Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Our Own Worst Enemy

Pogo in the comic strip said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." For the individual that becomes I have met my enemy ,and he is me. We are the enemy; each of us.  The enemy to whom? Our own soul.

Maybe we are the enemy even more than to our soul, but even to our minds and bodies. We do what is right in our own eyes, and oftentimes those things are addictive and destruction. The typical person is self-destructive in some manner or form. Of course, each person clings to their own stronghold of choice because they are special in their own eyes: Whatever, it is, they believe it won't destroy them. That goes all the way from doing things from overeating to suicide, and from thinking things from jealousy to hatred. As long as it's me (or you), it is okay, because each of us are special in our own eyes.

Everyone cares for themselves! Some believe that they're special: Those people complain about loathing themselves. Of course, people disappoint themselves. I do that everyday! You may too. Loathing is a strong word. In the context of a person, it is to find oneself repugnant. It's those who hate who they are: In other words, it's people who are self-haters.
Ephesians 5:29 "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:"
I wrote about that the other day. (UNDESERVING). Even more is said in my very old commentary on self-esteem. SELF-ESTEEM.

Men do not loathe themselves, and neither do women. They may not like who they are, but they will protect their own feelings, some to the point of self-destruction. What I mean is that for some, rather than face self-criticism or real events, they may just end it all.

Original sin was when Adam did what he wanted to do in spite of what God willed him to do. By rebeling against the authority of God, even the serpent acknowledged that Adam wanted to be his own god, and Eve as well. (Genesis 3:5; "ye shall be as gods"). Gods don't hate themselves; they desire to be appeased, even worshipped! Hence, mankind's problem is not one of self-loathing, but self-loving.

That proposition is crucial to salvation. When we are born-again, the enlightenment that one must have is that: he or she is not a god, and has no power to save his or her own self. Furthermore, the enlightened person comes to realize that the only way to salvation is to trust God for salvation. God already provided the propitiation of his own blood for that very purpose. When any of these self-styled gods sacrifice their own idol, and trust in Jesus for salvation, those people become new persons.

The focus of their esteem turns from self to God. That is their living sacrifice, and God's says that it is the reasonable thing to do.
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."
We are to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Then, we take our self and crucify it on the cross.
 Galatians 5:24 - "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
Those who are born-again must destroy the one they love: The idol of the self is the flesh. It is the part of the person which pleasures in what the world has to offer. The new birth is consummated when the old self is crucified.

Mankind's problem is that he loves the self so much that, although the person believes in Christ, he still loves the self. The self is man's worst enemy! Each of us are the other gods besides God which he commands us to not have (the First Commandment).  The problem is that some love their self so much, and the pleasures they have - whether wealth, power, or whatever; that they just won't change. Those people are their own worst enemies!  They keep themselves from going to heaven so that they can continue to love themselves more than they love God.

It is a given that we love ourselves because the standard of loving others, is that we should love them as ourselves. God does not recognize self-hate because it is non-existent!

What about those who have negativity toward themselves. Yes, some do. They feel badly because they love themselves so much that they are easily disappointed in their own performance. That's hard to understand because it is sleight-of-hand on the part of Satan. He wants people to feel poorly of themselves, so that they fail to understand that they are their own gods. If people are wallowing in self-pity, they don't spend enough time realizing that they are magnifying their own gods, and don't recognize that they are their own worst enemy.

It's a deception: While they have the façade of self-loathing, all the while those who self-loathe are really seeking self-aggrandizement. They want to feel better about themselves, so they feel bad about who they are. God wants them to have  a realistic view of who they are.

Who are we? We are God's creation. We should feel great that God is our Creator and adoptive Father, if we have been born-again. That's a positive emotion. When there is a pretense of loathing of oneself, it's because the person probably never made the self-sacrifice it takes to be a child of God.

The entire point in this commentary is for the reader to not be fooled by emotions. The psyche is hard to understand, and we never will. However, scripture is as plain as day: We are our own worst enemy because we are all the other gods besides God! In order to serve one Master, we must crucify the other. We are to hang the self on the cross, and have Christ-esteem instead of self-esteem!

Commercial time: Look for my new book, The Skull of Adam" on Amazon and the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble and Christian bookstores. I think you'll be enlightened with God's Plan for mankind.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Killing Christ

Bill O'Reilly released the killing series of books; among those are Killing Jesus. The Church is suffering death right now. It won't die, but live on in perpetuity, regardless of how people try to crucify it. The Church lives because Christ lives. The Church will never die, because Christ is eternal. Therefore, those killing Christ in an attempt to kill the Church are wasting their limited time!

Killing Christ Strike One:
Matthew 20:18 "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again."

Killing Christ Strike Two:
Hebrews 6:6 "If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
In the first passage, we killed Jesus. The tool that God used was his own people. The chief priests and scribes killed the Son of Man; the identity of Christ in the flesh. However, Jesus' spirit never died, and never will!

Christ means the anointed one. God anointed Jesus with his Holy Spirit at his baptism, and he anointed him King at his birth. When Jesus died, he was anointed as the sacrificial lamb for extreme unction. The ointment was Jesus' blood, and it was poured out. However, it wasn't for Jesus because he wasn't sick, but for mankind who was!

Because Jesus' blood was propitiated for all our past sins (Romans 3:25), we killed Christ. Now, get this straight: 1) God's chosen people indicted Christ, 2) the Romans took his life, but 3) we all killed Christ. Even though we were not there, and were not even born, we killed Christ!
1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Christ died for the sins of the whole world. That's all of us! Let me put the killing in modern terms:

We, the people, were guilty of grievous sins. Jesus was to judge us in the end. We called together a group of vigilantes who made a pretense of justice, and brought Jesus to the authorities. The governor Festus and the procurator Pilate didn't want to take Jesus' life, but the people insisted. Pilate washed his hands of the façade, but yet allowed Jesus to die. We murdered Jesus, and his own people helped! We killed Christ. You did too, because you are one of the sinners he died for!

That is killing Christ the first time. But many of you are still killing Christ.

Look at the second passage:  Seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh.

They are crucifying Christ again. Who are they? Those who fall away. They are many! Falling away has been assigned a technical term. It is apostasy; the abandonment of Christ. It are those who have accepted the anointing blood of Jesus, then later on take it for granted. Jesus was important at one time in their lives, but because the believer falls for deception, that person becomes reprobate. Reprobate people are those who cannot be saved again because that is killing Christ again. A person can only be saved from eternal death one time. It's an impossibility to be re-saved!

Those who profess a false Christ are said to be heretical. Those are Christians whose beliefs are contrary to scripture. It's not just sinners who are in cults, but Christians too:
Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Guess who the elect are? They are those who are Christians; not ones who merely call themselves by that name, but were chosen by God to be redeemed. False prophets will deceive them. Who are the false prophets? The church.

Not the Church with a capital C who are the enduring believers; but the church with a small c who are those who profess belief in Christ. Some do, and are part of the Church. Others don't, and are just a church.

