Just a Revealed Religion

Christianity is a revealed religion. I heard this recently. From where I do not know. It wasn’t a compliment, either. It was said in a rather disdainful manner. And it’s been bothering me since I heard it. But it is true, though, that Christianity is a revealed religion, as is Judaism. Christianity came about through revelation to Jews whose faith came about through revelation to Abraham. Furthermore, knowledge has been revealed to us through men and women of G-d since Adam walked in the Garden with G-d.

And what religion isn’t revealed? I asked myself the question. I thought what might be the opposite of a revealed religion. There is knowledge about Earth that is observed. Science is based on observation. It seems to me that may be why I sensed a certain disdain for Christianity as revealed religion when I heard the term used. Christianity doesn’t make claims that are observable and repeatable, necessarily. Christianity is based upon faith. There are arguments about science as really nothing more than faith. It is faith in what is observed, that it will always be that way. Proof is a big deal in science. Still it’s faith.

After a little research, I discovered that the notion of Christianity as a revealed religion isn’t new—it’s just a new term for me. In fact:

“It was universally acknowledged as the Christian claim up until the eighteenth century. The manner and extent of revelation have been debated by Christians without a clear consensus emerging, but this only serves to highlight the impressive agreement on the fact of revelation. The claim goes back to the founders of Christianity, Christ and his Apostles, and was not simply an invention of the last three centuries thought up in response to the loss of Christianity’s self-evident validity.” —Lee Gatis, The Theologian. (http://www.theologian.org.uk/doctrine/revealed.html)

Natural religion is the opposite of revealed religion. It’s based upon observations of the world around us.

“The term natural religion is sometimes taken to refer to a pantheistic doctrine according to which nature itself is divine. Natural theology, by contrast” argues for the existence of God on the basis of observed natural facts.

“In contemporary philosophy, however, both natural religion and natural theology typically refer to the project of using the cognitive faculties that are “natural” to human beings—reason, sense-perception, introspection—to investigate religious or theological matters. Natural religion or theology, on the present understanding, is not limited to empirical inquiry into nature, and it is not wedded to a pantheistic result. It does, however, avoid appeals to special non-natural faculties (ESP, telepathy, mystical experience) or supernatural sources of information (sacred texts, revealed theology, creedal authorities, direct supernatural communication). In general, natural religion or theology (hereafter natural theology) aims to adhere to the same standards of rational investigation as other philosophical and scientific enterprises, and is subject to the same methods of evaluation and critique.” —Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [Chignell, Andrew and Pereboom, Derk, “Natural Theology and Natural Religion,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = ] (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-theology/)

It’s easy to see how Christianity as an experience with G-d is questioned. Despite all attempts to quantify G-d, prove Him, if you will, Christianity is about faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:1-3.

The challenge today is to maintain our faith despite those who would turn us away. For in these last days, many will come to try to deceive us, to try to get us to turn from our faith. Our “religion” must be more than to believe in a G-d revealed to someone else; we must experience first hand the revealed Messiah. Y’shuaJesus said we may ask and we will receive. And though we’ve experienced the Father G-d through revelation of Y’shuaJesus through the power of the Spirit, we must also turn away from humankind’s scientific explanations by looking at the natural world with an awe and wonder that turns our eyes Heavenward to Y’shuaJesus.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine up you always. . .


This morning I received an email from Witness Well. It’s a five-part series discussing the idea of churches canvassing. It’s a good article, and I recommend reading it.

According to the author there is a benefit to not just those contacted, but to those that make the contact.

“One of the greatest benefits a congregation will receive is when members are trained on how to proclaim the gospel when they go door-to-door.” The activity becomes more than passing out invitations to the church or a church activity, but an opportunity to share the Gospel of our Lord.

There is also great benefit to the entire congregation.

“The greatest benefit a congregation receives from members who have received a meaningful experience in proclaiming the gospel is a core group of Christians who have a zeal for reaching the lost – and are willing and able to do it.”

