A Muslim student at Michigan University challenges Ravi Zacharias on Christianities seemingly lack of ability in keeping the “law” like Islam and Judaism do so well. How can Christianity be true if it isn’t doing that which God demands? (I have recently enhanced, greatly, the audio in the file from my original VIMEO upload… and reconfigured slightly the visual presentation.)
A first chapter from a book I thoroughly enjoyed and helped me deal with me.
- Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 17-28.
Here is a downloadable PDF.
[p.17>] Once upon a time in a faraway galaxy, there was a highly advanced people. They had everything they could ever desire: technology to solve every problem, and more leisure than we get in a lifetime. But they were bored. Bored to tears. They needed something new—something exciting—to liven up their planet.
A committee was established to look into the matter. They discussed coming up with a new sport. Or developing a new amusement park. Finally, an alien named Beezy proposed the winning idea.
“How about creating a god?” he suggested.
Everyone agreed it was a wonderful idea. “It will give our people something to do on Sunday,” one said. “And it will be great for conversations,” said another.
So they tried to invent a god. But to no avail. Beezy, who had been placed in charge of the research and development of a new god, called all the committee members together.
“Look, this just isn’t working,” he said. “What good is a god we can invent ourselves? We’re smart enough to know that’s not a real god. Why don’t we find us a god instead—like that God the earthlings worship?”
The committee agreed, and soon afterward Beezy took a business trip to the Planet Earth. Under his invisible cloak, he visited dozens and dozens of churches and religious institutions. He took copious notes and spent hours writing up his report.
When he returned, the committee gathered, eager to hear of his findings. “Fellow aliens,” he greeted them. “I have returned not with one god, but with two.”
A gasp of astonishment rippled through the room.
“The name of the first god, or should I say goddess, is Grace. A [p.18>] very attractive goddess she is. She talked about love often. ‘Get along, be friends, be nice,’ she’d say. ‘And if you can’t be good, I’ll forgive you anyway.’ ” Beezy looked perplexed. “The only thing is, I’m not sure what she would forgive, since they didn’t seem to have any rules to break.”
Beezy went on. “I especially liked the things the followers of Grace did, like feeding poor people and visiting prisoners in jail. However”—he shook his head—”these followers of Grace seemed so lost. They kept doing the same bad things over and over, and they never seemed to know where they were going.
“Then there’s the other god.” Beezy took a deep breath. “This god is definitely a man, and his name is Truth. Truth is just as mean as Grace is nice. He kept telling the people all sorts of things about them that made them feel very bad, and his followers did the same thing. But there’s a good side to Truth,” Beezy reassured the committee. “He campaigns against some very nasty enemies, such as lying, cheating, adultery, abortion, and drunkenness. He’s like a big religious street sweeper, sweeping away all his enemies. The only trouble is, he not only sweeps away bad things; he also sweeps away the people who do the bad things. As for the smiles you see on the followers of Grace—forget it. All Truth’s followers do is scowl and scream.”
Needless to say, after hearing Beezy’s report, the committee were ready to opt for the new amusement park because they didn’t like either god. But Beezy had one last suggestion.
“We have all this wonderful technology for mixing repelling elements, like oil and water,” he said. “How about if we try mixing Grace and Truth?”
GRACE AND TRUTH DIVIDED
Our God is a God “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). We often hear the phrase “full of grace and truth,” but we rarely stop and realize its implications for our struggles here on earth. What are grace and truth? Why are they so important?
Let’s take grace first. Grace is the unmerited favor of God toward people. Grace is something we have not earned and do not deserve. As Frederick Buechner says, “Grace is something you can never get but only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.”‘
To put it another way, grace is unconditional love and acceptance. Such love is the foundation upon which all healing of the human spirit [p.19>] rests. It is also the essence of God. “God is love,” writes the apostle John (1 John 4:8). And God loves us freely, without condition.
The Bible itself does not clearly distinguish between grace and love. As the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia comments, “Love stresses God’s personal disposition toward unworthy creatures, while grace stresses his freedom from obligation in saving them. But the distinction is not clearly nor consistently made. Both love and grace come to us through Christ (Rom. 5:8; Gal. 1:6). And both are unique in that they are undeserved.”
Grace is the first ingredient necessary for growing up in the image of God. Grace is unbroken, uninterrupted, unearned, accepting relationship. It is the kind of relationship humanity had with God in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were loved and provided for. They knew God’s truth, and they had perfect freedom to do God’s will. In short, they were secure; they had no shame and anxiety. They could be who they truly were.
Perhaps you have experienced this kind of love and grace with someone. You can be exactly who you are. You do not need to hide your thoughts or feelings; you do not need to perform; you do not need to do anything to be loved. Someone knows the real you, and loves you anyway.
Grace, then, is the relational aspect of God’s character. It shows itself in his unconditional connection to us. The first “god” Beezy discovered had this characteristic: Grace was a goddess of compassion and relationship. Her followers did all sorts of loving things for one another; they gave of themselves freely. They tried to connect with people who were in pain and to help them out of their pain. They lived in togetherness.
Those who worshiped Grace had only one problem: they heard little truth spoken. As a result, they continued to fall into bad situations that required more and more grace. It’s not that the goddess Grace minded giving more. Grace’s grace had no limit. However, Grace’s followers needed direction to keep them from falling into the same old patterns over and over again. They needed guidance to steer them away from trouble.
This is where Truth comes in. The second god that Beezy found was very good at setting limits on bad behavior. He gave his followers lots of direction; he told them exactly what they could do and what they could not do. They knew clearly the difference between what was right and what was wrong, what was good and what was not good. They had firm boundaries about where they could play and where they could not.
Truth is the second ingredient necessary for growing up in the image of God. Truth is what is real; it describes how things really are. [p.20>]
Just as grace is the relational aspect of God’s character, truth is the structural aspect of his character. Truth is the skeleton life hangs upon; it adds shape to everything in the universe. God’s truth leads us to what is real, to what is accurate. Just as our DNA contains the form that our physical life will take, God’s truth contains the form that our soul and spirit should take.
