All posts by Black3Actual

UNDERSTANDING OUR WORLD: Spiritually, Everything Falls Into Two Divisions: Lawful Or Lawless

NOTE: I was not happy with my original post, so this was re-written.  I pray it will be a better explanation of the idea I’m trying to explain.

For the majority of my life, I struggled to make sense out of a seemingly endless number of worldviews and the political ideologies that spawn from them.  I have read the work of many philosophers, sociologists and political commentators in an effort to find some explanation for these differences.  You see, I have always believed the world operates by a fixed set of rules, and that logic is among these.  So, to me, if people take the time to properly think things through, we should all arrive at generally the same conclusions.  After all, if there are fixed rules governing the universe, that means there is an objective Truth, as well.  So, why do so many people seem to arrive at so many different versions of ‘truth?’  I never found a logical answer to this question — not until I let Scripture speak to me on its own terms.  The moment I did so, I saw that everything we humans believe or do falls into one of two categories: we are either Lawful or we are lawless.  It really is that easy. – at least, for me it is.  The following post explains how I have come to see and understand this divide.  I hope it may be helpful to your own personal understanding.

Whether or not people wish to admit it, this universe actually is governed by a set of rules or laws.  There are different types of laws, and they are all fixed; they do not change with time, place or even culture.  These laws can be discovered.  One way of discovering them is through observation and testing, which is a process we know as ‘science.’  Another way to discover them is through the proper application of logic, which philosophers call ‘right reasoning.’  But I’m not writing about these laws, or how we can discover them.  That is a subject for an entirely different series of posts.  No, what concerns me at the moment is that these laws are real, they are fixed, and because they are real and fixed, that means there is one objective reality.  And, if there is an objective reality — one Truth — a person will either seek to learn and embraces that one Truth, or they will reject it.  There are no other possibilities on this issue.  So, how is this connected to the subject of the Spiritual divide?  Easy. If there are universal laws, then there must be a Law-Giver.  This Law-Giver is God.  If there is a God, then a person will either seek Him and His Laws, or they will reject Him and His Laws.  In other words, a person either seeks to be Lawful, or they choose to be Lawless.  As a result, everything we think and do as individuals falls into one of these two categories — everything.

The first side of this division is that of Lawfulness, but this is a bigger issue than just the Ten Commandments.  It is all of God’s Laws combined: His Laws governing logic, mathematics, language, physics, economics — even morality.  Whenever a person seeks to learn these laws, accepts them and then tries to live in obedience to them, then that person is said to be living a ‘righteous.’  This is because that person is trying to live obediently by staying on the right side of God’s Law.   Now, this does not mean that such a person will never make a mistake in understanding God’s Laws, or that such a person will never violate the laws he does understand correctly,  because they will.  Everyone, no matter how ‘righteous,’ eventually breaks one of God’s Laws.  Scripture calls it sin.  Interestingly enough, the word, ‘sin,’ is derived from an ancient archery term meaning ‘to miss the mark.’  It may not seem like it, but this ancient meaning of the word, ‘sin,’ is not only connected to the Spiritual divide between Lawful and Lawless, it can serve as an indicator as to whether or not a person’s character is Lawful or Lawless.

If a person is lawful, then they will possess a certain degree of humility and will accept personal responsibility for their actions.  This is because they have accepted that they are not the master of this universe, they know they never will be, and that they are accountable to the True Creator.  This is why they recognize the Laws that govern this world: because they recognize the Law-Giver and His authority over everything — including themselves.  This is part of what humility s all about: the act of submitting one’s self to a higher authority.  In this case, that is God and His Law.  Such a person has a sincere love for God’s Laws, and because Truth is part of God’s Law, that person will have a love for truth.  A Humble person with a love for the Truth is capable of recognizing violations of God’s Laws.  They can see it in others, as well as themselves.  Because such a person is humble and has a love of Truth, they are also teachable.  This means, if they do not see a wrong at first, or if they are mistaken about something, others can show them the wrong and they will acknowledge it.  This is all part of a constant process of seeking, learning about and then embracing God’s Laws, and trying to live in harmony and obedience with them.  We call this persistent pursuit to live according to God’s Law, ‘righteousness,’ and it is connected to things such as virtue, honor and moral character.  People who make a habit of living this way are Lawful.  Yes, they may ‘miss the mark,’ but they will correct their mistake and seek to get closer to that mark the next time.

