Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pesonality Tests

Everyone wants to know their own personality. That's what's inside; your make-up, which makes you distinct from others. Of course personality is not tangible, but psychologists try to make it so by "operationalizing" it so that it can be measured. That's an attempt to take the subjective and make it objective in order to draw conclusions from the data.

The data is used so people can discover "who they are" is based on Karl Jung's Jung Typology Test. Most tests today have Jung's name removed, and the standard personality test is Briggs-Meyers Personality test.

Before I proceed, I'd like to get personal. I've taken Briggs-Meyers three times and each time my personality is different. Either the test is inaccurate, personality is time dependent or I have multi-personality disorder. What I'm saying is that I have little faith in the theory behind the test, the ability of the test to measure what it claims to measure, nor what uses either someone else or myself may have! General Motors Corporation on two later occasions endeavored to coerce me into taking Briggs-Meyers. I refused based on religious grounds, which I will elaborate on further shortly.

According to Jung, people can be categorized based on general attitude, the way they perceive things and how they judge. These are introversion/extroversion, sensing/intuition, and thinking/feeling, respectively. Meyers added a fourth dichotomy: judging/perceiving. Because of the bipolar aspects which we all have, these four can be sub-divided into sixteen personality types. In my own experience, when I was pressured to take the test again, I said "There are only two types of people: the good and the bad; the saved and those who are not!"

I asked the General Manufacturing Manager "Why do you want us to take a personality test?" He says "So that we can understand each other better." My response was to him "You may as well use a horoscope then because that's as reliable!" (And many people do think the stars reflect our daily life and personalities. I would never base any decisions on either the stars nor on the theories of a analytical psychologist "loon" as was Karl Jung!)

Let's look at Jung for a moment. He broke with an equally dispelled theorist, psychotherapist Sigmund Freud. He became even loonier than Freud! Let's see what I mean by "loony".

Jung had a dream as a youth of a phallic god. It helped him develop the concept of primordial images which he later called archetypes. He believed that our personality is made up of all who came before us, not from genetics, but from archaic images ingrained within us. As early man evolved, so did our own potential. Yes, evolution of man and society is why we are what we are today, according to Jung.

Likewise, much of the assignment of the various archetypes were suggested by the influence of a twelve-year old dead girl with whom he had a seance! Archetypes, are very much like, if not, the spirits within you. The anima called out to him in a female voice! The flip side of "her" is the male counterpart to the "inner personality" is the animus. Much of Jung's theories are a by-product of his understanding of eastern mysticism or oriental religions. Jung pretty well brought the occult and pagan religions into western society and presented them to the world as psychology or "science". However, even elementary scholars know that psychology is "the study of the soul", and I must admit that Jung applied occult aspects to his theories. Therefore, as a Christian, Jung is a false teacher and his "analytical psychology" is a complete deception. It's "false teaching"

Many turn to Jung (and Briggs-Meyers) to find out "who I am". God knows you! He knows who you are:
Matthew 10:29"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
You are a valuable commodity! God loves you because he says that "God so loved the world..." (John 3:16a). He knows the hairs on your head, he knows your name and he values who you are; his creation!
1 Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
Looking at our "heart" is the inner appearance of us. It's our character and how we use that trait. What our "heart is" is not defined by pagan religions nor primordial spirits, but our relationship to God! It's not what can be detected by the five senses, but Christians can detect the "heart", or character or personality from a sixth sense, the discernment of the Holy Ghost!
 Hebrews 5:14 (ESV) "But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."
Here's my discernment; Since personality types are from the netherworld, and are at odds with Christ's teachings, I walk the path with the things of God, and leave contrary thoughts far behind. That's "being set apart from the world" or "sanctification". It's living a Holy Life and doing only what God wills! Out of principle I will not dabble in the occult or with unholy theories spread by those who follow principalities from the darkness!
Isaiah 8:19 (ESV) "And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?"
Leviticus 20:6 (ESV) / “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people."

Monday, September 28, 2015

What "They" Say About the Book

Today I follow What the Book Says with What They Say About the Book. Maybe it should have been reversed, but so be it. First off, in today's commentary, who is "they"? All my life, whenever I said "They ..... whatever." some smart-aleck would say "Who are 'they'?" In this context "they" are of extreme importance! "They" includes Gnostics, agnostics, atheists, Deists, philosophers, Marxists and other Utopian "isms", scientists, psychologists, pagan religions, and those ignorant of most things. Worse yet, many modern Christian churches, sects and heresies are included in "they". Some of the worst antagonists of the Bible are people who attend church!
2 Peter 2:1 "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
False prophets would be Christian preachers. By "Christian" I don't mean those who actually are disciples of Christ, but those who pretend to be. Rather than preaching the unadulterated words of the Bible, they  are lax in what they teach, geared more in prestige, power and numbers; than in souls being saved. Many of these preachers have "good" hearts and are well-intended, but they have become mere pawns of Satan because they are overly tolerant of sin.

False teachers are any who would misrepresent what the Bible says and means. They may teach error out of ignorance, pride, tradition, indoctrination, or just plain old corruptness. Some do it for money and some blend the words of God with inspirational writings of others. As Bill "O'Reilly would say "Herrin, what say you about 'they'?

  • Some of "them" would portend Christianity to be mythology and the contents of the Bible to be myth. "Myths" are stories passed down by tradition which people accept as factual, but are widely held false beliefs. Those who teach mythology claim that all religions are beyond scientific reasoning and are mythology. Agnostics are skeptics who need proof. Christianity isn't based on "proof", but on "faith". "Faith" by definition is not based on tangible things, but things unseen. Scientists, atheists, etc. are other examples, but many Christian preachers accept the scientific bias over God's Word!
  • Others would say that the Bible is mere history. It's factual in it's chronology, but wrong in its spirituality. That's akin to believing that the writers were accurate in their history, but wrong in their theology.
  • Even others would claim that it's bad history because it has a spiritual bias.  Many of those thinkers believe that scripture has no credibility when it's wrong on history. For example, King Sargon is mentioned in the Bible. Since historians never heard of King Sargon they claimed that scripture was inaccurate. Later on archaeologists discovered a palace. It turned out that Sargon of of Akkad was the greatest Sumerian king ever! So much for dismissing fact based on ignorance!
  • Others say that the Bible isn't scientific. First off, no one has ever disproved the creation story. Neither have they proved the evolution theory. Hypotheses can never be proved. They can only fail to be disproved. Hence, science will never be able to prove the evolution theory! In other words, just like religion, science is based on faith. Both are religions. It's just that one is without a God! Paul said:
Acts 17:23 "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
The Athenian philosophers had no idea who it was that "did" it, but they worshiped that "unknown god", and Paul proclaimed to them the One True God!  Furthermore there are several passages in the Old Testament which state what now is scientific fact long before scientists discovered what God created.
 Columbus had faith that the earth was round because God said it was in  Isaiah 40:22" It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth..." long before Ferdinand Magellan sailed around it in 1522!  
The "hydrologic cycle" was discovered in 1580 A.D. by Bernard Palissy.  God revealed it to Solomon when he said:
Ecclesiastes 1:7 "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." 
 Likewise, Solomon new of the jet streams which are warmer that the atmosphere which flow from west to east and flow right over Asia where he was! He knew that the orbit of earth and solar radiation created these streams.  These are mapped today and familiar to even children. God knew about them long ago (before 923 BC), but Wasaburo Oishi found them out in the 1920s. For 2800 years mankind failed to find what Solomon knew because God old him so!  
In 1896 Japan had the first mention of "tsunami" waves. However, God used them to flood the earth in Noah's time! Where did the "extra" water come from? Since the hydrologic cycle is a closed system, we have basically the same water now as was ever there. That meant the extra water came from somewhere! Science just did (this year) propose that the earth has an underground ocean three times the size of the surface oceans. This ocean is 100's of miles beneath the surface (The Guardian: Earth may have underground 'ocean' three times that on surface). 
This is more than enough water to flood the earth allowing the miracle of the flood in Noah's time! There are many other scientific facts within the Bible. It's full of them. Many miracles have been proven possible by merely God using his hand to steer what he made!
Scientists anticipate with various theories that the earth will be destroyed by climate change or a collision with a meteorite. God's word points toward a nuclear destruction with intense heat.
God knows more than science. He creates what science takes ages to discover!

