We live in a society, ESPECIALLY here in the United States, that is obsessed with the mentality which believes:
  • 1. That which is more expensive MUST be better
  • 2. The important must be extravagant, grandiose, and flamboyant
  • 3. Our leaders and stars must be personable, physically attractive, physiologically impressive, and POPULAR
  • 4. Those with the biggest following and most powerful countenance MUST be right
  • 5. Value and Importance is in DIRECT relationship to physical size (i.e. the bigger, the more important and valuable)

To our everlasting shame, we have allowed these worldly perspectives and values to also permeate out spiritual world and life. We expect the leaders that God chooses to mimic the qualities of this world and have come to expect our spiritual experience to reflect the television and "Disneyland Mentality" that has infected the general populace.

If we would TRULY know and understand God, however, we are going to have to have our "minds renewed" to HIS values !! He tells us that He counts the values of this "present World System" as RANK FOOLISHNESS, and that He has chosen that which this world despises and counts as foolish through which to display HIS Wisdom !! See 1 Corinthians 1

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. {the unrighteous...: Heb. the man of iniquity} {abundantly...: Heb. multiply to pardon} 8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. **** Isaiah 55

The words of Jesus apply equally as well to society TODAY as they did 2,000 years ago:

Jesus answered them, "You are deceived, because you don't know the scriptures or the power of God. **** Matthew 22:29

The ONLY words that we have that hint in ANY way as to a physical description of Jesus are in a prophecy concerning Him is the Book of Isaiah. They most certainly depict a man that VERY few would consider following today:

53:2 He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; He had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him. 53:3 He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from Him; He was despised, and we considered him insignificant. **** Isaiah

Again, He says of Himself that He is, "gentle and humble (meek and lowly)". Today, who wants to be like that ? Most would consider this description to represent a "geek", a loser, a punching bag -- one who is going to be trampled underfoot by the herd. The cry of the day is, "Look out for number ONE - If you don't, who else will? Get ALL that you can - Do it to them before they do it to you" !!!!!!!

11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble (meek and lowly) in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry." **** Matthew

He demanded intolerable things like: [Read More Here]

18:21 Then Peter came to him and said, "Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?" 18:22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times! (an indefinite number)" **** Matthew

6:27 I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 6:29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. 6:31 Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you. **** Luke

"Away with this man", we would say, as did the Jews in His day. "We will not follow nor have such a one as this to rule over US!"

The "Religious Minded" don't change at heart from generation to generation -- They merely put on new suits. Whether it be the "Pharisees of the Jews" or the "Pharisees of the Gentiles", they ALL want the same thing. They want Pomp and Ceremony and CONTROL!! They would have massive, ornate, luxurious, EXPENSIVE temples in which to "serve the people", while said "people" bleed in their need and poverty (whether it be physical or spiritual). They would take the highest seats where they can be honored, saluted, and esteemed by the masses.

It is interesting that Jesus lumped together the "Scribes and the Pharisees". The scribes in His day were the "religious lawyers (teachers)" while the Pharisees were the "religious leaders (rulers)". Today we have the secular lawyers and modern day Pharisees serving their same respective purposes -- To make that which they contaminate increasingly complex, obscure and indecipherable - insuring THEIR control and rule over the "uneducated masses".

Jesus said of these, "Scribes and Pharisees":

23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 23:2 "The experts in the law (Scribes) and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat. 23:3 Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 23:4 They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them. 23:5 They do all their deeds to be seen by people ..... 23:6 They love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 23:7 and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, and to have people call them 'Rabbi' ('Your Excellency'). 23:13 But woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven! For you neither enter nor permit those trying to enter to go in. 23:15 Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You cross land and sea to make one convert, and when you get one, you make him twice as much a child of Gehanna as yourselves! 23:23 Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of (your income), yet you neglect what is more important in the law -- justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others. 23:25 Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish (outward actions), but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside may become clean too! 23:27 Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of the bones of the dead and of everything unclean. 23:28 In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." **** Matthew

It is written somewhere, "And the People loved it so!"

