Monday, July 30, 2018

The elements shall be dissolved

By Rick Longva


This article is not dealing with all the judgments that are said to occur, it is dealing in particular with one verse that many claim the elements that Peter is writing of are the literal heavens and the earth, which many believe, and teach will be destroyed (annihilated).

I believe God created the heavens and the earth, and when they were created God said “It is Good”. He also did not create them to be uninhabited. Nor did He create the earth, which is His footstool, or the heavens, which is His throne (Isaiah 66:1), to annihilate them, leaving absolutely no trace of their existence. He, will, purge them of all the elements that have drawn humankind away from Him, by His righteous fire. It will be a shaking (not literal).

Several prophecies have been written (and some have been fulfilled) about God shaking the heavens and the earth.

Haggai wrote of a time when:

“For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.  I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:6-9)

We also read of something similar after the shaking in Revelation 21:22-24, which will occur on the new earth:

“And a temple I did not perceive in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, and the Lambkin. And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon, that they should be appearing in it, for the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lambkin. And the nations shall be walking by means of its light, and the kings of the earth are carrying their glory into it.”

I believe God’s process that brings about the New Heavens and Earth, are the elimination of certain elements that prevent every man and woman (all His creation) from truly realizing God’s love, Who God is, and what He through His Son Christ Jesus have accomplished for all, and once these elements are destroyed (dissolved) that hinder us all, all will know Him, and God will be All in all.


There is a teaching throughout Christendom that would have us believe that God is going to destroy this planet, totally obliterate it into a vapor, and at the same time He is going to do the same to the heavens. Here are a few of the verses used to prove this teaching:

“Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, in which the heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth and the works in it shall be found.” (2 Peter 3:10)

As well as this verse from Zephaniah:

“Therefore wait for Me,” declares the Lord, for the day when I rise up as a witness.
Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal.”   (Zephaniah 3:8)

And from the Gospel Accounts:

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”  (Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33)

Here are a few verses that say the opposite:

“A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever (eonian).” (Ecclesiastes 1:4)

“He hath founded earth on its bases, It is not moved to the age and for ever. (Psalm 104:5 Young’s Literal Translation)

“He has founded the earth on its bases, it shall never slip for the eon and further” (Psalm 104:5 CLOT)

“He has founded the earth on its bases, it will never glide eonian and for witnessing time.” (Psalm 104:5 Dabhar Translation)

“And He built His Sanctuary like the heights of heaven, like the earth that He founded for the eon.” (Psalm 78:69 CLOT)

“And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He has founded forever.” (Psalm 78:69 NASB)

So what is it, will it  all be obliterated, or will all be preserved?


“And I perceived a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth pass away.” (Revelation 21:1)

How do we get to this new heaven and new earth?

What has to happen in order for that era (age-eon) to commence?

Will the earth now, and the heavens now, both simply be obliterated to make way for the new heavens and earth?

What happens to all the inhabitants on the earth, and above the earth, when this event is said to occur?

Also, there are many that believe in a literal Lake Of Fire, and those who are cast into the Lake Of Fire are there for eternity, or are annihilated, either permanently, or, until the consummation of time (the eons). So, is the Lake Of Fire the only thing that God does not annihilate, because when we read Revelation 21:5-8, 24-27, 22:12-15, it is still in operation on the New Earth.  

The verse that ignited the fuse among Christendom, that the earth and the heavens are going to be obliterated, comes from 2 Peter 3:10. Here is how it is quoted to prove that all is obliterated:

“Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, in which the heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth.” Here is where most stop quoting. The last part of the verse is ignored by those who are trying to prove this teaching. Here is the rest of the verse:

“and the works in it shall be found.”

This, I believe, is one of the gateway verses that leads us to and into the New Heavens and New Earth, not the obliteration of both, but one of the steps that are necessary for the time of the New Earth and New Heavens to commence (the first step being the annihilation of death and the unseen). This verse, from Second Peter, can be placed with John’s concerning the Great White Throne Judgment. When it is placed with John’s verses from Revelation we can notice the similarities:

“And I perceived a great white throne, and Him Who is sitting upon it, from Whose face earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them. And I perceived the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. And scrolls were opened. And another scroll was opened which is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged by that which is written in the scrolls in accord with their acts….Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, in which the heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth and the works in it shall be found” (Revelation 20:11,12, 2 Peter 3:10)

That the verse from second Peter is after the millennium, and not at the beginning are made clear by the fact that there is no judgment of all unbelieving mankind until after the millennium, at the Great White Throne, and after, where the “judging begins”. And we read, once again from John in Revelation, a short prelude of what we read from Second Peter concerning the earth and the heavens: From John: “From whose face earth and heaven fled”;  From Peter: “The heavens shall be passing with a booming noise yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth and the works in them shall be found.”

