Onlline Sermons

We have posted a lot of sermons from our Universal Life Church ministers. Some are Christian and some are not. You are welcome to use them or just enjoy them as you like.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Genius in Love

A Genius in Love
Teach us how short our lives really are that we may be wise. (Psalm 90:12)
Lord, thank You. In Jesus Name. Amen.
For more sermons from the ULC Seminary, go to Chapel.
I've heard tell of human-genius that is;
Genius . . . . that power which dazzles human eyes, is oft but perseverance in disguise. 
"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." If people knew how hard one has to work to gain mastery it wouldn't seem wonderful at all. Genius is the very eye of intellect and the wing of thought: it is always in advance of its time, and is the pioneer for the generation which it proceeds. Inventive genius requires pleasurable mental activity as a condition for its vigorous exercise. I believe genius is the ability to go on when ordinary men say the battle is lost. Genius has been described as "an infinite capacity for taking pains," which is not very far from the truth.
All the genius I have lies just in this: When I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. I explore it in all its bearings; My mind becomes pervaded/impregnated/saturated/ filled with it. Then the effort and progress which I make, the people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is really the fruit of labor and thought. True genius is simply eternal patience.
Listen. Persistence will keep you moving forward, yet you need passion to feed your persistence. You must put your whole heart into your vision. Never forget that physical sight is the ability to see things as they are. Vision is the capacity to see things as they could be, and that takes faith. Please remember when we have vision, we are governed by the faith God has put in our hearts.
Please listen: Whether words are spoken or written, they are full of creative power. When you speak words expressing what you see in your vision, your words become creative power to help bring that vision to fruition. The faith of vision is crucial because the way you see things determines how you think and act and, therefore, whether or not your vision will become a reality. Listen. You can undermine your vision through negative thoughts and words.
God has a plan for each of our lives, yet He brings those plans to pass in a gradual way. There is no hurried way to get to God's vision. Oh, say can you see! The process of vision develops our character and produces responsibility in us. 
Sometimes, we think that just because we are going through difficult times, God has stopped working to fulfill our purposes. Yet God is working on us, preparing us for our purposes through the process. Life's hardships are part of God's perfect plan for us and our visions. Listen. Whatever you have been chosen to do in life . . . . . Live by faith as you move through the process of vision.
Teach us how short our lives really are that we may be wise. (Psalm 90:12)
In a life marked by doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and school appointments, there is one appointment that none of us will miss, the appointment with death. Not very many like to talk about it, but "Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God" (Hebrews 9:27). Oh, how we'd like to change that verse. Just a word or two would suffice. "Nearly everyone must die . . . . " or "Everyone but me must die . . . ." or "Everyone who forgets to eat right or take vitamins must die . . . ." But those are not God's words. In His plan everyone must die, even those who eat right and take their vitamins.
Exercise may buy us a few more heartbeats. Medicine may grant us a few more breaths. But in the end, there is an end. And that's why God/Jesus did it. Did what? You say.
He gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing. (Philippians 2:7)
This is why He did it: Just thoughts here...
Holiday travel. It isn't easy as it used to be. Then why do we do it? Why cram the trunks and endure the airports? Or pack into the cars or suvs or motor- homes or motor-coaches. You know the answer. We love to be with the ones we love.
The four-year-old running up the sidewalk into the arms of grandpa.
A cup of coffee with a parent before the rest of the house awakes.
The moment when, for a moment, everyone is quiet as we hold hands around the table and thank God for family and friends and pumpkin pie.
We love to be with the ones we love.
May I remind you? So does God. He loves to be with the ones He loves too. How else can we explain what He did? Between Him and us, there was a distance---a great span. And He couldn't bear it. He couldn't stand it. So He did something about it. 
Jesus, gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing.
You be blessed now, you hear!
His Name's Jesus Ministries &
I. C. Music Corporation
May you be blessed,

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Lesson Of Love

The Universal Life Church offers stories about growth and strength.

