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: (Rev 3:)
doubt but that you think I am referring to myself here. Although such a
statement is true of me as well, it's not me I'm thinking of.
they're right. It's natural. What kind of person goes around thinking
they're wrong all the time?
the end of
Judges we have this statement:
those days there was
no king in Israel: every man did that
which was right in his own
eyes. (Judges 21:)
Judges, then you know that doing right in their own eyes was very, very
wilderness journey of the Israelites we have many examples of doing
right in one's own eyes. Korah and his band of 250 is an example:
Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan
and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of
Reuben, took men: 2And
they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two
hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation,
men of renown: 3And
they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and
said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation
are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then
lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? (Num 16:)
appears, did not agree with Korah, and opened the earth and swallowed
him, his followers, and their families. It's risky being associated
sister of Moses and their brother Aaron had their little tiff with
Moses as well:
Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman
whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2And
they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not
spoken also by us? (Num 12:)
struck with leprosy as a reward for her doing what she thought was
Aaron had his turn to make decisions, as a spokesman for God, while
Moses was up in the mountain talking to God:
when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount,
the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him,
Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the
man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is
become of him. 2And
Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the
ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them
unto me. 3And
all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears,
and brought them unto Aaron. 4And
he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool,
after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O
Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5And
when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; (Ex 32:)
Moses confronted Aaron on this dastardly act that caused the death of
thousands, Aaron had this to say:
I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So
they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this
calf. (Num 32:)
quite the picture we're given in the verses above, wouldn't you say?
Miriam was not just Moses' sister, but a prophetess. This means that
she spoke the words of God:
Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand;
and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
mouth for the one who stood in place of God:
therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou
shalt say. 13And
he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou
wilt send. 14And
the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not
Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also,
behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will
be glad in his heart. 15And
thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be
with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall
he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he
shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead
of God. (Ex 4:)
spokesperson for God. Moses was as
God to the people, and Aaron had the distinction of being the spokesman
for Moses. Now, how much more authority could one ask for? Surely you
and I could fully expect to follow the advice from such as these. Yet,
as we have seen, the ones who followed these proclaimed leaders advise
were destroyed by God Himself.
Priest, the Scribes and the Pharisees were the top of the line, the
closest to God that existed in the days of Jesus. It was absolutely
mandatory that you do as they told you to do. To do otherwise could
very well mean being put out of the Temple, or even death.
know these upright and righteous leaders of the people made some
horrible choices when it came to Jesus, but there was some
credibility in what they said and what they did. The Torah did indeed
speak against what Jesus was doing. At least we can see how they could
have interpreted the Bible in such a way.
people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not
for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had
raised from the dead. 10But
the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; 11Because
that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on
Jesus. (John 12:)
me is not quite kosher.
things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2They
shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that
whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (John 16:)
try and do
what is right as we see it. Usually, if we are really looking, we
discover by looking back at out past decisions, that we have not done
so well. What is even harder to do is to recognize that our decisions
today are no better than they have been in our past. We still justify
and defend what we don't want to look at.
We make human mistakes.
our preachers are human. They make human mistakes.
seen above, the greatest of leaders, of God's spokesmen, have made some
terrible mistakes, in their own lives and as they effected others
around them. Even David, the man after God's own heart, and Solomon,
the wisest man on earth made errors that would put some criminals to
generic prayers, sent in email forwards and printed in books that read:
"...And forgive me for everything I've ever done wrong."
don't think that
is what God had in mind when He says to ask for forgiveness and He will
give it to us.
principle with our kids:
forgive me for everything I've ever done. Now will you take me to
you've done that you want us to forgive you for?"
But just in case I did something, I want to be forgiven so you won't be
mad at me."
about when you spilled paint on the car?"
what I want forgiven for."
when you sassed your mother and didn't come home when you were told to?"
the neighbor's window you broke that you never paid for?"
appears to me that you don't even bother to pay any attention to what
you do wrong. And if you don't even care enough to remember them, how
can we expect you to try and correct them in the future?"
and me, we
are not looking for a trip to Disneyland, but for a much greater
reward. How much more then will God expect of us for what we
want to be forgiven for?
