Espirational Faith

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." –The Apostle Paul


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New Year – Old Wars

This article was written as an answer to a post made by a person in a discussion forum several weeks ago. I am reposting this today, New Year’s Day of 2018, as my response to her and anyone else’s fearful statements to the way terrorism seems to have a goal of annihilating everyone who are not Islamic and how it appears the only thing that can be done is to oppose such a religious faith violently. There is another way.

 

 

Believe me I understand how you feel about how Islam seems as violent as to want everyone who is not of their religion dead. But it is a religion, now hundreds of years old, regardless what we or others call it. My intent in replying to your comment is not to argue with you, but to give another point of view.
Let me ask this, in reality, are any other religions truly much different? We know that the Islamic faith sprung from the tribes’ ancestors by two brothers’ conflict. Most people of faith have read the Old Testament and wondered about the Hebrews being told to perform one battle after another, slaughtering whoever stood in their way, to take over the land promised to Abraham. And the Christians? From the time that believers in Jesus, the Christ, were forced out of Jerusalem in 66 A.D. Christians have stood at attention ready for military battle to defend our faith; believing that if they did not, then who would? This can be seen in international conflicts like the Christian Crusades, and more localized conflicts like the enduring war between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.
But have those armed military conflicts really settled anything? Oh, certainly you can point at the United States and proclaim that had it not been for the armed revolution against the British that the Freedom of Religion would not be known in that country, or anywhere else. Freedom of religion? Defined how? While the whole purpose of this clause in American government was to sever the relationship between religion and government, it seems that today certain extremists Christian believers are proclaiming that instead the clause means freedom only for those who believe in Christianity. This, therefore, is an action toward establishing Christianity as the state religion, and to make things worse, those who are shouting this should be done are also declaring that anyone who does not believe in Jesus as the Christ should have no rights or possibly be killed. Now tell me, how different is that than what you found in the Quran?
Let’s take just a few moments and reason this whole mess out. WWJD?
Most certainly it is not a pleasant experience to suddenly realize that there are major, and I mean extremely major groups and forces who may feel it is their duty and responsibility to the God they worship to annihilate the rest of us. But, not to make excuses for these peoples’ actions nor to imply they are right, the Islamic/Mohammedan people have, in the past, experienced the same treatment at the hands of the Jews and Christians. The immutable conflict between the two brothers has been on an international, interreligious battleground for millennial ages now and has spread worldwide with no foreseeable end in sight.
So just what is this battle? Is it really who owns a piece of land in the Mid-East? Is our battle really who has been given the true access to the Creator, God of this physical universe?
I can tell you through my years of experience in the study of people, societies and human religions that the people who claim and try to live the Islamic religion are, in their hearts, no more naturally violent than anyone else – Christian or not. Now this can be offensive speech when heard by many Christian believers; but how many true believers have you ever known who would not explain away the words of Christ when it came to explaining their reasons for having a right, a duty, to defend themselves and their families? Yet is this the Christ message they are declaring, or is it something each one of us learn from the time we are born that is our “sacred” duty to do – or be shamed? This radical declaration of possible violent defense of the Christian belief systems is actually no different than what I have heard from the few radical Muslims I have had discussions with. The teaching of ones right and responsibility to defend their religious roots and existence is universal, though the roots may be on different religious plants.
But there is a different group of people in every religion, every country, and every group of well-meaning individuals who are less than benevolent, less than pure, less than holy. While there are people in every religion in the world who try to live a pure, clean and holy life, Christian, Jewish, Islamic and other religions alike, there are others who would prefer to disrupt the balance and claim such spiritual riches as being theirs and their groups’ alone. These extremists are the ones who declare that everyone who does not believe as they do and/or serve their purpose should die. They are the political activists who consider no compromise. They are, in short, the terrorists.
Fear is a terrible taskmaster. But, instead of the popular t-shirts with the slogan printed on them stating, “No Fear,” we, as Christians, should be holding up a banner proclaiming “Pure Love.” We are in a spiritual battle during this age, as stated in one of the “Lost Gospels” where the conflict is over good vs. evil, light vs. darkness and truth vs. lies. The truth which Jesus proclaimed is to not fear those who proclaim that darkness and defeat is inevitable, because if we believe that then our actions will become such as to cause that fear to become reality. No our instructions given by Christ was to “occupy” until he returns. Notice there is no mention of doing battle or slaughtering everyone who refuses to believe in Christ. We are to simply occupy. (LUK 19:13)
Strange, isn’t it? If we were all to simply occupy and serve God, as we know him, in our own ways without attempting to say, as would little children, “My God is better, bigger, more powerful than your God,” then go about our daily lives serving God as best we know how, it seems that could be a taste of heaven on Earth?
What do you think?
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The Emerging Church

