How do People Establish Real Relationships?

Suburban Path; Fredrikstad, Norway

May 20, 2022

I have found that the relationships I have established with people on this earth have brought me the greatest happiness and joy that life can offer. This is despite the fact that when I was young and constantly battling extreme shyness, I wondered whether I would ever even be able to establish any real and lasting friendships at all. I would often think to myself, “What makes people want to establish relationships with certain other people, and why as time passes do they seem to be able to stick together like glue?” To me, in good relationships, there seemed to be an unseen bond of some kind between people that lasted through various trials and tribulations that came their way. In my observation, true and lasting friendships and relationships seemed to exist outside of the tumult of modern life, and because of that, they endured. But what was sustaining them? Was a shy person like me even capable of being a true friend for someone? These questions occupied my young mind, and I especially wondered whether I would ever be able to attract a cute girl to marry and settle down with some day. Many of you reading these words may find yourselves in similar predicaments, especially in light of how modern “relationships” are modeled in today’s world.

In America today, we live in a consumer world, where life is like one gigantic store where many are busied with “shopping” every day to acquire things, and varied services and experiences to make them “happy”. The problem is that whatever brings us happiness today is often short-lived and soon replaced by something else tomorrow. That is what a consumer society does, constantly using what the world has to offer to keep its people happy each day, and to keep the economy healthy and thriving at the same time. A thriving economy requires a constant feeding of money, because it has a voracious appetite! But in this way of life there is no real stability, no peace, and no lasting contentment, only a never ending battle by its citizens to sustain their happiness day by day. This distorted consumer mentality has often slopped over into how we think of and why we participate in human relationships. Are other humans just another consumer commodity, which we use today and discard tomorrow when our personal benefit from them begins to wane? Are these even real relationships, or are they more like mutual exploitations? Is the exploitation of each other the best that relationships have to offer, or are we missing something? Authentic answers to these kinds of questions bring us face to face with what a real relationship actually is.

As I began to mature inside as a young person, I was able to establish two great friendships, one with a neighbor boy and the other with a young man whom I met on the Fresno State College track team and got to know well. These two friendships are still going and enjoyed today, 50-60 years later! What made them last so long were a few key ingredients which actually define what successful and authentic relationships consist of.

First, we found that we liked each other and enjoyed being in each other’s presence, no matter what we were doing. There was a feeling of ease with each other where we didn’t have to put on a performance, but were able to be ourselves without any anxiety or fear. This allowed an openness to flourish where we got to see into each other’s very lives, which revealed just who we were inside. That led to another extremely valuable feature of a great relationship–because of this ease of interacting, we enjoyed spending a lot of time together. Without that investment of time, where varied shared experiences revealed clearly to each other who we were inside, we would not have been able to establish such rich, deep, and long lasting friendships. Real relationships, in a nutshell, are simply the sharing of who we actually are with each other, so that we are interacting with the genuinely real person and not with a facade, performance or image. We were actually sharing ourselves with each other. The establishment of a real relationship takes time, a lot of time. This means that, typically, a person can have only a few great and lasting friendships in a lifetime–all other persons are merely temporary acquaintances.

Real relationships are based on the deep bonding of human spirits, not on an external show of looks, behavior or talk. The latter can easily become deceptions and performances used to present an image to others in the hope of personal gain. Sadly, these kinds of efforts are modeled all too often as seen today on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram, and other similar social media outlets.

Only when honesty is present can two people have a real relationship. Also, one of the key insights into just who a person is requires one to mentally separate a person’s physical body and looks from the person’s spirit dwelling inside. This is particularly important in romantic relationships and marriage. We must always remember that true relationships and love with another person must be primarily with the person living inside their body, and not mostly with their bodily appearance. You must be in love with the person, and not their body, their social status, or their wealth. None of us chose what sort of body we were given by God at birth, but we have everything to do with what sort of character we build up within that spirit that becomes us inside. That is the real you. That is the only you that you are each interacting with in a friendship. It is wise to keep in mind and recall frequently, that when you die your body goes down into the grave, while your spirit goes upward to meet God face to face. No part of the actual you goes into the grave, but has been totally freed from the body.

Since humans are spiritual beings clothed with the body, relationships must be forged spirit to spirit. When we speak to each other on phones we get a good feel what these spirit to spirit relationships are like. Here we have two raw spirits communicating with each other, and where most of the clutter and cacophony of sights and sounds of everyday life must take a backseat, if even only for a few minutes. If these calls are hard for you to initiate and sustain, then you are probably not talking to a good friend.

The raw inner spirits of human beings are truly a marvel and wonder, and to engage with each other this way is exciting and filled with surprises and intrigue. Here we find out quickly that humans are complex and interesting creatures, and that who we are inside draws us closer together to explore and find out more. In true friendships and relationships, people connect spirit to spirit, often transcending the physical world altogether. If people spend a lot of time together like this, they can begin to sense what the other is thinking and what their inner emotions are communicating to you without words. This is a very important realization because our fellowship with God’s spirit takes place in exactly this way. In a real sense we can actually begin to share ourselves with other people spirit to spirit as long as we allow this communication to flow freely, and without our interference. In the same way we can share our spirits with God’s spirit, and allow him to share himself with us. This is actually his goal with people, and those who truly accomplish this connection are people who begin to actually know God. To really know and fellowship with God, we must persist in pursuing this spirit to spirit union. And the Holy Spirit is the key to connecting to God this way, as Jesus explains in the gospel of John, Chapter 14:

“If you love me and obey the commandments I give you, I will ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete (teacher)–to be with you always: The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, since it neither sees him nor recognizes him; but you can recognize him because he remains with you and will be within you. I will not leave you orphaned;” John 14, 15-18

“On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He who obeys the commandments he has from me is the man who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father. I too will love him and reveal myself to him.” John 14, 20-21

What an amazing promise! But I know that it is true, because that is exactly what happened to me almost 50 years ago, and which continues to this day. If you think that your relationship with a best friend is great, and it probably is, your potential friendship with God is far greater.

Yes, real relationships take much time and effort to establish and maintain, and take much time together to accomplish. But know that real relationships between people on earth are only practice for the future. They not only model a deeper relationship with God here on earth through the Holy Spirit, but they are also a prelude to the forever relationships that we will constantly experience with others in Heaven. If you haven’t already begun, start practicing real relationships today–you will never want to turn back! This hidden Truth of life is that good.

Do Heaven and Hell Really Exist?

Leconte Divide; Central Sierra Nevadas; California

April 23, 2022

We live in a world today where the Truth of Life has been surrounded by a myriad of pretenders. This has had the effect of diluting the real Truth down to the status of being merely one of many possibilities. And it seems that the one manufactured “truth” which has been very pleasing to a great number of people today, is the notion that our universe is eternal–that it has always existed and will always exist, albeit in an ever changing physical form. This includes all of the life forms that we find here on earth, as well as, they surely believe, can exist on some of the planets which often circle around stars in the heavens. Since all physical objects, such as stars, are being constantly recycled, so the idea that the spirits of men, which they believe are simply part of the same system, must of necessity pop up somewhere else as they die. In essence, they claim, people never really ‘die’, but are endlessly recycled and reincarnated over and over again, either here on earth or some other planet or inhabitable place in the vast universe. In many mens’ minds, this eliminates the need for a Creator or Supreme being as, in their minds, the universe itself actually gives birth to humans and other imagined alien life forms somewhere out there through evolution. With this belief, the universe is now able to rise up and substitute as their god and creator, with men, as well as any aliens somewhere else, emerging as the highest life forms, accountable only to themselves. All men innately know deep down inside of themselves that this isn’t true, but the urge to be free of the possibility of a Supreme being controlling their lives and destinies often overcomes it. For many people, such is the kind of world that they have fashioned for themselves and then proceeded to live in.

