Category Archives: God

God – what knowledge of . begets

Titus 1:1 teaches Paul’s profound thought about “the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness…”—the truth that begins by acknowledging God in Christ.  That’s the truth that leads to godliness.  No other truth from any other source, about any other subject, can and does.

It’s the same revelation Solomon disclosed in Proverbs 1:7:  “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.”  Then, in Proverbs 2:5, the fear of God leads to receiving the knowledge of God, which leads to wisdom—the gift of discerning the meaning of knowledge.  Among them count God’s nature and human responsibility, including especially godliness, being like God in daily life.

That wisdom leads us to understand God’s creation of everything in the heavens and on earth Proverbs 3:19-20.  That wisdom is to be sought, embraced and lived Proverbs 4:7.  Though it costs all our time, effort and brainpower, and even when it demands we surrender the egotism we so cherish as essential to our individuality, GET the WISDOM of God!

All that said, and every word of it Biblical, what worth is the knowledge—the false gnosis—in our culture that exalts mortals, seeks spiritual answers in heathen religions and dismisses God in Christ as supernumeraries?  That’s the bane of 20th and 21st century education:  more doctors of everything please!  Even doctors of theology because many of them discus theories of God without the strong Bible preaching characterizing Apostolic preaching.

Obviously, the knowledge so rampant, exalted, sought, desired and institutionalized today isn’t the TRUTH of God.  The Truth of God leads to holiness.  The knowledge of today—of facts and theories—so favored today has led to godlessness, not godliness; to greater immorality, not purity; to depravity, not righteousness.

Deliberately turn from it, Christians.  Shun, reject, abominate it.  Never swerve or turn towards it, let alone approach it, let alone embrace it.  The knowledge presently so welcomed in society has as its result turning society from God.  Seek only God’s TRUTH in Christ.  It alone leads to the holiness God honors.

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.c

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

     Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

     Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

God – means what he said

Through Moses, 1500 B.C., God warned Israel that punishment would as certainly follow apostasy as benefactions obedience Deuteronomy 28:1-68.  Generations came and went, lived and died.  When kings rebelled against him, God raised up kings who obeyed.  The permanence of Israel seemed so secure the warnings of Deuteronomy 28 fell below hearing.  Then, when they found themselves kingless and living in a foreign land, the Israelites finally decided that God meant what he said.

How many Americans…how many Christians…believe that God really meant what he said through the apostle Paul, “Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked”?  Not, God shouldn’t be mocked, as if we could if we wanted to.  No…he cannot BE mocked.  It’s impossible for us to turn up our noses at God.  Americans don’t believe that.  We’re so confident in our materialism, our humanism, our immorality, our doctorates, our technology, we think ourselves immune to God’s moral laws.  As one example, 61% of Americans polled approved when the Supreme Court made same-sex marriages legal.  So what if God in every reference to the perversion condemned and punished societies that supported it?  Our Supreme Court legalized it.  Didn’t that make it final?

Absolutely NOT!  By elevating ourselves, our convictions, our morality, our opinions, etc. to the place we previously reserved only for God, we only proved how fallen from grace and CLOSE to God’s inevitable condemnation we are.  We have already crossed the line between God’s patience and God’s wrath.  Only Judgment awaits our culture, at HIS WILL.

Christians shouldn’t pray for revival in a culture that isn’t listening to God.  Judgment is at hand.  Christian leaders should now be preparing Christians for the opportunities the inescapable crisis will surface.  Don’t wait for the tribulation to prepare.  The point of crisis isn’t the time to establish convictions and commitments.  They must be fixed previously to automatically kick into gear and us into action.  That means preachers must do more to educate their people in spiritual recovery—as First Responders train their people to know what to do when disaster hits.

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

     Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

     Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

God – knows where he is

The July-August, 2017, Smithsonian Magazine has an article on cartography.  It has pictures of what it calls “History’s Most Misleading Maps.”  They include the “Island” of California, the “Mountains” of Kong, the “Trap” Streets in London, Etc., Etc.  16ff

Cartography is ancient: in the Marshall Islands, native Americans, Babylonia, Egypt and China.  The first printed maps came from China.  The Mediterranean world had reasonably accurate dimensions from constant use through the millennia.  Every other land mass, especially in the New World, was subject to the wild surmises of guesses by ambitious map-makers drawing from hearsay or their own imaginations.  Columbia Encyclopedia, 1688

However, and the point of this blog:  only the explorers wondered what lay beyond the seashore.  The people who lived beyond knew where they were, what existed beyond them, who inhabited that land, etc.  In other words, only the uninformed had questions.  Those experiencing their land KNEW.

