The queen of heaven

God told Jeremiah he shouldn’t even pray for the people of Israel because their sins had reached the point that judgment was unavoidable.  One of the sins he cited was their worship of the queen of heaven.  Entire families were engaged in this worship.

As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
Jeremiah 7:16-18

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Things I have read on the internet – 33

My latest list of good internet articles.

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Sleeping or praying?

Before his arrest Jesus spent time praying.

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:39-46

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Prayer and incense

One item of furniture in the tabernacle was an altar which was used only for burning incense.

And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.
Exodus 30:7-8

Incense was to be burned twice a day every day.  In the book of Revelation we learn the meaning of incense.

The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:8

Incense is a symbol of prayer.  The fact that incense was burned everyday shows that prayer should be part of our everyday routine, not just something we do in emergencies and when we have a special need.  There might be times when we need to spend more time praying than we normally do, but we should never let a day go by without spending some time in prayer. Read the rest of this entry

Things I have read on the internet – 32

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The four living creatures

Revelation chapter 4 describes John’s being carried in the spirit up to Heaven, into the throne room of God.  Among the sights he sees there are four living creatures that surround the throne.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

Revelation 4:6-8

Many believe these creatures are cherubim because their description resembles that of of the cherubim that appeared to Ezekiel.

As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.
Ezekiel 1:10

Both descriptions include similarities to a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle.  But there is one difference.  Each individual cherub resembled all four of these; each of the living creatures was like one of them. Read the rest of this entry

Are you a Satanist?

Are you a Satanist?  The answer most people would give to this question is “No!”  The popular conception of a Satanist is someone who meets at midnight with other Satanists to perform Black Masses and other Satanic rituals.  There are probably some Satanists like this but the vast majority of Satanists are unaware of the fact that they are serving Satan and many of them even believe they are serving God.

In his letter to the Ephesians Paul describes the condition of Christians before we were saved.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Ephesians 2:1-3

Before our salvation we were dead in our sins and followed Satan, the prince of the power of the air.  God and Satan are moral opposites so there are different requirements for worshiping them. Read the rest of this entry

Traditions

All Christians accept the Bible as being the inspired word of God and believe that it is our guide for what we believe and how we live.  Some believe the Bible is all we need; others believe that church traditions are also authoritative and are needed to supplement and accurately understand the Bible.  Here is what Wikipedia says about this:

Sacred tradition or holy tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority.

The word “tradition” is taken from the Latin trado, tradere meaning to hand over, to deliver, or to bequeath. The teachings of Jesus and his Apostles are preserved in writing in the Bible as well as word of mouth and are handed on. This perpetual handing-on of the Tradition is called a living Tradition; it is the transmission of the teachings of the Apostles from one generation to the next. The term “deposit of faith” refers to the entirety of Jesus Christ’s revelation, and is passed to successive generations in two different forms,sacred scripture (the Bible) and sacred tradition (through apostolic succession).

In the theology of these churches, sacred scripture is the written part of this larger tradition, recording (albeit sometimes through the work of individual authors) the community’s experience of God or more specifically of Jesus Christ. Hence the Bible must be interpreted within the context of sacred tradition and within the community of the church. Sacred tradition, and thus sacred scripture as well, are “inspired,” another technical theological term indicating that they contain and communicate the truths of faith and morals God intended to make known for mankind’s salvation. This is in contrast to many Protestant traditions, which teach that the Bible alone is a sufficient basis for all Christian teaching (a position known as sola scriptura).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_tradition

What does the Bible itself say about this? Read the rest of this entry

Voting for Trump

If you are considering voting for Donald Trump I recommend you read this statement which was posted on Facebook by Joshua Agan.

***

You have the right to vote as you wish. I do not disparage or condemn your choice, as you see fit between you and God.

BUT, here is my explanation of my choice, because people keep insisting that I am wrong.

I will not and cannot vote for Trump, but I do NOT condone sitting out on an election. I WILL vote, but not for Hillary or Trump. It is your civic duty and your right to vote, and it is negligence of your civic duty when you refuse to vote.

Nevertheless,
When I say that I cannot and will not vote for Trump, I am quickly reminded that I will lose my guns, abortions will continue unchecked, bad judges will be appointed, and I will ultimately lose my religious liberty.

Okay, valid points… let’s talk about that. Read the rest of this entry

Things I have read on the internet – 31

My latest list of good internet articles.

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Things I have read on the internet – 30

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One flesh

God created Adam, the first man, out of dust.  Adam couldn’t find a helper that suited him so God made him fall into a deep sleep and removed one of his ribs.

 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:22-24

The union between Adam and Eve was the first marriage and it is the pattern for all subsequent marriages. Read the rest of this entry

Things I have read on the internet – 29

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I asked the Lord that I might grow

Have you ever prayed to God for something and found that afterward everything in your life seemed to go wrong?  John Newton apparently experienced this but he realized that the troubles he experienced were in fact God’s way of answering his prayers.  He wrote a hymn called I asked the Lord that I might grow in which he expressed both his frustration and his faith.  Here are the words.

1 I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

2 ‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray;
And he, I trust, has answered prayer:
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair. Read the rest of this entry

Things I have read on the internet – 28

My latest list of good internet articles.

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Things I have read on the internet – 27

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The faith of Bartimaeus

On his final trip to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped to heal a blind man named Bartimaeus.

As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Read the rest of this entry

Which Gehenna was Jesus talking about?

Gehenna was the name of a valley near Jerusalem which, in the time of Jesus, was used as a garbage dump.  Even the bodies of convicted criminals were disposed of there.  A fire was continually burning to consume the trash.  Jesus spoke of Gehenna several times but the word is usually translated as “Hell.”  Did the translators make a mistake or was Jesus applying the name of the valley to a place of future punishment?  Many false teachers who deny the existence of Hell claim that Jesus was only talking about the valley.  The best way to answer this question is to look at what Jesus said about it. Read the rest of this entry

Things I have read on the internet – 26

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Pray for the Supreme Court

There is a vacancy on the US Supreme Court.  The fact that abortion and same sex marriage are now legal in the United States is the result of decisions by this court, so naturally anyone who has strong views on these subjects is concerned about who will be chosen to fill the vacancy.

Christians should do what we can to make sure the next member of the Supreme Court holds views on these and other issues that are compatible with what the Bible teaches but we have another tool for influencing the court that others do not.  We can and should pray that God will move the court to make the right decisions in the cases that come before it.

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Proverbs 21:1

If God can control the hearts of kings he can certainly control the hearts of Supreme Court justices. Read the rest of this entry

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