Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Apathy

What is the most important thing in your life right now? It would appear that recreation of some sort is at the top of the list! Sure, most of you will say God, family, and friends; in likely that order. Are you being true to your self? To God? What's really important?

Of course, those who are into alcohol, drugs, and food addictions; you know the answer to that. I included food right along with drugs. Why is that? One trip to the water park answers that question. Good things to eat and plenty of it is a high priority for many people. Indeed, the taste buds pleasure the god of many.

It would seem, then, that people aren't apathetic; they are merely apathetic about God. Some may even be so apathetic, that they don't even have the initiative to find out what it means! It's merely showing little interest or enthusiasm. Sure, people get enthused about their favorite ball team, restaurant, or even a movie; but in the wider scheme, those things don't even really matter!

Let me explain. Let us say that you have terminal cancer with one week to live. Of course, you may or may not still want to eat depending on the degree of nausea which you suffer,  but it is likely that you could care little who wins a ball game, or what the latest movie is about. Suddenly, when the grim reaper makes his debut, apathy will give way to concern. Things in life will change in priority.

With that said, if you are outside of your pre-pubescent years, you are dying! As your body ages, organs age, and cells aren't restored as fast as they are manufactured in the body. It's just a matter of time until we all die, but most are apathetic to it. You know it's coming but fail to acknowledge it.  Few will even do healthy things to prolong life. Indeed, most people will continue to be self-destructive until they die because apathy becomes ingrained.

How would you respond if I said that apathy was the worst affliction of mankind? It is you know? All that extra food people eat is to please them without regard to how long, or short, their stay on earth will be. Eating that extra dessert time and time again kills years sooner. Each bite diminishes time. Even the apathetic care about time if they bring themselves to even think about it!

Each joint smoked makes one more apathetic. I've heard the most feeble excuses, even from Christians, why smoking dope is acceptable. A big part of that is that smokers fear time. Marijuana induces apathy, and the fear of time and events go up in smoke. They accept lies invented by the marijuana industry -  marijuana is claimed to be harmless when in their hearts people know it's a lie! People smoke dope to escape reality, but they don't really escape; they are merely imprisoned in it.

Alcohol does the same thing. Who can be concerned with time when life is a party? Whenever anyone is inebriated to any degree, they become lethargic to real life. The life of the party is apathetic to the things that matter in life. Sobriety is how we should face reality, but people fear reality so much that they find many methods of perceived escape from it.
Titus 2:12 "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world..."
Being sober and vigilant are closely related. It's awareness. Are you aware that your over-indulgence steals time from you life? "So what?" you say, "It's just from the end of my life!" Someday those fleeting moments will be more valuable than gold, but at this instant you don't care enough to cherish them to do what's right. Sober means not only inebriants but facing reality as well. You are going to die!  Overeating, alcohol consumption, drug usage, and lack of activity is moving you closer to death!

I know what you are thinking: A small amount of alcohol is good for your health. I see people's refrigerators full of a small amount of alcohol - enough to inebriate an army! The best way to not over indulge in things which can harm is not to indulge at all, but you don't care!

Of course, up until now, I've been writing on the physical things in life. I'm sure by now you have rejected all \that I have written or become uptight inside because of my perceived narrow-mindedness. That is a good thing of you have because your apathy has its limits! All of a sudden you care about my "stupid, erroneous" attacks. You are now a first-stepper. You care about something, but unfortunately, it's your selfish interest in believing lies.

If you keep doing self-indulgent things, you will die, but more importantly, if you keep doing sinful things you will die eternally. Jesus didn't die on the cross so that you can go on sinning. He died because you sinned and needed Him to pay for them! Being a Christian is not a ticket to over eat. Being a Christian is not liberty to disregard sinful behaviors and desires. Jesus died to defeat sin but even Christians hang onto them.  Just as Lot's wife did, we keep looking back! We are not really apathetic because we do care. Christians miss sin! That's why Christians still sin. That desire kills, and as such, apathy kills the soul as well.

People are not truly apathetic then. They care, but it's more about themselves than God. It's God's will that our days are long on the earth. He says that with the Fifth Commandment. That's where God promises a long life if we obey! Face it, most of us want to live long lives because we love ourselves, but not enough to do something about how we live!

I smoked cigarettes for about twenty years. I lost some of my life with each puff. I did get some of my health back but more was lost forever. I can still feel the loss of breath when I run. With smoking, I cut my life short from what it could be. Sometimes when I eat that pastry I take time off my life. However, I care enough about my health that I limit what I eat and how much of it, at least most of the time. Sure, I could do better, and I do care! I often wonder at what point people say to themselves, "I care more about pigging out than living," or "I would rather smoke than live," or "I prefer meth to life itself!" Most people aren't apathetic, they are pathetic! Life is all about their desires, and they don't respect God enough to please Him.

What is it that people need to do? CHANGE! Being born-again is being given a second chance. It's the onset of caring about what God wills. He doesn't want you to overindulge or fail to be sober. His desire is that you be healthy and vigilant. It's so easy yet people make it so hard!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Perfection

I'm not a perfectionist because I realize that as  mere human being, I can never possibly be perfect. Some people are obsessed with the goal of perfection and do things in a most orderly manner to assist it achieving perfection. Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a general pattern of concern with orderliness, perfectionism, excessive attention to details, mental and interpersonal control, and a need for control over one's environment, at the expense of flexibility, openness to experience, and efficiency. (Wikipedia). In psychology this striving is a disorder, and is abnormal.

Now for a commercial break.

I just finished writing my next book "Building the Dream: History of the Corvette Plant", due out in the fall. In the book, I discuss the goal of zero repair. In building Corvettes the goal is first time quality (FTQ) in everything. Managers for future cars always plan on a repair area because they know that everything is imperfect. Managers demand FTQ, but realize that even with the best efforts failures will occur. However, the goal is still perfection in everything.

No process exists which has the idea that "this won't matter to the customer". Customers want perfect cars. Even one defect makes a defective vehicle, and customer enthusiasm wanes. The customer becomes disappointed if even one defect occurs, let alone many. In fact, depending on the nature of the defect, for some people there may as well be many defects because disappointment is disappointment!

Corvette's are built to standards. They are what the customer demands. Each of those standards are written down and become a requirement toward quality. Again, the designer knows that some of these standards will fail because people fail as well as systems. However, designers can live for that because repair is possible.

Back to my commentary on perfection:

God intended that man be perfect. Knowing that they are human, He established one standard: in essence, don't eat of that tree means love only Me. Adam and Eve did that perfectly until one day they were deceived. The serpent basically said about God: the Customer won't mind. You won't really die!" Both of the humans became satisfied with imperfection. They violated the one standard: love God.

With the standards violation, there was a loss of quality for mankind. Man went from perfection to  defective! Liking better what was right in their own eyes, Adam and Eve were satisfied with their loss of perfection. They lowered their own standards below God's standard. The end result is that the "Customer" - God, was not satisfied. He made mankind perfect, and perfect He wanted them to be. In fact, God wants all the people patterned off the first to be perfect!

Mankind, being created in the image of God, was made perfect, and he wants us to become perfect again!
Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Unfortunately, we were reproduced according to our model. We are not perfect. All men violate God's standards. Some claimed that they didn't know, so God made the one standard more clear: he divided the one standard - love God, into ten and wrote them on stone for a standard for all time. Mankind was then without excuse! How would they know? It's written in stone!

The Ten Commandments are standards. They are the metrics for perfection. If all these things are adhered to, quality ensues. We call that quality - goodness, but since only God is good, we all miss the mark.  Those who attempt to do good without the idea of pleasing the final customer, miss the mark. God is disappointed in them. Therefore, doing good because of demands, misses the quality goal for the final Customer wants goodness because the person desires to please the Customer. Therefore, it is the willingness to do good more than doing the standard which most pleases the Customer.

The pessimist would say: we can never be perfect. That is true but we are required to minimize our defectiveness. We are to strive for perfection - work, not to be gods, but to be like God. We can never get there, but we should still strife to be perfect just to please God!

Sometimes defects will occur just as with car-building. Being the same, people are imperfect so automobile defects will occur as they are built. A repair area is set aside for those incidental failures. Assemblers still attempt to build first time quality. but in the event they fail, there is a repair process. Things are fixed there, but first they need to be identified.

Defects are found by inspection - for cars it's by close examination and comparison to the specifications. With people, it's by introspection, but it's using God's standards of satisfaction - His commands. One must realize the defects in order to fix them, and people must know their transgressions.