So now we have to answer the questions:

How can any works (acts) “in” the earth be found and dissolved if the earth and the heavens are gone?

And what are these elements that Peter is telling his readers will be dissolved?


Once we leave the pages of scripture to come to conclusions, we can find ourselves in a maze of false assumptions and conclusions, predictions, and absolute confusion. I am one who believes scripture answers scripture, that is where the secrets hid in them are found.

Peter says this as well at the beginning of his epistle:

“And we are having the prophetic word more confirmed, which you, doing ideally, are heeding (as to a lamp appearing in a dingy place, till the day should be breaking and the morning star should be rising) in your hearts, knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture at all is becoming its own explanation. For not by the will of man was prophecy carried on at any time, but, being carried on by holy spirit, holy men of God speak (and wrote of ; emphasis mine)”

(2 Peter 1:19-21)

John says something similar in First John:

“And the anointing which you obtained from Him is remaining in you, and you have no need that anyone may be teaching you, but as His anointing is teaching you concerning all, and is true, and is no lie, according as it teaches you also, remain in Him.”

(1 John 2:27)

And of course Paul has something to say concerning this as well:

“Now we obtained, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may be perceiving that which is being graciously given to us by God, which we are speaking also, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, matching spiritual blessings with spiritual words.” (1 Corinthians 2:12,13)

Jesus too:

“Search the scriptures, for in them you are supposing you have life eonian, and those are they which are testifying concerning Me.” (John 5:39)

So with these verses in mind, let’s see if the scriptures can help us understand just what Peter is saying, concerning these elements that are going to be dissolved, and are these elements the elements that make up the earth, or the abundance of elements that make up the heavens (Universe?), or are they something else.

We get the answer from Paul.


“Which was granted to me to for you, to complete the word of God” (Colossians 2:25)

There are several elements that must be dissolved, and not one of them has to do with the literal earth, or heavens, they will stay intact. These elements include philosophies, principles, false teachings and god’s, as well as the rudiments of belief.

Paul writes in Galatians:

“Thus we also, when we were minors, were enslaved under the elements of the world.”

(Galatians 4:3)

These would be the elements (governing rules) that enslave us to the world and its system. Although we are children of God, we are subject to these rules.

Until He comes, and frees us from all other authority, we remain enslaved under these elements of the world, and when He comes then our true place alongside Christ will be realized.

Paul next tells us:

“Yet now, knowing God, yet rather being known by God, how are you turning back again to the infirm and poor elements for which you want to slave again anew?”  (Galatians 4:9)

I believe Paul corrects himself here. He says “Yet knowing God”, then he says “yet rather being known by God,” and tells of their turning back to the infirm and poor elements, like one would do who does not know God.

False religious beliefs, their gods, as well as the law, have plagued most of Christendom ever since the time of its conception. All of the Apostles had to warn the believers of these dangers, dangers that have constantly been a threat to every believer since the evangel of grace went forth. Paul once again tells us this is so:

“But then, indeed, having no perception of God, you were slaves of those who, by nature, are not gods. Yet now, knowing God, yet rather being known by God, how are you turning back again to the infirm and poor elements for which you want to slave again anew? Days are you scrutinizing, and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, lest somehow I have toiled for you feignedly.”  (Galatians 4:8-11)

Religious traditional practices (elements) are one way that religion has kept those who have a desire to know God distracted from their pursuit. Instead they are kept busy with ministries and traditions, that keep them out of the scriptures, never being able to come to a realization of the truth, that Christ may be formed in them (Galatians 4:19)

Now, Paul in Colossians tells us:

“Beware that no one shall be despoiling you through philosophy and empty seduction, in accord with human tradition, in accord with the elements of the world, and not in accord with Christ”  (Colossians 2:8)

Human philosophy has so permeated Christendom that it now trumps scripture, for many, as the truth. Promises that are not even in the scriptures are said to be yours. Riches, material wealth, health, every seduction of the material world is yours, and all you have to do is believe it, name it, and then claim it. The line between Mediums, Channeler’s, and Pastor’s has become blurred in many congregations. It is true, God does want what is best for all, but often times what we think is best has absolutely nothing to do what God knows is best for all, and it often has nothing to do with material possessions.

