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"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire..." Deuteronomy 18:10 Though I've written on this passage many times, I always focused on the next verses which are the go-to verses strongly forbidding involvement in the occult. I didn't stress the beginning because I didn't think it was applicable today. But oh, is it ever! What is making one's son or daughter pass through the fire? Where does that practice come from? God had strictly forbidden the Israelites from involvement with any of the gods of the countries surrounding them. In fact, the verse above begins this way: "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations." Deuteronomy 18:9 But the Israelites disobeyed. They began following after the gods of the surrounding countries - in this case the god Molech who demanded child sacrifice. The image of Moloch was a human-like figure of forged metal with a bull's head and outstretched arms ready to receive the infant. It was heated red hot, ready to receive the children destined for sacrifice who were placed on the arms of Molech and were then dropped into flames beneath. As these sacrifices were being conducted drums were beaten loudly so the people wouldn't hear the screams of the infant. A couple would sacrifice their firstborn, believing that Molech would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children. Israel erected such a statue in Jerusalem, in the Hinnom Valley, which Jesus Christ later referred to as "gehenna," translated as, and a picture of, hell. This passage in Deuteronomy is the passage in which the Lord absolutely forbids all occult involvement and it goes on to specify many types of occult activities such as witchcraft, fortune-telling, etc. It's interesting that the Lord would place this prohibition of causing a child to "pass through the fire" as the first one mentioned. He goes on to say that anyone who partakes in any of these activities is an abomination to God; not that the occult activity is an abomination, but it's so grievous that the person committing it is an abomination to God. In other places in Scripture the Lord reveals that the curse upon those who do these things is so severe that it actually goes down to the third and fourth generation of anyone who sins in this way. I never understood why the Lord placed that first prohibition at the head of the list, thinking no one practices that anymore, no one sacrifices their children in these days. But oh… Abortion is the sacrifice today. In abortion the child is murdered. In one type of abortion, the child is murdered before birth by filling the amniotic sac with a saline solution that literally burns the child alive! What judgment America is bringing upon herself! Back when Israel was sacrificing their children - they lost their land, their Temple, their country, and were dispersed throughout the world. The nation of Israel was destroyed. The Lord reveals why: "But they set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into my mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." Jeremiah 32:34-35 Abortion may be the last straw in America's defiance, bringing the judgment that will destroy this country. God didn't spare Israel, and he won't spare America. God sent a warning judgment on America on September 11, 2001. He toppled the symbol of the American gods of finance, pride, and defiance. But the warning was soon forgotten. When the state of New York passed a law allowing the murder of the preborn infant up till the day of birth - New York celebrated by lighting up the new One World Trade Center. In lighting up One World Trade Center New York was deliberately sticking its finger in God's eye ...the God who toppled the towers. They came down. But defiance continues all the more boasting itself. What will this deliberate out-and-out defiance of Almighty God bring? "...none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." Daniel 12:10 The wise ...see and recognize the judgment coming.

"When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and he will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from;’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.’" Luke 13:25-27 He will say ..."I do not know you..." Being religious does not make you a disciple of Christ. Having grown up in a Christian home doesn't make you a disciple of Christ any more than being born in a barn makes you a cow. The people ate and drank in his presence and he taught in the places where they were, but they were not his. He said he didn't even know them. There is only one way to be received by the Lord and that is by being born again. Jesus didn't mince words, he said, "You MUST be born again." "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he CANNOT see the Kingdom of God.'” John 3:3 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You MUST be born again.’" John 3:6-7 To be born again takes a true and deep humility. One must know what the Word of God says about the heart of man - that we are fallen sinners, every one of us, and lost. Only when we realize and acknowledge this can we approach God, because before one can approach him he must know and confess the truth about himself. Some people are so impressed with themselves that they could never, ever admit that. The world tells you that you're great and that you "deserve" good. The Bible tells us that we are corrupt and that we "deserve" hell. To be born again into the Kingdom of God one must let go of his pride and come to admit the truth about himself, and only then can he approach God to ask for the forgiveness of his sins and ask for salvation. Only then can he begin to "see the Kingdom of God." The Word of God says that the heart of man is evil, not good: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 "ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way..." Until we come to admit the truth about ourselves, we will not be able to qualify for the remedy which was accomplished by Jesus Christ who bore in himself the judgment due for sin: "...the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6 You must come to reject what the world says about wonderful you and receive what the Word of God says about the true you. You can't ask for forgiveness until you realize the truth about yourself, and that truth is that your heart is DECEITFUL, your counselors are DECEITFUL, your friends are DECEITFUL, the world is DECEITFUL, and until you admit that, you cannot be saved. You're standing in your own imagined righteousness – and that's the grand deception. Once you see yourself for what you are, THEN you can approach God in humility and ask for salvation. To receive you, he must first "KNOW" you. And for you to "KNOW" him, you must first know yourself.

What Does 'Born Again' Mean?

"And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord." Isaiah 37:1 The king of Assyria had sent messengers to King Hezekiah of Judah speaking threatening words of arrogance against the God of Israel, saying that no god of any land has been able to withstand the great power of Assyria, and the God of Israel won't be able to either. Hezekiah was one of the few good kings whom the Scriptures describe as one who "did right in the sight of the Lord." So how did he react to this ominous threat? Let's take a look at this first from the human standpoint. The Assyrians were greater and mightier than the armies of Israel. Hezekiah knew he was outdone. Now what would you expect a king to do in such circumstances? The history of Israel shows that what they usually did was to make alliances with Egypt or with whoever was the strongest in the region at the time, in order to have the combined strength to withstand more powerful armies. But not Hezekiah. King Hezekiah did not consult the Egyptians nor anyone else. No, he was faithful and he knew he needed God's solution. So he sent messengers to the prophet Isaiah seeking to know what direction God would give. And here was God's response; vs 6-7: "Thus says the Lord: 'Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Surely I will send A SPIRIT upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.'" There is a great principle developed here. What do you do when you're up against an insurmountable problem? Consult experts? Place your trust in advice given by friends? How sound can that advice be? If you consult five people, you might get five different answers. In the end, you are the one who has to make the decision and the wisest thing you can do is go to God FIRST. He is the only one who knows all the details of the story, the only one who knows you inside out, the only one who knows your enemy inside out, and the only one who knows the future. Throughout the Scriptures we are admonished to take everything to him FIRST. Why do people, then, seek counsel from anyone else but God? What an insult to one's Creator. Once you've brought your situation to the Lord and sought his counsel, THEN he may direct you to a resource. Or - he may deal directly with your enemy himself. I've seen him do it different ways at different times, but always successfully. God is faithful, and delights in showing this to his believers. But sadly, most turn to other sources when they have a problem. Oh what wisdom we miss when we keep God for second, or for last. Truly we need to remember the Scripture that says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him." "But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6 God wants you to seek him out on any subject whatsoever that comes up in your life. And if you will diligently seek him, and that means spending time with him until you get an answer from him, then you will see the faithfulness of God and he will reward you for honoring him by turning to him FIRST. Otherwise ...you're on your own.