The Reluctant Prophet

This blog is largely prophecy, προφητεια in Greek. Prophets tell us what God speaks today, what He said in the past and possibly His view of the future.  Prophets can do this because God is in eternity and not constrained by time.

We apply His words to all of family life, politics, education, religion, business, Media, international affairs and the always fractious culture of arts and entertainment. Even the most irreligious nation lives in and promotes a moral world, or a substitute.

The Holy Bible is the only book God claims to have written.  When your life is in shambles, or even if you are just a person who wants a view into reality and the future, understanding the Bible and reading it are the place to be.  Welcome.  That is what we talk about here.

Tortured Logic and When to have Church

The guy on the radio teaching the Bible had this to say:

“We must not worship on Sunday because this is Satan’s ploy to get us to worship the sun, Sunday’s name-sake.”

The speaker urged us to worship on Saturday which is the Sabbath according to Jewish tradition which he claims is a law for all Christian believers.

When God is talking about The Law, that is a behavior for productive Christian living, it must be logically consistent and merge with other passages in the Bible.  This man’s information did not meet basic standards.

Days of the week are secular in origin

In the first place the names of the days of the week have little relevance to when or how we worship.  Saturday appears to be named after the planet Saturn but we do not worship the planet Saturn.  The word Saturday comes from the word samedi which is another form of the word Sabbath.

Nor does this argument stand the test of other languages.  In French Sunday is called Dimanche or God’s day.  French makes no mention of the sun. The Di prefix comes from Dieu which is French, Dios in Spanish and we have in English Diety.  There is also diabolos, which refers to the devil who is pretending to be God, at least for a while. But God has plans for him. If this Bible teacher is correct, Frenchmen can worship on Sunday because it is called God’s day and Americans and Brits must not worship on Sunday because of the Sun God.

Some Americans call Sunday “Son”day to make sure we know Jesus is the one we worship.

So let’s research this. I looked up the names of the days of the week in a dozen languages and found no shred of evidence that their word for the days if the week made any difference in the time or style of worship.

The New Testament gives us options for worship

It is not the secular name of any day that determines when we worship. In fact in Romans it says that you can choose when you worship. This is very helpful for medical people who often work on weekends, giving them the chance to go to church whenever it works into their schedule. It also helps those who work graveyard, the night time shift and those who work more often on holidays, such as single people who are asked to work on Christmas because, well because they are single!

If we were required to attend church on Saturday many people would not be able to attend church at all. Romans 14 goes into detail on our attitude towards those who worship on another day or have food preferences. Just to leave such questions alone and let people decide without calling it God’s law.

Romans 14:5 One person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and 
another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good
reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of
conscience.

God’s word is separate from man’s choice of words

Another and perhaps more important reason for not using the secular names of the days of the week to determine our theology is because God does not base His word on man’s mistakes or choices. In fact God’s word is not related to man’s good ideas either. God’s word is simply that – His word, demanding respect and hopefully, also obedience.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais #Vietnamese #Sabbitarians #Sundayworship

January 1, 2019

Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

We prepare New Year’s resolutions  when it is cold and dark, when we are forced to stay indoors.  The frenetic lifestyle of summer, the business of fall and the growth of spring do not fit in with a blanket of white snow on which to write one’s plan.  That clean sheet says the past is not to intrude into today or tomorrow.  As the song from Frozen says, we must let it go. God wants us to keep our eyes forward, in hope and anticipation.

2019 will be filled with changes. We see thorough the future’s dark glass, covered with both doubt and expectation.  The anarchy in our streets says we have a country to save. We also have the next generation to lead back to stability and hope. We have promises to keep, forgiveness to share.

There is no better New Year’s resolution than that – to follow God’s personal plan, and to keep those promises we made to ourselves, to God and to our country.

No, Mary Didn’t Know

The new Christmas carol, Mary Did You Know asks us this. Did Mary, the mother of Jesus, know that her baby would walk on water, rule the nations, heal the deaf and blind, the lame will leap and so on?

To live by faith is the universal command.

