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The Coronavirus Prayer

Say out loud with conviction.

The Lord God has provided for me and my house with his Promise:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the [a]fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and [b]buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.

The Doctor who Forbade me to Pray for His Patient

The year was 2010 and  through social media I found out that an old college friend mentioned me.  I’d had no contact with her since the mid-50s! What could she possibly want?

I learned she was in the final stages of cancer and wanted me to call.  Her daughter answered the phone and I said I’d like to pray for her.  She said she would call me back after she talked to the doctor.  A few days went by and not hearing anything, I called again.

This time her doctor made it clear under NO circumstances would he let me speak to her.  What did he expect?   I would snatch this poor woman from the jaws of death?  Give her false hope? Who knows.

I was disheartened. At no time in my life has anyone called me a healer, but prayer I know something about.  I was simply going to pray a blessing.  In fact, I doubt she expected me to raise her up off her sick bed and walk out of hospice on her own.  I had no idea what she expected, but her being so ill, prayer seemed the only response.

No one likes to be misjudged, rejected, or refused without at least a small explanation.  So I prayed for her; I asked God to bless her with whatever she needed at that point in her life.  I did not expect God to speak to me – how often does He do that?  Not that much, but He did.

“Don’t worry,” He said.  “I’ll visit her Myself.”

I was elated.  Little Miss Nobody in Texas couldn’t get through but the Big Boss did!

What did He say to her when He showed up?  Would He say, “Your college friend could not come, Lucia, but I came.”

Up until that time I always knew that there were no restraints on the power of God.  But here I saw it in full force.  No determination of men or angels can keep the Great God of the Universe away from His people or their needs. We need, I need to remember that when I pray.  No matter where you are, your prayers get through.

Romans 8:38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, 39 neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens by Larry Taunton

I’m not sure what I expected when I started this small, readable book. The Faith of Christopher Hitchens

faith of hitchens coverEveryone has heard of aggressive anti-God spokesman, Christopher Hitchens, but I never had much interest in what he said.  More than anything I thought anyone who spent his life discussing someone or something that did not exist was amusing palaver. And since you cannot prove a negative, also a waste of time.  There is no way to prove your position so why bother? I watched from afar.

Taunton did not disappoint. I can see why he was Christopher’s friend.  He is truly an exact opposite, not kicking up dust or being theatrical, being logical throughout and treating the man as though he had a true friend, someone who would listen without being  judgmental.  He allowed the man to be himself, perhaps without letting Hitchens know this.

Atheism has no underpinnings.  It is based on an absence of evidence to prove its point consequently devotees must revert to ad hominum remarks.  It is not really fair to blame God for Christianity, Judaism or the Old Testament wars.  It is not provable that hell, which you don’t believe in, is endless drunken parties with your friends.  If you don’t believe that option, you  might as well believe it is endless misery too. Not believing something means we have no set of rules on judging the true from false.

It is not possible to prove that heaven is a glorious existence of love, acceptance and peace.  It is not possible because you don’t believe it at all.  But having NOT believed neither have you knowledge of the real  heaven, hell, God , Jesus, and the word-promises of this very personal God to His People.  The ones who have an option are those who do believe by faith, and yes, with reservations but at least with an open mind and heart. I came away from this book thinking atheists must believe in God to be so rabidly against Him.

The atheist has a closed mind and so he must analyze everything he discusses using only secular evidence.  The spirit world, if accessed at all can only be at the occult level, in other words, with the demonic. I have to wonder about so called intellectuals can waste so much energy being NOT a part of something.  Alice in Wonderland makes more sense than this.

Atheism is an “all about me” theology based on personal preferences or an anecdotal life.  I shudder to think this is the theology of today Millennials, raised on identity crises, and having no foundation in anything other than secular humanism, except for believing homes.

Humanism destroys Christianity because it keeps God inside time, and does not recognize the spiritual origins of man and God.  You have a pre-history before you get here, you have a life on Earth-time, then move on to post history.  The Theist confines himself and his understanding to only one of these three time divisions.

Hitchens when he said he did not believe in God at age 15 slammed the mental door on anything involving this world of the spirit.  God must be worshiped in spirit and in truth.  We must believe who He is, that is, God as Creator (it is a very simple door to open) and that He is a rewarder of those who love him.  Another pretty easy demand. (Hebrews 11:6)

Hitch and his pals look at the results of man’s systems and call it the reason they can’t believe in God.  Whopps – there they go again, blaming something that doesn’t exist.

Taunton does not tell us Hitchens accepted salvation. He leaves it up in the air, but he knew, and we the believing community knows that we did everything in our human power to show him the right way to start rethinking his life…….and death. And that is all God asks of us.

Larry Taunton said that Christopher had 2 sets of books.  I wonder, now that his bill to God must be paid, which set of books he paid him from?

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the mind of the atheist.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

Dealing with Shame God’s Way

It’s tempting to think of shame as a bad thing.  To understand how to deal with it, let’s look at our First Pair, Adam and Eve, the prototype of human action, inaction and reaction.  In Genesis 3  right after the eating of the forbidden fruit, both Adam and Eve hid themselves.  Hiding is a symbol of shame as well as fear.

God says to them, “Where are you?”  Not because He didn’t know where they were.  But did they know where they were now?  Shame tells us where we are.  We are the ones who need the information.  All revelation, all change, all improvement starts with knowing who and where we are. The Bible specifically says they were hiding from God.

People can do the “hiding thing” very well- beards and makeup are inner symbols of shame, piles of workload, behind other people (and blaming them), behind bad leaders in government or in business, and the best hiding people do is behind a lot of money.  The Bible says money is a defense. (Ecclesiastes 7:12)

That helps to explain the hiding phenomenon of atheism/agnosticism which has become so prevalent in today’s society. If you have the option of saying that God does not exist, you also have no reason to hide.  But Romans 12:3 says God has already given to each person a measure of faith, a large enough measure to know at the very least that He exists.  So it takes a deliberate act of the will to say God does not exist. (2 Peter 3:5) The results is a “defiled conscience” )Titus 1:15.)

