Category Archives: Bible Lessons

Little Bible lessons under 500 words. You or your group can look up the passages, discuss the scripture and develop your own questions.

How the CEO was deceived by top management

We don’t often think of the Bible as a book for modern business management but here is a situation that could be Wall Street last week and worthy pf close reading and analysis.

BIBLE STUDY AGENDA
1. Read aloud preface
2. Students read the passage (see end of this lesson for the scripture) pp3-4
3. Discussion – see Question/Answers section
4. Read aloud the author’s commentary and ask for input.
5. Ask students if they plan to act on anything they have learned today, giving details if they feel free to do so.

PREFACE
Dictators have an abysmal record of failure – Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Edi Amin, Mao ZeDong – Putin and Al-assad please note. The problem is not that they are incompetent but that their totalitarian position prevents valid input from knowledgeable associates in their regimes. A leader who can murder you and your family at a whim’s notice creates a body of yes-men- sycophants willing to compromise truth for survival. Darius the King of Persia was such a man, but he was good hearted and divided the rule of his kingdom among a group of trusted people. Then apparently he neglected to keep these people under review? Was he too trusting? Or simply happy to be spared the nitty gritty of daily decisions?

How can a group of employees conspire against that? They have no handle except pride.

Daniel was made the top manager because clearly had access to “the Holy God.” In other words, he was a whole lot smarter than all the rest of them. Envy may well be the chief motivation in politics so to dethrone Daniel they played on Darius’ ego.

First they urged him to sign a truly stupid law. This was his decree:

For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lions’ den.

Even on the surface this is a silliness; a 30 day period of worship had no relevance to this vast kingdom. As politicians say today, This is not a pocketbook issue.

King Darius fell for it. It appealed to his ego and he ignored any possible fall out. He knew better than to accept worship in any event.

QUESTIONS/ANSWERS
1. Did you have a situation where you have been manipulated by employees into a wrong decision?
2. Is there anyone you should have moved out and failed to do so?
3. Do you think you are too trusting?
4. Do you have a group of people that you are accountable to? Preferably people not in your company or team?

AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
1. Focus on the task at hand. Your decrees (today we call them decisions) need to advance the agenda of the company, its products and its employees and have little or nothing to do with personalities. Years ago I heard that the ball team Magic Johnson played with was instructed by the owner to refer to him as the King. How idiotic can you be. Basketball is played by teams and without that team sense a star is a dud. Asking team members to do that was the equivalent of sowing seeds of discord. (Proverbs 6:19)
2. Multiple, divided leadership is the model for success. The New Testament church was run by 5 leaders who were expected to agree (unanimity) on all issues. You say that is impossible? Not when the Holy Spirit is making the final decisions. Ministers fail, some very publicly, and churches go bankrupt because the Biblical model is not honored – perhaps not even known. God’s work must be done God’s way. When the goal is something other than advancing the Kingdom that group, church or minister will surely fade away. I can’t tell you how many ministries I’ve seen go down. Pride leaders some to believe they are above the law; one minister friend of mine had no trouble lying because he thought the ministry would flourish if he did so. His $100 thousand dollar investment in China went down the tube. God does not give permission to any leader to disobey the moral law and retain his position.
3. When the leader discovers his error he does not hide it but acts to repair the damage. Darius repented, fasted and prayed all night. Then in the morning after he saw Daniel safe and sound he went after the men who entrapped both him and Daniel. Cover-up never works; if man doesn’t catch you, God will.
4. Note that the King did not give these conspirators a pass. Too often leaders will tolerate employees in their company who have some other great talent. But people are creatures of habit; if an employee will connive once, he’ll do it again. Firing is painful but it must be done. These days it may mean a lawsuit but tolerating a problem does not solve it.
5. In modern times few individuals are total dictators and must make allowances for personalities and politics. In my past I worked for a woman who was extremely insecure in her job; she had been placed at the top of a large company at 35. It was an easy task for evil tongues to encourage her to fire or push out at least 4 top people, a genius bookkeeper, a volunteer coordinator, a very popular person and me as well. The company did suffer all the while not realizing she had become a victim simply because she knew the liar better and unwisely trusted her.
6. Finally, God is able to judge the conspirators,

Below is the entire passage from the Bible (The Message)

Daniel in the Lions’ Den See what you learn in your reading.

6 1-3 Darius reorganized his kingdom. He appointed one hundred twenty governors to administer all the parts of his realm. Over them were three vice-regents, one of whom was Daniel. The governors reported to the vice-regents, who made sure that everything was in order for the king. But Daniel, brimming with spirit and intelligence, so completely outclassed the other vice-regents and governors that the king decided to put him in charge of the whole kingdom.

4-5 The vice-regents and governors got together to find some old scandal or skeleton in Daniel’s life that they could use against him, but they couldn’t dig up anything. He was totally exemplary and trustworthy. They could find no evidence of negligence or misconduct. So they finally gave up and said, “We’re never going to find anything against this Daniel unless we can cook up something religious.”

6-7 The vice-regents and governors conspired together and then went to the king and said, “King Darius, live forever! We’ve convened your vice-regents, governors, and all your leading officials, and have agreed that the king should issue the following decree:

For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lions’ den.
8 “Issue this decree, O king, and make it unconditional, as if written in stone like all the laws of the Medes and the Persians.”

