Well, I took a break from blogging for a few months. This has been a tough year; first with the passing of my father in March, and then from a personal attack by a person in my family. To top it off we had a flood in our basement in the early spring, and so we spent the summer water-proofing our foundation.
When you work on an older house, you can expect the unexpected. Our home was built in 1960, which is not that old (it is older than me!), but we found surprises around every corner! Doing the work ourselves was an educational experience, and we saved a lot of money, but it actually took the whole summer! (We had one welcome short trip to the Ark Encounter near Cincinnati, but otherwise all we did was work on it!)
To be honest, I was not eager to do a lot of blogging, so our construction project was a welcome diversion. The personal attack was truly an attack from Satan, and I lost some sleep over it, but I also learned to lean on the Lord Jesus Christ more than ever!
If someone says you are too sinful to be saved, you can be sure that person does not know God!
It got me thinking that I haven’t really shared my testimony on Housetops. This is something that I need to rectify. Let me start right now…
I first prayed “the Sinners Prayer” when I was five years old. I certainly did understand the gospel at that time, but really it was only in theory, and I wasn’t truly saved. I really didn’t think I was that bad, and I also thought I would be the best person to rule my own life. How wrong I was! He let me make a mess of my life before I came to Him in humility.
When I was 12 years old I read a book called “Tortured for His Faith” by Haralan Popov, and I was shocked by the treatment Christians behind the Iron Curtain had to endure at the hands of the secret police. While I counted Mr. Popov as a hero at that time, I also resolved to approach the problem of persecution in a different way; I decided that if it became illegal to be a Christian, that I would run, and live under a pseudonym.
Like I said I thought I was a Christian, but really I wasn’t!
The question I asked myself was “How could I come up with a name that I could remember under pressure?” I realized that under pressure one might forget a name that one had made-up out of thin air.
So what I thought was that I would use my middle name, and modify my last name by removing one letter, and doubling another (my last name was much shorter than Knezacek when I was young, as my father had changed his name to an English name before he married my mother.)
Well, to make a long story short, fifteen years later, after the failure of my first marriage, and my own surrendering to the Lord Jesus, my ex-wife married a police officer with the exact name I had made up in my head when I was twelve years old!
I had never talked to anyone about my thoughts on this matter until this year after my father’s funeral. No one on earth knew what I had been thinking, so is this just a coincidence?
There is no such thing as a coincidence!
It was almost as if someone knew my thoughts! In fact the bible declares that God searches the hearts of men in many places.
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10
Yes indeed, God does know our thoughts! If you think back to your own history I’m sure you will find similar “coincidences”. I am certain that God does this with every one of us, but most just put it down to “coincidence”! Unfortunately most won’t remember until Judgment day!
When I was dating that young woman I had once said to her “I worship you”. No sooner had I said it than I knew, deep down, that I was wrong to say such a thing, even though it was true; it was a violation of the first commandment! God’s Law is the thing that convicts us of our sins. I knew this, even though I was not living for the Lord at the time.
Now looking back, I realize that it was God who did this, to show me that He does indeed know my thoughts, and to show me that He is the one in control, not men, and not me! I think that He took away my first wife because she stood between me and Him!
The divorce was not God’s fault, it was my fault.
After we were separated I came to the end of myself. I fell on my knees and asked Jesus to save me, and He did, but He did not give my wife back to me. When He saved me He put all of my sins on the Cross of Calvary. As a teenager I had committed many gross sins, but Jesus took them all upon Himself and He set me free!
No it doesn’t mean that I have lived sinless since then, but the nature and frequency of my sins changed. I was no longer living in rebellion against God, but actually became sensitive to His desires. Still, don’t allow anyone to tell you that Christians live sinless lives once they become saved.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10
Notice that verse 8 is in the present tense; we still have sin, even after being saved! This is why we must put off this fleshly body and take on a new immortal body, to be with the Lord!
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. I Corinthians 15:50
When the Christian Church rules the world with Jesus Christ we will be in our eternal bodies, without the tendency to sin any more! He will not need to act as a priest in Heaven, but will be free to be the King of Kings, on the earth!
When I was getting ready to marry my second wife I searched the Scriptures to see if it would be acceptable with God. I was even willing to forego a second marriage if that was His will, but I found that He was not opposed to this relationship, although I would have to give up any idea of being a Pastor, Deacon or Elder. He has not prohibited me from teaching and writing.
When I married my first wife she was already expecting our son; when my second wife and I married, she was a virgin until our wedding night. Jesus was already changing me before my second marriage, and though I am not yet perfect, He is still working on me!
Since being saved I have found these “coincidences” keep on occurring, although usually they focus on the Word of God. Often I find the preacher speaking from the same passage I was reading the week before, and some times I find that my son and I will be reading parallel passages without coordinating with each other beforehand.
Once, when walking my dog, I was thinking about how “the beast from the sea” in Revelation 13:1 is a reference to the fact that the Antichrist will come from the Gentile nations, and “the beast from the land” refers to the Jewish background of the False Prophet (the LAND of Israel). My thought was “If the Antichrist comes from the Gentile nations, how will he sell himself to Israel as being their Messiah?”
I didn’t have an answer, and went to bed pretty much forgetting about it, but evidently God heard me, or was directing my thoughts, and the next morning as I opened my bible to Isaiah 63:1 I saw the answer to my question;
1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Edom was the name given to the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau, and Bozrah is a region in Edom, which is now a part of the modern nation on the same land, just across the river from Israel.
As you go through the context of the passage you will realize that this is about Jesus at His return; He will come to the believers of Israel as they are hiding from the Antichrist in Edom, but if you take it out-of-context you can make it say that the Messiah will come from Edom, or from the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau.
Up until this point I had always thought that the Antichrist will come from Rome, but then I realized that there aren’t any verses like this about Rome! If the Antichrist came from Rome he won’t have any Scripture, either in or out of context, to support his claim to be God in the flesh!
I also found another one in Habakuk 3:3
God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
Teman and Paran are regions in Edom, or the modern nation on the same territory just across the river from Israel. The context is the same as in Isaiah 63; “the return of the Lord.” And again, the Antichrist will be able to use this verse to support his claim to be the Messiah, just so long as he takes it out-of-context. He will also use the next verse as well;
4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
When you see rock music fans holding up their fists with the index and pinkie fingers extended, they are making the sign of the Antichrist, and it comes from Habakkuk 3:4, as a sign of Jesus Christ! Of course it is, because the Antichrist is a counterfeit of Jesus Christ, and the things he will do will be counterfeits of the things Jesus will do!
So, if you are a great sinner like me, then surrender to Jesus Christ, confess Him as Lord, and He will forgive you and give you a place in His Kingdom! He Loves you, and died in your place. And remember…
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37