Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Life’

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1st Corinthians 14:33). Remember that verse, and that we should not blame God when life leaves us dumfounded. Man has created an environment that isn’t conductive to reason or peace, and there is little time to figure life out. Sometimes even truthful people word things poorly, and sometimes there are no “right” words. We misunderstand a lot of things. The truth of life is not going to come easy.

God is not the creator of confusion, yet there is a fight over practically every word of the Bible, as well as over everything else in the world. All human beings suffer from the effects of Eden’s tree of knowledge (Genesis 3:1-5). A little bit of “learning” along some branch of knowledge and we think we know what we need to know. All people in all fields disagree amongst themselves, and the best ideas and explanations are often lost in the babel.

False beliefs, lies, things that are not true cause our confusion. Some people call it all “God’s will,” but it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Man however, is very creative when it comes to falsehood (Romans 3:4). Much of what we’re taught is purely theoretical, and at the same time man has forgotten the more important things (Romans 1:28, 1st Corinthians 8:2, & 13:2).

I honestly believe that God deeply desires to prove himself to man, but how is the best way to do this with such unreasonable creatures? The ways in which we attempt to test him are shallow and unfair. Our “tests” for God are usually ultimatums requiring him to override the freewill of other human beings or to cater to us in some way.

Before the fall of man, nature would have been a good witness for God, but now it seems to tell two different stories. Nature yet testifies of God, but it also shows evidence that something is very wrong with our world. Besides knowing that God exists we also need to understand that he is good, and that we fall somewhat short of that concept.

Knowledge can be abused and used deceptively, and we have an adversary who is “a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). The “forbidden fruit” has infected the interpretation of all knowledge. How is God supposed to prove his love to a dying world which cannot be sustained in its present condition? What would it take to actually change this insane world? Perhaps, very carefully chosen words could say it, if we had time to listen, but not in the babel where we exist.

What if God were willing to come down to us, die with us, offer resurrection and paradise to whoever will trust him (Luke 23:42-43, John 3:16). According to the Bible record, that’s what God has done. His suffering and death on the cross proves his love to us in a way that nothing else would. God becomes one of us, and his cross cuts through all of man’s high-minded theological confusion. It cuts to the heart of love. God is offering us a new world where confusion does not reign, and lies can’t divide us (John 10:10).

Satan is a liar, and the father of it. By persuading Adam and Eve to believe a lie in the garden of Eden, he stole the life of mankind. Don’t let the thief by whatever trick of ideology or theology destroy the simplicity of the words of the promise of Jesus. Talk is cheap among human beings but that isn’t God’s fault.

People treat words as meaningless, and that leads to more and more trouble. It means that God had to sacrifice himself in order to reach us. Sometimes, even that doesn’t touch us. Please believe the records of Jesus contained in the Bible. Believe the evidence. It makes sense. Then trust that his sacrifice will sustain us. In time, beyond the final Antichrist, we will experience the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus. It isn’t a testimony written in words only but in the life-blood of our creator. (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Read Full Post »

If you awaken in the middle of a rainy night, look out the window, and see your neighbor out in the rain washing a car, don’t jump to conclusions. There could be a logical explanation, or semi-logical at least. Since I haven’t been able to go back to sleep, and I haven’t had time to write anything lately, I thought that I might as well try to explain how such a thing could happen.

I don’t sleep very well and often wake up briefly during the night. My awakening on this Sunday night should only have been for a minute or two, but it was raining pretty hard. I was suddenly reminded that I had left my car windows partially down when shuffling our vehicles around late in the evening. Throwing on a hat and trying not to disturb my wife or sons, I rushed outside. The moment I closed the door behind me, I realized I had just locked myself out of the house.

I was fully awake then. As I rolled up the windows, I decided that I didn’t want to beat on the house to get someone up, and possibly wake the neighbors also. I thought I would rather spend the night in our mini-van. My oldest son was supposed to be at church early for music practice with the praise band, and I prayed no one would miss me and start worrying before he let me back in. Here’s where it gets bad. I went to check his car windows and apparently a neighborhood cat had thrown up on the roof. It wasn’t raining hard enough to wash it away.