All of this sounds wonderful, but as was the case with Grace, Truth had his own problems. He was mean. He didn’t seem to care about the people who were violating his standards. All he cared about was wiping out the bad. He had none of the compassion Grace demonstrated; at times he seemed downright uncaring. In short, he had no relational aspects: he lacked forgiveness, favor, mercy, compassion—all of the attributes that flowed freely from Grace. If people failed, he just threw them out, or yelled at them.
As Grace left Beezy wanting structure, Truth left Beezy wanting love.
All of us, to some degree, have experienced these two gods—the loving one for whom anything goes and the hard one who lets nothing slide. As you have probably already realized, these two gods are aspects of the one true God’s nature, aspects that different churches emphasize. What you may not realize is that these different “gods” are really symbols of the human condition after the fall, when sin ripped grace and truth apart.
TRUTH WITHOUT GRACE
When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they had both grace and truth united in one God. When they sinned, they drove a wedge between themselves and God; they lost their grace-filled and truthful relationship with God.
Without grace, Adam and Eve felt shame: when they heard God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, they hid from him. When God calls out, “Where are you?” Adam explains that he was hiding because he was afraid (Gen. 3:8-10). Shame and guilt had entered the world; human beings were no longer safe.
After Adam and Eve cut themselves off from a relationship with God, they also severed their connection to grace and truth, for those come through relationship with God. However, God did not let them stay isolated for long. Seeing Adam and Eve in their lost state, he decided to give them direction; he gave them truth in the form of the [p.21>] law. The law is a blueprint, or a structure, for people to live by. It offers them guidance, and it sets limits for them.
There was only one problem: God gave them truth without grace. Adam and Eve had to try to live up to God’s standards. They soon learned that they could never measure up. No matter how hard they tried to perform, they would always come up short. Truth without grace is judgment. It sends you straight to hell, literally and experientially.
Paul writes to the Romans about truth without grace—the law—and the things it does to us:
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (3:19-20)
Law brings wrath. (4:15)
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. (5:20)
For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. (7:5)
Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. (7:9-10)
And to the Galatians Paul writes:
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (3:10)
We were held prisoners by the law. (3:23)
You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. (5:4)
And James gives us this discouraging bit of news:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (2:10) [p.22>]
When we look at what the Scripture says about the law, about truth without grace, we see that the law silences us, brings anger, increases sin, arouses sinful passions, brings death, puts us under a curse, holds us prisoner, alienates us from Christ, and judges us harshly. No wonder Beezy did not like Truth!
The law without grace destroys us. No one ever grows when they are under the law, for the law put us into a strictly legal relationship with God: “I’ll love you only if you do what is true or right.” Getting truth before grace, or truth before relationship, brings guilt, anxiety, anger, and a host of other painful emotions, as this story of Ruth shows.
Ruth’s missionary father had insisted that his twenty-two-year-old daughter come to see me. Ruth, a college student, was suffering from depression. She had no appetite and had trouble sleeping and studying. Her father accompanied her to the appointment.
“What’s the problem?” I asked Ruth, after we had chatted for a few minutes. But it was her father who responded.
“Well, it’s pretty obvious,” he said, folding his arms across his chest. “She’s not living like she should.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“She’s doing drugs and sleeping around,” he said with disgust. “Plus she’s flunking out of college, and she has no idea what she wants to do with her life.” Before I could ask another question, he continued, “If she read her Bible and went to church, she wouldn’t be so depressed. But all she wants to do is hang around those reprobate friends of hers.”
“What would happen if she began to do all of the things you think she should?” I asked.
“Well, then she would be happy like her mother and I, and the Lord would bless her.”
I could see that I was not going to get very far with Ruth’s father, so I thanked him for his information and asked if I could talk with Ruth alone.
When her father had left, Ruth was still hesitant to talk. She refused to answer any of my questions with more than a yes or no. Finally I said, “Ruth, I think if I had to live with your father, I’d take drugs too. Does his attitude have anything to do with your discouragement?”
Ruth nodded. Her eyes filled with tears.
“You are an adult and this is an adults’ hospital,” I said, “I don’t see that you are in any danger to yourself or anyone else, so you are free to go. But before you leave, let me tell you what I think is going on. [p.23>]
“I don’t know all of the story, but I can tell that you’re very depressed, and I don’t think it is because you aren’t doing the things your father thinks you should do. I think there are other reasons, very good, logical reasons, that he doesn’t understand. If you would like to stay, I think we can help you to feel better. If you do stay, though, it will have to be your choice, not his. If he’s upset about something, he can get help for himself.”
Ruth sat stiffly in her chair, staring at me through her tears. “I’ll leave you alone a few minutes to think about it,” I said.
Ruth did decide to check in, and what I had suspected was true. Ruth had had many years of “truth without grace.” As a result, she was experiencing the things the Bible says the law produces: bad feelings and failure. Everywhere she turned, she ran into some “should,” and very little acceptance. The law of sin and death had taken its toll on her, and it was a painful struggle for her to break free of its grip.
As I watched her struggle, I could not help thinking back to what the Bible says about truth without grace: it silences us, brings anger, increases sin, arouses sinful passions, brings death, puts us under a curse, holds us prisoner, alienates us from Christ, and judges us harshly.
GRACE WITHOUT TRUTH
Truth without grace is deadly, but as Beezy discovered, grace without truth leads to less than successful living as well. In Grace’s church, Beezy saw people who were loving, but directionless. In actuality, Grace was not this goddess’s real name. In the same way that Truth (without grace) can be called Judgment, Grace (without truth) can be named License. The Scriptures write about her also:
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature. (Gal. 5:13)
The acts of sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Rom. 6:15-16) [p.24>]
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Col. 3:5)
For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, carousing, and detestable idolatry. (1 Peter 4:3)
He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. (Prov. 13:18)
In the same way that Ruth’s home—one of truth without grace—had led to negative consequences, a home of “grace without truth” can also have devastating results.