I've noticed about these and almost all other email forwards I get are
how they are followed up with this line:
and God will greatly bless you" or something to that effect.
you, isn't that a bit presumptuous? I for one don't find this concept
in the Bible, and I would not want to have to face God and justify
having told people such a thing as this. How can I assume that God will
bless us for sending some picture or letter to others? Even if it's a
Bible verse, or the entire Bible I'm sending, I am not given the right
to add to it what God will or will not do.
all the time. From the beggar on the street right up to the highest of
preachers (whoever that might be) these words roll off the tongue like
a sliver of ice: "Bless God."
something inside of me that shudders when I hear people use this
expression. Yet it seems to me as if this phrase is used in the Bible a
time or two, and used by those who should know if it is appropriate or
check up on this:
the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
David very distinctly Blessing the Lord. And he blessed God not only
once, but many times. And there are many others in the Old Testament
who Blessed God.
be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
mercies, and the God of all comfort; (2Cor 3:)
the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly
bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are
made after the similitude of God. 10Out
of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these
things ought not so to be. (James 3:)
Paul clearly blessing God, and we have James seemingly giving his
confirmation to this gesture.
he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham,
and blessed him that had the promises. 7And
without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. (Heb 7:)
confused. Paul, in making a very important statement that his entire
argument stands upon says that the better
blesses the lesser.
Yet we have David blessing God, and we even have Paul himself blessing
be? Is there some way to explain this seeming contradiction?
look at the original language. And this is going to be a bit of a
challenge because in all instances where this phrase is given, the very
same word has been used throughout:
(Hebrew) H1288 ba^rak baw-rak' A
primitive root; to kneel;
by implication to bless
God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also
(by euphemism) to curse
(God or the king, as treason): - X abundantly, X altogether, X at all,
blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse, X greatly, X indeed, kneel
(down), praise, salute, X still, thank.
From a compound of G2095
and G3056; to speak well of,
that is, (religiously) to bless
or invoke a benediction
- bless, praise.
that the Hebrew leaves a lot of leeway as to what "blessing" means. It
can either be a curse, or a greeting, or a blessing as we know it.
not so ambiguous: However there is still room in the Greek within which
to move around and get one's self lost.
think it all
boils down to: What do you
mean when you say "Bless God"?
to me this morning. No, it wasn't an angel standing at my bedside; nor
was it a spectacle depicting the end of the world. It was rather a
clearer understanding of how I see the church today.
my vision I
saw a church building not unlike one might find in any town or village.
At the portal of this church there was a porch having steps to the door
of the church.
the top of
the steps, standing on the porch before the door I saw two men, one
dressed in a robe of the clergy, the other wearing the garments of a
common laborer. The clergyman had brought the layman to the porch,
thereby the door, and the layman was preparing to knock at the door of
clergyman said: "That won't be necessary, my son. This is as far as you
need to go. You have already reached the destination that God has
desired of you."
thousands of supposed ministers of the Word encompassing the world,
their intentions being to bring people to the door of the True Church
of God. Some of these Missionaries, these Evangelists if you please,
approach their prospective converts one person at a time. Other
Evangelists have become famous for their great efforts to fill the
porch of the churches, either through touring the world and speaking to
great crowds of eager listeners, or by speaking to millions over the
waves of the air or the web of confusion. But whatever might be the
means and the number, the object is the same: bring in the bodies, and
add to the tally of "souls won."
in life or in nature does such a rule as this apply. In no other aspect
of life does mere attendance at the foot of the stairs warrant
entitlement to full rewards offered to those who complete the course
laid out for them.
churches of today have acquired such a notion as this, and they fully
expect God to honor that supposition even though it directly
contradicts the dictates He has given to us.
hope to, in
some small way, reverse the trend established by the church of modern
days. My intent, and my efforts are directed toward getting those who
stand at the door to not only knock on the door, but to energetically
traverse the church, gleaning from its interior all that is availed to
them. My wish is that every convert lay prostrate before the Lord of
Glory who has built the House of the Lord with His own blood, in
submission and determined passion.
