Wednesday, August 31, 2011
"Because you say, I am rich, and have become wealthy,
and have need of nothing,
and you do not know that you are wretched
and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire
so that you may become rich,
and white garments so that you may clothe yourself,
and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed;
and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline;
therefore be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him
to sit down with Me on My throne,
as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.”
“Our Spiritual service of worship … be Transformed by the Renewal of our minds” Romans 12:1-2
One key fact we must be mindful of is that Jesus confronted the religious leaders. If we are to be legalistic about anything, let it be avoiding legalism. We also might want to develop the habit of bringing the Truth of Christ to our spiritual leaders. Legalism enters the picture when we try and force our views on others, but we should never confuse that with challenging other believers with the Truth of Christ.
There is little danger of us becoming legalistic through repentance, and focusing on the gospel and our mission. Humbly following the Holy Spirit and His Word can position us in perfect harmony with Christ and His Word.
A continual danger is also when we unconsciously switch back to making decisions the worldly way. We are experts at shifting gears in an instant and following our old ways. This is what we need to repent. We must be trained by the Spirit to continually abide above.
Now back to the wishes of Jesus for each of us and the church.
4. Jesus wishes we would have patience and persevere. I realize that these simple words are not new to us and we might unconsciously move on as our mind seeks out new input. But Jesus commands us to have patience or to persevere eleven times in the letters to the churches. Our leaders need to teach and model trust, patience, and perseverance. Practicing this truth helps us avoid many mistakes, including calling the wrong pastor to lead us astray.
Jesus loves it when we are patient and stand firm on the Truth of His Word as He has revealed to us and commanded us.
He wants us to stand patiently in times of poverty, tribulation, or prosperity. One danger of poverty is to give up because the enemy of Christ would convince us that our situation is hopeless. His wish is that we will not become weary and return to our old ways, or follow new fads or worldly ideas. And the danger of prosperity is that we lack patience, and do not wait on the Lord; but rather use our wealth and influence to simply fix the problem man's way. It is Jesus Christ who will provide the healthy growth of the church.
Jesus loves when we do not become weary. Maintaining our focus on Him restores our power and resolve. Jesus loves those who hold fast to His name and His name alone. Those who refuse to deny Him will be rewarded. He is our salvation and our hope. He wants us to be faithful even unto death.
Jesus loves those who have kept His Command to persevere even unto death. We must be patient and persevere.
This teaching from James provides much wisdom from above:
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:5-12
The wisdom of men is foolishness to God. His wisdom is a continuing paradox in this world. Imagine: the man of humble circumstances is the one in the high position; and the rich man’s glory is in his humiliation. There would be no need for a survey testing the giving habits by the various age groups of attenders here, unless of course you are attempting to convert poor persevering people to your church.
5. Jesus wishes we would be overcomers, not followers of men. He repeats this command five times. I could have easily combined this truth with patience and perseverance; but overcomers are not only patient and persevere, but the way in which they persevere leads to results. Jesus loves to share His joy with us in victory in Him; when we have followed Him and watched as He brings about His ends. This does not come when we follow the worldly wise leadership of business agnostics and atheists. Lead, follow, or get out of the way is a funny punchline; but it's not Biblical.
It is good to remember the lesson of Gideon where he learned that a few hundred men following God’s Word and His Spirit are more valuable to God than 22,000 men following the ways of mere men. Judges 7:1-25.
Overcomers are trusting in Christ and His promises; rather than focusing on the teachings and philosophies of men. For example it is natural for men to focus on the giving habits of church members rather than their walk spiritually. This might even be one of the primary criteria for elder selection. When an elder board also serves the role of trustees; there is always a danger ... a natural tendency to draw leaders away from the spiritual, and to focus on the numbers.
The next thing you know someone is quoting Peter Drucker, Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates. From the world’s perspective ... very wise businessmen, but their wisdom is not grounded Biblically. For example, Drucker teaches; “The three most important questions are: “What is our business?” “Who is our customer?” and “What does the customer consider value?” These are great questions for business management, but where is the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit in this … and where is the truth of God’s Word? Is it wise to have agnostics and atheists mentoring the most influential pastors in the world? I think not! In the context of building a church filled with Christians living by the power of the Holy Spirit and God's Truth; these three questions would not even be in God’s top ten. Church leadership cannot follow these types of ideas all week and then call upon Christ on Sunday … expecting for the Holy Spirit to rescue them from the darkness.
Pastor Rick Warren describes his church as follows: “Saddleback is kind of the Research and Development department of the church at large.” (Oh really now, that shows humility ... brush the roses off your shoulders, sir.) “We're not afraid to fail. We've always tried more things that didn't work than did. Every once in a while we find - usually by accident-something that works. Then we teach the seminars and pretend like, we planned it all along, when really it was just the result of trial and error.” This might sound humorous, but it also sounds deceptive and foolish to me. Does God expect us to discover His plan for His church by accident as we test worldly ideas? No … never. As appealing as the numbers that church growth advocates promise might be; this sort of teaching will lead to a church with many lukewarm followers. The church of Jesus Christ is not a trial and error business experiment. It is the body of Christ following and worshiping their Lord by the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
We should base our church on tried and true Biblical principles … not on worldly tested business school principles. These are people’s lives we are dealing with here, and there is no room to experiment at their expense. People can be hurt as well as helped. The problems come when we attempt to appear cool and appeal to the trends of the day, and the ways of the worldly; rather than the Truth of God’s Word.
6. Jesus wishes for us to return to our first love. He wants us to love Him as He loves us. This could have easily been the first point in my post, but He only mentions it once in the letters. As we look deeper we will most likely conclude that this is most important. This is probably the biggest problem in the all churches. We worship Jesus in our songs and with our words but then … we deny Him when it is most important ... when making decisions. This is the worst hypocrisy. If the church board I was previously serving on, had filtered their pastor search decision through this one principle, we would never have called the wrong superstar "church growth people" following pastor, as we did.
