“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Less is more

A definition on the web states: “Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features and core self expression…, etc.”

In the economy of God, less is more. The less we depend on ourselves, the more we get in this life. It’s a reverse psychology, a mirror paradigm, a throwback, a retrograde from modern life.

Less of what this world offers, more of what God has to offer. This world passes away, with all its games, toys, and luxuries, which it uses to bribe us. Eternity is just upon us; the great controversy is almost finalized.

More faith in God; less atheism. This is the key of true success. Real prosperity only comes when we are living in sync with God and His law. His righteousness and love will unlock heaven’s bounties like nothing else can. Shouldn’t the Bible be our first study?

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” Receiving to give—the true partnership with Him who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

Do you want to be rich? Give away what you have and you will become the pipeline heaven uses to bless the world. The more you give away, the more you will want to give away. The more you want to give away, the more ideas come to mind of how better to give, and the more will be multiplied to you for disbursing to the world.

This is how the wealthy men of the Bible worked it. They were content to have money or not to have it. All they wanted to do was glorify God, and He saw fit to trust them with His blessing for those around them. Job, the richest man in his whole country mentioned, “I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil…The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up. The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.”

Abraham was no less a man of hospitality, even keeping on the look-out and running to greet passers-by. He was a man whom God could trust with monetary favor. He also was a king among men. They bowed low in his presence; and he was happy and quick to return the same respect. (Gen. 23:7,12). He wasn’t humble because he was rich; he was powerful because he was humble.

What does the world’s studying and chasing after luxury and ease do for us? “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19).

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (vs. 9,10). “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (vs. 6,8).

At this point I would like to remember a good neighbor of mine. Jeff (pseudo name) is a compulsory con-artist. So he did the oldest trick the book to my wife. He borrowed $50 and paid it back. Next he needed $100, which he promptly repaid. Finally, he needed $200, which he hasn’t paid back and apparently never intended to.

Let’s not think we can con God out of some wealth by getting on His good side and acting like Christians just for the purpose of ending up with a mother lode and then skipping the relationship with a life-time of goodies. It doesn’t work like that. First of all, “The Lord knoweth them that are His.” (2Tim. 2:19). Second of all, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7).

God wants to trust us with the comfortable life. He blesses with prosperity those who are obedient to His laws, even when their children lose their need of Him after all His great benevolence to them because of their faithful parents. In His great grace, He has prospered this nation because of the righteous principles accepted by and then passed down from our forefathers. But our way of thinking has changed over the centuries. We’ve come to bite the hand that has been feeding us. On the one hand, the religious group have become con-men to God; on the other hand, the irreligious have become atheistic and presumptuous of His blessings.

Shouldn’t our education comprise the study of the principles which bring true success in this life? Go to school; go to the university, if you must. But first and always go to the source of real truth, the fountain of life, the Bible.

And let’s not forget to meet the really smart Person behind its deep wisdom. He can teach us a lot more than men can.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

How to have faith

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1).

In an age of atheism, how can we have faith? Every day we are bombarded with the artifices of the great deceiver. How can the training of the adversary, so deeply ingrained in us, ever be removed? Faith is what we need to be saved from this evil world. But how can I get this faith? What are the steps required to be taken for getting faith?

What we need to understand is the science of salvation. We need to know the building blocks for faith. As a human embryo means an amazing life will come into the world one day, and that prenatal life requires an equally amazing work of many miracles in order to begin the process of creating an embryo, even so, before we can possess the abounding life in God through faith, much behind-the-scenes work and growth is required before faith can finally manifest itself. As the above scripture definition shows us, faith begins with hope. The precursor to faith, the prototype of faith, is hope. Faith is the substance of hope. So, before faith happens, hope already happened. But how does hope happen? Are we born with it?

“Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope.” (Ps. 119:49). Hope is based squarely upon someone’s word. “But Thou art He that took me out of the womb: Thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.” (Ps. 22:9). The prayer of David, repeated by Christ on the cross, that our survival at birth depends on the bond and nurture of our mother. God gave us the power of life through the trust we had with our mothers as infants. Yet this hope is limited when it comes to adult issues. Soon, we grow up and leave father and mother; and then we need something more, something bigger, with which to face the huge challenges of life.

That lesson learned at the bosom of our mothers is only a sample, albeit a beautiful one, of the parent God wants to be to us through His Holy Spirit. The greater hope comes when we are born again, this time “not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Pet. 1:23). “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17).

So then, faith comes through the hope we receive in hearing the word of God, “the word unto Thy servant.” When the soul hears God speaking directly to it, the Bible promise gets very real and applicable to everyone, including to the person hearing it, and the God of the Bible becomes up-close and very personal.

The intellect comprehends the promise, hope rises up, within us a longing cries out to a Person, the One who made the promise or the command, and finally faith grasps hold of Him and His promise or Him and His command. Wholly a gift of God is faith, for without His living word our faith never would have come into being.

There is no such thing as blind faith. True faith always requires evidence, because the intellect is involved in faith. Faith is reasonable, faith is wise. True faith is the child of much thought and the parent of much wisdom. And God gives it all.

