Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Storm Goes Forth

This morning I opened the Bible to this:

"Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" declares the LORD.

 "You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds," declares the LORD.

"Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.

"For the land is full of adulterers; For the land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is evil And their might is not right.

"For both prophet and priest are polluted; Even in My house I have found their wickedness," declares the LORD.

"Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.

"Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

"Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are making you worthless. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the LORD's mouth.

"They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

"Behold, the storm of the LORD has gone forth in wrath, Even a whirling tempest; It will swirl down on the head of the wicked.

"Can a man hide himself in secret places where I cannot see him?"--the LORD's declaration. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?"--the LORD's declaration.

"How long will this continue in the minds of the prophets prophesying lies, prophets of the deceit of their own minds?

"Is not My word like fire"--this is the LORD's declaration--"and like a hammer that pulverizes rock?

"Therefore, take note! I am against the prophets"--the LORD's declaration--"who steal My words from each other.

"I am against the prophets"--the LORD's declaration--"who use their own tongues to make a declaration.

"I will surely forget you and throw away from My presence both you and the city that I gave you and your fathers.

"I  will bring on you everlasting shame and humiliation that will never be forgotten."

--From Jer. 23 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Strait Gate

How strait is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
Matt. 7:14

Friday, May 29, 2015

Red Flags & Misdirection

I had a couple quick immediate thoughts when the news of former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert's indictment popped in the news.

First off, while I'm pontificating on previous warnings . . . I remember long ago saying that one of the big red flags to watch for which will be a sign that we are close to the big hammer (and sickle) coming down . . . is that high level people will "taken out".  It will be shocking, surprising . . . the types of usually untouchable players--how they are suddenly no longer "protected".  I said watch for swift and high profile purges. . . . This always is the pattern when the takeover regime is getting ready to throw all its cards finally out on the table. 

It serves a couple of purposes.  One, is to get rid of fellow travelers who now know too much and need to be gotten rid of.  It also can be a means to eliminate competition in the coup solidification.
And it also serves to warn others that they better play ball or else.

I heard someone say recently that it is as if the devil is reigning in all the lessor demons, done with their dirty work, to establish after all that HE is the big kahuna--the one running the show.

The military purges have already begun some time ago.  These have been more behind the scenes and are logistically oriented.  The head of the snake needs to early as possible put in place loyal minions and dispatch unreliable ones from the prior regimes--especially those who might actually oppose.  Apparently the Navy has still been able to hold out against much of this, but the other branches of the military have been fairly well gutted and replaced at the leadership levels.

The more cultural/media targets--take outs--have also begun, ie., Breitbart, Hastings, Dinesh D'Souza, David Crowley, Brittney Murphy, Brian Williams?, etc., and no doubt, behind the scenes many have been threatened, blackmailed . . . and are keeping their heads down now.  I expect more high profile incidents--of big media types, commentators, online personalities . . . to be targeted as the thing progresses.

And then, of course, there are the politicians who will be, and are being . . . taken down.  I don't doubt that besides criminal indictments, smearings etc., that some will be outright "taken out" to put visceral fear in any who might dare effectively try to oppose the regime.

In general, high profile purges . . . which raise even the common eyebrow . . . are a sign that the noose is sufficiently tightened and the chair's about to be kicked out.

That was one line of thought. . . .

The other is something I regularly observe.

Now, it is only rumor at this point, but word is . . . is that Hastert had some type of "indiscretions" long ago with high school wrestler's and has been being blackmailed over it for years.  If this is not the case then let's take the cases of all the pedophile priests--the majority being homosexual or bisexual molesters.  The left wing always shouts, "SEE! Religion is a sham.  You Christian's, you "conservatives" are corrupt, perverse hypocrites!"  And the opportunity is taken to smear the religious or conservative ideology of the perps.

My thought is . . . why is it never said, "SEE!  Homosexuals are corrupt, perverse hypocrites!  Look how they infiltrate religious institutions and politics in order to do their dirty deeds!"

Rather, ie., than say "look at the evil conservative!" or "look at the evil priest or pastor!" . . . why is it never "look at the evil homosexual" who disguised himself as the "conservative" or priest or pastor?

Well, of course, we know why . . . one of the demonic realm's favorite strategies is misdirection . . . but I can't help noticing that once again in passing. . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chin Up, Bearing the Shield Of Love

Oy vey . . . the more I see things shaping up, and with a bit of research . . . well, yeah, it looks like we are for it as predicted.  I recall writing and maybe saying to Zeph when I use to do interviews that things will get as bad as the worst we have imagined and suspected.

I remember--when I first woke up and discovered what was going on politically, related to the new world order plans . . . I was doing a ton of study and research on the whole issue and came across some "intelligence" so-to-speak that foresaw the use of environmentalism as the major means for establishing and effecting totalitarian "global governance".  That was in 1988-89.  That was how I was able to do parodies a couple of years later as "T-Ray: Regional Director for the NWO" which have proven so accurate since (that was '90-92) . . . where I drew up "Enviro Patrol Units" and "The Enviroroom" command and control center. . . . I also predicted such things as the Boy Scouts being targeted as homophobic and then co-opted.  Anyway, it's all there in my satirical bits which are with my music on Soundclick.  When I get some time I have more of those shows and appearances to upload which foreshadowed other things that now are well underway and for all (well, for the awake) to see. . . . I also  predicted how local police (see "officer Benowitz" in "The Fear Room" ie., and in other skits) would be co-opted by the takeover conspiracy, and how they would be gleefully going along to target the citizens. . . . I pretty much mapped out the whole thing in those appearances and shows, which I still have copies of the full versions of. . . .

Also, the song I wrote at that same time of initial dawning awareness (1988-89) "Violence In The Suburbs" continues to prove to be--well, at least to me--shockingly predictive (unfortunately).  I sang in a verse of that song (which foreshadowed the whole illegal immigration/invasion/5th column situation we have now) . . . "Sendero Luminoso . . . they'll be blowin' down your front door . . . violence in the suburbs when the Marxists roll into town".

Turns out . . . Sendero Luminoso ("The Shining Path"-Maoist Peruvian guerillas) is in full cahoots with THE biggest international drug cartel which operates out of Peru and is basically THE supplier and partner--with dark side U.S. forces--of the southern border-crossing drug operation which is turning the Southwest (and eventually the whole U.S.) into a "narco-state" like Peru, Mexico etc.

The MS-13 gangs, which have been pouring over the border and are being located all around the country, along with other operatives  . . . will be the 5th column--the initial shock troops, I believe, with Sendero Luminoso controlling behind the scenes and coordinating . . . and so, again the strangely accurate lyrics to that song . . . continue to inform as to specifics.  (I also talked about "heads all rolling around" in that song, which refers apparently to one of the signature methods of the drug gangs' violent tactics, which is to behead and produce the heads as calling cards and warnings....

Grim stuff, I know . . . sorry . . . and I don't dwell on these things, but in the spirit of "be wise as the serpents--" I feel it is good to maintain a heads up on what's happening and about to happen, if for no other reason . . . to alleviate the shock and awe that will attend when the whole thing starts to blow.  Panic and terror (fear) is the enemy to faith.  And keeping the faith, and living by faith . . . is the key to getting through and meeting these evils as we must maintain our Godly focus and disciplic purposes throughout!

The civil war aspects (which "they" are eager to produce) will be when "oathkeeper" types and others in our military (along with militias and regular citizens) refuse to buckle and start putting up a fight, although I think foreign troops (ie., all the Russians who are here, Spetsnatz) along with the border-crossed gangs/5th column . . . will be just as prominent as the "just following orders" crowd within our own forces.

