Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chasing Truth

(Matthew 24:36) But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.
I have met Christians with sharp minds but limited outlook who saw one truth and, being unable to relate it to other truths, became narrow extremists, devoutly cultivating their tiny plot, naively believing that their little fence enclosed the whole earth. An acquaintance with or at least a perception of the significance of what Kant called the starry heavens above and the moral law within is necessary to right thinking. Add to this a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, a good historic sense and some intimate contact with the Christian religion as it is practiced currently and you have the raw material for creative thought. Still this is not enough to make a thinker. 
                                                                                                                                   ~ A.W. Tozer
Here’s a sobering thought: if Christ doesn’t know the hour or the day, then neither does Satan, which is why Satan has been raising up beasts in every era, hoping it would be the last. In his psychopathic delusion, he still thinks he can win, and, at the very least, take as many with him as possible. Is this the last era? The signs are strong but even so we cannot know. All we are given is what Jesus said:

(Matthew 24:13) But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.  (24:14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come. 

This tells us two important things: first, we are called to endure to the end and, second, there is an end. Since we don’t know when that will be, we simply endure and find ways to encourage others to do the same. What else do we need to know, for sure, other than Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life, and died as the final sacrifice for sin, thus fulfilling the Mosaic covenant? Our call is to believe this and follow His commandments. There is no other doctrine that can possibly trump, improve or add to this.

I am not good at apologetics or debate. It’s not my thing. I am neither appointed nor anointed to preach or teach or try to convince anyone of anything. I have my gifts and I know where my place is in the Body of Christ and I have no desire to step outside of that. I do love to discuss and share though, particularly with someone who has insight and is not dogmatically inclined to bring me around to “corrected” thinking. I see the Truth (with a capital T) as small glimmering threads woven tightly among dull strings of misinterpretations, agenda-based skewed perceptions and outright lies introduced by Satan to lead astray.
Two years ago I set out on a quest for Truth. As I have read specific blocks of Scripture multiple times (try reading Revelation all in one sitting) and then researched Biblical history, first through records and then through other's interpretations, I found that every accounting had some or part of a truth, like pieces of a puzzle, but no one seemed to have all of the pieces to complete the picture.  Secular accounts do not have the spiritual side and religious accounts often ignore the historical events in order to make doctrine fit Scripture. However, I did discover that Scripture aligns with history more often than dogma does.

How did I recognize this? One might ask who I am to determine what is true and what isn’t? I am no trained Biblical scholar. In every case, as I read and studied a particular point of view, even though it might ring true in part,  more often than not I usually found a specific prejudice and perspective skewed by traceable doctrine-based eschatology. Sometimes I found profound and stunning rationale for disputing long-held dogma even as the same reasoning was abandoned when the interpreter was stuck on a Scripture that counters individual interpretation. In several cases I have found interpretations that fluxed back and forth between deep understanding and liberal interpretation (Spirit of the Word) of some Scriptures to rigid, legalistic (Letter of the Word) adherence to others as it better suited and fit an individual’s ingrained bias.

I am most certainly trained and hyper-sensitive to the persuasive art form of language, both secular and religious, written and spoken.  No denying it, we all have some kind of bias; we all must deal with the limitations of our own flesh. Ultimately, we have to trust that God knows what He is doing and can and does use us, warts and all, as He sees fit. What I have concluded is that many people know some good things, some know many good things and the radiant threads of truth are often there though dimmed by being interwoven with the dull threads of personal perspective skewed by self-determination. 

I have said many times that I believe what we need is the original thing not a “new” thing; the unadulterated simple Truth. The Truth that requires us to listen, obey and trust. The Truth that asks us to set aside “self” and fall into His will. If we could just grasp that, if we could finally understand that faith truly is trusting that which we cannot see, we would not only be better equipped to handle our daily tribulations, we could also allow Christ to shine out of us to others. 

Here’s where I am at in my quest for Truth on the matter of the End Days: if Satan doesn’t know when the end will be, why would he wait to begin his campaign to destroy God’s own sometime in the distant future? My conclusion is that he’s been at it since the beginning, (Revelation12:17) And the dragon waxed wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus  raising up Beasts with great delusional anticipation that the Beast of that era will be the last.  

