CAN YOU MOVE A MOUNTAIN WITH YOUR PRAYER?

December 14, 2018

It is said in Matthew 21:21 as well as Mark 11:23 that if you have faith and do not doubt you can say to a mountain “’Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done”!

This has never happened. If it did happen it would be the talk of the world and yet Jesus said that it could happen.

I used to read this and say to myself “No one has that much faith; so much that they do not doubt a little bit”.

I viewed those verses like that for many years, but then I thought they might be symbolic. The Word of God uses symbolism quite a bit. That is only logical as we have not seen Heaven and the things that are Spiritual, so God uses what we do know to explain what we do not know. So, I said to myself, “The mountain must stand for people and the sea must stand for the water of baptism and so if one believes they can say to the people “Go throw yourselves into the water and it will be done””. But then I realized that would place the power of salvation in my hands. Salvation is the choice of the individual and not the power of another man. God did everything that was necessary for anyone to be saved and the choice is in the hands of the individual. So, I reverted back to my first thoughts on the matter.

Then, after more thoughts, allowing God to lead my thoughts, I understood and had to laugh! So let me explain and perhaps you also will laugh.

It is obvious that someone with out enough faith can not move the mountain, because they doubt. But suppose there is someone, or even many that have faith and do not doubt and can say to a mountain, “’Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done”. Then why hasn’t it happened?

The answer, or understanding, is so plain that it is hilarious!

The one with faith and that does not doubt knows that God made the mountain and placed it where it is, so that is where it belongs. To move the mountain would be saying ‘That is not where the mountain belongs’ and that would be doubting God!

So, faith or no faith, the mountain remains where it is.

Funny, isn’t it?


DO CHRISTIANS WORSHIP THREE GODS?

December 4, 2018

The Son of God is the Holy Spirit and He was created before anything else was made. The second verse in the Bible says, (Gen 1:2 NIV) “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” You see that He already existed. The verse doesn’t say “Holy Spirit”, but it should be apparent that it is the Holy Spirit.

The Spiritual birth of Jesus was when the Holy Spirit became one with a man. That man was the son of David. (2 Sam 7:12 NIV) “When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.” That offspring is Jesus the son of man and that man became one with the Son of God, who is the Holy Spirit. So, it is better to name Jesus as Jesus Christ (Jesus (the son of David) and Christ (the Son of God)). Jesus was born of the Spirit when he was baptized (Matthew 3:16); just the same as we were (Acts 2:38&39).

Those who do not understand say that we worship three Gods, because we say that God has a Son and we baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, which seems to say that we claim there are three Gods. I have to admit that this accusation puzzled me for quite some time. Scripture states many times that there is only one God (Deu 4:35&38, 1 Kings 8:60, Isa 44:8, 45:5&6, 45:18&22, 46:9, Joel 2:27, Mark 12:29, and I probably missed some). God had not made this clear to me, so I did not have an answer to this accusation.

I was given the Holy Spirit to teach me all things (John 14:26), so every now and then, I would think about this question and the Spirit finally gave me the answer that satisfied me.

I will try to explain the answer that I have, but first let me state something about God that, it seems to me, everyone agrees with and that is “God is everywhere, at all times”.

I live in America and when I pray I am sure that God hears me. If I am praying at the same time one of my brothers in China is praying I believe that God hears both of us. There are probably millions of Christians that pray at the same time and I believe that God hears each and also hears them clearly. I don’t think that anyone would disagree with that understanding. Even if one doesn’t believe in God, they would have to admit that if there was a God He would have to be able to accomplish that feat.

Now, here is a parable, or allegory that I believe God gave me so that I might understand the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the same God.

Suppose that you have a golden bowl and it is filled with water. Then there is a golden cup made and that cup is dipped into the water and filled with it. So, the water in the cup and the water in the bowl are the same water. Then some of the water in the cup is poured into an iron cup. Is not the same water in all of the containers? Is it not only one water?

I see the golden bowl as a symbol of God our Father, the golden cup as the Son of God, and the iron cup as the son of David. If you visualize the water as a metaphor or symbol of the Spirit of God, then it should be clear that the same Spirit is in all three containers. God is Spirit (John 4:24) and all three are filled with the same Spirit: one Spirit, one God.

