August 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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The Illusion of Life!

"There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death." (Prove.14:12)

From the very beginning mankind has been forced to make choices. In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve had to make choices specifically as to whether they would obey God or not. Eve decided to disobey and caused Adam to also disobey.

The result was a drastic change in their life style.

They were driven from the garden and were forced to get their food by tilling the ground, fighting briars and nettles for possession of the land where they were growing their food.

They made a choice that seemed right to them but it was the wrong choice. That is why in another article, I called the tree of knowledge of good and evil a tree of decision. They decided to accept what looked good to them despite what God was telling them and were responsible for a drastic change, not only in their lives, but the lives of a multitude of their offspring.

This life most people live now is only an illusion of real life. God has shown in the pages of His Word what life could have been like, a veritable Garden of Eden that covered the whole earth. Instead we live lives fraught with troubles, woes, problems, illnesses, and death.

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:" (Deuteronomy 30:19 AV)

We see here that life is equated with blessing and death is equated with cursing. We are blessed when we choose life and cursed when we choose death.

But you ask, "Why would anyone choose death?" It isn't something that is done knowingly, it is something that is done because of being deceived! The whole earth has been deceived by Satan (Rev. 12:9) as he did Eve in the Garden of Eden.

We have been convinced we are right because of that SEED of DECEPTION that has been passed down in the educational structure of mankind from Eve. The tree of knowledge of good and evil LOOKS great! Practically anyone would ask, "What's wrong with knowing the difference between good and evil?" Because it isn't what God teaches about the difference between them!!!

God has been cast aside, tossed unceremoniously out of our lives (as a whole) because "we can make up our own minds what is good or bad." And it has been proven that mankind doesn't know how to live! If you don't believe that, just look around you at the war, deprivation, hate, murder, lust, greed, envy that exists in this society.

Look at the children! They are so easily bent toward the wrong way of life. Why do you think that is? BECAUSE, UNKNOWINGLY, THEIR PARENTS ARE IN THAT WRONG WAY OF LIFE!!!!! They have followed the lead in declaring they will make up their own minds about what is good and what is evil! They cheat on taxes, cheat on each other, lie, steal, hate, gossip about friends, and still maintain that this is the right way to live! The children "follow the leader" even though the leader doesn't know how to live! THEY ARE LIVING AN ILLUSION!

One day recently I was driving and had the radio playing in the background just to create a little noise for company and it must have been on a station I normally don't listen to.

Judy Collins (I realized who it was later) was singing a song that I don't know the title to or all of the words. Some of the words were (and maybe you will recognize them) "the clouds they only hide the sun, they rain and snow on everyone," and another part was "I've looked at life from both sides now, from (something) and (something), and still somehow; it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all."

The song is a very depressed, negative way of looking at life and describes life as "illusions." That, I'm afraid, is the way a tremendous number of people look at life. It is like deciding whether a glass is half full of water or half empty. That tells a lot psychologically. REAL life is NOT an illusion!

THE WAY TO REAL LIFE IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF PEOPLE, perhaps even on the coffee table or nearby book shelf. That way of life....that REAL way of life.... is in God's Holy Scriptures. Let's try Deuteronomy 28 on for size, ok?

1 "And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. {store: or, dough, or, kneadingtroughs}
6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. {storehouses: or, barns}
9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. {in goods: or, for good} {body: Heb. belly}
12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them." (Deuteronomy 28:1-14 AV)

Wouldn't YOU like to live a life like that? Plenty of everything, great health, protection from enemies, fine cattle, lots of money, leaders in everything. And what do you have to DO to receive these blessings?

Just read verse 14 again! That gives you the gist of what you MUST DO to receive God's promises. I realize also that even those who are trying to do what God commands don't fully have all the above. However, that was taken from mankind a long time ago when the people demanded of Samuel a king "just like everybody else". They didn't want God telling them what to do...they wanted a man to do that!

Mankind has been reaping that sowing for a very long time now, but there are a few people who are living REAL life, who have accepted Jesus, are trying to obey Him and God, and are reaping some of the blessings described above! At the very least they are living life REALLY and not seeing ILLUSIONS. They have no illusions about mankind or God. They accept what God says without trying to make excuses for their behavior and their sins. They are continually repenting of their sins because they KNOW what sin is!
(I John 3:4)

But the problem is just about everyone wants to believe Satan!! (And he comes in many forms!) His ministers are preaching a gospel of DO-NOTHING for salvation. Oh, don't make any mistake about it...salvation IS a free gift from God. However, one can only obtain salvation if one has God's Holy Spirit living within.

