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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Apart From God We Are Nothing; With God, We Share Everything That God Is

By ourselves, how strong and content are we? How meaningful is our existence? Each of us alone has to answer this question, but most of us would agree, not very. Which is why we form friendships, tribes, towns, cities, churches, political parties, and nations. 

Socializing with friends and allies is also a key to happiness, as many decades of studies show. When people are asked to rate their life happiness quotient, and they rate themselves 'happy with life', they also rate themselves as 'social'. The opposite is true, too. Those who are 'unhappy' rate themselves as 'not social'. True hermits are so rare and inaccessible that it's impossible to know much about them. 

The same is true for the sense of meaning in life. Those who rate themselves happy and social also find more meaning in their life than those who don't. Those who rate themselves 'open to ideas' and having 'empathy with others' also find more happiness and meaning.  

What if we had a relative who was phenomenally wealthy, powerful, joyful, sociable, generous, attractive, loving, heroic and - although extremely ancient - looked and acted like a vigorous thirty-year-old? If he or she were searching for you, would you try and hide? Or would you send a note of invitation? What if this relative also had an immense family that shared all the wealth, beauty, power, heroism, glory, and endless youthful life? What could possibly keep you away?

Maybe you aren't well, or your house is a mess, or your clothes are worn out? Perhaps you're so short of money that you can't afford a gift? Or possibly you've been bad-mouthing this relative and family out of jealousy? What if you committed a crime against this person or the family? That really would put a damper on things. How awful it would be to experience rejection from them. But what if the invitation said you would certainly be forgiven? Could you forgive yourself?

Or perhaps it's not you, exactly, but the crowd you run with and your closest friends and family who are slanderers that have been envious and jealous; maybe even at war with this great family? You know for certain that if you attempted to respond to the great invitation your 'friends' would be angry and might even excommunicate you from their group. You've seen this kind of shunning before, and know how others crumbled - maybe died - of loneliness and disgrace. Perhaps, as with some eastern religions, leaving them would bring a death sentence on your head. Your misery would be great indeed. Still, we're all going to die anyway, so maybe it would be better to risk it; to 'face the music'? Many others have done so and freed themselves from nightmarish bondage. 

This is the state of the world today, and that great person is God, our Creator, who is looking for every lost family member who ever went astray. Most of the world is lost in the wilderness and afraid; estranged and disconnected from their only hope of escape from worldly hell. Life on earth almost everywhere is filled with hardship and trials; strife, great suffering, and death. It's getting worse, too. 

But it's not too late to reconnect with the glorious family. It's your relatives who are searching for you. Make the first move. A simple prayer will do. You'll know what to say. 


                                               The Prodigal Son

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

So You Find It Hard to Believe In Christ's Resurrection? Join the Club

Almost anything is easier to believe than the reports that Christ came back to life after being crucified, and spoke to his Disciples and Apostles before ascending to Heaven. Even though he bore the torture wounds on his body, he appeared more healthy and joyous than he was in life, they said. This
resurrection claim is unique in human history; only existing in mythology before Jesus came to earth. 

It deserves mentioning that the word Christ means "The anointed one." Jesus was a Jew who was recognized as the Christ only after his execution, and his believers were dubbed "Christians" by the authorities, and not with respect. 

But it is a documented fact that after seeing the resurrected Jesus in the flesh, his Disciples were transformed from cowering, panicked, and silent fugitives into fervent speakers, witnessing on his behalf. All but one were murdered for their faith, but not one recanted or tried to flee his fate.  Millions more Christians experienced similar visions and went happily to their death in the following two-thousand years. Miracles and testimonies about them fill our literature. How else could a religion that demands so much of its believers have thrived and taken over the Western world? In 312 A.D. Emperor Constantine himself had a vision and converted to Christianity, thus ending the persecution.  

The Apostle Paul - who was once a rabbi and a deadly enemy of all Christians - heard and saw the resurrected Jesus as an all-powerful and luminous angel, brighter than the sun. The vision caused Paul to fall off his donkey, and he was blinded for three days. He ate nothing during that time, ceased persecuting and killing Christians, and converted to the new faith. 