After the defects are presented, for humans by conviction, and for cars by defects, they must be fixed. The repair process for imperfect humans is repentance. But before repentance is possible, there must be sorrow for making the Customer displeased. Repentance repairs the defects and makes the person perfect again. Sure he will still stall out later, but reflection of God's Word minimizes the occurrences. Hence, perfection is never achieved but it's still the goal, and is God's will! We never want for God's enthusiasm to wane because that's a reflection on us! He cries when we are in error.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Comments from France

This week I have three times the readership from France as I do the United States. This commentary is an open invitation for those readers from France to answer some questions in the comments section of this blog:

  1. Why are you reading this blog?
  2. What is the most important thing in your life?
  3. Is it time for changes? What needs to be changed?
  4. Are you hopeful? Happy?
  5. Is God real?
  6. Was Jesus really the Savior of mankind?
  7. What do you think about the Jews and the Hebrew nation?
  8. What is your own purpose in life?
  9. Is marriage important? What is marriage?
  10. Is there such a thing as eternal life? Heaven? Hell?
Thank you for any input that you may have.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Marriage Gone Bad

The world is a new place but it's because of the same old thing: People do what is right in their own eyes, and place the desires of the flesh above the will of God. Marriage is no exception. In this new world of Girls Gone Wild "marriage has gone bad". Of course, I'm not only writing of the ordinance of Holy Matrimony but the whole institution of marriage.

The question which I ponder is: Why are marriages decreasing as fornication increases?


As can be seen, the marriage rate peaked at the end of the war because ostensibly it had been put on hold for the war years. It declined thereafter likely because the population increased with baby boomers, and the number of people of marriage age were already.

Roughly speaking marriage started a steady decline in about 1970. What changed in the 1970s decade? Much! Not only was this period an economic slump called stagflation, but it was also the rise of feminism, and at the commencement of what was called the sexual revolution. Women wanted what men had: the freedom to fornicate without restraint! Of course with sexual freedom there came a penalty. Marriage took a nose-dive and still is diving!

Of course, there is no cause and effect proven, but the correlation is great. It appears that marriage took a hit because men and women were getting their sexual needs met outside marriage. In language which can be understood by everyone symbolically: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? This means: Why would men and women get married when they can have sex freely outside marriage?

The sexual revolution supports that notion. Feminism made women able to sin just as the men were, without being ostracized. Feminism included the sexual revolution. Both are interdependent. Women no longer needed a man for support, feminism demanded that women be treated just as men in the workforce, and although there are many differences, some more advantageous, others not. Regardless of the economic improvements for women with the feminist movement, marriage took a nose-dive. Women believed that they would be happy without a mate but many aren't. Not only is there an innate desire for a mate, but also for companionship.

Women came from the old English wifman, meaning wife of man (English Language and Usage). The very concept of the word "woman" is that females are intended to be the wives of men. What is the etymology of the word female? It's root is from the Latin femella, which also means "woman". The words woman and female both point toward marriage. Womankind was meant to be married. In fact, her role in life has always been as a help-mate to man, to multiply, and to nourish children (Genesis 2).

Feminism is against nature. It's against the model God created. God somehow made Eve from Adam. As such there is a spiritual and psychological bond between men and women. Marriage made that bond holy. Indeed, Holy Matrimony is symbolic of mankind's marriage to Christ; He is the groom and his companions are the bride. It is Holy Matrimony because marriage is a picture of mankind's kinship to Christ. We were made in his image. As Jesus requires agape love, humans need philia, eros, storge, and agape love. Philia is love between equals, and eros is mutual sexual satisfaction. Storge is familial love, and all are united in agape, or a righteous type of love for God and others.

Most marriages are probably due to eroticism, but both sexes found out that they can be erotic without marriage. Hence, sexual relationships does not mean marriage, but mere fornication. The feminist movement is a move toward fornication, and feminists paid the price. They erroneously believed that they don't need men for sex, and men caught onto that notion. Now, rather than marriage, people merely play-act the roles. Men get their milk but never own the cow. They merely milk her for all she's worth until that day when a better, usually a prettier heifer comes along.

Men fail to commit to marriage because they don't have to! Women created the milieu where marriage has no place in it. Women don't get married because men won't commit. It's just easier for them to let the women be feminists, and they enjoy the fruits of feminism.

The nourishment part comes from storge. God implanted in womankind the need to multiply and nourish. Christian women love to have mini-hers and mini-hims, and raise them. For women, many have said that there is a biological need to have children.  In this modern age, the civil document means marriage. It was not always that way. In the time of Jesus, Hebrew marriage consisted of (1) mutual acceptance, (2) consummation, (3) child-bearing, (4) and familial acceptance, all done under the auspices of God. There was no civil document nor ceremony. Colonial America had the same definition with the marriage banns. It is estimated that nearly 80% of marriages in the wilderness were done without civil bond.

The paper, then, is not what marriage is all about! It's finding a partner and being true to each other. When they were created man and woman, they were created in unity. Marriage reunifies that original condition. To be unified means that there are mutual needs and sexual knowledge, not of lust but to procreate.

Returning to feminism: the role of woman is not to pro-create; it is sexual freedom. Because the role of sex went from multiplication to mutual pleasure, storge was lost from male/female relationships. Women still have that biological need to bear offspring, whether recognized or not, but men are relieved of the obligation to provide for the children. Relationships are founded on selfish sex rather than mutuality.

Marriage has declined because most don't know what marriage is! When that man beds a woman time and time again, and others recognize the relationship, then they are married in God's eyes whether they do it in front of Him or not. The woman at the well was the prime example! People are married in God's eyes and don't even know it, then they sin again by breaking up the bond they had.

As such, men and women move in and out of marriage. The chart above doesn't show those marriages but God sees them, and he is disappointed. What's more, the divorce curve (on the bottom) is sky-high because men and women break up so easily. Civil marriage has declined because men have found that they can escape responsibility because of a piece of paper.

Any person who had had a long-term sexual relationship can testify that it's termination is as hurtful as divorce because it was a marriage! Serial dating makes young men and women acclimated to multiple marriages. Breaking up in serial dating is good practice for changing marriage partners.

Sure, a cause and effect is hard to establish but one thing is for certain: God ordained marriage in the beginning, and unless one is completely married to God, then everyone belongs in marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:9 "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
If people can't be chaste, not having sexual intercourse, let them wed. Paul said that it is better to marry than to burn - lust!  Marriage then, is also for putting out the fire in the mind and in the loins. Sex is ordained in marriage but outside marriage it is fornication. Fornication in a sexual relationship is symbolic of having other gods besides God. It's a serious offense in God's view, and marriage is the remedy for lasciviousness.

In summary, there is a reduction in civil marriages because people don't want the commitment put on paper. That would imply responsibility. Both men and women don't want the responsibility it takes to be married and remain unmarried because due to Satan, marriage is hard work! Love isn't only an emotion; it too is a responsibility. God commands love because love is not inherent but acquired.

As long as the feminist idea is prevalent and sexual freedom is demanded, marriage will lose out! Ironically, sexual freedom is indeed, serving sin. Pleasure becomes the master which puts God far away. How will Marriage Gone Bad be saved from extinction. By making it holy again.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Arrogance

Never use scripture as a weapon! It's not to be used for a "gotcha". Those who do that are arrogant. Look what scripture is for:
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
  1. transmit ideas
  2. point out a fault
  3. correct errors
  4. teach what is right
Nowhere do I see "offend", "one-up", "antagonize", "humiliate", "show-off", "pressure", "acknowledge one's own IQ", or any other nefarious uses. Scripture should always be used in a gentle manner to persuade. Most of this list are displays of arrogance. I've said before that, arrogance pales pride!

Pride is taking pleasure in oneself. It's placing oneself above others. Arrogance is having an exaggerated degree of self-importance.  Some learned people use their knowledge, not to teach others, but to magnify themselves. People don't mind when others disagree, it is when others are dogmatic - only they know the truth. What is worse is when arrogant people just assume that others are uneducated, have no experience, or are dim-witted.

Here are three verses on arrogance:
1 Samuel 2:3 ( ESV)  "Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed."
Romans 12:3 "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."
Proverbs 8:13 "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. "
God considers those arrogant as foolish. Why? They won't listen to the ideas of others, accept fault,  stand for correction, or be willing to learn what is right.

Youth have limited experience, knowledge, and reflection. However, at some point in time they believe that they either know it all, or know more than their elders. Sometimes, with just a little education, they aggrandize their wisdom. It's as if truth is innate, and truth is only what they believe! Usually, those young people accept as fact what their teachers say, or what their parents instill but often, it's just impressions they have.

It is good for teachers and parents to teach and instill values, but they must be truthful and beneficial. Arrogant people are "manners ignorant", or possibly, manners don't apply to them. They use the shot-gun method of discussion - their aim is to maim, not console. They use bear traps on bunnies.

Arrogance is not what is said as much as how it's said. Few people are offended if corrected with kindness or disagreed with, with consideration. It's the attitude of the arrogant that is offensive -  they feel they must be right and will be right without regard to the feelings of others. When an arrogant person wounds a victim, there is no love shown nor received. Indeed, the arrogant person creates enemies with his tongue, pencil, or keyboard.

