Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Radical Sermon on the Mount

Jesus calls us to a Radical Life for God not as the World lives.

"Jesus Sermon on the Mount" by Gustave Dore, 1832-1883.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays out radical even alarming standards for life (Matt Chap 5 NKJ).

Significance of Salt and Light

You are the salt of the earth.” Salt seasons and flavors. Salt heals. Spoiled and rancid salt is to be thrown out. So with clarity and significance, followers of Jesus are to live their witness in the world.

You are the light of the world.” Light illumines. The lights of a city can be seen from afar. Have you ever seen them from a jetliner in the darkness at night? Lights can be pleasing and beautiful. Lights must be placed high and strategically to shine throughout the house or room. Not hidden. “Let your light so shine before men,” Jesus adds, “that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” The deeds of the follower proclaim and are seen to affect the world.

Fulfillment of the Scriptures

Jesus came to fulfill the hundreds of Messianic prophecies in the scriptures. Every word is truth. Men are not to break the biblical commands of God, but to live and teach them accurately. In fact, the phony, self-serving examples of proud religious potentates must be well exceeded even to enter the eternal kingdom of heaven.

Anger is Murder!

Anger without a proper cause uses thoughts, words, and deeds to destroy another person. This is so strong, Jesus calls it murder, and its punishment is hell. Even name calling a person “fool” warrants serious judgment. The old forgotten adage wisely dictates, “Never say anything bad about anyone.” Therefore, Jesus says, do not offer God your prayers until you have made peace with your neighbor, your fellow worker, or your spouse!

Adultery of the Heart

God made men and women as beautiful creations to relate lovingly with each other giving God glory. But to slight his protective commands or even to thoughtfully entertain so doing is sin with lust and condemned as adultery. God wants relationships marked by purity of heart to cause honor and respect for one other. To so violate God's honor and glory is deserving of eternal hell.

Marriage for a Lifetime

God created marriage, but man made divorce. God condemns divorce as adultery except for the most serious justification. Remember, adultery was punishable by death. The Hebrew term here means constant and repeating sexual immorality as being a justification. With a better than 50% divorce rate in modern society, it is more apparent that irresponsible sin, anger, and lack of forgiveness may be causing unnecessary devastations of the marriage relationship. Most unfortunately, divorce causes lasting serious hurt and repercussions to each partner, the children, friends, and the costs of society–not likely worth the divorce.

Yes, Yes, and No, No!

Above all else to thine own self be true. And then it follows as sure as the day follows night, that you cannot be false to any man.” My Dad taught me Shakespeare's line when I was a boy. Those were the days when a man's word was accepted as his bond more than a signed piece of paper. Today, I have suffered, betrayed from jobs, by fellow workers and even bosses who have no sense of honor or know the importance of truth. These words of Jesus, so important, are no longer written in too many hearts. Lying is widespread. As Jesus said, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Satanic!

Turn Your Cheek!

Sometimes I wish my Dad had never taught me this. It's not easy! “Do not defend yourself; let others speak for you.” But I do know this, when others mistreat you and falsely accuse you, God becomes your Vindicator. And the outcome of the perpetrator will be far worse than anything he or she would imagine. That is why we can actually surrender such situations; God becomes our Vindicator.

Love Even Your Enemies!

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.... Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” So there's so much more to living as a follower of Christ. Letting go of things means turning difficult situations over to God. And there is nothing so overpowering as the love or the wrath of the God of the Universe. When we step back by faith, God turns and says, “Now, I'll take care of this for you” (Sermon on the Mount, Matt. Chap. 5, NKJ).

Bill Hunt

Pray for Godly Leadership, Guidance, Discernment, Strength, Salvation, and God's Miraculous Blessings on the People and Nations of the World!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God Sets Men and Women in Ministry

God supplies those who give generously and who follow him in ministry.
"Fun at Zion Christian School with Joanna and Mary"
 (Photo by Bill Hunt c. 2011)

A very hot, unbearable sun welcomed us to South Florida in August, and we went through the process of finding a home. Soon after, tiny baby Meg turned sick and developed a fever. We had no medicine. A tall young man from the church helped us to move in. He was also unemployed. Seeing our dilemma, he pulled out his thin wallet and handed us his very last eight dollars to help buy medicine for the baby. He said he was seeding for a new job. My wife and I joined hands and prayed determined with him. The children surrounded us.

The very next day he returned very excited! A neighborhood golf course hired him as a grounds keeper. He was now working for $80.00 a day, a tenfold return on the gift he had handed us.

Our adobe style townhouse contained no furniture. As a family we bunked on the floor. Monica, Brian, Emily, and Joanna slept on mattresses, except for one set of bunk beds. Mary and I purchased two bright red foam mats and slept on the floor for about eight weeks. We used a simple table and chairs for eating but no living room furniture.