Remember now; we are considering how to build the Perfect Church, by the leadership of the Holy Spirit and God's Truth. The Perfect Church may not exist here and now, but Jesus has given us all the key ingredients. Unless the elders and pastors are focused on teaching the love of Christ, modeling the love of Christ, and ministering the love of Christ; it only makes sense that the results are very likely to be worldly and lukewarm.
So how do we show God we love Him with all our heart; all our soul; and all of our mind? A number of verses come to mind. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15. This verse pretty much says it all ... don’t you think? Well not quite, Jesus also says: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46. And then Jesus clearly explains the consequences if we do what He says; and also the consequences if we choose not to obey Him.
Those who obey Him will have victory and ... the Perfect Church.
Those who do not: a lukewarm church ... headed for total destruction:
“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:47-48
Is my earlier point stressing the need for repentance starting to make more sense? Can you now see why an elder board seeking a pastor focused on following church growth principles rather than following God’s Truth will surely lead to failure? That amazing pastor, with those great numbers, and that teaching style everyone loves so much is not necessarily the pastor that Jesus would choose to lead His church.
His wish for His church should clearly be the only choice that should be considered.
Now back to the question of this love that Jesus wants to control the Perfect Church. Here are some more verses that give clear direction: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:10-12.
And Paul gives further clarification on the love of Christ that provides us further insight: “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10.
And of course here is Jesus Christ’s wish list for the elders, pastors and each member of the church. This is where the meditations, focus, prayers, teaching and planning for the future must be. Just imagine a church with pastors, elders and three thousand members reflecting this power of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus Christ ... and modeling the qualities noted below.
There would be a serious revival … all on fire, born again, believers in Jesus Christ. No room for lukewarm there.
The overflowing net His disciples pulled from the other side of the boat comes to mind. John 21:1-10
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians: 13:1-13
TO BE CONTINUED ...
I have five more points to cover and will post part three of this message in the next few days.
God Bless you my friends, Bob
Copyright: Robert West 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot;
I wish that you were cold or hot.
So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of My mouth.
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline;
therefore be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him
to sit down with Me on My throne,
as I also overcame and
sat down with My Father on His throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
For years now I have been looking for the Perfect Church.
In my studies I think Jesus has clarified the problem.
It’s me ... I am the problem!
but the good news is:
I can be the solution as well.
Where is the Perfect Church?
Many would answer: "there is no such thing as a perfect church.”
But in reality this is often just a reply that allows us to remain with the status quo.
A better reply might be that only in heaven will we find the perfect church.
But when you think about it, the closest we will get to a perfect church is potentially looking at ourselves in the mirror: one Christian rightly related to Christ through the Holy Spirit allowing the love of Christ to control and guide him as he fulfills the mission Christ has given him. When a number of believers come together rightly related to Christ … His power is magnified for all to see. Then you will hear people say; “I just love this church.”
Those who have experienced this understand. Those who have not … cannot truly understand. I have had such an experience in a small church, not perfect but there were a large proportion of Christians that were modeling the love of Christ and as a result … Jesus Christ was magnified for all.
Unfortunately, when we lost our pastor, our elder board made a critical error in choosing a new pastor. The new pastor was following principles taught by church growth people rather than from God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The result was ... well you get the picture.
I served on that board and realized the error early on, but the pastor was very well received, and the church grew rapidly. I chose not to be divisive and moved to another church. This is one of the great regrets of my life. More than twenty years later, this same church is now searching for a pastor. This post is written directly to the board of that church. Hopefully the words of Jesus will guide them in their most important decision, and this might somehow help me atone for my past mistakes.
When we learned we were losing Pastor Clyde, we were discouraged. But we believed God would guide us in our pastor search. I am convinced that although we carefully searched the God's Word for the qualities God required in a pastor, elder, and teacher; we should have been more focused on the qualities of the perfect church from the perspective of Jesus Christ. This would have resulted in a better decision.
That’s right, Jesus has given us a list of qualities that he loves to see in the church. At the time, I would never have thought to look in the book of Revelation. But the Truth is that our Lord has spoken to us only once since He ascended into Heaven and that is in the book of Revelation. For a variety of reasons Christians often avoid this prophetic vision.
In the letters to the churches Jesus says; “I wish.” Any time Jesus gives us His wish list, it makes sense to me that we should listen and follow His instructions very carefully. There are actually about eighty specific wishes that Jesus has listed in the seven letters. Many of them are repeated multiple times or are similar, and so I have reduced the total to eleven.
If we could only create the church at Philadelphia, we would accomplish the greatest church in the world. But Christ’s Perfect Church would be far beyond that. Can you imagine a perfect church that models all of the qualities Jesus wished for and commended in these letters and banished those things he abhors? I am confident that you won't find this teaching from the church growth movement.
The Perfect Church
1. Jesus wishes for us to do the work that He has called you to do. Jesus mentions this in one way or another eight different times. The first thing that comes to mind here is the great commission and all that this entails. The work assignment for us here is pretty clear to me: Spiritual gifts; missions; making disciples; baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and teaching them all that He commanded. Matthew 28:19-20. Another scripture that I believe would apply here is: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. Where we have been given a mission as Ambassadors for Christ with a ministry of reconciliation … “as though God were entreating through us, we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” It is critical that the elders and the pastor have a burden for the great commission and lead passionately here ... if not, you will end up with a lukewarm church.
I am convinced that one of the key elements of that little church of one hundred that I mentioned, that grew to 800 in only a few years was the new members class. I know this might sound minor to some, but that is only because many of these classes lack spiritual leadership. Our class was led by the pastor and it lasted five weeks.
