Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Destructive Nature Of Envy

Several years ago when I was an aspiring young businessman I experienced a rather vivid dream. There was a man who approached me wearing an expensive three piece Armani suit and equally expensive shoes. Although I was unable to see his face, he appeared almost radiant, the epitome of success. He said, “All of this and more can be yours if you will bow down and worship me!” This was a wake up call to me warning of the evil power of envy.

Envy is the desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else coupled with jealousy and covetousness. Envy led to the original sin and fall of mankind and was the tool used to create a sense of discontent in the hearts of the original couple. The Lord had given them free access to everything in the Garden of Eden to be used by them as they wished, however there was a single tree in the midst of the Garden which they were forbidden to partake of.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

Pay close attention to these verses because it is the universal tool by which Satan tempts and creates discontent, covetousness, jealously, envy and finally an ungrateful heart that motivates human beings to willful unrighteousness. The bible refers to him as “The Serpent” in the original text he was referred to as a “Shining Being”. 

Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 
(Genesis 3:1-5)

The Tempter insinuated that the Lord had lied, misleading them to believe that something terrible would befall them as a ruse to keep them from having the same great knowledge that the Lord himself possessed and keeping them in a subservient role when the Tempter said that they could become like God.

Satan had thrown them the bait, creating in their hearts a desire for something that wasn’t theirs to have, they fell for it and he set the hook and suddenly they felt naked because they knew they had been deceived.

In Genesis 3:6-7 we get a clear picture of how Satan uses envy in the process of causing man to succumb to his will. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, (The lust of the eyes) and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, (The lust of the flesh) she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. (The pride of life) Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

Finally in Genesis 3:8-24 we see the results of man's infidelity to the Lord and failure to heed His word. What had originally been a life of eternal bliss became a life of hardship and eventual death, the worst part of which was separation from their previous friendship and their relationship with God.

Envy once again raised it’s ugly head between two brothers recorded in Genesis 4:1-16. Able was a shepherd, he offered a lamb as a burnt offering to the Lord, while Cain his brother burnt an offering from the crops he had grown in the field. The Lord showed His pleasure at Able’s offering, but counted Cain’s offering as unsuitable. Thus Cain grew envious of the favor shown toward his brother, his envy grew to discontent and led to an ungrateful heart which turned to anger, hatred and malevolence as he then murdered his brother. 

In today’s world it is interesting to understand how an entire nation fell under the sway and spell of a very charming and smooth talking deceiver whose dark past is largely a mystery. His initial lie was put forth to create a sense of discontentment by offering an already wealthy and successful nation “Hope and Change.” It was an insinuation that there was something missing, something wrong that required change thus creating a sense of deep discontentment and ungratefulness in the hearts of many. Then pointing to the difference between those in one group who were generally successful, hard working, believers in God and His righteousness, who trusted in God’s provision. He then appealed to others who had turned from God, those who hate His righteousness and had turned to trusting in the government for their provision, setting them against the others using envy as his tool of choice. Then as both sides were locked in enmity and strife he commenced with his willful deconstruction of a great nation.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Depression, Happiness And Joy

The world populace has reached a point in which life for many has become much more complex and frustrating, and in some places much more dangerous than it was fifty years ago, where tens of millions suffer depression devoid of any sense of joy and happiness in their daily lives.

According to the American Psychiatric Association depression is defined as a major depressive disorder, a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how one feels, the way one thinks and how one acts. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. According to Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how one feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. According to the American Psychiatric Association depression can be treated through a course of intensive counseling and the administration of psychotropic medications which are mood altering drugs. This approach is an effort to instruct the patient in how to get along with their demons coupled with what would formerly be considered witchcraft, and is comparable to putting bandages on a cancerous lesion while the cause of the problem remains undiagnosed and improperly treated via a temporary catharsis.

The opposite of depression is Joy, Happiness, Peace, Hope, Contentment, Comfort,and Cheerfulness. The world’s definition of Joy according to Merriam-Webster is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires, the expression or exhibition of such emotions as delight, gaiety, felicity and bliss. A source or cause of delight. It becomes immediately clear even to the uneducated that the lack of these attributes is evidence of depression, however the actual cause is not being addressed because it is outside the limited purview of psychiatric and pharmaceutical communities. 

