FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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FANTASIES, FABLES AND TRADITIONS

Easter Bunny


16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:)


When you were a very small child you believed in the Easter Bunny. I have little doubt but that you also believed in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause and goblins under your bed.

Why did you believe in these? Is it because they are real? Of course not. Now you know they are not real, nor were they real when you firmly believed in them.

Then why did you believe in them?

Did you believe in them because you saw them?

Or did you believe in them because you were told they were real?


Of course one reason you believed is because you saw them for yourself. You might have seen them after you believed, but having seen them, or at least the effects of their presence convinced you they were real.

Did you ever see Santa Clause? Surely you did. Not only did you see Santa, but you sat in his lap, and received the toys Santa brought you. No one could convince you that Santa was not real, because you met him for yourself.


Did you ever see the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny? I doubt it. You saw pictures of the Easter Bunny. You saw the colored eggs he left hidden in the grass. You saw the quarter (or whatever) the Tooth Fairy left you. These were evidence to you that they existed.


But these are not the reason you believed. Although you met Santa, you also saw that he had wires holding up his beard and the tip of a pillow hanging beneath his coat. You also saw that Santa looked just like, and sounded just like your father or your Uncle George. If it was just a matter of evidence, you would not have believed in Santa or the Easter Bunny.

So if it wasn't evidence that convinced you, why did you believe?


You believed because you were told that Santa and the Easter Bunny were real.


Of course there were those (probably your older friends or siblings) who told you that these were not real, but you continued to believe anyway.

Why?


Because you were told they do exist by someone you trust; someone you knew would not lie to you:

your parents.


While you were being taught that the Easter Bunny was real, you were also being taught about God, and about Jesus, and about the Holy Ghost.


What kind of a picture did your immature mind form of God? Was He a giant man in a beard who sits on a cloud somewhere in the sky? Was He a gentle Grandpa waiting for you to die so you could come up to His cloud and sit on His lap? Was He a mean old man just waiting for you to make a mistake so He could send you to a fiery furnace forever?

And Jesus, what sort of image did you form of Him? Was Jesus a kindly man who loved to tell children's stories and feed lots of people? Was Jesus a man all beat up and hanging on a cross somewhere in a foreign land? Was Jesus a man who died and came back to life like some sort of zombie in the movies?

And the Holy Ghost; was He some mysterious spook that no one understood and that floated around Heaven somewhere? Was He like a creepy ghost that likes to play tricks on people and scare them while they're sleeping? Was He like Casper, able to float through people and see inside them, reading their thoughts and making them do things they shouldn't do?


Children try to understand who they are, and to learn about the world they live in. Unfortunately those who are to teach them who they are, why they are born, their purpose in life and what they should believe; are also teaching them about Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Of course we might assume that in church these children would learn the Truth, at least they would learn the Truth about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. That would be our assumption. But in fact the very ones teaching them about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit set up a Christmas tree in the church and provides them with presents that Santa Clause supposedly brought them.


What is a child to believe? And what happens with all that "knowledge" the child formed during his or her Formative Years that we say is so important and so difficult to adjust when we mature?


Though unwittingly by all involved, those we trusted were teaching us not to trust them, nor to believe anything we are supposed to believe by those very people we trusted to tell us the truth. Meanwhile, those who we disbelieved when we were young because they were telling us something different than what those we trusted were telling us, we later learned had been telling us the truth. So now, that we have learned not to believe those in a position of trust; who is it we turn to for the "truth" but those who are the least likely to recognize the "Truth" themselves.


So, now that you, being older and beyond all this, having learned the "Truth," what are you telling your children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren?

From childhood we learn not to trust those in a position of trust. We also learn not to believe anything, especially anything we have not experienced ourself. And those things we think we believe, in actuality we do not.

We have been taught that Nero was the Emperor of Rome. We believe that, don't we? Surely we do.

But how can we believe? Have we ever seen Nero? In fact, have we ever seen Rome? Of course not. Yet we "believe" in Nero and in Rome.

We believe in Nero the same way we believed in the Easter Bunny. All we have is the word of some books written by "experts" that say there is evidence that Nero and Rome existed.

Yet we believe. Not really. We do not "believe" in Nero or in Rome, any more than we can "believe" that there are other solar systems floating around in space.

