God Turns The World’s Greatest Sin And Injustice Into The World’s Greatest Blessing

Greetings!

I have covered the reasons why God and Christ Jesus allow suffering and apparent injustices in general terms under the Categories of “Suffering” and “God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness” but I want to cover the title of this present Category in a little more specific manner.

I have to admit I am taken back sometimes, how-be-it if only momentarily, when I see the obviously innocent suffer pain and indignities for no apparent reason. This is especially true concerning the suffering of children and animals.

However, the main example that God has given  to insure us that His ways, in ALL that He does, will ULTIMATELY bring about the greatest of blessings for each and everyone involved….even for the justifiable suffering of the sinner, which I will explain later.

This one prime example is, of course, the crucifixion of our Lord and Savi0r Christ Jesus.

God the Father, to the unenlightened human eye and thought, certainly seemed anything but fair and loving when, after His Son had lived a completely PERFECT life in total and absolute obedience and love to Him, then required and demanded Jesus to suffer one of the most horrible ways of dying possible….as well as being beaten severely !!

I can think of no greater apparent injustice.

And, it was beyond question the greatest of sins in that the world crucified its Creator Who had lived a perfect life on their (our) behalf. I can think of no greater sin than this.

But wait! God had a way to turn this greatest of sins and injustices into the greatest of blessings FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED!!!

God knew that Jesus could handle the suffering that He went through with the Cross or He would not have allowed it….plain and simple. And because of Christ’s love for the Father and His Creation He endured it and was exalted higher than all and given the Name that is above all names (Philippians 2:9)….quite a BLESSING!!

As for the world and the Creation that killed Him, God even was here able to bring about the GREATEST OF BLESSINGS for ALL mankind in that the sacrifice of Christ was accepted by the Father as the ULTIMATE penalty for sin for ALL who have ever lived or will live. (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Colossians 1:20)

This is why Jesus could say in John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL to Myself….”. No ambiguity here. No mincing of words. No exceptions noted.

So, the major point of this presentation is to show that even if we can’t understand why some of  the lesser sins and suffering, as well as apparent injustices, are allowed by God and Jesus then our being able to CLEARLY see how God can take the greatest sin and injustice EVER COMMITTED and turn them into the GREATEST OF BLESSINGS….He and Jesus will have little trouble  turning ALL of these lesser ones into blessings, as well.

Concerning how Christ’s sacrifice was the ULTIMATE penalty  for EVERYONE’S  sin (permanent death) please refer to these Categories for a more complete explanation:

“All Creation Will Be Saved”

“God’s Plan For The Ages”

“Eon vs Forever”

“Hell”

“Lazarus And The Rich Man”

“Misunderstanding About the Salvation of All Creation”

The last Category listed especially deals with how sinners will suffer for their continuing sins and how some of the suffering will be quite severe. However, ULTIMATELY, even the suffering they experience will serve as chastisement for CORRECTION and NOT suffering for the mere sake  of vindictive pain. Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible puts this nicely in Matthew 25:46: “And these shall go away into age-abiding CORRECTION”. And notice, it is “age-abiding” NOT ‘eternal’!

Until later, be blessed in Him.

Fred

 

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Look Unto Me….Moment By Moment

Hello, again!

This is another excerpt for Oswald Chambers’ book “My Utmost For His Highest”  and is from his entry of January 22nd (please reference the Post by the name of this book for FREE access to his daily devotionals.).

This particular entry actually falls perfectly in line with Brother Lawrence’s approach of ‘Practicing the Presence of God’ (please see the Post by this same title).

Emphasis throughout will be mine and here goes:

“Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is, in effect – narrow all your interests until the attitude of heart and mind and body is CONCENTRATION on Jesus Christ.

The very thing we look for, we shall find IF WE WILL CONCENTRATE ON Him.

The difficulties and trails – the casting about in our minds as to what we will do this summer, or tomorrow, will vanish IF WE LOOK TO God.

