Answering John Noble

Someone named John Noble has been interacting with me beginning here.    I have been responding to him there, but his latest comment had a number of points.  So, I thought it best to break down those points and deal with them one by one.

I’m going to copy what he wrote, put it in italics, and then respond one point at a time.

Mike you seem to contradict yourself. You want people to believe you when you have said in the beginning that you want all to believe in Jesus and not you.

John the Baptist wanted his hearers to believe in Jesus, not him.  The apostle Paul wanted his listeners to believe in Jesus, not him.  When you tell your neighbor about Jesus, you want your neighbor to believe in Jesus, not you.  Yes, people had to believe what John was saying in order to get to believe in Jesus.  Same for Paul.  Same for you.  Same for me.  We all hope to be bridges to Jesus, but He is the destination.

Don’t hold views about him just live in him to experience the kingdom within.

It is indeed possible to hold views about Jesus without experiencing His kingdom, but it is not possible to experience His kingdom without holding views about Him.  Faith is viewing Him with our hearts (“fixing our eyes on Jesus” – Hebrews 12:1-2).

You also said you were once a Pastor in that case you had an anointing for those you were pastoring but you are now saying you are just a disciple. The lord relationship with you on these are different. In the latter you have equipment for your growth and development whiles in the former you get the equipment for the commission of ,the church for which you have been anointed.

In the kingdom of God, no human being has pastoral authority over another.  The Lord is the pastor.  We are all disciples.  Yes, we each try to share what we have learned with others, especially with those who lack the knowledge we have been graced to learn.  But none of us is set over others of us.  We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Jesus is more that our lord. He is God, our savior, our master, our lord, our brother, our father, our king and our life. He desires us to relate to him in all these forms.

Yes.  Amen.

The bible is the Word of God written down. But Jesus is the Word personality and we commune with him to receive the Word substance of the Spirit, which transforms us unto his likeness. I am not saying don’t read the bible but Christ said the scripture talks about him. The scripture was there when he came but they refuse and did not recognize him. The scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ on his coming and in him is the kingdom in all creations.

Yes, the Bible testifies of Jesus – and it is Jesus who is Lord, not the Bible.  But the Bible does not become obsolete once we recognize Jesus for who He is.  Even Jesus used the Scripture to resist the temptations of the devil after He had been filled with the Holy Spirit.

We have the Bible – which was written by prophets and apostles by the inspiration of the Spirit – and we have the Spirit, too.  Thus by two witnesses our conscience is assured of the things we learn.  The Bible is a safeguard to help us be sure that we are not misunderstanding things that the Holy Spirit is telling us.  And the Holy Spirit is a safeguard because our own minds are insufficient to assimilate all that is in the Bible and apply it to any and every situation we face.

In 2 Corinthians 13:1, Paul writes (alluding to Deuteronomy 19:15) “…EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.  In this age, therefore, God has given us three witnesses by which we can discern His will each day in order that we might do it: 1) the Scriptures, 2) the Holy Spirit, 3) conscience.  When they are in agreement, we have strong assurance about His will for us…and His will is always righteousness.  That is, He always wants us to do right, to do good.  We are not wise to reject any of these three witnesses.  They are all important.

By these witnesses, we actualize the lordship of Christ in our daily lives. By them, we experience and demonstrate the kingdom of God.

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Conclusion of America’s Christian History – Hidden in Plain View

This concludes the series of historic quotes, assembled and published by Hobby Lobby, indicating that Christianity was prized by the early leaders of this country to the same degree that Secularism is prized by its current leaders.

I put “hidden in plain view” in the title because such quotes as those I’ve given are found easily enough – it’s just that today’s secular media won’t publish them.  Therefore, young people grow up ignorant of this critical aspect of our history as a nation.

Only by contrasting the words of America’s original leaders with the words of its current leaders can you see so clearly the distance we have fallen.  Here again is one of the quotes I gave you:

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my county when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
– Thomas Jefferson

If the early leaders were thus concerned about God’s judgment on them, then how much more we ought to be concerned about it.

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
–  2 Chronicles 7:13-14

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America’s Christian History According to Foreign Opinion – Hidden in Plain View

It wasn’t just that early America saw itself as Christian – outsiders agreed!

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.
–  Alexis de Tocqueville, French observer of America in 1831, author of Democracy in America

There is no country in which the people are so religious as in the United States.  …The great number of religious societies existing in the United States is truly surprising: there are some of them for everything; for instance, societies to distribute the Bible; to distribute tracts; to encourage religious journals; to convert, civilize, educate…to take care of their widows and orphans; to preach, extend, purify, preserve, reform the faith; to build chapels, endow congregations, support seminaries…to establish Sunday schools…to prevent drunkenness, etc.
–  Achille Murat, French observer of America in 1832

What French observers would say such things about us today?

Source: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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America’s Christian History According to Supreme Court Rulings – Hidden in Plain View

Have you read a recent Supreme Court ruling that sounded like either of these?

There is no dissonance in these [legal] declarations.  …These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic [legal, governmental] utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people.  …These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.
–  Trinity v. U. S., 1892 (Unanimous decision declaring America a Christian nation).  Significantly, the U. S. Supreme Court cited dozens of court rulings and legal documents as precedents to arrive at this ruling; but in 1962, when the Supreme Court struck down voluntary prayer in schools, it did so without using any such precedent.

Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in [schools] – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?  …Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?
–  Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844 (Unanimous decision commending and encouraging the use of the Bible in government-run schools)

Source of the quotes: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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America’s Christian History According to Its Early Supreme Court Justices – Hidden in Plain View

What would happen if next nominee to the Supreme Court were to speak like these Supreme Court justices?

