Trinity-560x560“I believe in God”

CHRISTIANITY has a specific unique faith.

In light of what I have previously posted now I need to be more poignant. I also want to be careful because many people in their attempts to talk about God make it sound anywhere from a fifth grade science fair project to the forensics you see on one of the CSI shows or Bones.  Theology is not supposed to dissect Deity into little pieces but reveal the majesty and splendor of the one true God.

We should not want to over-simplify biblical definitions of God for the curious spectators of this age. I do not want to talk about eggs and various forms of water to illustrate God. God is mysterious and he is above us in every aspect, his thoughts and ways can never be measured or understood. People say Christianity is simple, or it its all about love, or all about helping the poor, or this aspect or that-they are sadly ignorant. Christianity is all about God, specifically his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Christian faith or belief system is monotheistic. Monotheism is the belief that there is only God. The apostle Paul says that all other gods are anywhere from lifeless idols to demons (1 Cor 10:18-22) and we have no agreement, concord or unity with false religion. Among the three major religions that proclaim they believe in one God we are the closest to Judaism and Judaism and Christianity are furthest from Islam. All people must confess that Jesus is Lord and God or they cannot go to heaven.

Our faith distinguishes itself. Jesus Christ is God’s Son and we worship God as the Trinity. The Trinity is one God in three persons. There are many books dealing with this subject. That is called apologetics or the defense of the faith.  We must be clear that The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Father is not the Spirit. We can study the Trinity at another time. There are many anti-Trinitarian cults and sects out there-it is sad, but at one time being part of one of those groups, I have realized my errors. I stand with my fathers and heroes of the faith and now I shall not be ashamed.

Finally, let me say we owe a great debt to those who were heretics. I know I do. A heretic is a person who is against biblical teaching. Sometimes when we are challenged about what we believe it motivates us to study and make what we believe clear. Most of the teachings or doctrines we believe about God were developed in creeds due to the fact there were those who perverted or rejected biblical definitions of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and salvation. People did not like that the Church used words outside of the Bible to defend scripture. I know that is a silly concept and all pastors and preachers would be out of a job for sure. The use of Trinitarian terms has been vociferously attacked for many years.

BB Warfield said it like this, “The doctrine of the Trinity lies in Scripture in solution; when it is crystallized from its solvent it does not cease to be Scriptural, but only comes into clearer view…the doctrine of the Trinity is given to us in Scripture, not in formulated definition, but in fragmentary allusions… we are not passing from Scripture, but entering more thoroughly into the meaning of Scripture.”

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.


NiceneWordle“I BELIEVE” is more like a stated opinion than an admission of what a person considers to be truth these days.

Pluralism teaches that there can be more than two kinds of ultimate realities. Christianity takes an exclusive position on  truth not such a silly outlook on life.

There is only one God and one truth.

We live in a day where it seems everyone is entitled to their opinion but where no one knows what is right from wrong.

On the other hand we have entire groups who base their fellowship on what that group believes-but they are usually side issues-they are marginal not cardinal.  Groups for years have taken sections of the Bible where they attempt to make a distinctive of one doctrine: prophecy, worship styles, dress codes, baptism in water or the baptism in the Spirit and even diet. I do not mean to be uncharitable, but in most of those instances they make other Christians either sub-Christian or refuse to call them Christians at all.

That is why I espouse to the apostles creed. It helps me avoidsconfusion and produces a unity based on scripture rather than just warm, cuddly feelings.

“The oldest usage of the term “Rule of Faith” (regula fidei), now commonly given to the Scriptures, has reference to this creed.” (James Orr).

I base my fellowship with other Christians on the Apostles Creed. The Apostles Creed teaches what Christians everywhere no matter their denomination should believe or accept as true. These are truths at the heart of the Christian faith. This way I do not compromise the scriptures and do not fellowship at the lowest common denominator. Dodd comments,

“The Apostles’ Creed is a declaration of things which are most surely believed among us, and its several parts or articles are founded upon the contents of Scripture, which is our one rule of faith. It does not begin with the words I think or I know, but with the statement “I believe.”  “Belief” is used in various senses, but here it means the assent of the mind and heart to the doctrines expressed in the Creed. When we repeat the form we declare that we accept and adopt all the statements which it covers.”

