Monday, June 30, 2014

Answers To Questions (LDS & Sky)

Thanks for the questions LL, and Sky is doing well.  The first week and a half of recovery were rough because he (along with everybody around it seems) is having the worst, ongoing case of allergies ever . . . and whenever he sneezed he killed his wounded head, ouch!

But, while it is still tender, all seems to be healing alright.  I think on July 8th they will try turning on the device to check out how its working....

Re the Mormon question.  It's true, these days many LDS have no idea what their church actually believes and teaches (at the higher levels) as doctrine and you will get 10 different answers on various important doctrinal topics from 10 different Mormons.  In the old days.... well, about 20-30 years ago, and back when I was in "the church" everybody there pretty well knew what the church and previous "prophets" taught and believed.  At that time, they did not really even want to be considered "Christian" as various of their leaders taught that indeed, the only "true Christianity" was to be found in the LDS church and all others were apostate. 

Not so long ago, President and "Prophet" of the church Hinckley plainly admitted that they (the LDS church) worshipped a DIFFERENT Jesus than the one of traditional Christianity: "In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'" (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

But nowadays, "the Church" is trying to fit in with the world and all others and going big time "post-modern" "everybody has their own truth" . . . which, is actually causing lots of members to question and leave the "faith". . . .

And they no longer teach what were once accepted, well-known LDS doctrines, such as, church members can become gods of their own planets, Jesus and Lucifer/Satan are spirit brothers (as are we all literal "brothers and sisters" "children of god" who lived together in the "pre-existence". . . . And that polygamy is essential practice for someone to get to the highest "Celestial" kingdom of Heaven. . . . . And so on......

The Mormon(s) you talked to are typical of the uninformed, deluded, post-modern members of today.  BUT . . . those teachings I just mentioned above . . . STILL are the fundamental doctrines of "the church"--they have not been denied or renounced.  The church is just extra sneaky and duplicitous in overtly presenting them these days, because they have become so embarrassing and OBVIOUSLY not Christian..... And now they WANT to be considered "Christian" .  . . largely because of their ongoing aspirations for political power via, ie., the White House. . . . .

Here are a couple of quotes and references from some LDS books that were once considered standard and practically canonical which plainly teach what Mormonism has taught since the days of Joseph Smith:

"Our Father said, 'Whom shall I send?' (Abraham 3:27). Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, 'Here am I, send me'….Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, 'Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor' (Moses 4:1)." (Gospel Principles, 1997, pp.17-18).
"After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, 'I will send the first.' (Abraham 3:27)." (Gospel Principles [2009], 15).
"The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind." (Seventy Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, Melchizedek Priestood manual, 15).).
"In the grand council called to ratify the Father’s plan, a great difference arose. The majority, led by the First Born of the Father, our Elder Brother, Jesus the Christ, was ready to accept the plan with all its conditions. The minority, led by Lucifer, a ‘son of the morning,’ feared the isolation and the pains and ills of earth. For them Lucifer proposed that they should be sent to earth, but that provisions should be made by which they would suffer no pain and would not have to make any sacrifices. All of them would be returned with earthly bodies irrespective of their works on earth. This latter plan seemed desirable that one-third of those present favored it, in direct opposition of God’s plan. Lucifer and his followers were thrown out of the council, and as opponents of God’s plan, became the devil and his angels, who strive ever to tempt men to disobey the laws of God." (John A. Widtsoe, Joseph Smith - Seeker After Truth, pp.156-157)
"According to our teachings, Satan and an army of supporters were cast down to earth from the premortal spirit world. They are spirit brothers of ours, and are real persons having spirit bodies." (Mormon Apostle Joseph F. Merrill, Conference Report, April 1941, p.49)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bible Study & An Exhortation

Do you love Crispus Maximus?

You can't say.  You don't know who that is. . . .

To love someone you must know them or know something about them.   Some say "doctrine divides" and "theology is what men have come up with.  I just love Jesus. . . ."

Which is foolishness.  How can you love someone if you don't know who they are and what they are about?  "Well, He's in my heart, that's how I know Him!"

""The heart is deceitful above all things; and is desperately wicked. Who can know it?"  --Jer. 17:9

What many who claim from ignorance to "love Jesus in my heart" are actually loving is the idol they have made for themselves to serve.  

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me."  --Hos. 4:6

Yes, we have a relationship with the Lord within, and His Spirit dwells in our hearts through faith (Eph. 3:17) but in order to discern (which we are commanded to do!--Cor. 2:15) what is of God and what is not--as in, what comes from Truth versus what comes from our asserted idol--we must be like "good Bereans" and go to The Word to test it.

The Bereans "were more noble-minded . . . for they received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so."  --Acts 17:11

Having "eagerness" to examine the Scriptures is a sign and fruit of having the Spirit.  It is also a sure way to drift from the Spirit and be caught by the empty distractions of the world when one moves along seemingly content with a sort of vague assent to "being a Christian", claiming to "love Jesus" but doing little more than that toward Him.  Where is our attention?  The one you love is on your mind constantly.  All you do and live for is in reference to them.

But instead, what people do most of the time and what they live for . . . is about themselves and the idol (again, just another version of their self) they have made in His place.

Theology ("the study of God and God's relation to the world") and doctrine revealed by God's Word are voraciously sought with "eagerness" by the disciple who wants to gain more knowledge about the One they love.  Generally when you love someone or something you want to learn all you can about them or it.  People have various hobbies, obsessions, interests . . . and they can tell you all about them.  Comic books, politics, dog breeds, guns, gardening. . . . Look at the time, effort and money spent on these things for the one who would specialize in such.

Yet God--the One who is responsible for our very existence, character, possessions, talents, breath . . . rates barely a thought day to day. 

It would be one thing if He were utterly mysterious, where we had no information or knowledge of Him and His ways.  But this is not the case!  The very Creator of the universe and all that is--He Who was . . . and is . . . and is to come--gave us His written Word . . . which seems to be endlessly explorable while simultaneously sure and fast on the essentials, to guide us and against which we are able to test that "Jesus in my heart". . . .

"But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. . . ." --1 Thess. 5:21

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth."   --2 Tim. 2:15

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day In, Day Out, Fight!

  "Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
  Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
  Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth. . . ."     --1 Chron. 16:10-11


These words are not just platitudes but hold instead power greater than any purported esoteric mystic mantra or secret incantation. . . . People swarm the world over, or harbor writhing covetings continually . . . day after day . . . their minds and hearts on everything BUT the Lord. . . .

