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The religious Saul became the spiritual Paul ( the apostel ) and a whole new world opened up to him. Instead of empty religion, he was "Filled with the Holy Spirit."

Where once he was filled with bitterness, hatred, and blindness, now the power of God dwelt in him! He now had power to live life as it was supposed to be lived. He was given strength.

Most important of all - he was given resurrection life. This once-dead religious Pharisee became alive in Christ! This is what we get instead of religion! We get life - as it is supposed to be lived! Life in heavenly places in Christ!

these were 4 red block decors hung on the wall in my friend's place..... i was taking shots of different angles when i figured a cross as i took a closer shot. i was reminded of His presence in my life....

 

HOW TO BE SAVED - HAVE YOU ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST?

The only salvation available to the human race was purchased by Jesus Christ at Calvary. The work of Calvary consists of His death, burial and resurrection. Since the work of Calvary consists of dying, being buried and raising again, Jesus called this plan being born again. He then declared that being born again was essential for entrance into the kingdom of God (John 3:1-5).

 

John 3

 

1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

 

3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

 

4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

 

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again."

 

To accept Jesus and acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life pray this prayer:

 

Lord Jesus I ask You to come into my life. I have been living apart from You. Today I realize I need You. So here I am. I open my heart to You. Fill me and guide me with the Holy Spirit. I desire to know You. Cleanse me and make me new. I will live my life for You.

 

Amen

 

----http://www.mycrossverse.com/---

My work is done, kitties are fed, and now it's family time 'round the ol' guitar!

(Truth be told, in my real life, my one kitty bites me on the nose any time and every time I sing... :D )

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Model: Skye McLeod Fairywren

Bento Mesh Head: CaTwA Lona

Bento Mesh Body: Maitreya Lara

Face/Body Applier: Glam Affair

Hair: No.Name by No.Match

Leg Tatt: Pharisees by Inhale

Outfit: Fiesta! Baja Hoodied, short, & moccasin boots by !gO! (RARE) now at Shiny Shabby

Sombrero: [Phunk]

Luxy Rings: RealEvil Industries

PROPS: Kitties - NINO Ginger (Lazy) & NINO Sand (Lazy) by Aisling

BALACLAVA!! Busking On - Acoustic Guitar by BALACLAVA

La Hacieda de Morelos by Serenity Style

POSE: Kauane 7 by BellePoses

Pieter Bruegel II 1564-1638. Anvers

La Parabole des Aveugles. The Parable of the Blind

Avignon. Musée Calvet.

Oeuvre de l'entourage de Pieter Bruegel II, d'après un original

de Pieter Bruegel I

Work of the entourage of Pieter Bruegel II, according to an original

from Pieter Bruegel I

 

Matthieu : "Laissez-les: ce sont des aveugles qui conduisent des aveugles; si un aveugle conduit un aveugle, ils tomberont tous deux dans une fosse."

une parabole qui peut être rapprochée d'un texte d'Ésaïe 9:16

"Ceux qui conduisent ce peuple l'égarent, Et ceux qui se laissent conduire se perdent."

 

Matthew: "Leave them: they are blind men who lead blind men: if a blind man leads a blind man, they will both fall into a pit."

a parable that can be likened to a text from Isaiah 9:16

"Those who lead this people mislead it, and those who let themselves be led lose themselves."

 

"L'humanité marche comme un homme ivre" a écrit Victor Hugo. Bien avant lui, Peter Brugel I avait fait un constat aussi pessimiste dans sa parabole des aveugles. Le titre de l'œuvre fait référence à la parabole du Christ adressée aux Pharisiens : « Laissez-les. Ce sont des aveugles qui guident des aveugles. Or, si un aveugle guide un aveugle, ils tomberont tous deux dans la fosse. » Une autre version du thème, traitée de manière un peu différente, est conservée en original au musée de Naples.

 

"Humanity walks like a drunk man," Hugo wrote. Long before him, Peter Brugel I made such a pessimistic statement in his parable of the blind. The title of the work refers to Christ's parable to the Pharisees: "Leave them alone. They are blind people who guide the blind. But if a blind man guides a blind man, they will both fall into the pit. Another version of the theme, treated a little differently, is preserved in original at the Museum of Naples.

Matthew 16:1-4

1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Many thousands of people came together. There were so many people that they were stepping on each other. Before Jesus spoke to the people, he said to his followers, “Be careful of the yeast of the Pharisees. I mean that they are hypocrites.

Copyright © 2012 Child of the King Photography

This image is protected under the United States and International Copyright laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without written permission.

 

Thank you so much for your visits, comments and encouragement! YOUR KINDNESS IS TRULY APPRECIATED!.

 

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Special thanks to Pixel Dust Photo Art for this beautiful texture.

 

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On this Good Friday, my heart is filled with gratitude to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, for taking my sins (and yours) to the cross and dieing for me. And by accepting this gift, I know that I have eternal life.

 

"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."

Galatians 2:19-21

 

Have you ever wondered why we refer to the day Christ died as “Good Friday”?

Seems somewhat strange, doesn’t it? Friday is the day that HE who was celebrated, had become despised. He, who was innocent, was punished like the guilty. He who was the Lion was slaughtered like a Lamb. That doesn’t seem good. Consider the Pharisees and their motives. For them it was a premeditated murder. It was actually a predestined sacrifice. They thought they were taking His life. He was, in fact, surrendering it. Death was their goal. Life was the outcome. Because God had other plans. He made one day affect all of eternity. He turned the wounds of one into the healing of many. He transformed our worst acts of hate into the greatest expression of LOVE. So that at the cross we can hand over our sins in exchange for righteousness. We can lay down our burdens and pick up freedom. We can come broken, yet leave restored. The enemy thought it was going to be a bad day. We now call it good! And though it was thought to be the end, it was actually just the beginning. God has a way of rescuing us from ourselves and flipping things around. Maybe that’s why we call it Good Friday.

Borrowed from ignitermedia.

On August 15, The Greek Orthodox church celebrates the Assumption. But that is just the religious “excuse” for villages to be decorated, folklore festivals to be held, shows of traditional dances to be staged, and a festive atmosphere to be impatiently expected by Greeks and foreigners alike.

Famous celebrations

The top pilgrimage destination is Tinos, the Cycladic island with the church of Virgin Mary that has become its landmark: no wonder the day of the Assumption is the most important of the year there. Thousands of pilgrims have made a solemn promise to genuflect before the holly icon. Some of them go up the hill where the church is situated on their knees! The feeling of awe and commotion spreads around the town when the icon is carried about is procession. One of the most imposing churches on the Aegean islands is the paleo-christian Virgin Mary of Ekatontapiliani in the capital of Paros, Paroikia. The icon’s procession is followed by people dancing to the local folklore rhythms while sipping at wine from the island. Just a few kilometers away and a few hours later, the night becomes a day when dozens of caiques approach the port of Naoussa with burning torches.

The Greeks that once used to live in the area of Pontus, a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, have brought to Greece all their customs and traditions. Their religious emblem, the Holy Monastery of Virgin Mary Soumela, sees thousands of people swarming all over on the Assumption day, not only for fulfilling their religious duties, but also for enjoying the time-honoured morals and customs of Pontus music, dance and gastronomy.If you are on Patmos, follow the trimmed with gold epitaph that the monks carry around the cobbled streets of the island. In Zagorohoria, the festivities last for as long as three whole days at the end of which one can hardly move a hip after so much dancing. On Thassos, the devout Christians attend the Mass but look forward to the following meal, consisting of potatoes, rice and veal stew with onions. On Lesvos, it is a custom for the believers to walk 25km from the town of Mytilini to the church of Virgin Mary in Agiassos, and spend the night in its yard. In Kefalonia, a unique phenomenon that recurs year after year on the day of the Assumption attracts the visitors: small harmless snakes show up on the dome of the church of the village Markopoulo, as if they intended not to miss the religious celebration. The local legend provides an explanation for this: in the years when pirates were thriving, some nuns of the area begged Virgin Mary to transform them into snakes, so that they wouldn’t be subjugated to the sea invaders. Virgin Mary showed mercy to the scared women, and now it seems that they just come back every year to eternity, in order to thank the Holly Mother.

 

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"

 

Jesus answered them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." Then Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

 

Luke 6:1-5

 

Check the reflection. It looks like a cross.

 

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Announcement:

 

1) If you haven't posted your picture yet, please add your favorite best in my new thread, "Best of your Best", in Kris Kros Contacts (KKC) group. You may also browse an excellent collection of great pictures found on Flickr from my friends in this thread. So, showcase yours too.

 

2) The KKC group does not require anymore comments to be made after adding pictures to the group. It's now voluntary.

 

Thanks.

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This ARTIST is for HIRE.

BEING

 

God. That is the primordial fact. It is in order that we may discover this fact for ourselves, by direct experience, that we exist. The final end and purpose of every human being is the unitive knowledge of God’s being.

 

What is the nature of God’s being? The invocation to the Lord’s Prayer gives us the answer. “Our Father which art in heaven.” God is, and is ours – immanent in each sentient being, the life of all lives, the spirit animating every soul. But this is not all. God is also the transcendent Creator and Law-Giver, the Father who loves and, because he loves, also educates His children. And finally, God is “in heaven.” That is to say, He possesses a mode of existence which is incommensurable and incompatible with the mode of existence possessed by human beings in their natural, unspiritualised condition. Because He is ours and immanent, God is very close to us. But because He is also in heaven, most of us are very far from God. The saint is one who is as close to God as God is close to him.

 

It is through prayer that men come to the unitive knowledge of God. But the life of prayer is also a life of mortification, of dying to self. It cannot be otherwise; for the more there is of self, the less there is of God. Our pride, our anxiety, our lusts for power and pleasure are God-eclipsing things. So too is that greedy attachment to certain creatures which passes too often for unselfishness and should be called, not altruism, but alter-egoism. And hardly less God-eclipsing is the seemingly self-sacrificing service which give to any cause or ideal that falls short of the divine. Such service is always idolatry, and makes it impossible for us to worship God as we should, much less to know Him. God’s kingdom cannot come unless we begin by making our human kingdoms go. Not only the mad and obviously evil kingdoms, but also the respectable ones – the kingdoms of the scribes and Pharisees, the good citizens and pillars of society, no less than the kingdoms of the publicans and sinners. God’s being cannot be known by us, if we choose to pay our attention and our allegiance to something else, however creditable that something else may seem in the eyes of the world.

 

Aldous Huxley, Huxley And God

 

11. Jesus’ Rebuke to the Pharisees

 

(Mat 12:31-32) Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

 

(Mat 23:13-15) But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

 

There are two separate passages above—let’s first take a look at the first one: The Pharisees’ Judgment on Jesus.

 

In the Bible, the Pharisees’ appraisal of Jesus Himself and the things that He did was: “they said, He is beside himself. … He has Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casts he out devils” (Mak 3:21-22). The scribes’ and Pharisees’ judgment of the Lord Jesus wasn’t parroting things or imagining out of thin air—it was their conclusion of the Lord Jesus from what they saw and heard of His actions. Although their conclusion was ostensibly made in the name of justice and appeared to people as if it were well-founded, the arrogance with which they judged the Lord Jesus was difficult for even them to contain. The frenzied energy of their hatred for the Lord Jesus exposed their own wild ambitions and their evil satanic countenances, as well as their malevolent nature of resisting God. These things they said in their judgment of the Lord Jesus were driven by their wild ambitions, jealousy, and the ugly and malevolent nature of their hostility toward God and the truth. They did not investigate the source of the Lord Jesus’ actions, nor did they investigate the essence of what He said or did. But they blindly, impatiently, crazily, and with deliberate malice attacked and discredited what He had done. This was even to the point of indiscriminately discrediting His Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit. This is what they meant when they said “He is beside himself,” “Beelzebub and the prince of the devils.” That is to say, they said the Spirit of God was Beelzebub and the prince of the devils. They characterized the work of the flesh God’s Spirit clothed in as madness. They not only blasphemed God’s Spirit as Beelzebub and the prince of the devils, but they condemned God’s work. They condemned and blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ. The essence of their resistance and blasphemy of God was entirely the same as the essence of Satan and the devil’s resistance and blasphemy of God. They not only represented corrupt humans, but even more they were the embodiment of Satan. They were a channel for Satan amongst mankind, and they were the accomplices and messengers of Satan. The essence of their blasphemy and their denigration of the Lord Jesus Christ was their struggle with God for status, their contest with God, their unending testing of God. The essence of their resistance to God and their attitude of hostility toward Him, as well as their words and their thoughts directly blasphemed and angered God’s Spirit. Thus, God determined a reasonable judgment of what they said and did, and determined their deeds to be the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This sin is unforgivable in both this world and the hereafter, just as the following scripture passage says: “the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men” and “whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Today, let’s talk about the true meaning of these words from God “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” That is demystifying how God fulfills the words “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

from God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh

Terms of Use: en.godfootsteps.org/disclaimer.html

 

The son of Zaher al-Kafarnah watches as his father's corpse is prepared for burial. His father was killed this morning in one of the thousands of Israeli missile strikes that have rained down every day and night on the tiny, walled Gaza Strip for the last few months. As has been the case for decades, the overwhelming majority of victims of israeli aggression are civilians, and particularly children. Since the beginning of July, about 4 civilians a day in Gaza are being killed - every day - by Israelis.

 

ORIGINAL PHOTO: Hatem Moussa

IMAGE ALTERATION: /anomalous

IMAGE TITLE: Victor Hugo

 

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God's chosen people

by Jostein Gaarder - Aftenposten

August 15, 2006

  

There is no turning back. It is time to learn a new lesson: We no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel, in its current form, is history.

 

We do not believe in the notion of God's chosen people. We laugh at this people's fancies and weep over its misdeeds. To act as God's chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.

 

Limits to tolerance

 

There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the God of flora, fauna, and galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it funny stone tablets, burning bushes, and a license to kill.

 

We call child murderers 'child murderers' and will never accept that such have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We say but this: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing, shame on every terrorist strike against civilians, be it carried out by Hamas, Hizballah, or the state of Israel!

 

Unscrupulous art of war

 

We acknowledge and pay heed to Europe's deep responsibility for the plight of the Jews, for the disgraceful harassment, the pogroms, and the Holocaust. It may have been historically and morally necessary for Jews to get their own home. However, the state of Israel, with its unscrupulous art sof war and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has systematically flaunted International Law, international conventions, and countless UN resolutions, and it can no longer expect protection from same. It has carpet bombed the recognition of the world. But fear not! The time of trouble shall soon be over. The state of Israel has seen its Soweto.

 

We are now at the watershed. There is no turning back. The state of Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until it lays down its arms.

 

Without defense, without skin

 

May spirit and word sweep away the apartheid walls of Israel. The state of Israel does not exist. It is now without defense, without skin. May the world therefore have mercy on the civilian population. For it is not civilian individuals at whom our doomsaying is directed.

 

We wish the people of Israel well, nothing but well, but we reserve the right not to eat Jaffa oranges as long as they taste foul and are poisonous. It was endurable to live some years without the blue grapes of apartheid.

 

They celebrate their triumphs

 

We do not believe that Israel mourns forty killed Lebanese children more than it for over three thousand years has lamented forty years in the desert. We note that many Israelis celebrate such triumphs like they once cheered the scourges of the Lord as "fitting punishment" for the people of Egypt. (In that tale, the Lord, God of Israel, appears as an insatiable sadist.) We query whether most Israelis think that one Israeli life is worth more than forty Palestinian or Lebanese lives.

 

For we have seen pictures of little Israeli girls writing hateful greetings on the bombs to be dropped on the civilian population of Lebanon and Palestine. Little Israeli girls are not cute when they strut with glee at death and torment across the fronts.

 

The retribution of blood vengeance

 

We do not recognize the rhetoric of the state of Israel. We do not recognize the spiral of retribution of the blood vengeance with "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." We do not recognize the principle of one or a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye. We do not recognize collective punishment or population-wide diets as political weapons. Two thousand years have passed since a Jewish rabbi criticized the ancient doctrine of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

 

He said: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." We do not recognize a state founded on antihumanistic principles and on the ruins of an archaic national and war religion. Or as Albert Schweitzer expressed it: "Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose."

 

Compassion and forgiveness

 

We do not recognize the old Kingdom of David as a model for the 21st century map of the Middle East. The Jewish rabbi claimed two thousand years ago that the Kingdom of God is not a martial restoration of the Kingdom of David, but that the Kingdom of God is within us and among us. The Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness.

 

Two thousand years have passed since the Jewish rabbi disarmed and humanized the old rhetoric of war. Even in his time, the first Zionist terrorists were operating.

 

Israel does not listen

 

For two thousand years, we have rehearsed the syllabus of humanism, but Israel does not listen. It was not the Pharisee that helped the man who lay by the wayside, having fallen prey to robbers. It was a Samaritan; today we would say, a Palestinian. For we are human first of all — then Christian, Muslim, or Jewish. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?" We do not accept the abduction of soldiers. But nor do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.

 

We recognize the state of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It is the state of Israel that fails to recognize, respect, or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more; more water and more villages. To obtain this, there are those who want, with God's assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem. The Palestinians have so many other countries, certain Israeli politicians have argued; we have only one.

 

The USA or the world?

 

Or as the highest protector of the state of Israel puts it: "May God continue to bless America." A little child took note of that. She turned to her mother, saying: "Why does the President always end his speeches with 'God bless America'? Why not, 'God bless the world'?"

 

Then there was a Norwegian poet who let out this childlike sigh of the heart: "Why doth Humanity so slowly progress?" It was he that wrote so beautifully of the Jew and the Jewess. But he rejected the notion of God's chosen people. He personally liked to call himself a Muhammedan.

 

Calm and mercy

 

We do not recognize the state of Israel. Not today, not as of this writing, not in the hour of grief and wrath. If the entire Israeli nation should fall to its own devices and parts of the population have to flee the occupied areas into another diaspora, then we say: May the surroundings stay calm and show them mercy. It is forever a crime without mitigation to lay hand on refugees and stateless people.