In the same chapter Paul once again warns the believer of false teachings, decrees, philosophies, which are the elements of the world.

“If, then, you died together with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as living in the world, are you subject to decrees.” (Colossians 2:20)

Paul goes on to say:

“You should not be touching, nor yet tasting, nor yet coming into contact, (which things are all for corruption from use), in accord with the directions and teachings (elements; emphasis mine) of men? -- which are (having, indeed, an expression of wisdom in a willful ritual and humility and asceticism) not of any value toward the surfeiting of the flesh”.  (Colossians 2:21-23)


This element is, by far, the one element that is the hardest to move through for most who name Christ as their Saviour. Paul, here, in Hebrews says:

“For when also, because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need again of one to teach you what are the rudimentary elements of the oracles of God, and you have come to have need of milk, and not of solid nourishment.”  (Hebrews 5:12)

In order to mature in Christ, one has to get past the starting line. Here Paul tells the believer the rudimentary teachings of the word are another element that must be left behind in order to come to maturity.

Unfortunately the rudimentary elements of the oracles of God are not realized as an element that can hinder a believers growth in Christ. It is many peoples comfort zone. It requires no work, just sit, listen, follow and do. But, Paul tells us something different:

“Wherefore, leaving the word dealing with the rudiments of Christ, we should be brought on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1)

All these elements are what Peter is writing about when he says:

“Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, in which the heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth and the works in it shall be found.” (2 Peter 3:10)

Peter is not speaking of the total annihilation of heaven and earth, he (and Paul and John) are speaking of the annihilation of every element that keeps us from coming to a complete and full understanding of God and Christ.


The body we now have is our worst adversary. It will lead us down so many paths that the only way we are told it can be stopped is by its being demolished. Paul promises:

“For we are aware that, if our terrestrial tabernacle house should be demolished, we have a building of God, a house not made by hands, eonian, in the heavens.”

(2 Corinthians 5:1)

This terrestrial house must be demolished, because only then will we be complete in the Image we are created in. At present we are moving in that direction, but not until this mortal puts on immortality, and this corruption puts on incorruption will it be realized. These body elements must be demolished:

“It is sown in corruption; it is roused in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is roused in glory. It is sown in infirmity; it is roused in power. It is sown a soulish body; it is roused a spiritual body. If there is a soulish body, there is a spiritual also.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)


How will this all happen?

It won’t happen by God destroying the planet and the heavens, which I assume is believed to be the entire universe. Both Paul and Peter tell us this. First Paul:

“Yet now He has promised, saying, still once more shall I be quaking, not only the earth, but heaven also, as of that having been made, that what is not being shaken should be remaining.”  (Hebrew 12:26)

And Peter:

“Yet the heavens now, and the earth, by the same word, are stored with fire, being kept for the day of the judging and destruction of irreverent humans.” (2 Peter 3:7)

In Paul’s account of this shaking, he tells us something that most do not quote:

“That what is not being shaken should be remaining.”

How could anything be remaining if all is destroyed? As with Peter, Paul is telling us that it is not the material elements that are destroyed, it is the things that keep us from coming to the full knowledge of God and Christ. Those are the elements that need to be, and eventually are destroyed (dissolved). That the Lake of Fire is still in operation on the New Earth (Revelation 21:5-8, 24-27, 22:15), tells us even though the elements that have caused deception have been annihilated, the effects still linger, and must be purged before God will be All to all.  As Peter tells, it is the destruction (not annihilation) of irreverent humans. It is their irreverence towards God that is being destroyed, as it is now in the believer. When this shaking, and fire (not literal fire, God’s fire; Hebrews 12:29, Mark 9:49) process has finished, its purpose will be realized, it will have dissolved all these elements that hinder all.

So we can see the elements that have deceived, and are deceiving all, and held all under their subjection in one way or another, will one day be no more. That is what Peter, as well as John are saying, and Paul verified.



