Monday, September 18, 2017

TRAILER FOR MY NEW BOOK:


How to Be Sorry

"Sorry" is what my parents called no-good people. We think of "sorry" as having feelings of regret or sympathy for one's loss. What is less used is "sorry" meaning deplorable. It would appear that those who neglect to have sorrow for wrongs which they have done are deplorable. I guess, in Hillary Clinton's view, us "basket of deplorables" should be sorry, but are not. There are many deplorables out there, and they are not those of whom Hillary was speaking.

There are those who are spiritually sorry people. Ironically, they are not sorrowful! To be a candidate for eternal life, there is a huge pre-requisite: one must be sorry for what they have done. Those who never arrive at this spiritual place are called reprobate - a sinner who can never admit to wrong-doings, and consequently never says "I'm sorry."
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
Reprobates belong to Satan. It is their own or the Devil's will which they do without remorse. They are spiritual psychopaths. Some atheists seem to be loving people.  They may love others, but they detest even their Unknown god, the one that they deny exists. Even their "love" of others is feigned, because they cheer-lead for their eternal destruction. The ultimate love is caring that others never face Hell or even eternal nothingness. Everyone's hope should be that there is a Heaven, and desire that all should go. With that said, atheists don't even love their own souls but only a portion of themselves - their flesh. How then, can they love others? Ultimately, they don't.

Even most who claim to be Christians are reprobates. They indeed believe but fail to feel sorrow for their sins. All have offended God but few actually feel sorry for the offense. Christians need to do some things - to feel sorrow, repent, and trust Jesus. Most never trust Jesus because if they even repented it was without sorrow. Sorrow with if not heart-felt is counterfeit sorrow. Those who were never truly sorry for their sins are counterfeit "Christians".  They are comfortable with being deceived but God has no plan for their eternal peace:
Matthew 7:23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
God doesn't know those who fail to feel sorry and repent. If God doesn't know them, neither does the person know oneself. God's retort is that He never knew you as His child, but deep down, the unrepentant person knows himself well! If you are adopted by God, you will know it!

What does it take to be born-again?
2 Corinthinas 7:10 "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter."
"Godly sorrow" is regret for sinning against God. It doesn't work thinking: Lord forgive me for what I'm about to do, but forgive me for what I have done. The former lacks sorrow; the latter must be declared in sorrow. To repent requires heart-felt regret. Most people look back, and never regret their sin, but have fond remembrance, just as Lot's wife did in fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah:
Genesis 19:26 "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
Lot's wife had no regrets. She looked back at all the sin which had been there, and longed for it! Because she wasn't sorry for what she had done, God turned her into a pillar of salt. It is believed that she is now part of the Dead Sea. The faithful who turned away from sin, moved on to paradise - the land of milk and honey, and into Canaanland. Lot's wife missed the promised "salvation" because she wasn't sorry that she had been living in sin.

As Paul said in the passages above, there is a step by step process in being born-again - sorrow, repentance, and salvation. This may come on in an instant or with time, but until one comes in touch with their spiritual deprivation, salvation can't come about. It doesn't have to be in a church and at an altar, but that is certainly a great placed to be saved!

Once a person is convicted, guilt ensues. That emotion of guilt emits sorrow. Satan kicks into high gear; he immediately tries to tell the sinner never to feel guilt. However, guilt must be accepted and emoted before one can repent of it. Those who say that guilt is of Satan are deceived! We are guilty and must feel guilty to have sorrow. One is not saved by skipping any of those steps!

Right now, most "Christians" are not true disciples of Christ because they've never been truly sorry. In a spiritual sense, love is having to say that you are sorry, and sorry you must be! Repentance without being sorry is lip-service to God. To access heaven above we can't skip steps. There is one Gate to Paradise and it is guarded by Cherubim. The password is "repentance" and that is done when you are and tell God that you're sorry!

What is it that for which you should be sorry? For living in sin, which caused Jesus to be crucified in your place. If you are reprobate, then Christ was crucified for nothing, as far as you are concerned. Without sorrow, people crucify Jesus again and again. It is our own "self" which is to be a living sacrifice because Jesus has already done that once and for all!
Hebrews 10:10 "... we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
Whereas the priest offered sacrifices for the sins of the people each year, Jesus cleaned us from sin (sanctified us), with sacrificing Himself one time for everybody. We must have sorrow enough to repent when we think of Jesus on the cross in our place. It wasn't just a man who died that day; the truth is that God our Creator and loving Father chose to die in our place! That is grace. That is divine love. In order to trust God, we must have enough faith to say, "God,  I wronged you, and beg for forgiveness."  We should never be too prideful to beg God. Begging is an outward sign of true sorrow. A fleeting thought doesn't demonstrate much need for repentance. Like Paul, I too am a chief sinner, and so are you! We must feel sorry for that.






Friday, September 15, 2017

Following Your Heart

How often do we hear,  follow your heart! What does that even mean? Briefly, it is to follow your instincts. Generally, it is the first instinct which crosses one's mind. People generally think that the first is the best but usually is one, if not, the worst!

Instinctual behavior is what comes naturally. It is mitigated without conscious thought. Does that sound dangerous? It is! Following the heart is the pathway to danger. It is essentially  behaving according to irrational emotions. Generally, the thought is, I want that, or I deserve that. In order to get things they desire, people do what is right in their own eyes. That is instinctual, and is original sin working in the sub-conscience.
Deuteronomy 12:8 “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes—"
Then, the next verse tells why: it is not God's will which you are doing!

There are three wills: (1) God's will, (2) Satan's will, and (3) your will. Until you are born-again, your will matches Satan's because he is Prince of the Air. That it the old person. The born-again person is to have their will match God's will. That is the new person with a changed attitude. The "former self" follows his heart because that satisfies Satan, but the "new self" follows God's heart. The perfect example is from scripture:
Acts 13:22b "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will."
This is so clear! We are to follow God's heart; not our own. That is doing God's will! Look where David's own heart got him. He lusted - an instinct, he had her, and he killed her husband! Thinking he was following his own heart, he was serving two masters! David was foolish to follow his instincts because they got him into severe trouble! What should he have done? Do God's will, not his own!
Matthew 6:9b "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
The will is hidden away in the secret places. We do our own will easily, but doing God's will takes effort. It's the difference between following our own heart - lusts, or God's will for us. Scripture even tells us what to do with our hearts:
Deuteronomy 10:16 "Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer."
"Stiff-necked" is stubbornly following your own heart!  We are to cut that instinctual desire off, and give it to God. What are we to do with the desires of the heart?
Romans 12:1a "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice..."
We are to not only have a change of heart but actually present the old heart - or nature, to God!

Those who follow Christ, cease to follow their own instincts :
Galatians 5:24 "And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
 As such, if Christians are truly Christ's, they quit following their own heart, and hang it on the cross right next to Jesus!

What did David do? He didn't have to do what Jesus did, but what Jesus did for him:
Psalm 51:10a "Create in me a clean heart, O God..."
That should be clear: quit following your own heart, and follow the new cleaner heart which God provides. It's doing His will, not thy will!

In fact, the motto of Satanism is: Do what thou wilt! For those who are a little slow, that means: following your own heart!

We must be careful what we say. People may actually do foolish things! Following your heart is a stupid thing to do, and Christians need to quit saying that! That instinct is for the world. In fact, what was it that Eve did when she ate the forbidden fruit. She followed her own heart. She tried to blame the serpent but he only put the thought there. She was doing what she willed - following her heart's desires!