The message was simple: In order to join the church, you needed to trust your life to Jesus Christ and receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal salvation. And you needed to explain what that meant Biblically. The Pastor then taught each of us to witness with our Bible in hand, the verses that led to salvation were memorized and linked so that each of us could walk an unbeliever through God’s Word.
This put every member on a path to accomplishing the great commission within their personal circle of influence; wherever God had placed them, from their first day of membership. It also increased each Christian's confidence in what they believed, and established God's inerrant Truth as the foundation of their beliefs.
Additionally, there was a strong commitment to missions, and of course continual teaching that led us all to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. An emphasis on friendship within the church family was also an area where the pastor and the entire church family modeled phileo brotherly love. Jesus loves those who do good works. Jesus loves those who are on fire for the Gospel of Christ. I am convinced the gospel teaches salvation by grace through faith alone ... not a result of works.Have you ever wondered how a church of one hundred believers can have a presence of the Holy Spirit that may appear absent in a congregation of five thousand?
Well read the next point.
2. Jesus wishes we would repent. He is not just talking to the church at Laodicea here. Jesus calls for the churches to repent seven different times. Now that is interesting, don’t you think. How much repentance is going on in your church? Jesus wants each of us to remember how we first heard and received His forgiveness and reconciliation.
Although we are justified through Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross, we still need to confess our sins daily, and repent of our sins, not unto salvation but rather to restore a healthy relationship with the Holy Spirit. In Christ ... our salvation is always secure by His finished work on the cross (we are justified in Christ), but a sinful walk can result in separation and emptiness.
This starts with each individual and must be modeled by the pastors and the elders. Once again, if my previous board had been looking for a humble spirit of repentance in the church body and themselves when we were looking for our pastor twenty years ago … a serious leadership mistake would surely have been avoided. Jesus says He wants us to go back to the beginning and start over; return to our first love; and do the things we did at first. We must humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord. Then He will lift us up. 2 Chronicles 34:27-28
Jesus loves it when those who have drifted and lost their fire for the Lord, and are lukewarm; come to grips with their spiritual emptiness and repent. My previous posts have made it clear that surveys have clearly shown that over 90% of professing Christians when asked ... describe themselves as carnal Christians. Can you imagine the positive impact there would be on any church when these aimless wanderers repent and instead walk under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Jesus commands we repent. Why are the churches missing this clear admonition from the Lord? The collective presence of the Holy Spirit will immediately positively change the atmosphere of any local church. Communion that is led by the Holy Spirit will lead many to repentance and reconciliation with Christ and a church body that is on fire for Christ and His Word.
3. Jesus wishes that we would not put up with those who are evil. This is not a passing thought. Jesus has mentioned this thirteen times in the letters in various ways. Warning, this view is not politically correct, or tolerant. He wants us to test and expose false teachers as liars. The problem we have in America is that our freedoms have led many to believe that their spiritual views are relevant or important, regardless of the message. Christian churches that are not teaching Christianity should be exposed to protect those seeking the truth.
Jesus commends those who refuse to submit to the doctrine of Balaam which had to do with one’s willingness to compromise the principles of God and proclaim things contrary to the revealed Word of God while seeking monetary gain. Jesus wants us to stand against the stumbling blocks of Balak which had to do with trickery that led to mixing pagan religions with worshiping God and committing sexual immorality.
And He also mentions the Nicolaitans twice and their deeds and doctrines which Jesus says He hates. Jesus … hate? I need to know this one, don’t you? Well the evidence is less clear here but some conclude this is in reference to a mixture of different belief systems. The problem is that it has an outward appearance of true spirituality while practicing or tolerating those things He considers an abomination.
With Balaam, Balak, and the Nicolaitians the message is basically the same. This teaching offers a Christianity which doesn't demand obedience and loyalty to Jesus Christ alone. I am convinced that the teaching of evolution; and the modernist and social gospel views that God’s Word is not to be taken literally fit here, and also any churches calling themselves Christian that do not adhere to the teaching of salvation through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross alone. These are doctrines of demons. This is heresy and God hates it- plain and simple!
Jesus loves it when we reject false teaching and false idols in any form. Any false teaching you've heard in church lately? Well since our churches are in the middle of the world; then it stands to reason that if the leaders do not make it clear to the church body the reality of false teaching and false idols … how likely are you to see these problems of the world infecting your church body? Without question … very likely. Abortion, Homosexuality, gay marriage, gay clergy ... an amoral belief system by professing Christians is not uncommon. How low can we go?
Once again read The Clergy Letter Project from my previous post where thirteen thousand pastors have signed and are clearly infected with these Nicolaitan doctrines of demons. They have the right to believe and teach whatever they wish; but to call it Christianity is heresy ... and Jesus is calling on us to confront their heresy. But the church is mostly silent. In fact, they say they are in the majority with these views , and who knows maybe their foolish babble does sadly stand in the majority. But is that relevant spiritually? I think NOT! Jesus Christ has spoken to us ... I stand with Jesus.
Rev 2:24 "Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
Confront Doctrines of Demons in your church and in your community.
"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons"
1 Timothy 4:1
TO BE CONTINUED ... I have eight more points to cover and will post part two of this message in the next few days.
God bless you my friends, Bob
Thursday, August 25, 2011
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was formless and void,
and darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
God saw that the light was good;
and God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light day,
and the darkness He called night.
And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Watch this short but compelling clip!
And then forward it to anyone and everyone you know
that believes or might believe in evolution and then simply ask:
Can you please explain this to me?
Here is the problem for evolution in a nutshell; Charles Darwin himself gave us a test that would prove evolution a false theory: Darwin said; "The test Darwin set for his theory was this: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." These complex organs that Darwin spoke of that would destroy the validity of the theory of evolution have now been revealed in hundreds if not thousands of molecular biological experiments.