Eternal Change

But our First Pair respond by saying they are naked. The very fact that Adam and Eve knew they were naked and hid indicates that their conscience is active.  Interestingly enough, they reacted on the basis of the outside, being naked, but what had happened was that they had changed on the inside.  They now were no longer covered with the glory of God, sin had taken over and their eternal condition and future was in jeopardy.

The very opposite are the actions of Gay Pride Days and public displays of sexual deviance, of street prostitutes whose clothing if nothing else gives away their profession, and of criminals who flaunt their hatred of authority and kill police and other officials at will. This applies also to the Islamist extremists who rape, murder, steal and vandalize mostly in foreign countries like Germany, England, Italy, Greece, France especially, Finland and Sweden.  They have in addition promised to bring it to America. The Bible says to have nothing to do with evil like this (2 Timothy 3:5) so the smart nations are closing their borders. The Bible tells us to turn them away.

Shamelessness is visual proof that these people have rejected God in their lives.  Muslims are right in calling Islam a religion; it is an anti-God religion by its very beliefs and actions. The Bible warned that we would see the fruit of men’s evil minds in their persons and now it is coming to public pass on TV and every other medium.

A living Conscience

But what if you feel shame? Rejoice, it means your conscience is still alive and in tact. Don’t do what Adam and Eve did; they both blamed something else.  Adam blamed God and Eve; Eve blamed the snake.  The snake didn’t blame anyone because he (it) was pretty pleased with what he had done.  Evil always rejoices when it wins a point.

Fortunately evil does not win the war.  God has made it clear that He will win this fight against evil both inside man and inside societies.  For you personally He does it through forgiveness.  Forgive everyone you know who has harmed you. Then ask God to forgive you, and go the extra mile and forgive yourself.  No, no excuses.  Just say I did it. Then ask God to show you in your heart that you are forgiven.

Other people may not forgive you, but never mind, you are on the right side of heaven.

 
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

Seeing the World Through God’s Eyes

Poor ‘ole God gets blamed for so very many things He had nothing to do with. His plan for Man is that we live in our own way, our government, our decisions, and our culture.  Those 70 years give us enough time to make up our minds to follow God’s principles or not.  The results become ours. And because He does not interrupt our lives, our nations, our wars, unless we make a federal case out of it, we blame Him.

Not so fast. We can’t live in free will at one point and then insist that God step in.  We can’t have it both ways. What God does is to listen to our honest prayers and then provide an impact on life wherever we have made ourselves available to His will.  The result is that God is able to make something good come out of evil.  He always does.

Good comes out of every war

I would have preferred to have never lived through the 2nd World War.  Millions of souls were lost, not to mention the awful loss of property, animals, destruction of families, and refugees.  But God was able to make something good out of it all.  He had promised that the Jews would return to their ancient homeland at some point in history (Isaiah 11:11) and that war, and the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis, sufficiently embarrassed the European nations to arrange for the Israelis to return. They’ve had a hard time keeping the peace but they are still holding on to their land.

Korean “war”

No one was happy about the Korean War, cutely referred to as a “police action,” but the long range results were that South Korea is the strongest Christian nation in the Pacific Rim and the major missionary nation to the orient. South Korea is wildly prosperous and when it is forced to revive North Korea, a nation that knows no equal for evil and loss, the nation will have the wherewithal to do it.

Iraq

President George Bush gets a pile of grief for going into Iraq, but it is a strong and prosperous nation and will get on its feet as soon as internal enemies are eliminated. They have money in the bank! We have the same hope for the Kurds in the North who have for generations been treated badly and yet are the best hope for any group stuck in a Muslim enclave of nations.

God’s plan for earth is that all men should be saved.  That they are not is not God’s fault.  God has set up a system of salvation that man must follow, but in actual practice it is not all that hard. One single man, Abraham, thousands of years ago got it into his head that God was a personality who actually made the universe and everything in it.  God was so impressed He visited him personally (Genesis 14) and the family of Israel, and God’s precious people began there.  So if you, or some unsaved friend believe God is the creator, you are half way there.

God usually takes bad situations and bails them out. I was nearly killed as a child, removed from the home and sent to a private school.  I received a scholarship to an Ivy League College and my life changed permanently and forever.  I suspect nothing like this could have happened otherwise. God can take anything and reform it. And it all happened without me being any the wiser for the events that brought this on.

This isn’t Pollyanna stuff.  We are not trying to make silk purses out of sows’ ears.  But we must not assume that God is a “deist” off somewhere ignoring man and his systems. Nor is He under any compulsion to inform us ahead of time. He has a whole set of plans for you, me and our universe of which we as yet have only a few hints.

#peacespeaker #Iraq #Koreanwar #war

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

Lazarus, the New Man, “Come forth.”

Read John 11:17-44

One of the hazards of knowing the Bible, and knowing it well comes when we read a familiar passage like this one and think “Oh, I know what this is all about.”  Then we miss whatever new idea God might have to move us deeper into a knowledge of Him.  That happened when I was nosing around for a place in scripture which could show me the outworking of the confession Paul made:

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

lazarus-by-anna-cuypers

Then Lazarus emerging from the tomb covered in smelly grave clothes came to mind. Our church-faith-community has been structured around human leaders and established doctrine, but when someone is “dead in Christ” we infrequently hear about it and have no pattern for generating this kind of life in our church, families and communities.

Lazarus is a perfect picture of what Jesus wants us to go through, what He wants us to become.  After we get saved we are still in the natural.  We learn all the stations of belief, baptism, Holy Spirit infilling, fasting, prayer, battling the devil in various levels of sincerity, but the “dead man” that Jesus wants is nowhere to be seen.

