The Hem of the Savior’s Garment

Chickens, Boaz and Tears: Three Things that will Save your Eternal Life.

Have you ever seriously considered the verse, “Away from me, I never knew you!” ?

The Lord Jesus uses this warning in Matt 7:21-23 to show that not everyone who thinks they are saved will actually be saved.

But have you ever thought that MAYBE you might hear those words from the Lord’s lips? Does the thought strike fear into you?

In our Social Studies class this month we are studying the American Colonial times, and of course the Salem Witch trials come up. Many people accused of witchcraft were excommunicated from the Church, namely being told they were no longer saved.

In our PostChristian environment today, most people don’t give credence to the right of the Church to excommunicate its members.

But Scripture shows the authority Spirit-filled church leaders have to turn their members “over to Satan.” So those in 1692 Salem accused of witchcraft and their families all believed the convicted had likewise been deprived of salvation.

Can that happen? Really?

Another big question is about the “unforgivable sin.” Maybe you think you have committed it. You may be asking yourself, “Have I committed the unforgivable sin? Is what I have done too big now for Christ to forgive?”

What do I have to do to lose my salvation? What does one look like who will hear on Judgment Day, “Away from me, I never knew you”?

Or, more likely what you are asking, “How can I make sure that’s not me?”

I have good news for you today. You can know and be sure that you will never be discarded by God. You can have certainty. But it is costly and it is hard.

The answer is in the idea: Up is Down and Down is Up. But to understand this, we must understand Covenant.

A key aspect of the Bible, God’s Covenant with us, is expressed vividly in the Old Testament. Nature provides many examples of God’s principles (because Heavens Declare the glory of God).

One of the most poignant images, used repeatedly in Scripture, is that of the wings of God, which metaphorically represent his protective covering.

 

WINGS

Behold what Psalms says:

Ps 91:1–2
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Ps 17:8
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,

Ps 57:1
…for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

Ps 61:4
Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah

Ps 63:7
…for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

Christ’s Desire

Jesus wept over Jerusalem as he spoke of his desire to bring comfort and safety to God’s people. He used the same imagery used of God in the OT.

Mt 23:37
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

Lk 13:34
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

 

GARMENT:

The word for wing is also the word for garment. In Hebrew the word is kanaph (כָּנָף).

So we see in Ezekiel 16:8:
I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine.

 

 

The Sick Woman

The story of the sick woman taps into this same imagery.

Matthew 9:20-21
And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.”

Mark 6:56
And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

Reasons for the sick touching the edge of Christ’s robe.

Several places in Scripture show us the thought behind sick people trying to touch Christ’s garment.

Zech 8:23
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'”

As we saw above, the Hebrew word for robe matches the word for wings, repeated many times in the Psalms. Taking hold of Christ’s robe was an ancient analogy for “attaching oneself to the party of his lord.”

They were humbling themselves before God, asking for mercy.

Down is Up. This is another way of saying “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Pet 5:6, NIV).

Bend down, bow, kneel, humble yourself…admit you are inadequate to the task…confess that HE is your only hope. Go down. God gives grace to the humble. But he opposes the proud. (1 Pet 5:5, James 4:6). Up is Down and Down is Up. If you go UP–if you insist on doing it your own way, sure you can do it yourself, lifting your chin and defying your need for God, that is the surest way “DOWN” to death and destruction, in the end.

But if you go Down, he will lift you Up.

Which means he will bring you into his eternal Covenant.

Nowhere is this more clear than the story of Ruth and Boaz.

Ruth

The Book of Ruth holds the greatest clue for us, showing the relationship between redemption and the edge of the garment. Showing the certainty of the Covenant.

It’s a strange story, and one scandal-seekers love to point at while wiggling their eyebrows. But Ruth’s visit to the threshing floor was a demonstration for us of what a kinsman-redeemer is for humanity.

Ru 2:12
The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”

Already, Boaz had raised the topic of coming under the “wings” of God. Now, Naomi encourages Ruth to demonstrate the need for Boaz’s specific “wings,” as her protector, redeemer, and savior.

Ru 3:7–9
[Boaz] went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”

She had put herself under the edge of his garment. She desired covenant.

She desired him to be her guardian, her lord, her escape from a helpless situation.

Do you See it Yet?

It’s your only escape. The world may condemn you, they may falsely accuse you, or rightly accuse you. You will also accuse yourself of committing the unforgivable sin.

But where is your hope?

We will never live up to the life Christ lived. That’s the reason we needed a Savior.

But where is your hope?

Do you, after needing Christ for salvation, now attempt to reach perfection by works? (Gal 3:3) It won’t happen. We will produce fruit only as the Spirit enables us. As we abide we will be changed into his image.

But we are all going to fail this broken world.

You will have some up days, and down days. But as Billy Graham said, most of life is the valleys. We are not building our kingdom here. This broken world is not our home. We have hope in a kingdom not built by human hands. (Heb 11)

And when we consider Judgment Day…

…when we consider if he might could possibly accuse us of not being his,

…there is only one safe place to be found.