In his groundbreaking bestseller "Darwin's Black Box" Molecular Biology professor Michael Behe explains the scientific concept of a Black Box. A black box would be those parameters beyond which scientists have little or no knowledge. In ancient times, all of biology was a black box, because no one understood on even the broadest level how living things worked. With the advent of modern biochemistry, scientists are now able to look at the rock bottom level of life and into the areas which are inside of "Darwin's Black Box". This viewpoint is light years beyond Darwin's understanding (Darwin's perspective was very limited scientifically) and modern science has discovered evidence that now demands a verdict.
The problem is that atheistic evolutionists have accepted the evolutionary theory with Darwinian Evolution as their religion of sorts. They are standing by faith on issues that are clearly not true, teaching others this false religious dogma and marginalizing anyone who attempts to question their theory scientifically or otherwise.
Make no mistake about, I believe that there is much evidence for creation, but I have accepted the Biblical Truth on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ and His Word. Scientific evolutionists are also standing on faith in their evolutionary theory which they then promote religiously; but they will not admit the fact that it takes far more faith to believe in evolution, than it does to believe in God's Word and His miracles.
Anyone who believes in true science cannot deny these truths that true modern science has discovered, and that those standing on false beliefs are like alcoholics in denial.
Anyone who believes in God will be excited by the evidence that true modern science has revealed.
Those who want to believe that there is no God will continue to stand on the Darwinian Evolution fairy tale ...
as the false evidence that makes them feel confident in their unbelief and rejection of God the Creator.
Those who are Christians but have accepted the lies of evolution must be helped to understand that God's Word is Truth, and that to follow the teachings of atheists is to follow the leadership of the evil one and the doctrines of demons.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:1-3
Every Christian needs to see this one!
God Bless you my friends, Bob
Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation,
plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth
bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”;
and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation,
plants yielding seed after their kind,
and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind;
and God saw that it was good.
Watch the miracle of the Melipona Bee
Created by God specifically to pollinate the Vanilla Orchid
so that it could continue to exist and produce vanilla.
I wonder how evolutionists might try to explain how
these two miracles dependent upon one another
somehow happened simultaneously by random selection?
The miracle is that the Melipona Bee was created for the polination of this specific plant.
The impossible question for evolutionists is how do you explain this?
Vanilla beans, or pods, are the fruit of the orchid Vanilla planifolia, which is native to the tropical forest of Mexico. In the wild vanilla grows as a thick, green vine up trees and produces clusters of trumpet shaped, celadon colored flowers. These delicate, small flowers usually bloom for just one day and can only be pollinated by the small Melipona bee. If the flowers are not pollinated they drop to the ground and no vanilla beans are produced.
The ancient Totonaco Indians of Southeastern Mexico were the first people to discover the secret of vanilla. They believed vanilla was a food of the Gods. When the Aztecs conquered the Totonaco, they adopted many of their beliefs. In 1518, the Spanish conquistadores, led by Herman Cortez, came to Mexico and observed the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, drinking "Choclatl". This beverage of ground cocoa and corn was flavored with "Tlilxochitl" (cured vanilla beans) and honey.
Cortez fell in love with Cholatl's rich flavor and aroma and introduced both cocoa and vanilla to Spain. Spanish chefs started making "Vainilla" (little sheath) flavored chocolate and for 100 years it was consumed by nobility and the very rich. Vainilla was later anglicized to vanilla.
Until the later part of the 18th century, Mexico was the sole producer of vanilla. While attempts were made to cultivate the vines in other tropical parts of the world, because the secret of the Melipona bee was not known, the vines did not produce beans.
In early 1800's the French took cuttings from Mexico to Reunion Island, which was then known as the Ile de Bourbon (the surname of the Kings of France). The plants flourished and flowered, but with no Melipona bees on the island, no beans were produced.
In 1837 the Belgian botanist Morren succeeded in artificially pollinating the vanilla flower. On Reunion Morren's process was attempted, but failed. It was not until 1841 that a 12 year old slave by the name of Edmond Albius discovered the correct technique of hand pollinating the flowers. Vanilla was soon taken to the neighboring French possessions of Madagascar, Comoro and Santa Maria. By 1898 about 200 tons of Vanilla beans a year were being produced by these islands.
Today, vanilla is grown in Madagascar, the Comoro and Reunion Islands, India, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Mexico. Vanilla is also cultivated in Tahiti. The Vanilla planifolia vines planted in Tahiti, however, mutated and the plants are now classified as a separate species Vanilla tahitensis.
There are literally millions of miracles that only God will ever be able to explain. Checkmate!
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.” So then let no one boast in men. 1 Corinthians 3:18-21
God Bless you my friends, Bob
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Put on the full armor of God,
so that you will be able to stand firm
against the schemes of the devil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the powers,
against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God,
so that you will be able to resist in the evil day,
and having done everything, to stand firm.
The Flash Mob Method of Scientific Inquiry
by Ann Coulter 8/24/2011
The definition of hell is being condescended to by idiots. It will probably be MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Contessa Brewer sneering at you for all of eternity for not believing in evolution.
Roughly one-third of my 2007 No. 1 New York Times best-seller, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," is an attack on liberals' creation myth, Darwinian evolution. I presented the arguments of all the luminaries in the field, from the retarded Richard Dawkins to the brilliant Francis Crick, and disputed them.
But apparently liberals didn't want to argue back.
Despite Matthews' obsessive fixation on the topic, manifested by his constantly asking elected Republicans if they believe in evolution, in a one-hour interview with me on "Godless" -- the very book that is chockablock with attacks on Darwinism -- Matthews didn't ask me a single question about the subject.
No liberal did. Matthews doesn't even know what evolution is.
Just a year later, at a 2008 Republican presidential candidates' debate, Matthews asked for a show of hands of who believed in evolution. No discussion permitted! That might allow scientific facts, rather than schoolyard taunts, to escape into the world.