And that formerly dead man now raised to new life right here and now is the Man God wants to lead his church out of the wilderness and into the promised land. There are people who are dead in Christ, I’ve met them, but they have no major books or TV programs. Most have no visible ministries but they are there.  They are so dead we don’t know who they are unless we seek them out.

Notice here the pluperfect tense; Paul ‘was’ not crucified, but he uses the ‘had’ which means it is time well behind him. It is over and done with. He lives now in the state where the fleshy desires of the natural man – I want, I need, I must – have been put down by submission of the will to Christ.

So just as God called forth the stars ( Psalm 147:4 )  and the souls (John 10:3) to planet earth so Jesus stands outside the tomb and calls forth the dead Lazarus the one who knows what he needs to know about God, the one who died to himself, and now has new life, not on the other side of the grave but right here and now.  Lazarus is the prototype, the symbol of what God wants from us, a living witness so dead to his own desires and self-will that he (or she) is able to follow the instructions from the Holy Spirit on a daily, moment by moment basis just as Jesus did.

Of course” he stinketh” as his sister Martha so ingloriously put it.  The past is still clinging to him.  He may also be stinking up the church if they do not understand who this New Man is or why he is here among us.

So Jesus has the witnesses pull off the grave clothes of old theology, old legalisms, old smelly rags of self-works and self-will, to reveal the New Man in Christ.

My ministry is to write for the people who no longer go to church but who are still interested in what God is doing and why. Between 30-40% of believing Christians no longer attend services.  Out of an estimated 12 million adult Christians (less than half the total adult population of the USA) that is a potential church of over 3,600,000 million. That is a lot of wanderers.

Why did they quit?  I think they, like Lazarus, are saying to themselves, “this church is dead.”  And from their viewpoint, the church is dead.

But no, the church is not dead – they are.  They have died to the old and are needing to embrace the new – but where is it? They wander around looking for similar Kingdom people who want to shake off the smelly clothes of last year’s religious status quo.

Being dead in Christ isn’t something Jesus does.  This is your job. You get to die by practicing the Word of God, by forgiving instantly, by not lashing out even when you are justified, by not letting the ‘natural man’ take over your emotions.  It is death.  It is no garden party.

Look for the New Man because He is here ready to be revealed.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

Please stop trying to make church cool

Trying to bring God down to earth sometimes comes off as merely bringing Him down.

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/07/11/the-subtle-world-of-christian-legalism/

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

Living on the Interest – A Life Fulfilled

How to live the happy life God created for you

Leontyne Price was born in a small Mississippi town and traveled to New York to study at the famed Julliard School of Music. Subsequently she became the first African-American to star in top-rated operas, famous on every continent where opera is revered.  Describing her training she said, I “invested for many years in the principal” of my voice and then continued to the end of her career “singing on the interest.”  I’d never heard anyone refer to interest, much less a talent, as other than cold cash.

Spending Your Life

Time is money so how you live will produce payments to you later in life. Our whole life, not just our money is an investment of time, energy, and purpose. If we develop our talents thoroughly eventually we end the strain of trying to do better and better.  There is a time in our lives, not when things are easy, but when our professional status is like gliding.  All the energy expended previously is now keeping us airborne and productive.

This is the quality that distinguishes an actor who can play roles well into his 60s and 70s, versus one who lasts only so long as her talents are marketable.  This is the ability authors gain when they continue to write good books and not just re-write the first big seller.

James A Michener continued well into his 90s writing highly detailed historical novels.  About Centennial he said with amusement, “After you read this you will know more about Colorado than you ever cared to know.”  You could say that about all his works, but that is what made them great, the attention to minute details.  He would do so much research that when he completed one project he had almost enough for another book.  His vast personal knowledge based on research had the bizarre effect of increasing itself the more he used it.   He was writing on the interest.

Martin Luther King Jr. a Giant before 42

Martin Luther King, Jr in spite of dying at 42 years of age still lived on interest.  He studied great literature and his speeches are filled with Biblical allusions and references to history. He spoke with what appeared to be little effort at all. His most-quoted “I have a Dream” speech is a literary gem replete with quotations from other works.  That alone makes it worth literary study. Anyone can be a black activist, or a white activist as well, but not everyone can move millions to passion, purpose and hope.  He had invested in great literature and became a literary force in the process. Millions live today on the interest he built up for his country.

Two friends of mine have been married 50 years.  Not in the best of health now their marriage is supported only by interest.  Because they have invested so much in each other’s lives and the marriage between them, they no longer have to work at it.  Some couples act lovey-dovey, but not this pair. People frequently ask them about being happily married even when no one has previously broached the subject.  In other words their investment shows.

Let me tell you the sad story of a friend of mine whose marriage collapsed after 30 years.  She described it in the same terms we have used here, unaware of Leontyne’s prophetic words.  She said she had devoted herself to her husband believing her marriage was a 50-50 proposition and for many decades investing in the “marital” bank, even neglecting her relationship with her children. Overwhelmed, one day she was forced to seek support for herself but looking into the joint account balance, she found it barely open.  Not only had her husband not invested anything in their account, but he had been withdrawing her steady payments.  The account, like her marriage, was closed. 

Marriage counselors, especially Christian ones, are often astonished by the numbers of Christian marriages that go under.  That story sounds like a good explanation to me.

Itzhak Pearlman, famous first violinist, was playing one day with the orchestra when one string broke.  Without missing a beat he finished the rest of the concert using only the 3 remaining strings.  Gleefully, the audience rose to their feet in a cheer.  This is called playing the violin on interest.

Know when to move on

Sometimes success is knowing when to move on.  You have never heard a second rate song by Doris Day, at one time the biggest box office draw in Hollywood, and for good reason.  She knew when to leave the stage.  She spent her older years working for the betterment of animals.  Living on the interest also knows when to turn over the reins to a new generation.

