Imagery: Our Best Friend or Worst Enemy

What He Is (will never change)


     Foreword: After I had composed and edited what I have completed of this, and went back and re-read it, I am convinced that this blog is developing into somewhat of a prophetic word from God.

     Jesus Christ is all about the inward freedom that we can only experience by knowing His unconditional love.

    I truly believe that Jesus Christ is about to come back in His power, and to receive His Bride unto Himself: "in a moment, the twinkling of an eye." - John


     The power of imagination is an awesome gift from God. I believe that we all innately comprehend the reality of the fact that we had to have been endowed with the power of imagination by a Master Creator Who is the source and the Giver of all imaginative creativity. A God Who made man who is likewise an imaginative creator, in His Own Image. Like always begets like in all of life. That is a basic fact of life that is also a powerful indicator pointing to the fact that we are all conceived by a Master Designer Who creates His living creatures to beget life "after their own kind."

     Genesis 1:11 "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." This is basic, easily understood. God made us in His Image. He is the Master Imaginative Creator, and we are all endowed by Him with powers of creative imagination. The point I am making here is that our creative imaginations are God-given, and everything that God gives and creates is good, in it's original, uncorrupted state of being.

     According to the Word, and personal experience, God comes to indwell us upon our being "born again", upon our receiving His eternal Holy Spirit life into our spirits. Also according to the Word, after we are born again, our minds need to be renewed by the Word of God as we give ourselves to study and meditative reflection upon God's Word. Our spirits are made alive in Christ, yet our minds must be transformed as we allow His Spirit to unfold His truth to us, and to increase our understanding of Him through His written Word.

     God can only give us the imagery that we desperately need of spiritual realities, and His will for our lives through His Word.

     Proverbs 29:18 states: "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

     God can only accomplish in our lives that which He has first given us a vision, and imagery of Him accomplishing in us. God commands us all to apply ourselves to being transformed by His Word, to being "renewed in the spirit of our minds."

     Up until the time that God draws us, and reveals Himself to us through Christ, and we receive Him, our minds are blinded to His Living Truth. All of our lives, up until the very moment that we genuinely receive Christ and are truly "born again" our minds are in many ways conditioned and kept spiritually blind by what the Bible calls the present "world system." The present world system referred to is a spiritual system. A spiritual system that has, since the Fall of Man, been oriented, and continues to be powerfully influenced by unseen spiritual powers that have been in a state of rebellion against God since long before the Creation of Man.

     At the precise moment of the "Fall of Man", the "lease" to the Earth, AND it's "spiritual system", that had been given by God into the care and the Stewardship of Man, was legally assumed by the true Enemy of God and Man. A rebellious act of man's will, a small, deceptively insignificant appearing thing called "sin", brought this binding, "spiritually legal" transaction about. The earth will remain in this state until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in His power and visibly manifested Glory. Then He is going to change all of this, and the dominion of Almighty God, in and through His glorified people, will be re-established eternally. Until that time, God's people are going to be fighting against a spiritual enemy that has a legally binding lease to "own and operate" this world's spiritual system. A system that greatly influences and blinds the minds of unregenerate men to the Truth in Christ. A system that is vying with God for the possession of the minds and the eternal destinies of men and women.

     Unless and until we are born again of God's Spirit, there really is no way that we can comprehend the reality of the fact that there actually do exist intelligent, unseen spiritual powers of evil and holy natures. The world and it's "system" have, since the Fall of Man, been largely under the influence of unholy spiritual powers. According to the Word in 1st Corinthians 2:14-15:

14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 "But he that is spiritual (born again) judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."

Also Ephesians 6:12:

12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

     Read the Book of Daniel. Especially starting with the 10th Chapter. There are constant, unseen battles taking place between God's holy angels and unholy spirits in the spiritual realm. The world has always been affected in various way by the outcomes of those spiritual battles. Working unseen to promote the proliferation of drug abuse, and pornography are two of the biggest ways that I personally believe that the world has been, and is being further poisoned by the influence of unholy spiritual powers. God has for many a long age been reaching out for the minds and the spirits of men and women through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is even now reaching out through His Word that is alive, through an outpouring of His Spirit. This outreach of God is, and always has been hotly contested and resisted by spiritual powers that long ago rebelled against, and are at war with God.