It was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Strange, how with all that new knowledge, she did what was evil. Why? She was listening to falsehoods. She was not thinking with wisdom. The serpent was imploring: follow your heart. God, whose Tree they should have stood under, cried that day, and the pair were punished for following their own hearts. Because of that original sin, men are sill following their own hearts, and doing what they wilt!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Story of My Life

I was conceived in sin: My father and mother pleasured in my making.
Although born in sin, God so loved me. I am part of the world He loves.
God knows me well. He knew me even in the womb. I was planned by Him.
My parents planned me not, but without regard of that, I was God's plan.
God knows the hairs of my head. He knows me better than I know myself.
I'm asked to search me so that I know myself as well as God knows me.
When I search, what I find is frightening. I found sin dwelling within me.
Now I know what God knows. I have found the source of evil. It is not good.
Evil dwells within me. There is none without sin. The world and me are one.
God knew that. He had a plan. Because He loved me so, he made the plan.
He desired that I should not perish; he wanted eternal life for me.
God desired that I life forever. Satan that I should be forever dying.
God called me to come to him. He stood at my door and knocked.
God knocked hard to awaken me from my sleep? I was awakened!
God knocked with His own flesh. It was no One else who knocked.
God's own Son beaconed me. He came to awaken me from my sleep.
The hand that rapped was of flesh. The Son of  Man knocked.
Jesus knocked on my soul. There was no welcome mat there.
Jesus so loved me that He knocked anyhow. Time after time he knocked.
"No one is at home!" I said with my silence, but He knew better!
"Answer my call," Jesus said. "You have sinned, and I have seen it!"
I thought no one had. I thought no one cared. Jesus cares when I sin!
"You are going to Hell!" some honest demon screamed from my soul.
It was the soul on which Jesus knocked - my cup which held evil instead.
"I am the Way," Jesus spoke softly. "Please stand beneath my Tree!"
I considered pleasure instead. The other tree was hanging full of it.
That I knew. I saw pleasure, but the other Tree I could not see.
It was there all the time, but I was blind, even as my eyes were open.
When Jesus knocked, I could hear. I heard His knock. It was Truth knocking.
The wind, it seemed, swept the door open a crack. I could see!
Truth was standing at my door. Truth revealed to me my iniquity.
Iniquity is ugly, yet it lived within me. My soul was filled with it.
Sin was revealed, I saw Jesus. I screamed! Never fearing, but relieved.
The demon within me trembled in fear. I had ears but never heard before.
Now I plainly heard what was always there - the gate is narrow.
The narrow Gate is by faith in Jesus. He is the Way that I must walk.
Thus, I came to two paths - my way was one, and His Way was another.
Then suddenly Light shined forth, and I chose my path. I died that day!
In death I lived again! When Truth slapped me hard, I awakened.
The slap killed my old self, but not before I made a living sacrifice.
I died right there on the Cross beside Jesus. I was the thief who believed.
My cross wasn't of wood. It was once on Calvary. My Cross was the Tree.
The Tree of Life bore my sins. All of them! Some as yet to be sinned.
The Tree's juices flowed. He cried. The lashes on the bark bled for me.
The Tree cried real tears. Just as in the Garden, He felt so alone.
Even His Father seemed to have left the Tree all alone!
"Why does no one stand under my Tree?" Jesus thought?
He thought that in the Garden. He thought that on Calvary.
Jesus came home to die. He died in the midst of God's Garden.
Come home. Come home! Jesus died at home - the foundation of peace.
But the Tree ascended as the Garden must have. It stands by the River.
By the River of God the Tree still stands - in the City of God.
Because Jesus died, we are set free. I am free. Jesus blood bought that.
Not because of good, but grace bought my liberty. The Tree bled for me.
I answered His call, and he filled my cup. His spirit flowed into my soul.
God died for me. He was not another. God was nailed to that tree.
It was me who hammered the spikes. You and I hammered together.
I knew not what I was doing, and he blamed me not. He still died for me!
I can hear His Voice. He walks in the cool of the evening.
Jesus walks in His Garden. It's still at the foundation of peace.
He is walking as he smiles on me - from His home in New Jerusalem.
Jesus stops by a golden door and taps softly on the lentel.
"This is your room! I prepared it for you!"  he gleams.
Back home with Him in the Garden. Him and me together again!





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

On Jealousy

This particular sin is hidden in the Ten Commandments - right there within coveting. One may say, "That's not coveting because rather than wanting what is mine, my desire is to keep my own!"  The thought is reasonable but wrong: jealousy is coveting. How so? There are coveting after things, and coveting after people. You might say, "I don't covet my neighbor's spouse, my mate does." Effectually, what you covet is what the neighbor's spouse has. He or she has the attention of your mate. Therefore, the jealousy is the attention being received by the one who is the object of the jealousy.

What are the attributes which one has to make another jealous? It can be anything, but usually it is sexual appeal or outward beauty. Sometimes, it is an amicable personality or camaraderie.. Whatever the attribute, Satan and his powers use those attributes to create an atmosphere of jealousy!

Jealousy is of God, but it's misuse is Satan's. In fact, God is a jealous God! (Exodus 20:5). He hates it when his lovers turn to another lover, and fornicate - in a spiritual sense of course. Therefore, jealousy has spiritual and emotional components. The emotional has an affect on the spiritual, and Satan uses that to create chaos in the lives of people. When mates have animosity toward one another, they are doing what Satan desires, except, of course, for righteous jealousy.

Just as God is jealous that people have other gods, people are jealous when they perceive that their mate has a person who is the object of their affection. That is a natural emotion to have because of original sin. I'm not even suggesting anything lascivious, but even friendships. Because husband and wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend, are the best of friends, they are intimidated by those of the opposite sex who have a seemingly better friendship. Many people reject that idea and pay the price; it is difficult to have opposite sex friendships because of marital unity. A third party can triangulate that unity in marriage or courtship. We've all have made that mistake!

It is better to have a marriage in unity than close friends which remove the unity from the marriage. The same goes for those who are dating. True; some can do that. For instance, my son's "best friend" at his wedding was Mary, who was indeed, his best friend. There are exceptions to everything, and that must be remembered, but it is based on the emotional security of all involved. Mary felt no attraction for Jason except for philio love, and Jason felt the same toward Mary. Amanda examined this friendship, was secure in the love that she had, and didn't feel threatened. I've seen that same scenario in divorced couples. A new friendship scenario is built with an ex-spouse, new spouse, and the other spouse. However, it is a rare thing, and all parties must be secure. Insecurity is what Satan uses to dissolve unity!

Insecurity is the feeling of being threatened. Because a couple is "one", an outsider increases the possibility that a relationship of one may become three.  One of the couple feels threatened. That is normal. In fact, if there isn't a little jealousy in a relationship, there exists two possibilities: (1) It is not a relationship based on love, or (2) the pair have a supernatural ability to trust.

My thought regarding jealousy and trust is that if one person of the couple is willing to breach the bond, that the other person be willing to release him or her, but only if one is not committed to retaining the relationship.

I've exposed the demon! Jealousy is the lack of trust - not having confidence that the other is truthful, reliable, and has fidelity. To ensure my own trust, because I know the power of Satan, I wrote several pages of marriage vows in addition to those in the formal marriage rites. Why? Because I know how powerful Satan is, the thorns people have in their flesh, and that the world is a provocative place. We all may be tempted with any type of pleasure, and I wanted my defenses to be in place. If in any relationship, that defense is not established under God, Satan has a target for his barbs.

Extreme jealousy is psychologically delusional jealousy - suspicion to the degree that a person is often pre-occupied with the infidelity - even emotional attachment of their mate without any proof. Essentially, the one deluded feels so threatened - being insecure, that he or she builds a falsehood. The person creates a mental image of something which is not there, at least in the magnitude they envision.

If the jealous person is jealous of the friendship, it may actually be a friendship, but that is not reason for jealousy. The way to combat friendships is to be a better friend. Those deluded fight friendships with isolation and negativity. That's not what God wills, but is the outcome of manipulation by invisible forces. God wants man and wife to be exceptional friends. Friends trust each other by definition!
Colossians 3:12 "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."
Christians are to do God's will! What is that? Re-read the above scripture. Kindness, longsuffering, and forgiveness are paramount. Longsuffering is failing to give up easily; having patience in the face of trouble. It is Satan's will that we give up easily. After all, that is the way of the world.

Relationships are built on unitizing two worlds. I define an individual's world as the boundary around them including their personal space. When two people unite, the gravity - the seriousness of the venture, brings these two worlds into collision. Satan uses the collision as a means to destroy. On the other hand, God takes the two, if His will is done, and makes it one larger world encompassing the two. Satan's method is to create enough chaos to make those world's collide. Satan is persistent; he never gives up. Just when the two worlds are operating smoothly in one sphere, the Devil shoots one of his barbs. Jealousy is a very effective and fatal barb!