9 King Darius signed the decree.
10 When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.

11-12 The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help. They went straight to the king and reminded him of the royal decree that he had signed. “Did you not,” they said, “sign a decree forbidding anyone to pray to any god or man except you for the next thirty days? And anyone caught doing it would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
“Absolutely,” said the king. “Written in stone, like all the laws of the Medes and Persians.”

13 Then they said, “Daniel, one of the Jewish exiles, ignores you, O king, and defies your decree. Three times a day he prays.”
14 At this, the king was very upset and tried his best to get Daniel out of the fix he’d put him in. He worked at it the whole day long.
15 But then the conspirators were back: “Remember, O king, it’s the law of the Medes and Persians that the king’s decree can never be changed.”

16 The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.”
17 A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel’s fate.
18 The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn’t sleep. He spent the night fasting.

19-20 At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?”
21-22 “O king, live forever!” said Daniel. “My God sent his angel, who closed the mouths of the lions so that they would not hurt me. I’ve been found innocent before God and also before you, O king. I’ve done nothing to harm you.”

23 When the king heard these words, he was happy. He ordered Daniel taken up out of the den. When he was hauled up, there wasn’t a scratch on him. He had trusted his God.
24 Then the king commanded that the conspirators who had informed on Daniel be thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. Before they hit the floor, the lions had them in their jaws, tearing them to pieces.

25-27 King Darius published this proclamation to every race, color, and creed on earth:
Peace to you! Abundant peace!
I decree that Daniel’s God shall be worshiped and feared in all parts of my kingdom.
He is the living God, world without end. His kingdom never falls.
His rule continues eternally.
He is a savior and rescuer.
He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth.
He saved Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 From then on, Daniel was treated well during the reign of Darius, and also in the following reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Albert Einstein

“I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.”

Try Interpreting this Dream

Years ago I worked on an extensive Christian ministry project with two men. Let’s call them Joe and Bill. Bill had lied about me, not once but twice, and he lied about me to Joe as well. No one wants to work with people who behave this way so I eliminated all contact with them. This dream occurred several years later. Here is the dream. See if you get the same interpretation.

I found Joe down an embankment, flat on his back on a roadbed unable to move. (He is about 6’2” and 210 pounds.) So I ran off to find Bill so we could help our old friend. I found Bill in a grubby motel with a young prostitute with really dirty blond hair. He was smirking when I busted in the room.


I was so shocked I woke up.

End of dream.

Then I called a friend who did dream interpretations and here is what she said. See if it matches your interpretation.

She said, “Joe is on the road to everlasting life but he has fallen and can’t get up.” His walk with God is stalled.

She said Bill has taken up with “false religion” which is identified in scripture as the Whore of Babylon, a prostitute, meaning someone using religion for personal gain.

This interpretation I believe is right. (She never did know what the dirty hair was about.) And given my position I am in no way able to help them out. That was some years gone by now, and I feel confident about my part in this.

Will they be released from their situation? I hope so but not by me. They need to get their priorities straight with God first. This is a picture of what happens when you do not judge what you hear; Joe had fallen – he believed a lie so he suffered although not as much as Bill. You are responsible both for what you believe and for what you say.

The Meaning of “Elohim” – The Plural God

The first appearance of this word is in Genesis 1 which makes it important to us. It refers to “gods” plural, El meaning god, and the Hebrew plural is “im.” The Jews identify these gods as a combination of their One God and angels.

Three ways to know God not three gods

Christians believe Elohim refers to the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, the three faces we know as an all-powerful consuming deity.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The Elohim cannot include angels because (1) angels have no power of creativity. Their job is simply to obey (good angels) or bad (demons etc.). Angels are called “ministering spirits” and ministering is a matter of obeying God.

Hebrews 1:14
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Angels do not need to be saved in the human sense.

(2) We are made in the image of God but not in the image of angels. Angels have no physical body. They do have a spiritual body. Men are made “lower than the angels” which refers to our human body on earth. Angels have abilities as spiritual beings we do not have here. We will have greater mobility in heaven of course, where the human body is not a limitation.

(3) God “breathed” into man and made him a living soul. This does not happen to angels. That breathing-in process is what carries the image of God. Angels do not have that image.

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Animals have souls, not spirits

Animals have souls, that is they have will, intellect and emotion, but not a spirit from God. Angels also appear to have souls since they can appear to man, and speak and have specific duties. Michael, for example is involved in war and Gabriel is a message bearer, but again, like animals, no breath of God. Man alone has his own spirit, that repository where the Holy Spirit can come in a create a born-again being, our important goal in this life.

To sum up, angels do not have the all-essential attribute of God, a God-infused spirit, and man is not made in angels’ images either.

What does it mean to repent?

The first leg on a journey back to God is forgiveness. Repentance is the second leg and best understood by what it is not.

What Repentance is not

It is not remorse, regret, lament, apology, feeling bad about, wishing it had never happened, depression, despair, sorrow, shame or guilt. Those are all valid emotions which ordinary people feel when they have done wrong, or at least when they think they have done wrong. But emotions are not actions.

Jesus never once asked anyone how they felt; but many times he asked them “What do you think?” Thinking governs actions. To repent is to act.

Jesus never asked how someone felt

Remorse is feeling so very bad about something that it destroys you. Judas betrayed Jesus and was engulfed by remorse so thoroughly he killed himself. That is not repentance.

Matthew 27:2-4 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.Could Judas have repented and been restored to Jesus? Yes, but he did not.