The deeds of the early Christians are recorded in Roman state documents, such as those by Josephus, an historian living in Jerusalem at that time, and not a believer. He ingratiated himself with the Flavian family - Emperor Vespasian, and his two sons, Titus and Domitian - who were tasked with subduing the Jewish rebellion of 69 A.D., occupying Judea, and destroying Jerusalem; including the Second Temple of Solomon.  

The evidence is there for all to see that Judeo-Christianity has always been vibrant and powerful, until recently. It exists outside of human reason and science. We moderns should be used to such things by now. Science itself has gone beyond reason and logic, in many instances. The technology we see in old episodes of Star Trek and Star Wars, such as talking computers and smartphones, are becoming commonplace. Take a look at Quantum Mechanics, which is now cutting-edge science, no longer science fiction. Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein never saw this coming: (Link) 

Still, the dead coming back to joyful life is a tough nut to chew on. So the big question is, can you be a faithful Christian and win the reward of Heaven even if you think the literal Resurrection is merely a metaphorical story? The answer is yes. This author never believed it until witnessing it, and it was this author's faith in the spirit of Jesus - not the written words - that made such a revelation possible. Consider these good reasons for believing in the spirit of Christ: 

The example of Jesus willingly going to his death with courage, poise, and fearlessness is so powerful that it enriches the lives of everyone in every age of humankind. If we understand the power of faith, and the love of God, we become indestructible, emotionally and intellectually. Death, suffering, anxieties and irritations disappear like a bad dream. Faith, like a candle in the night, draws others to us and lights our path. 

How is it that snow-covered and dead-looking branches and twigs suddenly burst forth in flowers, leaves, and fruits with the coming of spring? Isn't this a resurrection?

Christ's example of nearly-infinite forgiveness heals and repairs damaged friendships and loves every day. You won't read about this on the internet, but such generosity is the key to lasting relationships.

One aspect of the crucifixion is a real stunner. Christ gave salvation to the thief who was next to him on the cross, because he recognized Jesus and asked for forgiveness: Matthew, Luke, and Mark

Here is the key:



Monday, December 26, 2016

We Humans Are Limited in a Hundred Ways. Are There Any Limits At All to God's Power?

You know the answer. God is limitless and all-powerful. And yes, He brings the dead back to life; eternal life in joy. 

Beware of people who think God's power has any limits. They say things like, "Animals don't have souls that survive death." We humans cannot imagine the infinite qualities of the Creator.

As the Book of Job proves, however, God sometimes limits His power temporarily, to play chess (so to speak) with Satan. But that worldly game is coming to an end. We're going to see miracles in this coming year. Prepare for a celebration unlike any other. 

This new year will usher in extraordinary, even miraculous events; greater still than those of 2016. We're in the year 5777, according to the Jewish calendar, and the long, grand, and terrible tale of human history is drawing to a close. The Lord wants you at the Final Celebration. 

The contest is over, and God won. Oh, sure, there's nothing in the media about it, but that's no surprise. We humans are nothing if not vain, and are loathe to admit we've failed at producing the secular, materialist Utopia promised since history began. It's obvious that every nation on earth is severely wanting in justice, peace, mercy, compassion, and prosperity. There are of course huge differences between nations, but the best of them have very ugly features, usually out of sight and out of mind. Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland have the highest standards of living on the planet, but their suicide rates are surprisingly high. They don't deliver on their expectations. 

Our last and best hope is the long-promised Kingdom of God. Without that, only global decline and greater misery await us. 

It's fashionable these days to adopt the cynical, atheist-agnostic position that there is no God and Creator, or in any case, one who cares enough about the world to take action against its destroyers. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. In fact, all along, Scripture has been telling us that the world is designed to trap the wicked ones as well as teach us valuable lessons. Just as the FBI runs 'sting operations' to catch gangsters, so does God. Everything we say and do is recorded and open for observation. Our high-tech world literally keeps track of everything, including financial transactions. Such utterly complete surveillance used to be imaginary; in the realm of science fiction. Today it's real, and we actively participate with our use of social media, email, and the cloud. Wikileaks alone has proven itself 100% accurate and effective at this, particularly in the recent U.S. election.