What do others do about those who are arrogant. Avoid!. Indeed, we are to shake the dust from our feet and move on (Luke 9:5). Arrogant people cannot be convinced by argument. They must first taste isolation before they ask, "Why do people avoid me?"

For me, I strive to control my pride but often it comes through. When it does, I try to never be arrogant. Maybe I fail. I am dogmatic in what God's word says. He inspires me with what I believe is His will. However, that's for me to internalize. I will defend any attack against God, but should do it with kindness. Sometimes, I do so with pride; and some would say, with arrogance.

However, my nature is not one of arrogance. I love to share my opinion through my commentary, but if one doesn't accept it, I don't get excited. We all have our opinions, and although I value mine because it's based on facts, others may feel the same way. The problem with arrogant people is that the ideas and values of the other person mean nothing to them. They are not empathetic or even considerate!

I hurt inside when people don't like me; when they are arrogant toward me. Arrogance is a trait which shows distaste, and perhaps, dislike for others. Arrogance tries to make another appear to be a fool. Arrogance doesn't respect a difference of opinion or values.

It's is insulting to the wise -  those who have experienced and applied knowledge for years, to be "set straight" by someone just beginning. My own son, at fifteen-years of age, said, "Dad, why do I have to go to school? I already know more than the teachers." That is na├»ve but arrogant adults, even those in their mid-twenties and thirties, hang onto that notion. They are even convinced that their version of the truth is ultimate truth. The arrogant are foolish.

Some of my commentary is wrong. I try not to be wrong, but I'm human, and thus error-prone. When I make an error in judgment or even spelling, I am humbled. Nobody likes being wrong but at times, we all are. None of us enjoy having our errors pointed out, but if done convincingly and with kindness, it makes the pill easier to swallow. Arrogant people correct with a verbal machete. They take a swath at the offender and cut out his tongue as they go for the brain. Even when the other person is right, he feels wronged, and abused. Why argue with those who are prideful when pride can maim?
Ephesians 4:32  (KJV) "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What is the Motive?

Life itself is a dichotomy. There is no in-between. There exists in the world "good" and "evil". Throughout the ages, civilized societies distinguished between the two, while those societies not exposed to culture, blended good and evil unknowingly. Pagans often had a different idea on what was good and evil. For instance, while pagans sacrificed their babies to Molech, they were worshiping, and likewise, when they had temple prostitutes, that was the way they worshiped. Pagans in the Americas even sacrificed people to their gods.

Unless there is a moral authority, who defines good and evil. The Forbidden Tree in the Garden of Eden was to enlighten the first people on what is good and evil. The fruit thereon, contained the knowledge to discern what is right and what is wrong. Free will was dispensed at that moment! Before our forebears ate of the fruit, they were totally innocent. Dispensationalists call this the "dispensation of innocence". After disobeying, the innocence was dispensed of, and mankind entered the "dispensation of the conscience". After sinning for the first time, their conscience convicted them of their sin, and man and woman felt guilt for the first time! They either elected to do good or evil of their own choosing.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, after it's fruit was eaten, established the dichotomy; man now was drawn toward the desires of the flesh, and away from the comfort of the spirit. Ever since, man has had a free moral choice in life, and hence life became a dichotomy: Our spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matt 26:41). The gravity which pulls mankind from good toward evil is temptation. Temptation is as real pushing down on the mind, as is gravity doing the same on the head. In fact, the very concept of temptation is serious, or having gravity.

Whereas, gravity is an unseen force pushing our bodies toward the world, temptation is gravity pushing our flesh  toward the things of the world. Our conscience is the mediator for temptation.  Shall we do good or shall we do evil? Discerning people realize that what is evil is destructive, but often do it anyway. Discerning people also know what is good, but elect destruction anyhow for the pleasure of it.

Temptation is the promise of pleasure, and conviction is the recognition that the pleasure is not worth the penalty, Thus, almost every moment, the conscience of most people is a dichotomy between good and evil.

Much of the world recognizes a Supreme Being which Christians and Jews realize is God. As such, "good" and "evil" are defined by God. Only God is "good" (Mark 10:18). The relationship between good and evil is the same as between light and dark.
Luke 11:35 "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness."
Darkness is the absence of light, and evil is the absence of good. That describes another dichotomy: Shall we live in light or in darkness. Well, truth is the light and deception is the darkness.

God is good, and God is truth. Hence, "good" is whatever God declares, and what he declares is ultimate truth. Then those who do God's will, endeavor to do "good", and their motivation is truth. God made a covenant with man: Trust me and you shall be saved.   Trusting is reliance on the truth. We chose the light half of the dichotomy over the darkness.

With two choices, and only two, what is our motive for selecting one component of the dichotomy over the other. We have a motive. One motive is pleasure, and the other is salvation. Christians forgo pleasure and seek salvation because their motive is ultimate pleasure -  living forever. That is one thing Satan never promised with pleasure, but he did imply that with "Ye shall not surely die." (Genesis 3:4). Our motive for trusting Jesus is that we won't die. Our motive for trusting Satan with his temptation is that we are betting that if we sin, we won't die.

My motive in life is to trust in Jesus so that I can live forever. That creates another dichotomy: Am I living for Jesus or for me? The former is goodness and the latter evil. To be saved, it's got to be much more than getting my lousy soul saved. It must be about loving God for saving it. This latter point must be the motive for salvation! It's got to be about Jesus, and it can't be all about me.

Baptism and Salvation: Part 2

1 Peter 3:19 "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
Eight souls were brought to safety (diasozo). They were "saved" when they stepped onto dry land (Genesis 8:18). Notice that God used water to bring the eight to "safety" (verse 20). Water destroyed those who were not protected by God in the ark, but made those "safe" who had the faith to abide with him, one-hundred and twenty years, and over forty days.

The water was from God. It was His judgment that a few be safe. Those eight represent the narrow way (by faith), whereas the majority who stayed in the world represented the broad way. Of course, the door to the ark was the straight gate because it was God who opened and closed it. You might say that God only closed it, but the ark resulted from the grace of God. When the eight walked out, Noah opened what God had closed, but it was God's grace that it opened.

The tool which God used to bring those eight to safety was water. Water is symbolic of Jesus' living sacrifice. It can be accepted (the eight) or rejected (the world), but the way to salvation on the ark was by the water. The way to salvation for everyone is the Living Water.
John 4:10 "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."
The waters which spewed forth from the depths was living water. That water made the eight safe until they endured forty days and nights, waited even longer until God's time, then they stepped on dry ground -  they were saved! Was it the water which saved, or was it dry ground? The water brought them to safety but salvation was when the water ceased. Thus, the water didn't do the saving, God did.
Genesis 8:15 "And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee."
When God spoke that was the moment that they were saved. Until then they were safe from peril. When God spoke in the Old Testament, it was pre-incarnate Jesus who was the Word. Jesus saved them by standing them on dry ground, not in the water, and their hope of salvation was rewarded, as they all stepped on solid ground.

 Then it is written, in like manner (as in the days of Noah) whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (verse 21). Sozo or "made safe" is the Greek word transliterated "save". Therefore, the water doesn't  save, but protects from peril.

Then verse 21 says that baptism doesn't really clean away the filth of the flesh, but is having a good conscience toward God. (Read more about the conscience (http://kentuckyherrin.blogspot.com/2017/05/consciousness.html).

The conscience is conforming to what is morally good. It tells the person to quit doing one's own will which is sinful, and do God's will which is righteous. Therefore, baptism is decision-making time. It's when one commits to living for God in whom he believes. It's a testimony to the world, that the baptized person is a changed person, now on the ark of God where God's mercy protects. They are different than when they built the ark, but after being brought to safety, they have changed.

Noah built an altar to God after deliverance from destruction (Gen. 8:20).  Baptism is presenting to God a living sacrifice (Romans12:1), not as Noah did with animals but by crucifying the self. When Noah presented his offering, God was well-pleased (Gen. 8:21). When we present ourselves to God at baptism, he is well-pleased. As such, baptism is a physical sacrifice of the self. It is obedience to the one who makes safe, and as such is an ordinance.

Being Arminian in doctrine, and I must be honest there, I believe in apostasy. As such, with the free will to deny God, the state of the convert is not "saved", but "safe" in the sense that God puts a protective hedge around us called His "whole armor". Symbolically, the ark was the whole armor of God. It didn't save, but made safe.

It is illogical to believe in apostasy and at the same time say, "I am saved," because salvation is not done until one is standing on dry ground. That is symbolic of death when eternal life is rewarded. Therefore, it is logical to say, "I am born-again," which is convinced that Jesus provides the way, or the water to keep us afloat. Those who strongly believe in the promise of dry ground, are so convinced, and their faith is so great, that they can say "I am saved," because they see the dry ground ahead from the safety of their ark.

