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

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

..PRINTABLE VERSION

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS

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10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mat 24:)


CIVILIZATION IN A SEWER PIPE


I have been experiencing the frustration so many others are having (according to my search of the web). My "Parental Control" has turned itself on and won't allow me to turn it off or change it. I am able to work through the problem on a moment-by-moment basis, but it is a tedious endeavor.

Parental control. Interesting. This causes me to think: "Just what kind of controls do parents have over their children?"

Parents have responsibility for their children. If a person's child acts irresponsible it is the parent who must pay the consequences; this I see. And for this reason parents bother at all to turn on things like "Parental Controls" that keep even the adult from accessing their browser, their connection to the outer world, because it has the possibility of displaying a naughty word.

But the child?

If the child wants to view sexual, violent, obscene and other such material we all know they shouldn't see, all they have to do is watch TV or go to the movies. If the child doesn't have a TV or the money for a movie ticket, then all they have to do is visit a friend with a computer or TV. If the child has no friend with a computer or TV, then all she or he has to do is use the school computer. And should all this fail, the Public Library is just a few footsteps away.

At school the child, from the time he is old enough to enter school, is taught and had demonstrated on film the advantages and pleasures of all forms of sex, including the benefits of participating in deviant sex.

Then at the library the child, without fear of being restrained by some adult or "Parental Controls" can browse through all the books displaying in graphic detail what they learned in school. And should they wish more detailed and graphic depictions, such as motion pictures, the computer is at their disposal.

In our institutions of learning there are no restrictions, except to insist that you partake of your inappropriate and illegal activity q.u.i.e.t.l.y. It is imperative that the child indulge in their inappropriate activity in such a place as the school and the library, because if they were to be given such instruction by you, the parent who objects to such learning; you would be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or worse.

Fair is fair.

When the logical consequence of such an education expresses itself, in the form of transmitted disease and/or childbirth (or school shootings if it is violence the child is inclined toward), the child is instructed in "Family Planning" and other such Government sponsored and approved means to deal with the problem. Here the child learns about abortion and birth control that allows them to continue practicing all they are being taught at school, the library, and by the media, without having to pay the consequences of such practices.

Of course medical treatment for disease, birth controls, and abortions are expensive. And it is unlikely that the teenager or pre-teenager is going to be able to pay for all the required peripherals necessary to keep them active in their chosen field of youthful activity.

Who pays for all this? The Government who allows it and sponsors it? The school who promotes it? The Media who broadcasts it? The Libraries who support and provide it?

Of course not. It would be foolish to assume that people with the ability to create and promote such a situation would not also find a way to keep from having to suffer the consequences for it as well. After all, look at what they are providing already? Isn't that enough?

Then, if not the child with the problem; nor the agencies who caused the problem; then just who is it that will be expected to pay?

Why, the parent, of course.

But, not to worry. You, the parent only have to deal with the final end of your child's endeavors that you try so hard to prevent. For you are not allowed to know about, nor restrict, the school's right to show pornography, nor the Library's right to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, nor the government's right to instruct, and perform, that abortion you and your church opposes so vehemently.

No. none of this is your responsibility nor your right. It is your responsibility to pay the doctor bills, raise the baby(s) your 12 year old daughter produces, and to continue to buy the birth control pills she needs (as well as the cigarettes you can't give her, and she can't buy, but she has a perfect right to smoke all she wants).

The "Free Love" movement of the 70's has come a long way, Baby.

CHRISTIANS WITHOUT A CHURCH


I would venture to speculate that there are more Christians who do not attend church than there are Christians in church.

I have no doubt but that such a statement is going to draw a lot of flack my way. Regardless, such has been my experience.

Elsewhere I have written about attending several different churches in effort to detect the presence of the Holy Spirit. Of course you might well ask who I think I am that I could tell if the Holy Spirit is in a church or not. And that question surely deserves an answer. I am merely one who has recently received the Holy Spirit and find that I can tell if He is with me at various periods of the day or night. If I feel His presence before I walk into a building, and again after I leave that building (or person I am talking to, or activity in which I am engaging), but I have to struggle to communicate with Him while I am in that building - then I conclude the Holy Spirit is not in that building. That is only my assessment; but my assessment is all I have to go by.

I have yet to attend a church where I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. There have been moments I felt He was there, but then I could feel Him leave.

There have been occasions when I would attempt to enter a building, even a church, where I could feel the Holy Spirit revolt. I knew full-well that should I enter, I would have to do so at my own risk, because I would be totally alone.