Sam was admitted into our hospital program after an accidental drug overdose. He had neglected to keep track of how much cocaine he was snorting. Although Sam was twenty-eight, he dressed like a teenager—torn jeans, a faded Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt, and high-top tennis shoes with the laces untied.
In the first few sessions we discovered that, although Sam had a genius IQ, he had flunked out of two colleges and had never been able to hold down a job. His relational life was equally troubled. He would totally lose himself in a relationship and recklessly abandon the rest of his responsibilities. In the process, he would smother whomever he was dating and scare her away. At the time he was admitted, his latest girlfriend had just left him.
When we asked Sam about his family, he told us that his father had died when Sam was four. Depressed and withdrawn for many years, his mother had never remarried. In an attempt to make up for the loss of their father, she had tried to be as nice to her children as possible. To hear Sam tell it, he had lived “the life of Riley.” He had had few responsibilities and plenty of money. His mother had rarely disciplined him when he got into trouble. In fact, several times she had bailed him out of jail when he had been arrested for shoplifting, disorderly conduct, and drug possession.
At first, Sam’s lifelong patterns continued at the hospital unit: he would sleep late, miss activities, forget assignments, and fail to groom himself properly. The lack of limits in his life—the lack of truth and discipline—had led to a chaotic lifestyle.
The hospital staff, however, refused to protect Sam from the consequences of his actions as his mother had. Sam learned, after some strong guidance and painful confrontations, to fulfill his responsibilities. [p.25>]
And, to his surprise, he discovered that he felt much better about life when he was pulling his own weight.
The Bible doesn’t commend either one of Beezy’s gods: Truth apart from Grace, nor Grace apart from Truth. Beezy’s final suggestion was a good one: how about mixing Grace and Truth together? He wasn’t the first to think of this: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:14, 16-17, italics mine).
This passage shows both how people fail and how they are redeemed. Failure comes through the law, and redemption through Jesus. It is only through him that we can realize two ingredients of growth: grace and truth. It is through him that we can come back into the same relationship Adam had: an unbroken connection (grace) to the One who is reality (truth).
We have seen the destruction that occurs when grace and truth are divided. Let’s look at what happens when grace and truth get together.
GRACE AND TRUTH TOGETHER
Grace and truth together reverse the effects of the fall, which were separation from God and others. Grace and truth together invite us out of isolation and into relationship. Grace, when it is combined with truth, invites the true self, the “me” as I really am, warts and all, into relationship. It is one thing to have safety in relationship; it is quite another to be truly known and accepted in this relationship.
With grace alone, we are safe from condemnation, but we cannot experience true intimacy. When the one who offers grace also offers truth (truth about who we are, truth about who he or she is, and truth about the world around us), and we respond with our true self, then real intimacy is possible. Real intimacy always comes in the company of truth.
Jesus’ treatment of the adulterous woman in John 8:3-11 provides a wonderful example of safety and intimacy:
Jesus had gone to the temple at dawn to teach the people. He had just sat down when the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in an adulterous woman and made her stand before the group.
“Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery,” they said. “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do [p.26>] you say?” The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus. The Romans did not allow the Jews to carry out the death sentence, so if Jesus said, “Stone her,” he would be in conflict with the Romans. If he said, “Don’t stone her,” he could be accused of undermining Jewish law.
But Jesus refused to fall into their trap. He bent down, and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he stood up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
When they heard his answer, they began to slink away, one by one. Soon Jesus was left alone with the woman. He asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
In this one encounter, Jesus shows what it means to know grace and truth in him. He offered this woman grace in the form of forgiveness and acceptance. He said, in effect, that she did not have to die for her sin. She was accepted and did not have to be separated from him. He also showed the power of grace as an agent to end separation from her fellow human beings as well. The Pharisees were no different from her: she was a sinner, and they were sinners. Jesus even invited the Pharisees to commune with her as a member of the human race, an invitation they declined. Grace has the power to bring us together with God and with others, if others will accept it.
But Jesus did not stop with just acceptance. He accepted her with full realization of who she was: an adulteress. He accepted her true self, a woman with sinful desires and actions. He then gives her direction for the future: “Go now and leave your life of sin.” These two ingredients together—acceptance and direction—serve to bring the real self into relationship, the only way that healing ever takes place.
Jesus said it in another way in John 4:23-24: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (italics mine). We must worship God in relationship and in honesty, or we do not worship him at all. The sad thing is that many of us come to Christ because we are sinners, and then spend the rest of our lives trying to prove that we are not! We try to hide who we really are.
THE REAL SELF VERSUS THE FALSE SELF
When the real self comes into relationship with God and others, an incredible dynamic is set into motion: we grow as God created us to [p.27>] grow. It is only when you are connected to the Head (Jesus Christ) and connected to others (the Body) that “the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow” (Col. 2:19). A coming together of grace and truth in Jesus Christ is our only hope, and indeed it is a hope that does not disappoint.
Jake, a friend of mine and a recovering alcoholic, put it this way:
“When I was in church or with my Christian friends, they would just tell me that drinking was wrong and that I should repent. They didn’t know how many times I had tried quitting, how many times I had tried to be a good Christian.
“When I got into Alcoholics Anonymous, I found that I could be honest about my failures, but more important, I could be honest about my helplessness. When I found out that God and others accepted me in both my drinking and my helplessness to control it, I began to have hope. I could come forth with who I really was and find help.
“As much as the church preached grace, I never really found acceptance there for my real state. They always expected me to change. In my AA group, not only did they not expect me to change, they told me that, by myself, I could not change! They told me that all I could do was confess who I truly was, an alcoholic, and that God could change me along with their daily support. Finally, I could be honest, and I could find friends. That was totally different, and it changed my life.”
Jake found that when he could be himself in relationship with God and others, healing was possible. Problems occur when the real self, the one God created, is hiding from God and others.