As such, belief makes one safe, and trust makes one feel saved. Noah was given a rainbow:
Genesis 9:13 "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth."
The rainbow sealed the covenant with God. No longer would life be destroyed by water. After the flood, water would always represent life, no longer death. Hence, water forthwith represents eternal life, and that is signified by the rainbow which shines after the rain. The rainbow means "hope" because it is trusting in God for life. Fro the ark of we see dry ground. That is our hope of salvation.

Noah and the seven were new creatures in a new world. Sin had been washed away symbolically, but as we soon see, it recurred with Ham. He too was a new creature, his sins were washed away but still he sinned. He was still physically "saved" from destruction since he stood on solid ground, but his soul had not yet stood on that spiritual solid ground.

Now for a confession. I had almost changed my doctrine. It seems, based on the KJV translation that baptism saves (verse 20), but when one examines the Greek text, it seems that baptism is safety, and in the context of Noah, salvation is at the end of the voyage. Noah was confident that he was so safe that he could rightfully say, "I am saved," even as they sailed. Ham was surely not as certain. He enjoyed safety, but for him and the others, they weren't saved until they stepped on solid ground. As such, we shall be saved when we lie under that ground, and until then, we are safe from the goings to and fro of Satan. He cannot harm us since we are on the spiritual ark heading toward solid ground in paradise.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baptism & Salvation: Part 1

Let's take a moment to study the flood of Noah.

Scenario: A finished ship with vile sinners outside, with eight people inside of whom it is only known that Noah was righteous. However, it is implied that the others were obedient because they listened to Noah. God's spirit did not strive (work) for man because those on the earth were wicked, and their mind was on evil continually. God was sorry that he even made mankind, even though with his all-knowingness, he knew this day would come. God said that he would destroy what he had created, but he found grace in Noah. Not the other seven, but in Noah alone.

Noah's household was made safe because of Noah's faith. God made a covenant of grace with Noah. I will save you and your household. By grace even the other seven sinners were made safe because of their works.

All those who went into the ark, even the animals, went in voluntarily. They accepted God's graceful promise. Strangely enough, even the animals were more wise than most the people! The Lord shut them in after they entered by that one door, and thus they were safe! Everybody and everything on the land which breathed died. Since Noah and his household did not die, they were made safe from death. A wind passed over the earth and the rain subsided. That gracious act of God saved mankind from death! Salvation was to come on the mountains of Ararat.

The biblically determined date of the flood was 2304 B.C. (creation.com). Strangely enough scientific evidence places recent volcanos of Mt. Ararat at  2500-2400 B.C., in other words, for all practical purposes, in the time of Noah. That is important because the flood waters came from underground volcanoes according to scripture. Since Mt. Ararat was actually in Armenia, Noah's ark came to rest, not on Greater Ararat but Lesser Ararat, the portion in Armenia. It seems that since Greater Ararat was the source of the greatest volcanic activity, that God made Noah's Ark safe on Lesser Ararat in Armenia. One can read much about shifting plates in this area of high volcanic activity, but evidence makes the flood of Noah's time as credible!

The dove is the symbol of peace, and it was the bearer of danger and safety tidings for Noah. Although, the dove brought back and olive leave, Noah still waited seven more days to ensure safety was at hand. Perhaps Greater Ararat was clear, but Lesser Ararat not at that time. Noah wanted to make sure that they were indeed safe!

Then the earth dried, and God, not Noah said, "Go forth." As they went forth on dry land, their status went from safe (on the ark) to saved (on dry land). Noah built and altar and made a sacrifice to God. God was well-pleased. Noah testified to the fact that God saved them, and God enjoyed that. Because God was pleased with Noah's faith, his act of grace was that mankind would never be wiped from the face of the earth again. After he saved them, the covenant was eternal.  God then told them to multiply and replenish the earth.

This is a story of going from the danger of the world, to promised destruction, to the safety of the ark, to being saved on dry land.

Tomorrow we will continue on with the significance of the flood.








Monday, May 22, 2017

Liberal Bias

On my first semester of college Professor Scharchburg of General Motors Institute said, "Man is no more than a tree or a frog". Thus, the remolding began - but not for me because I'm not that easy!

Education is rampant with liberalism.  Almost any subject is hampered by philosophy -  the love of wisdom: "the pursuit of wisdom; a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means; and  an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

That love of wisdom, or philosophy, is the use of knowledge in the thought processes. Simply put, educators love to think. That in itself is not bad because all knowledge comes from God!
Proverbs 18:15 "The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge."
 Colossians 1:9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding..."
Thus, knowledge comes from God, and pragmatic people seek to obtain knowledge. So far so good! However,  as can be seen from the second passage, knowledge is knowing God's will to obtain wisdom and understanding. What is the knowledge of God? Truth:
John 17:17 " Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
Therefore, what is the source of true knowledge? The word of God. However, because of liberal bias the word cannot be taught in education. What is taught, then? Deception. Scripture calls that false knowledge. There are two types of mental inputs: truth and deception. People have a tendency to believe the lie even when they seek truth!

God wants his creature to love truth:
 2 Thessalonians 2:10 "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Because people don't love the truth, God allows them to be deluded into believing the lie. People love wisdom, it seems but not the truth. Paul witnessed that when he challenged the Greek philosophers with the charge: You worship an unknown god. (Acts 17:23). Because of their love of wisdom and their competition in besting one another, it's obvious that it is the god of Reason which they worshiped. Incidentally, that was their own reasoning! As such their unknown gods were themselves.

The education industry is rampant with philosophy. Even our libraries and public buildings are engraved with the names of the greatest philosophers. None bear the name of Paul who outdid the philosophers, let alone Jesus Christ whose word is truth! Students of the mind prefer reason. By whatever name the gods or goddesses are called, ultimately it's men's own minds which are divine, and the word said many times: They did what is right in their own eyes.

Because men look inward for truth makes them liberal minded. God's word is black and white. Truth is discreet - there are no fifty shades of gray. Because men don't like truth they deceive. Because mankind is born in sin, their nature is to believe the lie. When Satan said, "Ye shall not surely die." (Genesis 3:4) mankind was first deceived, and as such they have been prone to deception ever since.

In theological terms, the inspired word of God is orthodoxy, Orthodoxy is strict adherence to the doctrines of Jesus. Thus the very word of God, is by definition - truth. Liberalism is the divergence from divine truth. Liberalism is free-thought, which is paramount even above the word of God. That means in liberal thought, the doctrine of the individual excels God's truth. It makes mankind as gods, just like the serpent warned!

Free thought relieves people of the need for listening to God's will. In the Enlightenment of the 18th century, called the Age of Reason, is when philosophers openly challenged God. The fear of God was no longer there, and people began to think for themselves. Most of the thinking was in denying God's truths. Hence, the goddess of Reason, Liberty, replaced the One True God, and she still stands in the place of God. Like Dagon, the false god in the Bible, Reason will be toppled at the end of days, but until then, Reason is still the god of philosophers, and is the source of liberal bias.

Basically, liberal bias is disobedience to God and doctrines against His will. Do we ever see the media taking the side of God? The educators? The government? Even industry and business?

All institutions are saturated with liberal bias. That's all we hear and even Christians (the elect) believe the lie. (Mark 13:22). If you're a Christian and deny that you are being deceived, then you are in denial. I know otherwise good Christians who vote for candidates who favor abortion, same-sex marriage, and other vices against God's will. They have been deluded by liberal bias. Either people are for God - or against Him. There is no in-between, and we are to turn to him in all matters, even politics and government. There is no wall of separation there - liberals try to erect one though!

Right now, even the most devout are tempered by the liberal media bias. The entertainment industry wreaks of it, but yet Christians still spend their money with those who should be their enemies. Society is soaked with liberal bias and Christians are soaking it up. Rather than being imbued with the Holy Spirit, they are impaled with liberal bias.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Manners and Love

I am appalled. The most civil things a person can say is I'm sorry when wrong is done, and thank you when one is given something. The best presents that they can give are a grin, a hug, and I love you but few people do that! One can be the most intelligent and achieved person in the world, but without manners, they are barbarians.

Manners are spiritual as well. Everyone wants considerate attention. Manners are treating others as you want to be treated! That's the Golden Rule. What's more, there is enough love to go around for everybody. People never have to stay in their small little den with their pack. There is a big world out there. Staying in the comfort of those closest to you neglects those who are not as close but should be!

Blended families are the devil's delight: The dad pays the bills and the mother gets the hugs. The step-father receives the attention that rightfully belongs to the dad. When God said, "honor thy father and thy mother," he was talking legitimate fathers and mothers. Sure, we are to love step-parents, step-children, and foster parents, but not instead of our own parents! Imagine how a father feels getting little attention, and seeing a step-father idolized. God doesn't honor that. It's a sin and impolite as well! It's the ultimate in crisis for the parent for the love of a parent runs deeply.