Evolution is the only subject that is discussed exclusively as a "Do you believe?" question with yes-or-no answers. How about conservative journalists start putting mikes in front of liberal candidates and demanding, "Do you believe in the Bible -- yes or no?" "Is an unborn baby human -- yes or no?" and "Do you believe teenagers should have sex -- yes or no?"
This is the flash mob method of scientific inquiry. Liberals quickly surround and humiliate anyone who disagrees with them. They are baffled when appeals to status (which would work on them) don't work on everyone else.
Now that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has said there are "gaps" in the theory of evolution -- or "gas" as The New York Times originally reported, before issuing a correction -- we're in for another round of fact-free mocking of fundamentalist nuts.
In fact, however, it has not been advances in Christianity (which is pretty much settled), but in science that have completely discredited Darwin's theory of evolution.
This week, we will consider one small slice of the mountain of scientific evidence disproving this mystery religion from the Victorian age.
Most devastating for the Darwiniacs were advances in microbiology since Darwin's time, revealing infinitely complex mechanisms requiring hundreds of parts working together at once -- complex cellular structures, DNA, blood-clotting mechanisms, molecules, and the cell's tiny flagellum and cilium.
Darwin's theory was that life on Earth began with single-celled life forms, which by random mutation, sex and death, would pass on the desirable mutations, and this process, over billions of years, would lead to the creation of new species.
The (extremely generous) test Darwin set for his theory was this: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."
Thanks to advances in microscopes, thousands of such complex mechanisms have been found since Darwin's day. He had to explain only simple devices, such as beaks and gills. If Darwin were able to come back today and peer through a modern microscope to see the inner workings of a cell, he would instantly abandon his own theory.
It is a mathematical impossibility, for example, that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell's flagellum -- forget the 200 parts of the cilium! -- could all arise at once by random mutation. According to most scientists, such an occurrence is considered even less likely than John Edwards marrying Rielle Hunter, the "ground zero" of the impossible.
Nor would each of the 30 to 40 parts individually make an organism more fit to survive and reproduce, which, you will recall, is the lynchpin of the whole contraption.
As Michael Behe, biochemist and author of "Darwin's Black Box," explains, even a mechanism as simple as a three-part mousetrap requires all three parts to be working together at once. Otherwise, you don't get a mousetrap that catches half as many mice -- and thus might win a survival of the fittest competition -- you don't get a mousetrap at all.
The more we have learned about molecules, cells and DNA -- a body of knowledge some refer to as "science" -- the more preposterous Darwin's theory has become. DNA is, as Bill Gates says, "like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we've ever created." (Plus DNA doesn't usually crash when you're right in the middle of reproducing.)
Evolution fanatics would rather not be called on to explain these complex mechanisms that Darwin himself said would disprove his theory.
Instead they make jokes about people who know the truth. They say that to dispute evolution means you must believe man walked with dinosaurs.
Galileo's persecutors probably had some good guffaws about him believing in Fred Flintstone.
This is why the brighter Darwiniacs end up sounding like Scientologists in order to cling to their mystery religion.
Crick, winner of the Nobel Prize for his co-discovery of DNA, hypothesized that highly intelligent extraterrestrials sent living cells to Earth on an unmanned spaceship, a theory he set forth in his 1981 book, "Life Itself."
Thus was God narrowly averted!
But Crick's solution obviously begs the question: How did the highly intelligent extraterrestrials evolve?
Harvard population biologist Richard Lewontin said the Darwiniacs tolerate "unsubstantiated just-so stories" of evolution and ignore "the patent absurdity of some of its constructs" because they are committed to coming up with a theory that excludes God. "We cannot," Lewontin said, "allow a divine foot in the door."
Maybe if we called the Intelligent Designer "Louis Vuitton" to avoid frightening the Godphobics, they'd finally admit the truth: Modern science has disproved Darwinian evolution.
The Flash Mob Method of Scientific Inquiry
by Ann Coulter 8/24/2011
I believe that Satan has accomplished more in his efforts to promote his doctrines of demons through Darwin's Theory of Evolution that perhaps with any other scheme that he has promoted since the fall of man. Remember it was the serpent who first assured Eve: "You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5
The fact that the father of all lies has now employed the signers of "The Clergy Letter Project" published in my previous post is clear evidence of the power of this lie. Imagine having a sports team where the coaching staff of your team instructs you and your teammates to follow the teachings, instructions, and leadership of the opposing team. Far-fetched ... you say? That is exactly what we have with the theory of Evolution ... science teachers; and now Pastors are not only promoting false science ... but also accusing Biblically-minded Christians of "deliberately embracing scientific ignorance and transmitting such ignorance to our children." Talk about the pot calling the kettle black ... true credible molecular scientists are clearly demonstrating that Darwinain evolutionists are the ones deliberately promoting false science; and presenting these lies as established scientific truth. And supposed Christian pastors are now mocking those standing on the Truth of God's Word.
That is heresy!
These pastors and evolutionary scientists are most assuredly promoting the "doctrines of demons" that scripture clearly warns us against ... lies that will be promoted as truth in the end times.
Can you imagine 13,000 pastors writing off these eternal Biblical Truths as fairy tales: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" ... and "Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Thirteen thousand supposed Christians leaders have done just that, and this has led to millions of misguided followers of Christ. This is an abomination.
But here is the mystery in all of this: ...
to a large degree, supposedly committed Christians are silent. Heaven help us.
The battle line is clear and we must hold the line. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are in fierce and ongoing battle "against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" and that we must STAND FIRM AGAINST THIS EVIL. I am convinced that Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachman, Rich Santorum, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich will all stand against these false teachings and the evil abortion laws that also came as a result of liberal theology, as well.
STAND FIRM and support those who honor God and His Truth.
Pray for Christ in heaven and His angels to help us all!
God Bless you my friends, Bob
Copyright: Robert West 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Hear this, all peoples;
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.