If the true self is in hiding, the false self takes over. The false self is the self that is conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2). The false self is the self we present to others, the false front, if you will, that we put up for others to see. Paul speaks of the false self this way:
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (Eph. 4:20-25)
As long as the lying, false self is the one relating to God, others, and ourselves, then grace and truth cannot heal us. The false self tries to “heal” us by its own methods; it always finds false solutions, and the [p.28>] real self that God created to grow into his likeness stays hidden and unexposed to grace and truth.
THE GUILT BARRIER
Grace and truth are a healing combination because they deal with one of the main barriers to all growth: guilt. We have emotional difficulties because we have been injured (someone has sinned against us) or we have rebelled (we have sinned) or some combination of the two. As a result of this lack of love or lack of obedience, we are hidden in a world of guilt. We saw earlier that Adam and Eve had to hide themselves because of the guilt and shame of their sin, and also because of what they had become (less than perfect).
Guilt and shame too often sends us into hiding. If we have to hide, we cannot get help for our needs and brokenness; we cannot become “poor in Spirit,” and therefore be blessed. When grace comes along and says that we are not condemned for who we truly are, then guilt can begin to be resolved, and we can begin to heal.
Sometimes the church reinforces our inclination to hide. My friend Jake found an end to his hiding only after he joined an AA group. When he came into a culture where he did not have to be ashamed of his failures and was forgiven for his sins, then truth and grace began to have their effect in his life.
It is interesting to compare a legalistic church with a good AA group. In this kind of church, it is culturally unacceptable to have problems; that is called being sinful. In the AA group it is culturally unacceptable to be perfect; that is called denial. In the former setting, people look better but get worse, and in the latter, they look worse but get better. Certainly there are good churches and poor AA groups, but because of a lack of grace and truth in some churches, Christians have had to go elsewhere to find healing.
It is clear why the aliens in Beezy’s world decided against worshiping a god. This religious stuff was for the birds. On the one hand, there was acceptance without direction, and that was not good; on the other hand, there was direction without relationship, and that stung! It is only in a combination of grace and truth that the real Jesus is present. It is only when the real Jesus is present that we can begin to grow into the likeness of our Creator. And we really can be healed, if we have one more ingredient….
“[T]he paradox is that God must destroy in us, all illusions of
righteousness before he can make us righteous…”
~ Martin Luther
(Click To Enlarge – More About This Painting Below)
Luther LOVED Paul’s letter to the Romans. In this letter we find a battle of this “two-kingdom” idea (7:14-25[a]), which surely made him meditate on these things listed below.
More about the painting. Be aware that the text below may be imperfect as it was “Google Translated” ~ via WIKI
I love Propaganda’s above presentation. It hits all the point in the below video. You see, a life lived without the Gospel Message infused into your walk makes a truly lost soul where in the end nothing you do amounts to anything important. It mirrors naturalism in that all your actions… and humanities collective achievements, are all for nothing. Except, unlike naturalism, you live with this consequence in some form — eternally.
Josh McDowell put it best on why there has to be judgment for our sins, let me paraphrase him with this story of a judge and his daughter.
God doesn’t put people he loves in “hell”, those people choose that place as a replacement for God’s already done work on the cross. I firmly believe that if you were able to go to hell and ask someone there if they would like to change their mind and accept Jesus, they would respond in the negative! Why? Because they would rather have eternal pain and “hell fire” than to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Even Stephen Hawkings gets this distinction (from an old debate):
Apologist, lawyer and theologian John Warwick Montgomery references this choice in a quick blurb about the existence of evil and a good God:
The choice is yours. All your answers will not be magically swept away, but you will be on a road of deeper understanding and a spiritual journey that includes love in it. No other world religion has this type of love story in it. Here is a witnessing situation that includes the above thinking, it is instructive to show how wide the divide is between us and our Lord:
This may seem simple, but the Roman’s road brings you to the sinners prayer. God has so wired you and this cosmos that He responds to this simple prayer
In a presentation that I gave in a Sunday class at church (and added media to here), I end with this wonderful video that encapsulated the Gospel message the most effectively — in my minds eye:
Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio (http://www.piratechristianradio.com/) very succinctly explains the law and just how we are made holy. It is an intro to a larger segment.
Walk With Me
This is a topic I taught on at church, and it is a simple way to preach the Gospel to yourself. There are 5 categories:
- We are Sinners;
- We are Judged for this sin;
- We are Forgiven;
- This forgiveness creates a Relational aspect with our God;
- Which brings Joy in every situation we face.
In our busy schedules choose a single verse from each section and on Monday study that single verse about our sinful nature. Use an online resource such as Blue Letter Bible to read a commentary on it or Bible Gateway to read a version you haven’t read of the verse. (Or one of your home resources… whatever the case may be.) On Tuesday take a verse on forgiveness (mine, or one that has hit a cord with you over the years). Etc.
By Friday, T.G.I.F. takes on a new meaning. The following week, do the same, but with a different verse. Habits.
WE ARE CALLED TO CHECK IN
A verse that calls us to “check in” so-to-speak, is 2 Corinthians 13:5 ~ I will read from a paraphrase of this verse, however, feel free to click on the link below to see the paraphrase next to my favorite versions:
ALL HAVE SINNED (#1)
- Proverbs 21:2 ~ “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.”
- Proverbs 16:2 ~ “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD evaluates the motives.”
- 1 Samuel 16:7 ~ “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
2 things to glean from these:
Here we read a quick insight gleaned from Matthew Henry (Matthew 23:27-28)
How many righteous persons are there?
- Romans 3:10 ~ “There is no one righteous, not even one.”
Bill Cosby teaches us about this malady we have from the earliest age (and he is a debased sinner as well, in need of a savior):
As an aside. Something that Bill Cosby said above struck a cord with me. He mentioned that the only time a child tells the truth is when they are in pain. So do we ~ often times ~ as adults. Here is the C.S. Lewis quote that came to me when I watched this:
We can rest contentedly in our sins and in our stupidities, and anyone who has watched gluttons shoveling down the most exquisite foods as if they did not know what they were eating, will admit that we can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (NY, New York: Touchstone, 1996), 82-83.