Watch people in church. Speak to them about their life. Consider your own experience and be honest about your feelings and your experiences. Do you go to church because it is expected of you? Or do you thirst to be closer to God and that is why you attend? Do you find yourself listening closely to the Pastor's message, and wish he would tell you more? Do you find yourself speaking to God and reading the Bible during the "dry" parts of the service? Do you find yourself analyzing the words of each song being sung in effort to extract from it the Biblical message that it purports to present?

Or do you watch the clock during the sermon, plan the evening meal while your mouth sings, and judge the clothing and hairdos of the ladies in attendance?


What about Pastors and the Pastors' wife? Surely they are under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. That would be the assumption. But I fear there are very few who even know (or believe in) the Holy Spirit, leastwise are being led by Him.

But let's say they are in possession of the Holy Spirit. The chances are the Pastor and his wife are just like everybody else. They have their lives to lead - household and family duties to perform, current events to follow, and entertainment to pursue. On top of this they must plan and prepare the upcoming service as well as midweek activities. That seems simple enough to those who have not partaken in such endeavors. But consider that, like yourself, the parishioners who attend services are difficult to keep entertained and attentive. And to prepare something new each week is a near impossible task at best.

Fortunately there are books and web sites available to help Pastors and their wives plan a service. But this also takes time and effort. And there is Bible reading that must be kept up with in order that the Pastor can continue to impress his congregates with his knowledge of the Scriptures.

The Pastor and his wife are lucky to find the time to get in a quick prayer before meals and at bed time - just like his parishioners.

The Holy Spirit, if not completely forgotten, ignored or disbelieved, has little space and time to move among those who attend church.


On the other hand, those who say they do not attend church but prefer to venture into nature for their Spiritual rejuvenation say they find it easy to communicate with God. Of course many non-believers express the same, saying they are able to: "Commune with nature."

For myself, I find my mind almost always communing with God. Of course the conversation is a one-way activity with me doing the talking, but I know He is there. I don't know if He listens to all my jabbering; and I doubt He cares a wit about what I am saying - but the fact I am there jabbering keeps me close at His heels and out of trouble. It's a lot like the mother who would prefer that her small child who has just learned to walk and to talk stay by her side muttering his gibberish than to have him off wandering into no-telling-what in the next room.


I do not feel the presence of the Lord in church. All I feel or experience is the presence of many people attending a meeting just like they would a PTA or AA meeting. They're there because it's expected (or in some cases demanded) of them.


People will spend their hard-earned money and stand for hours in the cold rain in effort to obtain a ticket to a concert or a show where some famous person is performing. They will risk life and limb to get just as close to that person as they can in hopes of but a fleeting glance in their direction from that person.

This is the way it is in the World.

This is proof of the fact these people think a great deal of that performer, perhaps even to the point of worshiping him or her.

Rock concerts and sporting events attract adherents by the thousands. Those in attendance throw every bit of enthusiasm and energy toward their favorite team or player (or performer). There is no doubt in the mind of anyone who any one of these spectators are there to see. The look in the eyes of each of them radiate an energy akin to a warrior in the fit of battle drawing the life's blood from all those who oppose him.


Watch in church.

Watch as people fight to keep their eyes open and gaze at their wrist, trying to force the hands on the dial to move.

Notice that people do not come alive until the Pastor proclaims those famous and anticipated words: "You are dismissed."

This is church.


The World throws everything into having a chance glimpse at their favorite fleeting star.

Consider the extreme anticipation and excitement a person might feel waiting to finally be once again with the parent they had been separated from at birth.

Notice the reaction of a small child when she is being removed from the protecting arms of her mother.

Now, once again, look around the church and try to find any of that same enthusiasm and driving lust to be with the very God and Father who each say they have come there to be with.


Is it any wonder God is not in the churches?


WE'RE SORRY, BUT


Do you ever tire of the recorded robotic voice (or printed computerized form letter) that expresses deep emotion like sorrow and repentance?

Imagine, if you will, having to reprimand your child for some serious offense; then have the child say, while picking his fingernails and watching TV: "I'm yawwn sorry."


SAY THE WORDS


That's all it takes to get your ticket to Heaven and Eternal Life. Say the Sinner's Prayer and you're in. After that you can do whatever you want and it's up to God to make you into what He wants you to be.

Hmmm.