But this is one of the signs of being a Child of God--a true Believer, a disciple, born again in Spirit and in truth--that they ALWAYS are LOOKING TO THE LORD, not to this or that creature, but to the Creator; not to this or that "new" theory or idea or philosophy or "spiritual" technique, for these are all vanity!  But instead, the believing ones look to the Lord, their God, day in, day out and are not swayed by foolish emotions or devious propaganda. . . .

Do not let yourself drift in these times of trouble.  We are at war and should be warring constantly for the faith, against the enemy and his multiplying minions, surrounded as we are.  Nevertheless, the Lord will lose NONE . . . NONE! that the Father has given Him!

Beware and be aware every day now, for the attacks on your mind are constant and the enemy is every moment seeking to draw your attention away from the faith that has saved you and make you a useless laborer in the fields of harvest.  

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; fear God, not men or women who are themselves led astray by silly diversions, base instincts and endless doomed self-seeking.

Day in, day out, join the battle!  Exult in His mercy and grace in your life, that He saved a wretch like you!

Are you for real . . . or do you exhibit a cheap, lazy belief that is drawn more toward the gossip and filthy ephemera that the world shovels out daily, addicted to vain and fleeting fancies of the moment . . . in this electronic, technotronic, technological, "social media" day. . . . . ?

God bless and strengthen us all in this, I pray, amen! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The LDS Snake of Relativity Bites its Own

It's a big story around these parts. . . . Kate Kelly, the founder of the feminist group "Ordain Women" just got excommunicated from the LDS church.  She and her feminist pals have been agitating for "the brethren" to get a new revelation from God saying that women should be able to hold "the priesthood", which is currently only available to men.

This story is quite the object lesson on many different levels regarding the importance of Authority, and showing what happens when you are not anchored to the one and only true standard for everything in this life.

First off, the LDS church is in the wrong straight out of the gates in asserting that there is still a "priesthood" that people need to be ordained to, men or women.  Especially, the "Melchizedek" priesthood!  Just as they have brought back the temple and the veil (which Jesus tore down and rent) the LDS cult of Joseph Smith has brought back the law and priest-craft, where the Lord had them done away with.

1 Timothy 2:5-6: "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all."  JESUS IS GOD'S ONLY AND FINAL SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS AND ONLY AND FINAL HIGH PRIEST AND INTERCESSOR!

Jesus is also the last prophet, which is a problem for the LDS church where they teach that God is still speaking through a "prophet" today, and today's "prophet" can contradict past "prophets".  When it was convenient for "the church" to get rid of one of their most important beliefs and prescriptions for Celestial heaven (practicing polygamy) the "prophet" had a "revelation" that . . . well, not so much anymore.  Maybe later polygamy can be restored or in the afterlife, but going forward, anyone practicing polygamy in the LDS church is to be excommunicated.  [This was especially rich at the time of the "revelation", in 1890 when many of the top LDS "apostles" and leaders were still secretly practicing polygamy and continued to, and still do today, believe it or not.]

Another famous example of sudden, convenient "revelation" is, of course, allowing blacks to receive the "priesthood" in 1978.  Civil rights were a big issue, ongoing from the 60s, and the BYU football program was beginning to suffer because other accredited schools were refusing to play against an institution which openly "discriminated".  And VIOLA' ! . . . The "prophet" announced, in effect, that God changed His mind on the subject of blacks in the priesthood, and now its ok!  

So Kate Kelly is confused.  Why now, when "times are a'changin'", can't the brethren just go tell God He needs to get with the times, give a new "revelation" and ordain women into the priesthood?  It's worked before!

Ah, what peace there is, in adhering to the sure, unchanging Word of God, realizing HIS Authority in ALL things, and not to be tossed to and fro by trendy winds of doctrine, emotionalism, Marxist agendas and plain ol' Scratch himself.....!  

"Did God really say_____________?" the serpent hisses seductively. . . .

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Specialize In This!

There are a couple of things, which, if you specialize in them--in wholly committing to their truth and being subject to such truth, then the troubles of this life are veritably crushed.  No longer do the shifting winds toss you about.  On a raging, stormy sea, you are anchored in place and need not be continually fighting your way back to the safe harbor of proper understanding.

Especially in times such as these, it is the only way to go in order to avoid much anxiety, fretting, depression, hysteria, wallowing and covetousness.  Covetousness indeed is at the core of all sins, for when we do not put God in His proper role as Lord of the whole of life, then we begin casting about pining for different circumstances, better "fortune" . . . ANYTHING, it seems would be preferably to the position we find ourselves in.  It's as if God made a mistake or is not hearing our requests (or more usually--DEMANDS.)

" . . . he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered."   --Prov. 28:25-26

"Prosper" in what?  It can't mean worldly riches, for look at the apostles, the many martyrs--look at Christ.  Certainly they trusted in the Lord; but in what way did they prosper?

Well, there is only one kind of riches that have any lasting and true value and these are the riches, the treasures, stored in Heaven.  SPIRITUAL prosperity is what this must mean.  But, while people give lip service to the importance of "spiritual" treasure . . . their day-to-day lives prove the contrary.  Practically every waking thought and action is aimed at securing temporal advantage and security.  Where the heart is (where one's thoughts, emotions, will, hankering is) that is where the treasure they actually value lies.  And far more often than not, it is on the things of this world.  Heaven is a distant, hazy concept, barely worth considering in the heat of the present moment.  But this is where one's faith is truly exposed. . . .

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil."  --Prov. 3:5-7

Who walks "wisely" . . . to be "delivered"?  From where does true wisdom come?  From "fear of the Lord" which is the beginning of wisdom!

This is the difference between the fool who reasons his way TO God, versus the wise one who reasons FROM God.  When God is the Lord of your reasoning; when you have at last submitted to His rule, His reality, His sovereignty . . . only then do you begin to experience that unique and powerful "peace which Christ gives."  Only then are you anchored to the Rock in the midst of the tossing waves and fiery darts from the evil one and the wrath of fallen nature.

Learning to reason FROM God, from His Lordship, is one of those things to specialize in, day in, day out.  

An example of this in action goes something like this:  Let's say somebody close to you makes a mistake.  They do something which causes lots of trouble and a mess which YOU are then expected and must help clean up/fix.  Once the mishap is done you can be angry, frustrated and in your mind and to others be complaining how IF ONLY this or that would have happened a different way--if the mess-maker had only listened and done such and such . . . all would be so much better!

