Saturday, August 19, 2017

You? More Righteous Than I?

Measure for measure, my righteousness vs your righteousness...a wash. Tie.
You are no more righteous than I am. Same back at me. Neither of us would win an award.
WHOLE LOT of righteous indignation been echoing back and forth across this indignant Nation
Comes from a cosmos flailing around on a sand foundation.
So, who is Righteous?
I can hear the ungodly now:
"I AM more righteous than you, Doug, and certainly more righteous than the imaginary God you have been fooled into believing!"
You may be more Righteous than I am.
But you are not righteous compared to God.
Who isn't imaginary. Or the confused remnant of some poor earlier theology.
Here's the thing-because I am a Christian, Christ's Righteousness has been imputed to me.
I am not righteous. But He is. And by His Righteousness I am righteous before God.
Measure yourself against His Righteousness. Do it. 

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Similarities Found

Similarities between the destruction of Jerusalem witnessed by Ezekiel and the judgements of
The Great Tribulation affecting the entire world.

   Ezekiel and John
Ezekiel lived among the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the Apostle John was exiled on Patmos. Both were separated from the land/areas being judged and punished, though John was witnessing events far in the future.
The first seven chapters in Ezekiel lay out God’s evidence against the people of Judah and Israel which brings about the much-deserved judgement, recorded in Ezekiel chapters 8-11.
   Ezekiel 8:3-Ezekiel’s call:
3He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located.
   Revelation 4:1-John’s call:
1After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
Four corners-may signify complete areas of destruction
   Ezekiel 7:1
1Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me saying,
2“And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land.
   Revelation 7:1
1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
Jerusalem’s judgment is recorded beginning in Ezekiel 9:1-2
1Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, “Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” 
2Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

This ‘certain man in linen with a writing case at his loins’ is quite possibly a Christophany, an image of the Pre-Incarnate Christ. Just as Christ in Revelation is seen as ‘a son of man’, a lamb as if slain, a conqueror coming mounted on a horse with his robes dipped in blood, the ‘certain man in linen’ has a writing case, possibly a symbolic identifier for Christ (The Word). His actions in Ezekiel chapter 9 show that this may be Christ.
   Ezekiel 9:3b-4
And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. 
4The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” 
Only Christ or an angel given knowledge by God would know the minds and hearts of those in Jerusalem who ‘sigh and groan over all the abominations’. These would be God’s people, the sheep known by their Shepherd.
The marking of these people for special protection from the judgement about to fall on their city is echoed in Revelation 7:2-3
2And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
3saying, Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
This group is the 144,000 sealed from every tribe in Israel. They are found with Christ in Revelation 14:1
1Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

Ezekiel 9:5-6 speaks to the six men with shattering weapons:
5But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. 
6“Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple.

The man in linen notes in Ezekiel 9:11:
11Then behold, the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case reported, saying, “I have done just as You have commanded me.”

Next, the man is charged in Ezekiel 10:
1Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them.
2And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight.”
In Revelation chapter 8 we find:
5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
Notes: these are a few similarities, but hardly a complete list-the rest of Ezekiel deals with future Judgement all the way through history.
In Revelation, we have three series of judgements: Scroll with seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowl judgements.
Scroll with seven seals- may symbolize ‘the written Word’, satisfying the sins against Christ.
Seven trumpets- may symbolize ‘voice of God’, satisfying the sins against God the Father-throughout Scripture the voice of God is said to be like the sound of trumpets:
Exodus 19:16-19, Revelation 1:10, Revelation 4:1
Seven bowls being poured out- may symbolize satisfying the sins against the Holy Spirit which is described as being ‘poured out on all flesh’:
Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28-29, Zechariah 12:10

It seems that the destruction of Jerusalem may be an approximation in miniature of the worldwide judgements found in the book of Revelation. In both cases God shows exactly WHY Judgement is due.
And He is honored and glorified.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Heaven's Low Door

Right now on TV there is a documentary about a religious cult which operated in Minnesota in the past 20 years.
Normal, happy peoples such as are depicted above...fell under the influence of a charismatic sociopath who right now is paying for a few of his sins in prison.
So...why am I writing about this?
Sociopaths intrigue me; religious sociopaths are extra evil. They've gone Pro.
I mentioned recently that I had once been targeted/witnessed at by a cult back in my Coast Guard days. Them folks were nuts.
This Minnesota contingent of bad theology brings it too close to home, so I thought I'd share a few insights.
God leads His people to congregate together, to sit under church authority and move forward in His plan for our lives.
Egocentric, proud and divisive "leaders" will go rogue, refusing to humbly submit to church leadership/discipline-usually they split churches, separate and start their own 'Ministry' such as the Minnesota group being highlighted tonight on TV.
God doesn't bless egocentric sociopaths who "go their own way".
They can usually keep momentum rolling for a few years, sowing religious tares amongst the wheat...but they end badly, which God orchestrates.
The very good purpose of church leadership/discipline is to keep the church of God as unstained from the world as possible. So God will root out those who would trouble His house.
Here's the thing-Christians SHOULD be in church, should remain safely under the aegis of church leadership. If you are a Christian who does not have a church home, ask God to direct you to one.
If your theology is not in absolute harmony with the church you (or I) might be wrong.
I have learned some things over the years, but none of us will ever understand/grasp all there is to learn of God on this side of eternity. Those who study the Scriptures, who really take in as much as they can of God's wisdom will be ever more humbled as they move forward.
Sociopaths will be 'puffed up' by their theology. Scripture for them is their own personal interpretation. Bad Juju.
For those who have trudged through this post, thanks for reading.
One more thing-I once knew a Christian who felt it was proper and right for him to commit a felony on a regular basis.  
A Christian doesn't arrive at that point if they humble themselves and sit under church leadership. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