Let's see how that works in life outside the church.

"Just tell us you will be a good boy and that you're sorry, then you can do whatever you want. Remember, we're your parents and we love you, so we will forgive you over and over for anything you do."

"Just tell the judge your sorry for your murders and he will let you go. It's his job to forgive and forget. Just remember that for all your future murders...."

"You say you're part of a group that is against this nation and all it stands for and that is why you blew up our buildings and poisoned our water, killing many thousands of people. But you are also a citizen of this country having taken the pledge of allegiance. Well, that's different. As long as you have said the words I guess we will have to set you free to do as you will."

"This document says your name is Adolph Hitler and that you grew up in the church and was baptized. I guess there's nothing we can do but release you and forgive you for whatever you might have done. You've said the words, what else can we do?"


Does this work for you?


God forgives: If we truly repent and earnestly work to change our ways and follow Him.


MISSED BY THAAAT MUCH


"Mary is such a wonderful person, and so talented too."
"Yes, I know. She is an honor student and was voted president of her class twice."
"The boys sure have a thing for her. I guess she's just got everything going for her."
"Yes. Almost everything."
"Almost?"
"Yes. She's got everything except her diploma."
"You mean to tell me Mary didn't graduate?"
"That's right."
"But she was top of her class. She got better grades than anyone else. Did she quit or something?"
"Not exactly."
"Then, what happened?"
"She didn't pass her final exam."


"Sam's got to go to court tomorrow."
"Sam? You mean ol' goody-two-shoes has got to see the man?"
"Yep. He got a ticket for driving with a broken tail light."
"Aww, that's nothing. He'll beat the rap, you just wait and see."
"I don't think so. Not this time."
"What are you talkin'. Ol' Sam's the Mayor and has got the finest reputation of anyone I know."
"Wouldn't matter if he was the President of the U S of A. Not even if he was Mother Teresa. He's put his foot in it this time."
"Aww, come on. A little thing like a broken tail light? What judge is going to point a finger at him?"
"He drew Judge Rutledge."
"Uh oh! He's history."


Do you think God judges on a curve, Maybe?


BANGING ON THE DOOR


"Easy come, easy go."

You've heard that expression before. And I highly suspect you know just what it means because you have experienced it, both as the recipient and the giver.

Those things that come easy to us, we care little about. We seek those things that are elusive, that try to avoid us, that we have to struggle to attain.

That girl (or boy as the case may be) who has a "crush" on you and follows you around like a lap dog, you stay just as far away from as you can. That one who seeks your attention might, under different circumstances, be the one of your dreams. But because they are easy, and available you look down on them and wish for them to disappear.

But the cheer leader who every boy pants after. The football hero who every girl would give her eye teeth to have as a Bou - that person you treat the very same way the one who chases after you treats you. And with the same results.


We want what's just beyond our grasp. Something almost attainable has a powerful draw on us, like a magnet to steel. If something is too far out of our reach, we may very much want it, but not desperately so. It either requires too much effort, or it is outside our sphere of obtainability.

So we concentrate our efforts on those things that are close enough to give us a feeling of satisfaction without our having to make a supreme sacrifice.

47Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (Luke 7:)

One who is forgiven the most will love the most. Is this true in your experience? Like the lovelorn suitor above, this does not always hold true.

Matthew 18: tells the story of someone who had been forgiven a great debt, then turned around and persecuted someone who owed him but a little.

I have (and I am sure you have as well), had occasion where I have done what I consider a special kindness toward someone, only to be "spat upon" in return. And even in the best of situations, I find it is not in the nature of Man to be appreciative. We are a race of egotistic, self-centered creatures. The more someone does for us, the less we appreciate both the gift, and the giver. But should someone give us a tidbit, we fawn over them and shower them with appreciation.

This is not reasonable, but it is our nature.


The policy that Jesus stated does not hold true in our experience - as a rule. In other words, for the masses of people it does not hold true. But there are a few with whom the principle does hold true. Obviously the woman at the feet of Jesus was one of those few.


Jesus, in His wisdom, has created two directions by which we may seek Him. The first of these directions is the brightly lit and broad way of the church. It is easy to find, easy to follow, and appealing to both our eyes and our ego. This way is without resistance in that it is a highly accepted way. All those in one's acquaintance will stamp upon your decision their seal of approval. This broad way might require next to nothing from you; or it might be fairly demanding, but it will be easily within your capability and desires, and be easy for you to follow. Gifts, pleasures and promises are strewn along the easy way.