Rick has done a fantastic job here and I wanted to share it on my blog.  I take no credit for his excellent work.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Love and Doctrine

   I have had some feedback regarding my post yesterday.  I want to be clear, and it is difficult to do so with such an inelegant means of communication as words and letters.  I guess, in some ways it's like The Matrix;

Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.


Oracle: You know what that means? It's Latin. Means `Know thyself'. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Being the one is just like being in love. No one can tell you your in love, you just know it. Through and through. Balls to bones

So while I can't completely encompass everything I'm thinking, as I write, I will do my best.

   Regarding doctrine; I want to be perfectly clear, doctrine is and remains incredibly important.  Doctrine is another word for "teaching".  If I based the doctrine of salvation on this passage;

Hebrews 6:4-6
4 For it is impossible for those once enlightened, besides tasting the celestial gratuity and becoming partakers of holy spirit,
5 and tasting the ideal declaration of God, besides the powerful deeds of the impending eon,
6 and falling aside, to be renewing them again to repentance while crucifying for themselves the Son of God again and holding Him up to infamy.

I would lead many into error and doubtless - fear of their salvation.  However, this passage

A) has nothing to do with the nations, it is exclusively part of Israelite doctrine and history and without clearly understanding that you will quickly come to wrong conclusions, and error filled teachings.

B) Has nothing to do with salvation yet is often taken out of context by fear based churches to intimidate and coerce their people into getting in line with their program.

1 Tim 4:16
16 Attend to yourself and to the teaching. Be persisting in them, for in doing this you will save yourself as well as those hearing you.

Obviously Paul thought it was important to be clear in doctrine.  And let me add when Paul speaks of "saving" he is always talking of Eonian salvation.  We are all saved from death, yet we will not all experience the same salvation.  That's a topic for another time, however.

The point I have been trying to make these past few days is simply this;

1 Corinthians 13:1-2
1 If I should be speaking in the languages of men and of the messengers, yet should have no love, I have become resounding copper or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I should have prophecy and should be perceiving all secrets and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so as to transport mountains, yet have no love, I am nothing.

Without love, this is all for naught.  You can teach the most amazing things that have never been expounded on in the Bible.  Yet if you fail to teach with love... well it's all just noise.  You can know the most amazing things, but no one will want to listen to you if you are an insufferable blow hard who mocks everyone else's doctrine.  You may be ABSOLUTELY RIGHT but you will be ABSOLUTELY USELESS if you fail in the area of love.

And finally - my last point I was trying to make...

1 John 4:8
8 He who is not loving knew not God, for God is love.

   God is love.... Every other facet of his being is just an exercise of that very love.  Whether you listen to anything I say.  Whether you believe or not.  God IS love.  All his judgments are out of love.  All He ever does and ever will do IS because He IS love.  He sent his Son to die on a cross because His love is so fervent and unassailable that it will not be dissuaded from expression.  All He sets out to do, He WILL do.  We can all have complete rest and confidence in this because His very being is love and  every action the proceeds from Him is an expression of that selfsame love.

    In Summary - doctrine is incredibly important because it is through correct teaching that we learn the evangel.  It is through correct teaching we discover more and more about God, but that teaching must never ever override the most essential gift of all - God's love.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Only Thing That Matters

1 Cor 13
4 Love is patient, is kind. Love is not jealous. Love is not bragging, is not puffed up,
5 is not indecent, is not self-seeking, is not incensed, is not taking account of evil,
6 is not rejoicing in injustice, yet is rejoicing together with the truth,
7 is forgoing all, is believing all, is expecting all, is enduring all.

I have a confession to make.  I think about God all the time.  When I wake up, He is the One I ponder.  When I drive to work, He is the One I look for in the skies.  When I move throughout my day He is never far from me.  Even when I lay my head down at night, He is the one I long for.  In fact, it's fair to say He is my dearest one and I look forward to fully knowing Him and He has planned.

Why would any sane person feel this way?  I know some will see it strange, but let me tell you a little bit about Him.

You see the passage I just quoted?  It describes Him to a tee.  Anything that contradicts those verses?  You can be sure are lies.  Father is deeply, passionately in love with us.  Every single one of us.  Whether you believe in the Body of Christ, or are a part of the inheritance of Israel.  Whether you are an unbeliever of any other kind of faith - he is deeply involved in every part of your life.  You may not know this, you may be a complete stranger to Him, but believe me - He is no stranger to you.

