Saturday, October 1, 2016


 Tower of Babel

Genesis 11 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone,and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused[a] the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Diversity, so highly praised by the politically correct progressive left, was given as a curse to stop mankind from working against God's purpose. God had said to multiply and inhabit the earth, and mankind wanted to build a big ghetto and make a name for themselves. So why is something given as a curse praised by secular humanists today?

Diversity in ethnicity, culture, and religion is viewed as belonging to the natural world order. People who do not believe in Jesus may think that one religion is just as good as another, part of the natural landscape. Atheists seem to think that all religions based upon the Bible are an imposition upon their unbelief, so many are anti Christian. And many promote Islam as an alternative to Christianity, in support of diversity.

When people were scattered after Babel, each nation and tribe established their own religions, mostly pagan idolatry and animism. A culture reflects the values of its religion.  Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.  When we examine the history of nations, the most blessed nations in the history of mankind were those who worshiped God as revealed in the Bible.

Diversity in religion is a curse, and God planned to bring together in unity all who put their trust in Him. 

John 17English Standard Version (ESV)

The High Priestly Prayer

17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh,to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world,just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth;your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they alsomay be sanctified[d] in truth.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may bewith me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

But Christianity has been a terribly divided religion. Obviously, Jesus' prayer for unity has not been answered. How can we have unity?  We must go back to the beginning, and renew our love for the very Jewish Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah. 

A terrible mistake was made when Christianity in the west rejected its Jewish roots and took up the Greek love of logical argument.  Instead of trusting in the righteousness by faith in Jesus, "Christians" began to kill each other over disagreements related to theological arguments. One third of the inhabitants of Europe were killed during the thirty years war between supporters of the Reformers and supporters of the Pope of Rome.  Diversity in religion is deadly.

In the beginning, the gospel went out from Jerusalem into all the world. Now the gospel is returning to Jerusalem. But the Jewish culture must give up its hateful rejection of Jews who believe in Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah. The believers are the real children of Abraham.

Inline image 1
Messianic Jews and Israel

Yeshua is the answer for unity. Diversity kills, but unity gives life. The gospel is for all nations, so that all nations can be one in Jesus. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Terrestial or Celestial?

The City Four Square

Terrestrial ethics seems bent upon subverting the essential character of our once great nation. We were great because we strove for a higher calling, something greater than our genetic structure, something above our animal instincts, something more than selfish obsession. Our nation was founded by people who believed in the moral and ethical standards revealed in the Bible. The sense of our greatness was called into view by the words of John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.” 

Jesus said it best, Mat 5:27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[b] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

The founders of our nation believed in personal responsibility and hard work. They also believed in helping each other. They understood that the state could be the enemy of freedom, and so they limited the power of government. Families cared for their own, and the church cared for those who had no family.

Now there is a revolt against moral authority, and the revolution has cascaded into a rebellion against civil authority. Civil authority is necessary in a society where evil abounds. Perhaps a society of righteous people could do without officers with authority to enforce laws, and punish evil. But our society is showing a propensity for perversion, a rush away from righteousness and a slide toward decadent degeneracy.

Apostle Paul warned of the terrestrial dangers, Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul gave a similar warning in Col 3:5: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.

Sensual, sexual immorality, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these! What is the basic nature of the terrestrial outlook? It is selfish. It is concerned with natural passion and feelings. What will make me feel good? What is exciting? What will make me look good?

Down and dirty denigration results from living by feelings and impulses rather than having Celestial clarity that conforms to the will of God. The will of man is self centered, leading to disaster. The spirit of God leads to a higher way of living.

Paul lists the countervailing Celestial consciousness, Gal 5:22-- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Col 3:12: Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Unless we repent of our earthly nature, unless we determine in our hearts that we will give our hearts to God’s purpose, we are doomed to destruction. We must change our minds about how we want to live. Living for Jesus leads to eternal life, living for self leads to eternal death.

Jesus said, Luk 13:1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Jesus also said: Luk 24:46 “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Repentance and remission of sins! Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish! Repentance is a decision to turn from terrestrial to celestial. 

As Peter said in Jerusalem on Pentecost, Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Save yourselves from this ungodly generation who wants to live as they please, doing the things that impulses suggest. Why should we live by our genetic earthly nature? God has something better for us. Paul explained the outcome for those who deny God, and choose to rule themselves, in his letter to Rome.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Yes, we live in a generation that encourages ungodliness. From promotion of abortion and homosexuality, to rejection of Biblical influence in civil authority, we are surrounded by a class of cads (
A man whose behavior is unprincipled or dishonorable), who have decided there is no God. 