The "climate-change" regime will also be factoring huge.  "Climate-deniers" will be the new heretics and an Inquisition will be set up to charge and prosecute those who resist the soon coming oppressive and property stealing edicts that ensue.  They have already set it up so that any "natural" disaster and even "man-caused" disasters (including terrorism) will be blamed on "climate change" (quite the hutzpah these guys have, heh).  High food prices, shortages, property restrictions, travel bans... everything will be blamed on "climate change". . . .

I also have written about how I saw that it would likely be from Chicago that the civil unrest would ensue.  This could also come about as a result of some big event happening in Chicago, ie., a major "t" attack there.

I hope I'm wrong--that I've been wrong about all of this--but so far, as I said, I'm afraid it looks to be panning out just about exactly as I have long said it would.  When I did a bit (back in 1991) about "The Cultural Icon Debasement Initiative" I foresaw that all of America's traditions and icons and beloved historical figures and pastimes would be targeted for smear and undermining . . . and this too is well underway (the attack on marriage, on football, on Boy Scouts, on the founders, on "cowboys" and a hundred other things.)

Problem is, as depicted in the books of Amos, Micah, Hosea, Isaiah . . . America deserves her judgment.  The government-sanctioned child sacrifices amounting to some 57 million in the U.S. alone is cause enough for judgment.  The profaning of marriage with a number of other official evils has only helped to fill the cup of wrath. . . .

I mention such things only to help motivate us . . . to the important work that is to be done--which is, above alone, to love and serve God with all our hearts, minds and strength . . . and also our fellow neighbors as ourselves.  Perfect love drives out fear.  This is our great weapon and shield--love.... in the midst of and up against all these petty horrors the dying dead are throwing at us as they sputter and rage in a last, vain gasp and shaking fist against the God Who gave them life.  God is using them as the chastening rod to challenge and purify His children in these last days. . . .

Chin up, cheerful smiles and joy :) ! . . . God rules and NOTHING and NO ONE can separate us from His love and rewards for fighting the good fight of faith!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Seeing His Glory In The "Mundane"

My wife and I were having one of our usual early morning over coffee talks about God and His majesty . . . and Sky came to the kitchen, getting ready to leave for work and asked what we were talking about (he could see our intensity and passion of conversation)--and we told him "God".

As he does fairly regularly, he responded, "I know . . . things are getting scary . . . Radha is going to die--" And he went on.  Radha is our aging, family black cat who mostly sleeps by and hangs around Sky in his room (since the new puppy took over the house.)  And what he was getting at is something that he's been dealing with for a while--basically an awareness of mortality, of how hard and real and ultimately "dust to dust" this life is.  You work, sleep, eat, work . . . and it just goes on like that . . . and then you die . . . and along the way loved ones (ie., Radha) die. . . . He stresses a bit over the harshness of it all, and over his job which (being deaf) is often frustrating and difficult and causes anxiety.

We've had this talk many times, but repetition is great in helping the relatively new believer to remember and stay focused on the hope in Christ and not letting oneself get bogged down in the mundane.

I reminded him that perpetual, habitual worry/anxiety . . . is a sin. It is a sign of not trusting God, of not truly and deeply believing that He is good; that He sovereign over all things.

"See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God."  --Heb. 3:12

We talked further. . . .

I said . . . when you worry and think with angst about such things . . . it seems to me like a blasphemy.  You are basically telling God you don't like the way He is making things.  You reject where He has put you in your life at this time.  You are spitting in His face in a sense, saying, "Why can't You do this better?  How dare you have me where I am.  Shouldn't You be fixing this and that?  Surely You could do more!" 

You are showing your lack of faith.

"But without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him."  --Heb. 11:6

If you are professed believer and follower of the Lord (one who draws near to Him) then YOU MUST believe that he rewards you for that!  Now, you may respond, "Yes, I agree . . . BUT . . . I don't like the way I'm being 'rewarded'.  In fact I don't see any real reward at all here. . . ."

And the answer to this charge is that, for one thing, YOU don't know what's best for you right now and it is highly presumptuous to assume you do.  If you are agitated and worrying it means you are questioning God's wisdom and good intention for your life.  Whereas, if you truly and deeply trust God and have faith in Him, then you know that just exactly what you have and are doing now . . . is what God wants and MUST thus be the best thing for you at this time. 

HE knows the ends from the beginnings, not you . . . and so you wholeheartedly trust Him--and not only that, but praise and honor and worship Him too for His perfect provision.

Furthermore, not all "rewards" appear instantly or in short time.  Trust and faith must extend to the  "hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel--"  --Col. 1:5

 It is easy to maintain hope and faith for a moment.  But the depth and veracity and purity of our faith is shown by our continued thanksgiving and graciousness . . . for long stretches of time.  It is a blessing that we must wait and show ourselves approved.  Oh how it pleases the Lord to see His children . . . persisting in blessed hope . . . through thick and thin . . . with a patience that defies natural, fallen impetuosity.  Here we have the chance to reveal our seriousness and commitment to His Word, His promises, His wisdom, kingship and goodness.

In fact--and we all do it to some degree--complaining about the drudgery of day-to-day life; seeing some things as unimportant, trivial, base etc., is like saying to God, "I only like the 'big' flashy things you do in, for and around me.  This 'little' stuff is tedious, mean, ugly."  Which is like looking at some creator's piece of artwork and saying, "I like most of your work . . . but this section over here is worthless and ought be cut out."

The artist is offended, hurt . . . because He created THE WHOLE PIECE.  Every part of it is intentional.  If there are more menial or common parts . . . it is nevertheless essential, critical (to the creator/artist) that they be there to make up the whole.  Perhaps the faded, less distinguished portion is there to provide needed contrast to the delectable section.

When we malign or disparage what we think are baser elements, things, events etc., in our lives . . . bemoaning them . . . and worrying and chagrining over them . . . we are doing the same thing.  We are telling God He is not perfect.  He could do better.  We know better. . . .

Which is horrendous if you stop and think about it.

We ought be praising and thanking Him always!  Nothing is out of order; nothing is valueless or mistaken in His scheme; not ultimately, anyhow, though (as part of His perfect plan) it may appear so (for His final, perfect, just, holy, good purposes).

After talking with Sky and my wife and they went their ways to get ready for the day . . . I thought "I wonder what God might have to say about this." So, taking a chance I flipped open the Bible, which landed right on this verse:

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--

"I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him."  --Ecc. 3:1,14

And. . . .

"God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."  --Ecc. 3:17

Learning, practicing . . . to see God's intimate hand in all our circumstances . . . and His attendant glory thereof . . . is a way of showing and even developing faith--and is a "must" for the disciple on His holy path.  He is by it all . . . blazing all around with His wise, good care and purpose.

"Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent."  --Matt. 10:29

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Parallels To Assyrian Curshing Israel (700s BC)

Hmmm.... There's been some unusual --I dare say spirit-led confirmation on some things these past few days . . . beginning with my foray into Amos . . . then Hosea and Micah . . . and now Isaiah.  I'm becoming increasingly impressed that we may be right now paralleling that situation re the judgment on Israel at that time.  The social, political scenario . . . then the earthquake mentioned (see Uzziah) --from related histories it seems to have been significant one. . . . I'm wondering if that too might be in the mix here soon.  Anyway, I am looking further into all of this as it really seems to be a movement in the spiritual realm--watchmen are being alerted . . . being conveyed to others as well simultaneously. . . .
No doubt . . . I've just had a series of clear signs pointing to the relevance of this sudden, out-of-the-blue study that came to me to do (ie., on the prophets, beginning with Amos.)  Heads up . . . as always . . . but maybe a bit more than the usual. . . . "developing" as Drudge would say. . . . . .
God bless

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Coming Attractions. . . .

