Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: VI & VII

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.

Chapter VI

Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel. [Isaiah 45:15 NIV]

It is also in accordance to religious traditions that our Heavenly Father had to remove Himself from this world after sin entered into it. The premise for this is that He is too holy and righteous to be in the presence of sin.

Yes, that naturally makes a whole lot of sense. For who from amongst us does not really mind being around someone who almost always does what is absolutely disgusting to them if they do not have to for some reason or another?

There is even Scripture that appears support this[1]. For it is written: The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous. [Proverbs 15:29 NIV]

Along with: Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. [Isaiah 59:1-2 NIV]

As well as: Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. [Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV]

On the other hand, in order for it to be true that our Heavenly Father had to remove Himself from this world after sin entering into it, then it could not be true that He is always-present. So, could it not be that He has been merely partially hiding Himself from our sight[2]? For it is written: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. [Psalms 139:7-12 NIV]

Besides, if it was possible for Satan to enter into our Heavenly Father’s very presence, even while He sat upon His throne in His Kingdom of Heaven, how could it be impossible for Him to be in the presence of sin? For who could be more of an abomination in His sight than the devil himself[3]?

If you are not familiar with the account, check this out: One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. [Job 1:6-12 NIV]

As if that was not enough[4], it happened again: On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. [Job 2:1-7 NIV]

Yes, it is argued that the Old Testament Book of Job is actually nothing more than a parable instead of a true account of something that really happened[5], but what about when Satan tempted Christ Jesus in the wilderness? For it is written: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. [Matthew 4:1-11 NIV]

Of course, it could always be argued that when Satan tempted Him, Christ Jesus was merely a man—not so unlike we naturally are, but who in their right-mind would want to believe that this is indeed true[6]? For it is written: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” [John 14:15-20 NIV]

{1}2 Timothy 3:16-17; {2}Romans 1:18-20; {3}Exekiel 28:11-19; {4}Romans 15:4; {5}2 Peter 1:20-2:3; {6}Matthew 8:23-27.

Chapter VII
And Go Seek

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” [Matthew 7:7-11 NIV]

It is quite natural to think of other things, but be assured that the greatest gift that our Heavenly Father has to offer is knowledge and understanding of Himself. For it is written: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” [Matthew 6:19-34 NIV]

No, this is not to discount the immeasureable value of the gift of eternal life[1], but the point that keeps getting missed at best, and ignored at worst[2], is the very close and personal relationship that we were all created to have with our Heavenly Father. For it is written: For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. [Hebrews 5:12-6:3 NAS]

Yes, it is true that what we can have in this world is just a foretaste of what it will be like in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom of Heaven[3], but if it is indeed true that His Holy Spirit truly lives within the hearts and minds of His children by faith, how can we not have so much more than what most have been led to believe[4]? For it is written: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselfes, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now, we know Him thus no longer. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2 Corinthians 5:14-17 NAS]

Although it is really nothing new[5], a lot has been made of seekers lately. In fact, many churches now advertise that they are “seeker-friendly.”

Oh yes, it sounds so very exciting—especially to those who hope to see a great revival sweep across this troubled land[6], but the trouble with far too many “seekers” is that this is who they are. For it is written: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. [James 1:5-8 NIV]

In other words, “seekers” seek, and far too many of them do not have any expectations of ever finding anything. For if they did, they would no longer be “seekers,” and it is in this respect that they are actually nothing more than doubters.

Alas, that sounded so very harsh and unrighteous[7], but it still needed to be said. For it is written: First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. [2 Peter 3:3-18 NIV]

Yes, it would be different if our Heavenly Father was really hard to find, but He is not. For it is written: “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations.” [Isaiah 65:1-2 NIV]

Be assured that 2 Peter 3:3-18 speaks as much to the other side of the seeker coin as it does to those who refuse to “find” our Heavenly Father. For far too many in the Christian community are content with what they think they already have[8].