“Returning to Essentials”
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hospitality is the practice that keeps the church from becoming a club, a members-only society. —Diana Butler Bass [1]

Practical, practice-based Christianity has been avoided, denied, minimized, ignored, delayed, and sidelined for too many centuries, by too many Christians who were never told Christianity was anything more than a belonging or belief system. Now we know that there is no Methodist or Catholic way of loving. There is no Orthodox or Presbyterian way of living a simple and nonviolent life. There is no Lutheran or Evangelical way of showing mercy. There is no Baptist or Episcopalian way of visiting the imprisoned. If there is, we are invariably emphasizing the accidentals, which distract us from the very “marrow of the Gospel,” as St. Francis called it. We have made this mistake for too long. We cannot keep avoiding what Jesus actually emphasized and mandated. In this most urgent time, “it is the very love of Christ that now urges us” (2 Corinthians 5:14).

Quaker pastor Philip Gulley superbly summarizes how we must rebuild spirituality from the bottom up in his book, If the Church Were Christian. [2] Here I take the liberty of using my own words to restate his message, which offers a rather excellent description of Emerging Christianity: . . . .

(Please click here to read rest of this article by Richard Rohr, from his Daily Meditations in The Center for Action and Contemplation Blog called “The Emerging Church,” dated November 30, 2017.)

REVEALED — Volume Two — Free Today Only

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Have you been asking “What on Earth is happening here. . . on Earth?” This is a question which has been asked by people throughout history and has been speculated by both the wise and fools ever since the beginning of time. One of the most discussed and controversial books ever written, The Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John, found in the Christian Holy Bible today stands in the midst of this question. Why is this book so important? Why is it written in an allegorical, “secretive” language which seems to cause more confusion than answers to the basic question? And even if this description the apostle tells is accurate how can we know where we are at in its forecasts?

This book is Volume Two of The Espirational Truth Ministries’ continuing series on the systematic research which its founders have been doing for over 50 years. Volume One was where the author explained what the prophetic, allegoric language is and how the definitions to the figurative language is found in Bible parables and prophecies as they were discovered and found. It contains a glossary of many of the common terms used in the Bible parables and The RevelationVolume Two of this series called REVEALED is a stand alone volume which builds on the theory presented in Volume One where the allegorical language of the prophecy as presented by John has been removed using the literal language as defined by the Bible itself. Then, as shown to be done by Old Testament prophets like Daniel the prophetic writing of The Revelation is carefully correlated with history. This current Kindle edition has footnotes showing how events which has occurred since this book’s original publication in 1988 have progressively pushed Earth’s history further along the path toward prophetic fulfillment as described by John.

This is not just another doom and gloom book of predictions which talks about the “end days” and the ultimate destruction of Earth and Earth’s inhabitants. If you read to the end of the book you will see how humans have a glorious future promised where we are returned to our proper place of being citizens of the Universe created by a loving God. We will finally realize that we are spiritual beings having a human experience who are invited into eternity by the creator of us all. Please read this book and share it with others. We all need hope in this chaotic world we live in today. That’s what this book offers.


 

Click picture below to get your free copy of Volume Two of REVEALED.

FREE TODAY ONLY

June 15, 2017.


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A Newborn Year — A Newborn Life

To the new born, everything is new. While usually their eyes are still sealed shut, the new world around them is vibrant with sounds, smells and textures. All of which are spell binding. All of which are wonderfully compelling. All of which create a drive to want to see. To the person who is newly born into the true faith of the Spirit of God, of Christ, within us it is no different. These new born believers hear the sounds of truth around them. They smell the essence of the incense of prayers for them. And they feel the love which is now their life not only within them but all around them. Grow, little children, sleep, observe, play; for soon you will see with your own eyes, your own spirits, that which many have only ever dreamed.

We are holding now a three day old New Year in our hands, what do we do to help it grow and develop into the type of year we can be proud to be part of? We are also holding the occassion to allow the Spirit of the Christ child opportunity to grow within us. The question is will we?

There is only one way a baby grows: By someone loving it enough to provide its basic needs of air, water, milk, warmth and protection. As newborns grow they learn to do these things themselves, but for now they must be comfortable with being cared for by those who love them.