We must join the battle. Heavenly power over earthly bondage. We must cast down every power of darkness, and exalt Jesus. He is our hope for eternal glory.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Two Swords Are Enough

Two Swords Are Enough?

Scripture Must Be Fulfilled in Jesus

Luk 22:35, And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them,“But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Believers in Jesus are confronted with teaching that must be balanced as we examine our responsibilities toward government and protection of our families. Clearly Jesus taught that we are to do good to all mankind, and that we should do unto others as we would have them do to us. In the sermon on the mount Jesus said this:


38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

So why did Jesus tell His disciples to sell their tunic and buy a sword? Clearly He was making a statement about the persecution His disciples would soon face. Previously they had gone from village to village preaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand, and they enjoyed the hospitality of their hosts, who were excited about Jesus and the miracles He was performing.

But now, Jesus will go to the cross, and both Romans and Jews will persecute the disciples. When Jesus was arrested, Peter used one of the two swords to cut off the ear of the Servant of the High Priest.

52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  

Yes, disciples could no longer expect to be received with kindness and hospitality, but they would be hunted and persecuted, and a sword would seem useful. But, as Jesus warned Peter, those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Matt 26:51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

There is a higher power of protection than our personal arms, the confidence we have that whatever happens, our place with God in eternity is insured by the blood of Christ, by our faith and trust in Him. Even if we die, we will not suffer loss.

However, the occasion of rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem offer some perspective of how God’s power and protection may also involve His people doing practical things to protect themselves. When the temple was being rebuilt, God’s prophet wrote these words: Zech 4:6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. 7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”

8 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.

The Lord had promised that the rebuilding would be accomplished by His Spirit, but notice what happened during the rebuilding when enemies approached.

Neh 4:6 So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

7 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. 8 And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. 9 And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

10 In Judah it was said, “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.” 11 And our enemies said, “They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work.” 12 At that time the Jews who lived near them came from all directions and said to us ten times, “You must return to us.” 13 So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

The Work Resumes

15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, 17 who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. 18 And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. 19 And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. 20 In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

21 So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. 22 I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant pass the night within Jerusalem, that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.” 23 So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each kept his weapon at his right hand.

Yes, trusting God for protection includes personal responsibility to do what we can to defend ourselves. Paul, writing to the Roman believers, suggests that the power of civil government exists to provide protection to good works. Our civil laws provide for our using our own resources to protect our homes and families.

Romans 13 English Standard Version (ESV)

Submission to the Authorities

13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Support for law and order prevents anarchy in society. However, even as we confront evil, we are encouraged to show concern and consideration for all people. We should hate evil, and fight against every false idea, but each person is potentially a child of God, if only they come to faith in Jesus. Therefore we can hate the sin, but love the sinner.

Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

So why were two swords enough? As Jesus said, His kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom is in the hearts and minds of God’s people. Yes, we are called to fight against evil, but to love our enemies. Jesus will win the battle, using the sword of the Spirit, the Word of Truth, that will cast down every false power. In the end, one Sword is enough.

One Sword is Enough

1 Cor 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Faith? Get Real!

Faith is Trusting Something or Someone

Biblical faith is described like this:

Hebrews 11 English Standard Version (ESV)
By Faith

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Faith can be good or bad, it all depends upon in what you put your trust. The value and substance of faith is realized in the reality and reliability of the object of our faith.  Faith is powerful for good or evil. Faith in things that are real and good is of great value. Faith in things that are untrue and evil is destructive. 

Faith comes to us by our interaction with things as they are. A baby learns very early to trust in the mother who provides sustenance. The child develops a faith that food will soon come when it cries. So one level of faith is believing things will happen, even though we cannot yet see them, based upon previous experience.  So our beginning faith is shaped by our family and community.

But the values of one's community can be good or bad, kind or evil. When one's experiences are filled with wrong concepts and false ideas, one's faith is likely focused on things that are not true, things that are ultimately hurtful. 