  • Others would say that the Bible is philosophy for living and that Jesus was a mere good man with great sayings.
  •  Others would say that the Bible is a historical novel and it's to be read as a great tale.
  • Many deny the inerrancy of the Bible. "Inerrancy" is that all the facts presented are without error. Even many biblical scholars and many liberal Christian churches and universities contend that the Bible is full of errors, even in the original text. Why would we believe a "book of errors"? They don't!
  • Many of the same people propose that the Bible contradicts itself when each "contradiction" can be explained by context. 
  • Most say that scripture lacks continuity when it is in fact "all about Jesus" from Genesis through Revelation; from beginning to end. (John Chapter 1).
  • Some say that the "original" 1611 King James Version is the only reliable version. Few of those even have a copy of the 1611 version! (It's extremely hard to read!). Furthermore, what are foreign people to read?
  • Most say that the Bible is boring to read. How can the actual words spoken by our Creator bore you? It's because of unbelief! If the reader believes in God, that individual will be reading exactly what God did and why! All the questions we dream of asking someone who knows are answered in the Bible! By reading God's Word is how unbelief is conquered and belief arouses joy!
  • Most say that they'll read it when they get old. Perhaps these people should play Russian Roulette because no one is assured of old age. How can we know what God has in store for our lives if we wait for our eminent deaths to find out!
  • People say they don't read the Bible because they want to live now. Sure, they all want to go to heaven, but without the sacrifice it takes to go there: the self! These folks, if they somehow squeak by, may be a little uncomfortable in a Holy place!
  • People say they don't understand the Bible so they don't read it. The reason that we are to read it is so that we can understand it! Preachers are there to help us understand!

Acts 8:30 "And Philip ran thither to him (the eunuch), and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him."
We are without excuse! God is real and scripture is to be read so that we can have faith. With faith we can have eternal life! Let's go back to science: it points toward an Almighty God because the "god of Chance" has no power.
Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
Being "without excuse" is questioning what we see! We see the marvels around us and we should ask "From where did they come?" Science can't explain that. Theories aren't even fulfilling.  We read the Bible to find out from whence it all came. If we don't even have the initiative to wonder why, we are truly "without excuse". Even in my childhood days I'd look at the green hills of earth, the trees, the crops, the animals, the waters, the stars and the rest of the cosmos; and wonder: "Where did this all come from?" My desire was to find out, and because I found out by God's word, I now have hope. Yes, the Bible is all about "hope"! It's all about Jesus!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What the Book Says

There is much division in what the Bible is! We, in fairness, must ask, "What does the Bible claim to be?"
2 Timothy 3:14 "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

  •  Scripture is the contents of the Bible.
  • The Bible is "holy scripture". It's sacred and divine. It's the actual word of God and speaks his truth and what he wills for us. It's his "plan A" and he has no "plan B".
  • The Bible imparts wisdom.
  • The wisdom imparted is of utmost importance: It's instructions for "salvation". It reveals how to save ourselves, through Jesus Christ, from eternal damnation. As such it tells of this world and the two post-mortem choices: heaven and hell. In that "salvation" is the purpose of scripture, we must ask "Saved from what?", and the answer is "saved from hell"! (We actually save ourselves from our "Selfs"!) Therefore, sacred scripture imparts the reality of hell. Likewise, because of our salvation, there must be an alternate destination. It's heaven. Hence, sacred scripture imparts that heaven is for real!
  • The Bible tells how to to obtain salvation. It's through faith. "Faith" is belief in and the trust of something. In scripture the ONLY way to salvation is through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. The Bible imparts the wisdom that Jesus is the only way to be saved. On the flip-side, there is no other way. Hence, the Bible is about the grace of Jesus from cover to cover.  Jesus is there on the first page of the Bible and the last!
  • Scripture is transcribed by men, but men of special qualities. They were chosen by God, and have divine inspiration, to dictate to man the word and will of God. Inspiration from God was given three ways: 1) By Jesus himself through the four gospels, 2) by "The Word" (Jesus) in the Old Testament, and 3) by the Holy Ghost after Christ's ascension into heaven where he now resides. Writers actually wrote the word of God, not opinions of what God meant. It's not commentary about God, but writings on what God "said" and what God "wills".
  • The Bible has a purpose. That overall purpose is God's plan is to save mankind from ourselves. Satan deceives each person, according to scripture, but it's not other tangible gods we worship; it's each our own ""Self". Satan enlists dark principalities to provide each our pleasure, thus tempting every person to "live in the flesh"; essentially pleasuring the "Self".
  • God's purpose is achieved by reading and hearing what he says. He tells what he "wills". God's will is "doctrine". By reading the Bible, we learn what God wants each of us to do. Wisdom is applying the word in the Bible to our own lives; living and believing God's doctrine.
  • The Bible is for "reproof". It's to reprimand us when we deviate from what God wills. The Bible says that we all deviate from God's will. That's called "sin". The Bible allows the Holy Ghost to speak to us. He does his job well. The Holy Ghost, although he comforts us as he does it, imparts guilt on the sinner, so that we'll do what? Change! If we haven't changed as a result of reading the Bible, we're not listening to God!
  • The Bible is for correction. After we feel guilt for sinning, the Bible has instructions for correction. We have the opportunity to change, and scripture tells us how! We don't have to do it on our own, but we do it in tandem with God if we have enough of the "faith" it teaches. Acquiring that faith for correction is obtained by reading the word. The "change" is from an "old creature" to a "new creature". The old creation has unforgiven sin, and the new creation has been pardoned from all past sins.
  • The Bible is for instruction. It tells us how to make the change as an answer for correction.  The most important instruction is how to be righteous. Being "right" is doing the will of God! What is his will? That we love him enough that we love our fellow man! If we love to that degree we show it by obeying! What is it that we are to obey? It's written in stone! It's the Ten Commandments! They tell us how to love God and others, the Greatest Commandment and the One Like Unto It. And how do we become "right" with God? We are "born again". That is the moment in time that we've had enough of doing what pleasures us, and decide to do what pleases God!  The Bible instructs us on whom to believe, on whom to accept, why we are redeemed, who redeemed us, and that we subsequently have the hope of living forever. The Bible tells us that we're not alone; the Holy Ghost is there to help! We lean on God by listening to his spirit. The entire plan is and always has been through God in the flesh, Jesus Christ!
Why would we want to obey the will of God? Not only to save our own lousy skin from eternal hell-fire, but to be perfect in the eyes of God. When we become a "new creation" all our wrongs are made right and we are perfect because Jesus died for all our imperfections. After that, are we perfect? No! We still sin, but as we sin, we continue to ask for forgiveness, and as such, we daily strive for perfection; it's not obtainable, for each wrong we do is a poor choice. We limit our poor choices because we want to please God! To please God, we love him and others! That's the good works we are to do.

Now you know "What the Book Says" about itself. Tomorrow we'll look at "What Others Say About the Book".

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lilith: Goddess of Abortion

On the television sitcoms Cheers and Frazier, Frazier's psychiatrist wife was named Lilith. The naming of her was no accident. Of course they were divorced because no man could tame Lilith. Very fittingly her vocation matched her demeanor. She was a babble spouting independent abrasive defiant woman! She and Frazier continuously argued.

