124. Bewitched to betray.

[John 13]

We have talked about Judas before. I have thought about him many times, maybe even more than about any of the other disciples. I have often wondered how it must have felt to know Jesus and experience His defiance of church and community. There is no doubt that Judas was very impressed with his friend Jesus and visualized the realization of Israel’s dream – restored rule and greatness amongst the nations.

Judas was fixated with this vision. Jesus gave him responsibility for the management of the money and there are indications that he was not a transparent modern financial administrator. He lived and walked with Jesus over a period of three years and saw many miracles. He chose his time to act, without listening to the words and discerning the times. He proceeded to set his plan in action without understanding the singularly unique point in time in the history of all mankind, the Jews included.

To understand the actions of Judas it is enlightening to go back to one of the conversations of Jesus with His disciples.

(Matthew 16:13-20)

Jesus asks an easy question: Who do the people say I am?The disciples answer: Elijah, Moses, a prophet, John the Baptist etc. That was the easy answer.

Suddenly Jesus turns around and makes it personal.

 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Trust the ever audacious Peter to blurt it out.

Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

This inspirational, Holy Spirit-infused answer prompts Jesus to speak an everlasting blessing upon Peter, that echoes throughout the church today.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 

 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

This is the revelation-knowledge that we desire from God. Not the things that flesh and blood reveals. We want to speak what the Father in heaven reveals to us.

He pronounces the words of Peter as the rock on which the church will be built. Note, it is not the man Peter, but his revelation that is the rock on which the church is built. The church of Jesus is not built upon a man; it is built on the revelation of who Jesus is.

 The revelation of Jesus as the son of the living God is the rock on which the church is built.

Remember this rhema-word (the spoken word of God into a man’s heart) of Peter when we discuss Judas at the meal where Jesus washed the feet of the disciples.

Judas acts normal (John 13:21-30). If the other disciples might have grasped the full implication of the situation, they would have prevented him to go ahead.

John was closer to Jesus to ask Him who it was that Jesus indicated would betray Him. John calls himself the beloved disciple. He knew how much Jesus loved him. It was spiritual revelation knowledge of the love of God. Jesus did not love him more than the others. John was just very aware of the love of Jesus.

On the host’s left was the place for the guest of honour and that place was reserved for Judas. It was yet another appeal from Jesus to Judas to reconsider.

To offer the guest something from the meal was a special invitation to conversation. The host was saying, this is especially for you  – let’s talk. Jesus offered it to Judas. (Compare Ruth 2:14 – Boaz invites Ruth to dip her morsel into the wine)

Again and again the appeal came. The darkness and own agenda in Judas’ heart won him over.

Then Jesus admitted to the process of how things will play out and said to him – go and do what you need to do. Still the disciples did not catch on. They thought Jesus might send him out to prepare for the Passover and give to the poor, as was the custom at the time.

When Judas received the morsel from Jesus (an invitation to communicate) the devil entered him. He was so set on his own plan that he could not respond to Jesus’ many appeals.

John mentions that when Judas went out it was night. It is a very symbolic indication of his dark deed.Deeds of darkness take place in the dark. Leaving the presence of Jesus is darkness. Leaving Christ to follow your own plans is your soul’s night.

This is the deep disparity between Peter and Judas. Consider their roles in the dark hours of the trial of Jesus.

Judas was a zealot. He was part of a political party that aimed to overthrow the Romans by force. He walked with Jesus for three years and many times witnessed the anger of the Jewish leaders flare up against Him to the point of stoning and violence. Many times the Gospels state that Jesus just walked away. To Judas this was a miracle. Maybe if he forced the hand of the authorities against Jesus, Jesus might overthrow the Romans in a miracle-like way. Without even giving a second thought to the warnings of Jesus that He was on a collision course with the rulers and will be put to death and rise again (Matthew 16:21; Mark 9:31; 10:33), Judas set his own plan in motion, “using” Jesus for his own goals.