How does jealousy work? Person X shows interest in Person Z. Perhaps X notices the beauty, personality, or grace of another - usually with a member of the opposite sex. Person Y, the mate, wants that attention as their own. That is reasonable. But then Satan puts erroneous thoughts in Y's head, and a bizarre world is created where the world of X and Z become one. X and Z, in this fantasy, are a new world, and Y is left alone. isolated in their own world. Unity seems to be broken and animosity abounds. Y begins to be jealous of Z, and distrusts X without regard for reality. With time, mistrust turns into disgust and hatred, and Satan smiles. What God has joined together, the Devil puts asunder. He is patient in his timing. After all, his end is further away than ours.

Ironically, in Y's created isolation and frame of mind, distrust may push X further away. Of course, if X understands the nature of sin, he or she will be longsuffering as well.

Delusional jealousy is based on partial truth, coupled with deception. The best way for Y to stay in unity with X is to have the relationship which Y manufactured in the mind -  the one X and Z seem to have in Y's mind.

Delusional jealousy is pathological and can lead to emotional illness. Stress is the outcome and misery comes with it. Some of the symptoms of delusional jealousy are ("Extreme Jealousy Disorder In Relationships | Retroactive Jealousy OCD". Retroactive Jealousy Crusher. 2016-10-13; parentheses mine):
  • Accusing partner of looking or giving attention to other people.
  • Questioning of the partner's behavior.
  • Interrogation of phone calls, including wrong numbers or accidental phone calls, and all other forms of communication.
  • Not allowing any social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter (or watching closely).
  • Going through the partner’s belongings.
  • Always asking where the partner is and who they are with.
  • Isolating partner from their family and friends.
  • Not letting the partner have personal interests or hobbies outside the house. (or limiting).
  • Controlling the partner's social circle.
  • Claiming the partner is having an affair when they withdraw or tries to escape...
  • Accusing the partner of holding affairs when the marriage's sexual activity stops...
  • Verbal and/or physical violence (or attitudes) towards the partner, the individual who is considered to be the rival, or both.
  • Blaming the partner and establishing an excuse for jealous behavior.
  • Denying the jealous behavior unless cornered.
  • Threatening to harm others or themselves (harm may be emotional revenge).
Relationships in Holy Matrimony are symbolic of the bond between the bridegroom and His bride - Jesus and the Church. If Satan can only break the marriage, he is well on his way to breaking the spiritual marriage between X and Y with God. Therefore, the way to have fidelity to each other is to remain faithful to God. When there is perilous times, God is the bridge over troubled waters! Trying to combat Satan on one's own is dynamiting the bridge after Satan has sneaked across. He is certainly more powerful than we are - unless we take the sword which God handed us - the Word.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Marriage: All About Jesus

It occurred to me one day that the Old Testament Scripture is all about Jesus. Where did I get that notion? From John Chapter 1. If the Word (Jesus) was there in the beginning, as John wrote, where was He? His Voice spoke throughout scripture, starting with his first Words:
Genesis 3:1 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
When God said, that was the Voice speaking His Word. Then God, as it was explained, divided the light from the darkness. Hence, darkness is  the absence of light. Much later John explained further:
 John 1:4 "In Him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
Back in the beginning the Light who shined from darkness was He who would be Jesus. I don't use become because as God, Jesus always Is. God revealed Himself on the first day. To whom? To all those who came thereafter. God showed Himself the first thing, but darkness shadowed Him. However, He was first seen by man when the Word spoke aloud:
Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Ironically, the first Words Emmanuel (Jesus) spoke to mankind was "Be fruitful and multiply." That was their blessing. By grace mankind was commanded to replicate himself. We find out later:
John 8:31 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, "If ye continue in my word (light), then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Truth and light are the same since the Word spoke truth. Deception is darkness, and is the absence of truth. Since making new disciples was so important that the Word first ordained that, then I believe the first sin was when our forebears usurped that decree. Since all have sinned, including Cain, then Cain was not conceived before the first sin. Scripture validates that as you shall see. As such, Adam and Eve did other things before they obeyed Emmanuel's first words: they had pleasure from eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.

Since, in shame, they covered their instruments of sexuality, it would appear that their eating of the fruit may have been sexual pleasure. In essence, Jesus told them the first thing: to multiply, and instead, it was likely that they enjoyed each other. They used each other for pleasure without regard to pro-creating. Since, this quest for sexual gratification has been one big thorn in the loins of mankind. Indeed, putting oneself before God violates the First Commandment.

God picked a virgin (Mary) to manifest Himself. Before, He was Light, and afterward he became flesh. He was both Son of Man and Son of God. The virgin was picked so that Jesus would be born without sin, indicating the sinfulness of sexual pleasure. I pointed out earlier that David was conceived in iniquity (Psalm 51). That may mean either of two things or both: (1) He carried original sin - which he certainly did, or (2) that sexual pleasure, rather than purposeful replication, is sinful. I believe it was intended that sex be entirely for reproduction, and that pleasure was the way it was induced. Not that pleasurable sex is sinful, but is so when it comes before the will of God.

Emmanuel (pre-incarnate Jesus) said first: "multiply", yet even though people do multiply, the first reason most often is for pleasure. Now, the sexual pleasure principle is part our genetic make-up, and God understands. Just as he once overlooked polygamy, He surely overlooks mutual enjoyment in the bonds of Holy Matrimony.
Genesis 4:1 "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.”
Right after their fall, Adam and Eve had sex for a purpose. Then enlightened, Eve said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Their sexual pleasure was for God's purposes. She did what Emmanuel commanded - she multiplied, and did it for the Lord! She put God's will above her own desire.

They were doing what Emmanuel told them in the beginning. He even told them how:
Genesis 2:24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Of course, Adam and Eve were children of God, the "dust" being their mother, but this passage was obviously for all who were to follow! Adam and Eve became one flesh as they consummated Cain. They were doing the multiplication which Emmanuel commanded.

One flesh, or sexual knowledge, is an ordinance of Jesus. Catholics say it is a sacrament, and I wouldn't even argue with that. Not that it is saving, but that it is obedience. That ordinance is Holy Matrimony. The biggest problem with adultery is that there is no longer one flesh, but three separate fleshes. Adultery is for gratification, and not for replication. Adultery is just like the original sin - having pleasure for wrong reasons! It is likely that adultery is not for bearing children, but providing pleasure.

I am divorced. Jesus didn't give any loopholes during his ministry for violating the marriage covenant. I did one time, and He has forgiven me, but I can never play games with what God wills, and Jesus commanded. Even his forgiveness of that first sin was hard to endure for me, because I knew it was so wrong. Because I proceeded with my own will - neglecting God's will, God forgot my sin but I never will! As David said, "My sin is always before me!" We should never forget our sins, but recall them in remembrance of Him. When I take the juice and wafer, it is serious business. I remember that Jesus forgot my sin, and I do that to remember why Jesus died for me!

To sin at will is not why Jesus came to die. It was to save us from sins past and keeping us from future sins. He didn't die that we can sin, but so that we need not!

I take marriage seriously. Every moment of it is by grace. Satan attempts to snatch it away but I must stand fast against his barbs. Jesus himself want's marriage to be forever. Who am I to supersede His will?

Monday, September 11, 2017

You've Been Blocked

We all hate those awful words: "You've been blocked!" There is one way to avoid that - to be a true friend. Those who have been ejected from the lovely world of Facebook to the wilderness of real life know the hardships lying out there! Just think, outside Facebook people are on their own. It's a tough world out there, but perhaps there is a way to get back in.

Being obnoxious, belligerent, hateful, arrogant, or self-righteous can get people ejected. Maybe Facebook itself won't act, but another person may. Maybe you'll still be on Facebook but not part of it. "Woe is me!" you think. "I have few friends"  As you  enter into the real world without the comfort of your Utopia, you glance back. There is an invisible despot who wants you out. The entryway back in is guarded by a giant digital gremlin. You feel so alone!

There is a reason for this madness! Facebook is entirely insignificant, but people live for it. It has rules and everyone obeys, or gets kicked out. Sometimes, when even one person "unlikes" you, you are removed from their "wall". At a bare minimum, a gremlin just causes you to not be "followed". You sense that you have been dismissed, but there is no way to know for sure. People may hate you slyly. Given all the drama there, people still want to have their place on Facebook.