What do you believe?

You say, I believe in God.”

I believe in “The Bible.

Or you say, ” In Jesus.”

But which God are you referring to? What is the Bible and what does it teach and what does it say about Jesus?

The Apostles Creed has the basic summary for all Christians to accept as truth.

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.


CUS430Mercy“The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps. 103:17).

I want you to think about the mercy of God. Mercy is described as not getting what you deserve or as the Psalms put it,  “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.” Psa. 103:10).

God extends mercy to you today for all your failure. The mercy of God meets us right at the point of our failure. Where your sin seems so great, his grace and mercy are much greater.

The mercy of God is described as everlasting to everlasting.  

I know we don’t usually use the word everlasting in our vocabulary we and at first blush this phrase just seems to be a very emphatic way to describe something that lasts forever but we think about this idea of mercy without end.

We could go in all these theological ramifications of eternity but I want to go at this another way.

This term describes God’s mercy as stretching backward without limit and stretching forward without limit. It has no origin or end. It is unrestricted and boundless. God’s mercy is so overwhelming it is there all the time. God is present everywhere, he knows everything and he is all-powerful. That is pretty deep.

So often we think in terms of God’s mercy by our actions good or bad, especially when we do something especially bad or especially good in our own estimation.

Sometimes we feel God owes us mercy for the good things we do like prayer, or church or helping our neighbor. We love feeling we made something up to God in some way, by some action, so we earned or merited his mercy. As much as we preach to people you cannot make any deals with God, we try, don’t we?

At other times, we feel we will never receive his mercy because we have done something in the past that was so wrong, or we continue to do things we should not do. We feel like we don’t deserve his mercy or forgiveness until we permanently change or repent.

We are strange like that.

But that is not the way mercy works at all.  Our works good or bad do not qualify us for God’s mercy. It is not based on human action, it is all about God. God is not limited by what we do, he shows mercy because HE is merciful. He delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18). The God of the Bible is completely different than the false god of manipulative religion marketed today.

I read one commentator who described mercy as God’s “exuberant goodness” (Clarke).  I just think that is awesome. God acts in mercy toward us in a lavish,  joyful, unrestrained manner. He is generous with his mercy. God has mercy upon you…he has mercy upon me. He loves to show us mercy, freely, unconditionally.

I want to close with the commentary of Mr. Barnes who said that mercy,  “had no beginning; it will have no end. There never was a period in the past when it was not the purpose of God to save his people; there never will be a period in the future when it will be said that his saving mercy has ceased.” (Barnes).

I know some are going through painful situations and it is hard to see God’s mercy. We judge his mercy based on our pain.  Our own shortsightedness does not allow us to see his mercy at work. But many people later have their eyes opened that it was God’s mercy and goodness that was right on the heels of the difficulty they were going through (Psalm 23:6).

May you understand and see his mercy that never ends in your life today.

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.


blessedJesus said, “How blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because it is they who will be satisfied!”

Christ is the end of the law. He satisfied all its demands. HE IS ALL YOU NEED.

By his Sermon on the Mount he exposes our need for him and futility in earning or deserving God’s blessings for all obedience is based on perfection.

Jesus Christ is the One who has satsified God and provided righteousness for those who believe in him.

This passage is not speaking of those who suffer from spiritual starvation and dehyrdration and because of that- they will be seen as righteous.

Being poor in spirit does not mean spiritual poverty merits heaven, the same as meekly going through abuse does not mean you merit earth’s blessings.

Showing mercy and creating a peaceful environment will not earn us mercy and brand us with the title “sons of God.”

The same with hunger and thirst. The source of life, which is the opposite of lifeless toil is Christ and he as the Bread of Life tells us we will never need to be hungry and as the Water of Life we will never need to be thirsty.

Anytime we hunger or thirst we are directed to Him as our Source of blessings and satisfaction.

