Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church



Understanding Universal Salvation 0

Posted on July 07, 2017 by Alexander
universal.jpg

Will all be saved n the end?

I asked the question, “What is Universal Salvation” on a forum that has Christians from all walks of life. I genuinely wanted to know why people believe in universal salvation. I knew I would get a Scripture debate where the pros and cons would cite their scriptural proof for their position. I am not interested in such debate. My interest is in the motivating factors that lead people to one position or the other.

Read the rest of this entry →

Cosmic Restoration 2

Posted on April 18, 2012 by Alexander
Jesus transforms the universe

The resurrection transformed all creation

In an earlier post I wrote about the physical law of entropy being  not only the “curse” but the continuation of sin.   The Lake of Fire, in my opinion, is not punishment from God, but the continuation of decomposition that we already experience through aging then, finally, physical death.  It is decomposition in the spirit.  Our human spirits are made of divine substance, according to the Bible, called, “the breath of life” (Gen. 2:7).  This substance breathed into the nostrils of Adam came from God, therefore is everlasting.  But our spirits became corrupted because of Adam’s sin, along with degeneration through the generations, compounded by our own sins.   While the human spirit can not completely die, it will continue in corruption of decomposition in  the Lake of Fire.  This is our choice when we reject the gospel, which (as Wayne Jacobsen likes to say) is the cure.  If you reject the cure, then you retain the disease.

My point in that post was to encourage everyone that this is not the wrath of God  (I am not denying that God has wrath),  but the Lake of Fire is the consequence of our own choices if we reject the gift of life in Christ. God’s wrath has already been poured out on sin through Jesus on the cross.  Furthermore,  I want the reader to understand that the fall  of Adam affected the entire universe, whereas the redemption of Christ also affects the entire universe.   This, then, is the  purpose of this post. Read the rest of this entry →

Christianity is Physics Not Religion 8

Posted on July 06, 2011 by Alexander

The ultimate corruption

It is a complete misunderstanding to think that Christianity is a religion. It is not. It is biology and physics. Preachers warp it into a religion through thoughtlessness and the needs of running a business. They are ignorant of how Adam and Eve broke the laws of physics and what God did through Jesus Christ to restore those broken laws.

Instead they water it down to mere “personal relationship” with God. I do not say that lightly! Personal relationship with God is the reason we were created. But it diminishes the magnitude of what happened with Adam and Eve and the cosmic work of Jesus Christ Himself.

Adam and Eve Knew Yahweh Their Whole Lives

Sin and judgment are clearly attributes of the the fall and redemption, but they, too, diminish the Truth. Adam and Eve did not just “sin” and lose relationship with God. In fact Genesis 3:21 implies more than it says in that Adam and Eve were given a means to retain their relationship with God all their lives.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Gen 3:21 NIV)

An animal had to die for the “garment of skin” to be made for Adam and his wife. In Jewish custom the Paschal lamb was kept in the house for three days before it was butchered for the Sedar. The head of the house slit the lamb’s throat. This created a great sorrow in the whole house as they watched the innocent animal die. I have no doubt that Adam had to kill the animal, perhaps a lamb, himself. They saw the horror and felt the grief for the loss of the animal life that was used to make their garments. The implication is clear: this was a blood sacrifice that pointed the way to Christ, which they knew of from earlier in Genesis 3:15. They understood that blood was shed for their sins. The blood sacrifice began with Adam and Eve and has been practiced by cultures throughout all of the world’s history. Read the rest of this entry →

Choose Life 1

Posted on April 18, 2009 by Alexander
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

Previous posts in the series:

Chapter 1/Speak to Me-Breathe

Chapter 2/On the Run

Chapter 3/Time

Chapter 5-7/The Great Gig in the Sky

Chapter 5-6/Money

Chapter 4-9/Us and Them

Chapter 1-10/Any Color You Like

Chapter 10/Brain Damage

The end of the book, “Ecclesiastes,” and the end of the album, “The Dark Side of the Moon,” brings us to the decision.  To choose life or death?  Solomon, throughout this book and Proverbs,  makes the contrast between wisdom and folly.  To choose life is wisdom.  To choose death is folly.  For my illustration I have used actor Ian McKellen who portrayed Gandalf in the movie, “The Lord of the Rings,” because wizards in the world were considered a picture of the wise men.   Wizards are portrayed as old men who have lived long lives, thus having obtained wisdom.   And the answer of  Solomon echos this view.  Choose wisdom and live a long life.

