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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 →

Understanding the New World Order 4

Posted on February 16, 2011 by Alexander

Resistance is NOT futile!

All Christians who take the Bible seriously know that a global government  is being forced upon us all.  Regrettably, most of these same believers scoff at the idea of a conspiracy.  Yet one has to be in complete denial to think that this move towards a global government is either an accident or a natural development of mankind.  The powers that lie behind governments have successfully conditioned many into thinking that those who declare that a conspiracy is underway are either insane or such simpletons to believe that a small group of people can control the whole world.

What makes their case acceptable to so many is that they imagine a conspiracy to be run by a small band of evil villains of comic book quality.  But the people working towards a global government, and especially those who are positions of power, are not comic book villains.   They are outwardly nice people.  Indeed, they consider themselves to be good people working for the betterment of all the world, as only they are able to conceive it. Read the rest of this entry →

Direction for the Tea Party 1

Posted on September 18, 2010 by Alexander

The Boston Tea Party was an action, not a discussion

The Tea Party movement almost drew me back into political involvements again. I stopped voting after I realized that the federal agenda of dominating every aspect of American life and 16 years of Clinton and Bush had shown that it made no difference which party was in power. What got my attention to the Tea Party was the genuine grass roots source of the movement.  This was not another party run by professional politicians, but moms and dads of all faiths and backgrounds expressing their fears over the federal government’s complete disregard for the will of the people.   All America, except for about 25%, now see that the federal government has no regard for the Constitution upon which it was formed. Read the rest of this entry →

Iceland Revisited 2

Posted on August 28, 2010 by Alexander

Economic Volcano

I had made reference to the economic situation in Iceland in the  3 posts, beginning with “The Elephant in the Room” ,  followed by, “Integrity Amidst Corporate Evil“, then again with “Ethics or Morals“.   I never felt that I have done justice to the reason for mentioning Iceland in all those posts.

So, in this post, I want to share where I got my information so you can read on this further.  The main point, is that the 14 trillion dollar American debt is a fraud forced on the American people that does not belong to the American people and should not be paid.  Some of the debt is legitimate, but most is not.  The people of Iceland refused to pay a similar fraud foisted upon them, as well.

I first came across this story in an article by R.D Bradshaw who has been writing a series called, “The Goldsmiths” for the Gold Seek website.  Mr. Bradshaw has been explaining the actions of the banking cabal throughout this series.  The discussion on Iceland is found in his post # CXXXVII.  After reading so much about the banking/corporate control of nations through the economy that was discouraging, I found this lengthy post to be hopeful. Read the rest of this entry →

Ethics or Morals? 1

Posted on August 08, 2010 by Alexander

Morals are not the same as ethics.

There is no difference between the meanings of the two words, ethics and morality from an etymological view. They are from two different languages: ethics being a Greek word, and morality being a Latin word, which means manner and customs of people. Ethics, however, carries the additional connotation of internal standards because of Aristotles’s philosophical treaties on ethics, “Nicomachean Ethics“.   Morals, on the other hand, tends to lean in meaning towards the mores of a people or the outward manners and customs of a people just as the word customs is the root to the word costume.

The technical distinctions aside, words have a predominant meaning by the current usage.  In deed, most words are used by people without regard to the etymological meaning.  For example, the word “blessed”  has moved beyond Christian usage and is used by people of all faiths to mean privileged and favored, with happy circumstances.   The etymology of blessed is uniquely Christian, however, because it literally means “blood-covered”  (bled-sion) and comes from Medieval Catholicism.  To be covered in the blood means to be in covenant with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consequently, such a covenant brings favor and privilege in happy circumstances.  But the word is used without any regard to its origin.

Likewise, I wish to elaborate on the deeper differences between our subconscious usage of the words “ethics” and “morality” which merit having two different words from two different languages grafted into English usage.   Ethics, in my opinion, leans more towards decisions of the conscience, whereas morals leans towards accepted public opinions and customs.  As such, ethics are expressions of God’s will, and morals are the expression of man’s will. Read the rest of this entry →

Integrity Amidst Corporate Evil 4

Posted on August 01, 2010 by Alexander

Making our job disconnected from the aftermath of the industry does not make us innocent.