We know we must add to our faith virtue and knowledge and temperance, etc. (2Pet. 1:5-7). These are necessities that come after faith is born. But we can also see the components that make up the prenatal ladder of events that result in the birth of faith—that is, the word of God in the soul and our hope in His word, which liveth and abideth forever.

The sequence of salvation: the living word of God in the mind→ hope in His words→ faith in God (the new birth leading to the new life)→ virtue→ knowledge→ temperance→ patience→ godliness→ brotherly→ kindness→ charity. The ladder of true success in this life and throughout the eternal life to come.

So, go to the Bible and read and study it until it speaks to you. Anyone can have faith and the resulting life of blessing to everyone around.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Science and Revelation

Science and revelation alike testify of God’s love. Both are fountains of grace and truth. The one studies the physical realm, the other the spiritual sphere, of creation and its holy Creator. Both require faith; both require diligent study and exactitude. True science and true religion will never disagree, when rightly understood. Both rest on evidence; neither will be independent of the other. Both require vision. Science receives its vision from revelation; revelation receives it directly from the Holy Spirit.

If science will be truly wise and great, it will get its direction from revelation. If religion will be truly wise and power-filled, it will steadfastly and patiently wrestle and seek God’s already stated word in scripture for light from His throne. For “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” (1Cor. 14:32)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A study in governments (part 5)

The next phase of American government is yet in our future, but it will surely come. As the Roman strength caved in from its own wickedness, and was dissolved by its own inner factions, so will America undergo collapse and disintegration. But out of the ruins of Rome arose something more wicked and controlling than pagan Rome ever knew. It was the final step in Satan’s overthrow of the world. There arose a power to hold the people more firmly bound than any dictatorship. It was a religious power that bound their consciences.

Austere post-apostolic Christianity, full of hearts unwatered by God’s grace and parched, developed into a mixture of New Testament Sanhedrin and Egyptian asceticism and superstitions, and was the full fruition of the prophecy of Daniel 11. “The king shall do according to his will: and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation by accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his father nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all...He shall plant the tabernacle of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.” Dan 11:36-45.

This abomination of desolation was yet in the future for Paul, for he spoke of the same system of iniquity, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God,” that the day of Christ’s coming “shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” 2 Thess 2:4,3. This was accomplished in the 1260 years of the reign of the Roman Papacy, from the establishment of the Papacy by Emperor Justinian in 538 to its fall in 1798 by Napolean. Yet there is an indication that it will re-occur. For in Daniel 11, in “the time of the end,” the secular forces of the world push back this medieval religious power described in verses 36 through 39, but only temporarily (verse 40). For that religious power comes again with increased force the second time and the secular power, which is finally over-powered and vanquished by powerful religion, never returns. The earth is cleansed of the incestuous paganism once and for all. And a religion of self-centeredness reigns uncontested. Dan.11:40-45.

At one time the catholic CITY OF GOD ruled the earth. Through its superstition, and its mingled worldliness, Europe was wrapped in darkness. The people were held by the irons of ignorance. A champion was unable to rise up and topple the despotism, because everyone believed that God was behind it all, and no one wanted to fight against God. For over a millennium, the “holy” CITY OF GOD enjoyed an uncontested reign on earth. The people were left in a spiritual squalor without a conscience to help remove them. There was no real need for character improvement; it was assumed they were all reasonably holy since they were part of the “Holy” Roman Empire. The wicked people were assumed to be Moslems and Jews and Arian heretics. But the Papacy was destroyed by the Protestant Reformation, “the king of the south” of Dan 11:40, and by its separation of church and state.

We shall soon see another papacy set up on the earth. This time it will also have a Protestant flavor to it. As Rome influenced the state to enforce her dogmas, so will Protestantism follow the same method for success of her doctrines. She has been playing with this method for a long time now. The Protestant Papacy is already becoming strong with a small group of people and the innocent beast with lamb’s horns of Revelation 13 is already whispering like a dragon. We have already heard the call of alarm with the Moral Majority, Religious Right, Christian Coalition, Promise Keepers, the Million-Man Marches, and the recent religious attacks against the U.S. Supreme Court. Their cry is the same—“God is upset with our nation, and a righteous grass-roots movement must force the government to enact laws to aid our cause of righteousness.”

They will succeed. The nightclubs and Go-Go’s will change their order of business or close their doors. Churches will be full. Football cheerleaders will dress more modestly. Pornography will go underground. Dissenters will be fined; the most vocal will be quietly removed. Legislators will all subscribe to a second millennium of holiness or lose their political pull. Lucifer will appear brilliantly as Christ and bless the ecclesiastical and enthusiastic ones and punish those who oppose his “godly” regime.

