My Thoughts On God And Man
Why I Wrote This Hub
My name is Ben Aidoo. I have been concerned about the difficulties young men and women are having relating to the gospel. In my search for a solution I found the problem is not with young people, it is with how the gospel is taught. For instance, many young people see the gospel as nothing else than rules designed to control their lives.
Erroneous as this perception is, it is strongly held by many young people, and is the main reason they are walking away from the gospel and God. But a careful reading of the gospel would reveal that God compels nobody to love him, because he knows forced love is no love.
Over and over again, we hear Jesus say in the gospel, after he had spoken to the people that "those who have ears should hear". He never forced a single person to accept his words under the threat of punishment or death. All he said was if you don't choose the ways of God, you cannot remain neutral: you have by default chosen the ways of Satan. Unfortunately, Jesus' characterization of the ways of Satan is often misunderstood as punishment from God.
The truth is God does not punish us. He is absolutely good, and from absolute good nothing bad can come. All the same, when we reject God's will, we are in effect telling God's spirit to depart from our souls. When this happens, we open the doors of our lives to Satan and his demonic agents, then bad things begin to happen to us.
On the other hand, accepting God's will is nothing more than, "treating others as you would want you to be treated. The reward for doing this is manyfold; not only would you invite God's spirit to indwell your soul, but you would also have good relationships with your friends and family members, inner peace and the joy of living.
The purpose of this hub is to help young men and women to understand the gospel, and to see it not as rigid rules designed to control their lives, but the pathway to receiving God's wisdom, confidence and strength to help them triumph over the problems they encounter everyday.
Contact me with your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Statement of Faith
I joined Hubpages in search of an internet platform to introduce my views on loving and worshiping God, with the gospel as my light.
By the light of the gospel, I am convinced that people are not condemned to eternal hell fire when they disobey God; rather they are given a chance to find out where they went wrong, and enabled by the Holy Spirit to walk back into the loving arms of God.
By the light of the gospel, I am convinced that the issues of paramount concern in Christianity ought to be loving God with all your heart, mind and soul; and loving your neighbors as you love yourself.
How we interact with each other in a civilized society is adequately regulated by laws promulgated to maintain peace and order. What we do in the privacy of our hearts, minds and homes is between God and us. On judging the private choices of man and woman, God needs no help from us.
To this end, I have devoted my life to highlight "faith" as the foundation on which our relationship with God stands. With faith we are able to blow away the fog of ignorance, and see God in his true nature: a loving and caring God who created us to be safe and happy in this life.
Confrontation: God and Man
Nonbelievers go to pathetic extent to prove that God does not exist. Beneath the surface, though, nonbelivers are believers seeking evidence to justify their belief in God. When we see nonbelievers as seekers of knowledge, we can then persuade them to use spiritual means to find evidence that God exists.
Simply reading the Ten commandmnets to nonbelievers, and telling them to accept Jesus as their personal savior will not work. They need to be convinced with evidence they can test that God exists, as they are convinced that two atoms of hydrogen added to one atom of oxygen produce water.
The spiritual tool needed to find evidence that God exists is faith. How faith leads nonbelievers to that evidence is found in its definition in Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen."
Pulse for a moment and think about the definition of faith. By faith you can see the substance of what you hope for, and see evidence that God truly exists. While you cannot see God physically, with your soul you can see God. To put it in another way, you have a physical body and a soul. With your soul you can see things your eyes cannot see.
But your soul needs to be enabled to see the things of God. This would occur when you treat others as you would want to be treated. In doing so you are expressing God's love for your neighbors, while at the same time making your soul a hospitable dwelling for the Holy Spirit.
Once the Holy Spirit indwells you, your soul will see God, and present the evidence to your conscious mind in the form of hope. The hope that God will manifest himself in your life: analogous to how you cannot see the wind, yet you can feel it when it touches your face. Read my articles on The Meaning of Faith for more detail on faith.
How Does God Respond to Your Prayer
You pray to God because you believe he is a living spirit, and you continue to pray to God because you expect a response from him, otherwise you wouldn't take the time, and make the effort to pray.
Unfortunately, many believers fall by the wayside and turn away from God, while many more are simply hinging on not getting the full benefit from their relationship with God. This is happening because they don't recognize God's response to their prayers.
God is spirit, he responds to your prayer in spirit. Now what does that mean? It means God would give you his divine wisdom, confidence and power to enable you create the conditions to materialize what you ask for in prayer.
After God has done his part, he expects you to use his divine wisdom to find the relevant information about the problem you face. Then applying the knowledge acquired from that information to bring the desired results in your life, without causing harm to your neighbors.
In other words, God will not take part in any action of yours that causes harm to another person. For example, God will not participate in your effort to rob a bank, or covet your neighbor's wife.
Secondly, God expects you to use his divine confidence to ask questions, seek help from those with knowledge on what you desire, and knock on closed doors without fear or hesitation.
Thirdly, God expects you to use his divine power to move your arms, legs and entire body into taking action. If you have a medical problem that stops you from doing what you want to do, then first take care of the medical problem. Once you are well again, allow nothing to stop you from doing what you need to do to improve the condition of your life.
With the power of God you can remove all physical and spiritual obstacles in your path toward improving the condition of your life. When you run into any obstacle that stops you from taking a particular action, say to the obstacle, "By the power I receive from God I will not be stopped". When you act as you speak, eventually the obstacle would be removed from your path, and you will see the hand of God at work in your life, (First Corinthians 10:13).
God's divine wisdom, confidence and power come with additional benefits. You would receive spiritual protection against the spiritual forces of evil. You would also receive God's blessing so that your efforts would bear fruits to improve the condition of your life.
In all this, remember that God's time is different from man's time. He knows the effects of what you ask for in prayer long before you ask for it. Therefore, wait for God's time, and be aware that God's response to your prayer, does not normally come in material form, but in the form of divine wisdom, confidence and power to enable you create the conditions in which the things you pray for take material form in your life.