. . . and even though their tactics and strategy is plain in view for those who are not deep in trance, I expect they will set up a scenario where it will be portrayed as though some "patriot/constitutionalist" (ie., "tea party") domestic faction united with "Isis" to effect the series of relatively simultaneous hits (nuclear/biological).  The objective is to conflate radical ("religious") "Islamic"  "extremists" with "homegrown" "anti-government" "radical" "religious" "extremists".  The two will be tied together in some set of events or a large single event.  And then anyone who talks or writes about the actual secret (NWO) government's conspiracy in doing this (ie., as done in 911, Sandy Hook etc.,) will also be targeted (perhaps literally, but surely psychologically/culturally) as being, in a sense, complicit. 

I don't doubt that at some point even suggesting that these events are "false flag" events . . . blaming the government, the Feds etc., will become a crime in itself.  Resisters, "conspiracy theorists", will be labeled mentally unstable, sick, insane, dangerous . . . and will be incarcerated, re-educated & medicated . . . where they are not outright liquidated.  It will be illegal to preach certain parts and doctrines of the Bible.  It will be illegal to home school unless the home curriculum complies with the "party line" (ie., pro LGBT, pro "climate change"/Agenda 21", pro evolution, pro "social justice" etc.) 

Teaching children Biblical Christianity in the home will be practically illegal if not outright.  "Family services" agents will be entitled to make regular, unscheduled "home checks" to make sure families are in compliance with the party line in all things.  Children who do not show sufficient indoctrination will be removed from their parents or grandparents care.  Home schooling, Biblical teaching/worldview, orthodox Christianity, traditional American constitutional-republican political doctrine etc., will be painted as being the causes directly leading to the "homegrown" terror attacks which have purportedly united with radical Islam.  The absurdity of this supposed confederacy . . . will pass over the heads of the entranced, programmed, IPhone addicted, fascistically-inclined "millenials" who will increasingly be taking roles of power (as currently seen now in the State Department and other top Executive branch positions) who will resemble the youth that typically have also enforced fresh tyranny as in Maoist China, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Pol Pots Cambodia etc.  And they will have no understanding, knowledge, comprehension, empathy . . . for the old-timers who are "bitterly clinging" to their "God, guns, constitution and religion" and will be eager to enforce compliance and punishment on their elders--the "dangerous" "traditionalists"--especially Christians who "are responsible for all the evils in the world" (such as bigotry, racism, pollution, unsustainability, homophobia, misogyny, resource depletion, animal cruelty, child abuse etc.)

Anyway, just a heads up and/or reminder re being prepared (spiritually, psychologically, physically, emotionally). . . . I've had this whole thing pretty well nailed dead on all the way along (I regret to have to say)--and though I would love to be wrong going forward . . . I expect what I wrote above is just about exactly how it's going to be playing out in the near future. . . .

I must say . . . while death is a curse . . . the fact that God is good and can do no evil . . . even His curses have the element of blessing in them.  For while death is a curse . . . and life is a precious gift . . . with this world the way it is, I am glad our lives are relatively short--a flash, a vapor.  I mean, just imagine . . . if you had to live for hundreds, thousands or more years subjected to the wicked, degenerate, God-hating knuckleheads who are now screwing things up so thoroughly and setting in place their devilish Utopian tyranny.  Mercifully, there is a limit to this oppression and persecution which we have to endure.   And I might add, it's not so much the personal physical oppression and persecution and material enslavement that is so awful to suffer . . . at least for me . . . as it is watching God/Truth being trashed, mocked, blasphemed, smeared, perverted etc.  The lies . . . the deception . . . the rebellious, hateful flaunting and scoffing aimed at HIM--at His beautiful, wonderful, awesome character, creation and purposes--THAT is what is so hard to bear!

Friday, May 22, 2015

His Terrible Majesty Cometh

I recently started a study on the prophets . . . beginning with Amos and was immediately struck by how relevant his descriptions and warnings of the evils of the day . . . compare to our present situation.

For one thing, the very type of the prophet . . . in this case--one who is called out from ordinary vocation (sheepherder/tree tender). . . versus the "professional prophets" who were all about, pandering and earning their money from "professional" propheteering/profiteering. . . .

We have many such "professional" "prophets" today. . . .

Israel was powerful, prosperous and smug (approx. 786–746 BC) . . . materially and spiritually.  The elite were oppressing the poor, living in luxury, becoming soft, indulgent . . . while "the people" suffered under increasing burden to support the powerful in their opulent lifestyles. . . . Sound familiar?

As is so typical . . . the chief religious leaders denounced the prophet.  They--and the people who they held in thrall--did not want to hear the dire warnings, the "doom and gloom", the "paranoia" from Amos.  They wanted to keep on in their revelries, their religious festivals, their entertainment and indulgences in the "good life."  Amos was "sent home packing", so-to-speak . . . or so it would appear.

Amos returned south to the Jerusalem area . . . where his oracles were the first of the prophets' to be written down . . . and, as the wider targeted population would not hear him, he shared his words with a relatively small group of friends and followers.

Amos is the great "social justice" prophet pointing out the debauched, materialistic, vain, elitist sins of the ruling class.

1"Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria,
    you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy
    and say to your husbands, “Bring us some drinks!
The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness:
    “The time will surely come
when you will be taken away with hooks,
    the last of you with fishhooks.
You will each go straight out
    through breaches in the wall,"
and you will be cast out toward Harmon,"
declares the Lord.

Injustice, sexual perversion and rampant lust abounds. . . .
7 " They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name."
No, God is not "cruel" . . . but He is severe and deals harshly with sin.  His mercy is so great and striking BECAUSE of His severity.  If He were the "all benevolent" . . . "it's all good" . . . post-modern "free love" hippy-Jesus that so many imagine Him to be . . . His mercy would have little to no meaning.  But it is because He HATES sin . . . and even "HATES . . .  a proud look, a lying tongue . . . the hands that shed innocent blood" that His mercy toward sinners is shown to be so meaningful and profound.
"God hath upon him terrible majesty."  --Job

I believe we are in for it just like Judea in the time of Amos.  Soon.  How many cities will be hit?  Five?  I wrote about what I expected prior to the present regime.  A string of "hits", riots, martial law and the swing to the so-called "hard right". . . . I suspect it is just over the horizon.  The good will be called evil--blamed.  A theatrical setup to top even the WTC event. . . .
Rom. 11:22:  "Therefore, consider God's kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen but God's kindness toward you--if you remain in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off." 






Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Reality Within A Reality

Okay . . . now for some speculation.  And I do try to be clear when I have left the charted waters of Biblical exegesis . . . and classical, solid orthodoxy . . . and am veering into a more personal take or slant or conception. . . . I tend to believe what I'm proposing here is true but I'm just saying that I haven't yet spent time trying to substantiate it with the authority of scripture.

And it builds upon the recent ongoing topics.  I also dare say I perceive it in the spirit and in truth; but again must admit it is speculative until based in The Word. . . .