The problem of depression is spiritual, an area of understanding that is uniformly denied by the psychiatric community and directly related to the following causes; Failure to acknowledge the existence of God, or turning away from God, outright hatred of God, hatred of God’s Chosen, hatred of His Church, and refusing to acknowledge God’s own Son Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate cause of depression when one usurps the rightful role of the Creator thus enthroning themselves at the center of their own universe becoming their own god and master of their own destiny. The net result being a sense of growing internal delusion and of loss and foreboding, a life that eventually becomes devoid of any sense of personal future or reason for being. In essence that individual brings on their own spiritual death due to willful separation from God.

There is an otherworldly cure for depression and a resurgence of joy, happiness and well-being.

First by identifying causation: Here is the understanding of the basic reason and root cause of depression which leads to all the discontent, rioting, civil disobedience and misbehavior from various groups throughout the world today. This includes the delusion sweeping Europe leading to it’s destruction and eventual dissolution by invading Islamic hoards. 
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. (Psalm 14:1)
“Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”(2 Timothy 3: 1-4)

The prescription: We are advised to “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:12-14) 
What does this mean that the way is hard? It refers to removing Self from the center of the egocentric universe and giving God and His son Jesus that central place while denying Self the control over your own life while submitting to the will of God.
And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 
(Luke 9:23-26)
Walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. (Galatians 5:15-26)
The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:10-12)

The Cure: “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. (Romans 10: 8-10)

Then Finally: “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:2-8)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Center Of Existence

Imagine if you will that you are all there is, an omni-present and all powerful being, the very center of existence itself in a realm devoid of any matter. Time doesn’t exist because you are eternal with no beginning and no end. You then decide to create matter and speak it into existence. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and from there you continue to create all that there is in the universe up to this very moment. You create both spiritual beings, Angels and material beings, Man. (Genesis ch. 1)

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. (Genesis 2: 1 - 4)

You create the man and a woman and set them in a garden to care for it and you allow them to eat anything other than “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” saying, “you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:17)

Meanwhile there is a rebellion in the spiritual realm which you allow and fully intend to use to fulfill your plans for mankind, which up to this point is drone-like and single minded, only conscious of you and of your goodness. So you cast the rebellious angel and his followers out of your heavens and into the material realm where they will work at ruining your creation. Here is where we have the temptation in the garden and mankind disobeys you and harkens to the voice of the tempter, thus taking on a part of the fallen angel’s personality and suddenly becoming aware of self and of both good and evil. You kill an animal and give the skins to the man and woman to cover their nakedness before sending them out of the garden, this is the first blood sacrifice to provide a covering for man’s failure and shame, and a covenant between you and man signifying that your acceptance of him and his progeny will only be through the shedding of blood. (Genesis ch. 3)

This is exactly what you intended to have happen because if you were ever going to have meaningful fellowship with mankind, they would have to be like you knowing both good and evil and have free will to make the right choice. However having free will and making the right choice is the heart of the problem because you have allowed the tempter to always remain close at hand and continually test the will of man. You allow the fallen angels to mingle with men until later when you destroy them in a flood saving only a righteous remnant through Noah. This you have done intentionally to show the remnant how desperate mankind’s situation is in the face of your own perfection. (Genesis ch .6 & 7)

Many generations after the flood you meet Moses on Mt. Sinai where you give him the law, ten commandments to pass on to mankind through the Israelites, a kind of yardstick by which they can become more fully aware of their innate inability to make the right decisions and do evil in spite of their desire to be righteous. Along with that you give Moses a series of rituals that must be followed by his people including the sacrifice of a perfect lamb devoid of any spot or blemish, on the basis of that act you will roll their sins back each year. This is significant of the plan that you have had from the beginning to ransom mankind in the future from the evil clutches of the tempter forever. Each year when the high priest sacrifices the blood of the lamb and sprinkles it on the temple mercy seat as you have required in the ordinance, you look ahead in mankind’s time and you see Jesus, your own lamb without blemish on the cross at Calvary and you consider their temple sacrifice an act of righteousness. 

Because you are holy and perfect, you cannot tolerate that which is unholy and imperfect, and so although you love your creation you hate their sin and have vowed to destroy it. You enter into the material world by means of a virgin, impregnating her through the spirit of your will. Thus you come into the world as your own son as the perfect means of salvaging mankind by providing yourself as the final sacrifice for the sins of the world according to scripture. 

“Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)
(It was the will of the Father to bruise and put Himself in the form as His Son to grief for our sake.)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 )

I hope this brief and unintentionally irreverent look into the mindset of God as I understand it is helpful to whoever follows this blog, and that connects the Old and the New Testaments together in a way to make it more meaningful and easier to understand the greatness of God and His will for you.