Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Snakey Pause--A Different Altar

I was waiting for a little link of sausage to cook, preparing to paint the ceiling . . . at home (for it snowed today and I cannot go to work) . . . . . . and while waiting, grabbed a nearby Bible and flipped it open, falling to a section of Samuel . . . and read . . . and got this:
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There in the pause . . . disobedience steps in.  It is subtle and always you will come up with a quick justification for why veering just a little is better and what God would have wanted.  The trick is that YOU decided it was "better" . . . and then you attempt to explain that it really is what God wanted.  Even though His directions in the first place were clear and contradict what you ended up doing.

I'm thinking of Saul and Samuel.  Samuel heard the word of the Lord and gave specific instructions to Saul in reference to destroying the Amalekites.  "Do not take plunder--destroy everything."  But Saul thought it "better" to reserve the best of the booty--the King, the best sheep and cattle. . . . It was just too hard to pass up.  I suddenly think of the police officer who confiscates a large cache from the criminal.  What does it matter if a little bit of the catch is slipped into the pocket.  After all, "they" don't pay the officers enough and he has a family to take care of.  Who would notice?  It's all ill-gotten gains . . . why not take a bit off the top and better the situation of the officer and family?  After all, he is doing "the Lord's work", putting his life in danger every day, for little pay?

So Saul didn't obey God, thinking for a moment more in that "pause", why not reserve just a little of the best of the plunder?  No doubt, despite his internal justifications, he simply couldn't resist the opportunity to aggrandize his own "house"--reward and take care of his own "just a little bit"--not letting that excellent booty go to waste.  After all, he was "doing the Lord's work" . . . right?

When he (Saul) was caught by Samuel in this, Saul quickly came up with a story.  "I was only thinking to save the best for God, in order to give Him sacrifices!  I saved the best for GOD, not ME!"

Samuel's answer:  “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him."

Oh, how often we maneuver in that pause . . . between continuing in obedience, when we know we have heard from the Lord; but then, our own supposed "better" judgment comes in to alter, just a bit, the situation.  Really, we are only self seeking, though we will quickly try to say it was all for God.  We're "altering" . . . for a different "altar".

Legion . . . are the actions of men . . . and women . . . claiming to be working for God--even if they truly did hear His direction in the first place, but afterwords, in that deadly pause, where the snake whispers, "did He REALLY say ______?" . . . they rush to their own "better judgment" . . . which is no "judgment" and not "better" at all . . . but just another turn at worshipping an idol--the idol of self, disguised in robes and incense and empty religious banter--a different "altar."

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Flavor of Urgency

I hope my posts don't just come off preachy.  They probably do, but that is not the spirit or intent.  I am always directing my admonitions, warnings, corrections, encouragements, etc. at myself first.  It is all mainly in the urgency I have always felt and seen and continue to more than ever in these dark and rebellious times.  I love God; I want God--He has brought me through the darkest wild woodland paths, through dangerous threatening byways, surrounded on all sides by the enemy . . . and brings me that peace which does not make sense to the world, considering the state of the world.  I well see what is the condition of present things and I clearly see where it is headed and the challenges and trials and outright persecution that is bound to follow . . . and I do not fret nor fear, so far as He buoys me . . . as He wills . . . and I want everyone to know that rock of security who doesn't yet know or who is barely holding on or seeking to grasp. . . .

That's all . . . :) !

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“True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us to do as absolutes which are sinful- which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these things the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.”   --Francis A. Schaeffer

(I am currently reading the whole works of Schaeffer... and loving his exegesis right now through the Old Testament...)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Take This To Heart!

"What is a Christian's duty in life?  He has only one basic duty: to exhibit the existence of God and to exhibit His character in the midst of a rebellious world.  What is the character of God?  God is holy and God is love.  Christians--both individually and corporately--have a duty to stand for God's truth with no compromise while simultaneously dealing in love with brothers and sisters in the Christ--yes, and with men and women outside the Church."  --Francis A. Schaeffer

 This is what Jesus said:  37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Putting everything else aside, if you can grasp and commit and delve then into the actualizing of this teaching, everything else follows. 

Put aside the many details, sideroads, distractions, ambitions, yearnings, interests, dreams, troubles . . . and first and foremost stop at this duty, you will find yourself coming into the stream of God's holy will. 

When you harm or cheat another . . . your chief offense is not against the other.  It is against God, for you have gone against an image-bearer of God.  Your sin is against God.  Understanding this deeply is the great cure for so many private sins--sins you justify as not harming anyone else; for when you realize that all your sins are not against so-and-so, or against your self BUT ARE SINS AGAINST GOD! . . . then the gravity of the situation begins to take hold.  YOU are God's property.  You are not your own.  Nor are any others their own.  All belongs to God, so a harm in any direction is not against some separate entity or thing, it is against God and HIS property.

What a profound and high calling it is . . . to be created as an "image-bearer" of the Lord of all creation.

The way we act in public, towards others . . . is not a reflection on US.  We are representing GOD!  It is not our own reputation and pride that should be concerning us, which it too often is . . . but we should always be thinking how are we representing and reflecting GOD, being Imago Dei--made in His image!

Getting this--meditating on it . . . awaking to it each day . . . living it through the day, taking it to sleep, is a most powerful key and defense and weapon that we can hold . . . in this rebellious and corrupt day. . . .

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Methods of the "Powers of the Air"


Real quick--and I think this is good opportunity to look at something of how the demonic realm operates.  This is something I have observed many times; so has my wife--together we have watched such a thing in action.

  If there is some serious demonic involvement . . . you will see strange synchronicities.  The demonic side will want you to see them as "signs" that you are to pursue further in that direction.  For instance, I believe that in the "powers of the air"--skirting in and around the unseen--the demonic entities are able to move rapidly to and fro and see what's going on on both ends, and thus this is how they arrange "synchronicities" and seeming "signs".  As in, I wrote here warning about how many of the gurus are really mostly about money and getting Westerners to support them, using their disciples as recruiters.  The demon sees this (what I wrote) and to head you off . . . has M suddenly offering to "teach for free", seemingly in contradiction of what I wrote.  I am not asserting necessarily this is how it went in this situation, but it is very typical of how that realm works.  If there is some high level demonic interest and agenda here, "they" will know specifics of what I'm warning about or describing and they will try to preempt their being discovered by presenting what looks to be opposite of what I've said, for instance--and "they"/M may even do it in advance of something I will be writing, as I also believe (from experience and observation) that they have some ability to "maneuver" a bit ahead of the present (a type of slight time travel.)

