Scattered Sheep

I am grateful for the endless nature of relationships; especially with You, God. No matter how I draw near, there are still mysteries and yet-undiscovered delights, heart-depths yet unsounded.

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

Mark 3

Me:
You made that passage come to my attention when we heard it during our workout this morning!

Holy Spirit:
I also made you think of this one:

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me .

John 17

Me:
Yes, Holy Spirit, You did. I believe You are telling me these are related to the so-called demise of the “church”.

Holy Spirit:
I Am. All three of these passages are related to the decline in the human-ordered organization that is the church. As you saw in the Greek for 1 John 2:15, “world” is kosmos and the literal meaning of kosmos is “an ordered system”. That is what the denominational “church” consists of. It is not the assembly that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 16. You can be sure of this, because the very definition of denomination is the differentiation of the values of each piece. (Think of the word when applied to different pieces of money.) This division is the antithesis of the unity Jesus was praying for (John 17:23). Therefore you surely know that these divisions are judgment and fulfillment of the truth that the house divided shall not stand.

Me:
Judgment against what, Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit:
Because the denominational “church” is a construction of man, it is an edifice built to his vain imaginations of what he thinks I Am like and of what he interprets My Word to mean. It is the very definition of that which is of the world. I have only allowed them to build little towers of Babel, as I have no intention of allowing a unified human organization to exist under the heading of the church. They even dare to call each little fractured bit the “house of God”. Do not think that the size of each fragment is an indication the degree my favor rests on it. The larger ones simply have more passive sitters who wait to console their lack of oneness with Me with the speech of their hireling shepherd (John 10:12-13).

When the children of Israel stood before the mountain and saw evidence of My glory, they shied back and told Moses, you listen to God and tell us what He said. (Deuteronomy 5:7) Moses was a prototype of Jesus as Mediator. Now that Jesus has come, placing another as mediator is an affront to His sacrifice. I Am sent to guide each believer into all the truth. Take seriously this passage:

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:5

Me:
I am grateful for our Mediator, and for You, our Guide! I pray You will continue to reveal more to me about the fulfillment of Jesus High-Priestly prayer.

Holy Spirit:
I will.

Me:
Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit:
You’re welcome! I love you!

Deratia

Conviction

I am grateful for the Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:1-5

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Revelation 13:16-18

I am going to assume, up front, that no reader will be unaware of the use of an executive order by the White House to direct the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to create a so-called emergency temporary standard (ETS) to require all employers with more than 100 workers to show proof of vaccination or require masking and proof of negative weekly testing at the employee’s expense. If not, that ETS link will take you to the OSHA site.

I have been working to reconcile my understanding to properly address this threat to livelihood. One might think the answer is to go to work for a smaller enterprise, but the Executive Branch is signaling intent to extend to small business as well. The OSHA ETS is carefully written looking forward to that step. (One increment at a time, as always.)

You might ask, “Why have you cited the passage in Revelation 13 pertaining to the ‘mark of the beast’”? Do I think vaccine documentation fulfills the definition of the mark? No, I think it is apparently still short of the description laid out in Revelation. However, there are obvious components of that more intense scenario involved in this situation; prevention of trade (by deprivation of income), identification of individuals based on certain choices (impressed to make decisions contrary to the direction of God), and man as the apparent source, for starters.

I believe the current exercise has at least two purposes. The first is as a test: “If we run this up the flag pole, will the populace salute?” Failing the first test, the second purpose becomes more important – conditioning more people to incrementally surrender their personal sovereignty by continually elevating the level of coercion.

I work for an employer with a few thousand employees, so the first roll-out applies to me as it is now written. Employers are placed in an untenable position by prohibitive penalties for “violations”. An employer determined to resist on principle would be fined out of existence forthwith. Let us think about these penalties for a minute. In fact, let’s limit our gaze to the masking requirement for unvaccinated but weekly-tested employees. A single employee caught with only his nose uncovered could be considered in violation and subject the employer to a $13,653 penalty. Repeated or willful infractions have a 10X multiplier. Therefore, the second violation could cost the employer (who has been made responsible for enforcement) $136,530. That is for just one recalcitrant employee who – horrors, wanted to breathe better – out of potentially thousands. If this level of penalty is considered in conjunction with the near-real-time reporting requirement, one can easily see why an employer might start to use facial recognition/mask monitoring as a protection against this huge liability. What’s to recognize in a masked individual? Well, the forehead is visible. Hmmmm.