God is alive and he is faithful. He will give you what you ask for in prayer when you recognize his response. On the other hand, if you have doubt that God is alive, talk to your priest, or contact me at email@example.com.
The Word As A Spiritual Person
The Word of God as represented by the gospel is a living spiritual person. At appropriate times, he reveals spiritual information about mysteries that have been hidden from previous generations. In our time, the question that arises at the point of deciding whether or not to believe in God is: "Does God exist?".
In wanting answer to this question, don't expect that God would reveal the mystery of his existence through powerful and learned individuals. If God's choice of Jesus and his disciples, is anything to go by, we can be certain God would reveal the mystery of his Word through lowly and ordinary people.
You don't need a degree attached to your name to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit who reveals the mystery of the Word to men and women chosen by God. By carefully reading the gospel, and living by the will of God, which is nothing more than "treating others as you would want to be treated", you are preparing your soul to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
By revelation and experience we know that faith is the key to unlocking the mystery of God. As defined by Paul, "Faith is the substance of things hope for, and the evidence of things not seen." Faith is concerned not only with believing the gospel, but also searching for the substance of hope, and the evidence of the existence of God.
This search for spiritual revelation through faith is what makes believing in God an exciting experience in the life of the believer. Faith would change how you interact with your neighbors, and give you the tools to create the conditions in which what you hope for would become yours in material form.
By faith you will see the substance of what you hope for, and find evidence that God exists. Read my articles in, "The Meaning of Faith" to find how through faith God will become a living person in your life.
Believing and Receiving By Faith
What did Jesus mean when he said in Mark 11:23, " whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Did Jesus mean when you ask God for a job, you will find the job the next day if you only believe? Did Jesus mean when you ask God to help you pass your final examination, all you need do is believe you have passed the examination and you will have it?
Obviously not, and this is borne out by many people who have prayed for months, for years, and have not still received what they asked for in prayer. What's going on, did Jesus really mean what he said?
By revelation and experience through faith, we are beginning to understand that when we ask God for something in prayer, he does not give us the physical object immediately, or on the next day; although under special circumstance he would. But that is a choice for God alone to make.
A special circumstance would be when your thought and God's thought coincide; at which time a miracle would happen; at which time God will suspend the physical laws of nature, and allow an impossible event to occur in your life.
Normally, God doesn't perform miracles simply because we want him to do so. Instead, he gives us his divine wisdom, confidence and power to create the conditions in which to bring into physical form what we ask for in prayer. You may ask, why doesn't God simply give us the physical object we asked for in prayer? After all, nothing is impossible to God. Why doesn't he just do that for us?
Imagine what would happen to the physical laws of nature if God gave us, in physical form, everything we asked for in prayer. There would be chaos in the universe. A typical example of this chaos would occur when one person wanted the rain to fall, while at the same time another person wanted no rain. How could there be both rain and no rain at the same time?
In his infinite wisdom, God foresees the chaos that would occur if he did everything we asked for in prayer. Consequently, he decided to give us his divine wisdom, confidence and power to enable us to get what the physical laws of nature would allow us to have.
For example, if you want to be a pilot, you need to complete several years of education and training to acquire the skill and competence to fly an airplane. Asking God to make you a pilot in two weeks is not going to happen, because the physical laws of nature would not allow it.
This does not mean God is powerless to grant your request, or God is unable to make possible what is impossible. What it means is God does not want to disrupt the proper functioning of the physical laws of nature he has put in place to govern life and the universe.
Bottom line, was Jesus speaking the truth when he said, "whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours"? Absolutely, because when you ask for something in prayer, God gives it to you in spirit, which is to say, he gives you the divine means to bring into physical form what you asked for in prayer.
Does God Exist
If you've heard this question once, you've heard it a thousand times. I do not intent to start a fight with nonbelievers. I am simply initiating a civil conversation where those who believe God does not exist could give us their reasons why they believe what they believe.
I believe God exists, and the reason for my belief comes from my understanding of the word faith. Some may ague that faith is nothing more than blindly believing an idea as truth without questioning its veracity.
Nothing could be further from the true meaning of faith. As defined by Paul in Hebrews 11:1, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen."
This definition of faith starts us on the search for knowledge, rather than blindly accepting what is claimed as the truth. For instance, to understand the meaning of faith requires that we find the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.
Critics of God would not touch the issue of faith because it takes them into an area of inquiry where human knowledge cannot comprehend. For instance, how can you find the substance of things which have not yet acquired physical form or presence? Again, how can you find the evidence of things which cannot have physical form or presence?
If you think the issue of faith is complicated, wait until we introduce the concept of spiritual knowledge. Here, we may lose those who believe the entire human experience is made up of only physical things. We may also have a heck of a time explaining to those who are not sure one way or another.
What is spiritual knowledge? Asking this question is the beginning of an awareness that the human personality is comprised of two entities: the physical and the spiritual. The physical entity we called the body, and the spiritual entity we called is the soul.
Unlike the body, the soul being a spiritual entity is able to connect with other spiritual entities. This being true, your soul is able to connect with God who is spirit, as we read in John 4:24. Once this connection is made, revelation from God is transmitted through the Holy Spirit to your soul, which in turn transmits it to your conscious mind in the form of spiritual knowledge.
What is the relevance of spiritual knowledge when we receive it? It brings us awareness of the substance of the things we hope, which have not yet acquire physical form or presence, and certainty of the evidence that God exists, although unseen. And we can achieve these things as long as our souls are connected with God in spirit.
Upon reading this you may called it a heap of dung. It is your right to say so, but just as you cannot turn a sunny day to a cloudy day simply by saying so; likewise saying that God does not exist would not make it so.