But when you are under the Lordship of God, and you have finally and fully submitted to HIS sovereignty and rule in ALL things . . . and you truly believe that not a sparrow falls but that His hand and knowledge is in it . . . then WHATEVER it is that has happened up to this very moment IS GOD'S WILL!  AND . . . you can know and trust that "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Do you really believe that?  Or do you "lean on your own understanding" and think that sometimes God makes mistakes or misses things--isn't paying close attention or doesn't really care about "small" things?

Here is another example which shows how reasoning FROM God helps in understanding scripture and some of the so-called "harder" things written in the Bible.

When God commands the Israelites to "utterly destroy" the Amorites, the Canaanites etc., and to "not leave anything that breathes" . . . the person who reasons TO God, "leaning" on their own understanding . . . is confused and begins to doubt the goodness of God.  These are the typical kinds of passages that atheists, pagans and cultists attack and use to malign God's character.  Why?  Because they have their own idea of what is "good", "moral" . . . which they use to project onto and judge God with.  THEY have set themselves up as judge, jury--indeed, as "god" of the universe, using their own reasoning and feelings to be the ultimate standard of how God "ought" to behave and be.

But if you are already submitted to His Word, and reason FROM God, then you first of all know that God is good.  And that He does not--can not--do ANYTHING which is evil.  You also know that He is love.  And you know that "all things work together for good to those who love God."  So, if we see evil in the world, in the Bible, in this life etc., we know that while God is NOT evil and is only holy and good . . . He must have a holy and good and even loving purpose in allowing it!  In the case of the Amorites, et al, we know that they were a horrifically wicked people who sacrificed their children and committed all kinds of atrocities amongst themselves and upon others.  They had been repeatedly warned to repent and abandon their vile and violent rebellion against the God who made them.  He was even patient with their stubbornness and allowed the cup of the iniquity to wax full.  And then, as He has every right to do, He punished them, using His chosen people, just as He has every right to use whatever means He chooses.  And WHATEVER He does or wills others to do on His behalf, is by definition "GOOD"!  So what's the problem?

There is only a problem if you, using your own, finite, fallen, limited, self-loving, idoltrous, ignorant reasoning, judge and accuse God.  What fool does that?  Oh, the fool, who in his heart says "there is no God." 

Do not take your own, personal, fallen, highly limited "intelligence" and use it to define, challenge, judge the God of the universe. . . . 

Instead, submit to His Word--let HIM be the judge and king and sovereign ruler, Who is wholly GOOD, Holy, righteous, perfect, all-knowing, merciful, gracious, loving, whether we understand His ways or not!

Specializing in this way of approach and understanding . . . is the key to peace in this life, despite the storms, persecutions, challenges, disappointments and present chaos. . . .


Friday, June 20, 2014

2 Kinds of Peace

The peace that the people of Christ have, arises from their having their eyes open, and seeing things as they be. The more they consider, and the more they know of the truth and reality of things — the more they know what is true concerning themselves, the state and condition they are in, the more they know of God, and the more certain they are that there is a God. The more they know what manner of being he is, the more certain they are of another world and future judgment and of the truth of God’s threatenings and promises, the more their consciences are awakened and enlightened and the brighter and the more searching the light is that they see things in, — the more is their peace established. Whereas, on the contrary, the peace that the men of the world have in their worldly enjoyments can subsist no otherwise than by their being kept in ignorance. They must be blindfolded and deceived, otherwise they can have no peace.

Do but let light in upon their consciences, so that they may look about them and see what they are, and what circumstances they are in, and it will at once destroy all their quietness and comfort. Their peace can live nowhere but in the dark. Light turns their ease into torment. The more they know what is true concerning God and concerning themselves, the more they are sensible of the truth concerning those enjoyments which they possess. The more they are sensible what things now are, and what things are like to be hereafter, the more will their calm be turned into a storm.

The worldly man’s peace cannot be maintained but by avoiding consideration and reflection. If he allows himself to think, and properly to exercise his reason, it destroys his quietness and comfort. If he would establish his carnal peace, it concerns him to put out the light of his mind, and turn beast as fast as he can. The faculty of reason, if at liberty, proves a mortal enemy to his peace. It concerns him, if he would keep alive his peace, to contrive all ways that may be, to stupefy his mind and deceive himself, and to imagine things to be otherwise than they be.

 But with respect to the peace which Christ gives, reason is its great friend. The more this faculty is exercised, the more it is established. The more they consider and view things with truth and exactness, the firmer is their comfort, and the higher their joy. How vast a difference is there between the peace of a Christian and the worldling! How miserable are they who cannot enjoy peace any otherwise than by hiding their eyes from the light, and confining themselves to darkness. Their peace is stupidity. It is as the ease that a man has who has taken a dose of stupefying poison, and the ease and pleasure that a drunkard may have in a house on fire over his head, or the joy of a distracted man in thinking that he is a king, though a miserable wretch confined in bedlam.

Whereas, the peace which Christ gives his true disciples, is the light of life, something of the tranquillity of heaven, the peace of the celestial paradise, that has the glory of God to lighten it.

Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Another Previous "Vision" Maybe Relevant Now

--"Meanwhile, the south western border of the U.S. is about to erupt into open insurgent warfare--the plight of "the illegals" will be tied to that of "state-less" Palestinians . . . . "  Posted 1-29-11

--"Years ago, back in the Lamb Cafe days, circa 2004-2005 . . . I said to expect one day the plight of "illegals" in the Southwest U.S. to become linked to ie., the plight of Palestinians in and around Israel; that the two diverse situations and issues . . . would start to be linked as similar . . . and eventually, the U.N. would be involved in the Southwest, agitating for global intervention . . . to help with the "refugees" . . . "undocumented workers" . . . displaced and in a similar sense "stateless" like the Palestinians."  --Posted 5-16-11


The above are a couple of blog entries I posted here a few years ago, one of them referring to some predictions I wrote in the good ol' "Lamb CafĂ©"--(Zeph Daniel's early online message board/gathering site for "lambs"/believers)--again from that initial born-again "visionary" period I went through where I saw a refugee type crisis being fomented on the southern border, to be used as a pretext to (finally) bring in the United Nations "peace keeping forces" into the country (from which they would never leave again). . . . .