May the Lord grant all of us the grace, courage and strength to be generous and kind in our dealings with others especially with those who are less fortunate than we are.
Dedicated staff, he offered a  question:

Two  Choices
What  would you do? make the choice. Don't look for a punch  line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would  you have made the same choice?
At  a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with  learning disabilities, the father of one of the students  delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who  attended. After extolling the school and  its 'When not interfered with by outside  influences, everything nature does, is done with  perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as  other children do. He cannot understand things as other  children do.
Where  is the natural order of things in my  son?'
The  audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued.. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was  mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an  opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself,  and it comes in the way other people treat that  child.'
Then he told the following  story:
Shay and I had walked past a park  where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked,  “Do you think they'll let me play?” I knew that most of the  boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as  a father I  also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it  would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some  confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his  handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on  the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play.  The boy looked around for guidance and said, “We're losing  by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he  can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the  ninth inning.”
Shay struggled over to the  team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I  watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart.  The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the  bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs  but was still behind by three.
In the top of the  ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right  field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously  ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning  from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In  the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored  again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the  potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to  be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let  Shay bat and give away their chance to win the  game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone  knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't  even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect  with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to  the
plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team  was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life,  moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could  at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay  swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a  few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards  Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball  and hit a slow ground ball right back to the  pitcher.
The game would now be  over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and  could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay  would have been out and that would have been the end of the  game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball  right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all  team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams  started yelling, “Shay, run to first!
Run to  first!”
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far,  but he made it to first base..
He scampered down the  baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone  yelled, “Run to second, run to second!”
Catching his  breath, Shay awkwardly
 ran  towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the  base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base,  the right fielder had  the ball, the smallest guy on their team who now had his  first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could  have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but  he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too,  intentionally threw the ball high and far over the  third-baseman's head..
Shay ran toward third base  deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases  toward home.
All were screaming, “Shay, Shay,  Shay, all the Way Shay”
Shay reached third  base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by  turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted,  “Run to third!
Shay, run to third!”
As  Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the  spectators, were on their feet screaming, “Shay, run home!  Run home!”
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate,  and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won  the game for his team
“That day”, said the  father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “the  boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and  humanity into this world.”
Shay didn't make  it to another summer. He died that winter, having never  forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming  home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero  of the day !
We  all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help  realize the “natural order of things.”
So many  seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us  with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of  love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and  leave the world a little bit colder in the  process?
A wise man once said every society  is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst  them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ten Secrets Many Pastors Keep

"10 Secrets Many Senior Pastors Keep"

I get to hang out and know many senior pastors. I have a great heart for them and understand, firsthand, some of the pressures, frustrations, and joys which are unique to the role of a senior
pastor. In my recent blog survey, over half my readers are in ministry and half that number are senior leaders.

After sharing these points at a conference for executive pastors I was asked to give my perspective as a senior pastor, since each of them report to one. I have revised some of them and added a couple, so I decided to share it again.

For more sermons, you can find Online Sermons here.

Here are 10 “secrets” about many senior pastors:

1. Leading from this position is overwhelming at times. We know Christ is ultimately in charge, but we also know it often seems everyone looks to us to have all the answers.

2. People tell the senior pastor all kinds of things about what is happening in their life or in the lives of others…many we would sometimes rather not know…and sometimes the weight of others problems we carry is enormous.

3. Most pastors walk with a degree of uncertainty, which keeps us in prayer, but also makes us question our abilities at times. It makes depression common for many senior pastors. (Need a Biblical example…see 1 Kings 19.)

4. Many senior pastors fear the possibility of failing in their role, so they thrive on the encouragement and prayers of others.

5. Sometimes we allow insecurity to cause us to become overprotective of our reputation and our position.

6. We face the same temptations and occasional spiritual dryness as everyone else. This means we need accountability, but are often afraid to seek it.

7. Our spouse is sometimes the loneliest person in the church and often feels extreme pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations.

8. Loneliness can exist for all leaders and many pastors suffer from it.

9. We seldom know whom we can trust, which is why we become guarded and appear hard to get to know. Most senior pastors have been burned by someone they once trusted.

10. We suspect the staff, church leaders, and congregation sometimes talk about us behind our back.

Granted, not every pastor faces each of these (that’s why I said “many”) and I happen to be in an extremely healthy church, but even still, some of these are real for me at times. Other pastors, for reasons on this post, will not want you assuming these things about them. In talking with dozens of senior pastors each year, I know this is a representative list for "many."

Senior pastors find joy in our work and, thankfully, most of us know we are in the center of God’s will vocationally. I don’t intend to take anything away from that in this post. We serve in a called position, so we are doing what we have been asked of God to do. When I share any post like this, however, I have come to expect a lecture on the need to depend on Christ for these issues, which only further demonstrates my points.

Senior pastors are to fully rely on Christ’s strength, as is every other believer. This is just a reminder that we happen to also be like Elijah…"a man just like us" (James 5:17).

