Worlds foremost conversation

But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.

And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him “Rabboni!” (which is to say teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'” (Scriptural texts:John 20:11-17 NKJV).

“I will praise You, For You have answered me, and have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the Chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Scriptural texts:Psalms 118:21-24 NKJV).

The journey of His resurrection continues, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.” (Scriptural text:Colossians 3:1 NKJV).

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden in God. When Christ, who is our life appears, than you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Texts: Colossians 3:2-4 NKJV).

Yes! The world’s foremost conversation and hopefully Christendoms response. With great renewed strength and determination from all the previous discussions of the season.

Battle cries over the centuries

Here is an absurd thought from a secular perspective, but not from the spiritual. Have you ever wondered if Satan has ever had a conversation about you with God? It can not be dismissed as being absurd. Not if you recall the conversation, Satan had with God concerning Job which is found in Job 1:6-12. There are several interesting occurrences the reader will discover by reading those verses. One of which is found in verse seven. In answering God about where he had been, Satan responded, “From going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.”

Then centuries later Jesus encountered the Devil in a personal way. This personal experiences of Jesus with the Devil can be found in Luke 4:2-6. This time God encountered Satan in the personage of Jesus Christ. The point being two fold. Satan was able to directly access God. Secondly, Satan has a presences on the face of this earth.

Time changes and so do circumstances. Satan no longer has access to God. But earth, is still plagued with his destructive presences.

It has been suggested that survival is best accomplished by good preparation. Which can be capsuled like this, *know your enemy* and *never take your enemy for granted.* Because failure to know your enemy, results in that enemy being taken for granted, “You lose,” and the consequences can be severe. With such an adage being true for the mundane, how much more so on the spiritual?

Then what can be learned about an adversary who not only talked with God but challenged him. For starters consider this, the book of Revelation chapter 12, reveals this history. A war took place in heaven (v.7) Then we have this recorded, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast out unto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (v.9). “…. Woe unto the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows he has but a short time (v.12).

In order to understand verses 7, 9 and 12 a few things need to be clarified. This event most likely took place between the death and resurrection of Christ. Making our Lord’s death and resurrection of great historic significances. Because the devil, today can no longer accuse believers in the presences of God. The Archangel Michael, (Jude 9) and other angels waged a war against God’s enemies, Revelation 12:7-8. Michael and his angels prevailed, and heaven was cleansed from this evil (v.9). That is what makes sense out of (v.10). “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night. Then in (v.11), “And they over came him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Therefore rejoice you in heaven and you that dwell in them, v.12.

All that you have read, is past history. But a history, of far reaching consequences. The experiences of Job, and Jesus himself, will not repeat themselves today. Satan can not bargain with God about how people might react to every day circumstances. Nor can Satan, directly negotiate with with us about our futures. But “woe to the inhabitants of the earth,” is perhaps the greatest battle cry of all time. For this earth, is Satan’s kingdom. And he does his job as follows, “Be sober, be vigilant (another way of saying, *know your enemy* and *never take your enemy for granted,* because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8.

But another war will take place, with Satan losing his dominance here. For it is recorded, “And the Devil that deceived them (us) was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever, Revelation 20:10.

If survival is based upon knowledge and good preparation, this lesson is most important. As individuals, we are no match for Satan. He will always win and we will always lose. But there is an exception, found in three short phrases. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death,” Revelation 12:11.

Verse 11 is in reference to those who continued on after the death and resurrection of our Lord way back there in the first century. But it is the only way to defeat Satan today. First, by allowing the spilt blood of the sacrificial Lamb to cleanse us from our sins. This should be a daily occurrences. Jesus taught in Matthew six, when you pray, “say forgive us our sins, verse 12. While believers are secure in God, but we never cease to offend Him. Take time as often as possible. Meditate through prayer the cleansing effect of his shed blood for the remission of sin, Matthew 26:28. It is not limited to the communion experience!

Followed by the “word of their testimony,” Remember Jesus repelled Satan by the words of his testimony. “Get behind me Satan; for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,” Luke 4:8. Scripture is our greatest weapon against Satan and his evils. No matter how well you know your scriptures. Something always remains to be learned and experienced. Study and study your scriptures!