There is only one place to hide safely:

One vantage point from which to view the Great Assize, the Great Courtcase.

HIDE UNDER THE SHADOW OF HIS WINGS.

PULL HIS GARMENT OVER YOU AND HIDE. 

Hide from sorrow. Hide from failure. Hide from the law of sin in you waging war against the law of grace.

He is our only hope.

Under his wings we will find refuge. Hide under the edge of his garment.

On Judgment Day, DIVE DOWN under his garment. For under his wings you will find refuge. Under his wings you will be safe.

So What About Being a Witch?

We all are witchy. We, none of us, will ever satisfy God completely and thoroughly. We are broken people in a broken world.

Say to yourself out loud, “I am not my hope.”

They will not be pleased with you. Your righteous desires will not be pleased with you. God will not be pleased with “you.” 

But when the Father sees you, hiding there under the shadow of Christ’s garment, hiding under Christ’s righteous garment, he’ll shine his face on you.

That’s where the Father and the Son and the Spirit wanted you all along.


For more amazing Bible verses on this topic, click here: Shadow of the Almighty

 

That Darn Tree-Objections

That Darn Tree outlined step by step the argument explaining why it was always God’s Plan A to have suffering in the world.

Since he made the world, he determined the weight of carbon and the location of earth in this neighborhood of the universe. The Goldilocks Zone for life in astrophysics parallels the Goldilocks Scenario for life in the intraphysical world, the battle between good and evil opened by That Darn Tree.

I’m sure there are hundreds more objections readers may have to the purpose of God behind suffering. I believe most objections by Christians will be satisfied by considering the Lamb on the Throne. In any event,  if you have objections, and are sincerely seeking Truth, I would love to hear from you.

Please detail your objections in the comments below.

 

That Darn Tree–Objections.

That Darn Tree outlined step by step the argument explaining why it was always God’s Plan A to have suffering in the world.

Since he made the world, he determined the weight of carbon and the location of earth in this neighborhood of the universe. The Goldilocks Zone for life in astrophysics parallels the Goldilocks Scenario for life in the intraphysical world, the battle between good and evil opened by That Darn Tree.

I’m sure there are ….Keep Reading

A World Without Anthony

antony2We called him Anthony. People who knew him called him Tony or Antony. But for some reason our family called him Anthony. He was one of my husband’s best friends. Antony Simon was the pastor of our sister church in Jerusalem. He was always busy in evangelism and deeds of charity. Always moving. He died Monday night running across a street.

But Anthony’s death is proof that God doesn’t need us.

Everyone wants to feel needed. That they are indispensable to the world. Or that, somehow, it pleases God to need us. But that’s not true at all. He does not need a single person.

It’s a bit discouraging to realize this, but at the end of the day, it’s an essential of Christianity. God is all-sufficient. He did not create man because he needed something from them. He doesn’t need praise. He doesn’t need works. He doesn’t need our love. He doesn’t need to watch us enjoying his creation. He is perfectly satisfied without us.

In the eternal-time before time, God was perfectly content without us. And if he had never created the universe he would have continued perfectly content.

But as we always tell our kids, there’s a difference between need and want.

An artist doesn’t need to paint a single painting, and a potter does not need to spin a single pot out of clay. (Even if you think they need it for money, they don’t. They could instead plant some wheat or hunt for food and clothing.) Art is not a need, but a want. And artists want to create.

God wanted to create a universe, and to put mankind into this universe. And as the newly discovered Anthropic principle of science shows, the whole universe is set up for life to be on Earth.

The Why of him wanting MAN points to relationship.

The Almighty did not need to have a relationship with mankind. He chose to have it.

This dovetails into Anthony.

Anthony was a man who could not sit still. He was always busy about the work of the Lord. If it was in Jerusalem, he was on the streets telling nominal Christians about Christ, telling Jews about Christ, telling Muslims about Christ.

He had a method of evangelism he called “drive-by Bible distribution.” He would be driving, see someone on the side of the road, pull over, and grabbing a copy of the Bible in their language, would hand it to them and drive off before any argument. Not that he was afraid of confrontation, either. He could hold his own against all arguments. Facing off with anyone over the truths of Scripture. All for one purpose: that they would enter into a relationship with Christ.

antony3

His latest projects included regular trips to help the homeless war-stricken Syrian refugees in Iraq. He took blankets, food, supplies, Bibles and audioBibles to these people. It was on one of these trips, late Monday night 5/29/17, that he was taken home to be with the Lord. A car slapped the life out of him.

As anyone who knew him will tell you, Anthony always wanted to walk. No taxis for him. He said you meet more people when you walk, and the more people you see the more chance you have to share Christ with them. His fearless conversation starters intimidated me. Anthony’s concern for the eternal state of each individual made him disregard the walls of propriety and dive into conversation about Christ. Who knows how many people were shaken from complacency by hearing him speak of Christ’s work on the cross? It was just after refusing to take a taxi that he ran across the street and was hit by a car.