From this I can draw a conclusion that what we have been taught to believe about “End  Of Days Theology” is more than likely a tangled mess of pure truth, half-truth, sort-kinda truth and out and out lies. If the prophets of the old testament were mostly preparing God’s people for the end of the old covenant and beginning of the new, is the book of Revelation a summary of that beginning and map through the coming ages that launched when Christ fulfilled and finished the era of the Mosaic Covenant? 

I agree with the concept of types and shadows in prophecy but it makes perfect sense to me that the Apostles were speaking to those directly in front of them about what was about to befall them in their generation. Having said that, I also believe that it is as myopic to say that all of the book of Revelation is yet to come as it is to say, as some do, that it is history. 

There is an absolute Truth buried somewhere in the jumble of dogmatic perception. 

That’s what I am chasing. 

For Christ,

Friday, September 14, 2012


(Revelation 7:13-14)  13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they?  14 And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Who are those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb? The uncomplicated answer is: they are those who trust Jesus in spite of trials, persecution and tribulation. Note the emphasis is on the blood of the Lamb, that cleansed them, not tribulation.
                                                                                                  + + +

I woke up in the middle of the night recently, burdened to pray for the faithful who are being persecuted for their faith right now, in this very moment. Lord, give them peace beyond understanding. There are tens of thousands of believers in third world countries who are imprisoned or being slaughtered even as they gather to worship. Even now, in America, being Christian is rapidly becoming open for scorn and mockery. How long before it will actually be dangerous to profess Jesus as Savior here? Did you ever think you’d live to see the day in America when just gathering to have Bible study in your own home would be against the law? But this is happening more and more, and it portends to get worse.

Today there are an estimated 70,000 proclaimed Christians in concentration camps in just North Korea alone, who are starved and worked to death because they have refused to renounce Christ and bow down to and worship the dictator. If these are not counted worthy to be raptured “before” tribulation, then I don’t know who could be. Certainly not soft American Christians who have homes, food and luxurious multimillion dollar mega churches to sit in comfy seats every Sunday, singing passionately, tears streaming down, hands raised, earnestly devoted to the doctrine of being changed in a twinkling, (before it gets really bad, you know). 

Can you see the profound disparity in these two concurrent scenarios? How do you suppose God views this contrast between those currently suffering for their steadfast faith and those who believe they won’t have to? 

The world has seen and experienced ongoing tribulation as defined by war, famine, pestilence, plague, holocaust, natural disasters, and the rise and fall of ruling tyrants. The world has seen economic collapse and subsequent depression and the non-believers just dig in and blame and curse God for it all. They repent not. 

(Revelation 9:20) And the rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk:  (9:21) and they repented not of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. 

This seems to be the normal human condition since Adam’s fall from grace. It also seems to be a theme growing into a consensus of the majority nowadays, alternately denying the existence of the Sovereign Creator, and cursing and blaming Him for all the tribulations that mankind suffers.  Here’s the non-believer’s logic: God does not exist. And if He did, He would be “good” and not vengeful because that is not good. Love is good. God is love, therefore God is good. If He existed. Which He doesn’t.

Say what?

Perhaps we simply need to redefine the term Tribulation (with a capital T). It isn’t Christians persecuted for refusing to deny Christ, it’s... wait...let me think... 

No, sorry, I can’t think of another definition as it applies to the faithful who follow Christ and obey His commandments. Christ is the point, after all, and therefore He is in the very center of anything to do with what happens to Christians, and, indeed, the rest of the world. Christ said that we would be persecuted for His name’s sake. He did not include the caveat “except for those in the end days who can’t imagine being tried and tested so they don’t have to.”

What I have been burdened to warn people about is not that we buy into pleasant bits of leaven, “God-is-love-therefore-everyone-gets-saved-in-the-end” and/or “the elect won’t have to stand up for Christ and be persecuted because they’ll get to watch the horrors from a safe cloud”. We are reaching the point of no return. God can and does harden hearts; He has done it before. I never fully understood the concept of the end of Grace until now. The end of grace is when we are left to our self-centered delusions and the door is shut in our faces for them. 