Concluding with “They loved not their lives unto death.” The ultimate sacrifice for Christ and where many draw the line today. Much like the guy, who bragged that he had kept all the commandments since his youth. Jesus said, you lack two things. Sell your riches, and give the proceeds to the poor. Then take up the cross and follow me. Hearing that he was grieved and went his way, Mark 10:17-22. It’s not wealth that is the problem. Wealth becomes a problem when it’s ones sole purpose in life. So dominant that the cause of Christ is at best secondary. Leaving no time for the service of the cross. Which is the symbol of humility, and suffering.

Jesus said, when you pray, say, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven, Matthew 6:10. We know the Archangel Michael did his part in heaven. Now will those of us who remain do our part here. Which is to prepare the way for the Lord’s return, through his shed blood. There is power in the blood according to the hymn. And through our powerful testimonies, and by not loving our lives more than the cause of Christ.

From these many discussions, it’s always hoped that committed Christ followers will learn from them the various strategies of Judges 5:31, which announces, “Thus let all your enemies perish, O LORD! But let those who love Him be like the sun, when it comes up in full strength.”

He who testifies these things saith, Surely, I come quickly, Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen, Revelation 22:20-21.

Military strategies natural and supernatural

At the Constitutional Convention of 1887, Elbridge Gerry, one of the Founding Fathers, and Governor of Massachusetts, and later Vice President of the United States from 1813-1814. Argued vociferously for restricting the United States Army to three hundred men in peace time. Said Gerry, “A standing army, it is an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure.”

Standing just five feet, four inches tall. James Madison was Americas shortest Chief executive. Some Federalists insisted that he was not of presidential stature, physically or mentally. Madison proved his worth when war with Great Britain was imminent. The nation’s insignificant fleet clearly needed to be enlarged and modernized. But Madison proposed that instead of building up a navy from scratch, that it would be cheaper and simpler to rent Portugal’s.

Just prior to the 1967 Tet Offensive, General William Westmoreland appeared for the first time on the Ten Best Dressed List. According to military historians Roger Beaumont and Bernard J. James, the Pentagon should have anticipated imminent disaster.

Beaumont and James have isolated what they call the Sukhomlinov Effect. Stipulating that in war, “victory goes to those armies whose leaders uniforms are the least impressive.” The phenomenon is named after General V.A. Sukhomlinov, commander of the Czar’s armies in World War 1. Sukhomlinov went to the front bedecked with galaxy of military decorations, splendid epaulets, yards of gold braid, and an assortment of costly trappings burnished with gallons of spit and polish. He was also a military cretin who orchestrated the debacles that knocked Russia out of the war and brought on the Revolution.

Beaumont and James insist that impartially applied the Sukhomlinov Effect has predicted the winners and losers of the twenty five major wars since the American Revolution, with the possible exceptions of the Spanish Civil War and the Russo-War, over which reasonable fashion conscious men could differ.

This important tool tells us that the Israelis should continue their military superiority over the Arabs; unless they change tailors. And while the United States has little to fear from the dandy Soviets, we should be on our guard against the Chinese in their drab gray Mao jackets. (Source-The Best, Worst & Most Unusual-Bruce Felton & Mark Fowler-Harper Collins)

And that should give the American generals some concerns about their war in Afghanistan because the opposition meets the Sukhomlinov Effect of warfare. And equally the case for the Islamic war against Americans on our own soil. For that Americans should be equally drab in uniform, but more skilled in combat and defeat this Islamic threat.

But by the same scenario that should give Christians encouragement because the same was prophesied about Jesus. With the Sukhomlinov effect being around centuries before the General was born. Capturing victory as one least expected to do so because there was no inspiration by attire or appearance desirable. Yet He provides victory on the battlefields of war for the souls of humanity. The fiercest battle of the ages that seems to have had no beginning with no end in sight. Constantly piling up casualties on the wagons of death.

From that background, we find these images, “The servant grew up before God-a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look and people, turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried-our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself. That God was punishing him for his lack features. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him-our sins! He took the punishment, and made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong on him, on him,” Isaiah 53:1-6, The Message translation.

It seems it’s just a part of human nature to always be at war with others. But the most tragic thing about war, is that we are at war with ourselves. Our choices and behaviors are self destructive. A condition that we inherited from the angel who disgraced himself, Lucifer, because he thought he could war against God and succeed. Therefore, bringing that very nature to us, that many live and die by. Resulting in a chaotic environment in and beyond ourselves.

