Category Archives: Bible

Sunday Devotional: What type of soil are you?

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

Let us strive to be “rich soil” who really hears and takes our Lord’s words to heart.

And if we are “rich soil,” just remember that He expects much from us, for to whom much is given, much is expected.

So use the gifts He’s given us — wholly undeserved — wisely and well, so that we each will “bear fruit” of “a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold”!

And remember, always, to tell the Triune Godhead that we love Him with our whole heart, our whole mind, our whole soul, and with all our strength.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Prophet Zechariah foretold the coming of Jesus Christ

Zechariah 9:9-10

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
a just savior is he,
meek, and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the foal of an ass.
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior’s bow shall be banished,
and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

“a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.”

That sentence, proclaimed by the prophet Zechariah, is only one of many foretellings of the coming of Jesus Christ in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament.

Below are some more foretellings:

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Numbers 24:17

there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Micah 5:2

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Zechariah 9:9

behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 11:12

So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

Psalm 22:1, 16, 18

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

they pierced my hands and my feet.

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Psalm 16:10

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

All of which raises the question of why most Jews, then and now, refuse to believe that Jesus is Messiah.

Among the reasons why they don’t, according to the article “Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?,” are:

  • The Jewish Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David, but Jesus was not because Christians say he was the product of a virgin birth and therefore had no father. (Hmm, does that mean Jesus is not Jewish?)
  • Jews don’t believe in miracles: “Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles [as Jesus did], there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show—assuming they are genuine—is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy. Judaism, unique among all of the world’s major religions, does not rely on ‘claims of miracles’ as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of ‘miracles’ to charlatans….”

Now you see why the Talmud, the collection of the sayings and writings of rabbis regarded as superior even to the Torah, calls Jesus a “bastard,” “fool” and “charlatan,” His mother Mary a “whore,” and Christians “idolators” and less than human. (See Rev. I. B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians; first published in St. Petersburg in 1892.; and “Truth About the Talmud“.)

In his 1991 essay in First Things, “When Jews Are Christians,” David Novak, a Jew, explains that there are three types of Jewish converts to Christianity:

  1. Fake converts: “Secret Jews” who converted to Christianity not out of a genuine belief, but for self-interested opportunistic reasons — to escape persecution (as during the Inquisition), or for social and/or economic gain.
  2. Genuine converts: Jews who sincerely believe Christianity is the true faith, and no longer think of themselves as Jews.
  3. Jewish Christians, aka Messianic Jews: Novak identifies this group as a new kind of Jewish converts to Christianity — Jewish converts to Christianity who claim still to be Jews and still to be practicing Judaism, insisting that they are practicing the true Judaism. Perversely, the State of Israel rejects these Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews as Jews. In 1989, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against two Jewish Christians, Jerry and Shirley Beresford, who petitioned for Israeli citizenship as Jews under the Law of Return, which guarantees immediate Israeli citizenship to every Jew. The Court rejected their petition on the grounds that the Law of Return specifically precludes any Jew who has affiliated with another, non-Jewish, religious community, never mind the fact that the Law of Return is applied to Jewish atheists although atheism, arguably, is a form of religion.

Novak takes a different position than the Israeli Supreme Court. Claiming to speak for “normative Judaism,” Novak maintains Jewish Christians are still Jews because:

“Jewish status is defined by the divine election of Israel and his descendants. One does not become a Jew by one’s own volition. Even in the case of converts to Judaism . . . A gentile’s choice to become a Jew is a necessary but not sufficient condition of conversion . . . the convert’s choice is not sufficient to make him or her a Jew: it only makes one a candidate for conversion. The actual conversion itself is the act of an authoritative Jewish Tribunal who . . . Like God . . . is under no compulsion to elect, which is to say convert, anyone. Since Jews are elected by God, there is absolutely nothing any Jew can do to remove himself or herself from the Covenant.”

All of that only works if the Jews of today are actually biological descendants of the ancient Hebrews with whom God had made His covenant. The problem is there is compelling DNA evidence that Ashkenazi Jews, who comprise 90% of the world’s (and U.S.) Jews, are descendants of the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. See:

Revelation 2:9

“I know the blasphemy of them
which say they are Jews, and are not,
but are the synagogue of Satan.”