Rouse yourself up and LOOK TO God. BUILD YOUR HOPE ON Him. No matter if there are a hundred and one things that press, resolutely exclude them all and LOOK TO Him. “LOOK UNTO Me” (Isaiah 45:22), and SALVATION IS,  THE MOMENT YOU LOOK.”

End of excerpts. (Isaiah 45:22) is an addition by me.

Of course, he does not mean we should shirk our important “hundred and one” responsibilities, but rather, if we CONCENTRATE on our Father and Jesus MOMENT BY MOMENT, these important responsibilities will find a way to properly take care of themselves….and we will be at PEACE and in JOY as we carry them out. Brother Lawrence also found this to be true and it was his way of life.

This approach does not come easy, nor overnight, and we must be ever diligent to reach this plateau in our Spiritual walk….even Brother Lawrence wrote that it was difficult at first, but then, IT BECAME SECOND NATURE to him!!

As a side note, an example of the quotation above concerning “His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere”, King David is the perfect illustration. God had blessed him tremendously and he had certainly ‘reached the top’. But then, life got too easy and we know what happened with the Bathsheba incident. Please reference the Post “David’s Heinous Sin vs God’s Mercy” for more comments on this.

Until later,

Fred

 

 

Nothing Happens Without God’s Permission

Hello, again!

Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, happens on this earth or in the heavens without the explicit ‘permission’ of God and Christ Jesus. Quite literally, there is no such thing as an ‘accident’!

John 1:3 informs us that “not even one thing came into being which has come into being” apart from God creating it through Jesus Christ. And, Colossians  1:15-17 not only confirms this but reminds us that “in Him, ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER” (emphasis mine). In other words, EVERYTHING is controlled by Him.

An illustration of this is in Job 1:6,12; 2:6 where Satan, himself, is shown to be limited ONLY to what God gives him ‘permission’ to carry out.

It should not concern us as to who is President of the United States or who rules any country on this earth because we know that God and Jesus Christ ALLOWED her/him or them to be in that position in accord with Their Own Divine purpose (Romans 13:1)….even though they may be humanly foolish and/or evil like Pharaoh (Romans 9:17), Hitler and other similar sickos.

Another example of this is in John 19:11 where Jesus tells Pilate “You would have no authority against Me, if it were not having been given you from above….”.

No President, head of state or ruler of any country  can carry out any decision or policy they have made UNLESS God and Jesus give them  ‘permission’ to do so:

“Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.” (Proverbs 16:1….The Message Bible)   Forecasters speculate on the possibility of an asteroid(s) striking the earth but this should NOT concern Christians because we know it will not happen without the ‘permission’ of God and Jesus. If it does happen, it is for Their Divine purpose and for our good, as well as the eventual good of all mankind. (Please reference the Post “All Creation Will Be Saved”)

This is true in our personal lives, obviously. Whatever circumstances you and I find ourselves in God and Christ Jesus not only allowed them but also engineered them….for Their Divine purpose with each of us.

The best example of why God and Jesus can allow such overwhelming evil,suffering and any circumstance to exist is the crucifixion of Jesus, Himself.

The GREATEST wrong, evil and sin EVER committed by any human or humans was when Jesus was crucified. The creation tortured its Creator and then nailed Him to a tree to suffer the most agonizing of deaths.

However, as it is with ALL the evil, wrongs and sufferings we have existing today, God gave ‘permission’ to have His Son go through this for His Divine purpose. We will clearly see why He could and can do this as explained below.

God actually takes this GREATEST of evils and sins and turns it into the GREATEST  BLESSING for the ENTIRE creation, even for those who did the crucifying! What love, power and wisdom does our God and Father have!!

This is the reason God and Jesus Christ can allow such awful suffering and circumstances to exist in the world: if God can take the GREATEST evil/sin (the Crucifixion) and turn it into the ENTIRE creation’s GREATEST BLESSING….which is their ultimate glorious salvation….how much ‘easier’ will it be for God, through Christ Jesus, to eventually bring about blessings and a glorious ending from ALL the ‘lesser’ evils, sins and sufferings that exist today, as well as in times past. (Please reference the Post “All Creation Will Be Saved”)

How blessed and fortunate we Christians (as well as, eventually, the ENTIRE creation) are to have a Father and Savior such as we have…. and we should be continually giving thanks to Them for this.

