Tuesday, November 13, 2012
If life is all about been born, becoming an adult, having children, working hard to raise them, becoming old and dying; only for our children, grand children and great grand children to go through the same process as we did, until a time comes when the very earth on which we stand self-destruct and cease to exist.
If this is what life is all about then life is meaningless. I would go even further and agree with you if you said God did not exist, because why would a living God create the earth, its vegetation, animals and people only for the purpose of destroying everything he had created.
It doesn't make sense that a living God would destroy everything he had created without a grand plan for making something better from what is destroyed. This reasoning argues against the view that the earth created itself according to the Big Bang theory. It also argues against the view that God does not exist.
If the Big Bang created the earth, the animals and people who live on it, then it would follow logically that life has no meaning, that we are born simply to live and die like flowers of the field.
Conversely, to argue, as I do, that life has meaning requires that we look elsewhere, other than the Big Bang Theory, for the creator of life. In my search for the creator of life, I found the explanation given by the bible most persuasive; perhaps more so because I am a Christian.
From my research I found that in the beginning was the essence of God, which is love. By God's will his Word came into being, and from God's breathe came into being his Holy Spirit. Together the three became one in the God Head. The God Head expresses his will by his Word, and the Word is given physical form by his Holy Spirit.
In Genesis 1:11 we see the three persons in God at work,"And God said, let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so." Here, God's will was made known by his Word, and the things commanded by his Word were instantaneously given physical form by his Holy Spirit.
Now that we know God is the creator of life the next question is, why do our bodies, healthy and beautiful during our prime years, slowly deteriorate in health and vigor, until at last, are destroyed in death? Is God any different from the Big Bang, since both eventually destroys life?
As I have said before, if we accept the Big Bang as the creator of life, we are compelled by logic to also accept that life has no meaning, because in the hands of the Big Bang life was created for no other reason than to be destroyed. On the other hand, if we agree that God has a higher purpose for life then we can also agree that physical life is a transitional state of existence to be replaced by spiritual life upon its end in death.
The transition from physical life to spiritual life is analogous to how a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. In the body of the caterpillar the butterfly has limited mobility, it is slow and clumsy, vulnerable, and constantly in fear. Upon the death of the caterpillar, comes into being a very mobile butterfly, evading birds of prey and expressing its freedom and beauty in flight.
Similarly, in our human form we are limited in what we can do by time, space and resources. We are vulnerable to temptations, we are beset with material needs and diseases, and in constant fear, regardless whether we are rich or poor. And please, do not buy the argument that our purpose on earth is to endure hardship in order to be purified for eternal happiness in heaven.
Jesus debunked that argument in Luke 12:29-31 when he said, "And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
My friends, Christians are not condemned to enduring perpetual hardship on this earth. If it were so, nothing could more effectively drive a wedge between God and man. The reality of human life is that people who are hungry, cold, constantly worried about keeping a roof over their heads, getting medical care, or finding jobs, would not for long believe in a God who is suppose to help them get these things.
Which is why Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of heaven; meaning seek first the indwelling and baptism of the Holy Spirit, and along will come God's wisdom and power to help us create the conditions in which the things we need for our comfort and happiness would become ours.
We know this to be true because it is not God's plan that people should be poor, that people should constantly worry about losing their jobs and livelihood, that people should work hard, and yet not earn enough money to meet the basic needs of their families, or that people should die from curable diseases for want of affordable health care.
But we live in a world governed by the laws of nature, and the relationships those laws create. Those born into rich families would become rich enjoying all the advancement and comfort of wealth, while those born into poor families would become poor, and suffer the emotional and physical pain of poverty.
This been said, if left alone, the laws of nature would produce increasing misery on the face of the earth, which is why God stepped in to empower everyone to meet the basic needs of life. He is a fair God. He will not sit by while billions of people struggle under the crushing weight of poverty and powerlessness.
Through out history, God has touched the hearts and minds of dedicated men and women who have worked to smooth out the sharp edges of the laws of nature, opening multiple paths for the poor and needy to rise into the middle-class. Yet there is more to be done. In fact, some would argue we are currently experiencing a retrogression in the upward mobility of the poor and needy, particularly in developing countries.
As individuals we have access to the means to change the course of our lives. And although God has made these means available to us, he will not force us to accept them. We are free to accept the opportunity God has given us, or reject it; keeping in mind that in both the physical and spiritual worlds everything has its opposite. Just as darkness opposes light, so too the evil one opposes the Holy Spirit.