They are quite adept at the synchronicity thing, and, I believe, can see thoughts and observe private conversations, so they are able to set up some quite impressive "signs" and coincidences . . . that the "target" will often assume are "signs" from God, because they are so clearly supernatural . . . and most people have not developed the discernment to distinguish what supernatural things are from God and which are from the demonic realm.  Most assume anything "spiritual" or "mystical" or supernatural must be from God, as they also don't often really believe too strongly in the demonic or the devil. . . . 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Just "Sincere" Doesn't Do It

Well, and yes I am speaking in general terms; how it more often than not goes, but there are exceptions.  However, just because M is eager and willing to teach for free now and ongoing, I highly expect that if you (or another person, not a Christian, ie.,) were to continue a relationship over months and years, eventually the draw would be to visit the guru and increasingly be devoting time and money to his (assuming its a he) cause.

I am very fond of Indian people, btw.  When I was heavy into Eastern practice and teaching, and believed in reincarnation, I was certain that I had lived in India in other lives.  I loved how their whole culture was centered on God compared to the empty, superficial materialism of the West.  And I don't mean to imply that all the "gurus" there are simply money grubbing fakers and hucksters.  I know some are sincere and deeply devoted to their spiritual beliefs.

And, I use to think, according to general Eastern/"Hindu" thought, that being "sincere" was of primary importance--that it was enough to ultimately keep one in God's favor.  "As long as you are sincere, it doesn't matter which 'path' you follow, you will arrive."

I know now that this is subtle, dangerous false teaching.  The Bible does not teach this.  Yes, you must be sincere . . . but sincerity by itself, regardless of the object/subject of sincerity . . . does not save.  Being sincerely devoted to Krishna . . . or to Shiva . . . or to renunciation . . . or even to something like an abstract concept of  "love" . . . does not get you out of judgment.  Only a sincere surrender to Jesus, Who has the authority, as the one, true God and Judge will do.  (Sorry, I know I'm speaking the obvious here, but I so enjoy reiterating it!  Praise God!:)

A great book to read related to these issues, if you have not read it is "The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios" by Dionysios Farasiotis.  Kyril, a reader and sometimes commenter here sent me a copy of the book a few years ago.  It is written from a Greek Orthodox viewpoint, which I found interesting and led me into a deeper study of that sect and their beliefs . . . but what the author describes in his spiritual seeking through India and his experiences with some of the big gurus there (like Babaji) and the subtle, dark, occult and demonic powers behind them . . . was a fun and fascinating read--and I related to a lot of the "journey" he described, and his return to Christ in the end.  It is one of the more enjoyable books I've read in years and quite insightful, chilling, and inspiring all at once.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Holy Spirit Says What?

Thank you jc for the kind words; encouragement much appreciated!:)

Here are a few more things that came to me yesterday while I worked and was thinking about more about the situation.

Typically, in a case like this, there will be guru in the distance, in the background, and if they are "legit" they will have garnered certain "supernatural" abilities, foremost I would say is mind control of others--over the disciples, ie., M.  Although the gurus usually preach and teach austerity and renunciation (of the "world", materialism, wealth, position etc.) and may even live as if they have renounced those things, they are often quite ambitious and sensual.  Their chief racket (and I am thinking of the typical such guru in India, though the template is universal whatever country they have their home base or "ashram") is to seduce and mind control wealthy and/or powerful gullible Westerners.  They (the gurus) get quite wealthy and powerful themselves through harnessing and amassing the wealth of their Western, affluent disciples. 

Now, this is not to say that the gurus are all complete hucksters, fakers.  No.  While there are a LOT of phonies there in India, there also are the "legit" ones--ones who do know and practice real occult secrets and perform "miracles".  I have seen myself so-called "sacred ash" or "vibhuti" form on the glass of a framed photograph of the renowned (and notorious) Sai Baba--one of the better known "miracles" that occur to those associated with him.  (I myself believe he is possessed by, or simply is, a powerful demon.)

Anyway, the disciples of such gurus are often intelligent and become  accomplished themselves in occult mystical practices--mind control, I want to keep reiterating, chief among their abilities.

They (the disciple) often act as missionaries for their gurus, though they are careful and subtle and patient and you might not realize they are recruiting.  (They might spend years, slowly, steadily, grooming a potential "mark" to recruit, especially if the "mark" in question is at all wealthy or even modestly affluent or even at least just has steady income (as Western money goes far in India.)

Invariably in this "recruiting" process . . . strange "signs" . . . "omens" . . . striking "synchronicities" will start occurring to the targeted person.  These will be interpreted by the recruiter as being evidence for the target's "special-ness" . . . for their being "called" or destined . . . to become one of the gurus disciples/followers.  And these supernatural events and signs will be real.  Here is where most get sucked in.  Before, the target may have not had many or even any such supernatural or mystical experiences, and now, suddenly they are happening a lot.  The target is seduced by this, assuming that ANY mystical or supernatural experience MUST be from God.

A quick way to discern and show that the recruiting disciple, ie., maybe M in this case, is to ask them what the "Holy Spirit" tells them about Jesus.  As Christians we know that the Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus is God, that He is exactly Who He said He is, the Messiah, the ONLY way, truth and life. . . . And here is where you will see the "enlightened" person exposed.  They will say that Jesus is indeed a holy man . . . and they may even say He is amongst the TOP of holy men, but NOT that He is the ONLY way to God.  They will say perhaps Jesus is a "perfect representative" of God . . . that He was/is an fully "enlightened" man, and thus yes, God in a respect (as we ALL have the potential to be) . . . or they may say He was one of various "avatars" that have come from God to teach humanity.  But it is always quite telling that they will NOT (according to their "holy spirit) admit or claim that Jesus is the ONLY way to God or that He is necessarily special among all the "avatars" that have incarnated in earth to teach man.

I have more to say on all of this.... back asap,
God bless and protect you,
b,t 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vimanas and "Enlightenment"

Whoooo boy! That is quite the encounter and question JC!  Yes, I was deeply involved in that philosophy/"spiritual path" for quite a few years.  I believe God took me through it and there was a purpose to it and I experienced some of the most profound "mystical" experiences and "realizations" that that so-called "path" has to do with . . . astral projection, "Samadhi", "merging with Brahman", overt, blatant "synchronicities", mind control (of others). . . . And yeah, the Holy Spirit is disturbed by these things, and is giving you the proper warnings about it.  She is talking from the Advaita Vedanta perspective which is what I followed for years (Shankara being one of the foremost expositors of it) which basically teaches that YOU are God--all is God. . . . Later I left that and attempted a monotheistic Hindu version (God is a person and you are NOT God) known as Gaudiya Vaishnavism (aka Hare Krishna). . . .

There is so much I could say on the details of each. . . . And wouldn't mind if there is interest, but first and foremost I would say it is all very dangerous and deeply, deviously demonic and antiChrist.

I do believe the Vedic records fairly accurately depict a time on the earth when there was high technology.  I have seen books in Sanskrit which depict obviously space craft (called "vimanas") and describe accounts of atomic warfare and space travel to and from earth.  I believe this was probably in the period before the flood and the accounts of the different demi-gods and demons warring are accounts of the fallen angels running wild on and above the world; ie., Krishna . . . was actually something like what many think of as the Nephilim--a "god"/man hybrid, perhaps the offspring of the "sons of god" and earth women . . . and that the evil and power over mankind and the earth was so intense and comprehensive, except for Noah, that that is why God "stepped in" for a reset.