Two of the most exciting aspects of life I find to be . . . the fact that God IS . . . and that He has made creatures, individuals apart from Himself.  That there is SOMETHING--that there is a reality--that God exists in the first place rather than that there is NOTHING . . . never ceases to astound and thrill me.  And I believe reveling in this--being witness to His reality and glory . . . is the stuff of eternal life.  It is so profound, so awesome, so astounding, so incredible, so wondrous etc., that there are angels who do nothing else but sing songs of praise and worship joyfully forever about it--about HIM, about His goodness, holiness, glory. . . . That HE IS THAT HE IS.

Along with that . . . the fact that He is able . . . and willing . . . to create beings (creatures) who are OTHER than Himself . . . is also amazing, mind-blowing, awe-filling, etc.

What an honor!  What a fantastic, glorious, almost ridiculously righteous situation . . . that He fashions creatures . . . who are designed to the vessels, the instruments . . . of His creative, holy will!

In the world . . . we are the means through which He functions, one to another.  Some made for "honorable" use, others for "common".  This too is astonishing!

And what I suspect might be the supreme joy and adventure of living throughout eternity . . . is the worshipful unending, horizon-less exploration of these two facts and how they work together.  That is, the fact that GOD IS ("I AM THAT I AM") and . . . the fact that we exist individually separate from Him (as in, we are not God) . . . yet we being vessels/instruments for His will . . . are one with Him as He operates through us to reveal (and have us experience) more and deeper of His creative being and purposes . . . unending.

When I was a student/follower of Eastern spirituality . . . it was easy for me to believe (as it was taught) that the purpose of existence was to become "one with God" . . . because, in the end "we ARE God"; that God could and would "individuate" Himself seemed apropos.

But what "blows my mind" . . . and I find continually incredible and wondrous . . . and HARD to believe (though I DO believe it now) is that we are to be "one with God" yet we are separate and "other" than God!  I mean, it did not seem too far out to assume that God could create individuals (parts) of himself . . . as the fact was that all that existed IS God Himself (including all matter, energy, creatures, creation).  But that God . . . Who IS THAT HE IS . . . creates something(s) (creation/creatures) OTHER than Himself . . . which has a reality (within His reality)--delightfully bewilders me to this day.

And what I'm suggesting is . . . is that pursuing and exploring and experiencing the mystery of this, with it's paradoxical trappings . . . is what the work/play of eternity will largely be about, in endless creative, joyful, "Imaginative" permutations. . . .

To me, that adventure begins now . . . when one finally stops trying to BE God . . . and humbly accepts the honored (though wholly distinct) role as creature--as VESSEL.

"Woe to the one who argues with his Maker-- one clay pot among many. Does clay say to the one forming it, What are you making? Or does your work say, He has no hands?"  --Isa. 45:9

As hands are a symbol and function of "doing" . . . I say he "has no hands" because he can't do anything (apart from God)!  Those who continue to "argue with his Maker" about His handiwork . . . will be put away.  Those who accept the Maker's prerogative . . . will go on with Him into eternity . . . happy, in glory and in peace . . . to be His vessels made for "honorable use"! 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Leaving Spiritual Detention

Thanks Seth for the encouragement.  I hammer on this issue because I have found it to be such a critical one to be Seen . . . as finally Seeing it releases real, profound spiritual growth and understanding.  I do not say that if you are mistaken on some spiritual truths that you are not saved.  Otherwise none of us would be saved as we yet comprehend so little and still see but "through a glass darkly".  BUT there is an increase of light and understanding as the sanctification process ensues.  I believe though that while you are still clinging to the false notion that you are doing things--capable of doing "good" things/works . . . of yourself . . . then you are stuck in a rut and prevented from moving further and deeper into conforming to the character and mind of Christ.  Just as the Son and the Father are one so are to be one in Him--not still trying to do our own thing.
It's a big deal, this major hurtle. . . . Where you are challenged to finally relinquish any clinging belief that you, of yourself, apart from God . . . are able to do ANYTHING good, including "choosing" Him.  It seems to me--and I've seen it in operation in others--that when you at last surrender that stronghold, that notion . . . that then you really begin to grow spiritually in real, visceral ways and not just remain in a superficial, ineffectual, intellectual loop of self-centeredness.
Until that point, you are still too much a part of the original rebellion, holding on to your rebellious spirit, which wants to question the goodness of God, 2nd guess His judgment, His commands . . . and  holding on to be as a god yourself, reveling in your (delusional) autonomy--the same autonomy agenda that began in the Garden and started the Fall.
When you read "glory, honor and peace, to every man that worketh good" the rebel inside wants to stop there and say, "See!  We can do good!  AND we get glory and honor for it!"  (--Rom. 2:10)
But the one who wants the whole truth and keeps listening and seeking finds out (and accepts) that even such "good works" . . . are themselves the work of God ALONE in us ("so that none can boast").  Not only that, but God says He has prepared these good works that we do . . . IN ADVANCE.  They are there waiting for us to walk in to them.  WE didn't cook them up.  We didn't independently bring them to God.  He set them out ahead of us and all we can do is assume them, as HE moves us in to and through them, by and through His grace and glory.
Look at this:  "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do"!  --Eph. 2:10
If you resist this you ought to ask yourself WHY would you ever want to challenge this clear, God-glorifying couplet of scripture?  Yes, we do "good works" . . . BUT, being God's "handiwork" (not our own) . . . "created IN CHRIST JESUS to do good works" . . . GOD--get it?--GOD (not us) prepared in advance those good works for us to do! 
We got nothin'!  We, in ourselves are destitute, and it's a blessed thing to know and finally accept:  "Blessed are the POOR in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Is it not obvious that the only reason someone would continue to fight on this issues is because they are still siding with man's supposed autonomy apart from God?  Does it not scream "but I want to be God!"?  Is it anything other than that . . . we are still rebelling against God's sovereignty, just as Lucifer originally did . . . and seduced Eve to do?
Who is it that strives against giving ALL the glory to God?  Huh?
I'm telling you . . . once you finally surrender on this point . . . it is like a spiritual detention is lifted and you are at last allowed to proceed further along the path of sanctification; which makes sense . . . because why or how should you be allowed to progress on the road of holiness . . . if you are still holding out that YOU have had something to do with your salvation (ie., such as even being able to "choose" it) . . . let alone that YOU are able, in and of yourself . . . to do "good works" glorifying God . . . let alone that YOU have within you some innate, separate goodness or capability to please God (ie., by "choosing" Him according to that capability) . . . or that YOU can bring ANYTHING of worth or value to honor God.  He has let us know that the best of our so-called "good deeds" . . . offerings . . . ARE GARBAGE, "filthy, bloody rags" . . . disgusting! 
Who is it that clamors against this?  Well, I know Oprah does . . . and most anyone of the self-loving, self-glorifying, man-centered world . . . hates this and argues vociferously for there being some innate "good" in humanity.
But the Bible tells us the truth.  We've got nothing--NOTHING!--apart from God.  Praise God!  All glory to GOD!  No glory to self--no glory to man, to woman.  
The one who truly loves God and wants the unvarnished truth . . . loves this, because they seek to love God above all.  And they know that even that desire for hard truth . . . which glorifies God . . . comes from God as well!  Praise God!  To God be the glory.

All you that fear Je-ho-vah's name,
His glo-ry tell, His praise pro-claim;
You chil-dren of His cho-sen race,
Stand in awe be-fore His face,
Stand in awe be-fore His face.
("All You That Fear Jehovah's Name" excerpt 1800s hymn by F. Vanua)

And now for something completely different . . . and cute.  Banjo and Dude playing in the yard--they have become fast friends.  Look how much Dude has grown since I last posted some video of him.  He's a handful . . . heh. . . .


