Consciousness: The sum total input from all our senses and our perception of what it means.
GOD provides us with the gift of our senses and the gift of our intellect; how we perceive what it all means and interpret it with our consciousness can be is dependent on whether or not we believe GOD. Since I am a Christian my source of guidance for this process comes from The Word of GOD; in particular what Jesus taught.
The Bible is the lens and filter by which we Christians should examine what we do and who we say we are.
Diligent study of GOD’s Word will strengthen our ability to avoid temptation and sin and live a more GOD influenced life every day.
If we reject GOD and choose evil or even the appearance of evil we and others will look at our lives and our existence from that point of view; Choose GOOD; Choose Jesus and eternity with GOD.
When the Hebrews were settled in the land GOD promised (some of the land that is) and things were relatively peaceful the people would forget what GOD had done for them. During the time of the Judges there became a cycle of falling away from GOD and dire consequences then GOD would raise up a Judge to lead them back and defeat their enemies. This cycle persisted for twelve judges; the period ends when Saul became King.
Some of us Christians may be hard pressed to admit it but, we easily forget when GOD has answered our prayer(s) and drift into a carefree nonchalant frame of mind until the next crises. That behavior can be explained with this familiar phrase, “What have you done for me lately?”. We probably do not mean it that way but it still appears that way to others.
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—
An Even Worse Attitude?
An even worse attitude may be taking GOD for granted. Assuming that the answer to prayer will be what we think is right, sometimes relying on GOD’s Grace to cover what may otherwise be our sin.
So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
Even Moses Faltered
Moses struck a rock at Mount Horeb as GOD instructed and water flowed for the people during the Exodus but later GOD instructed Moses to speak to a rock to bring forth water but he hit it with a stick again: this displeased GOD and evoked anger.
SONG: Steven Curtis Chapman – Remember to Remember
Some people want to portray GOD as just love while others as a vengeful god spewing “fire and brimstone”. Christians who study scriptures diligently must come to the conclusion GOD is both. To become a Christian we must admit we are sinners and repent. Elsewhere in the Bible there are numerous references to The Love GOD has for us and creation – of course Sin, Fallen Angels, Satan and Evil is excluded.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
The Stick is Bitter!
Therefore we as Christians must speak truth: Yes God is Love he provides and has given Salvation through the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on the Cross but, to ignore the penalty for unrepentant sin does not help anyone and leads to eternal damnation.
SONG: Kristian Stanfill: My Reward – Official Lyric Video
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
2) GOD generated visions and dreams
5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.6 He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed:7 Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”8 His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
Jesus was not starting a new religion, he came to lead the Hebrews back to GOD. All the people of Jewish hierarchy were well in trenched in the dogma they established and perpetuated.
Most of the augmented law of The Pentateuch had been corrupted to benefit the religious and secular Jewish leaders. The Jewish fisherman and other laymen understood “The Law” and traditions but were open to what a new Rabi (Jesus) had to say.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, …
And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
OK John the Baptist offered a way for the Jews to repent and regain favor with GOD and apparently most rejected him. Jesus came to offer the same to all the Jewish people but it seems only sinners and tax collectors heard and obeyed. Only a very few leaders responded as Nicodemus had. Eventually the hardened hearts resulted in the Crucifixion of Jesus and the offer of salvation to all people (including Gentiles).
SONG: Open the Eyes of My Heart by Michael W. Smith, lyrics included.
Yes I wrote about evil before however, I thought it worthwhile to reiterate aspects of this seemingly ubiquitous aspect of life. If we just focus on The Ten Commandments and select those that instill an immediate threat to humans we should gain a bit more insight concerning evil. So, if I avoid debating social or cultural dilemmas head on cool heads may allow why sin is the source of evil. When GOD created the Heavenly Hosts they misused their Free Will as humans eventually had done later on when they were created. Satan and his demonic supporters fell from grace and influenced, and still influence, humanity: tempting us to give in to our sin nature thus perpetuating the influences of evil upon our world.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Self defense, defending good, defending your family may lead to killing because there is little choice; possibly self sacrifice if it can do good is possible, but:
Rather than go through every possibility in a short blog I will point out how two more sins cause evil to linger on the Earth.
1. Untruth: lies, omission, deception, manipulation . . . These cause the innocent harm; rob the innocent of what is theirs; encourages and enables a perpetrator to continue in these sinful ways. 2. Greed: How much does a person really need of anything? If a selfish person acts greedily innocent people loose out: food, clothing, healthcare, . . . . . employment doing honorable work.
There is no such thing as a victimless crime according to the Laws of GOD. Jesus paid for sin and fulfilled the penalty for sinning but He did not do away with GOD’s standards and definition for sin.
Accept Jesus’ sacrifice and gain eternal life.
SONG: I WILL FEAR NO EVIL / Worship Song by Pastor Daryl K Williams
We go about our lives thinking we are deciding what to do, where and when to go; what to eat; who to marry; what job to take. Yet when any of these decisions turn out negative our minds may go into overdrive attempting to figure out what happened (a consequence of free will?). Philosophers have wrestled with this question for a long time and I myself confronted baffling outcomes to my choices. First, GOD blessed us with free will and had also blessed the angles with free will resulting in some rebelling introducing evil to creation.
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”
If you read Job you will see a great struggle because with permission Satan tormented Job and still he held up to the onslaught.
In some places in the world trust is a rare commodity. It is difficult to trust leaders, police, military, neighbors or even friends. When you need something people in these palaces are never sure they are getting what they are paying for or, they expect that in order to receive the correct goods or services they often must be prepared to bribe someone.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Our Society Honors Success Often Above All Else
We often value people with more material success more than others. This can lead to tolerance of sin, evil and abuse of less privileged people.
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
Song: My Reward video by Ronald Nard feat vocalist, the awesome Jermia Cannon. This video put’s a visual perspective to the song. “My Reward” is in Heaven. Lead by Jermia Cannon and background vocals by Kacy Harvey & Sound Of Praise.
While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. …
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” …
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. …
The Passover meal was the last supper we recognize: The lamb sacrificed at the Passover foreseen Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for all sin.