Shame and guilt can trigger repentance

Shame and guilt engulfed Peter after he had denied he knew Jesus. He didn’t kill himself or anyone else, but he skulked back into the shadows until Jesus openly and publicly asked Peter to undo in his heart what he had done previously in front of others. Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him since Peter had denied him three times. From The Message

15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (αγαπας) me more than these?” The word love here refers to the pure love of God.

“Yes, Master, you know I love (φιλω) you.” The word for love here refers to the love between persons, brothers, friends.

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (αγαπας) me?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love (φιλω) you.”

Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love (φιλω) me?”

Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

Peter knew what it meant to really repent. He believed he loved Jesus with God’s love, and could after the betrayal only confess to (φιλω) the love of mankind. But he did make as many confessions of love as he had of betrayal. In the Bible is pays to note patterns of behavior.

The English really cannot know these different words for love, essential to correct interpretation. Peter was required by the circumstances to agree and also recognize that his love was not as devoted and as unconditional as he had originally believed. Peter found out the truth about himself in this scenario. Peter was not only restored, he became one of the most aggressive of apostles.

Sorrow, lament, depression

Sorrow was what Mary felt when she saw her son die. Lament was what the women did at Golgotha. (Matt 27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. ) Depression is a long term response to anger turned inward. The cure for depression is not repentance but praise. Isaiah 61:3.

Repentance means change your mind

Enough of what it is not. Repentance defined is, using a translation of the Greek word metnoia, (meta=change, nous=mind), solely to change your mind. This takes an act of the will. It does not mean that you really need to know very much. The simplest person can change his/her mind.

I once worked for a gifted attorney; in fact she had never lost a case. Even though she attended church and Sunday school every week, (and her husband was a preacher’s kid), she told me that she hoped she would do enough good in her life to be accepted in heaven. Clearly she had not one clue what true salvation was all about. She needed a mental change. What will happen to bring her to this? I have no idea but clearly weekly preaching has not done it for her. Will she have a sudden realization of her lost-ness?

As one who worked with prisoners for years I saw people in jail who did not see their condition until they had a realization of the love of God. One murderer said he broke down in sobs when he realized that he had killed someone that God loved.

Bringing people to repentance

The Bible says there are two ways to get people saved: one is kind and gentle words of love, and the other is pure-T scaring them into the Kingdom.

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

God uses all methods to bring man to Himself.

God is Sovereign – sort-of

Sovereign means in total control. This mantra is frequently quoted. “We can only ask God. We are powerless. He is sovereign.”

This can be a giant cop-out. God was sovereign when He created the world (Genesis 1). He turned a huge area of authority over to Adam (man) to control, that is the world and its systems. Adam even had control over the animal kingdom.

Gen 1:26 – dominion means control in this passage.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

God delegated much power to Man

But in Genesis 3 Adam voluntarily turned over the world and its systems to Satan. (I won’t quote the whole thing.) And Satan is still the boss over the world. The whole world, says the Bible, lies in the wicked one.

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

God did retain authority over the earth. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, (i.e. what the earth produces.) The book of Amos reminds us He is in control of the weather. And He still controls individuals.

Psalm 24:1
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

God’s rule is only delegated to those who are under His direct authority through obedience- the nation of Israel and Christians. God has restored to believers all the authority over the enemy at any one point – raising the dead, casting out devils, healing the sick – the whole shebang.

Luke 9 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.

Naysayers are powerless

Some preachers say that was for former times. Why? Perhaps because they do not have that power? Why should their powerlessness restrain ours? Those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit AND who are obedient to the Word have access to everything God granted in the former generations. To say otherwise is to have

2 Timothy 3:5 a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

For those outside His will and His word – the world and all its terrors of flesh and devil prevail. God is not in control of China or North Korea. He could blast ‘em both off the face of the earth. He still has the power to correct evil, and especially over nations. But the North Korean people “elected” their leader, such as it was, as have so many nations in dire circumstances today.

The power for those who believe

God has given believers (those who believe His word) the authority and subsequent power over all, if they take it and use it. It’s like a check in the bank. If you don’t cash the check, you don’t have the money. Simple. If you do not use the power of god, you might have it but it is of no consequence.

If we say God is Sovereign in order to avoid our responsibility for obedience then shame on us. Jesus said on the cross, It is finished. He means, He has done all the work. Now we pick up the challenge, to complete His work as He has directed.

We can have power over nations

Syria and its nasty genocidal leaders are our responsibility, first in prayer, and then possibly in the natural. Since I don’t work for the President of the USA (and you can forget wimpy NATO or United Nations from ever doing anything)) I can only pray believing God will bring to swift judgment nations which terrorize, exploit and murder their citizens in the streets which is what is happening today across the world.

Simply saying God is sovereign is no cure, and certainly no excuse for obeying the will of God. Period.

The Virgin Birth – It’s all about DNA

God made a decision to give Man free will which He refuses to violate.

How can God bail man out of the mess he is in?

If He chooses armies, the armies will get the credit and be the object of deserved worship. If He chooses angels, the devil can crow that they are evil angels and he then claims the credit. Since God is the only one who can pull this off He must come up with a foolproof way to assure there will be no fraudulent methods of an alternative salvation.

Blood sacrifice is universal choice

The answer is blood. In the 20th century we learn that all blood is personal; each man’s DNA is specific to him/her. From the earliest of times a blood sacrifice for even the most primitive societies has been the offering for the absolution of sins. But how can we certain that this blood of Jesus is unique?

