In Psalm 24:1 we have the basic principle that God owns everything and everybody: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” The apostle Paul quotes this Psalm in 1 Corinthians 10:26, 28 further emphasizing the truth. We sometimes act as if things truly belong to us when they really don’t, and we can get uptight about our “stuff” when someone else encroaches upon it. Many times along with this attitude of ownership, we assign intrinsic value to the stuff that we have. This creates a double error that compounds our problems relative to ownership. It creates sinful jealousy, and leads to greediness, stinginess, and possessiveness.


Yours? or God’s?

This attitude can also be transferred onto people. We may begin to think that we own people in our lives, and that they should do as we tell them to do. Perhaps it is easiest to consider our children in this way since they are supposed to obey their parents. Many times, they are willing to do exactly what we tell them to do, and that may reinforce the assumption that we own them. This attitude can create problems with children when they grow up and want to exercise freedom and independence. Many family conflicts can occur because of parents not wanting to “let go.” How much better is it to consider that they belong to God, and that God will use them for His purposes.

This same attitude—that I own another person—may be held toward a spouse. Often it is used to justify our desire to control them. “They belong to me, therefore, they should do what I say.” Both men and women may act like this although it will present in different ways. Again, considering that God owns our spouse will help us to treat them as a person of God, not as our tool to satisfy our own selfish desires.


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Pandemics, Quarantine, and the Bible

Pandemics, Quarantines, and the Bible

Some months it feels like the protocols change weekly. Go to the hospital. Don’t go to the hospital. Don’t wear masks. Wear masks. Quarantine. Don’t quarantine. Shut down businesses. Open up businesses. Listen to the CDC and WHO, they are health professionals. Don’t listen to the CDC and WHO, they are politicizing this whole thing. Sometimes it feels like this virus has turned us into a dog chasing its tail—going one direction for a while, and then swiftly going the other.

pandemic bible

The Bible dealt with disease wisely.

What most individuals do not realize is that the majority of solid information we are getting actually originated from the Bible. Prescriptions like hand washing and quarantining can be traced back to the Old Testament—written long before we even knew that bacteria and viruses existed.

A Bit of History

We look at things like hand-washing today as basic. But it certainly has not always been that way. Consider for a moment the tragic case of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss. This Austrian obstetrician was deeply troubled. His passion was delivering healthy babies. But many of the women who came to see him were dying. In fact, one out of six women in delivery beds ended up in the morgue. Every morning Semmelweiss was faced with the daunting task of performing autopsies on all the pregnant women who had died the day before.

“Labor Fever” was killing women in Europe by the thousands. Their bodies would be cut open only to reveal bodies full of pus. Imagine doctors having their hands inside infected corpses and then walking upstairs to perform pelvic exams on healthy pregnant women without truly washing their hands.

Semmelweiss had one of those “light bulb” moments one after in May 1847. On that occasion, he stopped the students from performing exams and instructed them to immediately wash their hands. In fact, he asked them to wash in heavily chlorinated water. His theory was correct. Three months later the death rate had fallen from 18% of his patients to just 1%. He then instituted that the students should wash between patients—something that seems very basic today. The death rate continued to fall.

However, instead of celebrating his success, the students and other physicians began to complain. They didn’t want to wash that often. They complained that the frequency in washing was chapping their hands. Eventually, Semmelweiss’ boss had him demoted and even fired. They threw out the wash pans—and the death rates shot back up. One would think that upon seeing death rates spike back up the physicians would realize their error. However, their pride and arrogance was too strong and so women continued to die.

The Bible Had Already Prescribed It

While Semmelweiss’s advice seems trivial today, realize it would be a couple more decades before men like Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister, and Robert Koch put into place what would become known formerly as the Germ Theory for Disease. People did not realize that bacteria and viruses could cause disease and death.

And yet, thousands of years earlier we find God’s Word giving medical advice that we would not understand for hundreds of years to come. Look at Numbers 19:17-19, “‘And for an unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the heifer burnt for purification from sin, and [e]running water shall be put on them in a vessel. A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, the slain, the dead, or a grave. The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, wash his clothes, and bathe in water; and at evening he shall be clean.” While we might be tempted to write this off as just an Old Testament ritual, look more closely at what God prescribed:

Hand Washing—While Semmelweiss was correct in asking his students to wash their hands, they would often use a common bowl of standing water (see None of These Diseases, S.I. McMillen, 2005, pg. 25). The coronavirus has left no doubt about how to wash hands. In fact, many individuals have songs they sing to time how long their hands have been under running water. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) gives five steps to hand washing. The first step is putting your hands under running water to rinse off any germs that might be present. Notice the Bible talks about running water and being sprinkled/showered from a hyssop.

Notice also the Bible gives a recipe for an antibacterial soap. Lye is extracted from the ashes. Hyssop we know today has antiseptic and antifungal properties. It contains the antiseptic thymol. Notice also the Bible prescribes washing clothes and bathing. So years before Semmelweiss made his discovery, and long before the world knew what the Coronavirus was, God’s Word had already given instructions on washing your hands.