Worldwide atheism is the darkest it has been since the fall of man. A personal knowledge of God is harder to arrive at now than ever before. The destitution of capricious America has taken global proportions. The warfare of spiritual forces to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary is underway. Angels from the realm of glory battle to push back the encroaching darkness on those who desire a right standing before God. Humans are not stirring up their hearts to cooperate with the heavenly agencies. They are in a spiritual stupor. Many of God’s people act as if nothing too terrible is happening in their church, that the state of spirituality is as good as can be expected. When the Protestant papacy arises these will see no need, nor have the courage, to resist it. They will quickly succumb, lest they lose their homes and bank accounts, government entitlements and retirements. Some may try to heed the cry, Come out of her My people; but their untried faith will be only an illusion. Lack of preparation for the crisis and difficult circumstances will reveal that they can’t live without their goodly Babylonish luxuries and wedges of gold, their reputations and social standing, as they sadly return to the darkness and are forever lost. Are we ready for the latter rain and the time of trouble? How much calumny can we take? How long can we live without our conveniences? air-conditioning? hot water? pre-packaged food and grocery stores? Do we feel at home in the wild? Do we love our veggies, in the wild?

How long can we stand to read God’s Word? How much communion with heaven do we love? Are we a product of God’s love? Has service to others become paramount in our lives? Have we learned how to give up and place all our burdens and faults in God’s hands, to wait upon Him, and patiently allow Him to make the changes in us? Have we discovered that Salvation by Faith works or is it still only a good theory to us? The message of Salvation by Faith is God’s last agency to prepare us for that tumultuous days before He comes.

Only those whose hearts respond to the love of Jesus are the salt of the earth. No one else fits the billet. If we had that love, and have lost it; if we have replaced it with a high-strung or liturgical religious substitute, there is plenty of salt reserves still for us. But we must throw out the old. If our salt is stale and repulsive to us and to every one around us, then let’s get rid of it and go back to Christ and get some new. Isn’t that the offer from the mouth of our Saviour? We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus for our shortcomings and mistakes. This is the very foundation of a life in Christ. If we aren’t willing to do this we have nothing to do with Him. If there is anything worth struggling for during Jacob’s troubles, it is this. Life’s greatest paradox is that it is the feelings of our unworthiness that make us so wonderfully valuable in God’s estimation. The unworthiness in the heart of Jesus compelled our Father to exclaim, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” But who will believe our report?

The Reformation is a parallel to the final phase of government for God’s people, a Theocracy. It took hundreds of martyrs before the battle turned toward the forces of truth. The Reformers were pilgrims and strangers in the earth. They had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment; they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented (of whom the world was not worthy;) they wandered in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth.

Finally the change came. The Protestants in their young organization were still hedged in with danger of being brutally wiped out but God was their protection. This new government had a constitution—Sola Scriptura. And their congress was a priesthood of believers. Their blood paid for the operation of self-government. Their Leader was a still small voice, unheard by the world. Yet they moved the world.

The last form of government to be set up on the earth is only for a very small remnant, and is borne out of tribulation. It will be one where sin cannot abide without being violently swept away, one whose only antidote for darkness is the admission of light. Before the throne comes the cross, and before redemption must come a baptism by fire. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit brings the ability to withstand the final struggle surrounding the cause of obedience to God’s Law. The good tidings of the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit upon God’s people dries up the wide human river supplying spiritual Babylon and prepares the way for the kings of the east. (Rev. 16:12). These good tidings out of the east brings consternation into the heart of Satan of the reality of Jesus’ return and the big battle to retain control of humanity. (Dan. 11:44;Matt. 24:27).

At that time Michael stands up and there is a great time of trouble with which no previous times of trouble have ever compared. It has not entered into the mind of any man the trouble that convulses this world when the four winds are let loose and there are no more barriers between humanity and Satan’s rage. Billions on earth will exist with not an iota of conviction from the Holy Spirit. Simultaneously, there is an unbelievable demonstration of self-sacrificing love by the people who are called and chosen by Christ, and faithful. This is a people who can speak for Jesus and live godly lives because the Lamb is kept ever before their minds. Through this demonstration God brings up a fire within Satan, and lets him begin the destruction of humanity disloyal to God (Ez 28:18) to reveal the character of a government completely opposed to heaven. It will be like winding up a toy and letting it go. “Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”(Dan. 11:44; 12:10).

“At that time shall thy people be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, and some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Dan. 12:1-3.

At midnight, when the night is densest and all God’s stars have come out, then through the troubled heavens is seen the small dark cloud about the size of a man’s hand. Our redemption draws near. The controversy is almost over. The marathon is coming to its end. Its only through God’s grace that we hold out through the convulsions of nature and the elements melting with fervent heat. But the plague doesn’t come near us, not a hair of our head is singed, and the smell of fire does not pass upon us. We are found worthy of translation. In the presence of the great King all our selfishness is purged, never to feel its tug again. His purity, His majesty, His strength fill our thoughts. “His head...His locks...His eyes... His cheeks...His lips...His hands... His mouth...Yea, He is altogether lovely.” He is all we will ever see. We will never part from Him again. The separation from Jesus is ended, no glass to any more look through dimly. “And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” Rev. 22:4. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know, that when we see Him, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1Jn. 3:2. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name.” Rev. 3:12. “And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” Dan. 7:27. “The stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth...And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Dan. 2:35,44. “And I saw a new heaven and new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea; I John saw the holy city new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband...And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful...and there shall be no more curse but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.” Rev. 21, 22. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.