Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:16-20

"For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Yea, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 2:16-20).

People often say that money can not buy happiness. You may not agree but it seems to me that the people who tell me that the most, have money. People without usually will add, "but I would like to try". I think Solomon was telling us as part of the over all message in Ecclesiastes that money does not bring happiness. I must confess as I believe I have done before that as I study Ecclesiastes I am always thinking, "but I would like to try".

Why though? Why would I like to try? Well, because I don't have faith like I thought I did. When faced with all the financial problems that I posted about recently I didn't turn to God. I sat down to write another Ecclesiastes post and read "Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 2:17) and thought.....EXACTLY! Have you ever done that? I think it is something I have done numerous times and I have a feeling I will do it again. I suppose that is how God grows our faith.

Solomon does something in these verses I often see people with money do. They take all the credit. Do you suppose Solomon really did any of the labor? I think not. Do you suppose Solomon went out and told the workers that success was vanity and vexation of spirit? I bet he did.

Here's something you should never do if you own your own company. You should never ever complain about money to your employees. It makes them feel like their job is not good enough. It is even worse in Solomons case....... You should never complain about money while it is obvious that your doing well and your employees are struggling. This inspires bitter feelings.

Solomon was the richest man ever and to take the credit for their labor and say he wasn't happy with it while the labors saw how he prospered...... doesn't exactly inspire anyone to follow God and it obviously brought Solomon nothing but misery.

I see Christians today who have plenty but give nothing or if they do give, they give to some foreign country, charity, and/or anything other than those around them. I see Christians in charge of others who tell them to "tighten up" while they are buying new cars, trucks, motor homes, and taking trips. I bet Solomon told his labors to work harder and they looked at the life he was leading and thought .......why?

So money doesn't buy happiness, what then? Maybe it's the idea that it brings security. I certainly only saw nothing but doom in my recent financial trouble. I wanted the security that money brings. I wanted the peace the security would bring. Awwwww......but look at Solomon. Money and security did not bring peace. He broke fellowship with God and Ecclesiastes is the result. I broke fellowship with God and the previous few post are the results.

There is no peace outside Jesus. It's a lesson I must learn again and again. It's a lesson I offer to you to learn yet again. Without Jesus as my focus I see nothing but people prospering while I struggle. With Jesus as my focus I see nothing but Him. What else is there?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:16

"For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool" (Ecclesiastes 2:16).

Today we had communion at church. It caused me to reflect, to prove myself, to examine, to got me praying. I felt unworthy to take communion and thus I zoned out on the preaching and turned my attention to God and found that I have been floundering. Floundering has an interesting definition. It is, "To make clumsy attempts to move or regain one's balance. To move or act clumsily and in confusion". This is and has been me.

I wonder if Solomon was floundering when he wrote the above line. obviously he did not think it would be remembered. I wonder what I'm doing for God that will be remembered. I want to do something.

I decided today that I am a hot coal. I smolder and make a lot of smoke and every now and then I flame up but I'm finding that I can't seem to catch anything on fire. It's hard to smolder. I miss my seminary extension classes and can't wait for them to start up again but I'm drifting off topic.

There was a man who drove through the fields one day picking up teenagers who were doing their chores. He spotted a boy bailing hay and asked if he would like to join the others on his old flatbed truck and come to a revival. That boy accepted. We know him as Billy Graham. We don't remember the man driving the truck but I wonder if he was smoldering until the day God used him to catch Billy Graham on fire.

I hope that I can catch something on fire here. I hope I can make a difference. I hope that God will use me to put something here worthy of remembering and I hope it's not me getting in the way of starting a fire. I hope I am done floundering.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Between the Head and the Heart

I have often heard that "You can't just have head knowledge. You have to have Him in your heart".

Alright then, got that covered, pretty much my thinking on that.......Until now.

My head explodes with all sorts of stuff. Do I believe it? Heck Ya!

Did I believe God could get us out of our financial difficulties? Did I believe He could calm the storm our household had become?

Yep, but did I believe He would? ......... I'm falling short.

I was talking with a person today and I was telling them what I'm about to tell all of you who for reasons beyond me frequent my rants and raves at this blog and actually seem to care about them! But I digress, as I was saying, I was talking to somebody today and I told them I felt like at any time God would simply draw a line in the sand and say, "That's it, I'm not taking care of you anymore, time to reap what you have sown your whole wasted life!".

I suppose that characterizes my walk with God. I don't ask for much since I don't think I deserve much. I'm always waiting for Him to punish me..... but He never has....... not really.....Certainly not what I deserve and continue to probably deserve.

So my world was all falling apart and I'm thinking, "This it it! Here comes a life time of devastation upon me. Time to reap what I have sown"........ and so as the deadline drew ever closer and things flew into a disarray at the home front here I do what I always do when I'm upset. I sat down and began to write. A whole bunch of you read that and began praying. I CAN NOT EVER THANK ALL OF YOU ENOUGH!

My dad who I have pretty much treated like a door mat my entire life decided that after his visit down here that something good has happened with my wife and I. He decided that she has made us a nice home. He thought she was happy and was doing a great job raising her kids that have come to live with us. He thought I was a "new person". He didn't think we deserved to lose everything because I was a royal mess up not so very long ago and so he gave us the loan........the day before the deadline.

I received a letter from the IRS today. They did indeed cease my income tax return. It was more than enough to pay them off and we are expecting a tidy return. Student loans are paid off and will not be garnishing my wages. The money that used to goto my ex is now going to my dad. Nobody is comming after me for anything anymore.

Did I believe God could do all these things? YES!

Did I believe He would? No..... I don't think I did........But He did it anyways........and as far as I can tell it's because I ranted and all of you prayed.


I think I'm going to start believe that God will bring my daughter back to me in 3 years when she turns 18.

I will try to get back to a regular posting schedule soon, resuming Ecclesiastes.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Why I Haven't Written

The reason I started writing here was because I am exploding with stuff to say about the Word of God. That, and I wanted to convince myself that life isn't all that bad. Well, I'm still exploding with stuff to say about the Word of God but life is bad and it's been getting worse.

I simply can not sit down here and write hope filled messages when I feel pretty much without hope. I can not continue the study of Ecclesiastes when in reality I envy Solomon. I wish I could know that I am not one paycheck away from being homeless with student loans, my ex, and eventually the IRS doing there very best to make sure I don't bring home any paycheck at all.

I currently have 312$ a month removed for child support. That's all fine and dandy. I accept it. My ex absconded my daughter and after 2 years claimed I abandoned her, took me to court, forced me out of her life, adopted her to some other man, and won all the child support I didn't pay for the time she was missing. That's 10,000$ left to pay. FINE! It's the consequences of sin.

The IRS says I don't make enough money to pay them the 6000$ dollars my ex stuck on me when she changed our filings and lost the earned income tax credit the last year we were together. FINE! I agree. I don't make enough money to pay that debt, but I would like too and be done with it.

I tried to better myself at one point in my life and went to school to be a welder. I graduated with two welding certificates but nothing really ever came of it. NEVER GET A STUDENT LOAN!!! They are impossible to repay. In any case, unlike the IRS, student loans thinks I make plenty of money. So much so they decided they would help themselves to 181$ a month. FINE! I owe it. I should pay it.

Now if God would simply tell me how I'm going to do it all? I have some ideas but it seems God does not want me to accept my responsibility and pay these debts off. It seems he would rather watch us go under as my marriage crumbles under the burden of "my past.

Oh but Michael, Have you been tithing?

Um.........NO! Show me how!

Well, Have you been going to church?

Ummmmmmm.....NO! I don't feel like making nice with the 3 life long dedicated old women I can't relate too that attend our church.

Well have you at least prayed then?

YES! They bounce off the ceiling.

Are you in sin?

Probably......I probably sin on a by the moment basis in my head.

Well then how can God help you?

I THOUGHT THAT WAS WHAT GOD WAS ALL ABOUT! Ya know, unconditional love, can't earn His favor, all forgiving......helps those who can't help themselves......all that jazz.

It's not like I don't have a plan. If I could borrow 15000$ dollars I could pay student loans off and my ex and then apply the 312$ a month that she was getting to the loan and pay it off in 4 years and be debt free by the time I'm 42.

What about the IRS? Well, they will seize the next couple income tax returns since student loans won't be able to seize them anymore and my ex won't be in line for them. The IRS is the only people making any sense. "Mr. Pendleton, You don't make enough money to pay us!".

Ding Ding Ding! That is the correct answer!

I imagine they will take a cut pretty soon.