There are many ancient societies who have their "Liliths". Here are some key points about her (from Bible History Daily):

  • Babylonian a winged demon who preyed on pregnant women and infants. "Originating about the same time as the Gilgamesh epic is a terracotta plaque, known as the Burney Relief, that some scholars have identified as the first known pictorial representation of Lilith. (More recently, scholars have identified the figure as Inanna.) The Babylonian relief shows her as a beautiful, naked sylph with bird wings, taloned feet and hair contained under a cap decorated with several pairs of horns. She stands atop two lions and between two owls, apparently bending them to her will. Lilith’s association with the owl—a predatory and nocturnal bird—bespeaks a connection to flight and night terrors."  (ibid)
    Figure #1: Babylonian Image of Lilith

  • Michaelangelo painted her as half woman half  serpent coiled around the Tree of Knowledge

Figure #2: Lilith Painting by Michaelangelo
  • James Joyce has her as "the patron of abortions"
  • Feminists praise her for her independence.
  • Lilith represents chaos, seduction and ungodliness.
  • The ancient name “Lilith” derives from a Sumerian word for female demons or wind spirits—the lilītu and the related ardat lilǐ. The lilītu dwells in desert lands and open country spaces and is especially dangerous to pregnant women and infants. Her breasts are filled with poison, not milk. The ardat lilī is a sexually frustrated and infertile female who behaves aggressively toward young men.(Bible History Daily; Lilith - Seductress, heroine or murderer? Janet Howe Gaines; 08/11/2014)"
  • She is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible!
Isaiah 34:14 "The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest."
The "satyr", if you will, is a depiction of a creature like the Roman god "Pan".

Figure #3: Pan (a satyr)

Now let's look at "the screech owl". The lay reader will merely read over this, not being too familiar with owls.  For you who are interested, I provide a photo:

Figure #4: a screech owl"
This is one of the twenty-one types of screech owls dominant in America. Most of us have seen them before. They truly are scary diabolical looking creatures, especially since they are nocturnal! Their homes are trees! Yes, screech owls are always associated with trees!  (Remember this as you look at Michaelangelo's painting above.) While its eggs are incubating the male owl feeds the female. Who, sarcasm intended, feeds whom? It's the male who serves the female! These owls don't "hoot". They trill in rapid succession. They also sing in courtship, wooing the mating song. There song is the song Sirens sing. No wonder that screech owls are identified with Lilith!

If we use Strong's Bible Dictionary,  "Lilith" or "screech owl" means "night monster". "Lil" means "ghost", hence "Lilith" is a ghost-demon. Another name for "Lilith", according to some are her "counterparts: Inanna, Ishtar, Asherah (Ashtoreth), Anath and Isis. According to one view, Lilith was originally a Sumerian, Babylonian, or Hebrew mother goddess of childbirth, children, women, and sexuality." (Hurwitz, Siegmund. Excerpts from Lilith-The first Eve).

Those of us who read the Bible know that the Hebrew people were attracted to Asherah (aka  Ashtaroth and Ashtoreth). In fact Figure #1 shows Ishtar (aka Asherah). It appears that Ashtoreth and Lilith are one and the same goddesses!
1 Kings 11:4 "For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father."
Ashtoreth was "the Queen of Heaven". Incidentally, this what Mary, the mother of Jesus, is called by Catholics.  Remembering that Ashtoreth and Lilith is likely the same goddess means that "the mother goddess" Ashtoreth was of the same continence as Lilith:
"In most manifestations of her myth, Lilith represents chaos, seduction and ungodliness. Yet, in her every guise, Lilith has cast a spell on humankind.
 Were the Jews still deceived by Lilith when they were making cakes to the "queen of heaven":
Jeremiah 7:17 "Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger."
God is angered when we have other gods before him! He is a jealous God. Lilith/Ashtoreth is alive and well today in the minds of many. When James Joyce professed Lilith to be the "patron of abortions" he is probably very accurate given that she is "especially dangerous to pregnant women and their infants" as stated before. Likewise, her aggressiveness toward young men and that her breasts are filled with poison pretty well describes rabid feminists to whom unborn life is just a casualty in the quest for sexual freedom. These fine ladies of modern times are Lilith's living seed whose quest for complete independence and domination of men is still a demonic goal.

In effect the seductress, Lilith, is the epitome of feminists who strive for sexual independence and the only payment which they owe Lilith is the life of their own unborn child! Yes, what I'm implying is that abortion is demonic and the spirit of Lilith yet lives in these feminist women deceived again, possibly by the same serpent which deceived Eve in Eden!  (Yes, it's speculation, but it can be true! Regardless of the true nature of Lilith, she is alive in the hearts of many!)

We know that Satan is the deceiver and that he uses things, people and other spirits to do his work. It would appear that the serpent in the garden was symbolic of Satan, but perhaps it was an indirect symbol. Rather than being in the image of Satan, the serpent was in the image of the demoness Lilith just as Michaelangelo painted her!

In early Jewish writings ( Alphabet of Ben Sira ), Lilith was Adam's first wife made from dust as was Adam. This is because of the account of creation twice in Genesis, as the Bible often repeats events. However, these early writers interpreted two creations of mankind, first Adam and Lilith; and secondly, Adam and Eve. It is speculated by those writers that Lilith was a domineering independent minded woman who would not serve Adam, so she abandoned him.

However, there were not two creations and the attempt to fabricate anything else is mere deception by the forces of evil. I can summarize a story then tell the story. Because I tell it twice doesn't mean it happened twice! In Deuteronomy, for instance, this type of repetition is the norm!

For my point in this discussion, it's that Lilith is alive and well today. Lilith is alive in feminism and abortion. Lilith is alive in rebellion against God.  Even if Lilith never was, people believed that she lived, and people are still deceived from the demonic forces that created her. Abortion is murder and is the killing of "what God has joined together".  Lilith still whisks about the world, causing the children who Jesus loves so much, to be stripped from their mother's wombs in exchange for sexual freedom.

It seems that rather than the freedom which women believe they have, they have been poisoned by the milk from Lilith's breasts. Lilith certainly represents the "sexually frustrated and infertile female who behaves aggressively toward young men!" (Bible History Daily).

As these women stand before God and make excuses on that judgement day, "the devil made me do it, and Lilith poisoned me!" will sound so feeble in explaining why we failed to truly have only One True God.  Lilith smiles as Satan laughs. She may not be real, but she still has the power to deceive.

Jesus has the grace to forgive for he says "they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34), but now you know and are without excuse.

Friday, September 25, 2015

On Hope

Hope is a positive word isn't it? Everybody from gamblers to priests, politicians included, hope for something! Just what is hope? It's what people say to be positive and gain support. It's what people want to hear to sooth their anxiety! "Hope" is valuing a desire so strongly that it will happen with certainty. It's anticipating that a person's desire will be met.

Let's see what some people hope for:

  • Gamblers hope to win the jackpot.
  • Scientists hope to find a cure for cancer.
  • Workers hope to retire comfortably.
  • Politicians hope to win elections.
  • Parents hope their children succeed.
  • Teachers hope they are effective.
  • Pacifists hope wars will end.
  • Voters hope for a better economy and a good life.
  • and on and on!
All these "hopes" are for positive things to happen! All the people and groups anticipate that their desires will be met. Sometimes in spite of the odds, they hold onto their hope. It's what motivates people to continue on. It took Edison years to find the perfect element for the common light bulb, with a reasonable lifespan. All along, he hoped that the next experiment would be the one. He was certain that at some point he would find the right alloy to make a light bright and long-lasting. Without hope he would have tried one alloy, failed, gave up, and maybe people would have still been in the dark for years.

Hope implies that good things will happen! That may not be the case though because "hope" as does "change" is directional. We are acclimated to believe that "hope" is toward the good, but the hope of others is for their own good which may be devastating to others. For instance:
  • I hope you fail in what you do.
  • Gamblers hope you loose to them.
  • I hope you get what you deserve.
  • Evil people hope you die!
  • Pro-abortionists hope you can find someone to abort your baby.
  • Politicians hope you fall for their lies.
  • Criminals hope they don't get caught.
  • Homosexuals hope they'll be accepted.
  • Some of the things the Pope hopes for, I don't because I don't believe it's scriptural.
  • and on and on!
There are probably an equal number of hopes with negative outcomes as positive. For instance, if one gambler hopes he'll win, requires a hope that another gambler loses. My point is that "hope" may not be what it seems to be, and when the masses hear the word "hope" they perk up. I don't! I ask for more information.

