It is for

that Christ
has Set
Us Free !!

Above ALL else, Jesus came to SET US FREE -- First and foremost, free from SIN, free from ourselves, free from the opression of satanic forces -- then free from bondage to the beggarly elements of THIS age, man made moral and religious laws -- the yoke of legalism in ALL of its forms. He likewise came to set us free from control and domination by OTHERS, no matter WHAT the relationship between said individuals might or might not be. We were formerly held in this bondage by FEAR, but "perfect love casts out fear" !!

It would appear that, in the Book of Luke, Jesus began His campaign (ministry) in Galilee with a brief, concise, succinct "Statement of Intent" as to "Why He was here" and "What He was all about" !!

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor". **** Luke 4:18,19

Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, "If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" So if the son sets you free, you will be really free. ****** John 8:31,36

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love. **** 1 John 4:18

Set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. **** Hebrews 2:15

As we walk in the perfect freedom of Jesus Christ -- taught and guided by His Spirit -- we need be in bondage or slavery to NO earthly or NON-earthly force -- be it spiritual or human. "For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery."

No sooner had Jesus brought His "Kingdom to Earth" than the forces of darkness and slavery began their work to undermine it. Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they:

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. 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 hell as yourselves! **** Matthew 23:13,15

Now these SAME forces would seek to undermine the work of liberation that Christ came to perform -- NOT by outright denial of His Work of Salvation and Freedom -- but by insinuating themselves into His Church, His Body - and undermining from within by adding to, by adulterating the "Pure Gospel". Since they can not outright deny His work on the cross, they would seek to bring in "Another Gospel" -- one which would claim that NO, His work on the cross was NOT entirely sufficient - His Work is NOT "finished", but that rather WE must add something to that work -- "good works" and lawkeeping - in various shapes, forms and degrees !!

It is, IN FACT, idolatry -- a "god" fashioned from man's imagination - the work of HIS own hands !!

For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image ...... Therefore, God gave them over in the desires of their hearts ...... They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. ****** Romans 1:21-25

These forces of Satan immediately attacked the Church at Galatia, which Paul had to oppose vigorously, and Satan has been hard at work ever since, bringing those whom Christ died to set free BACK into captivity to the "beggarly elements of this age" with his lies and deceptions:

Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. **** 2 Corinthians 4:3,4

You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Have you suffered so many things for nothing? -- if indeed it was for nothing. Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard? **** Galatians 3:1-5

There always have been and there always will be (often more WITHIN the so called "church" than without) -- those who would seek to bring us into slavery and bondage, to exercise THEIR control over us, to be "Lords and Masters" - subject us to THEIR Will and Ego - not for OUR good but for THEIR "glory".

One major way that those in leadership positions within the so-called "church" have sought to exercise THEIR lordship and control over others is though the principle of "submission". To many, both without AND within the church, this word has become synonymous with "slavery, dominance and control" - and RIGHTLY too - so twisted has the exercise of it become by those whose "god is their stomach"

For many live, about whom I have often told you, and now, with tears, I tell you that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, they exult in their shame, and they think about earthly things. **** Philippians 3:18,19

Godly, biblical submission (BOTH within the church AND the home) was instituted by God for the upbuilding and protection of His Church and His Children. It was to be conducted by the "undersheperds", who, taking their lessons from the "Chief Shepherd" (Jesus Himself), would be prepared and willing to "lay down their lives" (literally, if necessary) for the caring and protection of those assigned to them. This is ESPECIALLY true of the husband's care and loving of his wife !!!

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves rightly in every respect. **** Hebrews 13:17,18

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church, He himself being the savior of the body. As the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, so that He may present the church to himself as glorious, not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. **** Ephesians 5:22-28

Instead, the Church AND marriage has been infiltrated by "false Shepherds", who, caring NOTHING for those entrusted to them, have used their God-given positions to "fleece the flock", abusing them with their authority while building up THEIR OWN "kingdom, power, position and wealth".