A recipient of Antony's gift
[A recipient of Antony’s gift]

I do not want to live in a world without Anthony. I hardly even knew him, but as his friend on Facebook I lived vicariously through his brave, single-minded devotion to obeying the Great Commission. I saw in Anthony the way we all should be, and used him as a personal model for what I wished I could be if I weren’t so timid.

In reading the responses of others likewise shocked by his death, I see I am not alone in feeling this way. He lived the way we all should live. What does it mean that God takes a man like Anthony?

And yet God took him, in the prime of his ministry. God took him. He didn’t need Anthony to keep doing that. Anthony was living how we all know we should be living, but God did not need that to keep going.

I find it hard to live in a world without Anthony because it means it’s not about me. God doesn’t need me to do anything. In God’s all-wise plan, good men die. 

And Anthony, though he certainly had sharp edges still, was doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with his God. No one is good but God alone, yet in Christ all our deeds are now good. But Anthony’s good works were no longer wanted by God.

So then what does this mean for me? The early death of obedient Christians teaches us one significant lesson. God doesn’t need me to be a mother. If I am not here, he will be my children’s mother. He doesn’t need me to be a wife. If I am not here, he will be the help and comfort to my husband. He doesn’t need me to be a teacher. If I am not here he will teach my children and those under my care at church. He doesn’t need me to DO anything because he is fully capable of doing it all himself.

Christ will build his Church, and neither the failures of the church nor the gates of hell can stand against that. So our failure to live with Anthony’s boldness does not hinder God.

But what of our good deeds? If they are not needed by God, why do we do them?

God does not need us, but the world needs us. As we bear others’ burdens we fulfill the law of Christ. As we go into the harvest field, his Word is scattered and the harvest is reaped. We are the Body of Christ acting on his Word to bring about what he wants. We are the means God uses to build his Church, but it is not us building that Church.

This idea could send us into a spiral of self-doubt and depression: God doesn’t need me? What am I, a pawn?

Or it can relieve us: He will build his Church, and I won’t be able to fail him. Nothing I can do can fail God!

What about you? Do you find your meaning in “helping” God? Or do you find your meaning in relationship? in being his child? “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” As you BE his child, in your acts of justice, kindness and mercy, in your compassion and peace, in your praises, you are glorifying God. As you BE learning who he is, through reading it in Scripture and declaring it through prayer, you are enjoying him forever.

He doesn’t need your works. He doesn’t need you.

But you get to pour out his compassion upon a hurting world.

You get to be his tool.

You get to speak forth truth.

You get to teach and train and comfort and hold those struggling to survive this broken world.

You get to rest in knowing your God and Savior.

My husband laughed as he considered Anthony in heaven, not sitting still, probably wanting to take audio Bibles to those in hell. What is this world without Anthony?

It’s a world where the Church is still “about its Father’s business.” It’s a world that is not diminished, but brighter. His death flared up that steadfast courage into the hearts of those left behind. We are different having known Anthony. We needed Anthony.

>>  See Anthony’s Video Message here  <<

antony[Antony on his last day, waving from Erbil Iraq]

Yes, we are timid. Yes, we are not as bold as he was. But God is not disabled now. The same God will bring about his same purposes to its appointed end even through Anthony’s death. It should relieve us that God is all-sufficient to bring about his purpose.

It should enable us to open our eyes to our small corner of the world.

How can we bring honor to Christ’s name as we interact with those under our influence?

How can we make minor changes to our schedule to create more time to meet people?

How can we bravely disregard invisible walls that come between a person and their eternity?


We only have TODAY.

Remember this and stand firm,

recall it to mind, you transgressors,

remember the former things of old;

for I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is none like me,

declaring the end from the beginning

and from ancient times things not yet done,

saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,

and I will accomplish all my purpose….’

I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;

I have purposed, and I will do it.

Isaiah 46:8-11


Update 6/1/17 << Read Anthony’s Testimony Here >>

Update 6/2/17 (TO GIVE DONATIONS FOR HIS WIDOW & FAMILY–CLICK HERE)

Grace & Peace to You: Early Christian Views on War & Peace


• “I serve Jesus Christ the eternal King. I will no longer serve your emperors. It is not right for a Christian to serve the armies of this world.” ~ Marcellus the Centurion, 298AD, spoken as he gave up his post in the army of Emperor Diocletian because of his faith.