This quality permits a tennis star to leave the court when days of raw physical prowess are behind to become a great coach or talented sports observer.  The same qualities that make a good football star can also make a good stock broker, or inner city minister.  They are living on the interest.

The interest payment is relative to the initial investment

When the investment of principal is not there, or it is inadequate, that also shows.  The skater swings out too wide and catches herself on the board surrounding the ice; she jumps and nearly falls.  The skier flies high but lands and slides into the spectators. We groan.  In contrast the professional makes it all look so easy and effortless.  That is living on the interest.

If you continue to draw down the principal of life eventually there is nothing there.  Many elders wake up to find themselves 70 and broke!  There is little energy left and the principal is gone.  Many a pop star has endured 10 or even 20 years, then we learn they die in an alley somewhere, maybe alcohol, drugs, or profligate living has stripped them of both principal and interest. 

Every year a news reporter digs up a story on an aging celebrity recently found in the streets, flop house or rescue mission – a big name at one time – how they fell from fashion and are now living on the handouts from others.  They thought the principal of their talent would never go away.

Living on the interest means taking charge of your own life.  Judy Garland once complained that she worked herself to death but never saw a profit.  Her schedule was grueling.  When she died young, the people who spent her millions were identified but now it was too late for her.  She, like Elvis Presley, had been fed drugs to help her perform under intense pressure; it cost them their lives.  They might have been living on interest but the handlers around them were dipping into the principal of someone else’s life.  The robbed her talent for their own use. Talent never dies, we enjoy both Judy and Elvis today, but it can be wasted, mis-used, and stolen.

Winston Churchill could have easily become a sour old curmudgeon when the Parliament rejected his leadership after the 2nd World War, but he had learned that you can take your principal with you. He wrote many English history books receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Interest can be spent anywhere and any time, but the principal is yours and you can carry it with you wherever you want to go. You are the boss of your principal.

Our personal stories are not so dramatic but they can be just as instructive.  I am always a future-oriented person, building, studying, working towards the future.  Then when I was about 62 I woke up – Hey, I said to myself, I am living in the very future I have been working so hard for.  I need to start living right now and I did.  I started living on the interest of life invested in education.

Discussion questions:

1. What investment of your life (remember we are not ever talking about money here) has really paid off?

2.  Reflecting on your own life, is there any investment of time and energy that proved to be a complete waste?

3. There are 2 stories here about marriage.  While the details are sketchy, can you speculate on what caused one to succeed and the other to fail?  What do you think about the idea of “investing principal” in a personal relationship?

4. In our tragic stories here of Judy and Elvis we can empathize with their efforts and their talent.  Can you speculate on what they should have done to stop being used so badly?  Have you ever been used and called a halt to it?  What were the consequences?

5. Leontyne Price and her brother both became famous, he as an admiral in the United States Navy.  What do you suppose was common in their upbringing in the small town of Laurel, Mississippi that brought this pair of black children to such accomplishment?  What can we do for our children to set them on the path of valuable living?

6. How is it that “talent never dies”?

7. The author told of a time when she turned her life around and started doing things differently. Have you ever closed down one part of your life and gone on to something else?  Was it hard to do?  What prompted you to that decision?

#Christianlife #divorce #failure

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

The Link between Deception vs. Delusion both Political and Religious

The Bible identifies a process by which we see the deterioration of “the heart of man is evil above all things” (Jer 17:9  from a glorification of evil into a falsely divine (God-commanded) world rule.  gargoyle-51261__340The evil person (in this case an entire religion) first deceives and then is led into delusion which makes the deception stronger.  It leads to damnation according to a process one finds in 2 Thessalonians for both individuals and nations.You will recognize the passage as a King James reference to a “strong delusion.”  But I found the best translation in Phillip’s online. (I checked all the other English translations at Bible Gateway and not one of them was as clear as this one.)
 2 Thess 2:5-12 – I expect you remember now how I talked about this when I was with you. You will probably also remember how I used to talk about a “restraining power” which would operate until the time should come for the emergence of this man. (Modern people call this restraint the Holy Spirit.)
 Evil is already insidiously at work but its activities are restricted until what I have called the “restraining power” (of God) is removed. When that happens the lawless man will be plainly seen (this is proof we are in the last days because the veil has been taken away that was covering the evil of Islam)- though the truth of the Lord Jesus spells his doom, and the radiance of the coming of the Lord Jesus will be his utter destruction. (Possibly a reference to the glory.)
“The lawless man is produced by the spirit of evil and armed with all the force, wonders and signs that falsehood can devise. To those involved in this dying world he will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow.” (quoted from Booksie.com)
Before we pitch this out as so much religious hype, consider the Islamic radicals who insist that the world feed and house them in exchange for wanton sexual license, rape, murder, incest and bestiality with special attention to destroying Jews and Christians.  The delusion leads to a depravity that would embarrass the animal kingdom. At least that is what is happening in Europe and soon to come to America. To the Western mind this is totally impossible.
The Bible however tells of this happening to a political leader, Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel.
 Daniel 4:18-34 (NASB)
 1. 18 This is the dream which I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its interpretation, inasmuch as none of the wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for a spirit of the holy gods is in you.’
 Daniel Interprets the Vision
 19 “Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries! 20 The tree that you saw, which became large and grew strong, whose height reached to the sky and was visible to all the earth 21 and whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt and in whose branches the birds of the sky lodged— 22 it is you, O king; for you have become great and grown strong, and your majesty has become great and reached to the sky and your dominion to the end of the earth. 23 In that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, “Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him,”
 
24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. 26 And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. 27 Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’
 
 The Vision Fulfilled
 28 “All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ 31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’
 
33 Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
 
 34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;
 For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.

I include the entire passage because most readers will breeze over it as so much magic from ancient times.  As we plow towards the final days of Man this phenomenon becomes a part of our rational world, the bestiality of human beings and their implacable response to reason.  In the book of Daniel the King received one year’s warning and then sank into depravity until that point where he acknowledged that God, not he, is the ruler of the world.  By extension we can assume that this is the penalty we should expect to see on secular humanism which makes man a god.