Friday, May 15, 2015

Try Your Best?

So . . . it would be great to get a response to ANY of the specific points I have made backed up by scripture.  Anyone?  Might it be that the God's words are so clear in these instances that there really isn't much of a way to refute them other than by opinion, tradition or generic man-centered philosophy?

Or, perhaps its just not that important--or seeking out the truth of such matters is just too tedious and divisive.

Myself--I follow the Lord who came not to bring peace (to the world) but the sword . . . to divide out truth from error, confront lies, evil, false teachers, false religion. . . . If the stakes weren't so high I'd shrug it off--but they are, so I don't.

It was said, "God requires that each person love according to the strength of their mind, heart and spirit and exercise such a faith in their daily walk."

In other words, "God requires that you try your best, according to your ability" right?


Where is this in scripture?  I ask sincerely--maybe I have missed it.  But I don't think so.

"Try your best" is what He requires?  That, by-the-way is one of the most common and expected answers you will get if you ask a Mormon how one gets into Heaven.  I have heard many New Agers say much the same thing--that all "god" really cares about is that you are "sincere" in your efforts.

And this is a hideous lie--dangerous even, which leads many to Hell.  It is unscriptural.

For one thing, NO ONE IS SINCERE! 

"THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD." --Rom 3:11; "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one"  --Rom. 3:10; "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick," --Jer. 17:9; "I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no not one; no one seeks for God....There is no fear of God before their eyes."  --Rom. 3:9-10 and 18; "I know that no good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh."  --Rom 7:18

Need I go on? 

What God actually, in truth requires is this:  'Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”   --Deut. 6:5.  Jesus cited this the greatest commandment.

Does anyone do this?  CAN anyone do this?  No and no.  Hence the need for a Savior.

What does Jesus say?  Does He say "try your best"?  Which everyone can (falsely) and usually does claim to do.

Or does He require of you something that you are incapable of doing?

Jesus says, "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."  --5:48

The world says, "as long as you are 'sincere' and try your best, surely God will forgive you."  Which is a comforting and inoffensive statement.

But true Christianity has never said this . . . which is why the prophets and the apostles, Jesus' followers and Christ Himself are hated.  True Biblical doctrine is offensive to the natural man and woman.  The world, the demons, the devil hate it and argue against it continually.

"But nothing unclean will ever enter it, 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

Absolute perfection IS required by God of each one of us! 

I was reading this morning in Romans 3-6 and what Paul makes clear is that no works of ours count for a thing--only faith.  And someone says, "Right!  If we just have faith then God will save us.  WE can do this much at least."

But God says, in so many words, "No you can't.  Even your faith is from me."

"For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast."  --Eph. 2:8-9

Faith--the one thing that gets us to a saving condition IS A GIFT FROM GOD!

If it were not--if it was something that we are able to do on our own, then what is the difference between one person who exercises it (salvifically) versus the one who doesn't?  Surely the one who has faith and thus gets saved can say, "I was a little better, a little more spiritual than that other person." Which . . . is the very boast that God, through Paul, says we are forbidden from being able to claim!

Please show me, anyone . . . through scripture, that these points are wrong, mistaken.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Saving The Lost

So yeah, saving the lost . . . literally. . . .

At home . . . my wife said, "oh, the puppy is crying--".  We are watching our grandog Banjo and had put Dude in his crate upstairs to get a break from the constant rough-housing between them and we heard something like crying.  Pausing to listen at the bottom of the stairs we realized it was a child wailing loudly outside.

We looked out the door and a little, blond-haired boy was wandering in our driveway howling crying, obviously in some trouble.  I went to talk to him and realized he was lost.  He was only about 4 years old, dressed in little blue BYU sweats.  It was cold out and so I told him to sit on my front step and I would grab my coat and we would go find his parents.  It was a strategic move on my part, considering the "stranger-danger" days we live in to not have him come inside our house. 

I didn't recognize him as being from any nearby homes so figured he must live around the corner perhaps.  He was so upset he could barely talk . . . but as far as I understood it at that point, he was saying his dad had left him--driven off and he was lost.

This didn't sound quite right, though, as he looked quite well cared for and though I couldn't rule out abandonment (in these often shocking times) . . . I suspected he was just mistaken as to what put him in this predicament.  An LDS church is down at the bottom of our street, a fair distance . . . and so, I also suspected that he had perhaps come from there as they often have activities going on during the week and evenings.

But as I squatted down to calm him and talk him out of his hysterics . . . he implied that maybe his home was UP the street somewhere . . . and that his father had gone home.  He also said his mother was home.  So we started walking that direction. 

And walking . . . and walking.  Having raised 4 boys I was well equipped to quickly get him calmed down and comfortable to talk as he was able and we talked about his favorite super heroes (Spider Man, Hulk etc.) as we walked along, dusk quickly fading to nighttime.

About 25 minutes of walking . . . for several blocks . . . and him not recognizing anything . . . I began to suspect that he really had no idea where his house was . . . and we were on a wild goose chase.  But at least he now was at ease, laughing and smiling with me as we talked--me trying to get more information about who he was, where he lived, what he was doing, how he got lost, what his dad was doing etc.

A couple of times he started running ahead . . . down cul-de-sacs . . . and got my hopes up that at last he recognized the neighborhood and his house was in sight.  But then he would just keep going and finally I concluded, indeed, he had no idea whatsoever where he lived.

Though keeping up a calm and comforting face to him . . . as we went along, I was feeling increasingly mortified as I knew his parents by now must be freaking out.  We had been walking for about a half hour or so.  I didn't take my phone because I don't get cell service up on the mountain where we live. . . .

I decided then that we should hustle to the LDS church where I determined he had last been, figuring someone would be there who knew him. 

As we approached the church, the parking lot was milling with youth and some adults.  A black SUV tore out of the lot and headed towards us.  I figured this was probably a parent and was right as the car pulled to the side of the road by us. 

And oh . . . the terrified, semi-hysterical but elated look on his mother's face as she jumped and grabbed him.  I know that feeling as Isaac, when he was about 7 got on a wrong bus coming home from school and ended up being dropped off and wandering a major street lost and crying some 30 miles away from home. . . .

I knew the lady's first thoughts were probably scared and suspicious.  Who was this unshaven guy, in painter clothes, slippers, . . . a roughly plopped-on bandana . . . walking down the street with her lost, precious little boy?

I quickly told her what had happened . . . and she was put at ease and then the father ran over.  They had called 911 . . . police were on the way, and people were already searching the nearby foothills for little Luke.

What a scare for those poor parents.  What seems to have happened is that little Luke was playing with the other kids at the church while his father was there doing something . . . and Luke saw a car leave which he mistook for his dad's and so he started walking to follow him . . . and ended up quite a ways away . . . in front of our house, lost.

Now, as I thought about it this morning . . . and considering recent topics . . . I couldn't help seeing another analogy.

Did Luke, by his "free will" . . . end up getting lost and show up at my house?  Was it luck that he came to my house?  Could Luke, by himself, have found his way home . . . using his "free will" intention to make his way home?

Well, indeed, Luke, by and through his own willful actions go lost and was trying to find his way back home.  No one was forcing him to wander or walk up the street or stop in our driveway.