All around us we see the duality of human experience at play. We see the working of the physical laws of the universe informing us, when we jump from the third floor of a building without a soft-landing device we would break our necks. Similarly, we see the working of the spiritual laws of life informing us, when we "treat others as we would not want to be treated", we would attract negative spirits that would destroy our peace and happiness.
In the end, each person would decide base on the information available to him or her whether or not to believe God exists. But to do so without looking into spiritual knowledge that offers relevant information affecting that decision would be shortsighted.
Is Belief In God The Path To Lunacy
You cannot see him. You cannot hear his voice. You cannot touch his hand. Yet you believe your God exists, speaks to you, and lifts you up when you fall. Aren't you a lunatic?
This question would make sense if the entire range of human experience were nothing but physical. Once you bring into the conversation the spiritual dimension of human experience, you see the first sign of crack in the question, and soon it disintegrates.
We catch glimpse of the spiritual dimension of human experience in the form of a dream, vision, hallucination, or anesthesia.
In a dream we see people and things, hear voices, feel the sensation of touch, and express emotion, as though they were actual experiences until we wake and find they are not. While awake some dreamers can see people and things, or hear voices that those around them cannot see or hear. A day or two after coming out of anesthesia, some patients are conscious of people, voices and things that have all the attributes of real people and things except their physical property.
You may say with a chuckle that these experiences are nothing more than the brain playing tricks on itself. Let me respond by saying, the function of the brain is to collect incoming pieces of information, relate them to stored information in the brain, and provide response options.
Now, why would the brain tell its owner there is a hole in the street that needed to be circumvented when there is not a hole? It wouldn't. In fact, it couldn't because it would not have received information that there is a hole in the street.
Those who see and hear things that others don't, in fact, are seeing and hearing things from the spiritual dimension. Consequently, they are seen as misfits in the physical dimension. All what has happened though, is that their perception has been augmented spiritually to perceive things in the spiritual dimension, consequently, they would be seen as normal people where they living in the spiritual dimension.
Another glimpse of the spiritual dimension is that it is not possible to be asleep and be conscious at the same time, so if you are conscious of what goes on in your dream, and can tell it, or part of it when you wake up, what was it that made you know what was going on in your mind while asleep? It was your subconscious mind.
You thought there is only the conscious mind, but now we know there is also the subconscious mind that is aware of all that goes on in your mind, body and soul while you are both awake and asleep.
The conscious and subconscious are parallel minds. They normally do not intersect, but sometimes they do. When they do, revelation from the subconscious mind is transmitted to the conscious mind. The conscious mind cannot transmit information to the subconscious mind because the subconscious mind is aware of every thought and memory in the conscious mind.
You would also notice that all the people, voices, images and things in your subconscious mind do not have physical properties. If you tried to hold them, your hand would go through them. Where do these non-physical people and things reside?
A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put off the sun by scribbling the word "darkness" on the walls of his cell.— C.S. Lewis
The same question may be asked of where does the flame of a candle go when it is put off. Does it cease to exist once off, or is it transformed, and exists some place in another form? A candle is fuel in its resting state. When a lighter is applied to the candle wick, the fire melts and vaporize the fuel molecules in the wick. The vaporized fuel molecules react with oxygen in the air to produce the candle flame.
Near the tip of the wick is the blue flame where hydrogen is separated from the fuel and burnt to form water vapor. The yellow region of the flame is carbon being oxidized to form carbon dioxide.
After one hour of candle burning has occurred, and the flame is put off. At the very moment the candle flame disappears, the exothermic reaction that produced it ends, but one hour of water vapor and carbon dioxide that did not exist before have come into existence.
Did the candle flame cease to exist when it was put off? No. It continues to exist in a new form, though its function changed in the transition. The new form of the candle flame no longer produces light and heat, it exists in water vapor and carbon dioxide molecules. We have no problem agreeing with this because we have the tools to find the water vapor and carbon dioxide molecules.
You may have guessed where I am going with this, and it is to the question, what happens to physical life when it ends? From the candlelight analogy you wouldn't be surprised to know when physical life ends, it is transformed into spiritual life. Your next question would be, where is the proof?
The proof of the existence of spiritual life is found in Hebrews Chapter 11:1 where we read, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen."
For the spiritual things we cannot see, faith is the spiritual tool needed to find evidence that they do exist. I have made a small attempt at doing so in my articles under the titled, The Meaning of Faith.
Meantime, what is exciting about the inquiry into the meaning of faith, and the belief in God is we shall find that spiritual life is not absorbed into a nebulous whole. Each person would remain as a distinct spiritual entity after death; opening the possibility that you and I would meet George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.; engaged in enlightened discussion with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and have lunch with Madame Curie, Thomas Edison and Eleanor Roosevelt, in spirit.
If you think my belief in God is lunatic; think as you may. But when you die, as we shall all die or be transformed, you shall discover that you are still alive in a different form, and you would wish you had done a thing or two differently when you had the opportunity.
Does Life End With Death
Some people make the argument that upon death we enter a space of nothingness where we lose consciousness, feeling nothing, hearing nothing, seeing nothing, tasting nothing and smelling nothing. Everything about us simply ceases to exist, except our bones which with time would also turn to dust.
Nonbelievers suggest that we are nothing more than flowers of the field that bloom only to die and turn to dust. My question is why limit yourself to only the conscious mind when we know about the subconscious mind which is the mind of the soul, and the superconscious mind which is the mind of God?
On second thought, there is a reason why nonbelievers don't want to explore the existence of the subconscious and superconscious minds. They are afraid they would find the truth, and it would take them out of their comfort zone, and shatter their belief that God does not exist.
Even if we put aside the existence of the subconscious and superconscious minds, the argument that we are nothing more than flowers of the field does not hold water. Obviously, while alive, we are more than flowers of the field.
Besides their beauty and sweet fragrance, flowers of the field do not see, hear, taste, feel or smell as we do. They are not conscious of where they are, as we are every moment of our waking lives. They are not able to make decisions, and change them when new evidence necessitates such change. They cannot express love, hate or go to war as we do.