Every choice brings a consequence.  Hinduism calls it “karma kickback”.  Science calls it Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion: “for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.”  The Bible calls it “sowing and reaping.”  At the end of Ecclesiastes, Solomon advises his readers to take this seriously and to make good choices in one’s youth.  To “cast your bread on many waters” means to be generous and try your hand at many good endeavors.   In chapter 11 he gives a variety of word pictures illustrating that each action has a consequence.  If clouds are full, they rain;  trees remain where they fall; and procrastination because of weather brings no harvest.  The Creator is Lord over His creation and makes the final choice of what will prosper or not.  Therefore, apply your self to many good endeavors, for we do not know His choices.

Chapter 12 sums up Solomon’s point.  Good choices have to be made while we are young, for old age and the consequences of bad choices come upon us quickly.  Good choices may bring long life, but even with a good life, the infirmity of old age affects us all. He describes these infirmities with another set of word pictures.  “Sun light darkening” and “clouds cease rain” becomes a picture of death;  “keepers of the house” and “strong men bow down” picture the waning of our physical strength;  “grinders cease and are few” and “windows dim” picture teeth falling out and eyesight diminishing;  “rising at the sound of the bird” and “daughters of music brought low” picture the light sleep with the tendency of early rising along with deafness affecting the ears;  “fear of height” and “terrors in the way” picture the ease of injury in old age;  and finally, “grasshopper burden” and “desire fails” picture the diminished sex drive and inability to maintain erections in men.

Old age brings everyone face to face with death, from which there is no escape.  So Solomon reminds us that we all face God in judgment, therefore we should obtain a fear of the Lord early in life to make our way in life as successful as possible.

But not so with the main character in the “Dark Side of the Moon.”  He had no understanding of God, became overwhelmed with the world, went insane and sought a living death as relief from his suffering through a lobotomy.  The lyrics of Pink Floyd recount all that he knew would be lost to memory.  What Pink Floyd’s character does not understand is that the consequences of his choices remain, even though he loses consciousness of them.  To yield to the world system, choosing to live life in that way, is the path of death.  To believe that death will end the suffering is to deny the judgment of God that we all face and the punishment  of God upon all who have rejected Him and His Way of Life.   As Solomon said, dear reader, remember now the Creator in the days of your youth, and choose life, not death.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 11

1    Cast your bread upon the waters,  For you will find it after many days.

2    Give a serving to seven, and also to eight,  For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.

3    If the clouds are full of rain,  They empty themselves upon the earth;  And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.

4    He who observes the wind will not sow,  And he who regards the clouds will not reap.

5    As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.

6    In the morning sow your seed,  And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.

Chapter 12

1    Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,  Before the difficult days come,  And the years draw near when you say,  “I have no pleasure in them”:

2    While the sun and the light,  The moon and the stars,  Are not darkened,  And the clouds do not return after the rain;

3    In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,  And the strong men bow down; When the grinders cease because they are few,  And those that look through the windows grow dim;

4    When the doors are shut in the streets,  And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low;

5    Also they are afraid of height,   And of terrors in the way;   When the almond tree blossoms,  The grasshopper is a burden,  And desire fails.  For man goes to his eternal home,  And the mourners go about the streets.

6    Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed,  Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,  Or the wheel broken at the well.

7    Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,  And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.

14    For God will bring every work into judgment,  Including every secret thing,  Whether good or evil.

11. Eclipse
(Waters) 2:04

All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All that’s to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”

The Dark Side of the Moon is eclipse of light, which is a metaphor for knowledge.  To have a lobotomy may remove all ability to feel the pain of this world, but it does not cut out the human spirit.   Until he dies his spirit is trapped in a bodily prison that no longer participates in the creation.

The creation is not evil. The joy of life and the experiences of the senses is a gift from God to all creatures, mankind and animals.   But sin and selfishness are the driving forces of the world system that causes the pain and suffering in this world.  Life is not hard, sin and death is hard.  The more pleasurable life is, the greater the impact of tragedy when it occurs.  The natural defense of the body is to develop calluses.  The skin thickens to deaden the pain.  This happens in our spirits and conscience, too, as our hearts harden through time.