He received the 30 shekels of silver (the price of a slave on the market at the time) from the High Priest and led the soldiers to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Very soon he saw that things were not going according to plan. He witnessed Jesus’ peaceful surrender to the soldiers to be led away to the house of the High Priest. Later that night Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, then to Herod and back to Pilate. Judas panicked. He saw that the whole thing was going wrong. He stumbled back to the leaders and uttered the words:

I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. (Matthew 27:4)

To the very end Judas did not realize that he was a player in the life of the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed One, the one man the whole world was waiting for. He died a self-inflicted death alone in utter darkness.

As soon as Judas leaves the table, Jesus speaks from His heart to His loyal friends. He pours out His mission to them. He wills them to look out for His glorification to strengthen them through the dark days of the crucifixion.

The glory of the Cross is a certainty. Obedience to God is foremost. Glory comes through obedience. Trust is the foundation of obedience.

God is present in the utmost tragedy and “wrong” turn of events. God is being humiliated to be triumphant and take all those who are obedient with Him. Still, Jesus went to the cross alone.

His farewell command is to love one another.

 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In the light of the events at the supper – the prideful position arguments and Judas’ refusal to yield to Jesus, it is over all important that the farewell command is LOVE.

Jesus loved his disciples selflessly, sacrificially, understandingly (they were human) and forgivingly. There is no doubt that also Judas’ would have been forgiven had he asked.

Enduring love can only survive in an atmosphere of selflessness, sacrifice, understanding and forgiveness.

The last words of the chapter are all about Peter.

Judas betrayed, Peter denied – what is the difference?

Judas acted in cold blood, planned and deliberate. Peter was impulsive and weak on the spot and afterwards in a terrible state self-reproach and humiliation.

There is a difference between planned sin and a moment of weakness.

Jesus knew Peter’s weaknesses. He was impulsive, speaking his heart before thinking. Jesus also knew the strength of his loyalty.

Jesus loved Peter and knew Peter loved Him. He knew He would fail, but his failure was not the defining feature in Peter’s future, just as our failures do not determine our future. His love for Jesus defined him and his denial was a moment of weakness.

In the hour of Peter’s deepest humiliation and failure, his revelation knowledge of who Jesus truly is, saved him. He found his way back to his brothers and was present behind the closed doors, sharing their fear, when the shockingly wonderful news of the resurrection came. Jesus specially mentioned Peter to Mary, to make sure he gets the news.

Jesus knew what Peter would become. He knew that one day he would be brave enough to follow Him even unto death.

Jesus sees what nobody can see, what He is doing in our lives to make us what no one could ever imagine.

 

 

 

 

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96. No guessing – we know.

People talk about hell. Christians talk about hell. How easily we say, oh they went through hell. The church talks about hell, especially the older, legalistic, hit you with a Bible over the head – churches. I realize there might be some of them still around – how horrible. I truly wish we could stop calling organized religion church. It is not the church at all. The church is such a special, beautiful concept. We should actually be talking about the church of Christ – a fellowship, not organization of children, not people whose beings are being transformed by the working of the Holy Spirit and not people with enough willpower trying to live legal lives in their futile effort to please God and some denomination.

We are in the lovely chapter that talks about the rebirth of a being. Being born a child of God after making a simple decision to surrender your life to Jesus, accept His work on the Cross is a whole new beginning; immigration into the invisible Kingdom of God on earth. There is no hell, only heaven. What is hell and heaven then? Well, I can say: easy.

Hell is where God is not; heaven is where God is.

Generally, hell would be defined as a subterranean place of punishment, as described by the Greek word Tartarus in 2 Peter 2:4. Hades and Sheol are the Greek and Hebrew words for the underworld or the temporary abode of the dead. Gehenna in the New Testament (Mark 9:43, Matthew 10:28) is a place where the soul and the body could be destroyed. It might refer to the second death, which Jesus warned against.

Whatever hell really is, where it is and how one gets there are the things each man must decide for himself. To me, the hell on earth I see around me, is enough to make me flee into the arms of God. I choose heaven. I want to live in the “Shadow of the Almighty” and in the “Secret Place of the Most High”. (Psalms 91:1)

What do we then pray in the Lord’s Prayer: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is for now, God’s presence, invited and enjoyed is heaven on earth. Where His will is done, is heaven.

