To Worship or to be Worshipped

There’s a man in Australia who claims to be a reincarnate Jesus and calls his girlfriend a reincarnate Mary. However, he’s not the only one who’s claiming to be Jesus. There’s another man in Russia also claiming to be Jesus. The worrisome part is that people believe and follow these guys.

The whole “human being acting as if their god” doesn’t stop there. If it’s not pretending to be Jesus, it may be some man with a long white beard with long white hair wearing an orange robe speaking non-sense to a crowd. Maybe the non-sense sounds philosophical at first, but if you were to record it and go back and listen to it, it makes no sense at all.

Some of these spiritual teachers speak out ideas that sound legitimate, maybe it’s something simple as letting go of greed or not being obsessed with money or materialism or having a balance in life. But it’s very surprising to see so many people following someone who pretends to be a god, meanwhile the guy might be a perv manipulates women into sleeping with him.

I think that the main lesson here is that human beings can never be god. There’s only one God. Remember in the book of Genesis when the serpent in the garden tempted Eve into eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent tempted Eve into eating it by telling her that it would make her like god.

For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:5

Even in heaven, Lucifer was a beautiful angel who lead the choir of angels. Filled up with pride from the praises of others he thought he can take over God’s throne. Lucifer was thrown down to earth. Thereafter, his name changed to Satan and ate dirt. The book of Isiah in the Bible ushers his former name as “Day Star, son of Dawn.”

Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers. 12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.

Isaiah 14:11-15

Secret societies like the Illuminati believe in the illumination of man or the exhalation of, as so do Satanist believe that human beings can be their own god.

Maybe we’re not trying to be gods, but possibly wanting to be worshipped, but sadly, humans worship other human beings. A little admiration shouldn’t do any harm, but when it’s taken to a point of worship or idolatry, it starts to become unhealthy. Maybe idolizing a famous person could still be safe being that they’re far out of reach and it’s admiration from a distance. But if you start trying to follow a famous person who’s life is destructive, you might fall into a pit.

Maybe we don’t idolize a famous athlete, singer or actor, but a person who we may think is a symbol of holiness. Then we assume that person to be perfect and whatever he or she says goes. Take for instance the Pope who’s a symbol of religion and holiness, one that speaks to God on behalf of his followers. We may think that since he’s the Pope he’s perfect and never sins. We would be forgetting the fact that he’s still human, meaning he is still tempted and is still capable of being corrupt.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:19

Even televangelist Pastors can be a disappointment. Some may start out with the right intentions, to serve God and serve others, but after all the praise, fame and prosperity can loose their direction and forget about the original purpose for the church. They are still in human flesh living in a world full of temptation and corruption.

It’s important to take a step back and reevaluate. Sometimes the Lord allows certain events to happen to humble us because as human beings, we are incapable or being in a position of worship and not loosing our minds over it. Pride takes over, then the fall happens, just as what happened to Lucifer.

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

Putting so much faith in a human being to be perfect, good and walk up right, all the time, can lead to major disappointment or straying into the wrong path. Humans make mistakes, no one is perfect, which is one of the reasons why forgiveness is so important.

Worshipping someone or something to a point that it revolves around your life or makes you dependent on it for your identity can be hazardous. Imagine if that one thing or person disappears, like money or an emotional tie to a person leaves you, you might feel left with nothing. You’re identity is stripped away and you might feel like life is no longer worth living.

Giving one human an immense amount of power can be dangerous if their heart is not in the right place, like the dictators of the world that take away the freedom of the people or even their lives due to their religious beliefs.

Only God, Jehovah, meaning, the great “I Am” deserves the worship and praise of His creation. He’s never been a dictator. He allowed the bad tree to be placed in the garden. Without it, there’s no ability to choose between right or wrong. He doesn’t force anyone to change their ways. Every human being has a choice to repent and follow Him or live for Him. We all have a choice to surrender the control of a situation in our lives to Him. His heart is as the love of a Father with nothing but love and good intentions, even during hard times. He never dies so He will never leave you. Worshipping God is like filling the empty tank in your soul, it replenishes and strengthens.

Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

What are you worshipping today?

The Spirit of Christmas

scene of birth of christ
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When I was in college, I remember coming home one day and seeing my Mom on the couch in deep thought. She said something to me that day that stuck with me until today. As I sat down on the couch next to her, she began telling me what was on her mind. As she gazed at the fish swimming around in the tank, she brought up an analogy of the fish and God. She pondered, if a human wanted to be able to communicate with the fish, he or she would have to become a fish, just as God, looking down at the earth, would have to become human flesh. According to the Bible, this is what happened. It was prophesied about in the old testament and came to pass as described in the new testament.