God suddenly blessed me, as well. Faith Chapel in Boca Raton invited me to preach while the congregation waited the arrival of their new pastor. A very kindly board member and his wife, George and Joann, befriended us.

In a few weeks, they dropped by to visit our apartment and noticed the lack of furniture. The next day, George made a few phone calls. Our house was suddenly equipped with two couches, end tables, a coffee table, lamps, beds, and a needed dresser. I will admit, sleeping on the red floor mats had grown a little hard. I was so thankful for this new blessing.

As the Holy Spirit anointed our preaching, people came forward for ministry even without an altar call. Some cried tears under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The church board members helped to prayer with the numbers of people coming forward. We worked together as a brotherly team.

Nearby Zion Lutheran Elementary and High School in Deerfield Beach granted a position in public relations. The school proved most generous to my family. Mary worked as a substitute teacher and played piano for the morning student chapels. The elementary principal also used her to teach piano students after school.

I worked days in public relations for the school and evenings to assist Dr. Bob Grunow and his son, Tom, the school administrator. Together, we raised funds for the new high school which had just been constructed. Dr. Grunow formerly served as the development officer for the well-known, national television program, “The Lutheran Hour.” I was so grateful to work with them.

From nothing, God established our way, doing all things well.

Then Peter answered and said to him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” So Jesus said to them, “ Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matt. 19:27-29 NKJ).

Bill Hunt

Pray for Godly Leadership, Guidance, Discernment, Strength, Salvation, and God's Miraculous Blessings on the People and Nations of the World!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

See Fiery Mountain of Moses!

Modern explorers discovered and filmed the true Mount Sinai, the monolithic rock Moses struck for water, the altar to the golden calf, and Elijah's cave.

The Glory of the Lord on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 24:16)
  (By Unknown Biblical Illustrator, 1907)

After God delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh’s army, the people traveled first in a south-easterly then in a north-easterly direction through the wilderness desert and rocky mountains of Midian. Suffering three days of thirst, they arrived in the Desert of Shur and found bitter water at Marah. By God’s hand, Moses threw a piece of wood into the water and the water became sweet. Thirty miles later, the Hebrews arrived at the Oasis of Elim with its twelve springs and seventy palm trees. God gave them a reprieve from the desert dryness and heat.

Northeasterly, they moved to the Desert of Sin. The people ran short of food and became rebellious. But God sent blizzards of fresh manna and clouds of quail. God fed a million men and their families daily bread. On the Plains of Rephidim, the Israelites were attacked by the Amalekites. In the day long battle, Aaron and Hur at the top of the hill held up the arms of Moses to pray, while Joshua and his soldiers fought for victory against their desert enemies.

Meanwhile, the water ran dry (Ex 17:3).

Without water again, Moses appealed in prayer. In this tremendous miracle, God sent him to the west side of Mount Sinai, also called Mount Horeb, where Moses struck a monolithic rock, sixty feet high, with his staff. Water gushed from this rock down the side of the mountain flowing like a river to form a reservoir, some two to three miles in length. This provided water for the desert encampment (Ps 78:16).

Local desert people call it Jabal Musa,
the Mountain of Moses.

The sight of Mount Horeb's black mountain peak in the distance is awesome. The peak is actually burnt from when God descended to the mountain in a blaze of fire. There is no other mountain in the region colored like it. This mountain today is known as Jabal Al Lawz, towering 8465 feet as the tallest mountain in Midian. It is located about fifteen miles east of the ancient city of Madian, now Al Bad.

The mountain is not a volcano, nor is it volcanic rock. The rock is a red metamorphic granite, externally burnt. Broken open, the rocks display pink coloration. In the noon day sun, the burnt black rock turns a hue of sapphire blue. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke bellowed up from it like a furnace as the whole mountain trembled violently (Ex 19:18).

Moses Placed Markers Around the Mountain.

On the east side of Mount Sinai, the twelve tribes of Israel encamped on a 10,000 acre plain, the Desert of Sinai. Around the mountain, Moses placed markers every 400 yards as limits to the people not to go near the fiery mountain (Ex 19:12). Coming down toward the foot of the mountain, one observes the remains of Moses altar showing the pens for the livestock connected to the altar, itself. The Hebrews sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, sheep, goats, and cattle (Ex 20:24).

Surrounding the altar are the remains of twelve, smooth, white stone pillars. Moses arose early in the morning, built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve strong pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel (Ex 24:4). When Moses with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the elders, ascended the mountain, they saw the blue hue of the rocky summit in the noon day sun, explorers still see today. Under their feet the ancients described something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself (Ex 24:9-10).

God Gave The Ten Commandments!