But you do not need to be a king to have this happen.  Delusion does not always require you to eat grass, only that you consume in your mind ideas which are based solely on your own self-concept as all-powerful, all-knowing, and in control of the consequences of your acts.  We have no trouble identifying leaders who are eating the grass of self-glorification, wielding power over other human beings simply because they can, always to the end of their own self-glorification.

Daniel flags a warning to us all.  Yes, you can clone people and sheep; yes you can allow unlimited murder of the innocents, early death for those who demand it, unlimited drug supplies for nearly any excuse, and the financing of evil apparently without consequence.  But no.  There is a consequence. Nebuchadnezzar saw the light.  There is, after all, no free lunch.

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The Saddest Story I Ever Heard

You and I don’t see or meet or know people like this. A mutual friend on this flight told me about her.pride

A wealthy lady was on an airplane in 1st class. She had great beauty and you could see the money in her clothes and her demeanor.  During the flight, the stewardess came over and asked her what she would like to eat or drink.  The woman said nothing.

Her husband leaned over and said, “I am sorry, you’ll have to forgive my wife.  She does not speak to servants.”

My heart sank.  My immediate reaction was – this poor woman would never know Jesus Christ.  For the greatest servant of all was Jesus, who served the human race.

#lost #Christian #pride #salvation #servanthood

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How could Jesus Die for Everyone

cross-106416__180The scripture is clear.  Jesus paid the price for every man’s sin by the blood shed at his death.   But because of the limitations of life, He could not actually give his life literally for every person.  If that were so He would need to be born, mature and then die for billions upon billions of people, the exact number we do not know.  We do know that the number of souls God created in heaven prior to our birth is huge.  So literal birth-death is physically impossible.

How then could Jesus die for each Man and still die for mankind as a whole?

Jesus made a deal

It was done by negotiation.  Consider that you have a large piece of acreage for sale.  No one else is bidding on it.  Satan already has his claws into the property and will not give it up; in fact he has sole custody thanks to egregious mistakes by Adam.  (And lest we congratulate ourselves remember that we would have been just as rebellious as the First Pair.) The human race is both physically and spiritually doomed.

Since Jesus could not be born billions of times, He would need to negotiate the price.  From the foundation of the world Elohim (God in Hebrew) counseled together to select “the agreed upon price.”  The price was high.  The sacrifice must be absolutely sinless, the very opposite of the condition of Man, and he should be born just as anyone else and go through life reacting to evil in perfect, sinless obedience.  The Old Testament law regarding sacrifices is not a bore if you notice how the priests followed the very process by which a sacrifice was selected.  Jesus fit perfectly.

Can you image what a hard test this is? Look at your tot in a high chair, crying “MINE!” at the top of his lungs.  Rebellion is deep in the heart of man, no matter the size.  He is not a bad child; he is merely human.  (Proverbs 22:15) It comes with the territory.

The perfect plan required that the savior be born sinless without the taint of human error.  Mary, Jesus’ mother, did not have to be sinless because the  Sin is transferred through the father’s line….. You know, like father, like son. (Genesis 3:17)

The only way a sinless child can be brought forth is if the Father is God Himself, guaranteeing that the DNA of this child is unique in all the universe.  Then the blood also would be sinless.  Satan can’t fake that – ever, which is why the Kingdom of Evil fell apart in despair after realizing it had engineered the salvation of man and its own demise as well. (1 Cor 2:8)

Tetelestai

So that is why Jesus can say at the very end, “It is finished.”  The word in Greek is tetelestai, meaning Paid in Full. You too were included in this number.

Are you automatically saved? No.  Not until you have a heart change and accept His free gift of eternal life. Today is the day of salvation.

#religion #spirituality #Christian #sacrifice

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The Mouth Cannot Say what the Heart Does Not Believe

One of the most important messages the church needs to hear

As a very young Christian I became a counselor for several Billy Graham movies during the 70s. They were quite popular and effective.  Graham trained volunteers who would be available after the movie to counsel audience members who wished to follow Christ.  We also gave them some simple but thorough written materials to take home.broken-heart-1294820__180  Each well thought out program began with the simple gospel message of personal sin, Jesus’ salvation and finally a public confession. 

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10

We were instructed to ask the person to repeat the words of a standard confession in a few brief phrases after we did.

I had two little girls, one 10, the other about 12.  They listened respectfully. Then the younger of the two told how much she loved Jesus, and all her experiences in Bible school and church.  How happy she was! I was floored. I hardly expected that. The other girl was silent most of the time, but listened and behaved.

Public words spoken aloud

I began to read the confession in the book out loud, first for the younger, because I knew she already knew Christ and her example would motivate her friend. I would say a short phrase; she would repeat it.  She did it perfectly. Then I turned to the second girl.

Here is how her “confession” sounded. “I believe in brurb…gh….thh……”  She could not say the phrase. So I started again “I believe in blubbd…thgns…..psssnnsr….”   So I stopped.

I recalled a scripture from 1 John which was not in my prepared materials. No man can say except by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is Lord.

I John 4:22-23 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God;

So I stopped and asked her to repeat after me: “Jesus is God come in the flesh.”

She couldn’t do it. I tried it again. Again she could not say it.  Keep in mind that out of the mouth comes not just words and air, but also the spirit.  This girl was unable to say the confession.  Consequently I gave her the materials but in no way confirmed that she was “saved” because clearly she was not.  Inside the Spirit of God would not allow those words to come out.

Do not tell people they are saved when they are not

We do a disservice to people when we endorse their “salvation” so easily. The New Testament church believers were required to submit to  a year or two of review, cleansing and teaching. This was all the more important because Christians were being slaughtered by the Roman authorities, and in other parts of the Mediterranean as well. To allow into the fellowship the wrong person could mean your death or imprisonment..

