Irony

From reading the Bible over the years, I have drawn the conclusion that God likes Irony. I cannot absolutely say so but it does seem that God has used irony at least a few times over the millennia. I’m not going to go over but one instance here, the greatest one, the time when Christ was nailed to the cross.

In this one event there are likely several ironies, some which I may not have noticed. First, it occurred at a time that he seemed the weakest while he was displaying some of his greatest power. There was no way that they would have laid a finger on Jesus but that it was a fulfillment of his plan and his will. To some degree, He demonstrated this when He said, “I am.” in reply to the soldiers in The Garden of Gethsemane. When He replied, the soldiers were forced back by his words.

When I was younger and heard the story for the first time, I was as others. I wondered why God did not send his angels in to save Him. I mean, in the movies, don’t the horse soldiers come riding to the rescue at the last minute. Not this time. God let Him die on the cross. Jesus willingly gave up his life. It was an a picture of utter defeat.

Indeed, since Jesus was born, Satan had tried to kill Him. He knew who Jesus was and he knew Jesus came to save mankind from sin. Even so, I wonder if someone had filled him in on the details. As Jesus died, people mocked him, likely at the encouragement of Satan. Could it be that Satan didn’t know that it was all a big plan. Did he know that Jesus was going to pay for all man’s sin in His death.

Then again, I suppose Satan would have won if Jesus stepped down from the cross and punished those who mocked Him. That was not the Plan and if Satan thwarted the plan, then maybe he would have won. But Jesus stayed on the cross and never tried to explain why. It was the plan. He did it for love of all those who mocked and hated Him, among others.

The Bible does not say and we are warned against speculating. Maybe Satan knew. Maybe he didn’t. It just is that from my point of view, it looked as if Satan did exactly what he was supposed to do exactly when he was supposed to do it. Finally, after thirty years of Jesus walking this earth, Satan seemed to succeed at one thing he had been trying since Jesus’ birth.

So, as the people of the day looked on and mocked Him, I would suspect that millions of Satan’s minions watched and cheered too. God’s messengers were there too, but they had a different attitude. They wanted to go in and help but they were ordered to stand back and let it happen.

So the people yelled, “Others he saved, himself he cannot.” Perhaps throughout the Bible, encapsulated in those few words are the greatest irony in the Bible. You see, the truth is He could, but He would not. It did not fit his purpose to save Himself but to save us.

Then three days later, He rose and walked among men. In what looked like Jesus’ greatest defeat was His greatest victory. And now, because He did decide to pay the price, don’t you think we should recognize the fact. Is it so horrible to go to our knees and admit, without Him paying the price, our future would be hopeless.

Surly, He deserves our respect. Surely He deserves our faith.

And what a disaster it is when man turns his face from Jesus Christ after what he did. What a disaster it is when a man stands on his feeble legs and defiantly says, I can save myself. I am just as good as the next guy. The truth is, though, none of us are as good or as powerful as Jesus.

Certainly one of the greatest ironies is that it is difficult for someone to be saved because he relies on his own abilities instead of Jesus. May I remind you, when you say you are good enough to save yourself, it is akin to spitting in the eye of Jesus. You are saying that He did it all for nothing. To me, and perhaps to Him, it is the greatest sin of all. Regardless, it is the only sin that will keep you out of heaven. If you will not accept him as your one and only savior, you will spend forever in a very unpleasant place we call hell. The only reason we call it hell is that we cannot find a word that truly describes it.

The worst part about it is that there is no hope for anyone who goes there. You see, after you have been there one or two million years, your days in the future have not been decreased by one. God has done what He can for you. There is no reason for you to go to hell but your own stubborn decision.

One final brief important note. Religion will not save you. Jesus and Jesus alone saves. To be saved, first you must admit you are lost. Second, you must admit you cannot save yourself. Finally, you must accept Jesus as your savior. You must accept him as your Lord and savior. If you take any other path, it will lead to hell. It is the irony. No one likes being in a position where he can’t help himself. It is hard to completely rely on someone else, especially when you can’t see him.

Manna From Heaven

The first time I heard the passage (From Exodus) about manna, I must admit I had a hard time understanding it. Oh, I had no difficulty believing that God sent it. I had no problem understanding the concept. What I did have problems with were the Hebrews who were not satisfied with it.

I mean, how can someone complain about food you don’t have to hunt or farm. You simply wake each morning and pick it up. As near as I can tell it was about the most perfect food ever was. You could simply pick it up off the ground and eat it raw. You could cook it just about any imaginable way and it still tasted good. Moreover, as near as I can tell, it provided every nutritional need for man.