Let us take a short historical theology break and read a few points from the 1689 London Baptist Confession:
Hank Hanegraaff explains WHAT sin is and is not:
R.C. Sproul, a theologian of report, helps us define what TOTAL and UTTER “depravity” means:
While some will not support my posting of this next video by Mark Driscoll… I understand. But he has done a lot of good explaining of core doctrine that assists us in understanding concepts, like, TOTAL DEPRAVITY:
- Jeremiah 17:9 ~ “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable – who can understand it?”
Sproul has a wonderful ministry, and he [Sproul] has asked ~ rhetorically ~ how: anyone could be involved in believing in the value of human worth and at the same time believing in TOTAL depravity? He responds:
- Leviticus 5:17 ~ “If someone sins and without knowing it violates any of the Lord’s commands concerning anything prohibited, he bears the consequences of his guilt.”
In the O.T. guilt has three aspects.
(1) There is an act which brings guilt;
(2) There is the condition of guilt which follows the act;
(3) There is punishment appropriate to the act.
In the N.T., guilt is a judicial concept. The Greek word/idea is drawn from the courts, and emphasize liability to punishment. The guilty person has been:
(3) and convicted.
Both Testaments view acts which bring guilt as the end result of offenses against God. (See: Heb. 9:11–28 for the legal answer to this predicament)
- Romans 6:23(a) ~ “For the wages of sin is death….”
And, we must always keep in mind that we are judged righteously by our Triune God:
Galatians 2:16-17 (<< link to the HCSB version. Below is the ISV)
~ According to the text in the ISV, Christ’s faith — not ours — does the justifying. It is His focus of attention, not ours, that does the work. (The “onus” then is put in proper perspective.) As an example from one of my favorite verses, Philippians 1:6:
To be clear:
(a) HE started the Good work [salvation];
(b) He will carry it out;
(c) He will complete it.
It is ALL a work of Christ!
In-other-words, we will join the 24-elders in Revelation in throwing our crowns at Jesus feet, for all the good “WE” did was in actually Him working through us by even creating these… good works in our heart, and the will and drive to do them for His glory:
- Romans 6:23(b) ~ “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
For those that do not know, I am a three-time convicted felon from many years ago. I like to say I am a retired felon. While in Jail I had to realign drastically the direction I had traveled. I didn’t realize it then, but I was preaching the Gospel to myself by studying Hosea. The Lord told the prophet — literally —
- “Go, take to yourself a wife who will prove to be unfaithful.”
And if you think about it, we are all unfaithful to God in some way: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). And we break our marriage contract with the Lord, it is the Lord who is faithful and bridges the gap we cannot:
[David offered raisin cakes to the starving (1 Sam 30:11-12); at the celebration of the return of the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam 6:18-19); Abigail made for David’s troops (1 Sam 25:18). What was once good in the Lord’s eyes man will surely corrupt.]
- Jeremiah 15:19(a,b) ~ “Therefore, this is what the LORD says: ‘If you return, I will restore you…'”
This implies we will fail, and He knew it, and yet chose us.
George Gilder enumerates a law that goes well with the Refiners Fire hymn. In an Interview with Dennis Prager Mr. Gilder enumerated a law of Information Theory*, and thus economics:
*(the mathematical theory concerned with the content, transmission, storage, and retrieval of information, usually in the form of messages or data, and especially by means of computers)
Notes on 1 Peter 1:7
a) Peter was not backslidden or apathetic;
b) It was Paul’s general encouragement to fan the flame/keep the fire burning brightly
- 2 Corinthians 4:16 ~ Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
“…renewed day by day.” Almost like a Jewish Seder which Paul would have been familiar with. Like the Passover Seder, for instance, that helped keep the identity of the Jewish nation for almost 3-millinea, we need habits that keep our identity as owned by Christ, daily. Are we equipped for the task?
- 2 Timothy 1:7 ~ “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
“…but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” We have “to take some responsibility in that renewal. The continual brightening of the inner flame that God has given to us is related to God’s own equipment for us. God does not equip us with weakness, but with power. He does not equip us with hatred, but with love. He does not equip us with self-destruction, but with self-discipline.”
- Romans 8:15 ~ “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”
John Calvin, the great Reformer, says this of the above Romans thinking:
MARTIN LUTHER tells us we have to preach this to ourselves constantly… because it is SUCH GREAT NEWS we seem to view it as unbelievable:
Okay, what does “forgiven” mean? And, how does this change our position with God?
We have all heard the famous saying, “Mercy is not getting what you deserve. And grace is getting what you absolutely do not deserve.” This comes in part from Hebrews 4:16:
In Genesis 8 when Noah sacrificed clean animals to God, “the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma.” Christ is the last Adam, thee final sacrifice that ends all sacrificial offerings, and we see in 2 Corinthians 2:15 the “…we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” You see, we are covered in Christ’ offering and are thus pleasing to God.
How should we respond to this idea in Psalm 30:5?
Indeed, God is my salvation;
I will trust Him and not be afraid,
for Jehovah, the Lord,
is my strength and my song.
He has become my salvation.”
You will joyfully draw water
from the springs of salvation,
and on that day you will say:
“Give thanks to Yahweh; proclaim His name!
Celebrate His works among the peoples.
Declare that His name is exalted.
Sing to Yahweh, for He has done glorious things.
The God of Glory
Even in failure and time of testing and trials we have a line to divine joy. Consider James 1:2-4:
Of verse two my first owned (and still a favorite of mine) commentary says this:
In another commentaries summing up of verse three, we see perseverance is key to our joy as well, but this takes time and is something not magically infused at the outset:
Paul surely knew by heart this verse:
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to You
because You have redeemed me.