way this can be accomplished is, by whatever means possible, removing
the clergy that stands before the door of the Church with outstretched
hands, blocking the door to those who wish to enter.
of us who believe that everyone is wrong but we ourselves. I say some
because that is the camp in which I tend to dwell. Those of us who
believe this have the attitude of the man who said: "I'm from Missouri,
live in a
world of extremes, both in this world and in our lives. And just about
everyone, in one form or another, to one degree or another, and in one
area or another, has experienced extremes.
where extremes exist is that of the courtroom. Trials are based on the
principal of extremes, either guilty or innocent, even though there's
often a strong possibility of some degree of either. It is the job of
two men called "Lawyers" who have little knowledge of the issue at
hand, and who often could care less for the person who must endure the
consequences of the trial's outcome, who present their argument to a
jury who resents being forced to serve, and before a judge who can
often do no more than play eenie
meenie minie moe between the
two lawyers to decide which presented the best fairy tale to the court.
courtroom is one of the most recognizable of the extreme areas, there
are other arenas as well, and as the above, they ought not to be so. I
use for an example our seat of government who we pay to work for our
own good and betterment and not their own grandizement; and our world
leaders who's argument over which end of the egg to open makes the
difference between peaceful coexistence and blowing up of the world.
we have our personal arenas where ego flares even in the most laid back
of us. I am thinking here of the family circle.
the units where each of us should
be able to go and receive comfort, support and acceptance.
Unfortunately, in all too many families, this is not true. In fact, it
is more likely that "family life" for most of us would cause the
courtroom scenario to appear as a love scene in a dime novel. The
tension displayed by all family members of most homes might be seen as
akin to that of patients in the waiting room of a heart specialist, all
waiting to hear the results of their stress test.
extremes of opinion exist in almost all walks of life, and we accept
and expect disagreement at almost every turn; there is one arena where
disagreement is almost nonexistent. Oddly enough, those same people who
strive for the mastery, and demand their view to be heard and accepted
in every other aspect of their life, surrender their ego at the door of
whatever church they happen to attend.
job it is, and who's reputation and finances hinge upon his ability to
thrust his adamant view above that of everyone else he encounters, sits
quietly in a pew on Sunday and absorbs every word spoken from the
pulpit without rebuttal.
father, who on his job and in his home sees it his responsibility to
keep all his employees in line, and his family under subjection, sits
beside the lawyer and nods agreement to what the preacher preaches.
workaday life surrendering our argumentative nature might effect our
paycheck and our reputation. In our family life the allowing of our ego
to rest might diminish our status as head of the house, or it might
even allow for a bit of harmony amongst the members of the family.
true of the one who rests his or her opinion on the one standing behind
the pulpit on Sunday mornings?
the father who reigns as tyrant does so because he believes he is
"right," and that it is right and proper for him to do so. The lawyer
cares little for being proper or sincere, nor for right or wrong; his
interest is in appearing
right is what he is paid to do.
who is standing behind the pulpit has one primary job on Sunday
morning, one for which he spends a great deal of time in preparation
(presumably). His job is to tell of and explain what the particular
church he preaches for believes the Bible is saying. The chances are he
has spent a year or more in some seminary learning what that particular
denomination he preaches for has to say about the Bible. And if he
finds himself in doubt as to what the Bible says, he consults a teacher
from that seminary, or he refers to a book published or approved by
that seminary or the denomination for which he serves.
preacher is in doubt as to what the Bible says, it is important that he
choose carefully which book he consults, because if he should consult
one that gives a view contrary to that of the denomination he preaches
for, he can find himself in hot water.
being many thousands of denominations, therefore thousands of doctrines
that do not agree with that of the preacher behind the pulpit, it can
be seen as easy to read the wrong book and thereby fall into "wrong
morning the preacher preaches to the opinionated lawyer and family
tyrant about a pit of fire and a Heavenly reward, both of which will
last an eternity. The tyrant father nods at the layer, and receives a
nod of agreement in return. The preacher tells of the many who will
burn forever because they were not wise enough to have chosen to sit in
the pews of the denomination to which all those in the pews belong.
