Friday, September 23, 2011

Fight The Good Fight

***The following is a guest article for The End Times by Jimmie Parr.  I think that you are really going to enjoy what he has to say.***

Two years ago, I got my car stuck in a snowy shoulder of the road. I had stopped because I couldn’t find an item which had fallen under the car seat. I hadn’t realized how soft the shoulder was, because, at that time, driving in snow was “new” to me. I grew up in the Deep South, but had recently moved to Michigan. A policeman pulled over. After a few questions, he asked me whether I had been using drugs. I rolled my eyes in an “Are you kidding?” manner. He said, “Now I know you’ve been using! In our training, we learned that, if, while answering one of our questions, a person looks away from us, that person is hiding something!”

In the first chapter of the Biblical book of Acts is the account of the disciples of Jesus in the process of seeking the will of the Father concerning finding a replacement for Judas. The disciples are quoted as having called the Father a Being “which knowest the hearts of all” (Acts 1:24, Authorized, or “King James” Version).

According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the words “which, “knowest,” and “hearts,” are translated from a Greek compound word, kardiognostes, or heart-knower. Dr. Strong assigned the italicized number 2589 (now often written G2589—G for Greek) to that Greek word, kardiognostes. (Strong's numbers for Bible words translated from Hebrew words are not italicized in Strong's Concordance.) The word kardiognostes is composed of the Greek word, kardio (heart—Strong’s #G2588), and ginosko (to know—Strong’s #G1097).

The disciples called our Creator a heart-knower. Did they think of the word “Heart-knower” as one of the many names of our Creator? Did the disciples acknowledge our Creator as “THE (unique, one-and-only) Heart-knower?”

Have a look, in Jeremiah 23:6, at a Hebrew name for the Creator—Yahweh Tsidkenu—Yahweh our righteousness. In Isaiah 64:6, Isaiah wrote, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Taken together, Jer. 23:6 and Is. 64:6 state that, without having righteousness given to us by our Creator, humans have no righteousness. The One True God is the Source of righteousness. Self-righteousness is merely another facet of unrighteousness. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Psalm 14:3; Romans 3:10). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

In Acts 15:8, the apostle Peter again uses kardiognostes to describe our Creator.

With one of the Creator's names demonstrating His being the source of righteousness, and (as I am now theorizing) another of His names being Heart-knower, is it possible that, as no human generates righteousness, so no human generates the ability to know hearts (read thoughts) of others?

In Jer. 17:9, the prophet Jeremiah quoted his Creator as having asked, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The answer follows immediately. “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins” (Jer. 17:10). Could He not have added, “I am the Heart-knower?”

Adam Clarke's comments about Jer. 17:10, from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, sheds more light on this subject. “Jer 17:10—I the Lord search the heart - The Lord is called by his apostles, Act 1:24, Καρδιογνωστης, the Knower of the heart. To him alone can this epithet be applied; and it is from him alone that we can derive that instruction by which we can in any measure know ourselves.”

In order to be able to search human hearts, did our Creator have to receive the same training as did the police officer who “knew,” because of how I reacted to his question, that I had been taking drugs? Or, just as our Creator is a sole Source of righteousness, is our Creator also the sole Holder of the ability to read human thoughts, as Adam Clarke believed and taught? Would the apostles have called our Creator “Heart-knower,” if that ability to discern thoughts and motives also belongs to any policeman who takes the same training as that received by the officer who “knew” that I was smoking dope? If so, with armies of heart-knowing police officers who received mind-reading training, why would anyone call the Creator “Heart-knower? If police officers can be trained to read our minds, wouldn't Jeremiah 17:10 also state that, in addition to the Creator being able to “search the heart” and “try the reins,” trained police officers are also able to search hearts of lowly civilians?

Jeremiah 17:10 tells me that police officers claiming to be able to watch my reactions and know whether I've committed a crime are, at best, deceived. I don’t doubt that somewhere, a policeman has, simply by watching “body language” of a person, correctly guessed that a person is a criminal. From time to time, a blind hog finds an acorn in the woods.

In Acts 4 is the recounting of Jesus' disciples selling belongings, and giving the proceeds to the apostles, so that all could receive adequate food and other types of care. In Acts 5 is the account of two people—Ananias and Sapphira—who sold a piece of property, kept part of the proceeds, and offered the rest to the apostles.
However, Ananias and Sapphira claimed that their offering was the full price of the property. Peter knew that they had lied. Peter asked Ananias, “Why have you conceived this thing in your heart. You have not lied unto men, but unto God (Acts 5:4).