How many people are blissfully living life, fully believing they are saved when their heart is not right?

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A New Look at Christian Marriage & Divorce

I’ve urged, begged for delay, advised, prayed. But there comes a time when a situation must end.  God said, “Today is the day of salvation.”  It’s not a day in the future.  It’s right now.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have listened to you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”

Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.  God has eternity – we do not.

Man is not given unlimited time to do what he has to do. 

The Psalmist says, Seek ye the Lord while he may yet be found. Call upon Him while He is near and he will abundantly pardon.”

Isaiah 55:6   So there is a time when maybe He is not to be found? Not near? Not pardoning? When is that? Those dry, unavailable times will be experienced by us all.  We need them to prove to us that God is real, that He is interested and involved with our lives.  His absence makes that real.

We do not always have an option.  Perhaps Christians do a disservice to people when we tell them of God’s mercy, so full and free, but never warn that the time may slip away, and never be available again for a very long time.

There is even a special time for cities, nations, and others.

Matthew 23:37  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you, how often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not!”

For this luckless city rebellion to God’s call for mercy (not judgment necessarily) resulted in two thousand years of isolation and grief only to be restored May, 1948.

Ministers see marriage counseling as a mess

Too often they will duck behind the scripture, God hates divorce.  Of course He does.  He hates liars, slanderers adulterers, drunks, liars, and rebels too.  But what he also hates are people who are keeping a marriage together when one of them has turned his or her back on the Lord, or refused to quit some sort of addiction, or misused money, or sexually abused any person, male or female, or joined a cult.  God hates all this group as well.  And you as the spouse, are entitled to hate it as well.

No, you don’t hate the person, but you do not need to be tied to someone in serious sin just because it is hateful. And ministers have no business trying to keep those marriages alive when one of them is clearly “dead” as far as the Kingdom promises are concerned.

For myself, I am not allowed to take sides with either husband or wife.  I must take sides with the Lord, though I may not know His position on the matter, and certainly I don’t know the history.

There are no saints in marriages

Marriages are not made nor kept by saints, but by sinners.  And even the best of believers has a limit.  It is important that the reasons be known to them of course.  Another man in his 70s just received divorce papers from his wife.  The lawyer should be ashamed.  The woman is on mega pills of all sorts and for her to sign anything “legal” is questionable.  That is not a marriage breakdown but a physical one.

Every case is different. That alone should remind us not to judge too harshly.  Marriages involve 3 people, the couple and God, just like in the Garden of Eden.  You will recall then that after the sin was exposed, the marriage was the first thing to get out of whack.

Denial is a continuing problem

In 45 years in ministry I can guarantee that usually neither the husband nor the wife will tell the truth about why they have chosen separation. I have learned that many women have committed adultery and for some reason are unwilling to confess and ask for forgiveness.  When I bring this possibility up to the husband they always reject the idea.  I have no idea why they can’t accept the possibility, but it is the most common reaction. Men will blame the wife and then proudly confess adultery.  But often it is money as well. And so it goes. It is not really our business unless that person is a paid church official.

In any event, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:15

“But if the unbeliever departs, let that one depart. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called us to peace.”

And it doesn’t mean that someone is an unbeliever because he or she leaves – anyone can leave if that is the arrangement. They need peace and we can provide it to one or both of them without taking sides. If we do take sides we bring unnecessary judgment down on our own heads.

New Problems in society

The 20th century is one of addictions – drugs,  alcohol. video games, pornography which experts say is harder to be rid of than heroin, movies, television and spending money.  The last of these is made easier by having sales on the tube 24/7. People also have additional health problems – dementia, aggressiveness such as Sundowners syndrome. Some spouses will refuse to talk – for years.  Others will rant and rave.  The health care system as it applies to mental problems is weak and indecisive.  Doctors refuse to say something simple, like that person is crazy.

Crazy is like any other problem.  A doctor may refuse to identify it; but we all know it when we see it.  The person with 40 guns in a back closet, or bomb materials in the garage.  This is not normal and if that is in your home you can be sure God will not want you to stay there. Animal abuse is so serious that the FBI has identified it as a Class A felony, a practice which local legislatures should endorse

You should also tell the police.

The Church is to judge not marriages, but leadership. I Timothy has long instructions on selecting leaders, and then not by individuals but by the whole group.

#marriage #divorce #separation #peace

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Failure= Wrong Question + Wrong Answer

Failure is the Product of adding the Wrong Question and the Wrong Answer

Like all mathematical formulae it works every single time. I have two examples – one so large it staggers the taxpayer; one so small it seems irrelevant, but the formula works nonetheless.

This week the Congress of the USA is deciding whether to renew unemployment insurance for a group of persons long without a job. In the past 5 years 1,600,000 jobs have been lost. As a percentage of the population this is a staggering number, mostly young, mostly minorities, the very people who can work hardest and need the work the most. In addition, many individuals have been forced into half time work because of the nationalized health care system which penalizes employers if they hire a full time worker. There is a reason the Congress has a 6-9 % approval rating and it pops up here.

The wrong question is whether we renew unemployment payments. The wrong answer will soon ensue. America dominates the world economically and in many other ways too because it is based on low taxes and high productivity. You can’t over-finance government and have any left over for local jobs. The past several years have generated the exact opposite, which means fewer jobs and reduced productivity which results in higher costs for everyone. It is a downward spiral.

The people who make these decisions however, are isolated from the results of what they do, and see nothing wrong. The wrong questions have been answered over and over again by more wrong answers; the result, higher taxation, higher unemployment, and higher inflation.

But the formula works at the very lowest level too. Clara teaches some Bible studies at her local church. She is a good teacher and experienced, however, she rejects some of the Bible, and consequently teaches only at the level of the natural, missing the spiritual and therefore much of the New Testament. This is classic “syncretistism” which means she combines secular humanism with the natural understanding of the Bible. She politicked for this position. We Christian believers agonize over why 1/3 of all Christians do not attend church; this little true tale may help explain their absence.