This notion of reality or truth that I have just briefly described, has no proof, no basis in fact, and no traceable historical roots–it has simply been manufactured in mens’ minds. If you think about it, this is an astonishing “belief” based on nothing, which takes much more faith and trust than any other established religion or system of belief that exists today. But many men and women today are basing their entire lives and lifestyles, and their ultimate destinies on the truth of this kind of aberrant and risky understanding of reality. Yet, despite the obvious risk, increasingly people believe this anyway, going about their lives with totally blind faith and trust, hoping that they have it right.

Now we turn to the authentic and real Truth of Life, along with its real meaning and purpose. This is arrived at through the actual presence of God living unseen among the people, reason and common sense, the established truth of the Bible, common human experiences of living life, and the presence of the Holy Spirit teaching us individually. This wealth of support allows you to go through life with real sight, real knowledge, and real understanding, rather than hope and trust in mere guesses arising from stark blindness!

First of all, there is no reincarnation or living multiple lives forever. Scripture clearly teaches us this fact:

“Just as it is appointed that men die once, and after that be judged, so Christ was offered once to take away the sins of many; he will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.” Hebrews 9, 27-28.

Also, the universe will not go on forever. When it ends, it will provide quite a terrifying experience for those who are living on earth at the time, and have pinned their hopes on their ‘god’–an immortal universe!: (Jesus speaking)

“Immediately after the stress of that period, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not shed her light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the hosts of heaven will be shaken loose’. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and ‘all the clans of the earth will strike their breasts’ as they see ‘the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.” Matthew 24, 29-30

And from the book of Hebrews, a warning is given to all who reject God and claim to be the sole proprietors of their lives and existence:

Do not refuse to hear him who speaks. For if the Israelites did not escape punishment when they refused to listen as God spoke to them on earth, how much greater punishment will be ours if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven! His voice then shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘I will once more shake not only earth but heaven!’ And that ‘once more’ shows that shaken, created things will pass away, so that only what is unshaken may remain.” Hebrews 12, 25-27

This is where heaven and hell enter the picture and occupy their rightful places in reality. After the world and the entire created universe are destroyed, having melted away in a blaze, only two destinies will be left for people: The Kingdom of Heaven; or Hell, the abode of the damned. The key to understanding why only two kingdoms will remain when the world and the universe end, is to realize that there is only one God and no other. To say that there are more is to create a reality which simply doesn’t exist. That one God, who lives in the spiritual realm, was responsible for creating the universe, mankind, and all other life, and he will be in charge of what remains. The book of Colossians speaks eloquently of Jesus and his part in bringing the whole created world into existence:

“Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creatures. In him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, principalities or powers; all were created through him, and for him. He is before all else that is. In him everything continues in being.” Colossians 1, 14-17

When men die individually or are present at the end of the world, they will all meet God face to face and be judged individually. At that time he will show them the Truth of Life, as well as of their own individual lives, and they will be able to make a final choice: They can choose to be either aligned with God or against him. There will be no other choices available. All those who humbly accept his kingship over them, confess their sins, and accept forgiveness will go to heaven to live with him forever. Those who reject him and his rule over them will be cast into hell with all others like them. Thus he grants both types of men the desires of their hearts.

God’s original plan for all of the beings he created, however, such as angels in the spiritual realm or humans on earth, was to share a part of himself and his divinity with them forever. Since he is eternal, then they would also live forever. But he also endowed both angels and men with wisdom and understanding, and with total freedom to make choices, just like himself. He made a path for all to get to heaven, as was his desire, but not all chose that path. Those who pined to be the sole masters of their own lives and choices, particularly to embrace and practice evil, were confined to hell with each other so that they could not torment with their behavior the others who chose Heaven. This is very similar to modern civilization’s establishment of courts, jails, and prisons.

When Hell was first created, it was not designed for humans, but rather the fallen angels who rebelled against God. Men who follow their same path, however, condemn themselves to the same end, and thus join the fallen angels. God has never desired this end for any of his enlightened creatures, but he honors their freedom to act as they please, and reluctantly accepts their choice to live apart from him forever.

For all reading these words, realize the potency of your freedom. Please, do not destine yourself to a life of endless torment with the damned! Yes, heaven and hell really exist! Choose a holy life with blessed peace with God forever. Choose good, choose God, choose love, and choose life with real freedom and far from pain and torment. It’s up to YOU!!!

God Scourges Every Son He Receives

California State Cross Country Meet, 2015; Fresno, California

March 30, 2022

In our world today, everyone seems to be chasing after comfort, money, pleasure, freedom from pain and discomfort, and a peaceful life without want. This will lead to happiness, we think, because pain and deprivation make us unhappy. Unfortunately, we have it all backwards! This world was designed and created by God so that pain and discomfort are unalterably embedded in all parts of life. Our efforts to completely eliminate them will only result in frustration and failure. They are here to stay, as the elimination of one form of pain inevitably leads to another. We can see this proclaimed with utmost clarity in the following scripture passages from Romans, Chapter 8:

“Yes, we know that all creation groans and is in agony even until now. Not only that, but we ourselves, although we have the Spirit as first fruits, groan inwardly while we await the redemption of our bodies.” Verses 22-23

“And hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it with patient endurance.” Verse 25

The words used in these passages: groans, agony, and endurance, indicate how deeply felt, intense, and long lasting that pain can manifest itself in our lives. And it is our physical bodies which inflict the pain and agony upon us–until we die and our spirits escape! Yes, our bodies are our slave drivers here on earth, God purposely made it that way.

When God designed life for human beings here on earth, he made it so that we live in two distinct worlds simultaneously. He accomplished that by creating each man’s spirit from a part of himself, and then pouring it into a living physical body which he formed from the earth. The result was a human being who is part spirit and part body, which are permanently joined here on earth until they are ultimately separated at death, and the body discarded. His purpose for having men live in two separate worlds at the same time like this, was to teach them the differences between good and evil, and give them the choice to pick one or the other. This resulted in our world, where there is an unending battle for control between forces aligned with good and those aligned with evil. This ‘world war’, so to speak, will go on indefinitely until the end of this age, when God will destroy forever this physical realm in which we live today.

Scriptures characterize life on earth as the great period of trial. Here, humans find themselves personally bathed in the results of both evil, such as the current war between Russia and Ukraine with all its destruction, pain, and death; and good, such as organizations dedicated to lifting people out of extreme poverty, and treating in hospitals those suffering from ravaging diseases.

In our world, pain and suffering play an integral part in our education concerning what evil actually consists of and why we must reject it at all costs. In essence, we find that given enough time, evil inevitably results in pain and suffering of some kind, or even death. We live in a world fully mixed, with evil intertwined with good. Suffering and pain are not only associated with evil, but can also be probably the most effective tools that God uses to bring good into our lives. This brings us to the meaning embedded in the title of this article: God Scourges Every Son He Receives. A couple of scriptures from the Old Testament Proverbs serve to get our understanding started:

“Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. Withhold not chastisement from a boy; if you beat him with the rod, he will not die. Beat him with the rod, and you will save him from the nether world (Hell).” Proverbs 23, 12-14

“Evil is cleansed away by bloody lashes, and a scourging to the inmost being.” Proverbs 20, 30

These two descriptive and rather brutal remedies of old, used to extract evil from one’s inmost being, point to the importance of getting rid of evil here on earth while we still have the choice to reject it. If we don’t set ourselves against evil while we still can during our temporary and short existence here on earth, we may eventually find ourselves the victims of suffering torment in hell forever in eternity. And the sad and humiliating reality is that we will have put ourselves there by our own free choices! Yes, in hell we become permanent victims of ourselves! As I’ve said in previous articles, the pain and suffering we experience in hell comes primarily from others, like ourselves, who willingly chose evil over good on earth. The creatures that are confined together in hell, torment each other forever. This torment is often symbolized by fire in scriptures. And once you are there, there are no remedies for change and no hope! A great scripture passage useful to help dissuade us from performing evil deeds on earth is found in the gospel of Matthew: (Jesus speaking)

