “There are many ways or paths to God.”  If that is true, than Christ was a liar.  He said in essence, “I am the only way to God in heaven, the absolute truth, and the only One who gives eternal life to those who believe on Me alone for their salvation” (John 14:6).  The Apostles Peter and Paul confirmed this truth (Acts 4:12; 16;31). What about you?  Why should God let you into His heaven?  Do you say, “I’m a pretty good person.  I try to keep the Ten Commandments”?  This won’t save you.

     Deliverance.  It comes to us by God’s grace that is totally undeserved on our part.  It is conditioned by faith alone, not by the good works we do lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  The object of our faith must be in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the God-man who was born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).  He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15).  Then He voluntarily went to the cross (John 10:15-18) to die as our Substitute to pay the penalty of death that we owed to God (Romans 6:23).  His bodily resurrection (Luke 24:33-43) assures us of God the Father’s acceptance of His payment for our sins (Romans 4:25).

     Questions.  Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save you?  Are you absolutely certain that you will go to heaven the moment you die, or do you think you can only enter heaven through the back or side door after you’ve been purged in a temporary prison for an indefinite period of time?  If you believe you’re saved, is there anything you can do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?

     Civil War.  Is the United States headed for another civil war?  I certainly hope not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened or if God allowed another wicked nation to punish us for our wickedness and toleration of evil. He did it to His chosen people the Jews (Daniel 1:2) and He can/might do it to us too. 

     Replaced? No, the church hasn’t replaced Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32) and Christians cannot claim the promises that were given to the Jews.  God has a special plan for the believing Jews and His promises to them might be fulfilled in the very near future (Romans 11:1ff; Zechariah 14:1ff). Do you know what God says will happen in the future?

     Chart.  Would you like to receive our “Dispensational Chart” on a time line from eternity past to eternity future?  Ask for a FREE copy of it. We don’t want people to remain in the dark.  We try our best to speak, write, and present the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

     Teachable?  If you’re teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; Romans 12:1, 2) when you are presented with the truth from God’s Word (John 17:17), we’d be happy to assist you in your discovery of God’s purpose and your brief role on the stage of life.

     Contact. You can reach us at 805-238-3549 or learn more about us, what we believe, and what we have to offer to you by going to our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  If you’d like to receive future issues as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Some of you are fanatics when it comes to sports. Now imagine that after you’ve spent a lot of money to attend a game, it was decided that all the rules would be discarded. Every player would be allowed to do whatever he wants to do. Consequently, the referees would be dismissed. “Wait a minute,” you say. “You can’t have a game without well defined rules and referees to enforce them.” You’re right.

Rules. They are absolutely necessary in sports but they are also necessary in life. We have legislators who make up the rules by which the citizens must abide or be in trouble with the law. Every country has and needs them. If you visit another country, you need to know their laws or you could end up in their jails or prisons. If we don’t like the laws in our country, we can try to change them lawfully. The executive branch is supposed to enforce the laws that were made. They are not free to disregard the laws they don’t like. That would be a dereliction of their duty to uphold the law.

Lawlessness. Believe it or not, any form of government is better than anarchy when everyone does what is right in his own eyes. This has happened on many occasions throughout man’s history. It happened when people lived according to their consciences for about 1,600 years before the universal flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8). We’re told that “…the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Right/Wrong. It also happened not long after the Jews entered the land that was promised to them by God (Genesis 15:18-21; Judges 17:6; 21:25). Yes, they have a right to the land of Israel. Woe to those who want to take it from them (Genesis 12:1-3). Some day the believing Jews will have it all and live in peace (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1-16; 35:1-10). When everyone did what was right in his own eyes, things went from bad to worse. They were “bad to the bone.” They disregarded God’s rules and made their own rules. They were like the Sodomites (Genesis19). You know what happened to them.

Recorded. We may wander why God the Holy Spirit led selected men to include such XXX rated stories in the pages of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21). You can read one of them for yourself in Judges 19-21. During this civil war over 65,000 Jews killed each other. But we caution you, it will be ugly and gruesome.

Purpose. Could it be that God wanted His people, the Jews, to know what can happen to those who disregard Him from their thoughts and who aren’t thankful to Him? No matter how good we think we are in our own eyes, God tells us that all of us have hearts that are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23). This is why we need a new heart and nature from God (2 Peter 1:4). Do you know how you can get one (John 3:3, 6, 16)? Note: Even though believers in Christ get a new nature from God, the old one still remains with us until we die physically or are raptured (1 Corinthians 51:51, 52; 1 John 1:8).