And the Hebrews complained about it? They did. You can read the account yourself. In fact I wish you would. It just might do you some good.

Now that I am in my early 70s, I have learned a thing about the human race. We love to complain, especially when things are going good. I saw this even more when I was in the Marines. They fed us good three times a day and people complained.

Okay. I will agree, sometimes things weren’t the best, but it was good nutritious food. I guess I did complain a few times. One time, I cut into a pancake and that wasn’t done. No one’s perfect. I called it to the attention of the cook and he made me three more pancakes and they were perfect, though the cook did not seem to like my complaint.

Nonetheless, over the years, I told myself that I would have never complained about manna from God. I mean that is stupid. However, the older I get the more I realize I just might have been a complainer. I don’t really know. I guess, until we are put in those conditions we simply do not know.

The thing here is the broader lesson. Most of us, even good Christians become dissatisfied with the position we are in. Specifically, we don’t like what God has provided for us. Now that is stupid. Yet, I myself have caught myself complaining about the provisions of God. It is simply in our nature, the sin nature that we inherited from Adam. To some degree, we can’t help it, although we make a conscience decision to complain about the gifts God gives us.

Every day, I eat generally twice. Before I eat, I try to thank God. Most of the time I do. Sometimes I forget. Yet, God keeps providing for me, though I do not deserve any of it. I don’t want to make myself higher than any other, but I have noticed that most people, even Christians do not take a few seconds to say a few words of appreciation before eating or after receiving heavenly gifts. Many times, when we mumble the words of thanks, our hearts are not in it. I am ashamed of myself. Many times I catch myself thoughtlessly going through the motions, even to the point that the words run together.

So. Just how many of us would complain if we were provided, every morning with all the perfect food we can eat. I don’t know but I would guess, eventually, all of us. I hate to admit it, but it is in my nature. I suspect it is in yours too.

One of the reasons we complain is that our relation with God is not right. For if our relation is truly right, we would be satisfied, though we have nothing. If our relationship is not right, we will never be satisfied, though we live in mansions and drive nice expensive cars.

So, whenever you feel like complaining, you just might try getting right with God. I guess that goes for me too.

No Room for the Proud

Please note the following from the King James version of the Bible

Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Almost all preachers concentrate on verse 8 and rightfully so. However we should never overlook verse 9. I cannot say exactly what God meant by what he said, but I know His result. Those who think that they will be received in heaven because of what they did or said, will never be accepted. Those that expect that they will, are going to be very disappointed. For if they think they will contribute to their salvation is pride.

Hence, I think I can safely say that the those who are proud will not find room for them in heaven. Maybe that was His purpose, though I cannot say for sure. Yet it does serve the purpose.

I caution you that if you plan on telling God all your good works, He will not be impressed by them or you. You see, you will have had your chance to rely totally on His Son for your salvation and you decided not to. You decided to rely on yourself at least in part; or to follow the false teachings of some so called church whose teachings lead people astray by the millions…and ultimately to hell.

If you try to stand before God your pride, your home is not in heaven. For those of use who bow humbly at the feet of Jesus Christ and accept His gift of salvation, without trying to add anything to it, heaven is already our home. We have been assured of it. It is not bragging on what we did, but what Jesus did.

Of all the sins of man, pride is the one that God hates the most. I suspect it is because it leads us from him and to our own means. So, it is my deduction that, no matter how large heaven is, God will make sure that there will be no room for the proud.

Something a man told me a long time ago is that it is better to be thankful than to be proud. For sure, I have no reason to be proud of the United States, though I do believe it is the greatest nation in modern history. However, I am thankful that God made it so. God did not have to put in Los Angeles, California when I was born, but He did. For that I am grateful. God did not have to put me in a Christian family with really good brothers and sisters, but I am thankful He did. God did not have to send his Son to die on the cross for my sins, but He did, and I am thankful beyond words He did. Moreover, I will not try to add anything to it. If I try, not only will I mess things up, but it would mean that I think His work is incomplete or insufficient, a lack of faith.

God does not make us go to heaven, though He could. He has given us the choice. It is a gift, not a something to be forced upon us. To be sure He pleads with each of us to accept the gift for which He paid so much. However, should you turn it down, it will be your greatest mistake. The pride you insist on holding onto will lead to an eternity of suffering.

Of all the allusions that Satin presented to man, the one that man can earn, or help earn his salvation is the most devastating. The reason it succeeds more often than not is because of the pride of mankind.