“What terrible things will come on the world through scandal! It is inevitable that scandal should occur. Nevertheless, woe to that man through whom scandal comes! If you hand or foot is your undoing, cut it off and throw it from you! Better to enter life maimed or crippled than be thrown with two hands or two feet into endless fire. If your eye is your downfall, gouge it out and cast it from you! Better life with one eye than be thrown with both into fiery Gehenna (Hell).” Matthew 18, 7-9

Yes, God uses pain here on earth to keep us away from evil and perhaps ending up in hell forever. Pain here on earth, therefore, can actually be our friend if we accept it and see it in its proper context. God mercifully scourges us to rid us of the many sins that we tend to cling to, and all who learn from it and take it to heart, will be forever thanking him in heaven for that very pain that they may have loathed in life. Yes, pain can be very difficult to endure, but when God allows it in your life, he does it out of love for us. And don’t forget, we do not suffer in pain alone for our sins. Jesus also suffered for the forgiveness of every one of our sins by his gruesome suffering and death by crucifixion on a cross meant for criminals! He was humiliated and punished for the forgiveness of our sins–if that doesn’t prove his love for us, then I can’t imagine anything that could demonstrate it better. In the book of Hebrews, Chapter 12, we get a heartfelt description of the tender caring of Jesus for all mankind, through his loving sacrifice of himself on the cross:

“….., let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith. For the sake of the joy which lay before him he endured the cross, heedless of its shame.” Hebrews 12, 1-3

In the above verse, it is interesting to note that because of the ‘joy which lay before him’, Jesus ‘endured the cross’. And what was that future joy that spurred him on? That he would have forged a path to heaven for all repentant sinners. He rejoices greatly in heaven each time a human being makes it in! What kind of person would reject such a loving God?

And lastly, the following verses teach us how we should view God’s discipline, and what awaits those who willingly submit and endure:

“Moreover, you have forgotten the encouraging words addressed to you as sons: ‘My sons, do not distain the discipline of the Lord nor lose heart when he reproves you; he scourges every son he receives.’ Endure your trials as the discipline of God who deals with you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you do not know the discipline of sons, you are not sons but bastards. If we respected our earthly fathers who corrected us, should we not all the more submit to the Father of spirits and live? They disciplined us as seemed right to them, to prepare us for the short span of mortal life; but God does so for our true profit, that we may share his holiness.” Hebrews 12, 5-10

Yes, life on earth can be hard, and sometimes extremely hard; but know that it doesn’t even come close to your enduring spending an eternity confined in the torments of Hell, where you will be living with literally hoards of the most evil and vile beings imaginable! Think about it and count the cost.

Dear reader, if you have found this article an inspiration and of great help and value to you, please send the web address to any and all people that you might know who would likely similarly benefit: This would be especially valuable if sent by any of my 53 current followers of Journey to Truth. Also, if you ever have any questions or comments concerning any of the articles that I have written so far (currently 82), please send them directly to my personal email address: Thank you so much!!! I will get right back to you! –Dave Warmerdam

All Paths Forward Lead Back to God

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

February 26, 2022

I have observed that humans, when they reach an age approaching adulthood, perhaps starting at around 16 years old, begin to notice that there is a lot more to life than meets the eye. Most probably first see this in ‘religion’ in America, when they begin to realize that faith and belief are not grounded in what they can see, touch or observe on the earth. No, religion is not based on any earthly process that we can observe, test and study in order to understand and accept it, but rather is contained within another realm entirely. And, surprisingly, that ‘other’ realm is often spoken of as being as real, or even more real than the concrete world of matter that we interact with each day. This is known generally as the ‘spiritual’ realm, where beings exist who do not live in physical bodies, but rather bodies which are not subject to the laws of matter at all. Yet they exist as surely as the house we live in or the car that we drive. It would be easy to simply discount this shadowy and mysterious world as not real and simply made up in peoples’ fertile imaginations, if it weren’t for the profound effect this hard to define world has had on the physical world that we all live in. For me, this became more than real when I began to search out and understand the Catholic religion that I was born into. Its history goes back thousands of years, and most notably includes the time following the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The very calendar that virtually the entire world uses today, starts at ‘0’ years and has now spanned over 2000 years to today’s date of 2022. This is the Gregorian calendar, which surprisingly begins with the single historical event of Jesus Christ’s birth. Jesus was known as the one and only ‘Son of God’, the God that lives in the spiritual world. This realization began an understanding within me that maybe the spiritual world is the actual ‘real’ world, while our physical world is really only a temporary one, because nothing here ever lasts very long, including our own lives. I thought, “What besides reality could possibly sustain Christian beliefs for thousands of years and hundreds of generations?”

As I entered my later teen years I began to be interested in exploring this exciting spiritual realm, but not the religious part of it, which I felt that I understood pretty well. No, what intrigued and excited my interest back in those days were odd things that I heard and read about, like seances, where I learned that people contacted the spirits of dead relatives, or simply spirits from another world who could manifest here as ghosts, communicate with people, and physically move objects on earth. I was intrigued by clairvoyant Edgar Cayce, Ouija Boards, the purported power of witchcraft, and even the predictions of astrology. I was particularly interested in seeing this spiritual realm in its raw form, without having been filtered through the lens of religion. I thought that checking out these odd happenings would help define and expand for me what this unseen world was really all about. I sensed that there must be reality there beyond what my Catholic religion taught me, and it seemed a lot more mysterious, alluring, and exciting to me. Some of you reading these words may currently be similarly intrigued by this other dimension like I was back in the 1960’s. At the time, my mother was very interested in astrologer and self-proclaimed psychic, Jeane Dixon, who was well known for predicting the assassination of US president John Kennedy. When I asked her about her interest in Dixon, whom I felt was grounded in a rather shaky and deadend offshoot of belief, her explanation was that Dixon was a devout Catholic who firmly believed in God. In my Mom’s eyes, this gave her credibility. Jeane Dixon not only credited her predictions to God, but also was an advisor to many public figures, most notably to Nancy Reagan, wife of president Ronald Reagan.

I did research, read books on the subject, and gathered information for some time concerning apparently documented supernatural happenings. I concluded that things like levitating furniture, and spiritual beings from the ‘other’ side knowing unknowable facts about specific people and their lives, most likely contained at least some truth and reality. But eventually, the more important revelation that I discerned from my research, was the almost universally unimportant and purposeless nature of these happenings. They all seemed to have little value or purpose in themselves, besides being odd and interesting, and seemed to serve only to whet the appetite of human curiosity to learn more and more about this hidden side of life. I never saw any indication in my delving into this sideshow of the spiritual world, that there was any profit or good for me to be gained from it. All seemed to be grounded primarily in showmanship, making money, and enticing as many people as possible to come back again and again for more. I personally found no wisdom, information, or understanding that I could come away with from this offbeat world, and eventually lost all interest. What I was really looking for was real truth, bonafide reality, and genuine good that I could benefit from. The common thread that I did find, however, was that most everything was tainted with a hodgepodge of the bizarre, the hint of evil, and a look into ugliness, oddities, and a world impregnated with scariness, unpredictability, darkness, and a dose of fear. This was a world that I did not want to spend much time in.

Now we come to the title of this article: All paths forward lead back to God. I have subsequently learned from personal experience, from God’s revelation to me, from the Bible, and from others’ lives, that the spiritual world contains only two primary beings who compete for control there. One is Almighty God, and the other Satan with all his demon followers. The latter were all initially created by God and for God as angels, but they rebelled against him and were cast out from his presence. When men venture into this spiritual world it can be dangerous and unpredictable. That’s because you will be presented with both enticements towards evil as well as inspiration towards good. Satan generally baits you with promises of excitement, pleasure, power, hidden wisdom, and control, but these eventually lead you to their opposites: pain, deceit, misery, slavery, helplessness, and death.