The scriptures tell how Moses endured a forty day fast, talking with God. When the Lord finished speaking to Moses, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony (Ex 31:18). The Hebrews, impatient for the return of Moses, returned to their familiarity with Egyptian gods and celebrations. They fashioned a huge altar to a golden calf god and inscribed the rock base of the altar with several other Egyptian cow gods (Ex 32:4).

Other noticeable particulars of the area include the presence of acacia trees to build the ark, almond trees to fashion Moses staff (Num 17:8), and an abundance of quail visiting the area from the Red Sea. One most unusual finding is the presence of many small rocks with footprints etched on them. The Hebrews took literally God’s instructions to claim the land, “Every place where you set your foot” (Deut 11:24). Dead center in the front of the mountain is the significant cave of Elijah, fifteen feet high and twenty feet deep, where the prophet waited while God passed by him (1 KG 19:8-9).

See! “The Search for the Real Mount Sinai.” Reel Productions, LLC, DVD, 2006. Available at Amazon.

Bill Hunt
The miracle of the Desert Crossing is God took care of more than a million people for forty years with no other visible means of support. As Jesus said in the imperative, "You must have faith in God!" (Mark 11:22).

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

God's Miracle Trailer Move

God provides in the way he points! To answer a call to ministry, God supplies the trailer to move and a shiny silver cross.

"Follow Me" by Bobby Mikul (pdp)

 At the onset of an August evening, I walked alone down the red wooden plank stairway to the lake in Maine and sat down near the water to pray. I needed a word from the Lord on direction for our lives. I heard a strange sound. Looking up, I saw high in the sky against the light of the setting sun a huge flight of geese in "V" formation, headed south.

My attention was also drawn toward a flashing red beacon tower on the horizon toward the south end of the lake. God spoke in my heart. "I'm taking you south!" he said.

"South? South to where?" I dared to ask. "South to Massachusetts or south back to New York? Where south?"

"South to Florida," he said.

"South to Florida! Why Florida?" I ventured to ask.

"Because I am gathering my people together," he said. My task was to obey. Mary and I hustled to pack our home and prepare to leave. We were ready for a change, but the work of packing and the lack of funds wore at my wife.

I phoned through the morning hours and located a rental trailer for the low, low price of $25 to haul to Florida. What a deal! The catch was I had to drive north for an hour to pick it up. I invited my young son, Brian, along for the ride.

When I arrived at the distribution center deep in the forest area, a lovely country lady with freckles nicely hooked up the hitch for me, safety chains, red tail lights, and all. Brian and I started our drive home. Almost a half hour out along the country roads, a safety chain broke off the trailer and clanged violently as it beat the pavement. Not good!

I turned the rig around in the road very carefully and drove at moderate speeds to return to the distribution center. The young woman came out, picked the one remaining trailer and hooked it to my station wagon.

After I pulled the trailer late into the garage, I entered the kitchen door and found my wife crying tears at the kitchen stove. She cried from the frustration of trying to reduce a household of five children to fit the space of a five by eight foot trailer.

During the day, she carefully measured everything, the dressers, the table, the boxes. She cut the ladder-back dining room chairs down so they would stack.  She drew on paper and measured off the baby's crib mattress, planning just the things she could fit into the trailer. She gave away our washer and dryer, then our Boston Rocker to an elderly woman in the church. My wife planned to take just the very bare necessities.

"How do we really know this 
is God's will?" she cried.

Trying to remind her of the geese didn't seem the right thing to do at the time. I gave Brian the broom and asked him to sweep out the trailer. He headed out the kitchen door. In a moment, he came rushing back.

"Mommy!  Mommy!" he shouted with glee. "Look what I found!" He was holding high in his hand a shiny silver cross. Inside the front left corner of the trailer, he found lying in the dust a little homemade, silver, stainless steel cross.

Mary rejoiced!

Later, I finished packing the trailer and our family prepared to leave the house. I knew I was deep into a moment of faith. We were prepared to leave Maine for Florida on a two thousand mile trip, and I counted only thirty-two dollars in my pocket! We would drive out of the driveway and leave the trip to God.

“This trip is yours, God!” I said 
to my Heavenly Father.

Just then, a car drove in carrying a few church people. Kindly, they presented us a money tree from the congregation. It amounted to $350! Mary and I praised God as we drove out that evening. But the miracle wasn't over.

As we traveled south, we visited friends along the way in Boston, in New York on the Hudson, in Virginia Beach, in Jacksonville, and Ocala. Friends and relatives along the way not only fed us a grand supper to eat and beds to spend the night in, but each couple unexpectedly gave us a sacrificial gift! We arrived in South Florida with $1400 to start our new assignment for God.