Because employers will be coerced (financially) to be agents of the government (OSHA), possible resistance will be mounted only by the individual. This is by design, of course. Imposing isolation has been the modus operandi for some time now. My belief is that these genetic therapies (propagandized as vaccines) are part of an evil affront to the created order. The gain-of-function manipulation that resulted in the virus itself is part of that. Sorry if you have taken the jab and that stance offends, but that is another entire discussion. So what about compliance with the smaller increment of masking-and-testing to keep working, buying groceries and utilities this winter?

The Holy Spirit handed me an epiphany a couple of days ago in the form of a question. Even if this tyrant’s edict via OSHA is merely a practice run in preparation for a time closer to the end or a diabolical barometer to determine if we are “there” yet, do I want to practice accepting a “precursor mark” to make it more likely that accepting the eventual “mark” will not look like a step too far?

I pray the ongoing legal challenges will prevail. God bless those who have started mounting them. I pray the courts are not all already too far around the bend. But a conviction has easily solidified in answering the Holy Spirit’s question to my own satisfaction. By the limitless grace of God, I am going to resist refuse with all that is within me by the power of God Almighty.

Lord, thank you that You are Jehovah-Jireh, God my Provider. In You I trust. I pray the ones implementing this evil will turn to You and repent. I pray the same for their abettors.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Love and War

The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

Exodus 15:3

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Revelation 17:14

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.

Revelation 19:11-16

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:8

Are these statements about the nature and character of God incongruous?

Linked from https://www.ushmm.org/

Many persons in the armed services, law enforcement personnel, fire and medical first-responders, even parents; any whom have stood in the gap to protect others against the onslaught of evil unleashed in the world has no problem answering that question. Love is, in fact, the most effective motivation. Love enables one to look malevolence in the eye and stand for what is right and true, whatever the personal cost. The cost may not be trivial:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

Peter learned that it takes more than passion to walk the path of sacrifice.

Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

John 13:37-38

We have to pick a side. This is war, after all.

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

1 John 3:8 does not mean we do not sin or have lost the capacity to sin. Those who are in Jesus have been redeemed from the controlling power of sin (as long as we desire to be). Surely you can see that if I sin, I am not carrying out the mission of the One described in the passage above from Revelation 19. What am I doing then? Aiding the enemy, making myself less fit for service to the King. Remember? This is war. Such transgressions start to have the stench of treason.

What are we to do? One thing, is recognize we have been issued state-of-the-art equipment. Put it on.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6

A soldier needs to know his mission. Not just generally, but the details of it. Generally, we get the gist of the mission from the written word. Are you in it enough to know the mission outline? The details come through our relationship with the Living Word. We have cutting-edge communications. Are we listening?

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 15:14-15, 16:13

We have a Faultless Example; understanding the enemy, communicating constantly with the Commander, encouraging His troops, faithfully executing the mission through giving in the power of love, whatever the cost.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 10

Look to Others

I am grateful for air, spoken into existence and maintained by You to satisfyingly fill our lungs, sustaining life at all times. Awake, asleep, running, or resting; thank You for providing!

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (ego, overweening pride); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 (King James Version)

Me: Good morning, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning, Jon!

Me: Considering that passage in Philippians 2, I have to admit chafing if my superiors at work take an opposing stance against any of my ideas of how things ought to be done.

Holy Spirit: Think back to Eve’s interchange with the serpent:

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3

What does verse six say about Eve’s rationalization? She “saw” that the tree produced fruit that was “good for food”, which is consideration for sating the physical self. She was going by how the fruit appeared to her, though I had said that it was deadly. Think of how she had to disbelieve My word. She “saw” that it was pleasant to the eyes, giving consideration to the emotional self. You experience, of course, My voice speaking to you and if you consider sinning against My direction, you know how focusing on the object of your desire instead of Me and My word leads to the same kind of decision as Eve made.

