A Voice in the
January 15, 2004
Talking to Jesus?
Regarding, as you say, "talking to Jesus as a friend" I would advise caution. Notice the part in one of those two about "yak, yak, yak". Remember that our relationship with Jesus is based on the Father's "drawing" of us. (Jn6:44) God speaks to us first, just as "we love Him because He -FIRST- loved us" (1Jn4:19) There is an old saying about children that has gone by the wayside in today's "enlightened" societies, that children should "speak only when spoken to". God says, "Seek My face, my heart has said unto You, Your face, O Jehovah, I will seek." (Ps27:8) Communion with God -starts- with God. We respond.
Thus...the question should be, rather: How do we respond? In earthly terms, if a person is addressed in court by the judge, the person responds in kind with 'respect' ("your honor"). When a friend calls out in levity, the person responds in kind ("Yo dude!"). Thus, 'HOW' is God communicating with us? -THAT- is how we should respond. Is He communicating as a "friend"? Respond in kind. Is He communicating with 'authority'? Then, respond with respect.
Today there is way too much of this (please excuse these next words... but making a point here): How 'ya doin' God, ol' buddy? No! Remember how John reacts when he sees Jesus...John was the one leaning on Jesus' bosom at the last supper, the one "whom Jesus loved" (Jn13:23)...but when he saw the glorified Jesus, he fell down in a faint "as dead". (Rev1:17)
So, is God communing with you as around the meal table, in fellowship? Or is He revealing Himself through His Word with His "eyes as a flame of fire"? (Rev1:14) However God is communicating with you, reply in kind.
As tiny Samuel was instructed to reply, as God was calling to him: "Speak, for Your servant is listening" (1Sam3:10)
But as we addressed in last week's Q/A, let's not be "yapping" at God.
"Guard your feet when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. For they do not know that they are doing evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to say a word before God. For God is in Heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few." (Ec5:1-2)
Is God a Tyrant?
[VW: That so-called "character flaw" is "sin". "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to every person, because everyone sinned." (Rom5:12) :VW]
I write this not because I wish to attack Christianity. In my opinion America is a result of Christianity and the places without any Christian influences are little better than hell. It is not really my desire to question God but I am desperate. I write this because I wish to love God but am finding it extremely difficult. If he is a tyrant then I am afraid I can not love him even though it costs me dearly. I was able to fear him for some time (but even that is starting to wear off into indifference). Love is quite another matter. How can anyone love someone whose motto is "If you love someone let them go... if they come back they are yours. If not, hunt them down and torture them to death." But God can not be a tyrant. How could a tyrant be so good in all other respects?
The only answer I can seem to find in the Bible is "who are you to question God?" Well, I'm a nobody and probably don't deserve an answer. But if you can and will answer I would appreciate it. I am not interested in what men have to say about this matter. If you can not show me from the Bible then you will be no help to me. Thanks.
Yes, you pretty much answered your own question in the quote in that last paragraph I left pasted in here. That's found in Rom9:11-23
Yes, the answer is "...who are you to reply against God?" (vs20) But please also notice that God does not just arbitrarily take sinners and toss them aside without warning. Notice in vs22 that God "..endures with much longsuffering vessels of wrath rendered fit unto destruction.." Remember that the context of Rom5:12 quoted above, where Adam sinned, was God's creation in 'perfection'. When God had created everything perfect, including -sinless- man, He pronounced it "extremely good" (Gen1:31) And also understand clearly that God did not leave man in -ignorance- regarding the "rules". He clearly instructed to NOT EAT of that particular tree, explaining the consequences for disobedience....DEATH. (Gen2:17) Only -one- little measely rule, and at that, not a 'difficult' one to understand, or obey.