BUT . . . he was only CAPABLE of doing so much . . . according to his nature and developmental condition.  He was about 4 years old.  His intention, his "free will" was to get home--but in reality he was unable . . . without help.  His house turned out to be several miles away down the mountain road with only open, scrub-oak covered hills along the sides.  Yes, he was free to try, but he really had no idea even which direction to go.  His "salvation" only came when someone other who was capable intervened to help him. 

Again, analogies only go so far, but this shows that even though one has a will and can do things . . . the little boy's nature (being a 4 year old with no idea how to achieve his goal) prevented him from success.  In the same way, yes we have "free will" relatively speaking, but it is wholly and completely limited by our sinful, fallen nature, which, according to the Word of God does no good and does not genuinely seek for God.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

No Free-Love Hippy--God

 There was another decent exchange last night between Shawn McCraney and Matt Slick.  This so far has gone quite well.  Matt is doing a very fine job of representing the "Reformed" (Biblical:) position and Shawn has done alright giving the emotional, man-centered viewpoint.  And Shawn hasn't threatened to punch someone or called his guest an idiot or hung up on anybody!  Which is a welcome improvement!

Really, I'm grateful he has allowed this "debate" to occur.  Generally, he has shown little interest in engaging others directly with a different perspective on these matters and has practically bragged about how he doesn't bother to read much if any opposing viewpoints.  A lot of Christians similarly don't want to be bothered with any disputes or contentions (within the purported Body) . . . but a growing, sizeable portion do who like to think, analyze, study the Word and seek for greater and greater light . . . so these kinds of meetings are hungered for and welcome . . . and I think helpful and educational for those who are not satisfied with but a nominal, surface-level, childish and immature intellectual experience of the Faith.  Yeah . . . I'm painting with a strident brush here . . . but I find it irksome and pathetic that people will spend endless hours following sports teams and their stats . . . or every twist of the political theater . . . or each nuance of fashion trends . . . or whatever . . . but barely a thought or couple minutes ever put toward the most important subject, object, topic, purpose and meaning of their very life itself--GOD!

Now, re the area under discussion here lately . . . I would like to note that I have not referred to or quoted Calvin or used as authority anyone other than God and His Word . . . as it pertains to primary issues.  My source has been the Bible, not John Calvin.  I quoted Dr. Morey on a secondary matter only in response to another secondary opinion source, Justin Martyr.

As to "vile, evil . . . actions and blasphemous things" happening in time . . . there are really only a few ways to look at it.  If we accept that God is omniscient and omnipotent (which is a fundamental Christian tenant) . . . then either . . . God created a universe knowing that all this evil and blasphemy was going to happen . . . and yet, went ahead and allowed it--all the suffering, wickedness, darkness--because allowing libertarian creaturely "free will" is so important that all of the mess is worth protecting it (and I would say, talk about exalting man!) . . .  OR . . . God created a universe where evil would have a purpose in serving HIS glory (not the glory of man's free will) where HIS free will is what is most important!

Yes, I agree . . . as you say "God is not cruel" . . . but He is also not a pacifistic free-love hippy.  His wrath against sin and evil doers is clearly evident:

"The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong."  --Psalm 5:5

"The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion."  --Psalm 11:5

Sodom and Gomorrah . . . the Flood . . . the Egyptian firstborn . . . the Amalekites annihilated by Saul. . . .

You imply that God has nothing to do with evil that occurs; as if it just happened and He stands by aghast and only laments it.

Yet, how do you explain this:

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

Can it be more explicit--that God is sovereign over everything?  That He has "MADE EVERYTHING FOR ITS OWN PURPOSE, EVEN THE WICKED FOR THE DAY OF EVIL"?

I suggest it is not loving nor respectful nor good . . . to only pick out and focus on those attributes of God which we are comfortable with, ignoring or rejecting the others.  God is not evil, but He created a world where evil would exist . . . and He had a perfect, holy, good, loving reason to do so.  Why is this such a problem to accept?  Why must one tear out whole sections of the Bible to avoid seeing the full character and glory of God?  Why does the natural, fallen man HATE and reject GOD AS HE IS?

Well, obviously . . . because he is just that, fallen . . . a slave to sin . . . a rebel . . . like his father, the arch rebel and devil . . . who is always promoting "brotherhood", "equality", "fraternity", "world peace", "non-judgmental love"--"can't we all just do what we want and get along?". . . .

The first sin was rejection of God's command and an attempted parsing of what He "really" meant.  Can't you hear the serpent even now whispering:  "God surely is not so hateful and cruel that He would not want you to do what you desire and go after what is pleasing?  He is a God of love, right?  Surely He won't curse you with death.  Only a 'Calvinist' type God would do such an awful thing!"

[By the way, I did not say "the God of the Bible is the God of Calvinism".  That is a misrepresentation, most likely from a quick read and misunderstanding.  What I said what that SHAWN has lodged many complaints against "the God of Calvinism".  I put that in quotes for a reason, to specify that that was what Shawn calls it.]

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Refuting Pagan Free Will Ideas

 Well, . . . so much to work with. . . . Yay......:)

You wrote:  "I feel if preachers (from any doctrinal bias) strip man of his God given free will ability to obey and DO what is right they totally negate repentance proven by deeds! Unless man is a free agent born with full capacity to recognize and choose between good and evil the commands in scripture make no sense whatsoever and must all be re-defined to clarify his lack of ability to obey."

Again we see a prime example of reasoning TO the truth rather than FROM the truth.  I have been providing scripture to prove my points.  "I feel" . . . is a dangerous road to go down when trying to ascertain the character and purposes of God and His plan.

"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?"  --Jer. 17:9

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that man has a free-will ability to "obey and do what is right".  In fact, God states the opposite:  "As the Scriptures say, 'No one is righteous--not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God; All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.'"  --Rom. 3:10-12

If you disagree with that, you disagree with God, not me.  As Matt Slick would say, just go ahead and tear that section out of your Bible so it doesn't contradict what you "feel". . . .

Like Shawn McCraney I see you citing "what makes sense" (citing your self, in other words) instead of citing the Word of God.  This is a problem and a position that is the seed-bed for all the cults and heresies that would defy His revelation.  Joseph Smith didn't like what the Bible said in some places, for instance, and so he made up his own translation changing some of the plain meanings to 180 degrees opposite of their given intention.  Jehovah's Witnesses do the same thing with their "New World Translation".  It is nearly always the great tendency to want to give me complete "free agency" over God's sovereign decree that starts the walking away from the inerrant Word of God toward false (man-centered, man--glorifying) doctrine and false teachers/prophets.

You say, "BUT the so called Christians tell the world you CAN’T make a right choice or even obey God unless He does it for you."  (I guess that would make me a "so called Christian" btw)

Anyway, I don't know about "so called Christians" telling the world that, but JESUS tells the world that!:  "And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.'"

Can a human make a right choice without God?  “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”  --Matt 15:19

"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"  --1 Cor. 4:7.  This shows that if you do have any good in you to do, it was received of God so stop boasting.

"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens."  --James 1:17

Even the very basic act of repentance by a person is ONLY possible as it is given to that person by God to be able to do.  It is a GIFT!  YOU AREN'T ABLE without God even to repent!  Only God gives us what we need for regeneration:

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."  --Ez. 36:26,27

"For it has been given to you on Christ's behalf not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him," Phil. 1:29 

"When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”  --Acts 11:18

AND, of course, a cincher: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  --Eph. 2:8,9

As for Deut. 30:19-20 which you cited . . . I have no problem agreeing that we are given the direction to "choose life".   The question is whether we are ABLE to do so in our fallen--"no one does good, no not one" sinful, unregenerate state.  When we do choose life . . . WE are not to be the ones who could boast of it.  God gets ALL the glory.  Faith, repentance . . . are GIVEN . . . gifts of God which I just proved above.  I have already shown that His Word says we do not choose Him, but that HE chooses us. "You didn't choose me. I chose you." --John 15:16

. . . And “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” --John 6:44

Does God value human "free will" to "choose" life or death OVER AND ABOVE His desire that all be saved?  You would have to say yes. 