• “We ourselves were well conversant with war, murder and everything evil, but all of us throughout the whole wide earth have traded in our weapons of war. We have exchanged our swords for plowshares, our spears for farm tools…now we cultivate the fear of God, justice, kindness, faith, and the expectation of the future given us through the Crucified One….The more we are persecuted and martyred, the more do others in ever increasing numbers become believers.”  ~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “Murder, considered a crime when people commit it singly, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse.”
~ St. Cyprian (200AD – 258AD)

• “We who formerly hated and murdered one another now live together and share the same table. We pray for our enemies and try to win those who hate us.”
~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “It is absolutely forbidden to repay evil with evil.”~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD

• “To those who ask us whence we have come or whom we have for a leader, we say that we have come in accordance with the counsels of Jesus to cut down our warlike and arrogant swords of argument into ploughshares, and we convert into sickles the spears we formerly used in fighting. For we no longer take ‘sword against a nation,’ nor do we learn ‘any more to make war,’ having become sons of peace for the sake of Jesus, who is our leader, instead of following the ancestral customs in which we were strangers to the covenants.”
~ Origen (185AD – 254AD)

• “Hitherto I have served you as a soldier; allow me now to become a soldier to God. Let the man who is to serve you receive your donative. I am a soldier of Christ; it is not permissible for me to fight.” ~ Martin of Tours (315AD – 397AD)

• “Christians, instead of arming themselves with swords, extend their hands in prayer.”
~ Athanasius of Alexandria (293AD – 373AD)

• The Christian poor are “an army without weapons, without war, without bloodshed, without anger, without defilement.” ~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “I do not wish to be a ruler. I do not strive for wealth. I refuse offices connected with military command.” ~ Tatian of Assyria (died around 185AD)

plowshares2

• “Above all Christians are not allowed to correct by violence sinful wrongdoings.”
~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “The Christian does not hurt even his enemy.”~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “None of us offers resistance when he is seized, or avenges himself for your unjust violence, although our people are numerous and plentiful…it is not lawful for us to hate, and so we please God more when we render no requital for injury…we repay your hatred with kindness.”
~ St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (died 258AD)

• “We Christians are a peaceful race…for it is not in war, but in peace, that we are trained.”
~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “Only without the sword can the Christian wage war: the Lord has abolished the sword.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “You cannot demand military service of Christians any more than you can of priests. We do not go forth as soldiers with the Emperor even if he demands this.”
~ Origen (185AD – 254AD)

• “We who formerly treasured money and possessions more than anything else now hand over everything we have to a treasury for all and share it with everyone who needs it. We who formerly hated and murdered one another now live together and share the same table. We pray for our enemies and try to win those who hate us.”
~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “For what war should we not be fit and eager, even though unequal in numbers, we who are so willing to be slaughtered—if, according to that discipline of ours, it was not more lawful to be slain than to slay?”~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “The professions and trades of those who are going to be accepted into the community must be examined. The nature and type of each must be established… brothel, sculptors of idols, charioteer, athlete, gladiator…give it up or be rejected. A military constable must be forbidden to kill, neither may he swear; if he is not willing to follow these instructions, he must be rejected. A proconsul or magistrate who wears the purple and governs by the sword shall give it up or be rejected. Anyone taking or already baptized who wants to become a soldier shall be sent away, for he has despised God.”
~ Hippolytus (170AD – 236AD)

• “Christ, in disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• Christians “love all people, and are persecuted by all;…they are reviled, and they bless; they are insulted, and are respectful.”~ Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (late 2nd Century)

• “Say to those that hate and curse you, You are our brothers!” ~ Theophilus of Antioch (died around 185AD)

• “For the Gentiles, hearing from our mouth the words of God, are impressed by their beauty and greatness: then, learning that our works are not worthy of the things we say, they turn to railing, saying that it is some deceitful tale. For when they hear from us that God says: ‘No thanks will be due to you, if ye love only those who love you; but thanks will be due to you, if ye love your enemies and those that hate you’—when they hear this, they are impressed by the overplus of goodness: but when they see that we do not love, not only those who hate us, but even those who love us, they laugh at us, and the Name is blasphemed.”
~ The 2nd Epistle of Clement (140-160AD)

• “Shall it be held lawful to make an occupation of the sword, when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword shall perish by the sword? And shall the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law?”
~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God…. They show love to their neighbors. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies…. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.”
~ Aristides (written around 137AD)

• “We Christians cannot endure to see a man being put to death, even justly.”~ Athenagoras (133AD – 190AD)

• “Learn about the incorruptible King, and know his heroes who never inflict slaughter on the peoples.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “Christians appeal to those who wrong them and make them friendly to themselves; they are eager to do good to their enemies; they are mild and conciliatory.”
~ Aristides of Athens (2nd Century)

• “I recognize no empire of this present age.” ~ Speratus (martyred 180AD)

• “For when God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits us from open violence, which is not even allowed by the public laws, but he warns us against the commission of those beings which are esteemed lawful among men….Therefore, with regard to this precept of God, there ought to be no exception at all, but that it is always unlawful to put to death a man, whom God willed to be a sacred animal.” ~ Lactantius, instructor of Constantine’s son (240AD – 320AD)

• “Shall we carry a flag? It is a rival to Christ.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “I am a Christian. He who answers thus has declared everything at once—his country, profession, family; the believer belongs to no city on earth but to the heavenly Jerusalem.” ~ St. John Chrysostom (347AD – 407AD)