So Jesus said to them again, "I tell you the solemn truth, I am the door for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep, he runs away. I am the good shepherd. ...... I lay down my life for the sheep." **** John 10:7-15

A MAJOR point that has been all but lost by the majority of the "Christian Church" is that God has declared the keeping of ANY Law or Ritual related to the worship of Him as nullifying the very grace that saves us in Jesus Christ, "You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace!" **** Galatians 5:4. As the Apostle Paul elsewhere states, it is paramount to receiving a "Different Gospel".

"Nothing gives one a more spuriously good conscience than keeping rules, even if there has been a total absence of all real charity and faith." **** C.S. Lewis

I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes. **** Romans 10:2-4,

We know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. **** Galatians 2:16

The Roman Catholic Organization - built upon its foundation of heathen/pagan rituals, laws and superstitions - the Seventh Day Adventist with its emphasis on "Sabbath Keeping", the JW's with their "Works Mentality", the Mormons with their "Special Revelations", the Church of God with its STRICT legalism, and any and ALL other churches which have insinuated within themselves ANY form of Law and/or Ritual that comes between or is a requirement for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ are included. MANY Churches blindly believe that it is their obligation to teach and enforce the Ten Commandments. That is NOT to say that God's Church is to be WITHOUT Law, but as Jesus taught, it is to be under the FAR more encompassing "Law of the Spirit and of Love". This law does NOT weigh the outward actions ONLY, but rather the "intents and desires of the heart". It is the Law birthed and administered by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.

How can so many be so blind ?? Surely it is as Jesus Himself observed, "Seeing they would not see and hearing they would not hear" !! Paul penned the entire Letter to the Galatians to combat this very error that was prevalent even as he preached the gospel. He stresses that law and ritual are the very Antithus of a living relationship with God. They are, in fact, designed to keep one apart from the presence of God, to keep one separated, to foster "Religion" -- MAN's effort to meet God (at a distance) on his OWN terms and to actually attempt to CONTROL God.

In his letter to the Church at Galatia, Paul had to violently oppose those who would "creep in unawares" and seek once more to bring them from their "Liberty in Christ" into the "Bondage of Man". The particular "demon" that he had to resist was the act of circumcision. He went so far as to proclaim:

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery. Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all! And I testify again to every man who lets himself be circumcised - that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace! For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight -- the only thing that matters is faith working through love. You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you! A little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise! **** Galatians 5:1-9

Paul stressed the ritual of circumcision, but DO NOT miss the full meaning here. At that time, circumcision was the "Special Ordinance", the "Mark of Preferred Status", the "Entry Into the Kingdom" as far as the Jews were concerned. It was the unique symbol of their exclusive and special relationship with God (their "Club Key" so to speak). It must have been intolerable to them (as it is intolerable to many today as related to THEIR "Special Criteria" for approaching God) to have Paul declare that this circumcision had been rendered "null and void" by God Himself -- it was now of NO significance whatsoever -- "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight -- the only thing that matters is faith working through love. ..... and a new creation." **** Galatians 5:6;6:15

As a matter of fact, Paul considered this matter to be exceedingly important, with far-reaching and overwhelming implications and consequences --- So much so that he became quite agitated and violent in his attempt to persuade those whom he had worked so hard for and loved so much away from their FATAL error.

I am confident in the Lord that you will accept no other view. But the one who is confusing you will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Now, brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those agitators would go so far as to castrate themselves! **** Galatians 5:10-12

It is of no use to say, "Well, I am not under "THE Law" -- I just follow this particular ritual, observance, legality, or ordinance. Paul states, "I testify again to every man who lets himself be circumcised - that he is obligated to obey the whole law" **** Galatians 5:3. He says that you CAN NOT, "bite off a piece of your own choosing" !! To obligate yourself to a PART of the Law is to embrace the effects of the FULL Law. Just like you can not be, "just a little bit pregnant" !! When The Law is here spoken of, it does NOT refer to just the so-called "Ten Commandments", but ALL of the Laws, Codes, and Ordinances outlined by God to the Israelites in the Books of Exodus and Leviticus.

Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body -- a wisdom with no true value. They in reality result in fleshly indulgence. **** Colossians 2:6-23

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by God's word and by prayer. **** 1 Timothy 4:1-5

James, in the book bearing his name, likewise reiterates this principle:

For the one who obeys the whole law, but fails in one point, has become guilty of all of it (the whole law). **** James 2:10

If you wish to read an OUTSTANDING expose regarding God's Ultimate Intention (or His Plan), I heartily recommend a book by that name written by DeVern Fromke. You might also enjoy "Unto Full Stature" by the same author and "The Normal Christian Life" by Watchman Nee. Another excellent read would be, "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. Buy your INEXPENSIVE books at one of these sites: Amazon, Alibris, Abebooks. You may also read an in-depth essay by me HERE, entitled: "Will God, IN FACT, be All-In-All ??" Click HERE for an excellent explanation on the TRUE meaning of the concept of "Adoption of Sons".

Ultimately, God purpose and plan is to have a family of "Mature Sons (and daughters)". For a time, we were under the tutorledge of the Law. In the "fulness of time", when "Faith in and through Jesus Christ" was revealed, we were SET FREE from the "beggarly elements" of this age unto the glorious freedom that is now ours as "Sons of God", now under the DIRECT tutorledge of God's Holy Spirit Himself. In THIS, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, for you are ALL one in Christ Jesus". Beware, do not let ANYONE steal your inheritance !! In Him (Jesus) we ALL have DIRECT access to our Father. In Him, we may ALL cry out, "Abba (Daddy), I Love You" !!!!!!!!!!!

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba, Father" The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God's children. And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) -- if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. ****** Romans 8:14-18

God had no intention of leaving His children in the frightened, stunted, retarded, blind condition that they found themselves in after the disobedience of Adam. He always had a plan, and was busy executing it from the beginning. It might be stated thus, "I will make for me a Son". While it is true that He CREATED Adam (and thus a race of children) in the garden, a Son could NOT be created, but must rather be DEVELOPED through birth and experience. God is (and always has been) developing His Mature Sons (and Daughters too, for in Christ there is neither male nor female). In the proper time, at the Consummation of all things, they will be revealed, and the whole of creation, now groaning under the weight of Sin and decay, will rejoice with Joy and Glory unimaginable !!!!

Click [ Here ] for MORE Scripture verses.

Many years ago there was a popular song by a singer named B.J. Thomas entitled, "There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see." Another man by the name of William James is credited with saying, "Many people think they are thinking when, in reality, they are merely REARRANGING their Prejudices."

In a very insightful movie, a pompous, self righteous character was asked to comment upon a particular topic. His response was, "I do not think about that which I do not think about !!" If this article merely challenges you to TRULY THINK, to meditate deeply upon that which you "THINK that you think", then regardless of the outcome of your reflections, in my mind it will have been a RESOUNDING SUCCESS!!

In the parlance of Physchotherapy, it is NOT a problem for one NOT to know, for he/she can be enlightened and come to understand. It IS, however, a SEVERE problem when one WILL not know, for then he/she enters into a state of denial, deception and willful "blindness".

Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that those who do not see may gain their sight, and the ones who see may become blind" Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and asked him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus replied, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains". **** John 9:39-41

Concerning them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "You will listen carefully yet will never understand, you will look closely yet will never comprehend. For the heart of this people has become dull; they are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them." **** Matthew 13:14,15

For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. Although they fully know God's righteous decree -- that those who practice such things deserve to die -- they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. **** Romans 1:21-28,32

Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. **** 2 Corinthians 4:3,4

So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. **** Ephesians 4:17-19

This nation and its people are indeed today ensnared in a net of MASSIVE bondage and are well on the way to destruction. I wrote back during the 911 crisis, "The United States rests traumatized in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Yet the REAL enemy lies NOT without our boarders, but rather - WITHIN them!!" In ancient Israel, when the nation was faithful to her God (Jehovah), He prospered and protected her. When the nation abandoned her God, and went whoring after heathen idols, God gave her up into the hands of her enemies. Click [ HERE ].