But HE says that NONE will be lost who He has given to the Son to be saved.  He does not leave it up to man to fulfill His will.  He is king, sovereign, ruler above ALL.  His sacrifice is perfect and does not fail!  All for whom He died WILL be saved!  No man, no woman, no creature's so-called "free will" is able to trump the will of God . . . and I dare say it borders on blasphemy to say it does.

“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” --Job 42:2

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” --John 6:37

As for quoting Justin Martyr on free will--well, he's not scripture . . . and he also was influenced by his earlier belief as a heathen steeped in paganism and Platonism and especially the very PAGAN-originated idea of man's autonomous "free will". 

Dr. Robert Morey explains: 
“The pagan worldview taught that man was autonomous in an absolute sense. He was totally and absolutely ‘free’ and even the gods could not violate this freedom. The Greek philosophers were the first to articulate the idea that man had a ‘free will’ and that no one, not even a god, could violate it. The Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote, Not even Zeus himself can get the better of my free will.(216 )Who can any longer restrain or compel me, contrary to my own opinion? No more than Zeus."(217)
In a contingent (i.e., chance-driven) universe in which no one was in control, not even the gods, man was totally free to be or do whatever he wanted….The pagan philosophers claimed that man had to be ‘free’ in order for man to be responsible because they assumed that man was the measure of all things including his responsibility . . . Man’s responsibility was thus limited by two things: ignorance and inability. . . .
There was no concept in the pagan worldview that man’s responsibility meant accountability to his Creator who would one day judge him. Thus the pagan concept of man’s autonomous ‘free will’ was possible only in the context of that pagan polytheistic worldview.
When pagans first professed to be ‘Christians,’ some of them retained much of their pagan worldview” (Robert A. Morey, The Bible, Natural Theology and Natural Law: Conflict or Compromise?, [Christian Scholars Press, e2010], pp. 192-193).

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Body Is Made Up Of Parts

Continuing . . . you asserted: "However, predestination, foreordination, and election,  'the elect', the remnant, refers to the body of Christ as a whole, not individuals to salvation."

I'm afraid that the twisting of scripture that you referred to . . . is quite required to make such a statement.  Can you show me from what is Written . . . where this is stated?

The Bible demonstrates that God "elects", "predestines" both individuals and groups/nations.  It is not one or the other.  He predestines a single person to fulfill a certain role (according to His plan) and He also predestines whole people groups to conform to His purposes.  Romans 16:13, 2 John 2:1,13; Acts 4:27-28 are just a few examples showing individual election . . . and several instances throughout Romans 9:1-33 tell the same.  Especially this passage:

*“I will have mercy on whom (singular in Greek) I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom (singular in Greek) I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you (singular in Greek) up, to demonstrate My power in you (singular in Greek), and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom (singular in Greek) He desires, and He hardens whom (singular in Greek) He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who (singular in Greek) resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory-"

[I am noticing also as I read this . . . that verse 23 substantiates the proposition I made in my writing about how God's love (for His elect, His children--those NOT the children of the devil) is shown in the reality of Hell.  But I digress. . . .]

While it is the case that Romans 9 reveals that God does elect whole nations for His purposes, there are 25 instances of INDIVIDUAL election described in Rom. 9:1-33.

When Paul teaches that "the potter [has] a right over the clay" and refers to ONE VESSEL being used for "honorable use" and "ANOTHER for dishonorable" THE INDIVIDUAL SINGLE VESSEL (individual election) is being shown in stark and clear terms . . . as opposed to some amorphous, generic mass.  He did not say "group of vessels".  He said "ONE VESSEL".  Case closed.  Although there are myriad examples in the Bible to show God's use and direction and predestinating of individuals to fulfill His will.

The whole reason prophets could accurately prophecy future events . . . was because God is in sovereign control over His creation and creatures . . . and such events are foreordained!

You also wrote:  "The only passage that says chosen before the foundation of the world refers to those who would make up the body of Christ."

And I would just have to ask . . . how can you choose "those who would make up the body of Christ" without choosing them individually?  The Body has limits.  It has a boundary.  It has specific, numbered members.  "Many are called, few are chosen."  It would be logically impossible to choose a Body of believers . . . without selecting each individual member to comprise the Body as a whole.  The Body of Christ is made up of individuals, each one foreordained for that purpose.  Let us turn to the Word of God to clarify:

"Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."  --1 Cor. 12:27

The elected Body of Christ is made up of individual parts, each of whom are chosen by God.

"But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,"  --2 Th. 2:13

"You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you."
--John 15:16

 "Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence."  --Eph. 1:4

Is anything more plain than that God CHOSE us?  That we did not choose Him?  Did He say, "I choose all such people generically as have blond hair" . . . or "I choose everybody over 5 feet tall" . . . or . . . "I choose anyone who has freckles" . . . ?  THAT would be a somewhat generic-type choosing of a corporate "body".

But instead we have specifics:  "As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”  --Rom 9:13

I think the big question in all this is why do some people want to insist that God does not choose individuals as He wills to do--and obviously does as seen in verse after verse?  Why the insistence?  Furthermore, how could some even consider it a heresy to suggest that God is sovereign over ALL things, including who does and does not inherit the Kingdom of God?  I'm afraid it is usually in the interests of asserting MAN'S sovereignty over and above God's!  Just like atheists and other haters of Biblical Christianity I have found that many "believers" also are offended that God holds ALL the cards.  They cry foul.  They don't like it.  They argue (against all the evidence) that it cannot be so.

And others just haven't studied it out very well or were brought up under a certain tradition which they failed to seriously question and investigate in search of the truth, be it as it may.

And Paul, anticipating just such a reaction replies, "Who do you think you are to talk back to God like that? Can an object that was made say to its maker, 'Why did you make me like this?  --Rom. 9:20

As for me and my house, if I err . . . I will err on the side of glorifying God over man any and every day.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Able Versus Ought

Thank you LR for your thoughtful, concerned comment regarding the Reformed (I, of course would say Biblical) position.  A great model for discussing these issues of disagreement I find in the relationship between Dr. Michael Brown (Arminian charismatic Messianic Jew) and Dr. James White (Reformed Baptist).  They continue to be brothers in the Lord, love each other, yet hold starkly different views (on what we call the "non-essentials") having debated them several times . . . yet also are able to work together as debating partners when going up against another team where they've defended the essentials of the faith.  Dr. Brown even just recently let White fill in as host on his radio show. 

Now . . . to your points.

Among other things you wrote:  "Can God command a man to do something he is not capable of? Nay, may God forbid such heresy!"

I'm hoping that you wrote this quickly without thinking it all the way through, or maybe misspoke.

For there appears to me nothing more obvious than that the whole crux of the Gospel, in fact, that Christ's sacrifice was made precisely BECAUSE man is not able to do what God has commanded him to do.  Right?

A well understood, long-established purpose of The Law was given essentially to prove the very point that man is not CAPABLE of obeying the Lord's commandments.

Not only could we not keep the 10 commandments . . . Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount made them all the more impossible to keep where He said that even our hearts were to be held to God's perfect standard whether we committed the transgression in action or not. 

