Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shedding The Goat's Cloak

Want to see the sin nature raise up?  Think for yourself. 

If I say, "thinking for yourself is bad, to be avoided" . . . watch as a part of you raises up to defend, to fight the notion.  Witness as an instant spirit of rebellion chaffs and surges forward to take back the reigns. . . .

People pride themselves in their supposed inclination and ability to "cut against the grain" . . . to be "free thinkers". . . . 

It is all delusion, however, this purported "free thinking". . . .

The gates of Hell, the devil and all his minions rage and blast like bellowing furnaces if you say, "I will NOT go off on my own; I REFUSE to 'think for myself.'"

But what was the first sin--that sin which plunged the good and glorious creation into sin and death and misery and corruption?  It was Adam and Eve seduced into removing their reason from subjection to God's (reason.) 

"Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" the serpent asked Eve.

The devil's doctrine counts this as the "greatest" moment in history, when Eve began to question, to "think for herself" whether God's command was proper.  Hence the unbelieving--the God haters--enthrone man's reason and this has become their new god.

In being Born Again, we at last abandon the serving and worship of this false god.  We have tired of "thinking for ourselves" realizing that it has only brought us misery, mistake, confusion and leads only to death with no hope.

Now, some claim to have once been "believers", submitted to God . . . but, through "free thinking"-- through reason and questioning--have left the Christian faith to follow "truth."

But this is not only unlikely, it is impossible.  "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."  --1 John 2:19

Once you have submitted your thinking to God's Word, you have made Him the Lord of your reason.  And the Lord would never have you "reason" your way out of believing in and trusting Him.  The moment you begin to "think for yourself", you follow Eve and you follow the serpent who takes your reasoning away from the Lordship of the Creator and vests it in that of a creature's.

Who is the Lord of your reasoning?  Is it God . . . or your self?  Those who claim to have once been "believers" but "left the faith" . . . never really WERE believers, nor had they faith.  They put on a cloak of "belief", walked and talked as if submitted . . . but from the beginning their hearts were never truly changed.  No "new creature" was born; instead, the same old creature merely donned some superficial apparel.  Furthermore, goats never become sheep.  Sheep were chosen from the beginning.  They know their Shepard's Voice when He calls.  Superficially, they too walked about in a false covering--the cloak of a goat . . . but when the Voice of their Master comes, sounding through His messengers, they hear His call and are reborn.  From then on, though they still make mistakes and sometimes fall back into the old goat ways, overall, God is the Lord of their reasoning, and His thoughts become their thoughts.  "It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me."

Paradoxically, it is only when we stop "thinking for ourselves" and submit our minds to God's Word and HIS reasoning . . . that we become free--free of sin and death and no hope.  So-called "free thinkers" are the slaves who mercilessly do the corrupt, fallen, dark, goat-herded bidding of THEIR father--the father of lies, death, sin and no hope . . . .

Sunday, April 28, 2013

There Also, But For Grace

Time for a pummeling.  Though it can be painful, I love it when the Lord corrects me.  My favorite sermons are those which convict me, wake me up from that constant spiritual lethargy and stupor from which we suffer . . . .

I find that one of the most constant and insidious sins affecting the Believer is the slip into self-righteousness and subtle spiritual pride.  We look at the deluded, the lost, the God-haters and have little patience with them. Fools!  Once your eyes are opened and the regeneration of your mind is underway, the delusions of the un-believing become so obvious, so clear.  Why can't they see!

It is tempting and easy to look down on those who engage in loose behavior . . . vile talk . . . foul pronouncements . . . and it necessarily offends the conscience.  We are quick to go with "justified" "righteous indignation" claiming that we are only angry for God's sake--and indeed, there is truth in it.  We love the Lord and truth and it pains us to see His name and His people being maligned and persecuted by degenerate, irrational "fools."

However, "there but for the grace of God go I."

I don't think this can be recalled enough.  Is it because we are smarter, better, more worthy, that we are able to See while they can't?  No.  There is NOTHING we have done to merit His grace in our lives.  (This is a danger, I believe by the way, of the "libertarian free will"/Arminian worldview.  For if it is our "free will" which gets us to Jesus and The Way, it must be that we somehow strove harder or better or worked our way to be me deserving of His favor--which, I dare say, gives cause to boast, God forbid.)

So, when we find ourselves impatient and looking down our nose at people in our lives who are making mistakes or acting irresponsibly from a "Christian" Believer's perspective it is good, quick medicine to recall that we were once just the same, and worse . . . and only by God's Sovereign grace do we find ourselves within the fold.  NOTHING merited by us to get there.  Next follows a holy tolerance, compassion, longsuffering and humility in dealing with difficult people . . . .

Friday, April 26, 2013

Your Thorn In The Flesh

I am prompted to address something . . . to the Believer.  'Tis not a matter a goat would understand.

There may be a recurring sin in your life--something you struggle with . . . over and over.  You feel you have conquered it for a while--it has flown the coop, but then like a bird that disappeared over the horizon, a few days later, you realize in the midst of it, the bird is back picking at your assurance.

["Theologically, assurance is the state of being confident in a condition or outcome.  Usually it is applied to one’s assurance of salvation."]

Paul asked God for the "thorn" in his flesh to be removed.  The Lord said, "My grace is sufficient."

Paul realized that the thorn was to torment and weaken him so that he would not become puffed up with religious self-righteousness.  It was a blessing, in fact, to keep him humble.

This does not mean that the disciple ceases struggling with some "besetting sin".  With the Holy Spirit working in you, you will continue to war against the flesh.  And oftentimes, He will finally take it away.

But in the midst of these troubles what you do not want to do is allow the devil to harass your mind with debilitating guilt and accusations of "see, you are not worthy to be a disciple of 'the Master!'"

We already know and have confessed that we are not worthy!  It is not by our worthiness that we are accepted by God.  This we have already discovered--He showed it to us and made us to understand our utter brokenness and need for a Savior.  The devil is conniver and a liar . . . and so are his minions who will likewise harry you with doubts and Spiritless self-loathing.

"My grace is sufficient for you; My strength is made perfect in weakness."  --2 Cor. 12:9

When you have failed yet again and begin to seriously question your salvation and imagine that God is freshly displeased and considering revoking your passport to Heaven, tell the devil to flee!  [I am talking to the genuine Believer who HAS repented and seeks constantly to trust and follow the Lord, which is a fruit of being saved.] 

Once you were saved--when His grace came to you, opened your eyes and Justified you through the redeeming work of Jesus, IT WAS FINISHED!  Your present mistakes and ongoing battles with this or that thorn are not what God acknowledges . . . . He sees the perfect, holy life of Christ, and all the sins that you once committed, continue to commit and will commit WERE FORGIVEN.  It is done! 

Not only that, but the Lord's righteousness was attributed TO YOUR ACCOUNT~!

Your efforts, your works, your this or that struggle, missteps, stumbles . . . are just part of the lingering momentum from when you moved solely in the material, fallen world, as a child of the devil.  You will continue to war with and lament them and little by little they will diminish and fall away; although if He allows some thorn to persist, it makes no difference regarding your salvation.  You were saved by the Lord's perfect work on your behalf.

When He says, "My grace is sufficient" . . . He is saying, don't panic . . . don't stew and wallow in continual self-condemnation, such that you are of no use to the furthering of the Kingdom.  THAT is what the devil would have you do.  But God says, "My grace is sufficient."  And now all you must remember and assert . . . is the FAITH you have in the completed, sacrificial work of Jesus Yeshua Ha Mashiach.  Are you saved or not?  YES!  By His grace alone and not because of anything you did, are doing or will do.  HIS GRACE ALONE saved you and now what you must do--will do--is recall that fact and assert your fall-on-your-face gratitude and faith that it is so.

Rather than mope or absent-mindedly battle here and there, feeling guilty all the while, with the recurring sin, looking at it, maintaining a constant nagging regret and fear . . . INSTEAD take captive your thoughts and take some time--some holy, honored time . . . and LOOK AT THE CROSS.  Recall in vivid detail, experiencing again the emotion of it, what Jesus did for you!  Do this regularly, through the day, every day. 

Do not concentrate on the besetting sin but instead concentrate on the magnanimous, glorious, loving, self-sacrificing burden Jesus took upon Himself, so that YOU ARE SAVED!  Keep thinking on that.!

What is likely to happen, is that when you maintain your focus and faith upon the finished work of Christ, the devil and his nagging pricks and pokes become small and petty and lose their strength.  Sins begin to fall away.  Through the powerful emotional feelings and awe you get when you seriously and genuinely ponder what He did for you--for you by name!--you will find that you are less and less inclined to sully and foul up the air with your wretched and paltry self-serving evils.