Which reminds me of GOD.  Many people don’t know who or where God is.  They’re strangers to him.  They’ve never experienced him.  He’s a mystery to them.  In the absence of facts, they conjure their own imaginations as evidence.  He’s what they would like God to be if he DID exist.  And some of those visions have a grain of truth hidden in harvests of chaff.  As C.S. Lewis wrote, God turned the Hebrews from paganism to monotheism because only he possessed the reality of what many thoughtful heathen considered their hopes.

Christians in our society don’t have to wonder who God is.  We know his Reality anytime we read from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.  Since we live in the presence of God—in his Word and through the Holy Spirit in our minds—we don’t have to conjecture God.  We know who God is, where God is and what God demands of humanity.  If others want only to conjecture, not know, that’s the right God gives them.  But we won’t abandon our confidence because they prefer to live by their opinions.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpr

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley) 

New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

God – clearly teaches what he wants kept

In 1905 Andrew Carnegie established a Foundation to be the depository of his surplus millions and his benefactor to cities, colleges and educational agencies.  Many public libraries in the nation had their origins in his bequests.

He wrote a “letter of gift” to his original trustees with information followed by every succeeding group.  He noted that since conditions on earth “inevitably change,” he wouldn’t bind trustees to hard and fast rules.  Indeed, he gave them “full authority” to change both policy and benefactions as they thought necessary.  They would conform to his “wishes by using their own judgement.”  That has led the Foundation to make changes in its bequests while remaining true to education and “international peace”—whatever that misnomer means.  If it means supporting the United Nations, it’s a waste of money.  Internet, 8/10/17

The point of this blog:  Carnegie gave succeeding generations of trustees the right to change the beneficiaries and bequests—and they have.  Since his word is eternal, God has given no one any right to change anything in his word.  But churches and individual have nevertheless taken the liberty to add to, subtract from, God’s word.  When we’re told we CAN change things, we do.  When God tells us not to change his WORD, we still do!  We never stop being arrogant!

The Bible isn’t a Foundation whose owner considers its benefactions liable to change.  The Bible is God’s Eternal Mind recorded so we can know eternal principles and truths by which to direct our daily lives and hope for eternal life with him.  No one, no group, who feels it their right to alter or amend God’s book will ever see God, except in Wrath.

Think about that when we’re tempted to soften God’s word so people won’t be offended.  Or to remove essential teachings to make our appeal more popular.  Or to live outside God’s teaching while expecting to be forgiven.  Matthew 7:21-27 never stops challenging this writer with a provocative question:  am I a true disciple?

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

God – when . seems absent, Part II

On early morning walks this writer hears great jets crossing the sky going northwest or southeast.  On cloudy days they can be heard but not seen.  The problems, anxieties and complications of life cannot hide us from God.  They can hide God from us.

The second way God can seem absent is when we look for him where he ISN’T.  That includes seeking him in human relationships, careers, personal ambitions and, paradoxically, in ungodly behavior.

If we look for God where he ISN’T, we’ll never find him.  For he’ll never move to where we want him to be.  Such a decision would make God a religious chameleon since humanity has so many diverse opinions about him and equally diverse expectations from him.

God kept warning the Hebrews to find him only in the Ten Words and their many auxiliary statutes.  Wise Hebrews complied, as Psalm 119 discloses.  Nor were they ever disappointed when seeking him in his Laws.  They offered his people what no other religion in their time could:  the Truth God to that time revealed.

Christ’s birth in Bethlehem gave humanity its one and only chance to see God in the flesh.  As Jesus said to Philip, that spiritual black hole of the disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” John 14:9.