The answer is No, she did not know, and the reason is that for us all, Mary included, we must live by faith. Faith is the substance of what is already hoped for and hope is based on the word of God. We are not told the future. God gives us promises personally and for our future as a race, and our job is to believe what God said.

The reason is simple – Mary must face the issue of personal sin, repent and be saved like everyone else. The doctrine that she has a special birth – called Immaculate Conception- is just another Immaculate Assumption. The notion of Immaculate Conception giving her special powers takes away the very amazing accomplishment of this woman and makes her look like a spiritual robot. In addition, there is not a shred of evidence for this in the Bible.

Why would anyone in the year 300 A.D. come up with this idea? Perhaps women were chafing over the domination of men in the church,which itself is not scriptural, and the leaders felt they needed to make a heroine out of Mary? They would especially want a heroine who was a dedicated mother of children. No one is saved by being a good mother, any more than any man can be saved by being a good father. But after 1800 years, we can only guess the rationale for this, and other non-scriptural teachings found in the Roman Catholic church.

So what was that thing she had to face that makes her distinctive of all women? Mary knew what the angel said, that God asked her to raise up a special child without having had sex with any man. 

God does not ask of us without giving us a chance to say no.

It was quite a problematic suggestion.  She would forever in her small town bethought a fallen woman that Joseph agreed to marry even though she was expecting, and that condemnation not just for a week or two but for her whole life.  She needed to believe that God would redeem such a time and provide for her blessings beyond the usual. 

Everyone who lived in the Bible and those of us today have the same burden; we are to believe what God said about us, about salvation, our condition, and about the world to come.  Our salvation comes at the expense of our suspending our knowledge of the real world and moving into the unseen world of God and His blessings and calling.

To everyone is given a measure of faith, (Romans 12:3) just enough to do that job for each of us individually. Mary had that faith to believe. God knows the end from the beginning, but Mary doesn’t, nor Matthew, Mark and Luke or Peter and Paul.  We, as they, must follow the leading of the spirit and perhaps be misunderstand and rejected. We do not know the end, we only know God and His word.  Either we live on that or we don’t.

We tend to forget that atheism is a choice. The Bible says the existence of God is visible in the created world for all to see; man has no excuses.

Every human may be in the dark about the Virgin Birth, but there was one person who Jesus was born of a virgin…Mary.

And that was what Mary knew!!

Try this: www.thoughtco.com/misconceptions-about-mary-700365

#Mary, mother of Jesus #Mary, Did You Know? #ImmaculateConception

Also https://wouldyouconsider.net/2013/12/19/was-mary-a-virgin-and-does-it-matter

Who Commits the Unforgivable Sin?

It was June 2006. I was in Northern China as a missionary and thinking about two fellow missionaries who had gotten themselves in a heap of trouble in the mission field where I’d previously served. They had ruined the reputations of several of God’s servants and their church had broken up.

The Great White Throne Judgment

In what the Bible calls “the twinkling of an eye” I was transported to the Great White Throne Judgment. It was a sea of billions of people. It seemed as though I was on the back row but what God was saying to this pair was clearly heard by all.

He was publicly exposing their sins. My only emotion was sheer horror. Even today when I think of that, it comes back to me just as clearly as the day it happened. When God says vengeance is His, I know what it means. Whatever revenge we mortals might have imagined for them was nothing compared to this public humiliation.

Now, twelve years later I have my explanation.  There are several texts in the scriptures about “saved” people going to hell.  Some denominations refuse to believe that it is biblical, others misunderstand it and use it to terrify their membership. Neither of these is the purpose or the meaning. 

There are passages in Hebrews 10: 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. “These things” the writer is referring to are the blessings of greater knowledge of the spiritual world and therefore accountability. There is more in Hebrews 6:1-6

6 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Clearly this group of leaders were given special knowledge of the holy which makes them more accountable.

Then there is the Old Testament reference to the Curse of Eli in 1 Samuel 4. Eli’s two sons were in charge of the priestly duties of the temple in their generation.  They used those gifts and opportunities for indulgence of the flesh and open, unrepentant sin.  Eli’s sons stole the donations to the ministry and also had sex with the women who came to the priests to “learn about God and be forgiven.” Eli was an enabler and allowed them to do this.

