Matthew 13:10-13; 34-35 John 6:26-29 1 Corinthians 15:10 Romans 1:16-17 John 6:52-58; 67-69 Matthew 12:1-8; 14-16; 22-32 Luke 4:1; 16-19 Matthew 13:10-17
Matthew 13:10-13; 34-35 John 6:26-29 1 Corinthians 15:10 Romans 1:16-17 John 6:52-58; 67-69 Matthew 12:1-8; 14-16; 22-32 Luke 4:1; 16-19 Matthew 13:10-17
1 Peter 2:18-25 Romans 6:12-22; Romans 1:1; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:6 The Greek word translated slave is “DOULOS”. It literally means to be owned by…
1 John 4:1-6 Quick facts on 1 John: (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary vol.14 Page 10). It was written around AD 90. It was written either in Ephesus or…
In September of this year, Rod Dreher published a book titled “Live not by Lies.”
“Identity politics are beginning to encroach on every aspect of life. Civil liberties are increasingly seen as a threat to “safety”. Progressives marginalize conservative, traditional Christians, and other dissenters. Technology and consumerism hasten the possibility of a corporate surveillance state. And the pandemic, having put millions out of work, leaves our country especially vulnerable to demagogic manipulation”. Rod Dreher
Here is the method of resistance he gleaned from those people who lived through totalitarianism:
• SEE: Acknowledge the reality of the situation.
• JUDGE: Assess reality in the light of what we as Christians know to be true.
• ACT: Take action to protect truth.
“Though lies may conceal everything, though lies may control everything, we should be obstinate about this one small point:
let them be in control but without any help from any of us…
It is the easiest thing for us to do and the most destructive for the lies. Because when people renounce lies, it cuts short their existence.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Even if, Solzhenitsyn continued, “we do not march into the squares and shout the truth out loud… let us refuse to say what we do not think…let us each make a choice: whether to remain consciously a servant of falsehood…or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect from one’s children and contemporaries.”
Such a person, Solzhenitsyn wrote:
•will not sign, write or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth;
•will not utter such a phrase neither in private conversation nor in public, neither on his own behalf nor at the prompting of someone else, neither in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, nor as an actor;
•will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea in which he can see a distortion of the truth, whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science or music;
•will not cite out of context, either orally or in writing, a single quotation to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not completely share the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue;
•will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations and meetings if they are contrary to his desire;
•will immediately walk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda;
•will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed.
While these are not “all possible and necessary ways of avoiding lies,” wrote Solzhenitsyn, “whoever begins to cleanse himself will easily apply the cleansing pattern to other cases.” And then he warns,
“It will not be the same for everybody at first. Some will lose their jobs. But there are no loopholes… Either truth or falsehood: towards spiritual independence or towards spiritual servitude. If we are too frightened, then we should stop complaining that we are being suffocated. We are doing this to ourselves …”
Paul Craig Roberts, an American economist, and a professor of economics at several U.S. universities wrote in a recent article:
“The question each of us needs to ask ourselves, and one another, is why do we get so much misinformation about Covid from public health authorities, political authorities, and press prostitutes?
We get a lot of misinformation from health practitioners, because they get the bogus information from health authorities and from researchers ASSOCIATED WITH BIG PHARMA.
Take the issue of masks.
If the masks people are wearing protected against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, there would be no point in N95 and higher rated masks. Medical authorities know this, so why are people told, indeed forced, to wear ineffectual masks?
Public health authorities know that the Covid death rate is greatly exaggerated. In the USA, only 9,000 were due to Covid alone.
So why do public health authorities withhold this information from political authorities and the public, and why do reporters not ferret it out? The information exists. It just isn’t reported.
Covid is being used to serve many interests. Among them, Covid is being used to complete the universal Police State by digitizing money. Once electronic money takes the place of currency, checks, and coins, your financial privacy and your control over your money and wealth will disappear.
Are Americans capable of learning? How many lies do they have to be told before they begin to wonder?” Paul Craig Roberts
1 Peter 1:3-21 (open your Bible and let’s read it)
You see that hope is more than mere wishful thinking. Hope is a vital necessity of life. Hope is a gift that God wants to give all of you. When your faith and hope is in God alone, dark pessimism, anxiety about the present and the future, depression and in some cases even suicidal thoughts, will evaporate.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the GRACE that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
There is Hope, LIVING HOPE, found in Christ Jesus alone.
