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  1. In a question answer form I am giving the answer 'If Jesus is Almighty God, why did He fear dying and was so stressed that He sweated blood the night before?' Answer Swami replied:- Jesus is a human incarnation of the Father of heaven in whom the unimaginable God is existing in merged state. The human incarnation is a single face resulting by the merge of two components:- 1) The God component and 2) The human being component. When current enters the metallic wire, the properties of wire (like the colour of metal, leanness as wire etc.,) are not at all disturbed. The wire attains the property of current as additional property, which is giving shock when touched.This new property of the current attained by the wire also does not disturb the normal properties of the wire. Jesus, a devoted human being, is selected by God to undergo the suffering of sins of deserving devotees of God. It is the love of God to undergo suffering for the punishments of His beloved devotees standing in climax of devotion. Emmanuel is the word that means God came down to save His people and not to save all the people. The interpretation that God came to save all the people is not correct, but, it is useful to convert everybody into devotee of God through sympathy by saying so as per the Arthavaada (Arthavaada is a lie used to do some good work and such lie is not wrong.). Hence, the soul, called as Jesus, was selected by God for this purpose because of its divine virtues like kindness, patience etc. The soul was also willing to do this work of God and hence, such good soul is selected by God. But, when this good soul is associated with a human body, the soul develops some sort of attachment to the body due to the virtue of friendship. This association became naturally strong in the case of Jesus, in course of a long time of life for more than 30 years. Due to this long association, the soul is superimposed on the body due to excess of love to the body. You can find such superimposition in strong love of a boy and girl since each one feels that he/she is the same as the other partner! This is the nature of human soul even though it is merged with the God, who is non-interfering with the personal qualities of the soul. If you go to the house of your friend and stay for a few days for your personal work in that city, you will mind your work without interfering with discussions between your friend and his wife! Due to this freedom of soul, the association of body imparts tremendous love on the soul to such extent, in which the soul feels that it is the body. By this, the suffering of body is experienced by the soul. The expected suffering of the punishments of the devoted souls by Him was viewed by Jesus as tremendous one. Hence, He suffered a lot to say that He sweated blood. Sweating blood explains the intensity of suffering as a figure speech and need not be taken as reality. The next day suffering is going to be so high that even Jesus prayed to avoid the punishment, if possible. But, He immediately remembered His acceptance already given to God and told God that let the punishment take place since it is the will of God. Even after crucifixion, He cried with thirst based on the human nature and questioned God for leaving Him so. Actually God didn’t leave Him, who is also equally experiencing that suffering being merged with Jesus through the Father of heaven. Due to this homogenous and perfect merge only, we call the human incarnation (God in human form) itself as the ultimate God. In fact, God is appearing through the human form and is the master of the soul as well as the human body. God takes the place of the soul and the soul is degraded to the level (phase) of the body. Hence, the ultimate suffering is experienced by the ultimate God through Father of heaven and Jesus. Even then, the media of unimaginable God (Father of heaven as first energetic body and Jesus as human body) also undergoes suffering in the service of God. Jesus, Father of heaven and the ultimate unimaginable God are three, who underwent the suffering and this is the meaning of the statement of Jesus, who told that He will resurrect the body in three days. This is also the meaning of the word Aatreya in the name Dattaatreya. Aatreya means not three, but, one since al the three merged perfectly to become one. Every human soul tries to become God seeing the status and fame of human incarnation having miraculous powers. If the actual suffering of the human incarnation for the sake of its devotees is realized, people will run away from such monism with fastest speed! Hence, in reality, it is not the fruit of the effort of the soul, but, it is the duty assigned to the servant by God. Once, a devotee came to Shri Satya Sai Baba and asked Him to transfer His state to him. Immediately, Baba agreed and gave His state to the devotee, by keeping His hand on the head of the devotee. Then, the devotee heard thousands of cries asking Baba for help in the difficulties. Even by hearing so many cries, the devotee felt as if his head is breaking into million pieces! The poor devotee doesn’t know the later state in which the devotee becomes God through human incarnation and undergoes the suffering of all those, who cried for help!! Had he known this subsequent fact also, he would have become mad. This is the reason why Paramahamsa said that He would like to be an ant biting the sugar and not to be the sugar itself to be bitten by the devotee-ants! www.universal-spirituality[.]org Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  2. THE WAY TO DETERMINE THE AUTHENTICITY OF SCRIPTURES OF VARIOUS RELIGIONS One should never ever accept any scripture of any religion blindly without prefect logical analysis of the statements. God is the most genius and He never say anything illogical. If any part is illogical be sure that