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Tails will wag in Paradise
Posted On 12/15/2017 21:43:10

Over the last several months I have had friends lament about the death of a special cat or dog.  Along with this, some have asked about beloved dogs and other pets being with them in a future paradise.  Will the good Lord restore these beloved little ones too?  Although I am able to do so I generally choose to keep things brief and make a few keys points.  I do believe a persuasive case can be be made for the resurrection of, at least many, creatures and pets.

First I wish to make a point on the question sometimes heard, ''Do dogs have souls?''  In general when folks ask such a question I can tell that they do not know or understand the Biblical outlook about God's created creatures, including mankind.  If we look back into Genesis chapter 2, verse 7, we read that God breathed into the mans nostrils and the man became a Living Soul (Nepesh Chayah).  Nepesh can be translated as ''creature'' or ''being''.  Dogs and cats are also LIVING SOULS.  The soul is not some ghost inside of you.  You are a soul!  We as well as dogs and cats have been given the life principle...that breath of life, so we are living creatures.  Part of the misunderstanding is that Western thinking has crept into the church when we should be looking at things in a more concrete Hebrew philosophy. Another thing too is that people are not naturally immortal as only God is such (1 Timothy 6:16). We do not have Platonic Souls. 

Now with the above in mind we read that the Wages of Sin is death (Romans 6:23) but the gift of God through Christ is eternal life.  We can only be granted a life that can withstand the eons by Jesus.  He gives his sheep a quickened spirit (see John 10:27).  In other words a person has to believe (not abstractly, but concretely) like the apostles did to avoid death, however, those who are babes and no not sin, which includes dogs, have not earned the penalty of death.  Would God punish those that have never sinned?  Of course not.  Certainly not in an eternal sense if God is just.  The Lord is just and is a fair judge. God has obviously provided for creatures in a balanced way and even feeds the birds.  These lower creatures do not have the ability to believe in Christ but are innocent and have the ability to show love as any pet owner knows.

All through the Holy Scriptures we see how God has used animals in special ways and we know that some were present at the nativity of the babe Jesus, yet since Satanic rebellion the creation has suffered much but eventual restoration is coming (Romans 8:20-).  I would say that plenty of pets will be restored.

Pastor zomok

Tags: Animals Dogs Soul Creation Love Innocent

Wine and drinking...
Posted On 12/06/2017 20:54:34

Image result for ancient wine

Sometimes new Christians will ask a question about drinking wine and alcoholic beverages.  Is it ok or sinful?  The answer to these questions are relatively easy.  It is a question of moderation.  The improper use of any food, drink, or medication can cause problems.  

In the scriptures we find verses that plainly say wine is ok to drink.  In Genesis 14:18 we hear about the mighty Melchizedek bringing forth bread and wine (Yayin) to Abram (Abraham) and his companions.  "Yayin" is a fermented drink and listed about 130 times in the Hebrew scriptures, despite this we see that generations earlier old man Noah consumed too much of this "yayin" and was drunk.  Noah was not exercising moderation!  God gave mankind wine to make people glad (Psalm 104:15), but it is something to use properly.  And take note that these verses are not about grape juice.  Grape juice is not a mocker but wine can be (see Proverbs 20:1).

Jesus created Wine

In the New Testament we find a similar pattern.  We see at the wedding in Cana that Jesus produced a good deal of wine (oinos).  This was not grape juice.  A small amount of wine was even recommended due to its medicinal properties (see 1 Timothy 5:21), but Paul Shaul also warned about overindulging in drinking (Galatians 5:21).  As one can see it is a matter of proper use and moderation as in any substance.

pastor Zomok

Tags: Wine Cana Miracle Wedding Moderation

Where Jesus walked....
Posted On 11/30/2017 01:16:05

   See the source image

Over the decades I have occasionally came across books and literature that teach a story about Jesus, prior to his general ministry, traveling to distant lands.  One of these is called, "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ", which claims to have been derived from the misty "Akashic Records" by a certain Levi.  This book tells a story of a young Jesus traveling and teaching in India among the various castes, and even Tibet.  Jesus later visits other folks in Greece.  I think this account is created mainly to give more respect to Eastern beliefs and to try to blend these with Christianity.