Quarantining—The Smith Papyrus was written back around the time of Moses by Egyptian physicians. In it, there was a prescription for protection against epidemics. According to S.I. McMillen, “It was to be chanted while a person had two vulture feathers held over him.” It says it part:

… O Seizer-of-the-Great-One, son of Sekhmet, mightiest of the mighty, son of the Disease-Demon…flooder of the streams; when thou voyagest in the Celestial Ocean, when thou sailest in the morning barque, thou hast saved me from every sickness. (See None of These Diseases, 2005, p. 14).

Needless to say, this Egyptian recipe did not always work. In Leviticus 13 we find God’s prescription against those who are sick. “But if the bright spot is white on the skin of his body, and does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and its hair has not turned white, then the priest shall isolate the one who has the sore seven days. And the priest shall examine him on the seventh day; and indeed if the sore appears to be as it was, and the sore has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall isolate him another seven days.” (Leviticus 13:4-5). We know today that leprosy is a long-term infection caused by Mycobaterium leprae. It is mentioned frequently in God’s Word. Leviticus 13, gives the laws concerning leprosy. In the New Testament, we read of an occasion where Jesus healed an individual suffering from this dreaded disease (Matthew 8:1-3).

Notice there were no vulture feathers or chants. Those who were found to be sick were isolated. Notice the end of that chapter records,“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’  He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall  dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp” (Leviticus 13:45-46, emp. added).

In the late 1700s Norway was struggling with a leprosy epidemic of unprecedented magnitude. Entire families and communities found themselves suffering from a slow and mutilating death. However, by the early 1800s the epidemic was under control. What had happened to stem the spread of this contagious disease? The people had finally listened to religious leaders who were pointing out the Biblical prescription of quarantine. In Leviticus 13 Moses gave the prescription of how to identify leprosy and commanded that those infected be isolated. It would not be until 1873, when Dr. Armauer Hansen identified red bacteria as the causative agent for leprosy. It was discovered that millions of these bacteria could live in the nose of someone suffering from leprosy and could be passed to a healthy relative through a single sneeze. But long before this discovery, God’s Word had already given advice regarding bacteria and the necessity of a medical quarantine (see also Numbers 5:1-4).

In the Old Testament, it was leprosy. In the 1300s, it was the Black Death, an epidemic of the bubonic plague. Today, it is coronavirus. Different organisms—but very similar prescription. Isolate and quarantine. The word quarantine, was derived from the Italian words quaranta giorni which mean 40 days. In the 14th century people who were coming into coastal cities in Italy were quarantined 40 days (often on ships) to make sure they did not have Yellow Fever.

At the same time Semmelweis was trying to clean up labor and delivery floors in Vienna, Edwin Chadwick was trying to prevent cholera and “Black Plague” from sweeping across England. Chadwick recognized many sewers were not draining and were actually cesspools of filth. He realized to prevent cholera from invading these cesspools needed to be drained and fixed. He also discovered that the working sewers were discharging sewage into the Thames River upstream from where their drinking water was collected. Parliament recognized that poor neighborhoods were normally struck first with these diseases. It was in these poor neighborhoods that often dozens of individuals were sharing the same living quarters without any means to get rid of human waste. Parliament believed maybe if they fed the poor the problem would go away—but Chadwick urged “sewers, not sandwiches!”

Consider what God’s Word says regarding human waste:

Also you shall have a place outside the camp, where you may go out; and you shall have an implement among your equipment, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and turn and cover your refuse. For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may see no unclean thing among you, and turn away from you (Deuteronomy 23:12-14).

Moses instructed the Israelites always to bury human waste products. Today, of course, with centuries of experience behind us, this is a common sanitary hygienic practice, although in most places we bury it in our sewer or septic systems. But the common course of action in Moses’ day, and for centuries to follow, was to dump waste products in any convenient place. History has recorded the folly of this kind of action.

One interesting side note, notice in the Bible God called on those who were sick to be quarantined. Today, we find officials and politicians encouraging everyone to quarantine. One might ask why healthy individuals would be quarantined and are we now going to do this for every sickness that spreads through the human population like the seasonal flu or H1N1?

One would think that Semmelweiss and Chadwick would have been hailed as medical saviors—and yet they were laughed at and ignored. Semmelweiss ended up dying in a mental institution after having a breakdown brought about from individuals ridiculing his hand-washing theory. It would only be years later that the wisdom of these two men was fully understood. Likewise, for nearly two thousand years the Bible has been trying to save men—providing a means for redemption, and yet sadly people often laugh and ignore the wisdom therein. Again, time will prove the folly of ignoring the Truths therein.

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Do You Have a Secret Life Hidden From Others?

Do You Have a Secret Life Hidden From Others?

Isn’t it remarkable how the use of smart phones has changed news reporting?  It seems that whenever there is a crisis, someone takes their phone and starts videoing. When it is placed on social media, it can almost immediately go viral. Secrets are revealed which just a few years ago would be hidden. The same is true of those times when microphones of politicians are accidently left open, and we hear the private views of our leaders. It seems that there are no secrets anymore.

revealed secrets

God knows your secrets.

