Wednesday, March 30, 2011

# 306: The Attributes of Wealth

The attributes of wealth mentioned in this post are mostly silent and tightly held secrets. Wealth, riches and prosperity (the three are basically one and the same) are the most highly valued possessions in all of America, and even the world. Yet, do Christians know that material wealth/prosperity could be detestable in the sight of God? Luke 16:15. “What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” Is it really?

If this is so, why is affluence something most humans would dearly love to acquire, and at the same time, Scripture claims is detestable in God’s sight? Let us examine New Testament Scripture in detail and in a comprehensive way, in an attempt to understand if wealth is contrary to many Christian principles and commands, and one of God’s most imposing adversaries.

Riches can shelter from trouble and detrimental worldly circumstance. But what do the New Testament Scriptures teach? John 16:33. “In this world you [genuine Christians] will have trouble.” However, in the midst of those troubles, we will have divine peace and joy. There are another half a dozen verses or so that virtually teach us the same principle, that trouble will/may be our destiny if we don't go along with the happy-go-lucky flow of the world.

One of the sneaky tricks about wealth is that it is deceitful; it can give what a person desires, but it cannot give what a person may unknowing need: It cannot bear much fruit of righteousness. Mark 4:19: “but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things, making it unfruitful.”

Wealth makes a person feel superior. A person that feels superior destroys all chances of producing true Bible-based humility. There are at least a dozen verses that praise genuine, Godly humility. Here is one: Ephesians 4:2. “Be completely humble and gentle . . .”

Wealth makes a person egotistical. John 12:25. “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” In other words, Philippians 2:3-4. “. . . but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Also, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Wealth’s most favorite goodies are all sorts of greed, even though wealthy people will deny that accusation. Of course, it is not called greed anymore in America; it has hijacked a positive euphemism: “being successful/prosperous.” Can anyone believe that there are 23 verses in the New Testament alone that condemn greed? Colossians 3:5. “. . . and greed, which is idolatry.” Some may ask this question: “Why is being greedy such a bad thing to God?” It certainly is not a bad thing for the majority of people. But for those who claim to be Christians, greed earns a reserved ticket to hell. Why? Because the whole Christian religion is based on a holy love for God and our needy neighbors. Christians cannot have more than they need and not be generous (love is not love until one gives it away) to those without. Christianity is not genuine Christianity without active love.

Wealth is never satisfied: It always wants just a little more.

Wealth allows a person to create his/her personal, secure heaven right here on earth, while silently saving God’s promise of heaven on the back burner for a needy day that may never arrive. Therefore, with their opulent lifestyles, they have no immediate need or desire for God’s heaven and all of its eternal wonders.

Rich people, which including Christians, spend more on all types of commodities and are the most wasteful of all categories of people. John 6:12. “Gather the pieces [of bread and fish] that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

Wealthy people need to be admired by those who are not rich, because rich people are without valuable possessions of intrinsic value, although they may deny that accusation. That is another reason why they need wealth: to make up for the spiritual void in their lives.

Wealthy people believe they have the right to be arrogant. Money speaks louder than almost anything.

But there is one quality in rich people who claim to be Christians which is most prevalent: being proud of their accomplishments. James 4:6 and 1st Peter 5:5. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Of course, as previously mentioned, most often pride is silent. Can a person actually destroy pride? I doubt it.

Here is one Godly attitude that most rich people are void of: James 4:17. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do [and could do] and doesn’t do it, sins.” This command goes mostly for those who are rich and have plenty of everything. Could anyone imagine the great Godly role models they would become for the remainder of rich Christians? There are so many needs in the world that are not attended to. Most wealthy Christians believe it is not their responsibility/duty to tend to these needs. If they did, they would not be rich for long.