The Bible again says there is NO sacrifice for this kind of sin, that is the sin of using the ministry for one’s own profit and enjoyment. God gives this kind of authority to people who are supposed to handle it just as Jesus Himself would, and if they turn their back on God, then yes, they were saved once but now but there is no more blood of Jesus available to them.  This is not a command to refuse a salary from a church; these things are needed in a modern society.  The sin is not profit, but the carnal evils done in the name of the Lord.

Ministry is a Heavy Responsibility

Sometimes I am frustrated by people who are unwilling to learn more about God.  They are indifferent and say, “My church is just fine.  I don’t need to know anything more than that.” But then I remember those who have learned so much and now are responsible for every line of information and anointing they received and yet refuse to obey the word of God.  Better for them to be ignorant than hell-bound.

Being outside the revelation of God and his ministries they are spared from knowing the kind of information that could ruin them. It is way too easy to make a list, like an anti-Santa, of just whom you think is damned for defiling the sanctuary. Don’t bother. 

Accusers of the Brethern

We are not appointed to be accusers of the brethren. We do have a responsibility to stay far, far away from churches that preach sexual license and a rejection of God’s word, but we are to keep ourselves free from judging individuals.  The Bible says to “flee evil,” not hang around watching others indulge themselves. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.  If they turned Him down, He moved on. He didn’t hang around begging them to believe. 

God may yet pull them from the fire.  God waits until people die to do His judging. Peter said, “We are barely saved.” Let us be on our guard against involving ourselves with accusing or judging.  We must judge ourselves first. 

All people have many bosses – husbands, wives, employers, even children. But in the end, you have one person you answer to.  That is God. Keep your books with Him straight each day. It is the road to confident living.

#unforgivable sin #Great White Throne Judgment #mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais

Why Death is a Blessing

The Bible guarantees us 4 score years and ten, or 70 years. But I notice that older people are in no rush to leave. Nor would I encourage it. But there are many reasons we need to leave, gracefully and on time.

First and foremost is that each new generation has different cultural concerns and they need their 40 years to manage the nations, businesses and families – just as we did. Each decade brings new problems, from the explosion of technology and learning to the shifting status of nation-states. Change is the rule of life and we must learn that lesson and then give it to the younger ones.

A Time to Rest

Second, each generation deserves a time of rest to enjoy the grandchildren, to travel or hobbies or just hang out on the front porch with old hunting buddies. Older people often mention this as something they look forward to.

God has Term Limits

Third, if people lived forever the older ones might not be willing to give up their seats of power and thus holding back the entire community.  God has term limits – why not us? Can you imagine having Hitler, who died in 1945, still prowling around trying to cause trouble, if he managed to escape international law.  We would be crying, “Hey, let’s move on here.”

Focus on Making Things Right

Fifth, many individuals put off God until the end of their lives.  Some people put it off too long and leave before they have a chance to make things right.  And not just right with God.  There are dead people in my family who did not have a chance to accept forgiveness or to offer it. They left with a major work of life undone.

The Need for Peace

Finally there is the issue of Peace.  We are all promised it and death brings peace. I’ve seen people stand at a gravestone and shout anger, or grief or a list of regrets but it floats off in the air like yesterday’s yellowed newspaper scraps. If you are wise, you turn around and leave the cemetery and say, “Peace go with you and I will continue on my road.”



Slander Changes Your Identity

That phrase was proven to me years ago when I had to endue lies about me among a circle of friends. If someone lies about you for any reason, it is because you are a threat to them in some way, a way you may not even realize. You may know something about them that they do not want noised about in public. Or they may think you know something about them.  You can be totally ignorant of their motives.

Slander establishes control over other people for someone’s or something’s own purposes.

Then it happened again recently. I was in the library and said to an acquaintance, “I miss seeing you.”  I was pleasant and I actually like this person a lot even though we only see each other 3 or so times a year. She snapped back at me, “Well I am here much of the time,” as though I was upset or blaming her.