If you can visualize God as being in more than one place in any point in time then it should not be difficult to visualize God as being in all containers at any point in time. I say all containers, not just three, because God, the Holy Spirit is in all of His children: given to them when they were baptized (Acts 2:38&39).

I hope this allegory helps you understand as it has helped me. I know that you were given the Holy Spirit to teach you all things, so listen to the Spirit and I am sure that He will make it clear to you in a way that you can also understand.

We do not worship three God’s.


WHY HITLER?

November 20, 2018

I am a student of the Bible. I believe that the entire Bible is true. I try not to pick and choose only verses that support what I believe that is true. This leads to questions such as ‘Why did God say that?’, or ‘How does that fit with the rest of God’s Word?’ and then, when I ask, God usually gives me the answer. Well, God always give me the answer, just sometimes later than I would like.

One of those verses is Romans 13:1. (Rom 13:1 NIV) “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

I quoted this verse in a small Bible study group and one member of the group, because he was not prepared to accept this part of God’s Word, pointed out Hitler! Well, because I had not devoted any thought to Hitler, I was not prepared to give a really good answer. My only thought, at that time, was that the Bible says God appoints the authorities and Hitler was an authority, so yes God appointed Hitler and it did not matter whether, or not, I understood.

After some thought I realized, or better said, God pointed out to me that Hitler was the easiest of evil authorities to understand!

We all know that Hitler was responsible for the deaths of many Jews. Killing Jews was his second greatest passion: the first being to rule the world. But then if he had become the ultimate authority he would have killed all of the Jews, so maybe killing Jews was his greatest passion!

Because I believe that God knows all things, I believe that He knew what Hitler would do to His chosen people Israel. Not only that, but that He formed Hitler in the womb to do it!

In order to understand why God appointed Hitler as an authority, one has to consider Israel’s past. God chose Israel and made them a great nation. He gave them everything that they could ask for, but over and over they would reject Him as their God and when they did He would send a nation of gentiles to decimate them and make those who were still alive slaves to their captors. God would leave them slaves until they came to their senses and ask for forgiveness. Then He would send a prophet to lead them back to their promised land.

Israel did not learn from their actions and so God finally almost stopped sending a prophet to lead them back home. I say almost, because He sent one more prophet to lead those individuals who properly honored God to Him. That is to say not all of Israel, because all of Israel are not God’s people (Rom 9:6); some are and some are not.

The last thing that God said to the nation Israel are the last two verses in the Old Testament. (Mal 4:5&6 NIV) “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Well, He sent John the Baptist as the prophet Elijah and Israel was not willing to turn their hearts to God, their Father. So, He struck the land with a curse. He turned the land into a desert and ejected Israel from it.

Israel, to this day, will not accept God as their Father. They do the same things that they did when Jesus came. They rely on themselves as their own savior. They believe that they if they abstain from what seem to be the greatest transgressions of the Law that God will forgive the least infractions. It doesn’t seem to matter that God’s Word does not support that view. They commit the unpardonable sin. That is to reject the sacrifice of Jesus for their sins, substituting their own righteousness in place of God’s Sacrifice.

It is easy to understand God’s anger when you consider that God became a man, so that He could die in the place of anyone that would accept His love offering and then have someone reject that gift.

The nation Israel is still under that curse and because they are cursed, God, when the time came for Israel to return to the land, did not send a prophet too quietly and peacefully lead them back. He sent Hitler to drive them back.

Jews condemn Hitler for the atrocities that he was responsible for; and rightly so. However, if they examined their own actions as closely as they examine Hitler’s, they might understand that their sins, or the greatest sin that anyone can commit, which is to reject God’s Sacrifice, caused God to send Hitler.

You would be wrong if you think of me as an anti-Semite. I am just the opposite as I would love to see all of Israel turn to God, accept His Sacrifice, and live.