No one but Jesus who ended the demands and curses of the law upon us can merit heaven, earth, mercy, sonship and righteousness.



THE BLESSED mourned with strong crying and tears bringing us COMFORT FROM GOD.

THE BLESSED was meek and lowly in heart so we could find REST FOR OUR SOULS WHILE HERE ON EARTH.

THE BLESSED was hungry during temptation, thirsty on the cross so WE COULD BECOME HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

THE BLESSED was pure in heart so he purifies us so that we CAN CLEARLY SEE THAT AS HE IS AND BE LIKE HIM.




© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.

God Made the Call Right The First Time

Both baseball and football have more rules in regard to reviewing plays to make sure the right call on a play is being made. There has already been many controversies to the chagrin of fans and players. Football has the red flag and baseball has instant replay.

This past summer (2012), Washington Nationals baseball team’s Michael Morse was asked to mime a grand slam in the first inning of the Nationals-Cardinals game after a call was overturned, leading to an odd, albeit hilarious, situation at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Morse hit a fly ball to right field with the bases loaded in the first inning off Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse. The ball bounced off the second wall in right field and back onto the field, so right fielder Carlos Beltran played it like a live ball. Beltran threw the ball into the infield, and second baseman Skip Schumaker chased down Morse and tagged him out. At that point, Morse would have been credited with an RBI single to put the Nationals up 1-0.

The umpires decided to review the call and, after looking at replays, they determined that the ball bounced into play after hitting the second wall, which is considered a home run. They reset the runners on the bases, and they asked Morse to return to home plate (after touching first base on his way back) to mime a grand slam.

Morse happily obliged, and he was credited with his fourth career grand slam to give the Nationals a 4-0 lead. Even though it was odd seeing the umpires recreate the situation, the important thing is that they got the call right.

Truth is stranger than fiction.

God does not need to review the call he has made, he made the call right the first time. For context sake, we need to remember the way God does things. The scriptures says that God “left not himself without witness…for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Acts 14:17; Jude 1:3).  What the Bible teaches, the truth that he has made known in his Word does not need a do- over. It was then complete, and that nothing was to be added to it.  It was done once and completed once and is not subject to review. Anything that is new as far as adding to what God has already revealed is a review. It is not of God. It is unnecessary and unacceptable. God made the call right the first time.

God has also called you to come to Jesus and be saved! What a play God made! It was awesome as he caught your falling soul.  Watch it in slow motion sometime! The crowd of witnesses went wild! What an awesome hit Jesus made when he knocked sin, death and hell out of the park!!! But some always question and think it was an incomplete catch or it was not a real home run and claim it was only a ground rule double or had fan interference. they cannot possibly be children of God now they question and want them to review in in the booth. But God made the call right the first time.

When you heard the gospel by preaching, the Holy Spirit joined himself in power to those words and created the miracle of salvation in your heart. You were an unworthy, undeserving law breaker both unwilling and unable to love and serve God. All of that is true!  Some would question and throw out the red flag questioning why God would save ungodly people like you and I. They look at our lives even now and we are far from perfect, and we still do do dumb things.  People look on it cynically, like some look on people who convert to Christ in prison and call for an instant replay of your sins and actions with a smirk.  But God refuses to be questioned about this decision. God made the call right the first time. There is no need for review.

Paul says, “He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 2:14). The gospel of grace is a divine power that brings salvation (Rom 1:16). We are not to be ashamed of it, it needs no review. God has called you by His grace through the precious blood of Jesus poured out on the Cross and  that will never be rethought, amended or rescinded. “The God of all grace, who called you”  is never going to change his mind about saving you (1 Peter 5:10; Rom 11:29).

It was his call.

It was his decision.

Our conscience may fight against this because it has an instant replay and reviews our bad decisions-our sins. The rules and laws of Moses sometimes are seen more clearly in their review of our lives rather than the solution that God gave for the sin problem, Jesus.

It is Christ alone who saves and delights to save. Your call to salvation and salvation itself will it never be subject to review.  The Bible says, “Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Rom 8:30).

God made the call right the first time.  Be at peace.