• “If anyone be a soldier or in authority, let him be taught not to oppress or to kill or to rob, or to be angry or to rage and afflict anyone. But let those rations suffice him which are given to him. But if they wish to be baptized in the Lord, let them cease from military service or from the [post of] authority, and if not let them not be received. Let a catechumen or a believer of the people, if he desire to be a soldier, either cease from his intention, or if not let him be rejected. For he hath despised God by his thought, and leaving the things of the Spirit, he hath perfected himself in the flesh and hath treated the faith with contempt.” ~ The Testament of Our Lord (4th or 5th Century AD document)

• “We have become sons of peace for the sake of Jesus, who is our leader.” ~ Origen (185AD – 254AD)

• “If you enroll as one of God’s people, then heaven is your country and God your lawgiver.” ~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “God called Abraham and commanded him to go out from the country where he was living. With this call God has roused us all, and now we have left the state. We have renounced all the things the world offers…. The gods of the nations are demons.”
~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “But now inquiry is being made concerning these issues. First, can any believer enlist in the military? Second, can any soldier, even those of the rank and file or lesser grades who neither engage in pagan sacrifices nor capital punishment, be admitted into the church? No on both counts—for there is no agreement between the divine sacrament and the human sacrament, the standard of Christ and the standard of the devil, the camp of light and the camp of darkness. One soul cannot serve two masters—God and Caesar…But how will a Christian engage in war (indeed, how will a Christian even engage in military service during peacetime) without the sword, which the Lord has taken away?”
~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “This is the way of life: first, thou shalt love the God who made thee, secondly, thy neighbor as thyself: and all things whatsoever thou wouldest not should happen to thee, do not thou to another. The teaching of these words is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast on behalf of those who persecute you: for what thanks will be due to you, if ye love only those who love you? Do not the Gentiles also do the same? But love ye those who hate you, and ye shall not have an enemy.”
~ The Didache, also known as The Teachings of the 12 Apostles, is an early Christian document written between 80AD – 90AD.

 

Sources:
40 Early Church Quotes

Quotes: The Early Church on War and Violence

Research on Pacifism in the Ancient Church

Aliens

http://worldufophotosandnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/DISC-8375.jpg

ALIENS

An interesting thing these aliens…

I do believe in aliens.  “How can you believe in aliens if you are a Reformed Christian?” you may ask.  (Reformed Christians find themselves in the conservative-logical camp, and alien-believers tend to be “wackos.”)  Here’s why:  From accounts of contact victims, the “aliens” themselves admit that people in ages past used to call them devils, goblins, trolls, and demons.  This kind of contact is something that has gone on for centuries.  And it is as real as pigs on a hillside.

A pastor friend of ours, Mark Hitchcock, wrote a book called Extraterrestrials.  It’s a fascinating book. He researched the “phenomenon” from a Christian perspective.  And that opened my understanding into something I used to excuse away as “hallucinations” or “attention-mongering.”  But what I came away with, from the book, are some simple conclusions about aliens, and about alien-abductee/sighters.


Alien Sighters/Abductees

1.  Abductees are never Bible-believing, born again Christians.  Abductees may be part of the visible church, but once you investigate their deeper belief systems, it cancels out their Bible-believing, born again moniker.  (It seems that Christians can be bystanders to UFO sighting.)

2.  Abductees often have dabbled in the occult or have a preexisting fascination with aliens or occultic matters.

3.  Abductees are ‘chosen’ usually following family-line ties to alien sightings or abductions.

Aliens and Alien Technology

1.   Aliens are generally seen at night in lonely places.  The time when darkness and fear reigns.

2.  Aliens seek to demean mankind.  The ‘message’ that people are given is that mankind is backward, mankind is inept, mankind is doomed to failure.  The ‘experiments’ on mankind accentuate this view.  Here are some secular records.

3.  Aliens seek to instruct mankind, their most common message being, “There is no God, and Jesus Christ is not His son. Worship creation instead.”  Here is a “released top-secret message” proported to be from space.  (Here is someone trying to decode it).  What does it say?  If it is from aliens*, it will directly deny the importance of Christ.  No, nothing against Muhammed or Buddha.  Ever.  What does this mean?

4.  Alien technology is never ahead of “cutting-edge” human technology.  In the 50s, abductees were shown banks and banks of “magnetic tape drives,” while modern abductees see things they consider top-line: lasers, 3D images, flatscreens.  Aliens are not creative, but can only draw upon the creative nature of man.

The Process

1. On a lonely road, or alone in the room (usually no witnesses)

2. Reaching-out hand, a calling

3. Agreement

4. Experience

5. Epiphany (new message learned, well, the “OLD LIE

6. Aftermath, another ‘convert’ to the anti-Christian message


What Does this Mean?