 

Peace and free passage for the evacuating civilian population no longer protected by a state. Fire not at the fugitives! Take not aim at them! They are vulnerable now like snails without shells, vulnerable like slow caravans of Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, defenseless like women and children and the old in Qana, Gaza, Sabra, and Chatilla. Give the Israeli refugees shelter, give them milk and honey!

 

Let not one Israeli child be deprived of life. Far too many children and civilians have already been murdered.

 

It has been a burden on my heart to talk about doubt for some time. I am actually starting to talk about it without having a photograph to represent the topic yet! But by the end of this writing I will probably discuss the photograph I’ve chosen.

 

I don’t believe Christians should doubt, however we do doubt and that’s why I am going to talk about it. It is like lust, we are not supposed to lust, but we do, so we talk about it. So why don’t we talk about doubt? The closest we ever talk about doubt is faith! But how can we understand faith without understanding doubt? How can we say this is “bigger” without knowing what is defined as “small”?

 

I think doubt is on top of the list we, Christians, don’t discuss along with pride. I mean, we are willing to confess adultery but not doubt or pride! I don’t know why though, I mean we all doubt. May be we are scared we will be labelled the “doubting Thomas”, or may be we think “everybody goes through it so what new “revelation” can I bring to the topic”, but I think the biggest reason is that we do not know what doubt is. Do you know that most people say they “I believe in God!” Really? How can it be, when most people I know don’t care if He exists or not?! How can we know what is doubt, when we don’t talk about it!

 

I’ve always believed that God existed, however I have not always believed that He was good, perfect, all powerful, and so on until I became a Christian in 1999 (later on of that year I came to Canada).

 

In late of 2001, in my late teens, I started to notice a lady who worked at my high school. Few months after I had developed a crush on her. Within a year I had a major crush on her, and to be honest it was more of an obsession than a crush. She didn’t know me, and I didn’t know her personally. I never talked to her, and I doubt she even knew I existed.

 

Mind you, I wasn’t obsessed with her physically or anything like that (I am not saying that she was not attractive), but I never lusted after her for some reason. I never dreamt of marrying her or anything like that. Basically, I was attracted to the way she carried herself around people (I can’t even say I was attracted to her character because I don’t even know how her character was like!).

 

Within a year I had made her my idol, my little god—or rather my main god. She determined my happiness, the reason I went to school-and as sad as it sounds-the reason I woke up in the morning! Then as the school year of 2002 started there was some announcements made about what had happened in that year’s summer and here was her wedding picture posted on the announcement board! When I saw it I went numb!

 

I didn’t talk that whole day. Actually that was one of the dearest day to me because my friends (classmates) who knew I liked her were so considerate towards my feelings! They pretty much said comforting words and respected my privacy and gave me space those few days after I found out she got married. Which was amazing because I am not used to having others know what I am going through, and so I really don’t have many experiences of being comforted by people (I talked about emotional walls here if you are interested: www.flickr.com/photos/001fj/2458054116/).

 

I don’t know why I was upset that she got married. I mean I didn’t want to marry her, and knew there was no way it would happen even if I wanted. I mean, even though I was disobeying God in having a crush on her, I knew she was not the one for me. (When I say “not the one for me”, it doesn’t mean I deserve a better wife as in I am “better”. What I mean is that God has different plans for our lives; that is, God has a suitable husband for her as He has a suitable wife for me, as He does in His plan for each person’s life. Whether we follow His plan for our lives or not, well, that’s a different story all together.)

 

By now you are probably thinking, “What does this have to do with doubt?!” For you to understand my struggle with doubt later you need to understand how deep I had put my emotionally security in that person. I mean, I had made tens of desktop wallpapers about her; I had written poems about her. I basically lived as if God was not only put on a shelf but it didn’t matter if He was on the shelf or not! That’s how spiritually blinded I was.

 

So that day, when I found out she got married, I came home and went to my bedroom, locked the door behind me, knelt on my bed and starting crying so much I thought my heart was going to stop! Then after I finished crying, I knelt on the floor and started praying for her and her husband.

 

However, I was not ready to give up my crush on her…I was too emotionally attached. To give up my crush was like taking my life support away! So I continued to have a crush on her until next summer, 2003, when I graduated from high school. Please do not think that I am saying this with ease; it is very embarrassing to admit that I liked a married woman, even though to me she was a complete stranger. To my way of thinking then, it didn’t matter if she was married or not because I knew nothing about her anyway! It was as if I had a crush on a movie star who has been married many times and has kids my age!

 

Anyway, in June of 2003 I had graduated from high school and was not going to college or university for the simple reason that I wanted to know God’s plan for me as a career before I processed with my higher education (If you like to read more about that you can read more here www.flickr.com/photos/001fj/2271047134/in/set-72157603857.... So even after I graduated I was not ready to give up my crush on her! I mean, by then she was not only a complete stranger, but a complete illusion! I mean I loved an image I made of someone I don’t know!

 

So that summer, of 2003, I came to pray but it was like God was not there! Almost like He didn’t care, or existed for that matter! He simply was not hearing anything I said, nor responded to my prayers, or anything like that! It is like He cut all communications with me! Until my graduation from high school He was still involved in my daily life, He answered prayers, He freed me from pornography (you can read more about how God freed me from pornography here www.flickr.com/photos/001fj/2365153745/in/set-72157603857... but now He was gone! He still provided me with a job, but right after that He completely put a wall between me and Him, and I knew what was going on: He had had enough with my crush on this lady (aka disobedience!), and His patience has run out. Every time I came to pray, I got the same answer to anything I said, and that is: her or Me…it is your choice.

 

That was by far one of the hardest experiences I went through, even though when I think about it now I think to myself, “How foolish was I?!” For a couple of weeks I would come from work and kneel on the floor and cry for at least half an hour because I knew I had to let go! That went on through the end of July to mid of August (I think). It was by far the hardest spiritual struggle I had come across in my spiritual walk until then. I had to either choose my God and Saviour whom I had known for 4 years, or my crush whom I made my idol for 2 years!

 

And the thing is that there was no middle solution: God’s will was so clear and He left no gray areas I can argue over! So one evening, I think in August, I was just so worn out emotionally and spiritually that I could not believe God would make me make such a decision: didn’t He know the thought of her was my daily emotional fuel? After some more struggling with God in prayer I stood up and stopped talking to Him because I truly believed that God did not exist.

 

Even before I became a Christian I never doubted His existence! But that evening I truly believed there is no such a thing as God (and few months earlier He had just delivered me from the addiction to porn!) I was so depressed I lied on my bed, and I quickly fell asleep.

 

A couple hours later I woke up and my room was dark because it was late in the evening, and outside the sky looked (or at least that’s how it felt to me) so gray. I looked up to the sky and realized how stupid it is to think that there is no God! And I had the worst feeling I had ever experienced in my life, it was a feeling of total emptiness, total depression, complete lostness…I mean I can go on forever talking about how I felt but there are really no words to describe how it feels to live without God. I felt as if I was in hell in a way, you know, total lostness for eternity. Absolutely no hope of whatsoever joyful, purposeful, hopeful, and good. Taking Him out of my life was like taking the substance of life out of living.

 

The strange thing is that when I woke up I simply couldn’t convince myself that He didn’t exist! I mean, the idea seemed so ridiculous! I am going to say something people who don’t believe in God’s existence will think it is a crazy statement. I’ve heard someone say it recently while sharing his testimony, and I truly believe it is true because I’ve experienced it personally that evening, and that is:

 

“It requires more faith to believe that God doesn’t exist than to believe He does!”

 

The evidences of His existence are every where! When I woke up I simply couldn’t convince myself that He doesn’t exist! I mean, just the thought seemed ridiculous, really! It was like free falling and truly believing that gravity doesn’t exist! I even thought to myself, “How silly it is just to think like that!”

 

I mean, even before I became a Christian (when I didn’t believe in God’s divinity, goodness, justice and so on), and when I was living in sin after I became a Christian I didn’t experience a feeling like that. I truly believe living life as if God didn’t exist at all is worse than living in disobedience with a belief in His existence.

 

Few second later I realized something else, I realized that I had hurt His feelings. I don’t know why that came to my mind, but here I was telling my God, best Friend, Saviour, Protector, Guide, and Comforter that He simply didn’t exist. The worst part is that I didn’t tell Him that I don’t believe He existed because if I had done that then that means I believed in His existence, otherwise why would I talk to someone didn’t exist?! But I simply stood and turned away as if He never existed, that’s what hurt me—the way I treated Him, not what I told Him. Imagine your spouse whom you love so much and live together with acts as if you didn’t exist! That must be very rude and painful!

 

So I got off of my bed, knelt down, apologized for hurting His feelings, asked for His forgiveness, repented of all those months (rather years!) of living in deliberate disobedience, and asked Him what I should do to be able to live my life for Him?

 

All the while I was crying and my tears were falling on the floor beneath me. It was still hard to let go of my crush but I knew that I could not live without my God, but I could survive without the image I made of her. I knew what I had to do: delete, burn, break, and cut anything that I made of her. He wanted all images I had made that I worshiped to be destroyed.

 

But because the whole experience hurt so much I asked Him a favour: that next time I love a woman (At the time I thought I was in love! But how can anyone be in love with an image of someone doesn’t exist—at least the person I made of her didn’t exist!) that she would be my future wife. And for the first time in weeks I felt God smiling and nodding because I had asked for something according to His will. Then I asked Him for three specific signs so I would know who is my future wife, and again I felt His approval of my requests.

 

I had never told anyone, not a single soul, what those signs are, because people (even well intending people) sometimes try to help us (or God) by doing God’s work in our lives, for example: arrange circumstances to answer our prayers. Actually, some years after that I had decided that those signs do not apply anymore because I was living by the power of the Holy Spirit and signs are Old Testament stuff (Old Testament stuff! Haha! At least that’s how I thought then!), but for some reason I sensed God insisting on one sign—that it was according to His will. I yet have to experience His power and goodness in that area: marriage.

 

After that prayer I took everything I had made of that lady and broke it or burned it. To be honest, the process took months! It was not easy at all, but I was determined to put myself in a position where I would not experience the pain that comes from believing Satan’s lies.

 

Ever since that day I had never doubted God’s existence, and I have gone through more painful times than the described incident--tens of times more painful.

 

I can say with absolute assurance: after that night when I doubted God and then came back to Him was the beginning of me becoming a follower of Jesus Christ as well as a believer in Him. It was not until then that I started taking firm steps towards obedience.

 

What brought me from that incident on God’s side rather than choosing to live without God are few factors:

 

1) Even when I was living in disobedience I still prayed and read my Bible! My friend, may be you are living in such a sinful life style that you are ashamed to even touch a Bible but that’s just another lie of Satan. We first read, pray then we get changed! We get changed by God’s truth, so please keep on reading it! Keep on praying! Keep on asking! Even if people make fun of you saying, “What kind of a Christian are you?!” (some had told me this, and I can’t blame them after all I lived like the devil!) Please don’t stop reading God’s word, or cut communication with Him.

 

I watched a testimony of a Christian lady who was a porn actress for many years. She used to read her Bible with a preacher’s son when she was working as a porn-actress and he was addicted to drugs! For many years now they are married, freed from all immoral sins, drugs addiction, and serving God in ministry! I became a Christian after reading the Bible too! I never had a single person tell me what is a ‘true Christian’ is! But God’s Word is more than enough! That’s the way Martin Luther came to understand true Christianity, and that’s the way God can open your eyes and change your life too.

 

2) I kept listening to sermons. I listened everyday to at least 2 messages by Dr. Charles Stanley! I read Christian magazines and articles, and even daily devotionals…even though I didn’t apply them to my life at the time. So what happened by then, even though I was living in disobedience (not only by having a crush on a married woman, but disobedience in more than one area in my life), my mind was being re-programmed according to God’s truths, principles, how to react to this, and how to respond to that, and so on! So when the time came for me to make a decision I knew what God had said about this situation or that situation! (Actually, I had listened to sermons by Dr. Stanley that I thought I would never need, but a couple of years later I came across situations that I responded to according to God’s principles because my mind was now operating according to those truths.)

 

3) I wrestled with God. I didn’t just leave the issue to solve itself by itself. No, I knelt everyday for almost a month and cried out to God. I went to Him for answers, comfort, and guidance. I didn’t just assume that I will drift into obedience one day, but I made definite decisions and carried them out. Spiritual radical amputation of what causes us to sin is an important and vital principle of God’s Word. If we refuse to practice this truth then we should not expect ourselves or our lives to be radically changed to be more fitting of who we are—God’s chosen children.

 

4) I thought about the matter. I evaluated the situation. (I talked about the importance of evaluating ourselves here if you are interested: www.flickr.com/photos/001fj/2462713897/) I asked God questions, and expected answers. For example, I thought to myself that I was hurting because I had put myself into an emotional mess—I sinned against my God by liking someone not in accordance to His will for my life. So why was I blaming God for my pain? He had warned us that sin has consequences and they are painful, shameful, and damaging, and I believed Satan’s lie—why was I blaming God? It was an unjust way of treating my loving Heavenly Father; I doubted the goodness of the one who loves me and was helping me out of the situation I put myself into by believing Satan’s lies!

 

Isn’t it interesting how we always get angry at God when Satan tempts us and we fall for it? We never yell at Satan (and we should NOT…the last and un-wisest thing a person can do is to get into a conversation with Satan!) The reason we get angry with God because deep inside we know He loves us, and after all we expect Him to protect us, guide us and provide for us…not Satan, our enemy. It is the same reason why we get angry with our parents, but we never get angry with strangers. Even though our parents had offered us more than any stranger can every give us. It is the same reason why we get angry with our government and Prime Minister when a terrorist attack happens! Because we know terrorists don’t care about what we feel, but our government should! So we let our anger be directed in the direction of someone who cares about us!

 

Have you noticed how doubt usually follows either sin or trials? I think the doubt that follows sin is easier, because we know we sinned and we can ask for forgiveness, repent and go back to walk closely with Him.

 

But doubt that follows what we call “un-just” trials is extremely hard to battle. I truly have no clue how Job, and Joseph were so faithful to God all the time even in the midst of being treated unjustly for years.

 

I want to ask you few questions here: are you a new Christian who came across very hard trial, may be you experienced rejection early in your Christian walk, and somehow you were never able to experience a real walk with God because you never put your trust in anyone afterwards, including God. My question is: is this really how you want to live your life? Really? Well, you can either obey God by trusting Him again, and that means you open up your heart so He can start working on your wounds and pains, or you can put an emotional “wall”--a wall that does not protect--around yourself and live a long miserable settled for life wondering all along, “What if I had trusted God then…would I be here today…?” I know these are harsh words, but I’d rather you wake up so you make the right decision today, than see you live in misery. I certainly would rather be harsh with me and directs me to a good path, than be nice to me and let me drift into nothingness.

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Doubt also comes from our low self-esteem. I often times wondered how could Abraham and Sarah laugh when God gave them the promise concerning the birth of Isaac, until I came across a simpler situation and, sadly, I laughed too. I often times think, “How could this person do this? Or do that?” when I read the Bible, and often times than not I responded the same way if not worse to much simpler situations!

 

In the summer of 2006 I went with my youngest uncle, and his wife, to a city in Ontario that’s 4 hours drives from Toronto to visit my aunt, uncle and grandma and cousin there. On Sunday we went to a church which none of us has been to before (we have never been to a church in that city), nor did we know anybody there.

 

It was a small church, cozy, and had such a lovely and relaxing atmosphere; they even sang a Christian song that I really love called “I Need You to Survive” by Hezekiah Walker.

 

The service didn’t take long and afterwards as we stood up this older lady comes from the front pew which was only a couple metres ahead of the last row, and she tells me, “Young man, God has a word for you” Well, I had grown in a church that didn’t even teach that God speaks, nevertheless they believed in prophesy! And so the many years I was exposed to false teachings by the church I had grown up in made me sceptical about prophesy, even though the Bible says it is a sign of a true apostle.

 

Then my uncle’s wife got a piece of paper and pen quickly and started writing down what the lady told me, and so I will type what the lady said and my uncle’s wife wrote down:

 

“When I first saw you I thought of a stop sign…He will use you as a crossing guard in the spirit realm…there will be people you’ll speak to…speak direction to them as a crossing guard to children to take them to the right direction…sometimes it will be the spoken word and other times it will be by your life’s examples…I see a very busy street and so many people…there will be times when you’ll tell some people to stop…a safe person for people to interact with and speak to…”

 

As you can imagine why like Sarah I laughed secretly at God’s words. I mean, I don’t even need to explain why I laughed, do I?!

 

I thought to myself while she was saying those words, “Me? All those things God will do through me?! Sure that will happen!”

 

I am as unlikely candidate for those things to happen through as anyone can ever be: I am an introvert, I don’t have any close people to me who know what I go through or feel, I am very shy and stay away from strangers and crowded places, and I was only in my early 20s! What life examples, I thought to myself! I don’t even know what does “spirit realm” mean!

 

So you see, low self-image or esteem can hinder us from believing God. And the Bible is full of people who didn’t think they could accomplish what God predestined to accomplish through them, such as Moses and Gideon.

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One of the problems with doubt is that it is custom designed to every individual. It is like fear, what you might fear I might scoff at! What I might fear you might think is silly to fear such a thing! And the same thing with doubt: what might shakes my faith may not even cause you to notice it. That’s why it is so hard to go to someone and tell them what is making you doubt, because more than likely they won’t be able to associate with what we are talking about. Let me give you an example.

 

About 3 weeks ago I was watching a TV show called “Notorious” and it was about the capture of the serial killer nicknamed BTK. He was absolutely ruthless, and as emotionless as any murderer I’ve seen on TV. Even more infamous murderers had shown more emotions and sorrow than he did!

 

Well, he was caught because the floppy disk he sent authorities they could trace to a church which he was a member of for many years. (His killing spree ran for 30 years and it included killing a total of 10 people including men, women and children.) That didn’t shock me because anyone can fake being a “Christian” by attending church, etc. What really shocked me is that his wife was a choir member!

 

That really made me ask some serious questions! Not that she was guilty of anything, but that’s exactly what bothered me! For years and years and years, this woman served God, sang praises to Him, worshipped Him, and not once did He warn her that her husband was an extremely dangerous murderer? I asked: what happened to visions, prophesy, warning signs, may be just a little dream—what happened to God’s guidance? She was married to that serial killer for 34 years!!!

