This is that!… Part 2 of 2

You should have figured out that the this is the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7 NASB  “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

He did go, and the “helper” did come, to stay. So we should be living in the full benefit of God’s presence in us, if we have accepted Jesus Christ.

Migrating through John’s gospel with men’s bible study and this is what I saw.

John 16:8-11 NASB  “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;  (9)  concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  (10)  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;  (11)  and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

I already attempted to cover the aspect of convicting the world of sin. So as I read on I noticed that the Holy Spirit also convicts on righteousness and judgment. Judgment sort of makes sense, especially when you were raised in a judgmental environment, but what does it mean when speaks about conviction concerning righteousness.

(Yes, I understand, you merely need to apply some logical thought and God’s word to the passage to understand, but very few will do that. I speak from experience, for I sat in church for years, expecting some Pastor to give me all the truth I needed. I did not look into the Word for myself and I cannot swear that I got the truth; at least when I compare what they said to what I see in God’s word, I do not think so.)

John 16:10 NASB and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;

The Holy Spirit, as we have seen, convicts of offenses, but here He also speaks about righteousness.

What is righteousness? Thayer’s definition: “in a broad sense: the state of him who is as he ought to be, the condition acceptable to God.

But this begs another question. Who acts as he ought to be? Or what is the condition acceptable to God? Paul answered both in his letter to the Roman church.

Eugene Peterson’s The Message, we have: Romans 12:1 MSG So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

To be honest, the entire 14th chapter of Romans defines what is the acceptable condition of the believer. Odd word this believer, for it conveys someone who adheres to the words and pattern of life of another. But one verse stands out as the nutshell that has it all.

Romans 14:19 MSG So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words;

When you look at this verse in the context of the entire chapter, it is a life that is not about getting your own way. Set aside your selfishness; Jesus did.

There is absolutely nothing we can do on our own to make ourselves acceptable condition.

Why? Because since Adam’s fall we are born with knowledge of good and bad. Bad is the only thing Satan invented and boils down to pure selfishness. It is our nature to pursue one or the other, and selfishness and bad are so much easier and they seem to taste better. Besides that, who are you to tell me what to do! Exactly what I am talking about. It is almost as though we are driven to it or it is built-in.

Hang around an AA meeting and listen to what some say. You will hear, “Hi, I am (insert name here) and I am an alcoholic.” How did we get that way? It was easy, attractive, it pulled our minds off of the battle that being unselfish involves, and it is addictive. For many it is hopeless, and they come to realize that they cannot free themselves on their own.

We needed a savior, and perhaps that is an aspect of what we to be reminded of. Speaking for myself, I have to remind myself often, that my character is patterned after Jesus Christ and the Father; that happened immediately and progressively the day I accepted Jesus Christ. The immediate action came as He came into me. As I grow in my understanding of Him and what I wish to be, there is a progressive and continual changing to look more like him. (Still working on that.)

Strong’s definitions tell us that it is an: equity (of character or act). If you are like me then you are scratching your head asking, what that means.

Equity is the impartial distribution of justice, or the doing that to another which the laws of God and man, and of reason, give him a right to claim.

I suppose I could say this another way. Treating others the way God would.

Now some would believe that God’s only job in life is to punish us all with hell, and that would be wrong. How could you believe that if you understood that God so loved a world that did not know him, rejected him in some cases, had no idea of what his character was like, did not love him, did not know that he loved them, and though he had tried to let them know for thousands of years, sent at that time his only Son to submit to a brutal death, for one reason only, to regain his family (us) back.

What does God’s actions have to do with me? Because I accepted what he did as mine and chose to make Jesus Christ my life, then that makes me as though I am the same flesh and blood as Jesus. To some, that makes me kin folk, and to dishonor me is no different from dishonoring the Son that paid that price for me.

Kinship is available, not shoved down your throat, that would be a little selfish, and out of character for God. The price paid obtained for us the freedom to choose which family to live in and be a part of. Yes, there are family members that do not take out their trash and rebel. And yes, they are an embarrassment, but like many children that do that, eventually, if there is time, they actually turn into decent human beings if given a good example.