When Christ is killed now, it's the Church that is dying. Jesus will never die again, but churches can and will die. They are dying right now! God's chosen people, the ministers, are killing Christ by failing to teach truth, and by showing disrespect for God's house. The church stands on Holy Ground, but it is made unholy through the teaching of false doctrine and pagan practices.
  • If your church allows for evolution; it teaches a lie. God said that he created it all! God is not a liar. The lie of evolution is killing Christ.
  • If your church doesn't believe that Scripture is God's own words, then your church is a false church; and is killing Christ.
  • If your church teaches social justice instead of Christ's atonement, then your church is killing Christ.
  • If your preacher doesn't preach biblical truth, he is killing Christ.
  • If your church turns its head to the abortion of God's creation, then your church is the broken cross on which innocent beings are crucified. By killing his creation, you are killing Christ.
  • If your church condones fornication, homosexuality and such; your church is killing Christ.
  • If your church substitutes entertainment for the word, your church is killing Christ.
  • If your church believes that God's word is merely good advice, or that Jesus was only a good teacher, then your church is killing Christ.
  • If your preacher preaches mostly for recognition and admiration, then your preacher is killing Christ.
  • If your church is all ritual, and without empathy for Christ's sacrifice; then your church is killing Christ.
  • If you are not a loving person, Scripture says that hate is analogous to murder; you are killing Christ.
  • If you can't forgive, you fail to love, and those who don't forgive are killing Christ.
  • If you dress for church for show and admiration; you turn the church into a den of thieves, and you are killing Christ.
  • All these things are the doings of those whose hearts are not circumcised of the flesh, and those with uncircumcised hearts are killing Christ.
Most are killing Christ, but the act can never be consummated. Christ has already died for the sins of mankind, and has been resurrected. Fools can only attempt to kill Christ in their hearts. It can never happen. Why be part of the world which continues to try to kill Christ when you will only fail? Be sanctified; set yourself apart from those who are trying to kill Christ. Those who do are God's Church.

Commercial time: Look for my new book, The Skull of Adam" on Amazon and the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble and Christian bookstores. I think you'll be enlightened with God's Plan for mankind.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trump and Obama: A Purpose for Each

It always had been said: Never discuss religion or politics. Why? Because of our different belief systems.  People get angry. We can see that with the mobs in the cities.

The two things which are tantamount we are not to discuss. That's silly. Religion is about hope and politics how to live with each other in a civility until our hope is achieved. Those who are the least civil seem to have the least hope. Perhaps that dilemma makes them uncivil.

I favored George W. Bush when he won the first election over Al Gore. I actually believed that Bush was better for us, but that we needed Gore. My reasoning may seem illogical, but it's not.
"Romans 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth."
I thought Gore would be a great Pharaoh; Pharaoh was a bad guy. He was another god besides God: The Ancient Egyptians believed that their Pharaoh was the god Horus, son of Re, the sun god. When a pharaoh died he was believed to be united with the sun and then a new Horus ruled on earth. In the Old and Middle Kingdoms (2628-1638 BC), (www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/egypt/pharaoh.htm)

Moses wasn't testing a king, he was defeating a god! Even though Pharaoh was in competition with God, scripture says that God raised Pharaoh up for a purpose. What was the purpose? To show the Jews His own power and grace. Pharaoh was symbolic of Satan, and God made a fool of him in front of His people, the Jews. The Hebrew people needed to see the power of God to build up their faith, and give them hope. Pharaoh was merely a tool which God used for His purpose!

Now back to Al Gore. I thought Al was needed to further make the people dependent on the weak government. Al Gore was no god, but the almighty government was becoming, one and with speed. I believed that Al Gore was needed, so that God could reveal the weakness of the liberals with their social justice. With the further enslavement of Americans through political correctness, environmental foolishness, less respect for life, class warfare, gender division, race division, military weakness, and economic decline; that America would be ready to throw off the yoke of modern pharaoh.

I missed the mark. Al Gore was not God's purpose. George Bush was! The popular mantra was Bush lied! Most of the nation turned away from Bush because he allegedly lied about weapons of mass destruction. Also, God allowed the American economy to decline. His deal in perpetuity with the seed of Abraham was that prosperity would exist, only in the presence of obedience to him. It wasn't because George Bush lied, that he was despised, but because God had a purpose for him. It was to look as if he had failed.

Why would God want Bush to be perceived as a failure? Because America needed Barrack Obama. Why in the world would God want Obama? Because he needed a pharaoh! Of course in modern times pharaohs are different. God needed a pop star. People actually voted for an unqualified, Marxist who had antipathy for, not only the Constitution, but for Christianity. Obama enslaved America. It was God's purpose that we build bricks again without straw as the Hebrews did for pharaoh.

What were the bricks without straw? Upon the backs of Americans, Obama endeavored to build a new America without the straw. In his position as President, be took the Constitution out of America. When the Constitution went, so did the ideals on which the nation was built. Obama took Jesus out of the bricks. God was the straw which held the American bricks together! He was building an America without God!

Obama, just as was Pharaoh, was needed for God's purpose. America needed someone to deliver us from Pharaoh. Hillary would be jus another Ramses, Romney would just be another pansy. America needed a Moses!

Moses was a murderer, but God saw the compassion behind his sin. Moses was at one time a  filthy rich man because he was the son of god, the Pharaoh. In the face of peril, Moses sacrificed his wealth for God's purposes; he sacrificed riches to serve. Is that sounding familiar yet?

God chose Trump! God even used the system to get Trump elected. If it had not been God's will, Trump would have never won. It wasn't by the will of the people that Trump won, but God used the legal system to obtain a leader that He wanted for the nation. Trump was God's choice, just as Obama had been, for God does things for a purpose.

Trump has many rough edges, and he is a brash man. So was Moses. That's what God was looking for, or Trump would not have ever been ordained by God; and he was ordained to be President by God or he wouldn't have been elected through a miracle. You see, it wasn't Trump alone who went to Democrat states. God guided him there. Those states were the Red Sea, and God parted the waters so that Trump could safely cross the unsurmountable barrier. God has power, and it was He that made it all happen!

When Moses led the people there were those who murmured.
Exodus 16:2 "And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. 4 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no."
The Jews preferred bondage in Egypt than freedom in the wilderness. Moses led them faithfully toward the goal: toward Canaanland; the land of milk and honey; and the land promised to Abraham. It was an earthly paradise. The people were actually choosing slavery to Pharaoh over freedom through God!

Murmuring was an early version of demonstrations. As Moses looked on he could see the rabble-rousers inciting the people to violence. Their deception caused many to despise Moses and God. Their preferences were the bricks-making without the straw under the ungodly rule of Pharaoh. The same holds true for American. Some preferred serfdom under Obama, than freedom under Trump.

Trump is our Moses, like it or not. He is symbolic of that strong leader, like it or not. Moses could not take the people all the way to the promised land because he was an imperfect leader, but he took the people to the precipice where the people could see prosperity. He provided hope. He made the Jews great again! Now it's our modern Moses whose charge is to Make America Great Again. Let's give him the same chance that God gave Moses.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Undeserving of Anything

People - all people, feel as if they deserve things. Why is that so? Because we all think of ourselves as special. Of course you New Agers are thinking: People with low self-esteem don't feel like they deserve anything.

Of course, just like most psychology, the concept of self-esteem is heretical. (See my thought on Self vs. Christ Esteem).
Ephesians 5:29  "... no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church;"
Love and hate are the extent of feelings. There is no in between.  Hence, this passage just as well says, everyone loves their own self. That thought is complemented by: but nourisheth and cherisheth it. There seems to be no exceptions! Of course, the skeptic is right now thinking: How about those who commit suicide?

Think on that. Anyone that desperate to alleviate bad feelings is the one who is protecting their own self to the extreme. Depression is horrible, but those who choose death to life are in effect protecting themselves from horrible feelings of despair. They don't hate themselves. Scripture says that no one does.