Peter must not have received the same training as many policemen are now receiving. He didn't claim to be able to know the thoughts of Ananias. Though the Creator revealed to Peter that Ananias was lying, Peter did not begin attaching motives concerning why Ananias lied. Peter didn't tell Ananias, “You like to spread your fan as a peacock, and appear, to others, to be some great, self-sacrificing philanthropist, but, all the while, you keep back money for yourself, for a cushion.” Peter didn't accuse Ananias of keeping money back because of lack of faith, or fear that the Church would be short-lived. Peter simply asked Ananias why he lied.

Peter didn't claim to be able to read the heart—the thoughts and motivations—of Ananias. Could the policeman who “knew” that I'd been doing drugs read my thoughts? No, he happened to be wrong. I steer clear of all of that drug nonsense. (I have no “police record,” or whatever they call it when a person has been convicted of a crime.) When the policeman asked me whether I'd been doing drugs, the main reason that I rolled back my eyes was that the last time that a policeman (in Halstead, Kansas) accused me of being involved with drugs, my car, with all of my belonging in it, were impounded. I didn't have the money to get the car out of impound. As far as I know, my belongings, and my car, are still there, in Halstead. I rolled back my eyes, because I thought to myself, “Here I go, again...another 'protect-and-serve' policeman with all of the ineptitude of Barney Fife, but with none of Barney Fife's mercy, and he’s ready to impound my vehicle for the glory of the war on drugs.”

Our Creator did not give Peter the ability to read Ananias' mind. How much less chance would there be that the Creator would give policemen the ability to discern thoughts, regardless of how much training they receive?

I have a video clip delivered, I believe, by Rachel Maddow. The woman on the video clip says, “President Obama today proposed something new—something called prolonged detention...pre-crimes where people who are arrested and incarcerated to prevent crimes that they have not...yet...committed.” So my mind-reading policeman was not alone in his belief that he could read my mind. How else will we be justifying locking up people before they commit crimes, unless officers in our constabulary claim that they know our thoughts?

The Biblical approach to conviction of a person accused of wrongdoing is as follows: “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; I Timothy 5:19). The Bible doesn't instruct, “Thou shalt take training at the C.I.A.-influenced cop shop, and thou shalt be a heart-knower, and thou shalt have no need of witnesses. Thou canst impound property at will. Thou shalt be as god, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5—more about that, below).

These people who wished to be “liberated” from the “shackles” of a society influenced by Biblical principles should be able to begin to see what is taking the place of those “shackles.” When you kick the One Who created you out of your life, and your government, and you begin to believe that you were able to evolve, because you were “the fittest,” you get what we're beginning to see. For starters, you get constabulary so steeped in pseudo-science—junk science (I Tim. 6:20)--that they claim to be able to read your thoughts. The next step is, of course, to begin to lock up “usual suspects” before they are able to commit crimes, or because they commit “hate” crimes, or “thought” crimes. When you who wish to be liberated from Biblical precepts take one out-of-the-ordinary step, you're liable to be locked up, for the good of “society.” You fall into the pit which you dug to trap religious people.

To read of one way that Satan enticed humans in the beginning is interesting. Satan told Eve, “For God doth know that in the day ye (Adam and Eve) eat thereof (tree of the knowledge of good and evil), then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Are policemen who take certain training able to be “as gods,” in that they learn to read hearts, thoughts, and intentions? Are psychologists who study enough able learn to know, “as gods,” what others are thinking? Or are they playing God? Is God the one-and-only Kardiognostes—Heart-knower?

In an aside, isn't it interesting that, as we have done more and more to attempt to kick the Creator out of our society, we have begun using, in reference to mere humans, the terms, god, and goddess, more frequently?
When I was young, I know that we didn't refer to so-called “beautiful” women as goddesses nearly as often as we now do. I also hear people who talk about certain male sports figures, “He's a god.” I just now saw something written about Eric Clapton, the well-known guitarist/songwriter. An exuberant fan wrote, “Clapton is God!” I seldom, if ever, heard people referred to as gods, when I was younger. When we kick out the true Creator, we then run around desperately seeking replacements—golden calves. And some take police training, and are, in effect, told, by their handlers, that they have become God's replacements, or have become gods.