My highest priority in life was my family. First, it was my own immediate family, then after that it was my parents. It was my mother who suffered pain and nourished me when she had little to offer, and it was my dad who worked so hard, and sacrificed time with his children. He was there the least but wanted to be more than anything.

The biggest sin in my life was dishonoring my own father. Honoring parents is the only command with a promise - long life. I once said, "I'll be glad when Dad is dead so that I can do what I want." I  actually said that one time. Now I say, "I would give anything if my Dad was still alive!" The first was a case of doing my own will, and the latter was doing God's will. It's not God's will for a child, regardless of age, to neglect the parents, and it is most usually the father in blended families which are neglected.

Parents want to love their children but children must allow themselves to be loved. I drove hundreds of miles regularly to spend even a limited time with my Dad and Mom. I have been blessed. My days are long, and I have no regrets. When Dad and Mom died, I didn't have to rush home to make amends at their deathbeds, because, as a mature person, I always honored them. I outgrew the selfishness of my youth, and loved Dad and Mom unconditionally.

We've just had Mother's Day. Most honored their mothers. Soon Father's Day will be upon us. Father's, real fathers, deserve attention, even adulation. That's what God wants, and that's just good manners!

Unfortunately, those who need to read this won't. They are into themselves and their own little world. They won't take time out to even reflect on themselves because life is all about them. Sure, they have the pretense of loving but it's selective love. What if God selectively loved? Most of us would be alienated!

I feel sorry for those who are so self-absorbed that they can't spare just  minute, and even of they do, it's at arms length. My own step-daughter offers me undue love, but it was never at the expense of her real father. It would have hurt me if she had given me more love than her own dad because I'm just her imitation dad. I love her, but that blood kinship is not there, and should be respected. God says so!

Before those parents and other die, it's never too late to start anew. Share a little of that love. That's just good manners but it's also what God commands! I feel bad seeing parents slighted by their children. It just ain't right, and God said so!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The God of Reason

Reasoning is a power. It is the ability to use knowledge, crunch it in an orderly manner, and is usually used to make a decision or justify a position. Rational is having reason, and is applied to those who reason using logic. Logic, on the other hand, is the interrelationship of facts and the order in which they are placed. Thus, you have a system for conclusion making.

There was a time called The Age of Reason written about by Thomas Paine who was influential in both the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Whereas, for the most part, Americans shunned the idea as foreign to Christianity, some accepted its Deism - that God does not interfere with the workings of the world; man tends the creation. Thus, Deism is man-centered and God minimized, and faith gave way to reason.

In France, they bought into the Age of Reason to such an extent that they worshiped the goddess of Reason for a spell. She was the goddess of the state-sponsored atheistic Cult of Reason. It replaced Roman Catholicism for a few years, and even priests of God became priests of Reason.

The Cult of Reason was an attempt to find truth and liberty through the power of reasoning. Its worship was devoted to the idea of reason. Liberty, reason, and truth were not of God, but of each individual. Hence, the Cult of Worship was person worship, and guess who the person was? The many selves of the individual! The people had outwardly become "as gods" which the serpent acknowledged years ago. There is one huge problem with Reason -  it offers no eternal hope because nobody has the power to save oneself!

The churches of France were remolded into Temples of Reason and deviate sexual practices occurred at the former altars of Jesus Christ. For all practical purposes the Golden Calf was resurrected, but that god was instituted in the form of the goddess of Liberty who represented reason. In essence, Anton Levay's Satanic cult was formed right there. Do what thou wilt! became the worship of the church. Temple prostitution was commonplace.

The goddess of Liberty was honored with statues.  Do you recognize her?

A crowned, robed woman holding aloft a torch
Liberty-Enlightening the World (Wikipedia)

The French people foisted their goddess upon Christian Americans, and Americans accepted her with open arms. Rather than Jesus welcoming pagans to our shores, it is the goddess Liberty. She's been around since Roman times as Libertas, only one of many of their pagan pantheon! The Age of Reason came to America. Even Thomas Jefferson bought into it, and created his own Bible minus the miracles, because miracles aren't rational.

God is not a God of reason but one of faith. Faith is the flips-side of reason. When we depend on our own knowledge and logic, it trivializes the Almighty God. For example, Reason tells us that God could not have created the universe, but faith acknowledges that He did. There is a missing step in the logic of rational thinking because all their gods' and goddesses' real names are Chance. Chance is credited with the creation of everything even though Chance is illogical. Probability makes Chance impossible!

Liberty is not even a woman, let alone a goddess. She is the image of Lucifer, the angel of Light. (See the response to Brad Meltzer's program at https://www.infowars.com/what-brad-meltzers-decoded-missed-about-the-real-meaning-of-the-statue-of-libertys-symbols/. There they allowed that the stature is of Lucifer but not of Satan. Even a priest validated that claim but theologically Lucifer and Satan are one and the same. In other words, we have a statue of Satan in New York harbor which welcomes all comers to this land - without regard to their paganism! In turns out that this gift is not from the French but the Freemasons. It wasn't built for America originally but for Egypt. It is not as American as apple pie!

The travesty is that America cannot honor God with landmarks of any kind according to recent SCOTUS decisions. However, a statue of Satan remains prominently on our shores. That's one of the first things which people see. It offends me that we worship Reason, the disease of Adam but can't worship the Cure - Jesus!

The truth will set us free, but Liberty and Reason are far removed from the truth.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Be Happy!

Yesterday's commentary was on melancholy; today's is on happiness. Happiness is the state of feeling pleasure or contentment, according to dictionary.com.  That may not be an accurate description because pleasure and contentment are not one and the same: most often pleasure brings guilt, and with guilt contentment is not there.

Christian Mommy said that God wants her to be happy. That's like saying, God wants you to have pleasure. Neither does God want you to have contentment. That's being satisfied with where you are in life. God desires that we change. Our desire for pleasure and contentment is for our own appeasement. It's more about the self than God, and God has no desire that our other god (the self) be appeased.

What is it that God wants for us? He wants our love. He doesn't want any of us to love ourselves to the degree that we live to please ourselves. Our role in life is to tend God's Garden, and since Jesus, the Tree of Life, stood in its center, God wants us to please Him!

How can we please God? By having no other gods besides Him. That is presenting ourselves, our own god, as a living tribute to Him. We bring self-pleasure and contentment to the cross, and hand it over to Jesus as we crucify ourselves with Him.

God doesn't want us to be happy! Paul wasn't a happy camper by any means. He was melancholic even though he believed in the resurrection and eternal life. Because he picked up his cross and followed Jesus, life was no longer about the self. It is a struggle to carry Jesus' cross, but ironically, Paul was happy to carry God's cross, but not to make himself happy, but God!

What is it that God wants for us? He desires us! His will is that he receives our will. We freely hand over to God our quest for happiness, and he takes it and makes us truly happy. You see, the happy old person is different than the happy new person: the first does his own will, and the second does God's will. God doesn't want us to be happy. That's not his motive. He wants our love, and happiness is the outcome of obedience.

If we look at cause and effect, the old person does whatever is his own will, "Do what thou wilt," as the Satanists say - to appease the idol of the flesh. Happiness comes about because of self-pleasure, and the sinner is often content being their own god.

On the other hand, the cause and effect for those born-again is the opposite. They aren't happy with themselves for disobedience to God, so they come to God. Because they are obedient, they are content in the Lord. It is not their will that is done, but God's!

Therefore, happiness comes out of obedience. Those who are disobedient may be happy with the things of the flesh, but their soul is in isolation and screams for reprieve!

Si Robertson is noted or saying: "Happy! Happy! Happy". His happiness is through God. It has nothing to do with Si's own pleasure, but the knowledge that he is serving the Living God.  Without God, Si would Cry! Cry! Cry! because he has been convinced that God wants us in our entirety.

When people sin, and say, "God wants me to be happy." That's a little game they play inside their own head. It's rationalizing God's will. Christian Mommy becomes the Devil's Mommy when sin is rationalized as God's will. She is right where the devil wants her to be - on his side.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Abraham Lincoln and his Melancholy

There are five things Lincoln was noted for: (1) He was president, (2) he led the war, (3) he emancipated the slaves (on paper), (4) he was a backwoodsman,  and (5) he was melancholic. We will discuss the latter.

Melancholy comes from melancholia, meaning black bile, the antiquated thought on what caused it. Of course, bile has little to do with this mode of existence.  It's more of a state of emotional depression, and some are inclined to be melancholic from birth.

 I believe anyone without hope is melancholic.  I'm not referring to things of this world, but hope for eternal things. Christians rightfully make qute a fuss over salvation. Salvation provides hope! The hope is in what we're more saved from than for. The attraction to Christianity is that it is the only way to escape eternal damnation. People tell themselves that a righteous God would never send anyone to hell, neglecting that God never does that because there is a choice in the matter! Hell-bound people elect eternal damnation.