This struggle between the Holy Spirit and the evil one is seen in our daily interact with each other. If you look carefully, you will notice that all the advancement humankind has made in science, technology and philosophy have done little than bend us toward the dictum: "each for him or herself"; or to put it bluntly: "the survival of the fittest." God is telling us to choose a different path. He is telling us to let love guide how we interact with each other; meaning to use human knowledge to bend us toward doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us.
Why is love, as defined by Paul in First Corinthians 13:4-7, relevant in the search for the meaning of life? When love is expressed by doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, it purifies our hearts and opens our souls letting the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Once the indwelling occurs, our minds are infused with divine wisdom to help us understand that the meaning of life is to have a spiritual relationship with God.
Evidence of this spiritual relationship with God would come to us in a vision. We will see God, as Jesus promised in Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." But, we will see God not as we would see a physical person. We will see him in spirit form, and the elevated consciousness given us by the indwelling Holy Spirit would enable us feel the presence of God as though we were seeing and talking with a physical person.
All this is happening because God is spirit, and as we grow in our understanding that death is not the end of life but the beginning of a spiritual life, we would see the relevance of God in our lives, and the reason we should love our neighbors as ourselves.
I know you cannot wait to ask, what would happen to those who do not have a spiritual relationship with God? In Luke 3:16 we read, "John answered them all, I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Everyone would be given the opportunity during our earthly lives to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. The requirement for this baptism is to do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us. This baptism would not only connect us directly with God, but also give us God's wisdom and power to enable us meet all our needs here on earth.
Fast forward to the end of time, we would all be dead. We would have lost our physical bodies, and exist in spirit form. Those baptized by the Holy Spirit would become one with God in spirit. This spiritual life with God would not be limited by time, space and resources. Consequently, whatever we hope for would instantaneously become our reality. There would be no lapse in time between when we want something and when it becomes ours.
On the other hand, those with no spiritual relationship with God would be baptized with fire. Since they would not have human flesh that can be burned with fire, the current state of the human mind cannot fully comprehend the nature of baptism with fire. But we are certain it would be a purification process, which off course, would be more challenging, to say the least, and different from baptism by the Holy Spirit.
With so many moving parts, the meaning of life cannot be understood without first knowing the creator of life. I have argued in this article that God is the creator of life. But there are still unanswered questions like: why would God create and put us into a world where we must toil day and night to feed ourselves? What wrong did we do that made God to banish us from heaven? Certainly, our condition of life would have been better in heaven. Why are we here?
These questions have something to do with the "fallen angels" before the earth was created. After God banished them from heaven along with their leader Lucifer, overwhelmed by the terrible lost they had suffered, some of the fallen angels pleaded with God for forgiveness. Being infinitely good, God created Adam and Eve from the dust of the ground and put into them the spirits of the repentant fallen angels, with the condition that they would be allowed back into heaven only by baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
My dear friends, as we write the content of our lives with what we say and do, we are moving toward God in two major streams. In one stream are those baptized by the Holy Spirit, and in the other stream are those to be baptized with fire. We will all arrive before God, but how we get there is what the meaning of life is all about.
If you have come this far, I know you have some questions. Send them to me for answers. Meanwhile read my articles on The Meaning and Application of Faith. Be blessed and be well.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I received an email three years ago from a young man in India. He said, "I'm lamed, I walk with sticks, can God heal me?" I replied, yes God can heal him. I also send him several quotations from the gospel pointing out many occasions when Jesus healed the blind, the lamed, the deaf, and those possessed by evil spirits.
He wrote back reminding me that he wasn't interested in what happened 2000 years ago. He wanted to know if God can heal him today. Adding, he is embarrassed by his handicap that he hardly goes out. He feels very uncomfortable among people, is lonely, miserable and has no friends.
It was obvious my Indian friend had heard about the healing miracles of Jesus in the 1st century. He wanted to know if those miracles could be repeated in the 21st century. In his own life experiences, and the experiences of people he knew he could find no evidence of a lamed person who threw away his crutches, and walked on normal healthy legs. He is right, there is no religious institution where you could find a priest able to heal the blind, the deaf, or make a lamed person walk again.
What perplexes my Indian friend is that if it's true that Jesus healed the sick, made the blind to see, the lamed to walk and raised the dead 2000 years ago, why are priests, praying in the name of Jesus, unable to repeat those miracles in our time? The difficulty of finding a satisfactory answer to this question led the German philosopher Nietzsche to claim that "God is dead."