What of the others? Those of you that want an angry God may find him. But that was not the plan for you. Remember: God so loved the world, and yet, in general, the world does not love him. They are blinded by the enemy, Satan, and many will never come to love the Father, but will rise up, foolishly, against all that he stands for. Scripture calls this the anti-Christ spirit. That which is against God.

Should you be asking how would someone become righteous, escape judgment, or simply join God’s family, I would simply ask Jesus Christ to make himself real to you. Accept Him into your life, and choose to have him live inside you.

This is a time of thanksgiving in America. In a way everyday is. Why? Because without his life in me I would have no life.


Another voice, whom I have come to respect, speaking out clearly. Time is short and we need to listen.

Originally posted on Ancient Paths:

1-     A Time is Coming
2-     Disaster comes upon Nations who turn from the Lordin order for them to come back to him “For you have not returned to me” saith the Lord. When the Nations and the people continue to ignore the Lords call and His signs, disaster is decreed, and it is written the disaster will be 7x worse “21 ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.  Leviticus 26 
3- Stop doing what  “seems right in our own eyes” : There is a path before each person…

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about eating food sacrificed to idols

Only days ago I read where a large number of food producers in America were now sending products to the market, manufactured under Halal-certified standards. Standards that are mandated under Sharia law.
If Islam were to exist in this country like every other religious or unusual practice, and those who chose to follow Islam’s way did so because they wanted to, then go right ahead, but that is not what is happening. This nation, founded on principles of freedom is rapidly losing that freedom through overhwelming governmental and religious terrorism.
An example:
Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen
Published: October 8, 2011
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s secret legal memorandum that opened the door to the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical Muslim cleric hiding in Yemen, found that it would be lawful only if it were not feasible to take him alive, according to people who have read the document.
The memo, written last year, followed months of extensive interagency deliberations and offers a glimpse into the legal debate that led to one of the most significant decisions made by President Obama — to move ahead with the killing of an American citizen without a trial.

Another example may well be the introduction of permissible foods into every market place. Are we there yet? No, but Costco has added Halal-certified foods into the mainstream, right next to a “regular” chicken. My father saw this piece of news, and with feathers ruffled pointed it out to me. I informed him that this is nothing terribly new. See below; taken from Islam, an informational page in Wikipedia

The leading North American halal food producer and distributor in the United States is the Midamar Corporation. Midamar is the first company in the USA to slaughter halal beef in USDA inspected plants.{Midamar Milestones} This company has been in operation since 1974, and it is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the home of the oldest mosque in the Americas still standing. The children of Muslims who settled in Iowa around 1900 discerned a need to start producing halal beef and chicken catering to the tastes of American Muslims.
Since 1991, mainstream manufacturers of soups, grains, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, prepared foods, and other products, as well as hotels, restaurants, airlines, hospitals, and other service providers have pursued the halal market. These companies purchase halal-certified products. Halal certification tells Muslims that their ingredients and production methods have been tested and declared permissible by a certification body. It also allows companies to export products to most Middle Eastern countries and South East Asian Countries. The oldest and most well-known halal certifier in the United States is called the “Islamic Services of America”. Something that companies which intend to export halal products must keep in mind, when choosing a certifier, is whether or not the certifier is recognized by foreign governmental bodies.[10]
In 1986, the “Islamic Meat & Poultry Company” was founded in Stockton, California. Islamic Meat & Poultry is a halal-only, U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected, hand-slaughtering and meat-processing facility. This company follows the principles of slaughtering and meat-processing according to the Islamic Shariah.[citation needed]
In 1993, Mr. Ahsan Mohyuddin founded the “Halal Meat & Food Corporation” in Bladenboro, North Carolina.[citation needed]
Also in Europe, several organizations have been created over the past 20 years in order to certify the halal products. A survey recently published by a French association of Muslim Consumers (ASIDCOM) shows that the market of halal products has been developed in a chaotic way. The certification organizations do not have a common definition of “halal” nor agreed upon control procedures and traceability. The controls implemented by individual agencies are all very different: it can go from an annual audit of the slaughterhouse to checking each production with permanent controls in place and on-going independent.[11]

But wait a minute, I am a believer in Jesus Christ, therefore a Christian. Attempting to live my life as peacably as I can, here in the land of the free, so why should this affect me?

