Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gao Zhisheng IS ALIVE!!!!!

This is FANTASTIC news!!! I just received this email last night from China Aid, and I am so excited about it.


March 29, 2010

SHANXI -- On Sunday, March 28, 2010, missing human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng spoke to his wife and children for the first time in over a year - confirming he is still alive! False rumors of his death, torture, and escape from the custody of the Chinese Government have shrouded Gao's absence with mystery for over a year. Gao's brief phone conversations with western media mark the first official contact the public has had with him since his abduction by police on February 4, 2009.

Yesterday, Gao informed reporters that he had been released from detention six months ago, and had taken up residence at Wutai Shan mountain, a Buddhist landmark in northern Shanxi province. He refused to give details on his condition or whereabouts, saying he could not legally give interviews.

Close friend and fellow human rights lawyer Li Heping confirmed he had also spoken with Gao on Sunday. Gao told him he had "friends around him" - indicating he was being held under close surveillance by Chinese authorities.

Gao's wife Geng He and their children were overwhelmed with emotion as they spoke with Gao on Sunday morning. The children could not stop crying. In a statement released on Monday morning, Geng He appealed to the Chinese government to allow Gao Zhisheng to join the family in New York. Gao's family has suffered greatly in his absence. Geng He's parents have been severely harassed in recent months, for which Gao feels guilty.

He told the Associated Press, "I just want to be in peace and quiet for a while and be reunited with my family. Most people belong with family. I have not been with mine for a long time. This is a mistake and I want to correct this mistake."

While on his campaign in Europe to promote awareness of Gao's cause, ChinaAid President Bob Fu attributed the breakthrough to increased international pressure. "Thanks to the more than 124,000 supporters in over 180 countries around the world who have signed the petition to Free Gao, the Chinese Government has been forced to respond and to allow Gao Zhisheng to reconnect with his loved ones."

ChinaAid thanks you for your continued support and urges you to continue to take action. From Argentina to Zimbabwe, you, the international community have answered the call. And this is just the beginning.

Gao is not free yet. His movements are still being watched and monitored. He is not free to speak publicly or without surveillance. We must continue to press the Chinese government to free Gao Zhisheng, to uncensor his movements, and to allow him to reunite with his family.

Take Action:

1. Encourage more to Sign the Petition. Every voice counts, and every voice will be heard!

2. Call on your local representatives to take official action on behalf of Gao Zhisheng.

3. Urge U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to hold the Chinese government to the international covenants on human rights.

Thanks to you, the world has now regained contact with Mr. Gao Zhisheng. Because of you, Gao was able to reconnect with his family. With your continued support, we can make their dream of reunion a reality!

For more ways to get involved, visit www.FreeGao.com.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Sovereignty of God (by George Addair)

What great timing God has!! :-)

Yesterday, a friend of mine forwarded a link to an excellent, thought-provoking article written by George Addair called “The Sovereignty of God”. The article is posted on the God’s Truth for Today website.

I say God has great timing because this article nicely complements my recent post and reply to David Flowers entitled “God Will Have His Perfect Way” .

The one statement in Addair’s article that struck me the most was his statement saying:

“The trend of the centuries has consistently been that of

the exaltation of man and the abasement of God.”

Wow! Isn’t that the truth?!! Mankind cannot wrap its finite mind around the GRANDNESS of God, so in order to make Him more understandable to ourselves we make Him out to be smaller and weaker than His true nature. When we do that, He becomes more understandable and manageable to us, but we also end up containing Him in “Man-Made Theological Boxes” with pretty paper wrappings and bows.

Addair’s article is split into the following headings:


I. Human Reasoning

II. Sovereignty Defined

III. Sovereignty in Creation

IV. Sovereignty in Action

V. Recognition of God’s Sovereignty

VI. Foreknowledge

I’ll give a few glimpses here of some of Addair’s article:

“To think that this work will be approved by the general public is a foolish expectation. The trend of the centuries has consistently been that of the exaltation of man and the abasement of God. The intensive research for this study seems to indicate that this trend has been due to the inability of men to reconcile the free will of man with the sovereignty of God. Consequently, scholars seem to have been sidetracked into thinking that God has neglected His universe, by choice of course. They feel that the Creator has delegated His rule and authority to the use or abuse of the creature. They have reduced God and His Divine office to the extent that multitudes of people now have only a superficial conception of Him. And it logically follows that a superficial view of God and His holiness always results in a superficial view of sin and its consequences in addition to a shallow view of the work of Christ. This in a small way explains the steady departure from the shelter of truth into the bitterness of ignorance.”