Nietzsche implied that God once lived, but is now dead. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nietzsche is wrong because he misunderstood the death of Jesus on the cross. Consequently, he couldn't accept the resurrection of Jesus, and failed to see the difference between the body and the spirit.
My friends, God is not dead. His Holy Spirit lives among us, and those who seek him in spirit do hear his voice, and do see him. The reason some people hear and see God, while others don't depends on how we seek God. Many believers think that praying, fasting and mentioning the name of God in every conversation is the path to God. These religious activities are important, but more important is practicing the word of God.
Without practicing the word of God, all else fails in relating us to God in spirit. In the gospel you will find many laws and rules of conduct, among them are two divine laws that connect us directly with God in spirit. These are: to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The other is to love your neighbors as you love yourself.
When you love God, you would want to know his will by reading the gospel daily. This would lead you to the next level in your spiritual development, and that is to demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as you love yourself; meaning to do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you.
Why are these two the most important laws in the gospel? They open the doors of our souls and let in the Holy Spirit to live in us creating a direct connection with God, and opening our eyes and ears to see and hear spiritual revelations. These spiritual revelations present to us the evidence that God exists. The indwelling Holy Spirit also brings us God's wisdom and power to enable us create the conditions in which what we pray for takes on physical form.
While the Holy Spirit lives in our souls, we are informed by revelations of our power to heal the problems in our minds, body and souls. But just as our bodies and minds when ill need medications or surgery to return to good health; so too our ailing souls need the word of God, to help us do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, in order to invite the Holy spirit to dwell in our souls.
While the two mentioned cases may seem separate, they do overlap with each other. When your soul is healed by the gospel, your mind is informed by God's wisdom toward righteousness, and your body is strengthened by God's power toward good health to enable you create the conditions where the things you hope for your happiness will become yours.
This spiritual principle brings me back to my handicapped Indian friend. He wants to be healed by God because the gospel tells him God can heal him. However, it's important to know that God heals us in two ways. He may take away the effects of our problems, or take away the problems. In the first case, the problems remain, but their negative effects on us would go away. In the second case, both the effects and the problems go away. Not surprisingly, believers prefer the second case, but this does not always happen.
Concerning my Indian friend, I will say his physical handicap does not cause him as much problem as the effects of the handicap. The effects are that he has limited mobility and suffers from self-pity. He sees himself less than people around him, and consequently is discouraged from lifting himself off the ground and pursuing his dreams and happiness.
Let's assume for a moment that the effects of his handicap were taken away, he would still be a handicapped person, but his mobility wouldn't be limited because he would have a motorized wheelchair, a car he can operate with his hands, and handicap ramps on every building he wishes to enter. His enhanced mobility would boost confidence in his ability to do what others can do, and end feeling inferior to others. He would feel comfortable among people, and begin to attract new friends into his life.
These are the things my Indian friend wants and hopes for, and as I said before, the Holy Spirit can help him give physical form to these things. But, the Holy Spirit wouldn't intrude into my friend's life, and take away the effects of his handicap. Through prayers, he has to invite the Holy Spirit into his soul. Not only that but he also has to cleanse his soul by reading the gospel daily, and doing onto his neighbors as he would want done onto him.
I agree that this spiritual principle is unsophisticated, but Jesus intended it to be so. He wanted every body to understand and benefit from it, regardless of one's station in life or education. Unfortunately, due to the simplicity of this spiritual principle many have missed the mystery in it, and have gone after exotic and sophisticated spiritual principles that have led to confusion and break in the relationship with God.
More than anything the foundation of our relationship with God is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we can have no spiritual relationship with God. In Mark 1:7-8, we read that John baptized with water, but Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.
John's water baptism is for the repentance of sins, but baptism by the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, connecting us with God in spirit, empowering us to resist the temptation to do verbal or physical harm to our neighbors, and bringing to fruition what Jesus said in John 14:23, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit cannot be had with money, or prayers, fasting and being a devout servant of the church. Only a heart purified by loving God, and loving your neighbors as you love yourself can transform your soul into a comfortable dwelling for the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, many believers miss what has to be done to realize the transforming effect of loving God and their neighbors, as we read in First John 3:18,"Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth."
In verses 21-24 John added, "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his command and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."
Whatever the size of your problems, I want you to be certain beyond any doubt that the Holy Spirit, working through your thoughts and actions, can help you eliminate those problems, or their negative effects on your life. If you have questions regarding how this could be done, send them to me for answers. Meantime, get more detail on the power of love and faith at: www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith
Saturday, October 20, 2012
When you read the gospel as historical events that happened 2000 years ago, you would gained some knowledge alright, but would miss the substance of the gospel. What is the substance of the gospel?