I don't see, therefore, how in life we are more than flowers of the field, yet it is argued that in death we are nothing more than flowers of the field. It defies logic to make a judgement without taking into account what has happened, or what is happening affecting the matter under consideration.
Hence, any judgement on the relationship between a man/woman and a flower of the field that did not take into account the fact that in life a man/woman is more than a flower of the field would be a flawed judgement; because the aforesaid fact should lead to the conclusion that being more than a flower of the field while alive, a man/woman would correspondingly be more than a flower of the field in death.
If an argument could be made that a man/woman while alive is more than a flower of the field, yet in death is nothing more than a flower of the field; I would most gladly like to hear that argument.
If, as it is true that a man/woman in death is more than a flower of the field, what meaning can be drawn from the phrase, "more than a flower of the field"? The meaning that can be drawn is that human life does not end with death; rather physical life is transmuted into spiritual life.
Upon the death of the body, the spiritual life that leaves the body must have a home somewhere, and that home is the soul. Where the soul finally resides, and the degree of comfort or otherwise that it enjoys depend on the words and deeds, while alive, of the person in which the soul lived.
In his book "Inferno", Dante gives a colorful description of the nine circles of hell depicting the residence of each soul in relation to the words and deeds, while alive, of the person in which it lived. We would cut Dante some slack for arriving at this depiction of hell, as he was a poet of the Middle Ages, and could not escape the medieval concept of hell
New revelations from carefully reading the gospel, have shown that God is absolutely and irreversibly good, and nothing bad could come him. God does not punish us, because punishment is not congruent with his nature. When we reject God's will, we open the doors to our lives to Satan and his demonic agents. And since the Holy Spirit will not share the same space with the demons of hell, the Holy Spirit would withdraw from a corrupted soul.
Once God withdraws the Holy Spirit from a corrupted souls, the affected person becomes vulnerable to the attacks of Satan and his demonic agents. Gradually, the affected person becomes unsure of what is right and what is wrong, insisting that his words and deeds are his own; only to find out when it is too late that all alone he was being influenced to do the wrong things by forces beyond his control.
God does not put upon us a burden we cannot carry. Accepting God's will is nothing more than "treating others as you would want to be treated". By doing this we are demonstrating our love for God in accordance with what Jesus said, "if you cannot love your neighbor who you see everyday, how could you love God who you do not see?"
Accepting God's will is this simple, "to treat others as you would want to be treated". But the reward is immeasurable. Your soul will be in daily contact with God, and not only would you be more than a flower of the field, but your physical death would be the beginning of a new spiritual life.
Oh God, Help Me Overcome My Unbelief
One of the most perplexing events in the gospel occurred when John the Baptist, in Matthew 11:3 sent his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?
This question is perplexing because John had already heard God say concerning Jesus, in Matthew 3:16-17, "This is my son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased." Why would John send his disciples to seek an answer to what he already knew to be true?
At this time, John was in prison, and through his spiritual powers was able to foresee that King Herod would behead him. Apparently, John was hoping, were Jesus really the Son of God to save him from such brutal death. When no help was forthcoming, doubt began to take hold of John, and was prompted to send his disciples to Jesus.
If no lesser a person than John the Baptist, about whom Jesus said, "I tell you the truth: Among those born of women, there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist;" If even John, could be tested to the point where he begun to doubt whether Jesus is really the Son of God, we can be sure that we will also be tested in diverse ways.
It is only a matter of time when each believer will be tested by the problems in his or her life, and these problems will be amplified by Satan and his demonic agents to the point where the believer may begin to doubt whether God really exists.
Knowing this will happen was the reason Jesus said in John 14:15-17, "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth."
Jesus knew that when we are bombarded by the problems of this life, we will fall if we didn't have someone to strengthen our believe in God. The Counselor Jesus spoke about is the Holy Spirit. But, as you have already read, to get protection from the Holy Spirit we need to obey Jesus' command.
What is Jesus' command? It is nothing more than to do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you. By doing this we demonstrate our love for God; for if we say we love God, but hate our neighbors we are liars. In other words, if we love our neighbors as ourselves, by this single act we are obeying the two most important spiritual laws of God, as we read in Mathew 22:37-40.
With this obedience to God's command, we make our souls comfortable dwellings for the Holy Spirit. And once the Holy Spirit indwells us, we become three persons in one: the body, the soul and the Holy Spirit, as God is three persons in one: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Sharing the same spirit with God we become qualified to be called children of God, as Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one."
Communication from the Holy Spirit occurs only with your soul, as these two are spiritual entities. Not only does the Holy Spirit protects you against evil spirits, it also gives your soul divine information that your body can use to improve the quality of your life. When your soul receives information from the Holy Spirit, it translates it so that it is understood by your conscious mind as hope.
These spiritual activities are occurring in the framework of faith; where your soul is able to see the substance of the things you want, even before they acquire physical forms; and able to see God, whilst gradually giving you the evidence of the existence of God.
I know this is a bit complicated, but don't lose your birth right to be safe and happy in this life by saying you don't understand. Talk to your priest about questions you may have concerning the issue of faith, or send your questions to me. I will answer them fully and without charge.
Sitting back and doing nothing is not a solution. Ridiculing the Word of God because you don't understand it, or see its relevance to your life is a big loss to you; when God has made available to you free of charge, his wisdom, confidence and strength through faith.
Through your faith the Holy Spirit will console you in times of grief, and advised you when you are about to take a bold action to improve the quality of your life, and those touched by it. You will not be alone when Satan and his demonic agents attack you. Through your faith, the Holy Spirit will give you divine wisdom, confidence and strength to withstand those attacks, and when all is done your belief in God will be strengthened through your perseverance.
God and Religion
If you hate religion, you are not alone. There are millions of people around the world like you, who see religion as putting into the hands of a few men the power to control other people's personal lives.