"And he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26 NIV).
– Bill Hunt

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Monday, March 7, 2011

True Exodus Red Sea Crossing

For 3500 years the desert has held the secret of the true Exodus Crossing and the true Mount Sinai where God gave Moses the ten commandments, and where Elijah encountered God from the cave.

"Passage of the Red Sea" by Francis Danby, Irish, 1825.
Imagine following the true route of the Exodus, crossing the Red Sea, and seeing the real Mount Sinai. This mountain is also known in scripture as Mount Horeb where God visited Moses at the burning bush in Median, where he brought the Hebrew nation out from Egypt, where God gave the Ten Commandments, and the cave where Elijah saw God pass by. For 3500 years, man has not known the true mountain, but now in modern times, the route and the mountain have been rediscovered with overwhelming evidence, following the exact descriptions of the words of the Bible.

Traveling the Wilderness Journey.

Spending 430 years in Goshen, the Israelites were reduced to slavery as brick makers on the muddy Nile Delta. God sent Moses from the burning bush in Median to Pharaoh in Egypt using amazing supernatural curses to force the obstinate tyrant to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt (Ex 12:40-42). Upon leaving, Moses led the Hebrews from Goshen down the eastern side of the modern Red Sea through the wilderness. Obeying God, he journeyed toward Mount Horeb to worship with the Hebrews. He had already spent forty years in Median before God returned him to Egypt.

Yes, Moses knew the desert road from Egypt. Rather than traveling south to the tip of the Sinai, the road turns east between the wilderness mountains midway down the Peninsula and crosses the desert to the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba into Median. Moses, otherwise, would not have stayed on the Sinai Peninsula, as it was Egyptian territory (Ex 13:18).

Moses headed easterly for Median across the Gulf of Aqaba to what is now Saudi Arabia. The Council of Seventy Elders translating the Hebrew Scriptures knew in 250 BC that Mount Sinai or Horeb was in Midyan. So did Philo Judaeus, (1st Cent.) philosopher of Alexandria. So did Paul, in Galatians 4:25. So did Josephus, about 90 AD, note it was the highest mountain in Median near the ancient city of now El Bad. So did Ptolemy, (2nd Cent.) astronomer of Alexandria.

Backed to the Sea by Pharaoh's Army.

The Gulf of Aqaba was known as the Red Sea, Yam-Suph, by the ancients. Solomon harbored his fleet there. Amazingly, the Gulf is some fifty miles long and a mile deep grand canyon except in two places. There is a long shallow coral reef at its southern mouth where some explorers mistakenly thought the Hebrews would have walked with great difficulty. But other explorers found a high, flat, undersea ridge of firm sand, wide like a highway, crossing the Gulf midway from a beach called Nuweiba.

How do you hide over a million people? From the easterly desert road to Median, Moses turned south to escape the news of Pharaoh's oncoming army of 600 war chariots. But God had another plan. Down a dry, desert river bed, Moses led his people through a deep eighteen mile long gorge, sheltered by cliffs, to a beach, midway on the Gulf, called Nuweiba at the “Mouth of the Gorges,” so meaning the name in scripture, Pi Hahiroth (Ex 14:9).

God's Great Miracle of Deliverance.

But Pharaoh was on to them. Down the eighteen mile gorge he came to Pi Hahiroth, trapping the Israelites on Nuweiba Beach. Miraculously, all night, God blew a great wind and drove back the waters of the Red Sea, exposing a sandy highway on which the people crossed the wide expanse of the Gulf (Ex 14: 21-22). At dawn, as Pharaoh's army of 600 war chariots crossed to destroy the Hebrews, the charioteers drowned as the walls of water came down upon them (Ex 14:27-28). The modern explorers found six-spoked chariot wheels and hubs and four-spoked wheels only used together in Pharaoh's army about the 18th dynasty or 1445 BC. Solomon began to build his temple in 965 BC and the Exodus occurred 480 years earlier (Ex 14:30).

As the bodies of Pharaoh's warrior washed ashore on the ten miles beach along the eastern coast, the Israelites collected the Egyptian armor which they would use to battle the Amalekites at Rephidim, just a few weeks later. The Israelites journeyed toward Mount Sinai or Horeb in an easterly direction. All this you can see in the filmed evidence of the DVD “The Exodus Revealedpurchased at Amazon.

The Wilderness Journey, Faith for Us.

There are times in our lives, like this, when we seem to be caught in the east with our backs to the Red Sea, Yam-Suph, on a beach called Nuweiba. And Pharaoh’s army of 600 war chariots is attacking from the west down the eighteen mile gorge with 1500 foot cliffs. Indeed, the enemy has arrived at the Mouth of the Gorge, Pi Hahiroth, facing us. And our whole situation seems incredibly hopeless! There is only one thing to do. Surrender the situation to God and see his wilderness journey plan for us unfold.

Bill Hunt

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