the tyrant father hear the preacher as he tells them that it is belief
that will allow them to be acceptable for Heaven, and the fact that
those in the pews have been baptized into that denomination is proof
positive that they are destined for eternal bliss.
lawyer and the tyrant father exchange nods of agreement.
question: Why is it that people who demand that their view be heard,
that they be agreed with, who will spend great amounts of time and
effort in acquiring even the smallest of victories over others: will
completely surrender that attitude when they walk through the doors of
whatever church they happen to wander into?
one of us, you attack all
called: "Gang Mentality." Every member of a group is joined at the hip
with all the others within their circle. Even though one member of that
group may hate others in that same group, others outside the group
durst say nothing against that hated member or suffer the wrath of all.
same mentality in other areas besides that of gangs An example of this
attitude can be found among brothers of a family. It can also be seen
in the Armed Forces between branches of the same; like, let's say: the
Army and the Navy in a bar scene.
attitude is carried into an area where it might be least expected, and
that is the Church.
one's denomination or one's church doctrine is to attack the members of
that church themselves. Is this a Biblical principal? Let's see what
Paul had to say on the subject of gang mentality:
I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye
all speak the same thing, and that
there be no divisions among you; but that
ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which
are of the house of Chloe, that
there are contentions among you. 12Now
this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of
Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13Is
Christ divided? (1Cor 12:)
is, no doubt about it. Paul distinctly said: "10Now
I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye
all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but
that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and
in the same judgment."
any plainer than that. Everyone is to be of the same mind and to be
perfectly joined together. In other words, that group you are a part of
is like a ship; and in a ship, don't you know, everyone either makes
it, or they don't make
it. If someone amongst the crew of a ship is negligent in their duty,
it could cause all aboard to fail, and thereby die aboard their ship.
a ship situation, it is important that every member make certain that
every other member learn their job well, and that they do
the job they have been given.
is to be a strong member, and to support the other members of their
chosen ship. That means the gang mentality should
be a part of the denominational system, isn't that what Paul tells us?
"For it hath been
declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which
are of the house of Chloe, that
there are contentions
among you. 12Now
this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of
Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."
say that Paul said that we are to support those in the same
denomination? Did I read that Scripture wrong? Now we have Paul condemning
the idea of denominationalism. How can this be so? How can we support
our denomination and at the same time condemn it as being a division of
the body? Is there some way to reconcile this difference?
"Is Christ divided?"
an important question: Is
Christ divided? We would have to give a resounding "Yes!" to this
question. Christ is not only divided, but splintered into thousands of
little fragments that has become ineffectual and benign in itself (the
church) and in the World.
World is working to become stronger in its views toward Humanistic
reform, the church argues one member (denomination) against another,
fighting for the position of possessing the correct doctrine.
noticed that when Christians talk, they are complacent at best in
regards to the none-believers, allowing them their right to their own
opinion: but when it's two people of differing denominations, it
becomes not a matter of opinion, but that one or the other is going to
go to hell for the opinion they hold?
the gang system of the church can hold whatever opinion they choose.
But once they join the "gang" war, they had best watch their back.
because of its splintered nature, holds no power. And because it holds
no power we find the attitudes of the World, of the none-believer
creeping in and taking over leadership of the churches. We watch the
towers of strength fall to the wayside of the World, helpless to even
say a word.
churches joining the ranks of Ecumenicalism, we see the final stages of
the collapse of the church. Instead of tiny footholds, the World has
made gigantic inroads into the church, causing the church to be little,
and even no different
than the World in its thinking, even to the giving up the belief that
gang mentality: the adamant defense of the weakest of the gang; the
insistence on doctrinal superiority: there exists nothing more to the
church than a tattered banner over the door that means nothing at all.
been a dysfunctional fleet of tiny boats flailing at one another, with
their oars at one another's throat, instead of in the water driving to
its destination. The church is a crew of self-serving mobsters arguing
over turf and which color the life boats should be painted as the ship
arguing about differences of opinions that mean little or nothing at
all, the churches should
be working as an armada demonstrating to the World what Christ is all
about. Instead, it is the tiny differences of opinion that all
denominations concentrate on - and the Titanic sinks.
mentality there exists the attitude that none be left behind. Because
of this, all progress is no faster nor progresses any further than the
weakest and the most complacent member of the gang. We have observed
this same attitude in our schools under the label: None Left Behind.