Another attribute of rich Christians (and even those who are not so rich) is to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord (absolute boss) and Savior, and then believe they can do no more of anything to build on their holy standing in Christ. They also do not need to be assured of their Salvation. As important as it is to make Christ their Lord, it is no more than the first baby step in living the Christian life. It must be followed by a life of love for God and for the needy. That divine love is the best evidence, if not the only, of belief and obedience to God’s Word in Scripture. Although obedience can save no one, it is a vital component in God’s plan of Salvation. This is where the vast majority of the wealthy are in trouble. They cannot obey all the teachings in the New Testament, because there are too many verses teaching that wealth is the forbidden fruit for all who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord. They cannot circumvent these verses, and still believe they have accepted Christ as their heavenly Savior. This is something many denominations turn a blind eye to. As previously mentioned, it would not be in church leaders’ financial interest.

The book of Luke was written to a man called “most excellent Theophilus”—most likely a wealthy nobleman, etc. Therefore, this letter (the book of Luke) is aimed, to some degree, at the rich. The following are several verses that rich people have not had a difficult time worming their way out of. Of course, with the help of the clergy, they are looked on as shining stars.

Luke 10:25-28. “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’. . . He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’; and, ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.’” [emphasis added]. I now ask in all honesty, how many rich people are living as these commands require? The only way God will know that they love Him as He requires is if they obey all His Holy teachings, and love their needy neighbors, which the New Testament repeats over and over again; this blog does the exact same thing. This implies that most, if not all, wealthy people will not pass the tests required to enter eternal life. Luke 18:24. “Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Wealth, with the help of many preachers, does a great job of disguising the deadly harm that riches do in the Christian life, because the rich make money into an invisible idol—without their knowledge—of a Satanic god that can give just about anything in this physical world that the empty/wanton human heart desires.

Can any genuine Christians accept what the Baptist church teaches—that once they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, that sacred position is good for life? They call it “Once saved, always saved,” regardless of what they do or don’t do; rich or poor, they cannot lose their Salvation. (Bill Graham was prolific in furthering this belief). There are dozens upon dozens of verses teaching that Salvation is conditional by how one believes, lives, loves and obeys. It is hard to believe how many intelligent, Bible-believing, hell-bound people claim to know what the New Testament contains, and yet believe such an ungodly/unbiblical teaching. This is an extremely serious flaw; if not corrected, millions of good and sincere (but Biblically ignorant) people will end up in hell.

The wealthy silently believe they are privileged characters, even though they may not openly show it, and therefore do everything in their power not to associate with (or display love or friendship to) the lower class (just ordinary people). This is a serious strike against them.

It is the solemn duty of all genuine Christians to somehow elevate and make the lives of others better in whatever way they can. I repeat… Philippians 2:3. “but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

All the above attitudes are contrary to the teachings in the New Testament. And that is the reason why there are over a dozen verses that bad-mouth wealth/riches throughout the New Testament, and not one verse that speaks harshly of the downtrodden poor.

The wealthy are the only class of people who can lavish themselves with the aesthetics of life, which is egotistic and ungodly.

The only positive command which mentions the rich is found in 1st Timothy 6:17-18. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain . . . Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” Repeating, this verse implies that genuine Christians who are rich will/should not be rich for very long if they keep being generous. It is a shame that today’s wealthy “Christians” don’t follow this command. Repeating, what an impact this would make in the lives of millions of poor people.

The only sticky thing is this: Wealthy Christians must keep giving/loving continually, to the point that all these negative attitudes mentioned in this post will no longer be a part of their lives. Personally, I don’t know if this is possible in this modern, money-driven world, but all things are possible with God.