Practitioners of the various forms of yoga and meditation, such as Indian gurus teach, lead to powerful mental and spiritual powers which exert force over others.  You likely felt and will continue to feel a sort of hypnotizing effect from M . . . attempting to draw you in and control your mind, though it will all be shrouded within talk of "enlightenment", "illumination" . . . and will appeal (ironically) to your ego (ironic because their whole teaching is that the ego must go in order to merge with Brahman or "higher self" . . . whereas it is actually a "spiritual" system of intense egotistic empowerment.  Hence the allure.  "Lose your ego" . . . as you become a mystical egomaniacal demoniac, lol.

I would enjoy, nevertheless dissecting some of this further if you wish, such as some of the specifics you might be wanting to look at, as I think it is an important thing to understand, as this type of "spiritual" position . . . is practically behind everything that is going on (ironically again, as it usually claims to be NON-worldly) in the WORLD and of the world at present . . . and will be the main perspective foisted by what is quickly becoming, and will eventuate as the (Satanic) One World Religion. . . .

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Some More on that question

“26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as ‘normal, natural, healthy.’
“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.’ …
“40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.”

These are a few of the communist goals read into the Congressional Record in 1963 when Congress was investigating the infiltration of communist agents in American institutions and society in general.  Marx recognized the traditional (Biblically based) family unit as the bedrock of free society and government statists and collectivists have ever since been targeting the dissolution of the family ever since.  The destruction of the black family unit through devious government "welfare" programs has been the model and success from their point of view.  Single mothers, without husbands, children without fathers in house etc., leaves individuals dependent on (then supportive of) the state.

Promoting the "homosexual agenda" has been a key and deliberate weapon used for decades, and now coming to flower, by the "socialist international"-global communist conspiracy . . . as history has shown that when promiscuity and homosexuality run rampant in a society, and gain elite status, the crumbling and fall of that society (or nation) is imminent.

The bottom line in understanding communist takeover tactics is in seeing how they will use any and every possible divisive issue . . . to exploit and divide the unity of the society, pitting special interests against special interests, but always strengthening the state (specifically the "Party") and weakening the individual.  They are also committed to the end goal above all, victory of the "Party" and will shift tactics on a dime, sometimes supporting one group or leader, then, turning on them when the usefulness is done (ie., like the pact with Hitler which then changed overnight to enmity with Hitler.)

If you look at all the pro-socialist websites you can easily see which agendas they are championing at the moment . . . and then you can watch that agenda continue to be promoting through the institutions and media where their operatives have near complete control now.

It would be difficult to find any documentation proving that the reason Russia right now is discouraging gay rights . . . is in order to preserve and strengthen their own society while spreading the destructive agenda elsewhere . . . as their whole modus operandi is secretive and conspiratorial by nature--a political criminal cabal . . . but the evidence has long been out that the destruction of the traditional family and Biblical worldview using whatever means possible (abortion, easy divorce, sexual "liberation", gay rights etc.) . . . has been at the forefront of the socialist/communist/totalitarian atheistic-humanist statist world takeover agenda. . . . .

Here are some current examples of that strategy (re "gay rights) being admitted and used:

The Communist Party of Australia has weighed in on that nation’s debate over marriage, stating that redefining the age-old institution is a vital pillar of the Marxist war against capitalism and the Church.
Karl Marx, the founder of Communism
Karl Marx, the founder of Communism
An editorial in The Guardian, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia, states that marriage arose out of private ownership, especially the need to inherit great estates.  Since the priesthood is “a pillar of capitalism,” the “church sees marriage - as it defines it - as an institution vital to its continued power, indeed to capitalism itself.”
“If you strike blows against that pillar, challenging that power, there will be a reaction, as there is, from the Vatican,” and other “pious hypocrites,” the editorial declares.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/aussie-communists-strike-blows-against-the-church-and-capitalism-with-same/%20

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"Gays have been involved in the struggles for the emancipation of the working class as revolutionary agitators, labor organizers, and partisans of socialist, communist and anarchist movements since the days of the Paris Commune and the First International, when for many those three categories were interchangeable.
  Scholars of gay history have pointed to appeals made to both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to bring the oppression of homosexuals into the larger struggle for the emancipation of the working class.  Here, to be frank, one finds from Marx a refusal to entertain the subject, and from Engels open hostility to the individuals involved."
http://www.politicalaffairs.net/the-communist-movement-and-gay-rights-the-hidden-history/

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Yes, It's "Surreal"

It was in the late 80s while I happened to be really looking into the "global conspiracy" . . . geo-politics . . . especially the history and tactics of communists/socialists in their push for a totalitarian world-wide socialist/communist state, that I ran across a real communist cell.  My day job at the time put me in a place where I met a leading radical, and being interested in the subject I questioned him over the days and weeks and learned that, during Perestroika/Glasnost and Gorbachev's big American media blitz bringing the so-called "fall of communism" . . . communists cells were alive and well infiltrating on the local level--school boards, city councils, library boards (getting rid of books against communism, bringing in books supportive of socialism/communism/collectivism) . . . . . .

Anyway, at that time, the local library in that city in Florida, was getting rid of a lot of their old (outdated) books.  Ie., books that were truthful about the threat of communism and showing powerful, patriotic picture of the founding of America etc.  I got all of the books on communism they got rid of; several rare now and out of print.  Then I delved--studied the whole thing deeply . . . while Gorby was parading around America and the Berlin Wall was "coming down."  The "fall of communism", hardy har har!  All a charade.

Just the opposite in fact.  It was the triumphant march of communism into America and the beginning of the "final phase" end for free, capitalist, traditional America.

There was comment in one of those books I read that has stuck with me to this day.  It was written by a person who lived through the taking over of their country--one of the Baltic countries like Estonia--when the Russian invaded to "save them" from their "corrupt" government.  Totalitarian enslavement ensued, complete with gulags, terror, poverty, persecution, as always comes along with collectivism.

The writer said something like this, "When the communist takeover begins in full, it is not obvious at first.  They come in claiming to be saviors and to bring equality and prosperity to the masses.  They leave a veneer of the 'old country' in place--certain cultural traditions, holidays, symbols, so that they people think nothing has really changed.  But eventually, things start taking on a surreal quality."

That writer warned, "when the news events and reporting . . . and the politics etc. start becoming 'surreal' and making no common sense, be concerned!  The coup is complete."

I can't tell you how many times, listening to talk radio and talking to folks . . . people have started to say how "surreal" the world is becoming--life in America.  The way the news is reported....the manipulation of the news, making patriots and believers "domestic enemies", allying with previous geopolitical enemies while offending and betraying previous allies . . . it's all par for the course--just what you would expect when your country has fallen to the communist infiltrators and agents.