But you know what? Nobody is going to give me a loan. No one anywhere at any time is going to accept me for a loan. I have tried. I can't get one. I have bad credit from...guess what? Defaulted student loans!

Never had a credit card. Never bought anything on credit ever till this marriage and the only reason we have the two things we have on credit, a car and a TV, is because they are in my mother -in-laws name.

In any case, my life is crumbling. I can't pay everything and we are going under. My marriage is crumbling. Everything is falling apart and I simply do not feel like writing anymore. Pretty soon the interenet will be turned off anyways.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Alive and Kicking

I'm alive and kicking. That couple days off from rain is now having it's repercussions and I have been working a bit longer hours plus the past couple Saturdays to make up for it. It's rent and car payment weeks. I wish I lived in a mud hut in the woods.

The heat has just been wiping me out. I get all the heat with none of the benefits lately working inside new construction homes without and power, much less, A/C. Sometimes were lucky and a breeze blows through.

Been working in the yard a bit. Got this bug that I want to have a tropical rain forest in my back yard and so I have been getting all the free plants I can from people. Got 4 banana trees growing now. Think I'm going to make a pond with a fountain back in the bamboo we have and try and get some sorta peaceful spot I can go sit at. If everyone is lucky I just might share it when I'm done. Maybe I'll make me a little mud hut back there too.

My mind definitely hasn't been on the blog. I didn't exactly realize how many days have gone by since I last posted something. I can't even begin to say when I even looked at it. I haven't checked mail in a few days. I know that. I've been coming home and kicking back trying to absorb as much A/C as I can. I have read one book and am just getting going in another. Been awhile since I have read anything completely. Makes me realize how much time I really do spend doing stuff. I was thinking about that Sunday working in the yard. How much time I spend at the computer, working, sleeping, eating, reading........Almost in that order and then I thought......What about God? What time am I spending with Him? I decided that in everything I do I am with Him and went back to pulling dead branches to the road.

Our girls are out of school now and my wife said something when we were at the city pool a couple weeks back about the memories they are going to have of their childhood are going to be memories of me pretty much since when the go to see their dad this summer it is only 2 months out of the year and he doesn't spend any time with them while they are there........sooooooooooo........I have been playing with them a bit more too. We just had a big water fight yesterday and I got my butt kicked at PIG (basketball) tonight.

Anyways, I was sipping on a milk shake my wife made me...YUMMY! and she wanted me to Google something and I checked mail and here I am, and there ya go.

I'll try and get back to a normal posting schedule soon.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Weekend

Sorry I'm late on the next Ecclesiastes post. I'm sorry I'm late with a post period.

I thought about posting Friday but I thought I would wait for Saturday, you see, Saturday was pageant day. My wife and her mom enters one of our daughters in pageants. That means I stay out of the way all day long and/or hide which means usually watch a movie or sit at the computer. Yesterday however was not one of those days. I decided to go outside and rake our yard. While I was at it I raked my mother-in-laws yard and then part of our neighbors. It was like Jesus said, "Are you frustrated? RAKE!". And so I did with 3 big ol scabbed up blisters to show for it.

Today we took the girls to the city pool and now my big fat belly is all tanned and I'm tired from throwing girls through the air and pulling them around the pool at break neck speed!

We probably should be going to church right about now but were going to stay home. I'm just not ready for another sermon on how to get saved....but I digress

I will try tomorrow to get the next Ecclesiastes post up. I know what I want to write about. I have it all in my head. I just need a couple names I don't feel like looking up right now and I'll be set. It's going to be on Ecclesiastes 2:16-17. Just think of what one person can do. Can you think of any examples? I'll give you a hint. Abraham.

Thanks for all your comments on the previous post. I didn't expect that! Just some spontaneous thoughts that dumped out into a post.

Thanks for coming to Deeper Truth!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jesus is my American Idol!

My wife likes to watch American Idol so we were watching tonight when the contestants all went back to their respective home towns to thousands upon thousands of cheering, screaming, hysterical, people.

All this for people who are not even technically stars yet.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could get that excited about a Savior who died to show how much He loved us and wanted us to be with Him?

Jesus wasn't a star but there was a time when He road into a city to cheering, screaming, hysterical, people......yet the same people screamed "Crucify Him!" only a few short hours later.

People are fickle like that and thus the church is driven in purpose to please the people with it's best American Idol glitz and glam to attract an unfaithful bunch who only want to hear about their best life now.

Perhaps if we would "determined not to know any thing among" the world, "save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" the Holy Ghost would move and produce "The sacrifices of God" which "are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart". "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" ( 1 Corinthians 2:2, Psalm 51:17,34:18).

What did that say? The Lord would SAVE them!

We have it all backwards.

"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:6).

We want to rejoice first. We want feel good messages that will help us find a purpose for our best life now. We don't want to be told that smoking a cigarette is a sin. We don't want to be told that living together out of wedlock is a sin. We don't want to hear about our braty kids that don't listen because we plop them in front of video games and TV's while we work two jobs and marriages crumble chasing an American Idol dream. Nope! We want to forget all that every Sunday when we go to church and hear what a great bunch of people we are and how proud god (small G) is of us for simply showing up every other Sunday for the fourth service.

I'm rambling. This is a spontaneous post. Just something I was thinking about.........maybe God will use it bear some precious seed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

"The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 2:14-15).

In the previous Ecclesiastes post we saw that in verse 11 Solomon turns to look back at everything. In verse 12 he turns himself to look back upon his actions. Now he begins to draw conclusions from looking back upon his past and actions.

Solomon knew that the wisdom of a sensible person guides his way of life, but the stupidity of fools misleads them (See Proverbs 14:8). He also knew wisdom is directly in front of an understanding person, but the eyes of a fool are looking around all over the world (See Proverbs 17:24).

The Hebrew word roshe means to shake; the head (as most easily shaken). It would seem that Solomon is saying that a wise man is not easily shaken. The word rendered darkness is kho-shek'. It means, the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: - dark (-ness), night, obscurity. I am pretty sure Solomon was miserable. I believe he knew he was walking toward destruction and death. I believe he knew he walked in wickedness. If he didn't know while he was walking in those paths he certainly knew when he sat to write Ecclesiastes and looked back at the path he took.

Perhaps Solomons was warning us. Do not let your focus be shaken from the Lord or you will die! In the Word of God separation from God is death. Sin separates us from God. No, We don't lose our salvation but we separate ourselves from God by our sins. God's Word says, "Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:14-15).

Do a search of the word fool in Proverbs. You will find it 41 times in 41 verses. What Solomon says about fools in Proverbs all applies to him! Maybe this is why he says here, "As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise?". Here is one example of what God has to say about a fool through Solomon in Proverbs. "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit" (Proverbs 25:5).

We are seeing God's answer to Solomons folly in Ecclesiastes. Solomon was drawen away by his lust which caused is eyes to be shaken from the Lord which caused him to walk into darkness where he was separated from the Lord and died spiritually which brought misery and sorrow. God's answer was to rise up 3 adversaries against Solomon which most likely caused havoc in his kingdom. I imagine Solomon was full of regret at this point, looking back, remembering the wisdom God had given him that he exchanged for the folly of the world. Then he said, "that this also is vanity" or pointless.

It is indeed pointless to allow anything to distract us from the Lord, but, God Is Good! "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). This promise is only for those who know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. If your saved may I ask what foolish decisions have shaken your eyes from the Lord today? May I be so bold as to ask what you might need to bring to God and confess? You don't have to carry that burden anymore. The guilt will be lifted. The darkness will clear.

Death does come for everyone. The wise and fool alike. For the fool who dies without Christ there will be no forgiveness and cleansing. They will be eternally separated from God, the second death. "Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death" (Revelations 20:14). If you don't know where your going then click below to find out about Jesus. Don't die a fool.

I want to know Jesus

Monday, May 15, 2006

Going to be late posting, SORRY!

I'm sorry I have not got to the next Ecclesiastes post.

We had revival last week. This past weekend was busy. Tonight I have the last classes of the quarter for my seminary extension classes.

Got the final test tonight! *whew*

I will try and get the next post by tomorrow night.


Thanks for coming to Deeper Truth!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Called to Preach

I think I have always knowen that the Lord has a purpose for me. I think I might have even knowen this before I was born again. I believe I was always and still am scared of the purpose. "What if I stumble? What if I fall? What if I lose my step and make a fool of us all? Will the love continue, when my walk becomes a crawl?"*

When I first got saved I got to the part of the Word where Solomon asked for wisdom. Of course this is after Proverbs, and I thought, YES! This is my prayer! This is it! I think the Lord honored that request. I also think Satan stomped all over it and I let him for a long time. Satan did this with one sentence I have heard repeatedly. "You have to have more than a head knowledge". I know better than to let this judgmental statement get the better of me now.