Scripture validates Ephesians 5:29 elsewhere:
Matthew 22:39 "And the second is like unto it (love God), Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Where have we seen that command before? Leviticus 19:18b "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord." The original commandment way back in the Garden was of course to love the Lord (tend his Garden), and the other commandment was always to love thy neighbor as thyself. How to love thy neighbor is operationalized by Commandments 5-10.

By expressing the amount of love we are to have for others in reference to the standard to self love, means that everyone does love themselves. If not so, then God's command would be to hate thy neighbor as you do thyself. Self-love is the reference point of love because we all do know that love.

Since we are the other gods besides God, not only is self-love the standard toward others, but also the standard for loving God!
Luke 10:27 "And he (Jesus) answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Therein, Jesus uses the same frame of reference for both loving God, and loving others. We are to love them as we do ourselves; with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  Our standard is ourselves. If we didn't love ourselves, then we would hate God. That is not an option because God always uses our own self-love as a reference for loving him and everyone else. He knows that we love ourselves because we were created that way. It's just that we abused self-love by demanding things our way!

Scripture says many places that men did what was right in their own eyes. That's because people love themselves to the extent that they place the self above God; and we become the other gods besides him.

Because we come first, even before God, we have an issue with the importance of our self. It's that person we are to present as the living sacrifice to God when we are born-again. We in effect, trade our lesser god to the One True God, and with the flesh sacrificed at God's altar, the old person should be dead. If he is not, then the altar must be re-visited until we actually, and truly sacrifice the self.

God created mankind for one reason: to love Him! Our only job assignment is to tend the Garden, Since the Tree of Life is in the center of the Garden, then our vocation is the same as the reason that we were created: it's all about God, never the self. God deserves our love and reverence because his first act of grace was creating us. Without Him, we would have never been!

Grace is not defined in the bible, but one particular verse spells it out quite well:
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."
Where is grace hidden within that passage? God so loves us that he wants us to have everlasting life. Notice that there are no stipulations in there, such as "Johnny, be good." He is ready to take us just as we are! That is grace in action. However, for us to partake of his grace, we must trust that he can give us everlasting life. That trust is called faith and it is a gift. Hence, God, because of his grace, gives us faith, but we must use that faith to make right decisions. We must take up our cross and follow him; that is making ourselves a living sacrifice.

You see, grace means that we don't deserve eternal life, but God is willing to give it to us in exchange for ourselves. Scripture says that all our works are as filthy rags to God. Part of our faith is realizing that we have no power to save ourselves, and only God can by his sacrifice of Jesus. The entire concept of Christianity is that we don't deserve anything. God hates that word because those who use it have never made their living sacrifice. They are still their own god.

I sit here right now, just as you probably do too, and know that my heart is continually evil. I don't deserve to even live because my flesh does selfish things; then I certainly don't deserve eternal life. In my selfishness, it's even hard to even be remorseful enough to repent of things because my life is too much about me! I still feel like I deserve to have things, be loved by others, be admired, be given gifts, and be pampered. What do I really deserve? Death!

It sickens me, as it surely does God, to hear people say things such as: "I deserve a new car." That's self-worship. You don't deserve anything, but because God blesses those who are his, you may get one because of God's grace. It has nothing to do with your status of self-worth, but in spite of it. In fact, the more that you have crucified your flesh, the more grace God can give you. Of course that cannot be the motive for faithfulness, but it can be the outcome of faith. That was God's deal in perpetuity with Abraham!

We have much, but don't deserve anything! Look at some of the things we have because of God's grace, and none of it did we deserve:
  • Our own universe.
  • Our own planet.
  • The animals.
  • Mankind's existence with his creation.
  • Our mind, body and soul to be different from the animals.
  • Air to breath, and water for life.
  • Nourishment, shelter and health.
  • Our mate, and companionship.
  • Our children to enjoy.
  • Mercy as God is always ready to pardon.
  • Our own conception and birth.
  • The Holy Spirit to call us.
  • Salvation.
  • The Holy Ghost to comfort us.
  • Communion with God.
  • Our own health.
  • Joy, happiness and hope.
  • The promise of eternal life.
  • Eternity with a glorified body,
  • A room in a mansion forever.
  • Communion with God face-to-face.
  • The destruction of Satan and his angels.

The list goes on and on! Anything we do or have, is because of God's grace. That means we don't deserve anything, so get that notion out of your head! All those things that we have are due to the deal that God cut with Abraham, and the deal is in force only if we love and honor God. Americans don't even deserve America. It may even cease to exist because Americans continue to crucify Jesus.

Commercial time: Look for my new book, The Skull of Adam" on Amazon and the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble and Christian bookstores. I think you'll be enlightened with God's Plan for mankind.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Age of Vanity; Creating Little Gods

I worry about the next generation because we have come full-circle to the fall of the Roman Empire. What I mean is that people are so distracted with pleasure that they become vulnerable, even apathetic to serious things which can destroy them. Of course two of the most serious are: 1) the destiny of the soul, and 2) life here in earth. It seems that most people focus on the latter at the expense of the former! Let's look at vanity with the following passages:
Psalm 119:37 ( ESV) "Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways."
Ecclesiastes 5:10 ( ESV) "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity."
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”
Of course money isn't the issue; it's what money can buy and what they heart desires. The love of money (avarice) is the issue, which is an extreme desire to have things. Of course, according to the Psalm things are worthless, but that's what people seem to demand!

My generation, and the one before, grew up with hardly the needs met, let alone luxuries and frivolous things. Whereas, we grew up with no expectations, children today feel entitled to have right now what we took years to have. It's that sense of entitlement which is ungodly.

For instance, even when I was paying, people from the church which I previously attended, would insist on eating out at their favorite place, even when my invitation was for a specific place. One time I didn't even eat, but paid a bill of $120 rather than offend them. They had to have it their way!

Children today will never be able to enjoy their adulthood. Many have already experienced about every fun thing to experience. When they are adults they will be bored narcissists with the universe revolving around them. That's really the problem with vanity, which in this case is self-absorption. It's the attitude of everything is about me. It's self-aggrandizement. It's actually putting the self over God.

Just listen to kids. It's mine! Gimme. I want that. It's my birthday. That's what I want.  If none of that happens, kids will scream, cry, or even have tantrums. Their little god is angry because they are not appeased, and to be satisfied, things must be laid at their altar! How many times do you hear a young person, even in their forties, sacrifice what they want for the needs of others? Seldom is the correct answer!

I liked to provide my kids with more than I had because when I was a child we didn't even have necessities. We didn't go hungry because we had a garden, but there was absolutely no fast food ever. Once a month we got a soda at the country store. I also remember a constant toothache as a child because we couldn't afford a dentist visit. Because of doing without, I appreciate the things I have now, and those are mostly the basics. My mantra has always been: Poverty is a great motivator for success!

When parents buy needless things for their children, they are merely appeasing Billy's or Sally's god and goddess. They are taught to put their own self before God, and parents and grandparents humbly give in to their demands, and place all sorts of goodies at their feet. Those appeased children will someday be demanding adults because their spiritual nature is vanity. Their own god comes before God, if God is even in the picture at all!

Ironically, parents create vengeful gods. After they are ritually given what they demand, try withholding the offering even one time. That sweet little child will wail and scream until their god is appeased. As they enter the teen years and early adulthood, they will make life miserable for the parents because their god is by then endowed with power!