 

Imagine your disappointment, and disillusion with the God you’ve been serving for so many years if that turned out to be your husband!

 

Of course that was very confusing to me. I mean God’s guidance is as important to me as anything else I can think of. (But sometimes it takes time to get answers to our questions. I’ve learned that sometimes it takes months or years to answer our questions but somehow He always remembers to answer our questions even when we forget!)

 

So you see, what made me doubt God might not bother you at all. You could’ve watched this TV show many times and the thought could’ve never entered your mind. The same thing applies to me, I could’ve been in your situation many times and probably the idea of doubting God wouldn’t enter my mind. That’s because doubt is tailor designed to our individual fears, hurts, priorities, desires, goals, etc.

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On the night of January 8 (I think) of 2008 as I went to sleep I asked God, “God give me a vision”, and I slept. I had many dreams that night but when I woke up I remembered only one, and that is:

 

There was a gray fighter jet flying from right to left, but I didn’t sense its motion because as it was flying the view kept moving with it; it was more like it was in a wind tunnel. The sky/background was black. Then something like a huge empty half-ball metal thing rotating from above the jet engine’s back opening until it covered it completely. It was like a cap of some type but it didn’t fit above the back opening perfectly, there was space between this cap and the back opening’s edge for the heat to come out. But of course the heat now was coming out in the opposite direction because of this metal cap.

 

When I woke up I remembered that dream, but couldn’t recall any of the other ones. But few moments later I completely forgot about it, because it is a typical thing for me to dream about cars, airplanes, etc! The only thing that bothered me is that I had no clue what that metal cap was, since I had never seen it before or after on any TV show, or read about it anywhere! I mean, it was as if I was dreaming a car had a tree growing out of its roof! I was as clueless to its function or what it was as I could be!

 

Later that morning, I had a dynamic class and the prof likes to take what he calls “coffee breaks” and talks about nuclear accidents (he used to work in the nuclear industry) or some other topics related to engineering or physics. That morning he had a question for us in the “coffee break”: “How do jet planes slow down.” (I don’t know if he meant fighter jets, or passenger jets--I didn’t ask him!) and he gave us few options, I think 5 of them. We all raised our hands in agreement with the option we thought was more plausible. But then he told us that none of those options are correct, and the correct answer was that jet planes have what is called “thrust reversers” which are simply metal things that open behind the jet engine to change the direction of the thrust which makes the plane accelerate in the opposite direction (slow down)! Everybody in the class room was like, “What is this man talking about?” We were all clueless to what “thrust reversers” are until that moment! I mean, we didn’t even didn’t even know they existed before!

 

That’s when I remembered my dream from the night before and his answer caught me off guard: I was speechless! I mean, my jaw almost hit the floor, and my classmate asked me, “What is wrong?!” I told him, “If I explained it to you, you wouldn’t understand!” Actually, this is the first time I share this story with anybody. You know what, since I know they are called “thrust reversers” let me search for them!

 

This is truly amazing. You can see them here right behind the engine: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/82/Reverse...

 

Of course, later that day I thought to myself, “Well, that was just a coincidence. It was just a dream. It wasn’t from God. God didn’t answer my prayer. It was a dream about an airplane after all!” But the part that really bothered me is that I had never seen a “thrust reversers” in my life (or knew they existed) before that dream! I don’t know, does God give visions about airplanes? Or does He only give vision in regard to important things that will happen in the future? All I know is that I asked for a vision before I slept, I had a dream about something I had not seen before (until now!), and the next day the prof talked about it!

 

I am telling you this story because I want to make one simple point: Doubt comes from within us. It has nothing to do with God. God can reveal Himself in all His glory and power in front of our eyes, but if we don’t want to believe it then we won’t.

 

Isn’t it interesting how the Israelites a short while after experiencing God’s glory and power like never before (when Moses went to get the Ten Commandments) they committed their worst sin—making and worshipping and idol!

 

I think this is illustrated very well in Luke 16, where Abraham is talking to the Rich Man:

 

27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

 

29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

 

30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

 

31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "

 

I used to wonder about Abraham’s argument: I mean, really who doesn’t believe if a dead man they knew and they know had died, rises from the dead and comes back to warn them?

 

Some time later I read John 11, which is the story about Jesus raising Lazarus (not the same Lazarus of the above verses) from the dead:

 

41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

 

43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

 

45Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin…. 53So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

 

Do you see it? Abraham’s argument in Luke 16 which I had questioned happened exactly in John 11, and how did the people respond to it? Well, some believed, but some responded exactly like how Abraham had said, and instead of believing they plotted to take Jesus’ life!

 

Again the point is simple: If we are doubting God that is because we want to, and not because we don’t have enough reasons, “evidence”, to believe in Him or believe His promises.

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A lot of times we, Christians, think that doubt kind of just drifts in our lives then leaves just it came, without us noticing it. But that’s rarely the case; people who love God and experienced fellowship with Him for many years and His grace, mercy, and forgiveness don’t just wake up one day and decide they don’t need Him anymore. Doubt usually follows very hard trials. I think we all know someone who was tried and simply couldn’t overcome that trial. Instead of that trial being the stepping stone to God fulfilling His promise to them, it turned out to be the breaking stone of their faith, and eventual drifting from God all together.

 

And most times we think that doubt is something a person has to go through alone to be able to truly overcome it. But that’s not true. Why are we commanded to help our fallen brother in sins, so why not doubt? Doubt is a sin! I can recall two instances where comments about faith made all the difference in my life:

 

In 1999 my family and I were living in Jordan; we lived there for a year before coming to Canada. We had an Iraqi “Christian” neighbour (“Christian” as in belonging to the religion “Christianity”; not being born again). He was visiting us one evening and people were talking about God and so on, and at that age 16 I had given up on calling myself a “Christian” because I didn’t believe in Christianity, and so I doubted God big deal. I mean, I believed He existed but that’s about it. So as he was saying something about God I said something to the like, “If God is this and this, then why does the Bible say this and this?” He didn’t have an answer to my question, but he had an answer to my problem because he simply reply, “Are you trying to tell me that you are smarter than God?” I mean, the way he said it was like, “You think you are smart, you silly kid?” And that’s exactly what I was!

 

It was the first time someone had brought that to my attention: it was like a spiritual slap! I mean, all that doubt I had covered with pride and some few silly arguments taken from here and there, and from that and this person’s doubts and so on, were stripped away, and I had to evaluate my beliefs then. I realized then that I had a decision to make: I either read my Bible (which I did) and believe in it, believe in God completely, and living according to His Word; or I stop reading my Bible, stop claiming that I was a “Christian” because my family is “Christian”, and stop claiming that I believe in God. The way I viewed Christianity was making it harder for Him because I claimed that I “believed” in Him and lived like the devil, because all the while I knew deep inside that I didn’t believe anything about Him more than His existence!

 

To make a long story short: few months later I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. So you see, all I needed was that spiritual slap. What if that gentleman had said, “Well, doubt is a personal thing and he has to find his own way...” I probably wouldn’t be a Christian today, 9 years later.

 

Another instance happed in 2007. Something happened to me that’s very painful and until today I am trying to get in terms with it with God. Anyway, I went through months of turmoil without anybody knowing. Then one day my youngest uncle’s wife called and we were talking and she said, “You know, Fadi, God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” Those were the last words I wanted to hear: God’s love, and His wonderful plan. So I had to chuckle about the idea because those were the last two things I believed then God has for me: love, and wonderful things. Then she said, “Fadi, He is God don’t forget that!” That was quite a spiritual wake up, because I realized then that I had taken Him really lightly and that I was messing with the wrong person!

 

It is easy to forget about God’s greatness when we are doubting His goodness. But the Bible says in Isaiah 45:5:

 

“I am the LORD, and there is no other;

apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

though you have not acknowledged me,”

 

He is God, whether we acknowledge it or not, or like it or not—He is! If we choose to live and die apart from Him, guess who is the loser? We are! Because long after we are gone He will still be here! My friend, we cannot fight God and expect to win!

 

Isaiah 44:6 says:

 

“…I am the first and I am the last;

apart from me there is no God.”

 

What I wanted to show here is this: if someone is going through period of doubt don’t think there is nothing you can do about it. You might be just the person God wants to use to bring them back to Him. Doubt doesn't just leave, we have to kick it out!

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Another misconception we have about doubt is that it comes and leaves really quickly! We snap into it and we snap out of it just like that! Umm…NO! Do you want me to be honest with you? Most Christians live in doubt! Yes, you heard me correct! Ok, let me explain it to you this way:

 

Let’s say someone leaves you a $100 bill at your doorsteps everyday at 7:30 AM, what would you do? You wake up at least 10 min earlier so you can get your $100 bill just as it is left there for you, so nobody else takes it before you or that it is blown by the wind or gets wet by the rain, right?

 

So why don’t we pray every morning? God made many promises concerning prayer: Ask and you will be given; ask anything in my name and it will be given to you, etc. The answer is simple: we do not believe that God hears, or at least, will answer our prayers. It is as simple as that. Also, do you think if we truly believe that God has a wonderful partner in store for us in His right timing we will go out and date this and date that? No, of course we won’t! But we do a lot of things because we do not believe!

 

And so many of us are afraid that we are challenging God by asking this, and requesting that, but you know something? If we ask the entire world from Him we still haven’t taken up the challenges He put in front of us in regard to prayer! We are not challenging God; God is challenging us! The challenge is not for God, but the challenge is for us!

 

Read the Bible--read the Old Testament, read the New Testament—and see how obvious His works are! When the young man who fell from the balcony died, Paul went downstairs and by his faith in the power of God brought the young man back to life! If that happened to someone in front of us, we would call the funeral home!

 

Why don’t we share God with others? Because we are not even sure He is real, or that He even makes a difference in people’s lives, because we never allowed Him to work in our lives in the first place! We think, “What if this person becomes a Christian and then gets disappointed with God and blames me for getting him/her into something that “doesn’t” work!”

 

We don’t pray, and we don’t ask, and we don’t share Jesus with others, and we don’t believe in physical healing because we are scared to be disappointed or that we won’t be able to explain why this or that didn’t happen like we expected it to be. We are scared to find that our God—whom we love so much and for so long--is not true because He never healed us, or answered our prayers, so we resort to doubt, but the sad part is through doubt that we will never be able to know if our God is real or not. We resort to doubt because doubt is “safe”, just like emotional walls are “safe”! So we settle down for the old and boring religion we call “Christianity”, and completely forget about the Powerful and Loving God who is Christ the Lord. We simply take “Christ” out of “Christianity”.

 

Do you know what true faith is? Let me tell you a short story:

 

My nephew who is four years old loves the colour green. And since my sister and her husband were planning to buy a minivan because their family was getting bigger he wanted a green minivan. So as they were driving one day he asked his mom and dad for a green minivan and they told him to pray to Jesus to give them a green minivan. So he prayed in the car for a green minivan; he was, I think, 3 years old at the time. When they came home he looked so excitingly at the garage expecting a green minivan to be there because he asked for one just a couple hours ago, and so he was surprised when there was no green minivan in the garage! Now, that’s true faith!

 

You know for us, adult Christians, we would be surprised if there was a minivan in the garage—I know I would’ve! But that story also illustrates why we don’t pray as often as if we truly believed that God answers prayers: we play it safe because we hate getting disappointed.

 

So what do we do when we pray? We ask for something and then just to make sure we don’t get disappointed if He doesn’t answer our prayers we say, “But Lord not according to my will but according to your will.” This sentence our Lord Jesus Christ said was motivated by His true submission to His Father’s will, not to cover up doubts! Even our prayer life we need to evaluate.

 

No wonder He doesn’t answer when we ask: we don’t even expect Him to answer! And the Bible says that the man who doubts is like troubled water unsettled in his mind, and he should not expect to receive when he asks! Praying with doubt is like asking God to answer our prayers but without Him getting the glory! And the Bible says that we should do everything for the glory of God: doubt does not give God the glory.

 

The truth of the matter is that the majority of Christians (including me) are living in doubt not that “things don’t work nowadays as they used to in the Biblical time”! God hasn’t changed, His Word, Truths, Principals haven’t changed, and He was able to work in all situations and cultures, so why do we think “times has changed and so God doesn’t work in our present day culture as He used to before”! This is simply nonsense to cover up our doubts.

 

Do you know what I think is the problem for many of us, Christians? It is not that we doubt here and there, but that we have gotten very comfortable with it. We have replaced God’s exciting purpose and plan for our lives with the comfortable American Dream. If we get persecuted then we think God has left us, if we are comfortable then we think God has blessed us! (Which is completely opposite of what the Bible teaches!)

 

All I wanted to say is that for most of us doubt is not a passing phase but a state of living our “Christian” life for long periods of time. Sad, but true. What is even sadder, for many of us we never reach the point where faith takes over doubt: doubt is what we believe.

____________________________________________________________________

 

I want to say that doubt along with pride are the root of all sins. Every time I sinned against God was for the simple reason: I believed that my sins didn’t have such “bad” consequences (doubted), and that I knew better than Him (pride). No wonder those are the least talked about topics in churches! I mean, the hardest thing is to find someone to share his testimony with pride or doubt.

 

And who can blame us? Who likes verses such as “Oh ye of little faith” be applied to him or her? But the Bible didn’t say those things to scare us into hiding our sins away, but to open our eyes and to repent of them and turn back to God.

 

I am not encouraging people here to open the Bible, find what promises they like and claim them and deceive themselves into believing they are getting them. After all God is the Lord of our lives, and His will is what will be done. What I am saying is that if God has promised you something, don’t insult Him by believing Him half-heartedly.

 

And it is ok if you have your doubts, we all do, but make sure you deal with them quickly and get closer to God and most importantly never ever act upon those doubts. It is bad enough to doubt God but it is much worse to act upon those doubts. Imagine if you doubt fornication is a sin and acted upon it? Now you’ve made returning back to God a much complicated issue than just dealing with doubt.

____________________________________________________________________

 

I truly believe in periods of doubts we usually aren’t really looking for answers to our questions, but we are simply looking to sense His presence in those trying times, to know what we are going through is from Him. Most of us will accept His will even if it is very painful, but what we really need to know is that He is going to go through it with us.

 

By far the hardest trials are those that seem to come without any reason. If we sinned then we know He is disciplining us, and we can repent of our sin and draw near to Him again. But those unexplained trials, like the ones Joseph and Job went through are very hard to bear. How much faith will you have in God if your wife and kids got killed in a car accident being hit by a drunk driver? God forbid such a thing happens, but we cannot pretend it doesn’t happen. “Unjust” trials are the hardest to endure. But if we pass the test and believe God was in it and cling to Him we can expect Him to reward us like He did to Joseph and Job.

 

That’s why I chose this image to represent my talk about doubt. Because this little drop of water represents the hope we have when we sense God’s presence in times of doubt and pain.

 

I took this image about two weeks ago. I woke up before my mom on the weekend (and as in every other day! LOL! She loves to sleep…A LOT!) and I like to eat in the living room because it has a big window. So I opened the curtains and made sure I didn’t turn the TV on (it kind of scatters my focus and makes it hard to pray after starting my day watching TV!) and sat down to eat my breakfast. As I looked at the turned off TV I noticed those beautiful leafs at its side. As I looked closer I found that few of those leafs had droplets of water hanging down from them! I never knew dew happens indoors!

 

So after my breakfast I brought my camera and the tripod and shot a few Super Macro shots until I got so close to one of the droplets that my lens hit it! When that happened I tried to make an “artificial dew” by pouring drops of water on the leaf again and again and again, but they never clung like it is showing here, no matter how small I made them or how gently I put them! And I thought to myself, “It must be pretty foolish to fight God like sometimes I do, when I can’t even duplicate a single dewdrop He creates!” Yea, that put me in my place!

 

I hope you like this photo and more importantly liked my writing :)

 

The last thing I want to say is this: there is far more joy, blessings, and peace if we willingly choose to believe God, love Him, and draw closer to Him, than He bring us to a point where we have no other choice but believe in Him. Because even if He does this—which He usually does because He is a loving Father who disciplines His children for their own good—He still can’t make you love Him: this, you have to choose by your own will.

 

PS: Sorry for the harsh title! :s

 

(Toronto, ON; spring 2008.)

         

Jesus warned us of "the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16:6). NEVER mix ungodliness with godliness or lies with truth.

We who are made in the image of God, has today, corrupted the image of God, and in doing so, we have exalted ourselves.

  

These Ancient Olive tree in the garden of of Gethsemane outside Jerusalem.

 

According to Wikipedia - The Garden of Gethsemane became a focal site for early Christian pilgrims. It was visited in 333AD by the anonymous "Pilgrim of Bordeaux", whose Itinerarium Burdigalense is the earliest description left by a Christian traveler in the Holy Land. In his Onomasticon, Eusebius of Caesarea notes the site of Gethsemane located "at the foot of the Mount of Olives", and he adds that "the faithful were accustomed to go there to pray". Eight ancient olive trees growing in the Latin site of the garden may be 900 years old.

 

Olive trees

A study conducted by the National Research Council of Italy in 2012 found that several olive trees in the garden are amongst the oldest known to science. Dates of 1092, 1166 and 1198 CE were obtained by carbon dating older parts of the trunks of three trees. DNA tests show that the trees were originally planted from the same parent plant.

 

===========================

"IT'S FRIDAY" by SM Lockridge

 

It’s Friday

Jesus is praying

Peter’s a sleeping

Judas is betraying

But Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday

Pilate’s struggling

The council is conspiring

The crowd is vilifying

They don’t even know

That Sunday’s comin’

 

It’s Friday

The disciples are running

Like sheep without a shepherd

Mary’s crying

Peter is denying

But they don’t know

That Sunday’s a comin’

 

It’s Friday

The Romans beat my Jesus

They robe him in scarlet

They crown him with thorns

But they don’t know

That Sunday’s comin’

 

It’s Friday

See Jesus walking to Calvary

His blood dripping

His body stumbling

And his spirit’s burdened

But you see, it’s only Friday

Sunday’s comin’

 

It’s Friday

The world’s winning

People are sinning

And evil’s grinning

 

It’s Friday

The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands

To the cross

They nail my Savior’s feet

To the cross

And then they raise him up

Next to criminals

 

It’s Friday

But let me tell you something

Sunday’s comin’

 

It’s Friday

The disciples are questioning

What has happened to their King

And the Pharisees are celebrating

That their scheming

Has been achieved

But they don’t know

It’s only Friday

Sunday’s comin’

 

It’s Friday

He’s hanging on the cross

Feeling forsaken by his Father

Left alone and dying

Can nobody save him?