See, whether you believe Him or not, whether you have all the right doctrine or not, we will all ultimately end up in the same place together.

1 Cor 15
28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.

Father will ultimately be ALL in ALL.  Not just ALL in some, but ALL in ALL.  This is where the grand drama of the ages is leading.  Whatever you know, or think you know matters little.  Eventually the only thing that matters is His love and that He will become your All.

Not that truth doesn't matter.  It matters a great deal.  Truth brings freedom, lies bring bondage.  Truth guides us to Father, Lies will pull us away.

The glorious fact of the matter is - no matter what path you're on - we will finally, ultimately, be reunited in HIM.


In case I'm not clear on this.  I did write it later in the evening.  My point in a nutshell is this; regardless of whether you are called or not, where ever you end up in the eonian times; God loves each and everyone of us and will eventually become your ALL.

When I wrote this I was thinking of how unbelievers view the GWT with such terror and apprehension.   All they know of God is judgment because that is what the world tells then.   They have absolutely no understanding that He is LOVE entire.  All his purposes and plans for each one of us is deeply rooted in that love. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Problem with Doctrinal Division in the Body

If Paul were here today I think he would be increasingly concerned about some of the dogmatism that is going on among believers.  As some of you may have noticed and commented, there are shots coming from all sides.  Not just from the "Big Three" (Clyde, Martin and Dan) but I see small skirmishes among other believers as well.  I've been thinking about this and I want to write this to remind all of us of the things Paul instructed us in these matters;

How we ought to conduct ourselves among each other;

Ephesians 4:3
1 I am entreating you, then, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,
2 with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit with the tie of peace:
4 one body and one spirit, according as you were called also with one expectation of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.

What our attitude should be regarding one another;

Phillipians 2
1 If, then, there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any communion of spirit, if any compassion and pity,
2 fill my joy full, that you may be mutually disposed, having mutual love, joined in soul, being disposed to one thing --
3 nothing according with faction, nor yet according with vainglory -- but with humility, 
deeming one another superior to one's self,
4 not each noting that which is his own, but each that of others also.
5 For let this disposition be in you, which is in Christ Jesus also,
6 Who, being inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with God,
7 nevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity,
8 and, being found in fashion as a human, He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

How we are to treat each other when we disagree on doctrines that do NOT have any relation to the Evangel of the Salvation of All;

Phillipians 3
15 Whoever, then, are mature, may be disposed to this, and if in anything you are differently disposed, this also shall God reveal to you.

And finally the very same spirit of Paul should be the attitude of each one of us;

1 Cor 4
3 Now to me it is the least trifle that I may be being examined by you or by man's day. But neither am I examining myself.
4 For of nothing am I conscious as to myself, but not by this am I justified. Now He Who is examining me is the Lord.
5 So that, be not judging anything before the season, till the Lord should be coming, Who will also illuminate the hidden things of darkness and manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then applause will be coming to each one from God.

Let's put down our bibles and pens and learn to love one another FIRST rather than seek to prove each other wrong.  As Paul said;

1 Cor 13
2 And if I should have prophecy and should be perceiving all secrets and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so as to transport mountains, yet have no love, I am nothing.

Without love, brethren, we are NOTHING.  Don't forget - we will be spending the eons with one another as the Body of Christ.  Let love be the overarching concern of us all rather than doctrinal correctness.  If we lose love - we lose it all.

With all love and concern,

Travis Penner

Monday, November 10, 2014

Glinda The Good God

Glinda - The Christian God

   Christians flabbergast me.  I know I used to be one of them, yet when you stop drinking the kool aid - and listening to Sunday and Wednesday sermons... Well, the fog lifts and you stop thinking with your other anatomy - namely your "Student's NIV Bible" and your copy of "My Church's Creed".   When I was hip deep in the cult, theirs was called "Shining Like Stars" by Douglas Jacoby.

   It was loaded up with good circular reasoning, circuit crossing verses taken out of context and the usual load of Christian bullshit.

   Anyways, back to what has gotten me stunned here.  Every someone talks about some awful difficulty in their lives, a Christian will pipe in and say "Well you can't blame God for that.  We live in a broken world and people have free choice."  It's like their mantra, "This world is broken and it's not God's fault." along with "God gave us free will."