But so was it with those who followed Baal. And so is it with those who follow the various cults and communities of the World today. Is there anyone more "blessed" than those who delve into the realm of witchcraft and other such mystic practices?


If you want someone to come to you in sincerity and with dedication: you don't make it easy, you make it difficult.

To select from the finest and most dedicated: you don't advertise for the Many, you call for the few and the chosen.

The Army desires the best, but will settle for those who are unfit for the other branches of the service. They will, if all else fails, enact the draft where all have to serve.

The Marines, on the other hand, calls for the "few and the chosen." When you enlist into the Marines you expect to serve, not be served. You are promised nothing but hard work with little rewards, and possibly death. You know what is expected of you, and the chance of disappointment is slim.


Jesus was the best of the best, the créme de la créme. He was special in both the eyes of God, and in our eyes.

Then there's the Apostles. They were just ordinary men with faulty natures just like you and me. Yet they took on the nature of Jesus.

Jesus is calling for the best of the best. But like David, the one chosen by God to be king, who chose for his mighty men those from the low ranks and the slums, so does Jesus look for His "Mighty Men" from the low class and the lost.

Jesus' call is in two directions. He calls for the "whosoever will," in hopes that they may later see the need to join the ranks of the "few and the chosen." And few there are who choose to leave their feather bed and follow Jesus into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. They go as far as the door of the sheepfold where the grass is tall and plenty; and there they settle, listening to the pretty music while growing fat and lazy.

The other call of Jesus is to the dedicated, the brave and the thankful. It is a call to arms that those in the green pasture cannot hear because they haven't had their ears trained toward His voice as have those who have put on their armor and joined the fight.

Two calls. Two directions. One call leads to God, the Holy Spirit and Eternity.

The other call leads to self-satisfaction and destruction: "Wailing and gnashing of teeth."


Do not be deceived. All through the Gospels Jesus tells us about the judging of servants. When Jesus says "Servants," He means "Servants."


Do you say: "Why can't I have....?"

Or:

Do you say: "Thank you for the little..."?


TALKING TO YOURSELF


When a child talks to herself, we ask: "Who are you talking to, Dear?" And the child replies: "I'm talking to my doll." And we think: "That's cute. I used to talk to my teddy bear all the time when I was a kid."

The child grows, and is still talking, but there is no doll nearby. You ask: "Who are you talking to Dear?" to which she replies: "I'm talking to my friend." "I used to have an invisible friend I always talked to and confided in." Perfectly understandable and acceptable behavior - for a child.

The child is no longer a child, yet is still talking to herself. "Who are you talking to dear?" you ask. "Nobody, I'm just talking to myself." Now we wonder. If the young lady is just "thinking out loud" we accept her behavior as normal, as a momentary occurrence. However, if she is seen often in dialogue with herself, or with some invisible friend - we start to wonder, perhaps even worry a bit.

Why do we wonder if someone is speaking to themself? Well, we think, it's not normal behavior. Everyone knows that talking to oneself is a sign of emotional instability. It might be time to see a shrink.

Talking to an invisible friend, though all right as a child is not considered sane as an adult.

Again. Why?


We all talk to ourself. Our mind is always going, even in our sleep. If we ask someone: "What are you thinking of," and they reply: "Nothing," we know they are either keeping their thoughts a secret from you, or they have forgotten what it was they were thinking of. We know this because our mind is always thinking, although not often thinking of anything important.


Talking to oneself is perfectly normal. Talking to oneself out loud raises red flags. And if we say we are talking, not to ourself, but to someone else, people tend to shy away from us.

So when asked: "What are you thinking of?" we either say we aren't thinking of anything, or we are just thinking. We certainly would not admit to thinking to someone.

Yet thinking to someone else, that is, directing our thoughts toward another person is much more "normal" than directing them toward ourself, which is nothing but a closed circle, a dead-end street.


Talking to ourself or to someone else who is not around is a no-no. Admitting to such behavior can cause one trouble as they relate to the world.

But talking to ourself or to imaginary friends is far more acceptable to "normal" people, even those in one's church, than to reply to the question: "Who are you talking to?" "I'm talking to Jesus" (or God, or the Holy Spirit).

And why is this?


The doll or the teddy bear the child talks to is real to us, although not as real as it is to the child. The invisible friend is real to the child, though again, not real to us. Even the "invisible friend" the adult talks to, at least we accept as real in that person's mind.