Again, perhaps an interesting recall here, considering what is going on, along with the Iraq/Syria situation.  I'm wondering if it may be relevant that I "saw" both of these future developments at about the same time (around 2004-2005) . . . and that they both appear to be happening at the same time now......?.......(that is, if indeed the southern border refugee crisis does lead to some U.N. intervention)......

I do remember regarding the "Iraq being divided into 3 regions/governments" one . . . that at the time I believed it was going to be a "marker" of sorts in time .... something that I considered would signal the beginning of some really bad developments/events related to global war, "natural" disasters, and other similar and typically thought of "end times" "quickening" :\

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Previous "Vision"

"For a couple of years I’ve been emphasizing Syria over Iran in terms of important triggers in the Mid East and suggesting that war with Syria would likely precede was with Iran. This came from a “vision” in the spring of ‘05 which also included a vision of Iraq split into three parts. Last show with Zeph I said to watch for this . . . the splitting of Iraq into three districts as a major signpost of events"


I wrote that in a blog a few years ago referring to some early interviews I did with Zeph Daniel when I first talked about a "visionary" period I went through just after being born again.  I had the "vision" in early 2005. . . .

It came to mind as I have been watching the present horrors in Iraq and some of the pundit discussion thereat. . . . They are showing maps on the news of Iraq split into 3 ethnic, religious regions now with the ISIS assault. . . .


sky update

Thank you, thank God . . . so far so good:)  The surgery went well the doctor said...a little trouble because the skull bone had grown a bit around his old device since he got it when he was 12, and he had to drill it out  (yikes, ouch) but other than that Sky seems to be doing well.....he's home and sleeping now . . . . . Next is healing and hoping for no infection over the next couple of weeks ... ....

Prayer request

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated today.  Skylar is going in for surgery to get his cochlear implant updated, and we are praying all goes well. . . . The one he has in there now is about 15 years old; they don't even make them any more and it is difficult to get replacement parts . . . plus it has not been working very well for a while.  They have made great improvements on the devices since he got his (one of the earliest ones ever implanted) and thankfully he still has a job where he has medical benefits.  We figured before that all changes once ObummerCare fully destroys all private insurance we best get him in and this taken care of.  The operation will be today . . . then he will come home with us later and recover for about 2-3 weeks.  In a month they will turn on the device and do the audio "mapping" to fine tune it.  We are hoping the sound quality is improved over his old one . . . and also this one is waterproof and not so sensitive to friction (which can ruin the delicate digital electronics) which is good because he cannot wear his current unit while working in the meat department due to sweating and moisture and friction. . . .

God bless, and trusting God always,
bro, t

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Edification & Growth In Right Knowledge

Reading. . . . Oh how I love it!  I have learned so much, been blessed, been enlightened by the light of Truth through reading, reading, reading . . . which includes constant communication with the Spirit of Truth, teaching. . . .

Currently, and for a while, I have been delving into the "age of the martyrs" period of the Church--the time of Diocletion, Constantine, Athanasius, the Arian heresy, the Donatists, Council of Nicea. . . .

Such great treasures are to be found in the local used book store in the theology/religion section--classics for mere dollars. . . . I lament the anti-intellectualism that grips the modern church where so many are wandering around in a semi-post-modern haze, content with their subjective feelings and ad-hoc interpretations of "spirit-led" trends. . . .

I find I have not become more aloof, cold or too much "in the head" as I have read and learned, but the opposite has happened.  I am more convicted, broken, humbled, compassionate and self-sacrificing then ever before, not because of my doing, but only as a continuing consequence of submission and growing in the knowledge of God and His ways.

Also, because my work (deliberately so) is such that I can set my body to task while leaving my mind mostly free . . . I listen to all kinds of recordings I've made throughout the day--around 6-8 hours worth daily including sermons, theological debates and expositions, and still can't get enough.  I have no problem imagining the joy of Heaven where we are ever looking at and wondering and worshiping the limitless glory of God. . . .

If you are not in a position to yourself to spend so much time and effort delving into matters of divinity, at least you can stay abreast and grow by regularly accessing those who do. . . .

Below are some snippets I selected from a a great site I stumbled across (veritas et lux) this morning while doing a bit of research, which has a great list reviewed new books, mostly on the subject of God and theology (theology: the study of the nature of God and religious belief)

God bless, God rules,
your brother, thomas


“Grant what thou commandest and command what thou doest grant.”  Augustine

God is not like a bully commanding a blind man to behold the Sistine Chapel for sadistic pleasure.  Rather, the picture of God comes closer to that of a compassionate optometrist who commands a blind patient to behold the Sistine Chapel before restoring his sight.  The impossible command serves the vital function of demonstrating who deserves all credit once the patient marvels at the painted ceiling with clear eyes.  
"No Creeds But Christ" . . . .   Carl Trueman also recognizes (and repudiates) this anti-confessional agenda and affirms the importance of creeds and confessions and seeks to develop a case for the creeds and confessions in his book, The Creedal Imperative.
Trueman’s primary objective is to convince readers that “creeds and confessions are thoroughly consistent with the belief that Scripture alone is the unique source of revelation and authority.”  He also adds, “I want to argue that creeds and confessions are, in fact, necessary for the well-being of the church, and that churches that claim not to have them place themselves at a permanent disadvantage when it comes to holding fast to that form of sound words …”
The Creedal Imperative is a welcome addition to the growing list of resources that is devoted to reviving the historic creeds of the Christian faith.   ---------------------------------------