I made clear all wisdom is not from above. Let us look at what James says about it:

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

From James 3 (NASB)

Eve was deceived and she desired wisdom from the wrong source. Notice the component of selfish ambition in verse 14? She did not ask Me for My wisdom. I have made it clear to you, also through James, how to get My wisdom:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

Finally, having partaken, Eve gave also to her husband. She was looking after her own interests, putting that demonic wisdom to work, right away.

Me: She was thinking, “If it hadn’t been a good idea, I wouldn’t have done it”?

Holy Spirit: She was. How often the deceived try to convince others to follow them!

Me: I definitely see the similarity to Eve’s deception and my egotistical chafing about being overridden at work. I pray you will help me be constant in seeking You and in putting the welfare of others before myself. I ask You to help me be gracious and convincing if You are guiding me down a path that has been opposed and quick to see and acknowledge if the other person is right.

Holy Spirit: That is a prayer I Am fulfilling.

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Purple Iris with Dew Drops (gracious gift from the Creator)

By Him All Things Consist

I am grateful that You have already given everything needed for life and godliness!

But he answered and said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Peter 1:3-4

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Thank You for a pleasant day traveling toward home with You and Jeannie!

Jesus: You are welcome! Happy to be along!

Me: I cannot imagine a way to thank You enough for Your promises! The bonus of being a partaker in Your nature seems to eclipse all the promises individually, and even taken all together, as great as they are!

Jesus: If you are filled by my Holy Spirit, how could you be otherwise than a partaker of My nature? My divine nature is My Spirit. Likewise, My Spirit in you is My divine nature.

What you have lacked in understanding stems from the view that My Spirit is ethereal in the commonly held sense of no substance discernible by the physical senses. My Spirit is ethereal, in fact. But unlike the common conception, the mighty flow of My Spirit powers the entire created heavens and earth, the spiritual realm as well as the physical; giving form and substance and energy beyond the ability of man to conceive.

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Colossians 1:16-17

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Me: Marvelous! I love You Jesus! Thank You!

Jesus: I’m glad you liked My revelation to your heart! You are welcome! I love you!

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Many may be Hypnotized in America

I am grateful to be off to spend more time seeking a deeper relationship with You!

These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

Proverbs 24:23-25

Me: Good Morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good Morning Jon!

Me: Holy Spirit, I just watched a video demonstration wherein Roy Masters hypnotized a man to do odd things, mostly to demonstrate to his audience that one can be made to do things when hypnotized that he would not normally do. The subject appeared perfectly awake some of the time. The odd thing that Mr. Masters had his guest do was put his shoes on the wrong feet, simply because he suggested that that they were uncomfortable the way they were. He then had the man examine how other people had their shoes on. What happened next was breathtaking. The man with his shoes on the wrong feet began to passionately implore the rest of the audience to exchange places with their shoes, that they might be more comfortable too.

It was not all nonsense. Next Mr. Masters told his subject to answer with complete honesty. Then he quickly discovered that the man harbored much anger and seething resentment toward his (now dead) parents for their treatment of him. To make a long story shorter, the man was able to forgive his parents and release his anger toward them. This was a great thing for the man and the emotional release was all but palpable. But the important issue for the rest of us came when Mr. Masters observed that the negative emotion (anger) was what made him susceptible to being hypnotized in the first place. Who among us does not have these negative emotions in play?

Holy Spirit, Mr Masters also mentioned that the (organized) communists are well versed in these techniques and employ them in a widespread manner and did not need a concentration camp to do it. Can you tell me more about people being hypnotized to carry out evil? I am thinking of those who support turning our nation to communism and are working on every front, from rioting in the streets and crying to stop funding law enforcement, to making evil decisions in the courts and legislatures. How often have I observed that a newly elected congressperson does not seem to last twenty minutes on capitol hill before they have gone to the dark side. Is hypnosis involved? Is there a way to guard against such attacks? I noted one other thing he said that rang a bell. He said, “Excuse making is incontrovertible evidence of one rationalizing illogical positions he has been hypnotized into”.