We should then have a definition of o-u-r-s-e-l-v-e-s… as Christians, that bring to bear the gift we should now be celebrating, here, Martin Luther in his Commentary on Galatians, offers a good definition of a Christian. In this definition we see the totality of the above study of Romans Road ~ exemplified:
A “summation” of the above:
I have, for some reason unknown to me, many run-ins with Black Hebrew Israelites. God, either through my personality or bringing these people to my cyber door step, allows prolonged conversation with these very earnest people. This is one guy I like, he is witty, funny, and entrepreneur, but he is lost, lost, lost. I will not post our entire conversation, but I will shorten it to some of the important exchanges to allow others to add some responses to their apologetic repertoire. (You can read the entire thing here if you so wish.) This conversation may seem choppy, again, I am shortening it, but there are some nuggets of thinking one can apply to their responses on these theologically racial encounters. This gentleman, however, has a messiah complex — and may be thinking of himself as a biblical character? For example, here is the “About the Author” from Amazon:
So keep this in mind as you pick up our conversation, or any comments he may leave.
By-the-by, the gentleman I discussed this topic with lives in Chicago, which has a large cult movement along these lines (click the Chicago skyline to read about it). Also, one should note that while I cannot pigeon-hole Enoch into a particular category (he has a mix of beliefs: Nation of Islam, Black Hebrew Israelite, Black Nationalist Liberation Theology, New Age, etc), the response near the end of this post to the verses typically used (by black liberation theologians, Nation of Islam adherents, and black Hebrew Israelites) to show Jesus is black is key.
… But Enoch… lets break away from your Pulitzer prize winning writing skills. Do you believe what Christ taught about the law?
speaking about what I believe in regards to Christ let me begin with I believe Christ when he says that you must be hot or cold and if you are warm I will spew thee out. …. You must atone by deleting what you wrote in haste or know for certain that what you wrote is what you know beyond “maybe.”
Just so you are up to date, Enoch wrote a book that he bragged was rated “5-Stars” on Amazon (it was based on one review). Having encountered Enoch in past conversations and after reading his first chapter of the book, I gave him a one-star, to which I must atone for.
Well, when you want to talk about WHO Jesus is, WHAT His mission was, and His requirements that we must attain in order to enter into his presence, I am here for you. THIS is more important than who you are right now or how I view you (or your book). God sees the real Enoch. In some way I do not yet understand now, He digs you a lot and wants you to accept his mercy, but maybe you haven’t hashed out your positions with a guy like me? Maybe you do not realize that the letter keeping of Islam and other religions pale in comparison to Christianity. The question is this: in this law keeping (whether the five pillars in Islam – or – the search for Nirvana by rejecting the world in the here-and-now in Buddhism, whatever it is) are you driven towards personal righteousness/attainment and you will be judged on that by a just God, or into the arms of a God who has interwoven a love story (in contradistinction to every world religion, major and minor) who is more than ready to show mercy in your acceptance of His perfect Son. If we need to start at the bare bones (looking at the inspirational aspect of the Bible and who it was written by and how God doesn’t use automatons, then that is where we should start. But Jesus is calling you “Enoch,” and he knows YOU and WHO you are, and loved you before you knew Him.
Without evidence other than my name you conclude that I am Islam and once you concluded that I am islam you have structured your entire conversation around that premise.
No, I use Islam as an example because many you surround yourself with accept it (as your reviewer for your book does). And in the black nationalist movement many do as well, which I suppose is a big draw for your business? Granted, you may be a Christian in the “Rev. Wright” strain (black liberation theology), but there too is a world not based in the amount of mercy offered to man and is a works based understanding and a “James Cone” understanding of God. I am prepared as well to dig into that… BUT, I would rather concentrate on WHO Jesus is, and why it matters. I will compare and contrast His mercy with every other man-made system of thought.
And by-the-way, your name would denote a more New Age vision of life to me that includes UFOs and the like. in fact the “Book of Enoch” is typically accepted more by New Age apprentices rather than other belief structures. So your name, to be clear, has a ring of the Nation of Islam with a New Age flavor. But much of the view of “god” by Elijah Muhammad and others combine the two. AGAIN, however, we could talk about that/your name, my name all day… lets deal with the meat of the issue (Mark 8:29).
Okay. You referenced the Mark of Cain, this verse is really misused by the black nationalist community (and the white nationalist [and historical Mormons]). The reason I want to deal with WHO Jesus is IS because many people say they believe in Jesus:
✔ Mormons say he is the first born from a sexual union between a god and one of his goddesses, and that Lucifer and he are literal brothers… like all of us are;
✔ Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is the first created angel, Michael the Archangel, and that when he came to earth he was known as Jesus, and when he went back to heaven he became Michael again;
✔ Black liberation theology took a turn from Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey (Garveyism), and the Marxist Trinity (race, class, gender) was thrust into the modern movement by James Cone saying Jesus was a black man who didn’t only come to save people individually, but to lift the poor up — thus becoming a revolutionary figure. Taking it further still was Albert Cleage who effectively called into question (as most liberal theologies do) Paul’s inclusion in the New Testament;
✔ New Age (Helen Schucman, Heidi Rose Robbins, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Richard Bach Quotes, and the like) persons believe Jesus reached the next level of evolution and will herald the coming destruction of those not ready for this next stage of spiritual evolution;
✔ Christadelphianism believes Jesus was a created man with a sin nature;
✔ Theosophy believes that “god” is a principle to be believed and that Jesus is a great teacher, like Buddha and others;
✔ Masons believe Jesus is a Aeon here to (very much like Gnostics) point to a spiritual (not material) “cosmic consciousness, soul regeneration, philosophic initiation, spiritual illumination, Brahmic Splendor…” etc;
On-and-on… ad infinitum.
So when you write of “Jesus,” Enoch, I will again ask who you say HE IS (Mark 8:29)? Take note I summarized many beliefs about him in a sentence or two above… no mystery, or ethereal language involved. See if you can give me a plain answer to this simple question.