This is the focus of the divine birth of Jesus. The Bible states that the sin passes from father to the children; the mother and her sin is not a factor. So the issue of whether Mary is a sinner is of no consequence.

Sin passes from father to the children

Exodus 34:7
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Therefore, the father of the baby who will save the world must to be sinless; no man can qualify for this job, so God becomes the father. If Jesus did not have a sinless father then Jesus would also be required to die for His own sins.

Mary not considered sinless

The Bible says the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and the divine sperm entered her egg. Some religious groups teach that Mary was also sinless as Jesus but clearly this theory is not necessary for salvation, nor is it Biblical.

The sinless Jesus from the sinless father was born 9 months later.
Satan and anyone he chooses to save the world can’t do it because no one he selects is sinless. The result is the One and Only Jesus as the One and Only Savior of the world.

The DNA is the issue and God solved it.

Consequently when ministers say we are saved by the blood of Jesus, they are pointing to the single thing in the universe which can effect salvation and nothing else.

A Visit to a Church under a Curse

My daughter agreed to take me to the Church of the Incarnation, a musical feast of a Capella singing in a High Episcopal Church replete with lavish stained glass windows, clearly valued at millions of dollars, incense, huge candles and all the trappings of a church that only recently cast off the Roman label. I’ve seen a few great cathedrals of Europe, Chartres, Paris, and others. And that is what I wanted to hear again after a youth spent listening to Episcopal services. This is what the Wesley family saw in church in 18th century England.

A liturgy of the past.

But I was not prepared for what I saw in the light of 50 years of progress as the church of Jesus Christ has moved on, not just decades, but a century forward in thinking and practice.

Over half the congregation was male; also the choir, which was as good as you will ever hear, was half male. The acoustics were perfect. The soprano who sang the Magnificat must have been a professional. Only one other church in the area, the Messianic community at Sar Shaloam, can say that half their congregation is male. But the difference is that this church had many homosexuals while the Messianic men were straight.

Blessed assurance can be false.

All men (and women) have a desperate, internalized need to feel saved. It applies to all cultures and is one of the main functions of religions, false ones as well as true, rotten political systems as well as blessed ones, to provide this assurance to the citizens.

In China, for example, in brazen contrast to the West, the Communist State simply mandates that even though there is required atheism, everyone goes to heaven. I have yet to figure out how this works. If you do not believe in God, how can you believe in heaven….or hell.

The convenience in believing in a special heaven just for you.

No one explains this, but I did read where Mao Zedong, the butcher of China, remarked to an aide that they would all die and be with Karl Marx in the next life. The heaven for genocidal maniacs would rightly be called hell, and yes, I think we can believe Marx is there in some discomfort, and yes, Mao can expect to be there since he engineered the death of 30 million, a lot more than Hitler and we know where Hitler is.

Every false religion tells their adherents that it alone is the way to heaven. And after 45 years as a peregrine missionary, I can declare that all men (women, and children) do believe in God even though education and culture might try to wipe it out. Truth will overcome in the end. But when we pull the religious scales off we see that it is faith, not religion, that saves us.

Religion has no power to save

So I ask myself: How can all these homosexual men sit through this service, which was Biblical and accurate to the nth degree and leave the sanctuary assuming they will be in heaven with the Lord someday. It makes no sense. There is no room for evil or its practices in heaven; God demands holiness in His people. And no one is saved by liturgy.

The limits of the Incarnation

The answer is the limits of the Incarnation, which is God’s decision to enter human history by becoming man, as Christ with us, savior, redeemer of the whole world, our sacrifice for sin. All this is true, and it is the message of three hours on the cross so many centuries ago.

The elegant program of worship towards this God-man did not touch these men because everything was Jesus, and Him only. He alone was the focus of the service, the church, the congregation, the singing and the truth. But it is not the whole truth.

The other three hours Jesus spent on the cross was for the redemption of the created world, not just humankind but also the culture, the planet, its resources, the animal kingdom, and nations. The blood of the cross fell on the ground.

Jesus’ sacrifice becomes complete through us.

Even though Jesus’ sacrifice for sin was complete in all aspects that salvation must still be worked out to completion in history of which you and I are a part. If this were not so, God would have ended future births and taken us all to heaven in one great act immediately following His death. No, He did not want the re-creation of the world to progress without Us.

The second half of the Crucifixion is what we, his people, are and do in this world. For this we need, no, we require submitted and obedient lives. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” The crucifixion is not complete until Jesus completely conquers this world and everything in it; that is what we anticipate. We are part of that redemption as his Body here on earth, and it is not a body of evil or perversion.

The Acts of the Believers

The 1st four gospels are about the incarnation, but the balance of the New Testament concerns the acts of the apostles and the management and productivity of the believers for centuries to come. I am today just as much a creator of the universal salvation message in what I do for the Kingdom as the original apostles and worshipers in the caves of Rome.

The church defined

The church service I enjoyed on Mother’s Day was only about Jesus; the modern world is about us and our mission to a fallen world. And God gives no ministries to the openly sinful, the rebellious, or the disobedient. The church is not a building, a program or a bureaucracy; it is the people of God living progressively more holy lives and changing the world around them through those lives. Salvation to be real demands a response.

If you get a map of the world, you will be astonished to see that in 2,000 years Christianity has taken over most of the globe, at least in principal if not in actual practice. The world still lies in the evil one, for all our effort, although things are changing. But we are doing what Jesus asked us to do. When Jesus said “It is finished,” He meant, “I’ve done my part now you can do yours.”