So that’s why I was washing a car in the dark, and in the rain, at a little after 4:00 A.M. this morning. Hopefully the neighbors didn’t see me. Some of them have to work different shifts such as I do, but I was actually outside only around 20 minutes or so. Maybe I wasn’t observed. I ended up waking all my family anyway, but at least they got a laugh out of it. My younger son had heard me go outside, and when I didn’t come back, he opened the door to ask if I was alright. Well, it might not look like it, but I’m okay. Jesus is Lord, regardless of the way this day on the earth begins or ends.

Read Full Post »

There are things that are done intentionally to keep his memory alive. It isn’t wrong to speak of him in this manner if it helps us to understand some things. As a general rule, it is something the world works hard at forgetting.

That is natural when something reminds us of a bad mistake we have made. Ignorance may be bliss, but that is only so long as it lasts. Sooner or later, we stumble upon reality. I believe the only true escape is forgiveness, and to go right through the midst of the truth. Unless we accept this, I fear it is not the last of our serious mistakes. It isn’t right to want to forget him, even though his presence may remind us of something we dislike in ourselves.

He was a scientist, an artist, infinitely creative, not someone to leave the canvas blank. He could bring his thoughts to life. Was that his undoing, or is the story even yet not fully told? His knowledge and talent enabled him to create many wonders, yet he himself never changed. Always humble, though he created worlds, he condescended to live in this one.

He loved us, and that was certainly his undoing, but he expected it all along. He was murdered, but he had prepared himself for it. I don’t believe that his spirit rests in the same place as those who killed him. Neither do I believe that his body rests in the same earth. There is good evidence that he is back alive.

This may be beginning to sound like science fiction, but it is only yesterday’s news. It doesn’t suit evolutionary philosophy to admit it, but if scientists can believe that energy or matter came from nothing, and that life arose spontaneously from inorganic matter, then surely they could understand that resurrection is possible. Science is living in denial at the moment. That will no doubt continue as long as a meeting with reality (the Logos, or Reason, John 1:1) can be avoided.

In this writing, I have avoided using his name to this point because his name is so maligned. Many people are offended by it the moment it is spoken. We should ask ourselves why. Is it really because of him, or is it because others have marred his name to the point that it is mud to the earth? I believe that if we take an unbiased look at him, we’ll find he’s not to blame, and that we are guilty instead.

I think my previous posts have shown sufficient evidence from the Bible, and from history, that God is perfectly fine with the name of Jesus. I understand the temptation to keep the name of the Lord silent. People may shun you, or much worse, in some circles. The persecution of those who believe in him remains a harsh reality in much of the world.

Sometimes we must attempt to cope with great injustice. Life isn’t fair, but I think these things are part of the reason why the name is so special to God. If your offspring had the same experience as Jesus, then you would feel pretty much the same way that God feels. I think this is why God desires that we pray “in the name of Jesus.” Our love and acceptance of Jesus would naturally open some doors with God.

What happens when we pray? It is good to pray, whether or not we feel like we are getting answers. Prayer helps us to battle concerns and worries that would make mental slaves of us. It helps us to free our thoughts from things that consume our life. Even if releasing the words of our prayers is a struggle, and a thousand things interrupt us, prayer is worth it. It is more than an attempt at communication with God. It is a fight for freedom, and God does hear us, for his name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).

God wants contact with us. Though he paid a terrible price to do so, he has revealed himself to this world through his son, Jesus Christ. “Good Friday” was salvation for us, though a black day for him. But Happy Easter Sonday; the EastStar, “the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16), “the Sun of righteousness” is risen (Malachi 4:2, ref. my previous post). Celebrate the day, in the name of Jesus.

Read Full Post »

We don’t know for certain when Jesus was born, but Christmas is the time of year when we celebrate his birth. It’s good to have something to look forward to in winter, and a wonderful time for the birth of hope.