Someone wrote me a question related to the communist threat, and sorry I got off on this bit off an intro... and now I gotta bolt out the door, but anyway, take this as the set up . . . and I will get to the other points tomorrow, God willing and the creek don't rise.....
back in a bit...
 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Joseph (Al Capone) Smith

There they are, by the millions, singing "Praise To The Man", dewy-eyed and soft spoken, bearing testimonies among the membership, "I know 'the church' is true . . . I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet". . . .

While more and more damning evidence continues to come out showing that Joe Smith was a professional con-artist, liar, sexual predator, psychopath and all in all, a complete and utter fraud.

Yet, there they are . . . heeding their "apostles" warning to beware of "troubling information on the internet" . . . while quietly admitting, yes, 'church leaders' may have made a few 'mistakes', but don't worry your non-thinking little heads; keep your eyes closed, "shoulders to the wheel" and push along.

A BYU graduate, who also graduated from Stanford, scholar and author Kathleen Melonakos has just published part one of what I hope is going to be a book, about the early money counterfeiting schemes of the Smith family, and how Joseph Smith kept up the counterfeiting through the beginnings of the Mormon church, including the time he set up the "wild cat" fraudulent Kirtland Bank, where he and his other gang members conned a number of people out of their property and life savings.  He was arrested several times through period and many believe anger over the bank (among his other crimes) was a big reason for the angry mob that finally shot him in the jail. (In which jail, by-the-way) he had procured a bottle of wine and a revolver and from which he shot and killed at least two people as he went down (like Butch Cassidy) in a hail of gunfire.  Ohhhh, "praise to the man" . . . . . . .

Anyway, Kathleen has done an incredible amount of research, a lot of it ironically from BYU's own library and records department and it is clear that Joseph Smith was already a well known con-man, even in his youth and young manhood, where he set up schemes to "search for hidden gold treasures" using magical "peep" stones and talking to the dead and other occult rituals.  Usually, the con went like this.  He and/or some fellow grifters . . . would steal some valuable property from a wealthy farmer, then hide it . . . wait for a while, then Joe would show up saying he could find the lost goods using his magical tactics and necromancy, whereby he would get a handsome reward.  He was arrested for this in New York as the court records clearly state.

Joseph's father was also a well-known crook and drunk and they worked together sometimes in their fraud schemes.

Counterfeiting money at that time in history was a big problem . . . and also a big crime, considered treasonous.  Several prominent counterfeiters were caught and hung; but Joe got away with it . . . at least until Kirtland and the Carthage Jail.

Kathleen dug up all kinds of court documents and other records that show Smith was involved with some of the most notorious and Al Capone-like counterfeiters and criminals of the day.  That is where 'the church' got a lot of its early money and power, along with bilking its growing herd of gullible members.

It is interesting to note, and I think no coincidence, that Utah and the Salt Lake/Provo area is considered among the feds, one of the biggest fraud "capitols" in the country.  It is a regular news item here in "Zion" to find that some con-artist/schemer went to his ward (church) members and got them to trust him to invest hundreds of thousands in some fast money scam . . . and the whole thing collapses. . . . Happens a lot. 

It seems the character and spirit of Joseph Smith as fraudster, liar, con-artist . . . still pulses through the phony religion he concocted and it's worldly, gullible, uncritical, unthinking, blind followers continue to be the "marks" . . . the "saps" . . . suckered by the phony veneer, while too many of them are still infused with that same, get-rich-quick spirit . . . getting scammed or scamming others.

The money-making schemes are one thing and plenty bad.  But, to defraud people out of their salvation and very souls with a ridiculous lie and con (Mormonism) is anathema!  There is a special place Hell, many would agree, for those who perpetrate blasphemy and lies in the name of "the Gospel."

Kathleen appeared on Doris Hanson's great local show "Polygamy: What Love Is This" on October 17th, 2013 . . . should be episode 6.37 when they get it posted... if interested.
 http://www.whatloveisthis.tv/archive.htm

Friday, October 18, 2013

Awaken Holy Ones!

I was reading Moses' lament  "would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!” --Numbers 11:29

And with new force and urgency the fulfillment of this plea, which was also a prophecy, struck me to the core.  YOU, Believer, Child of God . . . are a prophet in this age . . . as well as priest and king, member of a holy nation!

There are two primary activities going on today, regardless of all the seeming diverse drama, sideshows and distractions.  The Children of God are being awoken to the glory that is in them, which is direct from the Lord--HIS glory being made manifest . . . AND, the rebel enemies of God are having their wrathful cups filled.

When you go about, as prophet (with a small "p", but nevertheless a prophet) you are commissioned to witness, to testify of the reality of God--of the One, true and living God, Who is the same personal and involved God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob--to bring comfort and encouragement to your fellow brothers and sisters . . . to prayer and intercede . . . to speak the truth, conveying His Word to the community . . . to warn and to guide. . . . To those that do not and will not believe, you stand as witness and the pouring out of God's truth works as an increasing of wrath and judgment upon them, which He has decreed, and you become the channel through which their cup (of wrath) becomes full.

Do you understand and appreciate how profound this is? . . . YOUR role as one of the holy nation of "prophets, priests and kings"?  We are not to be sideline lookers, lethargic, tepid, casual, nonchalant, focused solely on our own little nests, feathering them.

Every day should begin with a conscious recognition of our holy, set apart role in this otherwise kingdom of darkness!  It need not be shouting from the rooftop--each are called in their own ways according to His will and directives.  But each has a role to play and too often that role goes unfilled and neglected.

If the other does not believe--will not believe--that is left with God, but you are called to a light, a witness to the truth, so preciously deposited in your heart, mind and soul . . . that truth brought through the blood and fire of martyrs!

YOU Believer ARE A PROPHET to this age, called to stand and speak the truth so that those who are called shall now AWAKE . . . while the children of the evil one shall hear and be judged according to the light and truth they reject!  Either way, the Word does NOT return void.  You are actively involved and participating in the working out of His will in this creation!

Awaken to your own holy role!  Set apart, called, chosen!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Praise for The Word

1 The Spirit breathes upon the Word,
And brings the truth to sight;
Precepts and promises afford
A sanctifying light,
A sanctifying light.
2 A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic, like the sun:
It gives a light to every age;
It gives, but borrows none,
It gives, but borrows none.
3 The Hand that gave it still supplies
The gracious light and heat:
His truths upon the nations rise;
They rise, but never set,
They rise, but never set.
4 Let everlasting thanks be thine
For such a bright display
As makes a world of darkness shine
With beams of heav'nly day,
With beams of heav'nly day.
5 My soul rejoices to pursue
The steps of him I love.
Till glory break upon my view
In brighter worlds above,
In brighter worlds above.