NO MAN “EVER” PAID THE TITHE

November 2, 2018

Lately God has been teaching me about His Tithe. It is nothing like the understanding that man has, and is trying to teach you and me There is always an exception, but most of us have been taught that God gave the increase of the land to the Israelites and then demanded that they give 10% back to him. That is a total corruption of Tithing.

Most teachers believe that the Church needs money to exist. That is what the world teaches and we are a product of the world so it seems logical to us. However, if we believe that, then we place money and our own ability to handle money above our trust in our Father.

So, you ask, or you should ask “What do you mean when you say no man ever paid the tithe”?

The basic misunderstanding is thinking that God gave 100% of the increase of the land to His children. God said that ten percent “Belonged to Him”. He only gave Israel a method to determine what He wanted marked as His so that it could be kept separated from what was theirs. We are taught that God gave 100% to Israel and then demanded that they give 10% back, but He actually gave 100% of what was Israel’s to Israel and kept 10% of the increase of the land for Himself.

(Lev 27:30 NIV) “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.

You see that it never belonged to anyone other than God. It was not Israel’s that they could give it to God. It belonged to God and never belonged to Israel.

Actually, it was God that gave the Tithe.

The first two years God took all that was His (The Tithe) and spent it on a feast for His children. God only relied on His children to properly take care of the Tithe that belonged to Him.

The third year God’s Tithe was to be taken to the store house, so His priest and everyone else could share in God’s wealth.

So you see that no man ever gave the Tithe. Also, if you think about it the Tithe is no longer required to be counted, because God has cursed Israel, so He would not continue with a ritual that was created to show them how good He was to them.

You see that the purpose of the Tithe was to show Israel that God would give 100% of everything that He kept for Himself to them, if they would only believe in Him! They did not believe, so God no longer gives “His Tithe” to them.


THINGS TO UNLEARN

October 21, 2018

I have spent what some would call a long time studying the Word of God. In doing so, I have found that I had to unlearn almost everything that I was taught by man.

(Mat 13:33 NIV)  He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

As I contemplated Scripture, I saw that yeast was/is a symbol of sin. As I understand the parable of verse 33, it says sin will work its way all through the church. If you believe in the teachings of man, you may never understand the parable. It seems man takes the things of God and puts a little twist on them, in order to make them say things that benefit the speaker.

That is not to say men mean to do this, but everyone is biased by those who came before them. Those that think they are teachers have taught others what they believe is correct, but because all men are flawed it has resulted in many concepts about Scripture that are not completely true. A concept that is not completely true is a real problem.

Tithing is a good example. I was taught that God gave Israel 100% and they were to give  back 10%. Well, that was inferred, not actually taught, to make me think God gave me everything and I was to be like a good Israelite and give 10% back to Him. Isn’t that what you have been taught?

The truth about tithing is found in Scripture and it is not at all what I was taught! God never gave His people 100%, so they could give back 10%. The tithe was God’s and they were only to take care of what was His.

Tithing was a three year program. The first two years the tithe was to be used for a very big banquet. All that was God’s was to be enjoyed by His children. It was not given to the temple at all.

The third year the tithe was to be placed in a store house, so that the poor, the aliens, and Levites would have food. That was not to take place every year: only the third year. The Church teaches that 10% should be given every year, but that is three times too much! As a result the church has become dependant on money, instead of God. It is a case of yeast, working its way through the dough: the teachings of men, not God.

By the way, Jesus did not tithe! The tithe was to come from an increase of the land. If an Israelite was poor and did not own any land they were not required to give a tithe as they had no increase from which to calculate the tithe. Jesus was a poor carpenter not a land owner. Actually Jesus, being poor, was to receive from the part of the tithe that was taken to the storehouse, not give to the storehouse.

Then there is this Country. I was/am taught that this Country is a gift from God, when the exact opposite is true. To be clear, I am a citizen of the United States, not an enemy of the United States. If I apply Romans 13:1&2 to the formation of this Country I find that the Founding Fathers were in rebellion to God; disobeying and not obeying Him.

Romans 13:1&2 (NIV) “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” The governing authority, at that time, was the King of England and the colonies rebelled against that authority.