For one, maybe it is because we are losing our freedoms. Our government is throwing constitutional freedoms right out the window, and Islam, with its Sharia law, is hell bent on taking over the world. Will they? That is yet to be seen.

Consider how this effects the Christian community, and its scriptural standpoint.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 NIV (1) Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. (2) Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. (3) But whoever loves God is known by God. (4) So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” (5) For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), (6) yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (7) But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. (8) But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. (9) Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (10) For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? (11) So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. (12) When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. (13) Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

Let’s attempt to examine this, one bite (humor) at a time.
Verse 4:
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.”
“Food sacrificed to idols”
We understand that Halal (Arabic: حلال‎ ḥalāl, “lawful”) is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law (Sharia, الشريعة الإسلامية). (Wikipedia)

Part of what makes it permissible to the Muslim is the manner in which it is slaughtered.
According to the laws of Ḏabīḥah halal, certain prerequisites must be met before an animal is slaughtered: (Wikipedia)
The act of taking an animal’s life is called a “sacrifice”. A statement of practice from the ENA meat packing company. How Halal meat is prepared. From ENA meat packers.
The animal must not be a forbidden substance as per the Quran.[1]
The head of an animal that is slaughtered using halal methods is aligned with the Qiblah (or Kaaba). Dhabiha: method of slaughter Turning of the head towards the Qiblah
The slaughter itself must be done by a sane (mentally competent) adult Muslim, Jew, or Christian as they are considered “People of the Book” (Arabic: Ahl al-Kitāb‎); this is a point of consensus amongst Muslim scholars. They differed however concerning whether Sabians and Zoroastrians are also included under People of the Book as stated in Surah Al-Maa’idah, Ayat 5. Modern authors have proposed that Christians aren’t included in this dispensation, due to the Paulian doctrine of the Trinity. This proposal does not hold much weight however, as the trinity and ascription of a son is mentioned several times disparagingly in the Quran, yet the verse 4:5 was one of the last to be revealed.
All Muslim scholars hold that mentioning God Almighty (Allah Akbar) name at the time of slaughter is a must, they differed as to whether or not forgetting to do so or leaving it off intentionally at the time of slaughter rendered the sacrifice void and thus the meat forbidden for consumption. They also agree that if other than God’s name is mentioned then this would be forbidden, due to the verse “Eat not of that (meat) on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced.” [Al-Anaam 6:121]
Thus an animal slaughtered by a Christian who did not mention anything at the time of slaughter would be permissible to some, while other scholars would hold it impermissible. (Wikipedia)
Dhabīḥah (Arabic: ذَبِيْحَة‎ ḏabīḥah IPA: [ðæˈbiːħɐ], or Zabiha) is, in Islamic law, the prescribed method of ritual slaughter. The precise details of the slaughtering method arise from Islamic tradition educated by the prophet Muhammad, rather than direct Quranic mandate. It is used to comply with the conditions stated in the Qur’an:

The Kaaba (Arabic: الكعبة‎ al-Kaʿbah IPA: [ʔælˈkæʕbɐ], English: The Cube)[1] is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam.[2] The Qur’an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham and his son Ishmael, after Ishmael had settled in Arabia.[3] The building has a mosque built around it, the Masjid al-Haram. All Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during prayers, no matter where they are. One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if they are able to do so. Multiple parts of the Hajj require pilgrims to walk seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction (as viewed from above). This circumambulation, the Tawaf, is also performed by pilgrims during the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage).[2] However, the most dramatic times are during the Hajj, when, officially, about 6 million pilgrims gather to circle the building on the same day.[4][5]
In terms of verse 4: “about eating food sacrificed to idols:”
God gave distinct directions about NOT eating foods sacrificed to idols, but that was under the law.

Paul also spoke about it, because, while the Idol does nothing for the recipient of that food, eating it does bring about a consciousness of the act, the symbolism, and their god. God, being a jealous God, is not the least bit interested in sharing you with something associated with another god; we call that Idolatry.

Paul spoke about our liberty, but he also spoke about the hazards of using that liberty as a license. So, if I have the freedom to not worry about where some meat came from and what it was dedicated to, and my lack of concern causes someone who is weaker to fall away from God because they cannot now justify a good reason to serve the living God, just because they saw me eating something questionable, absurd as that seems. I also have the directive to not exercise my liberties in front of you.

So the question then is: If I eat your Halal-certified food, I am then partaking in your worship, your symbolism, and your false god?
I might be, especially if I am aware of it, and I can certainly see how some weaker Christians might stumble over this. Until just a few days before the writing of this I was not even aware of such certifications on food.
Is the method of slaughter a bad thing? No more than any other, except that they declare the name of Allah over it, and specifically point this animal toward the Ka’aba, in image, an idol, and that was forbidden under the law. If I am not under the law, then why would the Ka’aba be a problem to me? Because God did not say “you shall have no other God’s before me” just to practice speaking. To the modern day Christian that could imply the Television if it takes his place. And there is always the possibility of you stumbling, because they seem to honor god for providing and they honor the animal for giving it’s life that they may live.

Verse 4: “There is no God, but one”
In some ways I have already touched upon this. God is a jealous God, and if you read the scriptures then you saw how angry he got at people carving up a stick and worshipping it, as if it brought them life. God berates these things that have no arms to provide for you, and no lips to speak to you, and yet you waste your time falling over yourself before them.
An example of how preposterous idol worship can be comes to mind. Remember when the Philistines captured the ark? No, then read this.
1 Samuel 5:1-5 NIV After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. (2) Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. (3) When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. (4) But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. (5) That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

Verse (5) For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), (6) yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (7) But not everyone possesses this knowledge.

We really want to believe that we live in a sanitary world, where nothing interrupts our peace, and yet we surrounded with a world occupied with its own mindset. Focused upon their own gods they do not care how their goals impact you. Am I being narrowed minded, no more so than God, but God does give us the freedom of choice. We are free to follow after him or not. There are of course repercussions for that bad decision; an endless life of hell with agony.
One of things we have to settle in our minds is the fact that God is real, and that there is a promised return for following him. How can you know this? God has proven himself to be true. He has done what he said, and done it publicly. Jesus, his Son, and God himself, did exactly what he said. The Jews even attested to this when they could argue any better than to say the works that Jesus did were of the devil. Jesus, did things that, even to them, only God could do.
Isn’t it odd that over 500 years after the death of Jesus, Mohammed comes along with his message in opposition to the cross and Christianity.

What we are dealing with is God’s plan for the end, and we need to be focused upon that. What I see people reacting to, with anger, is people and government. How do you justify your actions when our directive is to PRAY. Yes, God gave us brains and mouths, so with them we speak out against a government that chooses to throw away due process for an American citizen.

If we are going to react with such emotion then let’s get people educated, react at the ballot box, and get some people in government that have a backbone and are willing to keep this nation free and out of debt.
Sadly, I think that is impossible now; you prevent a landside before it happens, not during.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone ask, “why doesn’t the bible speak of the United States in end times events?” Maybe it is because we become an Islamic nation, ruled by Sharia law, where Christians are killed, and this country becomes the base of warfare against the Jews.

It was recently in the news that the Ohio prison system, in response to Muslim prisoners, has implemented Halal foods exclusively for them. You should be aware that the prison systems are the biggest recruiters of converts to Islam here in the United States.

Do you not realize that, scripturally speaking, something is holding back the evil in the world from completely dominating, and Islam is only a part of that team, a major part yes, but still a part. That force, spoken of in second in 2Thessalonians, is a handful, so to speak, of praying people, who are passionately standing against demonic forces that are going to have their way for a relatively short time. Do not think that Islam’s short, violent reign will not be the norm, for Jesus himself tells us that no man would survive their reign if God did not shorten time.

What do you mean by idle words, virtually everything we say is idle.

A chance meeting has led me to looking at Matthew’s gospel.

 God has planted me in chapter12 and I find myself focused on verse 36 for several days.

The context of verse 36 is part of his response to “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

These pharisees attributed his work, God’s work, the Spirit’s work, to the devil. A portion of his response includes this: “men will have to give an account for every careless word they have spoken.”

 We have this tendency to take a verse like this and beat people up with it. Another way of stating this would be the laying undue guilt and condemnation upon Christians who will not look at the scriptures for themselves.

 Let’s take a look at the possibilities of what he was talking about.

Matthew was a Jewish oriented writer and part of his mission seemed to be convincing the Jewish believers that Jesus was God, through lineage, prophecy, actions, and words. Chapter12 gives us a taste of many aspects of this.

 One of our first references is the term men that scripture uses.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36 KJV)

One might think that he had turned his attentions back to his disciples, or the crowd that seemed to follow him everywhere. That might be a logical assumption except that he, in verse 34, states: “you generation of vipers”, a specific reference to the pharisees that had challenged him and were still standing before him.

The specific audience is the pharisees, and yet he is also talking to a Jewish crowd of followers, and the fact that Matthew points all this out then by extension applies to us in general. But does it really?

Only seconds before Jesus made this statement of condemnation he made a startling statement, to those that heard it, that was very freeing, and a reference to a future act, the cross and his death.

I tell you therefore, men will be forgiven any sin and blasphemy, but they will not be forgiven for blaspheming the Spirit. Whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will never be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the world to come. (Matthew 12:31-32 Moffatt NT)
If you had previously dived into Paul’s letter to the Romans you got a taste of this in his writings, the forgiveness of sins. Now we are dealing with somewhat conflicting messages. One seems all encompassing in terms of condemnation, and the other is blanket freedom from sins. This freedom is not just exclusive to future believers, but inclusive of everyone.

There seems to be a dividing line.

The pharisees were educated and there should be no doubt about that. Paul was one, and his zeal drove him to murder early Christians. (Do not think naively that Stephen was the first and only.) And yet with all their education they could not see or understand that God stood before them. Matthew had the intent of pointing this fact out. Why, with all your education, would you make a statement like this;

“He drives out demons only because their ruler Beelzebub gives him power to do so.” (Matthew 12:24 GNB)
 Revelation 20:13 Indicates that those being judged at the white throne are judged based upon their deeds and not their words.

Here again we have another clue to help us interpret scripture. In Revelation 20 John tells us that he saw those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus, and had not worshiped the beast or received the marks. They (the martyred) came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

These are the tribulation saints. Those who did not believe prior to the harpazo ( I have a little trouble with the term the rapture for it is not in scripture with the exception of the Latin Vulgate.) These saints, as God called them, certainly experienced a judgment based upon their words.

 Were they careless?

It does not seem to matter for when it came to making a final stand for the true God they demonstrated exemplary action. The pathetic aspect of this is that they did not have to go through the “great tribulation”, and that in itself exhibits a carelessness that is mind boggling. Even still God is not bringing about a judgment upon them because of this lack of activity on their part.

As I write this I am thinking about a guy at work, a Jehovah Witness, that does not know the true God, and yet has some vague understanding about God and who he is. One thing for sure is that Jesus is not the brother of Satan. Why wouldn’t a belief system like that not fall under the category of blaspheming against the Spirit. If anything I think what we see here is a God that is much more merciful than most of us imagined.

One other thing to note about these “careless” people. Faults or not they rule and reign with Christ during the thousand years, merely because they finally took a stand and chose God over the beast.

There are other predominant flags here that leads us to an understanding of what and to whom Jesus is talking.

  • Firstly, let’s not just classify them as pharisees but deeply religious people. Now we can extend this to today. We have plenty of those.
  • Secondly, Jesus deemed their words as careless. Perhaps we can substitute thoughtless, derogatory, in opposition, blatantly lacking belief, and therefore in denial of the power of Holy Spirit and therefore God. If you attribute an act of God to the Satanic then are you not also denying the power of God, and perhaps even God himself.

 The passage tells us that Jesus knew their thoughts. Does that mean that they had not openly spoken the negativity that filled their vile little hearts? What if, even on a small scale, they had broadcast their denials of God and his power?

The pharisees, do they not become the poison that begins to kill the tree?

Alright, you caught me, I left out an aspect of Jesus response to the pharisees; his comments about trees producing good fruit. So, let me interject them for a moment.

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. (Matthew 12:33 NIV)
I was trained as a Horticulturalist so this speaks to me on a couple of levels. So I ask myself, how does one make a tree good?
  1. If I want an Apple tree that is what I buy, therefore the tree is expected to produce a particular fruit.

  2. In its early stages of growth, not having reached maturity, I would be foolish to expect fruit. Therefore patience is a virtue, and condemning the tree without giving it a chance to grow is foolish. Jesus was from an agricultural environment and may have had a firm grasp of this. Even if farming was not in his knowledge base he was a carpenter, and who better would have understood trees.

  3. These days we know that certain trees have issues in particular environments.(No duh, are we not the same way.) It is safer, on the part of the grower, to graft a great apple variety onto a variety that may not be known for it’s edibility as much as it is for disease resistance. Hence the trunk of the tree is different from the producing portion. The rootstock (the part in the ground that becomes the anchor in a sense) often resists a common nematode that impacts apple varieties, while the canopy produces a much desired fruit. (This should have a familiar ring to it, as scripture tells us that we believers have also been grafted in.)

  4. Placed in a preferred environment (good soil) the tree knows what to do. Can it be nurtured through fertilization? Yes, and knowledge of pruning techniques that enhance production is essential, for some trees produce on second year growth of wood.

How would you make a tree bad?

That does not even sound right, to a farmer that is counter productive, as a majority of a farmers time is spent fighting against influences that can cause a tree to go bad.  If I wanted to harm a tree, or purposely kill it, then I merely need to withhold water. A lack of water will stress the tree, impacting the fruit and production, and if prolonged and severe enough the tree will not recover from the stress, and die. Isn’t death bad enough?

How does this relate?

Obviously it does because Jesus presented it. Have you not read that in the life of the believer, the word of God is the water. Now picture putting yourself under a self-imposed stress, because of a lack of water. How far do you have to push the limits of non-watering (in a plant, removal of water impacts every aspect of the plants life. Each aspect is essential, and taken together over an extended period, a death stroke) before your chances of recovery are maxed out. The point here is that stressing a plant is a bad thing, and at minimum causes the plant to wilt until more water comes. Now why would you want to intentionally do a similar thing to your own life, and yet we do. Most never water ourselves, and if the Holy Spirit shows himself strong anywhere near most, they cry that they want none of that.

 What did the pharisees say that was so bad?

It is only by Beelzebub .. that this fellow drives out demons.”

 Are you serious, this was a direct affront to the idea that Jesus was God, and even they understood that only God could cast out a demon. This makes me chuckle for people are ignorant enough to say that Jesus never said that he was God. If he did not say it then he was demonstrating it, the pharisee had just watched it happen, and they are now confronted by sights that conflicted with and convicted them of their unbelief.

 There is something that happens in people, and they will not accept responsibility for their mistakes. Seriously, how many times have you heard someone say “I knew that!” or “that is what I meant to say!”. The pharisees did not waste their time saying those things, they take it to the next step; they immediately start plotting to kill Jesus, and Jesus knowledge of this concerns him to the degree that he pulls away from these madmen. (Do not think that Jesus pulled back out of fear. I believe that he knew the timing, and when he needed to ride into Jerusalem on the donkey, as scripture and the prophets foretold, and therefore relocated so as not to provoke unnecessary murder attempts.)

 Calling Jesus “this fellow” is another slap in the face of God. Even if you do not wish to attribute his works to God, they knew his name, and evidence alone told them that Jesus was God, as he had stated.

 The bottom line here is that the blasphemy that is unforgivable is a denial of His name, son-ship, authority, claims, and power; effectively refusing to accept who God is.

That should have rung a bell for belief in the one who raised Jesus from the dead is the key to salvation.

We were deemed righteous.

Through Justification – We were deemed righteous.

Without fanfare, hoopla, and all the festive sounds of a celebration it came – our justification.

Life came in place of death. Previously we had no options, we were all dead men walking, but on that day everything changed.

Do you think anyone noticed, felt different, or made radical changes to their lives because of it. Yes, there were some dramatic moments. Some of which equaled any nail biting movie scene, for graves popped open and people came back to life. There was an earthquake, the sun went dark at midday, and the one that few would have been aware of, the curtain within the temple, thick and dense, ripped in two starting at the top and tearing all the way to the floor; in a sense exposing God openly to the world and the world to God.

Justified in God’s eyes. Paid for, and now free to choose. Prior to Christ’s death man had no choice. Instructions after the law came showed man how to momentarily alleviate guilt, but it brought no life.

Abram, he hoped for …
But what did he base his hope upon? God had showed himself to Abram in dreams and visions on several occassions. Apparently they were so explicit that Abram was able to relay what he saw at a later date.

Having had one of those moments I can remember thinking that I should write this down. I did not. Upon awakening I remembered little of what was said, only the concept that the end of my life was filled with great joy. Having lived another 32 years since that revelation I have experienced very brief punctuations of joy in a sorrow filled life.
Do I understand it all? No. What I do take away from all this is that there is something more; a promise of things to come, perhaps heaven, and that I have my hope in.

Abram had a promise of things to come and he hoped in those things. Apparently he remembered his.
Did he have the potential for sorrow and doubt? Yes.

Let’s ponder this for a moment. God hears his plea for a famiy, and yet it is many years before Issac is born. You really think that space in time did not get to him. When Sarai offers him Hagar, Abram seems to jump at the chance. He certainly did put up much of a fight.
Looking forward a few years later. Ishamael, the product of his relations with Hagar, has to be sent away almost as though he did not exist. Good, bad, or indifferent this is a son to Abram and a crushing blow.

Isaac comes along, and is now of an age where he can see the logic of what is happening  and might even be able to put up a fight, and yet the boy becomes obedient, perhaps even submissive to the father’s will. Isaac may have even had an understanding of what was taking place. Unless God comes through this boy is about to become the sacrifice. Obviously God comes through, but make note you hear nothing of Sarah anymore until her death.

Sometimes it feels as though even if you can read about the love that God has toward us, that it is still just a mind game. How much less would this have been the case with Abraham. He had the same potential issues to deal with, and Satan was not going to let up on him any less than us.
Here is where we have a slight edge. Abraham had to believe that there was a reality to what he saw in the dreams and visions in order to obtain righteousness. A right standing with God. He had no life in himself; he was a dead man. Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our life, our justification. Therefore we are alive and righteous in God’s eyes. Paul makes clear that we have to believe that to be considered sons, adopted, and joint heirs with Christ, and a joint heir enjoys the same benefits as the heir does, right? Then if nothing else happens, heaven is my hope. There are other things that make me feel alive, kinda like writing this blog, or responding to the spirit when He tells me to speak.

I truly believe that there is a heaven, promised by Jesus himself, and that he invited all who will believe in him, a life with him and the Father.

What do you hope in?