While we can point to instances when religion has been used to control people's personal lives, the true intent of religion, especially Christianity, is to put us on the path to happiness through improved human relationship. Jesus confirmed this view when he said, "Love your neighbors as yourself, and do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you."
In doing onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you, you are demonstrating your love for God, and putting in motion spiritual laws in your favor. What many people don't realize is as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, there are also spiritual laws.
For example, when you put your finger in fire it will burn, as when you hit your knee against a piece of furniture it will hurt. Similarly, when you do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you, you attract positive spirit energy in your life.
And, as in spiritual law positive attracts positive, so too negative attracts negative. When your action attracts positive spirit energy in your life, you will attract positive results in your life that lead to happiness. Conversely, when you attract negative spirit energy into your life, by doing harm to your neighbors, you will attract negative results that lead to pain and unhappiness.
True religion is all about maintaining good relationship with your neighbors, than it is about control and punishment. God is not sitting around waiting for you to watch a pornographic film, or drink a glass of wine, or have sex outside marriage, to mete out punishment to you. He has greater things to do.
God created both physical laws and spiritual laws to maintain tranquility in the physical universe and within humankind, and gave us the free will to do as we pleased. You are free to put your finger in fire and get burn, as you are free to do harm to your neighbors, but these acts have consequences, and the consequences are not punishment from God. They are the results produced by those laws in action.
You will be glad to know you can love God with all your heart, mind and soul without being religious, or being a member of an organized religion. You can do this simply by doing onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you. This does not take away your freedom, or control your personal life. It simply informs you about your self enlightened interest, as the physical law pertaining to fire informs you that when you put your finger in fire you will get burn.
When you read the gospel chapter by chapter, you will find that Christianity is not about controlling your personal life, it's about connecting you with God spiritually to release the tremendous wisdom and power residing in you to understand and solve the problems in your life.
Do not believe when you are told you will find happiness in heaven. When Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all else shall be added onto you," He meant you will find happiness here on earth. What we will experience in heaven is beyond human comprehension and imagination. It is beyond happiness.
Wherever you are, my friend, I say to you, don't turn your back on God. Do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you, and you will attract positive results in your life. This is true because God is faithful.
To Believe Or Not To Believe In God
It's fashionable these days to postulate that God does not exist, and to ridicule those who believe he exists. This is so because it's claimed there is no physical evidence to prove the existence of God.
By such statement non-believers demand to see physical evidence such as, for example: praying to God to return things as they were before an automobile accident occurred, and have it happen; or praying to God to bring to life a dead relative, and have it happen right before their eyes. When that happens, non-believers argue, then they will believe God exists.
For such physical evidence, a believer will argue, you need go no further than the Gospel. To this the non-believer will retort, "I mean physical evidence that we can see right now, not what happened 2,000 years ago."
To underestimate this argument as the major reason an increasing number of people don't believe in God is to bury one's head in the sand as an ostrich. The level of education and sophistication of the modern man and woman make inevitable the demand for physical evidence to support the view that God exists.
The question is, what is happening in the lives of people today that a believer can point to as physical evidence that God exists? The old argument that God has given us life, good health, and created the earth with all its resources, and for that we should be thankful, no longer holds water. The non-believer wants to see a direct correlation between praying and a change in his/her condition of life.
Consequently, in their haste to push the view that God does not exist, non-believers forget that you can't get something from nothing. Just as in science you need to abide by established scientific principles to arrive at the desired result, so too in interacting with God you need to abide by his spiritual principles to get what you want.
I can point to three spiritual principles to create the conditions where prayers can produce the desired result namely: Loving God with all your heart, mind and soul. Loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Worshiping God in spirit and in truth.
You can demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as yourself, and doing onto them what you would want done onto you. In doing so, your soul becomes a hospitable dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Once indwelled by the Holy Spirit, you will have a direct connection with God, and whenever your thought coincides with the thought of God, what you hope for will become your reality.
So it's not merely demanding that God gives you physical evidence of his existence, and you will have it. You need to create the conditions in which to find the evidence that God exists. If you think this is hard work, ask a scientist how long and hard s/he had to work to discover a scientific theory.
In the end, believing or not believing in God is a choice you must make, and there is evidence if you search for it to help you make the right choice.
If you think about God in physical terms, you will find tons of reasons to doubt his existence, because you'll not find God on the top of the highest mountain, or find him sitting on a throne in a celestial palace. He is spirit, as we read in John 4:24.
All the same, where you're likely to find a clue for the existence of God, most surprisingly, is in science. Einstein's theory of relativity states that all matter comes from energy: an immaterial power source.
Now that science has proven that what is seen comes from what cannot be seen, this would help you understand what Paul said in Hebrews 11:3, "so what is seen was not made out of what is visible."
The question is, from where came the energy by which matter, including you and I, is formed. We know there was energy existing before matter came into being. We also know science can describe that energy, but cannot tell us how it came into being.
On the other hand, religious practitioners tell us that physical energy comes from spiritual energy. This brings us to the questions: from where comes spiritual energy? Here, neither science nor philosophy can help us, so we must turn to religious practitioners for answers on things of the spirit.
It's no accident that in all cultures around the world people have grappled with the same question: where did we come from? In the final analysis, the answer has always been that humankind originated from a spiritual source. As scientific knowledge cannot help us here, the alternative is to seek spiritual knowledge which will enlightened us to see beyond our physical world into the world of the spirits.
If your argument is that the pursuit of spiritual knowledge will lead to a dead end, and result in utter waste of time and resources; my respond is, if you're waiting for science to tell you where we came from, your wait shall have no end, because beyond a certain point the scientist will have no tools left in his hands to carry on his search for the origin of humankind.