“No one will challenge the fact that the twentieth century has demonstrated an intellectual revolution in almost every field of learning. New fields of science are being established more rapidly than the most ardent scholar can manage to efficiently investigate. Even the basic tools such as reading and arithmetic are being made obsolete by more modern and complex approaches. Whether we like it or not, this trend is gaining speed and only the imagination can visualize what lies ahead for the coming generations.”

“Strangely enough however, the world of religionists is almost totally united in an attempt to prevent any progress in the understanding of spiritual matters. It seems unimportant to them that we have better methods of translation and interpretation than at any time in the past centuries. We have more manuscript copies, more concordances, more textbooks, and the accumulation of centuries of scholarship at our disposal. There are textbooks available today which enable the layman to probe the depths of biblical research in excess of what the best educated men of a few years ago could manage in a complete lifetime. And yet, the average church member feels there is more virtue in clinging to the views propagated by the scholars of many centuries ago than to investigate the claims of a modern day teacher. This is particularly true when the modern day teacher proclaims something that is contrary to orthodox views. This dominating attitude of the nominal churches is nothing more than one of the many facets of "religious superstition".”


“By the Sovereignty of God, we mean the supremacy of God. We mean His Kingship and Headship. It literally means, "the Godhood of God". To declare that God is sovereign is to declare that He is God. It is to declare "That He is the most high, doing according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest thou?" (Daniel 4:35).”

“To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He "is the Mighty, the possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist his will" (Psalm 115:3).”

“To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is "The governor among the nations" (Psalm 22:28). He sets up kingdoms, overthrows empires, and determines the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best.”

“To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is "The only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords" (1 Timothy 6:15).”

“Such a God is revealed in the pages of the Sacred Scriptures. However, God is not described as such in modern times…”

“God cannot fail. He is not to be pitied but to be praised. It is often said that, "God is doing His best to save mankind". If this be so, then He will succeed. To say that God is trying to save all people and then to proclaim that all will not be saved is to admit that God has failed. This in itself implies that God is not all powerful nor is He perfect. To say that Satan is preventing many from being saved is to indicate that Satan is accomplishing that which God cannot do, that Satan is more successful and powerful than God. To say that the stubbornness of man prevents him from being saved is to say that man has thwarted the will and efforts of God. God cannot fail. He cannot begin a project without seeing it completed. He cannot design a plan only to have it defeated by some other agency whether it be natural man or supernatural Satan. He cannot, even in the smallest sense, realize failure in that which lie attempts to do.”

“To declare that sin entered the Garden of Eden and caught God by surprise is to dethrone God. This is to reduce him to the level of finite man Then, to declare that sinful man has the power and ability to defeat God's plan of salvation and reconciliation is to exalt man to the place where he can checkmate God. God is absolute, irresistible, and infinite. He governs all the universe as He pleases. He has the right as Creator to mold the clay into whatsoever shape He desires. He is under no rule or law outside His own nature. He is a law unto Himself. He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to anyone. Sovereignty is characteristic of the whole being of God.”


“This brief treatment of the subject is adequate to reveal that a full recognition of the Sovereignty of God will take the spotlight off man and place it upon God.”


The truth is that man likes to esteem himself above God and above God’s power and sovereignty. It is part of our fallible human nature that we are always trying to be as great or as powerful as God. That is how the serpent enticed Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. This article will hopefully help anyone rethink that faulty mentality.

Read Addair’s article for yourself and see what you think.

For GOD’s glory and exaltation alone…

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

God Will Have His Perfect Way

I write this post as a comment reply to a post from a fellow blogger and brother in Christ. I feel my reply is too long to respectfully take that much space on David’s page, so I am posting it here.
This week, David Flowers posted an article titled “Hell: Eternal Torture?” The title immediately sparked my interest because a few years ago God graciously granted me new spiritual sight regarding hell and the eternal torment doctrine. I thoroughly read David’s article and some of the following comments from his readers.
Here is my reply:

Monday, March 22, 2010

By the People, For the People?...NOT…

Okay, I’m not much into politics or the whole political/government scene. It’s just not my cup of tea. And if it was any type of tea, it would be the bitterest, most awful tasting one to me. However, every once in a while, I am outraged. Now more than ever before, I am outraged at the way our government is taking this American nation.

So here is my humble two cents regarding the health care bill…

First, I want to say, “Bart Stupak, what a terrible disgrace your compromise has been to those of us who are truly pro-life.”

In the past week, as I scanned all the headlines about the health care bill and Americans being forced to pay for abortions, I had the thought that this country's government is no longer "by the people, for the people" as Lincoln stated in his Gettysburg Address.