The New Royalty

After The Revolutionary War, almost immediately, they offered the throne of the new nation to George Washington. He refused it and suggested that the idea of a throne for the new country was a bad idea. He said something to the effect that they had just fought to free themselves from a throne.

It was totally unprecedented. Always before, those who led their nation to victory assumed the throne. Throughout history it was the pattern. In fact, I cannot ever recall it ever happening any other way, certainly in the major countries.

Perhaps it came close in Greece and Rome, but, in the end, they both had their tyrants, their kings. Though they were not known as such, it amounted to the same thing. Throughout Europe kings rose up and fell. Some kingdoms simply disintegrated, others were conquered, or a combination of the two as with Rome.

The news spread all around the world and it shocked those who heard of it. Then, Washington was voted to be president of the new nation. After serving two terms, he left though they wanted him to stay. He said that no on man should ever serve more than two terms. It again rocked the world. Washington not only turned down the power once, but twice.

To be sure, he likely didn’t want it. More than that, he likely felt he should set a good example for those who followed. Apparently, Roosevelt didn’t feel the same. He was elected 4 times. I don’t know if he would have run for a fifth term had he lived. It is one answer we will never know this side of eternity.

Nonetheless, he established some patterns. Since that time, people sought power. To be sure, they sought power before, but it was on a new scale and it was for far different reasons. Before, people sought the power for the good they could do. Now, they just seek the power. It is now a race for royalty and it has become far more noticeable after President Trump took office. You see, he was not one of the royalty. He was not supposed to ascend to the highest office in the land. He was an outsider. It was not his turn to rule. Besides he graduated from U Penn, not Harvard or Yale. Even more, his degree was in business, not law or politics.

He rolled over all the royalty like a steam roller. More than that, he had the audacity to try to do the will of the people who elected him. He had the nerve to do what was good for American citizenry, not the one world order. He called out the other leaders who were taking the US for ride, which the rinos did not like. After all, they liked their business deals with China and the cheap labor from illegal immigrants. The dems didn’t like him building the wall either. He stopped the future potential democrat voters. After all, they plan was to turn Texas blue as they did California.

There was no doubt it. Something had to be done. Both the republican and democrat royalty had to get him out of office and it did not much how, even if they had to resort to illegal methods. Moreover, they had to discredit the movement he created. It was destroying all the progress they made in establishing their royalty.

I know not what all this royalty has in mind for us, but I do know what they have in mind for themselves. They want to set up a kingdom and they want to rule it. To be part of that kingdom, as with all royalty, there are qualifications. That means you must graduate from Yale or Harvard and you must come from the right family. If not, forget it. You will be as the rest of us. Now let me see. What did they used to call them? I think the word is peasants. I think they called them serfs. I think they called some of them slaves.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter the word they use. The result is the same. They will live like royalty. They will tell you what to do and you will do it. They will tell you what to think and you will think it. Mostly, don’t expect them to give up their thrones as Washington did. That is not going to happen. They will be fighting among themselves to see who will be “king of the mountain,” or in this case, ruler of the world.

It was what Alexander the Great wanted. It is what the Caesars wanted. It is what the English kings and Napoleon were after. It was the goal of all three of the axis nations as well as the Soviets. It is not knew. It is only disguised in a new container.

Fear the Lord

It is good advice but I was not the one who originated it. Proverbs 1:7 “The Fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

So we listen to the dummycrats who try to tell us they know all things, yet they despise wisdom, instruction and, I might add, the Lord. It just might tell us where their wisdom comes from but I’ll let you form your own conclusion.

By the way, it might also help explain this mess this country is in. So many say that this is a God fearing country. I look around and I don’t see many God fearing people. I would suspect you don’t know see many either, that is, unless you are a preacher. Even then, most preachers readily admit that many who say they are God fearing, aren’t

The Lord is My Shepherd

The opening words of Psalm 23 can be some of the most comforting words ever written. To be sure, to know that the Lord is watching over us like a shepherd is to know that we are in his absolute care.

To be sure the question comes to mind who are his sheep? We know who the Shepherd is but who belongs to His flock?

From what I understand, David was the writer of the psalm. He certainly was one of God’s sheep. The Bible makes that very clear. On the other hand, he had sons that were not likely part of the flock. One son raped a daughter. The other killed another son and one of his sons tried to kill David and take his kingdom. (Those are only the ones I can remember offhand) I’m not going to go out on a limb and say that any one of them was not part of the flock, but it would seem so.