I do have a "hope".  It's of utmost importance in the Bible, and therein it's always in a positive aspect. Oftentimes "hope" stands alone in the verse, not needing further clarification. Why? After God created us, the first thing he offered mankind was "hope" because he supplied everything of the heart's desire. Eden was a pretty positive place! It was Utopian from a standpoint of "goodness", pleasure, health, and essentials. Where else could man commune with his Creator? 

There are places in scripture where people lost their "hope". Even the angels did. Because Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, they had a "hope" with negative connotations. However, scripture does not refer to those instances as "hope", but sin!

If we look back at the definition of "hope", it includes "confidence" that a desired thing will come about. That confidence or "trust" is faith, so in many ways when the Bible speaks of "hope" it's in the positive notion; it's trust. 
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Like "faith", "hope" has an invisible component:
Romans 8:24 "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? "
This verse is a round-about way of saying "If you can see it, you already have it, and what you have can't be hoped for because you've already got it!" Therefore hope, like faith is directed at the unseen, or more specifically, those things beyond the senses.

When Paul wrote to Timothy Jesus had already ascended. He no longer could be seen. Paul professed that Jesus Christ is our "hope", and incidentally, on that hope is where our faith should lie:
1 Timothy 1:1 (The)"...Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope..."
What is it about Jesus that makes him our hope? If he is who he says he is, and that's God, we can trust all that he says! Jesus said many things, did many things and wrought many miracles, and because many people witnessed his ministry, millions today still trust that Jesus is God. Jesus claims to be the way to eternal life, and we trust what he promised to those who believe. Therefore, Jesus is "our hope"!

Now if we merely believe that the purpose of Jesus was to improve humanity, there would be little hope there. However, the main things Jesus offered to all who believe is eternal life. Most people have a strong desire to live forever providing it's to be a good healthy prosperous life. That's what Jesus promised to believers. Paul's desire and all Christians as well, is  "in hope of eternal life". We call that "salvation" because eternal death is what eternal life saves us from, and that's by Jesus Christ and only him!
Titus 1:2 (Paul) "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began..."
You can see from this verse that God promised mankind "eternal life" on the very day man lived. God predestined everybody for eternal life! Adam and Eve shared that promise until they disobeyed God. However, God had mercy on them and provided a way. That's "grace" because "God so loved the world" (John 3:16a). Since God never had plans B, C, D... n, then his only plan from the beginning is that mankind live forever.

Unfortunately "living forever" applies to everybody!
John 5:29 "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation".
You will be resurrected! Your body and your soul shall exist for eternity. Those who have done "good" (accept and trust Jesus) shall have eternal life and those who have done "evil" (rejected Jesus) will live a tortured existence as the living dead. They in effect will be Zombies who can never die, and suffer forever. No one "hopes" for that, but some curse you, "hoping" that's where you end up. Evil people want you to be evil too! They "hope" you go to hell where they're going because they don't want to obey, and they care little whether you have any hope!

What does anyone have to do to have hope, remembering that hope is to live forever?
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We must accept what Jesus did for us. He died in our place. Wasn't that graceful of him? Yes, that's what "grace" is! Although we're all our guilty of sin, Jesus, by his own blood, took our sins, all of them, all of us; and made them his own. When he died for us, we were cleansed from all sin. That's "justification". Incidentally, it's not "As if we never sinned." But "Because we are sinners we were made clean!" In order for Christ's blood to cleanse, sin must have happened. Therefore, it's not "as if we never sinned"!

When we believe (accept and trust is implied). We are "born-again". We're new creatures. Before we had no hope. We were doomed. After believing this the newly created man (or woman) has something different that was not there before. It's "hope". No, we're not "saved" yet because the bus isn't exploding. But as believers who have faith we have "the hope of eternal life", that just as the bus explodes (our death) that Jesus will resurrect us and we'll live forever! Thus, rather than being "saved" we're "safed". We have the assurance that if we love and have faith until the end of our lives, we shall have eternal life. We live on visas in the kingdom of God until we become full citizens there after we're resurrected.

Paul sometimes shortens the "born-again experience" to "saved", but he also calls our salvation a "hope":
1 Thessalonians 5:8 "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
Jesus used the term "saved" as well, but with his foreknowledge, he knew who would endure to the end before the person was ever born!

My main hope is that I have eternal life knowing full well that I don't deserve it! I'm assured of it because of my faith. The devil's role is to trick me out of my faith so that I give it up. Some people do that.  Those who relinquish their faith, lose all hope. As long as a "little faith" is there, some hope lives on. Jesus doesn't require "great faith" to get our reward. His requirement is that we have faith!

I'm confident that I have faith. That confidence gives me hope. What is it that I hope for? That I shall have eternal life just as Jesus promised.

Hope can be stolen. It's tangible. Satan knows how to steal it from you, and that's what he does... all the time. If he convinces you that you have no hope, because you're too bad, etc., then your faith wavers. If it wavers long enough, doubt may ensue. Satan smiles. With doubt comes unbelief. Satan laughs out loud. If we're steadfast in our faith, hope is assured!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

On Love and Hate

"Hate" is NOT the opposite of "love", although many who write lexicons may disagree. "Hate" is the extreme passion toward harming another person. It's detestation! The emotion of "hate" is anger. It comes naturally. We're born with a propensity to hate because its genetic. Because we are selfish, we protect our "self". When our "self" is threatened we begin to loathe what threatens us.

On the other hand "love is a work". It doesn't come naturally to love everybody, although most people are born predisposed to love those who nurture them. That is instinctual.  In order to overcome our selfishness and relinquish animosity for what threatens us, requires an extreme amount of work.  My main contention that "love is work" comes from scripture of course:
1 Corinthians 13:4 (ESV) "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
Love is difficult to define, so Paul describes it's qualities and what it is not. Note that the antitheses of love fits well with the characteristics of hate.
  • "Love is patient and kind". Those who "hate" are normally impulsive and rude. Road rage is an obvious example of man's propensity to hate. We don't even know the person, yet we may scream, holler, some may curse and a few may even use their vehicle as a weapon. Some have even pulled a gun and shot people they don't even know because they are impatient and selfish!  It takes self-control to be patient and empathy to be kind. Both of those things are work!
  • "Love does not envy and boast". Braggarts boast to magnify themselves. Bragging and exaggerating is all about pride. Even when a person's status is ordinary, they put their "self" on a pedestal to be recognized. By elevating the "self" at the expense of denigrating others, is belittling. It shows no love of others. Boasting may not be hateful, but it is a demonstration of lack of concern for others. Those who love others care about the feelings of others and do not put them down to build themselves up! Envy is associated with boasting, because our "self" wants to be greater than the other people, and bragging is an attempt to do that. 
  • "Love is not rude." I've felt that. Even people who claim to be my friends have been rude to me. Being rude is more what we do to those whom we dislike. I've had "friends" "unfriend" me on Facebook. I've had friends turn their back on me when I offered them a hug or a handshake. Even when I've tried to small talk with Christian people, I've had them "busy" themselves with fumbling or other people. Being rude is not a trait of love, yet Christians who should love are sometimes rude to others. Personally, that really hurts! I promise I will never be rude to friends nor even enemies if I can help it, because caring (the opposite of rude) is something that just might make a sinner seek Christ!
  • "Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful." Love of others is cutting off your own flesh, symbolically speaking. Our little "god of Self" above all, "wants its own way"! That's why pleasuring the "Self" is "the other god" which we put before God. Insisting on our own way is idolatry and as we show love for our god, we fail to show love for God and others. Being self-centered is not being Christ-centered and Christ's first desire is for us to love him, and we are to show it by loving others! I've had people who are irritable to me. Just a short time ago a person, when I reached out my hand for fellowship, gave me an irritated look. Irritating words never have to be said, they are spoken silently in expressions and behaviors. Any person, especially in church, who would snub another is irritable and hateful! Those who resent me for my flaws are judging me by a different standard than the one they have for themselves. That's unjust and an indication of self-love rather than love of others.
  • "Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth." Some people don't want to hear "truth" because it conflicts with their perception of things. The "Self" wants others to fail because it makes them look better! Think not? Consider those who sin. Christians are absolutely ecstatic when they, with low voices, gossip about the sins of others! Even if there is no sin, they belittle others for  even being tempted, as if they are beyond temptation! Some Christians are even resentful when they believe perceptions and then find our that they weren't true! People "get off" on the misfortunes of others who they "hate" or are pleased when they fail. Those who truly love will trust what they're told enough to accept it as truth. Those who love their friends will give them the benefit of the doubt. Loving friends are those who would never indict another based on perceptions. How would it be if perceptions were allowed in court? Nearly everyone would be guilty!
  • "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."  These are the positive aspects of love. "Bearing all things" goes back to being patient. We're to listen to reasons, probe for truth and love without conditions!  "Believes all things" is giving the benefit of the doubt if any doubt exists. With my friends I ALWAYS credit them with being truthful and recognize that what I see or hear may be wrong, only partial evidence or coincidence. As for "hoping all things" that''s tied in with "believing all things". My hope is that what I hear and see from others is truth. I have faith in them enough to give them that bias. That doesn't mean that people are always truthful, but that I love them enough to have faith in them and our friendship! Now for "endure all things". Should we throw love away because we're disappointed in a person. No! We stand by them because that's when they most need us! Do we want our friends to abandon us when we do wrong or they think bad things about us? Not at all! A friend is one who loves us and that person endures our wrongs. Would we abandon a child who we love when we're disappointed in them? Not at all! The same should apply to friends as well.
All the traits of love are either things negative we don't do or things positive which we do! Either way, it takes much work to love other people. If we can only love perfect people then we will never know love and we would never have any friends. That's sad!  In none of the traits listed for love are emotions of paramount importance. Love us much more than a feeling.  It's a doing! This is emphasized by a command:
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
Emotions are automatic. We have emotions because we respond to stimuli. Jesus commands us to love each other. By commanding that implies that we're to "do" the thing he commands. "Doing things" takes effort and effort is work!

