Selection and Defense!

I selected the second possibility;  the one with the comma after good.

The first possibility is out of the KJV.  Stating positively that all things work together for good to them that love God, it then goes on to add ‘to those who are called according to His purpose’.  It makes it sound as if only those who love God are called according to His purpose.  Wasn’t pharaoh called, raised up, set apart, to fulfill a purpose of God?  Did he love God? Not according to the Scriptures!  I jumped to the conclusion that called and raised up are basically synonymous in relating the idea that one is being set apart, used according to the purpose of God.  Does Strong’s bear out my conclusion?  Strong’s #2822 called, Kletos is appointment. Who makes the appointment?  Strong’s #5975 Raised, amad, is translated 15 times in Scripture as appointed.  Again, Who does the appointing?  God!  And He says all things work together for good.

The third possibility is from Holman’s and is definite:  All things work together only for the good of those who love God! And who might they be? ONLY those who are called according to His purpose!  I used pharaoh in the example above.  What about Jacob and Esau?  God said that before they were formed in the womb, before they had done anything good or bad, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated, that the purpose of God might be fulfilled!  I submit that both were called according to His purpose, and as such this translation written so that it is to be understood that all things work together for good only to those who love God shows how biased a translation can be.  The same denomination that initiated this translation insists that God is Good, God is Love, God loves everyone, God is all-powerful, and that  it is up to us to ask forgiveness BEFORE WE CAN BE SAVED.

Second Timothy 2:15 says ‘Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’

My studies have led me to believe that the second possibility is the most correct.  Indeed God does work all things together for Good!  That is the whole purpose of this Creation!  HIS creation!  We are HIS creatures!  In Romans 9:21 Paul asks ‘Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?’  He asks that question to force us to face the FACTS of a Creator GOD!  He planned and created this entire universe.  Should we not face the fact that it is HIS to do with as HE pleases?  Should we not face the fact that all of it is created to serve HIS purpose and is called to do so?  Should we not face the fact that every vessel is made for a purpose either to honor or dishonor?  That being the case, all things work together for good because that is the ultimate purpose of God for His Creation!  Then we can understand that all things work together for good BOTH to those who love God AND to those who are called according to His purpose!

We can believe that in spite of the perceived evil around us, because the evil in this realm was banished from the eternity we are destined to share with Jesus Christ!

And one little comma is the difference.  God uses the small things to help us know Him if we are willing to look.  It is not our job to decide who is lost and who is not.  It is our job to live according to Micah 6:8.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee,but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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Exercise in Knowing God

In light of this translation of Matthew 5:43-46

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

 

Which of the following translations of Romans 8:28 is most correct:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

28 And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God:  those who are the called according to his purpose.

Defend your selection!

Choosing What to Believe!

How do you know what to believe?  We are inundated by the information stream of media.  Many just tune out, not caring about believing anything just getting along as best they can.  Or, believing what they don’t have to work very hard at.

I’ve heard of Christ and I don’t want to go to Hell so I guess I’ll believe in Him!  Or, I don’t believe in anything I can’t see with my own eyes!  Or, everybody that has really studied it says the universe is fifteen to twenty billion years old and they should know so I guess I’ll believe them and most of what they believe about the age of the Earth, Sun, Moon and stars.

There is so much pain and suffering in the world, I just can’t bring myself to believe in a God who would allow that!  So I’ll reject religion and rely on myself!

None of the above shows the personal responsibility required of us, to actually seek the Truth!  Each of them makes a choice based on what they’ve heard or felt would be a choice they could live with, a choice that wouldn’t cost much in terms of time and effort.  They make a choice based on someone else’s belief and continue in it as long as its convenient.

Do yourself a favor.  Find out what is True and Believe in That!  But please bear in mind that there is one small obstacle that must be overcome:

“What comes out of a person is what defiles him.  For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,  coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Do you think that can be overcome by wishful thinking?  A more difficult task has never been invented.  Overcoming the self to arrive at truth is more rewarding than the view from Mount Everest!  And remember, No one has gotten there alone.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

God bless.

Consider Circular Reasoning!

Wikipedia has it thus:  Circular reasoning (Latin: circulus in probando, “circle in proving”;[1] also known as circular logic) is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with.[2] The components of a circular argument are often logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. Circular reasoning is not a formal logical fallacy but a pragmatic defect in an argument whereby the premises are just as much in need of proof or evidence as the conclusion, and as a consequence the argument fails to persuade.

