Revolutionary Truth

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John 18:37“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.  Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. ~ Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881) British prime minister.  In our day, I think we can add a fourth, the internet.

The truth seems to be such a rare commodity these days.  We seem to want to devise what it is that we want to believe, what it is that we want to be the truth, and then craft the “lies, damned lies and statistics” to support it.  Nothing seems more contradictory to me than the phrase “spin the truth.”  The truth needs no spinning.  It stands on its own and is never afraid of open and honest debate.  Lies on the other hand fear openness and debate.  Here are a few gems on telling the truth that I picked up, on the internet no less.  A touch of irony there, don’t you think.

  • A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. ~Edgar J. Mohn
  • Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half. ~Author Unknown
  • A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb
  • Once you start telling lies, all your truths become questionable. ~Author Unknown
  • The truth is more important than the facts. ~Frank Lloyd Wright
  • If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain, 1894
  • No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. ~Abraham Lincoln
  • Truth fears no questions. ~Unknown
  • The truth needs so little rehearsal. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
  • It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~ Noel Coward
  • In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. ~ George Orwell

My Advice – Honesty is, and always has been, the best policy.  But it should be more than a policy, it should be who you are.

Haggai – Giving Careful Thought

Haggai 1:5-9Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. (NIV 1984)

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My Musings – While the context suggests that the remnant that had returned from captivity were preoccupied with rebuilding their lives to the neglect of rebuilding God’s Temple, there is much we can learn from the prophet’s rebuke.  There is much we need to give careful thought to.

We spend much of our lives trying to make a living (planted much), but end up disappointed because in the process we failed to make a life (harvested little).  For making a living and making a life are two different things.  The things we ran after, the things that we thought would bring us satisfaction (eating, drinking, nice clothes, good wages), in the end bring disappointment (never enough, never filling, do not bring comfort/warmth, and do not last). We bring them “home” but they are blown away. We need to refocus on the things that do last (His “house”).

My Advice –  Do not be so busy attending to our “house” that we neglect His “house,” His Kingdom, and His righteousness.  Sometimes we find it hard to let go of the old “house.”  But we need to learn to hold loosely the things of this world in order to get a grip on the things of the Kingdom.

What are some things that you are holding onto that might be keeping God’s “house” in your life from being built into the glory that He intends?  What are some things you can do to “let them go?” You might expect little, but you will receive much.

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth Sailing Through Rough Waters

Psalms 119:71It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn from your decrees. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We do not think of affliction as good, but there are so many things we learn from it that we could not learn any other way. Much more of our character comes from rough waters than it does from smooth sailing. We must try very hard to learn from these situations. How sad to think that we might go through them and learn nothing.

My Advice – Learn from adversity. In every hardship, there is something that God can and will teach you if you look for it. So whenever the going is rough, ask God what He is trying to teach you – and He will.

The Woman Clothed With the Sun

THE WOMANA great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (Revelation 12:1-2)

Identity of the Woman – As with many of the visions in Revelation, there are a variety of viewpoints as to the identity of the “woman clothed with the sun.”

Mary – One viewpoint is that this is a symbolic reference to Mary the mother of Christ.(1)

Church – Others identify her as the Church, with the twelve stars representing the twelve apostles referenced in Revelation 21:14.(2)

Israel – Still others see the woman symbolizing Israel, as indicated by Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9–11, where the sun and the moon referred to Jacob and Rachel, Joseph’s parents and the stars the twelve sons of Jacob.(3) This view is further supported by Satan’s clash with Michael, the archangel assigned to protect Israel (Daniel 12:1).(4)

Combination – As in other signs and prophecies, there is no reason why this one cannot have multiple meanings, as each exemplify Satan’s efforts through the ages (what was, is and is to come) to thwart God’s program for His creation.

Activity of the Woman – The woman was said to be pregnant and about to give birth. Under the first viewpoint above, John would be looking back to the birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary,(5) (what was). If a reference to the church, it could be referencing the persecution of the church as Satan opposes it prior to the Rapture (what is). Finally, if a symbolic reference to Israel of the past, it could point to the suffering of the future nation prior to the Parousia,(6) (what is to come).

Up Next – The Red Dragon.

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References

  1. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 957–958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 12:1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  3. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 957–958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  4. Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 1903). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  5. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  6. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

 

That I Might Not

Psalms 119:9-11How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – How can we live according to God’s Word? By seeking Him and hiding it in our hearts. There is no situation that we face that we cannot take to Him in prayer. If we know His Word well enough (hidden in our hearts) we often know what to do.

My Advice – Living a life that is pure in God’s sight is easier if you know His Word well. Read it and study it regularly and often. Staying in a close relationship with Him is also helpful, because when you seek Him, He will always be near.

Resurrection of the Two Witnesses

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TWO WITNESSES’ RESURRECTIONBut after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon. (Revelation 11:11-14)

Resurrection – The phrase, “after the three and a half days” could be compared with Jesus being resurrected on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4). Great fear would be the expected response to a double resurrection. Such fear can be a positive thing, however, since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7).(1)

Ascension – The command, “come up here,” is understood by some to speak of the Rapture of the church, though here it is a call to Continue reading “Resurrection of the Two Witnesses”

Choice Refuge

Psalms 118:8It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – The trust we place in man is often misplaced. The trust we place in God is never misplaced.

My Advice – You will face many choices in what or whom to trust. Man’s counsel may seem wise, but often fails. God’s counsel will never fail you. Choose His counsel and wisdom over man’s.