The gospel is spiritual food for your soul. As you read the gospel and understand it, the words are transmitted from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind which is the mind of your soul. During the transmission from your conscious to your subconscious mind, the words of the gospel are transformed into spiritual food for your soul.
How the words of the gospel are transformed into spiritual food for your soul is a mystery. Unlocking this mystery requires the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to elevate your consciousness to see, hear and understand spiritual things. This is not as hard as you might think. While the words of the gospel are transformed by your subconscious mind to spiritual food for your soul, the words also inform your conscious mind to demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as you love yourself.
In other words, you cannot receive the Holy Spirit without demonstrating your love for God, just as you cannot demonstrate your love for God without loving your neighbors as you love yourself. Many believers mistakenly think they are demonstrating their love for God by praying, fasting and living piously. While these religious activities are important, they are tied together and made significant in the eyes of God when accompanied by practicing the words of the gospel.
However, you cannot successfully practice the word of God without involving your soul in the process, which is why it's necessary to hear and read the gospel daily to provide your soul the spiritual food it needs to cleanse itself for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
I know you may find the transforming of the words of the gospel into spiritual food hard to believe. I will go further to say it's alright if you are skeptical about the notion that words printed on the pages of a book could be transformed into spiritual food for your soul. I say this because I was once just as skeptical until I learned to elevate my consciousness.
Your reality depends on the level of your consciousness, or on what you are aware of, therefore it's reasonable to say other realities exist of which you are not presently aware, but could become aware of. For example, without the microscope you couldn't have known about the micro-organic world. Similarly, without faith you cannot become aware of the spiritual world.
Listen to what Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24, "Have faith in God, Jesus said. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, go throw yourself into the sea, and he does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen,it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
This spiritual principle is the most misunderstood among believers. What do we pray to God for? Do we pray for bread and meat to feed our families? Do we pray for shelter to protect us from the weather? Do we pray to God for good health?
All these things are necessary for our survival, but have you ever heard of a starving man who prayed to God, and suddenly bread and meat appeared on his table, or a family who prayed to God, and suddenly the leak in the roof of their house stopped during a heavy rain, or a man who prayed to God, and suddenly got healed from diabetes, tuberculosis or cancer?
Very few people, if any, would say they have heard about or seen such miracles, and the reason is miracles are not every day events. Yet, if we shouldn't pray to God for material things, then what should we pray to God for? In answering this question it's important to know that God is a spirit, he is not a magician.
When Jesus said, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," he meant when you pray to God, you will receive the Holy Spirit who will give you God's wisdom and power to enable you create the conditions in which the material things you need would become yours.
This view is supported by Matthew 6:28-33 where Jesus said in part, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Here, God is telling us to first seek the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, then we will have divine wisdom and power to enable us get the material things we need.
You see, God does not ordinarily find jobs for the unemployed, or put bread and meat on the table of starving men. Off course, God could if he wishes to do so; in which case he would perform a miracle. But again, miracles are not every day events. Miracles happen only when your thought and God's thought coincide, in which case your thought is lifted to the level of God's, making what you hope for to instantaneously become yours.
Therefore be wary of people who tell you, all you need do is pray to God and you will have what you ask for. Also be wary of people who tell you to send them a certain amount of money and God will give you what you pray for. Again, remember God is not a magician. He is a caring spiritual father who wants to empower you with his spirit to help you create the conditions where you can put bread and meat on your table, stop the leak in the roof of your house, and afford to see the doctor when you are sick; not by wishfully thinking the things you need for your survival and happiness would miraculously appear in your hands, but by applying God's wisdom and power through your thoughts and actions.
I have spent my adult life thinking about the mystery of the gospel, and have found that faith is the key to understanding that mystery. The argument that faith is to believe blindly is wrong. When you go back to read the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, you will find that faith is the pursuit of knowledge. Faith asks us to seek and find the substance of what we hope for, and the evidence that God exists. I see nothing related to blindness in the pursuit of knowledge. Meanwhile, you can begin your search for spiritual knowledge through faith by reading my articles on The Meaning and Application of Faith.