Because I believe that no man can discern the thoughts of another, I am saddened when I think of policemen who “go to church” on Sunday, and hear, “Jesus saves,” and “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31), but who hear little else from the same collection of books which contain Acts 16:31 and John 3:16, and which, in my opinion, disprove what their trainers taught them about being able to discern thoughts of a person from that person's mannerisms. Let's make a comparison between mainstream church teaching and food, which is an easy comparison, because the Lamb called Himself “the Bread of life” (John 6:35). If, over a period of time, you eat lots of rice and barley, you can feel filled each time after you eat, but, eventually, signs of malnourishment will appear, because humans need nine different types of amino acids, in order to build proteins. (Growing children are said to need an additional three dietary amino acids.) Barley and rice do not contain all nine of those essential amino acids.

When a policeman (or anyone else) sits in a church which teaches Acts 16:31 and John 3:6 over and over again, but does not teach “every word which proceedeth from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4), that person begins to be malnourished. Acts 16:31 and John 3:16 are important, but there’s much more to truth.

In an animal nutrition class which I took in college, the professor stated that one of the signs of a malnourished animal is the presence of a depraved appetite. Do humans also develop depraved appetites, when they are malnourished? Do humans develop depraved spiritual appetites, when they are spiritually malnourished? Can they begin to develop nonsensical ideas, such as beginning to believe that humans can read minds, and discern thoughts, of other humans?

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11).

I don't wish to split hairs about the difference between malnourishment and famine. Neither famished people nor malnourished people are sufficiently nourished, though malnourished people may eat large quantities of food.

Many people who sit in churches, and hear great singing which stirs the emotions, and thrilling stories of new converts (converts to what? Matt. 23:15) do not realize that they are not getting full meals in their churches.
These policemen (and the others in the congregations) who sit in churches, and then go out and, unwittingly, play God, in their beliefs that they can watch body language, and thus discern the thoughts of a suspect, need to hear ALL of the words of their Creator expounded and magnified, and not merely hear repetitive polly-parroting of John 3:16. Many policemen in many church organizations are famished. Many such people are famished by staying in “lip-service” churches (Is. 29:13; Matt. 15:8; Mark 7:6), which, in unrighteousness, keep back huge nuggets of knowledge and truth (Rom. 1:18) found in Scripture. These churches fail to read and heed the words of the Messiah, in Revelation 3:16, to a church group in Laodicea. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Much of that being neither hot nor cold is the result of repetition of “Jesus saves,” and “Jesus loves you,” without lifting of the voice as a trumpet, in instruction about transgression (Isaiah 58:1), including transgressions by governments.

Also important for any churchgoer to ponder is the next verse: “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:17). Some people think that their training gave them the ability to see and read my mind. In believing that they can see my thoughts, they make themselves blind.

For me, to compare the relationship between the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day and the Roman government with the relationship between our churches of today and the so-called U.S. government is inevitable.

While Jesus was standing before Pilate, Pilate asked the Jews, “Shall I crucify your king?” The Jews responded, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15). The Jewish leaders knew Malachi 1:14: “I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.” What a slap in the Creator’s face the Jewish leaders delivered! The Jewish leaders were more concerned with maintaining what measly positions they had, than with having the Creator as their King, and making that admission fearlessly to the Romans. As the Israelites did in Samuel’s day, when they rejected God as King (I Samuel 8:7), so did the Jews, in Jesus’ day. And so do many churches, today.

Most “churches” are quite cozy with the government. Do some research about Clergy Response Teams. Do some research about what all being a 501 (c) (3) organization means. And why do churches say nothing, for instance, about police training which leads policemen to believe that they can discern thoughts from body language? “They that handle the law knew me not” (Jer. 2:8). That was true in Jeremiah’s day. Isn’t it obviously true in our day? Preachers haul around their Bibles, but fail to read most of the Bible to their congregations. They don’t know the One who inspired the words, and intentions, of Scripture. Again, what a slap in the Creator’s face our pastors deliver, in our day! Malachi has much to say to pastors (Malachi 2).