Back to my contention that hate and love are not antonyms: It takes work to love, but hate is instinctual. Even children who are nurtured will display tantrums when they fail to get what they want. If that happens enough it grows into resentment and resentment into dislike and dislike into hate! Many grown children hate parents who nurtured them well and kept harmful things from them!  I said hateful things when I was immature. I had a loving father. He sacrificed much for us all. His children came first, but because one time I didn't get my way, I said "I wish Dad was dead; then I could do what I want!".  Now I would give all my possessions if I had my Dad back because I truly love him.

I've had friends who I've lost. I loved them because they were friends. Some I left behind when I moved or changed churches. They no longer keep in contact with me. Others I've lost because of conflict. I'm still friends with them, but it's doubtful that they are still my friends. That's sad, because when friendship is gone, it's because love is gone. All those things which make up love which I commented on above, are gone.

I like the term "BFF". That means "best friends forever". That's true with me! Any friend I have is a friend forever because I will never cease loving my friends! They don't have to be "best friends" for this to be true, but any friend. Love is forever! Friends are meant to be forever!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Social Justice

Charity is, according to Google is "the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need." What is not part of this definition is "love"!  As Christians we equate "charity" and "love", but they are not the same! No where does the Bible define them as the same. Here's the best reason why Christians have charity:
2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV) "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
The Bible definition matches the dictionary, but tells why: "God loves a cheerful giver"! On the other hand it can be implied that "God loves you, but his desire is that you be a cheerful giver" because "God so loved the world" (John 3:16).  What God "loves" is a charitable heart. Therefore, "charity" is not "love", but is a demonstration of love, both of God and others.

The previous passage says "each one must give as he has decided in his heart" corresponds with the dictionary definition word "voluntary". The "love" part of it is giving without coercion because a person is empathetic to the needs of others. That person loves his fellow man enough to "feel for him" in his poverty.

Pope Francis speaks on "social justice" quite often. I'll show again what Jesus said about poverty:
Matthew 26:11 "For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always."
Jesus said this to those critical when the woman washed him with expensive ointment. It was declared a waste because the money could be more wisely used for the poor. Jesus recognized that the poor will always be and could have ended poverty with one more miracle. He chose not to do that! Why?
Genesis 3:17 "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Poverty is man's punishment for disobedience! Once Adam and Eve had their heart's desire, but that wasn't enough. They wanted more! They wanted "food for the gods" from the forbidden tree and they wanted it now! They sought the temporal without regard for the eternal, and as a result they became poor. They sweated for their sustenance when it could have been a gift of God!  Poverty is of men. It's our own fault!

Those churches which teach "social justice" emphasize it even more than being born-again; or what I call "spiritual justice" because a just God gives us another chance! The modern church worries more about the "dust" of the body than the "spirit" of the soul.  Social justice without the love of God is called "humanism". It's the secular religion of progressives and is the ideology of Karl Marx. Yes, social justice IS Marxism!
Social justice is "justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society" (New Oxford American Dictionary).
The church has adopted Marxism through deception. It is  called "liberation theology" and  is the teaching in Christianity which focuses on Christ's teachings in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. What this means is that progressive churches and Catholicism teach socialism. For this Pope Francis is rightly criticized because he looks toward the government to do by policy (force) what the church should do voluntarily (charity).
"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.(Karl Marx, The Criticism of the Gotha Program)
The millennial generation may not like it, but socialism is atheism! It's the dependence on government to do by force what God delivers through charitable acts!  To Marx religion (Christianity) stands in the way of socialism because rather than depending on the government, the Christian depends on a non-existent God!

On the other hand here are the words of Pope Francis:
"People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens." -Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 2013, Ch.4, #220
"The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!" -Pope Francis, Text from 7/25/2013 in Rio, Brazil"
You see here, under the guise of Christianity, that the Pope looks to civil authority for sustenance. It's conveyed by the terms "social dimension" and "responsible citizens". He says that rather than as "good Christians" or "the charitable who love God"!

Then in the latter quote he says "the measure of the greatness of society". Society is not great. God is! Society is not good. Only God is good. Where does this civil "giving" come from? The force of government by income redistribution; socialism as taught by Marx!

We are to help as potential citizens of the kingdom of God. We are instructed to not serve "mammon" (wealth or money). If it interferes with our Christian walk we're to give all we have because love of God is more important than all the wealth. Christian disciples voluntarily, because of love, provided for fellow Christians in Jerusalem. We're told as Christians to support the orphans and widows, providing the widows are unable to provide for themselves! There is one keyword which separates the Christian concept of "charity" from socialism; that's "voluntary", or "charity" itself.

God commands us to love others. As a result of that love, we're to be charitable. The government demands that we be taxed to help others, even those who are capable! The government wants to "level the playing field"; to take from those who have and give to those who have not, regardless of motivation. That's legalized theft! The Bible has many examples where it condemns the "slothful". It's those who're unwilling to even nourish themselves through work!

"Charity" and "force" are the dichotomy in why we are to help others. Being forced to give is not charity. Indeed, love cannot be legislated by civil authorities. Only God can do that! Love is not a product of coercion.

Helping others who are in NEED voluntarily is a demonstration of love, both of others and of God. However, charity does not take precedence over reverence. We are to submit to God, not Marx, and we are to love God, not socialism. It's where the heart is!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Animosity? Wash my feet!

We're to pattern our lives as Christians after Christ whose title makes us what we are. To proclaim the Christian moniker and clothe ourselves in scarlet, is an injustice to Jesus.

Have you ever had a Christian snub you because of animosity or superiority? Have you ever had a Christian gossip about you? How about proclaiming you're guilty with no evidence? Ah, yes. It's easy to spot a Christian who curses, uses drugs or is lascivious, but how can we spot Christians who straddle the fence on issues of love?

Now, if you will, imagine that Jesus attends your church regularly. Perhaps he's even a leader within the church! Someone comes in who was known to sin this week (as we all have). Jesus avoids the person, fails to speak or to be friendly as he goes about slapping his friends on the back. Or perhaps Jesus heard a tale about someone. He gathers his friends around and whispers and laughs! Perhaps Jesus misunderstood a situation and ostracized a person! Is this the Jesus you worship? I think not! But why do Christians still act like we do?

