The Flaw of a One World Religion

Photo from https://www.mediaoffice.abudhabi/en/arts-culture/opening-in-abu-dhabi-the-abrahamic-family-house-marks-20-percent-of-construction/

In the Persian Gulf, on Saadiyat Island of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, a center of worship for three different religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam is being built, to be completed this year. There are three buildings, one for each religion and at the center, an educational center for all. This complex of buildings is called the Abrahamic Family House, designed by architect, David Adjaye , set to be completed this year.

The Abrahamic House Family is not just a center with buildings, but a fraternity where members move towards global interfaith. Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad el-Tayeb signed a document to establish a human fraternity of religions.

You’ve probably seen the co-exist bumper sticker that spells out co-exist with symbols that represent different faiths. The Abrahamic House has a similar logo, only leaving out some faiths and enclosing it with a roof with chimney.

https://www.abrahamichouse.org/

The idea that religions can co-exist is nothing new at all in America since it’s something that’s been happening for so many years. We have buildings for all faiths where people from different religions come to worship their god and we’ve allowed it. This religious right is protected under the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the freedom for one to exercise his or her religion.

This is one of the things I love about the United States of America, our freedoms. Although my faith is in the salvation of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins, which I can never save myself from, I still hold strongly to the belief that people should freely practice their own religions. This might sound a bit crazy, but I believe that the God I worship, would want people to be able to choose their own religious path. If you read the Genesis 2: 15-17 in the bible. God tells Adam not to eat from the knowledge of good and evil. It wasn’t an apple tree, which most believe. It doesn’t say even say fruit, it just says tree and if you eat from it, you will die. God was not speaking of a physical death, but a spiritual death. The death that one feels inside due to sin, guilt, shame and most of all, separation from God. This sin that has the potential to lead one to eternal damnation.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 2: 15-17

Even though God told Adam not to eat from the tree, he still did and he also blamed Eve for it. After Adam and Eve ate from the tree, they realized that they were naked and hid from God. However, God already knew they disobeyed, yet He still went looking for them. He still wanted to connect with them. One may ask, if God did not want them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then why did he allow it to stay in the garden in the first place? Adam and Eve had the freedom to choose to obey or disobey. God knows the way we are wired, He created us. He knows what will bring us joy and what will bring us to emptiness and devastation. When we don’t listen to His commands, we hurt our-self. Sometimes when things are used for the wrong purpose, they can break.

Having being raised catholic, that was my religion. I went to church on Sundays religiously, dressed up and tried my best to pay attention to what the priest was saying. I thought that kissing the feet of a Jesus statue would earn me brownie points with God. I prayed almost every night, the rosary, in repetition or memorized verses, but I didn’t find out until later that God wanted to hear me speak my heart out to Him. I always knew that God existed. I just could not fathom the fact that He actually knows my name and loves me and created me to be loved by Him. It wasn’t that people told me, but I experienced His love through reading the bible that speaks of His love and His voice that spoke to my heart. That inner voice inside that saves you, brings conviction or brings hope, joy and peace is the still voice of God.

The effort of a one world religion is pointless. God is not a religion. Kissing a statue of Jesus is not worshiping God. God does not live in statues nor does he live in a stone. The bible says that God is spirit.

24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

John 4:24

This fraternity of all religions may lead to the compromise of beliefs of each and although it sounds like it would bring unity, which it may, it can evolve into a new religion which combines the beliefs of all faiths into one. The scary part about it, is that if it becomes a one world religion, everyone will be forced to follow it, which negates the whole idea of ones freedom to choose. Although, Jesus in the bible says that there is only one way to God, the Father, we have the freedom to choose whether we want to believe what Jesus said or follow Him.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

We can choose our own path to finding the truth. With all honestly, after finding God through the bible and a real spiritual life-changing experience of God’s love, I’ve found the truth and there was no reason to look any further. When truth comes, doubt does not exist. God already loves us, His creation and He will never force us to love or follow Him. It is our choice whether we want to receive His love for us and love Him back. It is also our choice whether we want to follow His will and His ways. If God knows what will destroy us and tells us to stay away from it because He know what it will do to us, why not follow His voice?

Experiencing the Presence of Angels

Sometimes when you feel alone, you may not be, for there might be an unseen presence with you. Angels appear in various ways. One way, is described in the Bible.

Last night I saw it again, I have been seeing it around my house lately. It appears in dark areas around my house. The times I see it are usually times when I’m feeling scared. Sometimes it’s from my peripheral view, yet sometimes it’s right in front of me. It’s a flash of white light, similar to a flash on a camera, which is but a second. It’s like God is reminding me that He sends angels to watch over me so I should not worry.