Later, in Him,

Fred

Do Not Worry About Anything

Hey, there!

Philippians 4:6 actually tells us this! Even to a vast number of Christians this may seem like ‘pie-in-the-sky’ rhetoric.   For so many, worrying is such an enormous part of every day living that not to do so would even seem ‘non-realistic’ and ‘inhuman’. And, in a way it is because the Holy Spirit  enables us to go beyond being ‘human’ in this regard. Philippians 4:7 says:

“And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

There are actually a number of very good reasons why so many of us believers do not enjoy this ‘supernatural peace’, as it were, and to be able to overcome the debilitating fear of worrying.

One is that we have to: “in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 HCSB). CONTINUAL prayer and petition is required, along with THANKSGIVING! We should not just dwell on the problem(s) that is looming at the moment but also be remembering how we have been blessed in so many ways at the same time.

And, maybe more importantly, another is we cannot expect to receive this ‘peace and freedom from worrying’ if we are not CONTINUALLY  looking to God and Christ Jesus even when there are no major problems in existence or on the horizon! Our Father and our Savior cannot be used as a ‘light switch’….turn to Them when we need Them (on) and mostly ignore Them when things are going fine (off) (please reference the Category “Hip Pocket God” for more on this).

It comes back to what should be our mainstay in our Christian walk: looking to God and Christ Jesus our every waking moment! Please reference the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” on this subject as well as “Pray On The Potty”.

As well, always remember that NOTHING comes our way without God’s and Christ Jesus’ permission. This is clearly shown in the book of Job where Christ Jesus (He was God in the Old Testament) gave permission to Satan to bring trials on to Job. They ALWAYS approve the trials we experience for our own benefit (Romans 8:28) and NOTHING tries us that we are not properly fitted to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Finally, keep in mind that the ‘problem’ may not go away if God and Jesus determine that it is for our benefit that it remain, as was the case with Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. However, joyfully, we can deal with it while still experiencing “the peace of God, which surpasses every thought”!!

UPDATE 01/26/2015: This is an excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ 10/27/2015 entry in his book “My Utmost For His Highest” (please reference the Category by this same title for info on how to get this wonderful writing  free online.):

“I say to you, do not worry about your life….” Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing— our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.” Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing yourself to think that He says this while not understanding your circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things to the point where they become the primary concern of our life.”

Take care in Christ.

Fred

Why Not Be A Mystic

Hey, there! Here is an interesting article I came across at http://freebelievers.com/fbnblog-entry/why-not-be-a-mystic, and received permission from them to reprint it. You might want to also check out my Post: “Practicing The Presence Of God”. Here goes:

May 28, 2011

Why Not Be A Mystic?

Perhaps it was the several years of religious hell I went through, or the overload of information from every side telling me what to believe, how to live, and how to approach God. Perhaps it was the deep longing in my soul to touch the face of God and to simply know Him as real, but I decided to choose the path of the mystic.

First things first, I will say that the only authentic mystic is the Christian, as you cannot know God as He is in His deep mysteries without Christ. If we cannot accept Christ, His sacrifice in His incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, we cannot know God. I would caution anyone strongly against the mysticism of the rest of the world in the plethora of its religions.

Many acknowledge Jesus in a form, but most refuse to accept His deity and His work of salvation as done on the cross. Such people I say stay away from as they are no different than the Gnostics.

So what is a mystic? My humble attempt to define a mystic is one who directly through experience, thought, meditation, emotion and contemplation actively receives and hears from God. The mystic’s religion is not stuff of Sunday rituals and preaching, or the obligatory Bible reading and good works as is expected in Christianity. Rather his/her religion so consumes them in such a way that their whole life is spent saturated in it, living in and out of it. It is all encompassing to the point where there is little room for anything else.