William Cowper

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Further Clarifying re SM and related doctrines

Gossip is one thing, public slander and misrepresentation is another.  It is loving to speak the truth and correct falsity.  I just wanted to make it clear that the things SM ascribed to me were utterly false and really just a panicked misrepresentation on his part.  Why is it even worth discussing?  Because we have a pastor who is preaching from the pulpit and handling the Word of God and, as Jesus, Paul and others instructed, we are not to be quiet when seeing false teaching but to call it out.
Eph. 5:11 "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."

"It is never pleasant to expose the deceptive, destructive tactics of the 'false brothers.' But it is necessary to do so in order to protect the freedom of fellow Christians."  http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Gal/Exposing-False-Teachers

And, indeed, it is not pleasant nor something I sought out to do, but found myself in the midst of as I simply pursued and defended the truth and basic Biblical doctrine.  I am sincerely concerned for those new believers especially who just came out of the error of Mormonism and who are mostly all still babes in the Word and their being misled and confused. 

Some other reasons I feel the need now to address. . . . I, like every other believer, am an ambassador for the Lord, for truth.  I must represent and try to do it properly.  As a dedicated proponent of the Gospel I do not want it left hanging "out there" that I have acted dishonorably or underhandedly, which I haven't.  As a believer my behavior reflects on the Body, and though lies and calumnies are bound to be set against us, I follow the example of Paul who more than once defended himself against false claims (before the Sanhedrin, before Festus and Agrippa, before the crowds.)  Also, when I was considering how to handle this situation (I realize not even in the same universe as Paul's re level of importance on the grand stage) . . . I clearly heard what I took to be a directive from the Spirit to "obey" and, despite my discomfort, to openly speak on the matter.

I can see now, in retrospect, what caused SMs strange outburst and then, later coming up with a cover story later attempting justify it.  It is not just important, but required . . . to address and contend because of the underlying heretical doctrines involved which are gaining ground in many corners of the Church as prominent "pastors" depart from the "faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" as "For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear."  --Jude 1:3, 2 Tim. 4:3
Basically, he looked foolish and hurried to come up with an excuse, blaming it on me.  He spent the whole first part of that show complaining how the Calvinist/Arminian debate devolves into people getting "red faced" and rancorous and being divisive . . . then I called and calmly brought up some points . . . and HE got "red faced" and rancorous and divisive.  People wrote in emails and complained about the way I was treated and so he hurried and came up with this (false) tale of me supposedly having an agenda and working behind the scenes, in order to justify and cover for his bizarre and hypocritical outburst and attack on me.  NONE of which was true......

Anyway, I can see the opportunity here, as it moves away strictly from the personalities involved, to look at some of the underlying doctrines in question.  My writings have always had a portion in them of a "discernment ministry" type effort--to spot, identify and hopefully clarify error and false teaching.  And we are directed to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered." Right?

What I didn't know at the time I called when I asked Shawn whether he was a "universalist" was that this issue of his "fast becoming a 'universalist'" was partly what led to his losing his radio show on the local Christian station.  It was a sore topic for him and apparently he did not want it discussed openly yet, or ever, according to his statement that I somehow "forced him to show his hand."  At this, I have to think, who has the "agenda" here?  I only brought it up (universalism) because it related specifically to the topic I started the call with, which generally was this:  If you are troubled by a God who would sovereignly decree that some are made for hell while others are made to be chosen. how is that God more terrible than a God who creates hell, then creates a world and sits back and watches while some (through spiritual ineptitude) stumble their way there?  A universalist would respond, "well, I don't believe in eternal hell, and so, yes, many will stumble there, but eventually, everyone gets 'purged' of their sins and makes it to heaven."  Which is why I wanted him to clarify his position on the matter.

Also, according to what he (SM) said publicly, the radio station didn't like that he had Greg Boyd's books on a recommended reading list on the HOTM website (Boyd being a noted "open theist", universalist, widely considered heretic).  As I looked more into Boyd since hearing of this, I see that many of the startling doctrinal suggestions Shawn has been recently making coincide with Boyd's own-- ie., the idea that maybe God is not omniscient, not omnipotent, doesn't know the future etc.)

In any case, I want to look at some of these "new" (actually old) theories insinuating themselves into the Church, such as "open theism", "universalism", "God's limitations" . . . and how I increasingly believe they (and similar "heresies" and/or errors) are a natural (humanistic/"leaning to one's own understanding") progression from the Arminian/"free will" theological starting point.  As James White has often said, and I agree, "open theism" is the only consistent result and conclusion that one finally reaches from the Arminian stance.  Most people don't travel that far in their analysis and thought, and remain at a fairly surface level of knowledge and thought in their Christian "walk" . . . but thinkers do, like Shawn, and this is how I see where he is ending up, showing "his hand" or not, suggesting or teaching . . . good, ol' fashioned false doctrine and possible heresy. 

--------------------------
"Open theism is growing in popularity among evangelical Christians.  In an effort to make God more appealing to our society men like Greg Boyd, Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, and John Sanders have promoted a God who “does not know every detail about what will come to pass…[T]he future is, to some degree at least, open ended and God knows it as such.”  Is this a biblical view of God?  Have these well-intentioned men simply misinterpreted some biblical passages?  Or is it much more sinister?  Is open theism heretical?
     Before we answer those questions, let’s take a look at why these men (and others) are promoting this view.  Greg Boyd is perhaps the best known of these men and has been the most successful in communicating “Openness Theology” to the church.  In 1992, Boyd published Letters From a Skeptic, a book in which he sought to convince his unbelieving father that the Bible was rationally and intellectually viable.  This book provides tremendous insight into the motivation behind open theism (at least from Boyd’s perspective).  It becomes abundantly clear that Boyd is trying to do away with the image of a God of anger, judgment, and wrath by promoting a God of love, peace, and mercy.  The Bible is clear that God is all of these things and more.  There is no contradiction in declaring God’s wrath and judgment while at the same time affirming His love and mercy.  In fact, perfect love requires perfect justice.............
 
.............   Paul told Timothy to humbly correct those who are in error.  This critique of open theism is offered in that spirit.  It is not meant to attack the character or faith of any open theist but is designed to show them the error of their thinking so that they may “escape the snare of the devil.”
 
 
 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rebellion V. Obedience

Rebellion and obedience.  This is it, what it's so critically about.  Look at the Garden.  People led off by their "own understanding" will focus on the possible esoteric significance of the object, "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."  But everything so far created to that point was Good.  It was disobedience to God's command which led to death. 

Then look at the whole history of Israel.  A picture of commands, law and disobedience. . . .  Obey and prosper, disobey and suffer. . . .Then grace comes in to save the day, because we cannot obey or fulfill the law . . . in our fallen state.

