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

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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THOUGHTS & COMMENTS

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9Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:)



TEAMWORK


The Body of Christ, that is the Church is a team. On a team there are various players possessing different skills that add to the effectiveness of the team. The more proficient the players are at performing their particular job, the more effective is the entire team. If just one member fails to do their job to their utmost, the entire teams suffers. The weak link in a strong chain.

I know I haven't told you anything you didn't already know.

My point here is not to complain about how well others in the Church are holding up their end; I do that in spades elsewhere. No, my purpose here is to clarify my position in the body of Christ.


Paul speaks of some members of the body having prestigious positions in the Body. And he speaks about others who have "less comely" places in the Body.

This latter category, I believe, best describes the position I have been given.


It must seem as if I rail on every church, and everyone in the churches. It must look as if I believe I am the only one who understands God's Word, and that everyone else is doomed to hell.

I don't see how my writings could look any different than this to you, because that is the way they look to me.


But such is not the case. Oh, the part of that statement directed toward the leaders of the churches is true enough. But for the earnest members of the churches (separating the tares from the wheat here), this is not so. Hands do not have ears. Shoulders (of compassion) do not have eyes. Members of the Church are busy fulfilling their particular job in the Body. The eyes and ears of the Church are (supposedly) given to the leaders and instructors of the Church, who the Body is to listen to and follow their instructions.

But when the eyes of the Church are closed, or turned the wrong direction; and when the ears of the leaders are dull of hearing, then the entire Church suffers.


According to the leaders, especially the Pastor, they have been given a "calling." and supposedly that calling has come from God Himself.

I would assume you have been given a calling as well, and that God has supplied you with a gift with which to perform that calling. Perhaps your calling is to be "hands" (helps), or maybe your better suited to be shoulders (comfort to the hurting), or maybe you are called to be an encourager, or a minister of song, or a leader of the children.

And I would assume you do your job to the best of your ability, and perhaps even wish there were more you could do.


While you perform your duties, you, I am quite certain, expect and assume that others on the team are also striving to fulfill their responsibilities.

If a janitor or an usher does not pull his or her weight, the consequences would not likely cause too much of a problem for the team as a whole.

If the slackers were to be your prayer warriors, the risk of failure raises considerably.

But what would happen to the team if the one who fails to live up to his responsibly was the Pastor, the Shepherd, the engineer of your train? What if the one you looked to for guidance, for understanding of the Way, your guiding light, turned out to be blind, or negligent, or following a wrong beacon? What would you say the possible consequences would be in such a case? If the church you attend was a train on the way to Paradise, and you later found that it was in fact headed for a dilapidated bridge over a deep ravine; what would be your reaction do you think?


Some parts of the Body of Christ are less comely than others. And some are only noticed when they have an ailment or hurt for some reason.

The sole of the foot is one of those unnoticed and unappreciated parts of the body.

I am a sole of the foot. I am a thorn in the side of those who have taken it upon themselves to be the conductor of the train to Glory. Whether they be called or no, my job is to goad the ministers of the Body and get them back on the track so that all those who ride with them, and depend on them will reach their destination in proper form.


The sole of the foot is rarely noticed until it steps out of line, and lands on a pebble or a thorn. The sole of the foot is intended to be walked upon and remain inconspicuous and unnoticed.

And would that I could remain quiet and ignored: if only those who are leading the way would get back on the straight and narrow path where they belong.


HEAVENLY MISCOMMUNICATION


I have stated, and I believe I have pretty well proven elsewhere, that the Bible is designed to deceive those wishing to be deceived. Those who want the Bible to say that God's purpose is to serve man will find an abundance of evidence to support this view.

I believe I have also shown (but certainly haven't proven) that hell is not a place of eternal torment as is supposed. If hell were such a place, and anybody actually believed that it were such a place, that person would be in constant torment here on earth as he or she dedicated their life to save all they could from such an eternal future. And if a person believed that hell is a fiery pit of eternal damnation and was not frantically going about to save the world from it, then that person surely is not one who will be avoiding such a destiny themself. It is clear that Heaven is a place for those who love their neighbor. Anyone who feels they can joyously float around in the clouds eating fried chicken while their friends and neighbors are burning in a smoldering cauldron is not what I consider a "Loving Person."


