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Tag Archives: free will

Angels with Error

The book of Job, the person not what Trump wants to create, is the oldest book in the Old Testament.  What this means is that Job was finished prior to Genesis.  Why its not clear if Job lived before the flood, he does talk about walking with dinosaurs.  Due to the atmospheric changes in the weather following the flood and lack of dinosaurs mentioned on Noah’s ark, Job could have died prior to Genesis 7.  Another clue is found in the first few chapters of Job’s book, referring to Satan by name twice and angels with error.  All of this leads me to believe Job experienced a moment in time when 1/3 of the angels were kicked out of heaven, falling to earth in the form of demons.

If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error, Job 4:18.

Theology introduces many terms which were created and developed to help common church going individuals to understand the complex.  One of these biblical ideas is the concept of free will.  The definition eludes to freedom given by God to make choices without coercion or force.  This element also applies to angels, also known as cherubs, seraphim and archangels.  The context of Job 4 is Eliphaz, a close friend of Job addresses and begins to contemplate why Job has endured several trials.  While the initial statement refers to trust, one possible explanation is that angels with error, now demons, have unleashed their wrath.

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day, Jude 1:6.

According to Jesus, everyone will face a day of judgment.  While the facts of life will be presented in the form of video clips that include highlights and low lights, this will be a scary day for all.  Nothing that you do now can save you.  What I mean by this is that in the end, there is no one righteous.  All have exercised free will, falling short of God’s glory.  Yet, Romans 5:8 gives the hopeless hope through God’s demonstration of love.  While I deserve hell and damnation, God sent His one and only Son to restore that which was lost, Luke 19:10.  Despite angels with error, eternal life is in reach of the humble by grace through faith.  Reach out today by accepting God’s free gift, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

Time’s Up

Even when you stop for a while to sit down and rest, there’s always a clock running somewhere in the world.  Whether its Time Square, Big Ben or a clock in your house, time never stops ticking.  When your time is up on earth, the Lord will send someone else to finish any task that you were unable to complete.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom, Psalm 90:12.

One of the nice things about time is that after 24 hours everything resets to zero.  Subsequently, each day should be a learning process, a chance to improve on the mistakes of yesterday.  Solomon suggests that those open to teaching will receive a heart of wisdom.

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:16.

Like the tragedy at the Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida, days can turn evil at any point.  In the case of today, five innocent individuals were taken from this planet.  Life can be cruel when someone who is influenced by powers of darkness exercises free will with the intent to harm others.  May God have mercy on those who time has expired, divinely providing for family members left behind on earth.

by Jay Mankus

 

Young Skulls Full of Mush

In the 1973 film The Paper Chase, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. introduces a phrase that has struck a cord with educators and teachers.  Speaking to a class of law students, Kingsfield states the following, “You teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come in here with a skull full of mush; you leave thinking like a lawyer.”  The term mush originated in the late 17th century, referring to a variant of mash.  Essentially, young people are in their infant stage, incomplete and underdeveloped.  The purpose of attending school is to take young skulls full of mush and shape them into mature adults.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:6.

I guess modern institutions of higher education have not seen this movie or applied Kingsfield’s principles.  In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s surprising loss to Donald Trump in this year’s 2016 Presidential Election, young skulls full of mush are regressing.  Colleges and high schools are doing everything in their power to appease spoiled brats, unable to comprehend how Hillary lost.  Subsequently, some classes and tests have been cancelled, crying sessions have been offered and grief therapy is available on several campuses.  Yet, where is the preparation for adversity, failure and trials within this life?

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth, 3 John 1:4.

The Bible refers to children as either the disappointment or joy of parents.  Depending upon how you are raised will impact how you live and what you think.  Since parents won’t be there that long to hold your hand in life, at some point you will have to exercise free will.  There are two paths according to the Bible, a broad road and a narrow path.  Unless you are trained properly, its easily to make poor discussions.  Therefore, may the words of the verse below serve as a prayer for those people hoping to leave behind a young skull of mush for a life devoted to faith in Christ.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me, 1 Corinthians 13:11.

by Jay Mankus

 

Let It All Play Out

A prognosticator attempts to forecast what will happen in the future based upon present signs and indicators.  At the beginning of any election or sports season, these experts flood the airways hoping to accurately predict winners and losers.  While some have a better track record than others, before people get carried away its better to let things play out.

For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets, Amos 3:7.

In the game of life, God uses prophets, individuals in tune with the Holy Spirit to shine light on the path which should be taken.  Despite the obvious, the Lord does not force people to go along with his plan.  Rather, free will is offered as a choice to either accept or reject advice provided.  Some need to learn the hard way, like the Israelites who once wandered 40 years in the desert before submitting to the will of God.

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:21.

