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::Way to Inner Peace::

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  • ::Way to Inner Peace::

    Dealing with immigration can disturb inner peace and harmony for immigrants and citizens of the United States of America. Overly being too happy or too sad or angry is also an imbalance. This thread is my support to everyone who is dealing with immigration.
    Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing

  • #2
    Dealing with immigration can disturb inner peace and harmony for immigrants and citizens of the United States of America. Overly being too happy or too sad or angry is also an imbalance. This thread is my support to everyone who is dealing with immigration.
    Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


    • #3
      :: THE WAY TO PEACE::

      Do we benefit from different culture?

      The Upanishads of the seventh and sixth centuries BC are mystical writings of the seers (rishis) of ancient lndia who practiced yoga to attain conscious union with God. They taught that the soul (atman) is the same essence as God (Brahma), eternal and immortal. The soul incarnates in the world of appearance or illusion and is responsible for the consequences of its actions (karma). The soul continues to reincarnate until the consciousness re-awakens to its inherent divinity and is liberated from the wheel of rebirth. The knowledge that the true self (atman) is a part of God is a psycho-logical liberation, and the awareness of one's own immortality frees one from the fear of death and brings a feeling of eternal peace. As the Jews often use the word for Peace (shalom) as a greeting, the Hindus often conclude their prayers with peace (shanti). The Maitri Upanishad describes the way of meditating on sound by which one ascends to non-sound resulting in complete union and also peaceful-ness. India has a long tradition of its mystics who renounce the world and go off to find internal peace and liberation. In a transcen-dental sense it is believed that if one person finds eternal peace and spiritual liberation the entire world is spiritually benefited.

      One such person was Nataputta Vardhamana (599-527 BC) who was given the name Mahavira which means "Great Hero." As the historical reformer of the Jain religion, the Jains believe Mahavira to be the twenty-fourth and last of the great teachers. Mahavira made ahimsa the essential principle of the religion. Ahimsa has been translated as "non-violence," but it literally means not hurting or not harming. Mahavira was the younger son of a local king and was brought up amidst luxury. He married and had a daughter. After his parents died of voluntary starvation, at the age of thirty he gained his older brother's consent (after a year of waiting for it) to leave the palace, give away all his possessions, and retire from the world. He joined a monastery, limited himself to one garment, and pulled out his hair in five handfuls. The Akaranga Sutra describes his discipline:

      Neglecting his body,
      the venerable ascetic Mahavira meditated on his soul,
      in blameless lodgings, in blameless wandering,
      in restraint, kindness, avoidance of sinful influence,
      chaste life, in patience, freedom from passion, contentment;
      control, circumspection, practicing religious postures and acts;
      walking the path of nirvana and liberation,
      which is the fruit of good conduct.
      Living thus he with equanimity
      bore, endured, sustained, and suffered
      all calamities arising from divine powers, men, and animals,
      with undisturbed and unafflicted mind,
      careful of body, speech, and mind.

      After a few months he threw away the robe and left the monastery to wander naked through the plains and villages of central India. Not wanting to become attached to any place or person he never stayed more than one day in a village or more than five days in a city, except during the rainy season when he did not want to tread on paths that were teeming with life. He took asceticism and ahimsa to their extreme limits. He completely disregarded his body, staying in the cold winter shade and the hot summer sun; even when people physically beat him he paid no attention. He was extraordinarily careful not to injure any form of life while walking or sitting. He strained the water he drank and ate only left-over food that had been prepared for others and had no germinating life in it.

      After twelve years of practicing these austerities he became liberated and free of all attachment to the world. Then he taught others for thirty years before he passed out of the world. He emphasized the five great vows: 1) ahimsa or non-killing and non-injury, 2) non-lying or speaking only the truth, 3) non-taking or not stealing or being greedy in even its subtlest forms, 4) celibacy and renunciation of all sensual pleasures, and 5) non-attachment or not being delighted or disturbed by any outward experience. These disciplines were later incorporated into the preliminary step of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the classical text of yoga.

      Certainly one cannot expect everyone to become as ascetic the extreme Mahavira, but he demonstrated its effectiveness Ahimsa is a cardinal principle in the way of peace, and non-injury is well supported by the self-disciplines which control Iying, stealing, greed, lust, and attachment. For people to be at pea with each other, such self-restraint is essential.

      Siddartha Gautama (563-483 BC) was also born as a prince in a small state in India. To prevent him from renouncing the world his father surrounded him with every luxury and removed all signs of old age, disease, death, and religious men. Gautama married and spent his time in the pleasure gardens of the palace. However, by providence the prince happened to observe on his way to the pleasure garden first an old man, then a sick man, a corpse being carried to a funeral, and finally a begging monk. Never having witnessed such sights before, Gautama began to seriously contemplate the meaning of life and its inevitable decay, suffering and death; like the monk he too must try to find a solution to these problems. Therefore he escaped from the palace and became an ascetic, as Mahavira had done. He gave up everything he had in order to beg for his food and search for enlightenment.

      For six years he tried to mortify the flesh. Not bothering to wash, the dirt fell off of him in cakes. Fasting and eating only one seed a day he became so thin that he could grab his spinal column from the front. Finally he collapsed and was near death, but it was at this point that he realized that practicing extreme austerities was not the way to enlightenment and liberation. He had already gained five disciples; but when he went back to begging for food, they all left him. Gautama concentrated on meditation; while sitting under the Bo tree, he overcame all temptations and entered into nirvana or supreme peace. People did not know what to make of this person and inquired whether he was a god, a devil, an angel, a man, or what. Gautama replied simply, "I am awake." Thus he became known as the Buddha, which means the awakened one or the enlight-ened one.

      Buddha based his teaching on four noble truths:
      1) that life is painful and suffering,
      2) that desire and attachment are what causes the pain and suffering,
      3) that pain and suffering may be eliminated by ceasing to desire and be attached to things, and
      4) that the way to eliminate the pain and suffering is by means of the eightfold path which is right understanding, right purpose, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration, and right meditation.
      Having experienced both the extremes of luxury and asceticism, Buddha discovered that the middle way between them was the easiest path. His common sense and acute psychological insights into the whole process of consciousness and its tendencies toward bondage enabled the Buddha to teach a universal doctrine which would work for many people. His middle path was easily accessible to everyone, and he encouraged women as well as men to follow his path of enlightenment. He demonstrated and taught what he called the fourfold infinite mind of love, compassion, rejoicing, and equanimity.

      For fifty years he taught, and his following grew steadily. One year when there had been a drought, a dispute developed between the Sakyas and the Koliyas over the water of the Rohini River. As the conflict increased to the brink of war, the Buddha placed himself on the river bank and asked why the Sakya and Koliya princes had assembled. They replied that they were about to do battle, and he asked why. The princes were not sure, so they asked the commanders who had to ask the regent who in turn questioned the farmers on the details. The Buddha then asked them to compare the value of the water and the earth to the value of the princes and men. After a while the Buddha was able to persuade them to refrain from fighting, and thus much bloodshed was avoided.

      The Buddha taught that one ought to give ungrudging love even to the man who foolishly does wrong to one. Such a man hearing this about the Buddha went to him and abused him. The Buddha silently pitied his folly. When the man finished, the Buddha asked him to whom a present would belong if a person refused to accept it. The man replied that it would still belong to the one who offered it. The Buddha then told the man that he could keep his abuse, and he observed what a misery it would be for the man The Buddha said to him, "A wicked man who reproaches a virtuous one is like one who looks up and spits at heaven; the spittle soils not the heaven, but comes back and defiles his own person. The slanderer is like one who flings dust at another when the wind is contrary; the dust does but return on him who threw it. The virtuous man cannot be hurt, and the misery that the other would inflict comes back on himself." The abusing man was ashamed and later became a follower of the Buddha.