The answer is not a lobotomy. The answer is the circumcision of the heart by the cross of Jesus Christ.  God wants to help all people, and does in whatever way He can that does not violate our free wills.  But to gain His full aid in life, we must come into the covenant relationship that He offers the world through Jesus Christ.   The word covenant has its root meaning in “cutting away.”  To cut away the frontal lobe of the brain, does nothing to cut away the root cause of sin in our hearts.  The victom in the Pink Floyd drama lives senselessly in his sins and selfishness even after his lobotomy.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news in deed.  Jesus promised the abundant life.  That does not mean that He changes His creation, rather, it means that He will enhance our senses to appreciate all the good in life that is always here already.  Goodness in life is by far greater than the evil of the world.  For God means Good, and He is greater than all His creation.   He has filled His creation with goodness and beauty in every facet.  The new birth enables us to see that beauty and goodness everywhere.  However, anything scrutinized under a microscope will make the miniscule seem extraordinarily large.

And this is one of the failings of the Church of Jesus Christ.  Emphasis has been placed on the evils of the world instead of the good. Jesus told Nicodemus that the world was already condemned – a condemnation that began in the garden of Eden – but He did not come to condemn the world, but to save it.  We are not called to condemn the world, and that is how the lost in the world perceive the Church.   Rather we are called to point the world to true salvation that comes through Jesus Christ.    Not prosperity.  Not deliverance from struggle.   Not to self righteousness.   But to the eye opening wonder of knowing the eternal being who created everything, and the knowledge of His wonderful ways.

The Dark Side of the Moon is only a shadow.  The sunlight always remains.  Simply move out of the shadow into the sunlight and see again.

As a final word on this series, I want to commend those incredible musicians who crafted this classic work.  The Church has an “Us and Them” mentality that makes God appear to be separated from all people outside Jesus Christ.  This diminishes the glorious goodness of our Father.  He is involved in the lives of every person in creation.  He is not in covenant with every person,  which is why the Great Commission was given, but He is in love with every person, and helps them within the limitations that sin creates.   I believe that God inspired this work of Pink Floyd.   I believe that He wants the message of disaster that life without Christ creates.    This band saw the world system clearly and understood the destructiveness of the world system.  Their album clearly documents that destructiveness.

I encourage all believers to listen to this album in its entirety again with the lens of Ecclesisastes that I have tried to focus for you here.  You can buy the CD from Amazon.com and elsewhere.   Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Syd Barrett, Nick Mason and Richard Wright I thank you for your creative genius.  This album had touched my heart decades before I ever knew the Lord.  And because of my knowledge of the Bible, I now appreciate your work even more.

Envy and Strife 1

Posted on April 04, 2009 by Alexander
All wars are for greed and power of an elite few.

All wars are for greed and power of an elite few.

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

Previous posts in the series:

Chapter 1/Speak to Me-Breathe

Chapter 2/On the Run

Chapter 3/Time

Chapter 5-7/The Great Gig in the Sky

Chapter 5-6/Money

It is the truth of human history that all wars began by an elite few who wanted to increase their wealth and power.  To persuade the people to join in the war,  an emotional moral point has been hyped up to rally the masses into  the conflict.

In this series in comparing the book of Ecclesiastes with Pink Floyd’s, “The  Dark Side of the Moon,” I have focused on the story line of the main character who goes mad in trying to cope with the world system, and  ends up with a lobotomy to find his peace.   But the musical genius of Pink Floyd’s band should also be remembered.  They created sound-scapes that fit the atmosphere of each song.  In “Speak to Me/Breathe”  the music creates the image of someone under water coming up for air.  In “On the Run” the image is created of one running out of breath as though on a treadmill going nowhere.  In “Time” the ringing of the alarm and the ticking of the clock creates the sense of urgency since time is running out.  In “The Great Gig in the Sky” an eatheral and surreal sound is created by the singers crying in desperation pleading to Heaven for peace on Earth.  In “Money” a pompous sound of a rich, fat cat devouring everything is his greed is created in the music.  The band members wrote this album with a stroke of genius.