     The battle for the minds and spirits of men we can only comprehend after we have been made aware of it, and made active participants in it, by being born again. This battle for the control of the minds of men and women is being fought largely through imagery. Our minds and wills can either be powerfully influenced through imagery by Our Creator through His written and Living Word, Who is Christ, or by the influence of the present "world spiritual system", through our God-given faculties of soulish perception, imagination, and through imagery.

     David Wilkerson, who has been greatly used of God, told the world in his book entitled "The Vision" that was published in 1973 of how the Lord had revealed to him that a massive, worldwide flood of "pornography will become available inside households through means of technology." In 1973 even VHS video technology had not become available in the USA, and would not become a reality until June 1977. Internet porn, DVD technology were yet many years in the future.

     Note the correlation between the times that the Gospel actually has, through technology, been preached in all Nations, and the time that this worldwide flood of pornography actually became a reality through the means of technological developments.

     Everything God has been doing has been countered, and fought tooth and toenail against by our very real, unseen enemies. Here are some other short, terse prophetic words that were given to David Wilkerson that he relayed to us in his book, "The Vision."

     Anyway here are some of the main prophecies that I wanted to share with you. Remember: "The Vision" was published in 1973, before cable television, even before VHS video became a reality, and a pipeline through which pornography was brought into people's homes. The truth and fulfillment of many of these prophetic words from God have become self evident. I have placed comments in maroon text under some of the individual words of prophecy, they are just some of my own personal observations on the fulfillment of the prophecies.

1. "Worldwide recession caused by economic confusion"

-- "At most a few more fat flourishing years, and then an economic recession that's going to affect the life style of every wage-earner in the world. The world economists are going to be at loss to explain what's happening. It's going to start in Europe, spread to Japan and finally to the United States."

(John-We have seen this happen before our very eyes. Our economic debacle in the USA is only part of a very real worldwide economic problem.)

-- There will be a move toward a worldwide, unified monetary system. The US dollar will be hit bad and it will take years for it to recover.

(John-We have seen this happen before our very eyes.)

-- The only real security will be in real estate (until a somewhat later stage, at which point this apparent security will also disappear).

(John-We have seen this happen before our very eyes.)

2. "Nature having labor pains"

-- Environmentalists will come under heavy criticism.

(John-We have seen this happen as our world has experienced ozone damage, global warming, and radioactive ammunition that has been used in numerous conflicts that has caused widespread damage and birth defects in affected countries. Not to mention the countless other ways the earth's ecology has been and is being irreparably damaged.)

-- There will be major earthquakes.

(John-There have been more worldwide major earthquakes since 1900 than there were in all the millenia of previous recorded history combined. The very foundations of the earth are being torn apart by the power of sin, and the powers of warring spiritual armies that are fighting in the heavenlies.)

-- There will be a major famine.

(John-This has been fulfilled, mostly in the continent of Africa.)

-- Floods, hurricanes and tornadoes will increase in frequency.

(John-This prophecy has obviously been fulfilled. Over the last 10 years, our freakish weather patterns, such as the chronic drought conditions we have seen here in Florida, have gone wild. Meteorologists are actually at a loss to explain the reasons why this has happened. All explanations have been purely speculative, there are no valid natural explanations, and there never will BE any. I believe that the reason for the increase in violent weather phenomenon is due to conflicts in the spiritual realm that the naked eye cannot see. The spiritual force of sin, and these conflicts are literally tearing the earth apart, by earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and super-charged violent storms.)

-- "A new kind of cosmic storm appearing as a raging fire in the sky leaving a kind of vapor trail."

(John-This one is unaccounted for to date.)

3. "A flood of filth and a baptism of dirt in America"

-- Topless women will appear on television, followed by full nudity.

(John-Remember that this prophecy was made by Mr. Wilkerson when the Brady Bunch was still on prime time TV. Few people stop and realize just how much mass media has been inundated beneath a flood of sexually charged visual material over the last 30 years.)

--Adult, X rated movies will be shown on television. Young people will gather at homes to watch this kind of material in groups.

(John-The emergence of VHS videotape porn, with DVD video porn, not to mention internet porn available to anyone with a click of the mouse, from any computer around the world fulfilled this prophecy. A massive worldwide flood of pornographic garbage has become a reality.)

-- Sex and the occult will be mixed.