A mystic, in my view, is not one who spends hours practicing ascetics and spiritual disciplines in monasteries, cloistered away from the world, although for a short season I recommend that the seeker would take part in these things. The reason is that it is impossible to know God without living in the rest of the world actively loving and engaging people where they live.

For me, it began in the darkest times of my life. St John of the Cross calls it the dark night of the soul. I have been through several as they guided my unwilling soul into a place of complete abandonment of all things in this world with a deep need and hunger to know my God.

That is what drives me. A hunger. It is a deep, relentless desire and longing to know the presence of my God, to be filled to the point of overflowing with Jesus and His spirit so that, in the end, He is all that I have. It is a realized poverty of the soul, or as Jesus put it, being poor in spirit and hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

I came to this point out of need. Nothing man had to offer in his church institutions satisfied me. If anything, they nearly destroyed me. I escaped only with my life and my sanity. Even still, my soul aches with a longing only Christ can satisfy when I occasionally force myself to sit through a church sermon for whatever reason.

It was the realization that I am loved, filled with His love, and the need to love others with a realization of the passion of God Himself for His church which launched me on this path. When I could no longer find those things in the traditional or mainstream Christian churches of our country, I had to leave and spend my time in the wilderness where God had to speak to me directly.

My time in the wilderness has created within me this hungering and thirsting for God. I remember one church I attended many years ago, a pastor once stated that the church of America is not hungry. It is bloated, overfed, and obese. This was true of me. I was overstuffed with the religious knowledge of various sects and denominations. I wasn’t hungry for God. I was filled. I was filled not with God though, but the junk food of the ramblings of religious men. It was when I left all of that and was starving for three years that I learned how to drink deeply and dine from the water and bread of life within me.

The problem with being a mystic is that most people don’t understand the one who chooses this path. But then again, perhaps God chooses me for this and I just hang on for dear life and my own sanity. The thing is, a mystic is so wrapped up in the Holy Spirit that no man can control them.

One of my favorite teachings of Jesus is “He who is born of the spirit is like the wind. No one knows from where it came or where it goes.”

The life of the mystic is the life chosen to follow hard and persistently after the Spirit. Consequentially, no one can control the mystic any more than they can control the Holy Spirit or the wind itself!

It is in this journey that I see no longer the need to follow teachings and lectures, rather, the need to become a physical embodiment of Jesus Himself. This cannot be taught adequately. This cannot be lectured or written about. Yes, I have heard many sermons and read quite a few riveting books about the subject, but it cannot be understood or fully realized in practical living until one embraces this for themselves.

The mystic acknowledges that it is no longer possible to tell where we end and Christ begins, as He is interwoven into the very fabric of who we are. One can no more separate me from Christ as one could separate the food I ate and processed from the cells it nourished and fused with to strengthen or even create new living tissue. If Christ is food, and we digest Him, He then becomes our very cellular makeup and spiritual DNA. We are inseparable.

It is here, my starving soul found the fountain that Christ spoke of which wells up from within unto eternal life. True mysticism is the ability to drink from Christ, the living water in such a way that we will never thirst again. We will never run dry. We will never be hungry again as He is always within us.

Most American Christians I meet are in a perpetual state of starvation. They go to church meetings every week, retreats for mountain top experiences, or whatever they can find to refill and refresh. It is always outside of them and they always worry about running dry. Many seem to think that they cannot function spiritually without the church meetings feeding them. I find many of them leave their “feeding” times for Sundays, and the rest of their week is there for them to do as they please, only to find themselves hungry once again.

I find it funny when people tell me that I needed to attend church meetings so I could be “fed.” I laugh inwardly and reply “I am fed, perpetually from the Bread of Life who is in me. I will never hunger again.” The bread learned educated church men offer will not satisfy forever. I often hear people tell me that they need to go to church for another dose of the Holy Spirit because they feel hungry. If only they knew.