Yet, once saved, obedience to His commands is still required.  Thank God, the Savior stepped in to perfectly obey and we get to claim His righteous achievement . . . nevertheless, as the Holy Spirit invests and takes increasing control of our lives, we find even our fallen, wrecked selves are becoming increasingly able to recognize His voice . . . and follow His will.  Our wills seem to be merging, so that, the more we do as submitted, maturing believers, the more His will acts through us even while we are just "being ourselves" . . . (super)naturally.

This is really, I think, maybe the most important thing to understand and be living, as we proceed into these lawless, antagonistic (to truth) times.

A major danger--and why I have grown more cautious and discriminating as to assuming just what is coming from God versus what is coming from fallen self--is in casually accepting whatever strong emotional or mystical or ambitious feelings and promptings come in, then immediately assuming it is from God and going with it.

Many there are, and many I've seen along the way, who, thinking they are being led by the Holy Spirit, are actually only being led by their own piously disguised, roiling egos, and they take many along with them in a charismatic burst . . . off the Way, into the woods, and then straight off a cliff in the dark.

But just because there are hundreds of counterfeits spread around, claiming divine anointing and inspiration . . . does NOT mean there are not the authentic.  BECAUSE there is genuine truth and representatives of that truth . . . it is that there are also the counterfeits.

So do not let the cacophony of street criers and "pamphleteers" contradicting each other drive you to despair of ever finding the legitimate article.  The lovers and seekers of truth WILL be rewarded and answered, He promised, and He does not lie.

(now, I see that there is an unusually large stack of comments since my last post... I have not looked at them yet as I didn't want to get upset lol or distracted, in case some are from sycophantic trolls, but I will check 'em out and get them up asap... God bless:))

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Shawn McCraney's Witness

Below the triple lines just below is my original writing on my blog post for this date Oct. 10, 2013.  It includes a letter I wrote to Shawn concerning what I took as near (if not completely) slanderous statements he made about me on his Oct. 8th, 2013 HOTM show.  Only recently (I'm writing this edit insert on 2-26-14) did I happen to go back and look at the HOTM episode in question and see that he/"they" have edited out the portion where Shawn was maligning me.  You can see the edit point at 00:36 into the revised video.  Notice he is suddenly wearing a different shirt.  Notice that the length of the show is now only 49:53 minutes when his shows are normally 60 minutes. 
Originally he had spent a several minutes commenting how he received emails complaining about the way he had treated my last call, ie., the typical rudeness, yelling and hanging up.  But to justify his calumnies he went on to imply that I was an "agenda" caller who has been stirring up trouble through emails and on social media sites (none of which is true, which I explain in the letter below.)  Apparently, he realized his error . . . (or for whatever reason) . . . and cut out that part of the video I am referring to in my letter below.  I am leaving the letter up here though, because I think it adds to the overall record of Shawn's behavior which has now become a story in and off itself, and he never apologized or recanted to me.  In fact I received an email from HOTM basically telling me to "grow up" and that he/they didn't really understand what I was complaining about.

The edited video is here: http://hotm.tv/ep-363/
"Episode 363 Calvinism & Mormonism (Part 2)"

My original post, unchanged starts below these following three lines:
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I guess I've got to go public with this.  Defamation of character is a serious thing and I don't appreciate it being done to me.

Shawn McCraney, host of Heart of the Matter bizarrely accused me of a number of things last Tuesday on his live show, calling me out by name.  Shawn has no problem reading emails sent to his show from concerned listeners and so, in case he does not publicly retract what he said and apologize, I am compelled to redress the "heart of the matter" here, what I wrote in response.

You should know that Shawn lost his cable television show in last January when he announced that he no longer focusing on Mormonism but was going to start publicly attacking what he considered wayward and false local Christian churches he had recently made a tour of.  The management of the station and a number of local pastors protested to the station and his show was pulled.  He then lost a lot of donors and community support, "repented" and went back to attacking Mormonism on a new internet live show.  But he again started on the Christians, especially focusing on "Calvinism" which he has a great vitriolic disdain for.  I called his show two times when the subject came up . . . to defend the Reformed position and both times he went ballistic. 

He also started suggesting he was "fast becoming a 'universalist'", declaring hell not eternal in his congregation and then is when we left, along with some others, a "bridge too far", despite his otherwise interesting and decent Biblical exegesis. 

Apparently, from what he said on his last show, the local Christian radio station also just dropped him, because of his recent (many believe heretical) doctrinal stances and that he recommends a certain "Open Theist" author on his website.

I have had nothing to do with any of this, other than calling his show twice attempting to engage him on the issues . . . and quietly leaving his congregation around July, all as my letter truthfully states.   IN FACT, I've been very cautious and respectful and tight-lipped, compared to the alarm I've actually felt internally over his recent behavior and mouthings for the past year or so.
__________________________

Shawn,
I don't remember a lot from law school, but I do recall the elements of slander and your last comments on your show about me border on them.
 
You painted me as some sort of nefarious, "agenda"-driven sneak, "playing games" behind the scenes, "writing anonymous emails", stirring up trouble, etc., which is all false!!!
 
I have NEVER even been to your Facebook page!  I don't do Facebook, don't have a Facebook page, and have NEVER even seen your Facebook site!
 
I have NEVER posted in your HOTM forum!  I think I have only even briefly looked it once or twice in the past years!
 
I have NEVER contacted the t.v. or radio station concerning you and your shows!
 
The only anonymous thing I can think of that I've done regarding you or your ministry is anonymously put money in your collection box.
 
You said in the previous show something like "that's Tom, I know him."  Well, obviously you don't know me because none of the so-called "agenda" calumnies you assigned me are anything I have ever done to anyone, nor would.  I have always been straightforward and forthright in my debates and communications, having written a blog on theological topics for 7 years, and also making 50+ plus talk show guest appearances. 
 
You have defamed me to people me and my family considered friends in your congregation and now in the broader believing community, painting me falsely as having sinister and underhanded motives and tactics ALL OF WHICH I DENY EMPHATICALLY!  
 
I have called your show twice, acting with decorum, not  rude or obnoxious, simply asking pointed questions because YOU SAY you invite disagreement and discussion.  Both times you yelled at and hung up on me, the first time calling me an "idiot".
I called under my middle name "Ray" the first time, which I use a lot when I call talk shows--my own show and most of my music is done under the name "T.Ray".  Hardly "anonymous." 
 
I have lost friends and donors to my own "ministry" causes because I backed you up and stood with you during the last presidential campaign when you emphasized (and I agreed) that people were putting their faith and focus on the wrong things.
 
Anything I said in the last call I made when you blasted me, hung up and accused me of "having an agenda" was simply in relation to the main point of the question I started with at the first of the call.  Asking you if you were "universalist" was critical to the point I was trying to make.  I had no idea this topic was also involved with what I later found out in the show that am820 dropped you.
 
Bottom line I HAD NOT WRITTEN EMAILS, NOT POSTED ON FACEBOOK OR ANY FORUM OR done anything in this community or online against you up to that night you so accused me LIVE and "on the air" publicly!!!!!!>!!!!!!
 