None left behind means that none progress farther than the slowest.
happen if an Army had this attitude?
churches this attitude reigns supreme. Nothing is said to make the
weakest and the most Worldly feel uncomfortable with their lackadaisy
is a day
coming when we will all be standing at the edge of a pit filled with
fire and brimstone. I am wondering what people of the denominational
system will think of their "gang mentality" attitude then. Will they
desire to follow the weakest of them into the pit? Will they wish they
had done as Paul said of himself, that is to "strive for the mastery?"
if those standing before the Great White Throne might be wishing they
had heard more Fire and Brimstone messages, that are so spoken against
today, and that they had taken them to heart.
says right here in this verse that I'm right and your wrong. So there!
I'm going to heaven and your going to to hell and burn forever, Ha!
you just look at this
verse. It proves I'm
right and your
wrongs! So you're the one going to hell and I'm
the one going to heaven. So
what Jesus had in mind for His Church as He hung on that cross do you
the gamut from those who believe that every jot and tittle of man's
traditions as well as the Words of Scripture must be followed to the
letter (as did the Pharisees); to those who believe that everyone is
going to Heaven, the good and the bad, and that Jesus never really
existed, or that He was just a good teacher and nothing more.
considering this great range of thinking, is bound to occur when two
Christians of different denominations converse (but strangely enough,
those of the same denomination somehow become of the same mind. I
wonder how that
even the ones who believe Jesus never existed, all call themselves
those who believe that Jesus was at least sent from God to instruct us,
and who believe the Bible is true; these are splintered into groups of
people with differing degrees of opinion as to whether a Christian
should work their way to Heaven; no work should
be done; perfection is required or at least must be sought after; and
those who believe that nothing is needed because all are now saved,
etc, etc, etc, ad nauseam.
Truth? Who has the answer? What happens to those who hold the wrong
answer? Can you be sure you are right considering the thousands of
doctrines being taught?
think it's worth the time and the effort to look into this matter?
what it is about people, but it seems that the more you do for them,
the more you care for them; the less they appreciate, and the less
inhibited they feel around you.
my life I
have lived without friends. I counted this a curse. This past while I
have been finding people coming to me with open arms wanting to embrace
me with their friendship. In the beginning these people were so
nice and so appreciative of
every little thing I did for them. Then, when I opened up to them, and
gave then access to the hurtful portions of my heart, they pulled out
their knife and started whittling.
that a person would want to be the kindest to those they are closest
to. Instead people tend to tippy-toe around those they don't know and
do not care for; and those they should
be the kindest to, they allow their worst idiosyncracies to issue forth
I find is that while people who call themselves "friend" will do
anything they want to do to you, things they would never even considering
doing to others they don't even care about; that after they have
performed their whittling, they fully expect the one they beat down to
welcome them with open arms and received them as if it had never
taste of this I recall enduring was a young fellow I knew in the Army.
When he was sobber he would call me his friend. Then, when he was
drunk, he wanted to fight me.
observed this same phenomena quite often ever since.
ago I cried out to the Lord: "What is it about me? Why is it I can't
have any friends?"