(John-This prophecy I'm not sure about. Worldwide occurrences of sex and the occult being mixed is something that is not widely publicized. Satanic cults are very secretive, especially the ones who have members who are high ranking public officials, and other well known people.)

-- There will be an acceptance of homosexuality, and the church will even say that it is a God-given gift.

(John-This has obviously become a reality in our time. "Discrimination" against homosexuals seeking to enter the "ministry" is discouraged by law now.)

4. "Rebellion in the home"

-- "I see the new number one youth problem in America and the world as hatred towards parents."

(John-This one speaks for itself.)

5. "A persecution madness against truly Spirit filled Christians who love Jesus Christ"

--There will arise a world church consisting of a union between liberal ecumenical Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church, using Christ in name only.

(John-I'm not sure about this prophecy. I do know that far more people in churches are using the name of Christ in "name only" than there are churches that are peopled by genuine, Holy Spirit filled, dedicated, actively serving Christians.)

-- There will be a hate Christ movement.

(John-The spirit of anti-Christ is running rampant in the hearts and lives of people worldwide, preparing for the emergence of the Man of Sin, who will appear on the world political stage not long after the Rapture of the Church.)

-- There will be a spiritual awakening behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains.

(John-This prophecy has obviously been fulfilled. There has been a awesome spiritual awakening in Russia and China as technology and on-fire, Christ filled servants of God have spread the Word of God throughout both these massive countries.)

6. Others

-- There will be another wave of riots.

(John-Not sure about this one.)

-- There will be a fall in moral conduct.

(John-What all could be said about this one? Moral conduct has all but disappeared amongst those who are not true Christians. To hear young girls standing in groups passionately swearing like sailors, to hear profanity pour from people's mouths reveals the contents of the hearts of people in our time. Pornography has darkened the hearts and minds of people who once occupied their time with worthwhile pursuits in life. Pornography and drugs are destroying what little is left of the decency that was once in the hearts of countless people worldwide.)

--There will be a new drug that will be popular with teenagers that will break down resistance and will encourage sexual activity.

(John-Illegal, life destroying drugs like Ecstasy, crack cocaine and others fulfilled this prophecy. How many multiple millions upon millions use these drugs daily, and open the doors of their minds and hearts to demonic powers who influence them to believe that they are experiencing the "great thrills" of illicit sex. In reality their bodies are being destroyed by sin, their souls darkened by unseen powers that leave them in bondage to a lie. A lie that tells them that they are experiencing something worthwhile, but actually their very souls are being destroyed.

Childish is probably a good word to describe the juvenile personalities who believe that they thrive on these drugs, while actually their minds are only being made even more stunted and dwarfed by the use of them. "Teenager" is a good word for them: juvenile. In the final analysis, these drugs only destroy people. The numerous damaging effects of crack cocaine on people's minds and bodies will probably never be fully known. Those who smoke crack cocaine often experience heart attacks, and brain aneurisms that only require one instance to leave them dead and cold, and the crack pipe still warm in their dead hands.)

-- Homosexual and lesbian ministers will be ordained and this will be heralded as a new breed of pioneer.

(John-We have seen this take place, and also same-sex marriages sanctioned.)

-- There will be nude dancing in church, but this will never be widespread.

(John-This one seems strange, but I imagine anything is possible.)

-- There will be occult practices in churches.

(John-The popularity of the so called Church of Scientology has been on the increase dramatically for many years. Crystals, pyramids and their so called abilities, all kinds of occult practices are on the rise and have been for years.)

     Many of these prophecies that David Wilkerson brought to us from the Lord have obviously been fulfilled. God still speaks through His people. God still speaks through His prophets. The prophetic ministry is a very misunderstood thing. Most people believe that the prophetic ministry is a bygone thing, but I would beg to differ with that. God has'nt changed, and neither has the ways He works through His people. What is being greatly changed is the world we live in. This world chews so many people up and spits them out, leaves them hopeless.

     Our eternal hope as individuals is for us to forget all about religion, turn to Jesus Christ and receive the abundant pardon that He offers to us. Real love, abundant spiritual life, and an abiding peace that this world and it's system cannot give us and cannot take away is what He offers, and He alone has those treasures to freely give.

John Simmons
April 9, 2009

Never Man Spake Like This Man

In the Gospel of John, Chapter 7, verses 43 through 46 we read some very illuminating words:

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

     Starting with verse 43, we see a truth that has been an undeniable, inevitable reality ever since the Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ. The truth in Christ has always and always shall bring about "divisions among the people." Jesus the Great Shepherd emphasized this point on more than one different occasion to His disciples. He taught them that He would be eagerly accepted by His sheep but rejected by those who have no ears to hear or heart to receive Him and His words. The words of Christ seem to have a way of producing a strong emotional response in those who hear them, both in the negative and the affirmative and this has been the case throughout history.

     In my opinion this fact alone is an indicator that the words of Christ Who is the Word of Almighty God, demand a response from all who hear them. The words of Jesus strike a responsive chord in the souls of all who hear them because we were created by Him to respond definitively either one way or the other to Him and His offer of eternal redemption. I believe that God leaves nothing to chance when it comes to the eternal souls that He has made: when it comes to us deciding our eternal destinies based upon our response to His words and the truth in Christ.

     Verse 44 speaks of the predicament that the officers sent by the Chief Priests and Pharisees faced when they went to apprehend Jesus and take Him into custody. These men heard the words of Jesus themselves as He spoke to the crowds. I believe that they felt, as well as heard the unlimited power of the Spirit of God as He spoke forth His living words of truth. They sensed within themselves, I am sure, that here was One speaking whose voice could very well change the course of history. Though they could not have known it, He was the One whose life and words would not only change the course of history, but also the eternal destinies of all mankind.

     It was not God's appointed time yet for Jesus to be taken into custody and to stand before His "judges", those unto whom He gave their very life and being, even as He stood before them in "judgment." Jesus would speak unhindered to the crowds yet another day. The time of His great sacrifice, that was swiftly approaching, was not yet at hand.

     In verse 45 it was asked of the men that were sent to arrest Jesus why they had returned to them without having Him in custody. I believe that the Chief Priests already knew why they had failed in their mission. The throngs of rowdy Israelites who followed Jesus, who had received from Him miraculous healings, their daily bread and His words of life would have mobbed them if they had even dared try to arrest Him when He was in the midst of one of His teachings, or raising one of their dead back to life.

     I find it interesting that the hypocritical Chief Priests and Pharisees did not accompany the men they sent to take Jesus into custody. Their moral cowardice comes to the fore in the light of this fact. They would never have been the ones to attempt to interrupt Him as He spoke to the crowds who heard His words of life and knew the power of living truth that rang out in His voice.

     Fear of public embarrassment and loss of credibility were the major reasons why the Chief Priests and Pharisees didn't accompany the officers they sent to arrest Him. Their formal sect of the "religiously elite" would not have known how to handle censure and disagreement coming from the same people that they took such great pride in parading their fictitious "spiritual accomplishments" in front of.

     The falseness in their lives had only become more obviously apparent as they were forcibly examined in the light of the words of truth that Jesus spoke and by what they must have sensed was His divine nature. The life and revealing words of Jesus had already scathingly exposed them publicly in their hypocrisy and the last thing they wanted was to be exposed for what they really were.

     Jesus was definitely becoming a big thorn in their sides. His teachings condemned their pride and promoted the love that only God Himself can instill within the heart of man. He taught the people as one having authority, and this greatly angered the proud, bigoted, "religiously elite" Priests and Pharisees. They were steeped in legalism, but Jesus taught freedom. Freedom to love, serve, and worship His Father out of a loving, grateful, God given Spirit and not out of the traditions of men. The teachings of Jesus went against the grain of the established system of "religion" as it was strictly enforced by the legalistic priests and lawyers of that day.

     The crowds loved Jesus for now. He had raised their dead to life again. He had healed their sick and wounded. He had performed countless miracles for them before them all. Miracles that were witnessed by entire throngs of people. He had spoken unto them the words of His life: words that were filled with the urgency and power that the desperate need of the people to hear His Words produced in Him. He was revealing unto them the way of life in His great passion of being an obedient, loving servant and Son unto His Father.

     Verse 46 presents with powerful simplicity the response of those same officers when asked why they had returned without Him. They simply responded with: "Never man spake, like this Man." They had heard Jesus preaching a life saving Gospel. No man has ever spoken words, or will ever speak with the same compelling magnetism, the dynamically Holy Spirit powered oratorical force that the Word Himself spoke with. He is the One Who gives all who hear His words our very existence, our very life and breath as He speaks to us in His divine authority. These men who had heard Him speak could not help but know the power and authority in His words. "Never man spake, like this Man."

     Jesus Christ, the Word of God, speaks words that raise the dead, casts out unclean spirits, and stills the mighty waves of a stormy sea. His Words are the very power of God.

     Only He can speak His words into and still the storm that rages in our hearts when we are lost in the misty darkness of sin. Only He by the presence of His Holy Spirit within the heart of a man or woman can give real life and peace: His peace. Peace and joy that will live forever in the hearts of those who receive Him. "Never man spake like this Man."

John Simmons 6/27/2008

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God's Vision for Us His Living Lifelines

     Proverbs 29:18 states: "Where there is no vision, the people perish..." In this verse of Scripture God made a statement through Solomon that speaks of an extremely powerful spiritual reality: the life saving power of God given "vision" or the lack of it. God obviously has a vision that He must passionately desire for His church to receive. This Scripture makes it clear that His vision living in His people will allow Him to minister life to those who will otherwise perish.

     God has a vision for His Church that He desires to share with us. It is a vision for every individual in His Church. One in which He sees us as being transformed by Him into faithful, obedient servants. Servants who are willing to lay down their lives for the cause of Christ. If we are truly "in Him", we were saved to serve. Christ Himself came not to be served, but to serve. Self-sacrificing love was His only motivation: and if He lives in us we will sacrifice ourselves and allow Him to serve out of love through us, also. I believe that this is the vision that God has for us: for us to allow Christ to love, serve, and heal through us.

     God can only accomplish in our lives that which He has first given us a vision of Him accomplishing in us. God desires to give us a vision of what He wants to do in us, for us, and through us. I believe that a big part of God's vision for us is that we would be truly grateful for what He has done for us in Christ: that sincere love and gratitude would be our only motives as Christians. His vision for us sees us allowing His Son to live in us in a big way: a vision of our hearts being His Heart, our hands His Hands. If we receive and allow Him to fulfill within us the vision He has for us, God will make us His living lifelines.

John Simmons February 1, 2009

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Through the Wilderness Towards Leadership

     "Wilderness experiences" are mentioned quite a few times throughout the Word of God. They are spiritual experiences that have occurred historically and have continued to occur experientially in the lives of God's People, ever since God placed His first mandate upon the life of an individual, or a Nation. These are experiences that are ordained of God in our lives, ones that are tailored by Him to suit our needs. In these experiences He can change us, and bring Himself Glory.

     Wilderness experiences are spiritual journeys that are spoken of in the Word as being seasons of enhanced spiritual growth and confirmation that can only take place in our lives during times of difficulties and struggles. During these times we learn to trust in God. We learn to recognize His leading and follow His commands. We learn in times of uncertainty that only through complete obedience to Him shall God's good Will most certainly be done in our lives no matter what our life's circumstances may look like. These are times when God can do a deep work of transformation in us. He has our undivided attention when the heat is turned up under the smelting pot. We are that smelting pot, and He skims off the impurities of the remnants of our old nature when they "rise to the top" so that ultimately only the purified Gold of the Character, and the obedience of Christ will remain within us.

     Wilderness experiences are unique experiences that have always occurred in the lives of individuals who were and are chosen by God to be purified and prepared for the calling that He places upon our lives. The Nation of Israel being led in it's Exodus from Egypt, through the wilderness, to God's chosen destination for them of the Promised Land, is one outstanding exception to the rule of the wilderness experience being one that is reserved for individuals.

     Moses is generally thought of as being the first man spoken of in Scriptures who was ordained of God to pass through a wilderness experience that was to prepare him for a ministry. Moses discovering his true Hebrew heritage and beginning to walk in his newly revealed Hebrew identity was a type and shadow of our spiritual nationalities being changed when God gives us a new spiritual nature, when we are "born again." It was during Moses's wilderness experience that God appeared to him in the Burning Bush and God commanded Moses to lead His People out of Egypt. In his role as leader of God's people out of the land of bondage, Moses was a type and shadow of Christ.

     The account of the birth and the days of the younger Moses is actually very brief, in the Book of Exodus. When he was around 40 years old, Moses fled Egypt when the Pharaoh of Egypt discovered that he had killed an Egyptian taskmaster who was abusing one of his Hebrew brethren. These events were the beginning of Moses's wilderness experience that was continued upon his arrival in the land of Midian, where he took up residence with a man named Jethro, who was a priest in that land. For a period of approximately forty years, God prepared and changed Moses in the wilderness, to make him ready for the tasks He had planned for him.

     Moses married Zipporah, who was one of Jethro's seven daughters. They named their son Gershom, which means, "I have been a stranger in a strange land." Moses had learned the ways of Egypt by experience, and even when he had played the part of an Egyptian prince, Moses's heart had never truly been "with" Egypt's culture and ideologies, that embraced the spirit of idolatry. Yet it was part of God's plan for his life, for Moses to "infiltrate" the enemy camp, to learn their ways, as part of his destiny for Moses to become the leader of God's people away from their bondage towards God's chosen, prepared place for them.

     It is relevant to take note of the fact that Moses was made a shepherd during his 40 years in the wilderness with Jethro, while the Lord was shaping Moses's character. Only God is able to give us a shepherd's heart. God always changes us in our wilderness experiences by removing the ways of Egypt from our hearts, and replacing those ways with His Ways. The princes of Egypt were proud, vain men. The Princes that God creates are men of true compassion, strength, and humility. "Now the man Moses was (made) very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3. Meekness is defined as compassionate humility, strength made gentle, patience under fire. In meekness there is a rest in the soul that has appeared through having learned obedience to the only One Who can give that rest and peace. Meekness is a necessity for one who is to lead and instruct others in a strong yet compassionate, Christ like manner.

     During a season of leading his flock of sheep, Moses was led in his journey to the "...backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb."- Ex 3:1. God then appeared to Moses, and placed His mandate upon Moses's life. God's mandate upon the life of Moses was for him to be a leader, one who through Divine Enablement, at His express commands would work deliverance for His people. Moses had learned, through long and intimate acquaintance, to recognize and obey the Voice of his true King. The Moses that would appear before Pharaoh to deliver God's command to him to release His People from Egyptian slavery was a very different Moses than the one who had stood before Pharaoh as a Prince of Egypt. He had been transformed into a true Prince and obedient servant of God, "in the wilderness."

John Simmons December 29, 2008

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The Unfailing Love of God

     The Bible is a book about Love. It is a Book about God's Love. From cover to cover, in thousands of different scenarios and illustrations, the infinite Love that God has for us is revealed. God's love for us is an unchanging reality that knows no limits, or boundaries. He loves us so much that He wants us to experience the same kind of love for Him, that He has for us. God wants us to know Him as our Father, and be a part of His Eternal loving Family. He has been enlarging and growing His Family for time immemorial, and He continues to adopt into His Family those who respond to His call to love in the affirmative.

     Out of His Love for us, He keeps His angels with us while we travel through a darkened world, even before we know Him as our Father. Out of His Love for us, He reaches down into our darkness and does His best to bring us out, into His marvelous Light. How we respond to Him is always our choice. It is a choice of life or death. It is because He loves us that He allows us to try to live life "our own way", without Him, until we've come up against enough of the "brick walls" of our lives to finally be receptive to Him, and His offer of Eternal Life and Peace.

     It is because He loves us that He leads us, as His children, through valleys in life that are sometimes dark and uncertain, where we learn to trust in His "rod and staff" of protection, correction, and guidance. It is because He loves us that He allows us, as His children, to suffer the pain and consequences of our willful wrongdoing. His love desires for us the blessedness that He can only send into our lives, when we are faithful and obedient to Him.

     It was God's love that clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins after they disobeyed Him, and realized that they were naked before Him. It was God's love that tested Abraham, and asked him to sacrifice his only son, to prove Abraham. It was God's love that parted the waters of the Red Sea, making a way of escape for His People from the pursuit of the armies of Pharaoh. It was God's love that caused the walls of water to return again, and destroy Israel's enemies. Because of His love the walls of Jericho fell, when the trumpet sounded. It was God's love that sped the stone that left David's sling, directing it to land surely and squarely on Goliath's forehead, vanquishing David's enemy. It was God's Love alone that motivated Jesus Christ to stretch out His arms, and die in our places, taking the punishment that we all deserve for breaking His Supreme Law of Love.

     Everything we read of Him in His Word, everything He does, is done with love and kindness toward us as His primary motive. His love for us is something that we cannot comprehend, just by knowing about it. The only way we can even begin to understand the great and limitless Love of God, is to accept His love into our hearts. Only then can we begin to experience what John the Apostle was talking about when he said that "....God IS Love."

John Simmons January 3, 2009

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The Unchanging Sovereignty of God

     Surely you have heard someone voice the question of: "how could a good God allow all the bad things that happen in the world?" At one point in life many of us have asked ourselves that question. We see the goodness of God manifested to us in so many different ways in life, and yet He allows the horrible things that happen in this world. For example, how could God allow women and children to be killed in Gaza City right now, as Israeli troops seek to stop the missiles that are being fired at Israel by Hamas militants from in and around Gaza City?

     As non-combatants they are innocent victims. To the Israeli military they are collateral damage who have nothing to do with the Hamas party's aggression towards Israel. How could a good God allow this to happen? How could a good God stand by and allow all the horrible destruction that has taken place in this old world, from time out of mind? By the grace of God, I'm going to present some Biblical answers to this age old question.

     People who choose not to acknowledge the existence of a good God have widely differing opinions as to why bad things happen to harmless people in the world. To some of them, maybe the non-combatants who are dying in Gaza were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Victims of fate, and political disagreement. The spiritually blind consider those who are the perpetrators of newsworthy crimes and destruction as being the only "bad" people in the world: those who fall short of the Glory of the God that they themselves refuse to acknowledge. To those who don't know the Lord, bloody wars and ethnic conflicts are merely the result of unfortunate political misunderstandings.

     The wisdom and spiritual discernment God gives us as gifts of His Spirit can enable us to understand the real reasons for, and the powers behind many of the grim realities of life, as well as the good and beautiful. Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. Those who do not know Him, have not availed themselves of this benefit. Isaiah 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

     The sovereignty of God, and why He cannot intervene in situations having to do with the acts of men's wills, is a truth that can be understood if we understand the Scriptures. The word "sovereignty" is defined by the Free Online Dictionary as the following: "Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state."

     God is sovereign over all of His creation, yet by divine decree He declines to control our wills within it. Everything God does and has done is a sovereign act, because He is a sovereign God. God created man with a will to choose between good and evil, and gave us dominion over the Earth. When our First Parents fell from His grace by disobeying Him, their spiritual natures changed from being lit up with God's love and life to the world's spiritual darkness: that emptiness became a reality that was passed on to all following generations.

     God will not violate His divine ordinance of having granted man the power of free will: He can't force us to love Him. Neither will He disallow us our ability to break His Law of Love. If we break that Law of Love, we are guilty of the same disobedience that Adam and Eve were guilty of, before God. His Heart's Desire, His greatest Purpose for us, is for us to love, worship and serve Him because we choose to. God desires a People who are faithful and obedient to Him, out of love. We can be transformed into all the the Lord wants us to be, if we accept Him, and Christ by His Spirit lives in us. Genesis 1:26-28:

27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

     The Lord in His sovereignty created the earth, and created man upon it. As a sovereign act, He gave man dominion over all the earth, and everything in it. When man was given dominion over the earth, the earth became man's responsibility. That stewardship has been passed on to all following generations.

     It is hard for us to comprehend how God can be so good, and we His creation can be so unlike Him in our Adamic spiritual natures. God by His Spirit must reveal to each one of us the reality of the spiritual helplessness that we have all inherited, and how that without His Spirit living in us we are all captive to the law of sin. Bad things happen in a world that a good God created because His will of universal love is not being done, in a world populated by fallen, love-less beings. Only those who have accepted Him, and been changed and given life by His Spirit have the God-kind of love living in us: self-sacrificing love, that no laws can be against. Love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

     It must break the heart of God for Him to observe the grief and heartache that lives in His world, the suffering that the lack of His love in the hearts of men and women brings about. Yet His original creation of man was good, and man was created with the capacity to be wholly loving and obedient to Him. The evil in the world is not the result of a sadistic God Who made a world where evil was the rule. Man's rejection of God's Love and His Ways is, and always has been the cause of the pain and suffering in the world.

John Simmons January 11, 2009

About the Author

       I've been a Christian for 27 years. I've seen God do some miraculous things during that time period. He is so good and so faithful. How can we do anything but praise Him? Pray for me. I want to see His perfect will done in my life and in the lives of all those around me.