However, there is an even greater aspect of this matter. The last verse of Ecclesiastes says, “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Look carefully at what is said—every work and every secret thing when we stand before the great throne of judgment. “And the dead were judged according to their works, but the things which were written in the books” (Rev. 20:12). Nothing will be hidden in that day.

Think about the possibility of what could happen in many homes in America. When voices are raised in confrontation between husband and wives, are things said which could easily be captured on cell phones? What if your husband or wife captured the words you said to them? What if that outburst of anger were no longer hidden? If you had known it was being recorded, would you have spoken what you said? How would others view you if they could view you at times like this? You walked away from that time thinking it was over for it was not public and it was not recorded. You were wrong. Heaven’s “smart phone” captured it, and God will bring every secret thing into judgment.

The same is true of all relationships in our homes. The conversation between parents and children could be captured. Would you as a mother or father, or a son or daughter, be the same if you knew it was being recorded? It is—every secret thing will be part of the final judgment.

What about whispered spreading of gossip or destructive speech? That which is seemingly secret or parts of private messaging or conversation is being “recorded”—every secret thing.

Now there is the other aspect of Solomon’s final words. It is not just the “secret evil” which we have done which will be involved. Every “secret good” we have done will be remembered on that day. There is no need to reveal what we are doing so others will think we are righteous. Every cup of cold water given to others is “recorded.”

Never forget that God knows it all—all the good and all the evil. There is a “heavenly smart phone.”

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Suddenly and Completely Taken Away

Suddenly and Completely Taken Away

We know and understand that God both can and does bring good out of even the worst of circumstances (Gen. 50:20; Lk. 24:44-47; Rom. 8:28), and this Coronavirus is certainly no exception. Hopefully, one of the greatest things to come out of this current pandemic will be people’s honest realization of just how quickly all the things they once thought were so essential and indispensable to them and their lives, can be so suddenly and completely taken from them. How the pursuits and activities that once consumed so much of our time, effort, energy, and finances – and which we had somehow convinced ourselves were so critically important to us – can be so swiftly and suddenly… just taken away from us.


Are you ready for suddenly?

Hopefully, more people will now take the time to really stop and think about the fact that one day, as we all inevitably near our own departure from this earthly life, all of these same worldly pursuits and activities – plus a whole lot more – are going to be similarly and perhaps even more suddenly taken away from us and then left behind as utterly worthless, and totally meaningless (Phil. 3:7-11; 1 Tim. 6:6-12). The only thing that will matter at all in the day which one draws their final breath, will be the closeness of their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ; said relationship which will, of course, be totally dependent on the time and effort that they have previously put into seeking, developing, maintaining, and maturing it according to the word of God – and that’s it. Period.

This is why Jesus Christ said in the sermon on the mount, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (See and study Matt. 6:19-33). It is surely also the reason why His handpicked Apostle John who was there that day would also later write what He did in 1 John 2:15-17.

For those who have never, really, seriously considered their desperate need to make sure they get and stay right with God; those who have hence never seriously sought to more Biblically get to know Him before that fatal and final earthly moment suddenly comes upon them (1 Thess. 5:2-10; 2 Ptr. 3:10-12); may the good that God brings out of this current pandemic be, that it provides the reality check they need in order to start doing so.

For those Christians who are only half-hearted in their pursuit of, and relationship with their Lord, and hence only lukewarm in their Christianity, may this current pandemic provide the vital reality check they need, in order to more fully and steadfastly devote themselves to “the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, … the breaking of bread, and [prayer],” as well as to a far more regular, rigorous, and diligent study of His word (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 2:15).

And finally, for those who are already faithful children of the living God (Rom. 8:14-18; Gal. 3:26-27); those whose only priority each day is to live for and with the Lord whom they love and already realize is their life (2 Cor. 4:16-5:11; Col. 3:1-4); may this current pandemic only serve to reinforce your faith, peace, and reliance on your Lord who said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).


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Does Jesus Cry When We Die?

Does Jesus Cry When We Die?

We read in John 11:35 these simple and sympathetic words: “Jesus wept [cry].” Jesus felt for others and loved them as we do when we lose someone close to us. The Bible talks about Jesus’ compassion (Matthew 15:32, 20:34, Mark 5:19, Mark 6:34, Luke 7:13). He really did care for others while He lived on the earth.

jesus cry

Jesus has compassion on the plight of mankind.

Jesus’ compassion flowed out of His divinity. It is God Who enabled Jesus’ humanity to have compassion for others and to weep. Psalm 116:5 says, “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.” Psalm 117:2 states, “For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 86:15 states, “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” In God’s mercy, He hears our cries to Him: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15). He cares for us very deeply. Peter wrote, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Yes, Jesus cares even now!

Does Jesus cry when we die? Certainly. Jesus mourns over all death. He wept for us in the garden of Gethsemane understanding that He was dying for all (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). However, this mourning is momentary. Psalm 30:5 states, “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” In Revelation 14:13 we read, “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”’‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.’”


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