it is an insertion. Now how to proceed in this very important aspect. The following procedure shall be used to detect illogical statements in any scripture of any religion. The scripture itself says that you should analyze every statement of the scripture through scientific analysis. This does not mean that the scripture doubts about its own genuine value. The idea of the suggestion of analysis by the scripture itself is to test its every statement to ensure that it is said by God (Knowledge wise) and not inserted by some wrong scholar. Reserve Bank asks every bank to test every note of the bundle to ensure that all notes belong to Reserve Bank only. For this purpose, every note must be checked. If a note is found to be genuine note printed by Reserve Bank, the Reserve Bank should not feel that it is insulted because even the genuine note printed by it is tested! Once we found the note to be genuine, we will not test that genuine note again and again doubting the Reserve Bank itself. We know that the Reserve Bank will not print a fake note and that God will not say illogical knowledge to sages. A preliminary and final test of each note is essential to find whether the note is genuine or fake. If you get the bundle of notes directly from the press of Reserve Bank, there is no need of test. But, since the notes printed by Reserve Bank have gone in to market facing rotation for a long time, we cannot believe that every note is genuine and should not be tested by analysis. Similarly, we have not received the scripture straight from the devoted sages. The scripture given by God to sages and subsequently delivered by sages did not come to us straight from the mouths of sages. Long time has gone before we received the scripture delivered by sages. In this long time, so many insertions might have entered the scripture. The printing technology did not exist during this long period so that we can say that the scripture delivered by sages was immediately printed and no insertions could take place. Even if it is orally preserved through recitations from generation to generation, we cannot rule out totally the possibility of insertions. If the scripture is totally genuine without any insertion, it will pass out through the test of analysis like Sita passing out the test of fire. Why should you fear for the test if it is genuine? After passing through the test of analysis, nobody will dare to say that the scripture is believed blindly by the conservative followers. This unnecessary blame on the scripture as well as on the followers can be avoided by the test. Such test will reinforce the faith in every follower especially in the absence of doubts and blames. Even the scripture like the Gita told by the human incarnations, has equal possibility of insertions and hence analysis was recommended by the Gita itself as the last word. Scripture of no religion is an exception of this concept. God is omniscient and will never say any illogical or unjust statement. He is certainly beyond the logic, which doesn’t mean that He is on the side of wrong logic. Whenever a controversial concept appears in the scripture, first we shall try to give a right interpretation for the same verse based on benefit of doubt (This mean that we approach positively in the beginning that this is a genuine verse and then try to interpret it in right direction.). If right interpretation is not possible in any angle, be sure, such verse is an insertion done by ignorant or over intelligent-egoistic-selfish people Even the Veda (vedaanta vijnaana, sunishchitaarthaah) and the Gita (vimrushyaitat...) say that you shall accept their statements only after doing perfect analysis to get the right conclusion. You must take these statements also as authority if you take the Veda and the Gita as authority. Why is God asking us to analyze His own statements before accepting them? The reason is that God knows very well that in the future some fraud followers of the religion will insert their opinions into the text of the scripture. You must analyze every statement of the scripture thinking it as genuine based on the concept of giving benefit of doubt. If right interpretation comes in any angle, you can refute the wrong interpretation taken from it. If no right interpretation comes in any angle for the statement, you must reject it saying that God will never speak illogical and unjust concepts and such statement is only insertion by some false follower. You must never accept the forced unjust and illogical interpretation of the statement believing blindly that it is told by God. After all, there is no audio-video cassette taken while God is speaking! The omnipotent God can eliminate the people adulterating the scripture by directly appearing to human beings. He is doing the same by appearing as human incarnation. People are adulterating the scripture with some selfish motives. It is the responsibility of the human being to analyze the scripture and find out the illogical and unjust portions, which are not said by God. God has given very sharp intelligence to the human beings. If the intelligence is not used, it will corrode due to lack of work. God does not want us to follow Him like inert robots because certain insertions are introduced in the scripture in His name. God allowed the insertions so that we will use our intelligence and analyze to eliminate those insertions. Even the Veda says that we shall analyze the Vedic statements before coming to conclusions. Such exercise of intelligence on the subject gives perfect satisfaction in believing the truth. Arjuna got confirmation that Krishna is God through cosmic vision and was fully ready to do whatever Krishna says. Still, at the end of the Gita, Krishna said that Arjuna must use his intelligence and analyze the entire Gita before following it. Whether it is religion or science, one can find the truth only through