      Even when Devadatta, one of the disciples, tried to have the Buddha murdered because he had not been chosen as his successor, the Buddha harbored no resentment. The hired assassins were converted by the Buddha's loving kindness. When Devadatta caused a schism in the order, the Buddha allowed everyone to follow whom-ever they chose. Finally when Devadatta was dying and suffering the torment of his own karma, the Buddha assisted him spiritually so that in a future incarnation he would have a good opportunity to attain Buddhahood.

      The ethical teachings of the Buddha are poetically expressed in the Dhammapada. What we are is the result of our thoughts. The person who is always complaining is full of hatred, while the person who forgives is filled with love. "Everyone trembles at punishment, everyone loves life; remember that you are like them, and do not kill nor cause slaughter." Do not speak harshly to anyone, for angry speech is painful. "Let a person overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome greed by generosity, and Iying by truth." The person who uses violence is not just; rather the just person learns and uses intelligence to distinguish right from wrong and to guide others. A good person is tolerant with the intolerant, mild with the violent, and free from greed among the greedy.

      In the third century BC the great King Ashoka was converted to Buddhism and promoted Buddhist teachings throughout India and even sent Buddhist teachers to the rulers of Syria, Egypt, Cyrene, Macedonia, and Epirus. He financed Buddhist education and erected pillars in many places declaring his intention to practice and spread the dharma (doctrine, duty). No longer would he conquer by arms and punishments, but he would be merciful and encourage devotion. He ruled the tremendous domain of most of India and portions of Afghanistan, Sind, Kashmir, Nepal, and the lower Himalaya. During his reign there were protected wells, public granaries, medical treatment for all people and even for animals, and public servants to prevent unjust imprisonment and to help large families and the aged. Animals, birds, and forests were protected, and King Ashoka became a vegetarian and lived like a Buddhist monk even while he ruled the greatest empire of his time. Early in the Christian era Buddhism spread to China and from there to Japan and also Tibet. The Buddhist way of life has been a tremendous influence toward peace and has been the most dominant religion of the Orient.
      Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