Nor do I see Heaven a place (where those who prove themselves acceptable to attain a place of Eternal Bliss) up in the stratosphere somewhere. Nor do I see it on some other planet circling this globe. As I read the Bible, Heaven is going to be right here on earth. And those who make it to Heaven are not going to be served, as they hope to be, but they will be earnestly and anxiously serving God and their fellow man, seeking little or no reward for their endeavor.

And I believe that Heaven is not the place where such people will begin their efforts to serve, but rather those who do not begin their self-sacrificial serving here and now will not be the ones chosen to be serving the Lord in Heaven for Eternity.


Does this mean I don't believe that people who have not made a commitment to serve the Lord here in this life will not be saved for the next? No, I believe that there will be many "saved." But I also believe that "Saved," in other words, receiving Eternal life is not what it is taught in the churches. I see it as much different. Just what Heaven and Saved is I am not prepared to describe, as it has not been fully explained to me as yet. I have only been given glimpses of the Truth over the years, and the Lord has not as yet seen fit to have me do such a study. And without His leading, such a study would be worthless at best.


Hell is destruction. Eternal life is just that, living eternally (whatever that might be to God who created eternity as it applies to us).

Heaven is living a life of servitude, in full association with God.

Saved is just that - saved.


I do not want to be "saved." I have prayed often that I will not be amongst those who are "saved." If I am not one of those who are chosen to be a servant of the Lord: if I have failed to live up to what is expected of me here on earth during my allotted time: then I want to be destroyed with all the others who have failed. If I can't be with the Lord, then I want nothing at all. If I can't have it all, then I want nothing at all.


It may seem as if I believe I am one of the few destined for high position in the Kingdom to come. This is far from the truth. I can't see how I can possibly attain to that which I ascribe as needed in order to be with the Lord. I think of myself as the Unprofitable Servant who has been given a little, and has failed to do with that little what is expected of me. The only advantage I can see I might have above what others possess is a willingness to surrender to the Lord (but without the full ability for full surrender), and the knowledge of the Truth, given by the Holy Sprit.

So many others, it seems, who appear to be "serving the Lord" are in reality serving man and his attempt to serve himself, and are bound by ties of doctrine that keep them from seeking the Truth if they really wanted to find Truth.


MUSIC & DOCTRINE


When I first became aware of the confusing aspects of doctrine was not when I studied the Bible, but when I studied music. "Doctrine and music? How do they fit together?" Just wait a minute and I'll tell you.


This morning as I was practicing on the steel guitar I became conscious of the metal picks on my fingers. Three metal picks plus one thumb pick.

I had just purchased a book of tabs for the Dobro, and I was looking at the instructions. The book said to pick such-and-such a string with this -and-that finger or thumb.

Whoops! This-or-that finger doesn't work for me because I wear three picks, not two as the book was instructing me to use.

Now, what do I do?? Do I throw away the book and hope I can find one that tells me how to use three fingers? Or do I disregard all the many months I have been practicing to use three fingers and just use two?

Of course what I did was disregard completely all the instructions and notations that instructed me on which finger to use on what string at whichever time it told me to play it.


And that is exactly what I do when I study the Bible: I disregard all the notes at the bottom (except to read them for amusement), and I let God instruct me as to what He meant when He wrote such-and-such a passage.


When I studied music (many different instruments at one time - I'm a masochist) I discovered that every teacher had a different way they expected their students to learn. This is never more true than with stringed instruments. Each book I read seemed to say: "Not that way, you fool! This way!" And, of course, one "fool's way" was just the opposite of another "fool's Way," depending on the instructor. In great confusion, I finally decided to completely disregard all instruction and develop my own way, and then I was finally able to learn to play any instrument I attempted.


Again: what has learning music got to do with doctrine? Everything.


In music, the worst you can experience by following the instruction of one teacher over another is to be called a "fool." In the churches, the worst you can be told is that you'll go to hell and burn alive forever for not following the doctrines of the church. And, again, one doctrine is completely the opposite of the doctrine of another church. And since fire is a lot more powerful of a deterrent than name-calling, churches are much more able to keep their "students" from following the instructions of another teacher (even the Holy Ghost) or discovering Truth on their own.