reasoning, which involves sharp and deep analysis. Scripture is also not an exception for such analysis because we cannot be sure whether the scripture is a genuine version or an adulterated version with insertions made by ignorant people in the course of time. During the process of reasoning, we can distinguish between the genuine concepts and the adulterated concepts. Even divine preachers did the same in writing commentaries on the scriptures. The commentaries varied in their conclusions due to such adulteration of the original text. Due to this reason, we often find mutually contradicting concepts within the same scripture. You should understand the path of these divine preachers, who wrote commentaries on the scriptures. The path is that you should not accept anything without deep and sharp analysis. People, who dislike the questioning of scripture, should answer why there is a difference in the commentaries written on the same scripture. Importance of Logical Analysis There is a reason why I explained this concept on the basis of logic. The powerful logic behind the concept itself is the strongest scriptural authority. When such strong logic exists, no separate theoretical quotation from the scripture is needed. If strong logic to support a concept is absent and it is only supported by quoting the scripture, it must be rejected. If it is not logical, it should be treated as some insertion in the scripture. Such inserted wrong concepts should be rejected. There is no need to feel sorry about calling such an insertion in the scripture as an insertion. In fact, knowingly treating a wrong insertion in the scripture to be genuine is very bad. It is said that if you are bitten on your finger by a snake, you should immediately cut off the finger without any foolish attachment towards it or else the poison will spread all over your body and kill you (Aṅgulīvoragakṣatā). A certain concept from a genuine scripture like the Veda or Gita might be accepted by others to be genuine. But if it is proved to be wrong upon analysis, it must be rejected. One must leave foolish and blind attachment towards the scripture in favor of the truth. Logical analysis is greater than the scripture. Please do not think that I am criticizing the divine scripture by lowering its value. I have to say this because your blind fascination for the scripture, setting aside logical analysis, must be condemned. I am not criticizing the divine scripture. The wrong concept is not genuinely part of the genuine scripture. It is only an insertion made by an ignorant person who wants his wrong concept to be accepted by people like you. He inserted it in a genuine scripture so that people will accept it without question. He is exploiting the position of sacredness given to the divine scripture. You must realize one basic point: How can God, the author of the divine scripture speak such illogical wrong concepts? Such wrong and illogical concepts were definitely not told by Him! This one point makes logical analysis occupy a higher place than the scripture. The logical analysis reveals what is actually spoken by God and what is inserted by ignorant or crooked people in the scripture. The purpose of giving this entire background is to emphasize the point that a concept supported by sharp logical analysis itself is the scripture. Whether such a concept is found in the divine scripture or not is not important. In any case, there is always the possibility of insertions and corruption of any scripture, so accepting any statement from the scripture without analysis is foolish. Sun, the first student of the God, fell towards North, Elder scholars praise this as precious time henceforth, The sense lights become dim, if even precious lives sink, Hurry, clear all your doubts as loans now and then think. What is scripture? Scripture is defined as the word of God, which is the knowledge given by God for the sake of welfare of humanity. All agree to this. But, to give word, which is preaching of knowledge, God must have mouth and throat. We have established that God is unimaginable because the substance with which God is made and the original form in which God exists are unimaginable. In such case, how can you say that God has told this or that? Even the Veda, believed as the composed scripture by God, mentions the names of sages as the composers (Rushi) of each part. This clearly shows that the sages have composed the Vedas. Lord Buddha, one of the human incarnations, also told that the Vedas are composed by human beings (devoted sages) only and hence the Vedas are called as ‘Paurusheyas’. All this is perfectly correct as one side of the concept. The other side of this topic is to believe the Vedas as scriptures composed by God and hence the Vedas are called as ‘Apaurusheyas’. There is a controversy between Buddha and Hindu tradition in this point. Instead of bringing controversy up and to conclude that Buddha and Hindu tradition differ with each other, it is always better to show the correlation between these two opposing views. The correlation is that God revealed this knowledge called the Veda to the devoted sages and these devoted sages expressed that divine knowledge in their own statements. The composer of knowledge is God and the composer of the statement expressing that knowledge is the devoted sage. In the angle of God, the Veda is Aparusheya and in the angle of the devoted sage, the Veda is Paurusheya. Both views are correct without any contradiction. But, the meaning of statement is knowledge and this is the most important essence by which alone humanity is benefited. The language acts as a vehicle of communication only and is not so important as the knowledge. The goods in the vehicle is knowledge and the vehicle is the language. Both are necessary. The payment for the transport by vehicle is very little compared to the payment for goods indicating