      • #4

        In our day, most define love as some type of feeling. We "fall in love," or two people meet and it is "love at first sight." But the world's love is a selfish matter. If you are attractive to me, be nice to me, meet my needs and love me I in return will "love" you. The world's love is based on getting something from some else. The world does not give love where is does not benefit themselves. If you do not please me then I have no love for you. Thus for the world love must be earned by making someone else feel good.
        Powerful emotions may accompany love, but it is the commitment of the will that holds true biblical love steadfast and unchanging. Emotions may change, but a commitment to love in a biblical manner endures and is the hallmark of a disciple of Christ. Sadly, the opposite is also true.
        Emotions will vary, but a commitment which has its basis in biblical love will not be affected by the whelm of emotion or of one's circumstances.
        Our example of true love is shown in God's love for the sinner. Romans 5:8 says ". . .commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." The lost sinner living in rebellion and sin is still loved by the Lord. He loved us enough to die for us and pay our sin debt while we were sinning against Him. This shows that true biblical love is a matter of will....not of emotion. God choose to love us and His love was not based on our meriting it in any way.
        1 John 4:8 tells us that ". . . God is love."
        The Apostle Paul's discourse in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, addresses the true righteousness of those who profess Jesus Christ.
        "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth. . . " (1 Cor. 13:4-8a)
        God is telling us that "charity" which is true biblical "love" does not fail. Relationships based on emotion fail, but those based on the tenants of true biblical love NEVER fail. In our text verse John gives a straight forward test of true conversion. He begins by saying, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
        In verse 10 God tells us that those that live in unrighteousness are noted also in that they do not love their brother.
        Verse 11, refers to the text of this message when Jesus said the second greatest commandment was to love one's neighbor as themselves.
        In verse 12 is uses Cain as an example. Cain killed his brother because his on works were evil and his brother's works righteous. Cain had no love for his brother, and the basis of his hatred for his brother was that his brother did right and it incited him to murder.
        In verse 13, John offers comfort to the true child of God who are the object of scorn, ridicule and the unloving abuses. He in verse 14, offers assurance to those who are hurting under the unloving attacks of the worldly.
        "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." This verse plainly states the change that occurs when a person receives Christ. Because the Spirit of God is in them...they are able to without condition love others. This is evidence of true salvation when a person's love for others becomes unselfish.
        Verse 16, states the greatest manifestation of the love the world can know....that Christ laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." He concludes with Verse 18.
        Today many churches promote a "feel good" religion. It is meant to appeal to emotions. This has had the effect of turning people on to emotion and feeling instead of true spiritual biblical love and commitment. Many today are motivated by emotion rather than being motivated by a commitment to the Lord.
        The Bible says we are to grow by the knowledge of the Word of God, not by religious experiences or feelings. Never in any of the Epistles does the New Testament tell us to seek emotional experiences and be guided by feelings. This is an important truth that is being ignored.
        The reason so many are in false doctrine and weak in faith and service to God, and are because they do not honestly know what the Bible teaches about Biblical love and commitment to Christ or they know and refuse to life in love as the Lord instructs. Their relationship with the Lord is based on how they feel rather than on the promises of God's Word. The same is true in their relationships in their marriages, with their children, family and friends. They evaluate their relationship based on the selfish idea that others should make them feel good and if they do not they are not loved or have the right to withhold love towards others. ILLUS: When I first came to Tremonton, I met a woman who was offended because I would not allow Contemporary So-Called Christian Music in our church. She told me in glowing terms how she listened to a Christian Rock Station and the song so helped her get through the day. My friend....think for a moment about what she was saying? She got through the day by hearing a commercial singer, repeating phrases over and over to a strong rhythmic beat and that helped her spiritually.
        By the way...the Buddhists, Oriental mystics and many other pagan religious do the same thing. In fact lost people also find great pleasure in listening to hard ungodly rock music that has the same beat and rhythm. But my friend....does God tell us to be comforted and get through the day by being emotionally charged up or are we to live moment by moment following and trusting in the principles of God's word?
        People can actually become "music junkies" having to have music playing all day. However, the true healing comfort to get us through life's trials can only come from God and through His word speaks to us spiritual in the small quiet voice in our souls.
        God says, Psalms 27:1 "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
        Read with me 1 Corinthians 5:8-18. What a wonderful passage this is. Did you notice what verse 13 says, "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed." Our faith, our hope, our love is based in ONE thing...the Word of God to us.
        This is a long introduction, but let us now look then at the Meaning of Biblical Love:
        A. Jesus said, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment." (Mark 12:30)
        B. As a part and the natural result of loving God is you love your neighbor.
        ""And the second, like it, is this: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31)
        C. A Christian will never love their neighbor until they first learn to love God.
        1. Biblical love is defined by God in His Grace. Grace is "unmerited favor."
        2. It is further defined in the word "agape" that is translated in to the English word "love." The word expresses the highest form of love which is the love of God for mankind. This love is one that is freely given because one wills to give it. It is not based on any merit of the individual.
        3. True biblical love can only be know by the actions that it prompts. It is not the love of complacency or affection, that is not drawn out by any excellency in it objects (Vines.p382).
        ILLUS: If you ask most any church member or profession Christian if they loved the Lord, they would say....certainly! Yet, the faithfulness and obedience of the individual to the Lord shows if their love for God truly exists or is simply rhetoric.
        4. Perfect love is seen the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ agonized over what he would be enduring within hours as He suffered for the sins of all the world. Yet, he said "Not my will, but thine be done." Only a pure love could suffer for the world, fully knowing that most of the world would reject Christ's sacrifice for them. Love produces action...and if love is present it will be seen.
        5. True love will produce sacrifice for the one who is loved. That is why today, some many live uncommitted lives. They are hot one minute and ice cold the next. True biblical love produces stability in one's life.
        ILLUS: I was talking with a good friend who pastors a church in North Carolina. As we ended the conversation he said, "Brother Cooper would pray with me about my church." He then said he had been at the church for almost twenty years. The church was doing well financially...but he said we are the epitome of the Laodicean church. His church was neither hot or cold....basically was only existing doing little or nothing for the Lord. Folks there is a lack of biblical love in that church....because where there is biblical love their is action, commitment and the attitude of sacrificial living for Christ.
        6. Love is not the kind of motivation that is whipped up in an emotional message by a good preacher. Yes, many churches live from week to week getting having to be pumped up by emotional messages each week. Most of that kind of preaching never lasts much past the door of the church. By the time folks get home its over and its back to apathy and being complacent.
        It may be fun to sing catchy choruses, to wave one's arms around in the air and sway to the beat of the music and be charged up emotionally....but that does not produce any lasting spiritual benefit in the life of the participant. When the trial of life comes, and they surely will come upon us all, emotion does not bring comfort. You may turn on you cassette player and listen for a while and have your spirits emotionally lifted, but the problem is not solved.
        However, my friend, when the burdens of life weight you down till you feel like you are being crushed alive.....what brings true help and peace is God's word that promises to His children never to leave to you, never to forsake you. What brings true help is knowing....absolutely... that you are in God's hands and that He loves you more than you could ever know. Music, charged up emotional church service will not give you the strength you need in a time of peril....but God's word will. And dear friends, the preacher who leads such services is not your friend or the friend of leading you astray and God will surely judge him for it. ILLUS: Years ago I worked for six long hard years establishing a church. My wife and I sacrificed to serve that congregation. The church grew in numbers, a building was built and I thought things were going well. Yet, these people that we had loved and given ourselves too for so long turned on us and treated us shamefully. In a business meeting they had a terrible fight over giving us a $50.00 a month increase in our support. We had not had an increase in all the time we were there. Our car was worn out with 160,000 miles on it and but we could not afford to replace it. They church was finanically well off and was banking several hundred dollars per month, but several gossipy ladies in the church opposed the church helping us and no one would stand up for us. It almost killed me and wife. I really thought they were our friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. Clearly they had not love or concern for us. I resigned the church the following Sunday, because I realized they did not love us. It turned out to be a good experience though because I had never really been tested like that before. God used these selfish sinful ladies to test our church memenbers and also our commitment to Him. It was a refiner's fire to see who we were truly serving and if our love of God and the people we served real. I thank God for the experience although it almost destroyed me....but God upheld us, showed us His love and we came out of the experience totally committed to the Lord. Our love is not based in how people treat us, or appreciate what we is based in God's word, His promises, and calling to His preacher and that preacher's dear wife. Carolyn and I today love those people...all of them, even those ladies who still dislike us and who have not changed one bit. Only God could do that in a person's life....only God's love that is shed abroad in our hearts....could cause us to love people who do not love us and so abused us.
        7. Yet, a true love for God, based on His immeasurable love for us...will keep you going when life is black as pitch and trouble is on every side. True biblical love will not be a roller coaster will keep you confidently moving ever forward...steadily for the Lord.
        A. God showed His love and gave His only begotten Son. (John 3:16)
        B. The Lord Jesus Christ loves you and gave Himself for you.
        "Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father" (Gal. 1:3-4)
        Do you understand when it was that Christ died for you? Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Yes, when we were in rebellion against HIm
        C. The Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself as a ransom on your behalf.
        "Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim. 2:6)
        D. The Lord Jesus Christ, in demonstrating His love, served others even though He is the Master.
        READ: John 13:3-17
        III. LOVE HAS SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS DEMONSTRATED BY GODLY DEEDS (thoughts, words, and actions). The test of Biblical love is to do the following, especially when you don't feel like it.
        "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:46-48)
        In 1 Cor. 13:1-7, is called the love discourse. It is a comparison of love verses the selfishness of seeking "gifts." Many miss the context of this passage. Paul was addressing the selfishness of the Corinthians in their seeking to obtain gifts of the Spirit that would draw attention to themselves. These misguided individuals were seeking to be "seen" rather than to serve God. Paul was saying their seeking gifts from God was not motivated by love. By the way dear friend, nothing is changed in that is still going on today in spite of Paul's strong three chapter explanation of the matter.
        A. LOVE IS PATIENT. V4 (Long suffering) Even when you feel like forcefully expressing yourself. Love bears pain or trails without complaint, shows forbearance under provocation or strain, and is steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.
        B. LOVE IS KIND. V4 Even when you want to retaliate physically or tear down another with your words. Love is sympathetic, considerate, gentle and agreeable.
        C. LOVE IS NOT JEALOUS. V4 (envieth not) Especially when you are aware that others are being noticed more than you. Love does not participate in rivalry, is not hostile toward one believed to enjoy an advantage, and is not suspicious. Love works for the welfare and good of the other.
        D. LOVE DOES NOT BRAG. V4 (vaunteth not itself) Even when you want to tell the world about your accomplishments. Love does not flaunt itself boastfully and does not engage in self-glorification. Instead, love lifts and builds up others.
        E. LOVE IS NOT ARROGANT. V4 (is not puffed up) Even when you think you are right and others are wrong. Love does not assert itself or become overbearing in dealing with others.
        F. LOVE IS DOES NOT ACT UNBECOMINGLY. V5 (Does not behave seemly) Even when being boastful, rude or overbearing will get you attention and allow you to get your own way. Love conforms to what is right, fitting and appropriate to the situation in order to honor the Lord.
        G. LOVE DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN. V5 Biblical love is not selfish and self seeking. True Love does not try to fulfill its own desires, does not ask for its own way, and does not try to acquire gain for itself. Love, is an act of the will which seeks to serve and not be served.
        H. LOVE IS NOT PROVOKED. V5 Even when others attempt to provoke you or you are tempted to strike out at something or someone. Love is not aroused or incited to outbursts of anger. Love continues faithfully and gently to train others in righteousness, even when they fail.
        I. LOVE DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT A WRONG SUFFERED. V5 (thinketh no evil) Even when everyone seems to be against you or when people openly attack you. Love does not hold a grudge against someone. Love forgives, chooses not to bring up past wrongs in accusation or retaliation, does not return evil for evil, and does not indulge in self pity. Love covers a multitude of sins.
        J. LOVE DOES NOT REJOICE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. V6 (rejoiceth not in iniquity) Even when it seems like a misfortune was exactly what another person deserved. Love mourns over sin, its effects and the pain which results from living in a fallen world. Love seeks to reconcile others with the Lord.
        K. LOVE REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH. V6 Even when it is easier and more profitable materially to lie. Love is joyful when truth is known, even when it may lead to adverse circumstances, reviling and persecution.
        L. LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS. V7 Even when disappointments seem overwhelming. Love is tolerant, endures with others who are difficult to understand or deal with, and has an eternal perspective in difficulties. Love remembers that God develops spiritual maturity through difficult circumstances.
        M. LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS. V7 Even when other's actions are ambiguous and you feel like not trusting anyone. Love accepts trustfully, does not judge people's motives, and believes others until facts prove otherwise. Even when facts prove that the other person is untrustworthy, love seeks to help restore the other to trustworthiness.
        N. LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS. V7 Even when nothing appears to be going right. Love expects fulfillment of God's plan and anticipates the best for the other person. Love confidently entrusts others to the Lord to do His sovereign and perfect will in their lives.
        O. LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS. V7 This is one of the hardest to practice. Especially when you think you just can't endure the people or circumstances in your life. Love remains steadfast under suffering or hardship without yielding and returns good while undergoing trials.
        P. LOVE NEVER FAILS. V8 Even when you feel overwhelmed and the situation seems hopeless. Love will not crumble under pressure or difficulties. Love remains selflessly faithful even to the point of death.
        Jesus in instructing his disciples made this in the form of a commandment.
        "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)
        A. God willed to love us. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
        1. The word "commended" is the Greek word "sunisthmi" (soon-is'-tay-mee) . It means "to place together" or "to introduce one to another."
        2. While we were in sin and in rebellion against God, (that is what sin is)....He by His own love...placed us together. He made the provision for our sins that we might have by faith forgiveness, from the One we sinned against.
        3. How can we even begin to fathom the depth and space of God's love for us!!
        B. Can we then reflect that love towards others? Can we live on this high and lofty plain. YES....YES...YES WE CAN...IF WE WILL TO DO SO!!
        1. Biblical love of the Lord and for those around us is a matter of one's will.....of having the will to love others because Christ loved us.
        2. Biblical love will motivate you serve matter what the circumstances, it will sail you through discouragements, and dark times that every believer will go through.
        3. Yet, it is not is some we are to "put on." Paul in Romans 13:8, said to "owe no man anything but to love one another." In verse 10, God tells us "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law."
        In Verse 12, he continues "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the amour of light."
        What is the "amour of light?" It is love...true biblical love that puts the heart in us to live for Christ and serve Him.
        Ephesians 4:24, says, "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Putting something on is an act of one's will...not of emotion.
        C. You see love is based in truth. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
        1. This is the truth to all who will by faith received Christ Jesus as their Savior.
        2. Love then is based on truth...not emotion.
        D. What is the practical application of this truth?
        1. Because God save get up on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night and go to the place the church meets to worship God and study together. God commanded it (Heb. 10:25), therefore you obey the Lord.
        2. Because God loved you and saved you from Hell, you put everything of the world second....and Jesus Christ first in all things (Col. 1:18)
        3. Because God loved you and forgave you seek to win your neighbor, friend, co-worker, and the stranger to the Lord.
        4. Because God loved in thanksgiving tithe and give your offerings that the work of the Lord might be done.
        5. Because God loved love and seek to serve your brethren in the church...You overlook their short comings and frailty. You do not criticized them and seek God's best for them.
        6. Because God loved you first.. and suffered and died for willing will sacrifice you all for Him.
        Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