The hope that makes it easier to cope with existence is eternal life. This is in contrast to eternal damnation. However, to have the hope of salvation means that there must be something we're saved from. Those who are born-again will be saved from hell. Therefore, to believe in salvation, means a Christian must believe in hell because without that notion, people aren't saved from anything!

Therefore, belief in hell is crucial to salvation. Even if hell is nothingness, right-minded people still would elect eternal life over eternal nothingness, would they not? That brings me to the resurrection. That one miracle changes mankind from mortal to immortal. If there is no resurrection, there is no hope because there would be no eternal life! Yes, resurrection must be experienced to live eternally. Consequently, the resurrection is critical to eternal life, and it brings hope.

If the reader has yet to notice, hope is the inverse of melancholy! Melancholy is not an independent characteristic. It is akin to darkness - the absence of light. Melancholy is the absence of hope. We all are melancholic at times when are faith diminishes. Satan's powers raise doubt. Doubt gives rise to anxiety which leads to depression. We've all been depressed for a short spell, but those who are melancholic are by nature predisposed to depression. When someone doubts the existence of eternal life, then depression sets in and a melancholic mood develops. Those are the people who don't seem to be encouraged by anything because life itself is discouraging; Why live only to die? is the attitude.

Abe Lincoln was of that mood. His nature was melancholic. I link that to the resurrection. When his first son died in Illinois resources in A Team of Rivals by  Doris Kearns Goodwin indicates that after the funeral of Edward Lincoln, that his father placed doubt on the resurrection. He seemed to have little confidence that he would ever see Edward again! That perspective all by itself is enough to be melancholic,  but there were other factors as well! Lincoln was raised a Calvinist (Hardshell Baptist). Election is a major issue in this doctrine. Of course, all Calvinists usually believe that they are the ones elected to live eternally, but it seems that Lincoln realized that perhaps he was not elected. That feeling of being a lost cause would be depressing to anyone.

As far as his counterparts know, Lincoln never joined a church, was never born-again, and never professed faith in Christ as taught by the church. It appears that his belief in Christ was a composite of reason and Universalism,  coupled with his Calvinism and  determinism. Of course, Calvinism works two ways: it can provide hope, even assurance, or it can also foster certainty in eternal death. It appears that Lincoln may have been certain that he was hell-bound. That is enough to make anyone melancholic!

Paul spoke of salvation as a destination which comes at the end of life. Until then, the faithful have hope. What is that hope/ That they will keep the faith until the end! Lincoln appeared to never have that hope. His life was either filled with doubt or the assurance that he would never be saved. Even when the altar call was made, Lincoln never sought heaven nor hell; it was congress that he sought, according to his own words (Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years; Carl Sandburg ). Lincoln apparently was also a humanist and follower of Thomas Paine and Charles Darwin.

After his death there were many critical biographies which came out, as would be expected, which denigrated this man which some compared to an ape. His friends and secretaries, John Hay and John Nicolay, remedied that. They came out a biography which made this average man great.

John Wilkes Booth killed Lincoln. Nicolay and Hay resurrected him, and he stands with resurrected reputation yet today. However, whether he is in heaven or not, only he and God knows. My own hope is that after the death of his son, Willie, that he found the light. Nicolay and Hay expressed that Lincoln never claimed to be a Christian, and other works demonstrate that his idea of Christ was not traditional by any means.

It may be that Lincoln's melancholy followed him to the grave for those who are true Christians have hope. If you're melancholic, there is hope. Belief in the resurrection is paramount for that hope. My hope is that Abe saw his son, Edward, even though he expressed doubt that he would. We must remember that the gate is straight and the path narrow to salvation, and even presidents falter.

I know some who are melancholic. That's a terrible life to live: facing tomorrow without faith. Since there is only one way to salvation, take that path: Jesus Christ... the one from the gospels, not the one from reason.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Angel, Giant, Incubus, and Succubus

Genesis 6:4 "There were giants (nphiyl;  tyrants) in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons (ben) of God ('elohiym; gods, angels) came in unto the daughters (bath; branch) of men, and they bare (yalad; begat) children to them, the same became mighty (gibbowr; giants or tyrants) men which were of old ('0wlam; concealed), men ('enowsh; mortal) of renown (shem; authority or fame)."
Something evil happened right before the flood. It created the need for the earth to be cleansed. Even after the flood came and sin was washed away, somehow evil remained. Of course, Noah was a righteous man with great faith, but even at that, he was not perfect.

Right after the sons of God were mentioned, the next passage presented the problem:
 Genesis 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Wickedness increased. People became more evil... not just a few but most! The minds of everyone was changed. The implication is that before there were some degree of righteousness in the world, but after this marriage of different peoples, evil became dominant and continual. God was sorry that he had created mankind since evil was so great, and he was grieved (Genesis 6:6).

 Preachers ignore these passages to some extent because they don't know who these sons of God were! A clue is in the original Hebrew. They were nphiyl or Nephilim who were some type of men of renown of huge stature.  There are two views of who the Nephilim or giants were. From  the Amharic Ethiopian Orthodox Bible: Henok 2:1–3 "and the Offspring of Seth, who were upon the Holy Mount, saw them and loved them. And they told one another, "Come, let us choose for us daughters from Cain's children; let us bear children for us." In this scenario the sons of God would be the line of Seth, and the daughters of men would be the female line of Cain.

On the other hand, Enochic literature says: ( 1 Enoch 7:2) "And when the angels, 3 the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children."  In this view, the sons of God were angels and the daughters of men were actual mortals. Other Hebrew words indicate that the sons of God were fallen angels.

Whichever is the case, the offspring of those marriages were evil!

Let us look at angels for a moment:
Matthew 22:30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."
Not going into the Hebrew for this passage because it is congruent with this meaning, in heaven mortals who are made immortal neither marry nor are married off, just like the angels are not. The implication since marriage means to sexually know each other, is that angels cannot reproduce. That makes sense since God assigned to the created beings the task of multiplication. So, let it stand that angels have no need to reproduce, and hence have no need for the attributes of gender, but we know that they have the appearance of men. In fact, there is no distinct mention of female angels in the Bible. Since Eve was created, not from the base elements as Adam, but from man, then it follows that since no angels were created in the same manner, there are no female angels.

Since there are no female angels, then sons of God does make sense as fallen angels. The problem remains that angels don't have genitalia since there is no need for them since they don't multiply.

Therefore, the theory that Seth's and Cain's line intermarried, doesn't explain giant-hood or tyrants. The problem with that argument is that Seth's line was the righteous line who replaced righteous Able when Cain killed him. Therefore, Cain was the unrighteous line, and it could not have been Seth who brought evil unto Cain, but the opposite, if it happened at all.

My thoughts then are that fallen angels overtook some of the line of Seth, since in some manner both angels and Seth were sons of God; the former fallen angels and the other contaminated sons of Seth. What I am implying is that evil spirits entered some of Seth's line, and those mortals contaminated with evil had sexual relations with daughters of men (those not contaminated whether from Cain or not is beside the point). The result were Nephilim, or large tyrants which are later described as giants because they made the Hebrew people (Seth's line) look like grasshoppers!

Nephilim existed after the flood. There were eight people on the ark: Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives. 1 Peter 3:20 places the number as eight.  Somehow through these eight people, Nephilim passed through the flood, even though evil was washed from the face of the earth at that time. However, because mankind had original sin, God surely didn't intend for evil to become non-existent or else a Messiah would not be needed! The flood was symbolic of the blood of Jesus cleansing impurity from believers. Hence, God surely allowed evil into the ark so that mankind still must choose righteousness over evil.

It could be one of two ways that Nephilim remained after the flood. It was either through one of the wives of the sons, Noah's wife, or through recessive genes. Because Noah was righteous in God's eyes, I will throw out the possibility of Noah being nphiyl.  Also, because nphiyl were all sons, then I rule out all the females. Likewise, I rule out all the sons of Noah because since Noah was not nphtiyl, neither were his sons. That leaves two things: (1) Genetics, since all people have original sin, or (2) by fallen angels after the flood, still doing their evil deed. The latter makes the most sense.

We do know that these tyrants were large and evil, Nimrod is said to be "a mighty warrior" and a tyrant. It was through him that other religions came into being. All the gods and goddesses of the civilized world can be traced back to Nimrod. He was the epitome of evil! Nimrod was the son of Cush, the son of Ham, the sinful son of Noah. It would appear that evil entered into Ham, and we know it was after the flood. It makes sense that the fallen angels, entering the body of Ham, produced Nephilim who were evil giants. Ham replenished the earth with sin, it seems.