Abraham Lincoln said:

"...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

I'm so sorry to say that this American nation, as a whole, no longer strives or cares one bit to live under God's standard. Therefore, the freedom Lincoln speaks of will surely be robbed from its people, bit by bit. Our government is no longer one of the people, by the people, and for the people. Our government has become one "of the politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians", who does not care one iota for what the people really want. Period.

What a sad, depraved road our nation has decided to travel.

The Susan B Anthony List sent me the following email today:

Dear Mary Ann,

Like many of you I am sure, I did not sleep very well last night. I spent nearly all day on Capitol Hill, and after such an intense battle, it was so incredibly difficult to watch the events that played out last night. I kept staring at a whip list that showed us a handful of votes short of stopping the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. At 3 PM, we had the votes to stop the bill. At 4 PM, those votes were exchanged for a meaningless executive order with no force of law.

For the first time since Roe, Americans will be forced to pay for abortions. Tens of thousands of additional babies will die as a result.

Was this the will of the American people? Of course not. Huge majorities of Americans oppose federal funding of abortion, and the country is becoming more and more pro-life.

Then why did we lose? It is because every election matters-- an active pro-abortion president with a compliant Congress means the end of the Mexico City Policy, abortion in D.C., money for Planned Parenthood, and abortion in healthcare.

So how can we win? Because every election matters. None more than the battle coming up in November 2010.

Each Democrat that voted for the pro-abortion Senate bill made a career-defining vote in deciding that Americans should finance the largest expansion of abortion on-demand since Roe v. Wade. It is up to us to make sure that this vote has a consequence.

The Susan B. Anthony List is prepared to lead the fight to send these pro-abortion Democrats into early retirement using our connected Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund.

Our Candidate Fund, a registered Political Action Committee, will work between now and Election Day to elect solid pro-life legislators and kick out pro-abortion legislators who are responsible for this disastrous healthcare bill.

We already sent a strong message last night by rescinding the Defender of Life Award that Rep. Bart Stupak was set to receive this upcoming Wednesday at our annual dinner because of his support of a meaningless executive order by the most pro-abortion president America has ever seen.

Last night, we were defeated. But starting now, we have a chance to fight back. We must start paving the way to a pro-life takeover in November.

Because of your efforts, we certainly did not go down without a fight.

Your phone calls and emails in defense of Life and our forceful response to Stupak's decision to support the worthless executive order by President Obama were featured yesteday in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New York Times, and Fox News.

We will never abandon our pledge to ensure that votes have consequences.

I know you are hurting, as I am, but starting now, we are going to work together to reward those who stood for Life and punish at the ballot box those who betrayed Life.

It's time for pro-lifers to take back Congress. With your help, and with God's blessing, we will succeed.

May God continue to bless you and our country,

Marjorie Dannenfelser

President, Susan B. Anthony List


P.S. Americans were reminded tonight that elections have consequences. Our tax dollars will now fund the abortions of our neighbors. Now is not the time to give up. Through our connected Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, we are prepared to ensure a pro-life majority takes back Congress this November.

I love what Marjorie Dannenfelser said in the blog link mentioned above on rescinding the award for Stupak: "We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so," Dannenfelser said. "Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.'"

The Truth Holds Us

A few weeks ago, a friend handed me a copy of E.W. Bullinger’s book How to Enjoy the Bible. I wasn’t sure when I would be able to read through this book, considering I currently have an overcommitted schedule and many other spiritually related books awaiting to be read. However, I was drawn to the book immediately and felt my curiosity greatly peaked and interested to open the pages and see what this book was all about.

In the past few weeks, I have only managed to read through Page 25. But in just the few pages of the Preface and Introduction, I have discovered quite a few golden nuggets that have brought forth much deep thought. In fact, part of the reason I haven’t yet made it past Page 25 is that those first few pages of the Preface and Introduction keep calling me back to be re-read and re-digested.

In the Preface, Bullinger writes about a husband and wife who are seeking him out in order that he may offer guidance to them in how to be able to study the Scriptures for themselves and enjoy them. They desired to be able to mine the written word of God for themselves and learn and soak the truth from God Himself.

On page xvi, Bullinger says of the husband:

“But grace had changed him so completely, that it was not a case, merely, of his holding the truth, but of the truth holding him: consequently he could not rest until he had renounced not only his former…religion, but all religion that had anything to do with the flesh; for he had found his all in Christ, and was satisfied with the completeness which God had given to him in HIM.”

The first time I read that, I found it good. As I re-read it a few times more, it struck deeper and deeper within me. Last week, I was able to put into words exactly how it struck me.

E.W. Bullinger was so right on. It is not about us, mere mortals, holding the truth. It is about the truth holding us, in more ways than one.