Goats do not understand this kind of thing.  They will say that it is dangerous to assume you are fully saved.  They will insert some type of work you yet must do to please the Father with your worthiness.  They will assume that if you are not working for your salvation and but relying in faith on a finished work, that you will become licentious--sin at will--thinking that nothing you can do can harm your salvation.

But they do not understand how it works.  They themselves do not realize the seriousness of sin nor the holiness of God.  You do, though.  So will never take sin lightly and nonchalant.  It vexes you and you wish it were altogether gone.  The idea of willfully sinning in the face the Lord's battered and bleeding body on the Cross abhors and disgusts you!

God bless you in this,
brother, Thomas

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quick Current Events Commentary

All of this big events nowadays seem to have a surreal, staged quality to them.  My guess is that "they" run everything (their plans/big events) through a super computer so that each event is simultaneously accomplishing a number of major agenda items at once.  It is not just one goal to come out of each, but a whole host of objectives in various directions, such that only a computer model can effect and keep track of it all.  A main goal that popped into my head the other day as I was loosely considering the Boston situation . . . was that they want to be able to issue drone strikes--deadly drone strikes--against Americans . . . inside America; without a trial, due process etc.  Just have it so that "dear leader" and the cabal can target (their) potential enemies and take them out.  We must here recall that "Evangelical Christians" have been listed at the top of  potential terroristic threats in recent Pentagon sponsored military memos (atop and above ie., Al-Queda, the KKK, Muslim Brotherhood.)

Meanwhile, I mentioned the other day in unrelated comments that whenever if ever, we see Internet censorship and "transformation" . . . I expect to find a Mormon pulling the lever, such as "the despicable Harry Reid." 

Then yesterday, I heard that during all the recent media cacophony: "Majority leader Harry Reid is pushing through this complicated “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013″ Internet sales tax bill, giving little time for senators to thoroughly read it. They had the bill in hand less than a week, but the motion to proceed passed with an overwhelming majority last night, 74-20, for it to go to a floor vote, perhaps as early as today. A hefty number of Republicans in the Senate voted for it, as they did last month before it was ultimately shot down by the House."

Is there more to this bill besides taxes?  I've heard there is . . . and I suspect this is just the beginning of much greater Internet/information control . . . and whattaya know--the despicable Harry Reid (who happens to Mormon) is helming the assault . . . .

These are just some quick thoughts I've had, although I have not been getting too immersed in all the news of the past couple of weeks.  Yes, I keep a loose eye on things, but truly I can't emphasize enough how important it is these days to stay focused on the Cross, on the Lord and The Word regardless of what is going on in politics and culture.   Issues like same-sex sex, abortion, pornography, rampant drunkenness/drug use, pedophilia, mayhem and terror . . . are NOT new and modern developments.  We are not "progressing" to some new, liberal out-of-control society.

Child sacrifice (abortion), the glorification of same-sex lust, pedophilia were rampant in the "olden days."  It was early Judaism and later, Christianity that came along and challenged them.  Marriage between one man, one woman, fidelity, respect for women, for children etc. were brought into the picture by the teachings of the Bible and by Jesus.  THAT was the new, modern progression . . . away from animalistic, violent, misogynist, perverse, TYPICAL heathenistic/pagan behavior!

We are NOT on the verge of some new, hard-won, "progressive" "open-mindedness" . . . .

We are simply REVERTING to age-old, tired and worn-out God-hating, gluttonous, violent and hateful pagan licentiousness . . . . "Free will" run amok, making itself god, worshipping idols . . . while persecuting the "righteous" in the spirit of Cain and the Serpent.

Nothing new under the sun.  Same old thing.  As I once sang, "Old school is timeless/"new school" is the same old thing . . . You think you've got some new kind of license/ but all you've got is (demons) pulling on your nose ring."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Evil Is Not A Thing (J-chron addendum]

[I have a few more thoughts to add on the discussion of good ol' "the problem of evil". in response to "J".  Then follows below, his next issue/question]
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Evil is not a created thing.  It is the lack of a created thing being in conformity with God's will.  First there is GOOD . . . then a deviation from GOOD, from God--a "turning away"--into a corruption of that Intended GOOD which begins something like an absence of Good/God.  Then a continued looking at . . . living in . . . and focus upon that corruption/absence of God . . . produces more corruption/"darkness" (since God is Light) leading eventually to chaos, death and pure evil (where there is NO experience of GOOD, of LIGHT . . . . Since God is the source of LIFE, a turning away from Him, of course, leads to DEATH . . . .
 
So, evil is not a thing in and of itself (as "dualists" claim, co-existent with God) but, rather, a parasite against--a perversion of--good. 
 
God's Word says--and we can see for ourselves--that everyone is born with an innate knowledge that GOD IS.  Whether we suppress the knowledge or not, we all know and accept that some actions are simply/absolutely just "wrong" (or evil) (ie., the willful rape, torture and murder of an innocent child.)  There can only be EVIL . . . because first . . . there is GOOD (God/God's will) and then, derivatively . . . a turning away from or corruption of that Will.
 
But aside from recognizing that this is true, here is something else to understand which trumps even that knowledge. 
 
First . . . there is God.
He is and always was and always will be.
He has certain characteristics, ie., personality traits . . . which are the foundation and basis for all subsequent "reality" (such a love, logic, "personableness", what we call "holiness", "justness"...)
Because He is all-powerful, omnipotent . . . He can do anything which does not contradict His very nature/character.  [It is a nonsense statement and mere fallacious absurdity to argue that He ought to be able to do something against His nature if He is "all-powerful" ie., create a square circle.]
Now, being omnipotent, He has created a universe and separate beings . . . who are relatively capable of "turning away from" or "corrupting" His intended Will/creation.
He allows it to continue . . . for a time . . . to show the glory (immensity) of His nature . . . through the use of contrast--light vs. dark, hate vs. love, good vs. evil etc. (within the creation)--to develop in the creatures He made to love . . . a greater, more meaningful love and appreciation for Him--a love and devotion they experience and return to Him through the (relative) free will He allows them to exercise . . . .
 
Heh, which leads to considering the next issue you have brought up (free will) . . . another doozy, lol.  (Knowing you as I do, I find it pleasantly confirming that your questions and ponderings are the top shelf issues indeed. . . .)
 
 
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[From J:]
 
"My next question isn’t so much of a question as it is something I find seriously irksome. It involves the concept of free will.

I accept or concede (however you wish to look at it) that everyone has free will. I’m exercising mine right now in the form of composing this message to you, thereby proving that I do indeed have free will. What troubles me is that the ability to exercise free will is imbalanced.

I’ll go to an admittedly absurd length here to make the point: Theoretically, I could go next door right now, murder the guy who lives there in his sleep, lock the kids in the basement, and spend the next few hours ravaging his wife as I pleased. I have no intention of doing this for any number of reasons, but it is within the realm of possibility in terms of free will. However, I believe that I shouldn’t have the ability to do such a thing because it constitutes the imposition of my free will upon others -and the temporary or permanent suspension of their ability to exercise their free will.

Let me phrase it differently: My legal rights (yes, this is apples and oranges, but hear me out) end where your nose begins. The same should damn well apply to free will. Alas, it does not.

Again, this is something that seriously annoys me and isn’t a question as such, but comments or insights are most welcome.  take care, J"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Notes and Comments....

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Thanks Jon for alerting to your new blog.  I love the creative, very original design and of course the edifying and thought provoking messages you have there--very cool!  It is mighty encouraging to know that at least some students get to have a teacher like you ie., re your physics and astronomy discussions relating to the character of God . . . excellent stuff there!

http://jrcrabtree.tumblr.com/
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LL . . . from your comment on the Grant Palmer post..... Yikes! re your textbook calling Mormonism a "new Christianity".  Glad you could enlighten the professor a bit, though we realize that unBelievers do not understand what Christianity actually is and so, we see them lumping all religions together that, ie., have "Jesus Christ" in the title or who CLAIM to follow His teachings.

The main topics at the recent LDS Conference, from what we heard and read about, by the "apostles" was basically telling the members to stay off the internet.  They simply cannot control anymore all the information that is now available--including from "the church's" own documents and history--which so clearly shows that the whole thing is a scam, a lie, a concoction made up by a charismatic, sexual deviant and con artist (J. Smith).  The "higher ups" have to know the whole thing is fraud, but the whole design of the church is to keep its members so busy with "callings" and duties and meetings and social engagements that they don't have time to stop and begin to objectively analyze all the obvious contradictions and red flags.  They also encase them in financial rewards and communal security with their welfare program, business "hook-ups" and other social benefits.

