The Dark Side

Not to be confused with  The Far Side

My Search, Part 2

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.“ (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Fifty-nine years ago I received new information about reality from an outside source. I had just learned that the Bible is no ordinary document but authored from another dimension by a very superior intelligence. I had turned thirty years old six months earlier and believed then that the best years of my life were lost and gone and it would be downhill from now on. 

Not so! My dull, boring pseudo intellectual, brash and arrogant presuppositions came crashing down. I had been died-for and was loved by our Creator. He meant what He said, "I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly."

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” 

But we have the mind of Christ.“ (1 Corinthians 2:12-16)

(My Search: Part 1)

I had always wanted to travel--but until then I had gone no further than day visits to Tijuana, Mexico.

Update: Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Australia, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, India, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Greece, Germany, Denmark, England, Scotland, the West Indies—all paid for by another Cosmic Resource I knew nothing about before my spiritual rebirth. |

I was planning on a career in physics (which did happen) but what I learned about the real world paled in importance with my previous merely 4D secular "scientific" world view.

“But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.“ (1 Corinthians 2:9-13)

I was very excited about my discovery that Jesus Christ is alive and well and in charge of the universe. But I had a scientist's curiosity about everything--and as a boy growing up received zero discipline from my father. I was always "Boldly Going Where no Man had gone Before." Reckless, Yes. Did Jesus meet me when I excursed into the Dark Side! Yes! Should any one who reads this, emulate my craziness? Definitely Not.

Dutifully I was water baptized a few month after my 1962 conversion. I was very shy and self-conscious back then, but my wonderful pastor Dr. Ralph Kraft coaxed me one small step at a time to speak about my journey. “Lambert, I want you to give a ten minute testimony next Sunday night. You are among friends.” It was very scary but I did it!

Next time it was a thirty minute account of how I was experiencing Jesus at work in me. Back then scientists who came to know Jesus were as scarce as hen’s teeth, so it was not long before I was telling my story at lunches hosted by Christian Business Men’s Committee, (CBMC) and Christian Women’s Club (Stonecroft). I led a Boys' Brigade Group, worked with Young Life, taught on the “Cults and Isms” and never missed Wednesday Night Prayer meetings at the First Baptist Church of Altos. MP3 audio version of My Search Part One. 

Back then, I studied the Scofield Reference Bible religiously. How to speed up my spiritual growth? Is there a short-cut to wisdom? Try LSD! It was very much the in-thing to do in 1963! Early in 1963 I made my first trip over into the Dark Side. This is NOT the way to learn about the workings of the mind! Don’t go there! I am a slow learner! Was this my own prodigal wandering? Nope. I know more about the Dark Side than I ever imagined. This is not an endorsement of those side trips, but a testimony of the grace and mercy of God. My big Trips:

Dark 1: LSD

Dark 2. Alcohol addiction

Dark 3: The Seamy Side

Dark 4: Oxycontin 2008-2017

Dark 5: The Occult

Dark 6: Pagan Religion

Note About The Dark Side:
Jesus Christ is Lord of All Sides.

The Left Hand of God

The Dark Side is very dark and dangerous. Avoid at all costs.
Don't buy into the lie that you will receive esoteric knowledge or power!

My Chron File

Church discipline, 1972

Thirteen trips to Egypt 1972-1978

The Return of the Prodigal (to church), 1982

Geophysics in Israel 1982-2005

Revisiting the Haight-Ashbury

Deliberate Sin

The Forum Classes: 2002-2016

The Wednesday Brothers of Thunder

Scientific Treasure Hunting 1970-2005

NDE June 13, 2017

The Way Back Home

Two Current Mandates from Jesus Christ as CIC at Supreme HQ
August 15, 2017

#1: Lambert, will you stay away from the Dark Side for now? I’ll explain it all to you later.

#2: Lambert, from now on until I call you home will you trust me and walk with me one day at a time?

These were very reasonable requests.
The second mandate was something I had never heard of before and it sounded like an exciting adventure!
Sure enough it is! This ought to be taught in church!

Dark Side Rescue

Help is available


Psalm 18

A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who spoke to the LORD the words of this song
on the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

And he said: I will love You, O LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
4 The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
5 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD,
And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
7 Then the earth shook and trembled;

The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
8 Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it.

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet.
10 And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.

12 From the brightness before Him,
His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.

14 He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O LORD, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

16 He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the LORD was my support.
19 He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.

22 For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
23 I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.

24 Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.
25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
26 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
27 For You will save the humble people,
But will bring down haughty looks.

28 For You will light my lamp;
The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
30 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

31 For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.
34 He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.
36 You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.
37 I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.