Just Doing My Job

When I posted the last blog on the unethical monetary system that the government has forced upon us by federal law, I knew I was not finished on the topic. I addressed the theft of the Federal Reserve banking system of “loaning” money that they did not have and charging interest on non existent funds. My point was that we, the American people, do not owe this 14 trillion dollar debt, and that we should deny it and refuse to pay it. What I need to finish is our individual responsibility towards God to live ethically and not to participate in an unethical system, even though we are compelled by “law” to do so.

In a recent broadcast of the Katherine Albrecht show, Dr Marc Edwards shared how he had exposed the cover up of lead in the water of the Washington DC water supply by the CDC and EPA.     Dr. Albrecht asked him how they could try cover up the contamination of the water which poisons the people of DC?   His answer showed great compassion.   These bureaucracies are staffed with people whose jobs are compartmentalized and separated from one another.  Each person was just doing their job which did not reveal to them the big picture of the consequences of their job. His answer made me realize that atrocities over the world occur because of the multitude of people who are “just doing their jobs” without knowing what the ultimate consequence of their jobs are causing.

I had always wondered how a “Christian” nation such as Germany could allow the holocaust and World War II to devastate Europe.    There were notable exceptions, of course, such as the family of Anne Frank and Raoul Wallenberg, who defied the laws of the land by harboring and safeguarding Jews from the Nazi’s.   But the majority of Germans who called themselves Christians obeyed the “laws” of the land.   They may have objected to the atrocities that they knew about, but did nothing to resist it because they were not directly responsible for those atrocities.   Instead, they were good tax paying Germans who only were doing their jobs.   And from their point of view, their jobs were not harming anyone. 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.

Struggling on the Edge 0

Posted on April 15, 2009 by Alexander
The world can bring anyone to the brink of madness

The world can bring anyone to the brink of madness

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

Both the book of Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon list the path to insanity that the world system tries to drive us  onward.  Here is a brief review of those things in the world that tends to frustrate everyone and that we all struggle with.

  • Futility of our Labors In chapter 2:17-19 Solomon laments that building wealth is futile because when he dies, someone else will control the wealth. Pink Floyd begins their album with the main character overwhelmed and running on a treadmill going nowhere.
  • The Fear of God’s Judgment Even when one denies the reality of God, the fear of His judgment in this life and the afterlife nags everyone. In chapter 3:14-17  Solomon says, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work”
  • Time and Chance Time runs out for everyone since we die. In chapter 3 we are told that there is a time for everything and in chapter 9 time and chance happen to all. Without knowing God it seems that some just get lucky and that life is not fair.
  • Injustice To further increase the disbelief that God exists is the sense of injustice that occurs all over the world when wicked people are not punished and innocent people suffer. Solomon says in in 8:11, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
  • Oppressed by the Wealthy Since the wealthy oppress the poor, then everyone wants to be wealthy so they won’t be oppressed either. In chapter 4:1-2 he says, “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.” He concludes that it is better to be dead than oppressed (v. 2).
  • Over Taxed In collusion with the wealthy, the governments of the world serve the wealthy in over taxation of the poor for the benefit of the wealthy, and to fund their wars which increase the wealth of those already rich. In chapter 5 Solomon says, “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field. … When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes?”
  • Loneliness Pink Floyd did not address this, but loneliness is a huge struggle for many. If you make a lot of money, what good is it if you have no one to share it with? In chapter 4:8 he says, “There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, ‘For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?’ “

So in chapter 10 Solomon metaphorically speaks of the edge. Which way should one go? Try to be wise (v.1)? One mistake removes all that benefit. Live as a fool and be mocked by everyone (v.3)? Obey rulers (v. 4)? Why should we when so often the rulers are fools and the wise are debased (v. 5-7). Why try to do anything when every activity is fraught with danger (v. 8-11)? Too much talk is liable to drive one mad (v. 12-13). We all get pushed to the edge. Some make wise decisions, others make foolish choices. And this is the litmus test for us all. Which way do we choose: hope or despair?  Solomon chose hope.   Pink Floyd chose despair as their main character gets his lobotomy.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 10

1    Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.