I believe I have been called to preach. I started actually voicing that belief almost two years ago. It scares me to death. I have preached four times. Once on Heaven and the other three times I preached what I believe I am called to preach which is, "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" (Mark 1:4).

I have repeatedly heard from people, even my wife, that preaching sin is not what people want to here. I should preach an encouraging message. My pastor has even fell into this trap. This is why I have preached once on Heaven.

I'm not sure I'm called to be a pastor, the fear of failure looms large, but I have no doubt I am called to preach. I think my call is that of Ezekiel. "Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD" (Ezekiel 37:4). I think I am to be an evangelist which I have often heard is a dying thing. I believe I am to be an evangelist to the church.

"God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are" (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).

I believe these verses are me. I was and may still be the foolish thing. I was certainly base.

I have heard that the message of repentance is not being preached anymore. I hear a lot of people talking about that fact. I see a lot of pews that are empty and I see alot of pews full of empty people. I believe the end is near. I believe Jesus is coming soon. I believe the message, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2) is the right Word for the right time and as scary as it may be and as much as I'm afraid I could be wrong and/or fail I think I am the man called.

I'm just waiting on the Lord to, I guess, have other men see it too.

*lyrics by DC Talk

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:11-13

"Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness" (Ecclesiastes 2:11-13).

We covered verse 11 in the previous Ecclesiastes post. I include it here for the first part that says, "Then I looked".

Before chapter 2 verse 11 Solomon was talking about all that he had done. He really hasn't gotten into his full rant yet. Everything before lays the foundation for everything to come. It is in chapter 2 verse 11 that Solomon begins forming Ecclesiastes in his mind. He's looking back now at all that was before this verse. From here on out everything is a review, with more elaboration, of everything already said.

Solomon turns to look back at everything. In verse 12 he turns himself to look back upon his actions. In Ecclesiastes 2:10 I stated, "I am convinced he delved into the deepest darkest sins any of us can imagine". I think Solomon saying, "what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done." is another hint that he did everything we can imagine somebody totally rich, totally powerful, totally in control, and totally in charge can, could, and/or would do.

Notice in verse 13 that it is after everything is said and done he realizes that "wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness". Isn't that the way we are? When we are walking in darkness we are blind. We can't see! At best we can only see what is right in front of us.

When we keep company with folly then folly is all we will know. Everything will be ridiculous. Not ridiculous funny either. Ridiculous as in nothing will make sense. There is no meaning to life in folly. It's all for the moment with no vision beyond that moment. It's when we repent of our ways and turn to the Lord and His wisdom in His Word that we find ourselves looking back at where we were and saying, "Wisdom is better than foolish ways".

If you are like me you have suddenly walked into the light several times and found out just how far in the dark you were. Darkness is always a subtle thing. It creeps in as the light fades but light is always a sudden thing. Light banishes darkness in an instant but darkness will never banish light.

Though I may choose to walk in the Light of the Lord I have often found myself in the dark and wondering how I got there......usually just after the Lord brings me out.

Where are you today?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

*Sigh* Rained out again!

I'm going to go broke without work. I am one of those people who simply cannot afford any days off. Two days in a row is going to cripple us for a month of making up the difference.

Anyways, I'm going to work on the next Ecclesiastes post and God willing get it posted sometime today. ...... EDIT: It's later now. I did yard work and emptied a shed of a bunch of trash. I have revival in a little bit. No new Ecclesiastes post today. Sorry.

If my mom reads this....SEND MONEY!

Yep, I'm a big kid!

Just in case you missed any.....

Ecclesiastes 2:10 and Ecclesiastes 2:11 were posted in the last couple days.

Rain, rain, go away........Awwww, blah, we need it and last night at revival I was thanking God for it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Rained Out, Day Off

I was rained out of work today so I got another post up.

There is three post that came in fairly rapid succession, not counting this one.

Thought I would mention it since the previous two run together sorta.

Have a great day your in!

Ecclesiastes 2:11

"Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

In the last post and the previous verse in Ecclesiastes we saw Solomon chasing after all of his desires and getting every one of them. I closed the previous post with the thought that Ecclesiastes was his portion which was his condition while writing. He was an old broken man regretting every desire he ever laid his eyes on. This verse confirms that. "Then I looked"....and he found "no profit under the sun".

I have throughout these post questioned exactly what Solomon labored to do. I have said he didn't actually labor to do anything. I think the Hebrew word rendered works further solidifies the idea that Solomon did very little with his hands.

The word rendered works in Hebrew is mah-as-eh'. It means, "an action (good or bad); generally a transaction; abstractly activity; by implication a product (specifically a poem) or (generally) property". This word comes from a root word which means, "to do or make".

Solomon looked upon his transactions. He looked upon his actions. He looked upon the results of his transactions which caused things to be done or to be made. A couple of these things I am certain were done by the Lord through him, like building the temple, but most of the things Solomon seems to be taking an account of in Ecclesiastes have very little to do with the Lord. Indeed, his works become little more than activity and product. The end product being "vanity and vexation of spirit". I don't think Solomon could have picked a more apt word to describe his works at this point in his life.

The three Hebrew words after mah-as-eh' are very interesting too. They are: shel "on account of, what soever, which soever: - cause, sake", ...: aw-saw', "to do or make" and, ...: yawd, "a hand (the open one (indicating power, means, direction, etc.)".

So Solomon by his transactions/actions, on his account, caused things to be done or made by his power, means, direction, ect. Solomon certainly was not leaving any room for the Lord to have done anything at all and yet Solomon himself did not labor at all! This is why Solomon found that all he had labored to do was vanity and vexation of spirit, that is, his spirit.

Solomon took pride in things he had not honestly labored for. He looked upon things he commanded to be done by his power and took pride in works that were not his own. He took credit for works that the Lord had done through him. He took credit for works he caused to happen that had nothing to do with the Lord.

As you go through life today give credit where credit is due. "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:7-8).

Don't be a glory hound! "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Whether a parent, a boss, or a king... remember to pat the childs, the employes, the subjects, ect., remember to pat their backs and thank God and give Him the glory for the child, the good employee, the loyal subjects, ect. It was God who put you in the authoritive position and it was God who gave you the child, the employee, the subjects, ect.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:10

"And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor.
(Ecclesiastes 2:10)

The word joy in this verse means "blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival)". It's interesting to note that Merriam-Webster defines blithe as, "1: of a happy lighthearted character or disposition, 2: lacking due thought or consideration".

A happy lighthearted character is what I am certain Solomon was thinking here. It was not the joy of the Lord. I think if we just read his next words it verifies his happy lighthearted ways, for he says his heart rejoiced in what? Not in the Lord! His heart rejoiced in his labors.

What exactly was his portion? Who's labor? Did Solomon really have a right to rejoice in anything other than the Lord? I don't think so. It was the Lord who established him. It was the Lord who blessed him. It was all the Lords doing and here is Solomon saying "my labor" twice!

How did Solomon fall so far? Just back up a bit in the same verse. "Whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them", and that was his problem. I probably would have a pretty happy lighthearted character too if I had everything I ever wanted given to me, but Solomon could not find any joy. At least not the kind that comes from being in right standing with God.

What really happened is Solomon got all he desired and it caused blithesomeness or glee which caused him to be lacking due thought or consideration. I am sure Solomon did not mean the second definition when he wrote this but that is what happened with him none the less.

Solomon got everything and anything. He did everything and anything. He saw God perform miracles we can only study and at the same time I am convinced he delved into the deepest darkest sins any of us can imagine. What was his portion? It wasn't the joy he speaks of here. His portion is Ecclesiastes. An old broken man regretting every desire he ever laid his eyes on.

What will your portion be?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Fixing up Deeper Truth..... You can help!

I have been toying with the header here as you can see among other small tweaks and such you may or may not have noticed.

I received a comment that this page is too big for at least one persons screen. Does anyone else have this problem?

Do you have any suggestions on how I could make Deeper Truth better? Easier to view? Easier to read? Anything?

I have not found any templates I like so I have settled in on tweaking the one I have. Sometimes things work. Sometimes they don't. Hopefully I am catching the things that don't before they get published, if not, I ask you to inform me of errors.