38 I have wounded them, So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
39 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.
40 You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me.

41 They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.
42 Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the strivings of the people;
You have made me the head of the nations; A people I have not known shall serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me they obey me; The foreigners submit to me.

45 The foreigners fade away, And come frightened from their hideouts.

46 The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
47 It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me;
48 He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the violent man.

49 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.
50 Great deliverance He gives to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed,

To David and his descendants forevermore.

I did not know I needed that much saving!
I had no idea how committed Jesus was to seeing me reach His goal for me: wholeness in Christ.

The Onion and the Lake of Fire

Dostoevski, in The Brothers Karamazov, tells a fable about a very wicked woman who died. The devils took her to hell and threw her into the lake of fire. Her guardian angel was very puzzled as to how he might do something to help her. So he thought through her whole life to see if he could find at least one good thing that she had done which he might present before God. Finally he went to God and said, "Once a beggar came by when she was weeding her garden, and she pulled an onion out and gave it to him to eat." God said to the angel, "All right, then you go down and get that onion and hold it out to her in the lake of fire. Tell her to take hold of it, and if you can pull her out with that onion she can come to Paradise." So the angel took the onion, went down to the lake of fire, and held it out to the woman. She grabbed hold and he began to pull. He pulled and pulled and, sure enough, he began to pull her right up out of the lake. She was almost completely free when some other sinners around her, seeing that she was about to escape, grabbed hold of her ankles so as to be pulled out with her. At first the onion held, and they too began to be pulled out. But the woman became very angry and cried, "This is my onion, and you're not going to go out with me!" And as she kicked them loose the onion broke and she fell back in and she is burning there to this day.  (Related by Ray C. Stedman).

Sexuality and Wholeness Papers

The Holiness Papers

The Ego Papers

Is God Ruthless?

Disciplines and Scourging

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself,
lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons;
for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers,
then you are illegitimate and not sons.
9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.
Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them,
but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,
13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing,
he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

The Glorious Company

8 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire,
and to blackness and darkness and tempest,
19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be Stonecroft or shot with an arrow.”
21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.
For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth,
much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying,
“Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken,
as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken,
let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29 For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12)

Almighty Father

"Truth not Acted Upon is Lost" -- Ray Stedman

Long Journey Home: Ralph Stanley

Secular Notes About the Dark Side

The negative, troubled, or antagonistic part of someone or something that is usually kept concealed. My mom is always sweet to my friends, but I've seen the dark side of her enough to know mean she can be. Shady deals like this are the dark side of the music industry, unfortunately.

In 1973, the US journal The Journal of Genetic Psychology published this:

"The shadow is described as the dark side of the personality or representing the original conception of evil in the world. The latter conception places the shadow in the collective unconscious."

The current use of 'the dark side' in everyday language isn't taken as seriously as Jung, or even Lucas, might have intended it. It has the same linguistic feel as a phrase like 'be afraid, be very afraid', which is never used in circumstances that are actually frightening . Someone might humorously be said to be 'going over to the dark side' if they opt for a preference for something that is out of fashion or not a social group's accepted preference - like a Londoner supporting Manchester United, for example.

The phrase “the dark side” is perhaps originated from a film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. George Lucas, the director. He used this phrase as a concept to show the evil aspect of the underlying controlling power of the universe. However, a radical theologian, Jacob Bauthumley or Bottomley, has also cited this phrase in 1650, in his work, The Light and Dark Sides of God, where it is stated as; “Some live in the light side of God, and some in the dark side.”

From Darkside by Alan Walker

“Let’s leave the world behind
Take me through the night
Fall into the dark side
We don’t need the light
We’ll live on the dark side
I see it, let’s feel it
While we’re still young and fearless
Let go of the light
Fall into the dark side
Fall into the dark side
Give into the dark side
Let go of the light
Fall into the dark side.”

These two stanzas show that the speaker wants to embrace the dark side. He says that he does not intend to find the light or positivity in life. Instead, he wants to leave the worldly affairs behind just to enjoy the dark side of his beloved. He does not want to discover the truths of the world. He simply wants to enjoy the present yet dark moments of his life. The phrase has been used in its literal meanings without showing any other meaning.

Example #2

The Dark Side of the Sun by Mindy Caldwell

“My today is for you.
My tomorrows are for me.
I must seek a new love now,
you knew we’d never be.

As I close my eyes to sleep,
I know you’re still the one.
You’ll only find me now
on the dark side of the sun.”