2    A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left.

3    Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, And he shows everyone that he is a fool.

4    If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, Do not leave your post; For conciliation pacifies great offenses.

5    There is an evil I have seen under the sun, As an error proceeding from the ruler:

6    Folly is set in great dignity, While the rich sit in a lowly place.

7    I have seen servants on horses, While princes walk on the ground like servants.

8    He who digs a pit will fall into it, And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.

9    He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, And he who splits wood may be endangered by it.

10    If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.

11    A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different.

12    The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;

13    The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, And the end of his talk is raving madness.

10. Brain Damage
(Waters) 3:50

The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass.
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path.

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me ’til I’m sane.
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

“I can’t think of anything to say except…
I think it’s marvelous! HaHaHa!”

The Israelites were given a choice between two mountains before they entered into the Promised Land.   If they chose Mount Gerizim they chose life and blessings (Deut. 27:12).  If they chose Mount Ebal they chose cursing and death (Deut. 27:13).  Yahweh encouraged them to choose life (Deut. 30:19).

The Church of Jesus Christ has been given the same choice, and we need to encourage one another in what life truly is, and not the life presented in  the church sales pitch.  Life has been allowed by God to be very difficult to obtain.  He is not willing that any should perish and he wants all to come to repentance (2 Pet  3:9), but He is seeking a quality of character in His children, that lets many perish.

All life is a struggle whether in Christ or apart from Christ.  God allowed Adam and Eve to sin, which brought death, war, and disease into His creation.  Nature demonstrates the struggle to all who will bother to look.  Millions of sperm are sent, but only one gets the egg.   In many creatures many young have to be born to increase the odds of survival.

Jesus said that broad and wide was the road to destruction, but straight and narrow is the path to life, and few find it (Matt. 7:13-14).  It is a grave mistake to assume that simply means accepting the salvation of Jesus Christ.  The path to life begins after we accept Christ, and is littered with failure.  John Bunyan illustrated this in his book, “Pilgrim’s Progress.”  Jesus spoke in parables intentionally to keep people from understanding.  When Jesus walked on the water  He would have walked passed those in the boat if they had not cried out to Him, even though He was walking to help them.  We are told to seek God with our whole heart, not casually.

God wants us to have a love of the truth at all costs (John 3:21), wants us to do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8).  The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is not automatic.  The struggles of life are used by the Spirit to carve these characteristics into our hearts.  These qualities are only created within us when we deny our lives (v. 24) and walk in the Spirit (v. 25).

Without struggles there can be no cross to bear.  Choosing life means losing our lives for Christ’s sake.  It is not religious behavior. It is trusting and depending on Christ in all our Spirit led endeavors.  There are many whose faith is shipwrecked like Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 19-20).  It is a blindness on our part to believe that many in the body of Christ are not struggling with the same despair that the Pink Floyd character on this album had succumbed to.  God is willing to help anyone, and does help everyone, whether saved or lost, but He maintains a goal and standard that never changes.  So many in the Church, misunderstand the work of God in their lives when the struggle comes.   Jesus, in His parable of the sower and the seed, said that these are those with no root in themselves (Mark 4:17).

Root in oneself is knowing that you have remained in the center of God’s will for your life, despite the trials or tribulations.  Joseph had root in himself when he was sold into slavery. He did not try to make God’s will happen as he saw in his dreams, rather he made the best of every situation he was in knowing that he remained in the center of God’s will.

We all struggle with the troubles that come with life, but to choose life means trusting Jesus in the midst of your every circumstance.  This is the choice that Solomon made, it is the choice that Joshua made, and it is the choice that my wife and I have made. It is the only sane choice that can be made.

The Pressure of Conformity 2

Posted on April 05, 2009 by Alexander
Multiple Personalities.

It is impossible to be like everyone.