Let me add that regardless of what you feel about God and the gospel, don't be content with the notion that God exists, end of story; or that God does not exists, end of story. In which camp you find yourself, it's important to seek more knowledge about God either to confirm what you believe, or to change what you believe. And you can begin with asking questions.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
When the Holy Spirit enters your soul, you will be changed. You will see and hear things that others don't see and hear. You will experience an elated state of mind convinced that you have found the solutions to all the problems in your life.
Unfortunately, seeing and hearing things and elation are also indicators of schizophrenia and mania. So how do you distinguish between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the effects of a mental illness?
In the case of schizophrenia, the affected person suffers from hallucination. He sees, hears, smells and feels things that others don't. These effects of schizophrenia become a problem and indicate a mental illness when they begin disrupting the normal life of the person. When he cannot properly function in school, at work, or maintain relationships, its time to seek psychiatric help.
Under schizophrenia the affected person also suffers from delusion. He refuses to change what he believes to be true even when presented with irrefutable evidence that his belief is not true or logical. For instance, he may believe people around him are cheating, plotting to poison, or spying upon him. He may also have delusion of grandeur and believe he can accomplish things beyond his immediate resources and ability.
In the case of mania, the affected person may be either elated, or irritable and angry. He would have racing thoughts, increased talking, faster speech than normal, risk taking, grandiose plans and impulsive behavior. Normal people do experience some of these characteristics of mania, but these become indicators of mental illness when they disrupt the person's normal life.
On the other hand, while the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would enable you to see and hear things that others don't, you would have this experience no longer than a few days. Better still the experience wouldn't disrupt your normal life. If these revelations begin to disrupt your normal life know that they are not from God, they may be the effects of a mental illness, or from evil spirits.
This is the reason priests don't normally teach the mystical underpinnings of the gospel. If they did, they would be introducing us to the activities of spirits. And since in the spiritual world there is no telling when we would run into evil spirits and be misled or harmed, priests seek to protect us from direct contact with spirits, and when we do come into direct contact with spirits the experience is gently explained away.
Priests have a good reason for protecting us from receiving direct revelations from spirits. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would occur in the church if half the congregation began seeing and hearing things that others don't see?
Well meaning as the priests are, we don't need that protection. We need to know the mystical underpining of the gospel in order to understand who is God, and his relevance in our lives. Agreeing with this is why Jesus spoke in parables telling us earthly stories to explain spiritual principles aimed at helping us understand the nature of God, and his relevance in our lives, and letting us know we can have direct relationship with God by worshiping him in spirit and in truth.
Matthew 13:3-23 is one such parables. Jesus told the story about a farmer who went out to sow seed, pointing out that the seed stood for the word of God, and those who hear, understand and apply the word of God in their daily lives would receive the Holy Spirit.
Before I lose you let me say quickly that receiving the Holy Spirit, or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a mystical process. In our conscious state of mind, you and I cannot understand this process. To understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we need help from the word of God.
By hearing, reading and practicing the word of God we prepare our souls for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but practicing the word of God is not easy. If it were human relationships would be far better than they are today, and consequently most of the problems we face would have been solved.
Still, practicing the word of God is doable when done on the foundation of love. A love that is willing to give without expecting something in return. I know I've caught your attention because what I'm saying is very seldom done. In the natural course of our lives when we give we expect something in return. For example, when you treat your neighbor kindly, you expect him to treat you kindly in return. If he doesn't you would stop being nice to him.
But the gospel teaches differently. It encourages us to treat our neighbors kindly, regardless whether they treat us kindly or not. This is hard stuff to swallow, and is the reason so many people are unable to practice it in their daily lives. Instead, we practice the dictum: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth which leads to spiritual emasculation and blindness. We are forever hearing but not hearing what matters, and forever seeing but not seeing what matters for our happiness.
Knowing that humankind was headed for disaster is the reason God came in the person of Jesus and lived among us, so that we might receive the Holy Spirit by hearing and practicing the word. By hearing and reading the word, we acquire faith by which we can see God, and strengthen our love for him.
Our love for God can be demonstrated only by practicing his word. And what is the word of God? In the form that matters the most, the word of God is this: love your neighbors as you love yourself, meaning do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you. Loving your neighbors as yourself is the mystical underpinning of the word of God.
If you love your neighbors as you love yourself, you wouldn't accept any revelation that told you to do onto your neighbors what you wouldn't want done onto you. For example, you wouldn't accept as a legitimate revelation to steal your neighbor's property, or take his wife or husband, or do harm to your neighbors, because you wouldn't want your neighbors doing these things to you. The mystery in this spiritual principle is that love opens the door to your soul for the Holy Spirit to live in you, protecting you from been misled or harmed by evil spirits.