Pastors, anyone honest enough to agree?

Seasons Greetings from OMCSydney

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Spiritual Attitude Check

The Apostolic 7th Day Church of God --352-360-0070

A Sabbath Message From Richard

For more sermons, go to the ULC Seminary Chapel

(Weekly thought provoking article and letters from the Pastor)

It's Time for a Spiritual "Attitude Check"
Self-evaluation is a necessary part of spiritual growth. Let's take a look at our spiritual reflections in the mirror of God's Word.

In warfare, many times it becomes necessary for soldiers to go through an "attitude check" before a battle. At this critical moment, a soldier must assess the dangerous reality of what he or she is about to face and muster courage and confidence to enter the battle ready to fight and come out of it alive. It's a mind-set that keeps a soldier from looking back in fear and instead keeps him or her moving forward to victory. When an army is at a turning point in the battle, it is especially important that they check their attitudes, because such a win-or-lose situation could affect their future as a nation.

This task is also essential for each member of God's Church to do so we may be counted among the Armageddon survivors of the Great Multitude. At Revelation 7: 9, 10, 14 we learn about these survivors, we read, “After these things I looked, and behold, a Great Multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!...These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” How near is Armageddon? Evidence abounds that we are living when the coming of God’s Kingdom and his war of Armageddon are very near! ( Matthew 24:3-12; 2Timothy 3:1-5) While this vital news has been ignored almost totally by the news channels of the world, Almighty God’s people are sharing in spreading it worldwide. This good news we tell is not only that God will cleanse the earth of all corruption but that, under the rule of his Kingdom government, the entire earth will be made into a delightful, garden-like paradise.

What Is an "Attitude Check"?
An attitude check is a process of evaluating your principles and your determination in light of present circumstances and conditions that surround you. An attitude check can be painful if you have been letting down, not performing to the highest standards of the leader—in our case, Jesus Christ. However, it should be a positive motivator that assists us in making the necessary changes in our lives that will lead us to winning the battle we are involved in—gaining eternal life and entering into the family of God (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Ever since God, through Jesus Christ, recreated the heavens and the earth, the most important battle and mission for God's people has been internal—a battle in the mind and in the thought processes. We are surrounded in this world by a hostile environment made up of people and governments that hate God and God's way of life—and for the most part, this hatred is unbeknownst to them.

The world is filled with opportunities, gadgets, concepts, ideas, attitudes and other powerful influences that shape mankind's mental framework. These influential forces are, for the most part, inspired by the god of this world, Satan the devil. Satan understands mankind's proclivity to follow the undercurrent of "popular opinion" (Ephesians 2:1-3). We seek out newer and better things, are only satisfied in the short term, are easily distracted and at times act as people pleasers. If we are not careful on a daily basis, we can fall into the trap of adjusting our lives and thought patterns to be in line with the best practices and best standards of the world around us instead of always adjusting and refocusing on the high standards of our elder Brother Jesus Christ.

Some may say none of us measure up to that standard, and that would be true. However, Jesus Christ came to earth and set the example for us to follow. Our job is to work hard daily, through God's Holy Spirit in us, to follow Jesus Christ and become like Him (John 12:26; Galatians 3:27-29). We must not allow ourselves to fall into living by the best standards of this world, because they will lead us in the wrong direction (Romans 12:1, 2).

So let's take an attitude check today and look into our reflections in the mirror of God's Word. Philippians 4:8 is a passage we normally consider to be a list of things we should "meditate on," but it is also a list of seven internal character traits we should strive to develop. In his commentary, Adam Clarke tells us that "think on these things" (King James Version) means we should "esteem them highly, recommend them heartily and practice them fervently" (emphasis added).

God inspired Paul to list these traits for us to meditate upon often to see how we measure up to these standards. These standards reflect the mind of Jesus Christ and the areas of His mind that need to be developing within each of us—the members of the Body of Jesus Christ.
Let's check our own attitudes in relation to these virtues and see how we individually measure up to Jesus Christ.

"Whatever Things Are True"
Paul begins the verse with the Greek word for "true," alethes, which means openness, not concealing, living a life of truth. People growing in alethes have nothing to hide. They are right with God; they have repented of past sins and are led by God's Holy Spirit. They are open and honest in conversations with others and, when alone, maintain closeness with God and fight the downward pulls that surround them and that tug at them daily. By being genuine at all times, both inwardly and outwardly, they are not hypocrites.