Like Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, just when you think you've got it made, wired, and everything is going your way, the trap door opens under your feet. It's odd how people deny the existence of Hell when there are so many truly hellish places on earth today. The reverse is also true. Heaven exists just as surely. Think of all the sublime places on earth, where there's an abundance of every good thing. 

But that's unfair, you may say. How can there be a Hell if God is such a benevolent being? The platitude "We're all one!" is very fashionable among the younger set, who haven't - in many cases - experienced authentic evil. But this is very wrong, and within the world's great religions it's been known since the beginning that many of us are gentle as lambs, while others are as vicious as wolves. And the ruthless wolves use every sort of force to oppress the gentle lambs. 

Isn't it obvious that if you place the vicious wolves all in one place, they create their own hell? Is that God's responsibility? As John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost, "The mind is its own place, and by itself can create a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell." 

Jesus taught that hell was real, but can be defeated by the presence of the Holy Spirit, which we all have access to (Luke 16:19; Matthew 3:12; Mark 9:42). Hell is "a furnace... unquenchable fire", and a "sea" where you drown in endless, infinite suffering. The polar opposite of Heaven. 

Again, you've been warned. We at The Temple offer you salvation through the Holy Spirit. Take advantage of it:



    Where Do Good and Evil Come From?  A lesson from Prager University.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.), "Father of the scientific method" (Link), was the first person to state that, "Nature abhors a vacuum". That is, nothingness cannot exist, because denser surrounding material will rush in to fill the emptiness. Even in the inconceivably vast distances of interstellar space, the vacuum between galaxies contains 1 atom of hydrogen per ten cubic centimeters. 

From ancient Aristotle through the more recent Isaac Newton (1642 - 1726), to Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955), science has uncovered universal physical laws. Which unintentionally give proof and weight to the ancient Hebrew Scriptures that postulated the Laws of God; the Ethical Monotheism of the Ten Commandments and the Torah. Since then astrophysicists have confirmed that these laws have permeated and ruled the entire universe through 13.5 billion years of its existence. We know and take for granted these many laws of physics and the universe, but this wasn't true of the general population until the late 18th Century.

Some of these laws apply to our souls. Nature always abhorred a vacuum. Either the Holy Spirit of God will fill us, or the demonic spirit of Satan will. The two cannot exist for long side-by-side. They are at war with each other, and God always wins in the end, unless we lock Him out. Demonic forces are doomed to eternal destruction regardless of what we decide. 

Here's a real-world example. What happens if you leave an empty pot outside in the garden, tucked away in a dark spot, upside down? Any number of foul insects and slugs will quickly occupy it. That same pot exposed to light and air will remain clean.

The core of our being is also tucked away inside us, and chances are we rarely look inside it to see what's growing there. This is the point and purpose of prayer and meditation; to close our eyes, focus within, and look inside our hearts. If you don't know what's happening down deep in the darkness, now is the time to look. And do so with alacrity. The heart is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit of God, and dark forces are always trying to pollute and kill it.  

Is there bitterness, rage, or guilt in your heart? If so, root them out by settling conflicts and grievances with those you can settle with. Ask for God's help in this. If you don't take the initiative, those foul things will grow stronger and more evil. If you find in your heart a sense of entitlement to worldly possessions; that no authority can stand in your way; and a belief that you are god unto yourself, you are being possessed by demonic forces.

On the other hand, if you find love, compassion, and goodwill, nurture and nourish them. This is the Holy Spirit, which consists of all that is worthy, courageous, true, honest, loving and most human in you. It is your salvation and your eternal life. God will never abandon you. 