There are going to be difficulties in door-to-door interaction with non-Believers. It can’t be helped. In the area in which I currently reside, there are few church members that come around. Usually it’s members of a church that isn’t a ‘real’ church, i.e., won’t pass the Apostles’ test for a Believer. So when someone comes around from a Bible-believing Church, they are received as if they, too, are from a false church.

It also occurs to me that when someone hears to Gospel message presented clearly, truthfully, and in a loving, considerate manner, AND DOESN’T RESPOND, it could be a seed planted or a watering of another’s seed planted. And if never the hearer responds, at least they’ve heard the Gospel message. They can in no way ever say, “I didn’t know!”

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

If. . .

if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
(1 Peter 2:3)

Charles Spurgeon, in Morning and Evening, wrote:

“If:—then, this is not a matter to be taken for granted concerning every one of the human race.

“If:—then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

“If:—then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is needful to enquire whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favour which may not be a matter for heart-searching.”

In his commentary, Matthew Henry wrote:

“All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ.”

True Believers. These are the ones whose names are written in the Book of Life. These are the ones who receive the Mark of G-d upon them. These are the ones who will die rather than receive the Mark of the Beast.

Pastor J. Glyn Owen, in a sermon, spoke on John’s epistle and the characteristics of a what he called the “Genuine Christain.” These are:

1. Obedience;
2. Love for the Children of G-d;
3. Belief/faith. (Belief in the Oneness of the Father and The Son.)

“Whats it all about Alfie,” Barbara Streisand once sung, “Is it just for the moment we live?”

As “Genuine Christians” we live in this moment in time, and we also live in an eternal moment with Y’shuaJesus. We must, like the Israelis in the desert (Joshua 24:14.15), declare:

But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!

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Salvation is on its way. . .

[ I began this note New Year’s Day. I added pieces to it on and off for a week or so before dropping it. Now I’ve come back to it. I share it now with you. Perhaps it’s a good time to do so. ] The New Year is barely underway, yet things are as CRAZY as ever. Happy New Year! [ belated, now. ]

A Cup of Strength
A Cup of Strength

Since I began this post on New Year’s Day, things haven’t changed much globally, though. There’s still the talk of a small financial hiccup that could lead to a major melt down of economies all over the world—or not. Your guess is as good as anyone’s guess. And people actually get paid to guess about these things. They don’t have to be right in their predictions. They just spout them off and move on to the next impending crisis meant to worry us.

I’d earlier written that the outlook for the new year is much the same as the events reported throughout the world as we closed out last year. Namely, refugees flooding into “safe-haven” countries, the ever-expanding Islamic State, terrorism, freak storms and other threats to our safety, and violence against and by law enforcement personnel. Oh, and of course we’ll see even more coverage on the American political scene. [ Here it is April, and that’s still accurate. ]

The common denominator in all events reported is that we need solutions to all that is going on in the world. The conclusions we are to reach is that the state of the world isn’t good, but there are people offering solutions that are good. It’s all about saving the world. It’s about salvation. Seriously!

What does salvation mean to us? What is the opposite of salvation? I’ve thought about these questions in the past. They return to me as I reread what we call the “transfiguration” of Y’shuaJesus, Matthew 17:1-13.

Salvation, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, means: “. . .the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (Ex. 14:13), and of deliverance generally from evil or danger. In the New Testament it is specially used with reference to the great deliverance from the guilt and the pollution of sin wrought out by Jesus Christ, “the great salvation,” (Heb. 2:3).

Simply put, salvation is an action that directly benefits us. It is an action of G-d through Y’shuaJesus toward us. The Name Jesus comes to us from the Hebrew name Y’shua. It literally means L-rd Saves. As John Parson puts it, it is “understood in light of G-d’s redemptive power and saving acts.”

But to a very secular world, salvation means something different. Science offers salvation when it gives us solutions to “help” us make our lives “better.” We have financial experts who offer the salvation of wealth, and the management of wealth. We have the medical establishment that includes the pharmaceutics industry that offers the salvation of health and healthy living. We have an automobile industry that offers the salvation of better and safer cars. We have military and law enforcement that offer us the salvation of protection, safety. And we have politicians that offer their own brand of salvation in creating laws to govern our lives, to make our lives “better.”

it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. 1 John 2:18

The Biblical opposite of Salvation is the antichrist. Antichrist, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, refers to “against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival Christ. The word is used only by the Apostle John. Referring to false teachers, he says (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7), “Even now are there many antichrists.”

(1) This name has been applied to the “little horn” of the “king of fierce countenance” (Dan. 7:24, 25; 8:23- 25).
(2) It has been applied also to the “false Christs” spoken of by our Lord (Matt. 24:5, 23, 24).
(3) To the “man of sin” described by Paul (2 Thess. 2:3, 4, 8- 10).
(4) And to the “beast from the sea” (Rev. 13:1; 17:1- 18)”

So. . .

So, here we are and in the Northern Hemisphere we’re looking at summer coming. Well, here in the American State of Georgia that is very true. But just a couple weeks ago, snow and storms made their way through some northern states. It’s been five months since New Year’s Day. The Dow is climbing again after dropping severely. Nobody even notices anymore. The price of silver dropped, and now rises. Gold is following that pattern, too. Even the price of oil, which dropped so low folks were thinking it would cause a crash, has begun to rise just enough that it’s not a big topic. Yet still voices of doom cry that the economy is going to fail, that riots overwhelm the resources in cities, and martial law will be declared. And on and on and on. . .

Salvation. Buy this. Do this. Prepare for this. Worry about this. . . and that. . . and a whole lot of other things. It’s enough to make a person. . . CRAZY.

But not that’s not all. Rumors abound about political candidates for the highest office in America, the presidency. Controversy surrounds the death of a conservative Supreme Court Justice, Justice Antonin Scalia, who’d served since his appointment by President Reagan in 1986. We’ve got people attacking the right of Christians to conduct their business affairs according to Christian values. For two-hundred years America has stood for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, freedom from unlawful search and seizure. Today these freedoms are being attacked. Not from foreign enemies, but from within our own borders, by people who are native-born citizens. We’re either being led to believe that the world is ending, or the world is ending.

It’s enough to drive a person. . . CRAZY!

What’s a person to do?

O keep my soul, and deliver me:
let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
for I wait on thee. Psalm 25:20,21

Too simple?

It seems to me that the secular world wants it to be complicated to match the CRAZINESS of the world. The secular world is still filled with chaos. We still need to persevere in our preparations for any event, any disaster, that might come our way. We must be wise. We must be gentle. We need to be reminded occasionally that we need not worry. He who called us to Him, He who offers true salvation, will come. It will be in His time. It will be in His way. Like Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings, our Lord Y’shuaJesus will not be late; He will not be early; He will always be right on time. His time. His way. His truth.

I am rereading Romans. I came to chapter five and really didn’t like what I read. But there it is. We will experience tribulation. We will. Not only that but we will glory in tribulations. Wow. Okay. We’ll glory in tribulation. Ouch. But it has its reward.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:1-5

Our L-rd Y’shuaJesus is our salvation. And that’s the only thing that’s not CRAZY!

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Been too long. . .

. . . that I’ve made notes on this electronic page. I’ve failed to write, to journal, to set thoughts to electronic paper, let alone real paper. I’ve told myself that it takes so long, that I don’t have time. I’ve told myself I really don’t have anything to write about, or that there’d be anyone that would be interested anyway. As with other times there are no real excuses. Yet, this last month, though I’ve thought so highly of myself that I convinced myself that I’m really doing pretty good, beneath it all, I’ve really felt hammered, like a bent nail stuck in a piece of hard wood that is continually being hit, to be made straight. On the bright side:

. . . we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of G-d.

We are destined to feast with the Lord. We are! Thank you Lord Y’shuaJesus.

I have been going through slides and negatives, scanning them and putting them on a the computer. Here’s one I am particularly fond of. It was taken at a pastoral conference in Lake Hume, Californina, which is up in the Sierra Mountains. I don’t recall the name of the man in the photo, unfortunately.

Tranquil Lake Hume, and a time of contemplation and communion. (c) Wil Robinson, 1987.
Tranquil Lake Hume, and a time of contemplation and communion. (c) Wil Robinson, 1987.

I awoke this morning dreaming of a pastor conducting a wedding. “I now,” he said, “pronounce you. . . er. . .ahhhh. . . married.” My first thought as I rose from my bed was that it wasn’t too terribly long ago that no one would think a thing if a pastor said, “I now pronounce you man and wife!” We’ve learned different ways, now. While it may not have been intended, the old way said a wife is the property of a man. I suppose most men and women wouldn’t think of their husband or wife as real property, yet there a few that do so. I know a person who, ten minutes after being pronounced a man’s wife, found herself in total bondage to crazy person, and suffered thirty years of abuse. And even now, after divorce, church folks give her emotional grief for her “sin” of divorce. It’s not, of course, limited to women being abused. Bobby’s wife may not outwardly display her ownership over her husband, yet she is so self-centered, so narcissistic, that she considers herself the only real person that exists–everyone else is simply an extension of her.

So for the last decade or so, pastors pronounced a newly married couple husband and wife. Works for me. T’s a natural choice of words. But that’s not why the pastor in my dream was having a problem. He was struggling with what are the standard words today, in America. An America that is turned upside down. And America that says marriage is between two people, not between a man and a woman. I could go like this: “I now pronounce you husband and husband.” Or “wife and wife.” Should the pastor completely drop the gender aspects, saying, “I now pronounce you spouses”? Maybe it should be “I now pronounce you married.” Is that general enough? Non-specific enough? Give me a break. I’m too old for this nonsense.

I can hear Jim Morrison (Doors, 1967), singing “This is the End. . . ”

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The Terror of G-d’s Voice

“Ever since man sinned, and heard God’s voice in the garden, unusual appearances of God have been terrible to man. They fell prostrate to the earth, till Jesus encouraged them; when looking round, they beheld only their Lord as they commonly saw him.” —Matthew Henry

He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. —Matthew 17:5-8

“We must pass through varied experiences in our way to glory; and when we return to the world after an ordinance, it must be our care to take Christ with us, and then it may be our comfort that he is with us.”—Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry’s conclusion, the lesson he sees for us from Matthew 17, what is subtitled the Transfiguration of Christ, is that we will go through life experiencing many wondrous things, seeing many powerful transformations, but we are not going to remain in them, for they are shadows only of things to come. We return to the mundane, the ordinary, and must take care to bring the Lord back with us, to walk with Him Who walked like common men and women walked.

So, in our common life of Earth, as we walk the mundane path set before us, as we experience the terrors and the wonders, we must hear the Voice of our L-rd saying to us:

Rise, and have no fear.

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In a world turned upside down. . .

. . . anything is possible: “Clergy” pray together to bless murder, protect murderers.

A report from October 18, 2015, on Christian News demonstrates the depravity of some religious officials in the United States. The report from Cleveland, Ohio, begins:

“A group of approximately 15 apostate United Methodist, Episcopal and Jewish clergy recently gathered outside an abortion facility in Ohio to “bless” its services and to “thawolf-in-sheeps-clothing-or-ex-girlfriend-but-whos-counting-demotivational-poster-1274726355nk God for abortion providers.”

“We gathered here today because far too many religious people forget that God’s love is steadfast,” Harry Knox, president of the Washington-based Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), told the approximately 40 people joining the group for the event. “I’m here today standing alongside my fellow clergymen and clergywomen to say, ‘Thank God for abortion providers.’”

And G-d should bless America? G-d have mercy upon the Remnant of Believers in America and throughout the world.

There are wolves roaming in the field with the sheep.
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A Cry for Spiritual Fire

There is a cry for Spiritual fire. Intercessors are taking to their prayer closets crying out, “L-rd, have mercy upon us in these days as trouble appears.” For the past several years, the L-rd has gathered prayer warriors from throughout the Earth. They have been preparing to be used as intercessors. Now the call is out to begin to pray for the Spiritual fire to come upon the redeemed.

This is not a call for revival. This is not a call to repentance. This is a call for the Spirit to fall upon those who have already repented, who have already received the L-rd and Savior Y’shuaJesus into their hearts.

At some point in the near future, there will be a call for universal identification to be carried by all people. It will come with a price. It will mean that a conscious choice be made that effectively renounces Y’shuaJesus as L-rd, as Savior. It will be difficult to resist. To resist will be considered traitorous. But for those who cave into the pressure:

This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts.     Seals
Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
Psalm 49:13,14


To resist this identification mark, we will need Spiritual Fire to burn within our hearts. We need to be as the as those who gathered in the upper chamber on the day of Pentecost, when tongues of fire entered the disciples of Y’shuaJesus.




And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 1: 2-4

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The “main stream” sees trouble ahead

In April, 2015, Ann Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, wrote, in her blog, about a talk she’d recently given on Joel 1:1 through Joel 2:17.

“The messages almost made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Why? Because God was clearly warning that His judgment is coming on America and on our world, and it’s going to be ugly. I knew it then, and I know it now,” she wrote.

Her blog referenced two scriptures, Matthew 24:21 Psalm 107:19:

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now. . .Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress.

Ms. Lotz understands the times in which we live are in fulfillment of scripture, and are clear warnings to the entire world. She also understands that believers have a responsibility to cry out to the Lord, Who can save.

“I believe Jesus is soon to return to take all of His followers to Heaven with Him in what is referred to as The Rapture. While this will be deliverance for His people, can you imagine the impact on our nation, let alone the world, when suddenly every single authentic Christian disappears?” Ms. Lotz wrote.

Ms. Lotz goes on to describe the chaos that ensues after Christians depart Earth, rescued from the wrath that comes to Earth.

“Institutions will collapse. Banks will close. The Stock Market will plunge. Planes will fall out of the sky. Cars will crash on the road. Government in America at every level will disintegrate. Families will be torn apart. In the unprecedented turmoil, our nation will be vulnerable for our enemies to seize the moment and attack us. There will be mass chaos, confusion, fear, grief, despair, anger, threats, danger. . . judgment,” she wrote.

This view is similar to the way the rapture is depicted in a film I watched not long ago. Christians leave and chaos follows. Sounds arrogant, don’t you think? Things are already falling apart, and we’re still here. On the other hand, we need to look at Israel while stuck in Egypt. Ms. Lotz points out that before the Exodus, Israel experienced three of the ten plagues.

“God may allow His people today to go through a time of distress and trouble before The Rapture takes place,” She wrote.

There are three views that I know of that describe the relation between the rapture and the time of tribulation, which is seven years. One view has Christians leaving Earth before the tribulation; another view says after the tribulation, just before the coming of the Lord. One other view is that Christians experience the first half of the tribulation only. I suppose Ms. Lotz’s views would be for a mid-trib rapture.

I don’t know. I do know that a prudent person desires rescue before trouble, but is prepared for staying around during time of distress. Look at Israel, Exodus 6-8, and we see the people experiencing the first three plagues while being protected, shielded from the remainder—then the were rescued. And they were rescued in style. G-d let them stay for the remaining plagues just to show His control over the situation. Only Egyptians experienced the troubles, the wrath of G-d. And by the time Israel left, the people took with them lots of silver and gold and livestock, all given to them by the Egyptians.

When is this all going to happen? G-d hasn’t revealed the precise day or time yet. We see signs of the times, as the cliché goes. And one might argue, as I’ve heard, that the cycle of events depicted in the Book of Revelation occur every hundred years. But it feels as if something is afoot now. That something is happening soon. Thee’s a tension, a troubling. . . Things just don’t feel right.

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