Then I remembered the newspaper article which came out about me.  It was false but my lawyer said it would cost$7,000 dollars to fight the newspaper.  I didn’t have the money.  He looked around for some financing from companies which handle First Amendment cases and could find none.

So I lost a friend because she believed the newspaper.  Did she come to me for the facts?  No, she should have, and it made me sad because I realized the world is filled with people who do not know the truth. And even worse, believe they do! And worse than that – make no effort to learn the truth about the people around them.

News media must fear something to be so one-sided.

We look at American culture and see lies everywhere. The FBI spent $16 million dollars trying to find one shred of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to fix the election in 2016. They haven’t.  A waste of money but people still believe it. Almost all political discussions begin with the words, “That’s not true.”

And consider God – who is more lied about than anyone I can name. That actually makes sense. The Bible tells us we are sinners and that if we don’t straighten up, we face eternal punishment. It is easier to say that is a lie than to face the issue straight on. Much of what you read about religion is doctored to fit someone else’s need to escape exposure.

The Bible is always under attack.

Scientists  come up with one theory after another to trash ideas  of creation or invent ones that leave God out. Psychologists will tell you something is a “lifestyle choice” which is little more than a predatory lust which damages both you and the victim in the end.

I’ve given up reading about the prescriptions I take.  Someone somewhere has a reason to believe they are poisoning me.  Another person says they are a miracle cure.  Since I have been taking them for 10 years I think I might be doing OK.

Being an adult has responsibilities.  You must find out the truth yourself.  If someone is lying about the government, the President, the Congress or the legislation being currently discussed, you can read all sides yourself.  You do not need to rely on bias from anywhere.  If you think there might be a shred if truth that you and the human race is headed for hell, look the stuff up!

And simple answers won’t do.  Important issues have many sides and if we want to learn and be stable in our living we must settle on truth for ourselves.

God Knows All Languages

What about the People who Never Hear about God

What about the People who never hear the Gospel?  That is a common question religious teachers hear. Most of the time I believe we hear the wrong answer.

Different Levels of Faith

God’s playing field is made level by Him asking us to live at the level of faith given to us.  And it is different for everyone.

Romans 12:3 CEV I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you.

Yes, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  That is a given for the sweep of humanity.  But we are not judged on every point – only on those we learn about.  It means that the woman living in a harem somewhere in Egypt, protected and kept from the world and information is a person judged by an entirely different standard than the college student in New York City, or the farm worker in Yemen.

Not everything God ever said applies to you and your life. He made new eyeballs for the blind man, but not for the rich man. He required a statement of faith from the Syrophoenician woman but not from the centurion. Lazarus he raised from the dead, but not the rest of the dead at that time.  Jesus has different strokes for different folks.

Obedience is the Standard

Obedience to the revealed will of God is the standard by which each of us is ultimately judged. How can He do this? God is not unfair. If you have little information and little faith that is what you are expected to utilize in your search for God. To whom more is given, more is expected.

Luke 12:48 TLB “But anyone who is not aware that he is doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.

Some guy on radio said that God does not put people in categories, so I, being challenged, went to the Bible.

God has a large group of categories.
called disciples
chosen friends
faithful servants
little children virgins with oil
fathers virgins without oil
young men bride
wicked born again
willfully ignorant royal priesthood
covenanters chosen generation
cursed men pleasers
beloved crucified with Christ
mother in Israel reconcilers
counselors prophets
overcomers slaves
nursing fathers deluded
poor fools
apostles helpers
evangelists watchmen
teachers lost
masters chosen people
Why do we need to know this?

God has called us to grow.  Paul said we are to move from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) There is no static position for the Christian, or for that matter the non-Christian as well.  Life is a test, and where we go after we die, and how we exist now depends entirely on the progress we make in this life towards understanding ourselves and our relationship to God.

For example, the book of 1st John speaks of little children, young men and fathers.  These are three groups of warriors …  those who have been called to fight the good fight against their own sinful nature and then as missionaries of the Kingdom taking on the devil and ever present evil in the world. It does not necessarily apply to you right now – although that may be your later call.