By this spiritual principle God has revealed to you and I the mystical underpinning of his word. You don't need a PhD, or a Masters Degree, or even a high school diploma to understand the word of God, and have a direct spiritual relationship with him. Certainly, Jesus and his twelve disciples didn't have PhD and Masters degrees, yet they understood the mystical underpinning of the gospel, and taught it to all who had ears to hear.
To be sure, the word of God is a mystery, but by his grace we now know that by doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, we can transform our souls into hospitable dwelling for the Holy Spirit, making us three persons in one, as God is three persons in one; making us children of God, as Jesus is the son of God.
As a child of God, remind yourself daily that the Holy Spirit lives in you. Know that the Holy Spirit will not make you do what you don't want to do. The presence of the Holy Spirit in you, makes available to you God's wisdom and power. It's your choice to use them to create the conditions in which the things you hope for will become real in your life.
If you have questions send them to me for answers. I don't charge for answering your questions. I received the Word freely and freely I give it to you. Meanwhile, read my articles on "The Meaning and Application of Faith."
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I was formally introduced to God and religion at five in a Catholic school. Soon after I began wondering who is God and when could I see him.
As I got older I realized I was not going to see God, after learning from my teachers that God is a spirit, and I could not see him in the same way as I did my parents and friends. I was disappointed and for a while gave up longing to see God, but in my mind remained the desire to see him, and this desire resurfaced again and again during difficult times in my life.
These difficult times strengthened my desire to see God and have a personal relationship with him. My desire was reinforced when I read Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God". In saying these words Jesus was letting me know my heart is the source of my emotions, thoughts, motivation, courage and actions, and if I could express these in love without harming my neighbors I would see God.
Jesus' promise that I would see God was exhilarating. But how could this be done? How could physical persons like you and I see God who is a spirit? Was Jesus trying to trick us into believing God exists? Or was Jesus telling the truth?
In response to these questions, some biblical scholars argue that Jesus did not mean we would see God, because it is impossible for a physical person to see a spirit. On the contrary, they argue, Jesus meant we would see God through his works in our lives; pressing we needed nothing more than common sense to see the truth in that argument.
In fact, we can see God spiritually. These scholars see the issue solely from a physical perspective, ignoring the spiritual perspective which is paramount on issues relating to God. For starters, how could you have a meaningful discussion about God who is a spirit without talking about the activities of spirits and their effects on our lives?
Not talking about the activities of spirits in the church has diluted the power of our relationship with God. Many believers would be surprised to learn they have nothing more than a physical relationship with God through their priests. If you desire a spiritual relationship with God, it is worth knowing your priest can only show you the way to God, he cannot connect you with God in spirit. Nobody can connect you with God in spirit, only you can, aided by faith.
To have a spiritual relationship with God you should worship him in truth. You can worship God in truth by hearing or reading the gospel daily to find the truth and apply it in your life. This way you will find true love to enable you love your neighbors as you love yourself; meaning doing onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you.
Loving your neithbors as you love yourself is the second most important spiritual principle in having a spiritual relationship with God. The first is to become one with God in love. The reason love is important is that it allows the Holy Spirit to live in your soul. Only then can you have a spiritual relationship with God, and be elevated spiritually to see God.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a mystical experience normally not comprehended by human intelligence or senses. When you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit you may see and hear things that people around you cannot see and hear, in which case you would be called a schizophrenia. You may also experience an elated state of mind expressed by feelings of euphoria, lack of fear and an acute mind, in which case you would be called a mania. Is there any wonder why priests don't promote the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as ultimate goal of worshiping God?
You see, there are social disincentives to expressing your experiences with the Holy Spirit. But the good news is the vast majority of people indwelled by the Holy Spirit don't see and hear things. The indwelling Holy Spirit often gives us God's power and wisdom to improve our condition and find happiness.
In my next article I will talk about the difference between revelations from God, and the actual medical illness of schizophrenia and mania. Meanwhile, send me your questions, and read my articles on faith at: www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith
Monday, September 3, 2012
If you believe in God, you've rid yourself of the problems faced by nonbelievers who don't want to be bothered with questions like: Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going, and why are there so much pain and suffering in this life? These are hard questions, and nonbelievers are aware science and phylosophy have no satisfactory answers to them. Yet they reject there is knowledge beyond human knowledge, and life beyond physical life.