Capability. Anyone of us is capable of twisting normal and good behavior into that which is perverted and distorted. All of us have sinful natures (dispositions) that rebel against authority (1 John 1:8). All the “works of the flesh” are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 13:4). Those whose life styles are characterized by such behavior will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). Do you fit into this category? Are you afraid to face the future and the other side of death? What awaits you? Are you sure? Upon what are your beliefs based? Whose words should matter (John 14:6; 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17)? Do you have a desire to change? Who put it there (Philippians 2:13)? How will you respond?

U.S. Have we, as a nation, degenerated to the point that we deserve God’s judgment on us too? Are you doing what’s right in your own eyes or what’s right in God’s eyes? By which set of rules are you living – the rules for the Jews in the Old Testament (Exodus 19:9-Matthew 12:50), the New Testament rules for Christians (John 13-Revelation 3), or the rules for those going into the Christ’s millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:1-7; Isaiah 9:6, 7), as found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-8), or none of these? If you’re confused, ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.” It could answer many of your questions about the Bible and where we are in time.

Abandoned. When God lets unthankful people do what they want to do, terrible perversions can follow in their wake (Romans 1:18-32). Maybe you fit into this category. But, believe it or not, if you’re still alive physically, there is hope for you if you will do one thing. It’s so simple that most folks think that they have to do something else. Do you know what God commands us to do so we can avoid hell and gain heaven (Acts 16:31)? There is only one unforgivable sin that will send people to hell (John 16:9).

Assurance. Yes, you can be sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die without having to go through a purging place first (1 John 5:13; John 10:28, 29; Philippians 1:6). Christians don’t enter heaven through the back or side door (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Help. If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. We designed it with you in mind. We show people how to be saved and then how they can grow spiritually in the Lord. We teach people what the Scriptures have to say about spiritual gifts that each believer receives at the time of his/her salvation. See the “Bible Basics” section. Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out. Give us some feed back too. Pass on what you like to your friends.

Don’t ever order stew at that restaurant,” a friend advised. “They put all the leftovers in it.” We know that if spoiled or rancid food is added to the pot, sickness and death can follow.  It’s important for us to know what goes into our mouths.  We need to read the labels.

     Feelings. Believe it or not, when someone tells us to “follow our own heart”  he/she may be giving us bad advice.  What’s wrong with it (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23; Proverbs 14:12)?  Why shouldn’t we just do what is right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6)?   Because spiritual and moral degeneration could follow in its wake. We see it happening all around us today (Romans 1:18-32). Man-made religion has its attending problems and leaves men bankrupt and can disqualify him from entering heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).

     Family. Have you heard it said, “The family that prays together stays together”? Did you grow up in a home where prayers we offered up to God before meals? How about before going on a journey or even when you got into a car to go some place? I did. My wife and I still engage in these practices and would encourage you to do the same thing. If you think you must speed, you might want to sing the “Highway Hymns” loudly.* (Click on the link below.)

      Syncretism. Before the Israelites had a king, many of them engaged in a syncretistic religion** that blended differing beliefs and practices together. They did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6). After all, how could something that felt so good to them be so wrong? The problem was that they disregarded the clear teachings that God had given to them through Moses. Do you know what God expected from them and how the Christian’s rules for living today differ from theirs? (Ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”)

     Problem. One grown man stole his mother’s money and then returned it after she placed a curse on the thief. Then she promised to dedicate the money to God but took some of it and had a carved silver image (idol) made. This was given to her son who placed it in his home along with the other religious articles that he shouldn’t have had. Then he made an unqualified Levite his personal priest who was unwilling to rebuke the man for his idolatrous practices. He became a “Priest For Hire.” All this violated God’s clear commands (Exodus 20:12, 15; Numbers 3:10). He had no right to establish his own religion. What about you? Have you come up with your own brand of religion that contradicts God’s clear teachings for today? It may seem right, but it could end up with death (Proverbs 14:12).

      Mystery Babylon. Do you know which branch of Christendom will head up the apostate world church?  It will even assimilate other religions into it to form the one world religion. What part will it and the revived Roman Empire have in the promotion of the Antichrist to rule over the whole world? Do you know when and how it will be destroyed? What relationship does God want believers to have with this apostate religion? Read Revelation 17, 18 for the answers.

      Priests. Although Israel had a priesthood, did you know that every true Christian today is a priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9)? Instead of bloody sacrifices, we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. Do you know what they include (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16)? If you’re saved, have you offered any of these sacrifices to God recently?

     Counterfeits. Satan constantly counterfeits the work of God. His prophets, teachers, and priests often come from the basest of men (1 Kings 12:31,32; Daniel 4:17, 25; 2 Peter 2:1ff). They appear as angels of light and deceive many people and keep them away from the truth of the Gospel that can lead to their salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:3). Are you being misled by one or more of them? Are you evaluating everything you hear and believe by the inerrant Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).