When spoiled children become adults, parents either must keep on giving, even more and more, or their own children will terrorize them. Those narcissistic children have by then become young dictators. They demand and get, or if they don't get, they terrorize. Parents come to the place that although they still love their children, they despise what they created. Like Dr. Frankenstein, the monster of their laboratory, turns on them. Usually, its to drugs they turn when things quit satisfying.

Unfortunately, either way, children often turn to drugs. If they still get all they want in their youth, in adulthood, their quest for excitement turns to drugs. When told if they use drugs they will surely die, they turn their backs to the entertainers who have died because of drug abuse, and look at those who are famous, and haven't died yet.

On the other hand, if those who always got fail to get what they always got, they too oftentimes turn to drugs. They can't afford to live the same life their parents gave them, so they turn to drugs. It's a lose/lose situation. Parents spoil their children out of love, but if they truly loved their children, they would withhold things from them. That's teaching what's important because eventually, to be a Christian, everyone has to present themselves a living sacrifice. That entails exchanging temporal things for the things eternal. That's trading things for eternal life. When people love things more than Christ, they can hardly ever give them up!
Mark 10:21 "And Jesus, looking at him, loved him (the rich young man), and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."
Jesus was asking the rich young man to sacrifice his own god for God. The young man traded his everlasting soul for his possessions because it was things that his heart desired. He was the New Testament Version of Lot's wife: She was offered salvation, but turned her back on God, as she coveted the pleasures which she was about to leave behind! I submit that parents inadvertently teach their children to place pleasure over hope by making life too easy for them.

It's always the things of the flesh which all those little gods desire! It's the free things of the world that children come to expect, and even demand. Those little gods must be appeased and parents either appease them out of adoration or fear! Either way, the children are the losers because the parents don't do what God expects them to do: what's right for their children. Nowhere does scripture even suggest that parents should buy them all the things of their heart's desire. In fact, it is the opposite.

If you truly love your children, quit giving them so much. If they want things, and it's that important to them, let them toil for them by working hard. Never give them more than the task deserves because then that will become an expectation. Only give them what the value of their work.

Children have one birthday. They should be taught that it's by grace that they even live. To expect things every year just because they were born are the embryonic stages of god creation. None of my siblings ever had even one childhood birthday party, and they survived! In fact, doing without is a fine way of never expecting. Children don't deserve adoration; its a gift when we do adore them.

True love is demonstrated for children when parents don't use appeasement to grow them. If  parents wants a well-balance child, love must be shown, not bought with free things!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Talking Animals?

Talking animals... who would have thought of that?
Genesis 3:1 (ESV) "Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You  shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” ... 4 "But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  5  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The serpent said things!  It verbalized it's thoughts!  In order to speak, the snake processed information. We know that because he was crafty (v. 1) and then spoke in words which revealed its craftiness (v. 2 and 4)! The snake reasoned with Eve, and it truly out-smarted her because her own mind was changed.

I always just presumed that Satan put the words in the serpent's mouth. That made sense to me. What came to me, though, was that Eve wasn't surprised at all that the serpent could speak. I find that peculiar unless there was a reason for it.

Was the animal truly a snake? In Hebrew it is transliterated nachash - a snake or serpent which everyone knows is an animal. Likewise, the snake made a sound by "saying" (amar). What we have here is in fact a talking animal. Likewise, the animal could think. However, they obviously were not created in the image of God, but to be company with each other, and with Adam.

Adam was to have dominion over the animals. He was their ruler because he had something they didn't have. Adam was created in the image of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Adam's likeness was mind, body and soul which corresponds to God's attributes. Animals have minds, however rudimentary; and bodies, but since they were not created in the image of God, they were without souls. Souls are the container for the Holy Spirit which Jesus called the cup.

Animals were a little different, then, but the difference was important. Animals were made to serve mankind. They are pretty much another kind of angel, but short-lived ones. What made them angels, so to speak, was their ability to speak. They brought Adam messages of adoration, I'm guessing. In those days, just as it will be in heaven, the lion and lamb were at peace with each other, and with man.

Adam ruled the animals with justice and fairness. There was no fear because there was no killing. Adam's diet was herbs, we know from Genesis 2.  I can just hear Adam say, "Fear not, because I am with you!"

Therefore, my point is that the norm in the Garden of Eden was that animals could talk. Eve wasn't surprised that the snake was speaking, and Adam wasn't surprised when Eve told her that the snake said things. Just imagine, if it had been unusual, Adam would have had Eve committed to the sixth floor in Eden because she would have been thought to be a crazy woman. Adam accepted her story with no need for an explanation.

When did animals quit speaking? It was after Adam and Eve sinned.

Jubilees 3:27 "And on that day on which Adam went forth from the Garden, he offered as a sweet savior an offering, frankincense, galbanum, and stacte, and spices in the morning with the rising of the sun from the day when he covered his shame. 28 And on that day was closed the mouth of all beasts, and of cattle, and of birds, and of whatever walks, and of whatever moves, so that they could no longer speak: for they had all spoken one with another with one lip and with one tongue. "
Jublilees is not canon, but it supports Scripture and explains how the snake talked to Eve and why she was not surprised. When Adam sinned, the animals all ceased to speak. Perhaps that was done by limiting their cognition because we know that the serpent spoke because it was crafty. I'm sure the penalty for craftiness was the removal of high level thought patterns, and the tongue is merely a device for making thoughts audible.

It's obvious that animals still think. However, their level of speech is not capable of Hebrew, what Jublilees explains was the original tongue, not modern Hebrew, but whatever it was before it became what it is today. Imagine your own dog speaking angelic Hebrew! Perhaps animals will in heaven, but unfortunately our animals won't go to heaven because they have no souls. The animals there will be spiritual messengers just like the angels who will speak Hebrew to Adam and us.  God will create them to be our heavenly friends and contribute to our happiness, and we shall again have dominion over them.

There were talking animals in Paradise on earth. Surprise! And there will be talking animals in Paradise in the Kingdom of God. What's more, we won't find that strange at all!

We should love the animals because their original purpose was to serve mankind. They are pretty much like us too, minus the soul and intelligence, but sometimes I even wonder about that!

Was the snake the enemy of Adam? I propose that one of the Malikim - bad angels,  had deceived the snake. Perhaps the snake had eaten of the tree and he did not die. Perhaps it was then that the animals lost their souls, if they ever had one. I think not, though, because scripture never said that they were crated in God's image.

On the other hand, it may have been the Malikim who merely used the snake as a mouthpiece. After all, Adam knew who they were, but he trusted the snake.

I wish this commentary was truth. It just seems from scripture that it's the case. Am I right? Let's wait and see.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wisdom with Age-Not With the Mob

1 Timothy 5:17 ( ESV) "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching."
 Most of those who demonstrate are still in their youth. With gray hair comes wisdom. Those babes who were born just a few short years ago assume that they know it all, but are naive of their own ignorance. Sometimes they speak first hand of historical events even though in those days they weren't even a glint in their father's eyes. On the other hand I lived much of that history of which they claim to have so much knowledge.

Young people's ideas are tempered by those who teach. For instance, as a youth I grew up in the North. I was taught of the Civil War by Northerners, many of the liberal school of thought. When I read volumes of eye-witness accounts of that war, I realized that although I knew it all, that my teachers had lied, perhaps because they also had believed the lie.