Critics of the Gospels may allow that God revealed his Commandments through Moses.  They don’t allow that in Christ God came as a Man—the only Man ever to live.  As George Mac Donald said, the rest of us are just trying to be men—perfect humans.  Critics may give God permission to reveal himself in a lesser revelation, but never in the greater; in the dimmer, but not in blinding brightness.

Which only means that wherever critics look, God AIN’T!  And he’ll never move to where he presently AIN’T just so critics will be satisfied.  For he knows that they’ll change the rules as he moved.  Critics can never be satisfied and God won’t ever accommodate them.

But many who aren’t against God in Christ nevertheless seek him in other places or religions.  Let everyone be warned:  God is now in Christ reconciling us to himself.  In no other religion is he.  In no other place is he.   Seek him while he may be found, so when he Returns and SEEKS us, we may be IN HIM, having Christ’s righteousness, not our own stupidity or sin. – Fini –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

God – when . seems absent, Part I

On early morning walks I often hear great jets flying northwest to John Wayne, Long Beach or LAX.  Or flying southeast towards Phoenix or Dallas.  When possible I search the sky to find the winged aluminum birds.  Their drone while traversing the sky reminds me of those going where I’ve seldom or ever been.

They can sometimes remain unseen.  Cloud cover can make them invisible.  You hear the sound, you know they’re up there at 500 MPH, advancing up or down the sky, nevertheless invisible to the eye.  Like them, our Christian discipleship can be covered by complications that prevent it from praising our Father in heaven.  Worse, God can seem to be hiding from his disciples.  Then we feel disconsolate, abandoned.  We wonder how God could see our pain or loss or sorrow and not move to alleviate or terminate it.

While we can’t arrive at a certain answer to the question, the in-flight airplanes teach a lesson we need to remember.  As they continue on their invisible path, despite being hidden from us, God is STILL THERE, behind the clouds, THERE, in heaven, on his throne.  Just because we have problems doesn’t mean HE is Gone, or no longer cares.

Never let the lack of evidence of God’s Presence determine how we behave, what we believe and, most importantly, our faithfulness to him.  Instead, sing the words from On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, “when darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace.” – End Part I –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

 

God – himself the only essential person

Madame Guyon, once a beautiful aristocratic woman bewitched by the world’s allure suffered a life-changing attack of smallpox.  That turned her from those in the upper crust who no longer chose to break bread with her to Jesus Christ, God’s Living Bread on whom she could continually feast.

For seven years she longed to feel God’s presence only to feel disappointed that he had forsaken her.  Through enough Bible study, fasting and prayer to educate her, she learned to walk by faith, not feelings.

She also found a startling new truth:   the deeper into God’s word and discipleship she plunged, she wanted to possess God himself, not merely God’s gifts.  She wanted the GOD of consolation, not merely the consolation he offered.  The GOD of peace, not just the peace of mind he bestowed.  The GOD of truth, not only the truths his word taught.  Deeper Life Experiences of Famous Christians, 80

A necessary factor in all Christian discipleship.  All too often we seek the benefits of God in Christ instead of the colossal Presence of God in Christ.  The former attitude admires the gifts of God; the latter seeks and embraces God in Christ himself, whatever good we experience, whatever challenging burden we bear.  What do we seek for our discipleship?

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 

 

 

God – understandable…that’s what terrifies us

Using so-called intellectuals in important societal, business or media positions, Satan convinces many that God is too complex for the average mind to understand.  Better to let those intellectually endowed be in charge of what constitutes permissive beliefs, morality, sexuality and politics.  Only they can fathom what lesser-gifted minds couldn’t possibly know.  And, of course, they invariably conclude that you can’t trust the Bible to accurately educate us.

That’s also the siren-call of liberals in Washington, D.C.  “Let big government make the decisions you ‘little people’ can’t.  Only those blessed by Ivy School education really understand human behavior and what mortals need.”

Both claims are packs of lies.  Naturally, if Satan tells the BIG LIE—God is dead or irrelevant or hopelessly out-of-date, he won’t scruple to tell lesser lies—like, let the government make your decisions or don’t even try to understand God.