        • #5

          Folks it is that simple! What will you do? Is it to be the status-quo. What will be your attitude when you walk from the building? Have you let the Word of God change you....or are you content to live as a Laodicean...not hot...not cold....not anything of value to the Lord and as Jesus spewed from his mouth.

          I challenge you, dear friend....put on the amour of light....and let the light of God's love shine through you.
          Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


          • #6
            JUDGING OTHERS!

            Is it right to judge others? I have been told, on many occasions, that we must not be judgmental or that we have no right to judge others. Is this true? Before we continue, let us differentiate 'judgmentally' and 'judgment': To be 'judgmental' (nowadays) is to be pompously pious, but to 'judge' is to weigh up matters and to convey one's conclusions.

            1. To judge in any case means to condemn; to deliberately pick-out/select/choose something to argue against; to subject to censure; to pronounce an opinion on what is right and what is wrong. Thus, to judge here can refer to something petty or to something serious.
            2. The judgment in this part of the text is a different word, meaning to condemn the faults of others (with the inferred meaning of being an hypocrite).
            3. A straw, chaff or small twig. A speck of something.
            4. A beam, on the other hand, is a large piece of wood, solid enough to hold up something (like a roof)! No problem in finding it!
            5. The eye here can mean the physical or the metaphorical eye (e.g. to see with the mind's eye...that is, to think rather than to actually see).
            6. An actor or pretender; a dissembler; to feign/impersonate/simulate. Two-faced!
            7. To pull out violently or sternly; to excrete out; to tear out quickly; One thing overcoming another thing; to reject with contempt.
            If we check these meanings against the text, then, we will soon discover that judging others is not the issue in this text...the argument is aimed at those who are hypocrites. They pretend to be 'holier-than-thou' but they condemn the very same things they themselves are guilty of. They see (in their minds) the massive flaws in others and blow them out of all proportion, whilst their own flaws (of the same kind) are much greater and far more obvious. These are warned to take a close look at themselves and to rectify their own errors immediately. Only then may they approach others, in an attitude of humility, in order to help/warn them.
            In Luke 12:56,57 the Lord scoffs at us for refusing to judge even the smallest of things: "(Ye) hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" The sense of this is very straightforward - we are all very good at judging the weather and other observable things. We even judge things we know nothing about! Yet, we pretend not to be able to judge other Believers! I say 'pretend', because that is exactly what is done. To our faces, people tell us they cannot judge...but behind our backs, it is a different story! Even if we say we never discuss the flaws of others, the very fact that we say that means that we inwardly and secretly think about it and we inwardly judge. It is farcical and dishonest to say that we do not judge Christ Himself observed.
            As we see in John 5:30, the judgment of Christ is perfect, because it is based on the Father's will. This is reinforced in later Biblical texts, which point out that when we judge, we must do so righteously (i.e. in God's will). Then, in 1 Corinthians 6 etc., we are castigated by the Apostle for not judging each other and for letting our arguments spill over into the world. We shall judge the world and the angels one day...yet we claim we cannot judge each other in the smallest of matters? Rubbish! says the Apostle. Indeed, he is disgusted with us and says " I speak to your shame".
            If we may not judge each other, then what on earth did Paul mean when he said "I speak unto wise men; judge ye what I say"? Unless we wish to make complete nonsense of language, it means that we should examine and pass conclusions. That is, we must judge! It is important that we judge each other, because by doing so we will not be judged by the world. And when we are judged, it is for the purpose of chastening, stopping us from doing wrong and urging us to do good. It is a dynamic way of faith.
            It is a sad reflection on our Christian lives that so few Believers are willing to be judged by their fellows. They prefer to carry on in their sins than to change their lives. On the other hand, every Christian thinks he is always right in his judgment when, in fact, he is merely expressing badly formed and highly subjective opinions. Godly judgment has nothing in common with opinions of men! True judgment is a careful weighing-up of the facts. They are measured against scripture (our only source of declared truth). If they fall below the Biblical standard, then they are judged to be wanting and a warning may be issued. Judging others is partly a function of discipline and the aim of all discipline is to bring a person back to God and the right path. We must never be afraid to judge long as we are not guilty of the same things ourselves.
            God requires us, as thinking, rational beings, to order our lives according to His word. We cannot do this without applying judgments, about everyday situations as well as about serious and far-reaching ones. It is a lie to say that we do not judge others, because we do it all the time. Like the evangelical smile which can hide the face of hatred, a non-judgment attitude can hide a heart full of hypocrisy. Judge, but judge well. Warn, but do not be guilty of the same things. I no longer listen to those who tell me not to judge others - they do not know what they are talking about. Often, their motives are questionable...the one who shouts the most about not judging others, is the most likely candidate for being judgmental in his heart, with hypocrisy.
            Those who say we must not be judgmental may just be sitting on the fence; many Christians are afraid to speak the truth. Others may be guilty of doing what others are doing - so they naturally do not want that sin highlighted by the proper judgment of their fellows. And some are merely ignorant of Biblical teaching on the judging of others. Unbelievers point the finger at Christians who dare to question their humanistic, unbelieving ideas and practices; they claim that Christians must not be judgmental when, in fact, they are really saying "Shut up! We want the world to be run as a godless estate with no holds barred!" Judge and judge well!
            Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


            • #7
              "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance"

              An ignorance a Sunset
              Confer upon the Eye --
              Of Territory -- Color --
              Circumference -- Decay --

              Its Amber Revelation
              Exhilirate -- Debase --
              Omnipotence' inspection
              Of Our inferior face --

              And when the solemn features
              Confirm -- in Victory --
              We start -- as if detected
              In Immortality --
              Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


              • #8
                The only god I ever prayed to was porcelain.

                ~~~~The Peanut Gallery~~~
                Formerly Josephine Schmo


                • #9
                  HATE & ANGER WILL MAKE YOU A SLAVE !

                  While visiting a park, Dale Carnegie observed a grizzly bear eating with a skunk. The grizzly allowed no other animal to eat with him. Although he resented the skunk, the bear would not pick a fight with him. He had no doubt learned the high cost of getting even.