Elders are to receive a double honor because they have wisdom. What young people learn off television is merely a body of knowledge, much of it fantasy. History is not objective when the purveyor of it has an agenda. Most movies and even documentaries are tainted by liberal thought. For those who think liberalism is open-mindedness, it has become the propagation of narrow views. Usually it's failing to teach divine truth and the propagation of secular deception. My own thought vault is filled with wisdom because I test knowledge with scripture. That is exactly what wisdom is.

It's insulting when a young person tells an elder how wrong they are, even when it is teaching what is right. By doing so, they trivialize the person's wisdom and have lack respect for their experience. In general the most ignorant old person has more wisdom than the most intelligent young person. Those young people should never assume that the elder is stupid, because that old person may even be a genius with a super high IQ. It is presumptive to challenge an elderly person because of the perception that old people are unknowledgeable and dim-witted.

The elderly should receive a double honor by the young people. That is double-respect. It will be the youth's turn to be honored as they gray, but until then, honor belongs to the elderly, and doubly so. Young people who always have the answer and seem to have an opinion on everything, are naïve. Without education, experience, and protocol; their opinions are much like a house built on quicksand. It is foolishness and will fall.

I speak from experience. In my youth I was a know-it-all. My opinion was divine truth in my own eyes, and my knowledge was superhuman. Wisdom just engulfed me as I slept and other people, even my dad, were mere humans. In my pride, I openly worshipped myself in full view of those who could only pity me. In my Bible white space I wrote profound commentary. After my hair grayed, I laughed at the wisdom of my youth. It was silliness which I wrote on the pages of my bible. Sometimes I still have too much pride in my own opinion because it became routine through the years. Even as an old person, I too am fallible, but not nearly as much as the young.

One method of honoring the elderly is to cease minimizing their wisdom. It is presumptive for someone twenty years old to lecture an older person. In our minds we can only laugh, but it's hard to laugh when one has just been offended. Some young people tell me about the injustice of the Viet-nam War. They waste their time. They weren't even alive in those times. Those young people should be asking me.

They tell me about Martin Luther King as if I know nothing of him. I was there with him as he marched, not in person, but with the cameraman. I know King's personality and his failures because I studied him as he lived. Now the man is a legend and legend is always more fantasy than fact. Look at the criminal Jesse James; society had made a hero of a petty criminal.

Facebook  has become a place where some feel obligated to straighten out the world. That's why I write. I'm no different, but I want to admonish the world through Holy Scripture and make a strong attempt to filter the "me" out of it. In spite of that, my opinion is still predominant and I admit that. My opinion is not divine truth. The young person who is a know-it-all only delude themselves. Much of their knowledge is deception propagated by society.

It is the youth who demonstrate on the streets and condemn everybody who disagrees. Young people use that venue so as to propagate the views of the few. The leaders at these demonstrations are always the radicals, with the herd following their leadership. Those with herd mentality are often the young.

Even in 1904 Russia there were two groups of socialists: The Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks; the minority and the majority. However, it was really the Bolsheviks who were in the minority because they were the most radical, as history later revealed. They were rabid. Most of society is not rabid, but mere followers of mad leaders. The radicals, even though in truth, were the fewest won out over those in the majority. I wasn't there, but I have read first hand history extensively. Others didn't temper it for my palette.

Today's youth merely have an opinion on those things. It may be that their source of knowledge is some Hollywood narcissist or MSNBC commentator. However, all knowledge must be tested by scripture. Even the young zealots of Christ's time, the radicals, caused the destruction of the nation. What was has never been regained because of the lack of wisdom on the part of radicals. Those without wisdom caused their own nation to be destroyed in spite of the wise leaders who warned them. History can and does repeat itself, because the romantic ideals of the young can be destructive unless they learn from their elders.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Romans 8:24 (ESV) "For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
Hope - I have it. Most don't. Hope, like faith, is intangible. It doesn't have substance and is tough to measure. Even seasoned Christians sometimes lack hope because they are blinded by despair. Negative thinking is a trick to rob people of their hope, and dependence on even positive thinking, steals the hope which is there. Our own thoughts ironically often defeat us. What we think mostly is of ourselves. Satan doesn't make us think anything, but the world, which is his, provides the input to influence our thoughts.

No one can be saved by thinking positive thoughts. Some endeavor to manipulate God with their insincere thinking. God doesn't fall for that bottle-rubbing because he is not our personal genie. Reverence is from the heart, not an invisible power called positive thinking.

On the other hand, negative thinking is you being manipulated by the deception of fallen angels. With positive thinking you manipulate, and with negative thought, you are manipulated. With the former you are the puppet-master and with the latter, the puppet.

Now back to hope. It's more than deceiving yourself with false premises. Hope is the strong expectation of obtaining. The hopes of Christians are the assurance that we shall receive what we don't see (v. 25 above). Because the prize is salvation, and it is at a distance in time (also v. 25), hope lives in the realm of patience.

In verse 24 it seems that scripture contradicts itself. That passage refers to saved in the past tense (ESV) because of the word were. On the other hand the same scripture in the KJV uses the words, are saved. With those words salvation can either be at the present time or sometimes anytime in the future. The tense is subjective because it's not  in scripture. The word rendered saved is sozo, a contraction of saos, which should be transliterated as safe, making saved subjective.

In order to be consistent with the waiting of verse 25, then salvation must be at a future time, which means that at the present those born-again are not yet saved, but are safe in Christ. This difference is imperative for Arminianism to be valid because it's an impossibility to ever be unsaved, as saved is a final condition when one speaks in reference to eternity! Those who say, "I know I'm saved!" are speaking with great hope because they trust God so strongly that there seems to be no doubt! Thus their safety is so profound that they already stand at the prize even though they must wait to obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24). That scripture compares the waiting period to, running the race, strangely enough. The race is run with hope, but is fueled by faith.

Hope doesn't need dynamics to win. Hope should be an easy race to win, because the runner must only be fueled by faith. Faith is being certain of what's unseen.
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
If the reader will notice in the passage at the top, and the one which is above, there is one common theme: That theme is that hope is in what we cannot see and faith is the certainty that the prize is real even though it's in the future and out of sight!

Hope and faith are interdependent because without faith, hope doesn't exist. Doubt is the stumbling block to hope because it's anti-faith. Unlike Dear Abbie who wrote, the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty, the opposite is in truth doubt. Her statement is not true because certainty is pure faith and no one has absolute confidence in Jesus except God. We seek perfection, but mankind always has some reservations. Anything less than the faith of God contains some degree of doubt, and with any doubt at all, certainty does not exist.
Romans 3:3 (ESV) "What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?"
God is faithful to himself without any uncertainty at all. That is the faith of God. Christians can only have great faith or the faith of Abraham, or lesser faith than that. Great faith does not approach the faith of God, and the faith of Abraham is limited by his humanity. The un-faith which is lesser than the faith of God is human doubt. Nefarious forces use doubt to undermine hope. Think not? When anyone questions God, hope diminishes. We must depend on what God says is true!

If you believe in evolution, then your God is a liar. His first words were, I (God) created the heavens and the earth.  Because evolutionists are deceived, they put their own god above God. They fail to trust what God said that he did. Hence, they are of little faith, and appreciable doubt. With any doubt at all, Christians' hope is less than it could be.

We are made safe by faith. We remain in safety out of faith. If all faith turns to all doubt, then the believer no longer believes because he no longer trusts. Safety is gone and so is hope. If God is too weak to create the world, he would certainly be too weak to create an eternal Paradise. It is essential that those who are born-again, believe that God actually did everything he said that he did, because your hope depends on God being faithful to what he says that he can do.