All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD REMAINS FOREVER.
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
George Orwell in his novel 1984 writes:
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship…
The object of power is power.”
In 2006 Richard Dawkins wrote the famous book “The God Delusion”. The idea behind the book is TO EXPLAIN HOW THE IDEA OF GOD IS ONE GRAND DELUSION THAT HAS INFECTED HUMANKIND, AND THE CURE IS ATHEISM.
In chapter 2 we find this opening statement:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Those of us schooled from infancy in his ways can became desensitized to their horror.” Richard Dawkins “The God Delusion”
On Page 321:
“As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. IT SUBVERTS SCIENCE AND SAPS THE INTELLECT.”
David Berlinski, a secular Jew who holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University had to respond to Richard Dawkins book with a book on his own titled:
“The Devil’s Delusion; Atheism and its scientific Pretensions”
“If science stands opposed to religion, it is not because of anything contained in either the premises or the conclusions of the great scientific theories. They do not mention a word about God. They do not treat of any faith beyond the one that they themselves demand. They compel no ritual beyond the usual rituals of academic life, and these involve nothing more than the worship of what is widely worshipped. Confident assertions by scientists that in the privacy of their chambers they have demonstrated that God does not exist have nothing to do with science, and even less to do with God’s existence.”
“While science has nothing of value to say on the great and aching questions of life, death, love, and meaning, what the religious traditions of mankind HAVE said forms a coherent body of thought. The yearnings of the human soul are not in vain. There is a system of belief adequate to the complexity of experience. There is recompense for suffering. A principle beyond selfishness is at work in the cosmos. All will be well. I do not know whether any of this is true. I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false.
Occupied by their own concerns, a great many men and women have a dull, hurt, angry sense of being oppressed by the sciences. They are frustrated by endless scientific boasting. They suspect that as an institution, the scientific community holds them in contempt. They feel no little distaste for those speaking in its name. They are right to feel this way.” David Berlinski “The Devil’s Delusion”
A great many scientists are satisfied that at last someone has said out loud what so many of them have said among themselves:
“Scientific and religious belief are in conflict. They cannot be both right. Let us get rid of the one that is wrong.”
Quote from Peter Atkins, professor of physical chemistry at Oxford University and an ardent atheist.
In the course of an essay Atkins denounces not only theology but poetry and philosophy as well. He observes favorably of himself that scientists “are at the summit of knowledge, beacons of rationality, and intellectually honest”.
It goes without saying, Atkins adds, that “there is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence.” Science is after all, the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Renaissance.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci was interviewed by Michael Caputo on June 17, 2020
“ Well, one of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunate, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are, for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable, they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority. So, when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to it, who’s talking about science, that there are some people who just don’t believe that. And that’s unfortunate because YOU KNOW, SCIENCE IS TRUTH. AND IF YOU GO BY THE EVIDENCE AND BY THE DATA, YOU’RE SPEAKING THE TRUTH.” Dr. Anthony Fauci
There is no LIVING HOPE in science alone. You are still not convinced:
The first premise:
If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.
The second premise:
If science is true, then God does not exist.
If science is true, then everything is permitted.
In 2007, a number of scientists gathered in a conference entitled:
“BEYOND BELIEF; SCIENCE, RELIGION, REASON, AND SURVIVAL”
The physicist Steven Weinberg delivered an address. He is one of the authors of the theory of electroweak unification, for which he was awarded a Nobel Price. Needless to say, he is a person of great stature among the scientific community. Here is what he said during this address:
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
Let us go on a fast-paced history journey:
In 1932 Aldous Huxley wrote the novel: “Brand New World”
In it he made the prediction that mood enhancing drugs and genetic engineering will be a part of our life.
Several decades later in 1950, antidepressants were first popularized to the masses, and in 1972 the first DNA manipulation was announced.
In 1948 Novelist Ray Bradbury wrote the book: “Fahrenheit 451”
He envisioned a world in which people were tuned into TVs and tuned out to each other.
Decades later, iPods, cellphones, and earbuds would take the world by storm.
In June of 1949 British novelist George Orwell wrote the book: “1984”
In it he warned against a world in which the government spies on its citizens. It would take us only about sixty-five years to realize he was right.
October 2, 1959 the Emmy Award-winning TV series called “The Twilight Zone”, written and produced by Rod Serling was launched.
He wrote over 80 episodes that were filled with a mix of comedy and superstition.