Holy Spirit: You already know that your spirit is redeemed because you have accepted Jesus. You know also that entertaining sin in your life still opens you up to the schemes of the devil. The more one toys with sin, the higher his risk. Mass hypnosis (to use that term for it) can easily be carried out over the television. I submit to you that the news media are not reporting much “news”, but are instead delivering commentary that has much in common with what you saw Mr. Masters do with his guest. The scripture gives enough guidance for resistance:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:23

If you are allowing My gifts to be manifested and to increase in your life, all the more, the devil will not find a foothold.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4

Encourage others to walk in the Spirit and let My character be that which comes out in them at all times.

It should not surprise you that if a believer habitually tolerates sin in his own life, he will be open to more of the devil’s agenda. Even more, the one who has clung to rejecting Jesus has no real protection.

If I am allowed to shine the love of God into a person’s heart; love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, self control, gentleness will be the light that drives out all darkness. (Ephesians 5:19-21)

Jesus knew the devil had largely succeeded in taking over the hearts of all. That is why He prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You Holy Spirit! Preserve our nation, help wake up the ones who have been taken over. I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love You! Many are coming awake. Few know the full extent of the risk of straddling the fence.

Finale of the Musical In God We Trust at Charis Bible College on July 4, 2021

In God We Trust

Garden Trouble and the Cure

I am grateful to have the red-skin potatoes and new asparagus in the ground.

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

Genesis 3:9

Me: Good evening, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I reckon the Father knew exactly where Adam was.

Holy Spirit: Far more precisely than Adam knew where Adam was. Did you wonder why sin caused Adam to “hide” though he had never hidden before, never experienced sin before, never even been harshly corrected? He was taught by Me. He communed with Me in all My fullness. That should be enough to convince you that knowledge, even knowing perfectly, is not a defense against the possibility of sin.

Me: Why did these new behaviors develop?

Holy Spirit: What was the tree that they had eaten of? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil:

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2:15-17

Also, what did the Father say at the end of His work on creation?

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31

Consider that until Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying the one prohibition that was given (for their own good, and the good of all that would follow) there was no accomplished evil in the world to know? There was obviously some in the spiritual realm. They believed the deception of the serpent that God failed to have their best interest at heart. Sin entered the world though their choice to disobey. One of the most noticeable evils was the doubt that entered them about the nature and character of God. The effects of their sin that caused them to “hide” presented many facets. They did not want to admit to their sin. They did not want to see the Father, for they understood He knows all. At least they would have understood, except one of the fundamental processes of sin is the shifting of one’s focus to self. They were ashamed. That negative emotion had not existed before in the world. They were afraid. God had revealed the consequences beforehand, though they had never seen either physical or spiritual death and did not know what it might look like. Do you know, they did not immediately recognize the void where their spiritual connection to Me had been?

And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Genesis 3:10

Fear had not existed in the world up until then either. Not by any of its names: neither by dread, nor anxiety, worry, terror, fright, horror, alarm, panic, trepidation, agitation, consternation, dismay,distress, angst, unease, disease, apprehension, suspicion, distrust. You get the idea. There is plenty of it now.

Much later, Jesus would point out that this death was the aim of the evil one.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

Their innocence was stolen, as was their peace, joy, and unfettered fellowship with Me. Death entered the creation. The “very good” perfection was destroyed.

However, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:12

You should understand from these statements about Jesus that this “destroying” is not the same in nature as the devil’s brand. It works by making it possible for each one to accept Jesus’ atonement for their sin and thereby choose to be saved from their sin and the attendant death and decay that had been operating.

Jesus works in the lives of those who choose Him at the heart level. He sends Me to guide into all truth. In Jesus walk on the earth, some expected a political movement to set things straight: oust the Romans, restore Israel to sovereignty. Jesus did not choose that method then. He does not choose it now. The devil is defeated in his schemes when a person chooses to follow Jesus, depends on His power, and resists the devil so that his temptations get no traction. One adoption at a time.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

2 Timothy 1:9-11

And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Hebrews 2:15

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Purple Iris with Dewdrops

Noise Cancelling

Though the world makes a lot of noise, I am grateful that Your promises are sure and are peace.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

Ecclesiastes 11:5

Me: Good morning, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning Jon!

Me: I need You. All that You have created is marvelous, and reflects Your nature and character. But the effects of sin have allowed noise and confusion to take the center of the stage. You are perfect and reveal all truth. Yet seemingly endless outlets push lies for the advancement of agendas that are not of You. The effects of sin in me do not help the situation. Help me to lay down self will and mindless reactions out of habit. Help me to keep Your awesome promises in mind always.