But when it comes to military strategies, it can be found through the comeliness one. A blood stained cure from the Cross of Calvary able to eradicate the wars from within and those collective warfare’s that encompass the world. The very beauty of God’s love.

A place called Eden

Tragedy strikes! People seek answers. Some blame and curse God. Others pray but to no avail. Perhaps because their sins cry more loudly than prayers for mercy. They shall call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but shall not find me, Proverbs 1:28. Tragedies from the human perspective are unfortunate. From God’s they are self imposed. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23. And all that is the consequences of accounts told in the book of Genesis.

And the Lord God said, “Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever.” Therefore the Lord God sent him from the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed a cherubim at the east end of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way of the tree of life,” Genesis 3:22-24. It is thought that Eden is the dwelling place of the Gods which is derived from Genesis 3:22.

A cherubim is a living creature. They are not human. For our understanding of their uniqueness to serve the interest of God Almighty. Ezekiel sees them in human likeness possessing animal features. Painting them picturesquely with animal traits which gives them unusual ability to serve His interest. Like at the East gate of Eden. These living creatures are seen as having four faces and four wings. Suggesting an intelligence much greater than any human. With movement of supersonic speeds. Ezekiel 1:5-12.

While chapter one omits calling these living creatures a cherubim. He makes it clear later when he writes; this is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the River Chebar and I knew they were cherubim. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings, and the likeness of the hands of a man under their wings. And the likeness of their faces was the same as the faces which I had seen by the River Chebar, their appearance and their persons. They went straight forward. (cp Ezekiel 10:20-23). With straightness suggesting oneness of purpose and loyalty to God Almighty.

Apart from the substance of life, life is one tragedy after another, just waiting to happen.There is no avoiding that statement because it has been that way since Adam was kicked out of Eden. However, those of us who have experienced the fullness of Christ have experienced occurrences unexplainable by human rational. Causing us to wonder, how did that occur.

Here’s a preview of how that might have happened. It’s about an event yet to come but it gives us insights into the cause and effect of the last sentence of the above paragraph. “I watched till thrones were put into place, and the Ancient of Days was seated. His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him. A thousand times ten thousands stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” (cp Daniel 7:9-10).

Who is say that the recipient of the unusual and unexplainable didn’t experience the Ancient of Days dispatching a cherubim or two to ones rescue? Not me because this padre has been the recipient of that occurrence more than once.

A rendezvous with death at some disputed barricade

What is the purpose of this treasure we call life? For most, it is about looking as nice as possible for as long as possible. Doing what is necessary to etch out a good living. Accumulating as much of the good life as possible. In the form of homes, cars, travel and what ever else is necessary to make one feel good about ones self. Of course, good health is a must. Because without it, all is for naught. With the inevitable occurring sooner than desired. That is an abbreviation, of course, but it is picturesque for mental imagery for what this treasure is about for many. Unfortunately for people both inside and outside of the Church of Jesus Christ.

One concern about this treasure is the fear of aging with its crippling consequences. A discussion on the topic took place when he was in his late eighties. During a syndicated radio program the legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, who died at the age of ninety four on 27 January 2014. For any one, who has ever lifted even an eye brow of opposition to war or social inequality. His name should ring some remembrance of unique talent and compassion for people.

In his eighty eight year of life, Pete Seeger, had this to say. Talking about a life that has spanned 60 plus years of strumming his banjo and several other instruments. Weaving poetry, and story telling into heart moving ballads. With enough passion to motivated countless numbers of people to emulate his disdain for war and social inequality.

He described aging like this. “I wish, I could live another twenty years just to see things that are happening.” He complained about his fingers not working the way they use to work. Severely inhibiting is ability to play his instruments. Not being able to sing. Being forced to hum his ballads. Saying it is no fun to lose your eyesight, hearing and memory. Like he was sensing the reality of a World War 1 poem his Uncle Alan wrote. “I have a rendezvous with death. At some disputed barricade.”

Seems fair to assume that Pete Seeger has accumulated as much of the good life as possible. But as sure as day will turn to night, Pete will meet his rendezvous with death, and like most will dispute that barricade. With a longing for more life that allows a return to the past, absent the plagues of age.

Then how can a life be measured that spanned ninety four years? Is it measured by several decades of peak self gratification? Followed by declining mobility with mental disorientation and confusion. With ones rendezvous with death at some disputed barricade; approaching more quickly than anticipated. Is that what this treasure of life is about? It is not a new question because its been asked since the dawn of time.

Perhaps that is what caused a particular person, a young person. Who also appears to have accumulated as much of the good life as possible. And maybe, sensing his own personal rendezvous with death, though young. Sought out Jesus in Matthew 19.

This man is described as being rich. So he approached Jesus and asked, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I might have eternal life,” verse 16? The reply made by Jesus is interesting, “Why do you call me good? There is none good but one; that is God.” Implying that he is God. And if not, than he is not a good man.

Jesus went on to say. But if you want that life, keep the commandments referring to the Old Testament Commandments. While adding his New Testament Commandment “love your neighbor as yourself,” verses 18-19.

Sensing that the catch was in the net, he replied. “All these things, I have kept from my youth up.” Now, the catch got out of the net. Jesus replied, “Well if, you really want to be perfect, then go, and sell what you own giving it to the poor,” verses 20-21.

After selling, and distributing your possessions. Then you will have treasure in heaven; then come and follow me, verse 21.

Upon hearing that the young man went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions verse 22.

Did such a conversation really take place? Who knows for certain and is it important? Seems that Jesus set the guy up because keeping the commandments is impossible. Forget about loving your neighbor as you love yourself because it can not be done. If there is anything, agreed upon by most, being perfect is out of the question. Jesus often used stories to illustrate strategic lessons. Few are more important than what is to follow. Because it is what Jesus talked about most, the Kingdom of Heaven or God.

People know about Christmas and Easter. That mirror the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Christ. Necessary occurrences, if one has any hope of participating in the first resurrection. Followed by participating in Christ’s Kingdom on Earth and eternal life

Jesus said to his disciples that it would be difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Because it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God, verses 23-24.

In short summary, it has nothing to do with wealth. But every thing to do with attitude. Jesus put it this way, ” For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” Matthew 6:21. People who are wealthy are fortunate and shall not be excluded from the Kingdom of God. What matters is the “come and follow me” requirement of verse twenty one. The camel, the needle and rich person analogies are illustrative of most refusing to follow Christ. To busy with self gratification even though it is for such a short time. The Pete Seeger syndrome is not unique to Pete. Most have those few decades of peak gratification followed by its inevitable decline.

Unfortunately Christians are not exempt from this drive for things beyond the necessary. Even at the expense of service to our risen Lord and Savior. Who warned of the serious consequences for such life styles. Which should help explain, why the modern church is so stagnant. Remember Christ is not opposed to the accumulation of wealth. For Christ, it is a matter of attitude. What is more important then success, or the following of the Master?

Apart from encouraging people to embrace Christ as their Savior. The task of the church is to work for the establishment of “God’s Kingdom” on earth. The gospels of Matthew through John are devoted to the discussions of Jesus’ central message about the “Kingdom of God” on earth.

Just what is this business concerning the churches responsibility for the helping establish this kingdom on earth? In a nut shell, it is a Christ resistance movement. Opposing evil and injustice where ever it is found. Which can only be overcome through the preaching of the gospel of repentance, and newness of life in Christ.

And make it a focus to target the most eminent threat of the 21 century to American freedom, prosperity and security. Such threats is the purpose of the practitioners of Islam. Whose goal is remake America in the image of Islam. And that threat, will grow like an incurable cancer. Unless the Christendom wakes up to save itself from this growing American barbaric menace.

Need some suggestions as to how to launch various actions against Islam. Whose ultimate goal is to silence the church and remake America in the image of Ishmael or Islam. Do you know about that Ishmael Isaac connection? It’s one of Ishmael persecuting Isaac then and today. Paul urged the church to cast out the bondwoman, Hagar the mother of Islam and her son Ishmael the founder of Islam. Read about it for yourself by going to Galatians 4:28-31. Got the know how, to teach how, as to how Christendom can execute the Pauline directives found Galatians four. Found through the *contact us* tab associated with the navigation link.

Learn more about this Islamic threat by going to snagfilms.com and then search for, “What the West needs to know.”