God, on the other hand, leads with requirements of self-control, holiness, suffering, and loving God and your fellow man. These eventually lead to eternal bliss, freedom, wisdom, safety, joy, fellowship, and life with God forever in heaven. But like what happened to me early in my life, if you are seeking what is good and right and holy, you will easily be able to tell Satan’s enticements from God’s holiness and inspiration. I can’t emphasis this more. Be careful what you are seeking, for you will eventually get what you are asking for. God promises to give us the desires of our hearts.

The use of illicit drugs for pleasure provides the perfect example of one of Satan’s enticements towards evil. Drugs provide an immediate escape from life, with extreme pleasure, ecstasy, and feelings of empowerment, freedom, and control. But their end result is often addiction, pain, slavery, helplessness, and death.

God often inspires using the portals of self-denial, self-discipline, and faith in him as paths towards good. These initially may look like loss of freedom and loss of pleasure and control. Sex provides the perfect example. God teaches us to keep sex between a man and a woman, and only within the commitment of marriage. Waiting until marriage to enjoy sex provides the perfect path for marital fidelity, partnership in parenting, a stable home life, great sex, consistent love, safety, and security. The alternative is often broken homes, single parenting, neglected children, and juvenile delinquency, along with pain, struggle, and depression.

All paths forward in life will lead to good, to truth, to love, to success, and eternal bliss. And these paths will always go back to the beginning: To the God who in the beginning created the world and us. Why? Because he alone holds the keys to a truly happy and eternal future, and he desires eternal love and good for all people. He planned it that way and gives each human being a choice: Either choose God or reject him. Choosing God and good requires us to do these things to the best of our ability:

1) Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and all your strength

2) Love your neighbor as yourself; a love that never wrongs your neighbor

3) Treat others in the way that you yourself would like to be treated

Follow these paths in life and they will lead you straight to God and good and happiness. It’s that simple! Make a decision today before it is too late.

Here are some scripture verses to keep you on track and safe on your journeys into the spiritual world; don’t search for excitement and pleasure, but rather for truth and good:

“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Whoever does what is good belongs to God; whoever does what is evil has never seen God.” 3 John 1

“Anyone who is so ‘progressive‘ that he does not remain rooted in the teaching of Christ does not possess God, while anyone who remains rooted in the teaching possesses both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you who does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house; do not even greet him, for whoever greets him shares in the evil he does.” 2 John 1

Why are Christians Warned to Expect Persecution?

Saguaro National Park; Tucson, Arizona

January 21, 2022

In our day, Christianity often gets watered down to a narrow message emphasizing what you will get, while glossing over what you must give up or suffer. What may quickly come to your mind in thinking about this, are the numerous public ministries peddling the so-called “Health and Wealth” gospel. These ministries tend to offer Christianity as a means to acquire more wealth or to be the recipient of the healing of a bodily ailment. The main hook seems to be having enough “faith” to give money to said ministry, while believing with all your heart that you will get what you hope for. Some people may actually receive more wealth or better health this way because of their own personal faith, but the only one who always benefits and grows wealthier is the ministry itself. But hope often springs eternal for these exploited churchgoers, so many never give up donating their hard earned money while perhaps being mostly disappointed in the results.

Is the ultimate core goal of Christianity, as well as of individual Christians, to eliminate poverty everywhere, provide everyone with a monthly allotment of money, give free medical care to all, and provide food and shelter to all whether they all are willing and able to work for it or not? This seems to be the “social gospel” promoted today by America’s liberal wing to “fix society”, as they imagine virtually eliminating crime and producing a harmonious, stable, and happy society. Crime is the result of people not having their needs met and not because they are “bad people”, these liberal types will often lament. Well, that is the picture of socialism and actually the antithesis of true Christianity. Yes, Christians are taught to help the truly needy, but the far greater need that people have is to be taught and inspired to participate in their own salvation, care for their own worldly needs, and end up in eternal heaven when they die. There is nothing on earth that is a more important work to accomplish!

Besides the health and wealth ministries, many traditional Christian churches also can get caught up in downplaying how hard Christianity can be, while preaching a sort of feel good message of love, mercy, forgiveness, abundance, and peace. But there is a more realistic expectation of how your life will go if you live a truly authentic Christian life. Paul gives us a clear warning about this in his second letter to Timothy:

“You have observed my resolution, fidelity, patience, love, and endurance, through persecutions and sufferings in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. You know what persecutions I have had to bear, and you know how the Lord saved me from them all. Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus can expect to be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3, 10-12.

That last sentence includes all of us Christians, not just those who preach for a living. This is because when you ally yourself with Christ, all who oppose him on earth will also persecute and fight against you. You will be the target and you can expect some hard paths to walk and sufferings to endure. One of the hardest tests you can encounter includes when your own family opposes and rejects you because of your faith and beliefs. Today’s spiritual climate in America can provide a tough test for families, where there are often factions within a single family as well as among that family’s relatives. Even Jesus had this to endure. The more fervent and outspoken you are as a Christian, the more pushback your family is likely to give you. Here is what Jesus experienced as recorded in Mark, Chapter 3:

“He returned to the house with them (his disciples) and again the crowd assembled, making it impossible for them to get any food whatever. When his family heard of this they came to take charge of him, saying, ‘He is out of his mind’; while the scribes who arrived from Jerusalem asserted, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul'”. Verses 20-22

“His mother and his brothers arrived, and as they stood outside they sent word to him to come out. The crowd seated around him told him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside asking for you’. He said in reply, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And gazing around him at those seated in the circle he continued, ‘These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.'” Verses 31-35

Jesus had to fight against his own family, which appeared to be far from understanding the true nature of what he came to do on earth. And many of you Christians reading this article may also face great opposition from your own families, even to the point of estrangement from them. This goes with the territory of becoming a true Christian rather than a lukewarm one. True Christianity necessitates that you enter a battle to save souls, and working hard to save souls will always bring with it suffering, persecution, and an all out battle against Satan and his demonic forces who hate God and good and the salvation of souls. To be in an effective partnership with God, you have to be all in, just like any soldier preparing for battle. Matthew’s gospel, Chapter 10, gives us a great summary of the cost of what it really means to become a committed Christian: (Jesus speaking)

Do not suppose that my mission on earth is to spread peace. My mission is to spread, not peace, but division. I have come to set a man at odds with his father, a daughter with her mother, a daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law: in short, to make a man’s enemies those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me. He who will not take up his cross and come after me is not worthy of me. He who seeks only himself brings himself to ruin, whereas he who brings himself to nought for me discovers who he is.” Matthew 10, 34-39

Yes, being a believer requires one to deny himself, take up his cross, and be committed every day to seek and obey the will of God. True Christianity is a personal lifestyle, and not merely being part of a religious institution.

One of the greatest failings that I see in Christianity today, is the often wholesale substitution of tolerance and acceptance of sinful lifestyles in place of speaking out the truth in warning people that living in habitual sin has the capacity to ultimately send you to hell! Many feel that this is unkind, and opt for tolerance and a misguided notion of love. True love speaks against sin, and works hard alongside the sinner to lead him away from his destructive path. Some of our modern sins that most are afraid to call out as sins, include love of money and things, couples living together without being married, homosexuality, self-indulgence, divorce, abortion, glorifying man and his accomplishments, and tolerating atheism, unbelief, and reviling God. These and other evils, if allowed to proliferate and become entrenched within a society, can only result in the slow choking off of holiness and goodness and purity in the people, and the strangling of the desire in a society for self-sacrifice and open faith in God. Our eventual destruction cannot be far behind.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus gives us some further insight into why true Christians must suffer for living the Christian life:

“As a matter of fact, not even his brothers had much confidence in him. Jesus answered them: ‘It is not yet the right time for me to go (to the Jewish feast of Booths), whereas the time is always right for you. The world is incapable of hating you, but it does hate me because of the evidence I bring against it that what it does is evil.'” John 7, 5-7

Yes, there is a price that you must pay to be a real Christian, but the ultimate reward and blessings you will receive will far outweigh that price. In Luke’s gospel, Chapter 6, we receive both a warning and a blessing–please read and heed Jesus’s words:

“Woe to you when all speak well of you. Their fathers treated the false prophets in just this way.” Verse 26

“Blest shall you be when men hate you, when they ostracize you and insult you and proscribe your name as evil because of the Son of Man. On the day they do so, rejoice and exult, for your reward shall be great in heaven. Thus it was that their fathers treated the prophets.” Verses 22-23

So get out there, stand your ground, and fight for truth with all that you have!