I cry out:
"Take this curse from me, Lord. Please, no more friends!"
person is often better off with certain people counting them as an
enemy than they are counting them as their "friend."
shall say unto him, What are
these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those
with which I was wounded in
the house of my friends. (Zech 13:)
love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
friends. (John 15:)
he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss,
that same is he: hold him fast. 49And
forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. 50And
Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? (Mat 26:) ......48But
Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
has been my
fortune in life to not quite
make the goal I set for myself. I give that goal I strive for all the
effort required, and I give it the diligence that it deserves (at least
so it seems to me), but the goal nonetheless eludes me.
a child I
tried to be a good son and a good family member, at least I did so
until I gave up in my frustrated effort.
scholastic endeavors I made it half way through my senior year, just a
half unit (credit) from what was required to graduate (one required
class) and I joined the Army, never receiving, to this day, a
certificate. I attended Junior College, taking many
subject, but again, falling short of receiving a certificate.
fencing, and worked harder perhaps than most Olympic fencers: but
again, I never won a match.
set out to
ride around the country on a bicycle, a two year trip that would have
taken me from California to Alaska to Florida to Nova Scotia to British
Columbia then back to California. I would have ridden 25,000 miles on
this tour alone. Instead (partially due to a head-on collision with a
car, and partially because of a lack of funds) I never got off the
Western portion of the US, even though I put in six
years and almost double
the miles I would have traveled had I completed my set goal.
wise, I have been engaged to four different women, and I have had a
number of other serious relationships: yet I have never married,
although I am almost 70 years old.
myself to paint and to draw, to the degree that I had a rather
successful art school. Yet I have never fully been able to support
myself with such an endeavor, nor do I any longer paint or draw or
set out to
be a great contributor to the good of mankind, and I had to a degree
(at least in my own
eyes and those in my association) managed to succeed to a limited
degree. Then to my dismay I found myself in prison as a social misfit
could go on
and on, but I think you get the message.
seen fit, in His Grace and Mercy, to reveal to this "failure" His
intent and His purpose for mankind. It surely has not
been for my skills and my worthiness that He has chosen to do so. But
for whatever His reason, I have been shown these things.
provided for me a means by which to transmit His desires to the world.
Through no ability of my own, I have again, to a limited degree, been
able to supply a portion of what I have been shown and place it on the
somewhere there is someone who can use this information and move on
into the perfection the Lord demands of those who wish to be with Him
with my record, and with what I see of my own progress and my own human
failures: as much as I desire to be one of those who makes it over the
finish line: I just can't see it happening.
that, again, I will fall short.
the righteousness of God which
is by faith of Jesus Christ
unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us
of entering into his rest, any
of you should seem to come short of it. 2For
unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but
the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in
them that heard it.
we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn
in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were
finished from the foundation of the world. 4For
he spake in a certain place of the seventh day
on this wise, (Heb 4:)
he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be
beaten with few stripes. For unto
much is given, of him shall be much required:
and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
ye not that they which run in a race run all,
but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And
every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now
they do it
to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I
therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that
beateth the air: 27But
I keep under my body, and bring it
into subjection: lest
that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a
castaway. (1Cor 9:)
much to claim ignorance. I have been blessed beyond my ability to
the only one.
much do you
claim to know? How much do you
preach to others?
your position will you
feel when you stand before that Great White Throne?
hear what we don't want to hear. We hate to have someone say that what
we are doing is wrong, or that it isn't good enough. We hate it even
more when we are told that we are inadequate in any field, that we are
wrong, or that we aren't as good as someone else.
history God has sent messengers to tell us what we should do, what we must
do. These messengers were sent for our own good. The message sent to us
was one of pending doom on those who will not listen to and obey the
message. The prophets of old instructed Israel what would happen if
they did not turn from their wicked ways. Israel did not turn, and
because they did not heed the warnings, they were dispersed and
the other hand, did
listen to their messenger (Jonah) and was spared.
the Jews what would happen if they did not listen to Him. Because they
didn't listen, Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Jews dispersed and
graciously provided us with a Book of warnings and messages. This Book
also contains the history of messengers and their massages.
behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some
of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some
of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them
from city to city: (Mat 23:)
sent for our good, to tell us that we are going the wrong way, and to
indicate which direction we should be going. But rather than pay heed
to the messenger and do as we are instructed, we destroy the messenger,
and think by the silence that we are approved in our doings.