Christianity is not passive.

Christianity is proactive and risk-taking. There is no prolonged languishing in church to sit, soak and sour while the preacher does all your spiritual work for you.  No wonder ministers break down. 1,500 leave the ministry every week. http://www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics

Good mental health requires you to change as time and circumstance change. The rigid and stubborn die first.

#Christianpsychology #Christiangrowth #Godsays #Life is a test

Read more essays at https://www.WouldYouConsider.net

Fuzzy Thinking – our enemy

Helping Kids Develop Critical Thinking Skills

The Sick One is Lord of the Home

We bemoan divorce statistics which do not appear to improve. But divorce is not the cause but the result of family dysfunction, and  what ruins the home ruins society. The problem always goes back to whoever is ruling the family.  Where one person is sick that person dominates family life.

Who is Lord of the Home

It never starts out that way. Newly-weds are the most positive, hopeful group of all, filled with the best expectations for a happy home, prosperous and stable, even when they themselves are neither.

But then circumstances change. And God does not change circumstances; He changes people who then deal with circumstances.  We may pray for different circumstances- more money, more power, a better location, more education – whatever – but when we are in His will He changes us.

God’s purpose is to bring us individually into conformity to His will and His plans. God is smarter than we are. (You’d be surprised how many do not believe this.)

What is the Will of God

Christian counselors will tell you the most common need people desire is “to know the will of God.” Well – here it is: 1 Thessalonians 4:3  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… In street language that means “clean up your act.”

Bad attitudes and behavior must go.  This passage mentions specifically fornication, i.e. sex outside of marriage, as being the first step for coming into conformity with God. It is routinely violated these days and the results are everywhere.

But the rest must go too – unforgiveness, selfishness, passive aggressive behavior, and aggressiveness as well, control freakishness, greed, envy, jealousy, self-will and refusal to change. The list is long.

To our newlyweds everything for a while is fine and then – loss of a job, a miscarriage, an accident, a car breaks down, the untimely death of a relative, a house fire. You name it.

This is the fallen world we live in. We do not have Utopia here, nor will we get it. What will we do? How do we react? God wants us to seek Him in this situation.

Reactions to Evil

And here is the awful truth. We become depressed, we blame others … the president, our parents, our teachers, our church. We drink to excess or seek an affair, or change jobs.  Allowed to continue we become the Sick Man of the home and our problem becomes the lifestyle of everyone else. The children stay away or play basketball outdoors til midnight to avoid contact with the sick. Or they lock their bedroom door and play music on headphones or watch TV to block out reality. I know literally a dozen people who married right out of high school to escape the sick home. 100 years ago the Poor Man’s Divorce – just leaving town – was common.  With social security numbers and DNA you can’t do that anymore. Some people leave the country if they can afford it.

Psychologists learned that  family members can become physically ill when the Sick Lord rules – stomach cramps, depression, suicide, asthma, migraines, truancy, drugs.  Children blame themselves for divorce. “If I had been a good child, this would not have happened.”  So the kid pours the booze down the sink. It’s an expensive drain cleaner  – don’t bother. Removing an inanimate object cures nothing.

Frustration, despair ensures and finally separation and divorce. Yes, things are better, the Sick Lord is no longer in charge but new problems develop – mainly financial. And society suffers another small breakdown.

Intervention

What is the answer? A child must inform a trusted adult. Adults can try intervention which is a practical means of going back to the original problem and solving it.  Even if it is years ago we can do that because God is in eternity and time is no problem to Him if the participants are alive.

My friend and her two adult daughters packed daddy’s bag, put it in the trunk and Daddy in the car.  They drove to the airport, handed him a ticket to the Mayo Clinic and said, “Quit alcohol and remain sober or don’t come home.” This kind of intervention takes a group of people, not just one.

It worked. He never again touched alcohol, but his heart was not changed.  His whole body showed the grief he had over giving up his beloved Brandy and he died a few years later. To quit your problem does not necessarily change your heart.  But it is the first step.