Holy Spirit: Those things that you ask are part of Jesus’ promise to you that I Am sent to guide you into all truth. Consider this –

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Luke 21:36

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

1 Timothy 6:5

I Am faithful to make a way for you to withdraw from the evil din for a while to seek Me. I will will be met by you, even as now. I will strengthen you. I will refresh you. I will uphold you. I will remind you of My love.

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Needlepoint by Rhonda Lisauckis

Enablement

I am grateful for a sunshiny day!

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24

Me: Good morning, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I wonder, when I read this passage, if You intend us to understand not love JUST by what we say, but to back it up by what we do. And, why does it say “neither in tongue” after saying “in word”?

Holy Spirit: Jesus, as always, is your example. You know that He loves by the proof of His (voluntary) death in your place. You can see from these verses that He was careful to tell you that He is your example:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:9

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12

For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. John 16:27

Further, consider the reason the passage tells you to love in deed and in truth. I Am the truth, this passage is referring to (John 14:6). Unless you are enabled by My power, you will not manage to love in deed for your own efforts will fall short. Remember Jesus’ own prayer in the garden for the strength to carry out the Father’s will on the night before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:36-46).

Except by Me, you will not be able to love God any better than you can love others. The kind of love that is required it My love:

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

“Modern” Idols and a Remnant

I am grateful for Your direction and reassurance!

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay (heavy debt)!
7 Shall they (creditors) not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?
8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.
11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?
14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

Habakkuk 2

Me: Good afternoon, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good afternoon, Jon!

Me: It seems the instruction you gave to Habakkuk to write what You told him for later and for others, was very good.

Holy Spirit: It is a way of respecting what I Am telling you. The one who thinks he will remember all later deceives himself. This, he would know, if only he looked at how his remembering has worked in the past.

Me: Then Your word is not like the manna which was to be gathered only for the day, and spoiled if the direction was not followed to consume what was gathered? I have heard preaching that says the gathering of manna was meant to teach that we are to have to have a fresh conversation with You every day.

Holy Spirit: You are to have a fresh conversation with Me every day! However:

For,“All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory is like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

1 Peter 1:24, 25

I asked Habakkuk (and you) to write down what I Am telling you to make it more permanently available to you. You are flesh, and do not always understand Me at first. If you go back and look at what I have said to you earlier in light of what I have told you later, I Am able to reveal both error and incomplete understanding. Habakkuk was called as a prophet. Whereas, you are not. Yet, I Am watching over My Word to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12)

Me: Most (all?) of the prophets spoke of the iniquity of the people, serving idols instead of You.

Holy Spirit: Yes. Has the iniquity of the people changed? Do not many serve idols to this day? If anything, they are more proud; they serve their own appetites and stop their ears to all that I Am saying, all the while claiming that idol worship ceased with antiquity. In fact, they are more corrupt; serving only self and thinking not of another.

The Old Testament prophets spoke under the Law. You understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law:

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.

Romans 13:10

The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8

Do you yet love as Jesus loves?

I am no longer going to be in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are.

John 17:11

The glory which You have given Me I also have given to them, so that they may be one, just as We are one;

John 17:22

Are you seeing unity, or division?

And knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will stand.

Matthew 12:25

Do not despair that many are not seeking Me. Have I not proved that I will work with the remnant? And, that it is My work to change hearts of the willing?

In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, since otherwise grace is no longer grace.

Romans 11:5, 6

Me: I pray you will help us consider what idols we have put before You and help all to lay them down, seeking You and Your righteousness! Let us individually be restored to You that we might together be all that you have desired!

Holy Spirit: I will help any who humbles himself enough to consider.

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

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The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

PS: About the First Amendment Tablet on the Newseum building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. : Bizjournals

The featured picture is simply one I captured on December 12th. In no way am I suggesting that our (US) Constitution or Bill of Rights is an idol. These are not things we should lay aside. Ever. Rather, these truths have always been properly understood as the intention of God concerning the liberties He bestows on His children because we are made in His image and He is constrained only by His own word and by His perfect nature.