Tsk, tsk, naughty, naughty. Before we delve into what you desire you must first atone for your sin: You must atone by deleting the book review that you wrote in vindictive haste and with malice or….. know for certain that what you wrote is what you know to be certain and beyond “maybe.”
After reading 41-pages of it my critique stands… no 5-stars for you my friend.
Had you been a black person that left one star then my concern would be heightened but considering the source 5 stars was never my expectation.
Enoch mentioned that my sarcasm (which I had to point out, my sarcasm that is) was vindictive, malicious, antagonistic and mean spirited. Which it wasn’t, but Enoch takes things VERY literal, as you will see he does in a bit with Scripture.
… and there you go… the liberal trinity of race, class, and gender….The question isn’t what the white man speaks with, but what does Jesus say about eternality and the extent of the law YOU must keep in order to attain it. I, and other ethnicities are fallen creatures who can be vindictive, malicious, antagonistic and mean spirited. But WHO do you say Jesus is?
The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission.
Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strongminded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshiped, even with multitudinous idols. All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character.
All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances. Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.
Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions, pp. 285-286.
Enoch (posted a video):
While you were in school getting your degree in theology did they tell, show or teach you this….
HERE IS A RARE IF EVER AGAIN OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS THE TRUE FACE OF JESUS.
Me (I posted a video as well):
Did I learn about a 150-year old replica when studying a faith that is about 2,000 years old and rooted in a faith connected to the first man and women created? No. I did learn about the earliest known Christian symbol and its historical value (http://
While I disagree with the above author’s conclusion, he does rightly place the Shroud, to Jesus, in his (His) tomb, at that time. In other words Enoch Mubarak, the “image” of Jesus is well known. Another guest Medved had on a couple of years back was the author of this book, “The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery.” I do highly recommend this book
Enoch (quotes me):
“Jesus wasn’t white Enoch, he was a Mediterranean Jew”~ “In other words Enoch Mubarak, the “image” of Jesus is well known.” ~ Sean Giordano
Don’t he, haw and drag your tongue just say it….Jesus is a black man.
Jesus was not a black man Enoch Mubarak. You are inserting something demonstrably false into your “faith.”
The following describes black all day~everyday…….not white nor Mediterranean Jew.
His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. ~ Revelation 1:14
Daniel 7:9 “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
Daniel 10:6 His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
Revelation 2:18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
MEANWHILE…WHO IS JESUS?
Revelation 19:12 He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.
Using you logic then, God has wings, feathers, is a rock, a fireball, blew His nose to drown the Egyptians in the sea, and carried the entire Hebrew nation in His giant hand. You are literally interpreting what is meant to be Hebraic poetry and imagery.
EXODUS 15:8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
PSALM 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, . . . in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, . . . (cf. Ps 17:8, 36:7, 61:4, 63:7, Is 8:8, Mt 23:37, Lk 13:34)
PSALM 78:35 And they remembered that God was their rock, . . . (cf. Dt 32:4,15,18,37, 1 Sam 2:2, 2 Sam 22:32, Ps 18:2,31,46, 42:9)
PSALM 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust….
DEUTERONOMY 9:26 I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand. (cf. Dt 5:15, 7:8)
DEUTERONOMY 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, . . . (cf. Dt 9:3)
Quoting the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson
…Now to the more interesting observations. How will blacks react to “The Passion”? My answer to this will sound absolutely insane to some – particularly to white readers, who know that all too many blacks are crazy but don’t know quite how crazy – but bear with me, because a sizable sector of the American black population will react in the way I am predicting. One main complaint amongst some blacks will be that this movie does not represent black people because in their minds, Jesus was black.
Don’t believe me? Then take it from Malik Z. Shabazz, national chairman of the New Black Panther Party. Shabazz believes “The Passion” is “harmful and racist” because of “one very basic inaccuracy which has been long-promoted in order to bolster white supremacy.” That basic inaccuracy, according to Shabazz? “Jesus was not a European white man. Jesus Christ was a black man.” Shabazz even complains about the lack of black actors in the film. His motto seems to be: “History be damned – where are the black actors, and where’s Jesus’ afro!”
This is hardly a scarce notion amongst black Americans. Believe me. I live in the black community. Many believe this! Some of my own relatives even believe this! Therefore, many blacks believe that Christianity is the white man’s religion and that Islam is the true religion of black folks!…
REVELATION & DANIEL
Again, using your logic, as the VISION continues, Jesus is a Lion that looks like a lamb.
First, Jesus had snow white hair. Second, his eyes were like flame of fire. Third, his feet were like fine brass. (How did you extend that description to the rest of his body?) Fourth, his voice was like the sound of many waters. (So was it intelligible? How so if this description is literal?) Fifth, his right hand was large enough to contain seven stars. Sixth, he had a sword out of his mouth. And, seventh, his countenance was like the sun. (That final one does not sound much like the description of his feet.)
The terms come from John’s VISION of Christ, recorded in Revelation 1. That picture itself builds on a whole set of Old Testament imagery, esp. on the vision of the “Ancient of Days” (that is, God) and ‘one like a son of man’ in Daniel 7.
The specific phrases your description is based on are “his HEAD and HEAR were WHITE like wool” (not “woolly” – it’s about the COLOR, not the texture) and “FEET like bronze GLOWING IN A FURNACE”.
The picture doesn’t prove anything racial. All the more so if you look at the WHOLE description. The high priestly type garb described might work, but just TRY to draw a picture that incorporates ALL the parts, and IF you’re able to draw it, it will NOT look, sound, etc. at all like a normal human being! (his tongue is a SWORD, his eyes blaze like fire, his face shines LIKE THE SUN, his voice is like thundering waters). That’s because it not MEANT to — it is a VISION telling you something about his characteristics, glory, power, etc.
Enoch never answered the Biblical critique of his taking out of context verses that HE (and the Black Hebrew Israelites) interpret to mean Jesus is a black man. In fact, when I point out the above, I never hear a response?