Your comments, suggestions, criticisms, and/or critiques of any and everything here are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:4-9

"I made me great works; I built me houses; I planted me vineyards:
I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I got me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me" (Ecclesiastes 2:4-9).

What is the first thing you notice about these verses?

Look again, take your time.

Five verses, five I's. Do you know what is in the middle of sIn? "I" am.

I did this. I did that. I I I! ME ME ME!

What did Solomon really do? Did he really build anything? Or did he have things built? Who allowed him to do anything at all? Who's blessing was upon this list of things?

"I made me great works; I built me houses; I planted me vineyards". Oh really? There was another time that people built them a great work and a great house. "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth" (Genesis 11:4). Was this Solomons attitude too? I don't know but I would guess he crossed that line even if it was unintentional and the Lords punishment fell upon him just as it did the people at Babel.

Read the verses again please.

Now read these,

"When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage" (Deuteronomy 8:10-14).

Solomon had history. Solomon had these exact words written for him to read. He would have read these words too being the wisest man ever.

WE HAVE THESE WORDS! "Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God"!

What have you done? What have I done? Is it Me, Myself, and I or is it "not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42)? Who are we giving the glory too?

Do I wish I could have financial security? YES! I tell you the truth though, I doubt I am responsible enough to do anything more than live from one paycheck to the next and just make it. The Lord knows that too and he keeps us lean and thus we lean on Him. I think I would rather be lean than at the top like Solomon and filled with grief.

Joel Olsteen might help you to live YOUR best life now but if you want to live the best life the Lord has for you put that book down and pick up your bible.

TV evangelist might help you achieve wealth but I would venture to say the problem is not how much you have it is your attitude about what you already have.

"Godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content" (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Solomon was not content. All those I's! that he did and no contentment in any of them. What was it Jesus said? Oh Yes! I remember!

"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Our best life is in Jesus! Take I out of sIn and put yourself in H"I"M!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:3

"I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life" (Ecclesiastes 2:3).

This is a most interesting verse. From a personal standpoint I have gave myself to drinking and drugging. From how I see this verse out of my experience it makes it interesting. What I have learned about this particular verse makes it very interesting. I pray it all transfer to this page and becomes something valuable for you.

Let's start with what I have learned. The word rendered "I sought" in Hebrew is "toor". It means, "to meander". The word rendered "heart" is "labe". It means, "the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything". The word for "give" is "maw-shak". It means, "to draw, used in a great variety of applications (including to sow, to sound, to prolong, to develop, to march, to remove, to delay, to be tall, etc.).

So Solomon meandered in his feelings, will, and intellect. He then as Youngs Literal Translation says, tried "to draw out with wine my appetite". Solomon broke fellowhip with God and sowed to the flesh. Solomon sounded out, that is, investigated to the full extent, partying. Solomon prolonged himself or removed himself from God. Solomon developed a different set of feelings, will, and intellect. Solomon marched away. Solomon removed himself. Solomon delayed God's will for his life. Solomon became tall in his feelings, will, and intellect.......ect.

Maybe I'm stretching the definitions. Maybe not. I'll let you decide. I will say this. To "lay hold" of anything one has to get a good grasp on it and not let go. It's not a touch. It's not a grab. It's a grasp and hold.

Here's how it worked in my life. I partied hardy before the Lord but that is not what I will be talking about. After I was saved, I meandered in my feelings. My feelings affected my thoughts which affected my will which tossed intellect out the window. It works just like this, "Well God, You didn't do what I wanted so I'm going to go and get drunk!". Solomon couldn't say that though. God had done EVERYTHING! for Solomon.

Are you blessed by God? Watchout! You might get complacent and your feelings might wander and all the rest of you with them. It's a very small adjustment of the rudder that sends a ship miles off course over time.

My feelings got the better of me. God had just done EVERYTHING! for me except the one thing I wanted. Since He didn't do that one thing all the other things didn't matter and I got mad at Him and let my feeling produce a 3 year period of nonstop everything. I laid hold on folly. If you dare to lay hold on folly, Watch Out!, folly does not let go easily once it lays hold on you.

Isn't it interesting that after Solomon was good and drunk he decided to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do during the years we spend on this earth. Maybe Solomon wasn't drunk on alcohol but he did get good and drunk on the world.

I am doing these post as much for myself as for any of you who come here and read. So I ask myself, "Am I drunk with the world or with the Spirit?". Which are you?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Ecclesiastes 2:1-2

"I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?"
(Ecclesiastes 2:1-2).

In chapter one of Ecclesiastes and in the previous post about that chapter we saw that Solomon had broken fellowship with the Lord. He was backslidden. (Ecclesiastes 1:1 , Ecclesiastes 1:2 ). We saw that he had shifted his focus and lost sight of the Lord. (Ecclesiastes 1:3-11). We found that Solomon had given his heart to the world. (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 ). A couple of post explored the results of all this a bit closer. (Ecclesiastes 1:10 , Ecclesiastes 1:18).

Now we come to chapter two and what do we find? We find a man who has shifted his focus to the world and given his heart to it now going completely against what he knows to be true. Solomon starts right off here, "I said in mine heart".

"I said in mine heart" is a long way from "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Of course we know "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? " (Jeremiah 17:9). Solomon did not have the benefit of Jeremiahs councel which despite being the wisest man who has ever lived, he probably could have used.

"I said in mine heart" one time, "God has failed me!". I had just gotten divorced. I was upset.
I said to myself, "Let's go for it--experiment with pleasure, have a good time!". Click This For Testimony . Have you ever turned yourself over to having a good time? Did you notice that trying to have a good time away from the Lord takes twice the effort for half the reward? It is no wonder that Solomon says, "and, behold, this also is vanity". I too came to the conclusion that what I was doing was pointless, there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke. It was all a fading wisp with no meaning and empty promises of things unattainable.

"I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? " (Ecclesiastes 2:2). Do you know why the term "the pursuit of happiness" is called a pursuit and not a capture? No one ever will have it! Laughter? Sure, we may laugh. People may carry on outside the Lord. It's not real. Lost people do not know JOY!. Lost people do not have "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, (that) shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

You know what? Neither do we if we have shifted our focus from the Lord. Neither do we if we have taken our heart away. Neither do we if we are worldy and fleshy and walk after our own desires. The peace of God will be lifted from us.......but you know what else?........

........GOD IS GOOD!

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). Solomon knew this too. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13).

The problem with Solomon was he said in his heart and thus corvered his sins. How about you? What are you saying in your heart? Where is your joy today? Are you in "hot pursuit" or are you at rest in the Lord?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Something happened when I started the study on Ecclesiastes. The number of people coming to Deeper Truth doubled the most that had ever come and has tripled the average amount.

It is clear to me now that bible study is where God wants this blog to be. I think He is keeping His promise, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

I would like to thank all of you who visit here. I would also like to thank all of you who take the time to comment. I would like to publicly take the time to Thank God for what He is doing here. I pray all the glory goes to Him!

This blog is a work in progress. I have enlarged the fonts for easier reading and spread the columns out a bit so things don't seem so cramped. As many of you have commented on the background has changed. I simply inserted it into the stock template I use from Blogger. I want to do some work to the header title but thus far have been stumped in the idea I would like to implement. There are some other tweaks and what not I am trying to figure out. If at anytime anything here is not working properly please let me know since everything I am trying to do is trial and error. Hopefully less error.

Thanks Again!

Thank God!

And have a blessed day that your in!

Next Post: Ecclesiastes 2:1-2

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:18

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." (Ecclesiastes 1:18).

Here we have a man who God blessed to be the wisest man who has ever been or ever will be saying to increase knowledge is sorrow. I have always been struck by this verse. Read it again. It does not say he that increaseth says knowledge.

Do you know what the difference between knowledge and wisdom is?

Wisdom is knowledge applied! Wisdom is knowledge that has become part of one's being. Wisdom is when knowledge becomes understanding. Many people have knowledge but have no understanding. Solomon is even worse. Solomon had God granted wisdom above and beyond anyone ever and squandered it.

So what is the knowledge that Solomon increased of? What is it Solomon discovered? "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3:19). This is what Solomon discovered. Solomon increased in worldly knowledge and found no wisdom in it. It only lead to sorrow.

"But wait Michael, It says, 'in much wisdom is much grief. What about that?'". Well, let's check it out.

Where does wisdom come from? "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 1:7). We know that "God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much". (1 Kings 4:29). We also know from reading 1 Corinthians 3:19 above that worldly wisdom is foolishness.

So is Solomon saying that worldly wisdom brings much grief?