Clara made a snippy crack to Margie about her hair. Margie has a small income which prevents her from getting her hair done. In addition she dislocated both shoulders in the past and has a hard time doing her own hair. What should Margie do?

We will now see the wrong question and the wrong answers in process. Margie can take one of the following routes: (1) she can confront Clara with the insult and outline her reasons for her hair issues (2) she can go to someone in authority to complain about Clara (3) she can try to adjust her income to allow for better hair care (4) she can leave the class entirely and attend another church or perhaps not attend any church at all.

These four answers fail. We know what Clara did but here’s why! Margie has a formal education in the Bible and many years of experience teaching it, way beyond Clara’s reach. Does Clara fear she will lose her position and her power base? That question makes sense. As a power issue, do we have a different set of answers? Of course we do. We must always examine motivation.
Looking at each set of responses again, does Margie respond to Clara- answer (1)? No. Responding to Clara confirms and strengthens her power concepts, making Margie the respondent. Margie’s economic level is none of Clara’s business; neither are her shoulder accidents. And there is no hope of Margie increasing her income; even if she should, would she finance this or something else, like dental care?

Margie suspects this is Clara’s attempt to embarrass her to the point of leaving the class. So (#4) she is not to leave. Clara has based her teaching on her position of perceived power; does she fear being replaced? No response should ever be a confirmation of sin in any form. When a teacher demeans a student it is an attempt to deprecate that person in the eyes of other students or faculty. It is an “offensive” move. Margie is not to defend herself.

Martin Luther said “Self-justification is the first sign of sin.” The Bible says God will justify and defend His people. Margie’s answer then is to let God do His job. Vengeance is the Lord’s. Both examples I’ve given here focus on why wrong answers result. In both cases the question is not “what” but “why”.

Christians should be happy with this conclusion. If asking why brings God into the situation, and if we pray properly the answers will in the end give us a better result.

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Dreams and Interpretation – a Testimony

Dreams and Symbolism are frequently searched on these blog pages. What follows is an example of a series of dreams and their interpretation over a period of 10 years. The dreamer had the good sense to consult some friends about the meaning of the dreams. They were all connected. This is a model for you to find the meaning of your dreams. It is important not to interpret them as being a natural event, that is, all the dreams about having a baby at no point referred to a real human child.

Jennifer LeClaire:
Birthing Your Prophetic Dreams May Mean Changing Direction

Jennifer LeClaireI call them “baby dreams” – and these prophetic encounters have been a running theme in my life over the past decade. It seems God has been laboring with me to birth a new thing for nearly that long. Along the way, there was at least one Ishmael, a couple of near-abortions, and plenty of spiritual warfare. But God in His grace somehow worked all things together for good.

There were lessons in this series of prophetic dreams. When I put those principles into practice it caused what looked like a stillbirth to become a healthy baby. I still don’t have all the answers, but God has made one thing clear to me: Sometimes a small shift makes all the difference.

The First Dream: Surrendering My Will

The “baby dreams” started about eight years ago. I had a dream I was pregnant. I was not happy about it because it was going to turn my life upside down – but I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. I tried to pretend it wasn’t real, but ultimately pretending wasn’t an option.

The lesson of this first prophetic dream was that I had to be like Mary, who gave her will over to the Lord despite the trouble it was going to cause her in the natural. I woke up and committed in my heart to let the Lord’s will be done in my life and moved ahead.

The Second Dream: Birthing a Man-Child

About a year after that prophetic encounter, I had a second “baby dream.” This time, I was in the hospital giving birth. When the baby was born, it was like a man-child. It had the appearance of a baby, but it had the features of a full-grown man. Immediately after the baby was born, he started running toward his goal. Those around me said, “It must be nice to birth a full-grown ministry. That’s what you can expect.”

The Third Dream: Making Adjustments

Fast-forward another five years. I was in a very uncomfortable position, having the weight of a church plant unexpectedly fall on my shoulders. I didn’t sign up to preach, pray, prophesy and administrate the whole church but that’s what was happening. I was at a crossroads, praying about whether I should exit or continue to bear the weight – and the spiritual warfare – of another man’s vision or move on.

I went to sleep and had another “baby dream.” This time I was pregnant. I still wasn’t thrilled. I was hungry and the only thing available was some strange combination of eggs and pepperoni. My chair was too low for me to comfortably type on my computer. I had to change into clothes I didn’t like. I was thinking about how I could possibly hit the gym with all of this going on. I thought about how I’d be 60 before this kid was grown.

In other words, I was doing a lot of natural reasoning. Eventually, I changed my clothes into something that wasn’t ideal but still wasn’t too bad. I ate the eggs for the protein and skipped the unhealthy pepperoni. I got a taller chair so I could type more comfortably. Then I woke up. I told one of my friends involved in the church plant about the dream, including the eggs and pepperoni. I had never heard of eggs and pepperoni as a dish – but it was one of her favorites. (Go figure. God wanted her to bear witness to the dream.)

From that dream I learned that I had to make sacrifices and adjustments to do the will of God. In other words, there would be some aspects of birthing this ministry that were uncomfortable, but there were ways to adjust to the circumstances and plow through the pain to get to the goal line of God’s ultimate will.

At first, I thought it was a message to keep bearing the weight of the church plant. But when the church planter manifested with wrong motives, it became abundantly clear that his vision wasn’t my burden to bear and God released me. He actually used the experience to push me into what He really had in mind the whole time.

The Fourth Dream: Shifting Your Direction

In the last “baby dream,” I finally got the message – and it changed everything. I was nine months pregnant but the baby had stopped moving. The baby wasn’t kicking or rolling or showing any sign of life. (This is about how I felt after leaving the church plant.) 