For nearly 2,000 years the church kept people in line by keeping them ignorant, not allowing them to read for themselves what the Bible says. Now, with Bibles so prevalent and so accessible, it is not possible to keep the people ignorant: they must keep themselves ignorant by either (or/or) not reading the Bible, or reading into it exactly what the doctrine of the churches teaches while disregarding anything that contradicts that doctrine.


The only way for me to learn music is to forget everything I have been taught. And the only way to learn the Bible is to discount everything commentaries and doctrines try to force down my throat.

It has been said: "Get all the education you can; then get over it."

That takes guts, ambition and thinking. Schools are not designed to produce thinkers, but followers. And as Adam and Eve has shown: it is human nature to follow anything that caters to our lazy and self-centered nature.

SATAN UPDATE


9Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:)


It has only been a couple weeks since I posted: Lucifer, the making of a Doctrine." And almost daily new thoughts on that subject cross my mind. I thought I would add some of those thoughts here.


We are told that the best way to open oneself up to demons is to not believe they exist. And this is true of Satan as well. But short of not believing that the devil exists, is to believe he was once a wonderful creature, and even on our side, and misunderstood (and harshly punished) by God.


I got to thinking: what do Satanists and other such devil followers and worshipers think of Satan? So I did a little investigating.

One thing I found is that they, too, believe, like all the churches, that Satan was once a beautiful angel called Lucifer. From this point on doctrines run the gamut. There are, as one would expect, those in the extreme corner who believe in following the evil nature of Satan, even to human sacrifice. Others in the middle range are followers of Satan in the sense that it allows them to satisfy their own desires, unabated by religious or moral teaching (kind of like our schools and society in general nowadays. Consider the popularity of witchcraft). In this form Satan worship is very similar to many of the churches, especially the modern churches and the increasingly-popular ecumenical movements to which all the churches are moving toward. (Not yours? Just watch.)

Then, to the far extreme we have Satanists who are part of the Christian community who believe Satan to be a misunderstood angel who will, along with all mankind, eventually be reconciled to God, everything forgiven and forgotten.


On to the church views.

I have come across literature from churches and sermons that strike me as coming straight out of Satanic literature. It is doctrine based on a fantasy and enhanced by twisting Scripture to fit. Of course, in my mind, this is what all church doctrine is today, but when the base of the twisted Scripture is a fantasy: and it is to glorify Satan......???

To begin with (referring back to Lucifer, Making of a Doctrine), Satan is considered to be the "Covering Cherub," that is, one of the angels that's portrayed by the angels that covered the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. Also because of this belief, there are some who teach that Satan is the angel that man was created a little lower than in Psalm 8:5.

As an added twist to this glorification of Satan, there are some (many in fact) who believe that Satan, Jesus, and Michael are brothers, related, and because Jesus is God, that all three of them are God as well.

The extremes we will go in order to keep our thirst for fantasy entertained.

Satan, not content with corrupting the purity of 1/3 of the angels, it is believed, worked with success to corrupt God's first creation, that is Adam and Eve. I find it rather intriguing that an all-knowing, all-seeing God could not have been aware that casting this great deceiver into the midst of His pure, innocent creation (oh, pardon me - re creation), could lead to nothing but utter catastrophe.


It is distressing when someone you find who holds to much truth falls off the Truth wagon. This is precisely what has happened to me several times. I think I found someone who has the fortitude to step out of tradition and listen to the Lord, only to discover there are areas where their doctrine ventures into the absurd. Here I will semi-quote some statements and add my comment to each. Of course these statements could have been made my a variety of people since some of them are commenly expressed from the pulpit.


"One of these created angels was Lucifer, the cherub who covered and protected the very throne of God (Ezekiel 28:12-16)."


Now what could possibly be wrong with this staement, you might ask. Well, for one, as I have said elsewhere, there is no clue whatever that Ezekiel is talking about Satan. And for another, if Satan is created, then how can he be related to Jesus who was not created. (Belief that Satan was related to Jesus is not an issue in this commentator's view, but it is in some.)


In reaction to Lucifer being sentenced to the pit of fire (as is commonly held):


"The other angels were amazed. This was something they had never witnessed before. Never before had God judged anyone."


"The angels were amazed." Please find that in Scripture. It's a small thing I am pointing out here but it is something so commonly done: commentary expressed as fact. This problem exists also in the movies where people believe what Hollywood says because they don't know the Bible version of the incident. Of course using movies and comic books for instruction and to quote them as fast is being "willfully ignorant." But when such "Hollywood statements" are made from the pulpit or by commentators of the Bible, this compounds the problem because we are supposed to believe what our "shepherds" tell us.