He is also saying that the wisdom God gave him brings much grief. Why? Remember, Solomon strayed. He shifted his focus. He gave his heart to the world and removed it from the Lord. All that wisdom that God had bestowed upon him was eating him alive. It is called a conscience.

When we open the Word of God and acquire knowledge, the Holy Spirit in us brings understanding. When we apply that understanding we become wise. When we don't. We feel convicted. You might want to argue that but if the Holy Spirit has brought you to an understanding and you ignore it, "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). I don't think I have misapplied that verse at all.

Solomon knew better. He was and still is the wisest man who has ever lived. Solomons conscience was having him for lunch. God was convicting him.

The more anyone reads God's Word the more they will increase in knowledge. Anyone can get knowledge from the bible. Only people who have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior get understanding. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The more a child of Christ reads His Word the more He will bring them to understanding. The more understanding we have the more accountable we are. The more accountable we are the more our conscience is fine tuned to the will of God. The more we listen to God pricking our conscience the more we will be blessed with His Wisdom. When we don't listen to that "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12) our hearts become hardened. We loss focus. We give our heart away to the world and the lust thereof.

Wisdom does indeed lead to much grief then.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

"I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." ( Ecclesiastes 1:12-18).

When do you suppose Solomon decided that the wisdom of the Lord wasn't enough?

"Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore" (1 Kings 3:13, 4:29).

If I understand the first verse above correctly there has never been and never will be a person granted the wisdom that Solomon had. God blessed him exceeding much! That wasn't enough for Solomon though.Notice what he says in Ecclesiastes 1:12, "I gave my heart". I think that this is a very telling statement early in Ecclesiastes. He once gave his heart to the Lord. He wrote, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). He knew, "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" (Proverbs 16:9, 21:1).

Solomon knew these things and yet he says "I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven". Notice that at some point he started seeking things out UNDER HEAVEN. That is the earth. That is wordly things. That is he stopped seeking the Lord and started seeking the world. He further makes this clear when he says, "I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly". Madness and folly have nothing to do with the Lord. Solomon knew this too.

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace" (Proverbs 3:13-17).

How does one find wisdom and have this pleasantness, peace, and be happy?

"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility." (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 15:33).

It comes from the Lord. When Solomon gave his heart to the world he took it from the Lord and lost His ways of pleasantess and peace.

I would like to ask you today as I ask myself..... Where is your focus? Who has your heart? Who are you trusting? Mr. Wordly Wise Man cannot bring peace. Everything done under the sun, in the world, cannot bring peace.

Peace is a gift from God's Grace to us. "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:3). Search your bible and you will find this thought is repeated over and over, that grace and peace come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

Who are you going to trust with you heart? Who and what do you give your heart too? Solomon took his heart from the Lord and gave it to the world. We are studying the results of that decision in this series.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:10

"Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us" (Ecclesiastes 1:10).

I briefly went over this verse in the previous post. I would now like to look at it alone a bit more.

I think this verse is often misapplied to external, physical, stuff. I know I have done it. We might do it looking at a car, "Ya, a car like that was out a long time ago". We might do it with a song or with music in general, "That song sounds just like something the Beattles already did". It could be any number of things and then we go, "Well, the bible says there is nothing new under the sun".

This is not what is intended here I am sure. What follows after this verse is twelve chapters of experiences. There isn't anything new in human experience. We will all feel the same emotions. We will all have the same experiences, oh, the circumstances might be different, but the emotional reaction will be the same. I haven't been skydiving (I would like too though!) but I am certian I have probably felt the same adrenalin rush and have been as excited, scared, whatever one might use to describe skydiving. Most of the people that come here I'm guessing haven't done the drugs I have done but I bet everyone has felt the same emotions, they just handled them differently. These are probably bad examples but the point I want to make is that Solomon is right. There is nothing new in human experience.

People got up and went to work in Solomons day. They paid bills. They paid taxes (high ones at that! I'll let you search it out). They fell in love, got in fights, stressed out, had fun, bought stuff, sold stuff, envied others, were envied, ect, ect. People in Jesus day did the same things. People in all ages have done the same things we are doing today. The only thing that has changed is technology. Instead of watching entertainers in the square, at the gate, in the palace, where ever people went, we goto the movies, watch TV, surf the internet. I'm sure you can think of other examples.

"So what's your point Michael?"

Well, my point is, Solomon is about to give us twelve chapters of human experience. All of it had already been done. All of it was going to be done again. All of it is being done right now.

I think Solomon sat down, looked back, found when He lost fellowship with the Lord, and began writing about all the things he did to fill that vacancy in him. I have done a great many things to fill the vacancy in me. I have drank to the excess. I have drugged to the excess. I have had sex to the excess. I have done most everything I have ever done to the excess. When the Lord came all that changed. The vacancy was gone. God filled it up. I think in the next twelve chapters Solomon is doing his best to ask God to come fill him up again cause none of the things he list were going to do it.

I know there are people who come here who are experencing difficulties right now. I know there are temptation whenever difficulties arise. I know if we give in to them they might help for a brief moment but it will take something bigger, better, and more of it the next time. I admire and find encouragement in people such as live, love, laugh at Sweeter Than Ever! who is trusting wholeheartedly in the Lord as her mom is ill. "It's in God's hands, only He knows how much time we have. I could go today, I am not promised tomorrow, she may be here six more months, or maybe one day, only He knows".

It's who we trust with our experiences that make the difference. Trust in the Lord or trust in nothing since everything else is empty and void. Were about to start a twelve chapter trip down a list of things that will never make anyone happy. Will never bring joy. Will never amount to anything. All any of it will do is bring a person to depression when they realize "vanity of vanities; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

What Solomon needed is the same thing people need today. THE LORD! Want something new? Try Christ! "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:3-11

"What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after" (Ecclesiastes 1:3-11).

If you have not read the previous two post on Ecclesiastes may I suggest you do so now?

All of creation testifies to the Glory of the Lord. Solomon would have knowen this. I'm sure his dad David would have explained to him the importance of natural revelation in Psalm 19:1-6. (Got your bible?) At the very least Solomon would have read his fathers writings. Creation testifies to God's glory continuously, verse 1. Creation testifies to God's glory completely, verses 3 and 4. Creation testifies to God's glory clearly, verses 4 thru 6.

It seems that Solomon lost sight of what creation was telling him. I find this remarkable seeing he clearly understood the wonder of God's creation when he wrote a song about him and his lover we know as the Song of Solomon. I would guess that Solomon wrote this early in his reign as king. Probably within the first couple years after he took Pharaoh's daughter for his wife. This would have been his first wife. I can't imagine him writing this song for any other. They would have been young and powerful. Solomon was under God's blessing. It would have been first love unlike the thousand other women he collected. Read the Song of Solomon. Is it not a song of first love? Do you really think Solomon could have written that for his second, hundredth, five hundredth, a thousandth woman? I think not. Solomon used the wonders of creation as figures to write about love. He clearly knew the glory of God's creation.

When Solomon broke fellowship with God he lost sight of the wonders of God's creation. When we loss sight of Jesus we will inevitably find everything ordinary. When everything becomes ordinary we will fall into the next trap Solomon got caught in. The trap of thinking things are better somewhere else. That the grass is greener over there. That person must have it better. That there is nothing new and nothing left. Everything is the same and it's ordinary and boring at best.

Do you think Solomon really thought he was writing for all time when he wrote Ecclesiastes? I doubt it. "There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after" (Ecclesiastes 1:11). Solomon was depressed. He lost fellowship with God. He lost sight of the miracles that had happened in his life. He couldn't see the might of God's hand around him. I think Ecclesiastes in many ways is Solomon's Psalm 51 except Solomon's "heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father" (1 King 11:4) and thus Solomon comes to the conclusion, "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13) and David comes to the conclusion, "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psalm 51:16-17).

I wonder if Solomon was trying to manufacture a broken and contrite heart. I have tried to manufacture a broken and contrite heart. It doesn't work. God will break us if need be and there is nothing that will stop it and there is nothing we can do to break ourselves. Have you ever noticed only broken people cry for God? It's never like people wake up and go, "Oh what a beautiful day! All the bills are paid. I'm in perfect health. I'm just so very happy. I think I'll go get saved!". Nope, that just don't happen and that is why bad things happen. It's only in bad times people call on God. When their hearts are broken and contrite. When there is nowhere else to turn. When there is nothing left. That is when we find God.

Sunday Morning

The kids are marching around under orders from their mom. "Brush your teeth! Brush that hair! Here, wear this!" All the while she is trying to get ready.....

"Michael, Help Me!".