Good or bad, faith is a powerful thing that guides one's actions. As a person thinks in his heart, that is how he or she is. Actions come from faith, what we believe is true.  The value of faith is not measured by sincerity, as faith in a bad thing can be just as strong and sincere as faith in the best thing. The faith of the person who has been taught and trained by his community in Islamic Jihad is powerful. It leads the faithful to strap on a bomb and blow himself up in order to kill unbelievers. He is willing to die for his faith.  

But is Islamic Jihad based upon reality and truth? There is no excuse for people today to be uninformed about Islam and its horrible history.  Just go to an Islamic website, and read what they say about themselves. Put Mohammed in google search and read his history. Read about the Armenian massacre by the Turks. Islam is about using military power to rule the world, and to force people to submit to authority on the pain of paying taxes or facing death. Islam is about death and destruction.

Faith in Islam is in opposition to faith in the Bible. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died to save all who believe on Him. Mohammed and the Koran deny this message. Faith in Jesus rules out faith in Islam.  Jesus rose from the dead, and is worthy of our faith.  Mohammed married a lot of wives, one very young, and killed a lot of people. People tempted to believe in Islam need to check their facts. 

But the atheist also denies the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. What about the faith of the atheist?  The faith of an atheist is very militant.  They insist that their faith is the most rational of all faiths, because they claim to believe only in things that are real; things you can touch, measure, calculate, observe. In reality, they end up believing in themselves, and being very disappointed in their faith, because they let themselves down.  And they revolt against things that were given as law on Mount Sinai. They substitute their own feelings about how things are in place of principles taught in the Bible. And their faith in atheistic humanism has done more harm to more people than even Islam.

One good thing that is happening today is that these two bad faiths, Islam and Atheistic Humanism, are battling each other. As has happened so many times in history, evil fights evil, and right thinking gains the advantage. 

So be real with your faith. Believe and trust what is good and righteous. Put your faith in Jesus Christ, and be blessed.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Don't Be A Fool!

Why are there two Psalms of David that say the same thing? Maybe because the message is very important, and certainly a message greatly needed in our so called age of reason. Those David called fools have said in their minds that there is no God. They set about to solve the world's problems by education, communication, and something they call love. But they have no comprehension of what love is. They have called feel good foolishness love, and disregarded the sacrifice and moral integrity that enables real love. Demeaning the moral laws handed down by God on Sinai, and laughing at the Biblical principles that have blessed our nation, they have proceeded to dismantle and discredit the moral foundations of our society.

Once we were known as the greatest nation on earth, and perhaps we believed it was all about us. It wasn't about us, it was about respecting God. Now we are faced with the implosion of our society because our foundations have been pulled out by fools.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Psalm 14
A Portrait of Sinners
For the choir director. Davidic.

1 The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.”
They are corrupt; they do vile deeds.
There is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race
to see if there is one who is wise,
one who seeks God.
3 All have turned away;
all alike have become corrupt.
There is no one who does good,
not even one.

4 Will evildoers never understand?
They consume My people as they consume bread;
they do not call on the Lord.

5 Then they will be filled with terror,
for God is with those who are righteous.
6 You sinners frustrate the plans of the afflicted,
but the Lord is his refuge.

7 Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come from Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

The message is repeated in Psalms 53.

Psalm 53 English Standard Version (ESV)
There Is None Who Does Good
To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.

53 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
there is none who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven
on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3 They have all fallen away;
together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
4 Have those who work evil no knowledge,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon God?
5 There they are, in great terror,
where there is no terror!
For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.
6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

Yeshua, on his way to be crucified, wept over Jerusalem.  He condemned those who trusted in themselves, and  who rejected God's instructions.  He warned about the impending destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman army, and looked to the future when He would be accepted by His people. 

Complete Jewish Bible
Matt 23:33-- “You snakes! Sons of snakes! How can you escape being condemned to Gei-Hinnom? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and Torah-teachers — some of them you will kill, indeed, you will have them executed on stakes as criminals; some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so, on you will fall the guilt for all the innocent blood that has ever been shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Hevel to the blood of Z’kharyah Ben-Berekhyah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36 Yes! I tell you that all this will fall on this generation!

37 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 38 Look! God is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate.  39 For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai.’” 

The words of the second Psalm, where the nations rage, and leaders conspire together, to throw off the bonds imposed by God, remind us of the age of reason, with all the proclamations that God is dead. 

