Wednesday, March 16, 2011

¿Does God Do Evil?

"The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."
(Proverbs 16:4)



In a world full of hate, murder, crimes aganist humanity many are left wondering where is God? And where is the hand of our Just, and Loving God. Does Jesus 'wrestle' with Satan in order to keep us from harm? This is a centuries-old, unresolved paradox that is inherent in all religions which includes a belief in a personal all-loving, all knowing, all-powerful, and present God. This question, and the theories which surround the answer is called  Theodicy.

-- how can such evil and suffering exist in a universe created by a good, loving God? --

While surfing the net I come across many different lingering questions, and several hundred points of view. I have conversed with people representing numerous religions. As far as theodicy goes some still struggle with a question that the Bible answers. Some say that its plainly obvious, but nevertheless the question of how a God of Love could allow bad things even, Evil things to happen on the Earth? 

For our God IS a God of Love!
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." (1John 4:8)

In times past church leaders have reasoned that perhaps since God allows bad things He is not omniscient,  and/or omnipotent, or perhaps he does not care. 

This kind of thinking implies that God only allows evil to happen. He does not bring evil.? A better understanding of this fundamental question will guide us to an answer to the question of theodicy.


¿Does God Do Evil?
"Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?  Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
(Amos 3:6-7)
God does more than merely 'allow' evil. I conquer that not only does God do evil, evil cannot come unless it is sanctioned by the Almighty.
In the 25th chapter of Jeremiah The Most High passes sentence on Jerusalem and the children of Israel in particular, and in general on the ENTIRE EARTH! 
" For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them." (Jeremiah 25:15-16)

¿WHY?

"And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink. 

 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts." (V.28-29


 This is not an isolated incident.
In the 1st book of Kings we have the story of Ahab King of Israel and a conversation/situation he created with Jehoshaphat King of Judah. 
"And the king of Israel said... unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.  And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day."
(1Kings 22:1-5)
Jehoshaphat wanted to ask God's opinion before going to war. Look what happened...
"Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?"
(v.6-7
Jehoshaphat was called a righteous King and apparently so, he had enough discernment to know that out of 400 "prophets," None of them spoke for the Most High. The Bible calls them prophets, yet they were not prophets of the Lord.

"And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.  And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king's hand" (v.8-12).

These prophets sound like they are modern day false prophets with their props and dramatic effects. I can see the prophet now at 4:35 AM with iron horns screaming at the TV 'With these you will be able to push your enemies, until thou have consumed them.' He would then cite the verse and then rightfully expect for no one to actually read the scripture, and sell the 'blessed iron horns.' LOL

Thankfully our episode did not go that way. 
Eventually Micaiah the prophet of the Lord showed up. I encourage all my readers to check out the entire chapter on your own. But for our purposes (and to make a loooong story short) this is what Micaiah had to say:

"Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee." (V.19-23)
Some how King Ahab figured that he could out smart God. And King Jehoshaphat was also very gullible. This is what happened next:


So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.


"And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.


But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.


And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out.  And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.


And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot... So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake." (V.30-45)

Ahab couldn't hide from God. A man shot a bow into the crowd of soilders fighting and by chance struck the King and he died, just as the Lord wanted.
God put a lying spirit in the mouth of those prophets. God brought Evil upon Ahab!

If you wonder why God would do such a thing to a King of Israel, then Go and read 1Kings Chapter 16 thru Chapter 22, and you will see why the Most High went thru such great lengths to kill the king.


THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER: God is Almighty! If He is Almighty then there can never be a battle or a struggle of God vs Satan. It simply cannot be! That would make the two equal. The Most High God created Lucifer, after iniquity was found in, him his name was changed to Satan. Satan (the devil) is still an angel (A ministering spirit), the devil and all the demons that fell with him now minister evil. When you have crossed the line with God and He determines that the days of your life are up, He doesn't send a Holy Spirit to kill you, He sends an evil, and/or lying spirit to lead you to your death!