"We are told in the Bible that following his fall into sin, Lucifer became the DEVIL."


Where in the Bible does it say "Lucifer" became the devil?? As I said before, there is no evidence that Lucifer (not a name anyway, but an adjective, a description of the king of Tyrus) became the devil; then to add to this fanciful misconception something that is not even hinted at in the Bible! (Of course advocates of the fall have verses they have wrenched into compliance to fit this fallacy, but their distortions are clearly visible to all who want to see them.)


"The word "devil" means "THE ACCUSER." It is not unreasonable to say that the devil accused God of being unfair and unjust before the other angels. You can just imagine the accusation that Satan hurled at the Creator: "how can a loving god send one of his creatures to hell? That''s not fair!!"


Again, here we have typical doctrine in the making, one method used by churches and all other groups or individuals who wish to coerce their readers into accepting their view. "It is not unreasonable to say..." Or: "Any fool can see...." And other such statements to which you dare not disagree. I, for one, would say it is very unreasonable to say that anything out of Scripture has been said or done. This is especially so when such statements are based on a failed supposition, and when it leads trusting followers into false doctrine.


"Apparently Satan managed to convince one third of the angels that God was unloving and unfair (Revelation 12:4) and by doubting the character of God, they too fell into this terrible sin. These fallen angels are also called demons or unclean spirits or Satan''s angels."


Is that so? Let's look at Revelation 12:4 and watch for ourselves these angels being told that God is unloving:

Rev 12: 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Did you catch it? Did you see anything about Satan convincing the angels that God is unfair? Did this look to you like it was taking place thousands (or millions) of years ago? Or would it appear to you to be a future event? If you caught what this commentator is talking about, you're doing a lot better than me, because I missed it altogether.


"Even though God had prepared the lake of fire for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41), we are amazed to learn that He did not send them there immediately. God wanted to first teach all the angels something. God wanted to vindicate His character and prove once and for all that He was a Just God and also a loving God. It was as if God were saying to all the heavenly host, "I will show you how holy and just I am (how much I hate sin and how I must judge sin) and yet I will also show you how loving and gracious I am. Just watch what I am about to do." The angels are very curious as to what God is about to do!"


God trying to prove Himself to His created beings? Really? Amazing. This is not the God I've been reading about and experiencing.

Also, how "fair and loving" would God be to us if He dumped this powerful, wicked creature down here on us to fight against: and if we fail, we have to spend eternity in a blazing fire along with him??

No, I suspect there must be some other view of God and His purposes than that of His trying to Vindicate Himself.


"Thus it was at the cross that Satan was defeated and God''s character was vindicated. Satan''s charges were once and for all proven to be false!"


Is that why Jesus died on the cross?? I always believed it was His love for mankind and for the making it possible for us to join God in Paradise that Jesus died on the cross: not to "vindicate God."

What I have done above I do not like to do; that is to criticize specifically the teaching of a particular person, their preaching, or any particular church. This stands particularly true with this person's preaching (even though you do not know who it is that has said these words) because I have read a great deal of his writings, and I have learned much from him. I also believe he is led by the Spirit into much of his writings, but I also believe he, as well as so many others I respect, has fallen into preaching doctrine (expressing opinion and fantasy as fact) instead of sticking to what the Holy Spirit is telling him to say.

I find this temptation myself, to express what I think might be so. But before I write anything, I research every facet of the subject, trying to make sure I follow the Holy Spirit's direction to completion, before I print it.

This does not mean I always succeed!! I am just as prone to error as anyone else, maybe even more so. And I do not have the education or the experience that so many others have. This is both a detriment to me as well as a boon. It is a boon because I do not have the many years of indoctrination others who grew up in the church must overcome, but refuse to.

My lack of Biblical knowledge, and my ability to express my ego instead of God's Word is why I say, as I have often done before: DON'T GO BY ANYTHING I SAY!!! Check out every little thing for yourself, insisting of yourself that you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your search!