Faith is the only vehicle by which you can find the origin of humankind. By faith, you will see the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of what you cannot see. Acquiring spiritual knowledge will make you aware of the existence of the human soul and the Holy Spirit, and inform you on how interaction between the human soul and the Holy Spirit directly connects you with God.
Once you are connected with God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you will have found God, as well as become one with God. And becoming one with God who is the origin of all things, you will know the origin of humankind, as you will have become one with the origin.
Criticism Of Religion
If you've given some thoughts to religion, and Christianity in particular, you will have noticed that those who criticize religion may reject the concept of God, but do accept the existence of a Universal Consciousness. A nebulous entity, they believe is responsible for the proper functioning of life and the universe.
You will also notice that critics have reserved their harshest attacks for the laws and rules of conduct made by religious leaders to administer the affairs of organized religion. Critics see these laws and rules as impediments to personal improvement and individual initiatives.
In their haste to condemn everything religious though, the critics have overlooked that there is a difference between ceremonial laws and divine laws.
While he lived among us, Jesus agreed with the critics that the hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of religious laws and rules of conduct were creating problems for believers. For this reason, he created two divine laws to simplify the worship of God, and enable believers to have direct contact with God.
In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus gives us the divine laws: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
The proof that we love God is demonstrated in loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. For, as we read in First John 4:20-21, "If anyone says, I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he (Jesus) has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
For instance, if a man and a woman in love with each other had sexual intercourse outside of marriage; have they broken a religious law? Yes they have, but they have broken a ceremonial law. Will this bar them from having direct contact with God? No, because they have not broken a divine law.
In fact, all religious laws and rules of conducts are ceremonial, except for the two mentioned above. If you can demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbor as you love yourself; you will do no harm to your neighbor; and consequently, do onto your neighbor as you will want done onto you. In effect, you will be conducting your life in accordance with God's will.
Knowing this is the reason Jesus created these two divine laws to enable believers to worship God and receive the benefits of God's wisdom and power through faith, freed from the guilt, confusion and impediments to self-improvements critics often point to as characteristics of organized religion
How Your Hope Can Become Your Reality
If you don't have a functional belief that God is Spirit, and consequently your relationship with Him should be spiritual, as we read in John 4:24, your hope to improve your life, be safe and happy through the power of faith will remain unfulfilled.
Often people say, they pray to God, but receive no response from God. This happens because they don't worship God in spirit, as the gospel teaches; and in effect, open themselves to being manipulated by unsavory spirits.
If you think life is entirely physical, you cannot find the meaning of life. What then is the meaning of life? It's happiness. The happiness that comes not from a temporary exhilaration, pleasure or joy from an event, but the permanent condition of being satisfied, contented and at ease in your mind with the good things you've done for others.
This level of happiness is attainable only with help from a positive spiritual source, which reminds us that there is a negative spiritual source, we should avoid. As physical beings, we're conditioned from birth that the accumulation of material things will bring us happiness. On the contrary, we've found that the more material things we have, the more unhappy we eventually become.
The reason this happens is that material things are means to doing good for others. They don't generate happiness in themselves. Hence, the accumulation of material things is not bad, insofar as we pursue material things not as an end in themselves, but as the means to doing good for others.
With this understanding, we're able to subordinate our selfish desire for material things to our desire for spiritual things. Now, if all we got for pursuing spiritual things, is the opportunity to worship God, very few people would worship God.
Unlike the physical realm of life in which we're limited by time, space and scarce resources, in the spiritual realm the thoughts of spiritual entities and reality are one. In other words, there is no lapse of time between God's thoughts and reality.
For instance, when God said in Genesis 1:14, "Let there be light", instantaneously there was light. In John 11:43 when Jesus said, "Lazarus, come out", instantaneously, "The dead man came out," from the grave.
Similarly, worshiping God in spirit puts you in the path of God's grace; so that whenever your thoughts coincide with the thoughts of God, what you hope for will become your reality. In this way, you can improve your life, be safe and happy by the power of faith.
God is Spirit: What does it Mean
In John 4:24 we read, "God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth". What does this passage mean?
For one thing, it means God is not a physical person to be seen physically. For another, it means what you ask for in prayer God gives to you in spirit. You are then to give what you have received in spirit a physical form by your thoughts and action.
The spirit of God is like electricity. For instance, when you plug in your laptop to the AC power source, a light comes on telling you that you are connected. If you don't use your thinking process to form a thought and act on that thought by hitting the keys or move the mouse the laptop will not perform as you wish.
Similarly, when you connect with God in spirit through faith, you have God's wisdom and power in your hands. By using your thinking process to form a thought, and acting on that thought, you are using God's wisdom and power to create the conditions in which what you ask for in prayer will manifest in physical form.
Don't be deceived that all you need to do is pray and bingo! you will have what you pray for; anymore than be deceived that simply by plugging in your laptop to the AC power source will start it working on it's own and provide you all the information you need.
If you have not received from God what you prayed for, find out how to connect with God in spirit through faith. Read my lens on, The Meaning of Faith.
Meeting Sinners Where They Are
"For I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners," Jesus said in Matthew 9:13. He met sinners in their homes, ate with them, talked with them and got to know their problems firsthand.
In First Corinthians 9:20-23 Paul said, "To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some."
I read these passages to mean we who teach the gospel should meet sinners where they are. We shouldn't expect they will always put on their best clothes on Sundays and meet us in church.
Unfortunately, those of us who have got the message and are making effort to meet sinners where they are, often make a common mistake. We approach sinners with a holy-than-thou, or a standoffish attitude that doesn't go unnoticed by sinners, and have often failed to bring the fullness of God's love to those who need it the most.
I have heard many young people say, "God is boring." In other words, there is no fun in being a Christian. This perception is among the main reasons young people are walking away from God. We know where they will end up; yet we are leaving them to confront Satan alone, while we as adults have failed when confronting Satan alone.