One would think that a sound-scape on conflict and war in “Us and Them” would have explosive sounds as bombs dropping with gun fire.  But the genius of the band created a dreamy, hypnotic music instead.  For the truth is, no one in their right mind engages in warfare.  The only way for the elite few who create these wars to get the masses involved is to hypnotize them with moral rhetoric that creates a sense of outrage amongst the people.  Pink Floyd has dialog that is often hard to hear and understand in their songs, too.  The comments in the dialog are flashes of reality (although confused) in the midst of the dreamy hypnotic delusion that the world system creates.

Despite what government historians will tell us, the American Civil War was not about slavery.  The slavery issue was used as the hypnosis to get the northerners into the fight. Yes, it was a real issue, but the war was about state rights and the federal government’s quest for dominion of the states.  This is true for every war if one will examine the issues closely.

I am not  arguing for or against a just war which is usually is predicated on defending one’s self from an attack.  Solomon did say earlier that there is a time for peace and a time for war (Ecc. 3:8).  These are matters that one must pray about and follow the leading of the Spirit and one’s conscience.  But what I am pointing out is that in all wars, there is an elite few who are seeking their own gain at the expense of the majority.

Solomon observes the oppression of the few over the many.  His discourse on the topic contrasts wisdom and folly.  Only fools will follow these leaders into battle, which is the same theme that Pink Floyd uses in their mockery of war in this song.  Solomon concludes his observation that wisdom is better than warfare, and by wisdom people have been delivered from war, but the majority of people are fools who forget the wisdom that has saved them (Ecc. 9:17) and that it only takes one sinner to destroy the good of many (9:18).

The seasons of war end by the grace of God, and Pink Floyd unwittingly acknowledge this at the end of their song.  For they say, “The old man died.” The oppressors all die eventually.  Arafat is dead. Hitler is dead. And the world can take some small comfort that God brings death to the oppressors in due season.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 4

1  Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed,  But they have no comforter— On the side of their oppressors there is power, But they have no comforter.

2    Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.

3    Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

4  Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

5    The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh.

6    Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.

13    Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.

Chapter 7

7    Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, And a bribe debases the heart.

8    The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

9    Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

Chapter 8

9  All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.

Chapter 9

3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

4  But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

5    For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.

6    Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.

13  This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:

14 There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it.

15  Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.

16  Then I said:  “Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard.

17    Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.

18    Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good.”

8.  Us and Them
(Waters, Wright) 7:40

Us, and them
And after all we’re only ordinary men.
Me, and you.
God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do.

Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side.

Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
But in the end it’s only round and round.

Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words
The poster bearer cried.
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There’s room for you inside.

“I mean, they’re not gunna kill ya, so if you give ’em a quick short, sharp, shock, they won’t do it again.  Dig it? I mean he get off lightly, ‘cos I would’ve given him a thrashing – I only hit him once! It was only a difference of opinion, but really…I mean good manners don’t cost nothing do they, eh?”

Down and out
It can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about.
With, without.
And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about?

Out of the way, it’s a busy day
I’ve got things on my mind.
For the want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died.

James tells the Church:

James 3:14-16
14    But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15    This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16    For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.   (KJV)

The history of the Church parallels the history of the world in its warfare and strife.  The charge by those that religion has been at the root of all wars is partially true. For religion is self effort in righteousness.   A self effort that Christ died to remove, but the religious hold onto their self effort for they want the right to pick and choose what is right as a due for earning their own salvation. This should not be confused with the body of Christ who are those who let Christ live through them in ruling their lives.

The organization of Christianity has been just as guilty of warfare as has been the organization of Islam, and even Hinduism.  Sadly, through the organization of Christianity, the Church has been duped in furthering the agenda of the elite few who cause the wars.   The Church has mistakenly relied on fleshly means to accomplish spiritual ends.  From  the Social Gospel of the early 20th century which tried to feed the poor through socialism, to the culture wars of today that is trying to end abortion and homosexuality by legislative means.

Warfare in the Church continues within itself as factions argue over doctrinal distinctions that are academic in nature, but are held onto vigorously as their distictive that makes them more right than others. This is the pride of life that John declares in his epistle (1 John 2:16) that marks the world that we are not to love.   The mega-church pursuit by a pastoral staff is the lust of the eyes from that same verse.   The gluttony of Christians and the sexual immorality of both congregants and pastors is the lust of the flesh.