The fact is, many who think they are part of the flock aren’t. If Jesus is not your Shepherd, the above words are do not apply to you. Indeed, they should bring you fear. You see you have a choice. You can choose to be part of His flock. On the other hand you can chose not to in his flock. Therefore, the entirety of the 23rd psalm does not pertain to you. It’s not that you will die but that you have no life in you now. Until you receive the Lord Jesus into your heart and accept him as your savior, His life (spiritual) is not in you. Being as God is the source of all life, if you do not have God, you are without life (spiritually).

If you die (physically) without Jesus as your savior, it is final. Not only will you be without life, you also will be without hope.

If you cannot truly say that the Lord is your Shepherd, maybe you need to seek the Lord, while you are able.

As an aside: Communism and Christianity cannot coexist. Hence, communists fight to disprove the existence of God, this while they try to claim some similarities with Christianity.

Warnock, Really?

I’m not a Georgia citizen. So, unlike so many others, I am going to keep my nose out the Georgia race, tempting as it is. There is however one thing I feel the need to point out. Warnock either has very little knowledge of the Bible or he likes to lie about it. I guess, in a way, it is somewhat the same. If he lacks the knowledge, then he speaks under pretense, which is sort of like lying.

Regardless, he suggested that we should give money to the government so that the government can give to the poor. Sorry, Warnock. It is not in the Bible though there are a number of people that do make the same mistake. In general, those that are prone to the mistake are communists, being as that is their pretense.

On the other hand, the Bible suggest voluntary giving, mostly directly to those in need. There is not even the hint that the government should get involved. This sort of makes sense being as those in government generally take more than their share when they redistribute the wealth.

By the way, the Robin Hood idea does not apply either. Robin Hood stole from the rich government and gave to the poor people, those from whom the extravagant taxes were are taken. So you see, even from the human aspect, his ideas are stupid.

Warnock falls into the category of people I call controllers. They preach communism but that is but just the jewel meant to distract. What he really wants to do is to control. He wants to control what you do, what you say, and even what you think. Some might call that an opinion. I call it obvious.

Purgatory

Today, I received a pamphlet in the mail from Catholics. I do not know if it was a church or just an organization. Nonetheless, I noticed that the pamphlet had a paragraph on purgatory. It surprised me because I thought they gave up on that hoax. The scam had been uncovered ever since Bibles were readily available and people could read the scripture for themselves.

Nonetheless, this is the hoax. When a person dies, they go to purgatory during which time they pay for all the wrong they did. If someone, usually a relative provided things of value to the church, then it could be used to lessen the time the person spends in purgatory. Hence, wealth was used to help relatives into heaven.

There is one thing that the wealth accomplishes to this day. It makes the Catholic church rich. It was the whole purpose of the hoax. The Catholic church needed money. So, one of the clerics came up with this idea.

Firstly, there was no talk of purgatory until centuries after Jesus’ resurrection.

Second, if you have a word processor and you were to load the entire Bible into it; then did a word search on purgatory, you would not find it. It is not there. There is nothing there that resembles it. Certainly, Jesus did not use the term. He used the term hell and He used the term Heaven. On at least one occasion, He used the term paradise, but not purgatory. If there were such a place, don’t you think He would have said something about it?

Third, Jesus made it quite clear. There are those who will go to heaven and there are those who will go to hell. There was no mention of purgatory.

Finally, a word about wealth. No one, but no one can purchase salvation. If there was a purgatory, God would not want anyone’s wealth. If God wanted it, he could make more wealth than what is on earth. However, wealth serves Him no purpose. For what is He going to use it?

Moreover, if you stack all your good works on top of each other, it would not begin to reach to heaven for just one person. God is not impressed by anything you do in your pride. The only thing he respects are the things you do in the name of Jesus. That which is done without faith in Jesus is as filthy rags.

It is one of the biggest lies that Satan teaches, that we can impress God with what we do with our hands or what we give him without faith. Certainly faith in the Catholic church will gain you nothing. On the contrary. In God’s eyes it is idolatry. God’s word should be the foundation for our faith, not some edict from Rome.

If I Only Knew

If I Only Knew

How many times have we heard, “If I only knew.”  I’m sure you have used the partial phrase a time or four… maybe even a few times more.  I know I’ve used the phrase at least a dozen times- before I reached adulthood.  I’ve used it a few times more since then.