If we could convert God from spirit into matter, what we would then have is Jesus. We couldn’t do that of course, but God did. That is what Jesus is. Born into this world as a baby human being, that is who Jesus is; Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23), “God with us.”

I don’t think there’s a person on God’s earth who can get all these things in proper balance. I think that sometimes we don’t see the real Jesus, can’t see the real God, because we are too preoccupied with “omnipotence,” and “sovereignty.” We want to see God rule the Earth, but we seem to want God to take shortcuts. God wants human beings to listen to reason, and to learn the truth. He wants to persuade people, not force them. Jesus once rebuked his disciples for wanting to “command fire to come down from heaven,” to destroy someone (Luke 9:53-56). He told them that he had not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.

We should study his life on earth microscopically, and not attempt to set him out again beyond the reach of man, to search for him with telescopes. He came to earth as the Christ, and we need to look at him as the man, because Jesus is the full expression of God (Hebrews 1:3). The world can never see the heart of God otherwise.

Many times the church, attempting to show him in his infinite greatness and power, may make him look small to the world instead. The Bible says the weakness of God is stronger than men (1st Corinthians 1:25), and that he was made perfect through his suffering (Hebrews 2:10). In becoming a man, he touched the heart of man, though it crucified him to do so. Such a demonstration of sacrificial love makes him greater to us than he could have been otherwise. Though he was perfect to begin with, he became even more so.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating the birth of Jesus. I heard all the anti-Christmas propaganda before I was twelve years old, and for a while, they had me believing that stuff, but all days belong to God. Man worships nature (Romans 1:23,25) but the one who gave us all of nature is yet greater than the gifts that he gave us. God’s greatest gift is the gift of himself in the form of Jesus (John 1:1,14, 3:16, 4:10).

Ancient pagans turned altered forms of God’s name into the names of idols (see note below), which they associated with forces and objects in nature. But God created all of nature, the seasons, and the changing of the earth’s relationship to the heavens throughout the year. Genesis 1:14 records God saying of the sun, moon and stars, “Let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” It is wrong to try to disconnect God from the winter solstice, or any other day of the year (Colossians 2:15-17, Romans 14:5).

There is endless evidence to support my statements. The coming of the Hebrew Messiah (Greek, “Christ”) was foretold in ancient history, and witnessed and affirmed by Pagan stories and secular records. The world anticipated his coming, and at least one group of wise men from the east was able to locate him shortly after his birth (Matthew 2:1-12).

I know that practically every sentence in the Bible is disputed by someone, but the story of the life of Jesus became world news at a time when many people would gladly have disproved it if they could. The recorded debate and argument about him from his era is evidence enough that Jesus lived and fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.

Christianity holds celebrations on days that other groups of people observe in other ways, but that doesn’t discredit God. There are only so many days in a year, and someone would claim them all if they could. There is symbolism found throughout the Bible likening the ministry of the Son of God to the sun, providing warmth and light to the earth. There is a prophetic statement in Malachi 4:2 foretelling the advent of the “Son” of God. In that verse, he is called the “Sun of Righteousness.”

To varying degrees, all the ancient world possessed some knowledge of God’s promise to send his Son. That explains the ancient legends and stories containing similarities to the biblical record. As wonderful as the sun can feel as it climbs in the sky, the sun has no feeling for us, but God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son (John 3:16). The winter’s Son, is the true winter sun. Glory (the rightful credit) to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14, K.J.V.).

Note: Practically all yearly celebrations had their origins in the acknowledgement of God, and the names of many major “deities” of the most advanced civilizations began with the confusion of languages at Babel. Ancient attempts to transliterate “YHWH,” the Hebrew name for God, into other languages accounts for many early “names” for pagan “gods” (ref. All posts in my April 2015 through August 2015 archives, and also “Dawn of the Rising Son,” in my April 2011 archives). I pray and intend to follow this writing with another post giving more details.