Satan assumed a job assignment when he rebelled against God. He desired that he would be as God. As such Satan is a pretender to God's throne. He claims it, but it's not really his! However, when a person disbelieves God, they magnify the Prince of the Air who claims God's celestial throne. Unless God is King, then he can never be Savior, because the latter is more powerful than the former. Unless God is Creator he can never be Savior because the Creator had to make Heaven, where he puts those who are saved!

Face it: Your hope depends on your faith and that means trusting God for who he says he is, what he said that he did, and what he declares that he can do! Anything less is doubt and doubt extinguishes hope. My hope is that I shall receive the prize, but oftentimes my genes from Adam places doubt on truth. Running the race is out-running Satan who chases us throughout life as we wait on the prize. Hope is kept a burning as it's fueled by faith and that fuel comes from Scripture.

Where then is hope derived? From God's word.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spirit of Christ

Romans 8:9 (ESV) "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him."
 If we are "not in the flesh, but in the Spirit" where are we? First off, we must ask: "What is in the flesh?" It is our inherited nature because we are human. It is a result of original sin, the disobedience of Adam. Being of the flesh is outside divine influence. It's living without the Spirit of Christ inside. It is doing what is right in our own eyes!

We know from scripture that the flesh is the idol of our human nature. A man or woman in the flesh sets themselves up as god and places that god before God. Those in the flesh do not necessarily abandon God, but place their own god before God. Never did Adam abandon God, but endeavored to become as God. In essence Adam worshipped two gods: The One True God and his own self. Because no one can serve two masters, one must have the allegiance.

This is essential! For one to be born-again, it's that god who is seen in the flesh, which must be made a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). For one to be born-again, what people casually call "saved" is bringing that flesh to the altar and sacrificing it to God. It's giving up your human nature for a divine nature.

What is human nature? It's an inborn desire to pleasure oneself. The flesh is the medium of pleasure and is more than a dermal layer. The epidermis is merely the idol, but the god which lies within is much more terrible! The flesh is the composite of all human desires. We call that "the heart" and it's the heart which must be circumcised!
Jeremiah 4:4 (ESV) "Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.”
Abraham circumcised his foreskin as his signature to the Covenant that God made with him. He sealed the deal in his own blood in deference to God. That was symbolic of what he was  doing inside! His heart was undergoing circumcision because he was giving up his human nature. It's that same nature that we give to God when we are born-again. Jeremiah even defined what born-again entails as the heart is circumcised: It's giving up your evil deeds! Jeremiah had the Spirit of God within him, but not then the Spirit of Christ because Christ has not yet died, let alone resurrected.

Giving up deeds means keeping God's Law. However, keeping the Law without a change in nature is works and salvation is by grace. Therefore, it's not keeping the Law which leads to salvation, but having the desire to please God by doing his will (Matthew 6:10). Hence, circumcision of the heart is a changed nature. The changed person who sacrifices himself, gives up the desire to sin. Therein, comes the struggle between the Spirit and the flesh: the former being willing and the latter being weak. God knows that our nature is weak, but he looks at the heart. Is it willing to be obedient? Remember, Adam's sin was disobedience. He desired to do what was right in his own eyes.

Being born-again is relinquishing our inborn desires. That does not guarantee success because we are still human. The foreskin has been removed from our heart, but the heart still remains. Thus, we struggle with the desires of the flesh because we're human. All our forebears knelt down to the flesh, and that's a genetic trait which is powerful. We can't do it by ourselves, but we're not alone. God in his wisdom left a Comforter to pull us through the desires of the flesh (John 14:16).

The Comforter, rendered "Helper" in the ESV, does just that. He helps us overcome the desires of the heart. He takes the place of the foreskin which we sacrificed. That foreskin is our personal will. God's will replaces our own. When we are born-again, that new person has relinquished his own will for God's will. In essence, his own god is no longer the object of worship. God alone is. The Spirit of God is the Helper. As such the Helper is God manifested by His Holy Spirit, his omnipresence everywhere.

The Spirit of Christ is specific. Jesus died, was resurrected, ascended to heaven and his Holy Ghost returned on the day of Pentecost, and appear as fire to those who received him. This coming of the Holy Ghost was significant because those gathered already had the Spirit of God. They had already sacrificed themselves to God as their hearts were circumcised of its foreskin. However, that was symbolic! The heart was still there.

I would suppose that the spiritual heart must be the soul. The soul itself is the cup which holds two things: emptiness or the Holy Ghost, that specific Spirit of God who suffered as Christ on the cross. Specifically, the Spirit of Christ which we call the Holy Ghost. He lives within our hearts if we have sacrificed our flesh at his altar. As such we are imbued (called "filled" erroneously) with Jesus - his Ghostly Presence.

It's necessary to know the difference between filled and imbued. Only Christ was full of the Holy Spirit. He was without sin. We're not. Therefore, because we are not God, sin still resides in our hearts because we can still relent to temptation, but Jesus lives there too. Just as a sponge soaks up water, our soul soaks up Spirit, but just as a sponge still has material substance, our hearts do as well. But a heart imbued with Christ's Spirit is much more spiritually healthy than a dirty spiritual sponge. Christ's presence in our hearts helps us because his Holy Ghost was tempted just as we are. He understands!

The heart which does not have the Spirit of Christ has not cut off the foreskin of the heart. That person has not yet truly sacrificed himself. That foreskin represents the willingness to be obedient to Jesus rather than a servant of the god of self. Before one is born-again that living sacrifice must be made. When we hold our spiritual breath and quit trusting in our self, and begin trusting Jesus for our salvation, then we are truly born-again. Before that can ever happen we must come to realize that as mere humans, we are not really gods, and can only have the hope of salvation because Jesus died in our place. We must accept Christ's grace. That's one thing we must DO before we become a new creation, one without the foreskin on our hearts and having the Spirit of Christ residing inside.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tough Love

This is a new generation. It is unlike no other. Sure there were those in Gomorrah, Babylon, Rome, France ,  Russia, Germany, China and Cuba who were defiled as despots changed society and remolded people, especially the youth, into the image they desired. Sometimes the methods were by force as the Mohammedans changed minds with the blade or Hitler by the use of the economy and nationalism. However, when tyrants existed in concentrated areas, elsewhere in the world mankind was about as good (sic) as man could be.

Now, things are different. Society everywhere is corrupt. For those who think it's fine right now, just wait until the next generation. Since the enlightenment there has been a sort of societal entropy where disorder abounded more with each generation. Despots know how to implement change - it is through the youth because mature minds are stubborn.
Proverbs 22:6 ( ESV) "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. "
Unfortunately, this truth applies to everyone, not just the righteous. In fact it seems that those evil use it better than do the righteous! The implication here is that the young are more malleable than those older, and as a consequence, as young people are trained, either for good or bad, the adult person becomes rigid in thought. Young people are easily swayed; old people are not. The best chance for forming minds is when people are young.
Matthew 18:3 (ESV)  “... Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus knew the innocence and eagerness of little children. Their minds are clean slates eagerly awaiting to be written on with knowledge. Knowledge, unfortunately, is both bad and good, truth and deception, and even beneficial or destructive.  Hitler knew this just like Jesus did! It is common knowledge. Change must be implemented through the young! (Hitler Youth, eg.)
Psalm 25:7 (ESV) "Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!"
Sin is learned when one is young! Everyone knows that. God knows that. Satan knows that! That's why God says to "train up a child in the way he should go". Satan's law of sin operates by "train up a child in the way the world wants him to go". In short, youth are vulnerable! Their soul is in jeopardy. They are prone to do evil because from birth evil comes two ways: 1) There is an inborn disposition to sin and 2) everyone around a child teaches the child to sin! Yes, even good parents teach kids how to sin; not on purpose, but by modeling, for there is none without sin.