My mouth will speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will express my riddle on the harp. Psalm 49:1-4
DANIEL: A MODEL GOD HAS PROVIDED
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, chooses Israelite captives to be trained to serve him: ... But Daniel purposed in his heart (made up his mind) that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself ... As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams ... Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and out of them all ... not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. Daniel 1:1-20
Moral courage. It is the resolve to do what is right—even if no one knows. Regardless of the consequences. Even when you are weary. Even when there are extenuating circumstances and when everyone would understand if you “caved in.” Daniel is a man of moral courage. The food he is offered violates the dietary restrictions in the Law of Moses. Note the words: “Daniel purposed in his heart” Daniel 1:8. Then God brings Daniel into favor. He gives him skill; He gives him a healthy glow. When faced with moral challenges, we must do our part ... be obedient from the heart. And then trust God to do His part.
Because God honors our commitment to moral excellence, praise Him with the words of this psalm:
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek my life to destroy it, Will go into the depths of the earth.
They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; They will be a prey for foxes.
But the king will rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped. Psalm 63:1-11
PAUSE FOR PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING.
Pray this confession to the Lord: And Achan answered Joshua and said,
“Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done . . .” Joshua 7:20
Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day Psalm 25:4-5
NOW PRAY THIS AFFIRMATION TO THE LORD:
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;
“For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation” Isaiah 12:2
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
-- Greater faithfulness with your talents
-- Your state and local leaders
-- Your activities for the day
FINALLY OFFER THIS CLOSING PRAYER TO THE LORD:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit Romans 15:13
God Bless you my friends, Bob
THANKS TO: Quiet Walk Crosswalk@crosswalkmail.com
Friday, August 12, 2011
For the invisible things of him
from the creation of the world are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead;
so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:20
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:20-25
God's Creation Miracle Woodpecker
European Green Woodpecker feeding it's young.
For more Creation Miracles click here to go to Thoughts and Theology. Many thanks to Jeff for his incredible blog.
God Bless you my friends, Bob
Thursday, August 11, 2011
In the same way God,
desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise
the unchangeableness of His purpose,
interposed with an oath,
so that by two unchangeable things
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement
to take hold of the hope set before us.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
a hope both sure and steadfast Hebrews 6:17-19
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:15-16
Today we will talk about Impossible People.
From the perspective of the the Pharisees,
and Roman leaders of His day up to the present;
Jesus was, and still is by many, viewed as an Impossible Person ...
Impossible people are often difficult, and are willing to take a stand for what they believe. They are often politically incorrect. They challenge authority when it is wrong. You have heard the reference to a brave soldier as follows, he is:
“a person who is willing to die for what he believes.”
This type of person is Impossible.
A most famous saying of this type would be Patrick Henry’s: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
In the verse above, Jesus describes three groups of people: cold, hot, and lukewarm.
Jesus says He wishes we were cold or hot. He wants us to be like Patrick Henry.
To be cold, would mean that like my atheist friend, you strongly reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, and have chosen your own fate eternally. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18. Regardless, of how good a person is from the world’s perspective, or how many great accomplishments, or loving acts they have performed; without His saving grace, according to the Words of Jesus Christ, they are doomed eternally.
Wait a minute, you ask? "A thief on a cross who has lived sinfully his whole life goes to heaven for trusting in Christ; and a missionary who works with homeless children and the destitute his entire life, loving others sacrificially, and he is lost eternally because he followed other gods, false beliefs, and rejected the Gospel of Christ? YES ... It is hard to accept ... but it is true.
Either this is a true statement or Christianity is a false religion.
WE ARE ALL QUICK TO SAY: this makes no sense at all from a human perspective.
AND THAT IS TRUE BECAUSE: WE CANNOT VIEW OR COMPREHEND THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE.
This is why for us to be followers of Christ ... we will be viewed by the world as Impossible People.
One of my closest friends from childhood challenged me not long ago with: “when I die; I’m dirt.” Think about that for a minute. If that is all there is to life, then life has no meaning whatsoever. There is no right or wrong. If survival of the fittest is the only rule that is true … why would the needs of others be important to anyone else?
Why would you pay taxes, or follow any laws ... if everything is relative; and if it is to your personal benefit, HERE AND NOW, not to? If robbery, rape, lying or cheating meets your needs, what would cause you to act otherwise? Need money? Rob a bank! But what about the laws of the land, you say? I am the law; in and of myself ... the reply. When you carry this belief to its end, the conclusions are grim, and they lead to hopelessness, indifference, and evil.
But we all know: life has meaning … don’t we? It is ingrained into our very being. My ancestors are not slugs. When a neighbor’s child turns up missing, that is of great importance to us all; except maybe for some whom we would all consider to be demented individuals. And to forcibly rape a woman is horribly wrong! We know it! Not because it is the law; but rather because God has told us in our heart. We are not lions, who kill and eat, or rape on demand. We are spiritual beings and life does have meaning. There is eternal Truth.
Everyone knows this to be true, including the atheists. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20
Even those who deny Christ ... know the truth. They are without excuse.
To be hot would mean that there is no question regarding your loyalties; or beliefs. You are willing to die for God's Truth, you become like the brave soldier: Impossible. You have put to death the old ways of the world. Your mind has been renewed and you have been transformed by the Holy Spirit. To be hot as Jesus has described above means you are strongly committed to Him as your Lord and Savior and you have trusted in His gospel and free gift of salvation and eternal life with Him in His heavenly kingdom. You believe: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
And you, like Patrick Henry, Dietrich Bonhoffer, or Corrie Ten Boom when you stand for Christ and His Word, and what you know to be Truth ...
You join Him and them as Impossible People.
It is impossible for God to lie! This truth is not negotiable, and when you stand committed to these beliefs, you will be viewed by unbelievers and some who claim to be believers as an “Impossible Person.” Jesus was crucified for these beliefs. He predicted we would be mocked when He said: “Remember the Word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:20.