As to the television and "Disneyland Mentality" alluded to earlier, so do the "Masters of Religious Flim-Flam" give to the peoples today that which they have come to want and to expect -- wolves in sheep's clothing and worldly charlatans in religious robes. They have substituted "extravagant delusion and lies" in the place of simple truths. As one of our "philosophers of this age" has instructed, "If you are going to sell the people a lie, make it a BIG one. The more outrageous the lie, the more likely the masses are to believe it !!!"

4:3 For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. 4:4 They will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths. --- Or, as the KJV states it --- For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; They shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. **** 2 Timothy

We have come to prefer "extravagant lies and delusions" over simple truth -- the more absurd and grandiose, the greater the following!! Observe what God TRULY wants of man (note the "s" in the first "DEEDS"):

6:28 So then they said to Him (Jesus), "What must we do to accomplish the DEEDS (works) which God requires?" 6:29 Jesus replied, "This is the DEED (work) God requires -- to believe in the one whom He has sent"" **** John

The Pharisees of both the Jews and the Gentiles have dressed it up in such complexity that ONLY THEY can decipher it for the "unlearned" -- insuring themselves "job security". The Jews have their Torah, where the simple 10 Commandments of God have been multiplied into hundreds of "commandments of man". The Roman Catholic Organization has taken the simple word of salvation and turned it into a secular monstrosity -- riddled with meaningless organization, hierarchy, dogma and ritual, and pagan superstition - where a dictator man has supplanted a Savior God.

We would look for God in the Flamboyant, in the Absurd, in the Extravagant, in the Monumental -- presented by His "modern day Apostles and Evangelists" -- who remind you every bit of the "Disneyland" movie stars and politicians". Yet God would STILL have us understand, EVEN TODAY, that He is STILL NOT in the wind nor in the earthquake nor even in the fire. He is today, as He has always been, in that "still, small voice of His Holy Spirit", embodied in the "meek and humble" personage of His Son, Jesus. The complex structure and demands of "The Law" (which could NEVER be fulfilled by mortal man) have been replaced by ONE new Law, "The Law of Love", mediated by God's own Son, Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit.

19:11 The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. Look, the Lord is ready to pass by." A very powerful wind went before the Lord, digging into the mountain and causing landslides, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 19:12 After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper. 19:13 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. All of a sudden a voice asked him, "Why are you here, Elijah?" **** 1 Kings

1:14 Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. 1:15 John (the Baptist) testified about him and shouted out, "This one was the one about whom I said, 'He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.'" 1:16 For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. 1:18 No one has ever seen God. The only one (Jesus), himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known. **** John

1:1 God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 1:2 In these last days, He has spoken to us in a Son (Jesus), whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He created the world. 1:3 This Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. So, when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 1:4 Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs. **** Hebrews

I am reminded of an instance in my own life many years ago: I had gone in for a hernia operation, performed as an outpatient operation in the doctor's office. The doctor sent me home as soon as the operation was over (that same day). When the anesthetic began to wear off, and I became aware of the great pain, I began to cry out. My dear wife who, sad to say, was rather "medically challenged", was in a state, not really knowing what to do. She later told me that she sensed God saying simply, "Pray for him". She did so in a very cursory manner, nothing profound, elaborate, or "religious". However, it was not long before the pain ceased, and it NEVER came back again. The next day I was up and out of bed, doing as though I had never had an operation at all. My neighbor, a Christian also, was quite amazed, because he said that he was laid up for a week in great swelling and pain after HIS hernia operation. He said that was pretty much the norm !!

My point is that we Christians are usually like Naamen in v.10-12 below. For healing, as for the rest of our "Religion", we want a Big Show (a REALLY "Big Shew"), NOT just a simple word.

I am reminded also of how a story concerning the great "Faith Healer" of the 1900's named Smith Wigglesworth is constantly retold in "healing circles". It seems like (at least once) that when a person came before him for the healing of some ailment, Wigglesworth felt God telling him to hit this man in the stomach "as hard as he could". The story continues that the man was miraculously healed. Perhaps, one time, these WERE God's instructions. Also, perhaps, the story is just one of those oft-repeated fables?? In any case, the problem is that this became the prescribed method in the "Smith Wigglesworth School of Healing". After all, it was MUCH more theatrical and entertaining than merely saying in a normal tone of voice, "in the Name of Jesus, be healed".