On the other hand parents can "bring up the child in the way he (or she) should go". In fact that is a command by God. It's the responsibility of every Christian to teach their children righteousness, or simply the will of God. Ask yourself, parent, "Does God will that the television raise your child? Is it God's will that rock musicians mold your infant? Is it God's will that your child be entertained throughout life? Is it God's will that children be given every object of their desire? Is it God's will that children are never to be disciplined?"

If you answer these questions truthfully, it should occur to most parents that you are not even raising your children; society is! You allow teachers to teach the morals of society. You let Miley mold your child's personality. Where in the world do you think fish lips and tongue-out photos came from? They are Miley's contribution to society. That is Miley teaching your children. If she is molding their actions, she is certainly molding their behavior and values!

For those with male children, who sets the styles? Where are boys taught to wear their pants on the ground. It's through rappers. They become what they think is cool and unfortunately godliness is not cool. It is rejected by society! It's your job, parent, to mold your child in the way that child must go, or you are condemning them to an everlasting burning hell!
Proverbs 13:24 (ESV) "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him."
This verse is "tough love"! The rod is not child abuse as the world has twisted truth. Without discipline the child will do what is right in his own eyes, but what lies there is temptation. Left to their own devices, children will choose pleasure every time! It's the parents job not to allow the child to have pleasure, but happiness. Sin begets pleasure, but those who do God's will are happy.

Those who love their children will be strong disciplinarians. That is a tough way to be, but that is ultimate love. All my own children, in their youth, each said at one time or the other, "I hate you Dad," or words to that effect because I had strong rules! Now each one of my three grown children have all said, "Thank you for bringing me up right, Dad!"

When my oldest son watched MTV and broke my rules, he got two warnings. The third time, I had cable removed and he had to watch over-the-air television. That caused me to forego entertainment as well, but my son was worth it! I sacrificed my own pleasure for the well-being of my son!

When my children were young, I smoked cigarettes. Being a good (sic) parent, at least I didn't smoke in their presence, but I still smoked. When I was confronted by my son who wanted to do worse, I quit smoking on the spot and never looked back! Why? Because my young son was worth it. I sacrificed my own pleasure for his benefit. It was tough to give up my television programs and habits for my son, but because I loved him so much, I made that sacrifice, and I also reaped the benefits of my sacrifice!

I spanked my children. I hated to do that! Truly, it hurt me more than it did them! I spanked my daughter (gently) when she was seventeen because she defied my rules. She was humiliated and cried like a banshee because I treated her like a child. It hurt me to see her cry. However, she never again caused me a problem, and was one of them who said, "Thank you, Dad, for bringing me up right!" That statement cured me of bad memories because spanking my daughter is a bad memory. I did it because I loved her so! It was tough, but it was love!

My failure as a father was major. Although I took them to church three times a week, I failed to teach them scripture at home. I depended on the preacher to do that. Dad taught me at home! It was his job, not the preacher's! Neither was it the teacher's job; it was Dad's and Mom's. They did good! We had daily evening bible study. I hated that and I resented that Dad would impose on me to distract from my pleasure, but Dad loved me! That was tough love because taking the time to raise your own children in a busy world is tough!

Tough love is not beating God's will or the parent's will into the child. It is teaching them to do what is right. That means that tough love is demonstrating love. If a parent wants a child to be loving, the parent must be loving. That's a tough thing to do because our nature is selfish. We must put aside our own desires and sacrifice time for our children. Dad did that; not in sports or games, but teaching and loving us! That was tough love because it took his time which he gave to us!

We must be gentle, but firm in our discipline. God is with us! We deserve death when we commit the first sin, but God is merciful until the end! We must be merciful!

With my grandson, when he broke a rule, I would firmly and toughly demand that he come to me for discipline. I would bend him over my knee and he would shake with fear and anticipation. At the last minute I would give him a reprieve with his promise that he would not do whatever it was again. That was merciful. He was grateful. The time it takes to do that is tough!

My own children would go to bed and leave their dirty glasses and plates in the living room after eating a snack. I would go to their bed all the way upstairs and walk them back down to clean up their mess, even though they had already went to sleep. It took one time! It took my time too! However, they never ever did it again. Even today all three are immaculate housekeepers (most of the time) because I brought them up in the way they should go! That is tough love!

Are they perfect? I wish! But whatever they are isn't because I didn't bring them up right. It is their own decisions. Children will never be all that you want them to be because they are not you! However, all my children, even with some habits which I don't do, are better for it. They are all self-sufficient productive adults now who made it on their own. With college I gave them one chance: They either performed - or I quit paying. That is tough love. I quit paying and they made it on their own! They each said it would have been much easier if they had listened, but they made their own course. That was tough for me to do. That is tough love!

I hope those with rebellious children get the general idea: Love is tough, it takes time, and it's not a fun thing to do. Tough love is hard work and stressful, but you owe your children love, even tough love!

Many of you have compliant children, but they are influenced by those around them. They don't cause any trouble, but they have been molded by the values of society. They are as lost as the rebellious teenager unless they trust Jesus and obey God's will. If they don't, they shall go to hell, and if you, parent, allow that, you are effectually sending your child to hell.

To teach children in the way they should go is tough love, but even compliant children need instruction or else the world will steal them away! With their malleable minds even do-good (sic) wrong-doers will damn them. Secular standards even when good (sic) are not God's standards, because God's will is not tolerance but obedience! Teaching good (sic) kids to do the entire will of God is tough, but if you love them, you will teach them God's will!

My own good daughter went through a phase when she approached adulthood. She wanted her independence and wanted to follow her own rules. She left home - moved out. I cried! It was tough, but I let her go. I covertly checked on her every day because I loved her so! She was safe.

She came home after six weeks because she needed us. She never ever defied my rules again. That was tough on her and me! That was tough love, but because I love my daughter, she was worth the pain in seeing her leave me! Whenever she did wrong I still loved her, but never bailed her out. That's tough. That is tough love, but my daughter was a great child and is now a great adult! I love her and she loves me. I respect her and she respects me. That was tough to get there, but my daughter was worth it because I love her so!

That's also the way of God! His desire is that we all have eternal life because he loves us so! God's love is tough love. To show love for him means foregoing pleasure and placing emphasis on him. He loves us as we are, but wants us to change. That's God's tough love! He cries for us. I cried for my children. That's tough love.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
God watches us sin, but still loves us. He rebukes us, but when we don't listen, he still loves us. He cries for us when we rebel against him. That is love. That is tough love. We must set the example by obeying God so that our children respect and obey us! That is tough, and that is tough love!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Jerusalem-Foundation of Peace

Jerusalem  - Yerushalayim means in Hebrew "foundation of peace". Ironically, the city founded on the principle of peace has never ever had peace!

Some believe that Jerusalem is the entryway to heaven, and many have been buried there so that they could be close by when their bodies are collected. Thatevent will happen when Jesus comes again. All those who were disciples of Christ, will rise from their graves and join Jesus in the sky. The theological technocrats who need a name for everything, call that event the rapture, which is simply the time when believers, whether living or dead, are transported to heaven.