Facebook is a trivial example, but there is a case that is not so trivial. In fact your life - eternal life, depends on it. I'm speaking of when Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden - on not so good terms. Because they "hurt" God, God allowed them to live, but live outside his hedge of protection. Outside Eden is the wilderness where temptation thrives. God won't allow evil to kill their soul, but their flesh could be tempted. The soul, because they were ashamed and sorry, was protected by God, and was "safe", but Satan and his fallen angels could attack the soul through the flesh.

Outside the Garden was the world. That's where Satan reigns. I can see Adam and Eve now as they dutifully walk through the Gate where no man had been before, oh so sorry that that had disappointed their Father. This new adventure was as a slave in "Egypt", and their Pharoah was the Devil himself. For him they would toil, but they could not go back into the Garden for it was guarded:
Genesis 3:23 "Therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
To hell there are many gates. Satan stands at each one with a welcome sign. Satan doesn't stand in the Garden but adjacent to it, because the world lies between the Garden and Hell. Satan's self-appointed task is to tempt man to take any one of his gates to Hell, but he must not kill man. This is the test of God. Satan is His mere valet, doing only what God allows him to do.

For those who pass the test - that is live for God until their demise, have one password to return to the Garden. That word is what God is called, and only his disciples know to speak it from their hearts. It's not merely saying the password, but trusting that He will do what he says He will do. The password is entry by the name of Jesus. He is the straight gate to re-enter the Garden which few will enter. There are no back entrances or other passwords. There is only one Gate and it is guarded by God's own "gremlins". They are real and trusty angels who wield a flaming sword. They allow no one to enter except those who are born-again as Sons of God, for the Garden is the kingdom of God.

The Garden was beautiful, and everything there thrived. There were no buildings because there was nothing to fear. When Adam and Eve left, what happened to the Garden? Perhaps it ascended to the third heaven where Jesus ascended so many years later. There the Word still speaks in a loving Voice, and is the Tree by the River of God. That river is the headwaters from which the other rivers flow. I am implying for those looking for the Garden, that it is no longer where it was but now in Glory - the presence of God. You see, Glory is where God Is, and he dwelt in the Garden and must still, because that is His realm.

In the Garden were two people. There was no need for much, but in Glory there is a city - the City of God. Since our forebears left, God has prepared a place for many - not most, but a City with a Mansion. There are two rooms already taken by Adam and Eve. They went home when they died. There are many more rooms. One is for me. One may be for you!

When the earth is cleansed again - next time by fire, this City will return form whence it came. I believe the Garden stood in Jerusalem - the foundation of peace, because peace will return to earth from whence it came. The City of God, the New Jerusalem will come home to where it was. Right now where that awful Golden Dome stands, a New Temple will be built. It will house the throne of God. The earth will be more than his footstool, but the seat of peace. In One, three will sit on that throne. God will be there, but we'll see Jesus and be comforted by His Holy Spirit! We will finally see God face to face; at least some will. The question is: "Will that be you?"

The Garden is certainly not Facebook. That heresy was used just to get your attention! Some are sad with the drama of that fantastical fictional world, but Heaven and Hell are real! Dismissing our thoughts from reality by living in a Facebook fantasy doesn't make things less real. We need to get out and experience life, and experience God. If people were as dedicated to God as they are to Mark Zuckerberg, then God would not shed tears for us.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bearing Each Others Burdens

There is great disagreement with the last two hurricanes and western forest fires. There are two thoughts on these things: (1) Things just happen, or (2) things happen for a reason - a divine purpose. Some think that the end of time is approaching.
Matthew 24:3 "... what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”  4 And Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many. 6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.'"
Some say that the change in weather pattern, and the violence of the weather, are signs of the end of times. Of particular concern are the flood waters coming with the hurricanes; as in the days of Noah. Of course, the days of Noah is when everyone became evil in the sight of the Lord. The waters were strictly for cleansing sin from the earth! Death came about but the waters were for the good of  the world.

Written in Matthew 24:35 lies the real danger! The troubles which follow are merely outcomes of rebellion. They are a result of mankind's break with God - when he gives up on the Abrahamic Covenant: Essentially, that covenant is obey me and prosper; fail to obey me and be destroyed. False Christianity is the deal-breaker with God because Christ is the ultimate prosperity that God promised in the covenant.

Are the natural catastrophes the signs of the end of times? It would seem that the falling away from Christ is the ultimate sign. We are in that era when the Church is neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. We are in the days when God will vomit the false church just as we would rotten meat! It's not Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey that we should fear, but those who denigrate Jesus name! The ramblings of Jennifer Lawrence scare me. The positive Christianity of Joel Osteen scares me. The apostasy of mainstream denominations make me tremble!

Are, then, the hurricanes just a result of physical forces? Has God created us, then removed Himself from our presence? Or is everything of God?
Jeremiah 10:13 "When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, He brings the wind out of His treasuries.'”
 As you can see, God did not create and abandon, as Deists believe. God is an active and personal God who does all things for us. He does the good and allows the evil. He shows his pleasure with the rainbow and his disdain with the winds. He grumbles with the rumblings of earthquakes and smiles with a gentle mist of rain. In other words, God still reigns!

Why, then, Harvey and Irma? Look at the timing and look at the outcome. God is not ready for the end yet. We are not fully in the days of Noah! God is a patient God who bears with his children, even those who are prodigal. He washes us clean with His spiritual water at times, and even more obviously with earthly waters.

Look at the hatred, especially among the seed of Abraham, right here in America. The country that was founded on the will of God, is in chaos. Satan is having his way - fornicating with us, and we blindly follow and allow his rape. Truly, since the days before Americans fought each other, has animosity and antagonism not been greater! I can vouch for that in my lifetime.

We aren't nearly there yet, but we are hell-bound to the days of Noah. God does many things to turn us around. He used the Great Depression to bring the world back to God. Many came back to him for a few years, but have forgotten his blessings so soon! Now, even though this nation has been blessed - God's half of the covenant, America has not obeyed. We have broken the truce with God, and He seems to be very disappointed! Why then natural catastrophes?
Romans 15:1 "We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves."
Americans, even the world, have recently and abruptly, ceased the hatred; for a spell at least, and started bearing one another's burden. Even the extremists have given their hatred a sabbatical for a time, and the media has quit the division. Now, rather than division, even the media is talking unity! Politicians are getting together for the good of America - the good which God wrought.

Rather than each being for themselves, Americans seem to be bearing each others burdens. We see good things happening: blacks helping whites, and whites helping blacks. We see people assisting each other without regard to politics or who runs the government. We see the appreciation of our leaders trying to do what is right, and our leaders doing what is right for a time. Rather than destroying us by water, which God said he would never do again, he is still washing hatred clean with turbulent waters.
Genesis 9:11 "Thus I establish My covenant with you: 'Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.'” 
That is the Noahic Covenant. Thus, the flood waters coming from the hurricanes are not against us, but for us! God is using the winds and the waters to bring us together. I would say that He has accomplished what He set out to do. If you think that it is all bad because people have died, God does things which are for the benefit of mankind. He looks at death differently than we do: for him death is the start of life.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Joy

I was wondering this morning. Paul had a difficult job - preaching to those who despised him because of Jesus. Was Paul joyful? I wondered. I searched his writings, and Paul spoke often of joy. This one answered my question entirely:
2 Corinthians 2:4 "I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation."
Paul was stressed out because of oppression and persecution. However, he said so himself, "I am exceedingly joyful!" It occurred to me that Paul celebrated when he was persecuted. Why would that be? Perhaps, he was making quite an impression on those who heard him.

When truth is taught, there are just a few available responses:
  • Accept the truth.
  • Ignore the truth.
  • Consider it without being convinced.
  • Reject the truth.
The king of Judea, Agrippa, was almost convinced by Paul:
Acts 26:28 "Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
Why would Paul be joyous? He almost convinced King Herod Agrippa! The truth struck Agrippa, but he dodged it. Rather than being sullen, Paul was jubilant. What if Agrippa had been persuaded? Then he would not have been sent to Rome to appeal to Caesar, and the Romans would not have heard the gospel! Paul was joyous that in his tribulation, it was all for the glory of God!