God was still at odds with his Old Covenant people. God seems to show his displeasure with those who claim to love him but despise others.

When the ark was returned to the city of Bethshemesh, they all rejoiced to see it (1 Sam 6:13).

It is possible many people from the towns came to see it like a tourist attraction.

God obviously hated that.

The men of Bethshemesh foolishly looked into the ark and God destroyed fifty thousand and seventy men (1 Sam. 6:19).

Yahweh shows no favoritism and the ark was not their property just because they said they were religious and it was rightful furniture of where they worshiped.

They were just well informed religious people who had chosen the pagan idols of the Baals and the Ashtoreths of their day alongside of the true God and God was going to shut down their religious show.

If they were going to be like this, He did not want to be among them and he was for the time content to be in an open field rather than in Shiloh Worship Center. It makes one weep to think he found no place among men.

Today, many contemporary worship centers refuse to preach the scripture replacing it with a water downed version of pop theology that appeals to everyone that was ignorant of the word.

Is it possible that today, that as we see God’s sentences of justice against wickedness among the sin benighted nations-we feel justified.

You see, those who believe they can be saved by their religious practices have a low view of sin and a high view of self. Like Cain, they offer what they do to God like corrupt vegetables and toxic salad and want God to accept what they think should please him rather than what actually pleases him. They do not see how God demands perfection and that perfection is found in Christ alone.

Yet, they can never accept salvation by grace alone but they fight it  they think it is never enough. Fake Churchianity and the institutional churches of today that do not align themselves with the word of the Lord will face his justice as well because they are not protected by the blood of the Cross.

Many institutional worship centers and their life coaches are coy when it comes to releasing the full force of Scripture on the consciences of their hearers. So in the name of being practical they engage people on the basis of quality of life and success rathere than on the terms of the gospel and the new covenant.

Christ warns, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mk. 8:38).

We are used to hearing that verse in terms of being a witness of the gospel message to those who are lost. But again that is not completely the case. Backslidden men and churches that are uncomfortable with preaching undiluted scripture, nervous about disclosing what the Bible teaches about Christ are an embarrassment to God and his angels.

About a year ago, we heard of a church with 7, 500 members in Long Island NY that someone who was serving communion to packed house and several services on Christmas day had Hepatitis A.[i]

But imagine something worse happening to people in the worship centers of our day.

Mulder and Scully show up and see an embarrassed pastor at his wits end because his congregation has rats scampering in the fellowship hall during Sunday school (for the churches who still have it) and unable to sit in their pews due to tumors (for the churches who still have them) during service because it hurts to do so.

After a while the pastor and his staff are being confronted by the congregation needless to say, their neighbors and businesses about the rats and the public health concern about the hemorrhoids.

They even wear masks and gloves to prevent the R5-H5 virus (taken from the five golden rats and five golden hemorrhoids analogy) to solve their problem.

Imagine that in church buildings all over the country-the same problem was spreading even to their missionaries overseas.

The story goes on that people do not want to come to church. The only thing the pastors, deacons and elders can do is tell their congregation to just wash their hands until they come up with an inoculation of some sort. It is not that they do not want to sit in church but they want to be able to sit period! So the church leadership must offer some other solution. It would be hard to attract people in our churches in such a condition, no matter the latest program because we would be infested with rats and disease. All our programs no matter how seeker sensitive would go right out the window.

The diseased message of American Churchianity has brought a pandemic global spiritual plague because what is being preached across pulpits and endorsed by churches and denominations is not the message of the Bible.

Imagine if we had a symbol of God’s presence like Israel did in the ark?

We do.

It is the Cross.

Unlike the ark that was stolen in battle, we just put it outside in the church shed. For those of you unfamiliar with biblical types and symbols the ark is referred to as the mercy-seat. It is a type of when Jesus died on the cross.  It is the message of Christ Crucified, Buried and Raised Again has been neglected.

There is a movement that is out to take all classical Christianity out of the church (except of course some of the religious biblical nomenclature that we can market) and any symbols, the cross, Bibles, hymn books out of the church and set the church up with a stage and video screens.