It’s Friday

But Sunday’s comin’

 

It’s Friday

The earth trembles

The sky grows dark

My King yields his spirit

 

It’s Friday

Hope is lost

Death has won

Sin has conquered

and Satan’s just a laughin’

 

It’s Friday

Jesus is buried

A soldier stands guard

And a rock is rolled into place

But it’s Friday

It is only Friday

Sunday is a comin’!

Knowledge should mean a full grasp of knowledge:

Knowledge means to know yourself, heart and soul.

If you have failed to understand yourself,

Then all of your reading has missed its call.

 

What is the purpose of reading those books?

So that Man can know the All-Powerful.

If you have read, but failed to understand,

Then your efforts are just a barren toil.

 

Don’t boast of reading, mastering science

Or of all your prayers and obeisance.

If you don’t identify Man as God,

All your learning is of no use at all.

 

The true meaning of the four holy books

Is found in the alphabet’s first letter.

You talk about that first letter, preacher;

What is the meaning of that-could you tell?

 

Yunus Emre says to you, pharisee,

Make the holy pilgrimage if need be

A hundred times-but if you ask me,

The visit to a heart is best of all.

 

Yûnus Emre (1238–1320)

Have you ever wondered what a church full of Pharisees would be like?

(Adrian Rogers)

 

Have you ever wondered what a church full of Pharisees would be like?

1. They would all attend every service.

2. They would all tithe.

3. They would all work in the church.

4. They would all go to Hell!

 

"Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites!" Matthew 23:15

 

Best on Black

 

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49

  

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." Matthew 23

"None but God can satisfy the longings of an immortal soul; that as the heart was made for Him, so He only can fill it" - Richard Chenevix Trench

 

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria (John 4:1-30)

 

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and bbaptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed cagain for Galilee. 4 dAnd he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field ethat Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, fwearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

 

7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, f“Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (gFor Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you hliving water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 iAre you greater than our father Jacob? jHe gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but kwhoever drinks of the water that I will give him lwill never be thirsty again.2 The water that I will give him will become min him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, ngive me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

 

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, ocall your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that pyou are qa prophet. 20 rOur fathers worshiped on sthis mountain, but you say that tin Jerusalem is uthe place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, v“Woman, believe me, wthe hour is coming when xneither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 yYou worship what you do not know; zwe worship what we know, for zsalvation is afrom the Jews. 23 But bthe hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father cin spirit and dtruth, for the Father eis seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that fMessiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, ghe will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, h“I who speak to you am he.”

 

27 Just then ihis disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man jwho told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

Go for LARGE and enjoy right's tags

 

QUESTION: How did you do that?

 

Answer: Before dawn, find the right neon sign and move the camera from right to left, left to right, bottom to top, top to bottom. Take lots of fotos. Hope one of them is a joy to you and others. Be sure to focus well on the main subject before you start jerking. Sometimes it is so exciting to be a jerk, especially when no one is watching.

 

Beware: Men In Black (MIB) have padded suits and padded cells for the above type photographers. If MIB catch on to you, your new padded residence and meals slid under the door will having you missing CHURCH next weekend. Lets all pray the MIB have bigger fish to fry than you or me. I prefer grilled not fried. What is your preference?

Off to church to thank the Almighty for breath, life, family, Corps, Art, Beauty-surround-us, and other items, like our Flickr friends and contacts that see Interestingness long before Explore can sometimes find IT.

___________________________

Hermit Coming Out of the Forest

 

How hard is it on the ears, the first

shattering of human voices. Even far

away, they are too loud, they crowd the air. The birds, who are in the habit of listening to each other and measuring

the significance of silence between calls, are wholly silent here; no bugs’

chorus times its harsh rattle; the coal blue wasp on his mathematical rounds does not come here; nor can I hear the frog’s murky pause. Each year, at forest’s edge, I have to promise myself

never again, leave the fullness of my senses like a brown cloak pooled in the brush, go forward on bare feet, nerve bared, skeletal as hope.

 

Poem found in “Floating City” (2007 Louisiana State University Press

www.lsu.edu/lsupress), a book of poems by Anne Pierson Wiese,

the recipient of the 2006 Walt Whitman Award

from the Academy of American Poets

academy@poets.org

www.poets.org

________________________________________

A reflection on Scripture for today, Fifth Sunday of Lent:

Ezekiel 37:12-14

Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

Romans 8:8-11

John 11:1-45

 

We're on the last lap of our Lenten journey . . . just a couple of weeks left. And, as the drama intensifies in the tension between Jesus and the Pharisees, so too, our personal struggle to overcome the weak spots in our spiritual armor should also "heat up." There's so little time remaining before our well-deserved Easter joy!

 

What great symbols we've had to tease our imaginations and challenge our minds—water to quench our thirst on the Third Sunday, light in place of darkness on the Fourth Sunday, and now life coming forth from the tomb of Lazarus on the Fifth Sunday.

 

It's such a startling story—Jesus arrives in Bethany only to find that His dear friend Lazarus has died. Martha has broken the news, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would never have died!" Is she reproaching Jesus, or merely expressing her faith in Him? And what does He do? He bursts into tears, His heart torn with sorrow. What? God is crying! How grateful we are for this glimpse of the tender heart of God! Then Jesus tells them to roll the stone back. They try to stop Him, warning Him of the stench. But Jesus persists. And the Spirit of God enters into the body of Lazarus, and he comes out alive. When the Spirit enters, death departs, for death cannot prevail over Life.

 

It looks so easy, this miracle of Jesus, but the people are astounded. No one has ever come back from the dead before. He must be the promised Messiah. Yet, in a few short days, how skillfully the propagators of deceit will convince the people that it must have all been in their imaginations! And, through innuendo and suggestion, the crowd will prepare themselves to betray Goodness, and demand an end to innocence, and a cross on which to hang the Compassionate One.

 

As we go forward on our journey to Calvary, we should not fear the power of evil that so clearly fuels the plotting of the Pharisees. All evil in this world will have a short life. We need fear only our own weakness and vulnerability to falsehood and betrayal. While the action of this divine drama builds to a seemingly final catastrophe, the end is not the end. The epilogue plays out on a bright Sunday morning, and a whole new drama begins. We are the characters of this second and final drama—sharing in the role of the Hero-God, whose victory is shared with millions upon millions, suffering a million crucifixions on a million crosses, right to the present moment.

 

How amazing and loving and compassionate is our God in the person of Jesus! He wept over Lazarus, wept over Jerusalem, weeps over those killed through terrorism and war, through famine and disease, through murders and rapes—weeps when we fail to forgive one another. In these days of continued wars, terrorism, and ethnic hatreds, may we reflect on the truth that Jesus had to give His own life that we might be assured of life. May we appreciate more each day that we are privileged to share with Him his continual work of bringing the world from darkness to light, from hatred to forgiveness, and from death to life.

 

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: pwhitmore29@yahoo.com

____________________________________

Accepting Applications In Albany, New York for Executive Director Job:

 

Organization: PrisonersÂ’ Legal Services of New York ("PLS") is a civil legal services program for incarcerated felons in New York State prisons. The program is state funded and has regional offices in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca and Plattsburgh. PLS handles cases involving mental health and medical care, prison disciplinary matters, excessive use of force, conditions of confinement, sentence calculation and jail time credit. PLS attorneys engage in administrative advocacy and representation in individual lawsuits and impact litigation. We provide high quality legal services and have been successful in establishing important rights for our clients.

 

Position Description: The Executive Director is responsible for the management of the program and for insuring that it provides high quality, effective and efficient legal services to clients. Applicants should have five (5) years of legal practice experience preferably in legal services, civil rights, poverty law and/or federal law. They should also have five (5) years of supervisory experience. Excellent leadership and communication skills, strong analytic and writing ability, and a history of working well with others are essential.

 

How to Apply: Applicants should email a cover letter with a list of 3 references, resume, and writing sample to: John S. Kiernan, jskiernan@..., by March 21, 2008.

 

Salary: DOE, minimum $90,000.

 

We seek to be a well-balanced, multi-cultural organization. We encourage people of color, women, ex-offenders and people with disabilities to apply for positions. We have a serious need for staff who are fluent in Spanish.

 

www.plsny.org/

 

EXPLORE # 182 on initial list, Sunday, March 8, 2008

The Hymn of God's Word "Do You Wish to Know the Root of Why the Pharisees Opposed Jesus?"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un2a8HWEm9o

Do You Wish to Know the Root of Why the Pharisees Opposed Jesus?

 

I

Do you wanna know why the Pharisees opposed Jesus?

Do you wanna know what their substance is?

They were full of fantasies about the Messiah,

only believing in His coming, not seeking truth of life till today.

They’re still waiting for Him, still not knowing the way of truth or life.

 

II

Do you wanna know why these silly folk didn’t gain God’s blessing?

Do you wonder how they failed to behold the Messiah?

They opposed Jesus, not knowing He spoke the way of truth,

didn’t understand the Messiah or the Holy Spirit’s work, never seen or been with Him.

They paid empty tributes to His name and all the price to resist Him.

 

III

Disobedient, stubborn, arrogant, they held stubbornly this belief:

Though profound was His preaching and authority on high,

only if He’s called Messiah were they willing to concede.

But these are ramblings man should ridicule and label as grandiose fantasies.

 

IV

God is asking you: Are you not gonna repeat the Pharisees’ mistakes?

Since you do not understand Jesus Christ,

are you able to discern the way of truth and way of life,

watch the Holy Spirit’s work and follow in His light?

Can you guarantee you’ll not oppose Christ?

If no, then you’re on the brink of death, not life.

 

from “When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

 

Recommended:

God Has Come God Has Reigned | "Chinese Gospel Choir Episode 18" youtu.be/zA6mQFHyOao

Welcome the Return of the Lord Jesus | Praise and Worship "God Has Brought His Glory to the East" youtu.be/-lsEhArV8I4

Endless Praise | A Cappella "Praise the Accomplishment of God’s Work" (Official Music Video) youtu.be/WweTMfeTX3o

Gospel Movie | Attend the Feast of the Kingdom of Heaven "Break the Shackles and Run" youtu.be/YpoXf-RDFDM

 

Eastern Lightning | The Church of Almighty God came into being because of the work of the returned Lord Jesus—Almighty God, Christ of the last days in China, and it isn't established by any person. Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. After reading God’s word, you will see that God has appeared.

 

Website: www.holyspiritspeaks.org/

YouTube: www.youtube.com/godfootstepsen

Facebook: www.facebook.com/godfootstepsen

Twitter: twitter.com/churchAlmighty

Blog: en.blog.hidden-advent.org/

Instagram: instagram.com/thechurchofalmi...

Email: info@almightygod.church

 

Special statement: This video production was produced as a not-for-profit piece by the Church of Almighty God. The actors that appear in this production are performing on a not-for-profit basis, and have not been paid in any way. This video may not be distributed for profit to any third party, and we hope that everyone will share it and distribute it openly. When you distribute it, please note the source. Without the consent of the Church of Almighty God, no organization, social group, or individual may tamper with or misrepresent the contents of this video.

 

Bonifazio Véronèse. (De Pitati) 1487-1553. Venise. Jésus chez Simon le pharisien. Bruxelles. Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique.

 

Bonifazio Veronese. (De Pitati) 1487-1553. Venice. Jesus at Simon the Pharisee. Brussels. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

Identifier: artbiblecomprisi00lond

Title: The art Bible, comprising the Old and new Testaments : with numerous illustrations

Year: 1896 (1890s)

Authors:

Subjects: Bible

Publisher: London : G. Newnes

Contributing Library: Princeton Theological Seminary Library

Digitizing Sponsor: Internet Archive

  

View Book Page: Book Viewer

About This Book: Catalog Entry

View All Images: All Images From Book

 

Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.

  

Text Appearing Before Image:

which sat with himat meat, he commanded it to be given her. 10 And he sent, and beheaded John in theprison. 11 And his head was brought in a charger,and given to the damsel: and she brought itto her mother. 12 And his disciples came, and took up thebody, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 13 IT When Jesus heard of it, he departedthence by ship into a desert place apart: andwhen the people had heard thereof, theyfollowed him on foot out of the cities. 14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a greatmultitude, and was moved with compassiontoward them, and he healed their sick. 15 H And when it was evening, his disciplescame to him, saying. This is a desert place,and the time is now past; send the multitudeaway, that they may go into the villages,and buy themselves victuals. 16 But Jesus said unto them. They need notdepart; give ye them to eat. 17 And they say unto him. We have herebut five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said. Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit

 

Text Appearing After Image:

Robert Scott Lauder Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.—Matt. xiv. 25. 23 Chrif:t fcalHnr/ on the .sm. S. MATTHEW 15. Ih/pocrisy of the Pharisees. down on the grass, and took tlie five loaves,and the two fishes, and looking u j) to heaven, heblessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to A/.sdisciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled:and they took up of the fragments thatremained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about fivethousand men, beside women and children. 22 H And straightway Jesus constrainedhis disciples to get into a ship, and to gobefore him unto the other side, while he sentthe multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudesaway, he went up into a mountain apart topray: and when the evening was come, hewas there alone. 24 But the shij) was now in the midst ofthe sea, tossed with waves: for the wind wascontrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the nightJesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And

  

Note About Images

Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

The question of whether "Jesus" is a holy name, can be addressed in several ways, the word "holy" must also be considered, and we will address this in a moment, first let's look at the "Biblical" origin of the name of "Jesus".

 

We read in Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son; and you shall call his name "Y'shua"; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins."

 

No, this isn't how it was "translated", most insert the name "Jesus".

 

But very few would dispute that the angel provided the name "Y'shua", certainly not the Greek name Jesus.

 

Most know that Y'shua means "YHWH is Salvation".

 

The Name of Yeshua itself is extremely prophetic for example:

 

Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise YHWH:

 

This gate of YHWH, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise Thee: for You have heard me, and have become my Yeshua (Salvation).

 

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

 

This is YHWH's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which YHWH has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Save now, I beseech thee, O YHWH: O YHWH, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be He that cometh in the Name of YHWH: we have blessed you out of the House of YHWH.

 

Psalms 118:19-26

 

The rejected head stone refers to Mashiyach ben Yoseph, the suffering servant.

 

The "builders" are those working to establish the Kingdom, but they've gone about it on their own merits and strength, they've rejected the most important component of the Kingdom: Mashiyach.

 

We know Y'shua to be Mashiyach ben Yoseph (the suffering servant) and Mashiyach ben David (the conquering king).

 

Y'shua brought the Salvation of YHWH to his people and demonstrated Torah based values of the Kingdom of Elohim.

 

Notice how this passage begins with "open to me the gates of righteousness", clearly gates (plural) refers to a progressive walk in Righteousness, openings that we must choose to enter into.

 

The set apart people pass through more than one gate during our lifetimes and as a people.

 

David goes on to say "this gate of YHWH" has become my Yeshua (Salvation).

 

Notice also that "Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of YHWH," refers to Mashiyach who came in the Name of YHWH.

 

The Name of YHWH is both physically and spiritually with and in Mashiyach as he is begotten spiritually by His Father YHWH.

 

Yeshua is the truncated form of Yehoshua which is the Hebrew name of Moses' successor, Joshua, it also means, YHWH is Salvation.

 

Y'shua did nothing in his own name, but in the Name of His Father YHWH.

 

We could analyze well over a hundred verses that specifically pertain to the prophetic identity of the office of Mashiyach, in which the name of Y'shua functions.

 

Consider this in the Ketuvim Netzarim (New Covenant Writings).

 

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua Mashiyach haNazarati, whom you crucified, whom Elohim raised from the dead, even by him does this man stand here before you whole.

 

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

 

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men,

 

whereby we must be saved.

 

Acts 4:10-12

 

Notice that NO other name under heaven given among men does NOT point to the name of Y'shua!

 

The Shlichim (Apostles) knew well that Yeshua came in his Father's Name, the Name of YHWH, Y'shua is the Salvation of YHWH.

 

Notice that Psalm 118 is being here which states, "Save now, I beseech thee, O YHWH: O YHWH, I beseech thee, send now prosperity."

 

The head of the corner refers to Mashiyach, but it is YHWH who saves, not Mashiyach.

 

It is YHWH who accomplished all the healings that Yeshua invoked according to His Father's Will.

 

Yeshua did not heal anyone in his own name, he healed in His Father's Name, according to His Father's authority.

 

There is a legend in the Talmud (Oral Traditions of the Pharisees) about Y'shua healing in the Name of YHWH.

 

The Pharisees made up an elaborate fable about Y'shua sneaking the Name of YHWH out of the Temple.

 

It tells of how Y'shua wrote the ineffable Name of Yahweh on a piece of parchment, cut his skin open, sewed it under his skin, left the Temple, then was able access the power of "the Name" outside the Temple.

 

This if course reeks of Gnosticism, the Pharisees are still using incantations to bring blessings upon themselves, the myth also reeks of religious pride, arrogance, paganism and traditional dogmatism about invoking the Name of YHWH.

 

There is a passage in Talmud where the Pharisees teach that YHWH confers with them about important matters before He does anything, they certainly give themselves a very elevated chair, and they also believe themselves to be stewards of "The Name".

 

As you probably know it is Pharisaical tradition to refer to YHWH as "haShem" (the Name), a derivative of their Gnostic religion.

 

But even in the libelous account of Y'shua in the Talmud, there is an underlying truth that Mashiyach healed in the Name and Power of YHWH!

 

Even the Pharisees admit it!

 

But Christians are very slow to figure this out?

 

How come?

 

But I know you, that you have not the love of Elohim in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name,

 

him you will receive.

 

John 5:42, 43

 

Y'shua's words declare that his Messiahship is according to His Father's Name, and of course this means the literal name of YHWH according to His Authority and Self Existent Power.