I lived through the 60's, a time of rebellion against authority. Flower children proclaimed that love, joy,  and peace can be achieved by folks who practice secular humanism, like George Soros' "open society".  If we will just love each other, and talk to each other, all problems will be overcome, and we will have bliss on earth.  But a Jordanian Pilot being burned alive in a cage, and video being shown on Youtube, tells a different story. Some people are evil. 

Jordanian Pilot

The confrontation between good and evil has once again come front and center. Time to stop the nonsense about solving our problems by talking to each other about Darwin and time and chance. It is back to basics. Evil must be confronted. Evil must be resisted. Evil must be destroyed.

Yes, it matters whether we believe in God.  The best way to destroy evil is to convert the hearts of individuals to faith in the Prince of Peace.  We must speak up for truth and righteousness, we must show people the salvation that is by faith in Jesus the Christ.

But justice and righteousness must be upheld by the power of law. As Paul said, secular power exists to support righteousness, and the soldier does not bear the sword in vain. Pray that our nation will support righteousness and justice with wisdom, trusting in God.

 It matters whether we trust God by keeping His commandments.  The good life depends upon society's support for righteousness. 

No, Islam is not a great religion, and neither is godless secular humanism. It is time for believers to stand up and speak up for faith in God, the God revealed in the Bible.  

Psalm 2 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Reign of the Lord's Anointed

1 Why do  the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Yes, we can take refuge in Yeshua.  He is the Son of God, and there is no other intercessor between God the Father and mankind. Blessed are all who mourn for Him.

Zech 12:9-11, ESV

9 And on that day  I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Him Whom They Have Pierced

10 “And  I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and  pleas for mercy, so that,  when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced,  they shall mourn for him,  as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.11  On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great  as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

Jesus mourned for Jerusalem, the city chosen by God to establish His power as a sign to all the people of the earth. The most important thing to ever happen at Jerusalem was the resurrection of Yeshua. 

Complete Jewish Bible, John 19:31-- It was Preparation Day, and the Judeans did not want the bodies to remain on the stake on Shabbat, since it was an especially important Shabbat. So they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies removed. 32 The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been put on a stake beside Yeshua, then the legs of the other one; 33 but when they got to Yeshua and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. 34 However, one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a spear, and at once blood and water flowed out. 35 The man who saw it has testified about it, and his testimony is true. And he knows that he tells the truth, so you too can trust. 36 For these things happened in order to fulfill this passage of the Tanakh:

“Not one of his bones will be broken.”

37 And again, another passage says,

“They will look at him whom they have pierced.”

38 After this, Yosef of Ramatayim, who was a talmid of Yeshua, but a secret one out of fear of the Judeans, asked Pilate if he could have Yeshua’s body. Pilate gave his consent, so Yosef came and took the body away. 39 Also Nakdimon, who at first had gone to see Yeshua by night, came with some seventy pounds of spices — a mixture of myrrh and aloes. 40 They took Yeshua’s body and wrapped it up in linen sheets with the spices, in keeping with Judean burial practice. 41 In the vicinity of where he had been executed was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been buried. 42 So, because it was Preparation Day for the Judeans, and because the tomb was close by, that is where they buried Yeshua.

Yes, He rose from the grave at Jerusalem on Sunday morning, and sent his disciples upon a mission to carry the good news to every person on earth. But within four centuries the good news was subverted by men who loved money and power, and who established organizations and institutions which subjugated mankind to the exercise of power by ruthless men. Throughout the middle ages atrocities upon mankind were practiced by the so called "Christian" church-state monstrosities. 

In the middle of the seventh century, another movement developed that exercised the power of religion and state to enslave mankind. This movement, Islam, persecuted all who opposed their rule. They built an empire that reached from India to Spain. Their empire was dismantled in the first and second world wars. But now they are attempting comeback. And they cut off peoples' heads, and burn some people alive. 

But they also hate secular humanists. Isn't that interesting?  So why do the secular humanists like them (Islam) better than Christians? Maybe because people who do not believe in God are fools, like David said. 

Please review this article.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Believe in Jesus

Thomas Examines Jesus' Wound

Thomas believed because he saw Jesus after the resurrection with his own eyes, and had the opportunity to examine the wound in Jesus' side.  Thomas acted on his faith by carrying the word about the resurrection of Jesus all the way to India. 

Jn 20:26 --Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I believe in Jesus because I have examined the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, and concluded that Jesus did raise from the grave on the third day, and that this proves that Jesus is the Son of God. 

