Monday, July 28

Tides of Good and Evil......

“In the day of wealth have joy, but in the day of evil take thought: God has put the one against the other, so that man may not be certain what will be after him. These two have I seen in my life which is to no purpose: a good man coming to his end in his righteousness, and an evil man whose days are long in his evil-doing. Be not given overmuch to righteousness and be not over-wise. Why let destruction come on you? Be not evil overmuch, and be not foolish. Why come to your end before your time? It is good to take this in your hand and not to keep your hand from that; he who has the fear of God will be free of the two. Wisdom makes a wise man stronger than ten rulers in a town. There is no man on earth of such righteousness that he does good and is free from sin all his days.”(Ecc 7:14-20 BBE)

God creates both good and evil (rather, the potential for evil)? Dangerous theology to be preaching in the days of the emergent church or a loving God who wants nothing more than to have you totally healthy and totally rich, or even the God of Total Love (the best, never the worse).

Gone are the words Christ spoke of a rich man’s difficulties to get into Heaven. Gone are the thoughts that God wants us to be His, totally and without blemish, and brings that about through testing, trials, and tribulations. God only wants to love us our way, to be rich, to heal the world, and to be totally healthy, or even.....never sick.

A lot is said about Jesus’ words to his disciples, of bringing us life, life in abundance. Many pastors point to this as proof of the desire of the Almighty to give us health untold and riches beyond our dreams.

The properity gospel. The name-it-and-claim it doctrine. The emergent movement. The list goes on and on about the doctrinal teachings of an All-powerful vending machine God that only takes special tokens given to Christians "in the know", a God who doesn't want anyone to perish so we've nothing to worry about regardless of our "sinful lifestyles, rotten fruits, or self-serving natures"...God is hog-tied and cannot let us go or a God that is solely love that doesn't "use" evil to the means only He knows.

Job admonished his friends and family for such views that God only gives or allows good for us, even in his trials;

“Job replied, "Don't talk like a fool! If we accept blessings from God, we must accept trouble as well." In all that happened, Job never once said anything against God.” (Job 2:10 CEV)

Did God then create man to be evil? Is this just some cosmic bet that God seems to have lost in the domination battle that wages between the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with the "Lord of the Air" (i.e. the fallen one, the usurper, Satan)? Or is it more of a cosmic roll of the dice, where God created and then got bored?

Why, if God is for us, do babies die within hours of their birth while their parents desperately pray for a miraculous healing? Why do adult Christians, spiritually strong in mighty proportions, die at 32 with a wife and three children left behind to carry on? Why do evil men, like the Iranian President, live freely without compulsion or fear? If God indeed uses His powerful righteousness not to spare evilness from entering a righteous man's life, why does He do it? Does He love us or just don't care, allowing the lucky to gain while the unfortunates wither from lack of nutrious food?

No, we were created perfectly by a righteous and holy God, in His Image, and we are living in the sin of Adam and Eve, who would be god. Though our creation was in perfection, a image of the Holy and Righteous God I AM, our minds became corrupted by the introduction of sin into the Garden.

That is why we struggle against our old nature even when the new has been born through the baptizmal of the Holy Spirit. That is why some succumb to the call of their old selves, still clawing for life within the unfruitful soil of the righteously redeemed. That is why some never achieve the peace that Christ left before His ascension to Heaven, His perfect peace. That is even why we, as did the great apostle Paul, "do what I know not to do and don't do what I know to do."

"I did learn one thing: We were completely honest when God created us, but now we have twisted minds." (Ecc 7:29 CEV)

One thing that Solomon consider one of the most important things he ever discovered was very simple and basic. So far a cry from the doctrine that is plying complexity within the humanistic and universalism view of who this God is. Either He is beyond comprehension or He is untrue.

The first family, Adam and Eve were made in perfection, in the image of God Himself, Genesis 1:27. They were made to be 'upright', to be "right and innocent before Him" in their soul, by which they were given knowledge, righteousness, and holiness to be children of God as Paul speaks of in Ephesians 4:24. We were created in original form, to be knowledgable of the Godhead, Three in One, to understand righteousness, to live in holiness because of a God-given knowledge of His mind and will, the manner of worship He desired, and perfect without defect.

We were created to have "understanding clear of all errors and mistakes, either about divine or human things; [our] affections regular and ordinate, no unruly passion in [us], no sinful affection, lust, and desire; [we] loved God with [our] his heart and soul, and delighted in him, and communion with him; the bias of his will was to that which is good; the law of God was written on his heart, and [we] had both power and will to keep it; and, during [our] state of integrity, was pure and sinless." (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

Sin didn't always exist. Even Solomon, the wisest person in all the world, could not find such timelessness but rather "the fountain of all sin, the origin of moral evil; namely, the corruption of human nature through the fall of Adam." (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

It is not God who created sin or evil, rather it is the design that man was created with 'free will' and who fell into our own sin and folly through the originial sin of desiring more knowledge and happiness through unapproved methods to ultimately become as wise as God Himself, against the desires of God's design and through such action, against God Himself, as well.

And we have sought out theologies and doctrines that better give us an 'excuse' to give us gratification to the unending question as to 'why'? From Adam's blaming Eve for sin's introduction, Eve's throwing the blame upon the serpent, and our loss of that knowledge of righteousness, holiness, power to know good and do it, and even the prescense of God.