The first stanza speaks about the speaker’s intense feelings for his beloved. He feels her beloved’s presence every moment in his life. The choice of words suggests that his beloved is no more with him. The second stanza discusses the unavoidable presence of his beloved. However, the occurrence of the phrase in the last line signifies that the speaker has lost the enchanting sight forever; he will only meet her in his dreams.

Example #3

Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn

“Evil is a word used by the ignorant and the weak. The Dark Side is about survival. It’s about unleashing your inner power. It glorifies the strength of the individual.”

According to the author, the dark side of human nature is not linked to evil or wickedness. Rather, the darker aspects of human nature are associated with his survival instinct. He further argues that it helps us identify our inner strengths and also helps us glorify the truths hidden under the blanket of light or positivity. Thus, weak and ignorant people associate the dark side of human nature with evil. On the contrary, strong souls are polished on the dark sides. The phrase, once again, has been used in its literal meanings.

Example #4

The Phantom Menace by George Lucas

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

George Lucas in his work, The Phantom Menace, beautifully describes the meanings of the phrase, the dark side. To him, fear is the root cause of every problem; it paves the way for dark instincts, leads us to anger, hate, and sufferings. Therefore, the negative part of a person is polished and nurtured in fear.

Example #5

The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett

The Dark Side of the Sun is a science fiction novel by Terry Pratchett. It details the far-future universe in which the scientific discipline of p-math is used to predict the future. The protagonist, Dominick Daniel, is a son of a prodigy of probability math who spends his life trying to discover the Joker’s world.  Unfortunately, he is assassinated but his predictions about his son mark the center of his life and success. His son, Dom, survives after fighting all the odds and he fulfills his father’s unaccomplished mission; he discovers the Joker’s world by defeating the conspiracy that has long worked to prevent people from locating the secret world. Thus, the dark side of the sun refers to something mysterious. Therefore, it is a connotative use of the phrase.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Stock market nowadays presents the dark side of economic reign.”

Example #2: “When you shuffle the pages of history, you will surely conclude that 9/11 represents the dark side of history.”

Example #3: “I always helped him in trouble and trussed him a lot but my heart started bleeding when I see his dark side in anger.”

Example #4: “Mr. Collin advised us to leave because fear leads a person to the dark side.”

Example #5: “We need to ignore the dark side of the things and remain positive in life.”

Bless Those Who Hate You

by  Rosaria Butterfield
Beloved Enemy 

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6:27–28) 

Over two decades ago, on an unusually hot July evening in Syracuse, New York, I stood on Pastor Ken Smith’s porch and knocked on the door. I had been doing this for months, dining with my enemies. 

I was a lesbian feminist activist English professor at Syracuse University. I thought I was doing research on this odd tribe of people called Christians, people who stood in the way of full civil rights for gay people like me. Ken was the pastor of the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. On that July night, Ken opened the door and warmly embraced me and welcomed me inside. Dining with my enemies was a fascinating experience. It made me feel like a bona fide liberal.

I knew I was on enemy territory. But I didn’t believe that I was the enemy. How could I be? I was on the side of social justice, reparations for the disempowered, racial reconciliation, and equitable inclusion for all. 

Identifying the Enemy

For years — and before I became a believer and Ken became my pastor — I enjoyed the company of the Smiths’ table fellowship. I sat under Ken’s family devotions and joined in the Psalm singing. And then, at this July dinner, I realized it. I wasn’t the victim dining with my persecutors. I wasn’t at the enemy’s table. I was the enemy. 

I thought I was on the right side of history. It was my undoing to finally realize that it was Jesus I was persecuting the whole time. Not some historical figure named Jesus. But King Jesus. The Jesus who was this world’s sovereign King and would become my Lord. My Jesus. My Prophet, Priest, King, Friend, Brother, and Savior. That Jesus.

I don’t like thinking about the fact that I was the enemy who hated, the enemy who cursed, and the enemy who abused. But it’s true. And instead of hating me back, Ken Smith assembled such a wide team of prayer warriors that I likely won’t meet all of the believers who prayed for my salvation until heaven.

From Cursing to Cursed

As soon as the Lord claimed me for himself, I had the opportunity to model what had been given to me: to love, do good, bless, and pray for those who curse me. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

Everyone from the lesbian partner I broke up with, to the graduate students in Queer Theory whose Ph.D. dissertations I could no longer supervise, to the LGBTQ+ undergraduate student groups I could no longer support felt the stunning betrayal. I had changed my allegiance. Were their secrets still safe with me? I was disappointing almost everyone I loved because I believed in Jesus — the real Jesus who reveals himself in the Bible. My treachery to my lesbian community was only bearable through my union with Christ. 