Ironically, Jerusalem is the mass center of the world, as well as the religious center and where the earth was first populated, totally disregarding the heresy of the anthropologists. It makes sense that this is the city where the entry of heaven is nearby.

From a physical standpoint, people think of heaven as up, but because of the spheroid of the earth, then heaven would be everywhere. Although God is everywhere, he has a city in which he resides. Revelation 3:12 refers to New Jerusalem as "the city of God".

Just as Jerusalem is the capitol city of Israel, formerly Judea, the New Jerusalem is the capitol of the Kingdom of God. It may very well be that the entryway to heaven is through the city of Jerusalem.
Jubilees 8:19  "And he knew that the Garden of Eden is the holy of holies, and the dwelling of the Lord, and Mount Sinai the centre of the desert, and Mount Zion -the centre of the navel of the earth: these three were created as holy places facing each other."
Jubilees is an ancient Hebrew text considered canonical by the Eastern Orthodox Church.  So you can see that this old Jewish history calls Zion (Jerusalem) the "naval" or center of the earth. Since the naval for everyone was the pathway to life in the womb, it makes sense that Jerusalem would be the pathway of life from this world!

In addition to that, Jerusalem is on the Mediterranean Sea. The very word Mediterranean means "center of the earth"!

Thus far I have established that Jerusalem means "place of peace", is the center of the earth using about any demographic and is the center of spirituality. Therefore, my premise, as many before me, is that Jerusalem may be the gateway to heaven!

Rabbi Ari Enkin places Jacob's ladder on the Temple Mount. His source is the same as ours:  Genesis 28:10-19 (https://unitedwithisrael.org/jacobs-ladder/). The Temple Mount was  where Herod's Temple stood. Jews believe it is the most holy place on earth and was the spiritual center of  JHVH.

jacob's dream

Jacob's Ladder on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

It makes sense since Jesus ascended to heaven in Jerusalem, that everyone else may as well! Furthermore Jubliees called the Garden of Eden the Holy of Holies, and like them, I believe that Jerusalem was that Garden, as does Rabbi Enkin and many other Jewish scholars. (LOCATION OF EDEN), the link to "Herrin Daily Thoughts:Eden - Pangea".

Ironically, "the foundation of peace" (Jerusalem) was in the beginning before Adam sinned, but ever since it has been the hotbed of death. Because three of the greatest religions claim the Temple Mount: Christianity, Judaism and Islam; it has been the foundation of contention. More death through all the centuries has been at this one location than anywhere else (Read the book Jerusalem by Montifore). For Jerusalem to regain its position as the foundation of peace, peace must come! What is more peaceful than hope? The hope of everyone is eternal life, found only through Jesus Christ, and he is now the Temple, as Herod's was torn down in 70 A.D.
John 2:19 "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.".
What better way to enter the Temple (Jesus) than through the Temple he replaced (Herod's)! Now consider that someday the earth will be destroyed and Jerusalem will be replaced by New Jerusalem, the City of God which is in the third heaven right now!

Revelation 21:1 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."

Not only was Jerusalem the stairway to heaven or Jacob's Ladder, Early Christians celebrated the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven from what was later named the Temple Mount. Likewise, the "Ghost of Jesus" who we call The Holy Ghost descended in Jerusalem. All these historical events indicate to me that indeed the Jews are correct: Jerusalem is the umbilical cord (the naval of the earth) which leads to heaven and is where those raptured will be transported from earth to heaven, and then back when they become citizens of New Jerusalem!

By having one place in which to go "up" from the first heaven, through the second to the third, makes sense because most believe that heaven is not everywhere, but a particular place with some type of spiritual dimensions as enumerated in scripture. To get to heaven, a real spiritual realm in one place, there must be a vector from earth to there. Going "up" is meaningless, because "up" leads to everywhere. There must be one location, and that location must be Jerusalem.

Over the centuries many who have died have chosen their place of burial to be in one of the cemeteries near the Temple Mount so that when the time comes for their own bodily ascension, they will enter first the "stairway to heaven"!

Where then is heaven? It is straight up from Jerusalem in a spiritual realm. It is the Kingdom of God and is directly above God's earthly dominion, Israel. Since the Tree of Life which stood in Eden now stands in heaven by the river of God (Revelation 2:7), I believe that Eden ascended to heaven and is one and the same! Eden's very foundation was peace. Jerusalem is that foundation of peace.

It may be that Adam ascended from Eden to paradise in heaven right there in the city which became Jerusalem. It may be that as Adam did, we all will!  That ladder from the "naval" of the world to heaven just may be the umbilical cord which leads from death to life!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Difference Between Hypocrite and Failure

A hypocrite is one who pretends to be what one is not. A failure is one who strives for something, but fails. Only the person, when he violates the law of God, knows which he is! However, God knows.

We all would secretly like to have our cake and eat it too. Essentially, our desires are to serve ourselves, but our conscience is seared by God as we realize that ultimately our fate depends on sincere acquiescence to God's will. It boils down to whether each person strives to do right to please God, or is it to fool others.

I like to have others think well of me. On the other hand I hate to disappoint God. At times we all do the latter, but since we can't fool God we delude ourselves. There are always excuses for failing God, but the only true reason we fail is that we are human.

Sincere Christians who sin fail God, but the principalities want us to believe that we failed so badly that we may as well give up! Satan's desire is that all Christians feel like they're hypocrites when in essence, we are failures, not to minimize failing, but to be truthful.

The story of the older son in the prodigal son parable reveals him as a hypocrite. He was the so-called good son, but what was he inside? Only he and God knew! Sure he was a sinner, but that does not make him a hypocrite, although the parable was surely about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes, the bad cops and their prosecutors. We don't know if the characters in this parable were real, but my bet is that they were.

Many who appear to have the hypocrisy of the older son are really failing Christians, as even Paul was!
Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
This verse is the epitome of a failing Christian, not a hypocrite. Even as we examine Adam's heart, he was lured into temptation by Eve. His spirit was willing to obey God, but his flesh was weak. The same for David with Bathsheba, even a man after God's own heart! They were not hypocrites, but failed God because their flesh was weak.  This weakness was not peculiar to Adam, Eve and David, or even Paul. It's a weakness with which we all are born with no exceptions.

Some cast stones as those with a weak flesh, but Jesus asked that any without sin to cast the first stone. Those who judge harshly have a greater sin than those who fail God because sin is of the heart, not of the hands, and not even the mouth.

We all sometimes feel as if we're hypocrites because we know better, yet still sin. That's exactly the vise into which Satan clamps us. He smiles broadly as we prepare to just give in to him. Those who cry "hypocrite" are the ones judgmental, and condemn us to failure!
Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:"
We feel differently when it is us who are called hypocrites.  It's easy to call others that, but those we condemn are misjudged just as others misjudge ourselves! I wish I was perfect, but then I wouldn't need God. If you were perfect you would have no need to ask for forgiveness. We who do wrong, need grace the most, and grace comes from Jesus. My whole nature depends on the love of God to be redeemed. I can't do it by working hard, but realizing my weakness, and turning to God for strength in the face of temptation. You are no different than me!

What's my point? Only God knows the heart. We can hardly discern between weakness and hypocrisy, but Jesus can! Leave it for him to judge, but we are to pray for those who transgress, even though transgressions are great.