The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next.  Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.
–  John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.  …Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants.  Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.
–  James Wilson, original Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law.  …There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundation.  …I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.
–  Joseph Story (1779-1845), U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Source: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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America’s Christian History According to Its Founding Fathers – Hidden in Plain View

Here’s the way America’s original leaders spoke.  Compare their comments with those of America’s current leaders.

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness, which mankind now enjoys. …Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown , our present republican forms of government – and all blessings which flow from them – must fall with them.”
– Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826), the figurative “father of American geography” and literal father of Samuel Morse (inventor of Morse code)

An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! …Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. …Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. …Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
– Patrick Henry

I’ve lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.
– Benjamin Franklin

Source: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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America’s Christian History According to Its Early Presidents – Hidden in Plain View

Compare and contrast the rhetoric of modern candidates for the office of U.S. president with the sorts of things spoken by our earliest presidents.  The contrast speaks volumes about the spiritual and moral decay in present times.

Part of our current moral decay is that utterances like these from our nation’s first presidents are, practically speaking, expunged from all modern-day public policy discussions.

It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.
–  George Washington

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
–  John Adams

Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.
–  James Madison

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?  Indeed I tremble for my county when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
–  Thomas Jefferson

Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?  That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation?  Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?  That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?
–  John Quincy Adams

Source:  Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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God Is Displeased with Us

When I say “God is displeased with us,” the “us” refers to Americans.

Because of its Christianity, God made America great.  And because of its rejection of Christianity – that is, its rejection of the truth – He is bringing America to its knees.

America has two political parties, and only one of them welcomes God-fearing citizens.  What’s noteworthy is that in the current presidential election cycle, the party that welcomes people of Christian faith has formed itself into a circular firing squad.  In other words, it is divided against itself.  The political citadel which formerly provided refuge for the people of Christ has, in the last year, collapsed into civil war.  With this turn of events, the enemies of the gospel are gaining even more power.

There is always a deliverance for those individuals and families who fear God and keep His commandments, but a deliverance for the nation itself is looking increasingly unlikely.  It appears that it will continue to be plagued with increasing corruption and mismanagement.

If God would allow the only major political party which stands against the moral insanity of abortion to tear itself asunder before our eyes, it is because we as a nation have given Him insufficient reason to intervene on its behalf.  While keeping its platform anti-abortion, the Republicans have given up on the sanctity of marriage and have tried to get us to give up on it, too.  God’s saving intervention for those who love Him will have to come in ways other than through a government that honors Him.  And we will have to look for His salvation in the midst of a declining and decadent nation – and God is surely able to bring His salvation to us by non-political means.  Only further destruction appears to be coming through the political arena.

Here are some scriptures to remember and ponder:

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.
–  Proverbs 14:34

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  “And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and sinner?”  Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
–  1 Peter 4:17-19 (quoting Proverbs 11:31)

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His….
–  2 Chronicles 16:9

…A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent…
–  Psalm 91:1-16

See also Smaller God, Bigger Government.

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The Bittersweet Thought of a Museum of the Bible

The Museum of the Bible in Washington D. C. is scheduled to open its doors about a year from now.  Until then, construction continues on the 430,000 square-foot building that sits just three blocks south of the U.S. Capitol building.  It is going to be very impressive facility.

The project was initially funded by the Green family (Hobby Lobby), and since then donations have come from a variety of sources.  I’m grateful to them all.

If I were near Washington, I would definitely want to see the place.  It sounds like a first-class operation, with respected scholars involved in every phase of the exhibits being produced.  It sounds as if a visit there would be a thoroughly engaging and richly rewarding investment of time – at least that’s the hope I and many others have.

What is there to be down about?  That it’s a sign of the times in our country that the Bible is deemed to be something that belongs in a museum.  You know, a place where they keep old, dusty stuff.

According to American society today, the Bible does not belong in the classroom.  Neither does it belong on television or radio unless someone can collect enough money to purchase time for it.  Even then, you won’t see many television commercials for it on the Super Bowl because that would be deemed too controversial.  The Bible can be used to swear in our nation’s president, but the caterwauling would never stop if he or she were to open it up in the Oval Office and consult it for wisdom on policy decisions.  The same goes for Congress and the Supreme Court.  I cannot easily imagine a museum for the Bible being opened in 1776 – back then, people were using their Bibles much too frequently and ubiquitously for it to have been considered something appropriate for a museum exhibit.

The Washington Post “welcomed” news of the Museum of the Bible in 2015 with an opinion piece titled “Critics call it evangelical propaganda. Can the Museum of the Bible convert them?”  Alas, in Washington D.C. about the only kind of facility that its power brokers would consider allowing to house the holy book would be a museum – in their minds it’s a mausoleum for something dead.

However, since the Bible testifies of a God who raises the dead, who knows?

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I Hate Halloween

I hate Halloween, but Jesus is the only “safe space” I need.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
–  Psalm 91:1 KJV

O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge…
–  Psalm 7:1

Therefore, I can even adapt the 23rd psalm to my current circumstance by substituting “Halloween” for “the valley of the shadow of death” in the following verse:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me…
–  Psalm 23:4

God’s promises are an ever-present help in time of need:

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
–  Psalm 91:5-10

The only “safe space” we need is the spiritual state of mind that God gives us through His word.  Let’s look at the world through Jesus’ eyes.  Psalms like the ones above provided Jesus His worldview when He walked the earth.  They will work for us in the same way.

No one has to give me a physical “safe space” to protect me through Halloween.  My safe space is with me wherever I go.

…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
–  Joshua 1:9

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