Most of the prophesy about Jesus coming into the world in the old testament is in the book of Isaiah, written in the years of 742–701 B.C. It is also found scattered throughout other books in the old testament.

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14

The name Immanuel, in Hebrew means, God with us. In the book of Matthew in the new testament, written around 60-70 A.D this prophesy comes to pass. Jesus came down from heaven to earth in human form for a purpose.

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

John 1:1-3

It is easy to question, why God would want to come down from His throne in heaven, be in the form of weakened flesh subject to suffering, rejection and the pain of being flogged, hung on a cross, nails in his hands and feet, all the while, being mocked by a crowd yelling, “crucify him”. Jesus healed many people, even raised people from the dead, yet He went through with the crucifixion. Even, before Jesus was born, His suffering was prophesied in the old testament in the book of Isaiah.

The book of Genesis reveals the presence of a cunning serpent roaming around in paradise waiting to cause God’s cherished creation to sin. After Adam and Eve sinned they hid from God. That was the start of sin separating humans from God.

but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

Isaiah 59:2

Sinfulness continued even after the flood in Noah’s days. In the old testament, people would sacrifice animals as a cleansing for their sins and burning thereafter. Depending on the sin, there were specific animals that needed to be cut for the shedding of blood as an atonement for their sin.

“With the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations.”

Exodus 30:10

In the new testament, rather than having to shed the blood of an animal for atonement, Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins of the past and the present. He is known as an unblemished lamb, one without sin.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:29

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5

Jesus lived a short time on earth, but He fulfilled His purpose. He was the Lamb sacrificed on the cross with His blood shed for all mankind.

28 After this, Jesus,knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

John 19:28-30

It was God’s love for all humanity that He purposely brought Jesus into the world to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins so we will no longer be separated from Him and be with Him for all eternity.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

On Christmas day, God brought into the world a gift of love for all humanity, the one that would reunite us with our Creator; the one that would break darkness off our lives; the one that would take His powerful love to the cross. It was God saying, “yes, I love you this much, you are worth every flogging stripe and every piercing nail, I will carry your sins on the cross so you can be free and we can be together again.”

The little baby Jesus on a manger that Kings bowed down to was a miracle, love manifested that night under the bright star and that same Spirit of God lives today.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

May God’s Spirit be with everyone this Christmas, wherever you may be. There’s hope for the future. May you have a Christmas Miracle.

Metaverse Life Outside of Reality

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Life can be tough sometimes, to a point where daydreaming or living outside of reality can be an outlet to not think about the hardships in life, but how far or how long is too much? At what stage do we need to get to in order to realize that living in a virtual world for a lengthy amount of time becomes very unhealthy.

I had a friend who had a boyfriend who would just come over her house and play video games on her large screen TV. Although he was physically present, mentally, he was gone, into the video game. I admit, playing video games can be fun, but just as other things, it can become an addiction. It takes one’s mind out of reality, especially if it involves wearing VR goggles.

Now, instead of a game just being a source of entertainment, Facebook or now, Meta, wants their users to live a life outside of reality. If you’ve seem Facebook’s video where Mark Zuckerberg is introducing Facebook’s transition as now, Meta, he presents himself in a virtual environment with his own avatar. His avatar goes into another virtual space with other avatars, associated with other real people. There’s a clip where other avatars meet up to celebrate a birthday party in virtual reality. What’s a birthday party without a real cake to eat or making goofy memories with friends in person? Will this younger generation be making memories with their avatar friends in virtual reality? The video is very troubling in a sense with the question of, what is this technology going to do to the younger generation? Rather than meeting their friends in person, they will meet virtually, in a metaverse. This virtual world can become a constant outlet to mentally and visually leave reality.

Will their identity be their avatar and the house they live in a virtual home and what happens when they step outside of their virtual world, will it be a blow to real life? I can’t imagine how much damage Meta/ Facebook will be doing to this younger generation, but it doesn’t matter to them, because they will be profiting off the hours that users will spend online and what they will be purchasing to stay in their metaverse. There’s exploration inside a pre-programmed virtual world, but no hands on innovation or creativity. Take the internet away and what are kids left with?

Starting the Day on the Right Book

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Every morning there’s that first decision of the day. What is the first thing that I should do? Although the first decision or action of the day may not seem so important, there’s one action that sets the arrow in the right direction, which to me is, reading the word of God.