But to talk to God? To walk down the street talking to God? To consult God as to which cereal to purchase while shopping at the corner grocery? To talk to God while sitting in your car waiting at a red light?


"Hey, buddy, who you talking to? They's nobody I sees in your car wit' you? You crazy or somethin'?"

"I'm just singing to myself," you reply. Or: "I'm talking to my buddy. He's bent down trying to find something on the floor." Or (which can be used nowadays) "I got a cell phone in my ear and I'm talking on the phone."


"I'm talking to God." This is not a reply you would want to give, even if you were sitting in the living room of your friend's home who is a devout Christian, or even in the pew of your church if it isn't "prayer time."


Is any of this I have said true in your opinion? If the answer is: "No, I can talk to God and admit it any time I want to at home or in my church," I am pleased for you; although I tend to doubt that what you say is absolutely true. Try it. Say you're talking to God, or to Jesus as you sit in the living room of your friend's house, or in the pew of your church. Talk out loud as if you were talking to someone, not just in your mind. Speak as a child would to her doll; as you would if you were sitting next to Jesus - and see what reaction you get.


You won't do it. There are two particular reasons why you won't do it.

The first reason is that you are afraid your family, friends, or church members will think you're nuts.

The second reason is that you would figure you must be nutso to do such a thing.

Why?

The child's doll or invisible friend is real, or at least real enough to be accepted and spoken to.

The invisible friend the man who talks to himself loudly as he walks down the street is real, or at least real enough to be accepted in society.

Jesus is not real. God is not real. The Holy Spirit is not real. Even though people speak of Him, and acknowledge Him to those who are "believers" themselves, and pray to Him on occasions when it is acceptable to do so, people do not believe in Him.


In the past ( and still now in some cultures) people sacrificed to the god(s) they believed in. People even dedicated their lives, and sacrificed the lives of their children or other loved ones to the god they believed in. Although the gods were not real, they were real enough to these people to do something in sacrifice to that which they believed in.

In this culture, though we say we believe in the real and living God who created us, we do not even believe enough to talk to Him!


COUNT THE COST


When I was a young teenager I went to the same school as my cousin. At that time I had a very poor self image, and was trying hard to maintain whatever good impression I could make of myself.

My cousin was just as nice a fellow as you could ask for, but the image he presented was of one who was not too bright. The truth is he was smarter than most of the rest of us. But what teenager pays any attention to the truth of a matter?

My cousin was inclined to stay around me when he was able. This caused me much embarrassment. I was "ashamed" of my cousin. I wasn't ashamed of him for who he was, but for what others seemed to think he was.

When we were very young adults, and we hadn't seen one another for some time, my cousin was killed as he was driving across a railroad track.

I didn't think too much of it at the time, since I was busy leading my own life as almost all youngsters are inclined to do. But many years later I went through intensive therapy. At this time I was able to get in touch with a lot of feelings (in fact, get in touch with feelings - period) that I never knew I had. One of these feelings that really took me by surprise was a very deep affection for my cousin. I don't know where it came from, I hadn't even much thought of him for all those years. But for a long period of time (and even now on occasion) I would begin to cry when I thought of him. It wasn't his tragic death that caused this feeling, but rather the fine person he was. And with this I realized I had missed out on what could have been a good friendship, if I was up to the call.


Embarrassment causes us to do things that we know we shouldn't. And it causes us to not do things we are sure that we should. I'm confident you have your own stories you could tell on this very subject; times you wish you had not followed your fear of loss of self image, but rather had followed your heart and better judgment.

It's one thing when we look back on those times of lost opportunity; it's quite another to realize that we still continue to do the very same thing. No longer in ignorance do we follow our fear of being looked down on by others rather than follow our heart; we now do the very same thing with full knowledge of what we are doing, and the possible consequences of the same.


Jesus said to count the cost. His meaning, I take it, is that we must know what we will be giving up, and what we may be facing for having chosen to follow Him. Most of us say: "What cost?" since we are told being a follower of Jesus means giving up nothing, yet being given all our little heart wants and desires.


WHAT COSTS?


One of the "costs" it is clear that Jesus wants us to count is our Ego, that is our self-image. He says that by following Him we will likely be treated the same as He was, and the same as the Apostles were. We don't see this happening, at least not here, at present.

Yet it is happening here, now, and every day. But of course you and I do not put ourselves on the firing line where we have to face the slings and arrows of the enemy. We hide behind the safety of our doors and our fellowship of like-minded people.