Read Full Post »

Much of the meaning is shrouded in mystery. Who has slain the Lamb? Who has murdered innocence? Man is wearing the bloody clothes, but in one way or another, all things have been twisted around to make it sound like God is to blame for everything. Theists get it turned around, and Atheists get it turned around, but God himself is the Lamb (Acts 2:22-24, Revelation 22:3, John 1:1-3, 1:14, & 14:6-10).

Many Atheists make use of the theistic teaching of “predestination” to turn people against God. Some of them have personally objected to the way I read the Script, telling me that I am misinterpreting the Bible. That is because it weakens their argument to consider that God is good, and that the Bible can be shown to make sense.

We can truly understand God only in the light of the Lamb (Revelation 21:23). There is nothing else in all the history of creation that reveals God in his true colors as does his suffering on the cross. It is the only way that he can reach us, touch us, change our hearts and minds (John 3:16, Genesis 3:21).

Man gets everything turned around when he eats of the tree of knowledge, makes his own moral judgements, and reinterprets all matters for himself (Genesis 3:5). It is this alienation of mankind from God, and the blame which man places upon him that slays the Lamb. I have read the atheist’s proclamation, “God is dead, we killed him,” but we are all just as guilty. Our rejection of him is the murder weapon. Some of us, having understood this are filled with regret. We become repentant, and are glad that he is back alive.

The English word “repand,” from the Latin word “repandus,” means bent backward. To feel sorrow and regret is considered a “secondary” meaning of the word “repent,” but being sorry is primary to the process of changing from our bent (or bias).

Contrary to what you may have heard preached, God took no pleasure in the suffering of Christ; it’s his own skin. That doctrine is an example of misinterpretation due to the multiple meanings that words have come to have. Because of multiple meanings, the correct interpretation of many Bible verses is not the first thing that comes to mind when it is read. That is one reason why it is so critical for us to trust God. It is similar to the need for us to trust one another in order for understanding to exist.

The literal meaning of the word translated as “pleased” in Isaiah 53:10, (It pleased the Lord to bruise him) is “to bend.” A secondary meaning is “incline.” “Pleased,” is a figurative meaning. There are other meanings but “pleased” is the most commonly used. The Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, translates Isaiah 53:10 to indicate the Lord’s pleasure is not in the suffering and death, but in the great deliverance from it. “The Lord also is pleased to purge (to remove) him from his stroke.”

The same Hebrew word (in its original spelling) is translated as “purpose,” in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” God takes no pleasure in our pain, or death (Ezekiel 18:32). Death is an enemy (1st Corinthians 15:26). Multiple meanings of words are often used by the Lord’s enemy to cause misunderstanding and rejection of God.

The thing that pleases God is that some of our hearts are won by what he has endured, and that is a great comfort to him. Despite the suffering of this world, some of us no longer reject God, even if we don’t understand parts of the Bible. We can begin to see what our mistrust has done to God and our fellowman. Who has slain the Lamb? Man’s DNA is at the crime. Our DNA was in Adam, when he dressed himself in leaves and hid among the trees.

We still have that reaction to God. We need a long walk in the Light. It is God’s desire to walk with people (Genesis 3:8); to live in them, to find them where they are (Mark 2:15-17), and help them. He wants to be born in them, and we never know who will become his child. That is his great desire, his primary will, though he must allow us freedom even when our paths become painful.

People call this God’s “permissive” will, but it is not something that he desires. There we encounter more words with multiple meanings, but I don’t think we should think of that type of thing as “God’s will.” That is like saying that a student’s misbehavior is the teacher’s will when she steps out of the room, or that it is the will of the policeman for us to break the law when he isn’t around.

Sometimes, there seem to be no perfect words to use, for all the words have taken on unfortunate meanings. It isn’t completely right to say that God tolerates, or allows evil, or that he is permissive, assenting, or consenting. God’s momentary silence doesn’t mean that he condones our behavior. “Forbearing” is probably one of the best words to describe God.

