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Qualities That God Sees as Putrid

Whenever I attempt to write, I try to expand my vocabulary by using synonyms to better magnify the English language. Yet, like anyone who stops growing mentality, it’s easy to fall into ruts with the same bland words over and over again. As I’m studying the life of Noah, depraved and putrid are words I haven’t heard in years. Perhaps, as minds become lazy, four-letter curse words have become a more normal manner in which Americans now freely express their emotions and feelings.

The earth was depraved and putrid in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence (desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power), 12 And God looked upon the world and saw how degenerate, debased, and vicious it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way upon the earth and lost their true direction. Genesis 6:11-12.

As a history buff, two major societal cycles occur in the first twenty chapters of the Bible. While Moses is not as descriptive in Genesis 6 as the deeds committed by the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18, both chapters highlight moral depravity. Whenever human beings start doing what’s right in their own eyes by disregarding God’s commands, moral standards plummet. Moses words in the passage above are similar to what Paul writes in Romans 1:18-20.

But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

The context of the apostle Paul’s words points to depraved and putrid souls, out of touch with God. Later on in Paul’s epistle, he explains that the sinful are in direct conflict with the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:5-8. Just as I gained 25 pounds during my first semester in college by having access to as much food as I wanted, depraved and putrid qualities are merely Christians who have become fat and out of shape spiritually. As a near year begins, may this blog inspire you to hunger and thirst for God in 2023.

by Jay Mankus

When the Direction of the Earth Becomes Unsettling to You

Whenever the signs of End Times Theology begin to make their way into nightly news headlines, there are three common responses. My immediate response is to get my life right with God by confessing the errors of my sinful ways so if Jesus does return, I’ll be ready for His arrival. The next is to become a prepper, by making an intentional shift toward living a more traditional, self-sufficient, and responsible lifestyle. The third is to ignore these warnings and move on with your current life.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart. So the Lord said, I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground—not only man, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air—for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them, Genesis 6:5-7.

If I have learned anything from history over my years living on this planet, history moves cultures in a series of cycles from good to bad to worse. When sinful natures are allowed to break free from their human conscience without any limits or restrictions, the direction of the earth becomes unsettling. As bad, corrupt and wicked this current generation of leaders may be in your eyes, King Solomon declared thousands of years ago, there is nothing new under the sun, Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever, 1 John 2:15-17.

According to Moses, the inhabitants of the earth pre-flood were just as morally bankrupt as those during the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. Perhaps, these two acts of God, in the form of natural disasters are meant to serve as a history lesson like 1 Corinthians 10:1-6. When the direction of the earth becomes unsettling to you doesn’t mean you should retreat and hide from society. Rather this is a golden opportunity to shine like stars by holding out the light of Christ, the Word of God, Philippians 2:13-16.

by Jay Mankus

Reverse Engineering Politics

Reverse engineering is the reproduction of another manufacturer’s product following detailed examination of its construction or composition. I was first introduced this term while watching a documentary on Aera 51. According to firsthand accounts from scientists, the technology found in crashed spaceships have been applied to designs of modern aircrafts.

Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment. Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them], Romans 13:1-2.

Whether you believe in Unidentified Flying Objects or not, social media giants are being used to reverse engineer politics. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been allowed and given the power to control the daily narratives of current events. If a story didn’t fit their ideology, it is buried, disregarded or suppressed by global elites. Political searches on conversative and liberal political candidates demonize one side while only displaying the positive on the other. These are the algorithms Elon Musk wanted to uncover before attempting to buy Twitter.

For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation. For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer, Romans 13:3-4.

Jesus told his disciples to expect to be hated by the world, John 15:19. As Peter writes to first century Christians scattered following Nero’s persecution, we are aliens and strangers in this land, 1 Peter 2:11. The only person you can control is yourself. Therefore, while you may be lumped in with a group of people who you voted for, your main goal is to be a servant for good. Although you may not be successful is convincing others to your point of view, use history, 1 Corinthians 10:1-7, as a resource to steer people in the right direction, 1 Peter 3:15-16. Yet, do this with a humble and graceful heart.

by Jay Mankus

What is Causing Christians to Stop Living

The Church of Galatia is comprised of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Prior to writing the Book of Galatians, the apostle Paul heard rumors of Christians who began to stop living. A Jewish sect called the Judaizers infiltrated Galatia and used zealous peer pressure to add circumcision to salvation, Deuteronomy 4:2. According to Galatians 2:11-13, Barnabas and Peter began to withdraw from non-Jewish Christians, influenced by these Judaizers.

In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off], Galatians 5:1.

In the past few years, progressive ideology and wokeness has been embraced by inner city churches. This modern day Judaizer group have stunted the spiritual growth of many believers. Rather than learn from the mistakes of the Galatian Church, many Christians have failed to heed the warning of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1-6. When anyone ignores history, it won’t be long until Christians stop living for Jesus, distracted by cultural trends.

