Monday, July 20, 2015

A Gift From Nicholas Cage

Do you remember the scene in the Nicholas Cage movie National Treasure where Cage puts on the glasses with strange colored lenses, invented by Benjamin Franklin, and suddenly he can clearly see all the hidden clues on the map?

Today, if you will accept it, I will give you a pair of those kind of glasses that will allow you to see the hidden clues in the trends around us and begin to make sense of them.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints has a book of scripture that they call The Book of Moses (part of The Pearl of Great Price).  In the first chapter of that book, the 39th verse God tells Moses, "For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

If you don't get the distinction between immortality and eternal life, allow me to explain.  Immortality means to live forever with your spirit and body inseparably joined to one another.  And Eternal is one of the names of God, so Eternal Life means to have the kind of life that God has.

But, don't take my word for it alone.  Here is what Dictionary.com says about immortality:

immortal condition or quality; unending life.

Contrast that with what it says about "Eternal Life."
This expression occurs in the Old Testament only in Dan. 12:2 (R.V.,"everlasting life").  It occurs frequently in the New Testament (Matt. 7:14;18:8, 9; Luke 10:28; comp. 18:18).  It comprises the whole future of the redeemed (Luke 16:9), and is opposed to "eternal  punishment" (Matt.19:29; 25:46). It is the final reward and glory into which the children of God enter (1 Tim. 6:12, 19; Rom. 6:22; Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 1:16; Rom.5:21); their  Sabbath of rest (Heb. 4:9; comp. 12:22). The newness of life which the believer derives  from Christ (Rom. 6:4) is the very essence of salvation, and hence the life of glory or the eternal life must also be theirs(Rom. 6:8; 2 Tim. 2:11, 12; Rom. 5:17, 21; 8:30; Eph. 2:5, 6). It is the"gift of God in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). The life the faithful have here on earth (John 3:36; 5:24; 6:47, 53-58) is inseparably connected with the eternal life beyond, the endless life of the future,  the happy future of the saints in heaven (Matt. 19:16, 29; 25:46).
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Now before you go and get all "God Maker" on me, just hold off and keep listening, at least until the end of this post.  Then, after you give it some consideration, feel free to disagree all you like.  But, I haven't given you the gift yet.

Another thing we learn, both in The Book of Moses and in The Holy Bible is that Lucifer, or Satan or the Devil if you prefer, is as real as Jesus Christ and God the Father.  You actually cannot believe in Jesus Christ and not believe in Lucifer.  After all, Jesus fasted forty days and then was tempted of the Devil.

Now, the whole cloven hoof, forked tongue and tail thing is just pure fairy tale.  Lucifer was a son of God, just like you and I are.  The difference between us and him is that he thought he was smarter than God.  Okay, some of us may have that in common with him now, but we didn't when he made a name for himself.

The Book of the Revelation of Saint John, commonly known as Revelations, mentions that "there was a war in heaven" and that Lucifer was cast down into the earth, along with those who followed him.  Without going into the whole reasons why he  got in a fight with God, let's just focus on the fact that his rebellion got him kicked out of Heaven.  

Now, we are almost to the gift part, so hold your mind open a little longer.

Lucifer is understandably bitter about how things have gone and his fondest hope is to screw things up and ruin God's whole day.  What better way to do that than to destroy his "work and glory?"

If you accept that God wants to make us immortal and give us eternal life and that Lucifer is real, and real angry, then you can look at the entire course of human history as an ongoing struggle between these two opposing forces.  On the one hand, God wants immortality and eternal life for us.  On the other, Lucifer wants to deny us immortality and eternal life.

And, before you start feeling a victim here of forces outside of your control, please realize we have the freedom to choose for ourselves and that our entire purpose here is to be tested to see if we will choose the path that leads to eternal life, or not.

This is the gift.  A lens which allows you to begin to make sense of not only human history, but the trends of our times.

The crazy conspiracy theorists have one thing right, there is a grand conspiracy behind much of what is going on.  But the Grand Conspirator is Lucifer, an undying son of God, cast out and determined to make a wreck of our lives.  And because he is undying, he can promulgate his conspiracy from generation to generation by influencing and wooing followers, both witting and unwitting, to promote his tactics and plans.

Now, the challenge you face today is this, can you use this lens to look at anything in the world around you and begin to discern the true motives behind the trend?