Then there is everyone else: all those who reject God and His Law.  These people are lawless, but this can be the confusing part.  Many of them will appear to be just and righteous, but it is only an appearance.  They are hypocrites (which actually means ‘play actor’).    TO make matters even more complicated, there are two main divisions of lawlessness.  There are those who follow false gods, and those who claim not to believe in or follow any god at all.  Even these claims are signs of lawlessness.

First, we have those who follow false gods.  If there is one set of un-changing law in this universe, then there is only One Law-Giver.  However, according to Scripture, there are many gods with a small ‘g’ (you need to read the book I suggested in my post, UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE: It Starts By Learning The Biblical Worldview, because the Scripture actually do say this!).  These small ‘g’ gods are the Princes behind the Principalities mentioned in the Psalms, as well as the Books of Daniel, Ephesians and The Revelation of Jesus Christ.  They are real, and they have been given authority over the different nations by the One True God.  The problem is, these spiritual Princes are lawless, themselves, so they lead the people under their authority into lawlessness.  o, while these people may believe they are worshiping the true god, in reality, they have been deceived by the Spiritual Prince who was assigned to watch over them and to teach them about the True God.  The end result is that the people in this category of lawlessness often appear to be very religious and righteous, but they are — in reality — following a false god.  This means they obey a false law, which — ultimately — makes them lawless in the eyes of the True God.

Then there are the lawless people who claim not to believe in any god.  These people are the most blind of all.  Whether people realize it or not, we all worship a god.  Whether it is the One True God, a false god or ourselves, we worship a god.  And this is where so many go wrong.  Sadly, this includes many people who sincerely believe they are following the True God, as well as many who believe in false gods.  I say this because there are many who claim to believe in a god, yet they do not accept or obey the teachings of their faith.  Instead, they either pick-and-choose what they will accept, or they re-write their own commandments according to their own desires, and even then, they often cannot live according the the rules they created for themselves.  This also applies to people who claim to be Atheists.  They may claim not to believe in any god, but in reality, they see themselves as their own god.  No matter what the specific case, every person who has created their own rules is worshiping themselves and, because they are not the True Law-Giver, everything they claim to believe in is lawless.  Even if they appear to be righteous, they are not —  because everything they believe in and everything they do is ultimately based in rebellion to the One True Law-Giver and His Law.

I understand that others may disagree, but, for me, this understanding explains everything I see people doing throughout the whole of history.  Not only does it explain it, but it does so in a consistent, rational way that can even be used to determine a person’s true motivations and predict the end result of their ideas.  It has helped me to understand why I see so much in common between the ‘Left and Right,’ and ‘Liberals and Conservatives.’  It is because there can be lawful and lawless people in both groups.  In fact, there can be lawful people who have made a mistake and appear lawless, and lawless people who appear lawful in both groups, as well.  When you count up how many of us there are, and how all of us can be lawful or lawless, or mistaken, or hypocrites,…  Well, it becomes easy to see how things can easily appear to be much more complicated than they actually are.  The rick is to just learn and accept the eternal laws of this universe, as well as the Law-Giver.  Once you do that, all you have to do to determine whether a particular person is lawful or lawless by nature is to observe what they say and do and compare it to what Scripture has to say.  If a person habitually speaks or acts against Scripture, they are most certainly lawless.  But, if they are habitually in obedience to, or can be corrected when they make a mistake, then they are most likely lawful.  It is a simple, rational and consistent way to approach the difference between all of us because it is in agreement with God’s Law.  So, for me, it really does come down to this question:

Are my words and actions lawful or lawless?

If I know my Scriptures, the answer to this question will be obvious.  Those answers might not always be easy to accept, especially when I discover I am acting lawlessly, but they will tell me everything I need to know about what I am doing and what I should be doing.  And, when I find I need to make a judgment regarding another person’s words or actions, I’ll have a reliable guide by which I can help me judge righteously.

 

UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE: It Starts By Learning The Biblical Worldview

Why do I see the world from a Biblical worldview?  That is a big question, and it is difficult to answer.  It’s difficult because it requires me share my life story: to explain how everything I have experienced lead me to the point where I finally understood and embraced God’s Word.  For many of the believers I know, this is so easy.  They just accept, like a child.’  But the Lord didn’t make me that way.  For whatever reason, he made me question everything.  I have to understand something before I can accept it.  It’s sort of like a form of obsessive/compulsive disorder.  If I cannot understand, I cannot accept — period.  Well, I am not the first one to read the Bible and find that it makes God appear to be cruel and unjust.  Nor am I the first person to notice that Scripture seems to contradict itself.  So, for me, this created a barrier between me and my ability to sell-out and just accept the Scriptures on faith.  But then things changed.  It started when I changed my attitude and started to read God’s Word with a sincere heart and open mind.  I prayed for His guidance, and His understanding, and I started to find the answers I needed.  Then, in the course of His timing, I encountered a book written by a true believer, and that’s when everything changed for me.  That is when I suddenly understood and I accepted every word of the Bible ‘like a child!