(2 Timothy 2:12) if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;

We are mandated to practice abiding faith, even in the face of tribulation. Today, we are on the brink of the greatest test of our faith since the millions of Christians of the past who remained steadfast in spite of unthinkable tribulation, who were overcomers right up to the torturous end of their earthly lives. But many today believe that was then this is now. Tell that to the Christians slaughtered in their church in Nigeria on August 7, 2012. Say that to the survivors of the 300 who were slain in church in May, 2012. Perhaps the Christians in Nigeria, China, Russia and North Korea and multiple other places around the world don’t count?

For those with ears to hear and eyes to see: A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Once the leaven has done its job, though, the loaf is shaped and ready to be baked, sliced, slathered with butter and served up. What shape would you prefer to be in, that which is pleasing to Christ, standing in faith in spite of tribulation, or that which disappoints and grieves Him, steadfast to a doctrine, or a religious formula? 

Hint: This is not the era to be grieving God.

(Jude 1:5-7) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
For Christ,

Saturday, September 8, 2012


(Corinthians 10:3-5) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh  (10:4) (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),  (10:5) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;  

I am confused. Nothing seems to make sense anymore. At least not the kind of sense I am accustomed to expect from applying old-fashioned critical thinking. I am such an outdated relic now. 

For example:

We are admonished to embrace diversity, which means...
a diversity of design styles: variety, miscellany, assortment, mixture, mix, mélange, range, array, multiplicity; variation, variance, diversification, heterogeneity, difference, contrast. ANTONYMS uniformity.

And tolerance is another virtuous attribute much touted by impassioned spokes mouths which means...
an attitude of tolerance toward other people: acceptance, toleration; open-mindedness, broad-mindedness, forbearance, liberality, liberalism; patience, charity, indulgence, understanding.

Apparently terms like diversity and tolerance have been artfully highjacked and redefined in this new, enlightened age. One is considered to be tolerant and embrace diversity so long as one is plugged into the new stream of consciousness. Live and let live is the age old axiom that all school children in the 20th century were encouraged to adopt. It covered essentially everything fairly well for many decades. If one followed the basic principle of live and let live, one would accept that in general people rarely agree on everything and therefore civilized humans  were allowed to have their opinions and knowing how to keep them reigned in was part of the knowledge of what it meant to be civil.

Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me is another old saw that children of fifty years ago chanted back when someone made a disparaging remark. Sending the message that one was too tough to be hurt by mere words spoken was usually enough to create a stalemate if not completely end a conflict. Today, because out of control hypersensitivity changes the rules hourly, it seems that almost any word one might speak aloud could fall under the updated definitions of diversity and tolerance and might even possibly be cause for arrest as a hate crime. Further, even thinking a word that is now deemed offensive by someone else might be dangerous. The Thought Police is no longer a fictional entity. One must not even appear to be thinking offensive thoughts.

My how times have changed. It’s hard to keep up. In spite of those who continue to wield words like weapons to impose self-righteous rules on the masses, diversity and tolerance still really mean what they used to mean with one new exception: they apply to any concept, belief or life-style that counters the now archaic value systems long upheld by Judeo/Christian precepts. 

So the new definitions of diversity and tolerance should now read as follows:
a diversity of life style: including variety, miscellany, assortment, mixture, mix, mélange, range, array, multiplicity; variation, variance, diversification, heterogeneity, difference, contrast, except anything that suggests a Christian viewpoint which must not be tolerated. Rioting, ranting, hate-speech and death threats are acceptable as counter measures to anyone who opposes the new definition.  ANTONYMS uniformity.

an attitude of tolerance toward other people: acceptance, toleration; open-mindedness, broad-mindedness, forbearance, liberality, liberalism; patience, charity, indulgence, understanding. Tolerance, in its purest form, is allowed for all religious or non-religious belief systems, except Christianity and Judaism, even if another religion openly demonstrates blatant intolerance for any diversity of life style or human rights, especially those of women, homosexuals, or anyone labeled as an infidel, a.k.a., non-believer.

It is a paradox.

the paradox of war is that you have to kill people in order to stop people from killing each other: contradiction, contradiction in terms, self-contradiction, inconsistency, incongruity; oxymoron; conflict, anomaly; enigma, puzzle, mystery, conundrum.

For Christ,