Here's a small example of how far downhill things have gone, because of our decision to kick our Creator out of our lives. I have a friend who has lived in Michigan for his entire life. Numerous times, he has crossed over the border into Canada, and returned, without incident or difficulty. Recently, he tried to cross over. He seemed “suspicious” to the border agents (perhaps “trained” to read thoughts). My friend was not allowed to go into Canada. When he tried to return back to the U.S., our border patrol agent detained my friend for hours, and threatened to hold him indefinitely. My friend expressed a desire to contact an attorney. He was told that, in the case of crossing the border, a U.S. citizen is not allowed access to counsel. Finally, perhaps satisfied that they had demonstrated mastery over a U.S. citizen, the U.S. border patrol agent allowed my friend to return to the U.S., and to return to his home, and his children.

We're becoming the land of the flea, and home of the slave, because 1) we don't stand up to these mini-tyrants, and 2) by far, the more important reason, we “liberated” ourselves from our Creator.

Back in the '70s, Bob Dylan wrote, and set to music, “You're gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody.” When you who wish to be free of religion, you still have to serve somebody. You’re not your own boss.

When the U.S. began getting rid of the Biblical “two or three witnesses” to establish facts, and stepped into the make-believe world of reading my reactions as a road map into my thoughts, it was one more piece of everything else which was good about our country vanishing. Child Protective Services declares that they are not subject to the 4th Article of the amendments (Bill of Rights) to the Constitution. Policemen declare that they are immune to the same amendment, when it is a question of drug use or distribution. People in the I.R.S. declare themselves immune to the Constitution.

Some may accuse me of being an anarchist.

John the Baptist was not an anarchist. He was finely tuned to the rule of law, to the extent that he was able to offer critique concerning King Herod's failures and evil actions. (There were several King Herods in the Bible.

This Herod is known by current historians as Herod Antipas.) When John began declaring that Someone else was about to come, and that that Someone would separate the wheat from the chaff, Herod locked up John the Baptist. “But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by (John the Baptist) for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison (Luke 3:19, 20). Again, take note of that: “Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by (John the Baptist)...for all the evils which Herod had done....” John the Baptist did not tell himself, and the crowds of people listening to him, “Rex lex...Herod has the Divine Right of Kings, and I'm supposed to submit, which means to keep quiet, and offer no criticism. Romans 13 tells me that everything that Herod does is God's will.” John the Baptist “lifted his voice as a trumpet” (Is. 58:1).

The verb, to submit, does NOT mean, to keep quiet. It does NOT mean to refrain from criticism. It does NOT mean to agree. In a future article about the apostle Paul’s interactions with government officials, I plan to give some food for thought about what Paul meant, when he wrote, in Romans 13, that followers of the Messiah should submit.

John the Baptist believed in being ruled by true law (not merely man's Mickey-Mouse declarations posing as law). At the other end of the spectrum, Herod believed in making his own rules (as long as he didn't ruffle feathers of those above him). Though “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy” (Mark 6:20), he allowed a woman with arousing choreography to usurp his authority, when, against his own sentiments, but according to the wish of his dancing step-daughter, he ordered the beheading of John the Baptist (verse 27). Herod knowingly had a man whom he “feared,” and considered “just” and “holy” put to death.

Whose approach veers more toward anarchy? Is John the Baptist's approach, or is Herod's approach, more similar to anarchy? Put another way, would you prefer to have John the Baptist as your county sheriff, or Herod Antipas?

Some have said that the collective mindset of the rulers or leaders of a country reflects the mindset of the general populace. And I see evidence of that. A few years ago, supporters of Bill Clinton began chiming, “Clinton lied; no one died,” after people during George W. Bush's presidency told us the misinformation that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which he might suddenly use on us. (I wonder whether people in Belgrade agreed that no one died in 1999, after Clinton lied.) Bill Clinton was, among other reflections, a reflection of how little we, as a nation, cared about marital fidelity. “It's the economy, stupid.”
Put enough money in our pockets, and the president can get away with giving away/selling U.S. military secrets to Red China. He just may be able to get away with selling the entire country to Red China. How else can we explain the U.S. owing China a trillion dollars?