How many times have you uttered the words, “God’s love is unconditional?”  Yet the term is strangely absent from Scripture.  One might argue that other terms are absent as well, like “Trinity” and “hypostatic union.”   Of course, the terms are missing but the truth of the Trinity and the hypostatic union are clearly taught.
So what does one make of the notion of God’s “unconditional love.”  David Powlison tackles this important subject in his book, God’s Love: Better Than Unconditional.  Here’s his proposal: “God’s love is much different and better than unconditional … God cares too much to be unconditional in his love.”
Powlison is not the only one who resists the notion of God’s unconditional love.  R.C. Sproul adds, “I can think of no more pernicious lie to destroy people’s souls than this, which some preachers are spreading around the world: God loves you unconditionally.  No, he does not.  If we do not meet the conditions that he established for us in creation, then God will send us to hell forever” (Truths We Confess, Vol. I, 216).
Powlison grounds his argument with four “unconditional truths.”
1. It is true that “conditional love” is a bad thing.
2. It is true that God’s love is patient.
3. It is true that true love is God’s gift.
4. It is true that God receives people just as they are.
The author admits that the phrase “unconditional” has a “noble theological lineage in describing the grace of God.”  But the term is fraught with difficulties.  He suggests four biblical improvements:
1. There are more biblical and vivid ways to capture each of the four truths just stated.  The Bible provides much richer descriptions of God’s love than “unconditional.”
2. It is clear that unmerited grace is not strictly unconditional.  While it is true that God’s love does not depend upon what you do, it very much depends on what Christ did for you.  In that sense, it is highly conditional.
3. God’s grace is something more than unconditional in that it is intended to change the people who receive it.
4. “Unconditional love” is filled with cultural assumptions.  Such a term implies the minimizing or even elimination of expectations on the one receiving the love.
Powlison urges readers to consider the notion of “contraconditional love.”  He continues, “God has blessed me because his Son fulfilled conditions I could never achieve.  Contrary to what I deserve, he loves me.  And now I can begin to change not because I can earn his love, but because I’ve already received it.”
I commend God’s Love: Better Than Unconditional to fellow pilgrims.  It contains the biblical answer to the questions in regards to the love of God.  Readers concerned with Powlison’s thesis will be quickly persuaded and encouraged to pursue God with greater obedience and passion – an overflow of the love received from the sovereign and loving God of the universe.   


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:
My advice to you is: Read Jonathan Edwards. Stop going to so many meetings; stop craving for the various forms of entertainment which are so popular in evangelical circles at the present time. Learn to stay at home. Learn to read again, and do not merely read the exciting stories of certain modern people. Go back to something solid and deep and real.
Are we losing the art of reading? Revivals have often started as the result of people reading volumes such as [Edwards' works.] So read this man. Decide to do so. Read his sermons; read his practical treatises, and then go on to the great discourses on theological subjects.

  What do people think about God?  Edwards provides clues as he suggests that some people struggle with what he calls “little thoughts of God.”  He continues, “The truth is, men have low thoughts of God, or else they would willingly ascribe sovereignty to him in this matter.”  The problem that Edwards addressed almost 300 years ago has become somewhat of an epidemic today.  Open theism, process theology, neo-orthodoxy (just to name a few) have captured the minds of many pastors and are polluting the streams that once flowed unhindered in the academy and the church.
““Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”” (Psalm 46:10, ESV)
Psalm 46:10 is the basis of Jonathan Edward’s spine tingling sermon, entitled The Sole Consideration, That God is God, Sufficient To Still All Objections To His Sovereignty.  Six thoughts form the basis for the sermon:
1. In that he is God, he is an absolutely and infinitely perfect being; and it is impossible that he should do amiss.
2. As he is God, he is so great, that he is infinitely above all comprehension; and therefore it is unreasonable in us to quarrel with his dispensations, because they are mysterious.  If he were a being that we could comprehend, he would not be God.
3. As he is God, all things are his own, and he hath a right to dispose of them according to his own pleasure.
4. In that he is God, he is worthy to be sovereign over all things.
5. In that he is God, he will be sovereign, and will act as such.
6. In that he is God, he is able to avenge himself on those who oppose his sovereignty.
In ascribing everything to God, Edwards is primarily concerned for us to exalt in him alone.  He closes with strong words of admonition: “Let us be exhorted to exalt God alone, and ascribe to him all the glory of redemption … But this doctrine should teach us to exalt God alone: as by trust and reliance, so by praise.  Let him that glorieth, glory in the Lord.”
God Glorified in Man’s Dependence is a Semi-Pelagian sledgehammer,  destroying every ounce of human pride and self-effort.  Edwards puts the axe to Arminian axioms that while well-intentioned rob God of the glory which is rightly his.  Each line of the sermon chips away at the human propensity to receive glory and take credit for what rightly belongs to God.  Edwards reminds us that everything we have is owing to God; that he is sovereign in the distribution of his grace.  Indeed, God is glorified in man’s dependence.

In 1994, Mark Noll dropped a land mine on the ecclesiastical world with his excellent work, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.  Noll argued persuasively that “the scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.”  Noll’s conclusion appears to be in agreement with the thesis of Harry Blamires who said, “There is no longer a Christian mind.”  Carl Trueman picks up where Noll and Blamires left off with the publication of his little book, The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.
Trueman questions the functionality of the term “evangelical” which according to David Bebbington is marked by four characteristics:
  • A high regard for the Bible as the primary source of truth
  • A focus on the cross work of Christ
  • A belief in the necessity of personal conversion
  • A public display of the gospel
Trueman is rightly concerned that the doctrinal boundaries which define an evangelical are too broad.  He wisely states, “Ironically, the minimal doctrinal confessions of some evangelical institutions can exacerbate, rather than mitigate the problem of boundary drawing.”  Trueman continues, “A movement that cannot or will not  draw boundaries, or that allows the modern cultural fear of exclusion to set its theological agenda, is doomed to lose its doctrinal identity.”  Indeed, the propensity of evangelicals to be inclusive and draw blurry boundaries will in the final analysis, harm the evangelical mind.   Ignoring Trueman’s counsel will prove detrimental to evangelicalism as a movement.
The author identifies a trend in the evangelical world that is growing increasingly more tolerant with subjects such as universalism or homosexuality.  Some might agree that this broadens the appeal but this brazen compromise does not come without a steep price.  Truly, this is weak-kneed, spineless, and tepid.  And it bears no resemblance to the robust faith of the Puritans and Protestant Reformers.  This is not a “faith” to die for.  This is a “faith” that is marginalized and ineffective.Trueman argues that the net result of this theological compromise will come under “huge strain” in the days ahead.  The author posits, “The impact of this wider cultural shift on evangelical institutions and organizations will be dramatic.”  Simply put, Christ-followers who stand for the truth will not be tolerated.  Christ-followers who think Christianly (to borrow Schaeffer’s language) will be marginalized.  Christ-followers who refuse to compromise the truth will pay a heavy price in the marketplace of ideas.

The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by James White is a book that deserves to be read.  Sometimes a given book slips under the radar screen and fails to receive the credit it deserves.  Dr. White’s book falls in this category.  Christian readers are missing out if they have neglected this excellent work.
White reminds the reader that “an unwillingness to worship God as God is and has revealed himself lies behind every denial of the Trinity that appears down through history.”  Indeed, this doctrine as Shedd says, “is the foundation of theology.”  White does a masterful job at explaining this all-important doctrine.