Some people believe in extra-terrestrial beings. They believe in the same way you and I believe in Nero.

Heaven's Gate was a group of people who believed Jesus was coming for them in a space ship. In preparation for their departure, they committed suicide. These people believed. How can we know they believed? Because their actions leave little doubt about how firmly they believed.


"Believe" is a verb. And a verb is an action word. To say we believe in something is to say we are acting on that belief. If we are not acting on our belief, it is not belief, but acceptance.

Acceptance is not an action word. Acceptance is a passive occurrence. If we accept something, we take it as our own without doing anything about it. For instance we can accept a gift, or a compliment, or a suggestion, and it not change our life or opinion in any way.

Belief, on the other hand, requires a change of heart, a redirection of our behavior. Nero was the Emperor of Rome, not in our belief, but in our acceptance. Whether Nero existed or not, whether Rome ever was a reality make not the slightest difference to us. If history proves that neither of these "facts" are true, we might at the most shrug our shoulder and continue munching on potato chips.

When we believed in Santa Clause it was a difficult transition we had to make in order to no longer believe. We had to fight within ourselves whether we wanted to release that believe and conform our belief system to what we are told is "mature," or hold on to what has carried us through life up to that point.

Along with the release of our belief in Santa Clause we had to deal with our release in the confidence we held for those we trusted. We had to disregard whatever instructions we had been given by our parents, our pastor, the cop on the corner who told us about Santa's reindeer, and the news media who reported updates on Santa's whereabouts.

Once the child has made the transition from belief to non-belief, their confidence in their belief system diminishes. Having been deceived, the child now knows that he or she is gullible and will not accept at face value any "Truth" being presented to them.

Yet, we as humans have a need for some form of Belief. We do not feel complete merely accepting the world, we want to know there is Truth out there some where.

Into this need for belief comes the con man, the ad agencies, the cults, the Jim Jones', the Hitlers. People need to cling to something, and be lead by some one. And those looking to do the leading are very often those we should least follow.


We are told that we should follow Jesus. Who is Jesus? Again, is Jesus that man who tells weird stories, was killed on a cross, and rose from the ground like some ghost? Who is Jesus?

And what about the Holy Ghost the Bible talks about? We learned long ago not to believe in ghosts; now here the church is telling us that we are to follow one around?

It makes no sense.

And we are told we are to "Believe" in Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Yet we learned long ago not to believe in anything we have not experienced ourselves.

A dilemma.

So we "Believe." We believe in Jesus and the Holy Ghost in the same way we believe in Nero; in the same way we believed in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.


There is a man down the street. I don't know that much about the man, but I believe in him. Why do I believe in him? Because I've met the man.

There's another man who lives down another street I know fairly well. I know he is a nice man, who cares about his family, who works as a mechanic, and who goes to a local church. I believe I can say I not only believe in the man, but I kind of know the man.

I have a friend. I've known him for some time. I know a great deal about him. I can say I not only believe in him, but I know him as well.

I believe I exist. The fact that I exist is probably one of my strongest beliefs. The reason for my strong belief is because of my close acquaintance with myself. I know a great deal about myself. There is still a lot I don't know about who I am, but I am being taught these things day-by-day.

The better I know someone, or something, and the more experience I have with them; the more I believe in them or it. Without that experience I am unable to believe, but am left with only the option to accept.


We are told in the church that we are "Believers" because we have said a few words and taken a bath. That is rather like saying I am a world-class swimmer because I have read a book about swimming and dunked myself in a pool.

"Belief" is an action word. "Knowing" someone requires spending time with them and letting them tell you about themself.

If you are a "Believer" you are doing something (in fact according to the Bible you are doing everything) about that belief. If you are a Christian you are in constant fellowship with your Lord, and you are being led by His Holy Spirit.

If you are one who has the words of belief, without the Belief itself; then you are not a "Believer," but an "acceptor" of the Word. You are not a doer of the Word, but one who passively sits back and waits to see if what you "believe" turns out to be true; or if it turns out to be just another Easter Bunny fairy tale.



References


22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:)


17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:)


21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Mat 7:)


23And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Rev 2:)


24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Mat 16:)


11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:)


15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev 3:)


10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:)


 

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