You Cannot Worship the God that You Don’t Know

Dale Lake; Sierra National Forest; Central California

December 6, 2021

As I was growing up in California in my Catholic family, I started hearing the word ‘worship’ from a young age. To me, the word always had connotations of the worshiper being in awe of God, and having to place himself in a subservient mindset before a powerful and distant being, usually on his knees. This usually invoked fear and thoughts of forced obedience within me, and it made me feel uneasy and far from God. This was especially trying when we were all, on some unique occasion, supposed to line up to kiss some blessed statue of Jesus, or even the ring of the Bishop. The feeling that I got was that you had to obey this God or you were in trouble! He was the boss and you were his servant, although somehow a kind boss. And it always seemed to me that the church was the preferred link that connected me to this God, effectively keeping him distant and unapproachable. It always made me wonder why, in light of this remote relationship with God, that most of the churchgoers I knew seemed relaxed and happy. Catholic school was similarly authoritative and made me afraid of getting out of line, especially in grammar school.

Outside of church and school, however, when I prayed or was just simply thinking about God and life, I felt a friendship with him and sensed his presence and caring for me. Also, whenever I was outside on our farm, I always felt a tranquil peace and enjoyed feelings of well-being and safety. Here I was free from fear and felt at peace with the world. I would wonder: Is this outdoor friendly God the real one, or was it the seemingly demanding one who watched your every move? I pondered this apparent dichotomy about who God is as I matured to adulthood.

As I reached 18 years old and beyond, this pressing question of exactly who God was became more and more important to me as I got closer and closer to the time when I would need to take over the reins of my own life from my parents. Honestly, the very word ‘worship’ scared me, and made me feel like if I really earnestly engaged in it, I maybe would have to give up my personal identity and let God control my life, almost like I was his slave. An uneasy thought kept coming up in my mind: Would I simply disappear? I really did not want that! What I really wanted was the friendly God that I always felt when I was outside on our farm and immersed in nature.

This all came to a head in 1974 when I was 26 years old, working for the CIA in Washington DC, and living in Virginia–far from my home state of California. Being “filled with the Spirit” was all the rage in segments of Christianity at the time, and that to me seemed closer to a personal encounter with the friendly God that I liked, rather than the authoritative and judgmental one. As I have mentioned in a couple of the articles that I previously published on this Journey to Truth website, I decided one night to risk asking God to “fill me with his Holy Spirit” and see what happened. Well, I did, and all my wondering about what the real God was like ended in a glorious revelation of God’s Spirit directly to my spirit! It was like visiting heaven without having to die first. This was accompanied by “speaking in tongues”, also known as ‘glossolalia’, and God’s Holy Spirit has been with me personally ever since.

This experience made me realize that God’s ultimate goal for humans in life was not simply to know about him, or to enjoy the fruits of his creation, or to learn about what is right or wrong to do in life. No! What he does is stock life with myriads of evidence, signs, hints, experiences, and wonders which point to his existence, and inspire us to seek him all our lives with all our heart until we find him. He can actually be seen and exists in every form of life, in every human being, in every facet of earth’s order, purpose, and beauty, and in the universe’s immense vastness and complexity! He is everywhere, you have only to persistently seek him and you will find him. And he is always very near, not far away and remote as one might imagine. I found him personally by earnestly petitioning him one night by merely saying, “God, please fill me with your Spirit.” But to seek him you must first want him, thirst for him, wonder about him, and then finally search for and find him. If you don’t pay attention to all the signs pointing to his existence, and will continue to point to him throughout your life, you tend to drift towards looking for other gods. This often tends to lead us to discard the real God underlying all of existence, and instead, substituting in his place a reveling in enjoying earthly pleasures as if that is the main purpose of life. Although scripture does expound on God’s desires for us to be successful in this world, it is always fruit that is prompted by his hand, rather than fruit that we produce and lavish upon ourselves. Scripture teaches us that first we seek and find God, and then he prospers us as he wills. And his prosperity does not primarily mean earthly pleasures, but rather our receiving the gift of himself as his ultimate wish for us, even on earth. That is because in our receiving his Spirit, we are receiving an infinitely greater gift than merely the world’s things and pleasures that he created. The world is not our god and not our goal in life. Only God is our God! In fact, if the world becomes our goal, then we become enemies of God. This leads us into all kinds of unexpected conflicts:

“Where do the conflicts and disputes among you originate? Is it not your inner cravings that make war within your members? What you desire you do not obtain, so you resort to murder. You envy and you cannot acquire, so you quarrel and fight. You do not obtain because you do not ask. You ask and you do not receive because you ask wrongly, with a view to squandering what you receive on your pleasures. O you unfaithful ones, are you not aware that the love of the world is enmity to God? A man is marked out as God’s enemy if he chooses to be the world’s friend.” James 4, 1-4

This scripture quote from the book of James above, gives us a clear picture and warning about the two paths that we can choose in life. One is pleasing ourselves, and pursuing as much worldly success, with its pleasures, things, and experiences that we can possibly attain. At the present moment, this is what we constantly see in America as the “new way” to live, and many people are choosing to trod this path in life, even Christians. Many also proselytize this path as the “universe’s” ultimate goal for all mankind, and that we must all cooperate to make it work. Any and all who oppose this goal are labeled enemies of this mindless universe’s will. They confidently assert that there is no God except ourselves, and we need only to look deep within to discover our own sort of divinity with its infinite power and direction to lead us. Beware!!! This is a satanic delusion which will ultimately lead only to your death and destruction!

The antidote that will effectively immunize us against Satan’s seductions is to take the other path in life. That path is to seek God, our maker, with our whole heart and soul and actually find him, like I did way back in 1974. Finding him will lead you to finally understanding life and just why we are here. There is nothing that can substitute for your knowing him in a personal way. When you do find him you will never again have to wonder about being willing or even able to worship him. Worship is merely a human being’s natural response to beholding the exquisite glory, beauty, and awesomeness of God’s stunning perfection! Real worship is not possible without his true presence within us. He is holy, he is sinless, he is powerful, and he is eternal. And the best part of all is his engulfing love and acceptance of all who sincerely seek him. No human is left out who approaches him with a humble and contrite heart. This means every one of you reading these words.

We cannot worship God if we don’t know him, as the title of this article proclaims. This is because our worship flows from the blending and intermingling of our spirit with God’s Spirit. At that moment we become one with him and share in his divinity, his eternal nature, his perfection, and his desire to be with us and love us. There is nothing like what we first feel when we realize that God actually wants to be with us, even with all our hangups, imperfections, lacks, and sins! This is when we begin to realize the immensity of who God actually is. None of this can possibly happen if God is only a concept to us. He is real, and we need to feel that reality to worship him.

Probably the best scripture to help us to understand the true nature of worship is found in the gospel of John, when Jesus meets the woman at the well:

“You people worship what you do not understand, while we understand what we worship; after all, salvation is from the Jews. Yet an hour is coming, and is already here, when authentic worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth. Indeed, it is just such worshippers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” John 4, 22-24

Christians do not worship the air, they worship a living being; and that being is God Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible. And he woos all people to be his beloved; that’s why the Church is called the “Bride of Christ”. Seek and find him today, and enter into a beautiful relationship with the one and only Eternal God!

God’s Wisdom vs. Human Wisdom

South Lake Tahoe, California

October 1, 2021

The word “wisdom” is something we often hear discussed by good people, and, especially today, by those who claim to be worldly wise. But true wisdom is actually a virtue that sees past this world, delving deeply into life and observing its very foundations.