Recognizing the glory of God is a matter of the mind.  As such, we must recognize the glory of God in at least seven specific areas.  First, we must recognize the glory of God in nature.  The Psalmist makes a mind-blowing discovery, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1, ESV).   Calvin depicts the creation of God as a theater of God’s glory.
We recognize God’s glory in the church.  Paul writes, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).
Additionally, we must recognize God’s glory in the gospel.  2 Thessalonians 2:14 says, “To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The gospel message is a glorious message.  Therefore, we must recognize the glory of God in the gospel.
When we recognize the glory of God in the gospel, this leads us to recognize the glory of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Scriptures proclaim that Christ is indeed glorious!  “He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his [God the Father's] nature, and he [Jesus] upholds the universe by the word of his power.  After making purification for sins, he [Jesus] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty [God the Father] on high” (Heb. 1:3, ESV).
We recognize the glory of God in the Word of God.  The Psalmist recognizes the glory of God in special revelation: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;” (Psalm 19:7–8, ESV)
We recognize the glory of God in the works of God: “But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works” (Ps. 73:28, ESV).
And we recognize the glory of God in the salvation he grants his elect.  While many believers are quick to question the doctrine of election, Paul the apostle delights in this doctrine.  His recognition of the glory of God in salvation leads him to pen these words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3–6, ESV)
Many Americans fail to recognize the glory of God.  This is one reason the Democratic Convention omitted God from their original platform.  And while recognizing the glory of God is a crucial part of what it means to glorify him, mere recognition does not go far enough.  This would be something akin to recognizing a beautiful dinner that my wife made but walking callously past the dinner table to the television set to munch on a piece of beef jerky and watch a football game.  When one recognizes the glory of God but fails to rejoice in the glory of God, one fails to glorify God.  We must not only recognize the glory of God; we must rejoice in the glory of God!
While recognizing the glory of God is a matter of the mind, rejoicing in the glory of God is a matter of the affections.  Jonathan Edwards understood this reality which led him to the following argument: “God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.”  Psalm 119:74 says, “Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.”  And Paul adds, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1–2, ESV)
But here is the mind-blowing reality.  John Piper says, “God’s passion for his own glory and his passion for my joy in him are not at odds … the exhibition of God’s glory and the deepest joy of human souls are one thing.”  Instead of being mutually exclusive, we find that God’s glory and the joy of the creature are one and the same!  Therefore, when we experience joy in the birth of a child, the accomplishment of a loved one, or simply stand amazed at a beautiful sunset, we should give thanks and glory to God and realize as Piper argues, that “the exhibition of God’s glory and the deepest joy of human souls are one thing.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

From Where Comes That Inclination?

A tad more on the last analogy. . . . Regarding the difference of soul/self-consciousness in a human versus a machine.  You might say, hey, that's a big difference!  And it is . . . in terms of awareness.  This is where I suggest we are but witnesses--individual points of awareness of God's glory.  But unless you are a pantheist (believing we ARE God at the core) then it is admitted our awareness is limited.  Now, we may be aware of a near limitless amount of possibilities, options etc., within the scope of our choices (of thought, action) such that it SEEMS like we are utterly "free" to choose anything without limit. . . . Nevertheless, we are still limited to ONLY the parameters of the nature God has set for us.  We cannot go outside that.
Thus, we do NOT have unfettered "free will".  If we did, it would mean there something outside of God's control which puts us BEYOND God.  Hence the temptation for some (ie., the unregenerate) to want to see things this way.  For, at base, our whole problem as the devil first prompted it . . . is in wanting to be gods ourselves; to be our own sovereigns. . . .
And, just like the computer mentioned, which seemed like a self-willed human, because it had within its design a near limitless amount of possible designer-programmed responses to changing situations, we too SEEM like we have "free will", independent of our Designer.

In all this, I am most fascinated by what is it in someone--what is that impulse, that desire, that inclination . . . which rejects this line of thought . . . wanting to see it that God's sovereign will is best shown in His relinquishing His sovereignty to glorify creatures' "free will" . . . vs. the one who wants (or just does) to see it that God's will is absolutely sovereign and the creature is wholly at His mercy and grace?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Programmed With Limits

"For the first time, a computer program has officially passed the Turing Test, which measures a machine’s ability to think for itself — at least under the standards set by a competition in Britain . . . As part of the competition, 30 judges each held conversations with five computer programs and five humans. During each conversation, the judge had to determine whether he or she was speaking with a human or machine."

When I heard this story the other day . . . I thought of the issue of "free will" and seeming "free will".

The computer was able to respond--to "think" in a sense . . . enough to fool the humans questioning it.  It appeared to have "free will" in the way it analyzed and came up with answers to varied inquiries. . . .

I suspect our situation is much the same except that we also have souls and actual consciousness.
But look at this. . . . The machine was programmed with millions, perhaps billions of bits of data, such that it could "respond" to changing situations (questions) as if it had independent volition.  And it did have independent volition . . . TO A DEGREE.  But truly, it was only able to act/respond WIHTIN the framework that had been programmed into it.  Yes, the vast amount of information built into it made it SEEM like it had "free will" . . . but actually, it was completely limited and contained within the parameters (ie., the "nature") that had been set around it by its "creator". . . .

Likewise, we too are able to respond and act to changing situations.  We have vast amounts of information and ability to interact with that information, such that it would appear that we are completely "free" to think and act and choose any way we want. 

But, according to the God's Word, we are only "free" to act WITHIN the parameters of our "nature" (ie., the program) which has certain, absolute boundaries.  Yes, we have something like "free will" contained in that "state" . . . but we cannot go beyond it, just like the computer cannot go beyond whatever was set up by its designer.  No matter what, the computer at its core only exists and acts because its creator set it up a certain way to do so and within (albeit vast) limits.

Likewise, we experience what seems to be uncontained "free will" because there are an almost infinite permutations of thought and action we are capable of--but, if you could view us from "above" or from the Creator's perspective, you would see that even so, there is a border--an end--to what we are actually able to do "freely". 

All analogies break down at some point, and this one is imperfect as well, but this is the comparison that came to mind when I heard this story. . . .

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thoughts On Reasoning TO vs. FROM

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  --Prov. 3:5

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  --Prov. 9:10

Note . . . He does not say "love is the beginning of wisdom". . . . 