One of the things I studied when I was in college was the subject of individual worldview and its importance to properly understanding each other.  We all need a worldview (a philosophy of life and understanding of how the world works) and, whether we realize it or not, we all have one. Our world view is a product of several things.  It is shaped by our culture and the time in which we live, but also by our family and, ultimately, by each of us, individually.  Now, while our worldview is shaped by our families and society, this does not mean it will agree with our familial or social norms.   In fact, many people develop worldviews that run counter to those of their families or their culture.  This is because our worldview is also a product of who we are as individuals, and that is why it is so important to have some understanding of a person’s worldview.  Unless we have some idea of how a person sees and understands the world, we can never be sure we properly understand anything they try to tell us.  Well, It took me a while, but I eventually realized that it is no different with the men and women who wrote the Scriptures.  Unless we learn to see and understand the world as they did, we can never be sure we properly understand the messages they were trying to preserve for us.  It was then, when this realization finally dawned on me, that the Lord lead me to this book:

The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible

by Dr. Michael S. Heiser

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In The Unseen Realm, Dr. Michael Heiser examines the ancient context of Scripture, explaining how its supernatural worldview can help us grow in our understanding of God. He illuminates intriguing and amazing passages of the Bible that have been hiding in plain sight. You’ll find yourself engaged in an enthusiastic pursuit of the truth, resulting in a new appreciation for God’s Word.

  • Why wasn’t Eve surprised when the serpent spoke to her?
  • How did descendants of the Nephilim survive the flood?
  • Why did Jacob fuse Yahweh and his Angel together in his prayer?
  • Who are the assembly of divine beings that God presides over?
  • In what way do those beings participate in God’s decisions?
  • Why do Peter and Jude promote belief in imprisoned spirits?
  • Why does Paul describe evil spirits in terms of geographical rulership?
  • Who are the “glorious ones” that even angels dare not rebuke?

After reading this book, you may never read your Bible the same way again.

Now, I am not promoting a man above the Lord, or putting the writing of one man before the Word of God.  No, I am just saying that, for me — B3A — this book helped me to better understand the Word of God.  It put me in the sandals of the scribes and prophets who wrote the Scriptures by teaching me to see the world the way they saw it.   It also showed me that I have been missing very important keys in Scripture because I did not know or understand their meaning or context.  If it had not been for this book, I doubt I ever would have ever learned about them, either.  This is because the Biblical worldview is not only foreign to the Western worldview, it has largely been lost to the modern world in general.  Dr. Heiser will help you recover some of that lost understanding and, in the process, he will help you acquire a deeper, fuller and richer understanding of the Bible.  At least, he did so for me.  Others may already know all of what is in this book, and I may be the last one to the party, but I don’t think so.  I have been in church for 53 years now, and this book is the first I had ever heard of any of what is in it.  More comforting than that, when I checked the passages Dr. Heiser provides to support his explanations, I found he was correct!  So, if you are a believer looking to better understand the Word of God, I cannot recommend this book enough.  It will help you see and understand the world the same way the prophets and scribes who wrote the Scriptures saw and understood it, and that will help you better understand their original messages.

One last note: Since reading this book, I cannot see the Scriptures or the world from any other position.  I see everything from the Biblical perspective described in this book.  Therefore, if you read anything I write concerning my understanding of Scripture, it will be necessary that you know and understand the worldview described by Dr. Heiser (and affirmed to me by the indwelling Holy Spirit), as well.  Otherwise, I am likely to be taken out of the proper context, which can and does lead to all manner of conflict in the Body, and that is not my wish.  So, please, my brothers and sisters, if you follow me, or more importantly, if you seek the Lord, read the book.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

MY WITNESS: Why I Abandoned The Road to Concord

To Those of You Who Come Over from ‘The Road to Concord,’ Welcome:

I posted an abbreviated explanation for why I abandoned ‘The Road to Concord’ on TRTC, but I thought a more in-depth explanation might be in order — especially for those who chose to follow me here.