It's a dereliction of duty if we remain failing to protect young people from the claws of Satan. It's a dereliction of duty if we remain failing to demonstrate to young people that the Christian life can be fun and enjoyable. I don't have all the answers. It's too big a problem for one person to figure out.
The churches and religious institutions are in a better position to use their accumulated knowledge and experiences to come up with new solutions that make the Christian life attractive to young people. Obviously, the old solutions have not worked; otherwise young people would not be walking away from God.
We need to meet young people where they are. Speak their language. Live their lives without compromising our own principles; while leaning more toward showing them God's love in its manifest capacity to forgive, to care, to be kind, to forebear, to be with them however terrible their sins might be; so that by our example, if not all of them, at least some might be saved.
Living in a World without Money
The other day I was getting ready to go to bed when this idea hit me: how will it be like to live in a world without money. Great, I thought. When I woke up a couple of hours later, I realized it wasn't a practical idea. Reality had set in, and the idea wasn't that great after all.
Few days had gone by, but the thought of living in a world without money still lingered on my mind. By then my mind had processed it down to: although it might not be practical to live in a world without money, it's certainly practical to live in a world where money is not the dominant factor in our lives. Where the relationship we have with our family and neighbors is the dominant factor.
Where the value of a person didn't depend on how much money he or she had, or could make, but on what he or she could do for society. So that, for instance, the value of a plumber will not depend on how much money he could make repairing broken pipes, but on the quality of his plumbing work. From here the plumber could negotiate with a dentist to do a plumbing job for him in exchange for some dental services, say a root canal work on his tooth.
Immediately, the question of "fair exchange" arises. Is the dentist getting a fair exchange for the root canal services he provides the plumber? What's really being asked here is whether the value of the plumber's labor is equivalent to the value of the dentist labor? You can already see how quickly this can get pretty complicated?
Well, to simplify it, we could say, let time be the medium of exchange; effectively proposing that all types of labor are equivalent in value; making 2 hours of plumbing work equivalent to 2 hours of dental work, so long as when the jobs are done both parties are satisfied.
Of course, it requires more money and more years to become a dentist than to become a plumber, and certainly the money value of a unit of the dentist's labor is higher than the value of the plumber's unit of labor, but if the dentist agrees to exchange 2 hours of plumbing work for 2 hours of dental work, the dentist will have decided to use another measure of value other than money.
I will venture to say the dentist is looking at the spiritual, rather than the money value of the two units of labor; in the sense that insofar as he is satisfied with the plumbing work, and the plumber is satisfied with the dental work, and the two are happy with the exchange, who is to say it's not a fair exchange?
What if the dentist places a higher value on his relationship with the plumber than the actual money value of the exchange? What if the dentist derived from the exchange, as it is, more happiness than a higher cash payment would have given him? Notice I said "as it is", because I'm assuming there is no hanky-panky going on between the two guys. That said, are we then looking at a world, be it a world of only two people, in which relationship, rather than money has become the dominant factor?
Like what I said, I was getting ready to go to bed when the idea hit me, and probably I was dreaming even before I hit my bed, but if you will allow me, I will add this:
A website could be setup where thousands, maybe millions of people will submit the number of hours they have available in specific service professions that they are ready to swap for equivalent hours of services they need. Wouldn't that be fantastic. A website where you could go and find a carpenter to repair your leaking roof in exchange for, say getting his laptop to work again without using money.
At the end of each day, some people will have credit service hours, meaning they've provided more service hours than they received, while others will have debit service hours, meaning they've received more service hours than they provided to others. See, this thing has got me going, I better put on the breaks to let you read it and send me your comment.
Living in a World without Money Part 2
As the number of people wanting to swap services grow, there will be a huge number of credit service hours and debit service hours floating around that will quickly coalesce into a market: a market we will called Service Hours Exchange Market. I can hear you say, there he goes again, but keep on reading.
The medium of exchange on the Service Hours Exchange Market, as you may have guessed is "service hour". There will be no money circulating on the market. The only medium of exchange will be service hours.
For instance, an auto repair guy who has 2 credit service hours from a previous swap in which he provided 6 hours of auto repair service, but the lawn mowing service he needed took only 4 hours, will offer the 2 credit hours lawn mowing service to the market to someone who needed a lawn mowing service.
Let's say the person who needed the lawn mowing service is an accountant. She may provide 2 hours accounting service to the auto repair guy if he needed accounting service. If he didn't, the auto repair guy may accept 2 credit hours accounting service from the accountant to be swapped with someone on the exchange market who needed accounting service, and could provide the service the auto repair guy needed.
You see, this thing can get very complicated, especially when you are dealing with multiple transactions.
But what in life is not complicated when left alone. To simplify life requires effort. Hence, on the Service Hours Exchange Market the effort will be directed at coming up with a computer software that will match the thousands or millions of credit service hours with the same number of debit service hours on the exchange market, so that at the end of the day those who offered credit service hours to the exchange market will have found people with debit service hours to provide the services they needed.
I'm beginning to think this can really work, but at the same time, it's a bit scary to change from using money all your life and suddenly you can get what you need without using money at all. It's like taking a trip into space and suddenly faced with having to adjust to living in a zero gravity environment. It's a totally new ball game.
Like what I said this idea hit me when I was getting ready to go to bed, and look where it has taken me. The lesson here is you got to be careful about ideas that hit you, especially those that hit you when you are getting ready to go to bed, because they may stick around for a while.
But then again, the idea may not turn out to be a dream. Already, as we speak, there are people swapping services among themselves because they don't have enough money to pay for all the services they need. And what is causing this? It's the economy downturn. People who lose their jobs are taking longer to find new ones, and those who have jobs are finding that their money is not buying what it used to buy just a few years ago.
Is the current economic downturn a temporary problem that will correct itself next year or so? People who know about the economy say we shouldn't hold our breath. Unlike previous economic downturn, this one is structural, meaning major changes are taking place in the foundation on which the economy stands.