My daughter said later that as she left the ladies room she noticed not one person in the choir was smiling.

I asked her, “if you knew in your inner man, that you were going to hell, not because God mandated it (because God sends no man to hell) but because of your own decision, would you be smiling?”

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

#Hitler #MaoZeDong #Marx #sexualdeviants #church defined #falsereligion

Guest Editorial by Dennis Michael “God’s Word and America Today”

I found two verses in the Bible that I want to share with you that I believe pertain to today:

Job 9:24: When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, he (God) blindfolds its judges.

Psalm 12:14…the wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race.

You probably remember the chant that rang out at the Democratic convention last year: “No God! No God!” It sent an icy chill down my spine. Of course not all Democrats feel that way – probably most don’t. You may be a Democrat yourself. The “No God!” chant may not have represented the rank-and-file of the party; nevertheless, it was Democratic leadership speaking.

Does that mean the Republican Party is God’s party of choice, like I’ve heard some day? I think the answer is found in Joshua 5:13-15:

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and aa man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied,” but as commander of the Lord’s army of the Lord, I have now come.” Then Joshua fell face down and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

I could never understand why the commander of the Lord’s army – whom most biblical scholars believe was the pre-incarnate Jesus – claimed neutrality when the Jews were God’s chosen people. Then I discovered

Psalm 138:2:…You have magnified Your word above Your Name (Amplified Bible).

Amazing! The Lord places His word even above His name! It used to be said that a man’s name is only as good as his word. It looks like God agrees.

The commander of the Lord’s army didn’t come to defend Israel because He favored it – the Bible is clear that God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He came because of the everlasting covenant – the word – God made with Abraham in Genesis 17:7, promising to make him a father of many nations, giving Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession, declaring, “I will be their God.”

So does God favor Democrats over Republicans? He favors His word.

America has been blessed more than any nation, not because we were more righteous than the rest of the world, but because our Constitution was framed according to the principles of God’s word. Above that, the Bible was honored, even if in name only, by most Americans. And because God places His word above his name, what we see happening to our country today is because God and His word have been pushed aside – masquerading as political correctness and civil/constitutional rights.

God owns the universe! And there is no distinction between church and state in His mind. The “No God! No God!’ chant at the Democratic Convention, the present scandals and lies, or at best twisting the truth are spiritual problems, not political issues.

I’ve asked myself if America’s seemingly decline aligns with end-time prophecy, why not sit back and watch it happen? Didn’t God send prophets to speak out against Israel’s sin, even though judgment against it as a nation was inevitable? As Christians, should we remain silent and not speak out against issues such as political corruption and legislation that violates God’s word, even thought the outcome may be inevitable for America?

  • Fast and Furious
  • Changing the talking points about Benghazi
  • Violating the Freedom of the Press (James Rosen)
  • IRS and The Tea Party (Including Billy Graham)
  • NSA snooping on Americans
  • Re-defining marriage
  • Forbidding soldiers to talk about their faith
  • Making abortion a health concern for women and never mentioning the children aborted
  • the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) train wreck.

How can these go unnoticed?

Time and again, the many wrongs of George Bush are brought up when the Obama administration is criticized as an excuse for Obama’s failures. For sure there was a carry over from the Bush years – but that doesn’t change or excuse the present problems. Are we Christians and Americans first? Or Republicans and Democrats first? It’s time to put party affiliation and even race, as some say is the reason why Obama is criticized, aside and look at the facts -NOW!

A friend of mine once told me that evil always overplays its hand.

Psalm 5:10 says, Declare them guilty (the arrogant and liars),

Reincarnation – a Great Cartoon

Cartoonists often have subliminal messages that even they may not understand.

This cartoon makes an interesting statement. First notice that the new person that Steve Jobs becomes when he takes on a new body is a lowly Chinese coolie in an Apple factory. This emphasizes the fact that the dead have no control over the future -when they are dead. Steve’s opinion no matter how lofty in life means nothing hereafter.

Second, the Buddhists don’t like to be ordered around.

Third, saying you are a Buddhist and saying you are in heaven may not be true at all.

What kind of heaven is it if you don’t have something valuable. It looks like Steve Jobs is on his own in a foreign place. Hell would be a Chinese sweat shop.

The standard assumptions of reincarnation is that your future life will be better – but not here. The next assumption is that you have somehow magically avoided a judgment day – not so. To be a lowly coolie is judgment enough, but to date we have absolutely no proof that anyone ever returns from the grave as a new personality, or a new person.

By the way, we have many testimonials, see YouTube, from people who have been to both heaven and hell. Not all of them seem truthful, but if you watch 8-10 of each variety you’ll get a good handle on what the real places are like.

Reincarnation is a theory and a false comfort that merely postpones a judgment and little more. And by the way, who wants to come back as less than before? Wouldn’t you like a little progress? Wealth, status, opportunity, accolades were for Steve Jobs on this side of the grave. As a coolie- nothing. Not much to look forward to, eh?

[added: please read the comment which follows.]

#reincarnation #judgment #heaven #hell

Peter and Jesus – a Pattern for Reconciliation

In John 18 Peter denied Jesus three times, as in fact Jesus Himself had predicted. (Matthew 26:34) A cocky, self-assured Peter said he would never do this. Sometimes our confidence gets away with itself.