One thing every person in the world emits is vibration. There are only two basic types of vibes: positive vibes and negative vibes, though there are countless numbers of different kinds of vibes in each category. Vibrations are also given off in different strengths, and received most loudly by those who are sensitive to the vibes of others. And there are those who are dull, and therefore do not have the ability to receive vibes loud and clear. One thing about vibrations is that they cannot/do not lie. Animals, especially dogs, are extra-sensitive to the vibes of humans and other dogs. Years ago, their lives depended on receiving the vibes of other dogs, and to a degree still do. Mob violence is a perfect example of how contagious vibes can be. I am not certain at what distance vibes can be received, but the closer, the clearer. (I published a post, #289 on October 29, 2009, that gives a dramatic example of how powerful vibes can be). As Scripture mentioned, Jesus Christ was an expert at receiving people’s vibes and even their thoughts—although the word “vibes” is not used in the Bible.

Vibes are something that the wealthy cannot hide. And guess what type of vibes their hearts give off loud and clear? Negative ones: me, me, and me. They may be smiling and saying all types of nice things, and be prim and proper in all their ways, but anyone who is sensitive to vibes will know what is in the hearts of the wealthy. Vibrations are a by-product of the heart. Some believe that “thought-sharing” is a kissing cousin to vibes.

A person who is filled with God-type love, which is given by the Holy Spirit, will never desire wealth, but will seek humility and the lowest position in the Christian life, while wealth makes a person conceited. Now, no one will have to wonder anymore why God via the New Testament speaks harshly just about every time the wealthy are mentioned.

Our modern Christianity in America, as a whole, has been an insult to God and Christ. Being a genuine Christian means we will/must be living supernatural lives, because we will have the supernatural Spirit of God living within us. Our active divine love for God, inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, is the most needed, valuable, precious, and important commodity in the Christian life. Without God’s Spirit, we are nothing. And again, we won’t have love until we give it away to the needy, which will display our love for God. Also, we will know we have His Spirit if we love God; proof of our love for God is obedience to Holy Scripture. In John, chapter 14, it teaches that obedience to Christ’s commands is proof of our love for God and Christ; it is repeated four times in chapter 14. Read it for yourself. No ifs, ands, or buts. Don’t let any rich, slick-mouthed religious leaders tell you otherwise.

What is the “American dream”? Answer! “The good life” that is lined with prosperity, which is the forbidden fruit for all genuine Christians. That dream of prosperity is the desire that is in the forefront of most American lives. I don’t know where the belief came from that America is a Christian country. Even though we have 300 thousand pulpits (and growing), we are a pagan country that is beautifully dressed in “holy garb.” That is not to say that there are no genuine Christians living here; there are, but they are few and far between.

I’ll borrow a line from Debbie Boone’s 1977 hit song, “You Light Up My Life” to describe in a more vivid way wealth’s attributes: “How can it [wealth] be wrong when it feels so right?” Our natural feelings, most often, are not in accordance with New Testament Scripture.

I want to make this question absolutely clear: How could such a Holy Biblical tenant so openly displayed as sacrilegious and sinful (being materially prosperous), which has now been openly accepted, be the standard in most traditional Christian churches in America? I personally blame the clergy for not exposing it. Why should they? Since their bottom line is of great importance to them, they would just be cutting their own financial throats, as it were, because rich people put much more in the basket than average people. It is no wonder why mega-churches cater to the wealthy, giving/telling them with holy words, all that their spoiled and ungodly hearts desire.

In conclusion, you see, I truly consider myself a nobody, a nothing, and I will stay that way. I have no reputation to guard or display, and no collections to make, because I don’t want anyone’s money. That is the reason I can tell it like the New Testament commands, with no fear of any human retribution, etc. That is why this blog is one of the most despised by wealthy and not-so-wealthy religious people on the Internet. The truth hurts, and if one desires, it can also heal. Amen and Amen.

If this post is even partially true, and it is much more than that, it is no wonder that God via the New Testament has a legitimate and deadly grudge against the wealthy, and even those who have an active desire to become wealthy. Repeating, the desire for wealth that is secretly inspired by (Ephesians 6:12) “. . . the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” is by all means God’s and Christ’s most formidable competitor. Guess who is winning the most recruits?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

# 305: The Infinite God of Love

The human mind, with even the stretching of our imagination, will never be able to comprehend all the abilities of an infinite/limitless God. And yet, this post will attempt to explore that unknown.