Again,  From accounts of contact victims, the “aliens” themselves admit that people in ages past used to call them devils, goblins, trolls, and demons.  Aliens are what the Bible calls “demons” and “false gods.”

The methodolgy of alien-human connection coordinates with demon-human connection of long ago, pigs on a hillside encounters as testified in the Bible, and of today.

One-third of the angels fell with Satan, and as their prince is ever-seeking for prey, so are they: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Pet 5:8)  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QMkhuy0dWbQ/UcGji4LIyQI/AAAAAAAAEK0/DKBdrIC5Dsc/s1600/q.jpg

The picture of an alien etched into our corporate subconscious is one of an alien reaching out and summoning. What is interesting about this is that all people (secular accounts/pre-Christian accounts) who experienced abduction had to AGREE to the abduction, or to the first experience:  “Come.”  Aliens (demons) seem to be limited by human volition. (I will not call it “free will” since only Adam and Eve’s will was that free to not be swayed by inherent rebellion against God or desire for sin.)

That these “visions” are connected with the occult, and the pursuit of magic and alchemy, can be seen in a close-encounter that Zosimos of Panoplis had in 300 AD. Again, during sleep.  Again, a lesson to be learned: distract the man to worship and seek the power-in-the-natural world.

The Message

1. Evangelism

Just like the Explorers of the New World, who invaded with the message of Christianity, the MO of these “distant-traveling” aliens seems to be Evangelism.  But the message is defensive:  anti-Jesus.  (By the way, isn’t it interesting that this is also the message of “Hollywood”?)

2. How Can We Know?

Hollywood promotes the idea of a super-race of aliens “helping” or “ruining” our world.  Scientists without Christian insight have only their own senses to use to judge this invisible realm. Without insight, the fears of ghouls, goblins, trolls and aliens can make even intellectuals “panic.”

For a deeper and very articulate explanation of the motives of aliens, see UFOs and the Christian Worldview.

Chuck Missler, in his book, Alien Encounters, poses the riddle this way: “Why would all these hordes of E.T.s cross time and space simply to teach New Age philosophy, deny Christianity, and support the occult?”

The answer is that they have not traveled all that far, and their purpose is to pull people from Truth in Christ and Obedience to God.  Rebellion and worship of the Created rather than the Creator.  This is what Baal and Asherah and Moloch encouraged in the Israelites.  Question for us all: “Are you worshipping (serving, sacrificing for, living by principles of, obeying, preaching about) the Creator, or are you worshipping something in this world?” Another way to avoid aliens is to not be a threat to their message.

3. Proof From Freedom

An organization called Alien Resistance has sought to help free those stuck in alien-contact.  They claim that there is only one thing that can stop for sure an “alien abduction attempt.”

Abductions can be permanently halted by one thing and one thing only: the name of Jesus.

They say this is not a ‘magic formula’ but it is the act of faith, of one calling out to the ONE who has power over heaven and hell, who is our shepherd-protector.  And of course, the story of the “cleaned out house” warns us that if you are having this trouble, and are wanting to be freed, you had better be darn certain your house has a new owner.

Here are some records of people who have been freed from the cycle of alien abduction.

Soli Deo Gloria

And what does this have to do with Soli Deo Gloria?

The dark world with its SYSTEM– the kingdom of this world– attempts to blot out Christ, as one might attempt to blot out the sun on a bright day.  “Sunglasses” and “sunshades” include ideas such as relativism, alien-fascination, and earth-worship.  But this world was created foremost for the glory of God.  Surely you have seen it in the daily miracle of a sunrise, or the pattern of the stars on the dark summer skies.  “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls.”  Our soul hears the voice of Creation praising its maker.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the power of the name of Jesus in combatting such a scary force, I get goosebumps.  Even these “aliens” bring glory to God, because their loss of power testifies to Christ being the WORD by which everything in the universe was made.  The created must bow to its CREATOR.

Everything, even “aliens,” exist for the Glory of God.  Soli Deo Gloria!

——-

* Note: as I was reading this “received alien message” page online, Google Translate offered to translate the document into Hungarian.  It begs the point that a message like this is considered to have the letter-sound-meaning connection of an ABC alphabet.  If you consider Egyptian hieroglyphs and the amazing Chinese script, you have to laugh at the presumption that aliens have an ABC based language.  Unless of course, they could not “create” their own alphabet.

To Please the People

retro-1480621_1280At what point should a writer write to please the people,
and at what point should a writer write what should be said?

A lively discussion on this topic was recently on Steve Laube agency’s “What’s Wrong with my Book” blog post by Tamela Hancock Murray. The wise recommendation was made to not defy the market’s unwritten codes.

“…write by the most conservative standards. No smoking, drinking, cursing, sexy double meanings, overemphasis on physical features and pleasures, and so forth. If it helps, imagine writing for your very strict grandmother or an aunt who’s easily shocked. Then you won’t knock yourself out of the market – at least not for that reason.”