We vote and claim that is what God wants us to do, but the truth is, we are placing our trust in man, not in God. We place our trust in the man we deem the best candidate and we place our trust in ourselves to choose that candidate. Asking God to guide us in our sin of unbelief is about like a bank robber, asking God, which bank to rob! We should be trusting God to appoint authorities, instead of trusting ourselves.

We are the blind, leading the blind. We do not know what is in a candidate’s heart, or what he will do if elected. Did anyone foresee what our present president would do? Patriotism for any country in this world is the teaching of men, not God.

I see more things to unlearn, however that is enough for now.

 


THE NAME OF GOD

May 4, 2017

I do not remember if I posted this before. I do not like to post the same thing and so most all of my posts are unique.

Many times when I read Geneses 32:29 and Judges 17&18 I did not understand why God asked these two people, why did they ask His name. It seemed like a logical question and so it seemed like, to me, that God should have just answered.

It was some time before I took this question to the Lord, but when I did, the answer was so simple that I had to laugh!

Everyone, from Adam to us, has a given name. It was given to us by someone that came before us. Adam was given his name by God, Eve by Adam, Cain and Able by their parents and so on and on we have been given our name by those who came before us.

Now, the simple question that answers God’s question of why ask His name, ‘Who came before God to give Him a name?’

So, God, unlike us, has no given name! That should have been clear without much thought, but I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so it took me a while and much thought to understand this simple thing.

So, it seems to me that God’s name is what He wants us to call Him, and that is Father.
(Jer 3:19 NIV) “I myself said, “‘How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.

All of the names of God are descriptions of Him, not a given name like the one we have.

The name of father is a very unique. I have a brother and only he and I can rightly call my earthly father ‘father’: no one else, before us, now, or after us can truthfully call our father ‘father’.

It is the same with our Heavenly Father. If you are a child of God, then you have the right to call God ‘Father’ and if you are a child of Satan then you cannot call God Father, because you are not His child.

It seems to me that we were all children of Satan. That is before God adopted us by baptism. Now we can call Him Father!

Simple: isn’t it?


MANKIND’S BASIC FLAW

April 18, 2017

Well, one could say that mankind’s basic flaw is that we sin, because that is surely a basic flaw. However, it is not the “very” basic flaw that we have.

It will sound strange when I state our basic flaw. It seemed strange to me as the Spirit within me led me to this understanding.

Our basic flaw is not that we sin, but that we know that we sin!

As Scripture says, (Gen 2:25 NIV) “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

The idea of being naked is not being physically naked, but spiritually naked. After all, God made them both and He new exactly how they looked naked. He even knew the number of the hairs on their heads (Mat 10:30).

You see, they should have been ashamed, but they did not know good and evil, and because they did not know, they were not ashamed.

God did not condemn them for walking naked before Him, because it would be wrong to condemn anyone if they did not know that they were doing something wrong and God never does anything wrong.

When I first thought about this, I thought that I must know good and evil so that I can do what is right. I said to myself that I must know what is good and what is evil, in order to do good and avoid evil.

I did not even realize that I was arguing with God! God said that it would be wrong to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and yet I was saying that it was right to eat from the tree! First I say that God is always right and then I say that this time He was wrong! It is so easy to be double minded.

As I studied more about the knowledge of good and evil God made it clear to me that it is not necessary to know good and evil.

The two basic commands that God has given us are to love our Father with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our fellow man as we love ourselves. These two commands sum up all of the Law. If we do these two things there is no need for the knowledge of good and evil: no need even for the Law!

Think about it, if we did not have the knowledge of good and evil, we would not, and even could not judge our fellow man: we could not even judge ourselves!

God did not judge Adam and Eve, before they knew about evil, but when they knew the knowledge of their sin separated them from Him.

Perhaps when Jesus comes again and makes everything right, God will take back the knowledge of good and evil. When we live with our brothers and sisters, and everyone loves his or her neighbor and therefore everyone can be trusted, there will be no need to know good and evil: there will be no evil.

The knowledge of good and evil only gets in the way of loving our fellow man. It causes us to concentrate on sin and avoiding it, instead of love and forgiveness!