May the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: ‘in Christ shall all be brought to life’

Genesis 3:17, 19

To the man [the Lord] said:
Because you listened to your wife
and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,
You shall not eat from it, […]
By the sweat of your brow
you shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

Wanting to be “as gods,” our first parents in that first garden freely chose to disobey the explicit command of God. Imagine their hubris!

But the exercise of free will is not free of consequences. As God had forewarned, the issues of disobedience were dire indeed. By their fall, a door was opened to chaos; henceforth a price must be paid for being human. Where once was joy and ease, there would be suffering, hardship, and pain; where once was harmony and order, there would be turmoil and confusion. Eve and all her female progeny would bear the pangs of childbirth; work would become an affliction as Adam and all men who follow must toil in order to survive. The union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions and marked by lust and domination; humankind’s relation with other creatures and the physical environment turns askew as visible creation becomes alien and hostile to man; the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered, and humanity becomes vulnerable to the ravages of sickness and disease. As J.R.R. Tolkien put in, in “a fallen world . . . there is no consonance between our bodies, minds, and souls” (Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, p. 51).

More than all that, death enters the world. Along with lives of toil and pain, men and women would eventually die, returning to the ground from which they were first taken, “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Why our first parents’ fall required the intercession of none other than the Son of God Himself is a mystery that not even the brightest theologians could fully plumb or explain. This much we do know because we are told: By willingly sacrificing Himself to die on a cross, Jesus the Christ not only atoned for our first parents’ terrible sin, He also reversed their greatest punishment — the irrevocability of death.

That is why the Resurrection is so central to Christianity. In the words of St. Paul:

1 Cor 15:14, 17-18, 20-22

If Christ has not been raised,
then our preaching is in vain
and your faith is in vain….
And if Christ has not been raised,
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished….
But, in fact,
Christ has been raised from the dead….
For since death came through a human being,
the resurrection of the dead
came also through a human being.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.

But the promise of eternal life can be erased by sin.

St. Paul warns:

Romans 6:3-4, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

See also:

May the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

Bernie Sanders: Faithful Christians are racist bigots, unfit for public office

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states:

no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

But a religious test is precisely what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) applied on June 7, 2017, in a Senate confirmation hearing for Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

To begin, Russell Vought is eminently qualified to be OMB Deputy Director. With a Bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a law degree from George Washington University, Vought had been:

  • Executive director and budget director of the Republican Study Committee.
  • Vice president of the conservative policy advocacy organization Heritage Action.
  • Policy director for the Republican Conference of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Phil Gramm.

Russell Voight is also an evangelical Christian.

In 2015, Vought’s alma mater, Wheaton College — an evangelical Christian institution — suspended tenured political science professor Larycia Hawkins for stating in a Facebook post that Muslims worship the same God as Christians, and that she would wear a hijab in solidarity with Muslims. In a January 17, 2016 blog post, Vought weighed in on the theological debate sparked by Hawkins’ suspension. Referring to Dr. Hawkins’ suspension, Vought wrote:

“While many faculty, alumni, and outside observers are typically outraged and embarrassed by this ‘assault on academic freedom,’ I am proud of the school and hope they stand their ground. Here’s why:

First, the theological issue at stake is very important, as it pertains to what we believe about our savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God who is fully divine (and became fully human). This matters immensely for our salvation. If Christ is not God, he cannot be the necessary substitute on our behalf for the divine retribution that we deserve. […]

Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned. In John 8:19, Jesus answered, ‘You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’ In Luke 10:16, Jesus says, ‘The one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.’ And in John 3:18, Jesus says, ‘Whoever believes in [the Son] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.‘”

Note that Vought quoted Jesus’ own words that anyone who rejects Him and doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God is “condemned already”.

For that — for stating his religious beliefs — Vought was browbeaten and called “Islamophobic” and “hateful” by Bernie Sanders during the confirmation hearing for the OMB deputy directorship.

As recounted by John Daniel Davidson for The Federalist:

“On Wednesday, June 7, 2017, another Senate hearing: Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a blatant violation of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, was applying a religious test for an office of public trust.

Specifically, Sanders doesn’t think Christians are fit to serve in government because they’re bigots. Basic Christian theology, in Sanders’s view, ‘is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.’ […]

During the hearing Wednesday, Sanders repeatedly quoted one particular passage he described as ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘hateful.’ Vought wrote: ‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.’

As a matter of theology, there is of course nothing objectionable, much less Islamophobic, about that. It is simply a statement of fact: core Christian doctrine, plainly stated in the Bible, says that eternal life comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. Not that exclusivity is unique to Christianity. By their very nature, most religions are exclusive, especially when it comes to salvation.