                  Jesus Christ gave us a very valuable lesson when He said, "If someone sues you for your jacket, give him your coat also. If he compels you to walk one mile, go with him two". (Matt. 5:41)
                  It's not always worth a battle to gain our so-called rights. We must determine if the issue is important enough to risk our peace of mind, health and general well-being. It's possible to win a battle and lose the war! There are times it is far better to walk away from a fight, even if it means we have to eat humble pie.
                  Jesus also said, "Love your enemies, pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you". (Matt. 5:44) The law of Moses was more rigid, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". (Ex. 21:24)
                  Sometimes it is far better, however, to walk the extra mile, turn the other cheek, or give away a jacket or overcoat, than to end up with a bad case of nerves, ulcers or sleepless nights!


                  In the past, some have criticized the advice that Jesus Christ gave about loving our enemies as impractical and unrealistic, but psychiatrists are now recommending it as a solution for many ills!

                  The Ayatolleh Khoemeni was wrong when he said: "Like Moses, Jesus the Blessed would have picked up a sword, had He lived longer." Our Lord Jesus said: "...for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (Matt.26:52)
                  Napoleon Bonaparte correctly stated: "I see in Lycurgus, Numa, and Muhammed only legislators who, having the first rank in the state, have sought the best solution of the social problem, but I see nothing there which reveals divinity...
                  "You speak of Caesar, of Alexander, of their conquests, and of the enthusiasm they enkindled in the hearts of their soldiers; but can you conceive of a dead man making conquests with an army faithful and entirely devoted to his memory? My armies have forgotten me, even while living, as the Carthaginian army forgot Hannibal. Such is our power!
                  "Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force! Jesus Christ alone founded His Empire upon love; and, at this hour, millions of men would die for Him."
                  St. Paul stated: "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink...Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Rom.12: 20-21) The Holy Spirit taught him the real values of life! He was a self-righteous Pharisee who thought he was doing God's will by imprisoning and killing Christians. Then he met Jesus on the Damascus Road. He was converted and received a new spirit and world - view!
                  Booker T. Washington, a black American who became famous in spite of prejudices against his colour and who was insulted on numerous occasions, wrote, "I will not let any man reduce my soul to the level of hatred".
                  The famous physiologist Dr. John Hunter, knew what anger could do to his heart. "The first scoundrel that gets me angry will kill me", he stated.
                  Sometime later, at a medical meeting, a co-worker made assertions that incensed Hunter. As he stood up and bitterly attacked the speaker, his anger caused such a contraction of the blood vessels in his heart that he fell dead!

                  In his book, ˜None of These Diseases' Dr. S.I. McMillen relates numerous accounts like the above, which prove that powerful negative emotions can make you sick and even cause death!
                  HATRED HOLDS YOU CAPTIVE!

                  According to medical researchers, verbal expressions of animosity toward others call forth certain hormones from the pituitary, adrenal, thyroid and other glands, an excess of which can cause disease in any part of the body.

                  Says McMillen, "The minute you begin hating someone, you become his slave. Hatred holds you captive and robs you of peace of mind, and your time is spent recounting unpleasant situations. Your enemy consumes your every waking moment and hatred holds your mind hostage."
                  You are tormented by the demons of hatred, jealousy and envy. Your only desire is for revenge. It isn't worth it; let it go! Release the hatred, bitterness and resentment, and the healing powers within you will begin to function.

                  King Solomon stated, that it is better to be served a dish of vegetables with love, than to have the best beef served with hatred. (Prov. 15:17)

                  Internationally known psychiatrist, Alfred Adler, wrote, "The most important task imposed by religion has always been, ˜Love Thy Neighbour'. It is the individual who is not interested in his fellowman, who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from such individuals that all human failures spring".

                  Shakespeare saw the relationship between sin and disease. It was the memory of Duncan's murder that produced psychosomatic overtones in Lady MacBeth. When MacBeth asked the physician about her illness, he replied:
                  "Not so sick, my Lord. As she is troubled with thick coming fancies that keep her from rest." Then the doctor asked:
                  "Canst thou not minister to mind diseas'd, Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
                  Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
                  And with some sweet oblivious antidote
                  Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
                  Which weights upon the heart?"
                  A French proverb says, "There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience". And psychologist Henry C. Link stated, "The emphasis on sin has largely disappeared from the teaching of the very time when psychology has discovered its importance and extended its meanings".
                  The Bible says: "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sins. If we confess our sins (to God) He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1: 7-9) What an opportunity to be forgiven and healed at the same time!
                  Let us take a lesson from the grizzly bear and learn to avoid strife wherever possible! In a complex world, we must learn to co-exist, remembering the Scripture that says, "If it possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men". (Rom. 12:18)
                  In my opinion, Dr. S.I. McMillen's book is one of the greatest ever written, by a physician who - like Dr. David Livingstone - spent years on the Mission field ministering to the many needs of the poor and neglected masses there!


                  Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of things you failed to do?
                  Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


                  • #10

                    Every society is the synthesis of man, of the individual. Society cannot be otherwise than the way we think and feel. Society is the reflection of our inner quality. We choose those leaders who we think can satisfy our material and selfish needs. At the same time, we hope in the coming of a messiah who would grant us a happy, carefree life without diseases and suffering.

                    Have you ever asked yourself – how could this be possible?
                    "¢ How could we ensure a life without suffering and adversities while we act against the laws of life? We devastate and ravage nature, we eradicate animal life and we create an artificial, unnatural environment that is a threat to our own survival.
                    "¢ How could we be happy when we constantly contribute to the misfortune of others by conscious and unconscious action?
                    "¢ How could we be healthy when we tread the path of the mind, of the self?
                    "¢ We resent being criticized while we constantly criticize and slander others.
                    "¢ We resent being opposed while we constantly oppose others and each other.
                    "¢ We resent being ill while we constantly interfere with the laws of life, of nature and tamper with our outer and inner environment.
                    "¢ We have still failed to realize that our egocentric way of thinking and acting leads us to greater suffering and deeper stagnation from the point of view of consciousness.

                    Have you ever considered that we, in our present state, are unable to change anything in our lives unless we are willing to change our thoughts, our set of values, unless we are willing to receive and accept information from those teachers and masters possessing a superior consciousness? We need help and higher guidance to be able to develop and free ourselves from the bondage of ignorance. It is solely ignorance and lack of consciousness that causes misery and suffering, that retains us in the lowest sluggish state from the point of view of awareness and of material existence.
                    Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


                    • #11
                      HUMAN GOAL :

                      A human being has a very short life on earth, even if it lasts for a hundred years. Most people have a relatively good material existence, yet most of us have questions within ourselves that we may or may not be aware of on a conscious level: is it really the meaning of life that we are born, live for a while and then die? Is this really the meaning of life? Or is there something else we are ignorant of?

                      We are looking anxiously for something meaningful. For what? What is it we hope to find in material possessions, in pleasures and in relationships, all transient and perishable and which can all be taken from us at any moment? It is not meant that we should miss material things; that we should relinquish the world of beauty surrounding us. It is not meant either that we should refrain from and reject the material aspect and revert to a primitive stage of development. However, the material aspect should be the means, and not the goal, of our efforts, as it is today. What is it that we really want to find? What are we searching for in life? How do we want to live or to be? Are we longing for stillness, quietness, optimism, strength, peace, happiness, security, comfort and love? All these can be achieved through self-knowledge and the realization of the Devine within ourselves.

                      The kind of security we are striving for today lies mainly on a material, transitory basis. This means that we never actually have any real security at all. Never any real happiness. We may loose our jobs, we may loose our material possessions, and we may loose our beloved ones. We can only reach security within ourselves. How could we build our security on external things, on economical, material aspects, which may be ripped away from us at any moment?

                      Who or what is it that creates, maintains and guides us through our fate? We believe and hope that there exists a divine power, a higher energy closely related to us. What is our relationship to this power (we may call it the creative Divine power)? Can we use it, trust it, and communicate with it? We believe that it is infinitely far away and difficult to reach – even though the creative Divine power is the innermost being of our self. Our true identity is part of this higher energy that permeates and sustains everything. It is divine qualities we are longing for. These belong to our "Divine" spiritual original being. Let it be our goal to gain access to our true being and thereby be reconnected to the Divine power.

