For “Scripture Sunday”:
Attack on Syria?
“The United States and its allies are weighing its options in the wake of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons.”
[Darris McNeely] “Today is August 28th, 2013. It is the 50th anniversary of the great "I Have A Dream" speech delivered by Martin Luther King on the mall in Washington during that great civil rights summer of 1963. We've done a blog on it on our UCG website , and of course there's wall to wall coverage about it on the internet and on television. If you haven't seen clips of that film, of that speech, or watched even a part of it our recommendation is that you go online sometime today and do that. Watch all or part of it. It is one of the great speeches of American history, and we think that it stands alone in that way and well worth your time.
Other news today that probably, or more current is taking place in Syria in the Middle East as drumbeats begin to heighten and increase. Will the United States take some type of military action along with other nations? What will be the impact of that, especially in the aftermath of revelations that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people? Graphic scenes and pictures have come out about that in recent days, and it has created quite an uproar, and it's an awful atrocity that has taken place. And now seems to be pushing American and other western involvement into this. And what does that mean? What will happen?”
[Steve Myers] “Well, those weapons of mass destruction have gotten the world's attention, and the Bible does focus on Syria in prophecy. And I can't help but think of some of those prophecies about Damascus, about Syria. There's one in Isaiah chapter 17 that talks about the burden against Damascus. And it talks about the fact in verse 1 of chapter 17. "Behold Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap" (Isaiah 17:1 See All...). Now I'm not saying that that's what's going to happen right at this very instance, but I hope that you'll notice what's going on in the Mid-East more than just saying, "My gas prices have gone up." Because so much is going on. And could it be that we're heading in that direction where end-time Bible prophecy is going to be fulfilled? It will happen. Where exactly are we?”
[Darris McNeely] “Well, that's hard to say, but Syria, Damascus its capital. Damascus is one of the major cities, one of the three major cities of the Arab world. And the entire region has been enflamed for more than two years now with other events taking place in Egypt especially. We've talked about that. What happens in the next few hours and the next few days with an American military intervention and other nations is yet to be determined. And will it happen? We'll have to wait and see. It likely, something is going to take place. What will be the impact of that? We don't know. Everyone is waiting right now to see exactly what will take place.
Should Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, should he be removed? Should his regime come to an end? Our opinion, my opinion is that any regime, that any president, any leader that commits an atrocity upon his own people of a nature like this deserves to be removed. How that will be done and when it will be done is another matter altogether.”
[Steve Myers] “Yeah, it reminded me of Luke 21 when you were saying that there are these innocent people that these weapons seem to have been used against. Christ said watch and pray always (Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. See All...). Pray for those innocent people over there that are in such a terrible dire circumstance as we look forward to the return of Jesus Christ and really the fulfillment of His prophecy when once again for all we can be beyond the atrocities and we can look forward to God's government.”
[Darris McNeely] “It's an important area to watch, an important event and twist that is taking place even as we speak and take note of this at this time.” From: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/news-and-prophecy/attack-syria
The Bible's Prophetic Festivals: Revealing God's Plan of Salvation
“God gave seven annual festivals that present the work of Jesus Christ in saving humanity. It's vital that all of us learn of them and what they teach.”
The Feast of Tabernacles, Eve of Sept 18th – 26th.
“The next annual festival, the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-36 See All...), was celebrated by the ancient Israelites with makeshift shelters, recalling their transitory dwelling when they left Egypt and made their way to the Promised Land.
Also called the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23: See All...; Deuteronomy 34:22 See All...), this festival celebrated the late summer and early fall harvest in the land of Israel. In a spiritual sense it represents the great ingathering of God's spiritual harvest of mankind following Christ's return. Indeed, this feast looks forward to the time of the earthly rule of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself observed this feast during His ministry and told others to do so as well (John 7:8-14 See All...). The Bible even states that instead of being done away, this feast will be observed by the gentile (non-Israelite) nations during Christ's reign over the earth (Zechariah 14:9 See All..., Zechariah 14:16-18  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. See All...).
Scripture tells us that the resurrected saints will reign with Christ. Revelation 20:4 See All... says: "And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them . . . And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years" (compare Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. See All...).
The wonderful truth is that when Christ returns, true Christians from this age will rule under Him as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10 See All...; Revelation 20:6 See All...)—leading the rest of the world into God's ways.
The Eighth Day
Immediately following the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles is another Holy Day or Sabbath—referred to in Scripture simply as "the eighth day" (Leviticus 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. See All..., Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. See All...). This day pictures the most joyful of all events yet to take place in God's great plan.
We should consider that the celebration of the ingathering of all humanity is not complete with the 1,000-year reign of Christ. For what about all those who died in this age who were not called as part of God's firstfruits? There will yet remain billions of people from this age who are not saved. So are they forever lost?
Many Bible students realize that one day we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. See All...).
What most don't realize is that for those who died without the true knowledge of the plan of salvation, the time will come when they will be resurrected to physical life and given their first opportunity to really understand God's plan and make an informed choice about it.” More at: http://www.ucg.org/gods-holy-days/bibles-prophetic-festivals-revealing-gods-plan-salvation/
Righteousness Defined by God’s Law
Psalm 119:172: My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all your commandments are righteousness.