Consider these additional discoveries by Newton, his three universal Laws of Motion. The first is inertia and momentum, that is, a body at rest or in motion will remain at rest or in motion unless acted on by force. 
The second is that the faster an object moves, the more impact it has when striking another object, according to a perfectly predictable formula. Speed increases mass. 
The third is that when a body in motion strikes another body, the force exerted by the first body causes an equal and opposite reaction on the second one. Picture billiard balls on a table.
These forces apply everywhere in the observable universe. 
Isn't it clear that we humans also display these forces when we interact with one another?





Now is the time to finally commit yourself to one or the other. Don't throw away your opportunity. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

"The Judgments of the Lord Are True and Righteous Altogether" - Psalm of David 19:9

When an important secular and spiritual victory is achieved - particularly one that affects the entire globe - it's extremely important to take notice and celebrate it. Just such a victory took place on November 8th in the United States, where voters defeated an atheist and anti-theist global movement led by Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, and their organized crime syndicate masquerading as a political entity; the so-called Democratic Party.

The Democrats and the Clintons did not disguise their contempt for people of faith, labeling us in public speeches as "deplorables", and "backwards". Over the last eight years the Obama Administration, the Clintons, and their party found common cause and interest with global Marxist radicals and Muslim terrorists who are dedicated to the violent overthrow of western civilization. They nearly succeeded, sowing mayhem and death in the Middle East, and giving radical Islamist Iran $150 billion and de facto permission to build nuclear weapons which they will use to threaten the world. The list of Democrat acts aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States is too long to list here, but look at these: Link and Link

It turns out that since its inception in the 1830's, the Democrats have been actively subverting the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights: 



  Preview of the documentary Hillary's America; The Secret History of the Democratic Party

Now we know how our ancient spiritual ancestors, the Israelites, must have felt in 1300 B.C.E., standing high and dry on the desert shoreline, seeing Pharaoh Ramses' army of chariots drowning in the cavernous waters of the Red Sea. We westerners now know that the Mighty Hand of God is with us. We of this modern generation held ourselves faithful to Him through five decades of perfidy, corruption, slander, and provocations. We didn't resort to violence, and trusted in the goodness of our fellow citizens. Though it was "a damn close-run thing", as the Duke of Wellington is said to have quipped after defeating Napoleon at Waterloo. 

Our biggest takeaway from this victory is an understanding that God's plan is global in scale, and every person alive, along with every square foot of the earth and its oceans, is now entirely subject to its Creator. We all should dream big, and expect stupendous events from now on. Those who think they're gods will continue to fight like Pharaoh, challenging God even unto the bitter end. 

We seemed to hang by a thread for so many years, and felt thoroughly imperiled. But the purpose of God's plan was to involve as many people as possible in His immense sting operation. There's nothing quite so effective as the appearance of being totally defeated to bring out the true colors of friend and foe alike.

The Democrats now scream that they were cheated from victory, but have no evidence to back up their claim. However, there is abundant evidence that they themselves lied, cheated, and distorted the truth so badly that they deceived themselves into thinking they would win easily. Yet their malice backfired on them. The voters realized at last that the Democrats never gave a rat's rear end about the felonies going on everywhere in the Clinton Global Initiative, the phony treaties they forged, and the Democrat vote buying schemes active throughout their criminal enterprise masquerading as a political party. 

We're in the midst of a global transformation brought on by the effective use of high technology, epitomized by WikiLeaks (Link), which certainly tipped the U.S. election in our favor by revealing the cynical, craven and felonious methods used by high Democrat leaders and operatives. The words. deeds and even thoughts of billions are now being permanently recorded on the internet and in the 'cloud'. Such a concept used to be pure science fiction. Now it's science fact. 

People everywhere are laying down their bets, committing themselves to diametrically opposed outcomes. Some see Pharaoh as ultimately victorious. Those few who are unsure may change their minds still, but time is running out. When the last trumpet sounds, we will be able to say as King David did, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." 