Sometimes, admittedly, I have little joy in my life. Why? It's because things aren't going my way. I neglect that it's God's will that is to be done, and not my own. Paul practiced God's will! It wasn't his desire to be sent to Rome, but God's. He was a prisoner, and faced tribulation. But can you see the opportunity there? He was sent to Caesar to persuade the emperor. Who gets that chance?

Was Caesar persuaded? Apparently not, but many were. On the way, even his jailers were persuaded. Rather than sullen that he failed to convince Agrippa and Caesar, Paul had joy that he could speak forthrightly to each of them. Even in decadent Rome those in charge were as fair than in "Christian" America!

I am not joyful when people dislike me. I am not joyful when I feel neglected. I'm not even joyful when people fail to read what took me hours to develop and write! Right this instant, there are those who hate me for different reasons, and it does affect my joy!

I have trouble rejoicing, even in church, knowing that fellow Christians seem to avoid me. Perhaps I'm too arrogant or whatever. I don't intend to be but people have their reasons, and it steals my joy.

Before the Holy Spirit celebrates with us, we must be of one accord (Acts 2 and elsewhere). I'm not joyful when we're not of one accord. My desire is for families to be in unity. My desire is that the Church be in unity. It is my desire that I love people, and that people love me. That's not the way Christians practice their religion, it seems, and my joy suffers.

What is the cause of having little joy in life? It's one's attitude about oneself: am I focusing on me, or on Jesus? The answer is obvious when one looks at the ministry of Paul. People hated him so much for Jesus's name that he was forced to wipe the dust from his feet and leave. Jesus was hated by his own people. The Nazarenes didn't even want to hear his preaching.

We've got it easy but where is the joy? People sing "Joy to the World" as if it's a funeral dirge. Where is my joy? I've been blessed all my life yet let a few people change that. Of course, God wants us to reconcile, and if there is not reconciliation, joy is diminished. However, if we focus on self rather than the Lord, then our joy may not return.
Philemon 1:20 "Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord.
Our joy does not come from things or others but from the Lord. Why should we rejoice if we're Christians? Not because we have it easy here, but that we have the hope of eternal life!
1 Thessalonians 2:19 "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?"

Friday, September 8, 2017

Who Killed God?

Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church....  (The people were asking for peace when the following occurred:) 21  So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. 22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.
Herod Agrippa was at the epitome of power. A great friend of the Caesar Caligua, he ruled with an iron fist in the fashion of Caligua, one of the most perverse leaders who ever lived. Even Hitler was gentler (sic) than the pervert Caligua! Every powerful person has delusions that they deserve things. In the eyes of God the one thing Herod deserved was death, both temporal and eternal!

Herod had a purpose though - it was his people who killed God, and he hated the Christians. Of course, it was the Jewish leaders who instigated the killing but the blood was on Herodian hands! (Actually, some blame Herod Atipas and some blame Pilate, but it was mankind which killed God!) Because of sin, and all men are sinners, God recognized that He must die to save his creation. Why? He so loved the world! (John 3:16).  Hatred killed God - Jesus on the cross. Those who do not love God killed Him!

Thereafter, any who reject the death of Jesus in their own place, attempt to kill God again. However, we see from the following verse that God can be killed only once:
Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all...
True, God died that day on Golgotha, the same place where sin was defeated. (It is claimed that Adam is buried  in the clefts right below!) He did die one time but that was enough to save us - all of us who believe in Him. Then, when everyone, even His disciples, believed he was dead, he arose, and I believe, rolled his own stone back so the world would know the tomb was empty. After hundreds saw him alive, he ascended into heaven, and immediately his Spirit descended. God is alive! Part of Him lives within me. Any power that I have is of God.

Then came  Fredrick Nietzsche. "God is dead, and we killed him!" He wasn't speaking of the cross. It was how the flesh still lives. The people had become as gods, which even the serpent warned! (Genesis 3:4). Nietzsche propagated the philosophy that humankind can excel by their own power. If you're wondering from where Nazi positive Christianity came,  look no further, although it has no power - and is certainly not Christian! Nietzsche borrowed from Charles Darwin, the survival of the fittest, and determined that Christians were least fit. He believed that Christians were weak because they were to God as the Roman slaves were to Caesar.

If you're discerning, you may understand where Marx's notion that religion is the opium of the people correlated well with what Nitzsche proposed. We are part of the herd following an invisible Power when we could be the power ourselves. Essentially, Nitzsche, just as Marx and Hitler, furthered the notion that we could be gods!

Nitzsche was given credit for killing God, but yet God is alive and well while Nitzsche is long dead. Unfortunately, Hitler resurrected the spirit of Nitzsche, and those in rebellion even today proliferate Hitler's doctrine out of naivete. "Stars" such as  Jennifer Lawrence - now in her glory days, are the first to deny God. Although she now bows to Nitzsche and Hitler, someday she will bow to God!

Herod was eaten with worms and died. Strangely enough, at 44 years old Nitzsche went insane, and for he was eaten up with syphilis. It is likely that his demons got to him: he once was a Lutheran theology student, and the son of a minister. Satan got to him by reading books critical of Christianity. Insanity can come from syphilis, It is surmised that he was possibly infected by homosexuals. Of course, he is now as a god in the minds of much of the world. As in the days of Hitler, his philosophy is being cleaned up and made more palatable. This man had delusions of grandeur, not only believing that he was Christ, but the antichrist as well!

How has Nitzsche been washed clean? That he was not anti-Semitic nor nationalistic. The implication is that he was not Nazi-minded. However, Nazis were Nitzsche-minded. He was the inspiration for Hitler, and Marx's philosophy was the same as his.

You see, without God, there is hatred. Nitzsche killed God in Germany. He was the hero of the German populace. Hitler merely stole the show from the dead Nitzsche, added some anti-Semitism and nationalism, and presto - the herds belonging to Nitzsche were his! When Nitzsche stole God from the people, there was no longer anyone to punish those with hatred. Godless people made killing Jews easy. Godless people made it easy for Stalin to kill Jews and Ukrainians. Nitzsche was as responsible for killing Jews as Herod was for killing God - the King of the Jews.

Dictators have always been proficient at killing kings! Nitzsche was the Dr. Frankenstein who made those dictators live. He tried to kill the King, but God still lives. Like Hitler, Nitzsche failed with his final solution - killing Jesus!

Trust

Trust is a unusual beast. If trust is mounted, she is your friend. If she is breached, the rider will be thrown much as from a wild mustang.  This mighty steed is "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

Being a Christian is trusting in the Lord: confidence in His character, will, power, and truth. Anyone who questions any of these things, fail to trust God. For instance, if God is not the Creator, He's a liar. His character, will, power, and even truthfulness is questioned! Those who fail to trust God are hateful toward Him. How is that? They don't love him enough to trust Him, which is some degree of hatred in that hatred is the lack of love. Those who mistrust God fail to love Him with all their heart, mind, and strength - which is the Greatest Commandment!

We are to love others as ourselves. with that said, we should never trust in men like we trust in Jesus.
Micah 7:5 (NKJV) 5 "Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion..."
Why so? Because all mankind are sinners, and you can be deceived by what they say. On the other hand, we must trust our spouse. Trust in that case, is the beast, and it tamed: 
Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life."
This is advice to Lemuel. However, it could as easily been advice to Sarai, Abram's wife. Because Abraham trusted the Lord, Sarah trusted her husband. You see, trust in God transforms a person who trusts into one to be trusted! Incidentally, Abram did not lie to the Egyptians about Sarai being his sister. That was allowed in those days, and she was according to Jubilees.  A good marriage, according to God, is trust! Again - why so?
1 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV)  "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
Those who truly love "believes all things" and "rejoices in truth." That, my friends, is trusting. As such, trust is a measurement of love! Conversely, lack of trust is a measure of hatred, remembering that hate is the absence of love. Those who dwell in mistrust, look for justification of their hatred. Like the egg which comes before the chicken, hatred precedes mistrust.