Nevertheless, the nonbeliever has a point when he asks: how do we prove there is knowledge beyond human knowledge? How do we prove there is life beyond physical life? Because there is no physical means to find answers to these questions, is the reason religion came into existence to provde the spiritual means to do so.
Before commenting on how religion can help you find answers to the questions on life and death, let me say a word or two about religion. It is the pathway to God. Religion introduces us to God. How we connect with God spiritually depends on what we do individually aided by faith. The reason we need faith to connect with God spiritually is that faith bridges the physical and spiritual world.
In Hebrews 11:1 we read, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen." The things we hope for, before they are realized, exist in our imagination. What is "imagination"? It is the image of things and people formed in the mind not perceived by our five senses including, sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch; yet when you think about it, all the things we are aware of which form our reality come to us through our five senses.
If the things and people in our imagination got there not through our five senses, how did they get there? You may be surprised by what I'm about to say: we have a 6th sense that makes us aware of things and people not perceived by our five senses, and that 6th sense is the human soul. The soul being a spirit perceives spiritual things and people and makes us aware of them in our imagination.
The imagination is our window to the spiritual world, through which we see the images of people and things reflected in our minds, as in a dream, vision or nightmare. These images let us know what exists and what is achievable, but without the soul, these images would be blurred and meaninless.
Fortunately, everybody has a soul, so you don't need faith to have hope and imagination, but you need faith to connect with God in spirit. Now, why do you need to connect with God spiritually when you don't need him to have hope and imagination? Let me answer the question by saying if you believe in a God who you do not see, and yet believe he exists it can only mean you believe in a spirit. Consequently, your relationship with God would be different from your relationship with your parent and friends. How different?
Your relationship with your parent and friends occurs on a physical level, and made easier because you can see and talk with them. To have a relationship with God you need to elevate yourself spiritually because God is a spirit. Since we can not do this on our own, God came down to earth in human form through Jesus Christ to teach us how to elevate ourselves to have a spiritual relationship with him.
God has already reached out to us, it's our turn to reach out to him through faith. By faith we are encouraged to do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us to purify our hearts allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in our souls, and make us one with God in spirit.
Becoming one with God in spirit unlocks the power of Matthew 5:8 to enable you to see God. You will find the evidence that God eixist, as you apply in your daily life what Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God". With a pure heart you will see God.
Read more about faith and how to purify your heart to see God at: www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Science supplanted God and religion in the 1600s following the new paradigm that required logical explanation for all natural phenomena. For example if you said water is made from 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom , to be accepted as truth by your peers you had to prove your claim by an experiment. Thus any claim of truth that didn't meet the acid test of logic and evidence was written off as superstitious and false.
God and religion couldn't meet the acid test of logic and evidence, so they were left behind while science matched on, creating hitherto unknown knowledge and skills that produced material goods on a scale never before known to humankind. Unfortunately, we are approaching the limit of science where the production of more and more material goods fails not only to provide enough food and material comfort to all people on the face of the earth, but also fails to bring us happiness.
We are discovering that what needs fixing is our perceptions and the attitudes they create which determine how we interact with each other. In other words, how we treat our neighbors. No amount of material goods can teach us how to treat our neighbors as we would want to be treated. Science cannot help us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves because pure love conflicts with the desires of the flesh.
Before I put forth my view that only God can help us love our neighbors as we love ourselves, let me tell you something about how God came into being. Science will tell you in the beginning was "energy" and from that energy came matter. I will say in the beginning was the "spirit of love" and from that spirit of love came all that was created.
Science can prove that all matter came from energy, what it cannot prove is from where came the energy. On the other hand, we can begin to find proof that all matter was created by the "spirit of love" from the fact that we did not pay a penny for the earth, it's vegetation, fresh water, air and minerals. The oceans and the fishes and plants in them. All these things necessary for human survival and happiness were given us free of charge.
Other than the "spirit of love", what other entity could have given us these incomparable gifts while asking nothing in return? Love is the essence of God. It is that which makes God who he is. In fact, without love God couldn't exist. Recognizing God's love in our creation and in the creation of everything around us, it's hard to deny the existence of God, even when we refuse to say it aloud.
God is love, which is why he encourages us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, to enable us connect with him in spirit. Just as there are physical laws of nature, there are also spiritual laws. Just as when you throw a ball up it will come down, so too when you love your neighbors as you love yourself, you will connect with God in spirit.
I know it's not easy to love your neighbors as you love yourself, if it were there would be no war, hatred and poverty on the face of the earth. But loving your neighbors as you love yourself is a goal worth pursuing not only to make the lives of your neighbors better, but also make yours better, free from fear, despair, stress, depression, hatred and other vices that deprive us the opportunity to connect with God in spirit.
Connecting with God through love doesn't mean we would not have problems. What it means is we would not be overwhelmed by those problems. We will receive from God the spirit of power, the spirit of love, and the spirit of a sound mind to empower us fight off the spirits of fear, despair, loneliness, stress, depression and hatred, in order to maintain peace in our minds, bodies, souls toward happiness.
Read more about connecting with God in spirit at: www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Knowing God exists based on personal experiences in your life is important, but more important is knowing how to use that knowledge to improve your life, and the lives of people touched by your words and action.
Too often though, people are scared away from God by the fear of religious rules of conduct, arguing these rules limit their freedom. Fortunately, Jesus took away this fear 3000 years ago when he summarized the Ten Commandments into two overarching spiritual principles in Matthew 22:37-39.
By telling us to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, Jesus replaced those feared religious codes of conduct with loving God and our neighbors.
But, since God is spirit, we can love him only by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. We would understand this when we give some thoughts to what Jesus said, "How can you love God who you do not see, but hate your neighbors who you see everyday.
Yet many people have difficulties loving their neighbors as they love themselves, because in every person are two entities each seeking control over the words and action of the host person. These entities are: the natural person who seeks the things of the flesh, and the spiritual person who seeks the things of the spirit. These two are in constant conflict.
The conflict between the natural person and the spiritual person is the reason Paul said in Romans 7:19-20. "He desires to do what is good, but he cannot carry it out. Instead he does the evil he doesn't want to do."
The natural person seeks all the good things for himself, leaving scraps for his neighbors. As individuals, we tend to resist sharing power and material things equitably with our neighbors. And this is the reason you will find conflict wherever people live.
This human shortfall is the reason no person can do the right thing all the time. Our only hope is to ensure our words and action flow from love, as love alone can give us the spiritual strength to want for our neighbors what we want for ourselves.
Doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us is not without its reward. In doing so, we make our souls hospitable dwelling for the Holy Spirit. And once our souls are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, we connect spiritually with God bringing his blessings into our lives. Blessings that lead to freedom, fulfillment and happiness.
Send your questions to me at: email@example.com
Thursday, February 16, 2012
For starters, forget about what you have heard for, or against the existence of God. Blaze your own path with a personal mission to find the truth about God. You need to do this to base your attitude toward God on actual experiences in your life, rather than only what you hear.
The difference between humans and lower animals is we are aware we shall eventually die. To allay the fear of death, some argue death is the end of life. Consequently, they tell us to eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we are dead. They reject the existence of the human soul, retorting how could they believe the soul exists when they cannot see it.
But there is a reason they don't see the soul. And it is that the soul is a spirit. By elevating their spiritual consciousness they would experience the soul acting in their lives, and understand the purpose of death.
Death is a transition from physical life to spiritual life. It ends one form of life in order to begin another form of life. Which is why its important to know what would happen to us after death. The type of life we shall have after death is fully explained in the gospel.
Certainly, agreeing with the gospel doesn't mean blindly accepting that God exists. It means searching for proof that God exists. This is where many believers fall short. They give up too easily searching for proof that God exists.
Meanwhile, the means to prove that God exists have been with us as long as the gospel has. In Matthew 5:8 Jesus said, "the pure in heart shall see God," to press home the point that in order to see God we should purify our hearts.
Paul teaches us how to purify our hearts when he spoke about the Gentiles in Acts 15:6-9, "He [God] made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith." By faith our hearts are purified to enable us to see God. Read more about the power of faith at www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith. If you have a question contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, January 30, 2012
The time has come when the mystery of God and reasoning are united to help us understand the meaning of life, whose purpose is to refine us toward righteousness in preparation for a higher form of life; leaving behind the infirmities and limitations of the physical body, and elevating us into a blissful existence beyond the comprehension and imagination of the human mind.
The vehicle that takes us to this higher form of life is faith. Now faith is not wishful thinking, or blindly accepting what we are told. Faith is the search for spiritual knowledge, as we read in Hebrews 11:1.
By faith we are encouraged to search for the substance of things we hope for, and the evidence of things we do not see. Far from coercing us to believe blindly, faith puts us on a mission to find evidence in our lives to prove God exists.
You will find help on how to apply faith in your life at benaidoo.hubpages.com/hub/meaning-and-application-of-faith.