My favorite account of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was written by John, the Apostle to whom Jesus committed the care of His mother. This scene at the cross touches my heart, as I consider the love of a mother for her son, and Jesus' love of his mother.

Jn 19:23 --When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

John, Mary and Mary at the Cross

Yes, I believe in Jesus because of the evidence. And the most powerful evidence is the historical evidence of the resurrection, including the actions of men like Thomas and Paul who carried the message of the resurrection to difficult places in difficult circumstances. They devoted their lives to spreading this message, and they died in the process. They followed the marching orders of Jesus.

The Great Commission

Matt 18:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Yes, I believe in Jesus. And because I believe, I love and obey Him. When I was 12 years old, my faith moved me to announce my belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and having repented of my sins, I was immersed in the cold water of Little Crow Creek. 

I can talk for days and weeks about how Jesus has blessed and grown my faith.  In the beginning I was just a child, vulnerable to the assaults of Satan, but Jesus never left me alone. Three years later my mother died, and I could not understand how it could have happened. How could Jesus have allowed my blessed mother, valiant warrior of the faith, to die like that? But He stayed by my side and got me through that valley. Through good times and bad times, He never failed to provide what is needed for eternal life. 

Many times I have ventured forth not knowing what was ahead, but always trusting that God would provide. And He always provides what is His will. He keeps His promises. He never fails. 

Do you believe in Jesus?  

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Because He Lives

Ps 18:46
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—

I serve a risen Savior.  The resurrection of Jesus is a fact of history, evidenced by the dedicated lives of those who saw it, wrote about it, and died for it. My favorite is Thomas, who refused to believe until he saw Jesus in person. Thomas carried the gospel all the way to India.

I am blessed to be friends with a descendant of the original believers in India who were taught by Apostle Thomas. The following story is taken from his blog. He told me this story personally, it is interesting history of the Christians in India. The author of this is ABHILASH PAULOSE CHALAKUZHY

The year was 52 AD and the place was a small village in the northern part of Kerala named Palayur. Those days Palayur was a traditional bastion of conservative Hindus. A small group of Jews lived nearby in a hilly place and they had a synagogue there.One morning four Brahmin Hindu priests were conducting their ritualistic sun worship in the temple pond. They were from the four well known families of the area, Kadappu, Kalikavu (Kaliyankal), Shankuthiri, and Pakalomittom. They were standing half immersed in water and sprinkling water upwards chanting Vedic mantras to the sun god. Suddenly a Jewish ascetic came and stopped near where they were worshiping.

He was a visitor to the nearby synagogue and came from Jerusalem recently. The local Jews accompanied him. The visitor asked though his interpreter, what was going on. After getting their explanation he commented that it seemed the sun god was not accepting their offering, because the water fell back to the pond when they threw it up as an offering. The Hindu priests asked what could happen differently. Then the visiting Jewish holy man told them that he could throw the water as a supplication to the living God who is the creator of sun and all the other celestial stars, and his God would accept it. As the priests gave permission, he got down to the pond and worshiped God in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and then threw the water up in to the air, and to all present it seemed the water drops remained suspended in the air. The visitor explained to the Hindu priests that he was Thomas, one of the Disciples of Christ. He further told them that Jesus was the incarnation of God, the father. The convinced priests accepted baptism from the hands of the Apostle.

My grandfather had told me that our family is the direct descendants of the second Brahmin priest in the above story, the Kalikavu.There are thousands of other Christian families in Kerala claiming to be the descendants of each of these four Brahmins. According to this tradition, Christianity came to Kerala before it reached Europe or even Rome. In the 4th century, these families moved to another village, 200 miles south of Palayur to a village called Kuravilagad. St. Thomas had ordained some priests from these families. In the following years due to lack of scriptural books and the absence of connection to an Apostolic See, these groups of Christians went through a difficult period. In 354 AD, a bishop Mar Joseph and 72 other Christian families under the leadership of a merchant named Thomas of Cana emigrated to Kerala from Mesopotamia and Jerusalem.

Thomas of Cana (where Jesus turned water into wine) was said to be a blood relative of Jesus. This immigration was a great revitalization for the local Christians. These 72 families were Jewish Christians, and their descendants to this day live in Kerala. They keep a separate identity from all other communities in Kerala. They are known as Kanaya Christians and are fiercely ethnic and practice endogamy.  Christians of Kerala converted by St. Thomas accepted the Syriac (Aramaic) liturgy from this newly arrived group and apostolic benediction from the Patriarch of Antioch.