John 4:24 reminds us that God must be worshiped "in spirit and truth." A true member of Christ's Body cannot act one way, putting on a vain show on the Sabbath day, while living entirely different when alone. One must live the truth at all times. In Ephesians 4:24 God inspired Paul to write, "Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."

"Whatever Things Are Noble"
Here the Greek word is semnos, meaning to be serious-minded, venerable, respected, esteemed, admired, honorable and honest. Again, being noble or honest requires one to exhibit this attribute inwardly and outwardly, publicly and privately.

To be genuinely noble requires God's Spirit working in us, as well as a commitment on our part to follow the lead and inspiration of God's Spirit. God calls us in our sins. We are not noble or wise at that time. But after repentance, baptism and receiving God's Spirit, we begin to put on the nobility of Jesus Christ daily through prayer, Bible study, fellowship, meditation and fasting. We grow in becoming a new creation—a new man (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:20-24).

"Whatever Things Are Just"
In Greek, the word translated "just" is dikaios, meaning to be equitable in character and action, to be innocent, not crafty or cunning, and to be righteous—keeping the commandments physically and spiritually.

God hates the act of playing favorites. God does not look on the outward appearance or judge people by what they appear to be. God looks on the heart, the inward man (1 Peter 1:17). God looks at us the way we really are. He is absolutely fair with each one of us.

A true member of the Body of Christ must be growing to be just, not one who "plays politics" to get recognition or position. That's why God instructs His ministers not to "lay hands on anyone hastily" (1 Timothy 5:22). We must cast away our proclivity to join cliques and to give opportunities to those who look good outwardly. Hebrews 12:22-24 tells us that those who become just and overcome the downward pull of playing favorites and politics will maintain their registry in heaven as members of God’s Church.

"Whatever Things Are Pure"
The Greek here is hagnos, which means to become clean, innocent, modest, chaste and pure. Because the world around us is becoming more corrupt at an astounding rate, we must be ever vigilant to maintain the purity of Jesus Christ in us. We cannot become prey to or fall into the trap of adjusting our lives to the best practices of this world. If we do, we will be falling short of the standard God set for us as members of the Body of Jesus Christ.

We must not conform to this world but be transformed, changed, become totally different from the way we were when we were in the world (Romans 12:1, 2). We can only do this through daily two-way communication with God—proper prayer and Bible study—which leads us to obedience and overcoming through daily repentance. Then every day, our once dirty robes become pure and white and our inward man becomes more and more like Christ (2 Corinthians 4:16).

"Whatever Things Are Lovely"
"Lovely" is translated from the Greek word prosphiles, meaning to be friendly toward others and not perverted. When we think of loveliness, a flower, a painting or our children usually come to mind. Men describe their wives as lovely. But to God, all of His people are lovely if they are growing in friendliness and unity, overcoming bitterness and critical opinions and avoiding profanity, which is so common and prevalent in today's media-driven world. We all must become lovely, harmonious, unified and pure-minded before God and each other. If we do, we will become increasingly more Christ-like and pleasing to God.

"Whatever Things Are of Good Report"
"Good report" is from the Greek word euphemos, meaning to be well spoken of, reputable, of high moral and ethical standards. We all have made some mistakes in the past, before God called us and placed us in His Church. And unfortunately, we continue to make mistakes after our calling. Some of our former or present neighbors, associates, relatives and friends may think we have "lost it" because of our beliefs and our obedience to God. Additionally, we may have marred our own reputation and caused others to hold us in lower esteem by erring in some way or by offending others. is what counts. If we have made mistakes, we must repent before God and ask Him to help us make things right with our fellow man, according to His will. We must ask Him for the courage and the strength to make the necessary changes in our lives and begin building our reputation back day by day through God's Spirit in us (Proverbs 3:11,12).

Understanding the Judgement Day should give us strength and hope in these bleak hours of this age. The Bible gives a joyous picture of the Judgment Day. It is not a day to be dreaded or feared. Note what the Bible says of God: “He has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.”(Acts 17:31) This judge appointed by God is, of course, Jesus Christ.

We can be sure that Christ will be fair and just in his judgment. A prophecy regarding him at Isaiah 11:3, 4 assures us of this. So, contrary to popular opinion, he will not judge persons on the basis of their past sins, many of which may have been committed in ignorance. The Bible explains that at death a person is set free or released from any sins he has committed. It says: “For he who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:7) This means that when a person is resurrected he will be judged on the basis of what he does during Judgment Day, not on what he did before he died.