The same is true with this new year. While often uncomfortable, the inability to know the future is actually quite a blessing at times. To know the future would mean that we also would feel responsible to attempt to change that future if something were foreknown to be harmful to someone we love or ourselves. This type of responsibility could cause irresponsible actions by us because we would feel compelled to take actions which, on a universal-eternal basis, may not be prudent.

No, for the most part we know not the future. The year just past has proven that to most of us with the social-political events which have shook the globe. But the globe has been shaken before, yet it still spins on its axis and travels around the sun at a steady pace. And yes, we are still here.

The fact is that the spiritual Kingdom of God is but still an infant, a newborn. The Apostle, Paul, stated that he, representing the early church, “travailed in birth” (GAL 4:19) awaiting the rebirth of the believers in God through the Christ Spirit. And John said, in the book of The Revelation, that the birth of the Christian Church was as if the Hebrew faith were pregnant, and “travailing in birth,” or that is to be in labor (REV 12:2). The early church was the rebirth of mankind’s faith in the true Holy Spirit of God.

It has now been two allegorical days since that birth (2PE 3:8) and while much growth has occurred within the past 2000 years for most of us our eyes are not yet open. Many of us are frustrated and dismayed that the world is still in what seems to be even worse turmoil than historians have recorded to have occurred in the past. So we weep and shout and proclaim ourselves the ones to bring about the promised Kingdom of God on Earth, even with violence if necessary. Yet, even this decision shows that we do not understand Christ’s words when he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (JON 18:36)

We are still infants, when it comes to true faith in God. Even as this year we call 2017 is but three days old today, the universal, invisible church called “Christian” is just now entering its third day of existence in the Spiritual realm. It is now time for believers to open our eyes to see the possibilities of the spiritual world which cannot be seen, but sensed only in our hearts and minds – only in our spirits. By doing so, and only by doing so, shall we see the fulfillment of the line in the Lord’s Prayer: “ Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”  (MAT 6:9-11)

May God bless you all this coming year.


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“Peter, Put Away Your Sword!”

In a beautiful garden, one familiar to Jesus and his disciples for he had taught them there many times the story of Jesus consummates from one of the Christ attempting to prepare his flock of followers for the inevitable to one where the solders came, with a representative of the high priest, to arrest Jesus. But Peter still could not conceive of what was about to happen. He had conjured in his mind that he would be a general in the Lord’s army which would lead the Hebrew people into a great victory over Rome establishing  them with the leadership they long deserved.  When Peter saw that the soldiers were taking Jesus away as a prisoner he could contain himself no longer. Peter ran to block the way of the entourage with sword drawn and, most likely recognizing Malchus who was representing the high priest at the arrest, swung his sword in an attempt to cut off the head of the intruder. However, not trained as a military man, Peter’s poor aim resulted in the removal of Malchus’ ear, and a very upset Christ who said quietly, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” Then Jesus replaced the ear onto Malchus’ head and proceeded to go with the solders willingly, as Peter remained astonished and confused at what had just occurred causing him even to doubt the very one he had followed for several years. (JOH 18:1-18-NIV) This part of the salvation story is of utmost importance to believers today who try to follow Christ. Here’s why. . .

Throughout human history mankind has been violent. It seems to be an inevitable, almost innate characteristic of people which wells it’s ugly head at sometimes the most inopportune times and, without a doubt, causes reason to question our ability to ever be able to emulate such a Prince of Peace such as Jesus. But that is exactly what those who proclaim Jesus as Lord are called to do.

Jesus knew how difficult such a command would be for us to obey. Jesus explained to Matthew and the other disciples,

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence,[d] and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. (MAT 11:11-13-NIV)

Throughout the Old Testament there is presented extreme violence of war after war, murders, slavery, and multitudes of various persecutions while the Hebrew people have attempted to both regain their homeland and serve Jehovah God at the same time. This attempt to live successfully in two realms in the same lifetime creates chaos in a person’s mind and is, according to Jesus, impossible (MAT 6:24). However the materialism of property on which to live which can be called one’s own is very important in our minds if we are to feel freedom in this world. Thus, it seems, we are willing to fight and die for it.

But Jesus never gave the order to Peter to defend his right to movement, or his ability to teach of the Kingdom of God, nor for any other purpose. Earlier he had pleaded with his father (Jehovah) that the fact that he would be tried and executed as a common criminal be removed from his future, but realizing that plea was impossible if he were to carry out his mission he accepted it and went on toward his fate (MATT 26:39-42-NIV).