God intervened in the life of a teenager whose mother planned to kill her. A neighbor by accident discovered the plot and called authorities. When I say “by accident” I really mean that someone prayed. You can always intervene with prayer – and it is legal and silent.

If someone brandishes a loaded gun at you, call the police. You need a public record of this event.  You do not say, “Oh, he’ll get over it.” Evil allowed to fester eventually takes over and becomes uncontrollable.

Decide to Resist Evil

Every event and change in your life calls for a response or a reaction. God is giving you the option to do it His Way or your way. The answers are all in the book – the Bible.  Churches may or may not help.  They are people driven and people are flawed.

Blessed is He who does God’s will first.

#Godswords #Godsays

When is “The Tribulation”?

If you live in Yemen, Syria, or fire ravaged California, the Tribulation is now. If you are sold into slavery in Libya as a black man, what could be worse. If you are an infant in Indonesia used for sex by an adult male and tossed into a ditch afterwards to die, this is not the promised land. If you live in China and are forced to marry someone you do not care for because children are supposed to obey their parents, you just might be one of the 500,000 rural Chinese women each year who commit suicide by drinking fertilizer.

Perhaps you are a Venezuelan whose Communist nation threw money into a sinkhole and now you are scrounging through the garbage dump for a piece of rotten bread. You might live in Germany and be one of the blue-eyed, blonde white women raped by Muslim immigrants.  Angela Merkel lost her post because of her open door policy, but you are still traumatized, and perhaps pregnant. Or you live in Central America and some guy in the USA gave you money to travel to the US border where he guaranteed you that the Democrats would let you in – but there are armed guards there?  Where will you go?

Maybe you are the unlucky girl friend whose fiance Maniskumar slipped her poison to kill off her unborn child? Maybe he thought the Republicans would not be funding abortions anymore. Maybe he thought the Democrats were too weak in Washington to keep abortion funding in the budget? Maybe if you are pregnant you should think twice about this man you want to marry?  This sounds like tribulation to me.

Perhaps you live on the coast of North Carolina where 8 trillion gallons of water was dumped in one hurricane, ruining the crops, killing the swine and sweet potatoes and making life and a future impossible for decades to come. Or you could live on the street in the Philippines; 1.2 million kids plus mom and dad and 2 or 3 other children. Fortunately it is the tropics so it never gets cold – just wet.

Perhaps you’d prefer Nigeria where one Sunday the Boko Haram may find the Christians in church, lock the doors from the outside and set the church on fire. Eight of the ten largest nations persecute Christians … death, imprisonment, denial of jury trails, or any trial at all, separation from children and economic deprivation. In Michigan as a female you may suffer genital mutilation which can led to life long disease and pain. It’s child abuse of the worst kind, and, as usual, females are the victims.

From my comfy perch in the mountains of North Carolina I can blandly believe that I am living in a sane and protected world.  I am not.  All around me there is tribulation for my peers in the Christians faith. Yes, we are facing the end; it is now, and it is creeping towards us day by day.

#tribulation #tribulations

Different Kinds of Knowing

Most languages differentiate between simply acquaintance, intuitive feelings  and real knowledge.  But most Bibles do not offer an explanation of which verb “to know” is under in any passage which means the translator must do the work.

Different Verbs for Know

Here is an example of why the King James can be confusing:
Acts 19:15  the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
There are two different words for ‘know’ here, so let’s translate this again:
Acts 19:15 Jesus I know, and Paul I’ve heard about, but who are you?
In English we say I am getting to know you, or the first level of interpersonal relationship. We could also say that the first few years of schooling are getting to know words and numbers. We memorize at this level but there is no foundation of understanding; information is impersonal, understanding is personal.