You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth? This [evil] persuasion is not from Him Who called you [Who invited you to freedom in Christ]. A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church], Galatians 5:7-9.

Human nature makes individuals to want to be liked by society. Yet, it’s impossible to please everyone on social media. There will always be someone who finds your comments offensive. Perhaps, this is why the apostle Paul addresses this issue in Galatians 1:10. The reason why Christians stop living is by beginning to please others rather than to glorify the Lord. There are other reasons like idleness to blame, but if you follow Jesus’ advice in Matthew 6:33-34, faith can be revived abundantly, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

When You’re Accidently Going Nowhere

Impatient travelers are nothing new. While Moses doesn’t use the expression “are we there yet,” modern readers can visualize an annoying child asking this question over and over again during a long car ride. When people are hot and tired, tempers often flare which is what happens in the passage below. As complaining and grumbling intensified, the Israelites lost it when someone realized they were accidently going in circles, losing their way in the ever-shifting sand of the desert.

They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they left the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, Exodus 16:1-2.

If history tends to go through a series of cycles, don’t be surprised when you find yourself lost in life. Whenever your confidence is shaken, assurance wobbles as where to go and what to do comes into question. I started 2022 with high hopes to write another screenplay and get promoted at Amazon. As the third quarter of this year is about to end, I find myself going backwards. I don’t think I missed the exit I was supposed to get off of, but I’m wandering around in circles like the Israelites.

Moreover, as they go about from house to house, they learn to be idlers, and not only idlers, but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say and talking of things they should not mention, 1 Timothy 5:13.

The apostle Paul points to idleness as the reason why some Christians end up accidently going nowhere. When you stop taking chances in life by playing it safe, you may find yourself lulled into a spiritual rut. Meanwhile, you may know exactly what needs to be done, but talk is cheap until faith is put into action. May the words of Jesus’ earthly brother challenge you break out of any bad habit by exercising your faith, James 2:26.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 188: Do I Stand Alone?

Mike Stand is one of the original members of the Punk rock group the Altar Boys. Mike served as the lead singer of this iconic Christian band. Back in the late 1980’s, Mike left the Altar Boys to pursue a solo career releasing a few albums on his own. While there are a number of songs I could have featured today, Do I Stand Alone applies well to current events.

And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none, Ezekiel 22:30.

History is full of cycles, times where people were obedient to God and periods of compromise that led cultures to do what’s right in their own eyes. The book of Judges illustrates this point as good leadership results in blessings while poor leaders brought curses upon Israel, Judges 21:25. The prophet lived in a day when Israelites were afraid to take a stand for God. Like Mike sings, are you willing to stand today?

by Jay Mankus

What Makes Demons Tremble?

Over five billion copies of the Bible have been sold worldwide. This book is a great resource for history, faith, and religious practices. Yet, the Bible contains details of what will happen in the last days on earth. The book of Revelation refers to seven tribulations that lead up to the battle of Armageddon, Revelation 16:14-16. The conclusion of this war is what makes demons tremble.

You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as [a]make a man’s hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]! – James 2:19

If you follow current events by watching cable news or reading articles on various sites, not much makes sense. Criminals in many states are being released from jail without bail on the same day only to commit similar or more violent attacks on law abiding citizens days later. This trend has spiraled act of control resulting in numerous unnecessary deaths if these criminals were punished for their first violent offense.

And angels who did not keep (care for, guard, and hold to) their own first place of power but abandoned their proper dwelling place—these He has reserved in custody in eternal chains (bonds) under the thick gloom of utter darkness until the judgment and doom of the great day. [The wicked are sentenced to suffer] just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the adjacent towns—which likewise gave themselves over to impurity and indulged in unnatural vice and sensual perversity—are laid out [in plain sight] as an exhibit of perpetual punishment [to warn] of everlasting fire, Jude 1:6-7.

This is not how the Bible works. According to Matthew 12:36-37, there will be a day of judgment where you will have to give an account for everything you have done on earth. Individuals who have had near death experiences have explained this as watching a movie about your life containing the good, bad and ugly moments. After dying, everyone will be judged by God. This is what makes demons tremble.

by Jay Mankus

Aroused by Faith

Aroused is not one of those words associated with Christianity. Yet, there are two distinct chapters in the Bible that offer contrasting differences. The first occurs in 1 Corinthians 10 where the apostle Paul reflects upon past mistakes made by former Jewish leaders. These individuals were aroused by sin that resulted in disobedience and rebellion. Meanwhile, Hebrews 11 is dedicated to the Christian Hall of Fame. The common denominator of these special candidates was being aroused by and prompted by faith to act.

[Aroused] by faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and[f]become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Hebrews 11:24.