The prayer is written in the Hebrew style of parallelism.

The definition of the kingdom of heaven is where God’s will is done. Life in the kingdom is a life submitted to the will of God; fully dependent on His provision, relying on His protection, living out of His resources and direction with His statutes and promises as the imperative of your life.

Full submission to the Word of God is our number one priority. God’s will is clear. There is no darkness only light. He made it accessible to all. No guessing, no confusion. Read His word – that is His will. His specific will for your life will leap from the pages in his Presence.

He has given us the power to become children of God – John 1:12

Eternal life is God life and it starts when we make the decision to become a child of God. The emphasis is not only everlasting life. It is so much more than time. It has all to do with the quality of the life we live here on earth. Earth can never give us what we need to live life abundantly and excellently.

Rebirth is a decision with supernatural consequences. Grace prompts us to surrender and believe and the result is a new life, a spirit reborn. It is an irrevocable surrender to God and life in his Spirit.

It is requalifying experience opening up the possibilities of our whole being to the supernatural dimension of life and fitting us for a beginning in God’s kingdom order.

As Jesus said we are born of water and spirit. Water is cleansing, our past is drowned. The Spirit is power, enabling us for the future.

What is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the spirit is spirit. Enablement is determined. Flesh is limited. The Spirit is unlimited.

[John 3:7-13]

There are two kinds of misunderstanding: a person misunderstands because he has not reached the knowledge or experience to understand or because he is unwilling to understand and fails to see because of the refusal to see. A man can deliberately shut his mind from the truth.

Nicodemus should have known about the doctrine of a new life.

 Cast away from you all the transgressions, which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. (Ezekiel 18:31)

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you” (Ezekiel 36:26)

The prophets spoke about a new man, the need to be changed fundamentally from the inside out.

Nicodemus threw out another objection how does it work? It is physically impossible, ridiculous to think it.

The Greek word for spirit pheuma also means wind. In Hebrew ruach means breath or wind. We do not understand the wind or know how it blows, but experience the effect. Before we can determine the direction of a wind we see the leaves move and the air moving our clothes and hair. Many things of the Spirit we do not understand, but the effect is clear to see and experience, therefore we cannot deny it.

The power of a testimony is the work of the Spirit and the power thereof is undeniable!

One man testifying about a new life in Christ was made out to be a fool to believe that Jesus turned water into wine, but testified that in his house Jesus turned “beer into furniture”.We do not know how things work. Some things we believe in we cannot see. Mostly we do not see a teacher’s brain but we hear what he teaches and see the result of his thinking.

Jesus says to Nicodemus: I talk about everyday stuff and you do not understand, how will you understand the deep things of heaven. The intellectual truth of Christianity is one thing. How does it change you in your inner man? How do you experience the power?

Most of the time we accept a prescription from a doctor without knowing exactly how the medication will impact every aspect of our anatomy. We do not know the intricacies of redemption. It remains a mystery but we need to appreciate it intellectually.

In the last phrase the authority of Jesus over the truth of the discourse is confirmed again. Jesus is telling us about God, because He came down from heaven and is the only truthful source. His authority and truthfulness is confirmed by His death. He is the only One who knows the heart of His father personally, because He is the embodied mind of God.

At this stage of the discourse it is uncertain where the discussion with Nicodemus ends and John’s words start again.

In the last two verses he touches on a strange story in the Old Testament. We will connect these two to the next chapter for coherence.

86. Homecoming discord.

The movies do it so well. It amazes me how film can express the awkward, emotional moments that portray the stress of discord in a relationship so vividly that I sit there with a knot in my stomach. A long lost brother coming home for a special occasion, either a funeral or a wedding, puts one on the edge of the seat, feeling the pain of uncertainty and wasted years.

We are children of God. Jesus is God’s son. He is our eldest brother through whom our world came into being. John writes of the grief of being made unwelcome in His great homecoming mission.

1:10-11 He was in the world, and, although the world came into being through him, the world did not recognize him. It was into his own home that he came, and his own people did not welcome him.