This is why scriptures indicate that even though he could call upon multitudes of angels to defend him during the crisis of his judgement here on Earth, he did not. He accepted his fate, written by his trusted father/god, and “marched on” toward a greater victory without violence. (MAT 26:53-NIV)

By accepting his responsibilities, Jesus was teaching his disciples and us one of the most important truths ever to be expressed in this world to know the difference between being an animal or a child of the living God. To recognize our relationship to God means to accept there are greater things in the universe than the physical and higher realms of reality than what we can sense with our common five senses. In short, violence leads to violence and in reality accomplishes nothing, but the way of peace creates within people the reality that there is a way through which all can be accomplished.

This message has been expressed by several other great spiritual leaders, both Christian and those of other faiths, through man’s short history. Ghandi’s leadership to India’s independence, Martin Luther King’s bold leadership of the black revolution in the middle of the  twentieth century and others have walked in great physical danger, some even to be killed, to promote right thinking and right actions in a peaceful way.

But the Christian faith has been riddled with violence ever since our Lord’s resurrection. Ever since the escape from Jerusalem when Rome came into the City of Jerusalem and destroyed the Hebrew temple there, the believers who call themselves Christian have armed themselves and gone to battle in defense of their faith. The Christian Crusades and other battles which was fought to embolden the Christian believers and to defend their right to exist against those who would argue otherwise.

Even massive worldwide wars like World War II have been promoted as a good thing for Christian believers to do because of the cruel and inhumane things being done by those being fought against. So we could not set back and do nothing while a despot rampaged over Europe, raping the land and slaughtering millions of Jews simply because they existed.

Now, today, we are facing a new yet ever so common a threat to our ability to follow the Prince of Peace. Several years ago this country called the United States was attacked in a very unexpected way. It seemed to be from within, using our own commercial aircraft as weapons and our own fear as the main tool to change this country from within.

What am I saying? Oh, we are not afraid? Don’t kid yourself. If this country is not afraid then why have we developed the most powerful military the world has ever known. Why have we declared war on a group of nationless faces who have likewise declared war on us, and for much the same reasons. And why has our political circumstances in this country become so chaotic that we are considering placing into leadership two questionable choices; either a person who has been struggling with court cases and questionable character during the whole presidential campaign or one who says he will build walls, build defenses, and eliminate certain people and traditional thought which this country has developed and known for centuries. And, furthermore, why is it that from the pulpits of this country’s churches who claim to worship the father of the Pirince of Peace do we hear church leaders telling congregates to arm themselves? Only fear creates such an atmosphere.

The U.S. citizen becomes the modern Peter in this scenario. For too long we have been following our animalistic selves and drawing our swords without thinking that there might be a better way. The Lord’s way. If we strike out with that sword, we could cut off the ear of the priests and political leaders of other countries and for what reason? It would do no good. Those in other places of the world could then not hear us and those we thought were friends would most likely choose otherwise. Could it be that there is a better way? A way of peace. A way of trying to set back and consider what we see and are experiencing before striking out and cutting off the world’s ear causing them to be unable to hear our need for help? After Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, Peter slinked into a corner of the garden palace and found himself denying his faith in the Christ three times. Are we, the nation who has carried the Holy Bible to the whole world, about to have a similar experience? Are we about to deny our faith in the Prince of Peace?

We need to get to a quiet place, pray, observe our circumstances and realize that fear is not the choice, except to fear fear itself. We must make some very hard choices in this country within the next few months. I pray everyone will make the choice best for the Lord we claim to trust. But listen to the Spirit of the Lord, “Peter, put away your sword.” Put away your knives, your guns, your bombs and your rockets. Put away your fear. For even as Christ had to drink of the cup his father gave him, so must we drink ours. Even as Christ had to die to show mankind mercy by saving us from Satan’s fear, so must we deny that fear from causing us to live without peace.

shalom aleichem


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Okay, So What is “Aγάπη”?

If you have been reading my blogs very long you may be asking yourself, or someone else, and perhaps would even like to ask me, “Okay, so you say that this power you call love is a very special power which is the most powerful source of creative activity in the Universe. You’ve used a special term for it, calling it ‘agape’ and saying it is not just any love, but a special type of love. But, honestly, I don’t understand. It simply seems to be Greek to me.” And, when speaking of the term ‘agape’ you would be right; its origins are in the Greek language. Let me try to explain why the Apostle John identified this universal, invisible, unifying and creative force to be God.