To understand the passage above, a brief history lesson is necessary. Exodus 2:1-25 details how Moses’ parents hid their child in the Nile where Pharaoh’s daughter found him. This sets the stage for Moses’ life to be saved and raised in the house of Egypt’s king. Rather than endure a life of poverty, Moses experienced the riches of Egypt, likely spoiled beyond belief by Pharaoh’s daughter. However, as Moses grew up and matured, wealth became empty to him. This is when Moses’ faith was aroused.

For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [b]adjusted and [c]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [d]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

After a list of past failures, the apostle Paul concludes 1 Corinthians 10 ends with a warning in verse 12 and advice to overcome temptation in verse 13. Verse 12 serves as a cautious reminder against becoming overconfident. Perhaps Paul is speaking of personal experience, a time in his life when pride led to failure. Conscious of this possibility, Paul lays out a spiritual blueprint of how to overcome temptation. Therefore, the next time you’re aroused by sin, look for the way out so that faith prevails.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Believe the Fake News

Sensationalism is a tool that the print media has used to attract attention, gain recognition or serve as a distraction to steer the headlines in a different direction. By the early 19th century, American newspapers relied on scoops and exposés to increase circulation. The origin of fake news likely began in The New York Sun’s “Great Moon Hoax” of 1835. This breaking news story claimed that there was an alien civilization on the moon, establishing the Sun as a leading and profitable newspaper. Perhaps, this explains why the apostle Paul warned the church at Thessalonica to test everything that they hear, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22.

While they were on their way, behold, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had occurred. 12 And when they [the chief priests] had gathered with the elders and had consulted together, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers, 13 And said, Tell people, His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping. 14 And if the governor hears of it, we will appease him and make you safe and free from trouble and care. 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this story has been current among the Jews to the present day, Matthew 28:11-15.

In the middle of the first century AD, Paul was disturbed by another fake news story spread by religious and Roman leaders. This rumor inspired an entire chapter written to the church at Corinth. After soldiers were offered a bribe, Roman officials claimed that there was no resurrection of Jesus. Rather, the disciples came in the middle of the night to steal his body. Yet, Paul cuts through this lie by addressing the eye witnesses, more than 500 individuals who saw Jesus following his death on a cross. In the passage below, Paul reminds his audience that many of these people were still alive.

For I passed on to you first of all what I also had received, that Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for our sins in accordance with [what] the Scriptures [foretold], That He was buried, that He arose on the third day as the Scriptures foretold, And [also] that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the Twelve. Then later He showed Himself to more than five hundred brethren at one time, the majority of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep [in death]. Afterward He was seen by James, then by all the apostles (the special messengers), And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one prematurely and born dead [no better than an unperfected fetus among living men], 1 Corinthians 15:3-7.

Nearly 2000 years later, atheists, agnostics and revisionist historians continue to revive this fake news story. Using sources such as Gnostic gospels, written well after Christ’s death and resurrection, the search for Jesus’ missing body continues. Most of the shows referencing the Bible aired on the Discovery, History or Learning channels uses naturalistic scholars who believe this fake news story. Just in case you haven’t read Acts 1:9-11, news flash: Jesus ascended into heaven. According to the apostle Paul, without the resurrection there would be no faith. Thus, the next time someone tries to pass on this rumor as fact, don’t believe the fake news.

by Jay Mankus

A Touch of Class

History is filled with stories of individuals doing whatever it takes to reach the throne. This struggle to gain and maintain control of a kingdom has inspired many dramas with the most recent the Game of Thrones. When the nation of Israel transitioned from Judges as rulers to a monarchy, King Saul began to feel threatened by David. This jealousy influenced Saul to eliminate his future competition, giving orders to hunt down and kill David.

And David said, Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And of the house of Saul there was a servant whose name was Ziba. When they had called him to David, he said to him, Are you Ziba? He said, I, your servant, am he. The king said, Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the [unfailing, unsought, unlimited] mercy and kindness of God? Ziba replied, Jonathan has yet a son who is lame in his feet, 2 Samuel 9:1-3.

When news of King Saul’s death reached David, the transition of power from Saul’s family to David’s began. Fearful of retribution, the only living male, Jonathon’s only son was hidden in a far desolate location. Instead of repaying evil with evil, David’s friendship with Jonathon softened his heart. During a cabinet meeting, David offers a touch of class, wondering if he could show kindness to a member Saul’s house.

And Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, Mephibosheth! And he answered, Behold your servant! David said to him, Fear not, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father [grandfather], and you shall eat at my table always. And [the cripple] bowed himself and said, What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am? Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, I have given your master’s son [grandson] all that belonged to Saul and to all his house, 2 Samuel 9:6-9.

While Mephibosheth was a young child, 5 years old, one of his caretakers accidently dropped him. The freak nature of this fall permanently damaged Mephibosheth’s feet, similar to a Lisfranc fracture. Subsequently, Mephibosheth was unable to walk for the rest of his life. I guess you can say King David was way ahead of his time, caring for and loving Mephibosheth regardless of his condition. In the end, David was following the golden rule before it was introduced, “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

by Jay Mankus

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