                      The Way

                      The original human being – the one we really are – is hardly visible in our mainly outward oriented daily life. This original conscious human being is used by the senses, by the ego, by the intellect and the body solely for the purpose of gaining energy for outer activities.
                      Mental power flows automatically to where we focus or orient our attention. The key to success within all aspects of life is to fully and totally focus our attention to one specific object. To master the mental power means to become a Master in life. If we regularly, continuously orient our attention towards our inner being, on the soul-energy within ourselves, we become automatically more and more conscious of our real being. Then we do not follow blindly our intellect (our thoughts), our lower, primitive feelings and senses, but use them to find the way and the meaning in our present life.

                      The Creative Divine Power, which is the real original energy of the highest frequency, consisting of SOUND and LIGHT, permeates the whole Universe, the immeasurably wide all-encompassing visible universe and the even more immense invisible universe. When we gain contact with this flow of energy and thus make it our leader, we can reach its origin, which is our own origin as well. To rediscover this, our true being, the home of the soul, is the real meaning of the human life.

                      If we follow this path and connect ourselves more and more to this power, the qualities we are longing for come to us automatically. We could say that they are bi-products making it possible to live a full and rewarding life without fear for illness or sufferings of various nature; a new, higher and perfect life, shortly, our true life that we all consciously or unconsciously wish for.
                      Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


                      • #12
                        God d a m n bible thumper! No one wants to read that c r a p. You already posted it 20 times.

                        Looks like someone who ran away like a goat is trying to get my goat now.

                        Hencefore, I will ignore any posts by Truth.

                        You really need to change your name to LIAR, it is more befitting.
                        Formerly Josephine Schmo


                        • #13
                          NEW >

                          :: The Possibilities and Dangers of Meditation ::

                          People meditate nowadays as matter of fact as they eat breakfast or brush their teeth. Some meditate in order to reach fulfillment of their various wishes, some for peace of mind, a form of relaxation. Others meditate in order to obtain or develop so-called supernatural, transcendental, extrasensory abilities. Some people do it in order to influence others, and still others aim at liberation, salvation from bounds of matter, of the senses. With such goals one can reach the lowest, intermediary and the highest level of the mind, of the senses of perception, but not further, never to the plane of spiritual awareness. There are many paths in meditation that lead nowhere at all.

                          The subject of meditation is directly connected to the purpose of human life, the development of consciousness - of the spirit or soul in man. The highest goal in life is self-realization and the realization of God. But how many are those who meditate of longing and the love of God? Before we even think of meditation we have to understand the purpose of human life and make decisions for our goal. What is the purpose, what do we want to achieve by way of our meditation?

                          The proper meditation is to turn our attention to the area of our forehead, between the eyebrows, above the base of the nose, where the soul, the mind and the thought (the intellect) have their seat. The eyes shall always be shut. We have to rid ourselves of thoughts and feelings so that we experience a sort of a state of void where there exist no thoughts, no feelings. When we have learned to constantly maintain stillness during meditation, then, and only then we begin our spiritual development. When we have a strong longing to be merged with the creative power, God, and will with all our heart follow the true teacher, Master, then are we ready for the second initiation. Initiation in the energy field of the sound and light. After such an initiation the contact with the influence of the negative world of perception, the astral world is broken.

                          When we start our meditation according to the guidance of the Master, we see nothing but darkness. Light develops from darkness, when we have already left he domain of senses, of perception, and not the other way around. As we continue our meditation, we begin to discern a white light; a star appears in the darkness, growing in size and intensity. When we become one with this light, this Divine power, completely and totally, then we have taken our first step towards a spiritual development. It is then that the inner Master emerges within us as a figure, a being of light. It is then that the initiate understands for the first time in his/her spiritual journey that there is no difference between the outer and the inner teacher, Master. It is the same power, the same energy consisting of Sound and Light, which we call The Highest Creative Force, The Field of Unit, God of the Central Sun.

                          From the center of the inner eye (the third eye) one has to pass five further steps before reaching the goal, the source of immortality, the field of omniscience, the dimension of immaterial eternity and infinity, the absolute consciousness. Normally, this takes three incarnations after initiation, depending on the efforts and perseverance of the individual. When we have reached the last stage we really understand for the first time the meaning of life. It is one thing to think that we intellectually understand the meaning of life, and a totally different thing to become conscious of it on a spiritual plane. All true masters have gone the same way. We all walk in each other´s footsteps; some have gone further, others follow after.

                          The universal love, "harmony" that grows stronger and stronger within us through meditation, is the strongest "weapon" that there is. An attacker usually has to take blows, but what can you do to someone who comes with unconditional love? You will love him back! This love is not only soft and patient; it is also strong and more powerful than anything else in the world.

                          There are students (disciples) who teach and guide others before they themselves reached the goal concerning their inner development and have been appointed by a true Master living among us, here and now. Anybody can lecture on the cosmic teaching without having actually understood its real implication. But in order to understand or explain the spiritual teaching in its proper context, one has to have reached the goal of his/her own spiritual development. Most disciples believe they communicate with some highly developed so-called master without really knowing what they actually communicate with.

                          In reality, they communicate with the astral dimension, the world of the mind, of the senses, even called, the collective unconscious memory bank. These disciples most often get stuck in the lower, middle, or higher regions of the astral world, the world of the mind, and rove about there until they get tired and understand the teachings of the living master and apply them in their way of living. If a student, a disciple has the right communication, he/she communicates with some being from the highest regions of the astral dimension, he/she will receive the message telling him to follow the teachings of his master on earth. In other cases the student communicates with the middle or the lowest regions of the astral world. The only thing allowed for a student, a disciple who has been initiated by a true living master is to quote the words of his master and to contemplate about and around his explanations.
                          Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


                          • #14
                            Josie Jo
                            posted September 02, 2004 01:37 PM

                            God d a m n bible thumper! No one wants to read that c r a p. You already posted it 20 times.

                            Looks like someone who ran away like a goat is trying to get my goat now.

                            Hencefore, I will ignore any posts by Truth.

                            You really need to change your name to LIAR, it is more befitting.


                            HATE & ANGER WILL MAKE YOU A SLAVE !
                            Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


                            • #15

                              The Bible speaks about every person needing forgiveness and every person needing to forgive. Why? Because we are all sinners in need of God's forgiveness. None of us is perfect. We need God's grace and we need to extend that same mercy to others. This subject is the very essence of true Christianity. Until we understand it, we will not really understand God Himself.

                              Likely, if you are reading this page, you want to receive God's forgiveness, and you want to forgive. You want your slate to be clean. The problem is how? If we do not receive this grace from God, and extend it to others, the Scriptures make it clear that we will die in our sins. God has made forgiveness so important, that all our happiness and fulfillment depend on it--in this life and in the next.

                              He knew that all of us, without exception will be wronged. Furthermore, all of us will treat others wrongly. All of us will sin against God and others. These sins block and hinder our relationship with Him. Jesus spoke more of forgiveness than possibly any other topic. This is a lesson we must learn on deeper and deeper levels until the very core of our being is changed into Love.

                              There is no life apart from God's love. Therefore, there is no life apart from forgiveness, for forgiveness is the seal, the mark, and the proof of Love. If we say we have love and cannot walk in forgiveness, we deceive ourselves, and our "love" is only a parody of the real thing.

                              We All Need Forgiveness

                              The psychologist, Freud, accurately determined that the main source of all humanity's woes are feelings of guilt. He came to this profound truth, but didn't know what to do with it. Today, we are encouraged by pop psychologists to "feel good about ourselves," and to do away with the troubling guilt that we all have. The Bible teaches the opposite. It says we must face our sin and deal with it--and only then can we have the peace that the world craves so badly. It can be a frightening and painful thing to face our sin, yet we will never receive healing unless we do. Our guilt will continue to torment us and wreak havoc on our lives until we receive forgiveness for our sins. The key is not to ignore our guilt or try to gloss over it, but to face it and seek God for forgiveness, through the blood of Jesus.