   These chant of theirs drives me nuts.  Here's why;

First off, not once does the Bible say the world is broken.  In fact, immediately after God created it he says "This is good" Go read Genesis, he says it pretty frequently there in the first few chapters.

 In FACT Creation is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing which is;

Romans 8
20 For to vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation
21 that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and travailing together until now.

  Guess what folks?  God did this.  Yes indeed, God has subjected all of creation to this evil we are presently suffering.  And why?  Because this isn't the end game folks.  Not at ALL.  The fact is, this is all being done to bring us to;

Ephesians 1
10 to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the Christ -- both that in the heavens and that on the earth --

And then finally to a Kingdom ruled by God as written in the end of Revelation, and after that to the consummation as is written in 1 Corinthians 15.

In short folks - God is doing all this to prepare us for something BETTER.

For those who say God could never do evil check out these verses;

Isaiah 45:5-7

I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

Even Job said;

Job 2:10
He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Yes, people, God is not the good little witch Glinda.  He actually does BOTH good and evil.  If your God cannot do whatsoever he sees fit but is constrained by your perception of Good - then I submit to you that he is no God at all, and is nothing more than an idol.  A little "Good witch Glinda" ready to sprinkle fairy dust on your approved destiny for your life.
Fortunately- God doesn't need your permission.
This is what God says about himself;

Ephesians 1:11
11 ...the purpose of the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will,

Isaiah 46:10
I make known the end from the beginning,
    from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
    and I will do all that I please.’
Daniel 4:35
All the peoples of the earth
    are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
    with the powers of heaven
    and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
    or say to him: “What have you done?”

Psalm 135:6
The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earthin the seas and all their depths.

So don't buy into the Christian pablum that says God can't do evil.  He does whatsoever he pleases. 
The God of Comfort

John 11
31 The Jews, then, who are with her in the house and comforting her, perceiving Mary, that she rose quickly and came out, follow her, supposing that she is going to the tomb, that she should be lamenting there.

32 Mary, then, as she came where Jesus was, perceiving Him, falls at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if Thou wert here, my brother would not have died!"

33 Jesus, then, as He perceived her lamenting and the Jews coming with her lamenting, mutters in spirit, and disturbs Himself.
34 And He said, "Where have you placed him?" They are saying to Him, "Lord, come and see."
35 Jesus weeps.

   There is another thing that bothers me when it comes to Christians.  It almost never fails, when someone is going through a hard time.  They've lost their jobs, their kids have been taken from them, they're in the grasp of drug addiction, gambling addiction, alcoholism.  They're struggling to make their bills and put food on the table and their children are going hungry.  Their spouse has left them.  Their child has died. 

   This is an evil era, there is no question.  I don't profess to understand every move God makes.  I rage when I hear about someone being raped.  I grieve when I lose friends to cults. 

 My heart rages when I hear that a lonely old man has given his life savings to TBN because they claim God needed the money.

   There is no question that evil is gross.  That there is no justice to be found at times in this life.  When my friend is suffering - I don't give him a tract.  I don't tell him to go to Church.  I don't encourage him to give more to God.  Fuck that noise.

  I grieve with them.  I'll mourn with them.  I'll take them out for dinner and listen to them. 

 And if I can't do that, I'll listen to their grief on the phone or Facebook.  Whatever it takes.

  Please - remember that when someone's grieving.  Sometimes the last thing a person needs is a Bible, or a trite saying.  Sometimes, the best word of God is written on your hearts and hands; the very love of father reaching out from you into their lives.  And that's the most important thing you can do.
Remember what our Lord said;

Matthew 22
36 "Teacher, what is the great precept in the law?"
37 Now He averred to him, "You shall be loving the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with you whole comprehension.
38 This is the great and foremost precept.
39 Yet the second is like it: 'You shall be loving your associate as yourself.'
40 On these two precepts is hanging the whole law and the prophets."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fighting for Unity

Psalm 133:1  
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity  

As I grow and mature as a believer in the evangel of Paul, I am discovering that is inevitable that we all, as believers will come to disagreements.  As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians even now we see only as through a glass darkly.  Perhaps one person sees through part of the fog more clearly than another.  If so, we ought to offer every grace to the fellow slave of Christ acknowledging that we do not have all the answers;

Phillipians 3:15
 Whoever, then, are mature, may be disposed to this, and if in anything you are differently disposed, this also shall God reveal to you.