We are still praying that our youngest son who got ensnared by the con will finally come out of the trance and begin to question.  Problem is, the deeper in they get, the more they have to lose and it is just easier to keep the eyes shut, ears closed, heart hardened and go along with it.

What he or anyone else in that business cult needs to understand, however, is that their souls are at stake.   The Lord, as He has made clear, is not going to take lightly the affront that His creatures loved comfort, community, financial networking etc., MORE than the TRUTH!  In short, it is a great sin to love the "praise of men" MORE than the praise of God.  It is a horrendous blasphemy to call man-made lies "the restored Gospel" and to seek to please fellow creatures ABOVE seeking to please God and the One who suffered and died for our sake!

It is SERIOUS business--this tendency of all of us . . . to prefer "going along to get along" ABOVE taking what may come as a result of pursuing and following THE TRUTH above all!

Recently one of the big stories in Mormon church development was them lowering the age by which young men and girls are allowed to go on a mission to 18 years old.  My first thought when I heard this news was that the church is wanting to get their youth shipped off as soon as possible, into the brainwashing "missionary training program" and subsequent "mind controlling" mission BEFORE they have the chance to find out too much of the truth that is now readily available on the Internet.

I still suspect, as I mentioned some time ago, that if and when the Internet is altered to the point that such information is no longer so easy to access (ie., through some type of filtering or prohibitive "pay-per-view" scheme like the gov. is even now considering) that you will find a powerful Mormon politician very close or directly behind the information stifling agenda . . . ie., perhaps like the despicable Senator Harry Reid . . . .

I care for the Mormon people and am commanded to love them, and so do.  I have a lot of extended family who are bound and tormented by Mormonism's confusing, blasphemous, ever shifting doctrines, now including my youngest boy (as he fell in love with a Mormon girl and so, ended up joining after they secretly "worked" on him, unbeknownst to us.)  But I DO NOT care for or love MormonISM  !  And it's leadership know better!  But the perks are just too cushy--the money and the power . . . . It promotes a false Jesus--a small, weak Jesus who has NOT the power to save (as Mormons are taught THEY must also work their way to salvation.  As a necessary result of their doctrine it also teaches that God the Father had physical sex with own His daughter Mary to produce our so-called "brother" Jesus--which is a most disgusting depiction of our most HOLY, pure God, Who is in truth Spirit and NOT an "exalted man."

Oy, don't get me started! lol . . . .

Anyway, the cracks in the Mormon edifice are manifold and growing, such that really none of the believing adults have any excuse for not researching the fallacious claims of it's past and present founders and leaders.  Mormons need to repent and beg God for forgiveness for devoting their souls and lives to an abominable lie made in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! And pronto! With all that is happening in the world right now, no one should tarry their day of saving.  There WILL be a curtain call, and it will happen suddenly and coming unseen like a thief in the night!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sure Justice



 As the mayhem proceeds, rather than fear, our faith is strengthened.  For one thing, meanwhile, archeological evidence continues with stunning results . . . to show how awesomely accurate Biblical accounts of history actually are.  For instance, we see that God did really destroy Sodom, revealing to us that His justice is sure and He will not be mocked forever.  We can rest assured that the wicked who hate Him and seek the destruction of His people are going to meet their just end.  It is only a matter of time and the unfolding of His perfect, good plan.  We ought never doubt that He is sovereign over every single event and trend that is occurring and that He will bring good out of it for those who love, and thus, serve Him.  Let the heathen rage.  See that it is only when God grants the dawning of repentance in a person's soul are they then able to properly understand, reason and conclude . . . . Repentance precedes holy wisdom.  It is a fallacy to think that people must first be convinced of the truth of God BEFORE they then will repent and be saved.  No, in fact, He graces the gifts of faith and repentance FIRST . . . and THEN the seeker is able to witness to His reality and purposes.  Always, it is from the Lord . . . any good thing we get or do or even perceive.  Never from our own machinations and devising.  NEVER!  So, ALL praise and glory and gratitude goes to Him!Thank you, Lord! . . . for saving wretches such as us, even while we were yet wretches.May God bless and strengthen and clarify your testimony today!bro, t  ***********+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++************
  “Two of our osteologists, Dr. John Leslie, PhD, MD, and Dr. John Moore, PhD, DDS, looked over the bones. The area they concentrated on was the bottom half of the body, including the pelvis region, legs, and feet—the upper portions on two of them were missing. The initial results were amazing and quite exciting archaeologically—but sad in how the people died. They found the bodies splayed out, face down, joints twisted, toes hyper-extended, with many signs of violent burial within collapsing debris. In short, the bodies were extremely traumatized in their death. “Shortly after, we discovered a child body one meter north. The child’s skeleton showed the same destruction, demonstrating traumatic demise.” How so? I was quite curious. “The legs were flexed in the wrong way, the knee joints were ripped apart, one arm was broken with left palm up, and the other arm was smashed under the pelvis. In all, it showed the signs of a sudden, ghastly death.” Any other skeletal remains? I prodded. “Yes. We’re still investigating these. But generally speaking, skeletal remains were found throughout the area, following the same patterns. One skeleton seems to be crouching, as if in fear, protecting itself from the destruction.” So what can one conclude from all this? I asked. “It may be too early to say, but initial evidence points towards a large-scale destruction from a catastrophic event. I say this because, in that area, the skeletal remains were traumatized by an east-to-west directional event, demonstrating that the catastrophe came from a particular compass point.”
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2011/s11120037.htm


"Startling discoveries in the cemetery at Bab edh-Dhra revealed the cause. Archaeologists found that buildings used to bury the dead were burned by a fire that started on the roof.
What would cause every structure in the cemetery to be destroyed in this way?

The answer to the mystery is found in the Bible. “Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens” (Genesis 19:24). The only conceivable explanation for this unique discovery in the annals of archaeology is that burning debris fell on the buildings from the air. But how could such a thing happen?

There is ample evidence of subterranean deposits of a petroleum-based substance called bitumen, similar to asphalt, in the region south of the Dead Sea. Such material normally contains a high percentage of sulfur. It has been postulated by geologist Frederick Clapp that pressure from an earthquake could have caused the bitumen deposits to be forced out of the earth through a fault line. As it gushed out of the earth it could have been ignited by a spark or surface fire. It would then fall to earth as a burning, fiery mass." http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a007.html

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Squawking Chemical Bags: J-Chron cont/re/Evil

"What purpose could evil possibly serve?"  you asked.

Well, first note . . . that without God--if there is no God as described in the Bible--this very question is meaningless gibberish.  It is BECAUSE there is a God that such a question is even possible.

For one thing, if there is no God then there can be no "purpose" and no "evil."  We are just walking matter, sputtering meaningless noises , randomly "existing" for a moment's flash, then returning to dissolution into dirt and eventually chaotically bouncing molecules . . . . Oh, we can construct and maintain some temporary goals and preferences, but they have no transcendent, ultimate meaning.

God says in His Word that we actually all know in our hearts that He exists but that we "suppress that knowledge in unrighteousness."  We are rebels, pride-filled, selfish and stubborn and do not want to submit to anyone other than our selves . . . .

A major problem in "Seeing" these truths and understanding them, is that "a fool says in his heart there is no God" . . . while "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom/knowledge."  So, unfortunately, it is difficult, if not impossible to understand anything in any meaningful, truthful way, without first submitting to and following God.

As one who Believes and thus, worshipfully "fears" the Lord . . . I can tell you, for one thing, "evil" sends us running . . . into the arms of God.  There is a purpose I can tell you exists from experience.  As I mentioned earlier, when we persist in comfort and ease and prosperity (of health, wealth, pleasure etc.) we strongly tend NOT to look for or care about God.  Who needs Him?  But this is a dangerous illusion as it is only because of God (the One Who creates all and provides everything we use and need; air, water, food, shelter, family, friends, talents etc.) that we exist in the first place and have whatever it is that we have to enjoy.

But the blind fool with the "heart of stone" imagines he himself is responsible for what "blessings" he enjoys, takes credit for them, and succumbs inexorably to lording it over others, boasting, ignoring the sick, poor and needy (unless to give to for vanity's sake and more self-righteousness chest pounding) . . . and before you know it a whole life is spent on temporal, pointless, self-serving adventures with not a thought or care given towards the TRUE Author of all . . . let alone, any thought or gratitude given to what Jesus went through to take away our sins and give us eternal life. . . .

