Home Sermons Services Publications Links
Mustard Seed March/April 2013
Letter From the Editor
Love Turned Stone Cold
A New Name
A Passover of Thanksgiving
To Whom Is God Calling?
Bible Study Aid
The Author of this Violence - Past and Present
Love Turned Stone Cold
In Matt. 24 Jesus is giving His disciples an overview of events that will be happening around the world; because those events would give them and us today vital clues as to how far along His return to earth will be. In the wake of the terrible school shootings in Newtown, CT on 12/14/12 at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 of the 27 killed were young children - by a deranged 20 year old man! In fact as we watch our daily news programs; there are the increasing daily murders from all around the world being reported! Is it because of better reporting of these killings or do we see an alarming trend of people who simply seem to just go on shooting others - for revenge, robbery, hatred, demon possession, etc. We also see daily on the news; that gun stores all over the country are overwhelmed by people buying hand-guns, automatic assault rifles and ammunition in record numbers! It is estimated that Americans alone own over 300 million guns and counting - more than any other nation on earth! Why is this?
Why This Is Happening More Today
Jesus Christ gives us the answer in Matt. 24:12-13 which reads: "And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. V.13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." The key word in all of this exploding violence is Knowledge. As we go along; we will see that despite all of man's advanced technology that many today are becoming like robots - insensitive - without natural affection - unable to express real love and emotions! Read II Tim. 3 - Paul's vivid prophecy about the end-time showing how low mankind has sunk and the shocking lack of decent moral character we see in many people today!
The prophet Daniel was allowed to see how knowledge would be greatly increased in the last days, but he was told to shut-up (conceal that knowledge) the words and that at the time of the end many would run to and fro (modern modes of travel and that knowledge would be increased (computer technology) (Dan. 12:4)!
Has all of this technology made us happier and safer from violence, No! Eccl. 1:18 states "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." Why should this be? It is because the nations of this world does things their way casting aside the firm foundation of God's Word as a guide for a perfect society where peace, harmony and prosperity would abound! Notice the warning God gave to ancient Israel in Hos. 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." We can see in all of this; that God is taking away His protection from the tribes of Israel - letting them reap the bitter results of their rebellion against His Laws!
The Author of This Violence - Past & Present
Ezekiel 28:12-26 reveals that before man and woman were created (an unknown period of time) that Lucifer was an anointed/shining Cherub that covered God's Throne! V.15 states that he was perfect from the day he was created; until iniquity (pride and envy) was found in him. Verses 16-17 reveals that his rebellion against God caused turmoil and violence throughout the universe! His name was changed to Satan (Greek: diabolos) which means (false accuser, devil, slanderer, enemy-adversary)! He persuaded a 3rd of the angels to follow him in rebellion against God and this whole universe became a battleground with destruction allover. The planets were made desolate because of these battles! V. 16 also reveal that God cast Satan down from Heaven to the earth!
Genesis 1 states that God created the Heaven and Earth (A perfect creation) but notice v. 2 which should read: "And the earth became without form and void-(Hebrew & Chaldean meaning: Tohoo and bohu--see Strong’s #8414) - it became a waste (desolate) because of that warfare! Gen. 1:3 reveals that God had to start His creation all over again, because of that destruction. After that new creation; we see Satan being mentioned again in Gen. 3 where he encountered Eve in the Garden of Eden - and she gave in to his deception and lies! Man's violence began when Cain murdered his brother Abel - setting off man's rebellion against God from that time until now! The sad history of that rebellion and violence has been continuous until now and Jesus prophesied that that cold violence would lead to the extinction of man, unless Almighty God intervened at the last moment to save man (Mark 13:20) and then only because of the Elect (His Saints)!
A Warning for God's Church
In His message to the symbolic 7-churches in Asia Minor given to the Apostle John in Rev. 2 & 3 chapters describing conditions that would be prevalent in all eras of His church; Jesus makes a strong statement in Rev. 3:14-22 to the church at Laodicea about an attitude of some of God's people - of being neither cold nor hot (lukewarm in attitude) and in v. 16 - He states that because of this condition; that He will spew them out of His mouth (reject them - making them go through the Great Tribulation to refine them - to make them worthy of salvation)! This is a warning to us brethren; that we not let the coldness of this world rub off on us!
We are to let God's Holy Spirit in us 'Put us on fire' molding us into Spiritual Perfection that is in Jesus Christ. Let us warmly embrace our fellow-brethren and the Word of God with firm and intense devotion as never before! A gun or rifle will not protect us from the increasing violence around us (See Matt. 26:52)! Let us remember that God is our Refuge and our Shield & Fortress Psa. 28:7-9 and Psalm 91)! Jesus Christ has promised to be with us till the end of the age (Matt. 28~20!
George A. Bratcher