5:5 The king of Syria said, "Go! I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So Naaman went ...... 5:6 He brought the letter to king of Israel. It read: "This is a letter of introduction for my servant Naaman, whom I have sent to be cured of his skin disease." 5:7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God? Can I kill or restore life? 105:8 When Elisha the prophet heard that the king had torn his clothes, he sent this message to the king, "Why did you tear your clothes? Send him to me so he may know there is a prophet in Israel." 5:9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood in the doorway of Elisha's house. 5:10 Elisha sent out a messenger who told him, "Go and wash seven times in the Jordan; your skin will be restored and you will be healed." 5:11 Naaman went away angry. He said, "Look, I thought for sure he would come out, stand there, invoke the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the area, and cure the skin disease. 5:12 The rivers of Damascus, the Abana and Pharpar, are better than any of the waters of Israel! Could I not wash in them and be healed?" So he turned around and went away angry. 5:13 His servants approached and said to him, "O master, if the prophet had told you to do some difficult task, you would have been willing to do it. It seems you should be happy that he simply said, "Wash and you will be healed." 5:14 So he went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, as the prophet had instructed. His skin became as smooth as a young child's and he was healed. 5:15 He and his entire entourage returned to the prophet. Naaman came and stood before him. He said, "For sure I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel!" **** 2 Kings

Christ Crucified -- A Stumbling-stone and a Rock of Offense !!

Over my years, I have read many books by a Christian Mystic of the 1700's by name of William Law. One of his books deals with the "Oneness of God" -- to reconcile His Love with his Law and His Mercy with His Justice. God's Word tells us that "He is ONE" -- He is NOT like man -- fragmented into multiple compartments and schizophrenias. It says that He is "the same Yesterday, Today and Forever" -- He changes NOT !!! Unlike man, He is HOLY (wholly) rather than UN-Whole-ly. We fluctuate from day to day, depending upon the weather, our emotional condition, our mental condition, our physical condition - as a matter of fact - for EVERY and ANY reason. From beginning to end, God treats ALL men consistently, based upon HIS ultimate and immutable, "Law of Love".

"I (Jesus) give you a new commandment (Law) -- to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples - if you have love for one another" **** John 13:34,35

For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed. **** Malachi 3:6

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! **** Hebrews 13:8

Now, you will bring to my attention, no doubt, that based upon reading the Bible (OT vs. NT), secular history and the personal experiences of life, that the above paragraph has most certainly GOT to be the writing of a seriously deluded mind.

Let us take a moment to "reason together" from GOD's point of view:

In Romans 11:22, there is a passage containing the phrase, "Notice, therefore, the kindness and severity of God". In my understanding, this phrase refers to ONE set of happenings and/or circumstances and their resultant effects upon TWO different groups of people. NOTE: ONE cause -- TWO net results !! There is an interesting saying that I heard somewhere that goes, "Time heals all Wounds and wounds all Heels" -- and also, "the knife cuts both ways". Same circumstances -- the result depends upon OUR response to them !!!

11:20 Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. 11:22 Notice therefore the kindness and severity of God – severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. **** Romans

A situation that exemplifies this principle can be found in Exodus 14:20. Pharaoh was pursuing after the Israelites that he had just released from bondage in Egypt. He met up with them at the Red Sea, and there "The angel of God" (the pre-incarnate Son or Word of God) stood between the two, separating one from the other and preventing Pharaoh from overtaking them.

To Pharaoh He was a hindrance and darkness - to the Israelites He was Light and Salvation !!

Coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. It was a cloud and darkness to the Egyptians, but it gave light by night to the Israelites; and the one host did not come near the other all night. **** Exodus 14:20 (Amplified Bible )

God tells us that He is a "consuming fire". The day will come when we ALL will stand before Him and "pass through the fire". Rubbish will be consumed - gold and precious stones will remain. This verse is in reference to the WORKS of our life -- NOT in ANY way relating to our salvation. THAT is a free gift presented to us on behalf of Our Father by His Son and OUR brother, Jesus Christ !! Consider, it is the SAME fire, it is the SAME heat. The results are determined by the material passing through it !!!

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; He is a jealous God. **** Deuteronomy 4:24

3:12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, 3:13 each builder�s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. 3:14 If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. 3:15 If someone�s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire. **** 1 Corinthians

I would have you take note how He ties the "consuming fire" together with the fact that "He is a jealous God". Many would take the "fire" as a figurative expression, and in the sense here, perhaps it is. However, I also believe that, in the "Realm of the Spirit", where our works are to be ultimately tried, it will be a VERY REAL '"fire" of a form and nature which we perhaps now are unable to comprehend.

One of the Ten commandments (God's Fundamental Laws) states that, "You must not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." **** Exodus 34:14. Jesus elaborated upon this when He said, "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." **** Matthew 6:24. Now the word rendered "Jealous" is also rendered "Envy" and "Zealous". I would like to offer the idea that what is being said here is that God is VERY interested (zealous) in the well being of His people as is a loving father for his children.

Someone once said, "Whether YOU fall upon the Rock or the Rock falls upon YOU, it is going to go badly for YOU". However, when God is dealing with us, if WE "fall upon the Rock" (choose to go contrary to the will, plan and natural laws of God), it is WE who will be broken. If, however, we allow the Rock (God) to crush and sift us in HIS way, what will come forth will be finely ground clay, freed from all of its impurities -- out of which He may fashion that Precious Vessel -- a son of God. THIS is His Ultimate Desire !!!!

We have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. **** 2 Corinthians 4:7

8:13 You must recognize the authority of the Lord who commands armies. He is the one you must respect; He is the one you must fear. 8:14 He will become to YOU a sanctuary -- but a stone that makes a person trip, and a rock that makes one stumble to the two houses of Israel. He will become a trap and a snare to the residents of Jerusalem. 8:15 Many will stumble over the stone and the rock, and will fall and be seriously injured, and will be ensnared and captured." **** Isaiah

2:4 So as you come to Him, a living stone, rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God's sight, 2:5 you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 2:6 For it says in scripture, "Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone, and whoever believes in Him will never be put to shame." 2:7 So you who believe see His value -- but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 2:8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word ... **** 1 Peter

The man (generic term, includes woman) of the flesh, of this "world system" - the "natural man" - will never even be able to see or behold, let alone COMPREHEND, the Power, the Wisdom, and the Ways of God. God tells us, in fact, that they are FOOLISHNESS to him !! God tells us that, "My thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, says the LORD. For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." As the deaf man lacks the organ (ears) to hear and the blind man lack the organ (eyes) to see, the "natural man" lacks the organ (a revitalized spirit) to see and/or comprehend God.

God works in and with what men deem as "weakness" - men prize brute strength and outward power. God is concerned with what is inside of a man - man cares primarily for outward appearances and displays. Men prize material wealth (Mammon), worldly status, position and power. God says that, "a broken and contrite spirit I will not despise." Men and this "world system" judge worth by external standards: physical appearance, accomplishments, possessions, social position, actions, etc. -- God evaluates men by what they are INSIDE: their character, values, intents of the heart, etc."