Webster’s defines wisdom variously as ‘good judgment, learning, knowledge’, and as being ‘shrewd or clever’. A wise man or woman today is generally thought of as someone who has learned to use what the world has to offer to become successful in life. This is often defined as making a lot of money and being financially secure; having an abundance of possessions; having power, authority and influence over other people; being famous; enjoying many pleasures; and being admired by others. Worldly wisdom consists of having the foresight, industriousness, and cleverness to use what the world has to offer to your advantage. But is this kind of success really working to your advantage? Scripture gives us a stark warning:

“What profit would a man show if he were to gain the whole world and destroy himself in the process? What can a man offer in exchange for his very self?” Matthew 16, 26

True wisdom from God goes well beyond profiting from what the world has to offer, and, instead, pairs it with the eternity we will all face after death as the completion of what our lives here only begin. These two, time and eternity, are a matched set. They together create the whole that we must see as humans to truly benefit from earthly life. If we don’t take into account this pairing of life and afterlife, we can easily end up endlessly competing against one another in an effort to appropriate for ourselves goods, pleasures and accomplishments of this world. In this feeding frenzy, we can easily overlook our need to develop good character, virtue, and the willingness to love others among whom we live. The result of this myopic focus often leads people to live selfish lives, concentrating on their rights, their needs, their benefit, and their way, and neglecting what others might be experiencing or what they want or need, especially their need for personal love and attention from us. This puts self on the throne, with everyone else’s needs either relegated to some later time, or simply forgotten altogether. Would anyone want to spend their lives with selfish people like this? Would you? Think about it. Honestly, I don’t enjoy interacting with selfish people, you undoubtedly don’t either, and even the selfish and self-centered people themselves seem to be prone to particularly abhor selfish people like themselves. They would much rather live among the virtuous, the selfless, the thoughtful, the kind, and those who are loving and caring. This should give them a clue that maybe they themselves should be aspiring to be like those that they prefer to be around.

Here’s where the Golden Rule comes into play and begins to expose the need for pairing how we act here in this life with what we can expect in the next, where we will hopefully be living life together forever with others in heaven: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you”. This means all others, not just your friends and relatives. Humans are not just smart “animals” and subject to “the survival of the fittest” that Charles Darwin made so famous. Real animals have a razor sharp focus on themselves, blindly preserving their existence while having no care whatsoever for those that they might pursue and eat. In nature it is truly a ‘dog eat dog’ world. Good humans don’t function like that: We have consciences which teach us about right and wrong; we build hospitals and train people to care for the sick; and we maintain laws, courts, and jails to rescue the good and punish the evil. We function above the need to survive at all costs which rules the natural world, and go by higher laws of good and evil which are not part of this natural world. This was known even to the psalmist who penned the words below approximately 2,500 years ago:

“Why should I fear in evil days when my wicked ensnarers ring me round? They trust in their wealth, the abundance of their riches is their boast. Yet, in no way can a man redeem himself or pay his own ransom to God; Too high is the price to redeem one’s life; he would never have enough to remain alive always and not see destruction.” Psalm 49, 6-10

Humans are not animals whose sole purpose in life is to survive and live to see another day. Animals can never actually avoid death anyway, but only delay its inevitable coming for them. In contrast, we humans are all children of God, and true wisdom for us looks beyond this world and seeks to know him, his holiness, and the eternity in which he lives. We were made for eternity, not for pursuing temporary experiences and pleasures on earth, for they all end in death. We were made for life, and that life is contained in God himself. Human wisdom seeks the earth and all that it can give us, while God’s wisdom teaches us to use our earthly lives to prepare ourselves for eternity. That preparation leads us towards holiness, self-sacrifice, good character, virtue, selflessness, and love for our fellow man, as well as particularly to love of the God who created us. The promises of the words of scripture from the Apostle Paul should spur us on:

“There is, to be sure, a certain wisdom which we express among the spiritually mature. It is not a wisdom of this age, however, nor of the rulers of this age, who are men headed for destruction. No, what we utter is God’s wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew the mystery; if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory (Jesus). Of this wisdom it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.'” 1 Corinthians 2, 6-9

All humans who take the time to honestly reflect on the meaning and purpose of life, come to the conclusion that there is much greater purpose here than meets the eye. We can sense it in the beauty and order we see all around us, and we can hear it whisper over and over to our minds, “There is hidden gold underlying life everywhere–search for it!” The gold that we find here will ultimately result in what is described beautifully in the last sentence of the above scripture quote from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 2. This is the heaven that awaits all believers at death. This potentially includes all of you reading this article. Yes, it has not even dawned on man or even entered his imagination, the awesome eternity that God has prepared for us who love him and want it. This is because we will all be immersed forever in God’s majesty, purity, glory, perfection, holiness, and in his immense love for us. He will be generously sharing his supernatural being and life with us, that is why we can’t even imagine it. He lives in a completely different plane than we do in our earthly realm, both transcending it and at the same time sustaining its very existence by his mighty power.

And we don’t have to pay to enter heaven either, like we must do to get much of anything of value here on this earth. Our only “payment”, so to speak, is to seek God your Creator with all your heart, confess your sins to him, and submit to his kingship over you. When you find him, he will not be a stranger to you, for he is our Father and we his offspring. It will actually be a homecoming! I myself received an awesome downpayment on heaven when I earnestly sought God and was filled with his Holy Spirit way back in May of 1974. His Holy Spirit has been within me, empowering and leading me every day since then. It felt like I was on ‘cloud 9’ for seven months after this experience, often experiencing times of euphoria and bliss. I encourage all of you reading this to seek God for yourselves like I did. True wisdom tells us to willingly and joyfully do this, and that experiencing God himself for eternity is the true goal of life.

I will leave you with a final quote that accurately describes what I have experienced throughout my life since that glorious day in 1974. I sincerely wanted to know what life was all about back then, and it has been an astounding journey for me to be led on a grand tour of the very fabric of life ever since. I am surprised by something new practically every day. Meditate on the following scripture and seek to absorb its message into your very being and life. You will not be disappointed!

“Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit. The Spirit scrutinizes all matters, even the deep things of God. Who, for example, knows a man’s innermost self but the man’s own spirit within him. Similarly, no one knows what lies at the depths of God but the Spirit of God. The Spirit we have received is not the world’s spirit but God’s Spirit, helping us to recognize the gifts he has given us. We speak of these, not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms. The natural man does not accept what is taught by the Spirit of God. For him, that is absurdity. He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way.” 1 Corinthians 2, 10-14

Rise above the natural man within you, seek and find God, and become truly wise and heaven bound.

The Truth Bows Down to No Man

Red Mtn summit, LeConte Divide, CA

September 3, 2021

We live in a world where it seems as if everything is temporary and nothing lasts forever. Here, all efforts eventually prove to be futile, accomplishments fade away, fame is both fleeting and fickle, and pleasures are momentary and in need of being renewed again and again. What do we even gain by living life here on earth anyway? As we age, we can more and more clearly see that the only destiny that our lifelong efforts are leading to is, gasp–death! And not only that, but all of our possessions will go to others who take our place in life, and all our accomplishments are destined to be eclipsed and smothered over by others producing new and better ones. After enough time passes, virtually no one even thinks about us or remembers that we were ever alive. All of this might lead you to wonder, “Is anything lasting ever accomplished on earth?” And if it isn’t, then why work so hard for absolutely nothing, except, of course, to end up in a graveyard somewhere and eventually be forgotten. It all sounds rather bleak and depressing to me.