Ginosko vs. Ouida

Greek, the language of the New Testament, has two words for knowing – ginóskó: to come to know, recognize, perceive and ouida, a word reflecting the knowledge of personal experience.
Ginosko is a root common in English seen in words such as knowledge or agnostic.  It means perception or understanding; it goes deep into the personality.  Believers respond occasionally to the question, How do you know you are saved and they reply, “I know that I know that I know.” For the non-believer it isn’t much of an answer but for other believers, we all understand.
Oida according to artists is an acronym for Observe, Imagine, Discover and Apply by looking at the natural world and creating something new based on your appreciation.  Writers would not use this word for knowing God; they use gnosis instead.
Here are some Bible verses that use the word ginosko:
Genesis 2:9   And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Notice that God did not give man knowledge if physics and French literature, just good and evil.  On this foundation mankind was to make good decisions enforcing good and resisting evil. Clearly this did not happen.

The Sexual “Know”

Luke 1:34   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Here is a common use of the word ‘know’ in King James English, the sexual “knowledge” of two persons required to be exclusive to them. You do not hear it much these days but Bible readers need to understand this usage.
The Book of First John has 31 references to the word know. It profiles all the things believers should know, and how you, the reader can discern the difference between truth and lies.
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
In this case the truth that is missing is Jesus who is the way, truth and life.  (John 14:16) The passage is telling us that the person is not born again.

Jesus “Not Knowing You” is Important

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Holy Spirit Baptism

Finally there is spiritual knowledge imparted in the Holy Spirit Baptism:
I Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
This kind of knowledge comes straight from the spirit of Christ to your spirit and then to your brain. Many people confuse the baptism of the Holy Spirit with knowledge that is obtained through study or from another person. But Holy Spirit directed information is especially helpful to you because it empowers you to apprehend situations and truths when others do not.
How often have you heard someone say, “I get bad vibes about that guy” and later it is discovered that he had hidden problems.  That kind of intuition is given by the spirit.  Very often small children have this feeling as well.
If you want an instructive Bible study, find a concordance and look up every use of the word know and tie them all back to the original Greek.  It will be an eye opener.

How the Internet Confuses us about Space-Time

This morning, 5 a.m. I received a letter from South Africa – a woman wanting a dream interpretation. After I answered that, I spent time chatting with a computer guru in South Asia. I realized that this kind of international use of time and space is one of the reasons so many people think socialism is OK.
 
They have been living in the world of internet where time and space mean so little. It is one global internet government. But that does not translate to the intimate world of my local police, fire, and animal control. Government is not global, and cannot be. Besides it was tried once and was a mammoth failure.

The Facebook Dilemma is Theological

PBS tonight (10/29/18) had a 1 hour show on their issues with Facebook data collection and usage. The problem is that Zuckerburg’s goal of getting the planet to communicate with each other openly is that he did not take into account that there are evil workers in the world today and many of us out here do not want to “friend” them in any way. Nor do we want them to have our data and private messages.

This is also the dilemma of Millennials and other younger people who have not been taught what evil is. They have assumed it is the creation of culture rather than an intrinsic factor in the universe. And one man, even with 2,000 employees, has no ability to police anything that large or determined to corrupt.  The road to Facebook hell is paved with good intentions.

Tomorrow they’ll have another 1 hour continuation.

What is the “Will of God”

There are Three Wills of God
For the Human Race
  • The will of God for all human beings. That includes the demand  (1) that the human race believe in Him as Creator (2) He wishes all men to be saved and none perish, which depends on the action of the individual.  (3) that all repent of their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness based on their forgiveness of those who have wronged them (4) that all confess sins.  Confess means to “speak with” or simply to agree with God’s assessment of your situation before him.  If God says you have larceny in your heart,  He wants your knowledge of your inner self so when you agree with Him about your real condition, you are on the road to change.

I taught a Bible study years ago where the only thing they seemed to learn was how to confess someone else’s sin. So I quit!