                              When Jesus died on the cross, He took our punishment upon Himself. He took the guilt of our sins and bore them in our place. He received all the emotional pain of the abuse, betrayal, injustice, and scorn that we ourselves have given and received. In a prophetic portrait of the future Christ, Isaiah wrote, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" Isaiah 53:5.

                              In Hebrews 9:22, it says, "In fact, under the Law, almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins" (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).

                              The weight of sin is so great that only shed blood can atone for it. We treat it so lightly, yet all the world is reeling and stunted and dying under the consequences of it. In the days of the Old Covenant (before Jesus came), God made laws requiring specific animals to be sacrificed to atone for certain sins. The one who committed the sin, was to slay the animal himself. We look at the Old Testament and wonder why God would be so strict, so seemingly cruel, and so specific. In confusion, many of us have said "Well, that is how God was back then..." and we try to put it out of our heads. There is something we must understand about God though. He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. What He hated 2,000 years ago He hates today, and will hate 2,000 years from now. He hates what destroys His creation, and He will be merciless against all forms of sin and injustice until every last bit is purged from us. (Please note that He is merciless with the sin, but not the repentant sinner!!)

                              Sin has destroyed this planet far more than even the most perceptive of us can realize. Only by shedding blood can we understand the extreme consequences of the price of sin. The shedding of blood is a vivid illustration that all sin will end in death. God, in His mercy, has allowed us to see and receive a small portion of the consequences of our sin in this lifetime, so we can change while we still have the opportunity to do so. After we die it will be to late.

                              When we see that the price that we must each pay for our sins is lifeblood of something or someone-- and that there is no way around it--the dept must be paid, only then we begin to have a true appreciation of what happened on the Cross.

                              If we do not understand the Cross, we can never receive absolution from the guilt that eats away at us. The Cross is essential for us to have new life. It is our only path to freedom.

                              Walking In The Joy Of A Clean Conscience

                              Up to this point, you may be feeling less optimistic than you did when you started this article. If you are, it is a good sign. Believe it or not, you are closer to freedom than you have ever been! As we stated earlier, to be free from any problem, we must first recognize that we have one. Sometimes this is the hardest part. Recognizing and dealing with our sin is the only way to overcome the consequences of it. Are you ready for the good news now?

                              You can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you were to die tonight, you could stand before your Creator with a clean conscience. You don't have to rely on hopeful wishes or vague optimism. You can be washed clean and fragrant and sparkling. You don't have to hide from the guilty feelings that oppress you deep inside. You don't have to mete out penance for yourself to ease your conscience. You don't have to feel unworthy to come before the Lord in prayer, or accept the evil things Satan would try to do to you as your "punishment" from God. (Satan loves to masquerade as God Himself)!

                              God already punished Jesus in your place. If you were to receive your true punishment, you'd already be long dead! God's grace has kept you alive this long for a reason. Part of it is bringing you to this very place so you can hear Him calling out to you. It's not too late! No matter what you've done, it isn't too late for you to repent and to change you ways! If you are willing and ready to change your life, God is more than ready to help you, forgive you and restore you.

                              When Jesus cried out "It is finished!" on the cross, and took His last breath, the curtain in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. This curtain was extremely thick, and separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. This inner sanctuary was where the presence of the Living God dwelled. No unclean thing could enter into this sacred place. A priest only went in once a year and if he had any sin in his life, he would die as he came to minister before the Lord. Yet, when Jesus finished the work on the cross, that curtain that kept us away from God's presence was ripped open, symbolizing a new relationship that we can now have with the Living God.

                              Jesus' atoning death on the cross made it possible for us to receive complete access to the presence of God. We can be forgiven of all our sins and no longer need to cower in the distance, afraid to face God. This problem has been dealt with once and for all, but we need to apply it for it to have any significance in our lives. This will not work if we agree only in theory. It must become a practical action in our lives.

                              Steps to Receive God's Forgiveness

                              Forgiveness is not automatic. Through the blood of Jesus, every person alive has the opportunity to receive forgiveness, but it does not happen involuntarily. The Bible makes it clear that there are some conditions we must meet to obtain God's forgiveness. Let's look at the following verses to find out what we must do to obtain forgiveness.

                              1. 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

                              Hosea 14:2-3 "Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: 'Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips...We will never again say 'our gods' to what our own hands have made'" (NIV).

                              From the above verses, the first thing we see is that we must confess our sins. We must recognize where we have erred, and hurt God by our actions. When confessing your sins to God, be as specific as you can. General confessions do very little to convict of sin, or to convince God of your seriousness, or to bring healing in those areas.

                              2. Isaiah 55:7 "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

                              Ezekiel 18:21, "But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die."

                              Our next step in receiving forgiveness, is to turn from our wicked ways and change them. We may struggle with a certain sin, but if our intent is truly to change our ways and overcome that sin, God will give us the grace to do it. Many want to receive forgiveness from God without changing their ways. God knows the difference between those who are sincere and those who are using Him to temporarily ease their conscience. He is not mocked or deceived. If one comes to him in sorrow, humility and sincerity, His grace is abundant. However, He has little patience for those who would abuse His mercy. Search your heart and ask God to give you the grace for true repentance, and the power of the Holy Spirit to make the changes you need to do. His greatest joy is to help those who repent in sincerity.

                              This should include asking forgiveness of those you have wronged and making restitution to them. True repentance will always be accompanied by corresponding actions.

                              3. Along these lines, the Bible also makes it clear that we are to "make right" any situations where we have failed in our responsibilities to others.

                              Matthew 5:23-25 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

                              Romans 13:7 "Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor" (NIV).

                              If we are sincere in our repentance we must be willing to pay the penalty for our crimes against others. This could include restoration of any goods, monies, or services that were taken wrongfully, (or never given at all, if we owed them). The Lord says to "agree with our adversary." If we are in dispute with someone, that means we must admit to what we have done and quit trying to defend ourselves. If we are in the wrong (even partially) it is better to take responsibility for it, than to argue for our rights.

                              Many of us have failed to give honor and respect to those who are due it. That includes elders of any kind. They may be our parents, those in ministry, government leaders, our employers, those who are merely older than us in general, etc. Even if we don't agree with all their decisions, we are to honor and respect them for the office and position they hold. We are to refer to them with respect, both to their face and behind their back. Furthermore, God also commands us to treat everyone with common courtesy and respect regardless of who they are, because they are created in His image. Again, we do not have to concur with everything they do, but we owe them basic respect, out of respect for God. In fact, how much we really respect God will be evident in how we treat others.

                              If you have failed to show proper respect and/or honor for someone, it is your responsibility to apologize (if applicable), and to change your ways. No one can do this for you. If you do not change your ways, you will face the inevitable slide into prideful self-deception and self-righteousness, both of which are an abomination to God.

                              4. Matthew 6:14-15, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

                              Mark 11:25-26 (Amplified) "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop--leave it, let it go--in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your (own) failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings."

                              These verses are perhaps some of the least applied Scriptures in the Kingdom of God. Somehow, many of us are deceived into thinking that we do not have to take them literally. However, Jesus emphasized this principal over and over again in His parables and teachings. If we receive God's forgiveness, it is our duty to forgive those who have wronged us. The two are inseparable. Jesus said plainly that God will not forgive us, if we do not forgive others. Many Christians are full of condemnation and guilt because they still feel the weight of their sins, even though they've asked God to forgive them. Could it be that they have not been able to receive God's forgiveness because they still have bitterness in their own hearts toward others? Sometimes, we may carry bitterness and hurt so long, that we no longer even recognize it as a problem. It becomes a part of our very nature. We may not scheme for revenge, but our souls are clouded with a quiet, persistent bitterness.