God's commands perfection.  Surely you are not suggesting that you, me or anyone . . . is CAPABLE of obeying that standard.   This is the whole point of what Jesus had to die on the cross being the ONLY one capable of actually obeying what the Father had commanded . . . right?

So it looks more like a heresy to me to suggest that we are CAPABLE of keeping God's law . . . even in the slightest degree.  Talk about making "the cross a mere secondary link in the chain of Salvation" and "diminishing Christ's finished work(s)? on the cross"!

I pray you are not suggesting what such well known heretics as Jesse Morrell and Kerrigan Skelly arrogantly, delusionally and un-Biblically promote:  ie., that man is capable of not sinning, that regeneration is attained through human will power.  Morrell also teaches that God is not omniscient, does not know the future . . . that Christ did not really bear all our sins on the cross--was not punished for our sin, and that our salvation is based on our ability to maintain a constant state of sinless perfection!  Talk about heresy!  Talk about exalting man at the expense of the Savior!

God obviously commands many things that we OUGHT to do; but this should not be confused with what we are able to do.   God's perfect holy standard is there to reveal our sin and our utter and complete need FOR A SAVIOR--for One Who CAN live righteously and satisfy justice and the demands of the law.

According to God, speaking through Paul in Rom. 3:19, 20, God's divine imperatives are given to show us our inability.  They are put there to be our undoing--NOT to give us some false hope that we can actually achieve the standard of perfection or obedience.   "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."

"That every mouth may be stopped" says to someone like Jesse Morrell and any other "sinless perfection" advocates that they ought to zip it, shut up--what you teach is false.

Anyway, among the different issues you raised, this one leapt off the page the hardest and fastest.  Some of the others I also intend to address.  Indeed, I agree whole-heartedly.  God is not only the Savior of our souls but also of our reasoning.  I'm a big fan of logic and reason as I recognize them as the very attributes of God which gives us to share. 

But I certainly don't believe we are to reason TO God.  In our fallen, unregenerate state . . . we cannot.  It is only when we START with and from God . . . using His revelation as the base standard . . . that then are we able to correctly reason--reason FROM God.

Anyhow, I sure do appreciate you taking the time to challenge me and provide the opportunity to flesh out these issues more in depth.  I love how James White and Michael Brown can STRONGLY disagree and contend and "divide" The Word to make their cases, yet continue on as loving brothers in Christ.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Because Of Love . . . Hell.

Here's something I would urge you to consider, keep in mind . . . going forward. . . .

This is something I will claim to know to be true--not just believe to be true.  The Holy Spirit Who guides to and through truth reveals it to me.

One of the highest matters of "work" we should be about--and all those born again ARE about whether they consciously realize it or not . . . is in learning how to discern what is discerned by and through the Spirit . . . versus what is taken by mere emotion, sentiment and programmed thought.

I've touched on it before, ie., as it relates to "spiritual" experiences in a church setting, whether what is being experienced is primarily fleeting emotion or actual Spirit.  We are prone to mistake emotion for Spirit.  Spirit can and does affect emotion, but I dare say it is something OTHER.  As I have realized it--as it has been revealed to me . . . genuine Spiritual experience (of Godly Spirit) is something very refined and transcendent to usual human experience.  It is subtle, distinct . . . and is received as something coming from afar--from what seems like a completely other kind of reality than what we generally interact with.  Describing it (which is actually a Him, a Person) can indeed be roughly described as a "still small voice" . . . a "gentle whisper".

Usually, when a provocative proposition is made to you, you will have a quick, knee-jerk reaction to it.  This will be your programming--the "tradition" you harbor . . . the emotional attachments you have engrained from your own particular biases--which biases come from, ie., how you were raised, what you have decided to follow and believe, peer pressure etc.  This instant response may be, in fact, in line with the truth of the challenge presented to you--as in, the emotions and thoughts that rise forth might actually be Godly in the sense that you are reacting in a way that conforms to how God sees it (for in this case you are indeed within His will on the thing) but many times all that is happening is that you have a set of beliefs and ideas that disagree for one subjective, relative reason or another.

I have found that it is a good practice to let that initial rise of ire or enthusiasm pass . . . like so much smoke from a quickly set fire . . . and then to re-approach the matter with a fresh eye, looking past the smoke and heat for the actual SPIRITUAL truth . . . which lies beyond the merely material and so-called "natural".  And all must be checked against the standard of truth found in His holy Word.

Here is an example to test the method. . . .

I suggest that Hell exists (at least for one major reason) because of God's immense, profound, holy love.

Now, at first, the "natural" reaction is to usually to recoil and run from the premise because of the immediate confusion and a knee-jerk rejection based in solidly held (personal) beliefs and sentiment.

But this is because we don't really understand what Godly love is.  We have our own idea of what love is and what a so-called "loving" God ought to be like.

Spiritually, however, I will assert that I perceive (as it is revealed to me) that we have a tawdry, small, narrow and pathetic understanding of just how profound and critical is this aspect of God which we call "love".  In reality, His love for holiness, for perfection, truth, goodness and for us . . . is so deep and so important . . . that something as awful as Hell is necessary to set it in such stark relief as a testament to His love for His chosen children.  

When you realize that you are one of His . . . and the stakes and example are so high--so critical to be made in the display of His glory . . . you are moved to the kind of devastated humility and gratitude that is the kind, for instance, that is grateful for martyrdom and considers it a minuscule sacrifice toward a debt that you could never remotely hope to allay.

We are ridiculously inconsiderate and uncomprehending of the magnitude of God's glory and goodness and majesty and woefully shy of realizing the gift He gives us in being created to share in it.    Those who would deny or minimalize His aspect of justness--as it is seen in the existence of Hell and the damned who are put there--simply do not comprehend the awe-full magnitude of just how precious is the fact of our very life and existence . . . within His creation, let alone being made in His image.

The proposition here is . . .  that Hell exists because of God's love . . . of His Son . . . and of those who He has created to give to His Son . . . for eternity. 

A crude analogy would be like this:  Your sweet, little toddler boy . . . is targeted . . . taken . . . and viciously tortured and abused by a criminal who hates YOU.  To get at you, he torments your precious child for weeks on end.  In the midst of the torture and abuse the criminal all the while tries to convince the toddler that it is YOUR fault this is happening and that it is because you actually hate your child that this occurred.  Finally the criminal is caught and to be punished.  The criminal is unrepentant.  He still hates you and your child and swears that he always will . . . and it is the fact that he always will.  There is nothing in him that will ever allow him to change.  Are you going to slap him on the wrist and turn him loose?  What kind of love would this show your child who was so brutally tormented?  No, because you love and cherish your precious child so much . . . you will have this evil being put away . . . for good.  For the good of all, including of course, your little boy.  Because of your love . . . the criminal must be put away and left to stand as an example of your care and protection and LOVE for what is good.  The severity of the punishment inversely corresponds to length of your love for your little one.  The more dire the condemnation of the one . . . shows the actuality and depth of your love for the other.

Analogies by definition always fall short of the thing actually alluded to.  But I say it again . . . Hell exists because of God's perfect love (for us) and His character of perfect justice and holiness . . . the profundity and reality of . . . we can only perceive in the Spirit . . . as it is wholly beyond our natural, human, creaturely comprehension and experience.  His mercy is shown by the fact that some of WERE that criminal and He chose to save and transform us into the very image of His one, perfect Son.

Brother Thomas ©2015

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