Judgment Day, therefore, is not a literal 24-hour day. The Bible makes this clear when it speaks of those who will share with Jesus Christ in doing the judging., (1 Corinthians 6:1-3) “I saw thrones” the Bible writer says, “and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them.”  These judges are Christ’s faithful holy followers who, as the Bible goes on to say, “they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.” So Judgment Day will be 1,000 years long. It is the same 1,000-year period during which Christ and his 144,000 faithful anointed followers will rule as “new heavens” over the “new earth.”—Revelation 20:4, 6; 2 Peter 3:13.

The Bible psalmist wrote of that glorious time: “Let the field and all that is in it exult! Then all the trees of the woods shall sing for joy before Almighty God; for he comes, For he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness.”—Psalm 96:12, 13.

During Judgment Day those who survive Armageddon will work to make the earth a paradise. Into this paradise the dead will be welcomed back. (Luke 23:43) What happiness there will be when families long separated by death are joined together again! Yes, how pleasant to live in peace, to enjoy good health and to receive instruction regarding God’s purposes! The Bible says: “when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9) During Judgment Day all the people will learn about Almighty God, and they will be given every opportunity to obey and serve him.

It is under such paradise conditions that Jesus Christ and his 144,000 associate kings and priests will judge humankind. People who choose to serve Almighty God will be in a position to receive everlasting life. But, even under these best of circumstances, some will refuse to serve God. Though the wicked one should be shown favor, he simply will not learn righteousness. In the land of straightforwardness he will act unjustly. “Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not see the majesty of Almighty God.” (Isaiah 26:10) So after being given full opportunity to change their ways and to learn righteousness, such wicked ones will be destroyed. Some will be put to death even before Judgment Day ends. (Isaiah 65:20) They will not be permitted to remain to corrupt or spoil the paradise earth. It will truly be a grand privilege to be resurrected on earth during Almighty God’s great Judgment Day. 

In describing the situation on Judgment Day, Jesus said: “Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me. ” (John 5:28-30) What is this “resurrection of life,” and what is the “resurrection of judgment”? And who receive them?

We have clearly seen that when the dead come forth from the grave, they are not judged by their past deeds. Rather, they are judged on the basis of what they do during Judgment Day. So when Jesus mentioned “those who have done good” and “those who have done evil,” he was referring to the good things and bad things that they would do during Judgment Day. Because of the good things they do, many of those resurrected will progress to human perfection by the end of the 1,000-year Judgment Day. Therefore their return from the dead will prove to be a “resurrection of life,” for they will attain to perfect life without sin.
On the other hand, what about those who practiced bad things during Judgment Day? Their return from the dead will prove to be a “resurrection of judgment.” What does this mean? It means a judgment or condemnation to death. So these persons will be destroyed either during or by the close of Judgment Day. The reason is that they do bad things; they stubbornly refuse to learn and practice righteousness. What is righteousness? “For all your commandments are righteousness.”---Psalm 119:172

 The apostle John saw in vision what takes place immediately before Judgment Day. He wrote: “I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away…I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and…The dead were judged.” (Revelation 20:11, 12) So before Judgment Day begins, this present system of things made up of “the earth and the heaven” will pass away. Only those serving God will survive, while all the wicked are destroyed at Armageddon to be resurrected to judgement at later time. Remember, they will be freed from their sin by their death—1 John 2:17; Romans 6:7.

Therefore, it is not only the resurrected “dead who will be judged during Judgment Day. The “living who survive Armageddon, as well as any children they may have, also will be judged. (2 Timothy 4:1) In his vision John saw how they are judged. I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.”—Revelation 20:12, 13.

What are the “books” that are opened from which “the dead” as well as “the living are judged. They are inspired writings or books that contain Almighty God’s laws and instructions. By reading these all people on earth will be able to know God’s will. Then, on the basis of the laws and instructions in these “books,” everyone on earth will be judged. Those who obey the things written therein will receive the benefits of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, and they will gradually grow to human perfection. 