The first time I saw it, I was in a dark room. It was late at night and there was no way that light would get in since it appeared no where close to any window in the room. Other than the recent times I have been seeing it around my house, there was one time when I was about to fall asleep. All of a sudden, I hear something fall down beside my pillow. I looked and it was my business card, which landed on the side that had a picture of my Jesus painting. It seemed like it came out of nowhere, but then I remembered that I placed it on top of my candle right next to the window. The wind blew it down that it landed Jesus side up, right by my head. As I looked up at the place where I put my card, I saw a flash of light. It was like God reminding me again that He is with me.

One day when I stayed at my parents house, they had left town so I was alone in their house. It was late at night and I walked in their dark house. I went into the kitchen and with the backyard lights on, I saw a dove sitting on the top of the gazebo. It was rare and random to see that type of bird in the neighborhood, but knowing that a dove represents the spirit of God, it was like God was telling me that I don’t need to fear, because He is protecting me.

With everything we go through in life, there are some events that we remember forever and there was one that my Mom would never forget. She would always tell my sister and I the story of when she was alone in the house with us kids. My Dad was in the Navy so he would have to frequently leave town. One time when my Dad was away, she had just finished putting us kids to bed. She felt tired and decided to sit down in the hallway right next to our bedroom. As she sat their thinking about how much work it was to take care of us without my Dad being there, all of a sudden, she smelt the most wonderful smell of flowers she’s ever smelt before. She felt that at that moment, it was God sending an angel to reassure her that He is with her and afterwards she felt good about taking good care of us.

I remember the time when I was venturing out in London alone. It was short day and a half trip, a stop over on my way back to the States. I had toured many places during the day time, but when I got back to the hotel, I realized that I forgot to see the Buckingham Palace so I went back out. By that time, it was late at night. I took the train out to the closest stop to the Palace. When I got off and up to the street, it was really dark, not many street lights. There weren’t too many people around so I asked anyone around where to go. One person pointed me to a sidewalk along a dark park. I was dreading the walk, but I went anyway. As I walked through the darkness, I was looking around me and no one in site. I kept praying for God protection over me and then out of no where, I hear a couple talking behind me. It didn’t make sense how they where so close to me all of a sudden when I didn’t see anyone around. I was already a fourth into the park and there were no side streets so I wondered, how could they get there all of a sudden and catch up to me that fast, unless they were running, but they didn’t look to be in a rush. They were two friends, male and female, walking and smiling together, having a good conversation. They seemed friendly so I started talking to them. They happened to be going the same way so we walked over together. I ended up walking back with them to the train station. There was something usual about how the girl got on the train. She hopped on backwards. Although, not fully sure, I believe that they were angels.

2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2

An angelic presence can be experienced in different ways. What is your experience, if any?

Love than Religion

There are many types of religions in the world, most commonly: Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism and Christianity. Most involve prayer, worship, bowing, singing or offerings. Others have rituals, which they believe would set them up to a higher level of spirituality. All these efforts to make one believe that through certain actions, they will become holy, a good or better person or pleasing to the eyes of God. There’s usually a set of rules or boundaries that set a line not to cross or actions that must be carried out tied to consequences.

The continual trying to be perfect on our own humanly efforts can turn into our religion and trapped us into residual traditions often wondering where is revival? Without knowing our Creator, how do we know where He has placed the true switch of joy? Do we keep believing that our religious traditions will save us? Of all religions in the world, how do we know which one is true or which God is real or fake?

The truth lays inside of each of us, mended into the fabric of who we are created to be. God placed it there before we came out into the world. Unfortunately, when we get older and corrupted by our environment, it eventually gets hidden. Truth is found when there’s no way of denying it. Sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s God speaking, especially when so many lies spoken have been dwelling inside for many years, yet He still speaks.

Aside from the bible or religious books, there are stories of people who had encounters with God, some that wrote about it and have become the basis of a religion, but what about the time when there were no books published in the world, yet there were still stories of God’s mighty hand or visitations from angels or God? People spoken about in these stories had a relationship with God. They knew God and were in communion with Him. God spoke in dreams, visions, by an angelic messenger or a burning bush. Still to this day, God speaks in dreams, visions, angelic messengers, by audible voice, a voice inside and sometimes through events, strangers or friends, but not a burning bush.

Religious traditions are mostly good practices, as the bible says in James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” However, besides doing or not doing certain things to keep ourselves feeling a certain way, what’s more important is our relationship with God. Think about all the things you do for the one you love, imagine never spending time with that person just caught up in the job of trying to please them, but never spending quality time, opening up your heart, talking to them and telling them how thankful you are, how much you love them or sharing your sorrows. Spending time talking to someone will get you very antiquated with their voice and character. Similarly, building a relationship with God is spending time in prayer, thanking God for the littlest things, sharing your sorrows and requests and worshiping Him. Sometimes, it’s a matter of just sitting and listening.