This kind of personal assessment of life can lead one to give up trying to accomplish things in life that never last and, instead, try to eke out as much pleasure from life as it will grudgingly give us while we are here. This is the route that many people in America today are pursuing, but who are ultimately finding out that such an embrace and acceptance of meaninglessness leads to depression, fear and hopelessness. It’s hard to be truly happy living with such a mindset. No wonder suicide is presently a leading cause of death in the United States. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) gives us these startling statistics for 2019:

–Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,500 people

–Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44

–There were nearly two and a half times as many suicides (47,511) in the United States as there were homicides (19,141)

Is there anything powerful enough on earth to rescue us from this plague of futility and hopelessness? Yes, and it is called “Truth”. It is not found in our vast universe somewhere, nor in any scientific discoveries, nor in any of the physical elements, nor in any of the myriad of lifeforms which inhabit the earth or have ever inhabited the earth. These are all subject to destruction and death, as science will eagerly explain to you. Everything is recycled, nothing lasts.

Only Truth has the power to take us beyond this world to an unseen one which is full of hope. This unseen world never ends, and is full of peace, love and companionship in a bliss filled existence. Just taking the time to examine earthly life with its order, its physical laws, its purposefulness, its beauty and its vastness, gives us a glimpse of the nature of its Creator–God himself! It is easy to see that the earth didn’t just happen on its own, nor did we humans randomly appear because of a lucky combination of chance cosmic conditions, as some say. No, humans are completely unlike and distinct from the ordered but mindless physical processes which flawlessly follow every physical law that we see governing the behavior of matter. No part of matter has any awareness of what is happening, and no choices as it goes about obeying all of the laws of physics. It is only in that which is living do we see such awareness and power of choice, especially in every human being. But, even in the saucy behaviors of lowly squirrels, or in our need to discipline and train pets such as dogs and cats, do we see that living creatures are free of the absolute slavery of matter to the laws that govern it. Matter must obey all physical laws, that is why science is such a dependable servant for us, and so reliable if we diligently take the time to learn about and properly use the laws that dictate matter’s behavior. Conversely, all life forms that we can study on earth point to the existence of another plane, another whole world besides the physical. It is from that plane that we learn that life on earth is not really futile and pointless at all, as it might seem at first. Scripture clearly teaches us this truth:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the irreligious and perverse spirit of men who, in this perversity of theirs, hinder the truth. In fact, whatever can be known about God is clear to them; he himself made it so. Since the creation of the world, invisible realities, God’s eternal power and divinity, have become visible, recognized through the things he has made. Therefore, these men are inexcusable. They certainly had knowledge of God, yet they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks; they stultified themselves through speculation to no purpose, and their senseless hearts were darkened. They claimed to be wise, but turned into fools instead; they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images representing mortal man, birds, beasts, and snakes.” Romans 1, 18-23

As many today casually toss out the faith in God that was taught to them, or even deny his existence, we in America are also inexcusable, as we ban God from our schools and increasingly turn to evil pleasures and the love of things which we know will never last. Yet, many revel in these futile efforts and teach others to do the same. In doing so we are inviting death to ourselves, for that is the only destiny which clinging to the world as our god will ever bring to us. Here is where the power of Truth and its very nature comes into play. The Truth bows down to no man on earth because it constitutes reality, and reality will never change simply because people declare that it is not real. They may not like it or want it, but declaring that it doesn’t exist has no effect on its existence. The truth is that God created this world to test men by giving them a clear choice to embrace good or embrace evil. That is plain for all to see, and no one can reasonably deny it. We can choose to follow either self or to follow God. Scripture points out the destiny of those who willingly choose sin and self as their masters on earth:

“Do you not know that God’s kindness is an invitation to you to repent? In spite of this, your hard and impenitent heart is storing up retribution for that day of wrath when the just judgment of God will be revealed, when he will repay every man for what he has done: eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing right; wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.” Romans 2, 4-8

Life on earth may appear futile and meaningless until we begin to humble ourselves and acknowledge the God who conceived it in thought and then spoke it into existence. It is only when men finally realize that they are children of God and actually his offspring, do they realize that they are not of this earth, nor created by it. Of all the living creatures here, only humans are given awareness, freedom, and the power to dominate and subdue the earth, and have authority and power over all the animals. And all men have also been given authority over themselves, and they can use that authority to reject God, reject his authority over them, and reject repentance for their sins. What they cannot reject, however, are the eternal consequences for those rejections that I just mentioned. Those consequences are part of the Truth or reality that they must eventually face, and that truth does not bow down to any man who declares that those consequences don’t exist.

But know that God has made mankind for a far better destiny, one which includes eternal bliss and happiness in heaven forever. Jesus Christ came to earth to save sinners and make a way for forgiveness by placing their faith in him, turning away from their sins, and asking for mercy. Read and heed his following assurances and give to yourself his gift of eternal life:

“I solemnly assure you, the man who hears my word and has faith in him (the Father) who sent me possesses eternal life. He does not come under condemnation, but has passed from death to life.” John 5, 24

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you, and then I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be.” John 14, 1-3

“Jesus told him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me,” John 14, 6

“Prayer of this kind is good, and God our savior is pleased with it, for he wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth. And the truth is this: ‘God is one. One also is the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.’ ” 1 Timothy 2, 3-6

Yes, our eternal destiny lies in our own hands–use that God given power wisely!

It is in Giving that we Receive

Christmas Gifts; Fresno, California

August 21, 2021

Earthly life is a model for us to help prepare ourselves for heaven. Heaven is a community of believers who live in harmony with one another, and who are existing in the presence of and, indeed, within the very life force of God himself. We will all exist within him as he shares with us the very essence of his supernatural being. In order for us to do that, we must all be made holy like him. Part of that becoming like him takes place while we live here on earth. When our lives here end and we get to the gates of heaven, he will do the rest. No one can enter without being pure and holy like he is. Since, in this heavenly relationship, we receive continual love and caring from not only God, but also from each other, we must learn to give it as well as receive it on this earth. If no one gave then no one would receive. That is the primary lesson that we must learn, embrace, and practice here on earth, no matter how hard it might initially be for us. In heaven, love and caring and sharing lives with one another exists in a continual eternal flow, powered by Almighty God himself. This is the bliss that we call heaven. Everyone counts, everyone is included, everyone is worthy, everyone is valued, and everyone is loved. God makes it this way because we are his people and he is our God for eternity. Our ultimate goal on earth is to reach out, work toward, and eventually end up in this eternal and holy community.

We all want to be loved and valued on earth, but that can’t happen unless others are willing to lavish it on us. But, true love is always an exchange, not a one-way street. That means that he or she who wants to receive love and caring from others must also give them the same back. That is the hard part that we must learn to do on earth. We must learn to love even those who are hard to love, those who don’t give much in return, or who even reject our love. To be able to do that is evidence of God’s presence and graces within us. Without God in our lives we are simply unable to give as we should.

Giving and loving and serving is the very hallmark of Christianity. These acts not only show that you are truly sons of God, but you will also receive greatly in return. In Luke’s gospel, Chapter 6, Jesus expresses this very clearly:

“To you who hear me, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you.” Verses 27-28

“Do to others what you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, how can you claim any credit? Sinners do as much. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what merit is there in it for you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.” Verses 31-34

Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment. For the measure you measure with will be measured back to you.” Verse 38.

In our world today, this process of learning to give is being upended, thwarted, and stunted by a powerfully addictive new philosophy sweeping across America. It pits itself directly against the message in the title of this article and twists it into its exact opposite: “It is in taking that we receive”. I can guarantee you that the author of this new self-centered philosophy is none other than Satan himself along with his hoards of followers. That’s what makes it so diabolical, deadly, and hard to stop, because it is not just humans promoting it on their own. This very orientation and philosophy is what got them all ejected from heaven long ago. Opposites like this are a sign of the Devil’s presence, because along with refusing to subject himself to God’s will and authority over him, he has also pitted himself against all that God is and stands for. He is beside himself with an unrelenting fury and rage at God for casting him out of heaven, and in retaliation and vindictiveness takes opposite positions to all that God says and does. And he delights in taking special aim at all of God’s followers and believers–especially Christians! Beware!