By the end of the 1,000-year Judgment Day nobody on earth will be in a dying condition because of Adam’s sin. Truly, in the fullest sense everyone will have come to life. This is what the Bible refers to when it says: “The rest of the dead didn’t live until the thousand years were finished.” (Revelation 20:5) The reference here to “the rest of the dead” does not mean that others are resurrected at the end of the 1,000-year Judgment Day. Rather, it means that all persons come to life in that they finally reach human perfection. They will be in the same perfect condition as were Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. What will happen then?
Having done all that God has given him to do, Jesus Christ “hands over the kingdom to his God and Father.” This is at the end of the 1,000-year Judgment Day. By then all enemies will have been put out of the way. The last of these is the death inherited from Adam. It will be destroyed! Then the Kingdom becomes the property of Almighty God God. He rules it directly as King.—1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

How will Almighty God determine whose names are to be written in the “scroll of life,” or “the book of life”? (Revelation 20:12, 15) It will be by a test upon humankind. Remember how Adam and Eve failed under such a test, and how Job, when tested, kept integrity. But most humans that live to the end of the 1,000 years will never have had their faith tested. Before they were resurrected they were ignorant of Almighty God’s purposes. They were part of Satan’s wicked age of things; they were “unrighteous.” Then, after their resurrection, it was easy for them to serve Almighty God because of living in Paradise without any opposition from the Devil. But will these billions of humans, who are then perfect, serve Almighty God if Satan is given the opportunity to try to stop them from further doing so? Can Satan do to them what he did to the perfect Adam and Eve?

To settle such questions, Almighty God lets Satan and his demons loose from the abyss where they have been for the 1,000 years. What is the result? The Bible shows that Satan is successful in turning some persons away from serving Almighty God. These will be as “the sand of the sea,” meaning that their number is undetermined. After this test is carried out, Satan and his demons, and also those who do not pass the test, are thrown into the symbolic “lake of fire,” which is the second (eternal) death. (Revelation 20:7-10, 15) But those whose names are found written in “the book of life” will remain in the glorious earthly paradise. Having their names written in “the book of life” means that Almighty God judges them to be perfectly righteous in heart, mind and body and thus worthy of living forever in paradise on earth. With this in mind we should be changing our attitudes now so we do not risk loosing out to permanent death in the millennium.—rjk/a7dcog

Saturday, April 28, 2012


By Dee Burgess
(Copyright 2005)

There are billions of text books written on the subject of 'spiritual enlightenment' but
unlike temporal pursuits, this is a not a craft which can be passed on, one to another, like
woodworking techniques; it must be sought and revealed through the Spirit of God. This
spiritual knowledge is often considered *hidden knowledge*. I qualify 'hidden' knowledge as
meaning ‘covered’ or ‘veiled‘... i.e. truth which can only be fully understood through searching.
In life, any kind of knowledge which is pursued must be developed, like building blocks. You
can't do calculus until you've learned basic math, etc. God openly invites all to be partakers of
His light, love and truth, but as scripture indicates, 'all are called, few are chosen' - ‘few
choose' would be more accurately expressed. Spiritual gnosis/knowledge is not a mystical
taboo only available to an exceptional, elite few; though there are those who would complicate
truth and love beyond confusion. Text books and teachers can be helpful, but in the end it will
always come down to ‘one on one’ with God. Walking step by step, with all diligence, belief
that you can commune with God (via His Holy Spirit), desire to know the truth beyond all else
and joy in your pursuit will bring you into the simplicity of ‘intelligence’ (not to be confused
w/intelligent). With all the evolving spiritual enlightenment which has flourished over the last
20-30 years, it is sad that there are still those people/religions which still try to imply such a
difficulty to know God. This is the greatest difficulty in itself: the outer negative influences of
our society which make it difficult to look within one’s own heart for the understandings which
bring solutions, peace and knowledge.

Everyone can ‘walk and talk’ in communion with God on a daily basis if you but set your
heart and mind to it. God’s Holy Spirit is within every soul; it is your built-in, ready-made
guide which will take you every step of the way to all truth. Pure Love is the highest goal we
all seek. Pure Love is a new vision and life which evolves through eternal truth. A pure heart
opens to Love and the only way to a pure heart is through the Holy Spirit, also referred to as the Holy Ghost. Perfecting of the soul is the work of the Holy Spirit and pure motives are the
primary lessons; quietly revealing and teaching how to become honest with yourself first, then
God and then all others.

The door to Love/God is only locked from the inside of our hearts. I use the word
‘locked’ as it indicates the need for keys to be used to open this door from within. There are 5
fundamental keys which are essential in spiritual communion and are the basic standards of all
serious disciplines. These keys are vital in understanding lessons of eternal principles and
participation in every aspect of communion with God via His Spirit:

*Faith = one must believe communion they are seek is available for/to them.
*Desire = this heartfelt involvement is is where union begins.
*Ask = as opposed to expect or require.
*Patience = understandable but concept expands as comprehension does.
*Acceptance = much is missed/blocked without this commitment to receive given responses
without fear or prejudice.