Today's society seems to be overwhelmed by FEAR -- Fear of Disease, Fear of Poverty, Fear of Violence, Fear of Rejection, Fear of Aging, Fear of Losing Our Vitality, Fear of Failure, Fear of Others, etc. -- Psychosis and Neurosis abounding !! While, materially and technologically, we are one of the wealthiest societies in the world and in history, yet we are, IN FACT, one of the poorest !! What we no longer have is a sense of Moral Direction or National Heritage. We don't know Who or What We Are, either individually or as a Nation. We have NO Foundation - no "Sense of the Absolute". Our present society is build upon the Shifting Sands of Contemporary Theories, Feel-good Platitudes, and unfounded, untested Opinions. Click [ HERE ].

You say, "I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing," but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Take my advice, and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see! **** Revelations 3:17-18

God Himself has PROMISED that when any peoples will have sunk so far into degradation and self deception as to outright deny the power, EVEN the existence of the Very God, that HE HIMSELF will send upon them a "spirit of delusion" that the work of their destruction might be completed.

The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan's working, with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing -- because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. Consequently, God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. And so all of them, who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil, will be condemned. **** 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

It is VERY doubtful if today, we as a nation would even be able to defend ourselves against a massive outside attack. We are rotten from within (as was the Roman Empire) from drug abuse (of ALL kinds) - racial prejudice and strife of unprecedented proportions - poverty, homelessness, hopelessness, indifference, despair - a spirit of blind hatred and violence beyond understanding - a spirit of fear, greed, general immorality, materialism, and SELF-centeredness - and our moral values eroded to nonexistence by the sex-crazed hedonism of our age. Click [HERE].

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. **** 1 Timothy 4:1,2

Understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. For some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women (AND men) who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions. Such women (people) are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. **** 2 Timothy 3:1-7,13

Vast portions of our youth (AND adult) population are basically illiterate - so low is their ability to PROPERLY spell, read, write and comprehend. For THIS group, forget about the higher skills of logic, science and mathematics. Spiritually, they have been rendered into leeches, lacking ANY sense of productive contribution, by the "Materialistic Machine" of this society as a whole and that of their PARENTS in particular !! In today's society, "Anything for a price. Money is GOD !!!"

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. You cannot serve God and money (riches, wealth, power). **** Matthew 6:24

Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils. **** 1 Timothy 6:9,10 NOTE: You will observe that it does NOT say that MONEY is evil, but rather the "LOVE" (lusting, craving) of it.

There are many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers ...... who must be silenced because they mislead whole families by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught. **** Titus 1:10,11

Click [ Here ] for an excellent article entitled, "The Looters, Leaches, and Moochers Utopia".

In the above cited article of mine, I said that to MY spirit at least, these conditions register as a planned conspiracy by the world powers whose goal is ultimate world domination under one leadership. While it may or may NOT culminate in the coming of the antichrist, I MOST definitely DO believe that this dominion will one day be manifested here on earth by said powers. Why go to war with a nation and destroy trillions of dollars of valuable resources? Better yet, why not undermine the society from within until the people NO longer have the will, the power, or the ability to defend themselves. BEST OF ALL, what if they are so deceived, deluded and intellectually destroyed that they never even KNOW that they have been conquered ????
There are three excellent books which will surely open your eyes on this topic. They are entitled, "The Greening of America", "Opposing the System" and "The Subversion of Christianity". Buy your INEXPENSIVE books at one of these sites: Amazon, Alibris, Abebooks.