Furthermore, many “Christian” leaders have made a very good living out of encouraging the members of their congregations to be content with what they have. For it is written: But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. [2 Timothy 3:1-7 NAS]

No, this is not to deny that when you have Christ Jesus that you have it all. MAY IT NEVER BE!!! For as it was with the Apostle Paul, so is it also with me—even now in this day and age of post-modern sophistication. For it is written: My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. [Colossians 2:2-4 NIV]

It is just that far too many in the Christian community have any idea what it really means to truly be in Christ. Do you[9]?

{1}Ephesians 2:8-10}; {2}1 Timothy 1:5-11; {3}1 Corinthians 13:9-10; {4}2 Corinthians 1:21-22; {5}Ecclesiastes 1:9-11; {6}2 Chronicles 7:14; {7}James 2:12-13; {8}1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13; {9}Hebrews 12:6.


  1. Learning and teaching are very important. However, living it is the true importance.

    To try our best each day to look upon man, woman, no matter race,creed,color, friend or foe with truly a hard thing to do.

    But, this is how our Lord walked upon this earth. He did detest the hypocritical Pharisees of the day.

    But, to all others he showed much kindness, love, understanding and forgiveness.

    If this were not so then none of us would be Christians. For we are the children of the Pagans...not descendants of God's chosen people.

    Judgment is his...Judge carefully lest yea be judged by the measure of your judgment.

    Wonderful post full of many passages. I happen to think that the story about Job is 100% true.

    I think perhaps most prophets and people blessed with special gifts from God do go through their very own fire.

    Once tempered to His needs then they are blessed indeed!!


  2. Shinade did make some good points. as always Jerry I do enjoy your posts, hope to get the strength to go through it all(looks interesting) have been very stressed for some time now but I can see where you are finally

    God bless

  3. No, my dear Jackie, we are not given a choice of who we are physically born into this world as, but if it is indeed true that we are all created to be our Heavenly Father's children by faith, are we not all then children of His chosen people--regardless of whether race, creed, color, friend or foe? Granted, the convenent was first made with Abraham and his descendents through Isaac, but all who truly want to be His are added to their number. Therefore, should we not want to be all that we can truly be in Him--even now in this world?

    Now, if none of this has any effect upon someone, they have nothing to be concerned about. For they are being all that they can be in Him, which includes even those who literally become violently ill at the mere mention of His name, but there will come a time when He will call them by name before their time as a part of this world comes to an end. It will be at that time when our Heavenly Father will start revealing Himself to them, and this is not the same for all. For it all depends upon what He wants to accomplish in and through someone that determines when, and to what extent, He will allow and enable them to enter into His absolute Truth.

    Subsequently, not all will be judged upon the same things. For what I may be held accountable for may not be the same as what you are, but be assured that no one will be able to honestly say that they did not fully understand everything that He wanted them to, come Judgment Day.

    Tragically, everything that I have been given to say should be piercing the hearts of a very great many for various reasons, but they would rather withstand the pain than humble themselves before the One who created them to be His own. For they consider abandoning their own beliefs to be a fate worse than death, and the hope that I have been given is that they will come to their senses before they find out just how wrong they are.

    Simply put, what I have been given to say is for all whom our Heavenly Father has already been dealing with, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, at this time, but the hardness of far too many hearts is exceedingly great. Proof of this can be found in the lack of responses to this book so far. For even the hearing of an opposing voice would be better than silence. Alas, is this not the epitome of lukewarmness?

    I am most grateful to hear from you, my dear Jackie. I hope you will carefully consider what has been posted so far from the beginning, and hang in there until the very end.

    Please do not hesistate to speak when you have a problem with something. For our Heavenly Father likes to allow me to say really stupid things at times just to keep me more humble. Needless to say, I do not like that at all.

  4. You know how much I love you, my dear Hannah IJ. So, please talk to me when you can. I can tell you that not all of your distress is of your making.


Since the Blogger spam filter has been found sorely lacking lately, I will start moderating comments. Be assured that I am only interested in deleting spam. So, if you feel a need to take me to task over something—even anonymously, go ahead and let 'er rip, and I will publish it as soon as I can.