They say "When in Rome do as the Romans do!", but here's what Paul said that we're to do:
Romans 15:7 "...receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."
There are two parts to this passage. 1) We are to receive each other, and how? 2) as Christ receives us. How did Jesus receive us? With grace! He treated us better than we deserve! Dave Ramsey says that all the time in response to "How you doin' Dave?" "Better than I deserve!" he responds. Why do we expect Jesus to treat us so mercifully, but yet we have little mercy ourselves? It's because we aren't faithful to our "faith"!

The reason we "receive one another" mimicking Christ, is to glorify God! It's God's will for us to be Christlike!
1 John 2:6 "He that saith he abideth in him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk, even as he (Jesus) walked."
Do we walk as Jesus walked? Do you walk as does Christ? Many do not! They are  the ones who need to do something. "Change" is the word in vogue during the Obama administration. If we walk differently than Christ walked, we need to "change"! However, Obama never mentioned that "change" has two directions. We need to change and be more like Jesus.
John 13:14 "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
If you don't like me, there's a change you need to make! You need to do what Jesus did. If you have animosity toward me, wash my feet! And if I have something against you, I assure you, I WILL wash yours! Not because you deserve it, but that's what Christians are to do!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Purpose of Each Member of the Trinity

After commenting on the mathematical symbolism of God yesterday, let's take a short look at the roles of each personality of God, or what I call "components".

2 Corinthians 13:11 "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."
Let's examine this farewell to the Corinthians in Paul's letter. Firstly, he is speaking to the "brethren", archaic for "brothers". What makes them brothers?
Mark 3:35 "For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
These are the words of Jesus! We think of God as the Father and since Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual component of God, then Jesus is the son of God! Jesus is true to God's will. He didn't disappoint his Father and is still heir to God.  Since Jesus is, then if we mimic Jesus, by following God's will, then we too are sons of God. That makes those who do God's will siblings of Jesus and some even likened into his mother.

Jesus' brothers were brothers in Christ, so to speak.
Matthew 12:46 "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Jesus declared that he was closer to those of the same spiritual blood than those who were of the same natural blood. After his crucifixion his own blood shed was what made those who do God's will his relatives. Brothers in Christ (brethren) is an honor. We, through obedience, become spiritually close to Jesus. We are his kin! Although we are the seed of Adam, we are brothers to Christ. What an honor!

Secondly, from 2 Corinthians 13:11, we are to be perfect. "But", you say "perfection is impossible!" How true, but likewise it's impossible for man to fly, but we can come close! We mimic birds by borrowing their mechanics. We fly in airplanes. Man wanted to fly so badly that we come really close to doing just that! If we want to be perfect, we'll never fly in perfection, but we can ride on the wings of one who is perfect!

"How about those times the plane hits down-currents?"  The plane recovers because the pilot makes corrections. The same goes for obedience in down-currents. When we sin, when we correct our error, God lifts us back up!
James 4:8 "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
The mourning and weeping are the down-currents. As we "cleanse" our hands (repent), we feel sorrow. That's the correction for the down-current. Then the Lord lifts us up!  That's how we, as it was said,  "purify your hearts". Perfection is not possible, but it is a good flight plan and with God as our pilot, it's easier to soar with his angels!

Thirdly, from 2 Corinthians 13:11 "be of good comfort".  The Comforter is the Holy Ghost. We can be of "good comfort" when we commune with the Holy Ghost. (Verse 12). We can rest assured that all things are possible with God and that if we are faithful to God's will, then we never have to be stressed. Our dependence is on God through the Holy Spirit and God is on whom we rely!

Fourthly, "be of one mind". We know that even the apostles had doctrinal differences because they all didn't understand the same things about Jesus. However, as Paul bade them to do, we do not divide up Christ to suit our own doctrine (1 Corinthians 1:13). We can disagree on baptism, heaven and hell, and biblical events, but we must be of one mind on Jesus Christ. We must believe in his saving blood, death and resurrection!

Fifthly, from 2 Corinthians 13:11, "live in peace". God's children are commanded to love one another. It's not optional! It's how we show love for God. Living in peace is showing love to others. It doesn't say "live in peace with the brethren", it is living in peace with everyone! We are to love the unloveable, we are to have charity to our enemies, we're to encourage those with whom we're at odds! Living in peace is our primary duty as a Christian. It's a reasonable thing to do, but many Christians can't even do that! (As I sit here, I can think of many people who are at odds with me to the extent that love is withheld. Withholding love is the devil's doctrine, but Christians care little for "perfection").

In 2 Corinthians 13:14 Paul tells how these things can be done! Each personality of the Godhead (The Trinity) has a main purpose. By the "grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" comes first. Jesus is a personality or component of God. He is God with Us (Emmanuel). His main purpose is "grace". That's giving a gift which the recipient doesn't deserve. Jesus paid for our sins with his own blood and death; in our place! That's "grace" and why Jesus came!

The second part of the farewell is by "the love of God". Let's consider "God" in this context to be "the Father". What do father's do? They love their children. Because God loved us so much he gave up his own son to death to pay for our sins! This second personality or component of the Trinity is "the Father" and he is loving!
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Lastly, from 2 Corinthians 13:14 by "the communion of the Holy Ghost". The Holy Ghost is the third personality or component of the Trinity. His primary role is for "communion". With the absence of Jesus, the Holy Ghost remains in his place to continue on with us. He corrects us, leads us and directs us! His leading comforts us!
John 14:16 "And I (Jesus) will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever..."
I didn't say it, but Jesus comforts! He did that many times in his ministry and his very death is comforting. We have the "hope of salvation". I don't know about you, but as I go to bed tonight that comforts me!  Jesus's ability to comfort is because of his primary role; the one of grace! But the Holy Ghost is "another Comforter"! Comforting is his primary role!

Yesterday I expounded on the geometry of the Godhead. Today, I added the primary purpose of each personality. The sum of the three is the whole, the whole is God, who is Jesus, and he is graceful, loving and comforting! Those three make up "hope". Jesus is our only hope!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

It's In the Math

Don't get defensive because of the mathematics that I'm about to present. There is nothing technical about lines and triangles. They are all over the place. Bear with me for a short spell while I use simple geometry to explain nature and and the nature of God himself!

Engineers think of things differently than other people. In nature almost everything can be reduced to a triangle! It's easy to see that straight line objects consist of triangles. For instance things which are square in nature are merely two triangles with the same hypotenuse (the longer side of the triangle). However, let's even look at the face of a person. There is a triangle formed by the center of the mouth and the pupils of the eyes! That triangle is an equilateral triangle and it can be bisected by it's height, forming two right angle triangles.

If we look at the clouds, we see random order, but the surface we see can be divided into small squares and the area approximated using tiny tiny squares. Calculating the "area inside the curve" using infinitesimally small squares finds the area under the curve, or the size of the cloud. Each of these small squares can be cut in half with a diagonal (hypotenuse) and clouds can even be described as triangles! (If you think of the pixels on your TV, this is an example. The square pixels can be halved along the diagonal and many tiny triangles make up the screen).

Even the position of the earth, sun and moon can be described by one large triangle, as can even the orbit of electrons on the smallest atom! Why can't the nature of God, then, be described the same way? (For illustration purposes).

Everything in life is desired to be the shortest distance between two points (Figure #1). That's defined as a straight line!  If we play ball, we run from third to home. We try to keep it the shortest distance between the two to make it the fastest. There are things which make us deviate, such as trimming the corners in running, but in theory, we want to keep it short. 

Certainly if we want a romance, we want to meet (A) then bond (B). We want to do that without drama or playing games. That's the shortest distance between meeting and bonding. It's most easily done without confounds; things which get in the way, aka barriers. Another person wooing the girl causes that straight line to be longer than a suitor would want and it probably won't be the shortest distance to romance!