For an Individual
  • The second will of God is what He desires for you personally, and all 7 billion individuals of planet earth. God has a plan for every human life. (Jeremiah 29:11) New believers often ask this question when they are eager to grow in Christian knowledge and power. Telling them that the will of God is given in the 32,000+ verses of the Bible is a little overwhelming, even though it is true.  The Bible is the will of God, but individual verses do not apply equally to all individuals at once.  To the rich man he did not say,  Your daughter is healed this very hour, or to the blind man He did not say, sell all you  have an give the money to the poor. God’s commands are individually specific. Expect to hear from Him.
For Nations (Ethnos) (Acts 17:26)
  • The third will of God is His desire for individual nations to fulfill their destiny on earth. One of these caveats is that nations are to keep their hands off other nations. God is not a globalist; He repeatedly refers to “ethnos” in the Bible as being His way of having a variety of cultures, individuality and responsibility for nations. Many nations are so badly governed the people have little control over their nation’s destiny. In democracies however, we have both the option and the accountability for what our government does as a unit and how it handles international affairs.

One scripture simplifies what God wants for every person: “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”  That’s a word we rarely hear; it means there is something in your heart or mind or body that needs to be cleaned up. To sanctify means to make holy, and to make holy means you have access to the presence of God in a great way than you did before. If you fail to go through the cleansing process, your life is marred and you do not enjoy the fullness of God’s promises.

Some people wander around the desert of personal sin, guilt, blame and error and never get anywhere near the promised land. But if you persist, you’ll find the plans of God.

The happiest human beings are those who live in the plans God has for them.  God knows better than you do what you are called to do. Many non-Christians find that place anyway, or live on the edge.

God is in the Details

After you learn what God wants you to do in life, then the next part is living in the sure revelation that your decisions about that life are on target. This is the hardest part of all. It involves the detail of a life – how to spend money, where to live and work, how to use your time comfortably. More often than not it is just “being led.”

Obedience brings Blessings

One of the  greatest blessings in my  life was when I decided to sit in the middle seat in the plane which is usually the most uncomfortable.  The man next to me and I talked for an hour. I felt as those I had entered the kingdom of God and was in heaven with another believer. As  a writer isolated in a town of 1,000 in the high mountains, I see and talk to very few people that know anything about the Kingdom of God, much less actually live in it. God gave me that blessing out of the blue.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven (God) vs. Heaven

Defining Heaven vs. the Kingdom of Heaven or God

The gospels frequently mention both the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God.  Reading the King James Version, one might think these are two separate places, but there is a reason for the difference in language.

Matthew uses the term kingdom of heaven exclusively.  This is to be expected of a Jew who dares not mention the name of God.  Even today you will read statements from Jews who carefully put a hyphen or underline between G and D (G_d or G-d) as to not breathe the name of the Almighty.  On only five occasions in Matthew the Kingdom of God is used. Luke and Mark use the term Kingdom of God exclusively. The book of John uses the Kingdom of God only twice.

Kingdom of Heaven & Kingdom of God the Same

So what is it?  The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God refer to the same place but Heaven is a separate place. In heaven, God is in charge.  Jesus prayed for this version of heaven, that is where God is in charge come to earth so we can enjoy it here and now, not wait until after we die. From the Lord’s prayer:

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We are to seek it first so we can enjoy it here.

Jesus’ parables about the kingdom emphasized that with the proper attitude you could enjoy the kingdom right now.

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

What is The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God is defined in Romans 14:17.  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

No, we do not need to wait until we die to have righteousness, peace and joy or any part thereof.

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The Kingdom is Won by Our Spiritual Warfare

Having sought the kingdom, how do you know you have a portion of it? You know you are a kingdom person by your warfare against the demonic world.

Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  I feel sure the Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus’ time scratched their heads over this one. In fact they called him names!

The kingdoms of heaven (God) are distinct from Heaven, a place distinct from planet earth, our final reward.  While we have the demonic to deal with here and now, in heaven Satan and his henchmen are conquered.  In fact, because there is no evil in heaven, there is no reason for them to be there.  Evil is God’s way of requiring us to make a decision – on earth – of whom we are to worship and obey.

Today’s Victory is Over the Demonic World

The victory of the kingdom of God (heaven) is the victory over the demonic world.  This is shown in the scripture about Peter being given the keys to death and hell.

Matthew 16:  18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Read Peter 1 and 2

Now that I know that Peter was given the keys to handling the demonic world, I think I shall read the two books of Peter again.  I do not want to miss the Kingdom if it is so close by.