The truth is, we all too-clearly understand God and his Word.  We simply don’t like what he’s said.  Since we can’t change it, we lie that we can’t understand it—or God didn’t mean what he said.  Where God says he’s the Only God, we demand multiple deities.  When he says Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven, we demand multiple ways.  (While it’s true that many ways to serve God exist, we refuse to believe only ONE way to reach God exists.)  When God says we must deny ourselves to be Christ’s disciples, we demand the right to self-fulfillment.  When God warns that Hell awaits the disobedient, we petulantly say he can’t be God if he sends people to Hell.

And so forth; and so on; human arrogance flaunting itself, impressing only itself.  Clearly understanding what God said, but refusing to think he’s serious.  Having no trouble with Scripture’s words, except to think they apply to 21st century minds.  Let’s be honest, friends.  We have no trouble knowing who God IS and what God SAYS.  We simply refuse to believe that we need to take the Bible seriously unless we affirm it or accept any decision it reaches unless we ratify it.  We simply want to be our own deity; we want to out-God God.

Which will never happen.  And, by the way, many don’t care if it never happens.  They want it because it’s what makes them presently comfortable with their beliefs.  They’ll take their chances on eternity if they can have what presently makes them content.  Fools that they are, that’s how they think.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

God – alone gives the orders

In Spring, 1983, then-Padres Manager Dick Williams signaled to pitcher Chris Welsh not to throw to first base again.  Welsh disobeyed.  Out rushed pitching coach Norm Sherry repeating the Manager’s orders.  Welsh replied that he was going to anyway.  If Williams didn’t like it, he could bench him.  Williams did.  Welsh didn’t pitch for the Padres again.  San Diego U-T, 5/1/83

In baseball the Manager calls the shots, the pitches, whether to bunt or try a pick-off play, or any number of other decisions.  The players merely obey—OR ELSE.

God gives the orders in life.  He repeatedly warns us to obey him.  He also repeatedly warns of consequences if we don’t.  Nevertheless, we feel it our right to ignore, challenge or defy God’s WORD.  We feel free to substitute his Truth with our opinion.  And if he doesn’t like it, that’s too bad!  We pay no attention to his OR ELSE!  We don’t think his OR ELSE is any more certain or final than his WORD.

We’re 100% wrong.  A magnificent distinction underscores it.  A baseball manager rules his team.  God rules the world, the universe and eternity.  Unilaterally, without any opposition.  He will not be mocked by us.  He will punish any continued disobedience to his WORD.  All who continue to defy God’s Will will be SORRY.  America; pay attention!

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

God – the original, humanity the imitators

Ephesians 5:22-33 discusses the husband/wife relationship as an example of the model Jesus established between himself and the church.  He originates the pattern; humans merely copy it.  That not only determines how human marriage begins, but identifies the partners in it and determines the length of marriage.

Clark Gable thought his idea was better.  While dismissing God in Christ as excrement, he determined that religion was merely a man loving a woman.  Note that he didn’t even consider the Biblical model relevant.  A man of his time in Hollywood, he married 5 times, with who knows how many relationships.  The point is while the Bible teaches Christ and the Church as God’s model for marriage, Gable wanted—married or not—love between mortals the model and Christ saving humans irrelevant.  Like other fools, Gable expected God to let him make the rules, to which God would adhere.

People do it all the time.  They know what God says, …BUT…then spout their BUT in place of the Master’s direct teaching.  While it’s a human trait, it’s also an outrageous sin against the Holy Spirit.

There’s a “rest of the story” to the story.  The man to whom Gable addressed his nonsense had been reared in a church-going family, but didn’t know anything about Christ and the Church.  What had the preacher taught?  Had the man been listening?  He had the perfect chance to bear a witness to a terribly sinful human who posited himself above Jesus Christ.  But because he lacked personal faith in the Savior—he considered Jesus only a philosopher—he shared Gable’s ignorance.  Long Live the King, 289-290.

Two fools met:  the one willing to declare himself superior to Christ, the other admitting his ignorance of Christ.  I like Gable as much as the next guy.  He was a man’s man.  But only a man who, by the way, couldn’t find in at least four marriages what satisfied him as a religion and died before he proved he found it in his fifth.

Every human is a fool if he thinks God lets us establish any model of belief and behavior we choose, then forces Jesus to comply.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486 and  www.createspace.com/5802530