Figure #1: Shortest Distance between 2 points

When there are barriers the distance between two points gets longer. People waver in their path. That third person in the picture, when you're dating, makes the path to bonding so much longer. The wavering is drama and dissension. When a player is running to home from third, sometimes the catcher has the ball. The runner has drama with the catcher and the path wavers (Figure #2). The distance is no longer the shortest and neither is it a straight line!

Figure #2: Wavering Distance between 2 points

A longer distance between two points can also be line segments. In Figure #3 I show that although the shortest distance between A & B can be taken, sometimes the distance is divided up into two straight lines. If we're in the yard, we can walk straight 30 feet, then turn right 10 feet and get to point B. That can be done! 

Figure #3: Longer Distance between 2 points

 If we're in the city and want to drive from one block to the next on opposing corners, roads most often don't run from A to B. It's necessary to go down Milton Street to the corner of Main Street, then turn, to get to point B. Since road blocks are normally square, the streets from corner to corner are of equal distance, and looks like Figure #4. A person drives one block, then turns right and drives one block. They arrive at point B, but it's not the shortest way to get there. If they were in a helicopter they could fly directly the shortest route!

Figure #4: Even Another distance between 2 points

Most often in any situation, be it romance, traveling or planning; the shortest distance between two points is the best way to get from one place to another. The shortest way is the best way (Figure #5).

Figure #5: Best Way is shortest way

As you can see the shortest distance compared to two other indirect straight line distances forms a triangle. The "sides" of the triangle are "other ways" to get there using straight paths, but the hypotenuse is the shortest and best way! (Figure #6). The area inside the triangle is hatched and that area forms a plane. The other two paths are called "components" of the hypotenuse (shortest way) because those two together also get from point A to B, but it's a longer route.

Figure #6: Triangle formed by components
If we want to walk from A to B in the northwesterly direction we can walk due west then turn ninety degrees and walk due north. We still arrive at point B, but went west then north. These two directions are described as the "x" direction and the "y" direction. The hypotenuse "H" has "x" and "y" components running west and north respectively as shown in Figure #7.

Figure #7: Triangle formed by Best Way Vector
If these paths were made of plywood or some sold material, a triangular plane would be described. If a light was shined (Figure #8), there would be cast a shadow just like the original, but of a different size.  Points A and B would make a shadow A' and B', of different spacing. Shadows can be much smaller or much larger based on the distance form the light and the size of the light source and object.
Figure#8: Shadow of triangle
Now you ask "Why all this geometry?" It's my way of describing the Holy Trinity!  Trinity means "three in one". It's not that we have three God's, but that God has three dimensions, called "persons", but I favor the term "personalities" or better yet "components". While persons is defined as "human beings", personality is the traits of a "person" Components are all the ways to get from A to B, so I'll refer to the "components". They're still all about the triangle formed by the three!

Jesus, is the "hypotenuse"  component  (Figure #9). He is the shortest way and best way to get from point A to point B. Point A is where we are now (in this temporary life) to where we hope to be "eternal life", point B. Eternal life is "salvation". By our devotion from getting from A to B we have the "hope of salvation" (point B).
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
That "hope" is that "we shall be saved". That's point B and having that hope is point A!
 Matthew 10:22 "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
So the Christian's goal is to make it from point A to point B. Because a line is started doesn't mean it will be finished. It must follow a path. The shortest distance between two points is a path that remains unbroken and continuous.  The best and shortest path is an unwavering path as shown in the difference between Figure #1  and  Figure #2.
Colossians 2:5 "For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ."
"Unwavering" is being "steadfast in your faith" . It's as Figure #1. The directness of vector AB (line AB) is called perseverance. It's how straight the path is to get from A to B, or from here to heaven:
Ephesians 6:18 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..."
Not only are we to stay on the path, but we are to focus on the goal; point B:
 Philippians 3:14 "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Point B is where the prize is! Now how to get there! It's through the "high calling of God in Christ"!

Look  closely at the hypotenuse in Figure #9. It's the best and shortest way. What way is that?
John 14:6  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
The "truth" is that Jesus is the best way, and in fact "only way" to get to point B (eternal life where the Father is). "The life" is point B, the kingdom of God, and Jesus is the Way! There are no other components or paths to get there! "No man cometh to the Father, but by me".

But you say, "God", referred to by theologians as the "Godhead" is the triangle shown in Figure #9. His components are the hypotenuse (Jesus), the line in the X direction (the Father) and the line in the Y direction, the Holy Ghost. That is the Holy Trinity or God! Symbolically God is the triangle made up of Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Matthew 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost..."
People aren't being baptized in the name of three gods; not three persons, but the components of the One True God. Since Jesus is the Way and only way, that means the other components are not the Way!

Figure #9: Symbolism in Triangle
In the Old Testament, the Father, Jehovah God, was the obvious focus of attention. However, John Chapter 1 tells us that "The Word" was with God and that he became flesh (Jesus). Therefore, Jesus was still the hypotenuse (shortest and only distance) from life to heaven. Consequently, since by only one name is anybody saved, and the patriarchs were saved, it was by the name of Jesus! There never was a way to be saved through the Law; it was always by grace and through Jesus Christ!

You say "The patriarchs of old didn't know that!" I say "yes, they did because The Word who spoke with them was Jesus!" What would Jesus tell them about? Himself!
Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12 validates my claim. Even Old Testament Salvation was by faith in the coming Messiah and that he was to die to save mankind.

As such, all Old Testament scripture is a "shadow" of Jesus. You can see that A' and B' (Figure #10) are merely the shadow of A and B. Hence, in the Old Testament Jesus had not yet died for man's sins, but the stories told were all about Jesus!
Hebrews 1:1b "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things..."
Of course this means that the Law (the Old Testament) is all about Jesus by being "a shadow of him, not the very image"!  This concept is demonstrated if Figure #10. God is the symbolized by the triangle.
Luke 2:21b "...his name (God's) was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb."
 Matthew 1:23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
His name wasn't Jesus. It wasn't Emmanuel. It was and is "I AM". He was CALLED "God with us" and he was CALLED "Jesus"!

Figure #10: Shadow of Jesus

But does this imply that if a person believes in God, that point B can be attained? Not at all! The x-component of God (the triangle) is "the Father". As shown in Figure #11. Believing in the Father does not get a person to point B (eternal life). The shortest and only route we have learned is through Jesus because he's the one who died for our sins! Jews believe in "God the Father". That's not enough because the cornerstone is rejected:
Luke 20:17 "And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?"
That's Jesus who was rejected and the scripture is Isaiah 28:16.

Figure #11: Component of shortest way-Father
If we look at the second component "y", the Holy Ghost in Figure #12, we see that neither can God's spirit get a person to heaven, again because Jesus is not the focal point. Many Pentecostals put the emphasis on the Holy Ghost, but that's not enough. If too much emphasis is given to the "y" component of God, it takes the glory away from Jesus. The Holy Ghost is the component of God which nurtures us until Jesus returns. The Holy Spirit was the component of God who conceived the Son of Man, called Jesus.
John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
The Holy Ghost is not the way to salvation. He's Jesus's stand-in in his temporary absence. He reminds us of Jesus and the purpose Jesus had: to take sinners from point A to point B! As we become in unity with Jesus, we receive the Holy Ghost as a gift to help us and aid us in being righteous. Hence, the "y" component of God is the Holy Ghost, who does not save, but keeps us! He's necessary for sustenance, but not for saving.

Figure #12: Component y--Holy Ghost
Jesus is God:
Colossians 2:9 "For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
John 8:58 "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."
Jesus is filled with the Holy Ghost:
John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord(Jesus) is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.


The triangle analogy serves two purposes: First off, it figuratively represents God and explains the concept of the Trinity. There are not three Gods, but three components of God each serving a role. Jesus is represented as the shortest distance between A & B, and the shortest distance, according to scripture, is the only Way. Believing in either one of the other "components" of God is not sufficient to have eternal life. If a person believes in the Father, that's not enough. However, if one believes in Jesus that is enough!
John 14:9 "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"
What Jesus is saying "Look at the obvious, Philip. The shortest distance and in this case, the only distance, between two points is the straight line between two points. That's me. If you see me (the long side) you see the Father because the Father is a component of the Son! "

This seems extreme, but if you remember that Jesus IS God, then when you look at Jesus, you are not only seeing the shortest point to salvation, but you're seeing the entire triangle (Trinity) so to speak. When Jesus was born and he was God (Emmanuel) and then he received the Holy Ghost, God was complete in Jesus. It is Jesus who makes up the triangle, symbolically, although this entity is called "the Godhead".