And so, just because Adam sinned, and passed the sin nature down the generations... God does not immediately "zap" Adam's progeny into punishment. He "endures with much longsuffering"....in other words, He is 'patient', knowing that we are "dust" (Ps103:14) It was not God's "purpose" for anybody to perish. He yearns for man to "come to repentance" (2Pt3:9) He pleads with mankind, "Turn! Turn from your evil ways! For why will you die?" (Ezek33:11)
God's punishment is because... "But according to your hardness and impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God," (Rom2:5)
God is holy, and man is of "unclean lips" (Is6:5)
When God's Heavenly beings have observed God's holiness, man's sin, and God's patience, and then the time comes where God pronounces "the time is at hand" whoever is righteous remains righteous, whoever is filthy remain such. And God's reward is to give to each one "according to what his work shall be". (Rev22:10-12)
And so, as these Heavenly beings observe God's punishment, here is how they are in -AGREEMENT- with God's verdict:
"And I heard the angel of the waters saying: You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things, for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink, for they are deserving. And I heard another out of the altar saying, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments." (Rev16:5-7)
"For her sins have reached to Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. By however much she has glorified herself and lived luxuriously, by the same amount give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow. Therefore her plagues will come in one day; death and mourning and famine. And she will be consumed with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her." (Rev18:5-8)
Again, as that other verse says, "That You may be found just in Your words, and may win the case when You are judged." (Rom3:4)
And again...if this were not the case, "how will God judge the world?" (vs6) If there is no threat of punishment of the most severe kind, and the carrying out of that punishment, God is not really holy. Otherwise what 'incentive' is there for man to live holy? If all there was, was 'annihilation', then WHO CARES ABOUT GOD? Let's just "eat and drink, for tomorrow we die"....NO BIG DEAL! Jesus speaks more times about the "outer darkness" and the "weeping and gnashing of teeth", than He does about how wonderful Heaven is. Why? To 'warn' people away from eternal judgment. That's why Judas speaks of "rescuing with fear" to "snatch out of the fire". (Judas23)
True, nobody alive -asked- to be born. How does 'nothing' make any request? They cannot. But once they are born, they have a God-given "conscience" written in the heart. (Rom2:15) and they are "without excuse" before God. (Rom1:20, 2:1)
God probably could have made mankind as automatons, designed/programmed to -only- 'obey'. But such homage would be 'fake'. He created man with unique individual free-will. And so, when mankind 'chooses' to rebel against God, he does not do so in ignorance. When he goes to eternal judgment, he has CHOSEN to go there. He knew the rules and options, and made his choices. When God sends the sinner to the Lake of Fire, God is merely complying with what those who rebelled decided upon for themselves. They did not want God nor His holiness, so He gives to them according to their wishes.
God sets before man "..life and death, the blessing and the curse" and He pleads, "Therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live" (Deu30:19)
A "tyrant" is one who metes out judgement without giving his subjects a choice in the matter. No, God is not a tyrant!
I don't know if this is the answer you 'wanted'. I expect not. But it is the -Scriptural- one.... and indeed, 'that' is what you requested.
Just a little exhortation and caution. I know there's some of you who like the mailings from, and visiting the websites of those who dabble in a sort-of kind-of 'christian' -numerology-. Many of them have backgrounds in the occult, out of which they were supposedly 'saved'; but for some reason their minds (and writings) still linger back in those occult symbols and numbers. (Again: "from their fruits" Mt7:16-20)
A bit over a month ago a subscriber sent me something to get my reaction; I forget now if they forwarded the actual file, or the URL and I went and had a look; that is unimportant right now. But the substance is.
Without going into detail, this particular set-of-thoughts revolved around what was called something like: "Scriptural math" They assign numerical values to the Hebrew characters, count so-many-words to certain words; count how many times certain words appear; count up the values of letters making up words and assign numbers to the words; etc.etc. They were doing various numerical manipulations and calculations based around the number seven (7), and were coming to certain conclusions regarding how to supposedly 'authenticate' whether or not certain manuscripts were truly God's Word or not. They were proclaiming that non-canonical books did not conform to their 'math'...as being further proof that they, while being good writings, were not part of the 'canon' of God's Word.