"How? You wouldn't like what I lay out for the girls. I can't do your hair. I took the trash out. I did the morning dishes. I'm just going to stay out of the way."

And so I wander over to the computer. I surf around the blogs. I make some comments. I try and remember to pray for my pastor. I try to remember to pray for.....I just try to remember to pray.

I think about the day ahead. The Risen Lord. My Savior. I think about how I'll mumble the songs and wonder why I don't shout with joy the hymns I read. I sometimes try and rehearse a prayer incase I'm called on but I seldom am and if I am I never remember what it was I was going to say.

I have been reading today about how special and great today should be. It's Easter Sunday! Yep, somehow it's the same as every Sunday. Not to say I don't love my Risen Savior and what He has done for me. Not to say I am not remembering the Cross and Calvery. Not to say I don't remember and think of the empty tomb.....but I really do think of these things every Sunday. I think of these things most every morning in the hour drive I have to work. I think of these things when I'm beating myself up for not being perfect. I think of these things when I'm remembering how far the Lord has brought me. I think of these things as I read all of your thoughts on the blogs I surf. I think of these things when I'm far from God and am in desperate need of finding the one prayer that will bring me back. I think of these things when I'm all snuggled up close and in perfect fellowship. I'm thinking of these things now as my wife calls from the background........

"Will you come finish these dishes! I don't want to come home to them."

I must go. Duty calls.

Have a great Day Your In!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:2

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

The preacher here is Solomon. He is approximately 55. He has been king over Jerusalem for 38 years. He has broken fellowship with the Lord. The judgment of the Lord is upon him in the form of three people who have risen against him.

I can see Solomon surrounded with splendor. Servants, slaves, wives, concubines, everyone and everything at his immediate demand....but he is not content. He once walked with his Lord. He once cherished wisdom and truth. He walked in them and held them close. Now they haunted him. Now wisdom mocked him and the truth was far from him and yet, it was there alright, He knew it and it's in Ecclesiastes for anyone who wishes to find why this broken man is crying "vanity of vanities, all is vanity".

Websters defines vanity as, "Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity." The word translated vanity comes from the Hebrew root word habal which means "to be lead astray". This is what happened to Solomon.

"When Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods" (1 Kings 11:4). Solomon was lead astray and the result was emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity.

I wonder if Solomon realized at this point just how patient the Lord had been with him. It was probably within the first couple years of his reign he "made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about" (1 Kings 3:1). "And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house, And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come" (2 Chronicals 8:1,11).

It was after taking Pharaohs daughter that Solomon asked for wisdom and had his second personal encounter with God. During the 20 years of building the house of the Lord Solomon took other wives from the countries around about him which the Lord had forbidden. I don't think he built any alters to other gods at this time though. This seems to happen after the last of his father David's advisors dies off. It seems that Solomon had at least 20 years of purely undeserved blessing culminating in the glory of the LORD filling the Temple (2 Chronicals 7:1).

Are not all our blessing purely undeserved? The very fact we are saved is undeserved favor of our God. One day our undeserved favor from the Lord will culminate in His glory filling the New Jerusalem upon a new earth where we will dwell with Him forever "and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: And there shall be no more curse" (Revelation 21:4,22:3).

Praise God!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ecclesiastes 1:1

"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem" (Ecclesiastes 1:1).

So begins the lament of a preacher, a son, a king, and an old man who has lost sight of his first love, namely, God. This man was Solomon.

In 1st Kings chapter 11 (I suggest you read verses 1-13 now please.) we learn that Solomon broke God's command in Deuteronomy 7:3 (Did you get your bible yet?). When he broke that commandment his heart was turned away after other gods which leads to one of the most amazing verses in the Word of God in my humble opinion.

"And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice" (1 Kings 11:9). God was a little more than angry with Solomon. The word translated angry is anaph. It means, "to breathe hard, that is, be enraged: - be angry (displeased)".

God had appeared twice to Solomon! Twice! "The Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly" (2 Chronicles 1:1). Solomon built the Temple and after praying "fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house" (2 Chronicles 7:1).

I simply can't imagine after all this having a heart turned away from God, but then, I don't have to imagine. I have turned my heart away from God. I have plenty of miracles I can count in my life and yet I have turned away. Shortly after giving all of myself to Jesus I took it all back and went crazy with sex, drugs, and drinking. I wonder if God was breathing hard.

God's judgment came upon Solomon for his unrepentant ways. 1st Kings 11:11,14,23-25 (did you get your bible yet?) and 26-40 discuss three adversaries that were brought against Solomon. I said Solomon was unrepentant. I think Ecclesiastes is his tirade at God. I know I have been in an unrepentant state and blamed God. I have questioned what everything is about. In the last couple post I have expressed feelings of distress. Sin does that to us. It separates us from God and sometimes even though we know better, we separate ourselves. We lose fellowship and nothing can fill the emptiness that is left. This is what Ecclesiastes is about. The emptiness in everything outside of God. It was in this state of affairs that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes.

What is interesting about Ecclesiastes is it ends (12:13) where Proverbs starts (1:7). Solomon is an old man at this point in time, perhaps 55, with about 2 years left of his life. He comes full circle in Ecclesiastes. He begins in wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15, 2 Chronicles 1:7-12) and comes back to it (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

I ask that you keep in mind how far Solomon has fallen and the adversaries that are out his door and in his family. These two facts help determine the tone of Ecclesiastes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers in/on the previous two post. I have considered them all. I have had a chance to talk with somebody I respect and I have received some additional good advice. Just voicing my thoughts and feelings helped immensely. Here are some decisions I have made.

I am going to talk to God whether I'm cut off or not due to bad feelings I hold. I'm not going to let myself cut myself off.

I am going to refocus my prayers. Instead of praying for others to change or what I usually do is pray for Him to change me, I'm going to pray that He will help me simply get out of the way so that He can work through me for change in everything.

I was told to start a family bible study on Proverbs. I have thought about this. I think it good advice. I think I will simply let God speak. I'll read a bit and let everyone decide what it is saying to them. I don't think I'll have any specific study plan since I would aim it and that wouldn't be of God.

I am going to let my step son pick a new bible so that we will all have the same translation for the bible study instead of each of us having something different. People often have strong emotions over their bibles. I know I was devastated when I lost my first bible. I still wonder if one day it will ever find it's way back to me. I think between picking his own and knowing it is the same as his "mama's" bible will have an impact.

I am beginning to see one set of footprints in the sand and it's not because I was alone.

Awhile back I asked what people would like me to write about here. I have leaned toward the idea of Ecclesiastes. I think I will start on this soon with a goal of posting roughly every three days.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Some Thoughts and Findings.

I feel as though I am coming out of a drought of sorts. I have been asking Jesus to help me in checking myself out as I said in the previous post. Here is what I have found that I am willing to share.

I found I have a great deal of animosity built up in me. My wives son has been living with us almost a year. He is 16, over 6 feet, 270 pounds. He does nothing. He doesn't go to school. He doesn't work. He doesn't pick up after himself. He doesn't have chores. He stays up all night and sleeps all day. I have a great deal of animosity built up in me.

I have road rage. My wife made me aware of this. I usually drive by myself and have never given much thought to it. After my wife made a comment I have been more aware of it and she is right. I have road rage.

I get bored at church. I am certain that this is probably not right but it is true none the less. I am way more enthused about going to my seminary extension classes than church.

I am probably hard on myself. I feel like I fail God way more than I am used by Him. Out of this self defeating position I have taken on myself my prayer life has dwindled which is the next thing.

I don't pray much. Sure, I talk to God but I don't ask for anything. I don't pray for other people very often. Most of my prayers are prayers to ask God to help me to pray. I seem to be stuck in a loop. I want to pray, nothing comes out. I want to pray with my wife, I just don't. This is the most troublesome thing to me as I am sure much of what I am finding about myself could be taken care of through prayer.

I feel stuck in my walk. I want to move forward yet I find myself saying I am not even faithful in the little things so how can I expect to move forward? I would love to get ordained. I see men of God I greatly respect and I want that. I want to be used of God like that. The Lord knows that is the one area I don't falter in. I study my bible. I have a desire to serve. I could babble on and on in this one topic but I won't.

Out of the desire to get ordained I find discouragement. I have tried to make myself available to preach, teach, and otherwise serve. I have called people that need people to preach at old folks homes. It hasn't worked out. I have expressed my desires with my pastor. It hasn't really worked out. I am going to these seminary extension classes. I'm not sure where they are going....other than I really like them. It seems that the messages I preach when I have are discouraging because I call sin sin and "people just don't want to hear that".