We are called to “come out from among them” (2 Cor. 6:17).  That does not mean to hide in a monastery, nor live as a hermit.  It means that we are not to engage our selves in the pursuits of the world.  We are not called to transform society.  We are called to allow God to transform us, and for us to be vessels that God uses to transform others by our lives and witness.

Solomon told us that wisdom is better than warfare.  But wisdom is forgotten because so many are fools who want to engage in the pursuits of the world instead of dying on the cross with Christ.  We forget the words of Jesus who said that those who try to save their lives will lose it, and those who lose their lives for His sake will find it (Matt. 16:25).

Post Script 4/8/09
I meant to state this is in the blog, but was reminded of this in a conversation with a brother. The religious mindset is an “us and them” mentality. The religious interpretation of 2 Cor. 6:17 is that now that we are “in Christ” we should have nothing to do with those “outside Christ”. This attitude creates an false conception of God’s behavior towards those that are lost. It makes us think that God has nothing to do with people until they come to Christ, then they one of “us” and no longer one of “them”.

In reality, God is actively involved with the lives of every human being on the planet, lost and saved. He is working in their lives to bring them to Him, but He is also taking care of them by feeding them, healing them, and comforting them. The “us and them” division is an artificial religious point of view. There is no “us and them”. There is only “us and Him”. All of us, lost and saved, are in the same human boat in need of Him. All of us face the same troubles and joys of life together. Stripping away the religious mindset opens our eyes to see the work of God in everyone’s life, and the common plight of all mankind together.

The Deadline of Time 3

Posted on March 29, 2009 by Alexander
Because we die, time is precious

Because we die, time is precious

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

Previous posts in the series:

Chapter 1/Speak to Me-Breathe

Chapter 2/On the Run

Time without death loses its force of impact.  In the world before Noah death came after many centuries, but after the Flood, lifespans diminished rapidly, from a few centuries to a mere 70 years on average.

The world system runs on this reality of short lives giving strength to the significance of deadlines.  The trauma of the mid-life crisis for men has emotional turmoil because in the assessment of a man’s life, many goals and dreams may not have been accomplished and time is running out.  Aging single women become stressful as they watch the biological clock tick away, and the reality in knowing that they may never marry or be mothers hits them with full force.

Solomon, unlike the victim in Pink Floyd’s story, knows that God has arranged time in the world giving different purposes for different seasons of life.  Even though Solomon understood that both the wise and the fool have the same fate of death, he still realized that living life wisely was superior than living it foolishly.  Wisdom tells us to understand what the purpose is in any given time and live accordingly.

In my comparison between the book of Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon I have omitted many of the positive statements made by Solomon to highlight the parallels between the two works.  But is should be noted that throughout the book, Solomon does not yield to total despair because he remembers God in all his musings.  For example in this chapter I have omitted these verses:

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,

13  and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

14    I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.

15    That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past.

For Solomon is exploring the world system in its fullness to prove the utter vanity of living life without God, whereas the Pink Floyd work has no knowledge of God, hence the utter despair.

In the fourth song of the Dark Side of the Moon, simply called, “Time,” which is immediately followed by the fifth song, “Breathe Reprisal,”  we hear the sound of alarms that time is running out for the man  in a mid life crisis where he realizes  that he has not accomplished anything significant. The immanence of death in his life causes him to pause and reflect briefly upon the possibility of there being a God as suggested by the sound of church bells in the “Breathe Reprisal”.  But for the character in Pink Floyds rock opera, he only has his imagination of who God is, without the assurance of knowing God personally through Jesus Christ, so he dismisses their gathering as merely “softly spoken magic spells.”

When one does not know the reality of God in their life, then the meaninglessness of life and death can only be mollified by doing something significant such as having an impact on the world who will then remember us after death.   Significance takes on extraordinary value in this line of thinking.  Christ brings significance to the individual when one realizes that God has made us for His purpose and our value rests in His wanting us, and not in trying to make others want us.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

1    To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

2    A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;

3    A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;

4    A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;

5    A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;

6    A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;

7    A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;

8    A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

16  Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; And in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there.