I will give you one trend to look at right away.  Then, you will have to do more on your own.

We cannot become immortal if we never become mortal.  In other words, if Lucifer can prevent God's children from ever being born in this world, he will have succeeded in his purpose to thwart God.  Now, think about trends like abortion and same-sex marriage.  Do you see how they suit the purposes of Lucifer in trying to prevent the immortality of God's children?

Now, add to the mix things like war, which not only cuts many lives short and warps the lives of many others while spreading misery, it also kills lots of people who can then never have children.

Disease and plagues, likewise.

If you use this lens, you will see things very differently.  The radical feminist movement, for one.

Radical Feminists (not people who say equal pay for equal work) have promoted an agenda that advocates not only the abolition of marriage as an institution, but promote that women shouldn't have sex at all and if they are weak and must give in, it should only be with other women.  In short, they would be happiest if men did not exist at all.

The same is true for radical environmentalists - again, not those who say we need to be kind to our world and use our resources wisely - they think the world is better off without people.  The folks at PETA advocate that a rat is the same as a dog is the same as a child.  In other words, they place no higher value on human life than they do on that of any animal.  In fact, because people eat animals, they think less of humanity than they do of cows.  Of course, they conveniently overlook the fact that all life on this world is sustained by the ending of another life.  The wolf or man kills the cow and eats it.  The cow in its turn eats plants, which kills the plant.  But I digress.

The whole "population bomb" crowd who in the 60's predicted we would have food riots in NYC by the 90s's have been preaching population control based on the totally disproven, and patently false premise that the world food supply is going to be less than needed to prevent starvation and world war.

These movements that have a net effect of  advocating the elimination, or dramatic reduction of humanity are clearly seen through this lens of long-term struggle between Lucifer and God as chess moves by Lucifer to restrict the number of God's children who can gain immortality.

Failing to prevent all births, Lucifer has to implement additional plans to thwart that whole "eternal life" thing.

What do we need to do to qualify for eternal life?  Well, the list is short, and long, depending on how you look at it.  The short version is do what God says we should.  The long version is do ALL that God says we should.

Lucifer has several ways to win at this part of the game.

If he can convince people that God doesn't exist, then it is pretty much game over for those folks.  For those who believe in God, if he can convince them that Lucifer doesn't exist, then they will let their guard down and be likely to compromise and imagine up a god that suits their own likes and dislikes. And the list goes on and on.

Three of his most insidious and powerful tactics are:

  1. Make it look like so much fun to do things we shouldn't while making doing good things look very boring, unimaginative, and unfulfilling.
  2. Make it look like doing good is highly restrictive, a severe loss of freedom.  In contrast, he makes doing things we shouldn't look like the real exercise of freedom.
  3. Make doing things we shouldn't do look like we are doing good and make doing things we should do look like we are doing things we shouldn't.  In other words, get us to think that evil is good and good is evil. 
 - On this last point it is worth noting that the whole support of gay marriage uses this tactic quite successful by conflating that struggle with the civil rights movement of the 60's.

The Civil Rights movement was all about what Jesus said was the second most important thing we should do - treat others as we would have them treat us.

The institutionalized discrimination against people of color was a shameful way to treat fellow chidren of God.  It punished and castigated people, not because of their behaviors, but because of the color of their skin.

In likening the gay marriage movement to Civil Rights, the supporters of gay marriage made an issue of choice and turned it into an issue of birthright.  I know many, including at least two of my own children, will take issue with this last statement.  Never fear, I will give that subject a whole article on its own. But that is for another day.

When you have the ability to use this lens, the sweep and sway of human history as well as the social trends of yesterday and today begin to fall into a pattern and make a more predictable flow.  Furthermore, if you believe in God, it begins to give you a road map to better navigate the buffetting winds of the times and to prepare for what is coming next, because we know that Lucifer will not retreat or relent in his onslaught, and we will continue to pick up the tempo and ferocity of his assault on those who believe in God and are trying to do what He has commanded.

Tom Sheppard is a business consultant and coach to small business owners and individuals. He is a recognized author with dozens of titles in business and fiction to his credit. One of his endeavors is to help those who want to see their own book in print. He does this through his trademarked Book Whispering Process (TM). The author is not an official spokesperson for any organization or person mentioned herein. 

The author is not an official spokesperson for any organization or person mentioned herein.

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