In such circumstances, union with Christ is the source of a Christian’s love that overcomes hatred: spiritual, unbreakable, irreplaceable, and eternal. It springs from the power of Christ’s resurrection, in which every believer abides. Conflict with others is never pleasant. It is disarming, disillusioning, and depressing. Union with Christ is our active comfort. 

Cursing Continues

More recently (about a year ago), I found myself under attack again, and this time on three different fronts. 

A national LGBTQ+ rights group grew angry with me as the 2020 PRIDE Parade was canceled for the first time in fifty years. Christians from a discernment ministry believed that I was too charitable in my evangelism in the LGBTQ community. Self-described gay Christians believed that I was too harsh in my rejection of “gay Christianity.” It was tempting to handle this in the flesh — to wish that all of these people could be locked in the same room and wrestle it out. 

But that is not what God calls us to do when we’re under attack. God calls us to love our enemies. This season was spiritually rich with Psalm singing and reflection, repentance, and prayer. As the negative attacks intensified, the words of the great Puritan John Owen started to make sense. Owen considers union with Christ “the cause of all other graces a believer receives” (A Puritan Theology, 485). This is because union with Christ depends first on Christ knowing you. 

Known by Christ

The issue for the suffering Christian isn’t first if you know Christ. Rather, the first issue is: does Christ know you? Union with Christ is first about Christ knowing you. Suffering for Christ is a great privilege. It is the privilege of John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Because Jesus knows the believer, we hear him, we follow him, and we suffer with him. 

“God’s comfort is power. It’s not meant merely to make us feel better. It’s meant to make us more like Jesus.”

Do you want to know why the church lacks unity? Because we try to build our unity on issues — on where we stand on pressing matters of the day. But unity does not and will never derive from shared loyalty to issues. Christian unity flows from our union with Christ because he alone equips us to die to ourselves.

The comfort we find in Christ is not a passive repose in our favorite recliner. Even in the English language, comfort is an old word hearkening from the Middle Ages and referring to needed moral and physical strengthening. Comfort is active. God gives us comfort because we are too weak to go on, and his comfort enlivens us. God’s comfort is power. It’s not meant merely to make us feel better. It’s meant to make us more like Jesus.

Fellowship of Suffering

The Heidelberg Catechism declares that our “only comfort in life and death” will not be found in any of the values to which I had decades ago committed my life: social justice, reparations for the disempowered, racial reconciliation, and equitable inclusion for all. No. My only comfort in life and death, says the majestic Heidelberg, is 

that I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, wherefore by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (emphasis added)

What’s the big difference between a believer and an unbeliever? The believer does not belong to himself.

What does the experience of hatred, abuse, slander, and unjust discrimination mean to a believer? It means that, under God’s providence, these painful circumstances are “subservient to my salvation.” The hatred that a believer receives is subservient, which means that it is instrumental; it is a means to an end. And what is that end? To join in the “fellowship of his suffering” (Philippians 3:10 KJV). To grow in sanctification. To become more like Jesus.

Persecution Has a Master

Luke’s words are directed only to believers, to “you who hear.” Someone with a new heart, receptive ears, and bright eyes. We live in a noisy world — podcasts, television, social media, and so on — but Jesus is telling us to hear him

“Persecution is subservient — it is a means to an end. And that end is your sanctification.”

What an amazing privilege it is to be someone chosen, elected, saved, justified, sanctified, and daily guided by the King of kings and Lord of lords. If nothing else is good in your life except that Jesus has unstopped your ears, you are already more blessed than any persecution or persecutor that comes your way. Persecution is subservient — it is a means to an end. And that end is your sanctification.

In God’s providence, as believers, we will have many opportunities to love, do good, bless, and pray for those who hate us. And as God enlarges our hearts by his Spirit, comforting us through union with Christ and assuring us of his sovereignty, we will not fail to do so.

Rosaria Butterfield

Rosaria Butterfield is former tenured professor of English at Syracuse University.
She is a homeschooling mother and writer and pastor’s wife,
and is grateful to God that her church has been able to worship on the Lord’s Day at the church building once again.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy
has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes,
though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen you love.

Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully,
who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
11 searching what, or what manner of time,
the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand
the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves,
but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you
through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober,
and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work,
conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things,
like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.

The grass withers, And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the LORD endures forever.
”Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1)

The Choirs of Heaven | The Apostle Paul visits Paradise | Revival? No! | The Bema Starts Now |Pilgrims

The Holiness Papers | That Other Place (Hades, Hell) | The Lake of Fire | Tartarus the Lowest Level 

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November 9, 2021