17  I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

18  I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.”

19  For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity.

20  All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.

4. Time
(Mason, Waters, Wright, Gilmour) 7:06

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s  sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

5.  Breathe (reprise)

Home, home again.
I like to be here when I can.
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire.
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

The lesson for the Church is in knowing how to manage our time according to the purpose of God.  We are not under deadlines like the world, even though we all die, too.  Elijah was given 3 tasks by the Lord to do, yet he only did one of them, which was to anoint Elisha as his successor.  The other two tasks (anoint Hazael king of Syria and anoint Jehu king of Israel – 1 Kings 19:15 & 16) were accomplished by Elisha.  In other words, God will get what He wants done with or without us, so the burden is not on our shoulders, but His.  And that makes all the difference in the world. For Elijah, the love of God for him was not changed by his disobedience, for God still took him to heaven in a chariot of fire.  We are privileged to work with God, but are not needed by God.  We know that God is the author of time, and has created a plan for us (Jer. 29:11)  and is fulfilling His plan for our lives (Phil. 1:6), so we do not despair.

For the Church, we want to understand the time and purposes of God to participate with Him.  Since we are given the privilege to work with God, we also remember that we still face the judgment seat of Christ, so we want to face Him and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  But any effort done in our own strength is a work of the flesh that does nothing good, so we abide in His rest and wait upon the Lord.

We have the Great Commission to share the gospel  to the lost.  The urgency for the Church is not our death, but theirs. But the life of the Gospel is only imparted to the lost when we speak in the timing of the Lord.  As Solomon said in Proverbs:

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Prov 25:11 KJV)

So while abiding in His rest we wait on the Lord for His divine appointments and speak when He wants us to speak.

Live for Today for Tomorrow We Die 1

Posted on March 28, 2009 by Alexander

Death is the whirlpool at the end of life that makes all our works go down the drain

Death is the whirlpool at the end of life that makes all our works go down the drain

Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon

In the last post and podcast I compared chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes with the first two songs of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, wherein both declare that the world system is vain and drives one mad.

Solomon declared, “Vanity of vanities all is vanity.” which is to say that everything is meaningless.   In the first two songs of the Dark Side of the Moon, the main character declares that he is mad in “Speak to Me” and we are given his sense of being overwhelmed by the world system as one drowning who struggles to come up for air in “Breathe.”

In chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes, Solomon begins his explanation of how he came to his conclusion in chapter 1 that all is vanity by recounting his quest to explore the fullness of life, which, as the king of Israel  he could do with his power and wealth.  Yet every endeavor left a sense of meaninglessness because he realized that he was still going to die and all his efforts would be forgotten.

In song number 3 called, “On the Run,” of the Dark Side of the Moon we are given an instrumental sound-scape with an airport announcer and street sounds to illustrate the sense of running on the treadmill of life that goes nowhere in truth.  The one statement in the song made by the protagonist is, “Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me, HaHaHaaaaaa!”   This is the ultimate philosophy of the world.  Grab the gusto while you can, for tomorrow you die.  The song ends with a crashing suggesting a car wreck at the end of his run.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 2

1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity.

2 I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?”

3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.

4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself    vineyards.

5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.

6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove.

7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me.

8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.

9 So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.

10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.

11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done  And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.

12 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what can the man do who succeeds the king?— Only what he has already done.

13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness.

14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.

15 So I said in my heart, “As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?” Then I said in my heart, “This also is vanity.”

16 For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!

17 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

18 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.

19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.

22 For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?

23 For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome;
even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.

Dark Side of the Moon 3. On The Run
(Gilmour, Waters) 3:32

[female announcer, announcing flights at airport, including ‘Rome’]
“Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me, HaHaHaaaaaa!”

(Instrumental)

The lesson for the Church today is that the pursuit of material wealth and security that is taught by the Prosperity Preachers is madness and folly. We are called to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousnes” (Matt. 6:33) and to “look upon the eternal, and not the temporal” (2 Cor. 4:18).  To seek worldly wealth and power is unbelief in God.  It is the destruction of personal contentment. It darkens the light of Christ in you and causes your salt to lose its savor.  Your end will be to be trampled under foot in your own personal car crash.  Church, lets get off the worldly treadmill and seek life!

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