He “endures” our world (2nd Peter 3:9), temporarily not fully enforcing that which is right (ref. The Lost Child of Freedom, in my August 2012 archives). The longer that God simply endures us, the harder we become. The Greek word “endurece(r)” is the origin of our word “endures.” It is translated as “hardens” in nearly all English versions of Romans 9:18. That is another verse often taken out of context and misunderstood.

God either endears us, or he endures us. We should all be endeared to God, but if he must only endure us, then there is good reason for it. Time will tell. Anyway, to the extent that God does not intervene, bad things may happen to anyone. That doesn’t mean that it is “God will.”

The paths that we choose in difficult circumstances are often not what we desire, but are influenced by other factors. It is the same way with God. Nevertheless, God is deeply involved in the intricate details of our lives, and our desires and prayers influence certain outcomes in ways that we can’t conceive. We should remain thankful.

In (or through) everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1st Thessalonians 5:18). The first word of that verse, “in,” is one of many words that could have been used. According to The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words (for the KJV), the Greek word “en,” is translated as “by” (141 times), “with” (134 times), “among” (117 times), “at” (112 times), “on” (46 times), “through” (37 times), other miscellaneous words (321 times), and “in” (1874 times).

In spite of our circumstances, it is the desire of God for us to find things to be thankful for. I thank God that he is with us through all these things. Though man has slain the Lamb (Acts 2:22-24), I am thankful that he loved us enough to bend to save us. I thank God that we can still make sense of the Bible, in spite of (or sometimes, because of) the multiple meanings of words. I pray that we all have a happy Thanksgiving.

Read Full Post »

There is a lot of basic doctrine to be found in the pattern for prayer that Jesus gave us in Matthew 6:9-13. It is usually called “The Lord’s Prayer,” but it is actually a general prayer guide for his followers. It was given at the request of one of his disciples (Luke 11:1-4). I don’t see anything in the Bible that annuls this pattern or supersedes its particular doctrines. As usual, please forgive my inconsistent grammar in this writing.

“Our Father in Heaven,” I am glad that you have a haven where all would be welcomed if all would welcome you; a place where you can take us when this world becomes more than can be borne. Evolutionists believe in “Father Time,” but time is not our father. Time is a creation of God, our caring Father.

“Hallowed be your name.” The name of God; the name of Jesus, is despised, dishonored, and dragged through the mud.

“Your kingdom come.” The peaceful kingdom where the lion eats straw like the ox will become a reality. This earth whose nations now reject you, and wage war upon each other, will one day become a world where there will no more hurt or destruction. Your kingdom will become a physical reality (Isaiah 11:6-9).

“Your will be done on Earth as in Heaven.” Jesus is Lord, but we don’t yet see all things in submission to his will (Hebrews 2:8). We are far from it, which is why we are to pray for it. The perfect will of God has not permeated this world since the day Adam and Eve undertook to reinterpret all knowledge. Things are not beyond God’s control, but God is not a puppeteer.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Sustain us Immanuel (manna and man, Man of Heaven); bread that is broken for us.

“Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We all offend in many ways (James 3:2), but love covers a multitude of sins (1st Peter 4:8).

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” A man in the Old Testament (Proverbs 30:8-9) prayed for God to give him “neither poverty nor riches,” but only that which was sufficient for him. He recognized the fact that just about anything can lead to trials for us. Lead us in some other way Lord. Let us not enter temptation. God tempts no man (James 1:13), even though all are tempted by life itself. Do we really want what we feel like we want? Sometimes our freewill does not feel free. Deliver us from the evil one.

“For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, to forever.” You have the right, and the power when you choose to exercise it. Hallowed be your name. One day your name will be cleared. Man’s assumptions and accusations against God will be proven false, and the truth will be evident. That is the true definition of the “glory of God,” not the vainglory of human definition. One day Jesus will be seen in his own true light, without our shadows casting doubts and deceptions about him. “For your’s is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, to forever. Amen.”