There was an excellent TV Sci-fi series called, "Babylon 5" that I enjoyed VERY much (you would be AMAZED at what insights and wisdom can be derived from Sci-fi). In one episode, a dictator had taken control of ALL of earth and one of his departments was called, "The Department of Public Relations and Information Dissemination". One of the PR reps from this department (a VERY sexy, seductive blonde) went to visit Babylon 5, which was a massive space station located in the outer reaches of our galaxy. As she and the captain of said station were talking, he inquired, "How is the poverty situation on earth?" She replied, "There is NO more poverty". "Well how about the unemployment situation?" She replies, "There is NO more unemployment." "Well how about violence, riots and civil unrest.?" "There is total earth peace and EVERYONE is totally and completely happy and satisfied", the PR reps replies.

In amazement, the captain inquires, "When did all of these miracles occur ?? I was on earth less than a year ago, and there were homeless people wandering the streets, whole sections of cities were slums, and the jobless were rioting in the streets !!" "Oh THAT", she replies, "Well anyone who REALLY wants a job can get one. If they are out of work, it is THEIR OWN fault -- they are just shiftless and lazy !! As for the slums, you give SOME people good housing, and it will be turned into a slum in a matter of months. Regarding the riots -- YES -- there ARE a few trouble makers and malcontents, but they will soon see the light of our Great Leader's wisdom and benevolence. Besides, why stir up unrest and anxiety among the general populace while our New Leader implements his programs to bring about world peace, harmony and prosperity. This is the era of 'Good Speak', and those who 'trouble the waters' WILL be dealt with swiftly !!"

Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, "If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" "We are descendants of Abraham", they replied, "and have never been anyone's slaves! How can you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin". **** John 8:31-34

As those people were deceived in Jesus' day, so are we even MORE deceived today! The truth is that the Jewish crowd to whom Jesus spoke were at that very time little more than slaves to the Roman Empire. They had, over the years, been captured by many nations. We today believe that because our forefathers fought to free this nation, that freedom will somehow be a perpetual FREE gift. NOT SO !! It must be continually guarded and protected. We may not be enslaved (yet) by another nation, but make NO mistake, we are indeed today SLAVES !

As a nation and as a people, Israel believed that they were "God's Favorites", that they were under His special providence and protection because they had His Temple in their midst. They believed, thusly, that they were invulnerable and unconquerable because "their God was with them". Little did they hear or perceive, despite the constant warnings of the prophets which God sent to them, that God HIMSELF was about to overthrow them -- That HE was stirring up the armies of the earth against them -- That HE would "destroy them utterly" !! Why ?? Because their so-called "WORSHIP" of Him was nothing but hypocritical lip service, totally devoid of ANY Life, Heart or Reality !!!

HELLO ----- Does this sound somehow FAMILIAR to anyone ?? How about, "WE (the United States) are a Christian Nation" -- HOW ????? Maybe, "God loves us special because WE send out so many missionaries and do so much 'GOOD ??' for the world". NO, then perhaps, "We (the US) have more 'christian' churches than any other nation in the world. SURELY His Spirit MUST be with US".

The Book of Malachi was the last written communication of God to His people before the coming of Jesus Christ. As I read the complaints that He voiced against Israel, it makes me wonder, might these not also be His last word to US as a nation and as a people. YOU read them !!! Could He not just as well be speaking to US ?????

In the Old Testament, God had long grown weary and heartsick over the blindness, hypocrisy and deceit of His people (Israel) and the total superficiality and emptiness of their "worship and relationship" to Him. In Isaiah and Malichi, He goes so far as to tell them:

For they have rejected the law of the Lord who commands armies, they have spurned the commands of the Holy One of Israel.

No, this is the kind of fast I want. I want you to remove the sinful chains, to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free the oppressed, and to break every burdensome yoke.

I absolutely despise your festivals! I get no pleasure from your religious assemblies! Even if you offer me burnt and grain offerings, I will not be satisfied; I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves.

I wish that one of you would close the temple doors, so that you no longer would light useless fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you", says the Lord, "and I will no longer accept an offering from you.

Then once more you will see that I make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not".

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