There are also stories about a young Jesus traveling with Joseph of Arimathea, his uncle, to parts of the British Isles.  It is said that Joseph was a tin merchant. There is more plausability of this account as even before the Roman era ships from Phoenicia and Greece made it into the Atlantic.  There is also some evidence that a blood relationship existed between Joseph and the family of Jesus.  These people were all close relatives.  The exact truth for these stories is disputable but I believe there is an urge to fill in the space of time between the time Jesus was 12 and his late 20s, so they come up with stories to fill the time space.  The canon gospels were written between about 60 and 92 AD by the apostles and their followers and these are pretty silent on what Jesus was doing until he was near 30.  These gospels mainly focus on the ministry of Jesus, our Savior.

I personally think it very likely that Jesus never strolled beyond Mt. Hermon in the North and in the East to just parts of Arabia.  I would say as a young child he might have lived near the banks of the Nile in Egypt, which is the most remote location for the South.  In the synoptic Gospels we read the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus (see Matthew 17) and some have suggested the Mount mentioned is Mt. Tabor, while others suggest much taller Mt. Hermon.  Mt. Hermon figures in some Second Temple Literature (i.e. 1 Enoch).  I think Jesus had some reasons for visiting Mt. Hermon that are not usually mentioned but I won't bring it up for now.

pastor Zomok

Tags: Hermon Egypt Gospels Matthew

Satan in Eden
Posted On 11/28/2017 09:50:43

In my quick painting above I present a scene that might be viewed as subtle and mysterious.  Indirectly I imagined a scene where Adam and Haweh are hiding from the Lord after they were deceived by the evil one.  We can't see them but God can, as God is omnipresent.

I have often wondered in what manner or form did Satan appear in the garden paradise.  I have seen many illustrations over the decades.  Most of these tend to represent a serpent hanging from a tree and sweet talking a naked female figure. The word "serpent" (nachash) does appear in the text of Genesis 3, but snakes and serpents are not able to play games and deceive people as this being does so it can not be an actual serpent of a certain species.  Some carry the idea of an actual snake or serpent so far as to suggest the fossils of snake like lizards are found in the mid-east and these later lost their legs because of the events in Eden.   I think they are going a bit far, although fossils are found everywhere on Earth.  God would hardly punish a group of reptiles because of the events in Eden.

Another extreme is the idea that no higher being, like the devil, was in Eden at all, but that the couple fell due to their own ignorance and imaginations.  Some would suggest that Adam and his wife were ontologically imperfect and evil because they lacked knowledge.  Knowledge helps to perfect a person.  Only God is ontologically complete or perfect. Experiencing suffering for a season will eventually make the world more complete.  Much can be wrote about these positions. The best possible world is one where suffering exists for a period of time but this has no real bearing on what the devil might look like at times.

I would suggest that Satan appeared in the garden as a being of light, who may have shimmered or glowed off and on and perhaps changing his form, sometimes appearing serpentine. Actually the Hebrew word for serpent (nachash) also means "shinning one". Some scriptures tell us that the devil was an anointed cherub that guards.  These "cherubim" were not naked baby-like figures but mighty creatures that appear in much ancient art as great beings (Keruba) that guard royal thrones and such.  They sometimes have a lions body and the head an eagle, along with wings.  These were evidently modified over time into the griffons which sort of guard the thrones of European kings.  Sometimes Seraps are represented as throne guardians (Isaiah 6) and these are often presented as serpentine. Putting aside how literal or symbolic these beings may be, it is not surprising that Satan the Devil might appear in differing ways.  I would further suggest that Satan would not have appeared overwhelming to Eve and was shimmering but subtle.  He probably would even have acted somewhat friendly (as evil people often do!). 