Above I spoke of talking out loud to the Lord. Do you talk to your friends? Are you embarrassed to be seen talking to your friends? Are you perhaps ashamed of your friends as I was of my cousin?

We don't want people to associate us with someone they consider "beneath" them. We want to be part of the "in" crowd, even though we know we are only allowed on the outskirts of that crowd because we have something they want from us.

Yet the "In crowd," when the facts be known, is often made up of people that if we knew them as they know themselves, we would want no part of them. We certainly would not want to be like them!

Yet there we are, trying to impress those who we don't like, and following footsteps that lead to oblivion, just because we are told it is the "thing to do."


Would you, or do you do as I did and avoid those you should be closest to in order to impress those you should care the least about?

Do you count the cost for such behavior?


Talking to Jesus.

Talking to Jesus can be very costly. If you are caught talking to Jesus you might very well be ostracized, not only by the "in" crowd, but by your family and church as well.

Of course there are those who talk to God in your church, and speak of Him often. But are they really talking to God, or are they talking about or at God? I have heard ministers preaching to their congregation in the form of prayer, that I know was not even directed toward God. And there are those who bang a tambourine and set siege to the bars and the brothels demanding that the sinners thereat redeem their sorry souls. But this is again directed toward "Man,' not toward God.


Talking to God is a sign of insanity. There are those in prison for terrible crimes who say they were told to commit the crime by God. They not only talk to God, but apparently God talks to them!

History is full of events that are heinous even to the Worldly mind that were performed in the name of God. The Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem witch hunts are but a few that come to mind. These were executed by supposedly Godly people seeking to do God's service, but were obviously only satisfying their own lusts. There were no costs to be counted by those performing the "Godly" act; but a great deal of cost to the "heathen" who was being "chastised" by these "Godly" people.


Count the cost. Let's say you decide to talk to God out loud. You decide that a little backbiting talk about you won't hurt you in the long run. So what's the harm?

Count the cost. Years from now a situation arises were you must go before the judge and give testimony. Perhaps this is a battle over the settling of a will, or some other such legal matter. In any case, someone wants to compromise you or your testimony so they can obtain what you feel is not their right to have.

"Your honor," the lawyer who is opposed to you says, "this man talks to God just as you and I talk to one another. Is this the sort of man whose testimony you want to base your judgment on?"

What do you think the outcome would be?

"You say you want to marry our daughter. And you say you....talk to God?"


If you were to say you talked to the devil you would be given more credibility than if you say you talk to God. Why? Because even those of the World believe in the devil. His power is seen every day in the form of tragedy and violent acts of nature, or so it is supposed. But the concepts that the Bible presents to the World and the church are so fantastic that they are considered unbelievable. And so they are. Consequently, people do not believe in God, leastwise do they believe in a resurrected Jesus, or in a Holy Ghost. The concept is so incredible that even gods riding chariots through the sky and hurling thunderbolts at us is more believable.


People do not believe in God, nor in Jesus, nor in the Holy Ghost. The only way to believe in these Three is to have a personal relationship with Them. And the only way to have such a relationship is to...talk to them.

HITS


Isn't it impressive so see the counter spin to ever higher numbers at the bottom of the websites you visit? Or to see the report they display: "We have had X thousand visitors since 1892." It causes me to wonder: "How many people can be interested in Tibetan hooked rugs?"

Hits mean popularity and having something important others want to learn or know about. We like to think of ourselves as having many people interested in us. "I have just loads of friends. Why my email box is so full I can't respond to them all. And my phone is forever ringing with people who want to ask something of me."

Sounds impressive, does it not? Of course, if you have a computer, you have just tons of mail, and your phone won't stop ringing with people wanting to talk to you.

Spam and telephone solicitors are not selective. They will contact any one. Why even I receive an occasional call and get an email or two.


Hits are impressive. No doubt about it, when that register rolls around it shows that someone is interested in what is presented on that website. It's not like spam or other such junk mail.

Or is it?


I have over 500 pages on my website. And my website is new. If I check to make sure the links are working properly once a month, just for the pages I will be recording 500 "hits" in that month. Of course all my pages have at least 5 links, and some ten times that many. You do the math. I'm too tired.

I do not have counters on my web sites (I have three domains). I was going to get counters, until I discovered that the counts don't mean a thing. For one reason, as I stated above, unless I record how many times I access my own website, the number would mean nothing.