February, the month we are in as I write this article, has become known as the “love month” because of the influence which Valentine’s Day has had on the world. In fact, because of a sometimes unwelcomed quirk in my brain, I usually awaken around midnight and find myself wide awake. This is when I do much of my research and writing  like I’m doing now on this article. In fact, this is the morning of Valentine’s Day, and this day has a very special meaning to me this year because 25 years ago at this time there were several major changes which took place in my life that changed the direction of my life forever. I had been experiencing a frustration that my book, which I now call simply “Revealed” was not being sold on the open markets, and I felt that the years of research I had placed in it was a waste, so I laid it aside. Along with that, my father had died that spring, a person who I was fortunate enough to be able to claim as not only to have been raised by, but also to have as my best friend. However I was experiencing some personal successes in my life by achieving a Masters of Education in Counseling that spring and my income sources was to change to a totally different and more enjoyable direction than I had expected.

But that was not the most unexpected thing that happened to me that spring. You see, Genie and I had not met yet on Valentine’s Day 25 years ago. But that spring as I set in a classroom to be trained for a new job I met this  woman with the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. While these eyes were sad, confused and frustrated I knew that, regardless her background, I needed to know her. There was a problem, however, Genie and Terri wanted to go dancing but my two left feet made me suddenly become shy of such an opportunity. The next day I saw her leave the classroom, obviously upset, and the emotions within me were overwhelming. The next day I finally had built up enough courage to ask her for a date only to be told that she had left the training.

She was gone. My heart sunk. I had missed my chance to do something I had thought I would not do again since the divorce with my former wife several years earlier. I’m definitely the type of man who needs companionship, I knew that. I delayed. I felt the pain of loss, again.  However, through the encouragement of a fellow student in that program, I was fortunate enough to be able to have a program director/owner who was able to tell that I was sincere in my wanting to contact Genie and she found it in herself to break all traditional protocol and gave me Genie’s address, to whom I immediately wrote. (Thank you Mary Ann.)

Now Genie said later that she did not know which one of the men in the training class I was; but she agreed to meet me for a country music concert in a small city in mid-western Kansas and the rest is history, as some would say. But it really is not that simple. As we’ve learned about one another, we found that our lives have been filled with “near misses” of possible meeting one another before this time throughout the previous 20 years. We had lived in the same cities, went to the same schools for some classes, even worked at some of the same places; but always at different times, though once we worked at the same place at perhaps at the same time but only in different buildings.

Coincidence? I think not. I’ve always believed that too many coincidences just cannot add up to be a coincidence. If there were not a type of divine intervention in Genie and my meeting, then faith in divine intervention is in vain. Marrying Genie has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I am right now using this blog to tell the world I love her, my wife, my Valentine and I always will.

While my love for Genie is beyond my ability to express with words, and while it has an element of agape love in it, it is not agape in its truest form. It began with a high degree of erotic love as is common between a man and woman, which later developed into a true and sincere friendship which the Greeks would call philias love. It has only been the last few years that we have really made progress toward the recognition of the Spirit of God within us and between us to the point of realizing that the love between us is more than can be explained for it not only holds us together, it holds the Universe together.

Agape love is that energy which holds the electron circling around the nucleus of an atom, and the planets circling around their stars. Agape is the power which makes it possible to call someone their brother or sister and truly care for that person even when they are rude, lewd or even crude, not of our culture or ethnic group or even our religious orientation. It is not the mush of what is promoted as love in the world’s songs or its movies, but instead it is a true, steadfast, immutable force of absolute truth with God attempting to express himself as saying, “You are worthy of life, of being the creature I have created you to be, as my image.” It is unconditional, holding no absolutes for the receipt of this love. It is pure, simple, honest, open, and unapologizing. It is forgiveness when we feel we have done the unforgivable; and it is guidance when we know there is a better way. Agape love is a basic logical emotion which says you are loved rather you know it or not, for your own good rather you feel worthy of it or not.

That is why the Apostle John proclaimed that God is Agape. No force of darkness can overcome this power of love. No amount of time can ever make one forget the experience of this type of reality. It is only through the realization that God believes that each and every one of us are important to his creation and that he truly does care for us that the realization of what Agape love can become understandable.

Thank you Genie for being my wife. Happy Valentine’s Day my love. Namaste’, my dear one, I see the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Creator in you.

And thanks to the Creator God for sharing his spirit with us to make life possible and for sending his son to show us the way of this life, this love. We should all wish this Creator, and his son, a Happy Valentine’s Day also.