If only we knew the deep riches of God’s Spirit and His treasure that lay dormant inside of us! If only we knew the mysteries that His Spirit constantly speaks to our souls, feeding us with life. If only we could tap into that and live fully and completely!

This search for that fulness and wholeness of life is the path of the mystic as it takes us ever deeper into the heart of God, drinking deeply, eating fully, and then turning around to feed our fellow man in such a way that it whets their appetite for more. Manna in the wilderness sustains, but one does hunger. If one is courageous, we leave the manna that feeds us temporarily, and brave the battles and the giants which threaten to keep us from the land flowing with milk and honey. The path of the mystic is an invitation to dine at the table with the Father forever, as sons, as family, as a part of the Bride of Christ, forever living in His love.

by David Backus

End of article. There are several points on which I disagree with the author, but overall, there is a lot of truth here, and I am grateful he has shared his experience with us.

See you later.

Fred

ALL Creation Will Be Saved

Hello!

Let’s cover one of the most WONDERFUL truths in the Bible: that God, through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus….WILL SAVE THE ENTIRE CREATION….all in due time, in their particular order (believers are first then others follow…1 Corinthians 15 22-24, James 1:18).

In the early era of Christianity, THE MAJORITY OF THE CHURCHES BELIEVED IN THE SALVATION OF ALL…yup!! Please read on.

The following is an excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_reconciliation (emphasis will be mine throughout):

“In the early Church, universalism (this means the salvation of the entire creation) was a FLOURISHING  theological doctrine[4].[5][6][7] Reconciliation is the main belief that distinguishes Christian Universalism from other forms of Christianity.

Various theologians, including Clement of Alexandria and Origen in the 3rd century, St. Gregory of Nyssa in the 4th century, and St. Isaac the Syrian in the 7th century, EXPRESSED UNIVERSALIST positions in early Christianity.[citation needed] Though Gregory of Nyssa was a known universalist, he was never condemned. He was additionally declared “the father of fathers” by the seventh ecumenical council.[8][9][10][11]

Modern universalists[who?] claim that universalism was the primary doctrine of the church until it was forcibly stamped out by the Catholic Church in the sixth century. FOUR of the six theological schools of thought in ancient Christendom SUPPORTED UNIVERSALISM, and ONLY ONE supported eternal damnation.[citation needed]”   (End of excerpt)

More importantly, let’s notice what the Scriptures say.

The supreme testament is from  Jesus Himself in John 12:32 (emphasis mine):

“and I, if I may be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL  men unto Myself.” (Young’s Literal New Testament, New Standard Version, and others)

No ambiguity here….plain and simple….”ALL” will be saved….His words not mine!

Here are some other verses taken from Young’s Literal Version that leave no doubt that none will eventually, during the course of the ages, be able to escape God’s Love, Wisdom and Power (emphasis is mine throughout) :

Romans 5:18-19:

“18 So, then, as through one offence to ALL men [it is] to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous’ [it is] to ALL men to justification of life; 19 for as through the disobedience of the one man, the MANY were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the MANY (this is the same “MANY” mentioned above) be constituted righteous.”

Romans 11:26, 32:

“for God did shut up together the WHOLE to unbelief, that to the WHOLE He might do kindness.”

Romans 8:20,21:

“20 for to vanity was THE CREATION made subject — not of its will, but because of Him Who did subject [it] — in hope, 21 that also THE CREATION itself shall be set free from the servitude of the corruption to the liberty of the glory of the children of God;”

I Corinthians 15:22-24:

“for even as in Adam ALL die, so also in the Christ ALL shall be made alive” (the ‘ALL’ represents the ENTIRE creation!!)

I Corinthians 15:27-28:

“27 for ALL things He did put under his feet, and, when one may say that ALL things have been subjected, [it is] evident that He is excepted who did subject the ALL things to him, 28 and when the ALL things may be subjected to Him, then the Son also Himself shall be subject to Him, who did subject to him the ALL things, that God may be the ALL in ALL.” (the ‘ALL’ represents the ENTIRE creation!!)