If men had only had the sense to see him, the Logos was always recognizable in the universe.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…   (Romans 1:20)

The world has been made to lead men to God. Creation and circumstances are so orchestrated to make men feel the void in their souls for the love that is calling out to them.

Theology has always made a distinction between natural theology and revealed theology. Revealed theology deals with the truth that comes directly from God through the prophets, the Bible, and through Jesus Christ. Natural theology deals with the truth that man could discover by the exercise of his own mind and intellect on the world in which he lives. How can we see God’s word, God’s reason, God’s mind (logos) in the world in which we live?

Revelation knowledge is the wonder of hearing our Saviour speaks through the written Word. It is the voice of conviction in our mind that directs our decisions and establishes our thoughts on the right path for our lives.

Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)

For this, the greatest blessing on our earthly living, we study and pray.

We pray for insight into our world. We can only truly see when we see with Holy Spirit eyes. We look at the universe outwards. Basic Greek thought dictated that where there is order there must be a mind. The world has amazing order. The planets keep to their appointed courses. The tides observe their appointed times. Seed times and harvest, summer and winter, day and night come according to their appointed times (Genesis 11:22). Clearly there is order in nature, and, therefore, equally clearly there must be a mind behind it all. It is a superior mind, far beyond the mind of man.

We look at the universe upwards: Astronomers tell us that there are as many stars as there are grains of sand upon the seashore. Man can calculate precisely when and where an eclipse of the sun will happen hundreds of years from now, and to the second how long it will last. It has been said, “no astronomer can be an atheist.” When we look upwards we see God.

We look at our world inwards: Where did we get the power to think, to reason and to know? Where did we get our knowledge of right and of wrong? Where do remorse and regret and the sense of guilt come from? Why can we never do what we like and be at peace? No man can explain himself apart from God.

We look at our universe backwards: our whole of history is a demonstration of the moral law in action. Empires rise and collapse according to the pattern of moral degeneration.

Israel was specially God’s land and the Jews were specially God’s people. The Jewish nation is called God’s peculiar treasure (Exodus 19:5; Psalms 135:4). The door should have been wide open for Jesus, but he was rejected. The people were being prepared for a task over centuries and then they refused the task.

Today, so many people refuse the task God has for them. It is one of the reasons for discord in our lives.

What is God’s task for you now? Are you unhappy with your circumstances? Think carefully. God has a task for you. Are you refusing it?

The fact remains that God is preparing us by all the experiences of life for something; and many refuse the task when it comes and never even realize that they are refusing it.

1:12-13: To all those who did receive him, to those who believe in his   name, he gave the right to become the children of God. These were born not of blood, nor of any human impulse, nor of any man’s will, but their birth was of God.

A man is not naturally a child of God. He has to become a child of God. You could be in the classroom, even attending lectures, but it doesn’t make you a student. As one preacher said: sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car, sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian.

Man can only enter into friendship with God when God himself opens the way. We accept the life God offers through believing in the name of Jesus Christ.

Life is tough and we often do not feel full of faith, victoriously conquering evil and pushing back the power of darkness. We need to constantly surrender our feeling of weakness and defeat. In Jesus we can never be defeated. We will triumph over the most destructive circumstances imaginable, when we fully rely on the promised strength of Jesus.

We are promised so much in the powerful name of Jesus. Jewish thought named a person to portray his nature.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:10).

We will put our trust in God because we know what he is like. We see in Jesus what God is like. We become children of God by what Jesus is and that opens up the possibility of becoming children of God. Maybe it is good that you feel weak and not able to do anything by yourself…go ahead – ask.

 

53.My strength, my song, my salvation.

All things God made are good. Creation is a wonder to be studied and appreciated every day. We, the children of Adam, have never stopped naming and labeling the wonders God made for us to sustain our life and enjoy. Our process of naming and labeling is what we call science and it is a source of awe and inspiration to any child of God, confirming the splendour of creation. Nature is an amazing and inexhaustible source of life and stimulation. Japanese researchers have established that just a 15 minute daily walk amongst trees, could reduce tiredness and improve mental health significantly.