I have given much thought about whether I am in the will of God at this time in my life or not. It's not like God doesn't know all this that I am writing. I write here and some people get blessed and I wonder if God would use me like that if I was not in right standing with Him.

It is a big decision to put this out in the open like this. I try an be transparent in everything, especially here at my blog since I want to help, encourage, and otherwise affect you who come here. I think the best way to do that is to be honest. I simply cannot be the only person who hits areas of their walk with Jesus where they are like, "what is going on here?".

I appreciate any comments and or suggestions but what I would appreciate most is your prayers........maybe I'm the brink of something big. I have felt this way before other steps of maturity in Christ.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Losing God's Blessing

When I started this blog I had the idea I wanted to write about a bunch of things that I had always thought about and so I started writing a whole series of post. It was my intention that they should have gone on much longer but I stopped writing the series. I just didn't think God's blessings were upon that line of writing anymore.

Many of you enjoyed the Heaven series. I thank you all very much! I was going to write one last post in that series but it began to feel like I was writing in my own strength and so I haven't.

Over at Puritan Belief there has been an ongoing series of post that seem to me they have gone on too long. At Modern Day Magi's sight there was the potential for a post to drag on to long when he had a post titled Green Beer which started a Catholic debate.

All this leads to a question....

Is it possible to move out from under God's blessing upon our endeavors and into a place were we are doing everything in our own strength?

It's not just writing I have been thinking about. It's prayer. It's study. It's going to church. It's the whole Christian walk. It's all part of spiritual check up I think I need. I have been checking myself. Does anyone else do that?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Fathers Name

The following post was in part a response to the topic What is the Fathers Name at Puritan Belief. See link at right.

It started getting good to me so I worked it up into a post here.

"In the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Genesis 1:1).

God here is Elohim. It's the first of the three primary names of Deity. It is always plural as is backed up in Genesis 1:26 which demonstrates the plurality of the name,

"And God said, Let us....".

The following verse, Genesis 1:27 demonstrates the unity of the name.

"So God created man in his own image...."

Where did the US go? It's in the plural name Elohim.

In Exodus 3:14 we have God, Elohim, saying I AM THAT I AM.

In Exodus 3:15 we have Elohim still speaking and He says His name is Yahweh which means to be, subsist, signifies "He who is", or "subsists", i.e., eminently and in a manner superior to all other beings; and is essentially the same with eheyeh, "I AM", in the preceding verse.

When Elohim speaks saying that He is Yahweh and that it is His Name forever He is saying that He is the self existent one and that He is in that position forever.

If one looks at "this is MY NAME" in Exodus 3:15 you will find that the word rendered "my name" in Hebrew means position.

The third primary name for God is Adonai. The name Adonai, translated "Lord" (only the "L" capitalized), occurs approximately 300 times in the Old Testament. It's interesting to note that it is almost always used in the plural possessive form meaning "My Lords".

So we have Elohim which is a plural name for One God. We have Elohim calling Himself Yahweh which literally means I AM, and we have Adonai which again is a plural name of Lords.

Seems to me God is saying. I AM LORD!

"the LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Saturday, April 01, 2006

1 John 5:7

At the seminary extension classes I have been taking we have learned much about the importance of 1 John 5:7 and about the King James Version translation of it.

Not being satisfied with simply believing what I'm told I have been looking into this verse. Here is the verse from the King James bible.

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7).

What we have learned is that many translations of the bible combine verse 7 with verse 8 and read like this....

" 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement" (N.I.V.)
" 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement" (N.A.S.B.)

Now, here is verse 7 and 8 together in the King James.

" 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one".

See the difference? I was pretty amazed when I found out my trusty N.A.S.B. had left out the only verse in the bible that definitively expresses the Trinity and so I have been looking into Greek around the web and giving myself a bit of a crash course in how Greek works. What have I discovered? It's all really confusing stuff about neuter nouns, a masculine participle, and more nouns. All that is dependent on what Greek manuscripts are being used.

There is the Byzantine text-type which is what the King James came from and then there is the Alexandrian text-type which pretty much everything else comes from. Youngs Literal Translation demonstrates the difference between the two best I think.

"7 because three are who are testifying 8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one."

I purposely left a part out. Young's Literal Translation follows the Alexandrian text-type in the form I have presented but Young provides the Byzantine text-type as italics so that it reads like this.

"7 because three are who are testifying in the heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these--the three--are one; 8 and three are who are testifying in the earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one."

Young leaves out the three agreeing all together.

Everything I have just written lead me back to looking into the different text types. I have surfed all over the web reading both sides of the argument. The "King James Only" crowd and the other side which seems to be just about everyone else.

It's all pretty interesting stuff. It all solidifies my opinion that one should question everything!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Heaven part 8: New Earth part 3

I have heard it said that there will be no more sun and moon when we reach the New Earth. I'm not sure if the people literally mean there will be no more sun and moon or not.

The Word of God says, "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof","And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever" (Revelations 21:23,22:5).

Notice in both these verses the Word does not say that there is no sun or moon. What they say is there is NO NEED for them. The word no in Greek is an absolutely negative. It's a strong NO! The word need in Greek is chreia. It means, "employment, that is, an affair; also (by implication) occasion, demand, requirement or destitution" (Strongs).

So God is saying in His Word exactly what He means. We will have no need for the sun or the moon because the Glory of God will outshine them thus the sun and moon will be "retired" from they're "employment" as lights. The Word does not say they are gone which leads me to the next verse I would like to look at.

Maybe there is a new sun and moon. "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful" (Revelations 21:5). Jesus Himself says He is going to make all things new. I wondered if it were just the New Heavens and New Earth He was talking about so I looked up pas which is the Greek for all. It means all, any, every, the whole. It's is used in the New Testament over 1200 times. 975 of those times it is rendered as all. 168 times it is rendered every. Seems to me that Jesus means EVERYTHING!

But then where was He when He said this? " And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful" (Revelations 21:3-5).

Jesus was still in the Heaven when He spoke that He was making all things new. Was He saying this just about the New Earth? I don't think so. Even if the sun and moon remain I think the laws of nature that God set in place to govern them will be changed upon creation of the New Earth.

Matthew Henry's Commentary says, " I saw a new heaven and a new earth; that is, a new universe; for we suppose the world to be made up of heaven and earth". Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible says, "A new heaven and new earth Rev_21:1, and an order of things to correspond with that new creation. The former state of things when sin and death reigned will be changed, and the change consequent on this must extend to everything".

Of course there are commentaries that say it's only a New Earth Jesus is speaking of but I think I agree with Barnes. There must be a new order. New laws set forth. Just think, we won't die, no night, the tree of life yields fruit every month....does this mean it's perpetual spring? No more seasons?

Were going to look some more at the tree of life in the next post. I think that will be the last of this series on Heaven.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Thinking about my testimony.

Shortly after I got saved I learned to not give my testimony. In life I never do. My wife has even told me it's better not too, or at least not to fully give it. I wrote it out here (see link to right) and placed it for all to read fully expecting what has always been the typical response. That hasn't happened but I have recently heard, yet again, that the events in my life are not possible because "God does not work that way anymore". It has me thinking.

I never claim to see a "blinding light". I don't say I saw "Jesus". I remember one night in my life more fully than I can remember anything else that has ever happened to me. I'll never be able to fully articulate it. I have analyzed it a zillion times in my mind. I have even debated a couple times with people who told me it didn't or couldn't happen. I will never do that again.

My first wife was a HUGE Startrek fan. I have never liked the show. I pretty much despised it since I pretty much hated everything about our marriage. Captain John Luke Picard of the Starship Enterprise stood on some stairs in a dream I had. The stairs went nowhere, not clouds, not a "blinding light", not anything. I was only aware that they went out of sight. Like looking at a road going into the horizon. He was motioning me to join him.

I have never learned to swim. The stairs started from water. It was arctic water. I was struggling to jump from one piece of ice to the next to get to the stairs. I wasn't going to make it. Part of me was wondering why I wanted to. I hated this man. I missed a jump and plunged into the water. It was cold and black. I awoke terrified.

There was a presence in my room. I didn't see anyone. I didn't see anything. I just knew that somebody had been there and that the presence left which left me even more scared. I ran to the kitchen. I stood there fully aware that Jesus had just removed His calling from my life. I knew what it was going to be like to not feel God working around me anymore. I was not aware that God was working around me till I felt that it was gone.