Public denial has consequences

Peter learned what was in his inner most heart. But this denial had cut him off from Jesus. Public denial is quite serious. In fact, the scripture says that if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father. (Matthew 10:30)

After the death of Jesus and prior to His ascension an angel says to Jesus’ group:

Mark 16:7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

Peter’s denial had removed him from being a “disciple.” So Jesus offers him an opportunity for restoration. Here is the passage. It is important for what it says in the Greek language, something impossible to state in English.

God knows what you have said

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

If we do not know the two Greek words here, we can get caught looking at the sheep and their feeding instead of the real lesson.

Greek words for love have different meanings

Here we have two different words for love in Greek. This language has five words for love; four of them appear in the Greek Bible. Two of them are here. Agape (ah-gah-pay) meaning the pure, selfless love of God and phileo, (phi-lay-oh) the love of one person for another, i.e. brotherly love. Now – the same passage with the Greek words inserted.

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love [agape] Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love [agape] Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love [phileo] Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Why did Jesus abandon His “agape” term and revert to Peter’s “phileo” verb?

The rules for speech are for Christian workers too

We can answer this several ways. First, Peter and the rest of the disciples/apostles had yet to receive the Holy Spirit in the upper room on Pentecost. Without the infilling of God’s spirit how can we truly know the pure love of God in our lives.

The natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God, neither does he know them, for they are foolishness unto him” 1 Corinthians 2:14

Second, Peter has been chastened, that is a fancy word for discipline. Discipline to be effective and honorable must always seek restoration. Discipline that is simply violent correction or evil doing, and there is plenty of that in this world, is non-redemptive and leads to more evil. Peter has seen his lack; he is embarrassed and he knows that he must grow in the knowledge of God and His love. In this respect we are all ‘Peters.’

God disciplines His people; he judges the lost

Peter list his position as a disciple after he denied Jesus three times on the day of crucifixion.  We know this because Jesus said the following to the women at the tomb:

“But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee.” Mark 16:7.

Jesus offered Peter an opportunity to undo all the denials he had initiated. By using the Greek word for Godly love, the Lord was telling Peter there was something he had yet to learn. Peter’s repeating that he loved Jesus three times restored him to disciple status.

Restortation through your words

Jesus does that for all of us; we are given space to be corrected and to understand ourselves so we can be effective doing our assigned tasks for the promotion of the Kingdom of God.

How States Can Man-Up and Stop Abortion

A Guest editorial by a retired lawyer. See Publius Huldah’s blog for more articles.

By Publius Huldah|June 27th, 2019

If the American People [and American lawyers] had been properly educated, they would know that our federal Constitution created a federal government of enumerated powers only; and that most of the powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large are listed at Art. I, §8, clauses 1-16, US Constitution.

“Abortion” is not listed among the enumerated powers. Therefore, Congress has no power to make any laws about abortion for the Country at Large.[1]  And since “abortion” isn’t “expressly contained” in the Constitution, it doesn’t “arise under” the Constitution; and since state laws restricting abortion don’t fit within any of the other categories of cases the federal courts are authorized by Art. III, §2, cl. 1 to hear, the federal courts also have no power over this issue.

So from the beginning of our Constitutional Republic until 1973, everyone understood that abortion is a State matter.  Accordingly, many State Legislatures enacted statutes restricting abortion within their borders.

But in 1973, the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in Roe v. Wade and made the absurd claim that Section 1 of the 14th Amendment contains a “right” to abortion.  In Why Supreme Court opinions are not the ‘Law of the Land,’ and how to put federal judges in their place, I showed why the Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe is unconstitutional.

But Americans have long been conditioned to believe that the Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means.[2] Accordingly, for close to 50 years, American lawyers and federal judges have mindlessly chanted the absurd refrain that “Roe v. Wade is the Law of the Land”; State governments slavishly submitted; and 60 million babies died.

So who has the lawful authority to stop abortion?

1- Congress has constitutional authority to ban abortion in federal enclaves and military hospitals

Over the federal enclaves, Congress has constitutional authority to ban abortion:  Pursuant to Article I, §8, next to last clause, Congress is granted “exclusive Legislation” over the District of Columbia, military bases, dock-Yards, and other places purchased with the consent of the State Legislatures (to carry out the enumerated powers).[3]Article I, §8, cl.14 grants to Congress the power to make Rules for the government and regulation of the Military Forces.  Accordingly, for the specific geographical areas described at Article I, §8, next to last clause, and in US military hospitals everywhere, Congress has the power to make laws banning abortion.

2- But federal courts have no constitutional authority over abortion

Article III, §2, cl. 1 lists the ten categories of cases federal courts have authority to hear.  They may hear only cases:

  • “Arising under” the Constitution, or the Laws of the United States, or Treaties made under the Authority of the United States [“federal question” jurisdiction];
  • Affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers & Consuls; cases of admiralty & maritime Jurisdiction; or cases in which the U.S. is a Party [“status of the parties” jurisdiction];
  • Between two or more States; between a State & Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States; and between a State (or Citizens thereof) & foreign States, Citizens or Subjects [“diversity” jurisdiction]. [4]

These are the only cases federal courts have authority to hear.  Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 83 (8th para):

“…the judicial authority of the federal judicatures is declared by the Constitution to comprehend certain cases particularly specified. The expression of those cases marks the precise limits beyond which the federal courts cannot extend their jurisdiction, because the objects of their cognizance being enumerated, the specification would be nugatory if it did not exclude all ideas of more extensive authority.”  [boldface added]

Obviously, State laws restricting abortion don’t fall within “status of the parties” or “diversity” jurisdiction; and federal courts haven’t claimed jurisdiction on those grounds.  Instead, they have asserted that abortion cases “arise under” the US Constitution!