These five keys are eternal and deepen in significance and profundity as one’s
experience and knowledge increase. Though they may seem an elementary pathway, the closer one comes to Love the more refined and expansive the definition of these keys become. Even in the very presence of God, the wise soul always uses this protocol, be it ever so sublime. It is the respectful approach to life, love and truth, and if at any time any key is discarded in one’s pursuit; "I see" will be his *blinding* revelation...ultimately sending that seeker back to square one.

The Holy Ghost is the essence of Christ's presence and mediator to man. The Holy Ghost
teaches and prepares man to receive the presence of Christ and then Christ is mediator to the
Father. Like stepping stones, each leads deeper into the comprehensions of eternal truth. In that
they are all one in truth, each is always present in the presence of the other but man's
perception/reception of each will depend on his experience, knowledge and developed
sensitivities. The first experiences man will have of God will always be the Holy Ghost
whether he is aware of this fact or not; receiving Christ comes with spiritual growth because
His presence requires an open heart even as a high school teacher requires an elementary
education of his student.

Receiving the Holy Ghost as our guide, teacher, mentor, purifier/cleanser, comforter,
witness of truth, etc., isn't a widely known concept or belief that is developed and/or taught
among the major religions. In reading scripture, it becomes obvious that the disciples were
taught this truth by Christ and that the prophets and sages of old were also familiar with it. The
Holy Ghost is a purpose designed from eternal beginnings, to mediate and abide with/in all
who would receive and pursue a continual communion with it. Like most people today, the
most common belief is that the Spirit comes and goes according to the will of God and is
experienced differently by different individuals. Though true in respect to the nature of the
Holy Spirit, this suggests it has no distinct qualities or objective for mankind - untrue. Many of
these beliefs may have emerged through the arrogance and pride of institutional superiority;
withholding ‘sacred knowledge’ with intent to ‘dominate’ mankind‘s personal relationship to
God, by establishing ‘priesthood authority‘ as the only access to God. The Holy Ghost can
actually never be controlled by any power or person because truth is the only everlasting
authority. But fear and oppression can stifle and blind the minds and hearts of men through
indifference and ignorance. The Spirit of God knows no boundaries and keeping people in
ignorance may slow down this eternal connection but won't prevent it. Without respect to race,
creed or gender, the Holy Ghost can take a willing heart into light and truth as slowly or
quickly as you choose to go. This isn't a theory to me, but a tried & proven, analyzed, studied,
researched, developed and established truth - and a living testimony in my life. I must know
beyond a doubt, by what Spirit I am led. I would invite you to do the same.

The Holy Ghost is the: “record of heaven, the comforter, the peaceable things of
immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickens all things, which makes alive all
things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth,
justice and judgment.” The gift of the Holy Ghost is literally a new language in itself which can
be experienced, practiced and learned. Like any language it begins with the 'voice' or
knowledge that it exist by it's very literally felt presence within one‘s heart/bosom. It has the
very distinctive attributes of warmth/heat/fire and a deep feeling of assurance and peace.

Communion begins with single syllable words; felt as increases and decreases of it's
(fire/warmth) presence for 'yes' and 'no' responses. Confirmations will develop into concepts
(sentences), then into revelation (paragraphs) and on to what I refer to as 'light talk'.
Developing this communion is a multi-purpose design. With diligent pursuit, the presence of
the Holy Ghost continues to increase/expand within the soul, literally purifying and
transforming your flesh to become one with Spirit: Christ/God. It is the 'fire' of God purging
out the darkness (misunderstandings) of our minds/souls until we can become one and abide
the fullness of Christ and the Father without being consumed by their presence in the flesh.
Spirit and flesh literally become one; it is the plan of salvation, the mystery of eternity and the
pathway to the kingdom of God. It is literally the elixir of life and lack of it is why the flesh
deteriorates and dies.

In conclusion, a word of warning and advice I would also like to convey in regards
to deceiving spirits. In my experience and research, I discovered a counterfeit lying spirit which
seeks to imitate or duplicate the Holy Ghost. The bible warns us continually to test and try the
spirits that we may not be deceived. Though this may not sound relevant or applicable to one's
experience at present, it is sound advice for the times to come. Our world is changing quickly
and as we move into more difficult and confusing times, a sound anchor to the Divine may be
the only stabilizing power by which we can know the truth of anything. We are admonished to
prepare and watch always for the time of Messiah's return and not to be deceived by the powers that seek to dominate and destroy the souls of men. I am providing these truths and information exactly and only for this reason; to assist everyone in their identification and communion with God.