I stood in the kitchen for a very long time. It was hell. I was dead. Death in the Bible is separation from God. I didn't know that then. What I knew is I was separated and that I had a choice. I could continue on and would always be separated or I could come to Jesus. It was Jesus who had been motioning to me in my dream. It was Jesus who had been in my room. It was Jesus who had withdrawn Himself. It was Jesus I must find!

People can say what they will. I know what I know and that's all that I know. I know it so strongly that once I got a whole bunch of God's Word in me I never once doubted I was saved in my rampage after my divorce. It was because I was saved I had to try so very hard to get wasted. Where before I did everything without much thought I now did everything in anger at God. Where before I thought I might want to die I now hoped to "accidentally" overdose or drink myself to death or stumble in front of a car or wreck my own or whatever....just as long as it wasn't suicide and Jesus took me home, which I KNEW He would do. But He didn't. I'm still alive.

The dream was not my only event though. After the dream I read the whole bible in about a week. I was reading it a second time and was in Proverbs somewhere when I knew I wanted something. I had already heard my dream wasn't possible. I knew the Word was so alive! Everything was blazing truth and I had this whole big, huge, understanding, that people were blowing off and I was so wanting something. I wanted proof. I wanted salvation. I wanted Jesus. I wanted God. I wanted truth. I wanted to know. I wanted everything and I wanted it right now. Right then. Right when I was reading instead of working. Right there hidden in the back of a warehouse. I wanted something to happen......and it did.

It is because of these two experiences that I stay silent when asked about my "salvation experience". There is two extremes in response and I don't like either. I don't know why Jesus worked this way in my life. I have questioned it to death and now I simply let it rest. I write here because I can. It's on my mind and it's my blog......that didn't come out right.....oh well, sorry.

I don't want to know why Jesus saved me the way He did. I don't want to debate it. I don't want to explain it. I know what I know and that's all that I know. Now I simply want to enjoy the gift that has been given me.

My relationship with Jesus is on an intimate level I can never explain. I have gotten angry with Him and tried to run. I have been so close I curled up in His arms. I have tried to ignore Him. I have tried to absorb Him. I have gone without talking to Him and then I feel like I am always talking to Him, after all, He knows my every thought. I am always aware of Him around me. I have a peace that drives my wife crazy. I can't be bothered with my past anymore. I don't even know how to worry about tomorrow. I feel infinitely bad about sins in my life and yet I know they have already been forgiven. My relationship with Jesus is as complex and personal as any I have with my mom, dad, wife, and/or anyone. I often see how I abuse Him as I have those I have loved. I know there is a purpose for me. It is in that purpose I find a possible reason for the way Jesus dramatically entered my life. Maybe it was so that I would never ever waiver in my faith. I have fell in a great many ways but I have never once ever even come remotely close to doubting I'm saved and that Jesus is here and He is real and He loves me and YOU and nothing that you or I or anybody or anything can ever say or do will ever change that.

THANK YOU JESUS! I think I might cry.......

Heaven part 7: New Earth part 2

Since I left off with the River of Life I thought I would pick up there too, or at least the verse it is mentioned in. I have a list of things I wish to cover that I wrote for myself in no particular order and I'm going through them in no particular order.

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Revelations 22:1-2).

There is so much going on in this one verse. I could elaborate on the fact the throne of the Father and of the Son is further proof that Jesus is God. I could talk about the fact that Eden had one tree of life and this verse clearly indicates three for us in Heaven. There is numerous things that one can pull out of this verse but it is the nations I wish to look into.

The word used for nations in Greek is ethnos. It is used over 150 times in the New testament. In most cases it is rendered as Gentiles which is anyone other than the Jews, or, any other nation. When it is not rendered Gentiles it is always rendered as nation. Ethnos means, "a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan): - Gentile, heathen, nation, people" (Strongs).

Why is it that in most pictures of "heaven" everyone is white? I have been to the flea market and seen pictures where everyone in "heaven" is black. Why? I believe the Jehovah Witnesses to be a cult but have you ever seen their picture of paradise? They always show all races, all colors, all people, standing together in a perfect paradise and this, to me, seems to be what is indicated in Revelations 22:2.

God created each person exactly as He wanted them. This includes nationality and skin color. Revelations 22:2 says to me that different races of people will occupy Heaven. Imagine, no more racism. Everyone equal.

God is pretty big on names. Every name in the bible has specific meanings. We all will receive new names in Heaven. I wonder if nations will have names. Not names of division as we have now but names of reference. I think I would be happy to run to China to pick up some stirfry for Jesus to multiply, which leads me to the next thing I wish to discuss.

I don't have any verses in the Word of God for this topic. It's merely my speculation but I hope that when we reach Heaven we still can be creative. I don't want to magically have food poof into existence for me. I want to have all eternity to learn to cook and paint and play music and dance and sing and learn everything about everything and use my imagination to make beautiful things I can offer to Jesus and have Him tell me how much He enjoys everything and I can tell Him how much I love Him for dying to let me bring these things to Him.

Of course we will have all eternity to do these things since "there shall be no more curse" (Revelations 22:3) but that verse is next post.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Heaven part 6: New Earth part 1

I have to this point let everyone think I would sum up the our final abode, New Earth/Heaven, by comparing it to the Garden of Eden. There is one problem with this comparison though. Our final destination will be so far better than Eden that there really is no comparison. So instead of comparing I would like to contrast the two.

In Eden God's presence was with man but He did not dwell with them. It appears that His presence could be withdrawn as Adam and Eve heard the Lord walking in the garden which seems to indicate that God had been away or at least in Adam and Eves mind He was.

When we reach the New Earth "the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:3). God Himself will dwell with us! This seems to indicate that God the Father is with us! I know I dream of seeing Jesus! Don't you? My mind just goes off spinning into places I can't begin to comprehend when I think of God the Father dwelling with us. I bet we all fully understand the Trinity then!

In Eden I believe there was pain. There is a difference between being sinless (not knowing the difference between good and evil) and being without the normal problems of a physical existence. An infant does not know the difference between good and evil, but he or she certainly experiences pain and struggles in life. I submit that the fall did not bring pain but multiplied it. I bet Jesus hit His thumb with a hammer, stubbed his toe and/or got sore from hard work, etcetera, and yet was without sin. Not to say Jesus didn't know the difference between good and evil. I'm simply saying one can experience pain without sin.

In man's case, the normal activities of humans were commanded by God. Man was told to "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). All of those things require man and woman to work. You cannot have dominion and subdue things without effort and work.

Not convinced there was pain? Eve was told, "I will greatly increase your pain in child bearing" (Genesis 3:16). To increase her pain there must have been pain to begin with. Pain was a good thing before the fall. It prevents us from further injury and/or dangerous situations. Put your hand to flame, it's hot, jerk back.

When we reach the New Earth there will not be any more pain (Revelation 21:4). The implications of this are mind boggling. No more dangerous situations. Nothing that can hurt us. Just let your mind wander. I'm sure you can think of things.

Eden had seas. "The gathering together of the waters called he Seas" (Genesis 1:10). The New Earth has "no more sea" (Revelation 21:1).

Why do you suppose that is? I have read that it is because seas waste space and thus the New Earth will be fully inhabitable. I think this is a great answer. I would like to expand on it a bit.

I wonder if perhaps we confuse sea with ocean. In Genesis the word for seas in Hebrew is yawm. It is "from an unused root meaning to roar; a sea (as breaking in noisy surf) or large body of water; specifically (with the article) the Mediterranean; sometimes a large river, or an artificial basin" (Strongs).

Is it possible that there were no oceans till after the flood? In revelations 21:1 the Greek word for sea is halce. It is "A primary word; salt: - salt." (Strongs)

I think the New Earth will have large bodies of water, just not oceans. I think further evidence of this can be found in the fact that Eden did not experience rain (Genesis 2:5-6). Rain causes erosion which results in minerals running into the ocean were they are gathered to produce salt water. Now think of the rapid run off from a world wide flood and the resulting erosion and minerals deposited to create the ocean's.

I don't think it will rain on the New Earth. I don't think there will be any erosion. I think a mist will go up to water the New Earth (Genesis 2:6) which leads me to the next contrast.

In Eden there was not a River of Life! Perhaps there will be no need for a mist to go up to water the New Earth since there will be "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Revelations 22:1). Also note Genesis 2:10, "a river went out of Eden to water the garden", but not the River of Life.

I had thought that I could wrap up this study of Heaven in a couple more post. I am beginning to think it will be a bit longer than that. I am sure everyone who reads this can think of many things I have yet to get too.