“The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17). Why does the Creator set the basest of men over us? Is one reason because citizens would “run over” a group of nice guys in leadership positions? How are U.S. citizens, with respect to keeping laws of the land? Think about how we acted in the 1970s, when citizens' band radios became popular. Did we use them mostly to help others, and in emergencies? My bet is that 75% of the activity on CB radios was a compilation of efforts of speeders to avoid getting caught breaking a law of the land—law regarding speed limits on highways. Smokey and the Bandit was a popular movie which had, as one of its themes, breaking speeding laws and defeating policemen with CB radios. A very popular song about a convoy of drivers with CB radios was also “played to death” on radio stations back in the ‘70s. Wasn't it cute, harmless fun to break man's statutes? No, it's not so cute, because of what we are reaping. As U.S. citizens have become more lawless, and more base, so our leaders have become more base, in order to try to keep us in control. “Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey” (Is. 59:15). If we elected a truly nice guy as a leader, he would become a prey, because we—average citizens—are not nice guys. Unless the Creator protected a nice guy in a leadership position, we citizens might do to a nice guy in office what citizens did to the Messiah.

Until average citizens become nice guys, we will continue to have increasingly “base” leaders over us, whether they be constabulary, legislators, or judges. As on November 23, 1797, in an address to Congress, John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” According to John Adams, as we decline from morality, we lose our qualifications to be under the U.S. Constitution, as it is now written. Alexis de Toqueville wrote, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

To anyone who deems me an anarchist, and a hater of policemen, or anyone who would prevent me from doing what I please, I'll tell you that, when I was young, I supported policemen as that “thin blue line” which separates society from chaos and mob rule. But I have seen increases in outrageous behavior of policemen. I don't want to abolish police departments. I want to see policemen “protecting and serving” law-abiding citizens. Formerly, it was “good” guys vs. “bad” guys, with policemen at the tip of the spear of “good” guys.
Now, the handlers of policemen have separated policemen from law-abiding citizens, and, now, policemen are the tip of the spear of some other group. “Good guys” still pay the salaries of policemen, but are becoming increasingly divorced from policemen, and vice-versa.

Why is it that, when I try to offer constructive criticism of policemen, people respond with, “Well, I guess you don't want policemen.” If I criticize the truck which I drive, my getting rid of the truck is not the only alternative. I could repair the truck, or otherwise alter it. We could (and need to) repair police departments, and policemen. But we need to repair ourselves, as we repair police departments. After all, policemen came from the general populace, and if the general populace is lawless, why should we expect that policemen should be flawless?

Where are any “mainstream” preachers who have the courage to declare the truth about these policemen who believe that they can watch a “suspect” roll his eyes, and deduce that this guy is using controlled substances? Where are the preachers who have the courage to say that many policemen are deceived, and are enabling their handlers to play God? Where are the preachers who would attempt to steer us toward the Biblical “two or three witnesses” in order to establish guilt or innocence? Why do they continue to bleat, “Romans 13! Submit!” as our government obviously continues to veer toward tyranny?

Ezekiel 9:4-6 should sober up anyone who wishes to show our people our sins. “Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst (of Jerusalem). And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.”

“Begin at my sanctuary.” Begin with the churches which tell us to submit, and then tell us that to submit means to go along with everything, because it is God's will, because God is directing world leaders. Begin with the churches which fail to tell policemen, for instance, that they are straying far out of line—out of the blue line.

“Set a mark upon the foreheads of (those who) sigh and...cry for all the abominnations...done....” Those who receive that mark (or insignia—not to be confused with the mark of Revelation 13:16) receive it because they are sorrowful about the sins in their country, and in Jerusalem. Those who are not aware of the sins are slain.
Those who are aware, but make jokes about it, are slain. Those who are aware, but become cynical in their criticisms, are slain. Only those who are aware of the sins, and are sorrowful about them, are protected. Now I'm criticizing myself, because I often become cynical, and am not sorrowful about things as they are, and the direction in which things are going. For me to be sorrowful about the condition of the U.S. is the only attitude in which I will offer up constructive criticism. My criticisms in any other state of mind are destructive.

King David wrote, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee” (Psalms 51:12, 13.

We must draw close to God, and then we can be in a position to guide people to the right way to go.
However, we must also be prepared to endure what Jeremiah endured, that is, the fall of the country. The Creator gave the Israelites a set of laws written with His finger. Yet He finally allowed the country which He established to fall. We shouldn’t think that He will forever maintain the U.S. But we who know should be prepared to make a stand for what is right, and stand in opposition to wrongdoing. Just as our Creator cared for Jeremiah, after the fall of Jeremiah’s country, our Creator is able to care for us, whether the U.S. continues to exist, or not.

Fight the good fight. There will be a good country for those who fight the good fight.

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