God also allows Satan to temp people as He did with Job. Satan tortured Job, killed his family and livestock, but he could not kill Job because the Lord set up the parameters whereby Satan could operate in the Job chapter 1, and Satan abided by His limits. 
Because the devil had no choice, Our God is Almighty!


May the Lord add a blessing to the reading of His Word...



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Extra Scriptures
Job 42:11 the evil that the LORD had brought upon him:
Micah 1:12 but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

CELEBRATE; According To Knowledge!

"...I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans10:1-3)




Women's day, Pastor's day, Men's day, Children's day, Stewart's day, Usher's day etc.


In every culture festivals, and banquets and parades are how people past the time. Holidays are days looked forward to on a calendar. The Most High God is no different. There are a set of days set aside for the celebration of the Plan of God, the Will of God and the works of His hand.

These days are meticulously spelled in the 23rd Chapter of Leviticus. When to celebrate, why to celebrate and how to.

I will not post the chapter here, but click here to read it for yourself. Instructions in the Old Tesament are usually VERY specific. There are protocol’s and certain ways in which things must be done. In the 23rd Chapter of Leviticus when celebrating God’s Holy Days (not man’s holy days, not the Jews holy Days, THE FEASTS OF THE LORD) people alos sacrificed animals. Being under the blood of Jesus we no longer sacrifice animals.. However the feasts of the Lord are perpetual (everlasting), meaning they last from generation to generation. When Jesus returns the entire world will celebrate these feasts!

"... And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." (Isaiah 66:15-23)

The scene/prophesy being depicted here is of Jesus Kingdom. It is Jesus whom all flesh will come to worship before, being also able to look into the Lake of Fire and physically see the beast and the false prophet for 1,000 yrs. see revelation 19

However at some point during the 3rd century after a string of councils, the Emperor 'Constantine the Great' wanted to separate the catholic church from all things considered Jew or Jewish. I don t think he ever read what Paul said, "...my kinsmen according to the flesh... are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises"(Romans 9:3-5).

You can NEVER separate Israel from the Bible.
All of the priests, prophets and apostles were Israelites.
Even the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was an Israelite and futhermore called the Holy One of Israel.

Jesus was prophesied to be ruler in Israel; and save Israel! (not your personal savior) Luke 1:30-33

Even in New Jerusalem also known as the Kingdom of God there are 12 gates named after the 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL (Revelation 21:12).

This is why there are 12 months in a year
24hrs in a day (12x2=24)



Not to mention the fact the city is called 'new Jerusalem' the capital city in Israel since King David moved his throne there from Hebron.

It is because of this disconnect that the man-made (or in this case Emperor-made) holiday Easter never falls on the same day every year.



Constantine wanted to be sure it never fell on the same day as Passover. Passover is called a Jewish holiday even though it was JESUS who died on Passover. And it is the believer's sins that get passed-over.


The New Testament even calls Christ our passover.
(1Corinthians 5:1-7)




Nevertheless, it is human nature to want to celebrate God's goodness on earth.

Therefore when you know that you should do something, but you have nothing to do (because preachers call God's festivals a Jewish thing), you make up something to do.


*So instead of celebrating the different aspects of God Almighty they celebrate the fraternity of the usher board.




These made-up celebrations in addition to the more universal holidays: Christmas, Easter, Lent, Holy Week, etc., are days that have no relevance to Jesus nor any biblical backing. Jesus name is simply stamped on pagan festivals (most by emperor Constantine) in order to coerce the pagans to Christianity.



There are however Holy Days (holidays) found in the Bible. 3 feasts (Unleavend Bread [7days long], Pentecost [1day], Tabernacles[8days long]), 2 memorials (The Passover, Blowing of trumpets), and 1 fast (The day of Atonement).

That's 7 days out the year for special celebration of God and His power!




Compare and Contrast for a moment…

Anyone who has never heard of the Passover can right now, pick up the Bible, see when it was instituted by Moses. You can see how Jesus and the Apostles did it.

WWJD bracelet green glow in the dark WWJD wristband


 You can see where the customs change dfrom animal sacrifice in Leviticus to Bread & Wine in St. Matthew.
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."(Matthew 26:26-28)
You don’t have to wonder if this day Really has anything to do with Christ.
Paul tells us that Christ IS our Passover!