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

An instrumental called, “Any Color You Like,”  follows the song, “Us and Them” on the Pink Floyd album called, “The Dark Side of the Moon.”  There is no explanation as to the reason for the title of the song, so my interpretation here is only my guess.  Since the song that follows is called, “Brain Damage,” and is the song about the main character going insane, I believe that he slips into Multiple Personality Disorder at this time before he has realized that he went insane.

The pressure to conform is upon all of us.  It is a pressure that is fueled by the judgments, opinions, and gossip of other people.  It has its power because it is our natural tendency to look to other people for guidance in our lives.  This tendency is amplified as we try to please other people to get along.  Strife, war and politics between people is experienced by everyone, and no one likes getting shot at, neither physically nor verbally.  So we all try to go  with the flow of others just to get along.

The problem with this approach is the vast variety of opinions and views that we all come up against.  The reality is that we can not agree with everyone all the time. It is impossible since there are so many opposing points of view.  To do so will cause a nervous breakdown, or, as I believe what happens to the character in this album, fracture into multiple personalities.

It is a rule of thumb that copies of copies tend to degenerate in quality and integrity.   Movie makers keep their master film in a vault to protect  the pristine clarity of the original.   They make copies of the master as sub masters by which they make the copies for film distribution.  When those sub masters deteriorate with wear and tear through time, they pull out the original again to make new sub masters.

This deterioration happens through the generations as people copy people in an effort to find guidance in their lives.   Societies fracture as cultures and sub cultures develop as a result.   We can not live as people pleasers because the standard is constantly shifting with each new generation. When what the original was like is forgotten,  changes continue without recognition so that eventually, good is considered evil, and evil is considered good.

God is the original blueprint for man.  We were made in His image.  However, we lost contact with the original in the Garden of Eden when the sub-master of God (Adam and Eve) degenerated with sin.  God had to make a new sub-master for all of us to model our lives upon, so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be our new model.  Jesus, however, can not deteriorate as the sub master films do, so there is no need for a new version of Him, for He is also integrated with the master, God Himself.  Furthermore, when the Church is glorified with Christ, God will be fully integrated into the body of Christ, so neither will there be any loss due to  degeneration in the Church, too.

Solomon predates Christ, so the focus of his writings are more on the human condition in our generations.  This is what he has to say.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 1

4    One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.

5    The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose.

6    The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north;  The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit.

7    All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full;  To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.

9    That which has been is what will be,  That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.

10    Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

11    There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.

Chapter 7

5    It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.

6    For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

21    Also do not take to heart everything people say Lest you hear your servant cursing you.

22    For many times, also, your own heart has known  That even you have cursed others.

29    Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.”

Chapter 10

20    Do not curse the king, even in your thought;   Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;    For a bird of the air may carry your voice,  And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

9.  Any Colour You Like
(Gilmour, Mason, Wright) 3:25

(Instrumental)

We are told by Paul in the book of Romans:

Rom 12:1-2
1    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.   (KJV)

Even though we in the Church have the Master to model our lives  upon, the natural tendency remains for us to conform our selves to other believers, just to get along.

Spiritual abuse has occurred in the body of Christ when some believers try to make out that they are the examples of Christ and should be followed if you want to abide in the will of God.  This is especially a problem for new believers who do not know what Jesus is like yet which makes them easily taken advantage of.

Jesus had made it clear that pleasing people is contrary to walking with God.  He said:

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27 KJV)

We can not be His disciple if we esteem the opinion of men higher than the opinion of God.  We have to learn to look at the original in Jesus Christ and base our lives upon His example, not the example of other people.  Yes we are told in Hebrews 13, and in other places, to follow the example of others, but they all have the same condition: we are to consider the outcome of their lives (13:7) which should be like Jesus (v. 8).  How can you know if they are like Jesus unless you know already what Jesus is like?  You can not.  You must look to Jesus always, then you will be able tell who those are who are like Him, too.

So the Church at large is in the same danger as the character in Pink Floyd’s rock opera of suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder.  Instead of being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we become conformed to the Church, which is like the world, instead of  Christ.  Factions arise as congregations defend their version of the Gospel, hindering the unity of the Spirit.  Unity of the Spirit can only found in following the Spirit of Christ.

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.

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