values. www.universal-spirituality[.]org Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  3. Greetings my fellow Christian brothers and sisters, I love to speak the truth and I have very serious questions that I think many believers would like to know the answer to. Can you tell me please why does God's word promise so much and yet fulfils so very little to nothing in the lives of many devout Christians, in terms of, for example: long life, health, peace, joy and happiness, etc? Instead, I've seen many atheists who live very healthy, prosperous and happy lives and they obviously don't believe in keeping God's commandments. Doesn't the Bible lose credibility in this way? Isn't this part of the reason why many people don't take God, His commandments or the Bible seriously? In other words, why do not all devout Christians live long lives and have optimum health as countless scriptures promise, such as: Psalms 84; 90, 91; 103; Pr 10:27, etc? There are many scriptures about healing: Exodus 15:26 - I am the Lord who heals you. The scripture in John 10:10: states: "... I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Doesn't this scripture mean that God desires for us faithful Christians to be in optimum health? Only when someone is healthy can he or she have life to the full. Not when our bodies are incapacitated or debilitated by pain, sickness or disease. Psalms 103:2-3 - Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases. The verse in Proverbs 4:22 refers to God's word and states: "for they are life to those who find them and health to ones whole body." Many other scriptures state that God wants us healed and whole: For example: Isaiah 53:5 - But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Jeremiah 30:17 - I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord. 1 Peter 2:24 - "He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. Romans 8:11 - And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:32 - He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? There are many examples of miracles and healings as recorded in the bible. Here are just a few scriptural examples: Leper in Galilee (Mt 8:1-4); Paralytic (palsy) at Capernaum (Mt 9:2-8); Man with a withered hand in Galilee possibly Capernaum (Mt 12:10-13); Women with issue of blood (hemorrhaging) healed at Capernaum during first preaching tour through Galilee (Mt 9:20-22); Two blind men at Capernaum (on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee) (Mt 9:27-31); Two Blind Men Departing Jericho (Mt 20:29-34), Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman (Mk 5:21-43); and many others as we read in: Mt 4:23-24; Mt 8:57, 16-17; Mt 9:6-7; Mt 15:30; Mt 20:34; Mk 3:1-5; Mk 5:25-29; Mk 10:49-52; Lk 4:40; Lk 6:19; Lk 7:12-15; Lk 13:11-13; Jn 5:5-9; Ac 10:38, etc. Psalm 107:1920 - Lord, help! they cried in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent out His word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Psalm 91:3 - For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. Here is another example: Psalm 91: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowlers snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, The Lord is my refuge, and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. The promise of blessings, including: peace, protection, happiness, healing, long-life and prosperity is not just in the Old Testament (Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16; Ps 34:12-16; Pr 22:9), but reaffirmed in the New Testament (2 Cor 9:10; Eph 6:2-3; 1 Pe 3:9-10). Innumerable scriptures promise peace, joy, strength, protection, provision and prosperity. Here are just a few: Ro 5:1 - Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Ps 1:1-3 - Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither whatever they do prospers. Ps 4:8 - In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Ps 12:5 - Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise, says the Lord. I will protect them from those who malign them. Ps 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Ps 29:11 - The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Ps 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 105:37 - He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes. Ps 119:165 - Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Ps 138:7 - Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me. Pr 10:22 - The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. Pr 22:9 - The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. Is 32:17 - The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. Is 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Jer 17:8 - They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Php 4:7 - And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Php 4:19 - And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Ro 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 2 Cor 9:8 - And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Cor 9:10 - Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Thess 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. My mother and I both repented, lived holy lives, with clean hands and pure hearts. God was first love and first priority. We prayed for at least 3 hours each and every day, and studied the Bible for at least 1 hour every day. Prayer was the very first thing in the morning. Our faith was very strong. We strove to obey God's commandments, including keeping the Sabbath day holy. We attended Sabbath services. We served God. Preached the true gospel. We both practiced abstinence, self-sacrifice and self-discipline, so we didn't spend money on holidays, restaurants or other pleasures. We were truly faithful disciples of Christ, by striving to live according to His word. Out of the little that we had, we donated money to charities and helped homeless people. We were never ever involved