whom he said, This is
the rest wherewith
ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is
the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But
the word of the LORD was unto them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon
line; here a little, and
there a little; that they
might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah
shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that
whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3And
these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the
Father, nor me. (John 16:)
"messengers" in the churches any more. All have gone the way of Balaam
and serve the one who wants to lead God's children astray and away from
the Promised Land. But in spite of the diluting and the polluting of
God's Word in the churches, there is still yet a messenger that God
provides each of us at birth, (besides the Holy Spirit at our re-birth).
the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines
of devils; 2Speaking
lies in hypocrisy; having
their conscience seared with a hot iron;
there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of
the circumcision: 11Whose
mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which
they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. . . . . . Wherefore rebuke
them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14Not
giving heed to Jewish fables, and
commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15Unto
the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and
unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is
profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being
abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus
that on occasion someone I help, Spiritually, will find themself drawn
to me emotionally. They apparently attribute what I provide for them
(emotional and Spiritual support) to me, the messenger. I find that no
amount of explaining can assuage them from their opinion.
dangerous situation to be in. It is both dangerous to the one who feels
this way toward a messenger, and it is dangerous for the one such
feelings are directed toward.
able to do to help someone else, whether it be words of comfort, or
prayer, or whatever, it does not come from me. It comes through
me. I am incapable of helping anyone in this way. I have proven this
many times. By my own efforts, I will muff it every time. But it is
just such people, those who know their inabilities, that God uses for
His purposes. However, such people, knowing their lack, can easily be
influenced by praise and attention. But by receiving such attention,
that one (the messenger) robs God of the praise and the glory that is
only due Him.
is at times
like these that a messenger must be on guard that he or she gives all
the glory to the One from which the blessings have come.
way, the one who is the recipient of such a blessing, when giving (and
attributing) any portion of that blessing to the messenger, robs God of
His due regard.
just a messenger, no more than that. He (or she) should not be rewarded
for his deed, but neither should he be shot.
with a nature that is contrary and rebellious to God. Rather than seek
to please the One who created us, the One who redeemed us from bondage,
the One to whom we owe everything we are, or that we possess: we seek
to please ourself. All of our efforts and our attention is directed
toward our own pleasure and our own comfort. We are so obsessed with
pleasing ourselves that we expect and demand that the One we owe
everything, to fulfill our desires as well. We tear pieces out of the
Bible, the Words of God (who tells us to do otherwise), and point to
them in our efforts to have God grant our wishes, like a genie in a
nature. We were born with it, and it is there because God planted it in
us. It was His intention that we have a rebellious and selfish nature.
intentionally give us that which He does not want us to have?
worried about little Johnny. Johnny likes to play with matches and he
loves to explore. Every chance Johnny gets, he is headed out the door
and into the busy street.
that she can't watch Johnny every minute for the rest of his life: so
what does Mother do?
instructs Johnny on the danger of matches and of streets. Mother takes
Johnny by the hand and teaches him how to cross the street in safety.
Mother allows Johnny to feel the heat of the fire a match creates, and
the danger of the fire the match causes.
turns her back to Johnny, and allows the boy to do what his nature
inclines him to do. Will Johnny follow his nature and run out into the
street? If so, all mother can do is hope for the best for her son, but
realistically she must remain prepared to hear the news that Johnny has
been hit by a car and is now no more.
us a Book of Rules. He has provided for us thousands of years, and
hundreds of examples that illustrate just what He wants and demands of
us. He has even sent His Son to illustrate perfectly what He wants of
demands loving obedience (just as we would from our own child). To
insure that He receives this, He has instilled in His creation a nature
that is the opposite of what He wants in His final creation. Had God
wanted simple servants, like robots, He would have created such. But
that is not what He wants of His creation.
freedom. We can choose to serve ourselves, and thereby die in the end:
or we can die to ourselves, and desire only to serve God, and thereby
live. We have that choice.
to make the decision to either feed our nature that God has given us;
or we can deny ourselves, reject our given nature, and seek to serve
chose to please themselves under the best of circumstances. Those who
chose to please God did so at the expense of their own lusts, and in so
doing lived in the worst of circumstances.
ye in at the strait gate: for wide is
the gate, and broad is
the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
the gate, and narrow is
the way, which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that find it.
all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen
them afar off, and were persuaded of them,
and embraced them,
and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Heb
they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed
are ye, when men
shall revile you, and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Mat
from the pulpit and in the many books printed about God and the Bible
that God is in total control. We are told that God is all powerful,
that God knows every move that every person will ever make. Nothing can
take God by surprise.
that "even the hairs of your head are numbered," and that a sparrow
will not fall without the Father.
this. I believe that God is in total control. But I don't think there
are many of the preachers who preach this who believe it to be so. Why?