God’s Word teaches us: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, John 1:1-14. Belief in these verses has led me to believe in the Bible literally. To reject the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us is to reject Jesus Christ and the gospel. I am convinced that those who say they are Christians and yet reject, allegorize, or marginalize the Word are the “lukewarm” to whom Jesus declares; “I will spit you out of My mouth”
So why would professing Christians become lukewarm advocates for evolution, abortion, homosexuality and any number of other beliefs that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Word?
In the past year, I have been challenged by a number of well meaning “Christians” who stand on their worldly beliefs and conclusions with absolute certainty. These friends are standing for a lukewarm version of Christianity. When challenged with God’s Word, they say; “you have your truth, and I have my truth.” They have humbled their version of Christianity to the teachings of the world. They choose to support: abortion, environmentalism, evolution, Islam, homosexuality, socialism and numerous other philosophies, religions, and worldly ideas contrary to God’s Word. They are so certain of their conclusions that they are impossible to reason with Biblically. As an example, one man told me that he did not understand how I could be a Christian and not support his views on man-made global warming.
Do you see where it ends? There is no end to the schemes of men ...
Here is a link (click here) recently sent to me by a "Christian" member of Saddleback Church. I can only pray his church would never endorse this heresy ... where 13,000 “Christian” clergy are united in support of evolution and denouncing the inerrancy of the Bible. The taunt to me was “who is Bob West to question the wisdom of these learned clergy." The answer to that challenge is simple: I am a Christian; and God’s Word has made it clear what all of us are to believe and do. Follow Christ and His Word ... and not the contrary teachings of the world. I would believe the same if there were 13 billion clergy standing against God’s Word with the foolish teaching of men. Do I sound Impossible? I hope so. I was dared to judge these clergy as non-Christians. Do I judge them? No … that is not my place, quite honestly I pray that all would be saved. But Jesus will judge us all and His Words are very clear to me. And I must expose this letter for what it is: "Doctrines of Demons."
Read this letter so you can have a clear understanding of how deeply heresy has infected the Christian churches in our generation. this is the Apostasy
The Clergy Letter Project
“Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.
We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.”
Here are just some of the churches and many seminaries whose leaders have signed this heretical statement. Although clearly a large percentage of these denominations do not agree with these pastors and professors, the congregation's leadership of these churches should demand retraction, resignation or both: Presbyterian, Congregational Church, Lutheran, Interfaith, Anglican Reform, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Anglican, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Episcopal, Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, Baptist, Center for Progressive Christianity, Nazarene, Brethren, Religious Science, Reformed Church, Princeton Theological Seminary, Church of Truth, Jewish. Full list of clergy
Where does all of this end up … wherever the atheistic teachings and doctrines of demons lead them? This leads to people who introduce themselves as agnostic and atheistic Christians; teaching abortion is acceptable, and to the ordination of homosexual and apostate clergy. Oh I know that most of these 13,000 clergy are probably very loving people, and are encouraging followers to becoming great citizens as they practice the examples of Christ; but you cannot lead others to Christ, when at the very foundation your teaching, you are telling others to just disregard those Words of God that you don’t understand and that don't make sense to you. The teacher and the pupils in this scenario become the gods of their beliefs.
Do you see their perspective? “While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally” Question: “why would I hold for the Bible to be authoritative on matters of faith and practice, and then reject those things that do not make sense to me? Jesus is either my Lord or He is Not. Jesus is the one who said: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 2:15-16
This is more babble: “Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation.”
Why would these stories be beloved if they are not true, and how could stories that are not true convey timeless truths about God, humans beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation if it is not true? According to these deluded clergy: we are supposed to accept the literal truth of evolution and the supposed “scientific facts” that there is no creation; at the same time … along with the timeless Bible truths about Creator and creation (which are not true). Why would any intelligent person take untruths to heart?
In what ways do Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, the story of Jonah, and all of the miracles of Christ co-exist comfortably with atheistic evolution and supposed inerrant literal scientific truth? This is a bold faced lie! The only apparent co-existence is the politically correct lukewarm phoniness that Christ so strongly condemns! I challenge how they can say that they believe the timeless truths of the Bible … when they disregard them where they are contrary to evolution and the teachings of men?
“We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.” Embracing unproven scientific theory as fact is teaching Biblical ignorance and hypocrisy to their children and congregations.
Talk about foolishness. No wonder some deluded people are calling themselves atheistic Christians.
This is why we have ongoing debate on these issues of life until Christ returns. The fact is that the scripture says it is impossible for God to lie. As a Biblical Christian, I have a true foundation for beliefs about all things. If not, my religion has no foundation whatsoever, and we all may as well each make up our spiritual beliefs and claim them to be “my truth" and each of us can be our own god.”
Of course, that is precisely what Satan promised Eve in the garden.
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
Standing on God’s truth regardless of feelings, logic, or worldly wisdom is exactly where I will stand until Christ returns. If I appear foolish to those standing on worldly wisdom; or an impossible person to those opposed to God’s Word; then being an impossible person for Christ is exactly who I want to be, and exactly who I believe Jesus wants me to be as well. The Bible teaches that during the end-times people with my belief system will be hunted down and put to death for the good of society as a whole. Sound impossible? Read about the history of the French Revolution, or Nazi Germany.
We are told in God’s word that in the end times that this is exactly what will happen. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron … If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained." 1 Timothy 4:1-6.
God bless you my friends, Bob
Copyright: Robert West 2011
Let no one deceive himself.
If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age,
let him become a fool that he may become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness";
and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.
Therefore let no one boast in men. 1 Corinthians 3:18-21
How do we become a fool so that we may become wise?