In the prophetic dream I thought the baby was dead and I panicked. Then, suddenly, I had the unction to shift the baby’s position with gentle pressure from my hand. (I later researched this and discovered there’s a name for it: the Diaphragmatic Release.) When I did, I could feel the baby kicking again. I knew all was well.

Here’s the lesson I took away from this dream, which connected with the previous baby dreams: Sometimes things look dead but you just have to reposition yourself for life. It doesn’t always take much. Just one gentle movement in the right direction can cause God to breathe on that thing again so you can birth it and begin nurturing what God has given you to steward.

If God has given you something to birth, it may be time to pull an Ezekiel and speak to those dry bones. It may be time to pull an Elijah and raise it from the dead. It may be time to walk away from the Ishmael, refuse to abort and just reposition yourself to receive what God intended all along. You could just be in the wrong place or in the wrong time or with the wrong people. When you decide to obey, when you decide to reposition yourself into God’s perfect plan, the baby he has given you to birth will thrive in His grace. Amen

From The Elijah List and from Charisma Magazine.

Jennifer LeClaire

News Editor at Charisma Media,
Founder of Jennifer LeClaire Ministries
Email: jennifer@jenniferleclaire.org
Website: jenniferleclaire.org

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma magazine and author of The Making of a Prophet, The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel, The Heart of the Prophetic, and many other books. She is also director of the International House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale.

To subscribe to The Elijah List go to:
http://elijahlist.com/subscribe

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Symbolism in The Wizard of Oz

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Some Christian believers who may only look at the surface of this movie have suggested that it is occult-leaning and should be avoided. But I see rather a picture of the search of man for reality. There are many fictional stories which reveal the hidden heart of man and his situation.Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City And they are always the most popular of our culture – in addition to Oz, there is The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast,  and Porgy and Bess all stories of man’s inner struggles.

The American Dream

It is also a broad statement of the hopes that under gird the American Dream. Many people fail to notice that ultimately this is a dream.

Third, it is the reflected political vision of the “tired and poor” of Europe tossed up on the shores of the USA. Several Jews played a major part in the creation of this movie and its music, esp. Somewhere over the Rainbow. Even after a decade of war, flapper-excess, the Great Depression and the blossoming of the mob thanks to Prohibition these upheavals could not stem the tide from Europe which drove thousands of Jews and many others to America after World War 1 and beyond.

America is still the land of promises where bluebirds fly. Jews working on the movie expressed their hopes for America where a lost girl and three other flawed creatures could join forces to locate the person who will realize their personal dreams. The Wizard of Oz continues to be one of the top box-office draws of all time because it expresses the individual dream of all people for a happy productive life.

Dorothy is Everyman

I prefer to see it as Man’s eternal search to answer the basic questions – who am I, where am I going, and what is truth. In this interpretation Dorothy becomes Every Man. Dissatisfied with life, feeling put upon authorities and contested by evil forces (the witchy-woman who wants to dispose of poor little Toto, the dog) she tries to run away when the tornado scoops her up.

Dorothy was a real orphan. Her dreams meant escaping her unhappy life; many people genuinely feel fatherless and unwanted. Psychologists say some people actually believe they are not the real children of their parents.

The problem of denial and image

Denial of who and what we are can continue into adult life. Dorothy ends up in a totally improbable world where she accidentally kills an evil witch, is applauded by scores of very small people, treated as an honored guest and sent on her way to find the Utopian Personage known as The Wizard.

And we all want that, to be appreciated, to be sent to someone who can solve all our problems with one sweep of the hand. Christians sing, “Earth is not my home, I’m only passing through.” This is true – we are all temporary, still we all want a life of happiness and fulfillment. On the Yellow Brick road to truth, which is the Kingdom of Oz, Dorothy must deal with the three parts of a human being symbolized by her three companions – the will, the intellect and the emotions, which in theology is known as the soul.

The soul needs rest

The Tin Man needs a heart, the Scarecrow needs a brain and the Lion needs a spirit consistent with his true nature, i.e. lionhearted. The Emerald City is both a symbol of American money, the greenbacks, but also of heaven for Christian believers, the New Jerusalem built of emeralds.

Christians will notice that Jesus is compared to the King of the Beasts, the ruler of man’s total nature.  Salvation to a believer is the union of those three disparate parts of his nature under the leadership of God. God in this movie is pictured as a Wizard, which we find out later actually is not a god-figure as his clay feet are exposed. Dorothy and her friends (her three part divided soul) have been looking for the wrong thing. As do we.

Oz admits to being a fraud

Poor Oz. He knows he’s only human and playing god so when Dorothy chews him out for being a hypocritical control freak he quickly repents and promises to make things right. He tells the four of them they already have their answers.

There is no Utopia

And that of course is life. The Utopian fix-all God is not available and all the smoke and mirrors of secular life cannot hide it in the end. Yellow is the symbol for holiness, the road they must take to get to a heavenly home and a true God.

Along the way Dorothy and her friends must deal with a devilish attack as do all humans and they escape with help, some of it other-worldly when the poppies put them to sleep. Yes, we have angels in attendance.

Self understanding

In fact, Jesus is that kryptonite which handles the enemy’s kingdom for us, as we come to realize that we cannot be as perfect as we would want and that everything we sought for ourselves was really inside all along; The lion had courage, the tin man was a softy, and the scarecrow solved problems. Not one of us is anywhere near as bad off as we think or as powerful as we had hoped. Nor are we as lost as we had assumed. There is a God. Those red shoes, symbol of the blood of Jesus, will take her back home.

Dorothy ends up in her own bed, surrounded by the same people and the same problems but with a new attitude of gratitude about herself and her family. Salvation for a believer is not an event but a process of coming to make peace with life, its limitations and of course, its final goal.

Dorothy makes it – and so can we.

 #Biblesymbols #dreaminterpretation #dreamsymbolism

This will be a chapter in my forthcoming book Coming Fall, Dream Interpretation and Biblical Symbolism 

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