So, "evil" is allowed to roam about, like a hungry lion, bringing deprivation, pain, suffering, misery in various forms . . . for the PURPOSE . . . of turning people back toward their God, their Father Creator.  As it is only from Him that all "blessings" can derive, and only according to His laws and love that creation is capable of living in actual, ongoing peace, joy, prosperity . . . then "evil" is used as a way to powerfully clarify the situation, such that it becomes obvious to us--we, who otherwise are quite dense and delusional when left to our own devices and faulty wisdom. . . .

Here's the thing . . . . Indeed, the main thing that kept me searching and questioning and testing all of the various and diverse "spiritual paths" or religions I genuinely investigated and applied. . . .  It was wanting to know the answers to just such "hard questions."  And, in fact, some of the "answers" I found in a few of the "Eastern" religions were quite satisfying intellectually, ie., related to the "problem of evil".

Problem was . . . however . . . that none of them "worked."  By that, I mean, regardless of the answers I found to satisfy my intellect, the overall philosophies/teachings and practices of the different religions . . . never really CHANGED my character (heart) in the way that was promised and in the way that I was deeply craving.  Not if I was honest with myself, despite my growing knapsack of mystical knowledge and even "supernatural" experiences. 

I finally realized, when God showed me the actual ongoing depravity, falsity, hypocrisy--SINFULNESS--of my real, inner, hidden heart and self . . . that NONE of these various other "paths" had the power to transform and save me . . . from my self.  One, however, above all DID. 

Jesus.

It came like a clear, dawning realization.  Jesus IS "the way, the truth and the life" . . . exclusively!

Now, I still had a lot of questions--as I yet do today--but once I set some of those aside and finally just submitted and followed God as revealed in His Word . . . those questions became secondary.  Interesting, but not crucial to the reality of now knowing that God IS . . . and that He is the God of the Bible.  I did not need to have them answered to experience that Jesus is the Savior of mankind. 

Also, what I have found out, is that He does give answers . . . in time, over time, as He sees fit, and it is only SINCE I have been invested with the light and wisdom of the Holy Spirit . . . that I can actually see and understand them properly.  Before I was dead and blind.  Now, I am alive and the Spirit of Truth shows me all kinds of things that I wondered about before but only had the dark, misguided, muddled and fanciful notions of fallen MEN or myself to supposedly guide me.

Anyway, please note, if there is no God, then it is irrelevant and nonsensical to ask what purpose there might be for so-called "evil."  "Evil" would merely be some relative "construct" . . . devised by squawking chemical matter bags with no ULTIMATE meaning and purpose.  "Evil" is a moral idea which presupposes ABSOLUTE right and wrong, good and evil.

If there IS a God, then I easily assume that He has perfect and good purposes for allowing "evil" whether I can comprehend them at this point (or ever) in my ongoing existence. 

In the meantime, I can see a number of good purposes God is making out of the presence and work of "evil" in this world--such as, to drive me into the protective, saving arms of the Lord daily and to keep me humble and pursuing His Word. . . .  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Persevere



The believer is to persevere in his Christian course to the end of his life: his work and his life must go off the stage together. This adds weight to every other difficulty of the Christian's calling. We have known many who have gone into the field, and liked the work of a soldier for a battle or two, but soon have had enough, and come running home again, but few can bear it as a constant trade.

 Many are soon engaged in holy duties, easily persuaded to take up a profession of religion, and as easily persuaded to lay it down, like the new moon, which shines a little in the first part of the night, but is down before half the night is gone—lightsome professors in their youth, whose old age is wrapped up in thick darkness of sin and wickedness. O, this persevering is a hard word! this taking up the cross daily, this praying always, this watching night and day, and never laying aside our clothes and armour, I mean indulging ourselves, to remit and unbend in our holy waiting on God, and walking with God.

This sends many sorrowful away from Christ, yet this is a saint's duty, to make religion his every-day work, without any vacation from one end of the year to the other. These few instances are enough to show what need the Christian hath of resolution.

This gives us reason why there are so many professors and so few Christians indeed; so many that run and so few obtain; so many go into the field against Satan, and so few come out conquerors; because all have a desire to be happy, but few have courage and resolution to grapple with the difficulties that meet them in the way to their happiness.

All Israel came joyfully out of Egypt under Moses' con­duct, yea, and a mixed multitude with them, but when their bellies were pinched with a little hunger, and the greedy desires of a present Canaan deferred, yea, instead of peace and plenty, war and penury, they, like white‑livered soldiers, are ready to fly from their colors, and make a dishonorable retreat into Egypt. Thus the greatest part of those who profess the gospel, when they come to push of pike, to be tried what they will do, deny to endure for Christ, grow sick of their enterprise.

Alas! their hearts fail them, they are like the waters of Bethlehem. But if they must dispute their passage with so many enemies, they will even content themselves with their own cistern, and leave heaven to others who will venture more for it. O how many part with Christ at this cross-way! Like Orpah, they go a furlong or two with Christ, while he goes to take them off from their worldly hopes, and bids them prepare for hardship, and then they fairly kiss and leave him, loath indeed to lose heaven, but more loath to buy it at so dear a rate.

Like some green heads, that childishly make choice at some sweet trade, such as is the confectioner's, from a liquorish tooth they have to the junkets[i] it affords, but meeting with sour sauce of labor and toil that goes with them, they give in, and are weary of their service. So the sweet bait of religion hath drawn many to nibble at it, who are offended with the hard service it calls to. It requires another spirit than the world can give or receive to follow Christ fully. 

(William Gurnall, 1617-1679)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

J-Chron cont. "Why Make It This Way?"

So, we are told in scripture that everything redounds (returns) to God's glory.  One of the meanings of the word "glory" in Hebrew is to imply immensity, heaviness, volume, impressive . . . along with splendor, magnificence, radiance. . . .

If the purpose of creation--especially this creation including the resultant fallen world and creatures--is ultimately meant to all redound to the glory of God, I am not surprised to see it is precisely . . . the way it is.

Would a perfect world, with perfect creatures who did nothing but love and worship God forever exemplify the immense and magnificent characteristics of God?  Yes, and I would suggest that such would show more of His "glory" than if He were simply existing alone, by Himself.

BUT would it not reveal MORE of His glory (immensity, impressiveness) . . . to create a world that was capable of rejecting Him, falling into corruption and chaos thereby, where He then condescends to become as one of the creatures in that fallen world . . . to defeat the corruption . . . save it and THEN return it as a perfect world with perfect creatures (rescued from "darkness") who love and worship and appreciate God's glory all the MORE . . . than if they had never fallen away in the first place?

Let's say you were born into beauty, perfect health, splendor, power and wealth, surrounded by similar people who all have the same.  From your first conscious moments it was all you knew.  It was the air you breathed, "the water in which you swam."  You knew nothing else--indeed couldn't even conceive of anything else (poverty, lack, hunger, disease, ugliness etc.) because you had never seen or experienced it.

Someone comes to you and says, "There is a wondrous fountain, miles away, which gives health, wealth, beauty and well being.  All you need do is drink from it and these things will be yours!  But first, you must travel through a desert . . . then a malarial jungle with wild and poisonous monsters . . . and through lands of thieves and murderers. . . . You will starve, be beaten and persecuted, robbed, and will travel alone.  BUT, at the end, there is the fountain which will make it all worth while!"

Why would you bother?  You already have all the things the fountain offers.  In fact, you don't really even understand the offer, because these things are all you've ever known.  You don't even know that they are especially desirable compared to the lack thereof.  Starvation? A beating?  Poverty and loneliness?  What even are these things?  You have what you have, you are what you are, and that is all there is, taken for granted.

Does not creating a relative reality . . . a creation which is capable of existing with a relative lack of God--of His love, power, abundance etc. on display--where His rejection (by that creation) leads to death, misery, poverty, disease, horror, depression, murder, infidelity, war, perversion . . . create a situation where His glory (immensity, capability) is revealed ALL THE MORE by the contrast?

And would not a creature who had gone through an experience where God was NOT the center of all things then love and worship and appreciate Him so much more meaningfully because of having experienced what "life" was like without Him?   Contrast and comparison between things brings a deeper, richer, more pleasurable enjoyment of the better thing between the two.  Especially the more those two things are different. 

Imagine God created a world which was just a little bit different than Heaven.  No pain, no sadness, no conflicts . . . but everybody  walked with a limp, that's all.  Oh, a tiny bit of discomfort in that limp, but otherwise everything else was perfect and the people lived forever.  Yes, those folks would probably enjoy somewhat better going to Heaven where there was no limp and would praise God for the upgrade . . . but compare it to a people who practically went through a living hell, threatened with death the whole time--in a world run by sadistic and psychopathic invisible entities--who THEN got to live in Heaven thereafter forever, never to suffer again? 