Friday, November 11, 2016

God and Politics in the Modern Age

Here at the Temple we speak the true Word of God as faithfully as possible, and to the highest degree that we and our fellow men and women can understand it. We believe the Judeo-Christian God of the Old and New Testaments, who told Moses to call him Yahweh (meaning "I am that I am"), and who sent His son Jesus to redeem mankind, is the true Creator of All that is, visible and invisible. Every other religion falls short. But the followers of any religion have the opportunity to find salvation if they desire it. Our God is always listening to us, and will open doors if you knock. 

These are the Last Days foretold in the final book of the Bible, called Revelation, and we are rejoicing mightily; with all our hearts. The End Times are at hand and Heaven will open. So will Hell. We have a choice where we'll end up. 

There are major pitfalls to overcome, though.

Idolatry, the worship of things other than God, even creation itself, is a major stumbling block. All of us are tempted by idols, and it's hard to resist the many alluring facets of idolatry: sex, money, power, beauty, revenge, and comfort, to name a few. The internet and other media are filled to bursting with the temptations and lies of this world, and many are disguised as virtues. Particularly the ones that portray themselves as religious and angelic. 

Politics is the fiercest and most dangerous idol of all, because it promises all the others. Political power can always be used to acquire worldly goods - and to control the masses of people to boot. The majority of political leaders think they are like gods, and are often encouraged by their subjects to think so. 

This is demonic, and extremely dangerous. There are three qualities of Satan and his demonic army. First, they want to possess all and do all. Second, they claim that nobody - even God Himself - has authority over them. And third, they are gods unto themselves. They created Hell by their rebellion and gross nature, not God.

In the eyes of God, all political systems of any value must begin with acknowledgement of Him. Absent this statement, the ends of those systems will be evil: 


                          
                           Dennis Prager on the Second Commandment
                                                                                                               

The American Declaration of Independence is the purest political document ever written. It states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..." 
Since these words were written, women and minorities of every kind have been embraced by the United States, and this system has been imitated by every other successful nation. The United Nations incorporated many of these ideas in its constitution, and all member nations have signed onto them; even if they utterly fail to try and live up to them. "Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue."  - Matthew Arnold

But there is a worm of destruction that has been allowed to grow in these most liberal systems, and as a result, massive breakdowns are taking place globally. What is this core problem? Atheism, agnosticism, and anti-theism. Everyone knows atheists, and those who just can't believe (agnostics), and even people who hate God. Marxism in all its forms encourages this, and Socialism tends to drift into Marxism. We've never seen such rage, and as these godless regimes collapse, people rage against God more than ever. They neglect God and then blame Him for not saving them. Or they blame free market systems such as capitalism, which has been vastly more successful than any other. 

Understand that we humans are hard-wired to worship some form of god. If we claim not to believe in the One God, we will end up worshiping an idol of one sort or another. We can't resist our genetic nature. 

Science has been very successful at explaining many things, and the resultant technology has created miracle-working machines that make our lives easier, more fun, and more comfortable. We've come to worship and cherish these, rather than the more difficult and rewarding knowledge of God and the universe. Irony of ironies, our science and technology came from our mind and heart, which are God-given gifts.   

Our pride often stops us from taking steps that would turn things around. We hate to admit our mistakes, even small ones. Admitting the stupendous error of ignoring and slandering God and His people is the biggest challenge there is to our character.

The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. Presidency marks the greatest political and religious about-face ever in recorded history. It's been relatively peaceful and bloodless, unlike previous dramatic political reversals. President-elect Trump has pledged to return his country to the principles of the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. 

Hillary Clinton raged openly at people of faith (calling them "deplorables" who should be set apart in a "basket"); preached the right to free taxpayer-funded abortions for all, up to the minute of delivery; and even sold access to her power while enriching herself and her family to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Oh, and in the meantime, she mishandled thousands of secret documents, leaving them open to theft from every enemy of the United States. Many lives were lost through her neglect, and incalculable damage was done to America.

She and her Democrat-Marxist political party were utterly defeated and rejected by Americans on November 8th. The United States has a shining chance to regain the good graces of the universe's Creator, and to set an example for every other nation on this globe. If we pray for their success, we will also open a door to salvation for ourselves, wherever we live.   