“a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with.”  As applied to the age of the Earth, scientists who believe the theory of evolution have taken a 19th century theory concerning the age of fossils in sedimentary rock and used it to date the rock containing similar fossils elsewhere.  They use the fossils to date the rock and rock to date the fossils—circulus in probando—it begins and ends in the theory of the age of the fossils.  It is, therefore, a logical fallacy! “A fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning,”(Wikipedia)

Our education system has indoctrinated everyone under its influence into this fallacious reasoning as if it were absolute truth!  The only truth in it is that there are fossils in sedimentary rock.  EVERYTHING beyond that is conjecture and theory. A theory requires proof. A theory of itself proves nothing!

Science is supposed to be about finding truth; make observations and theorize concerning cause.  The problem with the Theory of Evolution is that a theory was proposed specifically to reject God’s revelation of creation and then the search was on to find supporting evidence!  Denial of truth never, ever changes the truth, but it can sure make the ‘wisdom of the wise into foolishness’ when the denial is exposed for what it truly is!

Remember ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’?  It was the truth revealed.  The Theory of Evolution is exactly the Emperor’s new clothes trying to hide the truth of creation.  Eventually everyone will see it for what it really is.  Pray the Spirit will open the eyes of the blind.

Consider Evolution!

The Geological Column, that is the layers of sedimentary rock containing fossils that paleontologists have theorized shows the millions of years of history that they theorize proves the Earth has to be millions to billions of years old, is real enough.  Are the evolutionary theories concerning it correct? No.

The revelations concerning cellular structure and DNA have shown beyond doubt that for macro-evolution (the change from one species into another) to occur, there would have to be millions of individual and very specific changes to the billions of very specific molecular protein codes which define the creature or plant (or any living organism).  ALL of these specific changes would have to be made simultaneously for a viable new species to occur.  The most knowledgeable geneticists have no clue what that combination of changes would have to be even for the simplest organism to become a different kind of organism AND it would have to (in just about all cases) have to occur in both male and female versions at the same time so the reproductive process could happen.  To be clear, micro-evolution are changes that occur within species and although these changes are sometimes used to try to prove Darwinian Evolution, that is not what is in view here.

Bear in mind: The theory of evolution is that all living organisms began by the chance happening of a single living organism coming into existence and then evolving into a different species and another and another, etc. “From chemical rich slime and a lightning bolt the first life sprang into being! Eventually, over the eons, man!”

There are those who are not sold on the idea of evolution as the foundation of our existence.  Some are even scientists.  Some are statisticians and they have tried to calculate the odds of all the changes necessary happening to produce the event of a new species coming into existence.  To put the result in some sort of perspective, you specifically, have the same chance of winning  the power-ball lottery at least a billion times in a row as for one species to turn into another and breed true.

Make no mistake, belief in evolution is a religion, a religion that is rooted and founded in rejecting the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Father of Jesus Christ.  Evolutionists are willing to believe anything that casts doubt on the Creator God because they categorically reject that God’s moral law is supreme and they will be held accountable.

There is no middle ground, no fence to straddle.  God will not be mocked.  He told us the history of the world and His Creation cries out to us the truth of His handiwork.  Because there is not one shred of evidence to prove its validity, the belief in Darwinian Evolution is willful blindness to His truth.

Think you might like the view of someone else?

http://evolutionfacts.com/New-material/frozen_planes.htm

http://www.beforeus.com/third.php

http://evolutionfacts.com/what’s_new.htm

“Faith is:  the substance of fossils hoped for,  the evidence of links unseen.” M.M.

The Case for the Personification of Evil

Before making the case for the personification of evil, perhaps it would be best to define just what personification is:  http://www.dictionary.com has it:  the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure. | That is assigning personality traits and a name to something, in this case, evil.  i.e. Satan, Lucifer, father of lies, the serpent in the garden, Old Dragon, roaring lion, etc. so that it might be examined as another person with whom we may or may not want to associate ourselves.

Now that that is cleared up, these are questions that must be answered beyond a reasonable doubt to prove the existence of Satan as an individual spiritual being.  Unless it can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Satan is a person and not a personification, then our entire concept of the source of sin and death and evil in this world must be reexamined to get to the truth of its origin.

Beginning in Genesis 1:27-28:

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

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God’s command to man must be defined if we are to understand his duty before God in the beginning.  Little has been done beyond the assumption that we know what being fruitful and multiplying means to God.  But do we?  (Strong’s #6509, ‘fruitful’ is  grow and #7235, ‘multiply’ is be in authority)

Next there has been some discussion of the term ‘replenish’.  (Strong’s #4390 consecrate) It has even been the basis of the idea that Satan destroyed the first creation and Adam was given the task of rebuilding it to its intended glory. But can that reasonably be?