Then, on top of my flooding my own mailbox, so-to-speak, there are others who make it a practice to go through just as many of my pages as possible, and as often as possible.

One of these is Google. Google sends out what they call "spiders" that crawl the entire web collecting information. I was amazed to see on a report that Google and my domain host puts out how many hits I had on my new website. I didn't even have it up and running and it looked like I had one of the most sought after sites on the web! Did I get excited? Yes, I did. And I also got suspicious. So I checked further and found that these "hits" were from Google, myself, someone who was looking for pornography and who's browser presented "Whore" from the great whore Babylon, a quote from the Bible, and there were hits from domain name stealers looking for secret information and codes.

To say the least, I was not very impressed with all those hits I had received.


Some people will do anything to give the impression that they are popular. They will say whatever pleases whoever they are talking to; they will dress exactly like those they want to impress, and they will run a screwdriver through their nose or tongue if that's what it takes to "fit in."

On the web, some people are so desperate for attention that they will cycle their webpage. I have no doubt you've come across these. You somehow reach their page, and no matter what you do, you can't back out of it. Well, each time you try to leave, you are actually turning that meter over, indicating a new hit. And the more hits, the more "value" that web page has, and the higher up on the browser ranking it gets.

What people won't do for attention and approval.


We are born with an ego. And from the day of our birth, we do all we can to satisfy that ego. Adam and Eve met their downfall because of their ego. And all through the Bible it is recorded that the only ones who were accepted by God are those who were able to set their ego aside and do just the opposite of what one would expect them to do.

Jesus and the Apostles are perfect examples of such behavior. On the human realm it makes no sense what they did. They gave themselves over to God for Him to make of them what He wanted them to be. This is not our nature. We want God to turn Himself over to us so we can make Him into what we want Him to be. We want to be in charge, not let another be in charge of us.

Yet God seems to not be listening to us. Jesus said we are to not only obey God, but all the other officials and lowlifes that come our way (not saying that officials are lowlifes, but representing two ends of the spectrum). We are to be obedient to all, even to giving up our shirt, and turning the other cheek to those who would wish us ill.

This is not pleasing to our ear. We want "hits," but not on the cheek.


EXAMPLE, NOT REPLACEMENT


In the churches today it is taught that Jesus took our place on the cross, dying for our sins, so that we would not have to pay for what we've done. We are told that because of God's love for us, and His willingness to take us into Heaven in spite of the miserable creatures we are, all we have to do is give credence to Jesus' work on the cross, and we are in like Flynn.

If you've been in the church very long (Protestant I'm referring to) you have heard this message preached a thousand times, maybe more in one form or another. That is, if you bothered to listen to the message at all.

And I'm sure you've heard what I'm going to say what must seem like a thousand times, and in a thousand different ways. If you do feel that way, you're not alone. I feel the same way. This gives rise to two questions: What is it going to take for me to get my message across to you, since you have been so indoctrinated into the thinking of the established church. And the second question is: since this is about the 150th page (some "pages" being more in the order of books than pages) I've written and published for the Bible section, which means you have likely read at least a few of the others I've written - why do you bother? I mean, if you agree with what I am saying, or if you are trying to figure out what I'm talking about, or why I'm talking about it, I can understand why you would endure thus far. But if you dis agree, and consider it hogwash and heresy, which is most likely, then why?

Well, that's my question, which is far afield of the subject I am writing on.


Jesus took our place so we are free to do what we will. That's the belief, and so it is. However, what is not so is that we are now free to enjoy life, with God's blessing, being mollycoddled by our Father God.

Jesus died as a substitute. Again, this is true. Because He died, we will live. This is all true and clearly laid out in Scripture.

Jesus died and freed us - to do as we will, and be rewarded for the same, if what we "will to do" is lay down our life in total sacrifice as did Jesus and the Apostles.

Jesus died so that we may live - if we give up our life as did Jesus and the Apostles.


Jesus died as a substitute. But more than a substitute, Jesus (and the Apostles as well) is an example of what God expects and requires of His "children."

Jesus was the first of many Children of God. Jesus is the first, and the only to fully overcome the flesh and give complete obedience to the Father. And, of course, the Apostles where the second to the thirteenth to surrender.

But they are not to be the last to take up their cross and follow Jesus to Calvary. There have been, and there will be others to follow that "narrow road" to salvation.

Will those others, those few, include you?


 

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