Hence, the St. Thomas Christians of Kerala are also known as Syrian Christians of Kerala. Syriac- Aramaic was the language spoken at the time of Jesus Christ in Palestineand it was also the lingua franca for communication among many nations of the East. Even today Syrian Christians use this language in parts of their liturgy.In ancient manuscripts the Christian community in Kerala is sometimes referred to as Nazaranis, meaning the followers of Jesus who was from Nazareth. Foreign travelers have also called them, Malabar Christians, as the coastal region of Kerala is called Malabar. Malankara is another name for the coast.

How reliable is St. Thomas tradition, and the story of conversion of my ancestors? The tradition is that the apostle first landed in Kodungalore on the west coast of Kerala in 52 AD. His first followers were some of the local Jews and then a few of the indigenous people. He traveled south establishing 7 churches in Kerala. He continued his missionary journey to Malacca and China. He returned to India and was martyred in 72 A.D in Madras where his tomb still remains. Many historians think that the ancient Jews of Kerala were the descendants of Jews taken in captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

Later when Cyrus, the king of Persia conquered Babylon he released the Jews, and some of them came to Kerala in 585 BC. There is enough evidence of a large Jewish colony in Kerala in the 1st century AD and there existed a continuous flow of trade between the Middle East and Kerala making the journey of the Apostle possible. Some of the early Christian converts of Kerala were probably from this Jewish community.The visit of St. Thomas to India is mentioned by many early church historians and also in the apocryphal book ' Acts of St. Thomas ' written by the Syrian Bardisan. (152-220 AD). Pantaenus, the governor of the school of faithful of Alexandria visited these Christians in 185 AD and left some references in his writings. Also, the presence of the Kanaya Christian community whose records indicate that their ancestors met St. Thomas Christians when they came to Kerala's shores in 345 AD is another strong evidence. In 552 AD, Cosmas Indicopleustus visited Kerala's coast and wrote about the presence of a Christian community there. In 1292, the famous Venetian traveler Marco Polo made the following interesting observation after a visit to the St. Thomas tomb in Madras.
"The Christians come here on pilgrimages from many places and gather some of the soil from this place where the Saint was killed, and this soil they take away with them to their countries. Now, if anyone falls ill of a certain ague, or any other fever of any kind, they give him a portion made of this soil. As soon as the sick man drinks it, he is well again." 

Marco Polo further attests that he himself took some of this soil to Venice and cured many people. (Travels of Marco Polo by L.F. Benedetto translated by Aldo Ricci). Though this treatment is not available at present at the St. Thomas' tomb, it is a revered center of pilgrimage and still annually attracts thousands from all around the world. 

In the same year 1292, the Italian missionary priest John of Monte Corvino, who was a special representative of Pope Nicholas IV visited Kerala Christians on his way to China and stayed with them for 6 months. He writes that he was quite surprised because these Christians had never heard about the Pope. Their allegiance was to the church of Persia and Antioch. Two ancient inscribed copper plates in the possession of Kerala Christians and another copy of a copper plate kept in Cambridge museum in England are further proof of the antiquity of this community.

Let me continue the story of my ancestors. converted by St. Thomas in the Palayur village, and later moved to the village of Kuravilagad in the 4th century. In Kuravilagad, they built a church with the assistance from the local ruler in 350 AD. Bishop Joseph who came with the Kana immigrants in 345 AD consecrated this church dedicated to St. Mary. My Christian ancestors lived in Kuravilagad and the surrounding areas for another millennium as farmers, merchants, and professionals, and they were well-respected members of the society. (It is about them, Gibbon wrote in his ' Decline and fall of Roman Empire '
"In arms, in arts, and possibly in virtue, they excelled the natives of Hindustan. Their husbandmen cultivated the palm trees, the merchants were enriched by pepper trade, and their soldiers preceded the other nobles of Malabar."

In 1498, when Portuguese merchants under the leadership of the great explorer Vasco Da Gamma came to Kerala, they were happy to see an indigenous group of Christians. But they soon realized that though these people were Christians, they were different from the Portuguese Christians. Portuguese were western Christians of the Latin rite who followed Pope of Rome.This was the period of inquisition in the Catholic Church and the Portuguese were very intolerant to other rites. Many local Christians became unhappy the way the Portuguese treated them, and many moved to the southern parts of Kerala, to be away from them. Kuravilagad was under the Northern kingdom, which was a protectorate of the Portuguese. The Portuguese bishop of Goa, Dom Menezes, came to Kerala in 1599 and from June 20- 24, he called for a meeting of the Kerala Christians. 153 local priests and 660 lay representatives attended these meetings and they were forced to accept the supremacy of the Latin Church.