 In fact, I have DISCOURAGED IT in my own house.  Isaac, our son, who has a learning disability and a form of Asperger's yet has his own strong opinions  about certain theological matters and he spends a lot of time online arguing with atheists, posting places, and doing his thing.  He cannot work or drive, so his life is pretty much online and he has difficulties knowing sometimes what is socially appropriate--part of his disability...along with a kind knee-jerk stubbornness.  He is nevertheless a man now and so I can't "control" him, but I've have always admonished him not to cause trouble or be divisive for no good reasons.  He says he isn't and doesn't . . . and maybe he has posted something that you have attributed to me?  Or someone else is causing you grief with an "agenda"?
 
I don't know.  I DO KNOW that I have done NONE of the things you accused me of on your show when you did so!
 
I've called you twice with my questions and concerns; you've blasted, name called and hung up on me both times.  Now have gone further and defamed me.
 
I take my reputation among believers seriously and integrity means a lot to me.  My whole line of work (paint contracting) is based on it.  Likewise, my public writings and appearances related to the Gospel through the years.  I have NEVER engaged in the bizarre and petty gamesmanship you described!  Let alone on such important soteriological matters!
 
I am NOT a sneaky, underhanded, conniving, "agenda" kind of person WHATSOEVER! and anyone who REALLY knows me, knows this is the CASE!  You are either projecting or have me confused with someone else. 
 
You say you don't mind being challenged and that you only seek the truth.
 
Really?  You've flipped out both times I've tried and born false witness against me in the meantime! 
 
Yes, I'm appalled by your emotionally loaded, monstrous cartoon caricatures of "Calvinists" and Reformed believers and doctrine.  Yes, I want to defend against what I see as unfair and slanted misrepresentations and engage you on the issues, as YOU'VE ASKED FOR. 
 
But I have done NONE of the things you publicly implied of me, NOT ONE!  I was shocked when I heard you, as were all of us watching--confused, hurt and wondering what the hell you were talking about?!!!!
 
Tom
 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Awaiting Transports Along Sanctification Road

There seem to be a few common experiences along Sanctification Road.  First, you see the Light, get saved . . . and in the early days of awakening, regeneration--of being Alive--grace abounds.  The Spirit is extra "present" and there may be even visions and insights and healings.  Then this initial torrent lessons and a more staid and steady walk begins.  At points it gets "dry" and rote, interspersed however, with big "Aha!" moments and ongoing signs and wonders that only you may see, which continue to build faith . . . but overall, a kind of workman-like slog . . . onward, onward.

(Again, I'm not suggesting this is always the case, this picture, but I observe it a fairly common one.)

One of the more trying posts along the way . . . is when a certain kind of world-weary ennui sets in.  The things that use to thrill or excite or motivate (in the world) no longer do; yet you still have a certain proclivity and momentum toward them.  Old habits die hard.  Yes, you are a "new creature in Christ" . . . but some of the old you still hangs on and in and you will persist in pursuing some of the past ways that use to "get you through."

This can be disturbing and sometimes depressing.  Because you have kind of lost that initial burst of excitement and vision and clarity you had when born again. . . . Yet, no big new glory has arrived to whisk you along.  It's a bit of a desert walk.

And now the things that use to compel you no longer do--they have lost their flavor and color and enticement.  You may find yourself still exercising some old patterns and prior effective amusements, but now they fall flat.  The thrill is gone.

But as you press on, something else seems to commonly happen.  The transports arrive to draw you away from that lackluster valley.  What begins to happen is that you are drawn more and more to the person of Jesus--His life, His deeds, and the whole revelatory and "church" history that surrounds His mission.  Increasingly, you can't get enough of learning about Him, both in knowledge and in personal experience.

Talk about a new thrill!  Communication and interactive love with the Divine, with God!

The world fades.  Its bright, flashing lights and melodious sounds and constant amusements . . . grow dim, grey, hollow, revolting . . . while, in contrast, matters pertaining to the Lord and His story in this space and time unfold . . . alive, vibrant, crucial . . . including a new appreciation and interest in obedience to the Spirit within, with direct personal guidance, plus endless opportunities for service.

As the exterior world quickens in its degeneracy, oppression and lawlessness, I see clearly that transporting to this deepening Christian experience along Sanctification Road is a most helpful and comforting answer in coping and maintaining holy poise.  Words don't do it justice, how important and vital it is, what I have been describing . . . deliberately here . . . as the way to stay safe and sane (spiritually) . . . amidst the blustering madness surrounding. . . .

God bless you

Monday, October 7, 2013

Caeser To Cross The Rubicon?

I got my title for my next post, I trust "Waiting for the Transports" . . . about holy ennui . . . and will get to it asap, I trust.....
but meantime a quick note that struck me early last week, kind of like the one where I suggested that nothing imminent would happen with Syria except that it was just part of the mind-numbing, slow, deteriorating slog to and through the socialist/collectivist "transformation" and a needed distraction at that time ..... But the coming "debt ceiling crisis" . . . could be where the dictatorship gets off to a full swing... It will be interesting to watch, for it looks like the figurehead ruler/change agent . . . is preparing to bypass constitutional requirements in a bold and unmistakable way, to unilaterally raise the "ceiling" . . . . Maybe not.  The feigning "opposition" may not be able to stomach that much of an obvious sign of their in-consequentialness . . . and so, cave at the last moment to continue the obfuscation of the ongoing actual tyranny . . . yet, maybe not.  This could be it, the overt unraveling....The rhetoric should lend clues and already seems to be, that the executive unilateral move may really be being prepared......

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Impregnable Fortress & The Clamor Outside

I just keep being led back to this message--I hope it helps.

There are, and will continue to be . . . a plethora of challenges and tests to your true faith.  The "many" who have been "called" will go one way while you are feeling somewhat abandoned and left alone to fend; they will appear to be being rewarded and protected for "going along" . . . while you tend to be treated unfairly, perhaps maligned, abused even.  The purpose from the side of evil will be to make you doubt and question your standing alone . . . as if truth were determined by popular vote and collective movements. 

Silvery-tongued devils, smiling, will speak from pulpits, in league with the enemies of God, portraying Believers as extreme, bigoted, hateful, xenophobic--that it is a "new world" requiring compromise and "unity". . . .

All you will have at times . . . is your real, personal relationship with the Lord.  Don't be surprised if even mates, children, family, "friends" turn on or shun you, so that you find yourself sitting alone wondering if perhaps it's not better to just go along to get along.

The Truth divides.  The chosen of God are a special people, separated out (holy), not because they are "better" or deserving, but because God is sovereign and He is working out His deliberate purposes and plans; His will . . . WILL be done.