We were told, “Don’t DEFY THE MARKET.” And yet what did I do but open my mouth and…defy the market. But I’m not the only one who’s bucking the system, or challenging the status quo. Many other Christian writers are wondering how to get Truth into a marketplace that only wants junk. My kids would live on junk food if I let them. I am in a position to influence them in their eating choices, so I give them excellent AND healthy food.

Let’s face it. When we come home from a long hard day at work–let’s say we teach three-year-olds ALL DAY LONG–we don’t want to think anymore. We want to chill out, to turn off the brain, to check-out mentally and escape to another time and another place.

Vicarious Living

Mirror neurons in our brain enable us to do exactly that. Reading books and watching movies (and, yes, playing video games), physically enable us to empathize and live vicariously through the main characters whose point of view (POV) we are reading/watching/playing.  Because of this, we can “escape” into another world. Our brains literally morph into that time and place.

Readers want to be engaged. But this does not mean the brain actually goes into neutral. The brain is actually vicariously thinking it is DOING what the main character is doing. So this is a great opportunity for writers to make an impact on the world.

Ernest Hemingway succinctly expressed this ability of writers when he said:

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

I love in particular one part of Tracy Groot’s Madman, a Christy Award winner. After being wrapped up in the madmanproblem of the Demoniac of the Gadarenes you hear that Jesus is coming. Actually what reminds you is that you know the Bible. You know that Jesus is coming. The way Tracy sets it up, you know that across the sea something is happening. As one who has read the Bible, you know that “something” is Christ coming. I can’t recommend this book enough. I felt the freedom of the Madman’s salvation and it built up my love of Jesus because Tracy knows her responsibility to her readers and she wrote it that way.

We will be judged on the Day of the Lord for our actions. While salvation is only by faith in Christ, those who are called by His Name will be assessed. Our eternal rewards will be according to our deeds. The fruit of our life.

Teachers will be judged more harshly. And writers by definition put themselves in a position of teaching and influence. So do not fail to live up to Christ’s call. Anyone who reads a book ends up changed, in some way, for better or for worse. If readers need an escape from this crazy world, enable them to grow in faith as they escape.  Your deeds as a writer will follow you into eternity, you can be sure. If the parable of the talents tells us anything, it is that we are expected to DO RIGHT by the gifts we have been given. In fact, the word “talent” came into English from this very parable.

So as Christian writers what is our responsibility before God?

If we are writing a book that will be read, we need to use that talent in a way that brings results to the king.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 1 Timothy 4:1-5

Writing to please the “MARKET”? If you write just what will sell you are short-changing your talent. That’s giving them sugar and high carbs. What do you need to say? What do you want to call out from the housetops? Say it!

Writing to please the KING who gave you the talent in the first place? Kudos. If you do an excellent job, you will change lives one by one. That is all we can do. Whole grain delicious goodness.

No one is called to do anything less than live and work in a way that MOST honors God.

No one can be called to NOT do that. You can’t say, “I’m not called to write about the glory of God.” You cannot. If you are a Christian. Remember, the Book of Esther does not mention God once, and yet the whole book is about the glory of God and how He keeps His promises.

We maybe have great plans for our lives. But our deeds won’t be judged by Amazon reviews. Our deeds will be judged by those books that are being written in heaven. We will not get off with no reference to those books. The Lamb’s Book of Life erases the sins, but our good deeds follow us into the eternal kingdom.

level

 “If Calvin and Luther had written to the level of the people there would have been no Reformation.”
(Fikret Bocek)

Do you want to write books that are light reading, that merely entertain? Or do you want to entertain AND build up believers to glorify God? I challenge Christian industry to up-the-ante. Time is short.

ACTION POINT FOR READERS: Don’t let yourself be entertained by anything less than that which brings pleasure to God as well.
ACTION POINT FOR WRITERS: Don’t let the industry dictate you away from your primary call. All Christians must use their talents for the active honor of God. Your gifts and offerings need to be those that God requires.

Do you agree? Disagree? What publishers are upping-the-ante? Which other books have bucked the status quo?
Comment below.



See also how these writers contribute to the discussion:

Joel Miller: What is Christian Literature?

Got Questions: Can Christians Read Fiction?

Simon Mordon: Sex, Death & Christian Fiction lecture

BEST OF THE BEST Sites for Writers

Best of the BestWebsites (1)
All Christians are in a state of flux…
ALREADY/NOT YET:

We are righteous already, but not yet. We are seated in the heavenlies already, but not yet. We are experiencing eternal life already, but not yet. We are sinless in God’s eyes, but not yet in the world’s eyes.

As writers, we also know we have never arrived, but are on a journey to continually improve our craft.

There is always more we can know and learn to improve our craft.

Below you will find the BEST OF THE BEST resources for “scribblers” out there. These are sites I have found particularly helpful. (But the web is vast and I certainly have not seen everything out there. Please send me more to add to the list.)