As for having a ‘deficient theology,’ one could substitute any other religious group for Muslims: Christians also believe that Jews have a deficient theology, along with Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, and the tens of thousands of Britons who claim membership in the Temple of the Jedi Order. And of course, members of all these religions likely believe Christians have a deficient theology.

But to Sanders, a sincerely held religious belief—like believing there is only one path to salvation—amounts to bigotry and should disqualify anyone, or at least Christians, from public service. Reporting for The Atlantic, Emma Green noted that at one point, the exchange between Sanders and Vought became tense, with Sanders ‘raising his voice and interrupting Vought as he tried to answer questions.

Sanders: I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America, I really don’t know, probably a couple million. Are you suggesting that all of those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?

Vought: Senator, I am a Christian—

Sanders: I understand that you are a Christian. But this country is made up of people who are not just—I understand that Christianity is the majority religion. But there are other people who have different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?

[…] Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who defended Sanders, saying, ‘I don’t think anybody was questioning anybody’s faith here.’ Van Hollen then questioned Vought’s faith and claimed his theology is all wrong: ‘I’m a Christian, but part of being a Christian, in my view, is recognizing that there are lots of ways that people can pursue their God.’

It should go without saying that this is the sort of thing that should never come up in a Senate confirmation hearing. […] Article VI of the Constitution states that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.’ Yet it seems that Sanders and his ilk not only want to exclude sincere Christians from public office, but to impose a kind of secular test of their own. […]

That’s more or less what Sanders did by conflating Vought’s thoroughly commonplace understanding of Christian theology with racism and bigotry. A spokesman for Sanders said in a statement issued Thursday: ‘In a democratic society, founded on the principle of religious freedom, we can all disagree over issues, but racism and bigotry—condemning an entire group of people because of their faith—cannot be part of any public policy.’ The nomination of Vought, ‘who has expressed such strong Islamaphobic language,’ the statement said, ‘is simply unacceptable.’

At the hearing on Wednesday, Sanders said he would vote against confirming Vought for deputy director of the OMB. Afterwards, Muslim groups including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Muslim Advocates, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, condemned Vought’s comments, saying without a hint of irony that his views threaten the principle of religious freedom.

[…] the progressives who now run the Democratic Party will turn a blind eye to the exclusivity claims of Muslims and other religious groups they think they need in their political coalition. But they will not suffer Christians. There’s a simple reason for that: Democrats know they have lost orthodox Christians as a constituency, and now they have no use for them.”

Born and raised as an American Jew, Bernie Sanders had a bar mitzvah. Although he rarely speaks about religion and describes himself as “not particularly religious,” when asked about his Jewish heritage, Sanders said he is “proud to be Jewish”. (Wikipedia)

Given that, Sanders surely must know about his Jewish heritage’s Talmud — the collection of sayings and writings by rabbis which has priority over the Torah as Judaism’s sacred scripture. The deeply Christophobic and hateful Talmud that calls Jesus Christ a “bastard”, “conjurer”, “fool”, “seducer” and “buried in hell”; Jesus’ mother a “prostitute” and “whore”; and all Christians as “idolators”, “murderers”, “bestialists”, “evil”, “unclean”, “like dung”, nonhuman “beasts”, lower than dogs, and “children of the ancient serpent”. (See Rev. I. B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians; and Michael Hoffman, Judaism’s Strange Gods.)

By his own yardstick, Bernie Sanders should never have held political office as a U.S. senator.

Yet this anti-Constitution man wanted to be President of the United States! What chutzpah.

See also:

H/t FOTM‘s stlonginus and CP.

~Eowyn

Synagogue of Satan leader repents

…and changes the world!

Saul’s Conversion

1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

15But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

23After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

26When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews,a but they tried to kill him. 30When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

31Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

– Acts 9:1-31


Saul was horrible.

We could compare him with both ISIS and the Bolsheviks for his rabid hatred of the Christian Church. He was as cruel as either group. And he was right in the midst of his personal jihad to purge the land of this hated sect. But when the risen Lord smacked him off his horse and blinded him, he had a change of heart.

Just some food for thought.

The synagogue of Satan

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

The “Synagogue of Satan” subject keeps injecting itself into our discussions, so here is one treatment of the subject.