Next is the command to ‘subdue it’. (Strong’s #3533 is conquer, subjugate which means to ‘overcome by force’)  Which (to me) utterly begs the question:

What was there in the creation God pronounced “very good” that required of Adam that he ‘overcome by force’  something in it?

The key to this answer lies in the last phrase of the verse, ‘over every living thing that moveth upon the earth’.  We assume that understanding this to mean everything outside of himself is the intent.  The problem with that assumption is that it utterly fulfills the old wisdom of what assuming anything ends up doing:  it makes an ass out of u and me!  (Ass-u-me)  How so?

Man is the only morally accountable being God revealed in the creation account.  That is what it means to be created in the image of God and bear His likeness. We are morally accountable because we were given the laws: thou shalt and thou shalt not referring to the way we are to conduct our interaction with God and with man.  God revealed no other creature that was given such law.  All other creatures listed in the creation account are subject only to the laws of nature.

The Word of God, His revelation to us, concerning that accountability is the very first thing He revealed and the very first thing we reject in our understanding of that revelation!  We reject it by assuming that subduing all the rest of the creation is what was meant when in point of fact the only thing that really mattered was that we bring ourselves into absolute submission to the will of God each and every time we are tempted to defy Him.

He created us to be at the top of the list of ‘every living thing that moveth upon the earth’!  Not absent from it!  Adam failed.  He failed willfully and willingly to obey God’s command never to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  What is that fruit?  It is the idea that Adam could decide for himself what was good and what was evil.  Could it have been an ‘apple’ that he took a bite of?  Sure!  But taking the bite proved the condition of his heart and as Jesus said in Mark 7:

18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

I know that this was given in answer to the objection to eating food sacrificed to idols.  But Jesus went beyond the physical to the spiritual truth of the matter.  That is what we are all called to do!  Eternal life is a spiritual truth!

How does this all apply to the ‘Personification of Evil’?

The answer to that does not begin with the Serpent in the Garden.  It begins with the creation of Eve!  I see the leap to conclusions and the name calling and the dismissal of everything up to this point that this fool has written!  Please, give me one more minute to make a point.

Genesis 2:

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

We can imagine the physical activity here rather easily.  But what is the spiritual outcome?  Yes, there have been many commentaries that say Eve was taken out of the side of Adam indicating she was his equal, and all that is correct as far as it goes.  But let’s take it a step farther.

Eve was created.  But she was not created from the dust of the earth as was Adam.  She was created out of Adam.  She was a distillation of his nature and created to be his ‘help’, ‘meet’ for him.  (Strong’s #5858 for both!: aid, help)

It was Eve who saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasant to look upon, and good to make one wise.  She was deceived, Adam was not. (1st Tim. 2:14) Eve was in the transgression but it was Adam’s disobedience that brought the curse of sin upon all mankind.

Romans 5:13 states:

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

(The parenthetical phrase begun in verse 13 continues through verse 17.)

Why?  Why did Adam sin?  Given the source of sin described by Jesus in Mark 7, how are we to understand God’s declaration of His creation as ‘very good’?  There are only two possibilities. One is that it was a moral certification.  If that was the case, then for Adam to sin against God, he would have to change his own nature from one of absolute moral submission, to one of utter moral rebellion.  Or two, it was a declaration of fitness for purpose.  As a declaration of fitness for purpose we have to trust God to reveal to us what that purpose is.  Did He?  Did God reveal what the purpose of His creation is?  Yes!  He did!

In the end, the bride of Christ will join Him in eternity.  The bride of Christ will exhibit one overwhelming character trait that cannot be denied.   We will be holy as He is holy.  Holy means separate. It means to set one’s self apart from something.  God reveals only one trait that He holds to the superlative, His holiness, and we are to be holy as He is holy.  So, what did he set Himself apart from in eternity?  Evil!  How does He define evil?  He defines evil as the ultimate worship of self.  He defines evil as pure selfishness.  The fruit of the Spirit, each of them, are manifestations of selflessness.

Adam sinned because he sought the throne for himself.  He did not care that if he said ‘No’ to Eve, God could and would forgive the transgression.  He cared only that he decide, and he would rather die than submit and obey.