Incubi are evil spirits who have sexual relations with women as they sleep. Succubi are evil spirits who engage in sex with men as they sleep. Since evil spirits are sexless, then it's mere terminology that they have gender. Indeed, it is the gender of the host which the spirit uses to implant evil.

We say incubus and succubus to describe the evil spirits. However, fallen angels are the identity of those evil spirits. It appears that incubi and succubi still entered into Ham's line, if that was the case. It makes sense that dark angels still take mortal hosts. In fact, the man of Gadarene (Mark 5) had legions of unclean spirits, and he was tyrannical in the manner of Nephilim. This was not the only case, and the Church traditionally has taken seriously demon possession to the extent that Catholics still exorcise demons, and infant baptism is for exorcism of children!

Admittedly, all this is conjecture but it is all scripture based. Even our early church fathers dwelt on this passage from Genesis 6. The issue is important because they are the evil that God exorcised through water baptism of the earth, but some still fornicated with them after the deluge. That can be a lesson on baptism as well. Water washes away sin, but like Ham, we need to wear a shield to protect us from the evil ones. That shield is faith! (Ephesians 6:15). Demons cannot enter the faithful unless they are unfaithful. Let Ham be a lesson!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

All Alone In a Crowd

Other than loving God, the most important thing is to love others, not selectively, but all encompassing. There is none that us unlovable. I'm not an emotional person. I have trouble with even loving, let alone loving others. Loving must be put in context. Our love must be comparable to Christ's love, although we're not capable of that type of unconditional love which he has. However, we should try!
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."
In short,  love Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37) because that is how much God loves us. How much did God love the world? That he gave his only Son. Why? That none should perish. Why? Because God so loved the world that much!

That seems to me that God loves us all with all his heart, soul, and mind just as he tells us to love Him. In other words, as God loves us, we are to love Him! It follows then that we must love others with the same intensity.

However, people either fear others or hate them. Being different is probably the greatest reason for both fear and hate. Rather than the love of God being the standard of loving others, it is us: we are to love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Self-love is idolatry. God knows and understands that because we are all sinners. Knowing that we all are sinners, God turns the tables on us: since we love ourselves so much, he commands us to love others that much too!

How much love is that? The three characteristics of mankind are heart, mind, and soul. Those three are the image of the Trinity from whom man was designed. Being in the image of the Father (mind), the Son (the heart), and the soul (the Holy Spirit), that is our entirety. Added to that is our strength because heart, mind, and soul is the source of our power.

Let it be said, let us love others. That is how we complement our love for God. We can't put our arms around God, so he commands that we embrace each other. If we don't love others it is uncertain that we are born again. How do we know that we love others? Our desire is that none should perish, just as God doesn't want others to perish. We aren't commanded to agree with a person, like their culture, or even their appearance, but it is required to want that all be saved. The desire to damn another is hatred. Society has cheapened the trait of hatred by extending it to benign things. Damnation is hatred!

I believe God hates two things the most: damning Him, and damning others. Those are a direct violation of the Greatest Commandment and the other like unto it.

The other day I approached a female neighbor, just being friendly. She turned, ran, and even left her garden hose running as she staked out safety. All that I was guilty of was smiling and speaking hello. I'm sure that she didn't hate me, for to hate, she must know me. However, her reaction showed that she feared me. What did she fear? Me, as I was doing what I was commanded to do. Loving others is best served by being friendly -  being kind and showing goodwill. Fear made her shrug from me. That hurt. I felt like Jack the Ripper, but the furthest thing from my mind was harming her. The nearest thing to her mind was that she was in danger of harm. I suppose that my appearance is startling, but that is one of mankind's problems; we look at appearance first.

It's hard to love because Satan instills fear. It may be fear of appearance, fear for safety, fear of competition, fear of culture, fear of beliefs, or even fear of communion.  I'm sure that woman doesn't want me in hell, but if she is a Christian, it appears to me that she didn't want me near her either!

When I am in a crowd, I'm not alone, but in that crowd,  I am emotionally alone. In fact, when I'm with people who fail to be friendly, I feel more alone, even isolated. As such, I'm still all alone in a crowd.

Scripture doesn't speak of this type of loneliness. We all need others to be happy, but we are not happy because we either fear or hate others. I hate the modern way. When I was a teenager nobody thought twice: Almost everyone would pick up a stranded person or one hitch-hiking. That's the Samaritan thing to do ( Luke 10:25–37). We may want to do good because that is our Christian nature. Fear keeps us from being kind to others. I believe that few hate with a passion, but most hate things about others. That isolates each from the other. Hate is manifested by being unkind. The woman who ran from me was unkind. She should have stood brave with God alongside her to protect her when she needed protection.

Because even the crowd fears one another, even the appearance of others, I feel alone in a crowd. When I lived in the big city as I shopped, I'd smile and say "hello" to strangers. They would hunker down, turn their heads, and flee. I felt so alone! How can we share love when fear lingers everywhere. Fear is a tool of Satan to short-circuit love!

Face it, meeting a kind stranger who emits love is endearing! Fear keeps us all from loving, How can I be kind when people run from kindness? How can I demonstrate love when people run from me. How can you? How can I tell others about Jesus, when I can't  even say, "hello" because others are fearful?

Fear of those just like us creates loneliness. We isolate our most loved - our self, to stay out of harms way. As such there isn't much love in the world because fear bridles love. If we trust in the Lord, we will demonstrate love for others. God will keep us safe!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Slavery and Servitude

I was astounded recently: Not only did the student government vote to pay reparations to blacks at Western Kentucky University, but a few weeks later so did the faculty senate! With the first vote I considered their age, and merely thought the students foolish. When the faculty voted the same, then I realized the foolish were creating the fools. "Perhaps," I thought, "it was merely a majority of the faculty who voted that way," but then found that thirty of thirty-four voted in favor.

Of course, the time of slavery is far removed, but it's memory lingers on. I believe that the vote was for two reasons: (1) the number of minority instructors at western, and (2) white guilt. Of course, when I feel guilty, I do something about it. I don't place that responsibility on others. Perhaps a good remedy for those who feel that reparations are in order is for them to voluntarily share their white privilege with those who were born black. I see nothing wrong with that. That is the charitable thing to do.

However, this commentary is not so much about white guilt but servitude. Perhaps the persecuted are looking for relief in the wrong places. Perhaps the persecuted are effectually causing their own persecution by opening old wounds and demanding what is not theirs. Of course, that is arguable but most reasonable people understand that this generation is not responsible for slavery. Demanding that just because whites exist makes them guilty is foolishness. Who then, is responsible for slavery?

Slavery is evil. As such, the evil one is responsible for slavery. I assure the reader, that fallen angel isn't going to pay anyone, and most of us are not going to pay tribute for him! I won't go into the history of slavery, but all races have suffered slavery. Right now, even, most people are slaves. There are few that are free!

In the beginning, there was no slavery. Not because there were few people, but because mankind had not yet sinned. When our forebears sinned, they caused slavery and the need for it. Adam's penalty was hard work - by the sweat of his brow. Because work is hard and mankind still placed themselves alongside God, they sought others to toil for them. Slavery came about in the beginning because men worshipped themselves. As such, they needed to be appeased. Pleasure seemed to make them content, and avoiding hard work allowed them to enjoy pleasure. As such, mankind enslaved himself to Satan because he made a pact with them - eat of the tree and enjoy it's fruit. So in man's own wisdom he became a slave to Satan, albeit because he was deceived!
John 8:34 ( ESV) "Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.'"
Since Adam, we all were once slaves to sin. With the born-again experience, Christians are emancipated from slavery, and as new creatures, we voluntarily become servants to Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:5 ( ESV) "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake."
Jesus, the ultimate servant, served up himself for all us "slaves to sin" that we may be free! His truth is what emancipated mankind:
John 8:31 (ESV) "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' 33 They answered him, 'We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, "You will become free’?'"
The Jews missed two points: (1) They had often been slaves (e.g., in Egypt), and (2) they were still slaves! The first was slaves to man, and the latter - slaves to sin. Although they had been freed from slavery to man, they were still slaves to sin! This is much like the blacks of today: long ago they were freed from man but are still slaves to sin. What sin? For one: "You shall not covet." They want what is not theirs! You might rationalize, "But it is theirs because of injustice." But those who did the injustice are long dead, and many of those were blacks themselves (you do the research, but that is truth).

Rather than desiring what is not theirs, the education which is available is by grace. The path to grace is unfortunate, but blacks are only here because God allowed it. He could have snuffed out the slave trade centuries ago, but he allowed it. He didn't come to save the world from mankind but from sin!

Most of our forebears endured hardship to get where we are. My antecedents were indentured servants, and as such, were slaves for a few years. Even today, I suffer from the past because throughout the history of America, my own line has lived in poverty. My generation has been blessed because we were not jealous of the success of others. Never one time did I ever hear my own poor father blame others for our poverty, but he stepped up and my generation arose from the red clay to the sandy loam of the affluent. It was work, not a gift, and it was by God's grace we looked and received.