 

So it is on this basis that we can accurately know and understand that the office of Mashiyach is tied to YHWH.

 

Now that we know this, we can answer the question of whether the name of "Jesus" is "holy".

 

Consider very carefully this warning that Y'shua gave us:

 

And he said, "take heed that you be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Mashiyach; and the time draws near:

 

go not therefore after them."

 

Luke 21:8

 

Herein lies an "acid test" to determine whether a person is a false teacher or prophet, "many shall come in my name" in other words they will claim to operate in the office and authority of Mashiyach, NOT according to YHWH's authority!

 

The name of Jesus is a hybrid name that was coined outside the Set Apart tongue, NOT by YHWH and NOT by the original followers of Y'shua.

 

The fact is that the name of Joshua (Moses' successor) is the English equivalent to Yeshua, Joshua's name in Hebrew is Yehoshua, the same name as Yeshua but in the full form.

 

The name of Jesus exemplifies the seduction of Greek Christianity into Hellenistic Zeus culture.

 

Within Christo-Paganism the name Jesus is self sustaining, many Christians pray to Jesus as "the Father", and as their God. LORD and Lord are two components of the pagan Trinity that teaches LORD is the Father and Lord is the Son, melded into a Trinity.

 

But the Father has a very "Personal" and Set Apart Name and so does the Son for very important reasons.

 

Often times I inquire of Christians after they pray to "the Lord", and ask who they are praying to, the vast majority reply, "to Jesus".

 

But we must remember that:

 

Jesus is a Deity that comes "in his own name"

 

The name Jesus is NOT a derivative of YHWH, there is great cause for alarm when this hybrid Greek name is being plied onto Messiah because not only is it not the sanctified given name of Yeshua, but prophetic and sanctified unity within the Word of YHWH is lost!

 

Certainly Greeks who follow the Jewish Messiah are not going to win popularity contests among their own people within a polytheistic culture, therefore, early Christo-Pagans syncretized Greek culture into Greek Christianity, which "smoothed" the way for Christo-Paganism to become the "state" religion.

 

And let's be fair, not all Greeks are Hellenized.

 

Hellenism is to Greeks as "Hollywoodism" is to Americans.

 

Not all Americans bow down to the gods of Hollywood, Sports, Materialism, Money and Sensuality which are hallmarks of "Americanism."

 

But the fact of the matter is most "believers" can't give up the American carnal Krispy Kreme Kulture any more than the Greeks could give up Hellenism. I was visiting the USA when Mel Gibson's Passion hit the movie theatres.

 

The Messianic community I was visiting couldn't resist "the flick," they even bought group tickets to gaze at images of Jesus, which is very, VERY contrary to Torah!

 

I could NEVER agree to attend, the film depicts "graven images."

 

Christians worship a deity named Jesus and there was a depiction of Jesus lifted up on their massive screens.

 

Americans are fixated on entertainment and big screened images so who am I to argue, they'll do what is right in their own eyes and wag their tongues and say it is for "educational purposes."

 

As an English speaker, how do you pronounce Jesus? Yes, you are saying "Je-zuz", not "Je-sus" there's that "zzzzz" sound in the name.

 

In Spanish the Hay-sous sound is much closer to the Greek.

 

This is why at times I spell Jesus as Jezeus, to remind Christians that this hybrid name comes from Hellenism, whose chief god was Zeus, and people are still giving recognition to Zeus, not simply as a linguistic, etymological link, but by denying that Y'shua came to write Torah upon our hearts.

 

And by denying the Ancient Path.

 

And by denying to live Set Apart lives unto YHWH.

 

And by holding their Christian traditions up above Torah, above the Word of the Living Elohim.

 

Jesus is thought by many as a close and acceptable transliteration of Yeshua, but Je-Zuz points to Je-Zeus according to the values of both the Greek language and Hellenistic culture.

 

Greeks have NO trouble whatsoever pronouncing the name of Yeshua, exactly as it is said in Hebrew, neither do the Greek people have any trouble writing the name of Yeshua in Greek, in such way that any Greek reader would immediately know how to read and say Yeshua.

 

In reality, the persona of Jesus in Christo-Pagan religion, has far less to do with the Jewish Mashiyach functionally, than it has to do with Zeus.

 

Certainly some of the ideals Yeshua lived for have been regurgitated in Jesus worship, however the "person" of Jesus is far removed from the person of "Yeshua!"

 

Yeshua upholds Torah as his Father's Commandments according to the Word of YHWH, but Jesus let his disciples break the Law.

 

Christians teach that Paul brought the Torah to nothing, even that Paul taught that Torah was a curse, that's what Christian bibles say.

 

So it's quite obvious that there are two Jesus', in fact, Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) warns us to beware of the false Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4).

  

There are theologians who try to rebuff the etymological link between Jesus and Zeus however the historical evidence is profound.

 

Historians and documentarians have revealed busts of Zeus erected for Zeus worship appearing throughout Europe in both Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches as images of Jesus

 

However elements of pagan syncretism are found right within New Covenant Scriptures: Acts 14:12 "And they called Barnabas, Zeus; and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.

 

Then the priest of Zeus, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people."

 

Certainly a tragic event but clearly showing the propensity of the pagan element to syncretize the teachings of Paul into paganism. The pagan element today within Christianity asserts that Paul did away with Torah (instructions in righteousness), yet Paul himself warns his readers that "another Jesus" was being preached, the false anti-Torah, anti-righteousness, pagan cultural Jesus was being embedded into the minds of many Greek Christians even within Paul's lifetime, and it is very clearly evident that this movement gained momentum and became the tour de force behind modern Christianity.

 

Theologians point out that the Septuagint scribes translated Yehoshua into Iesous. Yehoshua of course is Moses' successor (Joshua) and the full name of Y'shua.

 

The Septuagint was translated by Jewish scribes who were very capable in the Greek language but this certainly doesn't mean they were enlightened about Mashiyach Ben Yoseph being given the name Y'shua.

 

The Septuagint was translated into Greek about 200 years before Y'shua came to earth therefore the importance of the name of Y'shua was not fully understood back then.

 

For Christian theologians to assert that these scribes were under inspiration of the Holy Spirit is simply a theological projection.

 

When Mashiyach Y'shua came to earth, many religious myths were exposed but yet certain groups like the Pharisees went on campaigns to further hide the Word of YHWH connection to Mashiyach Y'shua.

 

In fact there are 134 changes made to the Masoretic texts by the Pharisees to cover up the reality of Y'shua being the Word of YHWH.

 

This extremely important connection between YHWH and His Mashiyach was evidently not understood by the translators of the Septuagint, yet the Septuagint is a very important work as it preserves these passages that were altered by later false scribes.

 

When Christians realize that they've been taught a falsehood about the anti-Torah Jesus they simply need to recognize the difference between the two, and that there definitely are two Messiahs who operate under the name Y'shua and Jesus.

 

In fact, have we not been amply warned that haSatan transforms himself into an angel of light?

 

That means the Devil transforms himself into Jesus, so, next time you get on your knees to pray, don't be concerned.

 

Pray to YHWH in the Name of Y'shua and thank Him for His Torah and then go learn how to keep His Commandments.

 

But I have bad news for you, you will be hated by the religious elements, you will be mocked, scorned, reviled, judged, and condemned to hell by those who say they love Jesus.

 

Is the name of Jesus holy?* No, not according the Word of YHWH it is NOT! There are many material points of law that can easily establish this fact.

 

It is not simply a matter of linguistics that the Greek culture chose to make a name change, it is a matter of politics and religion.

 

The religious motives surrounding anti-Torah teaching are too numerous to enumerate, one of the big factors is that Torah judges autocratic governments, Torah judges and exposes hierarchy like nothing else can, or will.

 

Torah enlightens souls towards freedom, equality, sexuality, protection of personal property and liberty, it would be impossible for the current oligarchic political hierarchical structure of the world to operate within a Torah based value system, therefore the real Mashiyach had to be silenced or reinvented.

 

Hence "Jesus" became an anti-Torah icon, at most he is taught of as being a "respecter" of Torah, who "translated" Torah principles into Hellenism.

 

However, the anti-Torah values that are syncretized into "Jesus" could not have been done so while Yeshua was connected to his Father YHWH and Torah, hence the linguistic severance that made way for the new religious ideal... enter Jesus.

 

From Rabbinical Judaism's perspective, the Pharisees used their tradition to judge Yeshua as a breaker of their tradition, and tradition is their highest authority, NOT Torah.

 

The Pharisees used Yeshua to establish their own authority, by judging Yeshua and putting him to the torture stake, they put themselves above Mashiyach.

 

The Greek culture used their own methodology to do the very same thing, they syncretized Yeshua into their own Hellenic culture.

 

There was a time when the "person of Jesus" was the defining authority of the Roman empire, Constantine and his mother Hellena forced their brand of Christianity upon the world as the official religion of Roman Empire, under their direction the massacre of "the innocents" seemed a reasonable thing, much like American civilization today uses it's military might for conflict resolution, in the "name of Jesus" and perpetrates wholesale evil upon it's victims.

 

From a humanistic religious perspective (like Christian America), the name of Jesus is holy because it is on this basis that they give themselves authority to do what is right in their own eyes.

 

But what is YHWH's doing according to Mashiyach is a completely different matter, we should be much more interested in that which is "Set Apart" unto YHWH rather than what is "holy" unto man.

 

"Blessed be He that cometh in the Name of YHWH:

 

we have blessed you out of the House of YHWH."

 

Followers of Truth must understand that we are required to be in the House of YHWH to be able to judge with righteous Judgment.

 

Neither Christianity nor Rabbinical Judaism is "in the House of YHWH", as these religions both take their authority from tradition and versions of the Bible according to man's traditions.

 

Before a person can judge what is right or wrong they must enter into the House of YHWH, and this means a person must observe and do the Commandments and live according to Torah principles. We must adopt the Authority of the Word of YHWH for righteous judgment.

 

For example, the 3rd Commandment states we are NOT to bring any other name equal to the name of YHWH.

 

The 1st Command is that YHWH is Elohim. Therefore on these two Commandments we can be assured that the name of Jesus is not holy, it is simply un-holy or common.

 

However, when people are earnest and sincere and use the name of Zeus to call upon Mashiyach simply because they don't know his true name or the Name of his Father, then certainly YHWH is merciful and will draw earnest souls to Himself.

 

But as a person matures in the Faith it is foolish for them to make excuses and continue calling on the name of Jesus, just because of religious tradition or because "everyone else is doing it."

 

Neither the name Jesus or Y'shua are meant to be used for incantations, it is false religion to verbalize any name as though there is power in making the sound of the name, yet most Christians and Jews continue to say canned prayers and make incantations as part of their religion.

 

NO, we are to learn about the person of Mashiyach, emulate his character, learn from his life and walk as he walked and as he taught his disciples according to an intimate spiritual relationship.

 

It is impossible for men to "translate" the revealed Set Apart name of YHWH and His Mashiyach into man's values.

 

YHWH does not ask that man preside as judges over His Authority, yet man continually does this on his own initiative, by using a thing called "religion".

 

For the benefit of Christians who may be upset at this discovery, don't let your pride rule the day, it is your desire to please Mashiyach and live for him that will carry you into a more intimate relationship with YHWH.

 

But it is also the weak flesh of religion and status quo pressure that holds a soul back from entering into a deeper, more meaningful and spiritually powerful relationship.

 

It is obvious that the Name of YHWH and His many Titles are to reveal His nature and character to us.

 

YHWH created the universe with Words, and it is in the power of His Word that mankind communicates with each other about Him and His Mashiyach.

 

Certainly the Spirit is not constrained by the limitations of our vocabulary, but words and names are meant to give us entry into greater Spiritual consciousness, yet each of us were taught basic information about YHWH and His Mashiyach from the words and names we learnt from our teachers.

 

Regardless of what our teachers might say, YHWH says that He regards His Name as "Set Apart", and that He requires us to also honor His Name as SET APART.

 

Therefore we set apart Words and Names that are meant to elevate that which pertains to YHWH and His Mashiyach from those things that are opposed to the Kingdom of Elohim.

 

"And YHWH Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground,

 

and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;

 

and man became a nefesh chaya."

 

Genesis 2:7

 

The Targumist writes that nefesh chaya is best translated as the "spirit of speech". YHWH "breathed" a "spirit" into mankind that is of His own Spirit, to connect us to Himself. Initially the whole world was of one language.

 

The reason YHWH confused the languages was so that mankind wouldn't soon repeat what he did in Noah's day, and bring destruction upon himself. The diversity of languages and culture bought us time and allowed humanity to nurture cultures and diversity that would bring more glory to YHWH.

 

Is it not a blessed thing to travel to various countries and be with Believers who dress different, prepare their food different, who have different customs when they sing, dance and worship the King of Kings? But YHWH did not confuse the revelation about Himself, this was the work of the adversary.

 

The revelation of YHWH was given in Hebrew because in it's original form and delivery, it was perfect.

 

The Hebrew language connected the spirit of man (neshama) to the soul (nephesh) and body (guf) and to all the rest of the created world as members of YHWH's Creation.

 

Hebrew was originally pictographical, it conveyed moral sequence and revelation about YHWH and man's obligation to YHWH and to each other.

 

When man began to slice and dice the revelation of Mashiyach Yeshua and the Torah of YHWH, the world was set on a course for destruction, and it is not possible for mankind himself to turn it back.

 

After the Pharisee elitists killed Yeshua both physically and by the venom of religious tradition, the Christians then "resurrected" their own Christo-Pagan hero which they named Je-zeus, who endorses their status quo pagan religious tradition, materialism and anti-Torah traditions.

 

The real marketing campaign of Christianity is not about the inner rebirth of righteousness within the fallen soul of man, but the justification of religious souls according to what "JeZeus did on the cross."

 

In Christian meetings it can routinely be heard that "Jezeus did it all," which is a universal cop-out for Christians to live carnal, worldly, unrighteous lifestyles.

 

The name of Jezeus represents the justification of their sins, so those who make a call to raise up Torah standards are viewed as enemies of "the church."

 

Certainly there are many beautiful souls within Judaism and Christianity who have never distinguished the Yeshua of YHWH versus the Jesus of Christian tradition, the religious status quo fights aggressively to maintain it's authority, which gets it's power from "the beast".

 

Many Christians and Jews have a very good idea deep inside that their religion needs a renovation, many Christians know that if they were to renounce Jezeus and take up the sufferings of Yeshua, that their days in the local churches would be numbered.

 

Many Jews are aware that if they investigate the real Yeshua that they will fall out of being religiously or politically correct, but that... is the cost of discipleship.

 

The Word of YHWH must be the final authority for every Believer, not the traditions of men.

 

We read a telling example in Scripture where a man tried to manipulate Yeshua to get himself assurance for eternal life, it goes like this:

 

"And, behold, one came and said unto him, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' And he said unto him, 'Why do you call me good? there is none good but one, that is, Elohim:

 

but if you will enter into life, keep the mitzvoth (commandments).'"

 

Matthew 19:16, 17

 

Yeshua demonstrates to this man that even if he were to esteem him as the "Good Master", that this would NOT qualify him for eternal life, but that he is obligated to keep the Commandments of YHWH to enter into Life.

 

This man represents Christendom who bring all manner of praise and worship to the person of Jesus, but who do not uphold Torah.

 

The "person of Jesus" in this scenario of "Good Master" could not save anyone anymore than Hitler or Saddam Hussein could provide salvation!

 

Unless a soul is obedient to the authority behind Mashiyach—Who is YHWH—there is NO salvation.

 

However, Christianity has marketed a salvation "gospel" under the persona of Jesus, they claim to have a "Good Master" who did away with Torah, but this is false and evil religion.

 

If you will enter into Life, keep the Commandments, because this is the fullness of Yeshua himself. The Spirit within Yeshua is the Spirit of YHWH Who came in the flesh.

 

Yeshua is Set Apart (Holy) because He was obedient to death, all of Yeshua's followers strive to be obedient and to bring glory to his Name by their obedience, however the fallen church wants to get glory through the name of Jesus without being obedient to YHWH. These two values are as far apart as the east is from the west.

 

Yeshua's sufferings opened the door of righteousness so that mankind could see the awesome love of the Father.

 

Yeshua lived in such a way that demonstrated for each of us how we are to live each day. Because Yeshua lived, and because he resurrected, we can be empowered in him by Grace unto the perfect man, our Standard is Yeshua.

 

Not Paul, not someone's theology, but the Spirit of Yeshua. Yeshua is not a substitute for us but our goal, he is the example, the quintessential Jew who became a sin offering for each of us.

 

This is how he fulfilled the office of Mashiyach ben Yoseph, but one must also bear in mind that he will return as Mashiyach ben David and sanctify the earth according to his Father's Commandment.

 

His suffering is complete, but now his enemies are the ones who will suffer.

 

One of the greatest deceptions within Christo-Paganism is the identity theft of Yeshua, although, had Yeshua been followed accordingly by our ancestors, you and I wouldn't be here.

 

The forces of evil would have long been overwhelmed and the Kingdom of Elohim would have been established. We would exist in a very different dimension.

 

The future of this world is much shorter than any of us would really care to acknowledge, this generation is witnessing the birth pangs of Mashiyach ben David, if there was ever a time in the history of the world that one would be motivated to live for Mashiyach, it would be now.

 

There really isn't much out there by comparison worth living for.

 

I pray that you will be bold to sanctify the Name of YHWH in Yeshua, take courage, be peculiar, stand upright and take down the walls of the enemy. We are entering into a prophetic time when YHWH is calling out a people for His Name, He is writing His Name on their foreheads, and they will do valiantly in Him, because YHWH's Word says He alone will be Glorified.

 

People will refrain from saying that catastrophic events were just coincidences, evolutionists aren't always going to continue their mealy mouthed invectives against YHWH and the true origins of life, YHWH says that in that day ALL, will know His Name.

 

"Holy" or what is "Kadosh" is that which is Set Apart by YHWH for His people.

 

Jesus was not a Set Apart name given by YHWH.

 

His name is Y'shua for VERY good reason!

 

JeZeus is the invention of a politically correct status quo religious "translator."

 

And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth, shall set you free.