II Corinthians 5:14-15:

“if One died for the sake of ALL, consequently ALL died, And He died for the sake of ALL” (the ‘ALL’ represents the ENTIRE creation!!)

II Corinthians 5:19:

namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (He reconciled the “world” to Himself through Christ, NOT JUST BELIEVERS….we believers are first and then the rest will follow as written in I Corinthians 15:23,26)

Ephesians 1:22-23:

“22 and ALL things He did put under his feet, and did give Him — head over ALL things to the assembly, 23 which is his body, the fulness of Him who is filling the ALL in ALL” (the ‘ALL’ represents the ENTIRE creation!!)

Philippians 2:10-11:

“10 that in the name of Jesus EVERY knee may bow — of heavenlies, and earthlies, and what are under the earth — 11 and EVERY tongue may confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 3:21:

“according to the working of his power, even to subject to Himself the ALL things.” (the ‘ALL’ represents the ENTIRE creation!!)

Colossians 1:20:

“and through Him to reconcile the ALL things to Himself    having made peace through the blood of his cross” (the ‘ALL’ represents the ENTIRE creation!!)

I Timothy 4:10:

“for for this we both labor and are reproached, because we hope on the living God, who is Saviour of ALL men — especially of those believing.” (This verse leaves absolutely no doubt. It is “especially of those believing” because, after the Firstfruit of Christ Himself, believers are the next in line to partake of this glorious inheritance….the rest follow at the ‘consummation’, when ‘death’ is finally abolished” 1 Corinthians 15:23,26)

End of listed Scriptures.

God, through Christ, created each of us and He knows the right buttons to push to get us to use our ‘free’ choice/will  to accept Him.  Take Saul of Tarsus as an example. He was Satan’s CHIEF HONCHO…..being the leader of those persecuting the Church….rounding up Christians to be imprisoned and killed, with his wholehearted blessing. Truly, he was  “the worst of sinners”. (I Timothy 1:15…..New International Version)

And, it took about how long for Christ  to change the tune of “the worst of sinners” after he saw the vision and heard the voice?  Exactly, a mere matter of moments/minutes.  No sinner….from the ‘worst’ to the ‘least’…. is a match for God’s LOVE, WISDOM and POWER.

And finally, please reference the Posts “Misunderstanding About The Salvation Of All”, “Death” and “Hell” for further clarification.

Until later,

Fred

Two Gospels

Greetings!

When studying the Scriptures it is very important to keep in mind that during the period of the apostles there were TWO  GOSPELS being taught AT THE SAME TIME!  Both centered around Christ being crucified and risen, of course, but the 12 apostles were  designated to teach the Jews (Israelites)  whereas Paul was chosen by God to evangelize ‘the nations’ (we Gentiles), as clearly shown in Ephesians 3:8; Romans 11:13, 15:16 and ESPECIALLY Galatians 2:2,7-9.

This was a ‘sacred secret’ hidden before in times past  and first revealed solely to Paul as to how God was now going to call those of the ‘nations’ (we Gentiles) to be JOINT HEIRS with the Jews….Ephesians 3:1-8. (Please reference the Post “The “Secret Revealed To Paul” for additional information)

Those Jews taught by the 12 apostles and other believing Jewish teachers  were to keep the Jewish laws and traditions until Christ returned (Matthew 5:18-19).  However, it was decided when Paul went up to Jerusalem to meet with Peter  that ‘the nations’ (we Gentiles) were not obligated to observe these, but only to (1) keep from things sacrificed to idols (2) from blood and from things strangled (3) from fornication,  (4) and to remember the poor….Acts 15:28-29 and Galatians 2: 7-10.

Again….the Gentiles did not have to be circumcised, observe Holy Days or any of the traditions of Moses or Jewish Law, and this obviously holds true for us today. However, the Israeli believers were required to keep the Law of Moses, the Holy Days, etc.  until Christ returned  (Matthew 5:18-19).

Until later, take care.

Fred