In the previous chapters we came under the impression of nature’s participation in the judgment of sin. Nature is fully synced with God and His plan and “waits” for the revelation of His fullness in renewing the earth.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

The fifth trumpet is sounded in the heavens with awful intensity. It is announcing something beyond nature – the demonic. The abyss (reservoir of evil) is opened to release superhuman terror. In the ancient world, stars were regarded as living beings, celestial and divine in nature, but here they are described as evil. The fallen angel is Lucifer, known as the morning star and the leader of worship in heaven.

The abyss was regarded as the intermediate place of punishment for fallen angels, false prophets, satan, all demons and the beast – all things evil. (Revelation 9:1,2,11,11:7, 20:1, 20:3). The final place of punishment is the lake of burning fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:10,20:14-15). The abyss was part of the creation story. It was seen as the primeval waters mentioned in Genesis 1:6-7. It is the abode of God’s enemies. (Amos 9:3, Isaiah 51:9, Psalm 74:13) The prisoners in the pit are the disobedient hosts of heaven. (Isaiah 24:21,22) It is a place of horror and separation from God and therefore chaotic.

Smoke depicts deception. Deception is the act of propagating beliefs in things that are not true, or not the whole truth. It is a concept that presents itself as truth. The sun of truth that should bring light is darkened by the smoke from the pit. The atmosphere is changed into oppression and depression. It is when the “Sun of Righteousness” shines “with healing in His wings” that we are saved from deception. (Malachi 4:2)

Clear and wise vision is needed to expose deception. Through smoke one cannot see clearly. Vision and breathing are impaired. The revelation of Jesus is truth and the breath of God is the Holy Spirit. This is the core message of Revelation: Jesus as the king of heaven and of our hearts and the revelation of truth and clean air to breathe by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit changes the atmosphere in which we live, regardless of our circumstances.

The invasion of locusts is a symbol of destruction and described in Joel 1 and 2. Locusts bring starvations and destruction. Nothing escapes the utter devastation of locusts on the march.

The commentators agree that according to the natural characteristics of locusts Joel and Revelation are not exaggerating. The devastation they cause is beyond belief. All grass, bark of trees and every living thing are stripped away. Locust has the head of a horse, illustrated by their German (Heupferd) and Italian (cavaletta) names. In Hebrew they had five names:

gazam – shearer – destroys vegetation

arbeh – swarmer – immensity of the numbers

caal’am – swallower or annihilator

hargol – galloper – speed

tslatsal – creaker – sound

They are loosed to attack men without the seal of God on their foreheads, not the vegetation of the earth. The terrors are not literal; demonic torment is being described. Demonic locusts have the power of scorpions added. They hurt with extreme pain, but cannot kill. Death will be seen as escape, but not available. God alone has power over death and life.

When we look around us the torment of the demonic in our society is vicious and merciless. Often death looks like the only way to escape the pain.

Five months are the life span of locusts. It is only a limited time of destruction allowed. They are being described as something coming from a sci-fi movie. They resembled:

  • horses equipped for battle – ready for a fight
  • golden crowns – wealth and luxury
  • hair like women – the adultress luring the church into sin somewhat attractive like all evil. Harlots of ancient times showed hair to attract. Married women had to cover their hair to show commitment and fidelity to one man.
  • tail – to sting and hurt with agony and distress. A scorpion is the symbol of excruciating pain – Luke 10:19.
  • king whom is called in Hebrew Abaddon (destruction), and in Greek Apollyon (destroyer-king).

In the aguish of sin the people will wish for death, but cannot die. (Job 3:21, Jeremiah 8:3)

The horror mounts in 9:13-21. Demonic torment is not to destroy but to lead to repentance. It is only in the deepest darkness and pain that some will turn and acknowledge the power of salvation and redemption.

The locusts destroy but cannot kill. In Luke 10:19 Christ gives us power over all.

Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you. [Amplified]

Serpents and scorpions are symbols of demonic activity. That is what we are seeing around us in the world today – this present age. It is as Paul says:

You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. (Ephesians 2:2, Amplified)

The voice from the four horns of the golden altar depicts divine displeasure. It indicates that that the sins of men must have been very great, when the altar, which was their sanctuary and protection, called aloud for vengeance. (Benson Commentary)

The four angels bound at Euphrates could be the four sultans living east of the former Roman Empire around the eleventh century. The Euphrates river was the border of Israel and later the Roman Empire with the rest of Asia. The angels might be from the distant lands outside Israel. (Countries have angels – Daniel 10:13).

The most dreaded warriors in the world were the Parthian cavalry who lived on the other side of the Euphrates. They were extremely effective soldiers for killing. Jews were familiar with the concept of angels carrying out punishment.

A third of mankind depicts a limit to the destruction. Looking back in history, the fall of the Turkish Empire, ruled by sultans, following the Roman Empire, comfortably fits into this description of the sixth trumpet. Their rule was “bound” by the river. They never extended into Israel or Europe because of the strong rule of the church in Europe and the crusades into Jerusalem, but established a false religion in the east. As quoted from Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

 The sixth angel sounded, and here the power of the Turks seems the subject. Their time is limited. They not only slew in war, but brought a poisonous and ruinous religion. The antichristian generation repented not under these dreadful judgments. From this sixth trumpet learn that God can make one enemy of the church a scourge and a plague to another. The idolatry in the remains of the eastern church and elsewhere, and the sins of professed Christians, render this prophecy and its fulfilment more wonderful. And the attentive reader of Scripture and history, may find his faith and hope strengthened by events, which in other respects fill his heart with anguish and his eyes with tears, while he sees that men who escape these plagues, repent not of their evil works, but go on with idolatries, wickedness, and cruelty, till wrath comes upon them to the utmost. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – my emphasis)

Benson’s Commentary meticulously follows the years of the conquests to underline the detail of this prophecy in the history of the Turks and the Greeks. For myself, I have to restrain my interest in the historic detail, which thrills and captivates me.

The more important theme here is that evil is under restraint – the concept of limitation. The presence of the church contains evil. Jesus gave us authority over evil as quoted above from Luke 10. We keep the destruction at bay and with our armour in Christ bring down the principalities and powers of darkness. This is our true calling.

The number of the cavalry is depicted as something beyond counting – twice ten thousand times ten thousand, which calculates as two hundred million.

 The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands;

The Lord is among them as He was at Sinai, in holiness.  (Psalm 68:17)

They were armoured in the colours of flames; fire and brimstone coming out of their mouths always a symbol of evil and destruction. The horses have heads like lions and tails like serpents. Serpent-tails bring hurt and harm.

The revelation of evil serves to clear the way for repentance. Harm and hurt must be brought to the Healer. His Grace is always available, even for last minute repentance and desperate pleas for mercy.

So often God is blamed for all the bad things in the world, without any personal knowledge of Him or turning to Him. The wickedness of idolatry is so deep and deceptive that idolaters refuse to repent in spite of the overwhelming evidence of God’s displeasure with them. (Psalm 115:8; 135:18). The unfortunate effect of sorrow and distress is in some people the hardening of their hearts.

The last verses of this chapter sounds like a lament from heaven, mourning the unbelief of the people, while stating the facts of worship to the demons and idols of gold, silver and bronze that cannot see, hear or walk and the sins of murders, sorcery (drugs and intoxication), sexual immorality and robbery.

I thank God for the details of the vision that help me to understand the overwhelming evil in the world today and the consequences of destruction and disease. Just a glance at the statistics of STD’s as one example of immorality, is shocking. The general recommendation to avoid these diseases, is having one partner or complete abstinence.

What a privilege to live in the realm of the Kingdom on earth, to know that there is a better life where my value as a person is not determined by my participation in the life of destruction. We, as children of God, can live in the shadow and protection of our almighty Father and stand against the devastation.

Let us sing the ancient Song of Moses: (Exodus 15)

“I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously;

The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea.

“The Lord is my strength and my song,

And He has become my salvation;

This is my God, and I will praise Him;

My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.