Come out of Babylon my people and no longer be partake of her sins. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4)

May the Lord add a blessing to the reading, hearing and doing of His Word... In Jesus name



Saturday, March 5, 2011

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF JESUS?

The answer to this question has been debated through-out history. It has been the launching pad for racial discrimination as well as countless wars. Adolf Hitler used this Q & A as reasoning while trying to convince the people of Germany that the Jews were an evil race.

So again a simple question: Who is responsible for the death of Jesus Christ?


Did the Jews Kill Jesus Christ? Did Pontius kill Jesus? Did the Sins of the World kill Jesus Christ? The Romans? Satan?



The Associated Press reported on March 2, 2011 that in a new book written by Pope Benedict XVI, the Jews were exonerated for the death of Christ.






In the exerpts printed here the question of who is responsible is not answered. Only who was not responsible.

Thankfully the scripture has been around for thousands of years and therefore we do not need to wait for a ‘sermon,’ book, new church documents or commentaries.
All we need do is Study.


So what does the Bible say about the death of Christ?

Let us start at the beginning…


In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good evil. This was a direct violation of the only restriction that the two had. Let us pick up in the book of Genesis as the Lord is passing out punishments.

“And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:13-15)

If there is any 1 man or group to blame for the death of Jesus, it is here. The man Adam and his wife Eve. Although Eve ate the fruit first, their eyes weren’t opened until Adam ate. Therefore it was because of Adam’s transgression that we are born into sin so to speak.

Click here for the post that examines the concept of Adam being solely responsible for the fall of man. Because of their sin there is enmity between Jesus (her seed[women don’t carry seeds, Mary was the only one who did from God]) and the Satan (the serpents seed[snakes don’t talk, we’re talking the Devil here]).

But our answer lies further. Adam’s sin may have been the cause or the beginning of the chain reaction but certainly he did not ‘kill’ Christ.

The question begs to be asked, why did Jesus come in the flesh anyway? What purpose did he accomplish?

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not... But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed... He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth... Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand” (Isaiah 53:1-13)

The 53rd chapter of Isaiah is one of those chapters that we can learn something, while we are on our way to learning something. Contrast this chapter with what we all witness on Sundays throughout the world. ‘There is no comeliness,’ ‘no beauty that we should desire him?’ I have never been to a church (and I have been to churches all over the country and a couple other countries) where they had a picture of an ugly Jesus. Wheather a Greek church, Catholic, Protestant, and even churches in the African American communities where Jesus is black;


Jesus may have flowing blonde hair,    


 












dreadlocks,
 
or a bushy Afro


he is always a good looking man. The artist created those pictures for beauty, but as usual the Bible contradicts the wisdom of man.

‘He is despised and rejected of men?’ But EVERYONE loves Christ. Even R&B singers who talk about sex in every song, will when an award and talk about how the love Jesus.

He was brought like a lamb to slaughter. He opened not His mouth. Verse 10 says it pleased the Lord to bruise him! The Lord made his soul an offering for sin! It seems that we are getting closer. It pleased the Father to make him a sin offering, but this does not mean that the Father actually killed Him.

Just before Jesus was betrayed He made a comment that most people read right over…

The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24)

Jesus is telling His disciples here (as he told them many times) that He would die & be resurrected.

So then finally,
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF JESUS?

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (St. John 10:14-15)

Eventhough Jesus died to combat Adam’s stupidity, it pleased the Lord, was instigated by the chief priests almost reversed by Pontious Pilate and was executed by miscellaneous Roman soilders

it was Jesus Himself who is responsible for His death.
How?

By laying His own life down for us (the sheep).

“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (St. John 10:17-18)

The conclusion of the matter: It was necessary for Christ to die that he may live forever and that we may in turn live forever. After studying the Bible the question almost becomes a moot point. More important than who is why? And Jesus sums it up in the 15th chapter.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

And what does it take to become a ‘friend’ of Jesus?

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (St. John 15:12-14)

May the Lord Add a Blessing to the reading of His Word.
 
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