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Sunday Message for November 5, 2023


In our county, this month -Foreclosures are up 15% from last year Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 4,334 U.S. properties in September 2023. Bankruptcy Filings Rise 13 Percent to 433,658. We have to get vaccinated for Covid 19, the Flu, and the RSV virus.

Then there is Israel/ Palestine crises and Hamas. As well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Should we withdraw troops? Send more troops or more money? Are we helping or hurting the countries that we are trying to protect?

That said, where do we put all our energy? Does all this shake your faith in God? If so, then maybe it wasn't God you believed in, in the first place - but some kind of Fairy Godmother. Do we whine about what's happening - or do we put our energy into doing something positive, into believing something positive?

God doesn't construct the universe around our individual wants, needs, and opinions - but for the highest good of all. So is all of the rampant chaos and wickedness in the world God's creation? NO!

Let me give you a little Bible mythology to explain. I call it mythology, because it isn't actually in the Bible - yet people think it is. They talk about the angel Lucifer falling from heaven and becoming Satan. So did God create Satan or evil in the world?

No. God created Lucifer, the archangel of worship, beautiful, glorified, having direct access to His glory and presence. But Lucifer made the decision to become Satan. God didn't create Satan, He created Lucifer. Lucifer made Satan.

God didn't create wicked Satan. God created righteous Lucifer; it was Lucifer who chose to become wicked Satan.

And of course we don't believe in a Satan, so this is just a story to illustrate a point.

(Colossians 1:16-17) For in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.a

So, if God is the creator of all things, does that mean that God created evil? No. God did not create evil; God created freedom - freedom to choose to do good and the freedom to choose to do evil.

(Deuteronomy 30:19) I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and the curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.b

God created us perfect, in Its image and likeness. But perfection isn't the absence of the potential to fail. We were created with the freedom to choose; to obey or rebel, to live or to die. God created us with the ability to choose, knowing full well that sometimes we would choose the wrong thing.

But if He destroyed us before being created because we are going to turn evil, it isn't really freedom is it? God, knowing that we might turn evil, refuses to do anything about it because it's really ultimately our choice. So He lets us be created and make the choice. If He stops creation because of knowledge that we would blunder, it isn't freedom of choice for us.

Having free-will to make decisions to do whatever does not mean we are free from the laws of nature. Laws are put in place to protect us.

The laws of gravity, laws of physics, friction, everything is put in place and intelligently designed single-handedly by God alone and His intellect to allow us to best live in this world. By staying within the laws we protect ourselves. And we just finished five weeks of exploring metaphysical laws. They are put there for a reason.

Since the laws are already in place, we might as well hop on and be good people and follow. You can't say you want to be free and not comply with the laws of nature, just because you don't believe in laws does not mean you can jump off a building and live.

Our problem, when looking at all the awful things in the world, is that we have a faulty premise.

We know black is black because of the existence of white. We know good is good because evil exists. Everything is relative so the opposites confirm opposites. We know life because of the existence of death. We define darkness by the absence of light. We define something by the existence of its opposite. Because we define by relativity. There is good, and there is evil, and you know it.

But evil and sins are not "things" in and of themselves. They don't exist autonomously. Rather they are the absence of the perfection which God made. There is no such "thing" as darkness - it is just what we named the absence of light.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I have the ability to create a vacuum of space. Now I do this not by making something out of materials, but by removing all the air and particles out of that space. The void that remains is what we choose to label a vacuum. It isn't a thing in itself, but it is a term we use to state that everything else is gone. Likewise we use the term cold to describe a lower temperature. Any air conditioner man can tell you that to cool something down you don't put cold in, but you have to take heat out! Cold is the absence of energy that causes heat.

So none of the world's woes can exist as things of themselves - they are just the absence of the perfection of God. So when we change our mind about them, they return to their natural state of perfection.

Sin and evil are regarded in the same way. These things cannot exist as "things" that are independent of circumstances, but are the labels given to actions or characteristics that do not meet the goal of perfection. In fact, the word "sin" was an archer's term meaning that they missed the mark. It didn't go in the bull's-eye. It wasn't perfect.

So the current economic situation is not a "bad thing," it is not a "thing" at all. It is just the absence of the perfection of prosperity that God created. It is an opportunity for us to see things right so that they can be right. We need to learn to see it all as good and affirm our prosperity no matter what the appearance.

(Isaiah 55:10-11) For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.c

The Covid Pandemic is an opportunity for us to see the perfection of health in ourselves and everyone around us.

(Isaiah 58:8) Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.d

All wars are opportunities for us to stop believing in war and to start affirming peace in this world.

(Isaiah 26:3-4) Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace - in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.e

If we are going to survive, if this church is going to survive, if this world is going to survive - we have to start now to see the opportunities that God has put before us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in The American Scholar, "I do not see how any man can afford, for the sake of his nerves and his nap, to spare any action in which he can partake. It is pearls and rubies to his discourse. Drudgery, calamity, exasperation, want, are instructors in eloquence and wisdom. The true scholar grudges every opportunity of action past by, as a loss of power."f

We cannot let this opportunity pass to raise the world to a new spiritual level. This is our opportunity to prove to the world what we know and teach. This is our opportunity to prove the power of positive affirmation.

In the Bible there were these sorts of opportunities for God's people to show their faith in Him. Some of these opportunities, they failed tremendously.

In Exodus 17, when Moses was leading the people to the promised land there were several challenges that they faced - most of them they failed.

It says in (Exodus 17:1-7) From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.

The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink."

Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?"

But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?"

So Moses cried out to the Lord, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me."

The Lord said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"

Moses call the place Meribah. According to Fillmore's Metaphysical Dictionary Meribah means "The seemingly ever present tendency in the carnal of us to murmur, complain, and doubt God every time we have an opportunity to prove Him true and to overcome some error in ourselves."h

Does that sound like the general attitude of people right now? So long as everything is going along smoothly we are happy and we think that we have abundant faith in God, the good. But just as soon as some apparent lack or inharmony descends upon us we begin to wonder why God ever let it come, and doubts and complaints creep in if we are not very watchful. In (Matthew 26:41) Jesus said to Peter, "Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."i

The tendency to complain diminishes as we progress in our understanding of Truth. As we give up the old way of thinking and start to think as the Christ, this tendency will disappear entirely.

It was because of giving way to this tendency of the carnal to doubt and complain that the Children of Israel who left Egypt, all but Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness and failed to enter the Promised Land. We must fully overcome this tendency if we would enter God's Sabbath of rest here and now, the perfection of life and good that is our divine inheritance.

So, yes, there are things happening in our economy. Yes, there is a flue pandemic. Yes, there are wars and problems. But we need to "Stay awake and pray." We need to have faith in our God that it knows what it is doing. And we need to move our energy forward in positive ways to turn things around.

Are you on board?

Let it be your way.

aColossians 1:16-17
bDeuteronomy 30:19
cIsaiah 55:10-11
dIsaiah 58:8
eIsaiah 26:3-4
fRalph Waldo Emerson The American Scholar
gExodus 17:1-7
hCharles Fillmore's Metaphysical Dictionary
iMatthew 26:41

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