Read Full Post »

I love learning, but much that is called “knowledge” is either incomplete or false, and even that which is true is often misapplied. Greater knowledge and endless data won’t solve all our problems (1st Corinthians 8:1-2). Adam and Eve would tell us that today, but we wouldn’t necessarily believe them.

Sometimes we are simply unable to do that which we know should be done. I know that my family needs more money coming in than we have going out, but that knowledge doesn’t help me. Organizations that know more about making money than I do are stealing my lunch money. What can I do about it? The devil can keep us so busy swatting at flies that it can become our way of life. Regardless of what I know, try, or pray, I’m living on the verge of simply reacting to the next crisis. The future depends upon the intervention of God.

There is some truth in the saying that it takes money to make money. Instead of striving to make necessities as affordable as possible, the focus of most of those with money is on the greatest return on investments. This means trouble for the “working poor.” It means trouble for our country, for money goes where money is to be made, whether it in the best interest of our neighbors or not. Knowledge doesn’t prevent greed; it only makes it smarter.

Misapplied knowledge is hurtful, but so is a lack of knowledge. Partially conceived doctrines, chiseled into law, can prevent us from understanding the real reasons why the world is as it is. That is true of secular doctrines as well as religious. Man’s abuse of God-given freewill, along with a quest for knowledge and fulfilment apart from God, creates an environment where many evil things happen unforeseen. The Bible says that “time and chance” happen to all of us (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Calling the consequences of all of humanity’s wrong choices “God’s will,” keeps people from understanding the goodness of God.

In many cases, laws intended to counteract evil come to stand in direct conflict with God, even to the point where God and truth are criminalized. Jesus was “counted” with the transgressors (Mark 15:28, Isaiah 53:12). Laws don’t always work out the way they were intended. Just as knowledge fails us, so does the rule of law. At their heart, both knowledge and law can be said to be good, yet both fail due to problems of the human heart, and ultimately the only thing that can pull us through is the grace of love (“God is love,” 1st John 4:16).

Since “God is love,” it follows that a doctrine that isn’t tempered by love can never be purely “Christian.” Doctrines that lift their bearers above question are almost always questionable, and doctrines devoid of love can’t express the character of the inventor and creator of love. Such doctrines can inhibit a real understanding of God, of ourselves, and our fellow human beings.

While I’m on the subject, no human being has ever mastered the art of consistently being sensitive to the feelings of others. That is something that every Christian, on every day of the week, could repent of.

Unfeigned love for others is critical in communicating truth and doctrine. If we “have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…, and have not love,” we are nothing (1st Corinthians 13:2). It is possible to be versed in correct doctrine without possessing the thing that really counts. Without love our doctrines can become a clanging symbol just as incomprehensible as any unknown tongue (1st Corinthians 13:1).

Some parts of the Bible are “hard to understand,” and can be interpreted in a destructive way (2nd Peter 3:15-16). It follows that if we destroy someone spiritually with our “strong meat” (Hebrews 5:14), then according to Romans 14:15, we are not “walking in love.”

It is so easy to miss the trail when we speak of “walking in love.” Love rejoices in truth, thinks no evil, and seeks the good of others before its own. We often “miss it.” That is what the word sin means; a missing of the mark (ref. the Hebrew word “chata,” and the Greek “hamartano”). Sin is a lack, or an abuse, of love. Other people use the fact the we “miss it” as an excuse to embrace “no religion,” or to invent new religions, or new denominations, but Jesus died for us, and the reason that Christianity exists is because all human beings miss the mark.

Forgiveness must exist because we all fall short of perfect love. By our hand, love is sacrificed, but love is sacrificial. That is what the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is all about. Knowledge branches out on all tangents, but can never quite explain the sacrifices of love. According to 1st Timothy 1:5, the goal of the commandment is love, but no law can make us love anyone. The chain of the law can’t bind our heart to the heart of God.

Romans 10:4 says that Jesus is the end of the law for the believer. The broken link between Heaven and Earth is drawn together in the crucifixion of Jesus, one hand holding yours and mine, and the other in the hand of the Father of love.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »