What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Unto Whom Much Is Given - by Jack Kinsella



 Christianity, in the sense of a philosophy, is fraught with seemingly contradictory notions, as seen from the perspective of this world. For example, one attains victory over sin by surrender to Jesus.

Christian philosophy teaches that human weakness demonstrates Christ’s strength. Victory by surrender and strength through weakness are not commonly practiced strategies.

It is our nature to attain victory by overcoming the opposition and develop strength by force. The carnal existence is driven, at its most base level, by the two prime motivators; the acquisition of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.
In most human pursuit, the objective is to win and the prize is to live.

Paul writes to the Philippians;
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (1:21)
Of all the seemingly contradictory thoughts within Christian philosophy, it is this one that most of us have the hardest time with. And it completely baffles the world.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)
The New Testament begins with Jesus pronouncing God’s blessing on the living in the Beatitudes. It concludes with this beatitude for “those who die in the Lord.”

God says that death is an enemy, the product of sin, but that for those who know Christ, it is not the end, but rather it is the beginning. Here is another seemingly contradictory analogy. When a baby is born, it is both the end of a pregnancy and the start of a new life. For a Christian, death is like that.

The Bible says that when we die, we are immediately received into the Presence of God. It doesn’t happen at some time in the future, or at a faraway place or a faraway time. Your soul, (your mind, will and emotions, the ‘ghost in the machine’ that makes you You) does not cease when the body does.

The Three Fold Nature of ManYour soul is primarily shaped by the events of your lifetime. You are, to a large degree, the product of your experiences. That is how we are designed – the Bible equates age with wisdom because there is no teacher like one’s own experiences.

But it isn’t your soul that has experiences, it is the body. Think of a person born deaf, blind and dumb and stuck in an iron lung, devoid of human contact. It’s a horrible thought – unimaginably horrible, really. To be stuck like that, a mind without a body, without sight, sound, touch . . . brrrrr!

The experiences of the body provide the majority of the input that makes you You, but the body is not You. It is your possession, not your essence. Your body is the gateway to the soul through which we receive input via the five senses of touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing.

The seeming contradictions between the carnal understandings of Christian philosophy like victory and death are the consequence of the Christian’s ‘sixth sense’ as expressed by the Apostle Paul.
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)

The carnal mind has but the five senses of input. The sixth sense is spiritual; to be spiritual minded is to be able to ‘see’ via your spirit, which was ‘quickened’ or made alive, by the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:14)

Do you see? It is more than simply the fact that salvation and the things of God seem foolish to the unsaved. It is that the spirit is stillborn, like the horrifying example of the active mind trapped in a useless body devoid of sensory input.

Assessment:
Saved or lost, that part of you that makes you You is immortal. When the gateway through the body closes at physical death, your soul now gets its input via the spirit. We receive spiritual insights now; our souls hunger for spiritual input now; but we also have the five carnal senses now.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1st Corinthians 13:12)
When the body’s sensory gates are closed at death, that glass is no longer clouded. If one’s spirit is alive, that is. If one’s spirit has not been quickened, the carnal sensory input stops.

That is the first death. One’s soul is in hell, trapped in a dead spirit, much as one might imagine being trapped in a dead body. Like being buried alive.
At the Great White Throne, the souls of the dead without Christ are assembled for final judgment and the resurrection of the dead.

“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:13)

Those souls are now equipped once more with bodily, carnal sensory input capabilities. Now that they are reunited, body and soul . . .
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14)

In truth, death is all about appearances. We see the grave and we sorrow, we mourn, we grieve – but God sees it from the perspective of eternity to come. God grieves for us in our ignorance, telling us that;

“. . .Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1st Corinthians 2:9)
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:18-19)

When we die, we don’t ‘wake up’ on the ‘other side’ so much as we merely switch glasses. Both science and the Bible agree that there is both a visible and invisible existence. Quantum physics demands the existence of additional dimensions beyond the three dimensions we now occupy.

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20)

The invisible things of Him are as real as the three-dimensional creation that we currently occupy. What is the evidence for the invisible? Oftentimes I’ll hear somebody use ‘air’ as an example of something that is invisible but yet exists.
That’s not entirely satisfactory. I can spray a colored substance and ‘see’ air. I can ‘see’ air through refracted light. Air has substance. Air is real.
But even more real than air is Me. “I think therefore I am.” There is nothing more real to me than Me, and everything about me that makes me Me is more invisible than air.

My soul has no mass. It cannot be detected by weight. It has no substance or shape or dimensions. But it is as real as . . well, it is as real as I am. And everybody has a soul. The invisible is very, very real.

Death is real. But it is real only in the sense that a pregnancy is real. The goal of the pregnancy is for it to end with the beginning a newer, richer existence.
Knowing all this information is empowering. But there is nothing in this world that comes without cost, and the price of this empowering and comforting knowledge is high, indeed.

I know what will happen when I die – at least, in know in part. Right now, I see through a glass, darkly. I know I will see my loved ones again. And like Job, I know it will be in my flesh, and not another’s. I will see my Savior in my flesh, with mine own eyes, and not another’s. (Job 19:25-27)

That’s the comforting and empowering part of this knowledge. But I also know what awaits those who enter eternity with their spiritual eyes closed. That’s the price tag that comes with it.

That’s why there is joy in heaven over one sinner who turns to Christ. (Luke 15:10) It is why God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2nd Peter 3:9)

It is why we should “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1st Peter 3:15)

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: (Luke 12:48)

Jack Kinsella

COVID-19 Segue into the Mark of the Beast (Pastor Charles Lawson)

Classifications of Sinners (Pastor Charles Lawson)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Personal Experience of a Very Young Christian Believer

Written and published by Jean-Louis Mondon

I would like to share with you a personal experience I had with the Lord right after my spiritual new birth which have taught me 4 basic principles which  have served to strengthen and sustain my faith. In his goodness and grace, the Lord demonstrated his care and loving-kindness to me by giving me what I call a shot of colostrum in my first steps as a baby Christian along with the spiritual milk of his word. He was preparing me for the weaning that happens as a natural stage in the baby´s growth and the long walk through the desert that was awaiting me.

These principles are:
1. We might be doing a good, spiritual, church related activity or service, but actually Jesus-Christ our head may have something different and better that he wants us to do, that is his will for us at the present time, no matter what the circumstances look like to our human eyes.


2. Listen to the inner guiding voice of the Holy Spirit in you. With time you will recognize it just like you are able to recognize the particular tone of voice of your loved ones.
 

3.Do not be ashamed of your Lord and Savior Jesus-Christ.

4. The Bible is the true word of God. You can trust it as God will speak to you through its pages with the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

Just a few weeks after I was born again, twenty-two years old at the time, I had been going to a Baptist church and joined the choir as people encouraged me to participate in activities. I was giving my testimony on a Christian radio show, enjoyed reading and learning from the Bible, going to church and being fed by My Father´s providential hand. I had the same exhilarated feeling as when I first put my foot on the US soil just to celebrate my first Christmas with my American sponsor´s family, that of an immigrant who is starting a new life in the land of freedom where nobody knows or cares about your past and where you can look forward to a new exciting life full of opportunities.

One Thursday afternoon as I was walking to the church for choir rehearsal, I felt an inner voice telling me to turn around and go to the bar in a seedy part of town where I had been drinking a few weeks ago with a friend of mine before I became a believer. This thought left me confused as I stopped in my track not understanding what was happening.

I had barely started reading the New Testament, was not aware of the Holy Spirit as a teacher, a guide and all of his ministry in the believer´s life. I was afraid of being late and went on a few more steps when the impression got stronger. I thought it strange and a temptation to prevent and side track me from doing my service to my new found God. So I went on until the third prompting was so intensely felt that I just had to turn around and walk back to the bar.

There as I sat on a bar stool and ordered a drink, the man next to me with the imposing physique of a huge football player asked me in a “basso profundo”  booming voice: “Who, are, you? “

Who wouldn´t be intimidated? I certainly was. So with my best French accent, I recited my resume, name, birth place and other data that we usually give total strangers when we are introduced. This went on for a while as the man kept repeating the same question and didn´t seem to be satisfied with my adding each time true, factual answers about myself. But inside of me, my chest was heaving as I heard the soft small voice of God asking me the same question: Who are you Jean-Louis? Are you going to properly identify yourself or are you ashamed of me? Bear in mind that I had not yet read the verse on Christ being ashamed of us if we are ashamed of Him. Mark 8:38: If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

So finally, unable to resist the pressure of the Spirit, I told the man: OK, let´s go sit down in a quiet corner so we can talk undistracted and I can tell you who I really am.

The man replied: "well, that´s better” as if he knew something that escaped me and was setting me up for a strange encounter.
Up to that day, I had been shielded, being around Christians and had never had to be in a confrontational situation as this.

I proceeded to tell the man that I was a new born believer and shared with him my testimony of how God had brought me miraculously to the US and had changed my heart and my life.

He, in turn shared how he had turned his back on God and felt his life was a wreck without any hope of finding his way back to his relationship with Jesus. He had become a hopeless drunk. He even passed me a bad check in exchange for a few dollars so he could buy liquor.

After a long heart to heart conversation, I told him about the grace and mercy God and that if he had done it for me, he would do it for him also. All he had to do was to repent of his sins and ask forgiveness and God would accept him back into the relationship and help him to lead a victorious life.

He was truly touched by my words and his countenance brightened up. He told me to wait for him and that he was going to bring me back a present to thank me.
A few minutes later, he walks to the table with a big black bible and hands it to me as a gift for having taken the time to listen to his story and given him a ray of hope. 

Conclusion:

The following Sunday after church, my sponsor friend who had become my spiritual mother leading me to the Lord were eating in a restaurant. We were finishing our dessert and I thought it a propitious moment to show her my newly acquired bible and shared with her the surrounding events that led to the receiving this precious gift.

As we leafed through the first pages containing the personal family information of the owner, she exclaimed: “the name of the owner is the same as the man´s sitting at a table not far from ours. I know that man”.

Piqued with curiosity and a little overwhelmed by the strange sequence of fortuitous, incredible events happening in such a short time, I got up and introduced myself. As I was asking him if he recognized the bible, his face beamed with surprise mixed with emotional intensity as if he had recognized a long lost friend. He replied: “This bible belongs to me and my family. We lost it 25 years ago.” I sat down to explain the amazing story of how it came in my possession. He listened carefully even more awestruck than I was as I related to him an outline of my spiritual journey and the details of my past week adventure in the spiritual realm and God´s providential instruction in leading the way and teaching me in a real and unmistakable manner.

As I told him that I was happy to have found his bible and handing it to him, he graciously offered me to keep it as a token of God´s loving-kindness and care to all involved. He was obviously touched by this testimony of God´s acting on the behalf of his children.

I leave it up to you to see the hand of God in all this and the resulting blessings in the lives on the ones involved. I am sure every one of us was changed in some way as I am certain that these encounters were the results of and answers to prayers.

What happened to that big black bible? I don´t know where it is right now or how God used it. I gave it to a friend in college as a witness and encouragement after telling him the wonderful story behind it. 

Personally, this experience served to establish in a very real and concrete way the foundations on which my faith is based and provided a pillar of remembrance for times of discouragement, weakness and doubts. Later on as I became more familiar with the scriptures, I found passages and verses confirming my life experiences of the reality and truth of the revelation of a loving Father to his children.

I can trust his word as the eternal, unchanging truth, a sure light guiding me on the way.

I can trust the inner voice of the Spirit as the voice of my Shepherd because and when it aligns and concurs with his written word.

One of those verses is Isaiah 55:10-13.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”

I thank and praise God my Father and the Lord Jesus-Christ for his mercy and his grace and his enduring loving kindness to us his children and the abundant blessings that he bestows on us every day without any merit on our part. Bless his holy Name forever.         
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