This is the infamous Synod of Diapore in the church history. Syrian Christians were forced to accept the hegemony of the Roman Church with the threat from the Portuguese soldiers and the power of the local king. Menezes visited many Kerala churches and burned much of the valuable ancient prayer books and other manuscripts because he considered them heresies. But as Portuguese were soon defeated by the Dutch in the Kerala coast, the local Christians who were waiting for an opportunity, revolted against the Portuguese and the Latin domination of their church. The immediate provocation was when the Portuguese arrested a Syrian bishop Ahatulla from the holy land on his way to Kerala and took him to Goa as a prisoner. Somehow a rumor spread that the Portuguese drowned their bishop in the sea. On Friday, January 3, 1653, nearly 20,000 local Christians assembled in Mattachery, a port city near Cochin. They tied a long rope around a stone cross and touching the rope in a large human chain they took an oath that they or their children would never accept Portuguese or Latin hegemony over their church. This event is known in history as the Oath of Coonan Cross (leaning cross.) The people unanimously elected their Archdeacon Thomas of the Pakalomittom family as their bishop.

Later he was ordained by the visiting Mar Gregoriose, the bishop of Jerusalem under the Syrian (Jacobite) Patriarch of Antioch. At that time there were about 200,000 Christians in Kerala, and only 400 sided with the Portuguese. Soon Rome reviewed the situation more closely and started a conciliatory approach towards Syrian Christians. The Pope decreed that those who wanted could continue to practice the Syrian rite and liturgy. The Pope also sent an Italian bishop to Kerala and ordained a cousin of Arch Deacon Thomas from the Pakalomittom family as the first native Catholic bishop of Kerala. His name was Parampil Chandy Metran, or Bishop Alexander DeCampo, as western historians refer to him. This caused a large number of rebelling Kerala Syrian Christians to return to the Roman Catholic Church.

So for the first time there were two divisions within the Syrian Christians of Kerala, one group following Rome, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the other following the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. There were several confrontations between these two groups at that time. In one of those episodes in 1666 when a Portuguese bishop tried to enter the Kuravalagad Church, it unfortunately turned violent. The local ruler supported the Roman Catholic faction. The members of the original 4 Christian families were divided between these two factions. The faction that was rebelling against the papal group left Kuravilagad and moved further south to the southern kingdom, the Thekencore.

Thomas alias Oommen was my ancestor on the paternal side who lived 10 generations before me. He lived during this most turbulent period in the history of our community in Kerala. He strongly objected the Portuguese hegemony and the Latinisation of the Indian Church and he participated in Coonan Cross Oath of 1653. When the majority in his parish church, its vicar, and many of his relatives took pro- Papal position, Oommen Thomas was not prepared to compromise on his principles. If he had taken a position supporting the Portuguese and the Latin missionaries as many of his family members did, he could have avoided many of the financial and physical dangers.

He even dared to take a position against the powerful local king. Finally when he found that he couldn't be true to the faith and traditions of his fathers if he obliged to the Portuguese power, he left Kuravilagad with a brother and a sister and came to Changanacherry, a town in central Kerala. It was only a distance of 60 miles, but this short distance of travel changed the destiny for his descendants. In Chaganachery, Oommen lived in a house near the present municipal court given to him by the Raja of Theckencore. Oommen's brother became a priest and served the church in Chaganachery. At that time the churches in Chaganachery and Allepey Thathanpalli were branch churches (kurushupally) of Niranam church. Later these two churches joined Roman Catholicism. Oommen had two sons, Kuruvilla and Mathen. The second son, Mathen moved to Thiruvella and became the founding father of the Chalakuzhy family. He later died in a smallpox epidemic.

Mr Abhilash Paulose Chalakuzhy grandson of Late C P Ninan the nephew of Chalakuzhy Paulose Mathen and His Grace the Most Rev Dr Abraham Mar Thoma Metropolitan which has its roots at Chalakuzhy Madom in Thiruvalla town in Kerala.

Born Again to a Living Hope

1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.