                              Some of us have been betrayed in devastating ways, and have suffered profoundly at the hand of abusive people. Others have been horribly mistreated by those of other races, nations, and religions. If you are suffering with deep unhealed wounds, know the Lord has also been hurt with your pain. He loves you and wants to heal you. It is because of His great love for you that He is calling you to forgive. It is your only release from the emotional prison that you are now in.

                              You do not have to live in a continual state of submission to evil emotions. You can be free of them, through the power of the cross. "Behold, I make all things new" says the Lord. You can be made new on the inside, and no longer staggering under a load of bitterness, hatred, pain, and depression. God wants to set you free right now!

                              Forgiveness In Practice

                              If you have been wounded, God will take even this frustration and pain of rejection in your life and work it for something good so you can be a vessel of healing to His people--if you let Him.

                              "...But what if they don't even see how bad they've hurt me?" Whether they see it or not is between them and the Lord. Your responsibility is simply to forgive them.

                              "...I'm afraid if I forgive, I'll only get hurt again." If you call on the Lord for wisdom He will help you in your situation. If you are in an abusive relationship/partnership/friendship you need to pray about whether you should stay in it. You can still forgive them, but it doesn't mean that you have to live with, or be closely associated with them. There is a difference.

                              "...If I forgive them, they'll only go on hurting others." If the person who hurt you has done it in an illegal way such as sexual abuse, theft, murder, etc., you have a responsibility to do all you can to stop others from being hurt in the same way. However, you can still forgive them, in the sense that you do not actively hate them, and can pray for God's mercy on them.

                              When God forgives us, He no longer holds our sins against us. Therefore, we don't have the right to hold others' sins against them--not if we belong to Jesus. If we belonged to the world, we could indulge in bitterness, but the blood-bought child of a merciful King has no such right.

                              Whether we "feel" forgiveness in our hearts or not, we are under obligation to obey God. As we obey Him, He will supply the feelings. Obedience must come first, then the right feelings will follow. We can't wait for a special nudge from On High to get us to do what His Word already tells us plainly to do. The longer we wait, the worse off we will be. Oswald Chambers, in his famous devotional, "My Utmost For His Highest," preaches strongly about this concept:

                              "Revise where you have become stodgy spiritually and you will find it goes back

                              to a point where you knew there was something you should do, but you did not do

                              it because there seemed no immediate call to, and now you have no perception,

                              no discernment; at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of

                              spiritually self-possessed."

                              The best way to be rid of bearing a grudge against someone (or a race, nation, gender, or church, etc.), is to confess it to the Lord and seek His help. Then, begin to pray for that person as if you were praying for yourself.

                              "Lord, bless so and so. Cause their way to be pleasing to You in all that they do. Lead them closer to you! Cleanse them of all sin and give them the grace and strength to repent of any wickedness in their heart. Cause them to thirst for intimacy with You, and let them be fulfilled in Your presence. Let them honor You and put You first in all their ways. Send Your Holy Spirit to minister to them, to strengthen them, and to lead them. Let them fulfill the call of God on their life. Bless their family/job/ministry/etc. Cause them to be fruitful and to be established in your love. Minister to them in the area of their deepest needs. Help me to be truly concerned for them. Let me have your heart for this person. Show me how to pray for them and love them as you want me to...."

                              Then, bind away any spirit of deception that has come over them, or anything else the Lord may show you in prayer. This is what "loving our enemies" is all about. It is looking past the sin they have committed against us, and honestly wanting the best for them and for God to be merciful to them.

                              Matthew 5:44-48: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

                              As you are faithful to pray for those who have wronged you in this way, you will see a change come about in them--and in you!!! Instead of hate, you will begin to have God's compassion for them. There is nothing that pleases the Lord more than to see His children bearing each other's burdens, loving each other from the heart, and living in humility toward each other.

                              "Standing on the promises of God"

                              Many have written us with a fear that perhaps they have "gone too far." They have continually struggled with a besetting sin that seems to master them again and again. They wonder if they have lost their salvation, if God has given up on them, of if they were ever truly saved at all.

                              Please know this: If you are crying out to Him for forgiveness, it is only because He has given you the grace to do so--and He WILL answer your heart's cry. If you were past the point of no return, you wouldn't even care about the concept of forgiveness. It is only because you belong to the Lord that you are still seeking Him.

                              Jesus said in John 6:37, "All whom My Father has given (entrusted) to Me, will come to Me and I will most certainly not cast out--I will never, no never reject one of them who comes to Me" (Amplified).

                              If you are feeling weak, understand this about your beautiful Savior: "He does not crush the weak, or quench the smallest hope..." (Matthew 12:20, Living Bible).

                              God loves you and He is on your side to help you overcome sin. He is not against you. He is for you. Please refer to the above (and following) scriptures as often as you feel the need--as often as the devil would whisper lies of condemnation in your ear (Satan literally means "Accuser" and that is what he does best). Jesus stood against the devil with scripture and we should do the same thing! These promises are true and precious, for "God is not a man that He should lie" (Numbers 23:19). Even if you don't "feel" forgiven, that is beside the point. God's word is truer than our emotions.

                              All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That is why Jesus died for us in the first place! This is the most basic tenant of Christianity, yet it seems it is the primary lesson we all must learn again and again. God doesn't love us because we are worthy. He loves us because He IS Love.

                              Hebrews 10:18-23, "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)

                              1 John 4:16-18 (NIV), "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him. In this way love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

                              Psalm 103: 8-13, "The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him."

                              Psalm 34:18, "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."

                              Isaiah 44:22 (NIV), "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me for I have redeemed you."

                              Micah 7:19, "He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

                              Psalm 103:2-3, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;"

                              Romans 10:11, "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

                              Jesus said that the one who is forgiven much will love much. We all need to be forgiven of much, but very few of us recognize it. If you recognize your sins and mourn deeply because of them, you are closer to true love than all the multitudes who are doing "just fine."

                              However, just as there is a time to mourn for our sins, there is also a time to rejoice that we are truly forgiven and clothed in the very righteousness of Christ Himself. Once we have been forgiven, God wants us to walk free of the burden of guilt. That is why He assures us over and over in His word that He literally forgets our sins. I used to think preachers only made that up, until I saw it in the Bible. As if forgiveness were not enough, God also gives us the royal robes of holiness to wear. In Him, we are made righteousness in Christ. If that is not something to rejoice about, nothing is! Praise God!!!

                              2 Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

                              It Is Utterly Impossible For Love To Be Defeated

                              In all of God's creation, one thing can absolutely never be defeated, and that is Love. Though it has been trivialized, mocked, perverted, ignored, and trampled on, True Love will eventually change the whole order and fabric of creation. It is impossible for this not to happen. God is Love, and God will never be defeated. Love cannot fail, but it will vanquish every foe that is set against it, of which unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and pride are a part. These things will cease absolutely one day. But we can hasten that day and speed it's coming, by applying the parameters of love to our lives now. If we do this, we wage spiritual war with the most powerful (and essentially only) weapon of spiritual warfare that there is.

                              We all love to talk about love in the abstract, but the depth of our commitment to it is revealed in our willingness and ability to forgive. It is the true measure of what sort of warrior we really are, in the kingdom of God. No matter what accusations the Enemy may make, forgiveness drowns them in the blood of Jesus, and turns the bullets of his words into butterflies. That is why forgiveness and walking in love cannot be mere options for the Christian. Either we do it, or we don't. If we don't, we deceive ourselves that we are Christ's followers. If we want to follow Jesus then we must walk where He walked. We must forgive as He forgives and love as He loves. The simplicity of this gospel is the only thing that can and will transform us--and the world!

                              We've all heard these words, but let's read them again from the Amplified Bible:

                              "Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; it is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited--arrogant and inflated with pride; it is not rude (unmannerly), and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking ; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it--pays no attention to a suffered wrong. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness , but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best about every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything (without weakening). Love never fails--never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
                              Are you sure you've never hurt anyone? Have you considered the things you speak to others? Jesus warns in Matthew 5:21-22 that even being unjustly angry with someone puts you in danger of judgment. Also, how many people have you hurt because of thing


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