And this is the problem.  People with confused and heretical and blasphemous and wicked ideas about God do not fear Him.  Of course, we are not talking about some morbid, knee-jerk kind of fear--the kind of fear, for instance, one would have of serial killer or of catching a deadly disease; but fear in the Godly sense is mixed with awe, reverence, respect, submission. . . . But too, there is a genuine falling to the ground in some terror . . . when one truly recognizes how divinely other God is compared to the creature--how insignificant, derivative, hubristic and myopically presumptive one has been . . . in the face of the living God!

Those who think of God as "buddy", a "bro", a pal-around guy, or fawning boyfriend--too casually, too lowly . . . are the same ones who tend to concoct all kinds self-generated and self-referential ideas about the character and ways of God . . . which end up having little to do with how He has revealed Himself in Scripture. . . . These are they who imagine ie., a "loving God wouldn't  __________" [usually with the blank filled in with something like "send people to Hell forever" . . . "choose some and not others"] . . . or a "loving God wants ________" ["everyone to be happy" . . . "wants to save everyone" . . . "me to live my dreams". . . . ]

But the Bible says, "The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil." --Prov. 16:4

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

"My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you."  --John 17:9

I like to use Shawn McCraney as foil because he has lately become such the quintessential example of one who does not "fear the Lord" but who "leans to his own understanding" and has created a god in his own image to worship. . . . Shawn is constantly stressing the "love" of God while completely ignoring His justice and wrath against sin.  But in this approach Shawn has defined "love" in his own way.  Shawn understands "God is love" to mean that God is the kind of love that Shawn imagines love to be (then Shawn projects onto God "how a loving God" would act . . . according to Shawn's definition and portrayal of "love"). . . .

But what if God's love includes His wrath and absolute, devastating justice?   What if God's "love" of holiness, obedience, justice is so high, so extreme and intense . . . that, indeed, He does punish forever those who flaunt and mock it?

Well, there are really no "what ifs" there. . . . That's what the Bible says.  His standard is perfection: 
"But NO unclean will ever enter heaven, NOR ANYONE who does what is detestable or false, but ONLY those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life."  --Rev. 21:27

Here too we see God's willful selectiveness.  "ONLY those who are written in the Lamb's book of life" will be allowed into Heaven.  

And who, pray tell, writes those names into the Lamb's book of life?  Does Shawn McCraney write his own name into the book of life?  That would be quite the godlike power if he did. . . .

No, GOD is the Author and determiner of who and who is not in the book of life!

There are two ways to go.  You are either for Him or against Him.  You either reason your way to God (which means leaning to your own understanding, and is rebellious and arrogant and lacking in the proper righteous fear one should have towards Deity) . . . OR, you reason from God.

If you try to reason your way to God, without His Spirit of regeneration, you will end up only making an idol (in your own image, according to your depraved, fallen reasoning) and immediately break the first two commandments.  You will then view scripture through your warped imagination of what and who God is--what He "would or wouldn't do" . . . according to your vain and faulty projection of Him . . . and you will continue to rebel against and abhor His absolute sovereignty, trying to carve a niche for yourself on the Throne from which to continue to rule your world. . . .

Whereas, when you reason from God, bringing nothing, in fear and trembling . . . and allow His Word to speak as it is Written, whether it pleases you or comports with your personal notions of how God "ought" to be and behave . . . then wisdom at last is sprung . . . and true understanding begins, truth setting you free . . . and fear of the world and man fades . . . and you start to comprehend what being "in the Lord's will" truly means and the profundity thereof!

And so much more. . . .

{hopefully, soon more to be continued down this avenue of thought . . . God bless you!}

Monday, June 9, 2014

Watching You Watching Them

I was struck a couple of weeks ago seeing a clip of Bill Clinton yucking it up on the Jimmy Kimmel show . . . when he starting spouting that old "meme" about how an alien invasion would finally unite the world. . . . There has long been a theory that "they" would stage an alien invasion for one of the final phase psyops to "bring the world together" in the last big push for one-world government.

I was surprised how word-for-word it was, what Clinton said, compared to what previous presidents and other world "leaders" have said.  Definitely sounds like a script......

Anyway, what also struck me, is that I had just heard that very same wording and warning used by another politician a couple of weeks before.  I haven't heard it in a while, but suddenly it seemed like it was everywhere. . . . Well, I'm exaggerating a bit there... but still . . . it seemed like a new, obvious uptick in the meme/pre-psyop. . . .

I really do expect they will try to pull that off.  Again, the deceiving of all but the elect . . . is likely to be included.  The special effects and mental/emotional manipulation being used is quite astounding and most folks just aren't up to the task of seeing through it, I'm afraid.

It's going to get a bit lonely out there..... for those who can See and Hear.......

Also, I see they are upstepping the "domestic terrorist" program--meaning, here they finally come for "right-wing extremists" (you know, Bible believing Christians and the like...) . . . . .

There is a hit piece in Newsweek attacking "conspiracy theories" . .  . .  .

Remember, with all these staged events, shootings and such..... one of the big purposes is to track information--how the "event" is talked about..... the mistakes made in the staging being noticed, who noticed it, how "they" can do better . . .   (although I think they leave in a lot of "mistakes" on purpose so they can track and monitor those kinds of people/researchers who are watching things....and discussing them.......)

The Lord must be your refuge..... It's about to get extremely hectic......

Saturday, June 7, 2014

"Stay Cogent, My Friends...."

Years ago when I was coming to a comprehension, through study and observation and (I believe) Spirit-led guidance . . . about the globalist agenda . . . the expected coming one-world Satanic government, etc., . . . and in general the "end times" . . . a possible scenario came to me. . . .

Okay, I'm going to get a bit "fringe" here--[note, I am not against "fringe" and "out-of-the-box" thinking", but just leery of merely TRENDY "fringe" thinking and the pursuit of conspiracies where it becomes an obsession above and beyond staying first and foremost focused on Jesus, the Gospel, the Word]. . . . But uh, yeah . . . so I "saw" a potential development where, as we entered the final phase of the dark one-world government . . . and as, simultaneously, the end of the "end times" drew near . . . we would perhaps enter into a sort of collective trance and/or state of shock. . . .