To be sure we all would benefit from being able to see into the future.  I guess the one thing that would have affected me the most was the knowledge of my allergies.  Had I known that my allergies were as bad as they are, I could have avoided going into the military.  More than that, had they known, they would not have accepted me.

So, if my draft status was something less than 1-A, I likely would have gotten a job in an electronics company as an electronic technician and maybe finished college.  That might seem like a small thing, but there were so many things that it would have changed in my life.

I just might still be living in southern California and going to the beach on weekends.  I would have made far more money and I likely would not have traveled so much.  I would have never learned how to shoot an M-14 and I would have never learned what it was like to have mortar rounds come in on us at Da Nang nightly.

I would have never walked one day of guard duty and I would have never met many fine men.  The list of things it would have altered even boggles my mind.

I knew it seemed I had many colds compared to others, but I never figured it was allergies.  Then a few years after I left the Corps, I went to see an allergist.  He said he never saw anyone who as allergic as me.  And here I sit in one of the worst places in this country for folks with allergies.

Oh well.  It only bothers me during spring and fall.  The rest of the time I’m fine.  I would really be better off if I worked at sea, no pollen.  The problem with that is that I don’t like the idea of being away from land for weeks at a time.  Worse, I am a poor swimmer.

At any rate, I got to thinking what it would be like if our officials knew things in advance.  If President Trump knew that that virus was going to come out of China, he could have sealed the borders far sooner and we would not have lost as many people to the pandemic.  By the way, there would have still been a pandemic but the US would not have participated.  And, by the way, the democrats would have still called him xenophobic.

Every day, the news would be full of accusations of the horrid things that President Trump had done.  Instead of holding him up as a hero, the media would be full of remarks of how horrible a monster he is.

Maybe the first President Bush would have benefited from foresight too.  He could have had a few dozen B-52s lined up and ready to drop bombs on the Iraqi army the instant they stepped foot into Kuwait, the bombs would have rained down on them so hard they would turn tail and head north again.

We likely would not have lost one American life.  None of our soldiers would have won any medals.  It would have cost far fewer dollars.  And, by the way, the Iraqis losses would have been fewer too.  It all would have been over in hours, no more than a day.  There would not have been a need to send in troops and there would have been no need to set up the no-fly zones.

It is true that a horrible man would still rule Iraq, but that could be managed without destroying the country.  Let’s face it, in a way; Iraq is worse off today than when we arrived.  That should not do things that way.

I like to think most of those abusing drugs would benefit from seeing into the future.  If they were to see the damage that the drugs would do to their lives and the lives of their loved ones, just maybe they would not take that first drink.  Maybe they wouldn’t smoke that first marijuana joint.  Maybe they would take that first dose of cocaine or heroin.

I like to think that but I might be wrong.  Some people don’t care about the damage.  They are simply drawn to the poison without regard for themselves or others.  After all, they are forewarned and still travel that path to destruction.  All the while, they say they can stop any time they want.  The problem is that after a while, they never want to give it up.  Their whole outlook on life changes.  Nothing but nothing is more important than that drug, regardless of which one it is.

By the way, of all the drugs, I’m told the worst is alcohol.  Yet it is the one poison encouraged at office parties.  Then when a person becomes dependant on it, they are fired and classified as useless to society.

The military is the worst.  I really respect Chester Puller, Marine hero, but he honestly suggested beer machines in every barracks.  Maybe that is a good idea, but if he could see the future, I suspect he would have never made the suggestion.

Every year, alcoholism costs the military more than all the drugs combined.  It ends the career of many men who would otherwise be good marines.  Instead, they are discharged with other than honorable conditions.  Then, the rest of their lives are ruined.

I suspect people wonder why I am so dead set against drugs.  After all, it is a decision that we all make for ourselves.  It is a decision that we live with one way or the other.

The problem is that drugs take the decision away from us.  It is one of Satan’s primary weapons.  People who are under the control of drugs can’t make important decisions.  The one most important decision, to accept Jesus as Savior, is never made.  And so, because of the drug, people spend eternity in hell.  Actually, it is not because of the drug but because of the decision to reject Jesus.

When a person dies without Jesus, it is not just the rest of their life.  We are talking about eternity.  Many make light of it by saying such things as, “See you in hell.” but it is the most important decision a person can make.

So please, think it over a little before you encourage others to partake in your habit.  You aren’t just ruining the other person’s life but his eternity as well.  (And you will pay for misleading others.)

If you could see the future, you would know.  God knows the future and he has told you.  If you ignore him and chose hell, you have no one else to blame.  Then, you will spend eternity thinking, “If I only knew.”