I can’t count the amount of days where I’ve waken up on the wrong foot, looking at the wrong things on my phone, like the stock market, emails or googled something on my mind; then spent the rest of the day putting God last. Those days usually result in very little focus, getting not much done and feeling…eh.

But when I give the first time of my day to God, somehow, I get so much done, I’m very focused and more chipper than usual. There’s more to giving God the first tenth of your paycheck, but giving Him your first few minutes of the day really pays off. Days even seem much longer as if time was extended.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Matthew 4:4 says, “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

The King Within

Transformation of Jesus painting by Vange
Transformation by Vange L.

If you’ve ever watched the movie, The Gladiator, that is one of my favorite movies. What I like about it, is how it focuses on a character by the name of Maximus who went from a commander of an army to a slave; yet although he became a slave, he still had the same ability to lead a team in a fight to victory. He did not loose his identity because he was no longer a commander. He was still the same man that a dying emperor had chosen to take his place. Although Maximus was not a prince nor in the blood line of one, the man on the inside had what was needed to rule a nation and being a slave did not take away what was already embedded inside of him.

Watching the movie jogged my memory back to a story told by my pastor at church. Occasionally churches do outreaches, where they distribute many items to those in need, within or outside of the country. It takes money, volunteers, preparation and time. Sometimes people choose to volunteer their time, others donate money or personal items. The need was announced at the beginning, then at the end of service, a man who wanted to financially help out requested to meet with the pastor. When the pastor first saw the man he noticed his rundown looking clothing and his scruffy facial hair. He could have passed for a homeless man so when he told the Pastor about the amount of money he wanted to donate, it was an absolute shock. The homeless looking man wasn’t just rich, but he was a King from another country.

Before Jesus came into the world, He sat on a throne as king, but He chose to come into the world as a peasant. He did not come dressed as a king with gold and expensive clothing or with a palace. Some came to the realization of Jesus as King by being around Him. Some experienced His miracles and others, His love and grace. He came for everyone: the rich, the poor, the lame, the sinners, even the ones that the world would consider scum. He hung out with a few people that society abhorred, like a tax collector or a woman who once sold herself for money. He touched and healed lepers or what society considered, the unclean. He did not live extravagantly, although He could have by turning water into wine, healing the sick or by being all knowing. He did not need riches to accomplish His purpose, nor clothing to get people to realize that He is the Son of God. People saw that He is Lord, when they looked at His heart. He took the cross as a criminal would and along with it, the sins of the world: the hatred, anger, pain, bitterness and everything else that needed to be washed away in order for us to be clean and right before God. The sin that would have killed us, He took it upon Himself on the cross. With that powerful love comes surrender and worship.

Isaiah 53: 4-5 “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Forsaking Religion for a Relationship with God

There are many types of religions in the world, most commonly: Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism and Christianity. There’s typically some type of worship involved, bowing, singing or offering. Some have a process or ritual of some sort that they believe will make them holy, a better or good person or pleasing in God’s eyes. They live by faith, creed, doctrine or theology and believe in a philosophy in life to go by, believing it will work out for them. Many of them have their dos and don’ts with or without consequences.

The serpent in the garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, tempted Eve and mentioned that she will be like God if she eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 3:5, the serpent says to Eve, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Knowing good and evil doesn’t make anyone a god or like god, it just confirms that you’ve been corrupted or tainted.

They were more like God before they ate from the tree, but were deceived by the serpent. A seed of distrust was planted in Eve by the serpent as it made her think that God was holding back something good, but rather protecting Adam and Eve from the very thing that would kill them on the inside, sin.

It’s sin that kills the very best of us, the part of us on the inside that is connected to God. It is sin that separates us from our Creator. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Not one is perfect. The Bible says, in the book of Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sins not.”

We can’t save ourselves from our own sin. In a world were darkness rules over the earth, it’s hard to keep ourselves from eating from that one bad tree. So if we’re all sinners, how do we get to heaven? How can our soul be saved? As much as we like to make our own rules, it’s hard to fight against that very thing inside of us that grieves when we defile ourselves.

We know deep down inside that we are lying to ourselves or that something doesn’t feel right. The Pharaoh in Egypt believed that he can pardon Moses’s sin of murder, but Moses knew that whatever pardon he gave, it didn’t set him free from the guilt of sin that was killing him on the inside. Moses ran away from Egypt and into the desert. There he found truth and freedom in God.

Through the lies of the serpent, we can become trapped in our sin, ever struggling to escape its grip over our lives. If not sin, trapped in religious laws, ever trying to be perfect or a good person, sometimes in self denial as if God does not see it all and on the inside, darkness resides.