Here is what the author said:
“This is not a new world: It is simply an extension of what began in the old one. It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time. It has refinements, technological advancements, and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom. But like every one of the super states that preceded it, it has one iron rule: ‘LOGIC IS AN ENEMY, AND TRUTH IS A MENACE.”
In all these novels and TV series and movies, the writers and filmmakers sounded the alarm bells HOW DECEPTION WILL BE THE WEAPON OF CHOICE TO BRING EVERYONE INTO SLAVERY.
John Whitehead in his book “Battlefield America” published in 2015, writes:
“How do you get a nation to docilely accept a police state? How do you persuade a populace to accept metal detectors and pat downs in their schools, bag searches in their train stations, tanks and military weaponry used by their small town police force, surveillance cameras on their traffic lights, police strip searches on their public roads, unwarranted and forced blood draws at drunk driving checkpoints, whole body scanners in their airports, and government agents monitoring their communications?
Try to ram such a state of affairs down their throats, and you might find yourself with a rebellion on your hands. Instead, you bombard the citizenry with constant color-coded alerts, terrorize them with reports of shootings and bomb threats in malls, schools, and sports arenas, desensitize them with a steady diet of police violence, and mesmerize them with entertainment spectacles (what the Romans used to refer to as “Bread and circus” distractions) and electronic devices, while selling the whole package to them as being in their best interests.
ll the while, the American people remain largely oblivious to the looming threat of their freedoms, eager to be persuaded that the government can solve the problem that plague us, whether it is terrorism, an economic depression, an environmental disaster, OR EVEN A VIRAL EPIDEMIC.”
HOW CAN SUCH A THING BE HAPPENING RIGHT UNDER OUR OWN NOSES? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT SEEING IT ALL FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS?
Nazi Field Marshal Hermann Goering was one that was on trial. At one point during his trial he made this remark:
“It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy.
All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
On July 18, 1925 Adolf Hitler wrote the book: “MEIN KAMPF”
“The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.”
I quoted earlier Rod Sterling who is the screen writer for the TV series “The Twilight Zone”.
“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles BUT WON’T BE ABLE TO THINK.”
We live in an electronic concentration camp. Call it what you will, the meaning is the same: in our quest for less personal responsibility, a greater sense of security, and no burdensome obligations to each other or to future generations, we have created a society in which we have NO TRUE FREEDOM.
Before we take a closer look at the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae, let me give you a quote from Dallas Willard found in his book “The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God”
“Their union with Jesus allows them now to be a part of his conspiracy to undermine the structures of evil, which continue to dominate human history, WITH THE FORCES OF TRUTH, FREEDOM, AND LOVE. We can quietly and relentlessly align ourselves with these forces, wherever they are, because we know what is cosmically afoot. To overcome evil with good, in the apostle Paul’s words is not just something for an individual effort here and there, is actually what will come to pass on this earth. The power of Jesus’ resurrection and his continuing life in human beings assures of this.”
“If cheap propaganda stunts does not secure the compliance, open threats will suffice. (here goes the freedom: the second force)
For instance, in the US, city mayors and local politicians have threatened to “hunt down”, monitor social media and jail those who break lockdown rules.”
Dallas Willard “The Allure of Gentleness”
Therefore; Christianity is false, since God is either not benevolent or not powerful, to which the presence of suffering testifies.
“God’s love is not a sentiment, but a well-reasoned devotion to the good or well-being of its objects. We have a terrible time understanding love, because we confuse it with desire. DESIRE AND LOVE ARE TWO UTTERLY DIFFERENT KINDS OF THINGS. Not only is desire not love; it is often OPPOSED to love.
Right action is the act of love, regardless of the desires of anyone involved.
Jeremy Bentham is his book: “Intro to the Principles of Morals and Legislation” writes:
“Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think; every effort we can make to throw off our subjection will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire; but in reality, he will remain subject to it all the while.”
Dallas Willard writes:
“It is only in the heat of pain and suffering, both mental and physical, that real human character is forged. One does not develop:
• courage without facing danger,
• patience without trials,
• wisdom without heart- and brain-racking puzzles,
• endurance without suffering
• temperance and honesty without temptations.
These are the very things we treasure most about people. Ask yourself if you would be willing to be devoid of all these virtues. If your answer is no, then don’t scorn the means of obtaining them.