These people use the Bible and the holy things of God for their own motives and they dress up in religiosity and spiritual infomercials. Their goal is to make God and church more palatable to those who still hate God and the gospel.

You have to eventually change the message because of the methodology.  The message of the cross is too powerful, too untamed for people to handle.

The message of grace is too radical, even destructive to people’s lives. The exclusive claims of Christ create such a large gap between other religions and philosophies that it leaves true Christianity diametrically opposed to everything that claims to be truth around it.

The message of the Cross refuses to cohabitate  nor takes second place to man centered fleshy ideas of church growth and salvation.

It is so radical it will leave many worship centers only with a stump left of their fishy, rat infested, diseased message.

The Cross is the great leveler of human pride and idolatry. It is too heavy for many!  But the cure, the only healer is Christ and his presence among his people.  It is the reclamation of the truth of the gospel that is the vital and necessary element for the church today.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.


The Dagon worshiping Philistines were trifling with the wrong Deity-he was the living God and they had stolen something that belonged to him-the ark, the symbol of God’s glory.

The Bible accounts that after they left the ark next to Dagon, the LORD also knocked down it down during the night.

The priests walked in the temple in the morning and  must have seen it flat on the ground and started screaming.

I am sure it was a big idol so who knows how long it took to set it up again.

So the next morning they returned and not only did it fall again, but God decapitated the idol and cut off his hands, leaving “Stumpy” in the dust.

This is none other than Divine vandalism, “Then the LORD awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.”  (Ps. 78:65).

Like a mighty man with a hangover God came out swinging and struck the idol down.

The ark created unbelievable havoc in every city it was kept for seven months.

Do not forget that the scriptures shows that there were also “mice” (KJV) or “rats” (NIV) that were plaguing the country. They were everywhere.

They felt his wrath for months because they were idolaters and were not seeking for him but attempting to use the ark as a trophy of their victory over him and his people.

The Bible records, “…the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods.  And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, the ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.” (1 Sam 5:6-7).

The word glory refers to the weight and honor of God simultaneously. The glory of God was represented as the weight of God’s presence among his people and the world. It could not endure cohabitation with a rival. The glory of God tears down idols, no matter how big man has made them. The true God not only exposes the false but it tears the false down. The glory of God is only seen in Christ. There is no other that will stand next to him.

Christ is how we are born again. Christ is how we are healed. Christ is the only answer and he has removed all rivals from his path and sits expecting all his enemies to be subdued under his feet.

His hand was hard and harsh upon them. He literally laid them and their idol waste by his heavy hand of justice. The God of Israel was at war with them. 

They felt the weight of his wrath against them in every city in which the ark was transported.

That is a concept that is seen as arcane in today’s preaching, or even abusive: the idea of divine heavy anger!  The anger that fell upon Christ on the Cross for our sake was the only way his justice could be satisfied. The sadness of seeing the impenitent hearts of the Philistines who just kept moving the ark and ignoring the powerlessness of their fish god that lied as a stump in their temple?  We cannot perceive that those outside of Christ are not protected from God’s Divine justice.  How could anyone even mention in this technological yet pagan twenty-first century the wrath of God being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness?” (Rom 1:18).

They decided to send the ark out of the country. In 1 Sam. 6:1 it seems to indicate the left it in an open field for seven months. So many people would rather push the presence of God out of their lives on the cart of rebellion rather than believing for his mercy.

They kept the chest out in an open air (Gill) after the Dagon incident probably afraid it would knock an entire city down and hoping somebody (maybe the God who owned it) would take it back where it belonged. It ominously stayed. The Philistines were at a loss what to do.

The pagan priests must have been very multicultural and pluralistic back then and studied other religions which they incorporated and syncretized into their own.  They decided to make a trespass offering and send it back telling the people and their lords they would be healed if they did so.  So the story becomes even more bizarre, when they decided to forge five images each of the rats and five images each of the tumors that represented the five major ruling cities of Philistia and took the ark placed it on a cart and sent it back to an Israeli city called Bethshemesh.