"And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." (Acts 5:32 AV)

Whoa!!! Did you get that??? God gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him!! There is something we must do if we are ever to receive that GIFT OF SALVATION!! We MUST obey God so that we can RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT!! The Holy Spirit living in us is what gives us that earnest of eternal life!

Then you might ask, "What is it that we must obey?" Good question! And the answer is "everything God says to do." Now I know those who are preaching that "you don't have to do anything to receive salvation" are saying right here, "But Christ came and did away with that old LAW!" We don't have to keep the law anymore, Jesus kept it for us!"

If he did do that, then it flies in the face of some mighty clear scriptures like:

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15 AV)

Have you ever heard anyone say, "Oh, how I love the Lord?"
I have, many times, and they don't even KNOW the Lord. (Check out the other article coming soon entitled, "Do you know the Lord?".

"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. " (John 15:10 AV)

Let's see...Jesus has commandments and God has commandments. Since The Word/Jesus wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger in tables of stone (Check out Deuteronomy) then those must be at least part of Jesus' commandments, huh? Then God must have made OTHER commandments.

Hmmmm! Did Jesus realize what he was saying? Perhaps he made a mistake, not realizing that everything was going to be "nailed to the cross right along with Him!" I say this facetiously, of course!

Ohhh, what a tangled web we weave, because Satan can so easily deceive!

"Well, then," you ask, "what about my pastor who preaches that "all we have to do is 'just believe'?"

I don't know your pastor. Perhaps he is a very loving, personable, and truthful man. However, God says this whole world has been deceived (Rev. 12:9 , I'll let you look that one up.) Since your pastor is a man and is a part of this "whole world" I certainly believe he could be deceived. The problem is these pastors and preachers go through a cemetery...er,....I mean Seminary and are taught what to believe (and they seem to accept it without a question).

When a pastor begins to read God's Word for himself and preach what God says, that pastor is labeled as a rebel or he is told he is being "cultish". Yep! Believing what God says and preaching it gets you a label of "cult leader" with the "main-stream" Christian church organizations!

However, scripture plainly says that Satan has HIS ministers, too!

"Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as THE MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; whose end shall be according to their works."(2 Corinthians 11:15)

Whoops!!! "Now wait a minute! You mean to tell me that Satan has ministers that seem to be God's ministers?" Yes! That is what the scriptures say! " Then how in the world can we tell them apart?"

THAT is a GOOD question!! The answer is you must use a lamp to see if they shine with God's Truth! That LAMP is THE WORD OF GOD! Those ministers MUST preach what God's Word says. If they don't they are preaching for Satan! There is only the WHITE and the BLACK. There are no GRAY areas in between. Good and Evil, that is all there is!!!

A minister who preaches ANYTHING but what God preaches can be preaching for Satan. They are helping to create AN ILLUSION OF LIFE.

If you aren't living according to God's Word in Spirit and in Truth, you are living an illusion of life! You haven't yet tasted of that good life and you have not been given God's Holy Spirit, even though some man told you (after he baptized you) you had received the Holy Spirit!

So what can you do to begin living the REAL life?

The First and most important thing is to try to get rid of ANY PRECONCEIVED IDEAS whether put there by you or by someone else.

The second is to get on your knees in some private place and tell God that you just want to know His Truth and nothing else, to cleanse your mind of all untruth and help you on the way to a REAL life.

The third is to pick up YOUR bible and begin to study as you have never studied before. As you read and study, you will be amazed to begin to see things you never saw in your bible before now! Read it as a "little child" wanting to be taught by your parent. (God is our Father.)

The fourth is to spend some time meditating on what you have read and give God the opportunity to communicate to your mind some of His Wonderful Truth. I'm not talking about any kind of "transcendental meditation". Just think about what you have read and ponder what God means about it all, because everything is there in the Scriptures for a Holy Purpose!

If you will do this, you will begin to realize that we have been "snookered" by Satan into believing a LIE! The illusion of life that he puts forth is nothing more than "the GREAT LIE."

I hope and pray that you will begin to do these things and begin to receive some of the blessings of living a REAL life and that you begin to recall, not life's illusions, but life's truth.

Your friend in Christ,

Ken

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