I've described the tangible and spiritual aspects of the Holy Ghost as defined within the
Holy Scriptures, so one might know that there is distinctly a difference in God's spirit from the
spirits of other entities/powers. I have heard and witnessed many describing the spirit of God as
'electricity', or vibration or trembling, or goosbumps, etc., and many 'signs' are manifested by
means of such spirits. But lying spirits seek to duplicate the Holy Spirit by using the same
concepts, but does not possess the same qualities. The purpose is to confuse and deceive.
The Holy Ghost manifests itself from within the soul of a person as only it can. The lying
spirit manifests itself from outside/exterior an attempts to penetrate the soul to enter within.
The Holy Spirit manifests/originates from deep within the heart or bosom of a soul and expands
outward as experience grows. The lying spirit manifests itself disjunctively to different parts of
the body, according to it's purpose and acceptance of the person (arms, legs, head, hands, torso,
etc.). The fire of the Holy Ghost is a spiritual heat, not a physical heat. As Moses experienced
the presence of God as a 'burning bush' on Mount Sinai, he described it as a fire which did not
consume. The lying spirit manifests a physical heat which may feel like the heat of a fire or
funace, again exterior. When the Holy Ghost manifests it's presence, it is accompanied by a
deep, quiet peace and assurance which permeates all one's flesh, within and without (expanding with association). The lying spirit manifests a forceful energy, sometimes described as 'electric' or vibrational feeling moving around according to it's intention. The Holy Ghost manifests understanding and revelation, using our own experiences, thoughts and nature as tools of communication; bringing a complete picture into focus of purpose, hope, light and truth. The lying spirit brings random suggestions and dictates without ability to develop intelligent communion or understanding; a blind guide so to speak. The Holy Ghost manifests when the intent and purpose of an individual is selfless and open to truth, only motivated to develop goodness, love and understanding. The lying spirit uses every weakness of man's ego, pride, and lust to seduce and flatter with promises of power, recognition and control. This is a very basic knowledge, but sufficient to establish an awareness of possible discouragements along the pathway to God. The lie and the truth do travel close but an honest heart can not be easily deceived.

Holy scripture from Bibles of all religions bear witness of the Holy Spirit and it’s
purpose and relationships to all mankind. But using only the Old and New Testament, I’ve
compiled a short selection of most important passages for reference and study. This is an
excellent place to begin your relationship with the Holy Ghost. To feel the Spirit and presence
of your God is a beautiful experience, but questions and answers are the beginnings of
knowledge of truth and eternal life.

Hebrews 12:29. For our God is a consuming fire.
Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Luke 3:16. John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one
mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize
you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Acts 2:38. Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39. For
the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the
LORD our God shall call.

Acts 10:44. While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the
word. 45. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with
Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46. For they
heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47. Can any man
forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as
we? 48. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

Hebrews 6:4. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the
heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6. If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto
repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open

Malachi 3:1. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and
the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the
covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts. 2. But who may
abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeared? for he is like a refiner's
fire, and like fullers' soap: 3. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall
purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD
an offering in righteousness. 4. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5. And I will come near to you to
judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and
against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, says the LORD of hosts. 6. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

John 15:5. ...I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same
brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6. If a man abide not in me, he is
cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and
they are burned...

Jeremiah 20:9. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.
But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with
forbearing, and I could not stay.

Psalms 39:3. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I
with my tongue,

Luke 24:31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their
sight. 32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with
us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Revelations 19:10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it
not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God:
for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

Ephesians 3:14. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15. Of
whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16. That he would grant you, according
to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; 17. That
Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. May
be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19.
And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the
fullness of God.

1 John 5:6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but
by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7. For
there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these
three are one. 8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

John 7:39. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for
the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

John 16:7. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not
away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8. And
when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9. Of
sin, because they believe not on me; 10. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye
see me no more; 11. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12. I have yet
many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of
truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever
he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14. He shall glorify me:
for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15. All things that the Father hath are
mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.

John 15:26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even
the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall
give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17. Even the Spirit of truth;
whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know
him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. 18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will
come to you. 19. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but ye see me: because I
live, ye shall live also. 20. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I
in you. 21. He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that
loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22.

Judas says unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not
unto the world? 23. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my
words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the
Father's which sent me. 25. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he
shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said
unto you. 27. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I
unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.