Some farmers found it there and were ecstatic to see the ark of God again. I am sure they were wondering what those golden rats were and funny looking images of tumors were doing there next to it. They called for the Levites and they took the ark off the cart and burned the wood and some animals as an offering to God.

The lords of the Philistines observed this entire scene taking place, they returned back to their country, but the prescribed formula for healing did not work. There was no indication that they were ever healed or got rid of their rodents it was chronic and lasted all their lives.  “And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.” (Psalm 78:66). I am sure somebody received a religious pink slip that day.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.


I was reading about a 40 year old Bangladesh farmer, Mokhairul Islam, who killed thousands of ugly rats and collected their tails as part of the national month long campaign to kill millions of those critters, in order to protect crops and cut back on food imports. The farmer won a first prize of a color television for killing some 83,450 rats during a period of nine months or around 10,000 rats a month.

That is a lot of rats and one heck of an exterminator.

Anyone who has lived in a major city knows that rats are a problem.

Rats will ruin anything. They can eat through concrete. They gnaw and chew through wires causing fires.  They can even destroy crops. Rats spread disease to livestock and humans contaminating food with their urine and feces.

My mind was brought back to the account in the Old Testament in the book of 1 Samuel chapters four through six when the ark of God was stolen by pagans after a battle with the Israelites. God acted in retribution by sending disease, rodents and death (1 Sam. 5-6).

But before then, apostasy had diseased the ministry and worship of Israel and now it would spread to even the pagans.

We learn of Eli and his sons and co-priests Hophni and Phineas were vulgar, crude and they manipulated God’s people using the things of God for their own advantage and pleasure and, “their sin was very great before the Lord for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.” (1 Sam. 2:17). 

They made, “the Lord’s people to transgress” (1 Sam 2:24).

Even Eli became morbidly obese and made himself fat on the things that should belong to God (1 Sam. 2:29).

God reprimanded him for showing contempt for holy things and honoring his sons above the Lord (1 Sam 2:29-30).

Like in our day here is yet another example of a whole generation of ministry that had no sense of the justice and holiness of God and therefore could not understand his mercy and grace.  

They are committing spiritual fraud.

It becomes inconvenient to preach such things as the radical sinfulness of man, God’s wrath and judgment especially when you cannot enforce them in your family.

If you think that is difficult, just try preaching God’s radical grace, imputed righteousness especially when people want to be in charge of their own eternal destiny and salvation by religion and ritual.

Salvation and redemption lose their meaning without exposing the need for them. So you change the message to a lie by compromise and you have neither justice nor grace.

Like Eli there are some men that were ordained to condemnation that he will never forgive for, “the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever.”  (1 Sam 3:14).

All the while because God’s sovereign grace, a young boy named Samuel is growing up right under their noses, in their own home.

Hey, he certainly couldn’t testify Sunday night in church, “Well I thank God for my praying surrogate father Pastor Eli and my step brothers Hophni and Phineas who were good examples to me!”

This shows that God’s salvation is really by grace alone and he was grooming Samuel to serve him despite the hypocrisy of the home and church in which he grew up.  Thank God for his mercy.

God was sick and tired of their hypocrisy, so he divinely arranges for the Philistines to kill the two young priests and he also allows the ark of God, symbolic of God’s glory and power,  to become a spoil of war (1 Sam 4:22).

The ark of God, not to be confused with Noah’s boat was a sacred chest in which was stored the Ten Commandments, Aarons rod that budded and a pot of heavenly manna (1 Kings 8:9; Heb. 9:4).

It was a symbol of God’s earthly throne from which he spoke (Num. 7:89). It was the central piece of furniture, for the annual ritual of atonement for the nation of Israel’s sins called the mercy seat.  It was unthinkable but the place of God’s presence and forgiveness was embezzled.

When Eli heard that the ark was taken he fainted (imagine this if you can) he slumps backward and because he was so fat and old that he broke his neck and died.  During this battle Eli had a grandson named Ichabod which meant in Hebrew that the “glory had departed” from the nation of Israel.

God’s presence symbolized in the ark had exited the worship of his people.