How do we know it’s the voice of God? He speaks to our heart and the bible confirms it. Image God speaking to different people and revealing who He is, then all of those people wrote it and down and just so happened to write the same or very similar thing about Him. Similar to the stories in the bible, God appears to people, there are different people spoken about that had a relationship with God and wrote about it. The stories reveal His character as a Father in Heaven. The book of Psalms 103:1-5, reveals God the Father’s love for us,”Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The book of Romans reveal the Christ, the Son of God’s love for us. Romans 8: 35-39 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. There are many other scriptures that speak of God’s love and throughout the bible we see His character. God is love. Romans 5:8 says,”God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Of all the many religions in the world and gods that people worship, Jesus is the only one that came down to earth from heaven, in human form, to be nailed to a cross and die for the sin of humanity so that we can once again, have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. As Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden after they sinned, we no longer have to hide from God as our sins our taken away from the blood of Jesus on the cross, we can come face to face with Him again, unashamed. We don’t have to go through a ritual or run miles making efforts to be good or right with God, salvation is a love gift from God and having faith in His love, goodness, mercy and grace is what frees us and makes us more like Him. It’s a relationship, not a religion. It starts with inviting God into your heart, confessing and believing. Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Falling off the Path of God’s Promises

There are many stories of people who find God or who grew up in the church and later fall off the path later on in life, taking anew path that leads to an empty soul. The beginning of finding God is like a honeymoon stage where one is so in love with God. All the love songs point to God and the experience is a high that lasts for months, constantly smiling, laughing and loving others, but without trials, how can love and faith be tested?

Just like in any relationship, there’s circumstances that can make it or break it. I have a deep respect for couples who have been married for more than forty years. Through thick and thin, they have fought through hardships and learned to forgive, work together, compromise and sacrifice some of their own desires.

Even outside of a relationship there’s always a battle in life, a test of strength. After surrendering my own will to God, I was high for three months, but after that, there’s more the walk. The faith of a believer is constantly tested. Sometimes life can get so hard that it turns Believers away from walking towards God and then walking into a dark life, but God seems to have a way of bringing them back.

Faith without backing or reinforcement is like a tree with shallow roots. When a storm comes, it’s roots are ripped out from the ground and topples over. When Jesus was in the desert, he was tempted, even tired and hungry, He still overcame temptation.

Ephesians 6:13-14,16-17 says Wherefore take unto you the whole amour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Just like in a marriage, there’s a fight to stay on the path that leads to life. Truth, righteousness, faith, salvation and knowing the Bible are a few ingredients, but there’s also another factor that enables us to fight temptation. Jesus did not minister to the crowds alone, He had twelve other men with Him. Fellowship is pertinent for any walk. The serpent tempted Eve when she was alone. To have others around praying with you and offering support through hard times will keep any Believer from tipping over like a dead tree or getting off the right track. When you know the voice of God, you can easily identify when it’s not His voice in your mind.

Discerning the Voice in Your Head

In the book of Genesis, God made man on the fifth day. In the second chapter, God made a woman from man’s rib. God also told the man not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In chapter 3, the serpent came to tempt the woman to eat the fruit.

God says to Adam in Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Meaning dying inside.

But in Genesis 3:5, when the serpent tempts Eve, he tells her “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.” She fell for the serpents lies and ate the fruit. Then Adam and Eve realized that they were naked and felt ashamed.

Adam and Eve were living in paradise with all the food in the garden that they can eat and weren’t allowed to eat from any but one tree and yet that wasn’t enough. The serpent knew one thing, to change their perspective of God or cause distrust, meant causing them to hide from God, in other words, breaking communication or connection to their Creator. The serpent twisted it in a way where it made God look like He was holding something good back from them. The serpent wants to establish doubt and distrust in God. He also placed in them, the intent of exhaulting themselves when he threw in, “you’ll be as gods.”

The fall of Satan who was called Lucifer in heaven, started with pride.

Ezekiel 28:17 says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground…” He was a beautiful angel who couldn’t handle praise, it filled him with pride and made him believe that he can take over the throne of God, his own Creator. How foolish! Thrown out of heaven and fell to earth, then becomes the opposer, the accuser, the tempter, the one that leads the weak astray. His whole goal is to bring as many people as possible to the fiery pit of hell.

The conclusion has already been set, God has the victory, but everyone has a choice on which path to follow or who’s voice to listen to or who to live for. Everyone has a choice to worship God or idolize people, tangible items, the serpent, other false gods or just themselves. Some think that somehow there’s a lack of knowledge for one that believes in God, but there’s a lack of wisdom for someone who thinks there is no Creator of living beings on this earth. There is a recipe for how living things function, a purpose. Nothing is thrown together, there is no random Big Bang, no random universe. Planets aren’t scattered everywhere, there’s a consistent pattern and each has its place in a galaxy.