The Devil and his demon followers are all for themselves and selfishness, and teach all humans who will listen to be the same. They promote selfish living, thinking and actions as everyone’s right, and then teach them to accuse all those who oppose them as being evil and non-inclusive haters. The Devil teaches his people on earth that they should think of themselves and their ideas as better and holier than others’ ideas, and that they must continually fight against all who oppose them. That’s exactly the way hell is and why there is never ending conflict there–all are continually fighting for dominance and control, and any semblance or appearance of order and cooperation is maintained by forced obedience through intimidation and beatings. The dominant ones fight for leadership and then fight to remain there. The very strongest dominate the others. Each one keeps his position until a stronger one comes along and batters him out of the way. This is the ultimate result of the philosophy that it is only in taking that anyone will ever get anything. But as the previous scriptures declare, it is actually in giving of yourself to others that not only paves the way for you yourself to receive here on earth, but especially in eternity. St. Francis’s well known prayer eloquently states this:

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love,

Where there is injury, pardon,

Where there is doubt, faith,

Where there is despair, hope,

Where there is darkness, light,

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may

Not so much seek to be consoled as to console,

To be understood, as to understand,

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

And it is in dying that we are born

To eternal life.


As we can easily see the evidence every day in America, the acts of taking and demanding destroy relationships, tear families apart, disrupt communities, rob us of safety, and have the potential to unleash an undercurrent of turmoil that will destroy the peaceful America that we once knew. The remedy is to go back to one nation under God, back to the good of all, and back to self-control and self-sacrifice. We must all reject this selfish “My way, my life, my gain, and my right” doctrine, which pits itself against all who disagree. And on top of this, this philosophy relentlessly demands respect, acceptance, and ‘inclusion’ from the human family, no matter how sordid, sinful, and destructive its beliefs, behaviors, and lifestyles are. We must have the courage to oppose and reject the evil that these often ignorant individuals have immersed themselves in, no matter how much ridicule and condemnation that we might receive in return. They will call us haters and evil, and you must prepare yourself to withstand it. Ally yourself with God, with godly people, with the Bible, with the truth, and speak out. That is the only way you will be able to help stem this great tide of evil! The battle for America has begun in earnest–arm yourself and don’t be caught flat footed. Our hope for victory is in God only, cling to him.

United we Stand, Divided we Fall

Saguaro Cacti; Saguaro National Park; Arizona

August 7, 2021

At the time of my writing this article, America is in the throes of a major division. We are divided ideologically, which is the most difficult type of division to attempt to bridge and recover from. We are essentially divided into two main camps–Liberals and Conservatives, or more specifically at the present, Democrats and Republicans. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, your allegiance is often intensely personal and defines your very identity as a human being. Thus, in this circumstance, when your beliefs are attacked, it is not much different than attacking the very validity of what makes you you, and calling into question your very reason for being here on earth. This leads to the intense battles and fights we see today between politicians, scientists, and individual citizens. Our very identities and what we stand for in life are at stake, and you see people willing to fight to the death to defend their form of truth. Our nation is being torn apart, and the very fabric of society which keeps us united is beginning to rip apart. I see our times as that imperiled! We need to identify the very root of our problems if we are to make any real progress.

The title of this article comes from the last public speech that Patrick Henry gave in March of 1799. Yes, this is the same Patrick Henry who uttered his famous fighting words, “Give me liberty or give me death” on March 23, 1775, which became a prelude to the Revolutionary War. In his 1799 speech he said, “Let us trust in God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.” This major battle in which people are engaged in America today that I’ve generally described as liberal vs. conservative, whether they know it or not, is just a surface manifestation of an underlying conflict that has been with us since the dawn of time. It has many names besides liberal vs. conservative and is fundamental to life: Good vs. evil; the eternal vs. worldly; selflessness vs. selfishness; humbling self vs. praising self; seeking heavenly treasures vs. worldly treasures; righteousness vs. being self-righteous; true wisdom vs. the world’s wisdom; reality vs. fantasy; and faith in God vs. faith in man. There are many more pairings that I could cite, but I’m sure that you get the picture.

Our current conflict in America brings out into the open the vast divide that separates us and defines the two opposing positions very clearly. One camp tends to believe that the world is all that there is to reality, denies the existence of God and the spiritual world, and fights to the death in pursuit of all that the world has to offer. The opposing camp sees that the world is merely temporary, that it was conceived and created by God for the purpose of testing us, and that our main goal is not worldly, but rather that we are working towards spending eternity with God in bliss in heaven forever. This camp knows that the world and the whole universe will eventually be destroyed by God and be no more. Only the spiritual world will remain. As you can see, these two camps of belief have little in common, and are bitterly opposed to each other.

Going back to Patrick Henry’s 1799 speech, he says,”Let us trust in God, and our better judgment…….”. This is the key to why our nation attracts millions of people from all over the world every year who want to become Americans–because we were founded on trust and faith in God. This brought the presence of God to dwell with America from the very beginning, who taught her what real freedom is, brought her the truth of what life is all about, and who inspired the creation of a just governmental system and constitution that is the best in the world. America was not created by humans, but by God. That’s why all our money has printed on it ‘In God we Trust’. Check it out and you will find this motto on every denomination of our paper currency and on every coin, even the lowly penny. God is the foundation that makes America great and keeps America great. I can’t emphasis this too much! Every American needs to realize this, as well as every nation on earth that wonders why America has been so successful, prosperous, and blessed. America’s strength lies solidly in her faith in God and her people’s efforts to learn about and obey his will. If we let his presence slip away from us, we will effectively have sown the seeds of our own destruction! No one in America should want this or allow this. Without being truly united with God we will inevitably fall. We began our present conflict in earnest when we banned teaching about God in our schools, calling it the separation of church and state, and largely abandoned the morality of holiness and purity of character as taught to us in the Bible. This conflict has now come out into the open, and it is critical that we side with God over man, and God’s goodness over man’s goodness. That is our only hope!

We have to give up our seeming embarrassment of publicly proclaiming and obeying God, and making known his status of being Lord of our nation and of ourselves. We need to have the courage to put God back into politics, back into our schools, and back into our public lives. Scripture teaches us about God’s gift of Jesus Christ to the world:

“At this they said to him,’What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus replied: ‘This is the work of God: Have faith in the One whom he sent (Jesus).'” John 6, 28-29

“Jesus explained to them: ‘I myself am the bread of life. No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in me shall ever thirst.'” John 6, 35

“Indeed, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son (Jesus) and believes in him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day.” John 6, 40

Do you fear offending the world and being exposed to its ridicule by publicly declaring that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior? Are a majority of the believers in America in the ranks of ‘closet Christians’? I fear that that’s the case. This must stop if we are to have any hope of uniting America. Be bold, take your stand publicly, and be part of the solution!

And know that we are in times that closely resemble the Last Days, if we are not actually in the Last Days. In those days the Devil will come out of hiding and try to seduce away from God as many people on earth as possible. In this battle, both the godless and those who merely give God lip service while advocating for man’s way and evil rebellion, will be on one side–inspired and empowered by Satan and his demon followers. Satan is a master at sowing conflict, discord, and division, which pits people against each other. Whenever he’s involved like this with people, the self tends to take over one’s life, fueled by self-righteous anger. Eventually the whole group finds itself in a constant battle fighting each other that seems to never end. There are no solutions, only conflict. This is exactly what it is like in hell. Beware! In contrast, on the other side will be God fearing people who place their lives in his care, who are empowered by his goodness within, and whose lives are marked by love of God and love of their fellow men. On God’s side you tend to see the development of peace, virtue, cooperation, safety, love, joy, and stability. This is a lot like how life is lived in heaven. There are only two sides, and America must align herself publicly with God and good if she is to survive.

If you happen to find yourself on the wrong side of this epic battle in ignorance, know that you can realign yourself with Truth and God at any time–all that it takes is courage and conviction. If you don’t possess that level of courage, then pray fervently for it, and God will give it to you. Don’t forget, God desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth. Don’t delay, make your commitment today before it is too late!