Either by INDUCEMENT into a trance state (via brain-frequency manipulation, chemicals, assorted mind control techniques etc.,) or a SPIRITUAL shift consciousness . . . or both . . . we would quite radically depart from the former "reality" into a kind of altered state, and that few would realize what had happened and was happening. . . .

I saw it as being so pervasive it would be the "water we swim in"--as in, a fish is not conscious it is "wet" as opposed to "dry" . . . because it's whole environment is "wet". . . .

Also, I saw it as being akin to what is purported to happen to animals (and even people) when they are violently attacked by a predator.  The victim in such cases goes into a quick state of shock--a sort of trance--so that the violence and terror of what is happening almost seems like a dream, pain is not really felt as much as one would think, and many people in such cases that have survived report that it was like that attack was happening to someone else.  Martyrs and sufferers of torture have reported this as well.  There is a kind of defense mechanism God has mercifully provided in this violent world--what we know as "shock"--to mitigate pain and suffering in the moment of some horror. . . .

From study of the subject I strongly believe that, for one thing, those evil elite who are manipulating things on the civil/political/social stage . . . are deliberately inducing a state of shock in the populace, because such victims are easier to control and guide . . . and also, because the destruction/transformation of our general culture IS disturbing and painful enough on its own to induce a general state of shock . . . that we ARE in a pervasive trance condition of shock. . . . And I strongly suspect techno-biologic-chemical manipulation coinciding as well.

The thing is, "they" want to take us from "the old ways" to something "new" and masterminded, but if we had our wits about us, there would be fierce resistance.  So, for the most part, our "wits" are gone and most are just moving along, semi-conscious into the "brave new world". . . .

"They" also have a strong incentive to ruin our memory capability, and what "they" are doing, and what is resulting from their various machinations . . . is that brain functioning, critical thinking, memory etc., are being severely attacked.

I suspect that this overarching situation is what is part of what is referred to in the Biblical warning:  " . . . if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

This is why it is so absolutely critical . . . for the "elect" to be focused first and foremost on Jesus, His Word, the Gospel . . . and to be in some sort of fellowship or connection with other Believers.  Without such an Anchor, I can so no way that a person in these times can keep any kinds of "wits" about themselves and stay spiritually cogent and connected to reality.  "Reality" is being contorted, manipulated, guided, formed etc., and most people are just going along with it, including when they "think" they are "fighting" it and "resisting".  It is the "water they swim in". . . . They can't discern that they are being utterly swept along. . . . 

Stay Cogent, my friends! . . .  . 

God bless 
bro, t

Thursday, June 5, 2014

famly photos

The top two photos were taken about 4 years ago . . . . All the ones below were taken about a month ago at Alexander's recent wedding ...(boy, I've gone gray, er....white haired in the last few years, heh:).....Since I don't do the facebook deal .... I thought I'd throw up some pics of the family, our boys, and daughters in share......

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Devastating Thrill

. . . .Not that there is no place for the subjective experience of personal relationship with God, of course.  It is there, along with His written declaration that I know His presence--His amazing love surrounding me despite my fallen nature.  When I received the "great dressing down"--when He showed me true condition, how fallen, how desperate, how utterly wicked in all my so-called "good intentions" and claims, there was no mistaking that He was doing it in love and care for my soul.  He wanted to save me . . . and this was the way; to show me the true situation, take away the self-delusion, but along with the sternness of His approach, there too the unmistakable compassion that is so much His very nature.  What a devastating thrill!  And it remains to this day, whenever I look inward with a spirit of repentance and awe and gratitude, which is most every day, and hopefully, several times a day!
God blesses you...........

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Defeating The Lying Spirit

. . . .This is partly why I am increasingly concerned about those unmoored, as I say, from The Word.  Thoughts . . . and feelings . . . feelings and then thoughts are being so ubiquitously guided and controlled now . . . through technology, chemistry, "entertainment" media . . . that I fear for those who THINK and FEEL that they are following God, but really are only following generated phantoms.  Now, we all think and feel, of course . . . but to what, to WHO are our thoughts and feelings subject?

I know many believe they are doing just fine, even excelling, in matters spiritual . . . being "led by the spirit" . . . "getting a 'word'" . . . prophesying . . . .And most of these tend to criticize those who want to adhere strictly to Holy Scripture, calling such "legalists", "Pharisees", "religious" . . . but little is becoming so clear to me as I progress in submission to God's Word, than that the "many" who are called but not "chosen" appear to be those who claim the Lordship of Jesus, but who actually are just being lorded over by their own egos, familiar spirits, and the shifting winds of the doctrines of the day.  These are they who are constantly on the prowl for the next big expose' of previously "hidden" knowledge.  They are always flitting to this or that new personality who comes along with a "new take" or "new angle" on what's shunned as stuffy old religiosity, not realizing that there truly is "nothing new under the sun" and that what's billed as "new revelations" is the same old thing unknowing rediscovered by a new generation (who never bothers to read about the past.)

This laziness to learn what has already been found wanting many times over before is bred from the same old rebellious spirit that kicked things off in the Garden.  "Did God really mean _________?"  Then fill in the blank with whatever "new" twist happens to comport with the rebellious one's current self-idolizing drift dressed up as "spirituality".

Which is why, the powers-that-be are presently so intent on discrediting the Bible and those so-called "fundamentalists" or "fanatics" who insist on sticking to its Revelations.  Notice that the war is not so much on any and all "Christianity" but on those forms that determine to adhere most literally to the obvious meanings of the text.  "Nuanced" Christianity . . . which changes to accommodate "the times"--to modernity--is a friend to the "powers-that-be" and will be used to ostracize and even persecute the so-called "fundamentalists".  Likewise, "Christianity" imbued with "new age" proclivities and concepts . . . with Eastern mysticism . . . with trendy "fringe" ideas and modes . . . will be mostly left alone, posing no threat to the "ecumenical" coming global, one-world religion.
The current Pontifex Maximus--the new Marxist, new-agey Pope appears to be setting the stage as we speak. . . .

At a time when (subjective) feelings and thoughts are being so expertly manipulated . . . it is more important than ever that the submitted, sold-out disciple of Christ Jesus persist focused and embedded in the objective divine teachings and historical record of The Word of God, as an anchor and a rock, against which the teeming spirits (and "official" SPIRIT) of the age are powerless.  Those who insist on being solely "led by the spirit", ignoring or marginalizing The Word . . . will indeed be led the spirit--the LYING Spirit!

Brother Thomas ©2015

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