Saturday, October 8, 2016

You Can Be An Undercover Agent for God

It may seem funny at first to talk about this, because it's not an idea we ever see or hear openly discussed. Who knew there was such an option? And many people fantasize about being a glamorous James Bond-type spy; sophisticated, attractive to women, at home in a casino, military-trained, and heroic. Quite the opposite of the Dalai Lama, the approved ascetic persona of a religious and spiritual person. It also runs contrary to the world's expectations, that when we are touched by God, experiencing a conversion from doubt to faith, we should proclaim it to everyone; as believers were instructed to do 2,000 years ago: "And then Jesus told them, 'Go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature'" - Mark 16:15.  

Yet, especially in the 20th Century, the exploits of heroic undercover Christians and Jews have been an integral part of God's work in the world. For example, the wealthy businessman Oskar Schindler, whose life was portrayed in the film Schindler's List, joined the Nazi Party, engaged in armaments manufacturing, and contrived to rescue at least 1,200 Jews from slavery and death camps toward the end of WWII. Moreover, he lived to tell about it and was declared a member of the 'Righteous Among the Nations' by the Israelis, not only for rescuing victims and getting them out of Germany, but by spending his entire personal fortune (around $7,000,000 in today's dollars) feeding and housing them.



Final scene of Schindler's List: "He who saves one life saves the world entire"


Then there was the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust in occupied Hungary; who was arrested by the communists and killed in a Soviet death camp, probably in 1947. (Link) 

The Bible is filled with stories of undercover angels - either from God or Satan - who intervene in world affairs; rescuing us from the clutches of death or causing it. (Link) It's a real test of faith for us to maintain our sanity when facing this truth of the global arena, rather like an athlete going from a small town community college into the pro ranks. "Welcome to the NFL" is a saying often heard when a rookie football player gets his first real hit on the gridiron. 

Conditions have certainly changed since the New Testament was penned. These days, vocal Christians of every conceivable denomination are everywhere in the media, churches, and streets, proselytizing and persuading. There's little persecution of religious people, relatively. Martyrdom in all its forms - physical and otherwise - is not very common in the western world; unlike early Christian times (though antisemitism is on the rise, certainly). There isn't a need for many more theatrical believers.

So, to be effective at doing God's work, going undercover is clearly a viable and important option; particularly if one works in law enforcement. Exposing sexual abuse, pedophiles, and breaking up international victim importation rings rank high on the list of great and good deeds.  But what if working for the police isn't compatible with your abilities and talents? Is there another option? There is, and Oskar Schindler showed the way. One can do God's work in secret, and have an effect, at least for while. 

But first, we must be aware of the danger of lying to ourselves about our motives and methods of operation. Self-deception is the gravest danger we face, and it's a whole life's work to eliminate lying entirely. We never can be utterly truthful all the time, because, for one thing, we don't know, and never really can know pure truth in this life. But we don't have to. It's quite enough to honor and conform to the Ten Commandments and the wisdom of Judeo-Christian Scripture. If you are sincere, and seek God on a daily basis, you will be guided and encouraged. If you find this feeling absent, you're much better off doing something else in life. The penalty for joining the wrong side in this ancient Crusade is too terrible to contemplate. The reward for doing it well, however, is unutterably sublime and noble. 

Eventually, though, you will be discovered. Even the greatest spies and double agents who ever lived were exposed (James Bond, too, in every film). Many were imprisoned and killed. Some escaped to their home countries. The infamous Klaus Fuchs, a physicist who helped the U.S. build the first nuclear bombs, also passed the information on to Soviet agents in the mid 1940's, which enabled the mass killer Stalin to acquire them. Fuchs was caught and sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment. (Link)

We who stand with God in these Last Days of Tribulation have an awesome choice to make. Will we risk everything we have to help our fellow men and women? Our reward will be indescribably wonderful. It's entirely your choice.