Of course there is also differing positions about the degree of symbolism that exists in the text of Genesis.  Crushing the serpents head does not have to be a descendant of Eve stepping on an actual snakes head but rather represents the final defeat of the devil by Christ.

Pastor Zomok

Tags: Serpent Eve Sin Light Cherub Genesis

It has been before~~~
Posted On 11/22/2017 05:18:54

     See the source image

When listening to the oldies song, "As tears go by" I started to think of how the ancient Hebrews looked upon time as cyclical rather than linear as we do in Western thinking. They often would see the past as in front of them rather then behind because the past was more clear than the future. The exact words escape me at the moment. This makes good logic as we have both memories and photos of the past but not the future. They would walk forward of course but with their souls looking on the past. We should do more of this.

I see children playing and doing things as if it is all new but it is not. The Book of Ecclesiastes says, 

"That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun."

We should help one another on this merry go round of life.

Pastor zomok

Tags: Time Cycles Philosophy Ecclesiastes

Self focus life vs the higher life
Posted On 11/13/2017 00:04:55

"The one who finds his life will lose it, and the one who loses his life because of me will find it."-Matthew 10:39

It is good to review some basics of Christian teachings.  In Matthew 10 Yeshua is telling those that will listen that they have two basic choices.  They can either be focused on their selves or they can be focused on the higher life through Christ.  The first type will eventually be lost for it is only temporal, whereas the life (or "self", "Psuche") that is Christ centered is something that withstands the Ages.

Another thing about the higher life is that when you help others, which followers of Christ do, it gives you a good feeling.  There is an undeniable good feeling in helping others. When I show love to another by helping them my total being, is more at peace.

pastor Zomok

Tags: Life Heart Salvation Self Matthew

Stepping toward maturity
Posted On 11/02/2017 05:36:43

  Image result for glory burst

"And if thine eye doth cause thee to stumble, pluck it out and cast from thee; it is good for thee one-eyed to enter into the life, rather than having two eyes to be cast to the gehenna of the fire."--Matt. 18:9 Young's Literal Translation

When Jesus stated these words he was not ordering people to literally gouge out an eye because they were tempted to sin by what they see.  What jesus was doing was urging people to stop doing the sin as it ultimately ends in destruction.  Remember that Romans 6:28 tells us that the wages of sin is death.  Jesus warned people about the awful garbage heap of destruction where the corpses of criminals often would end up.  It was a place of stench and maggots were crawling around continuously.  Here and there was a a slow smoking fire where wind would push some of the smells around about.  Some view it as a prototype of the final lake of fire where all the bad things are consumed.  Sin eventually leads to such an end. 

There are some sins we often get caught up in but generally do not think of these as such.  One of these is the sin of compromising with wrong.  We may find ourselves watching a dirty movie because everyone else is.  We think to ourselves  that I do not womanize or gamble and drink but then we turn around and enjoy a movie that celebrates these things...when we should shun it. Christian maturity needs to be developed to the point of avoiding these things.

pastor zomok

Tags: Eye Hand Sin

Another way to spell love
Posted On 11/01/2017 19:50:12

 Deuteronomy 15:10-

"Give" is another way to spell love.  Giving to others can certainly be out of love and mercy.  It does not have to be money but could be just helping someone carry their groceries or giving them a ride.  Kind and soft words can give another some needed comfort.  Sukkot and the the holiday seasons are here but doing good should be all the time.

pastor zomok

Tags: Love Charity Help Giving Mercy

Psalm 136 Mercy
Posted On 11/01/2017 15:35:23

    Image result for Chesed in Hebrew

"O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever."- Psalm 136:26

If the Lords mercy (checed) endures continually then there is always hope.  With this in mind, let us emulate this and try to show continual mercy toward others..

pastor Zomok

Tags: Mercy Love Kindness Checed Psalm

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