This verse is important because it defines “righteousness.” Some think of righteousness as a vague idea of being right or good. But God’s definition of righteousness is very specific. What is right and good is defined by His law.
Simply put: Righteousness equals God’s law.
It should be no surprise that the opposite of righteousness is sin, which is the breaking of God’s law (1 John 3:4). God’s character is righteousness and that character is defined by His law. Sin is unrighteousness (1 John 5:17) because it transgresses His law.
God’s righteousness is based on the principle of love. Jesus Christ defined the spiritual intent of God’s law in one overarching principle—love. This great principle has two central elements: love toward God and love toward fellow man (Luke 10:27). Love, then, is the central characteristic of God (1 John 4:8) and is defined through His law. Therefore, in order for a person to grow in love and be more like God, he or she must keep the law of God (2 John 1:6).
The apostle Paul expanded on the greatness of God’s law by describing it as “holy and just and good” and “spiritual” (Romans 7:12, 14). Understanding the depth of God’s righteousness as revealed through His law is a lifetime pursuit.
Another passage to study that shows the greatness of God’s law is Psalm 19:7-11.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/righteousness-defined-by-gods-law/
The program on WGN TV this morning:
The Four Horsemen of Revelation
“Discover what you can do to survive the four frightful outbursts of violence and turmoil coming upon the world.”
On This Day:
Qaddafi leads coup in Libya, Sep 1, 1969:
“Muammar al-Qaddafi, a 27-year-old Libyan army captain, leads a successful military coup against King Idris I of Libya. Idris was deposed and Qaddafi was named chairman of Libya's new governing body, the Revolutionary Command Council.
After years of rejection in the Arab world, Qaddafi also sought to forge stronger relations with non-Islamic African nations such as South Africa, remodeling himself as an elder African statesman.
In February 2011, as unrest spread through much of the Arab world, massive political protests against the Qaddafi regime sparked a civil war between revolutionaries and loyalists. In March, an international coalition began conducting airstrikes against Qaddafi strongholds under the auspices of a U.N. Security Council resolution. On October 20, Libya’s interim government announced that Qaddafi had died after being captured near his hometown of Sirte.”
Wreck of the Titanic found, Sep 1, 1985:
“Seventy-three years after it sunk to the North Atlantic ocean floor, a joint U.S.-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The sunken liner was about 400 miles east of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.
American Robert D. Ballard headed the expedition, which used an experimental, unmanned submersible developed by the U.S. Navy to search for the ocean liner. The Argo traveled just above the ocean floor, sending photographs up to the research vessel Knorr. In the early morning of September 1, Argo was investigating debris on the ocean floor when it suddenly passed over one of the Titanic's massive boilers, lying at a depth of about 13,000 feet. The wreck was subsequently explored by manned and unmanned submersibles, which shed new light on the details of its 1912 sinking.”
Muffie arrived about 6.15 am, and Maddie, the Yorkie, was dropped off half an hour later when Jay, his mother and their neighbor took off for a day of gambling in LA. A bus takes them from Houston to the casino.
Jay kept on saying that he wanted me to groom Maddie and cut her short, and I reminded him three times that I don’t groom on the Sabbath.
Exodus 31:15 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who works on that day must be put to death.
Exodus 34:21 Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
Exodus 20:10 …but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
Deuteronomy 5:14 …but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.
How many times does it have to be reiterated in the Bible for people to take notice?
Except for emergencies: Luke 14:5 NIV Then he asked them, "If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?"
But you should tend to your animals on the Sabbath, Luke 13:15 Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?
Proverbs 12:10 The righteous person regards the life of his beast.
While Wendy and I had our Saturday phone call, I fed all four animals, and then got ready for church. I didn’t go to my usual afternoon church, as I had to go in the morning, so I went to a different one which starts at 11.00 am. I know some people who go to that church in the morning, and then to the other one in the afternoon.
I hadn’t been there before, and so I didn’t know what to expect. Well, I had been to that building before, about 10 years ago with one of my renters, whose relative was a pastor there. The building is shared by another religious denomination that meets on Sundays.
It was a very small congregation, and several families were absent, I was told. Three men read different chapters from Deuteronomy, then we had a song service, accompanied by a guitarist, who I had met at the other church. Then prayers for different people.
My discomfort was that I was directly under an air conditioning vent, and I was sitting there freezing, with damp hair. I got a sweater out of my van, but that didn’t help. Why does everyone want to be so cold, I wouldn’t want the high power bill? The lady sitting next to me was too hot, so we traded places, and I was comfy again.
The message was given by the guitarist, about “Bible Skeptics”. There is so much proof of fulfilled prophesies, which confirm the Bible. How did the ancients have so much knowledge of the stars, way before telescopes. The predictions of the destruction of Babylon. Then in Isaiah 40:22 NIV it mentions “the circle of the earth”, long before people had figured out that the earth is round. Even now archeologists are unearthing cities which are mentioned in the Bible, exactly where the Bible said they were. He was pretty interesting.
Then they invited me to their pot luck, so I stayed for that. The food and fellowship was great. Lots of veggies, so I liked that! Especially the brussels sprouts, one of my favorites. I couldn’t stay too long as I had to get back to let the dogs out, but it was an enjoyable day.