The FIRST set includes writing, editing, and submissions. The SECOND set is promotion and website related. The THIRD is writing-related e-books that are practical and useful.

Writing Top 20
  1. NONPARIELShe’s Novel is an excellent guide for all stages of writing. Absolutely my favorite, winner of the Scribbler Site Nonpariel award. Practical and hands-on steps to create and fix your writing. –WINNER NONPARIEL–

<…Keep Reading...>

Seek My Face

SEEKMYFACE

What is it God wants of us?

When all around the world spins on spin, when things keep getting sadder and news keeps getting darker, what can we do? We can complain about the impossible choices we are forced to make, in elections or with our kids. Or we can be proactive. We can bring about a solution God’s way.

Solomon was given a promise for the people of God. When bad things start to happen in the land it is a clue to us that GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE TO GET SERIOUS about several things.

When blight comes upon our land, it is up to the People of God, those called by His Name, Christians, to stand in the gap. Ezekiel 22:30 I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

Remember the story of Abraham interceding on behalf on Sodom and Gomorrah?

Compassion. Fifty people, Lord. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? (Genesis 18:22)

How to intercede.

Humble Yourself.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. God promises to confound the wisdom of the wise (1 Cor 1). Do not come to him sure that you are NOT part of the problem. The only way to know God, to be found acceptable to him, is by hiding behind Christ. On our own power, in our own strength we are nothing. Our good deeds are fit for the trash heap.

In Isaiah 66:2 God says, But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

Do you tremble at God’s Word? Do you read your Bible regularly? It is easy to slide, to forget to read, to depend on yesterday’s knowledge, last month’s reading. But the Word of God has power to sanctify you, to make you pleasing to God. Do not neglect so great a salvation.

Pray.

Prayer requires time. A daily sabbath rest from your important worldly duties. Do you pray?

Samuel said to Israel: As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. (1 Sam 12:23)

To Samuel, seeking God’s face on behalf of his people was right. Not interceding for them was a sin against the LORD. Pray for those you know who are in difficulty. Pray for your leaders. Pray for your nation and the world.

Seek God*s Face.

How do we find God’s face. His face is mentioned twice in the Aaronic Blessing:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his FACE to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his COUNTENANCE upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

What then is seeking God’s face? It is finding his grace and his peace. To find his grace and peace we put ourselves under the teaching of the church. Paul and Peter used this blessing to start their epistles.

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2-3)

It is directly related to knowing God and Jesus. And it came through the prayer and ministry of those apostles whose heart and soul beat for the growth of the Church of Christ.

While it is not impossible to grow outside of church fellowship, the divine injunction is for believers to meet together. When we meet with other Christians, not only is Christ himself with us, but we taste a bit of heaven. We practice for our eternal worship of Christ, and the Holy Spirit meets us in a special way. Practicing for an eternity before the throne of God is seeking God’s face.

Seeking God’s face means walking in obedience so that God is pleased with your efforts. Trying to do the right thing. Hating your sin. Humble, contrite in Spirit, trembling at God’s word. Finding yourself in Christ-honoring service. Happily reaching to obey all of Christ’s commands. This is seeking God’s face.

Finding yourself reading Scripture to KNOW Christ. To KNOW Yahweh. To understand what he said. To know WHO he is and how he refers to himself. And to put into practice the lifestyle he requires of his Children. This is seeking God’s face.

Jesus said, I no longer call you servants, but friends…” And he said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.”  John 15:14-15 Are you in obedience? This also is seeking God’s face.

Repent of Your Own Sin.

It says in 2 Chronicles that for God to heal our land, we must turn from our own sins. Lot turned and fled. His daughters kept their eyes ahead of them. Lot’s wife turned, looked back at the life she was leaving.

Jesus said to “Remember Lot’s Wife” when we choose our life priorities: In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. (Luke 17:31-33)

If you have repented of your sin, you will hate it. You won’t regret what you left behind. You will hate your impatience. You will hate your anger-problem. You will hate your deceit, your gossip, your gluttony, your immorality. You will hate it. You will cling to the life Christ called you to. You will eagerly “TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM.” For his yoke is easy and his burden is light.. (Matthew 11:30)

Let us…

FRIENDS, Let us press forward to Seek God’s Face. Our land, our nation, our world needs those who call themselves by God’s name to follow the dictates God has given for MAKING THINGS RIGHT. He will heal our land if we humble ourselves, and pray, and seek his face, and turn from our sins. He gives his word.

And if you do not yet know Christ, you have the amazing opportunity in this life to become a child of God. Find yourself a Bible. Read the Book of John. Get on your knees and tell God you hate your sin, and you want him to make you righteous like Christ. Take a look at this presentation of the Good News.  “To all who received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)  Find a Bible-believing church and commit to Knowing God for the rest of your life.

Let us fall on our face before the Father and live and do as he asks us, for the sake of the cross of Jesus. For the sake of the blood shed for us, let us deny ourselves and honor Christ with every breath. While it is still called today.