Because they preach more about God's lack
of control than they do about God's control.
of the angels God created rebelled and were cast to the earth where
they run amok to this day causing all kind of trouble for God and those
who wish to follow Him.
has "free will" can decide for himself if he or she wants to follow
God; and once they have made such a commitment, they lose their free
will and must
be taken into Heaven no matter how bad they become. They might have to
go through some cleansing process like purgatory, or (as some teach)
that if a Christian gets bad enough and refuses to do as he or she
should that God will "take them home early." But in either case, free
will is lost, both to man, and to God.
turning this world into a sewer while God wants to make it beautiful.
We in this country are given the "right" to vote for who we want to
have rule over us, and what rules will apply. At election time there is
a great drive to get Christians to vote so we can influence what way
our nation will go. Is God
in control? Or are we
in control? If God is in control, why are the churches so busy trying
to influence government? Do we believe what we preach? Or do we not?
rebelled against God and took with him a third of the angels. Angels
(which Satan is supposedly one of), we are told were not created with
the free will man has. Then, if they have no free will, how did they
all use free will to rebel?
Satan is at
war with God. Satan, a created being is at war with an all powerful God
who is in total control? And this created being is winning the war
against God by "owning" most of the human creation on this earth? If
God is in control and wants this world to be perfect (which is another
such teaching: that God is perfect, and desires everything to be
perfect just as He created it), then why doesn't He just wipe out Satan
and all the demons and have it His
ever question these things? Am I one of the few who sees that this
doesn't make sense? And if there is something doesn't make sense to me,
I want to investigate it and not just blindly follow some
self-proclaimed expert into the pits of hell.
going to get what we deserve in the end. And if we don't care enough
about God and the Truth than to believe the fairy tales we are told,
than we can't complain when we find ourselves like the people who
followed Jim Jones into Guiana.
had heartburn? I get it all the time. In fact heartburn is one of my
favorite feelings, and the one that tends to influence me the most. I
hope you have heartburn just as bad as I do. And if you do have
heartburn, don't consult a doctor or take pills for it, it is a gift
it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and
and brake, and gave to them. 31And
their eyes were opened, and they knew him;
and he vanished out of their sight. 32And
they said one to another, Did
not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and
while he opened to us the scriptures?
the Comforter, which is
the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he
shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto
you. (John 14:)
round about the throne were
four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders
sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns
of gold. 5And
out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there
lamps of fire burning
before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (Rev 4:)
I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw
seven golden candlesticks; 13And
in the midst of the seven candlesticks one
like unto the Son of man, .
. . . 20The
mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the
seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven
churches: and the seven
candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of
field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but
the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The
enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the
world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As
therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be
in the end of this world. 41The
Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of
his kingdom all things that offend, and them
which do iniquity; 42And
shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth. 43Then
shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their
Father. Who hath ears to
hear, let him hear. (Mat 13:)
do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let
your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in
heaven. (Mat 5:)
I have somewhat
against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5Remember
therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first
works; or else I will
come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his
place, except thou repent.
spirit of man is
the candle of the LORD,
searching all the inward parts of the belly. (Prov 20:)
the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Command
the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure
oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.
the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall
Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD
continually: it shall be
a statute for ever in your generations. 4He
shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD
continually. (Lev 24:)
sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34But
I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might
be saved. 35He
was a burning and a shining light:
and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. (John 5:)
the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in
the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
his delight is
in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a
tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in
his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth
shall prosper. (Psalm 1:)
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