I still believe in Natural law, as did our Founders.  But our Founders understood Natural Law as John Locke understood it, not Thomas Hobbs.  Our modern world seems to have lost track of this fact, but there is a huge difference between the two.  Locke recognized and subordinated himself to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (as did all those who believed as he did), whereas Hobbs rejected the notion of a Creator and recognized man as his own god (as did all those who believed as he did).

For those who do not already know this, John Locke was a devout Christian.  He even wrote a line-by-line commentary on “The Book of Romans.”  It is in “Romans” that Locke — as those before him — found the source code for his understanding of Natural Law.  This source code is echoed throughout the Old and New Testament, but it is most clearly defined in “The Book of Job.”  Either way, for Locke and all those who aligned with his thinking, the source of all rights and law is and always will be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Hobbs, on the other hand, reject the God of Abraham.  If one knows the references, even the title of Hobbs’ best known work, “Leviathan,” is a statement of defiance and rebellion against The Creator.  In both ancient religious belief as well as those in the Scriptures, the Leviathan, or sea monster, is seen as a metaphor for chaos and lawlessness.  To the ancient world, whoever can tame the Leviathan and bring order is god.  Those who align themselves with Hobbs and his line of thinking are — whether they consciously realize it or not — declaring themselves to be, or at least vying to become god(s) by claiming they alone can bring order from chaos. This is just one of the many ‘shadows’ of the Spirit world reflected in our world that go unnoticed by those who do not see the world through a Scriptural lens.

Anyway, long-story-short, the American Founders followed Locke’s version of Natural Law and subordinated themselves to and sought the aid and approval of its Author.  In return, they were given a new nation; a nation that may very well be connected to Biblical prophecies concerning Ephraim and Manasseh.  On the other hand, those who followed Hobbs rejected the Creator and — eventually — they murdered thousands, including small children.  They also destroyed France and a large part of Europe in the process.  If one knows Scripture, then one knows that which builds up and gives life and freedom and lives according to the law is of the Spirit of God, while that which tears down, kills and destroys and which lives lawlessly is of the adversary (i.e. Satan).  Spiritually, this is the difference between the American and French Revolutions: the American Revolution was of God, the French was not.  The Spiritual lessons and ramifications remain with us to this day, but only those who seek to see with Spiritual eyes can see them.

Well, I have been starting to see all of this more and more clearly.  I see how the events of this world are connected to and driven by the things mentioned in Scripture, and how the Spirit world is reflected in the events of this one.  I do not claim to be able to see a sharp image of the True picture hidden behind the fog, but the shadows have been taking a much cleaner, much more coherent shape for me.  The end result is that I could no longer continue trying to explain things in what one might call ‘secular’ terms — especially when I know that the driving forces behind everything that happens in this world is not of this natural world.  For months now, I have been feeling compelled to write without holding back.  To include my faith and the way it has opened my eyes.  This compulsion simply will not let me continue as I was writing before — not any more.  If I try, I know the fire within will consume me.

Therefore, I am going to do as I feel I am being lead to do: I am going to share my personal views on this world as I have come to understand them.  Where my faith shapes my understanding, I will say so.  Where it is my personal intellect, I will say that as well.  But, either way, I will no longer remain silent about the role my faith plays in my understanding of this world, nor will I continue to silence myself for the sake of not offending those who do not believe.  This is all the more important when I consider the fact that Scripture tells us this world will find everything that is of God to be offensive.  In fact, it is this teaching in Scripture that has helped me make the move from TRTC to As Through Glass.  If I share something I know is of and from God and it offends another, then I have a good indication as to which side of the Spiritual divide that person may be.  In a similar way, I realized that the division we are seeing in our society are not really about Left and Right, or black and white, but about those who align themselves with God and those who have rejected Him.  Knowing this, and knowing that God will condemn those who see danger and do not try to warn others, I knew I could no longer try to walk the neutral middle.  I had to publicly declare my Spiritual allegiance in this world and the Spiritual world, and I had to do my best to edify and warn those who would listen.

Therefore, from this point forward, when I write, I will write for the Lord.  I will share the full extent of my understanding, and explain why it is I have come to my position.  I will also be open and honest about those things I do not know or understand — which will be often, because there is far more that I do not know than I do.  So, I will share my personal story, and my perspective with whomever may find my posts.  Then I will simply leave the reader to make up his or her own mind as to what they make of what I have shared.  After all, it is not my place to make anyone see anything a certain way.  That is the job of the Holy Spirit, and I do not wish to tread on His Authority — not even out f innocent accident.

Peace be with you,

B3A