Mistrust creates a kind of prison. Certainly, some belong in that prison, but justice is a fair trial before the one not to be trusted is put in those invisible chains. The reason people mistrust may be that they are aware of their own untrustworthiness. Mistrust of another is the classical example of transference - redirecting one's feelings toward another. People get angry with other people when they harbor anger. People are negative toward others when they are predisposed toward negativity. People hate others when they tend to hate who they are! People fail to trust others when they know they can't be trusted.

Let's say the cop suspects that you are the thief. You look guilty, he thinks that you are, so a short cut is taken. Rather than having your day in court, since he has assumed that you are guilty, you go straight to jail. You may proclaim your innocence, but he has already built the case in his head. You are guilty and the evidence will not change his mind. Even if the real thief stepped forward, some cops would not admit they are wrong! You go to jail even though you're innocent. That is injustice. In scriptural terms justice comes from this:
Luke 6:31 "And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise."
This flows from loving others as yourself.  The cop above failed to be fair because inside he was inherently loveless. He never allowed justice to proceed. He failed to grant you the same justice that he would have enjoyed himself. As a result, this was a bad cop. He took justice in his own hands. He would have cried hard if this injustice had been against him!

Trust is a key ingredient to friendship. Of course, sometimes friends will do you wrong, but be prepared to forgive them that do! Sometimes, the one who has failed you may become your strongest ally, and the most faithful to you. Not trusting those who fail you is not forgiving, and certainly not loving. Not trusting one who has never failed you is even more unjust.




Thursday, September 7, 2017

On Prophecy

Prophecy is very real. In fact, the entire Old Testament is divine communication. It's all about Jesus before He was ever born! Prophecy's  meaning is the supernatural ability to receive and convey a message from God. (Wikipedia).  Some Church fathers, such as Irenaeus acknowledged this ability but it lay dormant until the Pentecostal Azuzu Street Revival in Los Angeles, California from 1904 to 1906. The ability to prophesy is linked very closely to the gift of speaking in tongues, referred to as glossolalia. Since both are supernatural, science has not proved nor disproved the existence of either.

I have read Azuzu Street by Frank Bartleman, who gave a first hand account of the origins of  the Pentecostal movement. The revival was led by a black minister, William J. Seymour. Seymour's belief was that speaking in tongues, and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit, are still relevant, having been done in the early church. By the evidences of these gifts, that proved the person was truly born-again. Seymour learned about glossolalia and the gifts from Charles Parham. In other words, the supernatural gifts were taught to Seymour by Parham. Since those gifts were learned from another man, it seems that their origin is not supernatural.

Parham's holiness movement commenced with divine healing accomplished by the laying on of hands. Although Jesus, and on a couple of occasions the apostles, did lay hands on those who were healed, much healing took place without that, and even remotely. The laying on of hands seems to be a method of funneling the Holy Spirit to the person who needs healing. Of course, if healing is supernatural, the Holy Spirit doesn't need the assistance of human hands. Of course, this commentary is about modern-day prophecy, and not divine healing which any Christian must believe. It is the methods which are in question, but the origins of modern day teachings on spiritual gifts are important.

Christians died for Jesus throughout the ages but they didn't speak in tongues, prophecy, or lay on hands to heal. Those things had effectually died out since the early church, not because they weren't real, but because people needed miracles in order to believe. I submit that some in the Pentecostal movement fail to believe they are born-again unless they can perform feats.
Matthew 16:1 "The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven."

Why?
1 Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom..."
In order for the Jews to believe, they always needed a wonder or miracle. For the early Church, which had much doubt about Jesus, signs and wonders were essential because of weak faith.
John 6:29 "Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? "
Miracles, signs, wonders, and the gifts, then, are very real but they are for those whose faith is weak! My faith is strong without the miracles, just as those who died for Jesus's name throughout the ages. Would an ability to heal be convenient for my faith? Indeed it may; having those gifts could lead to seeking personal glory as Simon sought with the ritual required for the Holy Spirit to imbue.
Acts 8:17 "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon (the sorcerer) saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost."
Simon missed the point! He could not receive the power for then he would get the glory - and the money. The power of the Holy Ghost is given by God, not by man. We need to be careful if what we do magnifies oneself or God!
Mark 13:22 "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."
Simon was one of those false prophets. Scripture drops him like a hot potato, but he is found everywhere in church history doing magic, and with his new-found power, even claimed to be the Son of God! People believed him because he even flew! Because there is a miracle doesn't make it from God!

The Greek word proph├ęteia is the gift of communicating and enforcing revealed truth. Isaiah revealed the coming of the Messiah, and John his coming again, along with eternal life. Prophesying the future has already been completely revealed, so the book is closed on foretelling future events (Revelation 22:18). In other words, people have already been told everything which needs telling about Jesus and eternal life! Prophecy, then comes down to revealing the truth about Jesus. My recent book "The Skull of Adam" is all about communicating the doctrines of the Holy Scripture. Therefore, if it is of God, it is revealing truth, and is prophecy. However, prophecy, if from the Holy Spirit, is one-hundred percent accurate. Anyone can guess! It is prideful to think that I understand God entirely when even the apostles failed in that. Therefore, I submit that my prophecy is merely commentary because I know that I have some of it wrong.

My point is that we should be humble in our authority. When we say that somethings is from God, we must remember that even the elect - those with the Holy Spirit, can be deceived.

God no longer speaks to mankind with an audible Voice. The Word was born, ministered, died, and is in heaven. His "Holy Ghost" is with us, but He speaks silently. That silent speech is discernment. Therefore, modern post-apostolic prophecy is toward understanding God, not divination!  God doesn't tell us anything - He reveals the truth if our mind is of one accord with His!

Divination is receiving inspiration from a "divinity" through an occultic process. It is forbidden by Holy Scripture. (Deuteronomy 18:10). We see from most scripture that divination is not revealing truth about God, but people or activities. Divination is not God-focused but on the world. False prophets use divination, not prophecy - which must be truth. Divination is used by supernatural powers to lead astray! There is a fine line between prophecy and divination, and Christians throughout the ages have steered clear of being deceived. One is of the occult; the other from God.

"God" revealed to me one time to buy a lottery ticket and share the profits with the Church. I stand corrected this day. It was not God who revealed that to me, but imposter spirits. We need to be careful what we credit God with doing!

For those who have personal revelations such as, "You are facing terrible times, God told me it would get better!" are speaking in generalities as most divination is. If what is revealed offends born-again Christians, it cannot be prophecy because the Holy Spirit reveals Himself when Christians are of one accord (Acts 2:1). If you are born again, and a prophecy is offensive, then it creates chaos, not accordance, and is more divination.

True prophecy is perhaps revealing that we're in the end of times. True prophecy is admonishing that everyone will have their day of judgement. You get the idea! That Mary is facing better things in the future isn't prophesying much of anything. That's what clairvoyants do for gain (Simonism)!

Is prophecy biblical? Sure is! Did the early church prophesy? Sure did! Was it about individuals or about God? Prophecy is about God. Believing that God will heal is faith, not prophecy.

The importance of prophesy in this age is exaggerated by those who are labeled as charismatic - those who claim to have divine power or a special God-given talent.  You must remember: that's what Simon wanted, and was even willing to pay for that talent! He wanted to be as god, as everyone before him except God Himself who IS!

"Suzie, you've had some rough times, but right now I say, 'things will get better!'" I have a fifty percent chance that I'm right. I may even claim that God told me that. However, even a monkey can guess right. Does that magnify the Lord? If not, then it is not of Him. If it tends to magnify me, then it's not of God. If I miss the prediction, then I certainly am not inspired by God, but something else. My warning is just to be careful, and if one is to err, err on the side of safety.

On the other hand, I'm careful not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. In an attempt not to be prideful, I submit that God doesn't sit in my box; He can do anything He wills to do! I won't say emphatically that personal divulgences aren't from the Holy Spirit, because scripture doesn't tell me that God no longer does those things. And, if He wants to, that is His prerogative. My concern is pointing out the danger in being enamored by wonders. We just don't need them because if we're born again, in our hearts, we know he lives!





Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Why We're Hated

Christians are hated; they have always been. In fact, when Christians were most persecuted is when the Church grew the most. When the apostate church persecuted, it grew even more! Why are Christians despised so much? Why is Jesus hated so? Let is look at a few verses which explains it all:

John 14:6 (ESV) "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. '"
Acts 4:12 (ESV) "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 
1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV) "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..."
John 3:16 (ESV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:36 (ESV) "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. "
What is the common theme not only in these passages but many more? Jesus Christ is the Way and only way to salvation - eternal life! Why does the world reject that notion? Because it is exclusive; it does exclude everyone except those who firmly believe in and accept Jesus as the way to Heaven.

During apostolic times the Roman world was an inclusive place. Therein, all religions were welcome save two. Do you chance a guess what two they were? Judaism and Christianity. Jews and Christians were persecuted because of  their notion of One True God. Because of the persecution of Christianity, it became the official religion of the civilized world. (Thank you Rome for persecuting Christians - we exist today because of your hatred for us!)
Matthew 10:22 (NKJV) And you will be hated by all for My (Jesus's) name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.  24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake."
Since Jesus's death on the cross to save the world was the greatest demonstration of love, those who deny Him as Savior are the epitome of hatred. Hatred is often disguised as love. For example, the mob in the big cities who boycott "hate" do so by hatred! In the U.S., the division is clear: the true Church, and I'm not speaking of the apostate liberal denominations, are on the side of truth, and the liberal mob utilizes deception!

Let me also point out that the "conservatives" of the KKK, the neo-Nazis and hate groups, although some speak Christian words, are not Christians in practice. Nowhere is hatred acceptable in Christianity! In fact, these hate groups are not even conservative, they are remnants of the progressive Democrat Party who admitted to being the Party of White Supremacy up until modern times! In fact, only by the mid-1960's had "White Supremacy" been removed from all the seals of all the states' Democrat Parties! The notion that the Nazis are right-wing is a label bestowed upon them by left-wing intellectuals out of fear that their form of Marxism would hurt the progressives. (Compare the Nazis to the original left-wing, the Jacobians of France's first republic).

Why do I write about the hatred against Christians at this point in time? Because it is near what it was in Roman times. Hating Christianity is in vogue because, ironically, inclusiveness is in vogue. Anything not righteous is the new correctness. Indeed, political correctness is more about spiritual correctness in that truth is obliterated so as to appease the feelings of those who are not biblical Christians. Ironically, the liberal church excludes orthodox Christians from their number. By orthodox, I mean those who adhere to the original Christian doctrine as taught in Holy Scripture.

Inclusiveness is the mantra of the world even though they hate those who exclude of Jesus's truths. For instance, Christians who oppose open borders and mass immigration are labeled haters. Trump is a "hater" in the mode of Paul since he was the most notorious evangelist for Christ in spite of his past, and likewise Trump is today. Of course, Trump is not an evangelist but does propagate truth and is truly inclusive, including Christians as those who deserve including.

Inclusiveness was originally aimed mostly at the races. Gradually, it came to include ideas, and now encompasses behaviors as well. It includes any who do what is right in their own eyes, as scripture says people did back in the days of anarchy when there were no king (Judges 17:6). In other words, that means we Christian are forced to accept the sins of the people. That is PC gone wild!

Social inclusiveness is the  "affirmative action to change the circumstances and habits that lead to (or have led to) social exclusion." (Wikipedia). Since Christianity is the institution which represents the past of most western nations, Christianity has become the anti-thesis of inclusion. Hence, "social inclusiveness" has become religious inclusiveness as well, and ironically, Christian have been excluded by the political correctness policeman! Christianity is the epitome of religious exclusiveness by the so-called "inclusive".

At a seminar, a progressive from Canada who was a disciple of the New Age Movement, told me face-to-face, that because of their exclusiveness that Christians will have to be killed! He was serious, and he directed that at me! Of course, his proposal is biblical prophecy: we will be killed for our beliefs during the New Age World at the end-of-time tribulation period:
Revelation 20:4  "I (John) saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands."
The masses will gladly accept the mark of the beast. Even the elect (many Christians) will be deceived, and they too will be marked. The rest of us will die. The marked are those who accept the ideas of the world: the global government with an ant-Christ as leader and self-proclaimed god, and the religion of the world - an ecumenical group of those called Christians, many Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and even animists and Satanists. This inclusive new world will be just as the Roman world was in the time of the Caesars, and in the same way the so-called tolerant will, as always, exclude Christians.

Ironically, Islam has been included into this elite inclusiveness revolution. (It is a spiritual revolution and is already in progress. It is to free the world from "intolerant" Christianity).  It's paradoxical that the most exclusive religion on earth is included with the ridiculous notion of inclusiveness. Islam's aim is to destroy infidels - Christians and Jews, and to have a one-world government under Sharia Law. Their god will be a vengeful Isa, which name is Jesus in "English". For the undiscerning, their Isa's vengefulness aligns well with the anti-Christ who rules in the apocalypse!

We are hated by the world for Jesus's name sake although read John 3:16 above: Jesus so loved the world! How much did he love everyone? That he gave his only Son! Why did he sacrifice His only Son? That whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Now that is truly inclusive! The world includes everybody, but the terms are specific: No one comes to the Father except through me (Jesus). The world excludes itself from salvation by excluding Jesus from those they love! How ironic that those who are into inclusiveness exclude themselves from heaven! They kill their own gods - themselves because they have been deceived!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Sinner's Prayer

Everyone prays in times of turmoil or when they want something badly enough. I would bet that even atheists sometimes pray hoping that there is a God.
Acts 17:23 "... as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you..."
My contention is that everyone seeks God! Atheists have yet to find Him. Theirs is that UNKNOWN GOD. It's God as they understand Him. They have been called by God but failed to hear. Ultimately, atheists are merely the spiritual hard-of-hearing. Let me hear it from some atheists: Do you find yourself wishing or praying to a God you do not know?

However, any person who has not been born-again, worship that UNKNOWN GOD, for all are called:
Acts 2:39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
God calls. You must respond. How is that done? The sinner's prayer. There are many but Psalm 51 is the best! For those not born-again, this type of prayer is the only type to which God listens:
John 9:31 "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him."
In essence, unless sinners are praying for their own self-sacrifice to Him, God just does not listen. If we can be deaf to His call, God can be deaf if we don't respond to it! That's a dire place to be.

In Psalm 51, David is repenting of his sin with Bathsheba and having Uriah, her husband, killed.  Most of us, when we sin, say without much ado, "God, please forgive me of my sins," without even elaborating on what sin, having remorse, and presenting oneself to Jesus to cleanse. It must be to Jesus because it takes blood to cleanse the heart:
1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
From the story of Nicodemus (John 3), walking in the light is being born-again. Briefly, that light is that no one can safe themselves but only God can by his own shed blood on the cross for our sins. In response to seeing the light, God convicts the sinner, and the sinner feels remorse, sincerely repents, and the blood of Jesus cleanses them from all sin. As they are born-again, the old person is put asunder and the new person arises. That is the new birth. If a person has not done those things, then their religion is as useless as the UNKNOWN GOD.

If one examines Psalm 51, although he was already "a man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22), I submit that when Jesus calls, those who respond must be after God's own heart! David sincerely was:

Psalm 51:1 "Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—"

David had a "broken and contrite heart." He backslid for he was a Christian even before he sinned! Those who are Christians and sin, still must pray the same sinner's prayer. This prayer is for all who sinned; hence, it is for us all!

Note that I wrote something we normally don't say - "He was a Christian". We don't think of the Hebrew people as being Christian. Of course, few were but those to whom God spoke directly, they were indeed Christians! It must be remembered - it's not Jesus and God; it's Jesus Is God. When God spoke in patriarchal times, it was the Word's Voice that was heard. Jesus Is that Word who became incarnate (John 1:1-14).

John the Baptist, a different John, even said: "the one who came after me was before me." (John 1:30; paraphrased). Where was Jesus before? One place of many, we find Him with David. Ironically, Jesus was called the "son of David" because he was of the line of David, and a King after God's own heart! How do I know that David knew his own "Son" (seed):

Psalm 51:7 "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
14  Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it..."