There’s a song by Nicole C Mullen that I’m reminded of. In her song, my redeemer lives, she sings, “who taught the sun where to stand in the morning? And who told the ocean, you can only come this far? And who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening? Whose words alone can catch a falling star? Well, I know my Redeemer lives…All of creation testifies This life within me cries….yeah The very same God that spins things in orbit Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken They conquered death to bring me victory.”

As time passes walking on the path of life with God, the knowledge of Him grows and the familiarity of His voice grows that when the serpent comes, lies can be easily detected. Trust or faith in God shall leave no room for the serpent to deceive and will be powerless.

Who’s voice are you listening to and what is influencing your decisions in life? Who are you putting your trust on? Do you trust God or are you being led astray with lies entering your mind?

If you’re tired of walking on a path of emptiness, pain, hopelessness or depression and you’re ready to surrender your life to God. If you hate your life, stop living your life for yourself and start living for God.

You can pray this prayer out loud. Lord God, I’m tired of living my life for myself or others. I surrender my life to you. Take me as I am and show me your powerful love. Fill me with your peace, joy and love to overflowing. Change me inside so I can see that you are a good, loving and a faithful Father who will never leave me or forsake me, a Father that knows my name. Lead me to knowing you personally and bring people into my life that can walk this path of life with me. Thank you for your answered prayers. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!

Beyond the Stars

It has been a few months thinking about getting a telescope and other astrophotography equipment only to spend hours looking and taking photos of the stars, but I would have to go far out to see anything.

The last time I spent hours looking and taking pictures of the night sky was during my first visit to my parents house in Hawaii. Each house in the neighborhood is almost 100 feet apart from the next and 3000 feet above sea level. The first time I arrived to their house when the car lights went out, I looked up and saw colors that I’ve never seen before in the night sky. I have been to places with little light pollution where the stars were so easy to see, but I never been at a time and place where the belt of the Milky Way was so clear. I spent hours and days sitting outside on the deck at night while my parents slept. Some nights my Mom would catch me outside.

When I look at the stars, my thoughts are beyond just science and life outside of this planet, but God’s hand of creation. I cannot look at the stars without thinking about Him. What’s more amazing is how this big God loves us all and reached out to us through Jesus.

Genesis 1:1-5 NKJV
[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [2] The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. [3] Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. [4] And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. [5] God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

I think about how He set everything in place and how He knows us and thinks about all of us.

Psalm 139:17-18 NKJV
[17] How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! [18] If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

I think about how big His love is when He sent His Son, Jesus to come to earth and reunited us with our Creator.

John 1:1-3 NKJV
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Thankful in a Storm

It’s Thanksgiving Day and something is resonating within me that’s pulling me in completely opposite directions, faith or fear. Despite the distress in my soul, I’m thankful with hope for the future. About ten years ago, I thought I might die. I remember crying out to the Lord in my distress. That night I had a dream that I was carrying a backpack full of currency from around the world, later realizing that I was an old lady in my dream, around the 70s. God knows I’ve always had the desire to travel the world before I leave this earth. That dream was a confirmation that I would be fine and soon after, physically, I was fine.

There’s been many times in my life where I’ve felt so blessed, walking on clouds with everything working out for me, but life always has it’s storms, some that can drive one to the ground just waiting to die, but I can honestly say that if God’s hand wasn’t there to pull me out, I’m not sure where I’d be today. Even in the toughest times, I know that I’ll get through it because my life is in the hands of a good God.

I’ve had my share of lonely times having spent some holidays alone, feeling like the world is against me or completely misunderstood. Even though harsh seasons come, the sun will eventually come out. At times it feels like the hard season will never end, but I have to trust God through the season, even if it doesn’t make any sense. I know He’s shaping me through the flame as fire pulls out the impurities of gold making it rise to the surface.

What I’m most thankful for today is my Lord and Savior Jesus, without Him, I would be dead on the inside, lifeless, empty and without hope. Because of Him, I don’t have to fear the future as He will give me the strength and tools that I need to take on the storms of life as they come and always be my backbone. I’m thankful for life and good health. I’m thankful that during uncertainty, I can put my faith on a faithful God full of mercy and grace.

I pray that HOPE, JOY and PEACE will come to anyone struggling to be thankful today, but to have hope for the future and to know that they’re not alone, God that you let them know that you are there with them and that they are loved by you, God that you would let them see the light after the storm and bring healing to their soul. In Jesus name.