To make a long story short....based on their numerical manipulations they were then concluding in their summary that the Westcott-Hort set of (deliberately perverted) manuscripts were the 'more correct' manuscripts from which our Bibles should be translated.
For postings on Westcott-Hort, please check out:
Why can't these people just -say- whatever it is they have to say, without psyching up their victims first? Preparing them to be "wow'd". What was it Jesus said? "But let your word be Yes, yes; No, no. For whatever is more than these is from evil." (Mt5:37) If the words, themselves, are not True... no amount of 'salesmanship' is going to transform them into truth. Neither will the salesman saying: Believe me, I'm telling you the truth... transform the lie into the truth, either. But sadly, many of you are being deceived and wow'd by this stuff.
It's like these so-called worship songs: Lord, I just want to thank you. I just want to praise you. In my mind I'm always thinking: well if that's the case, just shut your yaps and -do- it, if that's what's truly in your hearts. It would be like telling a loved one: I'm preparing to tell you how much I love you; I'm going to tell you just how much I appreciate you. Well....stop yapping -about- it and say, "I love you" already! Is the truth of the matter, that they "want to", but they CANNOT (they are NOT ABLE)...because they are not truly saved...??
So, anyway... All this, to remind us all: This special numerological 'math' is not really any different than the so-called "Bible code" that was titillating people's fantasies a few years ago. Listen to God's Word regarding self-fulfilling 'signs' which would then seek to pervert God's people away from His Law:
"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for Jehovah your God is testing you to know whether you love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after Jehovah your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and cleave unto Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken apostasy away from Jehovah your God, who is bringing you out of the land of Egypt and is redeeming you from the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way in which Jehovah your God has commanded you to walk. Thus you shall put away the evil from your midst." (Deut13:1-5)
In this scenario the prophet gives a sign which is fulfilled. And based on this seemingly "supernatural" fulfillment, he presumes a certain clout, validation and authority before people, to then also proclaim something false; contrary to God's Word. That's what these so-called "codes" and "math" are....things which are manipulated to appear to be other-worldly....as though no mere man could have conjured it up. Thus, if these 'codes' are not of man, and we are dealing with Scripture, they -must- be a "sign" from God. Right? Wrong!
If you aren't already familiar, and go check out those Westcott-Hort links, you will see men given over to the occult, who also -purposely- introduced errors into their texts. You will see how these changes detract from Jesus Christ, and the other various observations that were made regarding salvation and the Jews.
We do not presently live in Godly theocracies, as Israel was during Moses' time, so we do not take these false prophets and kill them as Israel was commanded to do. (If we did, can you imagine the bloodbath that would ensue!! ...because there are SOOOO MANY false prophets!)
But to the True Believer in Jesus Christ: What business does anyone claiming to name the Name of Jesus Christ have, dabbling around in occult numerology and the signs and wonders....when they point a person away from God's Word..??
Thus, just a brief reminder to you: Stay away from that garbage! Some of you don't read the Scriptures, but spend your time getting your senses titillated with the latest occult fad, because it is of the supernatural. But if it points you away from God's Word, the author of that (false) 'sign' is none other than satan, himself....and his demons.
Listen! What is it about God's -plain- Word that you don't understand? ...that you must dabble in the spurious? Is not God's Word "like a fire" in your soul? (Jer23:29) Are you being obedient to what you already know? Why must you dabble in the occult? (because: that's what it is!)
Keep away from it! Keep yourselves pure! Or else....Don't presume to call yourself a "Christian"!
Strong words? Indeed! Harsh? I wonder if you will still think so when you find yourself being "tormented in the flame". (Lk16:24) These 'strong' comments come to you in the spirit of the "compassion" of Judas 1:22-23, to "snatch you out of the fire".
Remember..."from their fruits" a person is known. What are -your- fruits? Amen!