But in Federalist No. 80 (2nd para), Hamilton states that cases “arising under the Constitution” concern

“…the execution of the provisions expressly contained in the articles of Union [the US Constitution]…” [5]  [boldface added]

Obviously, “abortion” is not “expressly contained” in the Constitution.  So it doesn’t “arise under” the Constitution.  In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court had to redefine the word, “liberty”, which appears in §1 of the 14th Amendment, in order to claim that “abortion” “arises under” the Constitution.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” [boldface added] [6]

Do you see where it says that pregnant women have the “right” to abortion?  It isn’t there!  So this is what the Supreme Court did to legalize killing babies:  They said “liberty” means “privacy” and “privacy” means state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional.  And American lawyers and judges have slavishly gone along with this evil absurdity ever since!

3- States must reclaim their traditionally recognized reserved power to restrict abortion!

Since “abortion” is a power reserved by the States or the People, State Legislatures should reenact State Statutes restricting abortion.

When a lawsuit is filed in Federal District Court alleging that the State Statute violates the US Constitution, the State Attorney General should file a motion in the Court to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  He should point out that the Court has no constitutional authority to hear the case; that Roe v. Wade is void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; that “abortion” is one of the many powers reserved by the States; and that the State Legislature properly exercised its retained sovereign power when it re-enacted the Statue restricting abortion.

The State Attorney General should also advise the Court that if the Court denies the Motion to Dismiss, the State will not participate in the litigation and will not submit to any pretended Orders or Judgments issued by the Court.

Now!  Here is an interesting fact which everyone would already know if they had had a proper education in civics:  Federal courts have no power to enforce their own Judgments and Orders.  They must depend on the Executive Branch of the federal government to enforce their Judgments and Orders.[7]

Since President Trump has proclaimed his opposition to abortion, who believes that he would send in the National Guard to force the State to allow physicians to kill more babies within the State?  Please understand:  An opinion or ruling from a federal court means nothing unless the Executive Branch chooses to enforce it.[8]THIS IS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH’S “CHECK” ON THE JUDICIAL BRANCH! If the President, in the exercise of his independent judgment, thinks that an Order or Judgment of a federal court is unconstitutional, it is his duty imposed by his Oath of Office [9] to refuse to enforce it.

4- The modern day approach to dealing with absurd Supreme Court Opinions

But most pro-life lawyers will tell you we should proceed as follows:  That we need to get a number of States to pass “heartbeat laws”.  Pro-abortion forces will then file lawsuits in federal district courts alleging that the heartbeat laws violate Roe v. Wade and are “unconstitutional”.  Most States will lose in the federal district courts.  But they can appeal to one of the 13 US Circuit Courts of Appeal. Most of the States will also lose in the Circuit Court.  But if just one Circuit Court rules in favor of the heartbeat law, then there will be “conflict” among the Circuits and the US Supreme Court is likely to hear the issue.  This will give the US Supreme Court the opportunity [years from now] to revisit Roe v. Wade, and they might overrule it!

But I suggest, dear Reader, that we must purge our thinking of the assumption that we can’t have a moral and constitutional government unless Five Judges on the Supreme Court say we can have it.  Since it is clear that federal courts have no constitutional authority over abortion, why do we go along with the pretense that they do?  Why not just man-up and tell them, “You have no jurisdiction over this issue”?

Our Framers would be proud of you.

© 2019 NWV – All Rights Reserved

E-Mail Publius Huldah: publiushuldah@gmail.com

Endnotes:

[1] Accordingly, the federal Heartbeat Bill and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, to the extent they purport to apply outside federal enclaves and military hospitals, are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large.

[2] The Supreme Court was created by Art. III, §1, US Constitution, and is completely subject to its terms.  As a mere “creature”, it may not re-write the document under which it holds its existence.

[3] In Federalist No. 43 at 2., James Madison explains why Congress must have complete lawmaking authority over the District of Columbia and the federal enclaves.

[4] The 11th Amendment reduced the jurisdiction of federal courts by taking from them the power to hear cases filed by a Citizen of one State against another State.

[5] Federalist No. 80 (3rd & 13th paras) illustrates what “arising under the Constitution” means: Hamilton points to the restrictions on the power of the States listed at Art. I, §10 and shows that if a State exercises any of those powers, and the fed. gov’t sues the State, the federal courts have authority to hear the case.

[6] “Privileges and immunities” and “due process” are ancient Principles of English Jurisprudence well-known to earlier generations of American lawyers. “Equal protection” within §1 of the 14th Amd’t means that with respect to the rights recognized by these ancient Principles, States were now required to treat black people the same as white people.  See Raoul Berger, Government by Judiciary The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

[7] In Federalist No. 78 (6th para), Hamilton shows why federal courts have no power to enforce their orders and judgments – they must rely on the Executive Branch to enforce them:

“… the judiciary… will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.” [caps are Hamilton’s; boldface added]

[8] During the Eisenhower administration, a federal court ordered the State of Arkansas to desegregate their public schools. But the Governor of Arkansas refused to comply with the federal court orders. So President Eisenhower sent in the National Guard to force Arkansas to admit black students to a public school. See this archived article from the New York Times.