The only way for man to be willingly and willfully holy, which is the purpose of God for his creation, is for man to see for himself, individually, first hand, leaving no room for doubt that to put self before everything else, is to reject the spiritual meaning of life.  That is the life that God blew into the nostrils of man.

Adam, the man of flesh, the elder, must be subdued by the younger Adam the man of Spirit, to live in holiness.  That is what Adam the elder, rejected and by doing so brought death to the younger.  It is the younger that must then be born again in each of us.  It is the younger that must learn and exercise holiness against the strength and wiles of the elder.  In doing so the purpose of God is served in this creation.  In doing so the ultimate plan of God will come to fruition. It is in trying to understand this that the question of ‘free will’ must be addressed and the truth of it accepted.

The revelation of evil as the serpent in the garden, Satan in the book of Job, the devil tempting Jesus,  all of its manifestations in this world, form the personification used in Scripture to allow us to externalize who we are in the flesh.  Who of us wants to admit that we absolutely would have been screaming, “Crucify Him!” with wholehearted enthusiasm had we been standing in the crowd when Pilate said he could find no fault in this man?  Which of us wants to believe as Paul did that ‘I am the chiefest of sinners’?

Personification is the only reasonable way to rightly understand the evil spirit of this world.  Evil must be subdued within and shunned without.  It must begin in our own hearts and minds.  It must be given no quarter in precisely the same way Jesus gave it no quarter.  He answered His temptation the same way we must:  It Is Written…!  Holiness puts God on His throne.

Every argument for the person-hood of Satan, demons, the devil, evil, et al. can be better answered,  and its presence in Scripture understood, by seeing the idea personified. Describing them as a persons is used by God to convey spiritual truth just as using the four types of ground in the parable of the sower conveys the spiritual truth of the four types of  reception the Word gets in the hearts of men.  We do it all the time in plays and stories to make concepts of good and evil easier for children to understand.

I close with these words of Jesus so that those of you with ears to hear may begin to understand: Matthew 13:10-13

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Externalizing evil is always easier than facing its truth within us.  God knows that, Satan does too!

Also, you may, as you read the passages above in light of the Strong’s definitions I have inserted, come to the shocking conclusion that God’s revelation becomes much more revealing of His ultimate plan!

The question you must ask yourself at this point (if you really care) is:  Do I still believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Satan is a person?

The sequel to this is examining the truth of how regeneration must, of necessity and beyond a reasonable doubt,  precede faith!

May all who read this be blessed.

 

 

 

The Principle That Governs Life

“…an entire generation has grown up more or less disconnected from the Christian past of the West, and that activists must fight tooth and nail to educate the public on each and every issue. .”

I captured this bit of wisdom from an article on lifesitenews.com.  The reason that “activists must fight tooth and nail to educate the public on each and every issue”   is that we are failing to educate ourselves on the principles that govern vast amounts of the minutia that make up each and every issue!!!

Example:  A woman’s choice in whether or not to have an abortion.  There is a seemingly endless cloud of issues surrounding the reason nothing is getting done to either shut up the opposition or rescind Roe v Wade.

So what is the principle governing the whole thing?  A principle that would put an end to the endless dissension and hate surrounding the issue.  What is the truth of it?

In the Declaration of Independence it says that we as Americans believe certain things:  WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,…

The principle is that this nation (a nation of laws) was founded to preserve and protect the inalienable rights of its citizens.  First among these is the right to life.  The author of these rights is not the government.  Those rights are endowed by our Creator!  The sole purpose of the Government is to preserve an environment in which they are protected.

It is to protect the right to life from the moment life begins until it ends.  That is the principle.  Any law should adhere to that goal.

How should we err if there is some question as to whether a person should live or die?  Is the person guilty of some heinous act or is the person absolutely innocent?  This is the governing question, or at least should be under the principle of right to life.  Obviously, one surrenders their right to life by criminally taking another.  The government has no right or authority to make any law that legalizes taking the life of the innocent!  Not the Federal Government, not the state government, not the local government!

Medical necessity is not in view here.  It is not part of the question and is best left in the realm of the doctor and his upholding the Hippocratic Oath.  There are always options to take if malpractice occurs.

The question is one of murder for the sake of convenience made legal by a government that, under the Founding Charter of this Nation, has no right or authority to do so.

The consent of the governed is NOT the mandate legalizing murder of the innocent.  If that were the case lynching would not be illegal.

We have for so long been immersed in the effort to see to our interests that we have blinded ourselves to the principle that governs LIFE!