Now, you might say, "but really?  Must the world be this bad and life so hard . . . to show such a contrast?  Couldn't it have been designed differently, better than this, in order to reveal and share God's glory, if that is the purpose?"

And I would just say, "Presuming (thus believing) God's Word is The Truth; and that He is perfect, holy, good, omniscient, omnipotent, lacking nothing, needing nothing, full of grace and mercy, Who is love . . . then why would I question whether He could have done it a better way . . . according to my limited, fallen, corrupt, sinful, self-serving mindset and heart?  Who will I be siding with:  finite, naturally God-hating men in rebellion against God--"children of the devil"--though they be fancied as scientists, atheists, agnostics, philosophers, artists or whatever . . . OR . . . do I suppose that God, Who is all wise, all powerful, perfect, righteous, eternal . . . that HE made this world, with His plan and purposes in just the way He intended it and that it is undoubtedly the best way for His purposes?

Now, one might argue, "but you are presupposing there is God in the first place to bring forth your answer and analysis.  But note this: to even question why there is "evil" in the world itself presupposes that there is a God!  If there is no ultimate Authority--no objective Truth, no "Lawgiver", no objective "right" and "wrong" . . . then there is no such thing as "evil."  There is no objective, transcendent meaning.  It is only because there IS a God--an Authority above and beyond creation--that "evil" can be perceived or said to exist.

[Ahh . . . but gotta go to church right now, so will continue asap, God blesses you.]

Saturday, April 13, 2013

J-Chron/Evil/introduction

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."  Isaiah 45:7

First, before I get into my understanding and response to the age-old "the problem of evil" I want to quickly address this passage from scripture. 

One thing we know from many other teachings in the Bible is that God is absolutely good and holy and is NOT the creator of "evil" in the way that "evil" is being considered in this discussion.  Here are just a few:  God is absolutely holy (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8), “his work is perfect,” “all his ways are just,” he is a Being of “faithfulness” who is “without iniquity,” and is both “just and right” (Dt. 32:4). Moral evil cannot be attributed to the Creator in any way (Hab. 1:13; Jas. 1:13-14).

God has allowed evil to exist for His purposes, yes, and He will produce a good result from it, for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).  But the Good Book is clear He is not the creator of (capital "E") Evil.

Understanding the Bible and what He teaches through it is done by reading verses in context and in light of all the scriptures, so that if a verse is plucked out ("cherry-picked" as they say) and put up against another also plucked out of context, and they appear to contradict, you will find that the more you know of the whole of scripture and of those verses' actual intended meanings in their contexts, there really aren't contradictions.  Paradoxes . . . yes.  But confusion and contradiction, no.

In this case, (as in Isa. 45:7) the Hebrew word for "evil" which is "rah" . . . has several different meanings.  Hebrew, unlike Greek is more limited so that one word can mean a few things depending on the context (ie., like how  the English word "blue" can mean a color, a moral tone, or a mood.)  Some of the different ways "rah" is translated, according to context are " "wicked," "bad," "hurt," "harm," "ill," "sorrow," "mischief," "displeased," "adversity," "affliction," "trouble," "calamity," "grievous," "misery," and "trouble."

In this verse "rah" or "evil" is not speaking of MORAL or (ontological) evil--the original kind which Lucifer and Adam and Eve brought into the world through disobedience to God's will.  In the context of the surrounding passages, Isaiah is depicting contrasts between "light and darkness", "well-being and calamity" . . . something more like "adversity" . . . .

Does this make a difference?  Yes.  It is one thing to say that God is the creator of (ontological) or foundational "evil."  It is something else to say that He creates or causes "calamity" or "adversity" . . . "trouble" . . . "affliction" . . . or judgments such as "natural disasters" which are also referred to as "evil" in places of scripture.

For a people who are born in sin--who are in full-on rebellion against God . . . who "naturally" hate Him and are primarily driven to seek pleasure, power, comfort, security in, for and by themselves . . . "evils" such as "affliction" . . . "trouble" . . . "calamity" . . . "suffering" . . .  (directed or allowed by God) . . . are, it appears, the only ways that cause people to bother finally seeking Him out! 

Why is it nearly impossible for the wealthy and "powerful" to make it to Heaven?  Because they think they have no need for God or Heaven.  They are SELF satisfied, content with their portion of riches, comfort and control within this life.  Only when some "evil" is introduced into their lives (a disaster, a loved-one dying, a disease) do they at last (hopefully) begin to ask what this life is actually all about and search to find a purpose and meaning BEYOND their limited, finite selves . . . .

(to be continued:)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Devestating Memo Released (re LDS)

I hope tomorrow I can get to J's question and solve "the problem of evil" (well, heh, give my take on the matter) . . . but quickly wanted to share what is possibly one of the biggest and most devastating revelations to come out in modern times concerning the L.D.S. Church's fallacious foundations . . . . I don't know how far this news has spread beyond the "Zion Curtain" but it has gone viral around here . . . .

Back in a post on 6-2-12 I referred to well known Mormon historian Grant Palmer and some historical information he had sent me upon request . . . .

Well, he has now dropped the proverbial bomb shell with his new information through a recently released memo about his private meetings with certain of the top leaders of the L.D.S. Church (a "General Authority" no less!) . . . .

In short, he claims to have been told that most, if not all of the "apostles" and "GA's" know "the Church" is a fraud--its "official" history a sham, but that they are paid handsomely (millions) to stay mum and keep the charade going.  And that, so much factual information about the church's shady beginnings (especially those of Joseph Smith) is coming out, that it is like a dam getting ready to burst.  (Praise God!  We love these people and do not want them going to Hell for worshipping a false god and man-made gospel!)

Those who are not too familiar with the secrecy and media control of the Mormon church and its authorities and how long and how well they have managed to keep such things hidden from their sadly (and sinfully) duped members, may not immediately grasp how profound and potentially explosive this is . . . but trust, it's a doozy!  Those who have looked into the Church are not surprised and have suspected as much all along, but coming from Grant Palmer . . . well . . . this is huge.
So far, it does not appear to be a hoax and continues to "have legs" . . . .

Here is the memo Grant released which is causing quite the hubbub 'round these here parts:

Three Meetings with a LDS General Authority, 2012- 2013
Grant H. Palmer
 
In mid-October 2012, a returned LDS Mission President contacted me to arrange a meeting. Several days later, he called again and said that a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy also wished to attend. He said the General Authority would attend on condition that I not name him or repeat any stories that would identify him. He explained that neither of them, including the GA’s wife, believed the founding claims of the restoration were true. He clarified that they had read my book, An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, and had concluded that the LDS Church was not true; was not what it claimed to be. The GA often went to the MormonThink.com website for information and there discovered my book. The Mission President said he received my book from the GA.         
 
We have at this writing met three times. We first met on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 and again February 14, 2013 at my house. On March 26, 2013 we convened at the GAs house. Upon entering my home for the first meeting the GA said, “We are here to learn.” I recognized him. He has been a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy for a number of years. He has served in several high profile assignments during this period. The following are the more important statements made by the GA during our first three meetings. We now meet monthly.
 
He said that each new member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is given one million dollars to take care of any financial obligations they have. This money gift allows them to fully focus on the ministry. He said that the overriding consideration of who is chosen is whether they are “church broke,” meaning, will they do whatever they are told. He said the senior six apostles make the agenda and do most of the talking. The junior six are told to observe, listen and learn and really only comment if they are asked. He said that it takes about two to three years before the new apostle discovers that the church is not true. He said it took Dieter F. Uchtdorf a little longer because he was an outsider. He said they privately talk among themselves and know the foundational claims of the restoration are not true, but continue on boldly “because the people need it,” meaning the people need the church. When the Mission President voiced skepticism and named ___ as one who surely did believe, The GA said: “No, he doesn’t.” The one million dollar gift, plus their totally obedient attitude makes it easy for them to go along when they find out the church is not true. For these reasons and others, he doesn’t expect any apostle to ever expose the truth about the foundational claims.
 
When I asked the GA how he knew these things, he answered by saying that the Quorum of the Twelve today is more isolated from the Quorums of the Seventies now because there are several of them. When only one Quorum of the Seventy existed, there was more intimacy. During his one on one assignments with an apostle, conversations were more familiar. He said that none of the apostles ever said to him directly that they did not believe; but that it was his opinion based on “my interactions with them.” Also, that none of the Twelve want to discuss “truth issues,” meaning issues regarding the foundational claims of the church. He said that the apostle’s lives are so completely and entirely enmeshed in every detail of their lives in the church, that many of them would probably die defending the church rather than admit the truth about Joseph Smith and the foundations of the church.
The GA stated that my disciplinary action (which would have occurred on the final Sunday of October 2010 had I not resigned), was mandated/ordered/approved by the First Presidency of the Church. I said that if the apostles know the church is not true and yet order a disciplinary hearing for my writing a book that is almost certainly true regarding the foundational claims of the church, then they are corrupt even evil. He replied, “That’s right!”
 