     Labels. In this day and age it’s important for us to check the labels of the food we eat. But it’s much more important to make sure we’re not swallowing the lies of the devil and his agents. Otherwise we could end up very sick or even dead. A premature death can be tragic, but eternal separation from God in the lake of fire is far worse (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

      Believe. Anyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for his sins…and rose again bodily from the grave, will be saved (Acts 16:31; John 10:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Those who add their own good works to faith have polluted the Gospel and are believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you one of them? Beware of the cults who add to or subtract from the completed 66 books of the Word of God that are found in the Old and New Testaments (Revelation 22:18, 19).

     Help. We’re here to help people who are teachable and willing to change when they are exposed to the truth that can set men free (2 Timothy 2:2; John 8:32). Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com for additional help.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

Quick Links.

*Highway Hymns: http://www.talkjesus.com/jokes/14117-speeding-hymns.html

**Religious Syncretism: – http://www.gotquestions.org/syncretism-religious.html

***Religious Pluralism: – http://www.gotquestions.org/religious-pluralism.html

****Biblical Separation: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/bibdocse.htm

Like a moth that gets burned when it flies too close to the flame, so Samson, the strongest man, got burned by the woman he loved. He thought he could play with fire without being hurt. Although he was a judge in Israel, he was a sex addict. And to make things worse, he was enraptured by attractive women who were Israel’s enemies.
      Hot Water. “While my wife and I were shopping at a mall kiosk, a shapely young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. My eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, my wife asked, ‘Was it worth the trouble you’re in?’” – Drew Anderson, Reader’s Digest
      Fairy Tales. They usually end up with people living happily ever after. But Samson’s life is a fairy tale in reverse. He had been set apart by God to begin to deliver the Jews from their Philistine oppressors (Judges 13:5). But instead, he lived a life pleasing himself and ended up with his eyes being gouged out and committing suicide. He took 3,000 enemies down with him. But God even used this incident to let the Philistines know that He alone was/is the true and living God.
      Marriage. His marriage to a pagan Philistine woman ended before it could be consummated. She had been threatened with death if she didn’t get the answer to Samson’s riddle. It would have caused 30 Philistine men to lose a bet. But her tears led him to reveal his secret to her. Enraged by it, he went out and killed 30 Philistines and took their garments to pay off his debt.
      Prostitute. His next step down led him to a harlot with whom he had a “one night stand.” The enemy knew about the rendezvous and planned to kill him the next day. Learning about the plot, he got up in the middle of the night, pulled up the city gates and carried them off with him.
      Infatuation. Enter Delilah. He claimed to love her but she didn’t really care for him. She was happy to use him to become a wealthy woman. While Samson’s wife had been threatened with death, the Philistine lords promised to give to Delilah great sums of money if she could discover and then tell them the secret to his strength so they could bring him down.
      Match. Like a boxing match, Samson won the first two rounds. He thought he was tough. The third round ended in a tie, but in the fourth round Samson was knocked out cold by this very attractive woman. He finally gave in to her pestering him constantly. He told her about his hair that was a symbol of God’s strength.
      Eyes. After his hair was cut off while he slept on her lap, Delilah cried out to him when the Philistines came against him. When he awoke he thought he’d do as he had done before but failed to realize that God had withdrawn from him and he no longer had the strength he once had. Then the Philistines gouged out his eyes and put him in bronze fetters, and made him a grinder in the prison.
      Wait. That’s not the end of the story. Later when the Philistines were celebrating their victory over Samson in Dagon’s temple, and his hair had grown out again, they called for Samson to mock him and his God. Not being able to see, Samson asked a lad to lead him to the two pillars that held up the temple. With one last prayer, Samson asked God to give him strength so he could take vengeance on the Philistines for blinding him. God answered his prayer. Samson pushed on the two pillars and the house came tumbling down and three thousand people died.
      Lesson. There is pleasure in sin (Hebrews 11:25). If this weren’t true, we wouldn’t be so attracted to it and sin against God. But it lasts only for a little while. Bitterness, regrets, death, and the gnashing of teeth can follow in its wake (Matthew 25:30; 41, 46; Luke 16:19-31). “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
      Questions. Would you like to have your sins forgiven and know that you will go to heaven when you die? Would you like to have a new life in Christ and not be condemned and sent to hell that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41)? If you haven’t done so before, will you place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day? Will you stop trusting your good works to earn your way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? Would you like to have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13; John 10:28, 29)?
      Contact. You can reach us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information: http://www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to help people come to know Christ as their personal Savior and show Christians how they can live a life that pleases God.

If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  It they help you, let us know about it.  Tell your friends about this site.  We’re reaching people around the world.