 

Yochanan/John 8:32

 

YHWH be with you,

  

Shalom U'Vrachot,

  

Baruch Ben Daniel

 

*The word "holy" finds its origins with heile, which is a Greek term that refers to the warmth of the sun.

 

The sun was worshipped by the pagans as a deity, and heile was also a deity. Unfortunately, the Christian churches renounce being "Set Apart" unto YHWH, as this requires following in the footsteps of Mashiyach and observing Torah.

 

In "Christianese", "holy" means to be embedded in a church, believe their theology, support the church, show up for meetings, and participate in building a big new church or go "soul winning" and find others who will accept the churches doctrinal positions.

 

Each church has made for itself a "holy" status quo, therefore if you don't belong to the church "status quo" you are not as "holy" as they. In Israel this type of thing is loosely referred to as "shtuyot" (shtoo-yot) or religious garbage.

 

www.mashiyach.com/SighandCry/jesusholy.htm

St. John in Revelations tells us of the New Heaven and the New Earth as given to him by God, in a vision. From his description and my own interpretation I have come up with one idea of John's vision and based on what Jesus told His followers as He preached the Word, during His ministry on Earth. As we journey through Lent we can see what is in store for believers...

March 24th, Palm Sunday is celebrated as the beginning of "Holy Week", the most holy days of the Christian calendar year. Jesus is welcomed into Jerusalem by crowds of happy, enthusiastic followers who had been healed or witnessed Jesus healing or performing miracles.

Palm branches were laid on the dirt road leading into the City of David (another name for Jerusalem). His followers sang and danced at the top of their lungs Hallelujah the Messiah has come".

When the jealous pharisees heard all the followers reveling in Jesus, the Christ, they rebuked them saying to Jesus, (paraphrased) Can't you keep your followers from shouting and singing so loudly?!

Jesus answered, If they stopped singing surely the stones themselves would sing our and shout for joy!

By the end of the week, Jesus, who was proclaimed by the people on Jerusalem to be God's Son and the Messiah, was betrayed, arrested, scourged and given over to the Romans for cruxifixtion. This was meant to happen. It HAD to happen, so that one day BECAUSE Jesus rose from the dead He would prepare the New Heaven and New Earth and along with God the Father Almighty, and prepare a place for each of His followers. Those who lived then and those who live now. Because of HIS sacrifice we have this eternal life of peace and blessing to look forward to. Were it not for Jesus blood and life given freely for our sins, ALL human beings would perish and spend eternity seperated from God in a lonely and forbidding place.

Praise HIS NAME. PRAISE JESUS! God bless and keep you and make His face to shine on you and give you HIS peace. Now and forever.

Thank you for allowing me to share this wonderful "GOOD NEWS" with you today. JJ

 

The images in the stained glass windows of the temple were given to me by Simone Herberogue. She is a blessing in my life. Thank you Simone. I hope you like what I did with them. God bless you. See her beautiful work @

www.flickr.com/photos/herberouge/

Question: Why is this so good? Camera on zoom as I drove alone to morning work. One hand holds camera. One hand holds steering wheel Carefully driving city limit of 30 miles an hour. My eyes ahead while camera focus on infinity. Unable to aim foto so just snapping at beauty from God, hoping to hit a good one. Is it luck? Is it one hand skill while snapping to left through open car window while looking ahead to avoid car accident and driving well? Is it total lack of common sense? Is it something that should never be done? If that NEVER rule is broken, make sure it is so seldom!

REMEDY: My loved ones claim only the passenger should take fotos; but what should I do when only GOD is my co-Pilot? GREAT idea in the comments below: Stop car and take the foto the RIGHT way, with plenty of care and patience.

_______________________

Today, Sunday, June 29, 2008, the

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles is celebrated world wide by many

 

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Acts 12:1-11

Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

Matthew 16:13-19

 

A reflection on today's Scripture:

 

This year we observe the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of the great Apostle Paul. He was born in Tarsus in present-day Turkey. Pope Benedict XVI has declared this to be the Year of St. Paul beginning with the Vigil of today's Feast, June 28, 2008, and ending on June 29, 2009. All throughout the year, Catholics who make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome may receive a plenary indulgence. Those who are impeded for a serious reason from going to Rome may still obtain the indulgence (consult your parish for details). This beautiful church of St. Paul Outside the Walls contains the tomb of St. Paul who was beheaded around the year 65 A.D.

 

The readings for the feast are concerned with both St. Peter and St. Paul. In the reading from Acts 12, we hear that King Herod, after killing St. James, the brother of St. John, by the sword, arrested St. Peter, threw him in prison in double chains, and had him guarded there with a large cohort of soldiers. In the middle of the night, the chains dropped from him, and he walked out on his own to freedom.

 

Why such direct divine intervention? Because, as today's Gospel from Matthew narrates, Peter, under divine inspiration, declared Christ to be God's Son and Savior of the World. Then came Jesus' appointment of Peter, "You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it." The passage concludes with Jesus conferring on Peter the "keys of the kingdom," with its accompanying power to absolve sin or to keep that person "bound" by his sin. Two other readings this weekend recount Peter's cure of the crippled man at the gates of the Temple (Acts 3) and the dramatic test that Jesus gave Peter right after the Resurrection, asking Peter three times if he loved Him (Gospel for the Vigil).

 

The readings for St. Paul give us a sample of how St. Paul defended his credentials for preaching the Gospel (Galatians 1). In this letter, he declares that his own teaching is not from human origin, but has come by direct revelation from heaven. The reading for the Feast gives us a portion of Paul's farewell to Timothy from the Roman prison at the end of his life. He declares to Timothy that he has kept the faith, and run the race, and now expects an eternity with the Lord in heaven.

 

Paul of Tarsus was completely different from Peter. Peter, impetuous and generous, was an uneducated fisherman, while Paul was a "city boy" and somewhat of an introvert. He became a zealous Pharisee, tremendously learned in Jewish law, but an outsider, and a Roman citizen. Peter was the main authority figure in the early Church, while Paul was the brilliant catechist who developed the "theology" of the early Church and the missionary apostle who evangelized the eastern Mediterranean. Pilgrims today can walk in the footsteps of St. Paul, following the path of three separate missionary journeys.

 

We honor both St. Peter and St. Paul by imitating their generous faith, and their love and total commitment to the crucified and risen Jesus.

 

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: pwhitmore29@ yahoo.com

______________________

Share below e-mail I just wrote an inquiring mind on BALANCE flickring:

 

Ignore the insane rule that "if you do not fave someone's foto" , he/she will not visit your stream and may remove you as a contact. So be it, if they do.

 

How can you make your stream that it teaches and needs to be seen?

 

My stream includes:

 

Quality Quotes almost daily with their sources included.

 

Quality Fotos, many of which are unique in style or content (and then share how you did your magic so from your varied talents, others may learn).

 

Quality featured artist(s), whose stream you should check out.

 

My Flickring time, includes

 

About one hour every other day on explore and notifying my contacts and others their foto has explored

 

Often I make reciprocal comments on streams of those faving my latest foto or two.

 

Post into groups and there look amongst recent pages to see which of my contacts have posted an awesome foto so I can fave it there in a pool.

 

Invite contacts to many of the better groups that I am in.

 

Invite great pictures found in one group to the better others groups I am in, even though that fotografer is not my contact yet.

 

I recently learned after doing above a while, that there is no need to post your latest foto into a number of groups, hoping it will EXPLORE. (Check and discover that a number of regulars, who EXPLORE many days of each week, post their fotos into no groups, or just one or two before the first EXPLORE's 500 are exhibited for that day.)

 

If the above means some people will stop coming to and marking up your stream, that is okay. When you visit them once bi-weekly, they will reciprocate bi-weekly. That way you can mark up more than merely their last foto posted.

 

Have I yet achieved BALANCE after being addicted to FLICKR?

 

Of course not, but I can continue try to cut back using the above for too much emphasis on any one thing in LIFE, is usually very wrong.

 

I hope the above advice learned the hard way on FLICKR over the last 11 months is of help to you and others.

 

Life is only lived once. Enjoy each of its many blessings in moderations. Help others to lead a better life, learning from your mistakes. That I try to do.

 

ART and fun have much of, all my FLICKRITE friends, as you well share BEST fotos you took and like.

________________________

www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mark_twain.html

Mark Twain , USA Philosophizing Writer Quotes

Born November 30, 1835; Died April 21, 1910

 

Lord save us all from a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.

 

Man - a creature made at the end of the week's work when God was tired.

 

Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired.

 

Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.

 

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.

_________________

Outspoken USA's St. Louis, Missouri Archbishop to lead Vatican's Supreme Court; see

www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/28/vatican.appointment.ap/index.html

________________________

Medjugorje - Our Blessed Lady's 27th Anniversary Message to all her kids

 

Peace to All! Below please find the official English translation of Our Lady's 27th anniversary message as provided by the Information Center in Medjugorje.

 

It is amazing to realize that Our Lady has been appearing every day in Medjugorje since June 25, 1981. Thank you Blessed Mother for your love, for your messages, and for your prayers and intercessions for all of us. Thank you Jesus, for sending your mother to us to help us find and stay on the path that leads to you.

 

Our next mailing will be the commentary by Fr. Danko in the first few days in July.

  

God Bless!

Steve and Ana Shawl

The Medjugorje Web

www.medjugorje.org

--------------------------------

 

Blessed Virgin Mary's Medjugorje Message of June 25, 2008

 

"Dear children! Also today, with great joy in my heart, I call you to follow me and to listen to my messages. Be joyful carriers of peace and love in this peaceless world. I am with you and I bless you all with my Son Jesus, the King of Peace. Thank you for having responded to my call."

______________________

daily news from Vatican from

zenitenglish@zenit.org

 

Vatican Looks at Politics as Form of Charity

Cardinal Says Genuine Democracy Needs a Soul

 

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 20, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican is proposing politics as a form of charity, but affirming that the Church has an essential contribution to make to the political world.

 

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, opened a two-day Vatican conference this morning focused on "Politics, a Demanding Form of Charity."

 

The meeting, being held at the headquarters of that dicastery, will offer guidelines for a politics based on a Christian perspective, in areas such as life and the family, taxes, international cooperation and biotechnologies.

 

In his opening address, Cardinal Martino said that "in Christ's message, proclaimed by the Church, the human community can find the strength to love one's neighbor as oneself, to combat everything that is opposed to life, to acknowledge the fundamental equality of all, to struggle against every form of discrimination, and to overcome a merely individualist ethics."

 

Referring to the topic of laicism, sometimes understood as the exclusion of religion from public life, the president of the Vatican council expressed the conviction that Catholicism will never turn its back on faith's public role.

 

"If politics pretends to act as if God did not exist, in the end it dries up and loses the very awareness of intangible human dignity," he said.

 

Cardinal Martino defended democratic pluralism, but stressed that there are values that cannot be negotiated, such as respect for human life, the family, and the right to education.

 

"When rights are claimed in an individualist way, removing them from a reference to truth, solidarity and responsibility, democracy itself is corroded and elements of opposition are introduced," he warned.

 

The cardinal concluded by proposing that genuine democracy needs a soul: a conviction about the unconditional value of the human person, open to others and to God, in truth and goodness.

 

EXPLORE # 299 on Sunday, June 29, 2008; # 303, 328 on 06-30-2008

The Word Appears in the Flesh

You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ

 

www.holyspiritspeaks.org/you-should-seek-the-way-of-compa...

You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ

 

I have done much work among man, and the words I have expressed during this time have been many. These words are for the sake of man’s salvation, and were expressed so that man might become compatible with Me. Yet I have gained only a few people on earth who are compatible with Me, and so I say that man does not treasure My words, for man is not compatible with Me. In this way, the work I do is not merely so that man can worship Me; more importantly, it is so that man can be compatible with Me. People, who have been corrupted, all live in Satan’s trap, they live in the flesh, live in selfish desires, and there is not a single one among them who is compatible with Me. There are those who say that they are compatible with Me, but who all worship vague idols. Although they acknowledge My name as holy, they tread a path that runs contrary to Me, and their words are full of arrogance and self-confidence, because, at root, they are all against Me, and incompatible with Me. Every day they seek traces of Me in the Bible, and find “suitable” passages at random that they read endlessly, and which they recite as “scriptures.” They do not know how to be compatible with Me, do not know what it means to be in enmity of Me, and merely read “scriptures” blindly. They constrain within the Bible a vague God that they have never seen, and are incapable of seeing, and take it out to look at during their spare time. They believe in My existence only within the scope of the Bible. For them, I am the same as the Bible; without the Bible there is no Me, and without Me there is no Bible. They pay no heed to My existence or actions, but instead devote extreme and special attention to each and every word of Scripture, and many of them even believe that I should not do anything I wish to do unless it is foretold by Scripture. They attach too much importance to Scripture. It can be said that they see words and expressions as too important, to the extent that they use verses from the Bible to measure every word I say, and to condemn Me. What they seek is not the way of compatibility with Me, or the way of compatibility with the truth, but the way of compatibility with the words of the Bible, and they believe that anything that does not conform to the Bible is, without exception, not My work. Are such people not the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees? The Jewish Pharisees used the law of Moses to condemn Jesus. They did not seek compatibility with the Jesus of that time, but diligently followed the law to the letter, to the extent that they ultimately nailed the innocent Jesus to the cross, having charged Him with not following the law of the Old Testament and not being the Messiah. What was their essence? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth? They obsessed over each and every word of the Scripture, while paying no heed to My will and the steps and methods of My work. They were not people who sought the truth, but people who rigidly followed the words of Scripture; they were not people who believed in God, but people who believed in the Bible. Essentially, they were watchdogs of the Bible. In order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, and uphold the dignity of the Bible, and protect the reputation of the Bible, they went so far as to nail the merciful Jesus onto the cross. This they did merely for the sake of defending the Bible, and for the sake of maintaining the status of each and every word of the Bible in people’s hearts. So they preferred to forsake their future and the sin offering to condemn Jesus, who did not conform to the doctrine of Scripture, to death. Were they not lackeys to each and every word of Scripture?

 

And what of people today? Christ has come to release the truth, yet they would rather expel Him from among man in order to gain entry into heaven and receive grace. They would rather completely deny the coming of the truth in order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, and would rather nail the Christ returning to flesh to the cross again in order to ensure the everlasting existence of the Bible. How can man receive My salvation, when his heart is so malicious, and his nature so antagonistic toward Me? I live among man, yet man does not know of My existence. When I shine My light upon man, he still remains ignorant of My existence. When I unleash My wrath upon man, he denies My existence with even greater vigor. Man searches for compatibility with words, with the Bible, yet not a single person comes before Me to seek the way of compatibility with the truth. Man looks up to Me in heaven, and devotes particular concern to My existence in heaven, yet no one cares about Me in the flesh, for I who live among man am simply too insignificant. Those who only seek compatibility with the words of the Bible, and who only seek compatibility with a vague God, are a wretched sight to Me. That is because what they worship are dead words, and a God that is capable of giving them untold treasures. What they worship is a God that lays himself at the mercy of man, and which doesn’t exist. What, then, can such people gain from Me? Man is simply too lowly for words. Those who are against Me, who make limitless demands of Me, who have no love of the truth, who are rebellious toward Me—how could they be compatible with Me?

 

Those who are against Me are those who are not compatible with Me. So too are those who do not love the truth, and those who rebel against Me are even more against Me and incompatible with Me. All those who are not compatible with Me I deliver into the hands of the evil one. I relinquish them to the corruption of the evil one, give them free rein to reveal their maleficence, and ultimately hand them over to the evil one to be devoured. I care not how many people worship Me, which is to say, I care not how many people believe in Me. All that concerns Me is how many people are compatible with Me. That is because all those who are not compatible with Me are evil ones who betray Me; they are My enemies, and I shall not “enshrine” My enemies in My home. Those who are compatible with Me shall forever serve Me in My home, and those who place themselves in enmity of Me shall forever suffer My punishment. Those who only care about the words of the Bible, who are unconcerned about the truth or seeking My footsteps—they are against Me, for they limit Me according to the Bible, and constrain Me within the Bible, and so are blasphemous in the extreme toward Me. How could such people come before Me? They pay no heed to My deeds, or My will, or the truth, but instead obsess over words, words that kill. How could such people be compatible with Me?

 

I have expressed so many words, and have also expressed My will and disposition, yet even so, people are still incapable of knowing Me and believing in Me. Or, it could be said, they are still incapable of obeying Me. Those who live in the Bible, those who live amidst the law, those who live on the cross, those who live according to doctrine, those who live among the work I do today—which of them is compatible with Me? You only think of receiving blessings and rewards, and have never spared a thought to how to be compatible with Me, or to how to prevent yourselves from being in enmity of Me. I am so disappointed in you, for I have given you so much, yet I have gained so little from you. Your deception, your arrogance, your greed, your extravagant desires, your betrayal, your disobedience—which of these could escape My notice? You palter with Me, you fool Me, you insult Me, you deceive Me, you exact Me, you extort Me for sacrifices—how could such maleficence elude My punishment? Your evildoing is proof of your enmity to Me, and is proof of your incompatibility with Me. Each of you believes yourself to be so compatible with Me, but if that is the case, then to whom does such irrefutable evidence apply? You believe yourselves to possess the utmost sincerity and loyalty toward Me. You think that you are so kindhearted, so compassionate, and have devoted so much to Me. You think that you have done enough for Me. Yet have you ever compared these beliefs against your own behavior? I say you are plenty arrogant, plenty greedy, plenty perfunctory; the tricks with which you fool Me are plenty clever, and you have plenty of contemptible intentions and contemptible methods. Your loyalty is too meager, your earnestness is too paltry, and your conscience is even more lacking. There is too much maliciousness in your hearts, and no one is exempt from it, not even Me. You shut Me out for the sake of your children, or your husband, or your own self-preservation. Instead of caring about Me, you care about your family, your children, your status, your future, and your own gratification. When have you ever thought of Me as you spoke or acted? When the weather is cold, your thoughts turn to your children, your husband, your wife, or your parents. When the weather is hot, I hold no place in your thoughts, either. When you perform your duty, you are thinking of your own interests, of your own personal safety, of the members of your family. What have you ever done that was for Me? When have you ever thought of Me? When have you ever devoted yourself, at any cost, to Me and My work? Where is the evidence of your compatibility with Me? Where is the reality of your loyalty to Me? Where is the reality of your obedience to Me? When have your intentions not been for the sake of gaining My blessings? You fool and deceive Me, you play with the truth, and conceal the existence of the truth, and betray the substance of the truth, and you place yourselves in such enmity to Me. So what awaits you in the future? You merely seek compatibility with a vague God, and merely seek a vague belief, yet you are not compatible with Christ. Will not your maleficence receive the same retribution as that deserved by the wicked? At that time, you will realize that no one who is incompatible with Christ can escape the day of wrath, and you will discover what kind of retribution shall be wrought upon those who are in enmity with Christ. When that day arrives, your dreams of being blessed for your belief in God, and of gaining entry to heaven, shall all be shattered. It is, however, not so for those who are compatible with Christ. Though they have lost so much, though they have suffered a lot of hardship, they shall receive all of the inheritance that I shall bequeath to mankind. Ultimately, you will understand that only I am the righteous God, and that only I am capable of taking mankind into his beautiful destination.