God has not given us a complete revelation of all things, but only that which is necessary for our perfecting in this eon.  All of us who understand the evangel of Paul and are therefore a part of the Body of Christ should not seek to impose his convictions on every member he comes across.  God has not created us to be exactly alike in every thought, but to be unified in the spirit.

Romans 13:8
To no one owe anything, except to be loving one another, for he who is loving another has fulfilled law.

We are all slaves of Christ, yet not all will have the same conscience or conviction.

Romans 14:2-4
 One, indeed, is believing to eat all things, yet the infirm one is eating greens.
Let not him who is eating be scorning him who is not eating. Yet let not him who is not eating be judging him who is eating, for God took him to Himself.
Who are you who are judging Another's domestic? To his own Master he is standing or falling. Now he will be made to stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

We each have different experiences, struggles, and needs.  We each add to the sufferings of Christ through our trials.  We each can build each other up by our own experiences and words of wisdom.  Therefore let none of us disdain another for his differences.  It would be foolish to reject the friendship of another brother or sister on something so temporal as our own convictions.  This Eon is quickly coming to a close and we need the love and friendship of each one of us to see all of us through to the end.  Paul understood this and desired nothing more than unity throughout the entire Body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-14
 And the same One gives these, indeed, as apostles, yet these as prophets, yet these as evangelists, yet these as pastors and teachers,
 toward the adjusting of the saints for the work of dispensing, for the upbuilding of the body of Christ,
 unto the end that we should all attain to the unity of the faith and of the realization of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the complement of the Christ,
 that we may by no means still be minors, surging hither and thither and being carried about by every wind of teaching, by human caprice, by craftiness with a view to the systematizing of the deception.

Phillipians 2:1-7
If, then, there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any communion of spirit, if any compassion and pity,
fill my joy full, that you may be mutually disposed, having mutual love, joined in soul, being disposed to one thing --
nothing according with faction, nor yet according with vainglory -- but with humility, deeming one another superior to one's self,
not each noting that which is his own, but each that of others also.
For let this disposition be in you, which is in Christ Jesus also,
Who, being inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with God,
nevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Letting the Light Shine Out

A Broken Jar

2 Cor 4:5-8

5 For we are not heralding ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, yet ourselves your slaves because of Jesus,
6 for the God Who says that, out of darkness light shall be shining, is He Who shines in our hearts, with a view to the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 Now we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the transcendence of the power may be of God and not of us.

  As believers who live on this earth, often far apart from those who are similar faith and mind; we are constantly aware of our shortcomings.  I myself am hard of hearing.  I struggle to understand my 3 year old at times.  I often find it difficult to keep up in group conversations and quickly get exhausted and eventually have to give up because I simply cannot maintain that level of focus for very long.  Oh that I would have perfect hearing!  And one day, I know I shall.

   But today, I continue to be hard of hearing and sometimes even deaf.  Why would Father do this?  Doesn't he know I could more powerfully preach his word if I could hear and jump into a conversation and powerfully express his teachings?  Doesn't he see how this binds me and slips me up?

   Even our apostle Paul struggled with these things.  In desperation he cried out to Father and he answered in 2 Corinthians 12:9

9 And He has protested to me, "Sufficient for you is My grace, for My power in infirmity is being perfected." With the greatest relish, then, will I rather be glorying in my infirmities, that the power of Christ should be tabernacling over me. 

   I have come to view myself, and all believers, as jars.  We often have cracks running down the side of us in these earthly vessels.  That's ok, because inside of us is a light - the very POWER of Christ's resurrection.  Isn't that exciting?  The very power that rose Christ from the dead now dwells in you.  In Phillipians 3:10-11 Paul writes

10 to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, conforming to His death,
11 if somehow I should be attaining to the resurrection that is out from among the dead.

  He wasn't questioning his salvation or hinting at a secret resurrection that will happen before the one mentioned in 1 Thessalonians.  He was expressing his sincere desire to appreciate the power at work within him.  The very power that rose Jesus from the dead now works within us, he desired to be conscious of it.  To live at peace, and boldly so, within the power of Christ.

   How often do we struggle to keep this in mind, while failing at every turn in these weak jars of clay we now posses?  Don't despair - just remember, your cracks are exactly what God needs to let the light shine out!