Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rich, Increased in Goods and...Content

The light of truth needs to shine brighter with each passing day. The concept of progressive revelation is very important. This is because we are in darkness and do not fully comprehend the light. Cut off from the God's presence by our collective and individual sin humanity needed God to slowly pull back the shades of night.

Following the barrier that was imposed by man's first sin, God has been attempting to restore His image through a greater revelation of himself. First speaking through nature, then through His law, then through the prophets, He finally provided the ultimate revelation through His Son. This revelation was encapsulated through the written word and has been handed down to us through the ages.

Now Christians believe that the cannon is closed and in their ardent desire to preserve God's word they have limited the Holy Spirit. Galatians 3 tells us that the law was to be a tutor that leads us to Christ. The words of scripture testify of Christ, but they are not Christ. Jesus is a living person that breaths and speaks today.

We are too comfortable with the fact that we have hindsight and are not looking for insight. Does God only desire us to live by the letters written down by the ancients. Jesus commenting on what was correct behavior on the Sabbath day, explained that if we help an ox out of a ditch we should be even inclined to help a man on the Sabbath day.

God is speaking today. He wants us to respond to Him personally. The bible will never be contradicted by a Spirit led life, but with the Spirit comes further light. We cannot be content with the past. We need to live in the present. We need to listen to God's words for us today in such a time as this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Raison D'Etre

Each time has it's purpose and our time is no exception. "Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come...Worship Him who made heavens and the earth, the sea and the springs of waters...Babylon is fallen, is fallen...Come out of her My people." Rev. 14:6,8; 18:4

We believe that the remnant message calls people to acknowledge that Jesus began His heavenly ministry when He ascended to heaven, but He moved to the most holy place in 1844. This is our understanding of the statement the "hour of His judgment is come."

Furthermore we understand that we are to worship Him as creator by observing His memorial of creation: the Sabbath day. Those that are not worshiping Him in this manner are described as Babylon and God wants His people who are a part of Babylon to come out of this false system of worship.

With the change of political power in the United States as a new presidency is inaugurated we must preach the living word of God that Jesus' ministry was inaugurated following His ascension and that the judgment of the saints prophesied by Daniel is now underway.

We know this message, but many don't. We're afraid of its' power, but we need to embrace its purpose. This is our purpose. Yes Christ was crucified, but He will not remain hidden. There is more to the story. He brings His reward with Him and all should know of that His reaping sickle will separate the wheat from the tares.

Fear God and give Him the glory.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Yoke is Easy

When Jesus stated that His yoke was and is easy what did He mean? Rob Bell the author of "Velvet Elvis" has something to say about this subject: "A rabbi's set of rules and lists, which was really the rabbi's interpretation of how to live the Torah, was called the rabbi's yoke." Jesus then is inviting His followers to take up His set of rules on how to live.

Jesus was much more than a rabbi, yet He was called one by His followers. The English equivalent of rabbi is teacher in the New Testament. We find the disciples and others, including Nicodemus, giving this title to Jesus. While Jesus was more than a human rabbi He related to the people on their own terms: in ways they could understand.

The people had been taught to observe a myriad of customs and rules in order to have the right "halak" or walk with God, but the other rabbis of Israel had made these rules difficult and they were often disconnected from the principles they were supposed to exemplify. Jesus' yoke is easy. Not because we don't have to do anything. The divine principles of God's law require action on the part of any person, but the action is not aimless. In fact the actions that are anticipated by God's law provide purposeful function. Resting on the Sabbath, was to be a blessing giving a person an opportunity to reflect on God's creative and restorative power. God's instructions regarding health were given to enoble the mind through the rejuvenation of the body.

Jesus wants us to take His yoke upon us. It does require that we walk with Him, but in the setting of this weary world it will be a welcomed pursuit to all those that abide in Him.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't Drink to Deeply

Have you ever longed for a cool refreshing beverage on a hot day? Perhaps you have whetted you whistle under less extenuating circumstances. So many of us indulge our appetites and desires on a rather continual basis without thought to the message this sends heavenly hosts. Without inquiring if something is essential we incorporate wish fulfillment as a regular part of our daily regimen.

Are we too live like paupers avoiding the pleasures God has given? We reason God gave us food and wants us to happy right? This rhetorical question is misleading because happiness has not been defined. If we define happiness on our own terms than we can freely justify the pleasures we seek. Furthermore we often elevate our own happiness at the expense of others. This is perhaps the crux of the problem.

In determining what the rights would be of the future citizens of this United States of America the framers of the constitution had to determine when and how the rights of others could be fulfilled. They knew that in order to preserve equality rights must exist without infringing on anyone else's rights. They realized that a person can only have so much freedom without taking away from another person's freedom. The keys to understanding how to solve the equation of freedoms/rights of the individual versus the freedoms/rights of the group involves our free will and the limitation of resources. Thus a person's rights extend in so far as their choices do not inhibit the choices of others or the resources available to others.

In a world with fallen human nature free will can enable amazing accomplishments or destructive decisions. In a fallen world our resources are limited due to their selfish distribution. As man digresses, correct use of free will and the allocation of resources becomes more and more uncommon. Therefore we have to consider that what would in an ideal world be fine for a person to consume or enjoy becomes self-centered in a world where so many others are limited.

We are in a war and as such we need to remember to be frugal to conserve for the conflict. I think this was the concept employed by the early church in the book of Acts. The author states that all things were held in common and sold as they were needed by members of the community. Does this imply that all goods were equally distributed. I think that would be false. Certainly those that produced more goods had responsibility over more. Fellow believers simply recognized the need to support each other.

In conclusion God has made the world that we might marvel at His handiwork. He wants us to enjoy His creation. But in the age of conflict we need to remember not to drink to deeply lest we forget to hand a cup of water to the thirsty souls among us.