The original sin has been perfected through the ages as man sought out new ways of having the happiness that is genetically and spiritually written within ourselves. Decay of the moral standards to suit the living of sinfulness, pursuit of riches, self-value, decadent pleasures of the flesh, humanistic scientific knowledge in which to manpulate our world, or even doing good works for our own acolodaes.

But this generational knowledge, this 'measure of faith' that God implanted within His creation, has not been lost totally, which is why some have answered the cry of the heart and heard God's voice. A remenant of the image of God, the law that He wrote upon our hearts, and the cry in our souls that this is not right; we were born for greatness that we cannot achieve within the confines of our broken, sinful nature shows us that we were made for something other than what we are now.

It is those who find themselves discontented with the explainations of the world, who stand against the manipulation of the worldly knowledge to once again 'rediscover' that generational desire within us to be 'as knowledgable as the Creator' or to be 'god', and find themselves struggling in peace and mercy through the trials of this world that realize the wisdom that Solomon himself found;

“I know that God is testing us to show us that we are merely animals. Like animals we breathe and die, and we are no better off than they are. It just doesn't make sense. All living creatures go to the same place. We are made from earth, and we return to the earth. Who really knows if our spirits go up and the spirits of animals go down into the earth? We were meant to enjoy our work, and that's the best thing we can do. We can never know the future.” (Ecc 3:18-22 CEV)

By chosing our 'portion' in this world and its pleasures of self-indulgence and self-protection, we have declared ourselves to be nothing more than a random chance coupling of amno-acids and primordial soup bringing ourselves level with the beasts of Creation. And, by denying God, we have not only denied our salvational gifting but we have denied our spirit, that very thing that separates us from the beasts of this world.

We spend our limited knowledge and earthly wisdom in the pursuit of filling that empty space we've created by such denial. Like the beasts of the earth, if we seek only self-fulfillment, self-perservation, and self-contentment, we shall die like those beasts returning both in body and spirit into the dust from whence we were formed.

Such is why God is delaying His interference within the matter of mankind's redemption until the appointed time He has set and allows such trials, temptations, and tribulations to exists in the world of the righteous as well as allow good to come to the wicked.

Under the 'free will' development of man, with the introduction of sin and its progetity, the distinction of those of the world and those of the spirit will become manifest to the degree that man's sinfulness is visible under the condemnation and oppression of the faithful through so-called human justice, which is nothing more than human brutishness based upon the linear human process of thought.

"If one disregards the idea of God's interfering at a future time with the discordant human history, and, in general, if one loses sight of God, the distinction between the life of man and of beast disappears." (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

Those who raise themselves beyond the level of the beasts of the earth develop a sense of eternity based upon the revealed act of Jesus Christ, and through Him the desires and reality of God, His Father. In God's desire to perfect us and make us holy and blameless in His sight, His plan has developed to bring us to that place, in the course of His timing, in perfect condition whereas the imperfections born of sin are lanced from our souls.

German Biblical Critic Ferdinand Hitzig speaks of this mingling of good and evil in the life of men, “Because God wills it that man shall be rid of all things after his death, He puts evil into the period of his life and lets it alternate with good, instead of visiting him therewith after his death.”

In other words, “God causes man to experience good and evil that he may pass through the whole school of life, and when he departs hence that nothing may be outstanding (in arrears) which he has not experienced.” (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

As Matthew Henry speaks of in his commentary, "How an eternity of existence may be to us an eternity of enjoyment?" is the question that we find the answer to in this journey home. This revelation of God's plan, design, and purpose is shown in the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the only Hope for all sinners, of which mankind is solely existent as.

This learning in the 'school of hard knocks' or the 'school of life' creates, in the words of John Wesley, a position where we “therefore might live in a constant dependence upon God, and neither despair in trouble, nor be secure or presumptuous in prosperity.” (John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes)

"Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you. But insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly]." 1 Peter 4:12-13 (AMP)

"Someone once said, "A faith that can't be tested isn't a faith worth having!" Trials are meant to increase our faith in God – the greater our needs, the greater our trials – then the greater our dependence on Him," George of Worthy News writes in his devotional for today, "and usually its in this state of utter dependence upon Him that we enjoy the deepest, most intimate times with our God."

Carolyn Baker, devotional writer for, said in her submission today, "The adventure of a lifetime begins with one surrendered step." We know not where we will be called to go, as children in the body of Christ and we cannot number our days with certainity and rigidiousness.

We can step out in faith, accept a gift that we are unworthy of obtaining, and submit ourselves in willing obedience to the One who purchased it with His own blood for our benefit. Enduring the process of becoming what we were intended to be, facing the persecution of those who would die like the beasts of the earth, and even facing those who would redefine Christianity into a non-threatening entity, we cast off the power of this world, its current lord, and find ourselves prepared for a life spent in eternal life with our Creator.

We discover, in the face of the trials that sorrow our hearts, challenge our faith, and manifest our weaknesses, that there is a hope that springs eternal. And as that wisdom and knowledge settles upon our very hearts, we show others the testimony and good news of our God, Abba Father.

We live a life without fear, for we know that if we seek to do what God calls us to do, He will either reveal our faithfulness or redeem our foolishness. And it will show when those who are of the world look at us, in our familiar sinful, broken body that is so like theirs, and ask, "Why are they peaceful and content in this?"

"As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person." Proverbs 27:19

If we see the design God intended for us, writing His commandments and Word upon our hearts, we will reflect it to the world and snatch those from the fire of the enemy's design.

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