The gold of human character is dug from torturous mines, but its dung and dirt are quite easily come by. And it should come as no surprise to us that in our time – the time of the great flight from pain, such virtues as these are conspicuous only by their absence.
I’m not saying that we should go looking for pain, so that we can develop character. This is not at all necessary. All we need to do is make an honest and thorough effort do discover what is right and wrong, good and bad, when we are convinced on these points, then simply go out and face life for what it is worth. There will be plenty of opportunity to develop character.”
C.S. Lewis in his book “The Problem of Pain” writes:
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest, most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations….
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors……..
YOUR NEIGHBOR IS THE HOLIEST OBJECT PRESENTED TO YOUR SENSES.”
Chuck Swindoll in his book “The Church Awakening” wrote:
“It is precisely these four areas the adversary will attack so he can disrupt and, if possible, destroy the church. That’s why it’s important to keep our priorities straight. It’s essential that we do not get distracted by all that we CAN do as a church…and stay focused on only what we MUST do as a church. Otherwise we may be attracting a crowd for the wrong reasons.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book “Life Together” wrote:
“The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we ARE sinners! But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says:
You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He wants you alone. “My son, give me thine heart” (Proverbs 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to go on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner.”
Warren Wiersbe in his book “On Being a Servant of God” writes:
Christian service means invading a battleground, not a playground; and you and I are the weapons God uses to attack and defeat the enemy. When God used Moses’ rod, He needed Moses’ hand to lift it. When God used David’s sling, He needed David’s hand to swing it. When God builds a ministry, He needs somebody’s surrendered body to get the job done.”
Dr. Michael Heiser (The Unseen Realm)
“The kingdom of God had failed in the Old Testament, but it would rise from the ashes when the divine king made his appearance. The messianic king would inaugurate a kingdom that would spread throughout the earth and eventually succeed in restoring Eden.
These ideas are familiar. Less apparent, however, is the way the Old Testament characterizes the launching of God’s kingdom as a war between gods and men.”
Michael Kibbe in his book “OUR FUTURE IN THE FACE OF JESUS”
“Through the incarnation, Yahweh has come to be with his people and save them. The name “Immanuel” implies not only that God’s presence is evident in the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, but that Jesus is Yahweh himself, come to be with his people.”
Carmen Joy Imes in her book “Bearing God’s Name”
“For Jesus, CALLING on God’s name is not enough, nor is prophecy, exorcism, or miracles done in his name. The key disposition of one who truly belongs to God is a commitment to action – doing his will rather than one’s own.
The name of God is not a charm to be used at will. It is not a magic amulet to guarantee protection. Those who fail to carry out God’s will bear his name in vain. Jesus had no patience for those whose verbal proclamations do not match their agenda.
He condemns the Pharisees and scribes for having lips and hearts that contradict each other, saying that they “worship God in vain.”
They walk around wearing official religious titles, but their hearts are haughty and self-reliant.”
Diplomat and Philosopher Dag Hammarskjold wrote in the book titled MARKINGS:
“Respect for the word is the first commandment in the discipline by which a man can be educated to maturity – intellectual, emotional, and moral. Respect for the word – to employ it with scrupulous care and an incorruptible heartfelt LOVE OF TRUTH – is essential if there is to be any growth in a society or in the human race.
To misuse the word is to show contempt for man. It undermines the bridges and poisons the wells. It causes man to regress down the long path of his evolution.”
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
“Holiness in the highest sense belongs to God ( Isaiah 6:3 ; Revelation 15:4 ), and to Christians as consecrated to God’s service, and in so far as they are conformed in all things to the will of God ( Romans 6:19 Romans 6:22 ; Ephesians 1:4 ; Titus 1:8 ; 1 Peter 1:15 ). Personal holiness is a work of gradual development. It is carried on under many hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness, prayer, and perseverance ( 1 Corinthians 1:30 ; 2 Corinthians 7:1 ; Ephesians 4:23-24).
Qadosh literally means “to be set apart for a special purpose”.
The fundamental and core meaning, of the word “hagios”, is… “different, and unlike the rest”.
If you’re a Christian, then you are one of “the holy ones”. And do you know why you’re holy? It’s because you’re different. While we may not think of ourselves as “holy,” we are in fact set apart from the world to be Yahweh Elohim’s servants and his representatives. Yahweh set us apart for this very special purpose, to REPRESENT HIM ON THIS EARTH, not in the future only, BUT HERE A NOW. TODAY.