The continual trying to be perfect on our own humanly efforts becomes our religion. The dos and do not’s keep us trapped in residual traditions often wondering where is the revival? Without knowing our Creator, how do we know where He has placed the true switch of pure joy? Do we keep believing that our religious traditions will saves us? What is love that we are motivated by it, protecting the ones we love or going through great heights for?

God’s plan in the beginning was a relationship, having faith in Him, that He is alive, He is present, He loves us, He knows us by name and He wants a relationship with His creation. By letting go of trying to follow laws and rules, but pursuing a relationship with our God will be the freeing factor, the part that sets us free from the law with that, referencing back to His words in the Bible.

Of all the many gods in various religions, Jesus is the only one that came down to earth from heaven, in human form, to die for humanity, being the sacrifice on the cross, taking on the sin of man. Thereafter, with our sins being washed away, we are then, no longer separated from God and can once again be back in relationship with Him. Rather than trying to follow rules, we are then inspired to follow the ways of the one we love,the one we trust, the one we have faith in, knowing He is a good God and knowing that He loves us.

It’s a relationship, not a religion.

Understanding the Bible

Many years back, in middle school, I was handed a tiny New Testament book, which is the other half of the Bible, beginning with Jesus coming into the world and God’s message that spread like fire after the death of Jesus. Although, I must add, the other half of the Bible, the Old Testament, written before Christ was born into the world, foreshadows His birth and purpose.

I kept the New Testament in my room, not intending to read it. We had a Bible at home, which was gigantic and heavy. It seemed to just serve the purpose of decoration for the coffee table. No one ever read it, just opened it to look through, the rest of the time, it collected dust.

There was a time when I opened up the tiny New Testament sitting on top of my radio. It was a hard time for me, one of those emotionally heart aching times when It felt like things were never going to improve. It was a King James Version, the hardest version to read with the old English. After trying to understand the few versus I read, I got frustrated and just threw it, and questioned, “Why God?”

My recollection of Bible reading was just watching both of my Grandmas read it. I always thought it was something to read when one gets closer to potentially passing away. I didn’t hear a testimony from either of them about what it does for them and just assumed it was preparation for them before leaving this earth.

Many years I spent without knowing the treasure it contained, that it is like a guide for life. It has been said that the BIBLE stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth and that it is. It reveals who God is and answers life’s questions. Although it’s been written decades ago, the words still apply to life today.

The Bible holds the message of faith hope and love, which remains. There are many theories and philosophies about life, but the Bible holds the truth. When something it true, it can never be denied. Of all books, the Bible is the only one that actually reads the reader. It goes hand and hand with a relationship with God. I’ve heard many say that they’ve read the Bible so many times and they cannot understand it. It’s not just any book. It doesn’t matter how intelligent someone might be, the message speaks to the soul, not so much the mind.

When I first started reading it, I had others interpret it for me, but I questioned their perspective of the message behind the words. I question what sounded contradictory. I question Jonah being eaten by a fish and the donkey speaking to a man. There are many stories in the Bible of the miracles of God, but from a world that looks at a dependency on God as a weakness, pride and self-righteousness can be a blindfold to the truth.

It wasn’t until I restarted my prayer life and kept seeking God and His truth and who He is, that the Bible, the Word of God started to seek me. The situations in my life, the confusion or trouble I was facing would be eased as I opened up to the perfect verse in the Bible. When the eyes of my soul started to open up and I started to realize that God is actually speaking me through His word, it started to make sense. Over an over again, consecutively, I would open up to the few words I needed to read at that exact moment. I could no longer deny His existence. I could no longer deny that God didn’t know me by name.

It took me walking out of a totaled car, after God was telling me about it two weeks before it happened and even that morning, that I finally realized who He is. That He loves me. God loves the world as said in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” A year later I fully surrendered my life to Him and was baptized. That day I opened up the Bible and for the first time, I could clearly understand the scriptures. Although some passages can be straightforward, there are many that can only be comprehended by the spirit and not the mind.

I pray that anyone questioning the meaning behind the scriptures will start on the path to finding the truth, to seeking out who God is and eventually come to the point of realizing that God is love and He knows your name. I would suggest finding a Bible study to join. I pray it would have a good leader strong in interpretation of the Word. The book of John is usually a good starting point, then there’s the book of Romans and Psalms. There are churches out there with small groups/Bible study groups to sign up for through their church website. May this is a a starting point for many to start walking in the truth and the light of God.