While the book of Revelation reveals how life on earth ends, this doesn’t give believers permission to throw their hands up in the air and proclaim, “things are out of my control.”  Instead, God wants his children to let it all play out, day after day.  Sure, it would be nice to fast forward, skip death and advance to heaven.  Yet, the Lord has a plan for you and me to leave a lasting impression of a risen Messiah.  Therefore, let tomorrow worry about itself by asking God to guide you daily as a servant of the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Heart of this Matter

Troubled souls watch in horror following the third act of terrorism in less than two weeks.  After the shock wears off, people are looking for answers, searching for the heart of this matter.  While the facts of the most recent ambush of police officers in Louisiana is unclear, there elements shine some light upon the darkness behind these evil acts.

1. Opinions have been elevated to truth status.

Whether you watch cable news, follow social media or read secular publications, public opinions go viral weekly.  Cable news uses talking points to define the narrative, filtering out the context by over-emphasizing what they want the low information voter to believe.  Facebook, Snap Chat and Twitter elicit emotions, creating an environment for anger, hatred and negativity to have a voice.  Meanwhile, a few elite members of the media daily spoon feed the American public, repeating ideologies, philosophies and worldviews until their opinions become what is good, right and true.

2. Political Correctness has replaced the Bible as genuine absolutes.

During my last year as a high school Bible teacher, our administration felt it was necessary to bring in a professional for an inservice day on sensitivity training.  As the black student population grew, a series of seminars was designed to equip teachers with a better understanding of the African American community.  Unfortunately, most of the time was spent regurgitating liberal beliefs void of any biblical principles.  When public schools kicked the Bible, prayer and God out of education in the 1960’s, the measuring stick for absolutes were eliminated.  More than fifty years later political correctness has now become the gospel of the twenty first century.

3. You can’t force people to act, believe or change.

One of the things I learned during my months in a youth ministry trade school is that you can’t change someone’s attitude.  However, once an individual takes ownership and responsibility for their actions, they can change themselves.  If God doesn’t force people to believe in Him, creating free will, why is the world trying to convince those who differ from their worldview to become open minded?  According to Jesus in John 16, the Holy Spirit is the only source that provides permanent change.  Discipline, good intentions and hard work are productive, but not eternal.  Therefore, if you want to start making this world a better place, begin with the heart of this matter by looking at the man, woman or child in the mirror.

by Jay Mankus

 

To Roam or Rule

The great thing about free will is that individuals are not coerced into doing something they don’t want to do.  Rather, each day you have the option to roam or rule.  The first is accomplished by sight, allowing wandering eyes to guide you, often in a self-seeking manner.  The second is exercised by faith, becoming a kingdom man or woman, by finishing the work God has called you to do.

Christ made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, Ephesians 1:9.

Depending upon your degree or level of faith, its not uncommon for someone to go back and forth between roaming and ruling.  As darkness approaches, hope can be lost causing many to take the reigns.  Yet, as people come to their senses, the Holy Spirit awakens souls to rule and reign in the authority delegated to Christ like believers.  For the average person, this roller coaster ride lasts a lifetime, full of twists, turns and strange occurrences.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, Philippians 1:6.

In my moments of greatest uncertainty, I cling to promise above.  I don’t always know what God wants me to do, but I do know there is still work to accomplish.  Thus, with all my heart, soul and mind, I press on hoping I am on the right track.  Although, I still may roam from time to time, I pray that the Lord will guide me to rule, keeping in step with the next assignment God wants me to complete.

by Jay Mankus

A Reservation with Darkness

The Stand by Stephen King initially was released as a novel in 1978.  The movie was then introduced as a mini-series on ABC in 1994 after a longer second version was completed.  One of the telling scenes in this drama occurs during a conversation between Harold Lauder and Nadine Cross.  After each exercise free will to follow Flagg, the character symbolic of the devil, each come to the realization, “we’re damned.”

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them, 2 Peter 2:17.

At the end of chapter 2, Peter uses an interesting analogy.  I think the point of his words refers to God’s creations which are meant to serve a specific purpose.  Sometimes due to extreme or rare conditions, nature does not provide what it was designed for.  Thus, springs can dry up and mists can hide a powerful storm.  Likewise, whenever someone chooses to be a vessel of devil, a reservation with darkness is secured.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies, John 8:44.

I’ve heard various projections of what heaven and hell will be like in sermons over the last 30 years.  One of the common threads of these messages is that you will be surprised by who is in heaven and who is not.  During a confrontation with religious leaders, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and teachers of the law for their hypocrisy.  Sometimes even people you look up to can let you down, falling from grace.  Yet, in the end, be careful that you are not just following a legalistic set of rules.  Rather, may the words of the Bible transform your heart, soul and mind to become disciples of Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

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