You must continue to seek Him, touching Him and He you, through prayer.  You must be in such a way, that even if the whole world hated God and attacked the Truth, you would still resist and stand alone as a witness.  And if you go to Him with this intention and heart's desire, He WILL be with you always, comforting and giving assurance.

If you love God and strive toward Him (no matter your flaws, failures, weaknesses, mistakes) you can KNOW and have real faith that . . . whatever happens, regardless of present challenges and tests, EVERYTHING that happens to you . . . is for your own good. 

We have got to realize and hold stronger . . . the knowledge, as provided in His Word--His message to us--that all of this IS NOT ABOUT US!  It's not about YOU.  Yes, we are involved. . . . He has made us to be with Him, but above all you have got to continually remember and so live . . . that we . . . and all of creation . . . exists . . . to GLORIFY GOD!  It is by, about and for HIS purpose.

This is the great error . . . the sin . . . cursing this life and world; thinking that it is about us, "me." 

Once you truly start learning how to transfer your (fallen, corrupted) "natural" love and focus on self . . . to love and focus on GOD, then the troubles and suffering and pain and disappointment of this world . . . begin to fade and disperse . . . like the mirage they are.  The enemy's whole trick is to bluff and lie to misdirect and distract and amuse you AWAY from that most basic, FIRSTLY commanded fact.  Love GOD above all else, then others. . . . Make this real!  Don't just repeat the words or think to fake God out with outward shows, but LIVE it for real, for fact, TRULY . . . and hold fast to it, and then the illusions, tricks, delusions of the bluffing world . . . actually . . . start losing hold on your soul.  You are free!  And no one, no thing, no weapon formed, can separate you from the love of God--what He has for you and you have for Him.  You are an impregnable fortress, regardless how loud, ugly, obnoxious, insidious the clamor is "outside"!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Not Necessary

Hey, P, thanks for the comment . . . (wish you posted more, but I know you're busy:) .....

I think what Edwards is saying is that . . . "SOME people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs."  I don't see where he says in that quote that there is "NO valid special revelation."  It appears to me that he is simply warning about those "some people" . . . who do not think the Bible is enough and so start looking into their own imaginations and feelings to come up with what they are searching for, creating an answer for and by themselves rather than--if God is NOT talking to them at the time, in the way that want--simply going to the Word to receive instruction or guidance.

For instance, would-be "prophetic" voices such as William Tapley (who calls himself the "Third Eagle of the Apocalypse & Co-Prophet of the End Times" . . . or Patricia King, Todd Bentley, Beth Moore, Cindy Jacobs--oy, there's a ton of them . . . false teachers who veer off of the Word of God and are constantly "prophesying" and giving reports of what God has told them personally--new interpretations . . . stuff that is clearly un-Biblical. . . . 

Know what I mean?  He is referring to those  ("some people") to whom the Word is simply not enough or they don't like what it says . . . like a Rob Bell . . . who has decided he doesn't like the idea of an eternal Hell or restrictions on gay sex and homosexual "marriage" . . . even though the Bible is clear enough on such things . . . and so, based on a "high opinion" of his own emotions and thoughts . . . comes up with his own "word".

Edwards is just saying that God does not "NEED to give particular messages to particular people" in order that people know what to do, how and what to believe and follow--that the Bible is enough . . . even if we were NEVER to receive a special personal revelation.  I don't see here that he says God NEVER gives a personal message.  Just that it is more rare perhaps that many people imagine (especially these days where everybody seems to be "getting a word" and promoting purportedly novel takes on scripture) . . . and that it is simply not necessary.  The Bible is enough, He has spoken.  Anyway, that's how I read it.  (I suspect that I . . . and you would say it happens more than Edwards would say . . . but I don't think he ever said it never happens or is forbidden or anything like that. . . . He was quite mystical guy in his own right, from what I've read...)God bless

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

more riffing on fear.....

Just thinking a bit more on this . . . as it is a good topic and one I have pondered over, off and on through the years. . . .

In English we say we "love cake" . . . "I love spring" . . . "I love animals" . . . etc., but it is not the same kind of love that we mean when we say we love our child or spouse.  One word "love" is meant in various different ways and intensities according to the context.  In Biblical Greek there are three different words used (storge, phileo, agape) where they all just get translated as "love" in English, losing the subtle distinctions of meaning.

The word "fear" also suffers from blunt, one-dimensional translation.  I have often heard some self proclaimed Christians . . . (along with agnostics and atheists) protest vociferously that it is wrong to "fear" God.  Some will say that there is no place for "fear" in spirituality; others charge that religion "uses fear to control people." 

And here is a typical situation where they are assuming only one kind of simple meaning to the word "fear."  (They cannot deny that the Bible says things like "fear of God is the beginning of wisdom" . . . "let all the earth fear the Lord" . . . "be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.")

But they will also point to "there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear."

Of course . . . we are talking about different versions and complexities of "fear."

There is that fear you would have if you were alone in your home, late at night, and hear a window shattering as someone breaks in to do harm.

The "fear" we are to have of the Lord, from what I have been able to study, looking at the different Greek and Hebrew words used and the verses in their context . . . to me suggests that we hold, in a sense, the whole panoply of meanings of "fear", in regards to God.  Overall, it is not a sense of horror or abject, mindless terror . . . but reverence, respect, awe, humility, realizing His character which includes love, wrath, jealousy, justice, holiness, mercy . . . ALL righteous and good . . . with omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence . . . utterly sovereign. . . .

I find that my (reverential, awe-struck) fear of the Lord is intertwined with my thankfulness, gratitude, love, working together . . . and both there is strength during my deepest moments of worshipfulness and praise. 

"Perfect love casts out all fear?"  Yay!  I look forward to that day . . . when I have perfect love, in Heaven.  But it sure isn't now--not in this fallen world, in this corrupt body, at this cursed time.

Besides, this quote is usually taken out of context used to stand alone as a universal description and/or command.

However, in context (which is SOOOO important in understanding the Word) 1 John 4:17-18, where this quote sits, is talking about not fearing the day of judgment--the punishment thereat--because those who love God . . . need not fear condemnation; they are saved.

It obviously does not mean that all fear is bad--that we are never to fear anything.  That would be a suicidal, dangerous edict.  Proper fear keeps us alive, safe, on the right track, etc., and "fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."

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Somewhat related to the topic . . . I ran across this quote, which I like:

Mike Yaconelli: "I would like to suggest that the Church become a place of terror again; a place where God continually has to tell us, "Fear not"; a place where our relationship with God is not a simple belief or a doctrine or theology, it is God's burning presence in our lives. I am suggesting that the tame God of relevance be replaced by the God whose very presence shatters our egos into dust, burns our sin into ashes, and strips us naked to reveal the real person within. The Church needs to become a gloriously dangerous place where nothing is safe in God's presence except us. Nothing--including our plans, our agendas, our priorities, our politics, our money, our security, our comfort, our possessions, our needs.

  

Brother Thomas ©2015

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