            The GA said the church is like a weakened dam. At first you don’t see cracks on the face; nevertheless, things are happening behind the scenes. Eventually, small cracks appear, and then the dam will “explode.” When it does, he said, the members are going to be “shocked” and will need scholars/historians like me to educate them regarding the Mormon past.
 
The Mission President and the GA both said they attend church every Sunday and feel like “a hypocrite and trapped.” The GA said his ward treats him like a king and when he gives firesides and speaks to LDS congregations they have high expectations of him. He would like to do more in getting the truth out besides raising a few questions when speaking and gifting my book to others when feeling comfortable. Perhaps this is why he has reached out to me. The GA is a man of integrity and very loving. Upon leaving each time, he always gives me a big hug.
 
 
Do the Following Statements Support the Disclosures of the GA?
 
Apostle Boyd K. Packer said to Michael Quinn when interviewing him for a history position at BYU in 1976, “I have a hard time with historians because they idolize the truth. The truth is not uplifting, it destroys,” quoted in, Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History, editor, George D. Smith, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1992), 76n22.
Gregory Prince, who wrote a seminal biography of President David O. McKay, related to me that when he interviewed Hugh Nibley, a professor at BYU in 1995, that “At one point in the interview he [Nibley] asked that I turn off the tape recorder, which I did. He then related a curious anecdote relating to McKay and the Book of Mormon,” indicating that McKay did not believe in the historicity of the Book of Mormon (emails exchanged between me and Greg Prince on June 22, 2005. These documents are located in The Grant H. Palmer Papers, Accn 2071, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah).
Thomas Stuart Ferguson, a California lawyer, church member and avid amateur archeologist, took the Egyptian papyri that was gifted to the church in 1967 to several Egyptologists at Berkeley, and as I recall Brown University and had them independently translated. All said the papyri were common funerary rites from the Book of the Dead. Ferguson then took their statements to apostle Hugh B. Brown, and after reviewing the evidence “with Brother Brown he said that Brother Brown agreed with him that it was not scripture …. that Hugh B. Brown did not believe the Book of Abraham was what the church said it was” (Journal entry of Ronald O. Barney concerning Thomas Stuart Ferguson on 19 April, 1984. Barney, now retired, worked at the LDS Library and Archives at Church headquarters, in Salt Lake City). Ferguson also said the same to Gerald and Sandra Tanner on December 2, 1970: “Mr. Ferguson had just visited with Mormon apostle Hugh B. Brown before coming to our house, and said that Brown has also come to the conclusion that the Book of Abraham was false” (Letter of Gerald Tanner to Dee Jay Nelson, December 10, 1970, published by Modern Microfilm Co., SLC, Utah).

 http://beggarsbread.org/2013/04/08/grant-palmer-reveals-stunning-lds-church-insider-information/

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Get Ready For The World To Come

Yes, "they" are busy working at taking away more fundamental rights (2nd amendment) and there are rumors of war and a whole host of stories and propaganda meant to agitate and misdirect, but I think one of the most ominous, disturbing and portentous of recent assaults along the front of "total war" . . . is what just happened to the Amish.  This is Soviet style oppression right here, right now!  And it won't be the end of it; it is only beginning, so be prepared (spiritually) for its continuation and expansion. That is, the deliberate targeting and persecution of Christians in the so-called "land of the free."

15 years in prison has been the judgment against some Amish who were simply involved in an internal matter of what we might call "church discipline."  Pedophiles, rapists, murderers and banking/corporate/government thieves who steal millions and billions are given no jail time, but a few women (mothers) and men are being sent to the gulags for cutting some beards.  Here is where the phony, trumped-up "law" of "hate crime" has all along been intended to be used--against the religious, especially Bible-toting Christians. 

Oh, you may have disagreements and concerns about their doctrine . . . but "first they came for the Amish and no one spoke up" . . . will lead to a wider and wider net, combined with new definitions of "mental illness" which will include such things as "believing the Bible is the word of God" . . . and simply believing in God at all . . . . Forced medicating, imprisonment, "re-education" etc. will be the order of the day--NOT just some random exception.  It will be standard operating procedure.

Ah, but here is where we will see the lambs separated from the goats.  Are you really a disciple of the Lord or will you buckle instantly or soon after the first stones fly?  Whatever we, in our limited, self-centered opinions may think of it, God often uses evil men and women, led by the hatred of the Evil One . . . to purge the Body of tares and CINO'S (Christians In Name Only) . . . .

And not only that, but we are to be in such a state of being and INTENTION . . . that we find ways to yet love the ones who spitefully use and abuse us . . . .

Our work is cut out for us . . . . Praise God, persevering . . . .

++++++++++++++++++++++

"When is cutting someone’s beard a hate crime worthy of a life sentence? When the federal government says so.
Sixteen members of an Amish community in Bergholz, Ohio, were convicted of hate crimes for a hair- and beard-cutting attack on other Amish in fall of 2011 .
Prosecutors charged them for hate crimes because hair has spiritual significance for the Amish, who believe the Bible instructs men to stop shaving once they marry.
The haircuts were meant to shame fellow Amish for straying from religious guidelines. The defendants argued the government was wrong to intervene in what was a family or church dispute.
The 16 men and women were convicted in Cleveland last year of charges including conspiracy, assault, hiding evidence and hate crimes.
Instead of the life sentence recommended by the government, a federal judge sentenced community leader Bishop Samuel Mullet to 15 years in prison. The judge sentenced 15 of Mullet’s followers to two-to-seven years in prison, including six women."

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/life-in-jail-for-cutting-an-amish-beard/#qkZgDABZLER6Cdf6.99

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chronicles of J: "Evil?"

If I'm not mistaken, God, as understood in the Judeo-Christian tradition, includes a component of omniscience, correct?

Why would He create a class of beings (humanity) that would, based on Biblical accounts, be such an obvious disappointment? How many times does He order the destruction of a region and demand the extermination of every living being in the area? It seems on every third page or so of The Bible we're told The Lord is displeased with one or more of us for one or more reasons... it makes me wonder why He bothered creating us if we were going to be such a consistent disappointment -especially if He had so much as an inkling of suspicion in advance that this would be the case? 
J is asking the great fundamental questions . . . . I'd expected we'd be getting to this one soon, and yes, here it is . . . . I've thought a lot about it myself for a long time.  One of the attractions to me in the Eastern religions and words from related mystics was, in fact, how they dealt with the problem of evil and suffering . . . .
Since being born again and delving into God's Word for answers . . . the very asking of such questions takes on a different meaning . . . which I will attempt to address here shortly.
God bless you, btw!  Soon enough we will be together in paradise!
 
-------------------------------------------------------
Third question:

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." -Isaiah 45:7.

This has been asked repeatedly throughout the ages, but... Why does evil exist? What purpose could it possibly serve?

One can argue that evil needs to exist in order for us to understand what is good. However... let me put it this way: I like pineapple. A lot. But I don't imagine I'd care for the taste of, say, canine feces. My liking pineapple is predicated upon having had a positive experience with it involving my taste buds, but I do not require having an experience with canine feces to conclude that I'm not going to care for it -at all. The analogy is somewhat flimsy, but you get the idea: There needn't be a polar opposite for everything in order to conclude one thing is clearly preferable or superior to another. If only good existed -and we were ignorant of and unburdened by evil... what could be wrong with that arrangement?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

VICTORIOUS!

Oh how great it is to be a child of God!  To be a disciple of the Lord Yeshua, Jesus!  Sickness, grave illness, the loss of loved ones, betrayal, tyranny and war . . . can come singly or together . . . but they are nothing but phantoms--vapors amidst the big vapor that is this temporary mortal life.  A walk through the valley of tears, but for a night . . . . Nothing and no one can touch the spirit of the disciple which stands in holiness in Christ in the heavenlies! . . . . There can be no worry, no anxiety, no fear where it counts. . . . No, TRULY . . . THERE CAN BE NO WORRY, ANXIETY OR FEAR where your spirit rests in the victory of the Messiah!  Let these be not platitudes or vague notions. 