Conclusion:

I find it interesting that those who oppose the gap theory (almost nobody does so, and those who do, still believe Lucifer is Satan) spend a great deal of effort in order to contradict something that is the thinnest thread of possibility (non-existent in fact) while still holding to the very fallacy that caused the need for such controversy in the first place!

The above is not all there is to the Satan issue. All this will be placed together in the study of Satan at a later date.


PRAYER


Today I heard a preacher talking about prayer. And like so many preachers I hear, he was getting down and dirty, telling it like it is as the saying goes. Prayer, he says is not something you do for a couple minutes at bed time, or the few words said over a meal, but it is something you do throughout the day - while you drive, while you're in the bathroom.

Very good, I thought; and right on. But there is a point missed, I believe. First and foremost, which the preacher made a strong effort to emphasize, is not only how often you pray, but to whom you are praying as well. Praying to the wrong person might get you what you want, which is why most people pray at all, but it won't get you what most preachers say you will get when it's all over and done but the unmasking.

Who you pray to is probably first and foremost in the life of prayer.

However what you pray for I think sits right up there near the top of the ladder of importance when it comes to prayer. That is to say, are you praying for something good to come your way? Or are you praying to intercede for someone who is in desperate need. Or perhaps your prayer is in the direction of giving thanks for something that has come to you, or for a prayer that has been answered.


These prayers are certainly good prayers to offer to God, barring perhaps the first, selfish prayer. But I believe there is more to prayer than what is commonly accepted by the majority of prayer warriors.

To me prayer is much more than the words we say, or even why we say them. In fact the Greek word interpreted "prayer" means to "worship," and it is taken from a word that means to "be directed toward, to draw near, along side."

Jesus, in His letters to the Churches in Revelation speaks of leaving one's first love. And if you are more than six years old, and past the "cootie" stage, I suspect you know what it feels like to have a "first love." and if you have had a first love, then you quite likely know what it means to "worship" someone.


Prayer is worship. And worship is not a selfish thing. At least it is not supposed to be directed toward one's self. When we worship someone there is nothing we won't do for them. And doing for them is almost all we want to do.

We want more than anything to be a slave to that one we worship, and we feel bad when we are told there is nothing that person wants or need from us.


This, I believe, is precisely what Jesus wants from us. He doesn't want an occasional half-hearted stream of sentences tossed toward Him out of a sense of obligation. Nor does He want batch of requests that we want fulfilled as if He was Daddy Warbucks or Santa Clause. God wants from us the very same thing He gave to us: everything.


The Bible says we were a slave to sin before Jesus made a way to overcome sin in our lives. We were sentenced to death, and this we still are, not for Adams sin, but for our own: unless we draw near to Him and remain under the cover of Jesus' bloodstained protective wings.


Prayer becomes the most intense when we feel great need. When we are distressed beyond our ability to cope. This is the time our prayers can not express what we are feelings, and this is the time the Holy Spirit prays for us because all we can do is cry out and moan (Mat 8:26).

We are told that the prayers of the righteous avails much (James 5:16). And we are told that the prayers of sinners are not even heard (Zech 7:13; Micah 3:4; Heb 12:14; Mat 7:23; John 9:31). If we are to have our prayers heard, we must strive toward perfection in order to be given the robe of righteousness God has waiting for His own.

Our prayers should be intense, heart felt, and as full of love and selflessness as we are able to offer.


If we are able to pray through the Spirit as we are told to, then our prayers will be as the thoughts of one madly in love. Our thoughts will be constantly on that one we love. The words that overwhelm our mind will be constantly on that person we love, and will be directed to that person as if they were attentive to our every thought.

We should be praying, worshiping, and giving thanks constantly, every moment, day and night.

When we sing we sing to that person we love.

When we plan our day, we plan it around the person we love.

When we work or play, we wish for that person we love to be right there by our side.

And whether we are near that person we love, of far away from them, we spend much of our time learning all we can about that person,. And should someone make a negative comment about that person, we refuse to accept the accusation, defend the person of our heart, and we will very likely become angry at the person who made such an accusation.


This is what we experience in the natural. Does this sound like something the One who created us might expect from His creation? Or do you think God is going to give His ultimate reward to half-hearted, self centered pew warmers?

If you were God (and this should be an especially easy question to answer if you are a parent), what would you expect from your creation? Do you fulfill that expectation? And if you feel you don't live up to your own expectations, just what are you going to do about it??


 

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