I hope you enjoyed this choppy conversation, that last part is a great response to theologically racist interpretation of Scripture.
Continuing the conversation at another post of Enoch’s (see here) about the supposed racism of the Tea Party, which I thoroughly refute, the conversation switches to a more important subject — Salvation. One reader — after my refutation of the narrative that the Tea Party is racist — asks the following: I thought they weren’t racist. This started off a new strain:
David Duke certainly is. He is a scumbag with an ego and prideful heart that will contribute to Matthew 24:7 that talks about the end of days: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” “kingdoms” are the nation states, the Greek word for nation, however, is “ethnos,” where we get our word “ethnic” from. Jesus is really saying that the one of the signs of the times will include a “racial pride” or “war” that fuels this culmination of “Armageddon.”
Which is why the Bible is the best answer to this racial division. A great (and short – under 200-pages) book by Pastor and Dr. A. Charles Ware with Ken Ham is “One Race, One Blood” Unfortunately Enoch Mubarak is in this same law keeping that color is important when faith is what unites us, not genes turned on or off that produce melatonin. And his [Enoch’s] confusion of racial lines and racism onto whole swaths of people [Tea Partiers] that never deserved or earned the title of it [racist/racism] like David Duke has earned such a title of a scumbag racist, is just plain wrong. It is a parroting of the mass media and what Enoch thinks he has escaped is only in fact helping to spread. Which is why Mason Weaver’s book is so fitting: “It’s OK to Leave the Plantation: The New Underground Railroad”
I know Jesus is Enoch’s good Shepherd… Enoch just needs to listen to His Masters voice [Jesus’] and realize that if he wants to live by the law he will be judged by it. There is a merciful and graceful path outlined for Enoch, this means however, taking himself off of superman shirts and replacing it with Jesus. Or as one poet of the Gospel (or G.O.S.P.E.L.) says better than I on GodTube.
Maybe Enoch will listen to him because he has a “mane” of hair?
For the reader’s information, Enoch rejected [earlier in the conversation] a video presentation by “MachoSauce” because he has a shaved head… according to Enoch, black men must have hair: “Black man you must stop shaving your head bald. Your hair is your strength and your glory. The perception of strength is hair. Grow your hair. Stop going along just to get along. Stop letting the world, global community and your black woman continue to disrespect you by treating you like a BALD HEAD.”
To which I responded: “Shave or not to shave” ~ You will be judged on the law Enoch, in heaven, if you so choose… Jesus is calling you to mercy and forgiveness, otherwise his impossible law he has set up will doom you to being on the left hand of God. Hear a Muslim student ask about the law:“
Back to the conversation:
Enoch has risen and…..”If the watchman sees the enemy coming and does not sound the alarm, I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths Ezekiel 33:6″
Enoch, the BIBLE is all about Jesus… not “action.” The Old Testament (or literally, “The Old Covenant”) screams Jesus. In fact, that verse you quote often is found fulfilled in whom it refers to IN Matthew 24:
===============MATT 24:40-51 (The Message Bible)
39-44″The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.
45-47″Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.
48-51″But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it and make hash of him. He’ll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.”
The Watchman are watching for Jesus Enoch (Sermon Central). Do not insert your own meaning into the Bible (eisegesis) , the Bible speaks for itself (exegesis). Again, there is a “New Covenant” (the New Testament, and it is Good News my friend. You quote many ideas and thoughts that place you under the school master….
★ “You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth.” (Romans 2:20)
★ “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian” [or school master] (Galatians 3:24-25)
Are you watching… not for “David Dukes” or fictitious racists you gin up via the news-media, but are you watching for your Master Enoch?
We are conversing at this moment because I saw you coming, sounded the alarm and stopped you at the gate of Black America’s enclave.
Enoch Mubarak, if God can judge (and be the author of the death of 38-million [plus] black people in recent generations and not the fallen nature of man), then surely He can call you to repentance from that heavy yoke you carry (Matthew 11:30) through a very unlikely source, yeah? (*Speaking here of a shaved headed white boy*) Even donkey’s speak on God’s whim Enoch… the question is, does Balaam listen? God is calling you to peace Enoch (Galatians 3:27), the “hounds of heaven” are on your heals.
Text: Romans 1:19-21
“I fled Him down the nights and down the days
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
I hid from him….”
So begins Francis Thompson’s famous, but difficult, poem entitled “The Hound of Heaven.” The author sets the poem in the context of a life spent running from God. The poem pictures God like an old bloodhound sniffing our scent, always in the distance, occasionally letting out a howl to remind us that he is on our trail.
As the lengthy poem goes on, Thompson says he fled “across the margins of the world,” but the refrain always comes back:
“Still with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following feet, and a Voice above their beat…”
God is always there, always pursuing, always engaged in self-disclosure. And that is the essence of the second doctrine covered in our “Christian Believer” study – the self-revealing God. God is in the business of revealing the Divine Self to us. We would know nothing about God if God did not choose to reveal it.
Aside from videos, books asnd parables do you possess any original thought or ideas?
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” I pass on what I know Enoch Mubarak, as all have from the time of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3).
God is truly calling Enoch, and for some reason He has placed on my heart a temporary drive to share with him the Good News! I pray Enoch listens. He can use your prayers.
One pastor that put a twist on preaching the Gospel to ourselves rather than pointing to others as a cause of chaos is Supt. H. Burnett of Dunamis Word. This pastor and I may not see eye-to-eye on the non-essentials. But on the essentials, he preaches the Gospel message as it should be: we are sinners in need of a savior… and we need daily regeneration by the continued workings of the Holy Spirit. His pointing a segment of his readers to the fact that they shouldn’t be concerned about secret or conspiratorial marks on the Dollar Bill or New World Order type shenanigans, but rather, these marks of rebellion and sinfulness are in and on each one of us ~ IS BRILLIANT. In other words… preach the Gospel to ourselves, start there. A great insight!