Oh yes, your "old man" . . . your "old woman"--the old you who is dead still staggers around, twitching and jerking like the passing corpse that it is--.  And powerless demons try to fret and bluff you as if you still had concerns. . . . But no weapon, no power, no man, no woman formed in the earth or even in "the airs" can touch you!  IT IS FINISHED!  The dead will party on and bury their own, but the LIVING are already gone!  Just a short time to wait, patiently, gratefully, joyfully . . . then crowns will be honored for those who fought the good fight and finished the race. 

You who have made King Jesus your Lord, Friend and Savior HAVE fought the good fight and finished the race.  The rest is "mopping up stages." 

Recall constantly His winning victory and remember that it is a sin to now worry and question and doubt as if  He didn't!  REST!  Revel in His perfect grace and undaunted power to save!  HE SAYS HE WILL NOT LOSE A SINGLE ONE and HE WON'T!  The Father gave you as a bride to the Son and all who the Father gave He will draw in to Him!  Is this not fantastic?!

Do not be deceived by the Liar that you should fret or worry about your present body.  A new one will be given to you, perfect, glorious, eternal!

Praise God in this day of lies and dishonor!  Through Him WE ARE VICTORIOUS!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chronicles of J: "why?"

As to that most mystery-invoking of questions, "why?" . . . which I have myself long pondered and still even get a kick out of contemplating . . . .

First off I must say that for me . . . well, I already had a basic testimony of the existence of God, ever since I have pondered "why?"  I knew He was there; His presence was obvious.  My primary driving question then revolved around figuring out who He was and which of all the various "paths"/"religions" was THE truth to best reach and please Him.  I didn't doubt He existed but I determined that there ought to be one way above all that He was best understood and related to which He intended the seeker to find and follow.

Right away, though, I too wondered and marveled at the "WHY?" of His being . . . and "why?" would He have ever created anything "more" than His complete, infinite self? . . . Especially, "why" would He make a universe and world such as this with all its chaos, violence, contention, confusion?

After much searching and finally coming to what I am now utterly convinced is "THE TRUTH" (Biblical Christianity) I must go to "His Word" to find whatever Authoritative answers are available.  And indeed, one of the most helpful and profound values of the Bible (His Word) is that it gives us information about His character--Who He is, what He likes and doesn't like . . . so-to-speak, which helps immensely in reaching certain answers. 

So, rather than come up with my own ideas of what I think God should be like, I can simply look into things He has had Written about Himself and His relationship to the world and humanity since the beginning of this creation.  Clues are found there.

Because I already believe in Him and am totally convicted that He IS . . . and that He speaks to us through His Word . . . I am content to rely on whatever answers are there provided.  Also, being "born again" I find that the Holy Spirit--Whose job it is to reveal truth--provides an ability to my mind and heart to See and comprehend things that my otherwise darkened mind would not be able to grasp.  You should know that there IS a kind of supernatural wisdom that comes with "being saved" that is not really available before one is made a "new creature in Christ". . . .

Also, you should know that no amount of brilliant or satisfying "answers" will necessarily make it any easier to finally believe in and turn your life over to God.  Jesus, when He was walking and talking among the people (and to the Pharisees, philosophers and lawyers, etc.) constantly gave astute and specific answers . . . along with His parables.  Not only that, but He performed miracles that were witnessed by multitudes.  But it did not matter to those with hard hearts and minds filled with pride; and it is commonly understood among believers that those who call themselves atheists or agnostics, who say that they would "believe" if God would just come down and show Himself to them and perform some miracle  . . . that they won't, as we know that He DID already, and still they would not believe.

And not only "not believe" . . . but they went further to torture and kill Him!

The Bible teaches that the heart of man is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" . . . and that in our fallen state we are natural, born rebels who hate God--even "children of the devil" (until we are born again)--who by our "unrighteousness suppress the truth."  What does this last phrase mean?  Elsewhere the Bible explains that every person is born with a deep-seated knowledge of God and of the truth, but that in our sinful condition, we suppress and hide that truth.  Why?  Because, as it began in the Garden, we have succumbed to the temptation to be our own gods.  We do not want to answer to Anyone.  We don't want there to be consequences to our life's decisions and our compelling love of self. . . .

Anyway, back to the question . . . "why?". . . .

Yet, again I must reiterate that . . . on the other side of Believing, coming from a position of non-belief or general agnosticism . . . NO answer will satisfy, no matter how correct, precise, astounding, and even if it did, another question would follow . . . and then another . . . and another ad infinitum . . . because the real issue is not so much about understanding with Reason and satisfied logic the "whys" or even "hows" of the situation . . . but, rather, the situation of a sinful, rebellious soul who rejects God and will continue to reject God regardless . . . until it realizes its awful condition and yearns to be free and at last desirous to submit and be saved from inevitable death and damnation. . . . That is what the Bible teaches primarily, as answer to most philosophic and/or mystical queries. . . .

As to "what want or need" . . . "a perfect and whole entity" might have to create a world and creatures, His Word teaches that He has no such "needs".  You also implied (somewhat tongue-in-cheek I realize:) that He "suddenly felt the overwhelming compulsion to speak the universe into existence" which is also not the case.  Nowhere in scripture does it say that He felt "compelled."  He was not lonely and He has no needs, nor is He compelled to do whatsoever by anyone or anything.

Understanding God's attributes . . . personality . . . character . . . etc., does, nevertheless help somewhat the human mind appreciate possibly a bit of the "why" God may have decided to create.

For one thing, we are told "God is love."  Perhaps, how better to express and share this wonderful quality of "love" than to create individuals with whom He can share a loving relationship?  We are also informed that He is "holy", "merciful", "righteous", "just", "sovereign" . . . and obviously creative. . . .

As we are "made in His image" . . . although presently corrupted . . . we can kind of relate from our own experience.  For instance, why do we create?  There seems to be an inherent "joy" in creating . . . then expressing that creation . . . and sharing it with others. If we accept that "God IS" . . . and that He IS inherently creative--He just IS creative--then why wouldn't He simply create as a "natural" function of His very Being?  

Above all, we are Told that the purpose of life--our lives--is to "glorify God" and that He made the "heavens" and such . . . to show His glory; and this is the answer that is most clear and satisfying to me.

Now, the carnal mind, fallen, which hates God and is in rebellion, of course, bridles at this.  "Glorify God?"  "What is He--an egomaniac!?"  Then, the same mind flips God off and goes about glorifying itself! 

But when I sit still and ponder . . . first off, that GOD IS . . . and that He is a Person . . . and that He is love . . . and righteous . . . and holy . . . and omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent . . . eternal . . . unchanging . . . "no respecter of persons" . . . . And as I look at this incredible, detailed, sometimes quirky creation, from the miniature to the gargantuan . . . and realize that even all that I can see and somewhat comprehend, including the cosmos, He easily "holds in His hand" . . . then I am thrilled that He expresses/creates to show His "glory"--meaning . . . to just display and share what He is and can do . . . and especially to know that there will be no end to His doing this. 

What we are witnessing and experiencing here in this world and the way it has gone . . . is to see what "life" is like when He is NOT recognized as the Sovereign; and how things go when created beings live and act for their own glory and self-serving purposes.  It becomes a horrific mess!  I expect there is no better nor more perfect way to show that difference and to portray the stark, alarming contrast between a creation which glorifies God versus one that glorifies and revels in its derivative self. . . .

So, He creates some entities . . . gives them a modicum and type of "free will" then watches as they immediately begin screwing things up thinking they know better.  He allows the thing to run on for a time until it is so desperately wicked, confused and miserable that it is about to finally destroy itself in evil insanity, violence and perversions . . . and then He gets to reveal other aspects of His character--such as MERCY and GRACE--by stepping in to take the punishment for Himself, in the God/Man Jesus, and save all those who repent of the grand mistake and at last turn to follow and worship Him as Lord--as the ONE AND ONLY LIVING TRUE GOD. . . . It is terrifying, awesome, beautiful and mind blowing--the whole affair . . . and in the end, all revolves again in just revealing the wondrous, glorious, jaw-dropping acceptance and reverence of His "glory"--that HE IS THAT HE IS and He has deigned to make us to be witnesses of the same!

It is a paradox . . . and confounding to the carnal and worldly mind--although comprehensible in a sense to a "childlike" and humble mind--that you really can't "See" until you Believe. 

The world-wise would say he wants to "see" first, then he'll "Believe" . . . but this is actually just a dodge by the prideful and ever-resisting.  The "wise" of Christ's day saw Him, heard Him, witnessed His miracles . . . and it only hardened their rejection; to the point that they trumped up charges in order to kill the innocent man/God. 