Now, for the second concept: paths to heaven. There is but one path and that's through Jesus Christ. The x and y components of Jesus are not enough to get to point B from point A, although symbolically they are shown that way. Satan wants people to BELIEVE that the Father and his Holy Spirit is enough, but that rejects the blood spilled by Jesus... the human and total aspect of God.
Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
"Remission" of sins is taking everything we've done and covering them all by shedding the blood of God. It wasn't the Holy Ghost who shed blood, or the component of God called "the Father" (who is in heaven), but God in the flesh, Jesus Christ. When you look at that triangle with the focus on the hypotenuse, that focal point is Jesus, and if you see the shortest distance between A & B you're seeing the who triangle; the Godhead aka "the Trinity".

Jesus = AB,  the Father does not = AB; the Holy Ghost does not = AB, Father + Holy Ghost does not = AB! Jesus = AB is the truth and the Way to eternal life. The other routes are part of the equation, but insufficient. Although we adore the Father and the Holy Ghost, their role is not to save; they provide and comfort. Jesus saves and Jesus is God entirely!

Here's what's amazing: In Figure #9 rotate the triangle around axis AB, the hypotenuse, until the plane can no longer be seen. All that remains that can be seen is a straight line, as in Figure #1. The entire triangle is still there with all it's components, but only line AB can still be seen. The same symbolizes the Trinity. With the rotation of the Trinity from "shadow" of Jesus where he was somewhat hidden,  until his birth, all that was before is hidden, but Jesus alone remains. The Father and the Holy Spirit is still there, but in the gospel it's Jesus we see!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Effort is Honored

I never had a mullet.
Never had long hair.
No beard covering my gullet.
No hickies under there!

I never smoked dope.
Never cracked cocaine.
Not ever at the end of my rope,
to do those things insane!

I never wore my pants down.
Never had my collar up.
Never dressed to make them frown.
Never liked  my dander up!

I never tattooed my body.
Never pierced a hole in my ear.
Never dressed in clothes gaudy,
Not even got drunk on beer!

I never cussed at the law.
Never appeared in court.
I always had a ball,
playing army in my fort!

I never was androgenous.
Never dressed a fool.
My love was never homogenous,
that's really not so cool!

Why was it I did things never?
Never did I want to displease.
It was to please my Savior!
That I fought the sin disease!

We fight, yet still we lose.
It's the effort which counts.
Sobriety for me, not the booze.
Drinking water from Christ's fount!

Belief: Light and Darkness

We all believe in something because we are a product of our surroundings. "Why are we here?" is a question we all ponder! Likewise, we all have an idea about what our senses take in. What's more, there is a sixth sense of "existence" which people have because we believe "There has to be more to existence than our short lives here!" We can't imagine time going on without us being a part of it. That's deterministic and depressing.
Belief is "a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true, a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable, a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone" (Meriam-Webster Dictionary).
There are several aspects to "belief":

  •  truth
  • goodness
  • trust
It appears then that if one is to "believe in ________", (you fill in your god's name) that the person trust that it is truth and goodness on which they depend! After all, anyone who would intentionally follow deception and evil can't trust it, because "evil" has no  "trust" component. "Evil" and "trust" are dichotomies! If a person has trust in what's untrue and evil, then what they believe in is false and they are living a lie! In the context of Christianity, which is a person's belief in Jesus Christ, there is a requirement:
Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

  • Sincere belief (heartfelt without doubt) that Jesus was resurrected and still lives!
  •  The sharing of your sincere belief (which convinces others of your sincerity to the extent that you want others to share your belief and the assurance of your hope).
As a result of your belief (trust in the goodness and truth of Jesus) then "thou shalt be saved"! There are two "works" you must do to be saved: believe and share. If you do neither, then you're not saved! The keyword in the definition of belief is "trust". Scripture tells us that even the demons believe.(James 2:19). Demons believe in the first two components of the definition: truth and goodness of Jesus. However, they hate his truth and goodness! What they fail to do is "trust in Jesus"! If we trust in him we shall share what we trust. That's "confess with out mouth". 

When I became a Christian, I believed, but never confessed. I didn't want my friends to ridicule me! I put my personal comfort over the eternal hope of my friends! What's wrong with that? I was still my own god and never presented myself as a "living sacrifice"!
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
When I was "born again" I was to bury the old creature and become a new creation. That is to be my "living sacrifice" and is the reasonable thing Christians must do! By telling others about Jesus (confessing my belief), that is trading my pride for the eternal life of others. One of the greatest sins a Christian can do is one of omission; failure to tell others about their hope!

Baptism is part of the "confess with thy mouth" part, the belief you claim. It's imperative that before baptism, a Christian testify to their belief in Jesus Christ. The hard part of that confession is to really trust in him. Otherwise, a person is merely a wet sinner! If a demon who believes in Jesus is immersed, without trust, he is still a demon!

John the Baptist confessed Jesus Christ. He told us how to believe:

John 1:6 "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same (John) came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him (Jesus) might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light (Jesus)."
John confessed Jesus and was beheaded for it! He became a martyr for Jesus. He was baptized by the blood! He was the ultimate "living sacrifice" because he gave up his physical life because of  his belief!

What did John believe? That he was to "bear witness to the Light". "Light" is the removal of "darkness". Theologically, "darkness" is truth concealed. You see, part of his belief, was to believe so strongly that he must tell others about his own faith! Faith in what? Truth! That Jesus is truth which is described symbolically as "light". However, it's capitalized because that's important: "Light"!
John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
This "belief" is imperative! Jesus IS the Light. His ministry was to take mankind out of darkness and proclaim truth to the world. The gospels are all about "the light" which he came to proclaim!

There are, according to other religions, many paths to heaven. Jesus says that he is "THE way", and adds to that: "no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." That statement closes all other paths. It shuts down "the self", other gods, Satan, and any "ism" with Utopian claims! Coming to the Father is entering the kingdom of God. It's when Christians, through faith (living their belief), become citizens under God. In God's Kingdom there is life... eternal life to be exact!

"Belief" is crucial to ever have eternal life! In life we all have beliefs of some sort. Some believe that existence just happened! "Chance" is their God.  That belief is not "the way".

Sometimes people have false beliefs. Evolution is the most obvious. Since our awareness of truth is limited sometimes we err about "what is true". My contention is that we must always err on the side of "security" and "goodness". For instance, it's more "safe" to be a Christian than it is an atheist because atheism is without a reward and Christianity has an eternal promise. It's nicer to believe in "goodness" because "goodness" includes love. As a Christian "hate" has no part in our belief system, but with no God, we rely merely on our own "self". Atheists believe they have no god. Indeed their god is their self!

In our daily activities, belief comes into play. People have ideas about the character of others. They base those beliefs on their senses; what they see and hear mainly. However, following one's senses leads to darkness. I always say "Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see!" because Satan uses our senses to deceive us.

It's unfair to believe, for instance, that a person did a wrong, based on circumstantial information  from the senses. In fact people create myths because they fill in the blanks and add to what they saw, heard and smelled. The myth they create is sincere and real enough to them to become truth (sic) in their own heart. However, what they falsely believe is darkness and is damaging to others. That's not how people demonstrate love for one another. People need to err on the side of truth. We need to ask things as "Am I sure or is what I saw or heard a mere perception?" "Was what I believe I saw or heard scatomas?"  "Will 'good' come out of this or will 'bad' prevail?" It's important to understand that darkness and false perceptions are of the devil, not of God!
Mark 9:23 "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
If we believe strongly in a person or a position, then it's possible that what they say or stand for is true. For safety's sake, we need to be generous in trusting others!