 

This was taken about 15 minutes after the previous one. There is no reflecting pool, and the photographer has moved to the left side of the lighthouse. It's darker but the colours are deeper.

 

Which do you prefer?

 

"Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning"

 

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:1-3)

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

- Luke 19:37-40

The Word Appears in the Flesh

You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ

 

www.holyspiritspeaks.org/you-should-seek-the-way-of-compa...

You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ

 

I have done much work among man, and the words I have expressed during this time have been many. These words are for the sake of man’s salvation, and were expressed so that man might become compatible with Me. Yet I have gained only a few people on earth who are compatible with Me, and so I say that man does not treasure My words, for man is not compatible with Me. In this way, the work I do is not merely so that man can worship Me; more importantly, it is so that man can be compatible with Me. People, who have been corrupted, all live in Satan’s trap, they live in the flesh, live in selfish desires, and there is not a single one among them who is compatible with Me. There are those who say that they are compatible with Me, but who all worship vague idols. Although they acknowledge My name as holy, they tread a path that runs contrary to Me, and their words are full of arrogance and self-confidence, because, at root, they are all against Me, and incompatible with Me. Every day they seek traces of Me in the Bible, and find “suitable” passages at random that they read endlessly, and which they recite as “scriptures.” They do not know how to be compatible with Me, do not know what it means to be in enmity of Me, and merely read “scriptures” blindly. They constrain within the Bible a vague God that they have never seen, and are incapable of seeing, and take it out to look at during their spare time. They believe in My existence only within the scope of the Bible. For them, I am the same as the Bible; without the Bible there is no Me, and without Me there is no Bible. They pay no heed to My existence or actions, but instead devote extreme and special attention to each and every word of Scripture, and many of them even believe that I should not do anything I wish to do unless it is foretold by Scripture. They attach too much importance to Scripture. It can be said that they see words and expressions as too important, to the extent that they use verses from the Bible to measure every word I say, and to condemn Me. What they seek is not the way of compatibility with Me, or the way of compatibility with the truth, but the way of compatibility with the words of the Bible, and they believe that anything that does not conform to the Bible is, without exception, not My work. Are such people not the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees? The Jewish Pharisees used the law of Moses to condemn Jesus. They did not seek compatibility with the Jesus of that time, but diligently followed the law to the letter, to the extent that they ultimately nailed the innocent Jesus to the cross, having charged Him with not following the law of the Old Testament and not being the Messiah. What was their essence? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth? They obsessed over each and every word of the Scripture, while paying no heed to My will and the steps and methods of My work. They were not people who sought the truth, but people who rigidly followed the words of Scripture; they were not people who believed in God, but people who believed in the Bible. Essentially, they were watchdogs of the Bible. In order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, and uphold the dignity of the Bible, and protect the reputation of the Bible, they went so far as to nail the merciful Jesus onto the cross. This they did merely for the sake of defending the Bible, and for the sake of maintaining the status of each and every word of the Bible in people’s hearts. So they preferred to forsake their future and the sin offering to condemn Jesus, who did not conform to the doctrine of Scripture, to death. Were they not lackeys to each and every word of Scripture?

 

And what of people today? Christ has come to release the truth, yet they would rather expel Him from among man in order to gain entry into heaven and receive grace. They would rather completely deny the coming of the truth in order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, and would rather nail the Christ returning to flesh to the cross again in order to ensure the everlasting existence of the Bible. How can man receive My salvation, when his heart is so malicious, and his nature so antagonistic toward Me? I live among man, yet man does not know of My existence. When I shine My light upon man, he still remains ignorant of My existence. When I unleash My wrath upon man, he denies My existence with even greater vigor. Man searches for compatibility with words, with the Bible, yet not a single person comes before Me to seek the way of compatibility with the truth. Man looks up to Me in heaven, and devotes particular concern to My existence in heaven, yet no one cares about Me in the flesh, for I who live among man am simply too insignificant. Those who only seek compatibility with the words of the Bible, and who only seek compatibility with a vague God, are a wretched sight to Me. That is because what they worship are dead words, and a God that is capable of giving them untold treasures. What they worship is a God that lays himself at the mercy of man, and which doesn’t exist. What, then, can such people gain from Me? Man is simply too lowly for words. Those who are against Me, who make limitless demands of Me, who have no love of the truth, who are rebellious toward Me—how could they be compatible with Me?

 

Those who are against Me are those who are not compatible with Me. So too are those who do not love the truth, and those who rebel against Me are even more against Me and incompatible with Me. All those who are not compatible with Me I deliver into the hands of the evil one. I relinquish them to the corruption of the evil one, give them free rein to reveal their maleficence, and ultimately hand them over to the evil one to be devoured. I care not how many people worship Me, which is to say, I care not how many people believe in Me. All that concerns Me is how many people are compatible with Me. That is because all those who are not compatible with Me are evil ones who betray Me; they are My enemies, and I shall not “enshrine” My enemies in My home. Those who are compatible with Me shall forever serve Me in My home, and those who place themselves in enmity of Me shall forever suffer My punishment. Those who only care about the words of the Bible, who are unconcerned about the truth or seeking My footsteps—they are against Me, for they limit Me according to the Bible, and constrain Me within the Bible, and so are blasphemous in the extreme toward Me. How could such people come before Me? They pay no heed to My deeds, or My will, or the truth, but instead obsess over words, words that kill. How could such people be compatible with Me?

 

I have expressed so many words, and have also expressed My will and disposition, yet even so, people are still incapable of knowing Me and believing in Me. Or, it could be said, they are still incapable of obeying Me. Those who live in the Bible, those who live amidst the law, those who live on the cross, those who live according to doctrine, those who live among the work I do today—which of them is compatible with Me? You only think of receiving blessings and rewards, and have never spared a thought to how to be compatible with Me, or to how to prevent yourselves from being in enmity of Me. I am so disappointed in you, for I have given you so much, yet I have gained so little from you. Your deception, your arrogance, your greed, your extravagant desires, your betrayal, your disobedience—which of these could escape My notice? You palter with Me, you fool Me, you insult Me, you deceive Me, you exact Me, you extort Me for sacrifices—how could such maleficence elude My punishment? Your evildoing is proof of your enmity to Me, and is proof of your incompatibility with Me. Each of you believes yourself to be so compatible with Me, but if that is the case, then to whom does such irrefutable evidence apply? You believe yourselves to possess the utmost sincerity and loyalty toward Me. You think that you are so kindhearted, so compassionate, and have devoted so much to Me. You think that you have done enough for Me. Yet have you ever compared these beliefs against your own behavior? I say you are plenty arrogant, plenty greedy, plenty perfunctory; the tricks with which you fool Me are plenty clever, and you have plenty of contemptible intentions and contemptible methods. Your loyalty is too meager, your earnestness is too paltry, and your conscience is even more lacking. There is too much maliciousness in your hearts, and no one is exempt from it, not even Me. You shut Me out for the sake of your children, or your husband, or your own self-preservation. Instead of caring about Me, you care about your family, your children, your status, your future, and your own gratification. When have you ever thought of Me as you spoke or acted? When the weather is cold, your thoughts turn to your children, your husband, your wife, or your parents. When the weather is hot, I hold no place in your thoughts, either. When you perform your duty, you are thinking of your own interests, of your own personal safety, of the members of your family. What have you ever done that was for Me? When have you ever thought of Me? When have you ever devoted yourself, at any cost, to Me and My work? Where is the evidence of your compatibility with Me? Where is the reality of your loyalty to Me? Where is the reality of your obedience to Me? When have your intentions not been for the sake of gaining My blessings? You fool and deceive Me, you play with the truth, and conceal the existence of the truth, and betray the substance of the truth, and you place yourselves in such enmity to Me. So what awaits you in the future? You merely seek compatibility with a vague God, and merely seek a vague belief, yet you are not compatible with Christ. Will not your maleficence receive the same retribution as that deserved by the wicked? At that time, you will realize that no one who is incompatible with Christ can escape the day of wrath, and you will discover what kind of retribution shall be wrought upon those who are in enmity with Christ. When that day arrives, your dreams of being blessed for your belief in God, and of gaining entry to heaven, shall all be shattered. It is, however, not so for those who are compatible with Christ. Though they have lost so much, though they have suffered a lot of hardship, they shall receive all of the inheritance that I shall bequeath to mankind. Ultimately, you will understand that only I am the righteous God, and that only I am capable of taking mankind into his beautiful destination.

 

Experimental Salvation

by Arthur Pink

  

SALVATION may be viewed from many angles—and contemplated under various aspects. But from whatever side we look at it we must ever remember that "Salvation is of the Lord!" Salvation was planned by the Father for His elect before the foundation of the world. It was purchased for them by the holy life and vicarious death of His incarnate Son. It is applied to and wrought in them by His Holy Spirit. It is known and enjoyed through the study of the Scriptures, through the exercise of faith, and through communion with the triune Jehovah.

 

Now it is greatly to be feared that there are multitudes in Christendom who truly imagine and sincerely believe, that they are among the saved—yet who are total strangers to a work of divine grace in their hearts. It is one thing to have clear intellectual conceptions of God's truth—but it is quite another matter to have a personal, real heart acquaintance with it. It is one thing to believe that sin is the dreadful thing that the Bible says it is—but it is quite another matter to have a holy horror and hatred of it, in the soul. It is one thing to know that God requires repentance—but it is quite another matter to experimentally mourn and groan over our vileness. It is one thing to believe that Christ is the only Savior for sinners—but it is quite another matter to really trust Him from the heart. It is one thing to believe that Christ is the Sum of all excellency—but it is quite another matter to LOVE Him above all others. It is one thing to believe that God is the great and holy One—but it is quite another matter to truly reverence and fear Him. It is one thing to believe that salvation is of the Lord—but it is quite another matter to become an actual partaker of it through His gracious workings.

 

While it is true that Holy Scripture insists on man's responsibility—and that all through Scripture, God deals with the sinner as an accountable being; yet it is also true that the Bible plainly and constantly shows that no son of Adam has ever measured up to his responsibility, that every person has miserably failed to discharge his accountability. It is this which constitutes the deep need for GOD to work in the sinner—and to do for him what he is unable to do for himself. "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom 8:8). The sinner is "without strength" (Rom 5:6). Apart from the Lord, we "can do nothing" (John 15:5).

 

While it is true that the Gospel issues a call and a command to all who hear it—it is also true that ALL disregard that call and disobey that command, "They all with one consent began to make excuse!" (Luke 14:18). This is where the sinner commits his greatest sin and most manifests his awful enmity against God and His Christ: that when a Savior, suited to his needs, is presented to him, he "despises and rejects" Him! (Isa 53:3).

 

This is where the sinner shows what an incorrigible rebel he is, and demonstrates that he is deserving only of eternal torments. But it is just at this point that God manifests His sovereign and wondrous GRACE. He not only planned and provided salvation, but he actually bestows it upon those whom He has chosen!

 

Now this bestowal of salvation is far more than a mere proclamation that salvation is to be found in the Lord Jesus: it is very much more than an invitation for sinners to receive Christ as their Savior. It is God actually saving His people! It is His own sovereign and all-powerful work of grace toward and in those who are entirely destitute of merit, and who are so depraved in themselves that they will not and cannot take one step to the obtaining of salvation! Those who have been actually saved, owe far more to divine grace, than most of them realize! It is not only that Christ died to put away their sins—but also the Holy Spirit has wrought a work in them—a work which applies to them, the virtues of Christ's atoning death!

 

It is just at this point that so many preachers fail in their exposition of the Truth. While many of them affirm that Christ is the only Savior for sinners, they also teach that He actually became ours only by our consent. While they allow that conviction of sin is the Holy Spirit's work and that He alone shows us our lost condition and need of Christ—yet they also insist that the decisive factor in salvation is man's own will. But the Holy Scriptures teach that "salvation is of the Lord!" (Jonah 2:9), and that nothing of the creature enters into it at any point. Only that can satisfy God—which has been produced by God Himself! Though it is true that salvation does not become the personal portion of the sinner until he has, from the heart, believed in the Lord Jesus Christ—yet that very BELIEVING is wrought in him by the Holy Spirit: "By grace are you saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God" (Eph 2:8).

 

It is exceedingly solemn to discover that there is a "believing" in Christ by the natural man, which is NOT a believing unto salvation. Just as the Buddists believe in Budda—so in Christendom there are multitudes who believe in Christ. And this "believing" is something more than an intellectual one. Often there is much feeling connected with it—the emotions may be deeply stirred. Christ taught in the Parable of the Sower that there is a class of people who hear the Word and with joy receive it—yet have they no root in themselves (Matt 13:20, 21). This is fearfully solemn, for it is still occurring daily!

 

Scriptures also tell us that Herod heard John "gladly." Thus, the mere fact that the reader of these pages enjoys listening to some sound gospel preacher is no proof at all that he is a regenerated soul. The Lord Jesus said to the Pharisees concerning John the Baptist, "You were willing for a season to rejoice in his light," yet the sequel shows clearly that no real work of grace had been wrought in them. And these things are recorded in Scripture as solemn warnings!

 

It is striking and solemn to mark the exact wording in the last two Scriptures referred to. Note the repeated personal pronoun in Mark 6:20: "For Herod feared 'John' [not 'God'!], knowing that he as a just man and a holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly." It was the personality of John which attracted Herod. How often is this the case today! People are charmed by the personality of the preacher: they are carried away by his style and won by his earnestness for souls. But if there is nothing more than this—there will one day be a crude awakening for them! That which is vital, is a "love for the truth," not for the one who presents it. It is this which distinguishes the true people of God from the "mixed multitude" who ever associate with them.

 

So in John 5:35 Christ said to the Pharisees concerning His forerunner: "You were willing for a season to rejoice in his light," not "in the light"! In like manner, there are many today who listen to one whom God enables to open up some of the mysteries and wonders of His Word—and they rejoice "in his light" while in the dark themselves, never having personally received "an anointing from the Holy One." Those who do "love the truth" (2 Thess 2:10) are they in whom a divine work of grace has been wrought. They have something more than a clear, intellectual understanding of the Scripture. The Bible becomes the food of their souls, the joy of their hearts (Jer 15:16). They love the truth, and because they do so, they hate error and shun it as deadly poison. They are jealous for the glory of the Author of the Word, and will not sit under a minister whose teaching dishonors Him; they will not listen to preaching which exalts man into the place of supremacy, so that he is the decider of his own destiny.

 

"Lord, You will ordain peace for us: for You also have wrought all our works in us" (Isa 26:12). Here is the heart and unqualified confession of the true people of God. Note the preposition: "You also have wrought all our works in us." This speaks of a divine work of grace wrought in the heart of the saint. Nor is this text alone. Weigh carefully the following: "It pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me" (Gal 1:15, 16).

 

"Unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Eph 3:20). "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it" (Phil 1:6). "It is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil 2:13). "I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" (Heb 10: 16). "Now the God of peace...make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight" (Heb 13:20). Here are seven passages which speak of the inward workings of God's grace; or in other words of experimental salvation.

 

"Lord, You will ordain peace for us: for You also have wrought all our works in us" (Isa 26:12). Is there an echoing response in our heart to this, my reader? Is your repentance something deeper than the remorse and tears of the natural man? Does it have its root in a divine work of grace which the Holy Spirit has wrought in your soul? Is your believing in Christ something more than an intellectual one? Is your relation to Him something more vital than what some act of yours has brought about, having been made one with Him by the power and operation of the Holy Spirit? Is your love for Christ something more than a pious sentiment, like that of the Romanist who sings of the "gentle" and "sweet" Jesus? Does your love for Him proceed from an altogether new nature, that God has created within you? Can you really say with the Psalmist: "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You."

 

Is your profession accompanied by true meekness and lowliness of heart? It is easy to say, "I am an unworthy and unprofitable creature." But do you realize yourself to be such? Do you feel yourself to be "less than the least of all saints?" Paul did! If you do not; if instead, you deem yourself superior to the rank and file of Christians, who bemoan their failures, confess their weakness, and cry, "O wretched man that I am!"—there is grave reason to conclude you are a stranger to God!

 

That which distinguishes genuine godliness from human religiousness is this: the one is internal, the other external. Christ complained of the Pharisees, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence!" (Matt 23:25). A carnal religion is all on the surface. It is at the heart God looks—and with the heart God deals. Concerning His people He says: "I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" (Heb 10:16).

 

"Lord, You will ordain peace for us: for You also have wrought all our works in us." How humbling is this to the pride of man! It makes everything of God—and nothing of the creature!

 

The tendency of human nature the world over, is to be self-sufficient and self-satisfied; to say with the Laodiceans, "I am rich, and increased with goods—and have need of nothing" (Rev 3:17). But here is something to humble us—and empty us of pride. Since God has wrought all our works in us, then we have no ground for boasting. "For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" (1 Cor 4:7).

 

And who are the ones in whom God thus works? From the divine side—His favored, chosen, redeemed people. From the human side—those who, in themselves have no claim whatever on His notice; who are destitute of any merit; who have everything in them to provoke His holy wrath; those who are miserable failures in their lives, and utterly depraved and corrupt in their persons. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound—and did for them and in them what they would not and could not do for themselves!