Mankind should never look toward others for justice, or the escape from slavery. It's only God who can provide freedom, and the mindset of I deserve is contrary to God's grace. Blacks will achieve what some of us have. It won't be by the grace of man, but the grace of God. To receive grace it must be searched for in the right spots. That is not from the sweat from others, but the from the blood of Christ!

That is not to say that Christians should not help others. We should never help those who demand it because their heart still belongs to Satan. We are to serve those who serve Christ. Rather than those seeking reparations demanding what is not theirs, they should look to the One who provides.

Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying it well: "Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime." He didn't say anything about giving him a free education. He favored equal chances, and did not guarantee equal outcomes.

What must blacks do? Serve! What must we all do? Serve! If we're busy serving God and others, it's not on us that we focus. We should all be God-centered and he will provide. In fact, the Abrahamic Covenant is for those who obey God's decrees, they will prosper. Prosperity comes from serving!
 Mark 9:35 ( ESV) "And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Consciousness

I've discussed the conscience earlier (http://kentuckyherrin.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-conscience.html.) However, the conscious is an entirely different entity. It is not a faculty but awareness. The two are not interchangeable. However, the conscience does work in the milieu of the conscious because moral judgments (the conscience) requires awareness. To make this easier reading, as the psychologists do, we shall refer to conscience for moral judgments and consciousness for awareness.

Consciousness is a state of mind which, as mentioned before, is awareness. That implies that there is another state of mind. That is unconsciousness or the lack of awareness. Unconsciousness is when the subject fails to respond to outside stimuli. Of course, when the mind is unconscious there are still involuntary muscle functions and responses to stimuli which means that life still exists. Automatic functioning is of the unconscious mind. Being unconscious is called comatose.

As with most things, there are degrees of consciousness -  from fully conscious to unconscious. Between those extremes lies the sub-conscious where the subject is neither conscious nor comatose. Sub-consciousness is the ability to operate beyond the realm of awareness. It's operating without being focused on the task. The sub-conscious is a layer of the consciousness of which the person is not fully aware. Freudian slips are part of the sub-conscious because people mean things without focusing on the conversation, thus, the "slip".

In Christianity, moral decisions (the conscience) are made in full awareness. For instance, shall I steal or shall I not steal? The consciousness was aware that that the conscience was in a decision-making mode. On the other hand, when people routinely sin, a decision is not made each time. As they become acclimated to a habitat of sin, sinning becomes automatic.
James 1:12 " Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16  Do not err, my beloved brethren."
When a person yields to temptation for a particular kind of sin the first time, it is a conscious decision, done in full awareness (consciousness), and our God-given moral compass is our conscience or value metric. Incidentally, that metric is the Ten Commandments.

The conscious mind makes a judgment call: Is the pleasure worth the chance of damnation. Since Christians don't get damned by a just God for one sin, the penalty for disobedience is a lesser crown, or reward, in heaven. A person opens the door to apostasy when lust is conceived from temptation by a conscious decision, and lust brings forth sin. Since lust is sin, then sin begets sin, and the sinful person lives in awareness that he or she is living in sin.

In other words, sin is compounded as it moves from one instance to many instances, resulting in automatic and routine sinning. The first time or times, sin is of the conscious. However, unconscious sin is not even possible because comatose people are, well, comatose. Routine sin is of the sub-conscious. It's the layer of the conscious where the conscience is out of focus. Conscious evaluation is not done. Sin is done in a layer outside awareness. For instance, a person lusts so often, that it becomes a lifestyle. The thief steals so much that it is no longer stealing, and even the person eats so much automatically that it no longer is recognized as gluttony.

Sub-conscious sinning is being reprobate. It is no longer of the conscience because moral values are not weighed for those who sin sub-consciously. Our very nature is to sin. Hence, children sin without remorse because they are born that way. For sin to be evaluated by the conscience, it must be brought to the level of awareness, or consciousness. That is when God convicts people of their lifestyle.

Reprobateness is routine sinning without evaluation. Thus, the reprobate are those whose lifestyle is sinful and without remorse because they sin sub-consciously. The key word is willing: are people willing to obey or do they just sin without even willing. The flesh operates mostly in the sub-conscious layer, and the spirit in the conscious.
 Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Watch and pray -  be conscious and ask for assistance.

That you don't enter into temptation - make a judgment call to stay away from danger which requires conscious thought. This is being conscientious.

The spirit is willing - it is aware and knows because the conscience convicts using God's moral code.

The flesh is weak - the person's consciousness hands sin over to the sub-conscious where Satan wants it to operate in automatic mode. That's where people do what they want to do without evaluating God's will. That is a dangerous place to be!

Willing is in the consciousness because willingness is the decision to do God's will. To be willing we must stay aware - or be sober which is to operate with consciousness.
1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour..."
I'm fully convinced that since drugs and alcohol removes inhibitions, they take the conscience out of consciousness, and this allows the flesh to do what it will in the sub-conscious. Being sober is being aware, always in consciousness. Vigilance is having a keen eye on the barbs of Satan. That is being on the watch for his deception. Satan's way is to avoid the conscience which is in the level of the conscious, and put behavior in the sub-conscious -  sin as a lifestyle and without aforethought.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hearing: More Than the Audible

Romans 10:14 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
For faith to come about there are things prerequisite: unbelief - preacher sent - preaching - word of God - hearing - faith. The roadblock to faith is failure to hear. There may be a preacher but the unbeliever must listen to the word. If it is heard, then God gives the gift of faith. What must the unbeliever do to be saved? Hear.  Of course one can hear without listening.
Mark 4:22  "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. 23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given."
Hearing without considering is spiritual deafness. In order to truly hear God's word, it must be considered. We must do another thing; that is evaluate what we are hearing, and then apply it to ourselves. This is called reasoning.
Acts 17:2 "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures..."
Paul was the greatest preacher outside of Christ- ever. Many places such as this, Paul reasoned with those to whom he preached out of scriptures. He used what we call the Old Testament to reason, not only with the Jews but the Greeks.

Reason is the most important tool of a preacher. Reasoning is the process of invoking the mind of others to think, understand, and make judgments about what they hear. Logic is the tool of persuasion the preacher uses to convince those hearing. Logic is using facts to persuade. Jesus was astute at that. His main tool was the use of parables. He used everyday things to convince people. By using parables, he presented the facts without offending he hearer. Nathan used that process so that King David could convict himself.

 The bases for having to preach and judge is truth:
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..."
Nobody wants to hear that because it is offensive to them. It's a hard pill to swallow, and basically implies that you come short of God's expectations -  you are a failure! To be honest, no one wants to hear something negative; that's why Joel Osteen tickles their ears with positive Christianity. However, without judgment, conviction never comes. Indeed, the preacher is obligated to say, you are a sinner. That  obligation makes the preacher out to be a bad guy. If the hearer listens, it is not only him who has failed God, but all, for all have sinned. That is an easier pill to swallow.

Sinners like to think, I've been good. The preacher's job is to reason with them by answering that, no you have not for only God is good, and that by breaking even one command anyone is as guilty as if they had broken them all. The Ten Commandment's use is to convince sinners that all have sinned. Obedience to the Ten Commandments is not necessary for salvation, but disobedience of them is the necessary infraction which leads to salvation. The logic the preacher must use is that since you are a sinner, and the penalty for sin is death, you need redemption.

It follows that since you, the sinner, merely thinks you're God, you're not. Since you can't save yourselves, then you need Jesus for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and by Him only can you be saved. People act as if they are God. They want what they want and when they want it. People even make futile attempts to save themselves by obedience. Only Jesus saves. Everyone else must hang on the cross, and be crucified symbolically by presenting themselves a living sacrifice. That is the promise of change, or going from the flesh to the spirit.

The highest roadblock to salvation is the obstruction of change. People like how they are and what they do. They like their own beliefs, valid or not. They love themselves, and the change is to love God more than the self - with all our minds, hearts, and spirits. That too is a tough pill to swallow. The preacher must preach that but few are willing to change!

We all will fail, but God doesn't look at our failures. He looks at our will. Are you willing to change? Jesus already knows that if you are willing, Satan will step in to try to change your mind. He offers pleasant and beautiful things. Those are temptations. Our flesh likes those things, but if the spirit is willing, the weakness of the flesh can be overcome by God's assistance. He gives sinners the armor to fight off the barbs of Satan! Whenever the preacher preaches, the devil argues with your soul. He impedes logic and short-circuits reasoning.

So you see, hearing is essential in order to reason. Listening is the processing of what we hear. That too is essential to reason. When we hear, we must reach conclusions using the logic presented. All that reasoning, if the preacher uses good logic, should be: I need Jesus.