Our God, the God of our planet and solar system, is also the one God of other forms of intelligent life of planets in our own galaxy, along with an infinite number of those in the universe that already have acquired intelligence, are getting closer to becoming intelligent, and planets on which God has already accomplished His purpose. Some of these distant planets no doubt have more advanced forms of intelligent communication than us humans, such as mental telepathy, vibrations, etc., with which we are not very familiar.

Here is a mind-boggling attribute of the God that controls the complete universe: He is one God, and yet He can have His attention on an endless number of different topics according to whichever planets He is working on. On each planet that has an environment conducive to physical life, He is there guiding the natural process of a few that will/might eventually mature into beings that will eventually become part of His fold.

I am totally convinced that there are such planets in our Milky Way Galaxy. The most convincing evidence is in what we have been calling “flying saucers.” I wrote about an experience I had about fifteen years ago in a post, but I forgot what post it is in. It is worthy of repeating.

My master bedroom had a covered balcony. One night before I went to bed, I went out to get a breath of fresh air, and to gaze at the countless stars. As I was looking in the southwest sky, I saw two objects going in small circles rather quickly. I knew there was something different about these circles because they were going in a complete circle every few seconds. Lo and behold, they merged into one circle. I think I lost track of them for a few minutes until I saw a lighted object fairly close to the ground—I would guess a thousand feet or so—as it passed just west over my house. I lost track of it as it went out of my sight because my roof was in the way. I ran down stairs to see if I could still see it, but I couldn’t find it.

In the morning, I called the police station to find out if anyone else saw it. I was disappointed that no one else reported seeing it.

I have been an ardent organic gardener the majority of my life. I had a gigantic garden with a large pumpkin patch. It must have been late summer or early fall, because some of the pumpkins were orange. The next morning, as I was going about my usual early-morning weed patrol, I was surprised to see one small pumpkin close to my balcony. It was about 6 or 7 inches in diameter, and wasn’t totally orange yet; half of it was missing. It had a perfectly straight cut, not jagged or crooked. I said to myself, there are no kids in the neighborhood who would have stolen only half of a small pumpkin that wasn’t even ripe yet, when there were many that were fully ripe and much bigger.

I had my youngest daughter still living with me. I told her what I saw that night and told her about the half of a missing pumpkin. I told her it must have been aliens. That was the first time in my life I have ever seen her frightened. When she came home that evening, I mentioned to her again about what I saw and about the pumpkin again. She got the frightened look again and said, “Please, Dad; don’t talk about it.” Years later, I mentioned the same topic. “Dad, please; I don’t want to hear it.” It must have been very frightening for her, and for good reason. She never told me, but I guessed she must have thought that with aliens so close, she could have been abducted.

This experience convinced me that there are other intelligent beings most certainly living in our galaxy, which are extremely advanced in their technology. That half of a pumpkin is the first hardcore physical evidence—to my knowledge—that we have distant neighbors who may be interested in us (our planet). I want to mention again that what got me thinking it was someone/something outside this planet was the precision of the cut, and that it happened the same/next day that I saw the strange flying objects.

The questions I now ask myself are these: Were the occupants of that flying object friendly or dangerous? Did they have knowledge of a Supreme Being (God)? What were they looking for? What type of fuel did they use to travel such a great distance? Did they take that half of a pumpkin to see what type of food we earthlings eat? Did they take only half of the pumpkin and not a bigger one that was ripe, because they may have been concerned about extra weight for their craft? Did they take the seeds from that pumpkin and plant them to see if they would grow in their environment? How long did it take for them to acquire the knowledge to enter into other solar systems? Is our planet in danger of an invasion from intelligent beings that are losing their ability to remain on their planet because of their dimming suns, or from the pollution they released in their environment, or other detrimental scenarios? One thing I am certain of is this: They are not examining planet earth just for a pleasurable joyride.