Jesus Christ calls Himself the Truth. He states that He is the truth of God’s character and ways. He holds us in His grasp. We do not hold Him in our grasp. He holds us and fills us and we contain Him, but He will not be restrained, detained, or manipulated by us. That is what we, mortal humans, typically do when we hold something precious and dear to us. We hold it so tightly—too tightly. And we become stingy and selfish with it. We don’t really want to share it freely or completely with others. Oh no, others must earn it, they must work for it, they must prove themselves worthy of it. Such is the case with the truth of the amazing grace that God has poured out upon the world through Christ Jesus in this current eon.

God has poured over this entire world an immense grace in “how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us[the current believers] the word of conciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) During this current eon, God has made peace with the world through Christ and by His death on a cross.

[For more on 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, see two previous posts titled, “God Has Conciliated the World to Himself” and “God Conciliates the World to Himself”]

In our mortal, temporal bodies we are incapable of holding the immense expanse of the complete truth of God. Oh, many attempt it and even convince themselves (and others) that they do hold the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However, when God’s love and grace truly overcome us, we humbly arrive at the realization that we don’t hold the complete truth and that we cannot. The Truth holds us. He holds us. He carries us. He woos us. He loves us.

Truth will not be restrained or detained. Truth will not be contained in some pretty little box (made by human minds) with beautiful wrapping and bows. Truth is free and sets free. The Truth will not be bound by finite human minds and comprehension. Truth will not be hoarded selfishly. Truth will not be controlled by mankind. Truth will have its way, and the Truth will prevail.

I speak of the truth of God—the truth of His character and His ways. I speak of Christ. Christ speaks of and represents the fullness of God. Christ is the Truth of God. The Scriptures speak of Christ. And Christ believers on this earth are imperfect and broken vessels which contain Him as He does the filling.

The Truth has absolutely and positively nothing to do with what *I* can do with my flesh or what *I* can know with my mind. The Truth is Christ, it is about Him. The Truth is about Who He is, Who He represents, and what He does.

In Christ:

“…we are having the deliverance, the pardon of sins, Who is the Image of the invisible God, Firstborn of every creature, for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him, and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him. And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia [those called out to believe in Him now], Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first, for in Him the entire complement [of God] delights to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens.” (Colossians 1:14-20)

HE holds us. We do not hold Him.

In His arms and in His will…

God Conciliates the World to Himself

A couple of months ago, I was studying and pondering 2 Corinthians 5:18-20:

“Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation, how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of conciliation. For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We are beseeching for Christ’s sake, ‘Be conciliated to God!’”

I was pursuing serious study in the word “conciliates” using the my Concordant Literal New Testament Concordance and the online Blue Letter Bible. In study, I learned that in verse 18, where it states “God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ”, the word “conciliates” is in the active Greek voice.
(Right now, I will quickly and humbly confess that I am no Greek scholar. My understanding of the Greek language is minuscule. However, using the CLNT Concordance and the Blue Letter Bible, any person can learn a few little things to help them with their understanding of the Scriptures.)
So, in looking up the Greek tense of the word “conciliates” in verse 18, I learned the following about the usage of the word in that particular instance:
In verse 18, “conciliates” functions as a Greek verb in the Aorist tense and the Active voice.
The Aorist tense just means that the verb is having an action without regard for it being in the past, present, or future. There is no perfect English equivalent tense for this Greek Aorist tense, but it is usually rendered in English translating as past tense.
The Active voice says that the verb is actively performed by the subject doing this verb. In other words, God actively “conciliates us to Himself through Christ”. He is the doer of conciliating us to Himself. Blue Letter Bible uses the example of “The boy hit the ball” which shows the boy performing the action of hitting the ball.
So far, we have the understanding that God conciliates us to Himself through Christ Jesus without the action being bound to past, present, or future and that He actively has done it and does it.
Here is where it became really interesting to me. When I looked up “conciliated” in verse 20 where it says, “Be conciliated to God!”, I discovered something fantastic. The “conciliated” word in that verse is in the Passive Greek voice. This means that the subject does not perform the action, the action is done to the subject. We are the recipients of God’s conciliation; we are not the doers of it. The actions of God have had an impact on the world, and the world had nothing to do with it. Blue Letter Bible uses the following example: “The boy was hit by the ball.” The boy had no participation in the ball being hit by another force and consequently it hitting him. The boy was a bystander and the ball hit him. So it is with God’s conciliation of the world.
I see the words “Be conciliated to God!” saying something like, “Hey! Realize God is at peace with you. It’s already done. Be aware of it, live at peace with Him, and be freed by it.”

Related Post:
God Has Conciliated the World To Himself