You would be amazed at the conversations I get into online with professing Christians who are defending Islam, evolution, abortion, or the poor Palestinians. Don't get me wrong! I am concerned for all men ... but only the saving grace of Jesus Christ can deliver anyone spiritually, and these Christians seem unconcerned in this regard. Their focus is on being right. The logic is absurd, but more discouraging was that these “Christians” never seem to look to God’s Word for knowledge, wisdom, or understanding. For them the teachings of men have become their bible; and quite often, to a large degree; the teachings of atheists.
Here is a statement by a Christian defender of Islam, and who is adamantly anti-Israel. “We are all right in our own eyes. Everyone thinks they are right and are trying to proselytize the world so that they can be right.” There are clearly several false statements here, but the basic problem this person has is that she is following her logic, feelings, and the teachings of men rather than the Word of God. In fact beyond the teachings of the love of Christ, she has to a large degree rejected the rest of the Bible.
This person questioned my support of, and is strongly against Israel. I explained my support as follows: “I do not support Israel because I agree with what Israel does; or does not do. I support Israel because I know what God's Word says about the subject. Those who support Israel will be blessed ... those who stand against Israel will be destroyed. The Jews are God's chosen people. More than fifty percent of Israelis are atheists or agnostics at this time. Certainly I disagree with them there, and on their conclusions regarding Jesus Christ. For reasons which are sometimes hard for me to understand, God loves the Jewish people, above all others. It is not a discussion about me and Israel; but rather God's plan for Israel; and God's plan for you and me. As a Christian, I would not be wise to choose to follow God, and then choose sides against Israel. When we chose to follow Jesus Christ, we are one with Israel from that point on ... eternally, whether Israel, or you, or I, realize it ... or not.”
In addition to 1 Corinthians 3:18-21: here is a small part of my response: “God's Word is NEVER wrong. Your positions are the opposite of Christ's teachings. The idea that we are all right in our own eyes is foolishness. Nothing could be further from the Truth. The reason we have God’s Truth is so that we can measure our conclusions against the truth. Our personal opinions logic and beliefs apart from God's word are only diversions that confuse the Truth. We are told to humble ourselves to God's Word. Not compare our opinions with His Truth and then reject His Words and follow our feelings and logic. Other religions and atheists are free to do that ... but not true Christians. I have no grand desire to be right ... but only to know the Truth of God’s Word, and live by the Truth.”
My friend does make a good point though. Most seekers have a desire to be wise and to be seen by others as a person of wisdom. This verse above was one of the first verses that caught my attention when I first read the Bible. I was on a quest to know God’s wisdom, and had listed hundreds of wisdom verses. This verse left me meditating for days on the scriptures asking the same question: “how do I become a fool so that I may become wise? From a human perspective, this verse made no common sense to me. I was confused as to how foolishness could make me wise.
But that is exactly the point. God revealed to me during my meditations that I had a habit of underlining and memorizing the verses that made sense to me. But God made it clear that His wisdom was to be found not only in the verses that measured up to my existing understanding; but rather deeper spiritual wisdom was to be found in the verses that I was reading through. All of God’s Word is Truth, and Jesus told us; “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. John 16:12-15
Question: If we are not meditating on God’s Word and listening to the Holy Spirit, how will He guide us into all Truth?
My friend above says “out with the Old Testament and in with the new, and then disregards much of the new as well. She believes Christianity is only about practicing the love of Christ. She doesn’t need church or the Bible to challenge her views. Well, wait a minute … aren’t we called to be Bereans by the Apostle Paul? Are we not called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and to not be conformed to the teachings of the world? How can we do that without challenging and judging our views? As you can imagine, I am butting heads with one misguided Christian after another, week after week. My contention is that they are sincere but sincerely wrong.
Back to the question about becoming foolish to become wise … isn’t this what, being renewed and transformed is all about? As we are trained to accept the teachings of men from childhood, we are conformed to the world. For myself, that meant I had spent over thirty years being programmed with the thinking of the world. Much of this thinking was consistent with God’s Word, but most was not. My primary focus was success and money. As an example, my first trainer at work told me he just followed the Golden Rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” when selling customers real estate. I thought this made sense so I followed this rule. I had no idea these were the Words of Christ at the time. Another salesman jokingly told me that he just followed the “businessman’s golden rule” … “he who has the gold makes the rules.” Maybe this is a wise saying from a human perspective, but it is foolishness when compared to God’s Word which says: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because "All (men) are like grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever."
1 Peter 1:22-25
For over thirty years as a Bible believing Christian, I have been testing and challenging and judging my beliefs; and the teachings of the world to see if they measure up to the Truth of God’s Word. When there is a conflict, I choose to follow the Word. God’s Word has never failed me. Unfortunately, I have failed God’s Word many times and suffered the consequences. Logic, feelings, political correctness and following the lead of others rather than God is a slippery slope that leads to all forms of evil and failure.
When we test our wisdom against God’s Word, we humble our established beliefs to God’s Word, accepting the Word as wisdom and rendering worldly wisdom as foolishness … thus we may become foolish from men's viewpoint, but we gain spiritual wisdom. Spiritual Wisdom is about humbling our personal beliefs to God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to meditate on God’s Word? For me, that means to look deeply into the Truth from a number of viewpoints. First, pray that God will reveal His wisdom to you. Silently review the verse in your mind praying for God to reveal His Wisdom and Truth. Pray for application to the specific issues that are challenging you in your life. Pray that He will lead you to other verses that will make the truth clear. Study the specific Words in the Greek or Hebrew. You can search out supporting scriptures. You can memorize the verse and then meditate silently upon it. Review the teachings of others who have shown clear Biblical Wisdom. Make a list of the issues of the day, and ask the question: “What does God’s Word say on this issue? What are my opinions? How do my opinions differ from God’s Word? What changes does God want me to make in my thinking?
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
God bless you my friends, Bob
Copyright: Robert West 2011