A frightening thought is this: What advanced cognitive and mind-altering abilities do aliens have? Do they have the technology to take over our planet without our knowledge by entering mind- altering “whatever” to negate the thought process of certain healthy, robust individuals, and thus take over their complete cognitive functions? At this time, there may already be a few powerful individuals on earth who have had this sort of mind-altering cognitive transplant without even knowing it.

Although this may seem like some sort of comic book fiction, when dealing with advanced civilizations, our threat of demise, or benevolent transformation of our “out-of-control greed” may come from aliens. When college students—my daughter was one—are studying cognitive neuroscience, they and their instructors would be the ones who may be aware of the almost limitless possibilities (good or bad) because of the plasticity and intricateness of the human brain, which advanced civilizations may have already mastered.

Getting back to our great God whose works are beyond human comprehension, the question that must be silently asked by many is this: What is the fundamental reason for the existence of our gigantic—to say the least—universe, which was created by the workings of Almighty God’s mind?

This is a good place to slip in a poignant question for all atheists or Christians who have atheist friends: Ask them to please give a logical answer as to where the physical material, regardless how large or small it was, came from—since matter can’t create itself out of nothing—that they believe formed our gigantic universe. If they don’t have a creditable/rational answer, they better start investigating the Christian God. When physicist Stephen Hawking was asked that question, he responded, “ At that point in time, that is where our law of physics breaks down.” Although his answer was correct and honest, it still is an extremely poor theory for science to embrace.

Since our God is eternal, He had to have an eternal mission, which is to display His love and goodness to all living beings who desire to join Him in this eternal task. Love and goodness are the main attributes that completely satisfy all living beings who have attached themselves to Him.

However, of all the celestial planets and whatever else may be in the universe, the bulk of them will never have an environment conducive of supporting physical life. Therefore, they are there only as useless debris that may eventually disintegrate, and then coalesce to become more habitable planets.

Repeating: The moral of this eternal, universal process is that the only thing God is interested in is to keep producing intelligent beings who live only for uncompromising, selfless love and God-type goodness. That fact implies that the only goal of everlasting values in our universe is intelligent beings of spiritual substance who have attached themselves to Almighty God.

A thought/fact that not many think of is that our physical universe is not everlasting/eternal. Our sun will end its life in about 7 billion years, possibly as a supernova. This infers that eventually, ALL the heavenly bodies we can see because of the light emitted by the billions upon billions of suns/stars will also succumb to the same fate as our sun. Then the universe will be but a mass of useless debris, which most likely will return from whence it came: to the mind of Almighty God.

As time does not exist in God’s abode, space is also not needed, because spirit beings take up no space. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for physical beings like you and me to visualize this concept. Heavenly beings will not need food, sleep or any of the commodities that we needed and were/are so accustomed to on earth. God Himself will be our light and the source of all our other needs. Revelation 21:23. “The city [anywhere in heaven] does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light . . .” Revelation 22:5. “There will be no more night. They [heavenly occupants] will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” Also, the celestial body called “the new earth” mentioned in Revelation 21:1 will also be made up of spiritual substance.

God and all His offspring will dominate the complete universe for all eternity. All the bad memories of what existed before will be no more. It is difficult for physical humans to contemplate a love that is not self-seeking or envious in any way, because all our needs—whatever they may be—will be satisfied by all the Godly love that we will be surrounded by forever.

In conclusion: I am certain many Christians have asked this question: What will we be doing that will keep us occupied for all eternity? My inspired insight/intuition indicates that we will never get tired of being in the company of Almighty God. That would include continually being exposed to all His wonders for all eternity. But one thing is for certain, if I am not correct; there will never be a dull moment—if moments exist—for the infinite number of heaven’s occupants. Matthew 29:30: “. . . they [we] will be like the angels in heaven.”