in occultism. My mother was totally faithful to my father in marriage, although he was very abusive towards her. Although, she forgave him many times, the abuse didn't stop. On the contrary, the more she forgave, the worse the abuse became. It reached a point where she had no choice but to divorce him. From then on, my mother never remarried. She lived the life of a widow for twenty years. We lived a very modest and quiet life. We practiced celibacy and sexual abstinence. Our lives resembled those of nuns. My mother was very protective of me and she taught me to pray since I was two years of age. While parents usually read fairy tale stories to their children, I slept with the Bible under my pillow, which I took with me to the private school that my mother enrolled me in, and I learned about God. We put so much faith and trust in God and I feel like He has really let us down. The verses in Psalm 103:1-5 state: "Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefitswho forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed." My mother suffered from colorectal cancer which spread to her liver and kidneys, heart failure, pulmonary edema and anaemia, including numerous other medical issues. I was completely shocked, devastated and heartbroken when my mother passed away at an early age, and I read her long medical report, which went on and on. She was in terrible pain and had near fatal falls on a few occasions. Despite praying to God continuously, from early morning until late at night, with fasting and begging for my mother to be healed, my prayers returned unanswered. The more I prayed and fasted, the worse her health became. It deteriorated so much that she was bed-ridden for one year and couldn't see the light of day. None of these illnesses run on my mother's side of the family. We both took care of our health by drinking fruit and vegetable juices, exercising and more importantly, absolutely NO smoking, drugs or alcohol. While other people were celebrating Mother's Day with gifts like cakes, chocolates and flowers, as well as dining with their mothers at restaurants or taking them on luxury cruises, my mother was in the morgue awaiting cremation. God's people are plagued by an entire series of extremely serious illnessesincluding a number of leading people directly involved in the work. During the 1980's there was a huge number of ministers wives that were stricken. It has always been a fact that wives of so many ministers and church leaders have been stricken by cancer. In 2016, Cornerstone Contact Centre pastor Don Cameron died at the age of 45 years, after a battle with cancer. Jeffery Largent, pastor of Culver flock passed away in 2016, at the age of 59 years, after his second battle with cancer. Church of the Highlands Greystone Campus Pastor Keith Lindsey passed away in 2016 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Kara Tippetts, wife of PCA church pastor Jason Tippetts of Westside Church, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a devout Christian mother of four, who had stage-four breast cancer and passed away at the age of 38, in 2015, after a long battle. In 2014, Steve Hill, the evangelist of the Brownsville Revival, passed away at his Alabama home Sunday after fighting a long battle with cancer. He was 60 years old. LaKisha died in 2014, at the age of 40 after an 18-month battle with breast cancer. She was the wife of Pastor Breonus Mitchell of Greater Grace Temple Community Church. A Wesleyan pastor, Daniel Danny Eiler, age 30, passed away in 2014, after battling leukemia. He served as senior pastor of The Springs Community Church in Ringgold, Georgia. David Landrith, senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, died at age 51. Landrith was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer known as colorectal melanoma in 2013. In 2009, founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Billy Joe Daugherty's battle with cancer took a turn for the worse as he fought an infection at Houston's M.D. Anderson Hospital. He passed away at the age of 57 years. The list goes on and on ... My mother's faith was very strong right to the very end when she passed away, and I wish to point out the fact that I even called for the elders of the church to anoint my mother with olive oil, as the following scripture states in: James 5:14-15 - Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. The scripture obviously wasn't fulfilled in my mother's life who was a faithful Christian, and the lives of many other faithful Christians. As stated previously, God's promises are not just found in the Old Testament, but reaffirmed in the New Testament, as we read in James 5:14-15 as well as many other scriptural references that I've already quoted previously. At the beginning of the chapter in 1 Cor 12, we read that Paul is addressing brothers and sisters. "Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed." Verse 7-10 mentions: "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines." One of the important ministries of the Holy Spirit to believers today, is His bestowal of spiritual gifts on Christians at the time of their conversion. Ephesians 2:10 mentions: "For we are Gods handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." The only way we can do good works is if our bodies are not incapacitated or debilitated by pain, sickness or disease. If gifts of healing and miracles are operating in the lives of Christians in these churches, then there would be NO sicknesses, suicides, and crimes such as murder happening there. Suicide is happening at an alarming rate in the Churches of God with so many pastors committing suicide. Living Church of God - Joplin, Missouri pastor Karl Beyersdorfer killed himself on 5/27/2016. Others who committed suicide in the Worldwide Church of God are mentioned in the below article: hwarmstrong.com/suicide-statistics.htm