The biggest stumbling block to realizing Who Jesus, God is . . . is the fallen, self-seeking, rebellious human mind's tendency to presume how God "ought" to have done things.  Why did He allow sin to enter?  Why doesn't He stop suffering?  Why create beings who are capable of rejecting Him?  Why make a world that includes disease, war, rape, theft, adultery and then send the "only Begotten Son" to suffer and die to save it?  Couldn't it have been done a "better way"? 

If you don't believe in the God Who is love, holy, perfect, all-knowing, merciful . . . then such questions don't seem quite as ridiculously arrogant and presumptuous as they obviously are if there IS such a God.  But once He reveals Himself to you--once you have at last come to the end of your limited self and you are truly broken, humbled--an admitted "wretch" in need of a Savior--then it is a small thing to joyfully and confidently accept that, no doubt, the Divine Mind--the Author of All--is doing precisely and perfectly exactly just what is best, for the highest and most good, taking into account all that has been created and how it all relates together . . . through time . . . and as intended . . . continuing throughout all eternity.

I don't doubt that this is an inadequate response, but it is a pleasure to attempt all the same! :)  Thanks, and despite my feeble castings, please, please pepper me with more!  I have contemplated these matters likewise for a long time and continue to, and can think of little better to be done than talk about the only Subject/Object that could possibly make some sense out of this present disaster:)!




Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Chronicles of J

"Suppose you are the Supreme Being.  You are perfect, whole and content unto yourself in every conceivable manner, yet you suddenly feel the overwhelming compulsion to speak the universe into existence. . . . To what end?  What would be the motivation for doing so?  What want or need (things a perfect and whole entity presumable wouldn't have) does it serve?  Quite simply, why?  [Although I concede that we mere mortals aren't likely able to comprehend the purposes of such a Being, but there must be something we can relate to on some level as to why He would feel the need or desire to do anything....]"
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I recently checked in with a friend of mine who I haven't talked to in a while . . . . And he made a side comment in his response which showed some frustration and that general sense of ennui (boredom/hopelessness at life's seeming lack of ultimate meaning) that I dare say all wise, sensitive and intelligent people eventually come to as life goes on and the ridiculousness of this world mounts . . . if there is no God or "higher" purpose beyond the mortal vapor . . . .

From my own experience this state of unease is when the search for God starts getting real--earnest and increasingly urgent.

So I told him my standard take on the matter which is . . . that unless there IS a God and some sort of life after death with continuity of self and consciousness . . . then indeed, this life is little more than bizarre cosmic joke, and a dark one at that!

I gave J my testimony that I had been at that same point of frustration . . . and determined early on that it would be my primary goal in life to find an answer--THE answer--and that, after various and sometimes sordid investigations, trails, trials and wanderings . . . I found that there WAS an answer and it has borne out by the resultant ongoing transformation of my heart, mind, understanding and overall being.  I would never settle for a false answer or be able to placate my yearning with some superficial, concocted narrative . . . . I was determined to find THE TRUTH and the truth of it MUST be in the pudding!  No self-deception or vain imaginations would do!

There has been a bit of back and forth since then, which I am loving, as there is nothing I think more satisfying and . . . well, FUN!--than dialoguing with someone who is sincerely seeking where there is the chance they may seek their way straight into the arms of Jesus!

 I have since asked him what are some of the basic, deep questions he has about the whole thing and the above was his first, heh . . . . He's a very bright fellow--gifted too--and I am both pleased and a bit daunted that he started out with probably the greatest, most cosmic mystery of all:  "WHY?"

I have little doubt that all of his queries will be relevant, probing/challenging and fundamental so I thought I would sprinkle here some of it in hopes of sharing the sharpening I expect I must experience myself as the back and forth progresses . . . .

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dead Branches

Why is it that so many professing Christians make no spiritual progress, and indeed make no efforts to grow in grace? Why? Because they care nothing about it! To take up a “mere profession” is all they desire; but to proceed from one degree of piety to another; to grow in grace – is no part of their desire… Is it possible to be a Christian and yet destitute of this desire to grow in grace? No, it is not! I tell you, it is not! If you have no concern to grow in grace – there is no grace in you! You are a piece of dead wood – and not a living branch! You are a spiritual corpse – and not a living man! In this state there can be no growth – for dead things never grow! ~ John Angell James, Christian Progress, 1853.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Coordinated Takeover

 When I do tune in to the "world"--talk radio and such--from all corners I am hearing the same shock and awe from various pundits at how suddenly and radically it seems our culture is changing.  There seems to be a near universal opinion that fairly recently "something has changed" . . . and most of them tend to tie it in time to the last depressing election . . . .

But this specific assault and transformation of "traditional" American culture, politics etc., has actually been going on for a while.

The big mistake which so many are making--which will allow the takeover to continue unabated--is to think that these radical "liberal" changes happening to our society . . . are happening "naturally", as if we are simply evolving or progressing as a society; that new technological innovations, for instance or "social media" are simply speeding up what are inevitable changes within a modern, progressive society . . . .

In fact, what is happening is the result of a very disciplined military strategy.  It has been planned, directed and deliberate. 

What we are seeing and experiencing . . . is a mortal enemy of the U.S. and her allies (mostly those with a Christian religio-political heritage) who has systematically infiltrated all important positions of power within societal institutions over a period of decades . . . . An enemy who has secretly, in coordination, been undermining, transforming and taking control of said institutions . . . and turned them all into "transmission belts" for an ongoing, steady communist revolution.

Now, we are just seeing the rotten fruits--the results--of all these decades of successful subterfuge.  As I have long said, "it is over; we are but in the mopping up stages."

"Gay rights" is the present perfect example of one of the battering rams the enemy is using to smash down the walls around our city.  And it is a big one, for one of the main goals of the godless communist fascists is to destroy the family because the family is the primary competing governing authority over individuals.  They want it to be the STATE and the state alone.  No family, no God, no father or mother, no patriotic history etc. are to inform the citizen as to what is "right and wrong", but only the current agenda of the (communist) Party. 

Through "gay rights" they are finalizing their objective of changing our conception of fundamental rights as being "civil" rather than "natural" rights.  "Civil rights" as they are now being defined are granted by the state.  They are determined supposedly through consensus.  But, of course, the danger which the Founders knew is that whatever "rights" the State grants, the State can also take away.

"Natural rights" are those which are given by God, which no man can take away and which are suppose to simply be guarded by the State.  As they continue to transform our notion of rights from "natural" to "civil" . . . we will continue to lose the ability to practice our "natural" rights--ie., freedom of speech, self-protection, property rights etc.

Eventually, the enemy operators who have taken over the social institutions, media and government, will not be able to hide the devastating results of their tyrannical policies.  Society will rapidly unwind and collapse and social unrest will increase.  Of course, they are planning for this and want it to happen.  Ultimately, they will have a militant police state with gulags and a wall around the outside to keep people from escaping.  Although, since America really was the last best hope for freedom in the world, and most of the other countries have already fallen, a wall might not be necessary as there will be nowhere to escape to . . . .

Since the god-hating communists ultimately have the "first rebel" as their progenitor (Lucifer, to whom ie., Saul Alinsky dedicated his "Rules For Radicals book) then we know that the whole issue is actually a spiritual one above all.  This is why in every communist takeover, religion--especially Biblical Christianity is vociferously attacked.  The Bible is at 180 degree odds against the secular religion of Lenin, Marx, Mao, Pol Pot . . . .

This is why, rather than jump on some political site first thing in the morning to continue agitation for resisting the takeover, I instead jump to prayer!  I immediately, upon waking, direct my mind and heart to God, to Jesus . . . and begin to pray for the concerns of the day, and to praise Him and consider my friends and loved ones and all those under persecution from the attacking hordes.

Then, throughout the day, I continue to pray and study and keep my head in the scriptures, while in the world, because the enemy onslaught is so surrounding, so ubiquitous and constant now, that I can't imagine NOT taking every step at this time, without the ever-present guidance of the Holy Spirit and comforting presence of my living relationship with the true KING . . . who will finally put down the godless demons and their imps and restore creation to its rightful, God-worshipping place!

Here are some of the presently more pertinent goals of the God-hating communist progressives as delineated in Skousen's "The Naked Communist" clear back in the late 1950s. 

It is almost darkly admirably how successful they have been (from a militarist's strategic p.o.v.)
(please excuse any typos and grammar glitches, argh, i'm late for work and don't have time proofread; God bless you and thank you for your readership and spiritual support)

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26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].
39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals

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Here also is an excellent trailer for a new documentary showing the Left's agenda as it is currently being played out to finally conquer the once greatest, freest nation in the world:

http://agendadocumentary.com/trailer/

Brother Thomas ©2015

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