One of the major change that is occurring is that the center of gravity of the global economy is shifting from the west to the east. Although the very high tech manufacturing sector will remain in the west, the bulk of the production of consumer goods is moving to the east to countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan and the like. Unfortunately, these are the stable and good paying jobs, and they are the ones moving to the east.
A new normalcy is transforming the country in ways that is making many people to stretch the dollar to do more with less. There is no one to be blamed here. Times are changing and people are adjusting to the change. With time every industrialize country go through the three phases of development that older economies like Britain have already gone through, and they are: agrarian, manufacturing and service based economies.
The U.S. economy is currently transitioning into a service based economy as we speak, which is why manufacturing jobs are being lost, while the service sector is booming. It's a transition that's almost impossible to stop because it's driven by high cost of production. For instance, it costs twice as much to produce the same television set in the U.S. as it cost in China or Taiwan.
We will leave the detail of how the economy works to the experts to sort out. Hey, we are just dreamers trying to find our way through the night. What we shouldn't overlook though, is how the present economic condition has redirected many Americans to focus on what's really important in life, and that is the quality of the relationships we have with our families and neighbors. Get involved, and send me your comment.
Is God a Relic of the Past
Is God a relic of the past, we should put aside and move on with our lives? Of course, this is a rhetorical question, but those who believe it will stop at nothing to convince the rest of us to agree with them.
They that hate the concept of God, hate Jesus Christ even more, because his teachings have entrenched the concept of God in western societies in ways that nothing else could have. Everywhere you go in the west and in many developing countries, you hear the ringing of church bells and people worshiping and praising God.
This hatred for Jesus has a biblical origin, so we can be sure it will not go away any time soon. The task for we who love Jesus is to demonstrate that the hatred for Jesus has made blind those who hate him to his great works and the enduring power of his words, the gospel.
The task is made the more difficult because many, if not all, the detractors of Jesus who force themselves to read the gospel, do so with the view to finding flaws in the gospel, rather than being enlightened by it. And if one is hell-bent on finding flaws, he will find flaws every where; even in the beautiful golden ambiance of a rising sun.
What it comes down to is to engage the detractors of Jesus on the basis of logic. They may not agreed that God is a spirit, but they cannot escape the logic that the fruits of love are better than the fruits of hate.
As we move the detractors away from the person of Jesus to the person of the Gospel, we are able to demonstrate to them that the foundation of the Christian faith is "love": the love of God and the love of your neighbors. At this point, we should press them to show us any precept, other than love, that reduces human suffering and anguish, and ensures better human relations?
You will notice that every precept the detractors of Jesus come up with has its roots in love. Still, they will not agree that if they need someone or something to hate, it is hate itself, not Jesus Christ.
Does Life End with Death
The unbeliever argues that since there is nothing spiritual, and all things are physical, life ends with death. The believer asserts there is a spiritual side to life, therefore death is not the end of life, it's the beginning of a spiritual life. Based on logic, how do we determine who is right?
Thinking along the line of the unbeliever, some may say we are nothing more than flowers of the field that bloom, die and forever forgotten. This reasoning compels us to examine the question, "What is the meaning of life?". For, if we are nothing more than flowers of the field, then life has no meaning; we simply live and die.
However, human knowledge and wisdom as they have developed over the millennium will not allow us to accept the notion that life has no meaning. If we look at the things that life is made of, we began from a coarse state systematically changing toward an ultimate end.
There are unseen forces behind the progression toward this ultimate end. One is the power for good and the other is the power for evil. We choose which power to align ourselves by our actions and the fruits those actions bear in our lives.
If the fruits of our action bring us contentment, we will find inner peace, and with inner peace we will realize the fulfillment of our lives' purpose, which is to live at peace with our neighbors, and to refine our character toward righteousness.
The unbeliever wishes not to be bothered with life after death, but by simply arguing that life ends with death does not make it so. Einstein in his theory of relativity tells us all matter comes from energy; in fact from spirit energy. All matter will once again return to spirit energy. It may take a billion years or a trillion years, but it will happen.
In the end, the earth will return to spirit energy, because matter begins to break down immediately after it is formed. As for humankind, we will continue degrading or refining our character either toward evil, or toward righteousness in preparation for the transition from this physical life to a spiritual life.
Does God Care Anymore
The totality of God's wisdom and plan for humankind is too vast and deep that no single person or group of persons can absorb them all at once. For this reason God has revealed to each generation only so much as it can bear.
While praying and worshiping God will remain essential elements in our relationship with God, more than before it is becoming clear in this generation that God's main purpose for giving us the gospel is to spiritually empower us to solve the physical problems in our lives including unemployment, hunger, sickness, poverty, arrogance and wars.
Satan triumphs where there is chaos, hunger, poverty and war. To see the extent of these problems, wherever you are, simply look around you. Yet, experience has shown that physical solutions alone cannot solve them. Knowing this is why God demonstrates His care for you by giving you a spiritual solution centered on "love".
With love in your heart, in your mind, in your words and in your actions, you make your soul receptive to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; putting into your hands God's wisdom and power to solve the problems in your life.
Satan is hard at work, though. He has distorted the meaning of "love" to the extent that embracing his definition of love degrades our character, rather than refines it toward righteousness. But, you will be glad to know we are not alone in this fight.
In First Corinthians 13:4-6, Paul gives us the true meaning of "love". "Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Practicing the love of God, however, doesn't mean you should make yourself and loved ones vulnerable to the point where you lose everything. Jesus said in Matthew 10:16, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." This means love your neighbors as yourself, but don't be a fool.
The question is, why use love against an enemy who is out to get you? Because love is the most effective weapon against Satan and hate. The relationship between hate and love is like the relationship between fire and water. If there is more water than fire, the fire will go out. Similarly, if there is more love than hate, hate will disappear. And where there is no hate, Satan cannot stop you from solving the problems in your life.