The Bible says, “That he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; and delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.” (Ps. 78:60).

God’s presence has already left; the ark being stolen was inevitable. Such was the Older Covenant. Because of the New Covenant genuine Christians need not be anxious over the presence of God leaving them or the forfeiture of salvation because of bad behavior.

BUT notice how quickly God can change the guard and take the positions of power from compromising men who break his laws in the sight of God’s people. that has not changed. The modern day priesthood of Eli and his sons will be removed from their places of service and replaced with prophets and leaders after God’s heart.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.


This “Ark of God” was quite a spoil of war for the enemies of Israel and they put it in the temple of Philistine chief deity Dagon who was supposedly the father of Baal.

This image of Dagon I am sure was bigger and better than the one that Samson destroyed (Judges 16).

I am sure this one was harder to knock down as well.

It was a half man-half fish idol that was, “a personification of the generative and vivifying principle of nature, for which the fish with its innumerable multiplication was specially adapted.” (Keil and Delitzsch, Vol. 2, pg. 58).

He was apparently a god of multiplication and growth.

Like many pastors and churches today they worship the idol of church growth and multiplication selling religion to people with Christian language but at the cost of his glory and his presence.

For years, “praying a salvation/sinner’s prayer” was the quick way to get a soul saved but now we are back to the old Babylonian idea of just get’em in “church” by appeals in entertainment, magic shows and relative, up to date motivational speaking.

God does NOT add to the church through sociological studies or psychophysics -he grows his church through his word.

The book of Acts is not a just historical narrative, it is an example set up as a pattern giving us paradigms for us to follow.

It teaches that growth was due to God’s Word, “the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied… But the word of God grew and multiplied…So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” (Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20). 

The apostles knew that it was not their efforts nor their exertion- it was God who gives the increase and it grows as God increases its number and strength (1 Cor. 3:6-7; Col. 2:19).

In fact, Paul knew his motivation to toil and even agonize in preaching and teaching was from the dynamite like energy the Holy Spirit gave him, “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” (Col. 1:29). 

We as ministers water and plant the Word like precious seed in the human heart, and God brings the harvest-real church growth, without changing the message of the gospel or its ageless method- preaching.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.

The Conveyor Belt of Guilt

The picture that you see is an X-ray of a unnamed 36 year old Norwegian man who passed out and curled up into a fetal position on a baggage claim belt at a very busy Rome airport in August 2012, and inadvertently received this full body scan in the process.

He had arrived at the international terminal with a backpack and a can of beer in his hand and when he went to check in for his flight he found nobody on duty at the airline desk. So, he jumped over the counter and went to sleep.

Eventually, the belt began to move and took the man for a ride. It is believed he traveled for 15 minutes before his body was spotted by shocked officials in an X-ray image on their screens.

Officials say it was difficult to wake up the snoozing traveler, who was still clutching his beer as he went through the scanner and traveled 164 feet on it before anyone noticed.

If you have any kind of sense of humor this is quite the story to tell around the office.

But as I heard about this story I immediately began to think of how we are laying in a fetal position on a conveyor belt of  another kind. Did you know that when a certain people suffer extreme trauma or distress, they resort to a fetal position. It seems this is a natural reaction of the brain and the body to protect itself  and when they are no longer able to cope-the mind just shuts down for a time. Drug addicts during withdrawal or even people suffering from extreme anxiety resort to a fetal position.

This is the dangerous conveyor belt of guilt and misguided self examination on which some believers in Jesus have been crippled and traumatized by the wrong view of God and sin.

Paul says this, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Cor. 7:10NIV 1984).

There is a godly sorrow. There is a worldly sorrow. There is a sorrow that results in repentance and salvation. There is a sorrow that results in death.

There is a healthy repentance and there is a toxic regret and remorse. Repentance is a special grace, a gift of tears, a result of seeing our sin in light of the Cross. Where sin abounds grace abounds even more. The gospel offers God to the ungodly and forgiveness to the unforgiven. Repentance is a God-kind of change. Your thinking changes and the direction of your life changes as a result. You were moving away from God and His love brings you back home.  It is the gift that God gives when He releases the human will from the confinement and chains of sin and enables a person to turn to Christ for salvation.  That is repentance after a godly manner. It is a change only God can bring about.