Here, Eisenhower chose to enforce the Court’s Order. But if he had decided that he would NOT enforce it, the schools would have remained segregated.  Federal courts are dependent on the Executive Branch of the fed. gov’t to enforce their OrdersThis is what Hamilton is talking about in Federalist No. 78.

[9] The President’s Oath is to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (Art. II, §1, last clause).   It is not to obey the Judicial Branch of the fed. gov’t.

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About the Author: Publius Huldah

Publius Huldah is a retired attorney who now lives in Tennessee. Before getting a law degree, she got a degree in philosophy where she specialized in political philosophy and epistemology (theories of knowledge). She now writes extensively on the U.S. Constitution, using the Federalist Papers to prove its original meaning and intent. She also shows how federal judges and politicians have ignored Our Constitution and replaced it with their personal opinions and beliefs. E-Mail: publiushuldah@gmail.com

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What is a Jesus Generation?

Psalm 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

This verse refers to a seed as a group of people who have been birthed out of their loyalty to Jesus who will make up for the fact that He died 7 years short of a full generation 40 years. To the Jews 40 years was a generation, and He died at age 33. But his ministry is entitled to 7 more years of fruitfulness.

Those years will be filled instead by his followers who live and work for His kingdom.

A Generation is 40 Years

Non Jews may not understand this. Many Westerners think 20 years is a generation but the Jews made it twice that because even though children enter adulthood at 20, they do not reach maturity until well after that and then they become productive. They also have a chance in those years to provide offspring, considered a goal of life by Jewish leaders.

For the Christian those offspring are supposed to be followers of the Lord, continuing the generation of Jesus and his overpowering influence on a fallen world. In other words “religious apples” fall off the tree as well as genetic ones.

Today the generations are as follows: Millennials – born between 1984 and 2002. GenXers, born between 1965 and 1983. Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 and Elders born prior to 1945. These generations all have distinct qualities, leaders, opinions, histories and consequently are reached by different ministries.

The Speed of Life

There is some cause to define these as 20 years rather than 40 because the speed of life has increased exponentially, due to the rapid expansion of technology. Previous culture and centuries saw little or no changes. It would be unthinkable for us to discuss, for example, a Hundred Years War such as they had in England.

Since Jesus is an eternal being and since his ministry is also eternal, the 7 years of his entitlement can spread over many hundreds of years. God has a different view of time. https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/11/15/gods-view-of-time-kairos-and-chronos/

Not all believers are part of this seed as many of God’s people are non-obedient. Believers will be judged on the basis of their obedience to the word of God. Heaven will be a very interesting place.

#dreaminterpretation #dreams #symbolism

As I Enter My Blog’s 9th Year

I have a very small, 3-4″ razor sharp verbal knife and I will plunge it into anything false and kill it outright. That will not change.

You’re divorced but convinced you are still married? Yes, in the Bible it’s so.

After my husband divorced me in 1989 I still felt married, legally, so I did not date or even really consider remarriage for many years. Finally a few years after he died and I knew I was free to marry again, I ended up at the huge Prestonwood Baptist Church In Plano, Texas where Jack Graham, Senior Pastor, gave a sermon on this topic. It was a total surprise.

Yes, said Pastor Graham, if you, the wife, never had sex with anyone but your husband, that is you did not commit adultery, then no matter what he does, you are still married. You are called a widow only after he dies; meanwhile you are still considered married and he is the one who is committing adultery while he lives. Because you both are “one flesh” you become an adulterer because he has a 3rd person in your bed.

Man’s laws don’t apply with God

Keep in mind that God does not recognize the law of man in His Kingdom. Man’s laws are only for this world and the world system, a world system we are told not to love. But His law – that we are to love.

The fact that you have a piece of paper from say – The State of Indiana – saying you are divorced does not mean you are divorced in God’s eyes. He is eternal and he has eternal rules. Divorce may be true on earth but it may or may not be true in heavenly places, and God’s word there is paramount.

Matthew 5:31-32 King James Version (KJV) Jesus said His law for Christians is tougher than the law for Jews.

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

However the minute you marry again or have sex with someone you are not married to, the marriage is officially over in God’s eyes and you become an adulterer because of what you, the wife, did; whereas before you were an adulterer because of what you legal husband did. Remember in this case man’s divorce laws are not in effect. At no time does God say the innocent woman has “commit” adultery, only that now she shares the classification.

A friend has been an “adulterer” for 30 years

To back me up I later met a fellow student from grad school who had the same complaint; her husband had married a Taiwanese woman back in the 80s but she had remained faithful to him. In her case she was still an “adulterer” because he was still alive, something she rued to that day. But she is a missionary for her denomination so she does not mind her position. Being faithful is not a strain. When you are obedient to God’s perfect will, he has blessings for you.

I can honestly say that after 35 years of singleness, the smartest thing I never did was get married again. But being happy is not why you recognize or obey God’s law. You do it because it guarantees blessings from Him. I sleep like a baby every night. I have no guilt over past misadventures, although I still have commit other kinds of sins which I regret. But sexual license is not one of them.

Sexual purity is a test

Sexual purity is an important test in God’s eyes for your sincerity as one of his family and an acid test for the ministry.

If you are still “married” to an unfaithful man, wait for God to free you. In the meantime I hope this helps you understand God’s laws in this matter.

#adultery #accountability #deathofspouse #God’slaw

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.”