Bernie Sanders

Personally speaking (in a non-scholarly way), whenever I see Karl Marx, Bernie Sanders, George Soros or some putrid Hollywood mogul, the term, “synagogue of satan,” comes to mind.

The following treatment (which is slightly different than my opinion) can be found at: https://www.gotquestions.org/synagogue-of-Satan.html.


Question: “What is the synagogue of Satan in Revelation?”

Answer: The synagogue of Satan is mentioned twice in Revelation, once in Jesus’ letter to the first-century church in Smyrna and once to the church in Philadelphia. In both cases, the synagogue of Satan is opposed to the mission and message of the church.

To the church in Smyrna, Jesus says, “I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9).

To the church of Philadelphia in Asia Minor, Jesus says, “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9).

In short, the synagogue of Satan was a group of unbelieving Jews who were persecuting Christians. These groups were guilty of slandering the church in Smyrna and opposing the church in Philadelphia in some way.

The majority of the persecution the New Testament church faced came from the Jewish community. Even most of the Roman persecution was an effort to appease the Jewish authorities. This is true of Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus (John 19:1–16) and Paul’s imprisonment by the Roman governors Felix (Acts 24:27) and Festus (Acts 25:16). This pattern held true throughout the Roman world in the first century. As long as Christians were considered a sect of Judaism, they were exempt from the required observance of certain aspects of Roman state religion. However, as Christians were expelled from synagogues and denounced by the Jewish leadership, Rome began to see Christianity as a new religion that did not have these same exemptions. Therefore, Christians outside the protective umbrella of the synagogue were open to Roman persecution.

The synagogue of Satan say they are Jews (the people of God), and they persecute those who believe in Jesus the Messiah (the true people of God). In reality, by rejecting the Jewish Messiah, they have renounced their status as “true” Jews, and that is why Jesus calls them “liars.” This distinction between ethnic Jews and faithful Jews is also seen in Romans 9:6 (“Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel”) and Romans 2:28–29 (“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter”). By their persecution of the true people of God, these unbelieving Jews had become a synagogue of Satan—a gathering of people who were actually following the devil’s priorities.

Both churches are promised victory over the synagogue of Satan. This promise echoes Isaiah 60:14: “The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet.” In the context of Isaiah 60, an oppressed Jerusalem will be vindicated. Those who oppress her will bow down at her feet and will have to admit that she is indeed blessed by God—in the language of Revelation 3:9—that God loves her. But Isaiah 60:14 applied to these Jews and the Church is something of a reversal. In Isaiah 60, the oppressing Gentiles will bow down at the feet of Jews and admit that God loves them. In Revelation 2—3, oppressing Jews will bow down at the feet of the persecuted Church (with a significant population of Gentiles in it) and admit that God loves them. This is a striking role reversal.

Internet searches of “synagogue of Satan” produce quite a few links to sites that claim the “synagogue of Satan” refers to the Jewish people today and that promote all kinds of conspiracy theories about how the Jews run the world. Quite frankly, this is a misinterpretation and misapplication of the verses in Revelation. The synagogue of Satan refers to specific Jewish communities in Smyrna and Philadelphia that were persecuting the church, not to any modern situation. Likewise, no modern situation should be used as an interpretive tool to explain a passage firmly rooted in the first-century Roman world. ❦


Okay people, there’s one opinion.
Let’s have at it. 

 

Sunday Devotional: ‘Fear no one’

Psalm 69:17, 4-5, 8-10

Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I am weary with crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
from looking for my God.
More numerous than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause.
Those who would destroy me are mighty,
my enemies without reason….
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my children,
Because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.

Last year, in 2016, some 90,000 Christians were martyred, making Christians the most persecuted religious group in the world.

Today, with the exception of North Korea (which ranks No. 1), 9 of the 10 most dangerous countries to be a Christian are Muslim. In fact, under severe persecution, Christianity is going extinct in its birthplace, the Middle East. No thanks to Pope Francis, U.S. Catholic bishops have called persecution of Christians in the Middle East nothing less than a genocide.

But it’s not just in North Korea, China, North Africa, and the Middle East that Christians are persecuted. Increasingly, the culture in America is becoming hostile to Christians. See, as examples:

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ!

And to Christians who are suffering, and as a reminder to ourselves here in America where the light of Christ dims by the day, remember these words of Christ our Lord:

Matthew 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:
Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

May the strength and courage and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn