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In defence of the Gospel of Christ, which leads us to true salvation..

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posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:41 PM
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Hi ATS,

I've been a member here for a long time, and many of you will already know of my general spiritual convictions, as a 'mature' Christian with twenty years of 'the Way' under my belt, walking by faith with my beloved wife who happily shares my faith. We have two sons who respect our beliefs - one is an agnostic, the other is a young Christian getting ready for baptism after we move house in the next few months.

Despite membership for over fifteen years here on ATS, I don't think I've ever created a thread which directly relates to the Gospel as I understand it, inclusive of some of my insights regarding the faith I have carried thus far, as well as thoughts on what I see as the pressing need for greater spiritual understanding in the modern Western world at this time. As it stands, we collectively face abominable challenges in the world at this moment, from people who are not only heretical & literally 'antichrist' (Yuval Noah Harari, Klaus Schwab, etc..) but indeed they are anti-moral, anti-human, focused on depopulation & enslavement of the remaining human populace. I'm speaking primarily of the World Economic Forum, as it basically now pulls the strings of the United Nations following their historic agreement to work in lockstep recently.

The people at the helm of that organisation, and those who spread their ideas & influence powerfully within it, are literally destroying the infrastructure of the Western world, deconstructing it, inexorably, step by step, making life unbearably difficult for people who are not already millionaires by increasing massively the general cost of living - snatching away the possibility of entrepreneurship, causing repossessions of homes as a direct & intentional result, observing the crash of economies & whole sectors of industry due to their imposition of policy dictates which certain government leaders feel obligated/ bribed/ extorted to follow along with (plus their ESG guidance, which is a whole other maelstrom). Anyway, I won't speak further on these monstrous creatures in this thread, the implicit message is that these people are our enemies - they are the enemies of freedom & human dignity, they must be opposed, and the Christians of the world must unite under a banner of resistance against the WEF & its diabolical schemes.

So - what is it that I really want to say here? I'm hoping to give a really quick summary of the main points of the Gospel of Christ, and then to pre-emptively answer some of the key questions which people raise when confronted with the Good News. My motives here are pure, I simply want others to have access to the greatest adventure in history, providing knowledge of the Holy One which brings grace to bear upon the circumstances of our lives, the bliss of a direct encounter with God when His manifest presence descends upon the congregation during worship, the comfort of His guiding hand through dreams, through visions when praying, healing of past trauma, even actual medical healing, which can & does occur regularly in faithful communities of believers who put prayer to the test... The Mainstream Media simply won't report on it, however, as it goes against their standing orders 'from on high' (TPTB).



Thoughts on becoming a Christian:


Jesus came for the sick, not those who are well.

People say that God requires everyone to say a little prayer & that's basically all you need to do to become a Christian – huzzah, you're 'saved'...! Naturally this proviso comes with a requirement that you actually believe the Gospel, which is that Jesus Christ is one aspect of the Almighty God of the Universe, who came to Earth & took upon Himself the sins of all people who ever lived or ever would live, in order to ensure that just punishment for their crimes at the end of their lives/ on judgment day, would not fall on their own heads, but rather the punishment would be symbolically transferred to Jesus, made manifest in a form of suffering & death which is above & beyond what most lifetimes of sinful behaviour would have racked up.

There are no special cases – if you are sincere, you ask Jesus to come into your heart, and basically, He does! It's the solution that God selected as a means of forgiving people their crimes against others, against God, against the Creation – and it is entirely equitable, the same for absolutely everyone, whether rich or poor, small or great, wise or simple. A three year old child can understand the Gospel in its most basic form (though we aren't advocating evangelising three year old children) – someone with learning difficulties, or ADHD, or even Down's Syndrome can understand the Gospel. It is made simple so that the child-like can follow its edict & begin a beautiful relationship with the Lord in an active & powerful manner whilst still living here on Earth (which I'll discuss momentarily).

It is not exactly a matter of literal salvation with people who have Down's Syndrome, for example, because the Lord's great compassion means He would never condemn someone who had struggled in life with a difficult condition like that – but it is a matter of opening that person up to the possibility of sharing friendship with the Lord in a very real & comforting way. It's the same for all of us. Jesus Himself said “I have not come for the healthy, but for the sick".. The righteous do not require salvation, they already have God's laws inscribed on their heart, they obey their consciences, and by so doing are a shining light for the people around them. Later in life God may appear to them, or circumstances will favour the possibility of good contact with the Gospel, so they decide once again, to start a friendship whilst still on the Earth, rather than waiting for Heaven. I personally do not believe that God condemns good people, though many Christians mistakenly believe that God will do so, simply because they haven't actively declared faith in Jesus. This is incorrect, and it is evidenced by the reports of many people who have had near death experiences.

Without a doubt there are dark realms which souls departed can end up stuck within – but they are spontaneously saved by God from those places when they cry out for salvation. Even staunch atheists are prodded into the realisation that God cares for them when they encounter an unpleasant afterlife experience. In one example a man was being attacked horribly by demonic entities – but then a voice said “Pray to God!” with a sense of urgency. The voice repeated this several times until the man opened his heart & sincerely asked God to help him – instantly God's hand appeared and brought him out of the darkness & into the light, a place of beauty & wonder, before sending him back to Earth to share his testimony & live out his remaining days.

So yes, declaring faith in Jesus is the best way, in that you are immediately connected to the Almighty, and in one way, shape or form, your life is going to improve for the better, if you follow the path sincerely, with humility, looking to God as the answer to all problems which you may face along the way (because there is often testing hardship in a life lived for God).

I hope this answers a few of your starting concerns.


Continued...



edit on FebruarySaturday2302CST05America/Chicago-060054 by FlyInTheOintment because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:42 PM
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Everyone is invited to attend the feast - but those who were first supposed to heed the call rejected it.

In scripture we are told that the Gospel is basically an invitation to the wedding banquet of the King of Heaven. Responsible for all of the good things in the world, He is highly honoured by God, and by the disciples as well. However, those who were first invited, the Jews, did not heed the call, and actually flat out refused the invitation into full privileges sharing as a brother & a friend in the good & pleasant things of the Heavens. Therefore, the Gospel of Peace was sent out via the Apostles into all corners of the known world, and until the time at which the early churches were almost wiped out by the first Muslim hordes, the church blossomed organically & grew to post great numbers of churches & individual members across Europe, North Africa & the Middle East by the fifth & sixth centuries AD. The Jews rejected Jesus, but the 'Gentiles' (the name for non-Jews) accepted Him in great number, and eventually our European & American civilisation developed to great heights of sophistication, philosophical & academic greatness as a direct result of the Christianisation of Europe & parts of Asia/ the Middle East. Unfortunately, the arrival of the Islamic belief system decimated the numbers of early Christians, particularly in Africa, the Middle East & parts of Asia. Thankfully the Spanish & French held off the Muslim invaders at a later date, meaning that Europe was safe to develop as it did, spreading the positive elements of Western civilisation around the world, as well as ensuring the general moral purity of the civilisation of the Europeans/ Americans, with the exception of the crimes associated with empire building, which was admittedly brutal.

The Jews were selected out of all nations as the race through whom the two main covenants of God would be revealed to the world.

It says in scripture that God initially left the world to its own devices, but that didn't end well (think of the worldwide legends of a universally destructive flood which came as punishment for moral degeneracy). He selected one man, Abraham, who was chosen because of his obedience & righteousness, from whom would come a family of tribes who would remain cohesive enough that they could be trained into a new nation tasked with shepherding the preservation of a special 'covenant' law code which God would directly issue, an agreement between the Jews & God Himself, which the Jews would be expected to attempt to fulfil (although later on in the New Testament times it was made clear that there was never any expectation that humans could appropriately maintain the standards of conduct demanded by the Law - as it became known, and this was why the second 'covenant' was issued - the free, undeserved grace & favour in the gift of salvation through Christ on the cross. Free & accessible to all, Christianity is easy to understand, with far less restrictions on the way in which we are to live our lives. Basically there are about six specific instructions given as 'laws' for Christians as the early churches were being planted & grown (there were around 613 laws in the 'old' covenant), though we are expected to obey the principle ten commandments also. The grace of God covers over our former, existing & future sinful conduct, and as long as we are attempting to live a holy lifestyle there is no condemnation for anyone who professes faith in Christ Jesus, God no longer keeps a record of wrongdoing, he casts our sins as far as the East is from the West – infinitely far.

The Sermon on the Mount represents the pivotal axis of Jesus' ministry & philosophy whilst on the Earth.

When Jesus came to Earth, He was dedicated to a teaching ministry, and He would often be found in the temple & in the local synagogues teaching & healing people who were sick in some way or another. He taught great multitudes of people who had heard of His fame & His power to heal & to liberate those who were oppressed by evil spirits. He formed what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, a beautful meassage with what are known formally as the 'beatitudes', the statements comprising the sermon, in which He speaks compassionately & graciously to the poor, the disenfranchised, the hurting, the lost & the uncertain – His ministry was focused around these principles, and when we read it we find something of great wonder to marvel at, knowing that this is how God thinks of you & me, when He surveys the Earth & sees us struggling with sometimes great difficulties. We can begin to put our trust in this Jesus, who, if He is who He claimed to be (spoiler alert – He IS..) is able to right the wrongs in our hearts, minds & lives, bringing us to a totally new expression of life with everything wonderful which can open up for us as we tread the path of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ as Lord of all Creation. Read the Sermon on the Mount & you will instantly get to know Jesus - His character, nature & perspective on you, your life, the lives of your family & friends, and so on. He truly loves us, and will provide opportunities to learn & grow in positive, often magnificent ways.

The entire New Testament is full of spiritual nourishment for the Christian life, and is fairly self-explanatory in most places.

The Old Testament can be a difficult read (see next section/s), but the New Testament is relatively easy to understand, and as noted it is fairly self-explanatory as you work your way through it patiently day by day. I used to find scripture reading a chore, because I didn't have the right perspective on the matter. Once I realised that God makes Himself known in a special way through His Word, that He makes apparent many of the solutions to mysteries of life that trouble us, and enables us to grow & develop as Christians in life changing ways, I began to read daily, and I tend to spend one hour a day reading through. The one thing which stands out the most is the peace that I find expressed in my spirit after reading, or when thinking about what I read the night before, and so on. Jesus said:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “

This is the essence of what I have gained the most of in my regular daily reading. Little anxieties are constantly being put into perspective, and it's wonderful to get caught up in the adventure of (for example) the Book of Acts, to imagine what it would have been like to travel Europe & the Middle East with the Apostle Paul, planting churches & watching them grow, going from place to place with just a walking stick & my faith – incredible times indeed, and we reap the benefits of that hard work in our modern well equipped churches, able to reach into hurting communities to give life & raise people into new circumstances. I say this – if you will read the scripture daily, your life will improve over the course of time, if you read with faith, seeking the mind & voice of God.


Continued...




edit on FebruarySaturday2302CST05America/Chicago-060059 by FlyInTheOintment because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:42 PM
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When read with care, the Old Testament also delivers powerful spiritual sustenance.

The Old Testament delivers the most powerful spiritual guidance that it's possible to uncover whilst living on the Earth. Reading the ascendant glories of King David in the Psalms, reading the endless wisdom in the Book of Job, following the lives of the prophet Elijah & Elisha as they journeyed the land speaking with princes & kings, and the common people also, the accounts of miracles in the wilderness during the Exodus, and so on – it sometimes leaves me breathless, to have some spiritual treasure permeate my soul & bring me to contemplation once more of the depth & wonders of God. If read carefully, the Old Testament provides a beautiful foundation for the New Testament, as we observe how the Israelites were selected by God ahead of the fact of their existence as a race, indeed when the entire nation was present only as raw potential in the body of one man, Abraham, who was too old, as was his wife Sarah, to conceive children naturally – it took a miracle of faith to see that first pregnancy come to pass.

As the story progresses, the twelve sons of Jacob (the grandson of Abraham) become the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel in Egypt first, then in the wilderness as Moses led them towards the promised land. Ultimately they make war against the heathen tribes who occupy the land, against whom God's judgment has come, because of their diabolical ways of living, worshipping demons & sacrificing children to the Devil, essentially. Their tenure was over & God placed the nation of Israel in their place, to act as a light to the nations, an exemplar nation that would one day provide the Shepherd who would guide the nations & peoples of the world to full & complete salvation from the dark powers of the Earth.

The trouble with the Old Testament comes when one misunderstands the judgment of God, which is frequently spoken of throughout, and especially in the writings of the prophets. The misunderstanding arises when one doesn't delineate whom the judgmental prophetic message is intended for. Almost without exception, the punishments levied against members of the nation of Israel (& later Judea, when the kingdom is divided) is intended solely for the rulers, the powers that be, the ones who are supposed to be guiding the people in matters of righteousness, who are supposed to be generating power through holiness, so that the world will see their conduct & their traditions, and they will perceive & intuit the reality, that God is present with the Hebrew people, that the Creator of the Cosmos can be found in the temple & in the hearts of the Jewish people, as they follow the law & the guidance which comes from the prophets down through the centuries. Unfortunately, corruption enters the hearts of the rulers of Israel on countless occasions – they make bad decisions, they abuse the poor, they make life literally impossible for orphans & widows, and for foreigners who sojourn in their land. They refuse to follow the holy precepts which God institutes, designed to promote life, joy & economic productivity - such as the fact that no-one is permitted to charge usury when giving a loan.. IE - Nobody is permitted to charge interest, something the modern Western banking system should also follow, by rights. There were incredibly blessed property laws also, ensuring that no member of the community could ever be left destitute because someone cheated him out of his ancestral lands, which were parcelled out to all citizens at the beginning.

It is helpful when studying the Old Testament to do so initially through the eyes & words of a Christian author who has written books on exactly that, the study of the Old Testament from the perspective of modern Christians. If you start off this way, you will be provided with all of the necessary context in the light of which each passage needs to be read, in order to place it correctly in regards to the rest of the theological precepts & principles which must be understood in order to fully grasp the whole body of text. Thereafter, when you start to get a handle on how the story moves fluidly from Genesis all the way up to the start of the New Testament, you can start to spend time studying the text exclusively, though it is best also to continually read works which discuss the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament covenant of Jesus Christ, so you will understand how there is a constant & unbroken line of prophecy which charts the course of the nation of Israel, right up to the prophesied arrival of the Messiah, the Saviour, in the person of Jesus. If you keep broadening your base understanding of the context, you will get lots of insight from the Old Testament (old covenant) as well as the New Testament (new covenant). I hope this helps..

God enables special understanding of the Word (as the Bible as a whole is known) when we have asked Him to enlighten us as we read.

Taking forwards the concepts outlined above, when it comes to reading scripture as a whole, it is commonly taught that when we read it independently, we should always pray beforehand that God will enlighten our minds & enhance our understanding of what we are reading.. When we do this, I can assure you that you will find, time & again, nuggets of wisdom that really speak deeply into your heart & mind, which totally enhance your understanding of the problems you may be facing in your life at the time, or they may help you to better understand events in the wider world, perhaps issues of mental health that you have been struggling with, and ever more besides. As I mentioned previously, the Old Testament should be started from a place of supporting context, with authors who will use their expertise to help you address the issues in the Old Testament which when taken alone, may be difficult to contextualise, to formulate a full understanding of. However, once you've spent some time taking in the wisdom of authors & ministers on the Old Testament message*, you will find that independent study produces insights which are sometimes striking, monumental even (*for there is a very clear signal line progressing throughout, which is basically summed up as - “Seek justice, love mercy & walk in humility with God”, to paraphrase). It is very rewarding to work diligently in studying the Old Testament, and over time you will start to see not only the moral signal line just elucidated, but you will also see how literally everything points towards the person of Jesus Christ, as the prophesied Messiah, the saviour of both Jews & non-Jews alike. It's a wonderful thing to begin receiving guidance in the form of sudden insights, and once you begin, it never stops – the text is eternal, in some sense, the message never stops expanding, further expounding on what is already known, always something new can be found, and this is why ministers never run out of things to talk about on Sunday mornings!


Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:42 PM
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Special spiritual gifts are made available to the Christian believer who is prepared to walk as a disciple of the Lord.

When Jesus developed His ministry, and after His death, resurrection & ascension into the Heavens, He instituted a body of believers who were equipped with His teachings & with the power & authority of His miraculous healing & deliverance abilities, who were at one point 'baptised in the Holy Spirit', a powerful event in which God's Spirit came down & rested on the believers as tongues of fire above their heads, causing them to pray spontaneously & to praise God in other languages which they did not humanly know – this was an event in which thousands upon thousands of people in Jerusalem became aware of the power of God being upon those disciples/apostles, convincing them to follow what they were preaching – Christ crucified, for the forgiveness of sin & the generation of new spiritual life thereafter. This was a holy order, created to spread the Good News of the Gospel, proclaiming Jesus' love & sacrifice, His healing & deliverance powers were powerfully on display amidst the apostles. But not only the apostles – the common people too were suddenly baptised in the Holy Spirit, beginning to manifest a series of spiritual gifts which were very specific, enabling them to do & say miraculous things which were literally life changing for great multitudes of people in the ancient world as the Good News began to spread.

Some of these gifts were powerful & dramatic, such as physical healing & deliverance from the influence of evil spirits – but others were more gentle, and were concerned with empowering the church to build its structure & organisation, blessing individual members when they were struggling with practical or spiritual problems, ensuring that they had the strength to fight the good fight & life a life for God, enabled through these wonderful spiritual gifts, which were shared amongst the believers in accordance with their faith & natural talents.

The main gifts which we know of, including the ministries which go with them, are listed as follows:

Apostles – highest authorities within the church, who tend to have access to literally all of the spiritual gifts at different times according to the needs which they are brought into contact with on a day by day, month by month, year by year basis. These are they who lead the church in every way, they are responsible for planting new churches & instituting members with the requisite authority, power & understanding to further commission other believers for ministry, for the growth & edification of the church.

Prophets – High authorities who are able to discern great mysteries from the heart of God, who speak out regarding the future of individuals, organisations, communities & nations, in order to bring about positive change in the practical circumstances, turning people away from sinful courses of action, enlivening them to the Truth of Christ, causing them to investigate the depths of spiritual life as a result of the pronouncements & missives which are produced, all for the edification of the church & the expansion of the Kingdom of God.

Teachers – Senior role within the churches, the guys & gals who stand up at the front & elucidate messages from the scriptures, they speak on all manner of things which are solely intended for the edification of the church, the blessing of its individual members, and the enlightenment of the minds of those who are coming into contact with the church for the first time.

Elders/Deacons - Responsible for the support & counselling of the congregation in personal matters which may or may not have an effect on the wider church congregation, as well as planning for future events, activities or changes to the way church is constructed or run.

Administrators – These good folk fulfil the same role as administrators in a secular organisation, but as with any role in the church, we are held to a higher standard, as we know we all work for God in whatever role we are well-suited for.

Gifts which are utilised for specific ministry activities according to the need are included as follows:

Worship/Musicians – Self explanatory, but these folk are very important in the strong & perfect functioning of a vibrant church, being responsible for helping to set the mood for contact with God, in times of worship as a congregation. A good worship team will cause a church to come into full bloom, and sadly, a poor worship team can really spoil the experience of church. As long as everyone is trying their best, in the right spirit, it usually works out well, but if personal pride & ego dynamics are involved, it can bring ruin to the church services & even spoils the spiritual growth of individuals within the church community – hence very important!

Service to the Congregation & Community – This can include people undertaking really practical tasks such as cooks, cleaning staff, counselling volunteers, home visit volunteers working with the elderly, support in all sorts of practical matters (such as helping someone to move home), etc. Anything & everything practical is extremely important to the development of love within the congregation & local community, and love is the most important outworking of everything we do in church! When we support the people around us with loving actions, and not just pretty words, then you will know that we are Christians.

Intercession – this means people who pray for others, in terms of a ministry which they undertake deliberately, in an organised manner, literally taking turns in shifts throughout the week to pray for the needs of people in the congregation & local community. This is one of the most crucial tasks undertaken in a church, because everything comes alive when we speak to God about our needs, ambitions & hopes for the future.. Intercessors can spontaneously fulfil healing ministries, if they are praying for a physical or mental health need, and they can come into contact with the other spiritual gifts which I include below, which are available to all Christians, all those who pray persistently & with love in their hearts.

Praying in tongues & interpretation of tongues - This gift is sometimes misrepresented, but it basically involves the spontaneous utterance of words in another language, whether an actual human language, or what can be termed 'tongues of angels', in which the language is unintelligible to others unless they are acting in accordance with the gift of interpretation of tongues. When we pray in an unintelligible language, we are basically expressing the cries of our heart to God, and indeed it is actually the Holy Spirit of God who gives voice to these utterances, enabling us to pray in an unintelligible language which is almost always self-consistent in terms of remaining relatively similar in intonation, word sounds, pace, intensity, etc.


Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:43 PM
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The meaning is that when we pray in this way, we are seeking personal edification from God, and the Holy Spirit is working through a laundry list of personal fears, failings, anxieties, hopes for the future & so on, all of which brings us closer to God, and indeed brings blessings down to us.. When someone who is present who is able to interpret tongues (a less common gift) then when someone prays in tongues it can be interpreted as a prophetic message of encouragement for the church or certain individuals within range of hearing. Praying in tongues is usually done privately, unless the church congregation is openly praying one at a time, when it is quite possible that an interpretation will be presented. Praying in tongues is a wonderful experience, because you can feel the direct connection to the Holy Spirit as it unfolds, and the first time it occurs it is usually dramatic, powerful & full of strong, overjoyed emotion, knowing that you have been 'baptised in the Holy Spirit' when it begins. It is often considered to be a public sign of confirmation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Wisdom Visions – When praying, typically with our eyes closed, if we are keenly focused on seeking an answer from the Lord on behalf of ourselves (but typically for another believer, or a person we have met in the community) then we can experience strong & clear visions in our mind's eye, which are often highly symbolic, which carry meaning from God as a message intended for the person receiving prayer. These visions frequently bring great encouragement to the person receiving prayer, and they usually consist of answer to prayers that are having to do with some problem facing this person in their life. God often answers with stunning clarity, in a way that totally resolves the dilemma which that person was facing, or the fear that was tormenting them. I personally experience these visions in prayer, and I can attest that when you seek prayer for your needs with another believer, these visions which can result are a mighty encouragement, providing reassurance of God's love, care, patience & concern for your future wellbeing.

Prophetic visions/ dreams/ utterances - As with the wisdom visions above, it is often possible that these will be more complex than usual, perhaps a sequence of images or a steady stream of video-type 'footage' in the mind's eye, in which case they can be directly prophetic, offering details of a possible or likely future, depending on the course that the individual receiving prayer decides to chart for themselves in the life they are living. These can be extremely positive, in cases where people are working their butts off to bring good things into the lives of others; alternatively, they can be straightforward warnings that continuing the present course is a bad idea & could result in disaster. These visions are always delivered in love, to ensure that the best possible outcome is assured for the person receiving prayer. Frequently, and indeed this happens a lot with myself, a Christian will receive powerful nocturnal dreams, which can be incredibly complex, detailing issues in one's personal life, in the church, in the local or regional community, or even at the level of nation states & worldwide issues.. Some of the dreams I've had have been related to major events in the United Kingdom, Europe & the Middle East, and one of the events which was predicted in my dreams was the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, with certain warnings for those who had been responsible for bringing that monstrosity into being. Again, the purpose of prophecy is always to help the people involved to chart another course, to avoid the calamity which may otherwise result. The most recent dream I had on the level of nation states was that there would be war between the West & China within the next three to five years, and that we would even face attacks in the United Kingdom directly from Chinese ships & submarines. At the time I had the dream this seemed unlikely, but in the time since having had that dream, it has been discovered/ reported that China has been charting navigational courses for its ships & submarines above the Arctic circle from East to West in order to stretch its potential reach towards Europe & the UK, so it is certainly possible that this dream represents something which we truly need to prepare for.

Furthermore, prophetic utterances can be issued forth in meetings, with the person receiving spontaneous prompting from the Holy Spirit to speak out as the inspiration comes, moment by moment, instantly delivering a complex message for the church, which they had not considered before they stood up to speak. This takes courage & boldness, and it is a gift which the Apostle Paul told us to “eagerly desire” because of its great importance in building the faith of the congregation as a whole. Due to its apparent difficulty, it is one of the less well0used gifts, but indeed, if we understand it, we should pray for the courafe to be inspired to use it, because it really does hold the key to great blessings for the cohesion & strength of the church as a whole.

Words of Knowledge – When praying for someone who is either a non-Christian, or a new Christian, it is very common for experienced believers to receive a word of knowledge concerning the situation that person is facing in their lives at the present time. These are short snippets of words or sentences of information which could not conceivably been known by the person who is praying for that individual. Basically it is prescient knowledge, knowledge which is impossible to acquire by any means other than supernatural means, IE, this is proof that God is working in the life of this person, and is aware of the problems which are troubling them. It is often used to highlight areas in which God requires the person to cease an immoral activity in order to progress to the next stage of their spiritual life, but it can also be used to confirm that a certain event was a blessing from God & it is okay to go ahead with a certain course of action, etc. Once the initial word is provided, further prayer 'unpacks' the situation with additional visions or prophetic utterances, etc. Very powerful gift for showing people that God is real, and that He cares infinitely about you personally, though of course it is issued by God's discretion, we cannot cause this to occur by ourselves (this is the case with most of the mystical gifts, except, for example, praying in tongues, which can be driven by our own intention).


Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:43 PM
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Membership in a cohesive & vibrant church is essential to fully grow & develop your spiritual life as a Christian.

Many people will say: “I'm a spiritual person, but I don't believe in organised religion”.. This is an understandable point of principle in many respects, because churches, some of them, have a tendency to let people down. Either they are dull & uninspired, or the minister is abrasive & aggressive about non-Christians, or a person could have been hurt by the neglectful or even abusive actions of some of those in authority within the organisation.

Sadly this is a reality which we all must take account of, and it is the duty of enlightened churches which know God clearly & serve Him well to apologise to the people on behalf of those who have let them down. It is tragic when someone is cut off from enjoying a close relationship with God because of something that a person who was entrusted with the keys to Heaven has done against that potential brother/ sister who has been hurt. I would also add that anyone who has been hurt by such abusive actions is never 'damned' because they refused to follow the teachings of the organisation which hurt them so badly. To say such things is disgraceful, and one would answer to God for being so inappropriately punitive & judgmental regarding the spiritual realities facing each person individually – it is ALWAYS God's assessment of a person's heart which sets them in their relative positions before God, it is never a matter for human leaders to judge, especially if the person has been neglected or abused.

Having said that, when a person who is a new Christian joins a vibrant & active church with solid Bible teaching, good worship musicians, and a solid prayer/counselling ministry (extremely important, that last one), that person will go from strength to strength as a maturing Christian, they will develop a close personal connection with God through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and they will develop strong interpersonal bonds with other brothers & sisters, enjoying the clear guidance & protective authority of the ministers/ elders of that church. Although it is sometimes unavoidable that a person is unable to attend church in person (perhaps because of a disability), it is always better if a person can consistently make the effort to attend church & develop their friendships with brothers & sisters who will always be there for them, through thick & thin. I would strongly encourage you to explore different churches in your local/ regional area, particularly looking for that balance of solid teaching, good worship music, and excellent prayer ministry. With those three factors underpinning the structure of the church, you will go far. If they have a great community outreach program, even better (ideally every church must aim to develop great outreach, though sometimes it is difficult to do so for a variety of reasons) . Most important for personal growth are those first three elements – teaching, worship & prayer.


Personal devotions are needed on the other six days of the week, not just on Sundays.

It is important, if possible, to attend church on a Sunday, but it's equally important that on the other six days, we commit some time to personal devotions – if we do, great blessing will result. It could include reading books by Christian authors before bed, an hour of scripture reading at 9pm (best time, I've found), and some personal prayer before bedtime in the main, expressing gratitude for the day's blessings, and petitioning God to help with any problems which may have cropped up that day. If we start with the Lord's prayer, then move into those other aspects, the whole architecture of our prayer time is well-rounded & satisfying, and it sets us up well for a good night's rest. In the morning a brief five minute prayer before starting the day is a good way to begin organising daily devotions, and that can be expanded as you see fit over the months & years to come. Life is largely about routine & structure, the ever-turning seasons of nature, and the events of the church year – if you can build a dependable routine of prayer & other devotions, as well as your church attendance, you will stand in good stead with the Lord, and things will go well for you more generally.

Prayer is a wonderful opportunity to enter the presence of God from the safety of your bedroom.

In some countries, it is literally illegal to pray. A horrible, terrible situation for the poor souls who are so awfully persecuted that they cannot express their love & gratitude to God, cannot seek His help in troubled times, without risking sometimes severe punishments. It is a blessing indeed to be free to pray in the privacy of our homes, and in our churches. Worryingly, a woman was recently arrested & charged in the UK for praying silently near to an abortion clinic. This is scandalous, whether or not you believe in what she was doing – that the thoughts in our own minds can be considered a crime is a travesty. Hopefully, it is a symptom of our recent COVID madness coming home to roost, and in time that sort of police enforcement will fade from view.

The fact that we can pray in our homes without fear is a blessing, it hasn't always been that way, for millions of people in times both past & present. That we can draw near to God, so He can draw near to us, as is promised in scripture, is a wonderful gift.. Take advantage of the privacy & security of your home & seek God's comforting solace as often as you can! Prayer enables you to hear from God directly, in visionary experiences & through other special means, as described previously – it also enables you to prepare for enlightening dreams, leading to direct prophecy concerning your life & the lives of others in the community. You don't necessarily need someone to pray for you in order to access these blessings from God's hand, you just need to seek Him in times of quiet meditation & reflection, perhaps praying in tongues to strengthen yourself, and so on.


Questions about the faith:


Why do bad things happen to good people?

The fact which most underpins the nature of Biblical teaching is the 'why?' of Creation. Why did God create? He took pleasure in creating, and enjoys the order & rhythm of the world He made, the animal & plant life which flourishes on its surface, and most crucially, He takes pleasure in dealing with Humanity in love, resolving those things that are broken, saving those who are lost, strengthening those who lead or those who must overcome difficult circumstances in order that justice will prevail. He stands against the darkness as the Light of the world, and the darkness has not overcome that Light.



Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:44 PM
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When God created Humanity, He enabled us with free will, to choose that which we will do with the circumstances of our lives. With this comes great potential for blessing, but also there is sadly great peril for those who are oppressed by the free will decisions of bad people.. This affects out natural yearning for justice, which like all of the righteous virtues is hard-wired into our soul, with our conscience taking instruction from those laws of God written on tablets of flesh, human hearts. We demand justice of our authorities, but corruption damages the reality that we all face to greater or lesser extent in the nations we are born into. And with such corruption, comes yet more suffering. And yet, it could be no other way, because if we were to demand perfection in our world as it is currently, that perfection could not be enjoyable, because we would be robots, unable to choose anything other than 'the right thing'. Perfection can only come when justice & righteousness result from the free will decisions of men & women who are committed to ensuring perfection in their times, as near as possible. And of course, in this world, we cannot achieve that, because our system is too damaged, too corrupt, there is such great inequality that even some of the best & brightest can be corrupted when they are bribed, or worse, extorted.

However, there is hope for better times in our own age, and perfection through true righteousness in a future age, through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We know that by simple faith, trust in Him & in the purpose of the sacrificial offering He made of Himself, we can be secured against all the powers of evil, and we can be blessed by a living & active relationship with God in this world, and even better in the world to come. So although there is great ardour & difficulty in the world as it presently is, one day all of the trauma for those who suffer greatly will fade like the memory of a bad dream, as they bask in the loving presence of God in a world of beauty & light, unimaginable glory awaits us, and especially those who are brutalised by evil people in this world. God is merciful, forgiving, just & righteous – He will ensure fairness in the final analysis. We must work for the good while we are here, loving & supporting each other, reaching out to those who have been traumatised, helping in any ways we can.

A final thought comes directly from the scripture, which is that sometimes, God takes people home early, seemingly before they've had time to enjoy life & make something of themselves, which from a human perspective may seem unjust. However, the reason is simple – God is preserving them from the wvils which would have become manifest in their lives in the event they had remained upon the Earth, whether from things that they themselves would have ended up doing, or whether it was brutalisation at the hands of others. Of course, this doesn't always happen, and there will always be suffering in a fallen & broken world under the control of corrupt, evil people, with much of it under the ultimate authority of a rebel angel who actively seeks the ruination of all Mankind, though thank God his power is limited to an extent.

Never forget that there are mysteries which are somewhat beyond us, we cannot always have a perfect answer for why certain things are the way they are; however, from everything I have learned I can say with confidence that the human race is in good hands, in God's hands. In the final analysis He will bring justice, mercy & grace for the humble of heart.

Why do bad people seem to get away with everything, becoming rich & successful despite their evils?

Again, this is a matter understood by realising that there is a necessity for freedom of will for all people, in all places, at all times. Unfortunately, adding to the problem of what I will call the natural corruption of Man, there are also evil powers in this world, and they will often deliberately enlarge the fortunes of evil people with hearts full of greed, corruption, vice, licentiousness & murders, in order to spread chaos through societies like the tendrils of a slime mould as it slithers into cracks & crevices, amidst the rich & famous, the politicians, the media moguls, the titans of industry – all the way down to the social housing projects where even those with little in the way of resources will find a way to enrich themselves, often ending up abusing others by way of that natural corruption. Again, it is often enhanced by demonic powers which seek to maximise that chaos factor through every facet of society. It is all these types of corrupt activities (& many more, such as drug abuse, sexual abuse/addiction, violence for the sake of violence (etc), which are all enhanced by demonic powers, which calls for the spiritual warfare which Christians are taught to varying degrees is necessary in order to enable greater good for Humanity in the immediate & long-term analyses of our societies at every level of complexity & in every class of peoples.


Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:44 PM
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Where do Christians stand on the evils which are overtaking the world at the current time? Is this the End of Days?

I have made my views on this very clear in recent years, since the onset of the plandemic, in terms of the use of two different bioweapons (virus & 'vaccine'). The damage to our societies has been enormous, and the damage to the health & lives of millions of people around the world (ultimately I believe it will be over a billion people who have had their lives damaged & shortened as a direct result of the actions of members of the World Economic Forum & their partners in crime at the World Health Organisation, the CDC, the UN & all other agencies which have been involved in policing dissent & rolling out propaganda & dealing with censorship on a massive scale. The people involved with these agencies will face judgment for what they have done. They all agreed, explicitly or implicitly, that depopulation was a great idea, even if it meant maiming & brutally damaging the life experience of millions upon millions of poor victims of their tyrannical, insidious plans. So many are suffering each & every day with pain & various other types of harm, directly caused by each & every one who went along with the plan. In scripture it is very, very clear what should be done:


Test and prove what pleases the Lord. 11 Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.…

Ephesians 5: 10-12


The 'disobedient' very plainly involves everyone who thought the broad strokes, indiscriminate euthanasia & butchery of even infants & small children was a good idea. Utterly evil, twisted, disgusting behaviour. Each & every one of them should swing from the gallows, sentenced to die in a court of law, as & when proven guilty of participation in the scheme. They are a danger to the life & limb of every innocent human remaining alive in this world, and there is no way to rehabilitate someone who willingly signed up to indiscriminate euthanasia & butchery of infants, children & pregnant mothers-to-be. We are seeing the prophecy of Jesus fulfilled, when speaking of the End of Days:


”How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days..”

Matthew 24: 19



I'm experiencing mental health issues, can God heal me of this?

As someone who was very unwell as a teenager (due to marijuana & solvents-induced psychosis) I can attest that God gradually healed me completely of the effects of that psychosis, which was incredibly traumatic in & of itself, even to the point of experiencing powerful deja vu up to twenty times a day, malicious voices in my mind, severe paranoia, and even more, due to the damage caused by my drug abuse as a younger teenager. I received prayer from other members of my church many times in the year after I became a Christian, and one day I realised that I simply wasn't experiencing any of those symptoms any more, I was totally & remarkably free from that formerly incessant suffering.. Glory to God!

I have a physical disability, why doesn't God heal me?

As someone who has a physical disability which causes a great deal of complex neuropathic, arthralgic & fibromyalgic pain, with paraesthesia, dysaesthesia, hyperalgesia, allodynia, nociceptive & myoclonic spasms, I can only speculate as to why I haven't yet been healed of this condition. I don't necessarily believe that God would ever want us to suffer in order to teach us something, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that this is in order that I might develop strong empathy & care for others who are disabled through whatever condition they may experience. Again, I know that God does heal people completely at times, but can only speculate as to why this is less common in our times. When I really think about it carefully, I start to believe that possibly we are seeing less healing in our times purely because of the astronomical rise of atheism, materialism, and actual, genuine Satanism being accepted as rather mainstream values in our modern world. I mean, the Satanic Temple even erected a statue of Baphomet in Detroit, Michigan, and tried to erect more in Oklahoma & in Kansas, where they lobbied in both instances to remove monuments featuring the Biblical 10 commandments outside the state capitol buildings,

A great article regarding how Western society has basically become 'Satanic by another name' can be found on the excellent political/ societal commentary site UNHERD - 'How Satanism Conquered America'


Milton wrestled with core questions of law, authority and personal freedom that roiled at the heart of the Protestant Reformation. And the Reformation was foundational to the modern West (and especially to America). And tracing the history of that rebellion brings us, today, to the startling conclusion that post-Christian America is an increasingly Satanist regime.


It is a sad indictment of a society when the Satanic Temple is being lauded as the 'last, best hope' for abortion rights in America, following the overturning of Roe vs Wade.



Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:44 PM
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Why should I believe in Jesus when religion was rammed down my throat as a kid, making me resent the whole operation?

If this was your experience of church then all I can do is apologise on behalf of those supposed Christian parents who hammered you with doctrine before your brains are fully formed, before you've come to terms with your own mind & connection to Reality. It is my honest belief that Christian parents should encourage agnosticism in their children, directing them to seek after the truth of their own accord, by all means looking to the example posed by their parents, yet not feeling any specific obligation to believe the same way as they have – perhaps they will choose to remain agnostic in their youth, inquiring further of the matter once they have established themselves in the world, having completed their education & having secured their initial career progress. It is my opinion that unless the child is 100% certain of the reality & truth of the gospel of their own accord, nobody should ever try to force a young person to believe the same as they themselves believe. But as noted, there is nothing wrong with demonstrating the validity of one's own beliefs through example of good moral conduct, acting soundly & wisely in the world, so that the children can see that this Way is moral, courageous, truthful & decent in every regard. The aim for all churches is to follow the pattern of Jesus as our exemplar, and it is recorded that as a youth, He “...grew in favour, with God & Man..”

What are we to make of pastors, ministers, bishops (etc) who bring their position into disrepute with some sort of hypocrisy?

It is a tragedy when ministers or leaders in some other church capacity let themselves down by falling into temptation – perhaps drugs, sex with escorts, and so on. Unless the matter is directly criminal (such as the tragic case of a pastor raping a young woman from his congregation which I was directly aware of, having actually attended that church for a few months when I first moved to London – he was imprisoned as a result, rightfully so, and did not return to ministry after his sentence was completed), then the church is supposed to discipline & rehabilitate the person involved by direct action, to bring about repentance & development of contrition, ultimately providing evidence of resolution, that the sinful conduct is definitely over, that he or she has sought God & the counsel of the church members, to recover from whatever it was that caused them to falter.

The pattern is thus: Firstly, one member of the church leadership who is aware of the problem will approach & discuss the problem with the offending minister; if the matter is not resolved thereafter, then another couple of senior church members must accompany the first to challenge the offending minister. If the matter remains unresolved thereafter, then the matter is brought before the entire congregation in a closed doors meeting, where the matter is discussed & a route to resolution is decided upon. If the person involved remains unrepentant after that, then they are barred from attendance or ministry in the church, until such a time as they can demonstrate repentance, contrition & resolution. That is the process outlined by the Apostle Paul in New Testament scripture.

What are we to make of spiritual leaders who abuse children?

Jesus was very clear on the matter: With regards to anyone who causes a child to stumble (by abuse), it would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck & then to be cast into the depths of the ocean, as preferential compared to the punishment they will receive for their conduct. There is no way that any minister who abuses children can ever conduct himself as a minister ever again, and he should be imprisoned for his crimes. God will deal with him in His sovereign will. This is not to say that the person cannot in principle be saved in a religious sense through deep repentance & the grace of God. However, he will not be safe to minister around children ever again. My assumption is that those who are repentant will be made holy after their deaths, but that is just a guess, essentially I'm saying that for all of us our sinful nature is removed after we pass away from the Earth, as though we pass through a filter - hence I assume it is possible even for the worst of sinners.


Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:45 PM
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Will God help me to become wealthy & successful? I keep hearing enthusiastic preachers telling me to donate money so God will bless me!

There is something in Christendom named 'prosperity doctrine' or 'prosperity gospel'. It is a near-heretical movement in which God is seen as a sugar daddy who will increase your bank balance infinitely because that is the sole aim of becoming a Christian, essentially. The people who adhere to this doctrine basically demand offerings of wealth in order to 'test God' as a means of obtaining vast wealth through miraculous means. Although it is true that God does indeed provide a promise regarding increase of wealth (in the Book of Malachi, see below), it is not to be considered the sole aim of Christian faith, as it is so often made to appear within the setting of such churches. They take the crudest form of spiritual blessing & amplify it to extremes, very often also ripping off poorer congregation members who are extorted into making ever-larger offerings to the church coffers, in order that God will ultimately bless them in return. Again, this is not to say that this isn't true – but it is absolutely NOT the sole aim of church membership of Christian belief.

The actual scriptural promise is described as the antidote to a curse of poor finances, as follows:


9You are cursed with a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing Me. 10Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. 11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your land, and the vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the LORD of Hosts.…

Malachi 3: 10


A discussion with my wife recently brought us to the notion of tithing, and we determined that a tithe of ten percent of one's net income after taxes would be the tithe we are obligated to bring to the church as directed in the Book of Malachi, if we are to put God to the test in this matter. It's really quite phenomenal to consider this fact of 'testing God', as He Himself directs us to do, simply because elsewhere in scripture we are reminded again & again that in every other matter we are never to put God to the test. The fact that God Himself, speaking through the prophet, commands us to put Him to the test in the area of finances is a wonderful blessing. We determined also that the tithe must be money which is real income, from your labour having produced the wealth which is being used - it can't be from an inheritance or from government welfare, for example.


Why did God send plagues on Egypt? Isn't God super-angry & judgmental? How can He be a loving saviour?

The Israelites actually became a nation in slavery, essentially, beginning their journey to full nationhood in slavery under the yoke of a powerful Egyptian Pharaoh, who hated the Jews. When God liberated the Hebrew slaves from Egypt during the Exodus, He needed to convince the powerful Pharaoh that it was indeed the God of all Creation that Pharaoh was squaring off against, because the Egyptians were not ignorant when it came to sorcery & magic tricks, they had plenty of magicians who could mimic several of the signs which Moses performed at Pharaoh's court.. The plagues were an increasing series of signs that the pantheon of the gods of Egypt were being taken down one by one, proven to be nothing more than idols made with human hands, and also certain minor powers & principalities (real spiritual powers connected to the local environment) - which were shown to be firmly under the authority of God, expressed as the Hebrew deliverer, the Creator of the Universe.

See the following for a Jewish perspective on the meaning of the plagues: Ten Plagues opposing the Gods of Egyptian Mythology

Why did God command the Israelites to wage war & take the land of other nations after the Exodus from Egypt?

It is a well-established fact that the nations from whom the Israelites took land through conquest in warfare, were incredibly sinful & their culture was twisted & perverted far beyond what is considered normal even by the standards of the ancient world. Furthermore it is speculated (with sound evidence) that many of the small nations which were established in that 'land flowing with milk & honey' had rephaim/ nephilim bloodlines riddled through their populace, which were connected to the legendary giants which had perverted the world civilisation prior to the flood, and still carried the curse of their ancient hybrid bloodlines which was nothing but a scourge upon the region, throughout many nations which were always at war & eternally corrupt in their ways, committing child sacrifice & cannibalism as a constant ritual practice, serving the gods Moloch & Baal, amongst others, which perverted the very atmosphere of the place. God ordained the end of those nations because of their great sinfulness, replacing them with a nation selected to be a 'city on a hill, whose light cannot behidden', so that the entire world would eventually come to the knowledge of the Holy One through their actions & the records of their spiritual practices, the perfection of which was defended assiduously, ensuring that every copy of every document was 100% accurate from one generation to the next. If even a single mistake was made by the scribe, even in terms of accents placed on certain letters in a word, then the entire scroll had to be scrapped, starting again from scratch. In this way we know that they were faithful in transmitting the knowledge which was theirs to guard, which they were entrusted with, so that one day the nations would understand who the Messiah is, so they can come to a saving knowledge of His love & care, and the sacrifice which He made on our account.

Why were the Israelites judged so harshly each & every time they rebelled against God? Why did God get so angry all the time?

It is very common for people to open up the Old Testament & find they are faced with a passage describing judgment against the Jewish people for apparent crimes, with the pronouncements seeming incredibly severe to our modern sensibilities. People often think that this means that one cannot consider God to be a God of love & grace, and therefore many will turn away at this point, without any further research, believing the whole thing to be made up or deliberately manipulative.

What such folk fail to grasp is that when God pronounces judgment against His people, He is almost always pronouncing judgment against the ruling class – the kings, ministers, elders, judges & so on, even the prophets & the priests. The common man is rarely in the cross-hairs when it comes to this fact of judgment for wrongdoing – it is the rulers, being condemned for unfair taxes, for stealing from orphans & widows, preventing people from obtaining their freedom after voluntary indentured servitude over a given period of years, refusing to return property to the ancestral family owner, conning people out of land in dodgy deals, using unfair weights & measures to arrange trade deals, committing scandalous acts which are a terrible example for the people under the monarch's rule, and so on.


Continued..



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:45 PM
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The priests were frequently found to be corrupt, and many of the prophets simply made stuff up when they stopped hearing from God, earning themselves a tidy wage by offering benign pronouncements to the courts of the king & his ministers “All is well, peace & security..” - when in actual fact, a faithful prophet has been sent to convict them of their great iniquity in corrupting the holy nation of God, intended as the spiritual beacon for the world, through which the Messiah would one day come. The common man & woman in the street, who were often derided as 'sinners' were the people to whom Jesus came to minister. He scorned the self-righteous priests, king, ministers & officials, instead choosing to spend time with fishermen, former prostitutes, despised tax collectors, and so on. “The sick are those who need a doctor, not those who are well”. He evidenced His love for all people through demonstrating who he chose to spend His time with. He was a 'man of the people' in several important respects, and one of His titles is the Son of Man.

Why doesn't God just snap His fingers & fix the world?

This question I have struggled with at times, knowing that so many difficulties & so much suffering could be alleviated if God did indeed 'snap his fingers' & fix a few things instantly. Again, I think this comes down to the question of free will, the need for there to be honesty & reality amongst the people of the world.. Suffering can bring us closer together, producing endurance, which is a virtue heralded by St Paul in his writings. Through endurance we learn patience, and by patience we learn wisdom, if we are observant & keep our minds primed for learning. I love a particular song by John Lucas, called 'Time'. In the lyrics he says: “a king who paints beauty with time..” I like that expression, and I believe that it is mostly what God is about in this world, creating beauty from ashes, radiance from the cinders of former glories & forgiven sins. Another song (sadly I forget the title, but the artist is 'Hillsong United', from Australia) relates: “You could have fixed us in a second, instead you sent a child..” In this respect the songwriter is expressing that what is most essential in our connection to the things of God is relationship itself - the actual manifest presence of the Almighty God, living in harmony with us, through our relationship with the Son of God, Jesus, our shepherd, our brother, our friend. I am thankful for the time to learn, to relate, to understand the wisdom of Heaven, to grow as an individual, a father, a husband, a friend.


What is Heaven all about? Why are we told that all we need to do is believe in order to go there? What about good people who don't believe?

I have had several dreams in which I believe I was literally transported to Heaven, for a moment in time during those three or four nights when I felt very convinced that I had been translated there by the power of God, rather than the possibility that I was just having a dream, like any other night, as I dream vividly every single night, several times a night. In truth, the fact that it is only three or four times that I believe I was genuinely in Heaven, being someone who dreams repeatedly every single night, makes it seem more likely to me that on those three or four occasions I was literally taken up into God's place, to experience something crucial for my learning, for my journey as a human being, which may even be useful to help other people in conceiving of such notions as Heaven after we pass away from the Earth.

The first time, I was shot three times by the strafing of a high calibre fully automatic cannon mounted underneath an Apache-type gunship helicopter. I felt the blows to my centre mass, no pain, but I fell backwards, and as I did so, I found myself enveloped in the soft cushioning of a velvet black space, which was not in the least bit scary, it was incredibly comfortable, like I was drifting to sleep in the most peaceful repose I had ever experienced. All stress & anxieties were gone, my life on Earth now seemed so far away, I got the sense that everything was as it was supposed to be, so indeed I could finally relax.. Moments later as I drifted to near-sleep, I felt the arms.hands of an angel carrying me upwards, and then as I fell into sleep I was placed on the floor of a truly beautiful patch of woodland, as I discovered when I opened my eyes soon afterwards. As I rose to my feet, I saw a being of light, an angel, come over to me, and he or she said to me: “You will never be persecuted again” I was overwhelmed with joy, because around that time I was experiencing genuine persecution in the world around me. I then saw two birds which I knew signified joy (magpies – two for joy...) I saw a signet ring, symbolising the approval of the King, whom I knew to be Jesus. I saw other symbols also, but sadly they are lost to me at this time, it was over twenty years ago and only these two remained in my memory, even soon after the experience, making me wonder if the rest was perhaps intended for my subconscious. This dream was life-changing. I found myself having lost the fear of death, I knew that God loved & accepted me, and I knew that a grand adventure was beginning – this dream occurred on the very night of the day in which I had made the decision to become a Christian – it was a foretaste of the wonderful things God would do over the next twenty years of my life. I could share the other experiences – in one I stood at the edge of Heaven surveying the fields & woods in the land beyond the low wall that acted as a boundary, carved stone with seemingly magical, archaic symbols carved into it, a barrier which protected the inhabitants. I was told that I would be admitted when my time came, but until then I had some work to do. Others I won't relate at this time, but I may detail them in later posts within this thread, depending on whether people are interested to know.


Continued..


ETA - I will answer the "Why are we told that all we need to do is believe in order to go there? What about good people who don't believe?" aspect of this section later in the thread, I accidentally forgot to include it here, apologies.



edit on FebruarySaturday2302CST05America/Chicago-060048 by FlyInTheOintment because: per ETA



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:45 PM
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I don't understand why I can go to Heaven if I just believe..? What do I need to do if I want to become a Christian, or if I want to explore this further?

The whole point of the simplicity of the Gospel of Peace is that by its simplicity, it provides equal access to all – literally anyone can understand the Gospel, and the means of joining the Kingdom of Heaven is simple: You ask God to pardon you of the outworking of your sinful nature, knowing that (as all of us do) you have sinned, and will continue to make mistakes throughout your human life.. Then you ask Him to fulfil His promises in your heart & mind, removing the guilt & shame you may carry, or the scars of trauma, showing you His great love & faithfulness. He is indeed faithful, and if you ask Him to enter your heart, He will do so, and you will see wonderful things as your adventure begins. Then, it's about finding a church with the attributes described previously – good solid teaching, excellent worship music, and a dynamic prayer & intercession ministry. If they do outreach work in the community as well, even better! Going on a journey with the Son of God at your side is the most marvellous adventure imaginable. God is powerful & yet gentle; He will never harm you or lead you into darkness, you can trust Him, for He is real, and He cares infinitely for each one of us.

Seek out a church by comparing the online web presence of each in your vicinity. A helpful rule of thumb is that if they care enough & are relevant enough to the modern world they will tend to have a decent website, showing a varied program of whole congregation meetings & activities as well as smaller house group activities. Go with your gut instinct, and draw near to the House of the Lord to listen & learn, in humility, with wisdom & patience. Ask to pray with someone & see whether they offer to pray for you directly, or quickly find someone to pray with you, as that is also usually a good sign. Start your adventure!


********************************************************************


God bless you all, I hope this has been a helpful thread. Please feel free to ask any questions or participate in further elucidating the premise of the Gospel of Peace, where freedom & authenticity are found in equal measure!

Please note that I have tried to be sensitive to the thoughts & feelings of people who may have had horrible experiences with a particular church, or minister, or with parents who shoved religion down their throats - please therefore ask any related questions in a respectful way, and I will be equally respectful in responding. Please understand that a bad experience with some Christians shouldn't mean that you throw the baby out with the bathwater, there is a lot of love & grace within the church worldwide, and there are over 8,000 denominations to choose from. All of them pretty much believe the same things (IE - the Nicene Creed), but their culture, traditions regarding spiritual gifts, style of worship music/ singing, types of extra activities & so on are extremely varied, so you should usually be able to find one not too far away which meets your needs if you decide to go & have a look..

Peace,


FITO.





posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

I find it easier to digest:

"And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’

Great bit of insights there if read in full...Luke 8:45

Mg



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 06:01 PM
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Worship/Musicians – Self explanatory, but these folk are very important in the strong & perfect functioning of a vibrant church, being responsible for helping to set the mood for contact with God, in times of worship as a congregation. A good worship team will cause a church to come into full bloom, and sadly, a poor worship team can really spoil the experience of church. As long as everyone is trying their best, in the right spirit, it usually works out well, but if personal pride & ego dynamics are involved, it can bring ruin to the church services & even spoils the spiritual growth of individuals within the church community – hence very important!


If one is very lucky to be guided to a waterfall in the mountains during the blooming of springtime ( life's awareness ) and you see the ripples on the pond below the waterfall, one will understand that life is full of ripples that wave through our daily lives. In end, we search for the ripple of life that disappears. Where did it go? I don't have an answer.



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 06:08 PM
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originally posted by: missed_gear
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

I find it easier to digest:

"And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’

Great bit of insights there if read in full...Luke 8:45

Mg



I am curious at to what insights you gained from this chapter? I have read it many times, and just wondered what you thought about it.



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 06:18 PM
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originally posted by: TruthJava

originally posted by: missed_gear
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

I find it easier to digest:

"And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’

Great bit of insights there if read in full...Luke 8:45

Mg



I am curious at to what insights you gained from this chapter? I have read it many times, and just wondered what you thought about it.


It is not just the "chapter" per-se...but who the author was...and authored other books included within the new testament.

Luke the physician....


Mg



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment
Simplicity:

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 
Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 
Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 
Rom 10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 
Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.



1Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 
1Co 15:2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 
1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 
1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 
1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 
1Co 15:6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 
1Co 15:7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.


God Bless FITO


edit on 2/11/2023 by MykeNukem because: eta



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 09:25 PM
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Great post. I became a Christian a few years back. I had a vision in 2018, was agnostic, went to psychology and my own understanding, could have saved a lot of time and come to The Cross. The Peace and Joy is still kind of alien to me, but it's so refreshing. Seeing sin for what it is helped me understand The Gospel. He really wants what is best for us, it's no joke. Decades of depression and abuse of all sorts, cleared away. His Grace is so wonderful. The darkness always felt like home, but it was an illusion. Thank you again for the post.



posted on Feb, 11 2023 @ 09:31 PM
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originally posted by: ventian
Great post. I became a Christian a few years back. I had a vision in 2018, was agnostic, went to psychology and my own understanding, could have saved a lot of time and come to The Cross. The Peace and Joy is still kind of alien to me, but it's so refreshing. Seeing sin for what it is helped me understand The Gospel. He really wants what is best for us, it's no joke. Decades of depression and abuse of all sorts, cleared away. His Grace is so wonderful. The darkness always felt like home, but it was an illusion. Thank you again for the post.


Thank you for the testimony!

And the angels rejoice...




posted on Feb, 12 2023 @ 06:37 AM
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Thank you, Fly In The Ointment, for that wonderful testimony! We serve such a great God.




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