David knew thousands of years before the Messiah came that he was his Savior. He knew that Jesus does not desire sacrifice, but only oneself (verse 16).  The "bones" that God had broken were blood and water, which did the cleansing. He specifically was aware of the importance that blood and water are efficacious, and that real bones would not be broken (John 19:33-37) as was prophesied by David himself in another Psalm:
Psalm 34:20 " He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken."
Then David described in detail the method of restoration! It was the blood of Jesus which would save him! Read it all in detail and think about contrition, guilt, and repentance - what's required to be born-again or restored to salvation as the case may be. David did those things and he was delivered from his sins, and came back into communion with God. The prodigal son had returned to his adoptive Father, and all was well with his soul.

Monday, September 4, 2017

On Human Sexuality

Sexuality is all the emotions and feelings preceding, during, and after coitus. Included are:  biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. (Jerrold S. Greenberg, Clint E. Bruess, Sara B. Oswalt (2016). Exploring the Dimensions of Human Sexuality. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. pp. 4–10. ISBN 1284081540 ).

Humans, as are all animals, are born with the instinct to reproduce. In fact, one of the many purposes for which God created both male and female, was to multiply.

The Animals:
Genesis 1:21 "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."

Humankind:
Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
This designed into mankind's instinct is the biological part. He created male and female to increase mankind. In order to do that, he gave each essential and opposite physical tools. The genitalia and reproductive organs were designed by God to foster conception, growth, and production.  In order to power the tools, so to speak, God instilled in each of us, a different kind of drive. Mankind calls that erotic "love" (eros; Greek). This nature which mankind has is called libido in psychiatry, being a biological instinct.. Scripture, more accurately, refers to it as lust, since it is not dependent on love.
Romans 6:12  "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin..."
Who created the libido? God did. However, like anything in the world, it can be put to use or misuse. Those biological feelings are wrong if misused. They are to be used in marriage only:
1 Corinthians 7:9 "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn."
The inability to contain is unbridled lust. Sexual arousal - the libido is of God since it is biological for reproduction, but the lack of self-restraint is of Satan who takes God's things and misuses them, as I will soon make the case.

Burning is being enflamed with sexual desire. Ironically, or is it? Lack of self-constraint can lead to eternal "burning" as well because lust is the stronghold of most people! The world keeps that fire burning with provocative fuel. Most single people have that fire burning inside; the erotic, and marriage is supposed to put it out, as two become one. Adultery is when a third person stokes the fire even after marriage.

Sexuality is and should be emotional. That portion is the mental aspects of enjoying the sexual act. If it's a good experience, it is pleasurable, and if not, painful. Sexual intercourse without emotion is mechanical, and there is no pairing. At best, it's prostitution, and at its worst - rape. Marriage is based on an emotional attachment as two come together in unity as "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24)  - the emotional and the spiritual.

The emotional part of sexuality is friendship.
Genesis 2:18 "And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone..."
All the animals were created for Adam to keep him company, but they were made in pairs. That is God's will, that each animal be paired with another. The biological part of that is that all animals have the tools to reproduce. That is the natural and biological design of the entire animal kingdom. Anything less than that is evil!

Although each animal was paired to another by gender, Adam had no one. God, using his Holy Spirit, took a part of Adam to make Eve. As such, Adam and Eve - male and female were children of God, and of the same spiritual substance - but Adam of the dust, and Eve of Adam, and yet the same!

Marriage is leaving everyone else out, including Mom and Dad, and being one with the intention of friendship and child-bearing. Sexual relationships without these two aspects are unspiritual because sex for these purposes was obviously God's intent. We were biologically and spiritually designed to be friends and to reproduce! The libido is merely to complement  the latter, but after Satan tampered with mankind, satisfaction of the libido became paramount!

The social aspect of sexuality is well-known.  Of course, with our mate, sexuality has a special social aspect since it is a divinely instilled desire to be one with our help-mate - which the female is designed to be. Then, Satan gave his new children another social aspect - although male and female were to be one, even leaving the parents, triangulation occurred; not with Adam and Eve but with their seed. Now the motto of some are: "Variety is the spice of life," and "Do what thou wilt." It was never intended that mankind fornicate with others, and after fornicating against God with other gods, that became part of human "nature". Of course, one mate is truly natural, and more than one - unnatural.

Let's look for a moment at original sin:
Genesis 3:6  "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings."
What were the temptations of the tree? 1) good for food, 2) pleasant to the eyes, 3) and desired to make one wise. Eve desired those three things. She could have walked away and thought no more about them - that is self-restraint. The same restraint mentioned in 1 Corinthians 7:9 above. Eve was to "reign in her mortal body" as Paul admonished (Romans 6:12 above). Eve exercised her own free will. Eve stood there and desired but could have chose not to! She looked at the fruit, and lusted after them. She voluntarily entered into temptation, and that allowed her to sin.
Romans 6:12 "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts."
Sin is obedience to lust and lust to temptation. There is a chain reaction! Of course, lusts are not all sexual in nature. Food, pleasant things, and wisdom are not inherently bad, but with the knowledge after eating of the tree, what God made could be used for either good or evil. The qualities of the fruit were in the mind of Eve after she ate. She misused the fruits because, after she ate, she went from innocence to discernment. It is implied that because she sinned, her eyes were opened to the evil aspects of what she had gullibly eaten.

Right now, although there were three temptations, just as there always are; and by the way - Jesus had the same types of three; let is focus on the temptation of pleasure. Of course, even food and wisdom can be pleasurable, but it seems that since they are mentioned separately, perhaps the ultimate pleasure is what Eve wanted. I'm referring to sexual satisfaction!

If you recall, Adam's purpose was to tend the Garden. If this is taken in the spiritual sense, Adam was to ensure that all the "trees" do God's will - his own, Eve's, and his offspring. Adam was created to befriend God, and to serve Him. On the other hand, Eve was to serve God under the auspices of Adam since he was to have dominion. Eve's job assignment was to bear offspring and nourish them. Nowhere in scripture did God indicate that copulation was for mankind's enjoyment but only to reproduce. Pleasure was intended as a feeling to make that possible with the way our tools are designed.

My contention, as some of the church fathers, is that there was a huge sexual aspect of eating of the forbidden tree. Why so? "They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings," realizing that they were naked. They tried to cover their own "shame" but it was ineffective. Sexuality is more than the genitals (the physical); it has components of emotion, the biological, and even the spiritual, along with the others.  Eve could cover her tools,  but they weren't the guilty party. She was! All those desires within her, are what scripture calls "the flesh".

Because Adam and Eve could not effectively cover their sin, God did. He shed blood for the first time, and covered in His divine manner their sexuality - all those components of sexuality. Because the genitalia were covered, it seems reasonable that there was a sexual component of original sin, especially because Adam and Eve "fornicated" with other gods - namely each other! How could have they have done that? By misappropriating the intent of sexuality - by having sexual pleasure without the intention of reproducing.

David alluded to that himself:
Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me."
David recognized the erotic part of conception. It is supposed that he was conceived in the heat of the moment, not just to be conceived. The sinful aspect of reproduction is validated by the birth of Jesus. He was born of a virgin, because she was pure -  not having ever given into lust or been sexual. Because Jesus was born in purity, conceived by God Himself, then it is obvious that God wanted no part of lust when he created Jesus with his own Holy Spirit.

My Dad once told me that sex is only to have a family. I replied, "When did you decide that; after you got old?" Now I too am old, but like Dad, I got my idea from God. Sexuality is not a willful sin. It is a remnant, in my humble opinion, of original sin. There is nothing we can do about it, other than contain it. The method God chose for containment was marriage. Husband and wife have a spiritual relationship, and by triangulation with another, sin rents the one back into two.

Should we feel guilty because we have desires, and consummate them with our spouse? Not at all! It's not our fault. That urge is now biological, and is beyond what is expected of us. However, to be set apart wholly for God's use, celibacy is a choice.  Rather than being slaves to sexuality, we can be servants only of God.
1 Corinthians 7:1 "It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 8  But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry."
Sexuality is for those who have little sexual control. It is better to be "married" to God, than another, but God knows the power released with the eating of the forbidden fruit. His "loophole" is marriage. It is ordained of God for multiplying and friendship, but he knows that we now have a biological need induced into us by original sin. By his allowing, or winking (Acts 17), is just one more example of God's mercy on his creature!