The following verses refer to believers in Christ Jesus: Mark 16:17-18 - And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. The following link displays an article on miracle workers who couldn't heal themselves: bible.ca/tongues-miracles-fake-pentecostal.htm The list goes on and on. The verse in Exodus 20:12 states: Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. It is reaffirmed in the New Testament in: Ephesians 6:2-3 - Honor your father and motherwhich is the first commandment with a promiseso that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. During my lifetime, I've seen mothers who honoured their parents and yet lived short lives, like my mother who honored both her parents and grandparents. On the other hand, mothers who dishonoured their parents and yet lived to ripe old ages of over 80 years of age. There are even criminals, such as serial killers, rapists and paedophiles who live long lives on the earth. While at the same time, a shocking number of innocent people are sentenced to death. One of the ways in which we honor our parents is by having a clean criminal record. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "tells you that a surprising number of innocent people are sentenced to death," Samuel R. Gross, the lead author, said in an interview with Newsweek. "It tells you that a lot of them haven't been exonerated. Some of them no doubt have been executed." The headline on newsweek.com is "One in 25 sentenced to death in the U.S. is innocent, study claims." Do all these convicted criminals deserve to live and my mother who was a godly, holy, righteous mother deserve to die, along with all these other devout Christians? Charles Manson, the convicted American serial killer is still alive today at the age of 82 years. Charles Albright, known as the eyeball killer, is 83 years. The nurse Jane Toppan, a serial killer, lived to be 81 years of age. Edward Theodore Gein was an American murderer and body snatcher. He died at the age of 78 years. Ian Brady, the child killer is 78 years. Robert Hansen, the serial killer died at the age of 75 years. Dennis Rader is 71 years of age. Phillip Jablonski, another serial killer is 70 years of age, and the list goes on and on. Incarcerated criminals enjoy the fresh air and sunshine with fitness and recreational activities, including sports, gym, pool tables and so forth. These prisons are more like holiday resorts. Charles Manson, the ringleader of the killer cult still remains unrepentant even at the ripe old age of 82 years, just like many other criminals. I'm puzzled as to why God allowed all these criminals to live long lives. Was He waiting for them to turn to Him and repent? But God has foreknowledge. We find instead, that they committed more and more crimes, while growing old without any sign of remorse? Psalm 91:16 states: "With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. This verse is supposed to be referring to devout believers. Instead, we see that the criminals are the ones who are living long lives. Why would God want to satisfy scum of the earth with long lives? The Bible also states that God has foreknowledge. Therefore, He knows in advance whether anyone will repent. Isaiah 46:9-10: "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" If God made us for a reason and that is to begin a relationship with, serve and obey Him, then why doesn't He grant long lives to those devout Christians who do good deeds. It is God who decides when we are born and how long we live according to: Psalm 139:16: "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." God is the one who planned the days of our lives in advance, choosing the exact time of our birth and death. This goes for criminals too, as well as many famous atheists who have lived to ripe old ages including: Diana Athill (99), Katharine Hepburn (96), Baba Amte (94), Uri Avnery (93), Julius Axelrod (92), Marlene Dietrich (91), Kai Nielsen (90), Henry Burstow (90), Jorge Amado (89), Eric Ambler (89), Tom Lehrer (88), James Randi (88), Paul Kurtz (87), Edward O. Wilson (87), Larry Adler (87), Mary Adams (86), Jemima Blackburn (86), Michael Martin (84), Philip Roth (83), Steven Weinberg (83), Victor Stenger (81), Robert Altman (81), Woody Allen (81), and many others. The verse in Isaiah 30:18 states that the Lord is a God of justice. "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Where is the justice? I'm absolutely appalled and disgusted by the injustice not only in the Christian community, but in the world today. I believe these injustices promote and encourage evil all the more. Many devout believers have been martyred who were very faithful to God, like Stephen and all of the twelve apostles who died as martyrs during the first century, with the exception of John, the writer of the Gospel with his name and the Book of Revelation who died a natural death, at 94 years of age, close to the year 100 A.D. A report issued by a Christian organization fighting religious persecution states that a Christian is killed for his or her faith every five minutes across the world. It has escalated dramatically over the centuries, with more Christian martyrs in the 20th and 21st centuries than in the preceding 19 centuries going back to Jesus Christs earthly ministry. The situation is only getting worse. Over 75% of Christians persecuted in North Korea who are subjected to torture, imprisonment and all sorts of punishment do not survive to tell their stories. Currently, more than 200 million Christians around the world are threatened because of their faith. Is God pleased with martyrdom? Does it give Him satisfaction to see many Christians martyred for their faith. Does God consider it a sacrifice that brings glory and honour to Him, thereby pleasing and acceptable? Thank you. God bless you, Rachel Henderson
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