No Longer Restrained By Reality

Post title-I heard it today whilst listening to a podcast.
Observe the obverse: the ladies holding signs in the picture above are completely understanding and in tune with the concrete Reality in which we live. They know it and live it.
So, what's with the "No longer restrained by reality?"
That would be those who feel that their emotions are Truth, that 'how they feel' is evidence of how things are.
That path leads to madness. Because if feelings define reality, then there is no core REALITY, as emotions are fluid, shortlived and often wrong.
Here's the example that you probably won't like.
Some of the most Life affirming, positive people, those who would march, protest, act as human shields  for Peace, who Live to end War...
have no problem with abortion.
If you are a dove who sees the killing of tiny humans as right and proper...
You are no longer restrained by reality.
The ladies pictured above get it. They understand that humanity is sacred, and to take human life,
no matter how old or the opposite of sacred. This is Reality.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

who's now a successful yoga instructor

Ambivilafun.  Mindless harmless enjoyment which may not change the world but can brighten a day.
Was perusing movie reviews on a site which I've noted here before-"" and read the line: "who's now a successful yoga instructor" regarding an actress from the 1980's.
My mind pinballs~
"What constitutes 'success' for a yoga instructor?"
"Is it being at peace within while existing in an unpeaceful without?"
"Is success for a yoga instructor determined by financial profitability? Just as it is for plumbers and lawyers and post office clerks?"
"Is it ever the goal of a yoga instructor to retire? Retire from...inner peace? Retire from what constitutes success?"
Success. Now there's a word!
Pictured above is a young lady named Jenny Nicholson. I have no idea who she is, what she does for a living, but she is a success, at least in my eyes.
I discovered her on youtube reviewing...I don't remember.
Point is, she is an articulate, creative FAN of movies and TV shows who shares her enjoyment with the world through videos.
Sometimes she dresses up and acts out the characters, as she did in a review of "Frozen".
She puts a lot of thought and work into her video reviews, and it works well not only because she is a FAN, but because she has much to say, writes/acts out her reviews very well.
She is a success, and if you have a few minutes which need brightening, seek her on youtube and enjoy. Her video on "Adventureland", from which I took the screen shot is a prime example of her work.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fix't Hope

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 
storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
1 Tim 6:17-19
Note that last part: “storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
Here is why that sounds familiar:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:19-21
I am very grateful to God Who richly supplies me (and ALL of His children) with all things to enjoy.
Carnation Evaporated Milk famously purports that their product ‘comes from contented cows’.
That’s nice, but can’t compare with the prayers and thanksgivings coming from contented Christians.
Do I struggle? Too often.
Make mistakes? Like a pro.
But the bottom line is that I trust God, and know that my faults will not follow me into Heaven.
Whatever stains and blemishes on my character…they have an expiration date.
And then…I will “take hold of that which is life indeed.”
I would love to see you there.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Be Wary Of Bait and Switch

"Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all.   
In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are.  
Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good.  
They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil." Psalm 36:1-4 NLT

Of course, I'm talking about Pope Frankie, pictured above promoting HUMILITY in good old religious Pharisaical fashion. At least he left off the blowing of trumpets as he walked down the street. At least they aren't pictured.
Before you assume that The Donald is pictured at his mansion...naw.
The picture is actually from a visit Trump made to the Vatican. So the golden chair and fancy wallpaper belong to the guy on his knees.
Frankie was actually kissing/washing the foot of a Muslim refugee. The idea of adding President Trump made me giggle. Frankie embracing Muslims as "Believers"?
Yup-if he believes Catholic doctrine.
"CCC 841, quoting the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 16, from Vatican II, declared:
The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.

 Good old Catholic Catechism number 841!  
In his blind conceit, Frankie cannot see how wicked he really is. He makes no attempt to turn from evil, as he thinks that he is good. Most of the world suffers from that same blindness.
May God open every blind eye and humble every sinful heart.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Everything You See's Not The Way It Seems

But everything you see's not the way it seems --
Tears that sing and joy shed tears.
You can take the wisdom of this world
And give it to the ones who think it all ends here.

Bruce Cockburn~"Hills Of Morning"

 Obviously, the dreaded Election 2016 is not over, will never be over for some people.
There's a cost, a very real cost to not letting go of the past.
You may think that you are standing strong, will never bend or break nor give ground on what you believe.
But while you are standing strong, the world keeps spinning, and the rest of humanity moves forward; you recede in their rear view mirrors until just a speck, and then gone.
A year from now those still listening politely to your screeds against the reality that President Trump is in power will be unmoved by your emotion. Because they're past that point, are no longer where you are.
If you're wondering about the picture, my dear friend Kristina was chasing birds at Bristol Beach, Duluth, Minnesota.
I took the picture 16 years ago.
She's back in her home country, married, with a young son who's probably driving by now.
16 years from now, do you still want to be complaining about the 2016 election?
You can be happy. You can move forward. Join us.