The LORD [is] near them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. {unto...: Heb. to the broken of heart} {of a contrite...: Heb. contrite of spirit} **** Psalms 34:18
The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit – O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject. **** Psalm 51:17
For thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits the ages, whose name [is] Holy; "I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." **** Isaiah 57:15
For all those [things] has mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, says the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word. **** Isaiah 66:2

MEN interpet power and position to mean, "the highest shall be SERVED by all." JESUS proclaimed that, "the highest shall be a SERVANT to all !" God tells us that the "rulers of this age" (whether they be spiritual, physical, or both) thought that they had succeeded in their plan when they saw "God's Christ" nailed to a pole like a common criminal. They taunted Him, as did Pilate at His "trial", "Is THIS God's chosen servant - is THIS the King of Israel - surely THIS can NOT be the Messiah come to save His People. HE can't even save HIMSELF !!!!" Israel looked for THEIR Messiah - the King of Israel of the line of King David - to come "In Great Power and Glory", replete with a great conquering army, to overthrow all of their enemies (especially the Roman Empire) and return Israel once more to a political world power as in the time of Kings David and Solomon. THEY would have no traffic with a despised, wandering prophet (no doubt false, thought they) from some backward burg called Galilee -- who even seemed intent on overturning their glorious system of Law and their world renowned Temple. "Away with THIS man", they cried -- "WE will have no part in such as Him!!"

13:3 Because Jesus knew that the Father had handed all things over to him, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 13:4 he got up from the meal, removed his outer clothes, took a towel and tied it around himself. 13:5 He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself. [ The root of this practice appears to be found in the hospitality customs of ancient civilizations, especially where sandals were the chief footwear. A host would provide water for guests to wash their feet, serve the guests by washing their feet, or even provide a servant to wash the feet of the guests. This is mentioned in several places in the Old Testament of the Bible (e.g. Genesis 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; I Samuel 25:41; et al.), as well as other religious and historical documents. A typical Eastern host might bow, greet, and kiss his guest, then offer water to wash his feet. Though the wearing of sandals might necessitate washing the feet, the water was also offered as a courtesy even when shoes were worn. NOTE: This practice was usually performed by a SERVANT. ]13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. Peter said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" 13:7 Jesus replied, "You do not understand what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things." 13:8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet!" Jesus replied, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." So when Jesus had washed their feet and put his outer clothing back on, he took his place at the table again and said to them, "Do you understand what I have done for you? 13:13 You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and do so correctly, for that is what I am. 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another's feet. 13:15 For I have given you an example – you should do just as I have done for you. 13:16 I tell you the solemn truth, the slave is not greater than his master, nor is the one who is sent as a messenger greater than the one who sent him. **** John

Surely they did not understand that this "Living Ransom" - the very Son of God Himself - would from that cross liberate not only Israel, but ALL of creation from its pangs of sin, misery, decay and corruption into unending Glory. Who could give ALL except He that already was ALL and possessed ALL? Who could empty Himself of ALL except He that was already so full that He would neither feel nor suffer any diminution in the emptying?

Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the Lord's power revealed through him? He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him. He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him. He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not even open his mouth. He was led away after an unjust trial – but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded. They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man's tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully. Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lord's purpose will be accomplished through him. Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. "My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins. So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels. ****** Isaiah 53

Have not the "sins of the fathers been truly passed on to the children"?? The Jews STILL await THEIR Messiah to set them up as world rulers -- they STILL vehemently oppose Jesus Christ (Him crucified). In the place of "the Law and the Temple", WE have the world renowned "Roman Catholic Church". The names have been changed, but the organization goes on, Business as always !! On the non-Roman side of "The Church", the vast majority are FAR more concerned with Buildings, Programs, Statistics, "Schools of Theology", Doctrines and Degrees", and ALL of the other OUTWARD trappings than they are in a "Holy, Sanctified and Contrite Heart." The average "christian (churchgoer)", though he (she) would probably never admit it, is FAR more concerned with what his neighbor thinks than with what God thinks.

1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1:19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent." 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. 1:22 For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, 1:23 but we preach of a crucified Christ -- a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 1:24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

2:6 Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. 2:7 Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 2:9 But just as it is written, "Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him." 2:10 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man's spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 2:12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. 2:13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 2:14 The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. **** 1 Corinthians

1:26 Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. 1:27 But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. 1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, 1:29 so that no one can boast in his presence.

2:1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony of God. 2:2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 2:4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 2:5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God. **** 1 Corinthians

1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 1:17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, "The righteous by faith will live." **** Romans

Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. **** Ephesians 6:10

God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. **** 2 Timothy 1:7

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