 

And what is it which God "works" in His people? All their works!

 

First, He quickens them: "It is the Spirit who quickens; the flesh profits nothing" (John 6:63). "He gave us a new birth by the message of truth" (James 1:18).

 

Second, He bestows repentance: "Him has God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel" (Acts 5:31). "God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim 2:25).

 

Third, He gives faith: "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph 2:8).

 

Fourth, He grants a spiritual understanding: "And we know the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true" (I John 5:20).

 

Fifth, He effectuates our service: "I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (I Cor 15:10).

 

Sixth, He secures our perseverance: "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation" (I Pet 1:5).

 

Seventh, He produces our fruit: "From Me is your fruit found" (Hosea 14:8). "The fruit of the Spirit" (Gal 5:22). Yes, He has wrought all our works in us!

 

Why has God thus "wrought all our works in us?"

 

First, because unless He had done so—all would have eternally perished! (Rom 9:29). We were "without strength," unable to meet God's righteous demands. Therefore, in sovereign grace, He did for us—what we ought but could not do for ourselves.

 

Second, that all the glory might be His. God is a jealous God. He says so. His honor He will not share with another. By this means He secures all the praise, and we have no ground for boasting.

 

Third, that our salvation might be effectually and securely accomplished. Were any part of our salvation left to us—it would be neither effectual nor secure. Whatever man touches he spoils: failure is written across everything he attempts. But what God does is perfect and lasts forever: "I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him" (Eccl 3:14).

 

But how may I be sure that my works have been "wrought in me" by God? Mainly by their effects. If you have been born again, you have a new nature within. This new nature is spiritual and contrary to the flesh—contrary in its desires and aspirations. Because the old and new natures are contrary to each other, there is a continual war between them. Are you conscious of this inward conflict?

 

If your repentance is a God-wrought one, then you abhor yourself. If your repentance is a genuine and spiritual one, then you marvel that God did not cast you into hell long ago. If your repentance is the gift of Christ, then you daily mourn the wretched returns which you make to God's wondrous grace; you hate sin, you sorrow in secret before God for your manifold transgressions. Not simply do you do so at conversion, but daily do so now.

 

If your faith is a God-communicated one, it is evidenced by your turning away from all creature confidences, by a renunciation of your own self-righteousness, by a repudiation of all your own works. If your faith is "the faith of God's elect" (Titus 1:1), then you are resting alone on Christ as the ground of your acceptance before God. If your faith is the result of "the operation of God," then you implicitly believe His Word, you receive it with meekness, you crucify reason, and accept all He has said with childlike simplicity.

 

If your love for Christ is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:25), then it evidences itself by constantly seeking to please Him, and by abstaining from what you know is displeasing to Him: in a word, by an obedient walk. If your love for Christ is the love of "the new man," then you pant after Him, you yearn for communion with Him above everything else. If your love for Christ is the same in kind (though not in degree) as His love for you, then you are eagerly looking forward to His glorious appearing, when He shall come again to receive His people unto Himself, that they may be forever with the Lord.

 

May the grace of spiritual discernment be given the reader to see whether his Christian profession is real or a sham; whether his hope is built upon the Rock of Ages or the quicksands of human resolutions, efforts, decisions, or feelings; whether, in short, his salvation is "Of the Lord"—or the vain imagination of his own deceitful heart!

  

Philippe de Champaigne. 1602-1674 Paris.

Le repas chez Simon le Pharisien. The meal at Simon the Pharisee. Vers 1656

Nantes Musée d'Arts.

 

CLASSICISME ET BAROQUE

 

En France les deux tendances classique et baroque sont très proches et contemporaines. Jacques Stella (1596-1657) et Laurent de la Hyre (1606-1656) sont considérés comme les représentants du classicisme le plus rigoureux appelé classicisme attique. Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674) est un peintre plutôt classique. Simon Vouet(1590-1649) a développé des tendances un peu plus Baroques. Michel Corneille 1602-1664) est un élève de Simon Vouet aux coloris vénitiens. Juste d'Egmont (1601-1674) est un peintre flamand qui a fait partie de l'atelier de Rubens et a ensuite fait sa carrière en France. Jacques Blanchard (1600-638) est un peintre qui associe pleinement classicisme et baroque. Charles de la Fosse,(1636-1717) élève de Charles le Brun est de même un exemple de l'association très étroite du dessin et de la couleur.

La caractéristique de toute cette peinture français du 17è siècle et du tout début du 18è siècle est qu'elle est essentiellement commanditée par les Rois de France et leurs ministres, Louis XIII, Richelieu, Louis XIV et toute la grande aristocratie ou la très grande bourgeoisie. Et bien sûr par l'Eglise de France. Cette peinture pratique "le grand genre" c'est à dire que ses thèmes sont religieux, historiques, mythologiques. La peinture française du 17è est à l'opposé de la peinture néerlandaise. Les sujets ne sont pas les moeurs de la société, encore moins ceux de la petite bourgeoisie ou des artisans et des paysans. Les frères Le Nain (1593-1607 environ) sont une exception et leur réalisme est très loin d'être celui des peintres flamands et néerlandais. Leur paysannerie est traitée pour être appréciée dans les cabinets de la grande bourgeoisie. Si le paysan boit du vin, c'est un verre, il ne sombre jamais dans l'ivresse la plus totale, et son épouse encore moins. Les enfants sont très dignes, ils ne se battent pas comme des pouilleux, pas plus que leurs parents.

Les portraits sont ceux de l'élite aristocratique. Les paysages sont traités tout à fait habituellement comme cadres d'une scène historique, mythologique ou religieuse, pratiquement jamais pour eux mêmes. La nature morte existe peu contrairement aux Pays Bas du Nord. Jean Siméon Chardin est un peintre du 18è siècle. Les grands peintres animaliers (François Desporte, Jean Baptiste Oudry), sont actifs aussi au 18è siècle et leurs thèmes seront bien plus les cerfs, les sangliers, le gibier noble, que les vaches, les cochons et la volaille. Les chiens ne sont pas les bâtards sans race bien définie que l'on aperçoit dans les églises néerlandaises. Ce sont des chiens de chasse, de race, et qui, bien élevés, ne fréquentent pas les églises. Sauf le jour de la Saint Hubert, patron de la chasse.

  

CLASSICISM AND BAROQUE

 

In France both classical and baroque tendencies are very close and contemporary. Jacques Stella (1596-1657) and Laurent de la Hyre (1606-1656) are considered the representatives of the most rigorous classicism called Attic Classicism. Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674) is a rather classical painter. Simon Vouet (1590-1649) developed slightly more Baroque tendencies. Michel Corneille 1602-1664) is a pupil of Simon Vouet, with Venetian colors. Juste d'Egmont (1601-1674) is a Flemish painter who was part of the Rubens workshop and then made his career in France. Jacques Blanchard (1600-638) is a painter who fully combines classicism and baroque. Charles de la Fosse, (1636-1717) pupil of Charles the Brown is likewise an example of the very close association of drawing and color.

The characteristic of all this French painting of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century is that it is essentially sponsored by the Kings of France and their ministers, Louis XIII, Richelieu, Louis XIV and all the great aristocracy or the very big bourgeoisie . And of course by the Church of France. This painting practices "the big genre" that is to say that its themes are religious, historical, mythological. 17th century French painting is the opposite of Dutch painting. The subjects are not the mores of society, still less those of the petty bourgeoisie or artisans and peasants.

The Le Nain brothers (around 1593-1607) are an exception, but their realism is far from being that of the Flemish and Dutch painters. Their peasantry is treated to be appreciated in the cabinets of the big bourgeoisie. If the peasant drinks wine, it is a glas, he never sinks into total drunkenness, and his wife even less. The children are very worthy, they do not fight like lousy people, any more than their parents.

The portraits are those of the aristocratic elite. Landscapes are usually treated as frames of a historical, mythological or religious scene, almost never for themselves. There is little still life unlike the Northern Netherlands. Jean Siméon Chardin is an 18th century painter. The great animal painters (François Desporte, Jean Baptiste Oudry), are also active in the 18th century and their themes will be more deer, wild boar, noble game than cows, pigs and poultry. Dogs are not the amiss bastards that are seen in Dutch churches. They are hunting dogs, of race, and who, well brought up, do not frequent the churches. Except Saint Hubert day, Patron Saint of the hunt.

   

 

Matthew 23

 

The Message (MSG)

  

Religious Fashion Shows

 

23 1-3 Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.

 

4-7 “Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’

 

8-10 “Don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.

 

11-12 “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

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“From current Christian publications you might think that the most vital issue for any real or would-be Christian in the world today is church union, or social witness, or dialogue with other Christians and other faiths, or refuting this or that -ism, or developing a Christian philosophy and culture… it is tragic that…so many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is, and always will be the true priority for every human being—that is, learning to know God in Christ.”- J. I. Packer

=========================================================================

Jesus asks..“Who do you say that I am?”

"Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you, if your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court.

‘You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

‘Again, you have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all. All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the evil one.’"

– Matt 5:20-22,27-28,33-34,37, which is the shorter form of the Gospel for today.

 

My sermon for today can be read here.

 

Stained glass detail of a window by Douglas Strachan in SS Andrew & George in Edinburgh.

I am trying to change the future with a multi dimension warp. It should result in some "should be" scenario's. This is the size of the temple the banksters should build based on what they did to humanity.

Jesus said to his followers: “…unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt.5:20) In traditional reconstruction, the people who are referred to as “scribes and Pharisees” were among the holiest Jews. But was it really so?

 

First, most scribes were known for making alterations to the texts. Jesus even issued a warning to preserve the original words accurately as future scribes would copy the text: “if anyone adds to them… and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life…” (Rev. 22:18-19). Even though scribes were not considered in a negative light like the tax collectors, their level of righteousness was not considered to be high by many.

 

Second, the Pharisees too were not considered as most righteous of all Jews at least by some. Most notably by Essenes whose writings, the Dead Sea Scrolls collection, in part preserves. Essenes believed that the Pharisees sold out Jerusalem to the Greeks and conspired with enemies of God to compromise the holiness of its Temple. To make their views clear, they called the Pharisees “the seekers of after smooth-things” (דורשי החלקות) instead of their own preferred name “the seekers of the (God’s) paths” (דורשי ההלכות). In short, these Jews (Essenes) did not think much of Pharisaic righteousness also (4Q169).

 

In the light of these examples, we should conclude that Jesus’ words should be taken literally – the righteousness level of scribes and of Pharisees was not enough to enter God’s Kingdom. Much more was needed.

israelbiblecenter.com/unless-righteousness-surpasses/

MATTHEW 27:62-66

62 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’

64 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.”

66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

"Lord Jesus, in your victory over sin and death on the cross and in your resurrection you give us the assurance of sharing in the eternal rest of heaven. Transform my heart with your love that I may freely serve my neighbor for his good and find joy and refreshment in the celebration of Sunday as the Lord's Day."

 

Mighty To Save

 

Scripture: Mark 3:1-6

 

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. 5And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Hero'di-ans against him, how to destroy him.

 

Closer View On Black

 

Copyright© 2009 Kamoteus/RonMiguel RN

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Identifier: greatestwonderso00sing

Title: Greatest wonders of the world

Year: 1906 (1900s)

Authors: Singleton, Esther, d. 1930

Subjects: Curiosities and wonders Landscapes

Publisher: New York, The Christian Herald

Contributing Library: The Library of Congress

Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress

  

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Text Appearing Before Image:

feet inheight. It was altogether lovely; but I think no one wassorry when we reached a turn in the road, where we de-scended from the high forest-belt, and crossing a picturesquestream— Big Creek —by name—we found ourselves inthis comfortable ranch, which takes its name from one ofthe pioneers of the valley. We have spent a long day of delight in the most mag-nificent forest that it is possible to imagine; and I haverealized an altogether new sensation, for I have seen theBig Trees of California, and have walked round aboutthem, and inside their cavernous hollows, and have donehomage as beseems a most reverent tree-worshipper. Theyare wonderful—they are stupendous! But as to beauty—no. They shall never tempt me to swerve from myallegiance to my true tree-love—the glorious Deodara forestof the Himalayas. If size alone were to be considered, undoubtedly theSequoia stands preeminent, for-to-day we have seen severaltrees at least three times as large as the biggest Deodara in

 

Text Appearing After Image:

THE BIG TREES OE CALIEORNTA. THE BIG TREES OF CALIFORNIA 241 the cedar shades of Kunai; but for symmetry, and grace,and exquisitely harmonious lines, the God-given cedarof Himala stands alone, with its wide spreading, twistedarms, and velvety layers of foliage studded with pale-greencones,—its great red stem supporting a pyramid of green,far more majestic than the diminutive crown of the BigTrees. So at first it was hard to realize that the Californiacedars are altogether justified in concentrating all theirgrowing power in one steady upward direction, so intent onreaching heaven that they could not afford to throw outone kindly bough to right or left. They remind me ofcertain rigidly good Pharisees, devoid of all loving sym-pathies with their fellows, with no outstretched arms ofkindly charity—only intent on regulating their own livesby strictest unvarying rule. Great Towers of Babel they seem to me, straining up-ward towards the heaven which they will never reach. There is nothi

  

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Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

Pregado na cruz, Ele ao Pai pedia

Perdão para todos seus traidores,

Devemos amá-los sempre repetia,

Mesmo os fariseus, meus amores!

 

Espelho, espelho meu,

Reflita o meu coração,

Espelho, espelho meu,

Existe mesmo traição?

 

Ah, se Ele visitasse hoje as igrejas,

Cercas que ergueram, destruindo,

Vil desprezo receberia, com certeza,

De fariseus como ontem lhe traindo.

 

Espelho, espelho meu,

Sentimos fé de verdade?

Nosso espírito cresceu

Ou não é nossa realidade?

 

O reflexo, que no espelho colhemos,

Não consegue esconder nosso eu,

E mesmo entendendo, queremos

Negar que somos todos fariseus !

 

Espelho, espelho meu,

Horrorizado e perplexo,

A minha mente você leu,

Vi, é injusto meu reflexo!

 

Espelho, espelho meu,

Existe fariseu mais descrente do que eu ?

 

O Espelho e o Fariseu – Gutierritos-SP

   

Créditos:

 

nicklaussestock- nicklaussestock.deviantart.com/

 

gothicbohemianstock- gothicbohemianstock.deviantart.com/

 

cloaks- cloaks.deviantart.com/

 

The other day I was popping pistachios like a boss when I ran across a complete, whole and perfect shell.. with no nut inside. It set me to thinking, how often do I look like this.. beautiful, complete, whole and mature on the outside, with no fruit or value on the inside where and when it really matters? I desire to look and do right without a true first love for Jesus.

 

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23-28

 

"He is not here, but is risen" (Luke 24:6).

What an awfully sad day it had been for the friends of Jesus! They had stood watching

sorrowfully, as Jesus hung on the cross dying. They didn't fully understand why it had

to happen. They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and they remembered how

He had healed the sick and made blind people see. They remembered how He had fed

thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish. They even remembered

ow He had caused dead people to come back to life. He was such a good, kind man;

why did He have to die? Just before the sun was beginning to sink into the west, Joseph,

one of Jesus' friends, noticed that Jesus was no longer breathing. He hurriedly went to

ask Pilate if he could have the body of Jesus so he could bury Him. When Pilate agreed,

Joseph and Nicodemus (another friend) carefully wrapped Jesus' body in clean cloths.

Then they took Him to a tomb to bury Him. The next day, the Pharisees started thinking

about Jesus. They were the people that had wanted to kill Jesus. They remembered how

He had taught them, saying that He would rise again after three days. They were worried

that it might be true! They also thought that Jesus' disciples would remember and might

try to steal the body from the tomb just so they could say that Jesus rose again. They

went to Pilate, suggesting that the tomb be closed up with a huge stone and that guards

be placed all around the tomb.Just before daylight the next day, the most amazing thing

happened! There was a GREAT EARTHQUAKE! An ANGEL from the Lord came down

from heaven, moved the gigantic stone away from the door of the tomb and sat on it. The

guards began to shake with fear! They fell down to the ground as if they were dead! Mary

and some other women had decided to get up very early in the morning and go to visit the

tomb where Jesus was placed. While walking down the road, they were discussing how

they were going to get inside the tomb. They had brought along some spices and perfume

that they wanted to place on Jesus' body. They knew the huge stone had been placed in

the doorway and they had no idea how they were going to move it. What a SURPRISE

they found when they reached the tomb! The stone had already been moved! And . . .

there was an ANGEL sitting on the stone! The women were quite afraid, but the angel

spoke gently to them "Don't be afraid. I know that you have come to see Jesus.

He is not here; for he is risen just as he said. Come inside and see the place where he

lay. "The women went inside the tomb and found it empty, just as the angel had told

them. The angel spoke to the women one more time: "Go quickly and tell the other

disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead; and he is going into Galilee where you

will see. Enjoy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M3_p2i6bH0 ... The women did just

as the angel had told them. They ran quickly from the tomb, with fear and great

joy, to tell the good news to the other disciples. But . . . when the women found Peter and

their other friends and tried to tell them the good news, . . . no one believed them! When

the women persisted, Peter decided that he needed to find out for himself. He ran all the

way to the tomb. He went inside. He saw the cloths that had been wrapped around Jesus,

but the body was not there. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was risen!!!!

 

God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who

believes in Him doesn't perish, but has everlasting life. You see, God didn't

send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world

through Him. (John 3:16-17)

  

SAILOR'S DELIGHT

  

DATE : 19 JANUARY 2014

  

LOCATION : ISLAND BAY AUCKLAND NZ

  

NIKON D5100 30 sec. at f/16, ISO 100, 18mm(18.0-55.0mm f/3.5-5.6)

  

Matthew 16(NIV)

The Demand for a Sign

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

Matthew 27:62-66

62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

 

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Hey guys! This is my final build for Passion Week 2016! I wanted to do something a little bit grander and bigger, while still keeping it within 16x16. So this is what I came up with, and I am really pleased with how it came out. This is a first for me, with the Greco-Roman style.

 

David will be posting the final build tomorrow, so stay tuned! I hope you all enjoyed this little series!

 

Day 6.

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