Many Christians due to bad teaching have a caricatured view of God, a distorted view of sin and a toxic view of obedience. They actually should repent of their thinking when it comes to who God is! That is the deepest repentance one can have. They way you see God must be through the scriptures especially in light of the finished work of the Cross and New Covenant. God loves you and it is not his will you walk about in sorrow all the time.  He has forgiven you and offers a clear conscience to you and complete open access to him and his gifts.

You do not have to live in regret and call yourself a sinner all the time. Do you think that pleases God? Walking around all day thinking how unworthy and undeserving you are? It does not please God at all  that you are going around and around on this conveyor belt with the baggage of guilt. God is not hostile to you, nor does he treat you like a stranger. You are a warmly welcomed, dearly loved child of your Heavenly Father.

All this is real change is it not. It is a changed life, with a changed heart and a changed destiny.

Sadly, some Christians are dominated by a guilty conscience and consciousness. They attempt to earn forgiveness and acceptance with God by saying, “I am sorry” over and over again confessing their sin as if they were an legal accountant and there is always simmering in their heart a sense of guilt and hurt because they think God will reject them when they fail. It seeks to make such an account of sin that it must name each individual sin specifically to satisfy their conscience and God. But can one confess sin perfectly? We always leave some sin out. We cannot even do this  correctly. I get exhausted just thinking about the way I used to confess sin. This so called form of repentance is “worldly”  it is spiritually suicidal  not Christ-centered nor founded on the biblical fact that God offers forgiveness at the point of failure and mercy when we crash and burn. He gives beauty in exchange for ashes. He takes off your dense heavy overcoat of sorrow and replaces it with the light linen fabric of joy! All you need do is ask and he has answered “forgiven” before the words are on your lips.

Some of the oldest “Christian” churches in their tradition are nothing more than a mill for legalism. The conveyor belt of guilt is incorporated in their rituals. They are taught to ask for God’ mercy over and over again as if by mere words and repetitive chanting God will hear them. Ever wonder why legalistic people are so mean? Because people who feel unloved get angry. Oh that they knew they were loved by God!

We may criticize the Roman Catholics for their sacrament of penance or Eastern Orthodox for their view of Penthos but we have our Protestant penance we call it revivalism. We think by our efforts we will bring the church back to life do we not? There is only one problem- we end up looking like we are trying to kill the people who are alive. We are attempting to satisfy God and please God by our own efforts and there is no need to do that. God is at rest and reposes on the work of Christ his perfect Son on the cross. He calls us to lean with all our soul on the cross and what Jesus did for us.

The sad truth is there are so many Christians who are alive but they are wrapped in a shroud of guilt, they are camouflaged in the legalistic uniforms of remorse and joyless living that must be unwrapped by the teaching of God’s generous grace. God is rich in mercy and he has thrown open the door to his throne room of grace! He has already shown it powerfully in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. Yet there are people who say they are saved and born again who never find any relief or rest in their hearts and they live in a fog of uncertainty about where they stand with God. It is a mindset that is hard to break and only understanding God’s generous grace can unravel the slavery of guilt fear and anxiety.

Don’t allow your guilt and disobedience to overshadow God’s grace! Repent!  You have become nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that you have been cleansed from your past sins  (see 2 Peter 1:9). You do not need to morbidly and constantly confess in the name of spirituality or godliness.  Your sin consciousness is working in reverse cornering you in sin and your attempts to keep the law is reinforcing sins grip over-making you feel dead. Like the shocked officials who found this man on the conveyor belt, may this article find those who are in the fetal position of guilt and wake you up out of this stupor of  remorse and regret!  Christ has given you a new life, a new heart and a new spirit.  It is time to move ahead.  God wants us to build on what he has started in us by grace! We mature spiritually not by riding in a helpless fetal position of the conveyor belt of keeping religious rules but by actively maturing and growing in the fruit of the Spirit.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.