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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ASK ANY QUESTION HERE:

Ask any general question about Life/Jesus/Christianity that you'd like to have answered here. Don't be shy and don't hold back!  www.TheGoodNewsBook.com

Copyright ©  2011  Shay Dawkins. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this blog or the comments on this blog may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system without the express written permission of the publisher and author unless for the specific use of writing a review or article pertaining to The Good News: How Revealing Delusions In Christianity Will Bring Peace To All.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

We can't see the unseen. So, how important is spiritual discernment in regard to matters of deception. Is this a skill or ability that can be learned, or is it something you have or don't have.

Author, Shay Dawkins said...

Spiritual discernment is a gift that can be learned by anyone yet some people do have naturally. Romans 12: 3 "God has dealt to every man a measure (amount) of faith" and Matthew 25: 15 "And unto one he gave 5 talents, to another 2, and to another 1; to every man according to his several ability" come to my mind as the Scripture clearly states that everyone is dealt different amounts of "talents" or "gifts."

For example, I am not good at drawing pictures. I could take classes and possibly be descent at drawing pictures, but in my heart I know that I'll never be a great drawer. I, personally, was deceived out of a very significant amount of money last summer when I traveled to Los Angeles to promote my book, and I do have above-average discernment. I realize now that I was caught up in the excitement and took someone that I did not know very well at their word. With that being said, this event in my life has further shaped my discernment and I will strive to not ever be deceived again by being caught up in the excitement. Does this mean that I will never trust again? Absolutely not, but I will be much more careful when a significant amount of money is at risk!

I believe God uses being deceived as a tool that further strengthens your discernment along with strengthening your forgiveness skills (Lol!) once you get to a place where you forgive the deceiver! I believe that God is in control of everything, and this gives me great peace when dealing with this particular situation because I know everything is working out for a purpose and reason for me (although it is near impossible to see this purpose when initially going through being deceived, but that is where faith comes in to play)!

In conclusion, if you have faith and act upon what you feel in your heart (Spirit), then you will have great discernment although you will be deceived at times. However, if you understand that you're not perfect and believe that God is in control, then these so-called "stumbling blocks" will only be seen as "strengthening tools" that have happened for you and for a purpose!

Anonymous said...

How important is it to attend the right church, or to attend church at all, for learning about the Bible's application as well as having the support of others during certain times in life?

Author, Shay Dawkins said...

I believe that the church should be a family, first and foremost, where a group of people come together to discuss different concepts, problems they may be facing, and most importantly simply be there for one another as brothers and sisters. I believe it is vital to have the right support especially during the tough times of life (I know I do!).

With that being said, is God in a building? No.

So, where is God? I believe God is in this conversation and anywhere else 2 or more people are gathered out of love/the intent to benefit and help one another (Matthew 18: 20).


God dwells within.

Luke 17: 21
21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


A person’s body is “the temple of God” as God’s spirit dwells inside a person’s body. The verse goes on to state that if any man makes his body “unclean” that God will bring spiritual destruction to that person. The verse concludes by stating that God is holy and that we, as spiritual human beings, are “the temple of God” or the “kingdom of God.”

1 Corinthians 3: (16-17) KJV
16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17If any man defile the temple of God (his body), him shall God destroy (spiritually destroy); for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are

1 Corinthians 6: 19 NIV
19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

John 14: 10 NIV
10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.


In conclusion, I believe that once a person understands that God dwells within them if they live Jesus's message (Love yourself, Love your neighbor as yourself, Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you, Love one another), then church is viewed in the correct context. Great question, by the way!

Anonymous said...

In response to the first question and reply...
I believe there is a spiritual dimension beyond the physical and the obvious. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. There's an obvious spiritual darkness present among us.
Your response is an example of how you forgave the one who deceived you and how you gained some wisdom in the process. Thanks for the opportunity to blog. S.

Author, Shay Dawkins said...

You have brought up one of my favorite chapters! You are right that there is a spiritual darkness present yet Jesus's message along with this Chapter shows one how to walk in the spiritual light which is more powerful than the darkness (All the darkness in the world can't put out the light of the smallest candle!)

So, how should one combat this darkness/negativity (what "the Devil" figuratively represents)?

By putting on "the armor of God" or more simply by living Jesus's message as explained by Jesus in the following two instances:

Luke 6: (46-49) NIV
46“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say(not live my message?) 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and PUTS THEM INTO PRACTICE (lives Jesus’s message). 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock (a foundation of love AKA Jesus's message). When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation (without a foundation of love; this person didn’t live Jesus’s message). The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction (spiritual destruction/emotional misery) was complete.”

Matthew 7: (24-27) NIV
24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and PUTS THEM INTO PRACTICE (lives Jesus’s message) is like a wise man who built his house on the rock (built his foundation on love; not love in an emotional sense, but love in the sense of living in forgiveness, thankfulness (humbleness), and the many other characteristics that come from Jesus's message or from “Living in the Spirit”). 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock (it had its foundation built on love AKA Jesus’s message). 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand (built his house on a foundation without love). 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”




I feel the previous 2 verses coincide perfectly with what is being described in Ephesians 6: 13:
"13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground (your house is built on the rock AKA Jesus's message), and after you have done everything, to stand."

Author, Shay Dawkins said...

The "Armor of God"
1) TRUTH (Ephesians 6: 14)

I personally believe that TRUTH is described as "the belt" because a belt connects all of the armor together or is "the foundation" of the armor. Without the belt, the armor falls a part just as the house built on the sand falls in the storm.

Simply, put living by truth would be living by Jesus's message as Jesus described in Luke 6 and Matthew 7 (which are listed above) and describe someone who "builds their house or life on the foundation of love." Note, this person not only knows the truth of Jesus's message, but lives by Jesus's message of love.


2) RIGHTEOUSNESS (Ephesians 6: 14)

I personally believe that RIGHTEOUSNESS is described as "the breastplate" because RIGHTEOUSNESS in this context coincides directly with one's heart or spirit as the breastplate protects one's physical heart.

Righteousness is describing "personal justification" in this instance which simply means doing what you feel in your heart/spirit is "right" for you. This could be as simple as having a beer because you feel it is right for you to have a beer OR it could refer to something much bigger like someone who quits their high paying job because they are miserable in it and know they would be much happier "following their heart's desire" of doing something that they enjoy doing. For this example, the job that brings them joy (a fruit of living in the Spirit) doesn't make them as much money, but what is more important, happiness (Living in the Spirit) OR money (Living in the Flesh)?

(The original Greek word's definition can be found by visiting this link: http://biblesuite.com/strongs/greek/1343.htm)


3) PEACE (Ephesians 6: 15)
I personally believe that PEACE is linked with "shoes" as one's shoes allow one to avoid small obstacles such as thorns and nails. The original Greek terms, in this verse, is specifically describing protecting the under part of one's foot. Instead of PEACE, I believe a more accurate term to describe what this verse is talking about would be "PEACE OF MIND" as "PEACE OF MIND" allows one to avoid small daily nuisances and obstacles just as the ancient soldier would avoid small thorns and nuisances from having the underpart of his foot prepared with protection.

A modern day example of having "PEACE OF MIND" would be to slow down, don't be in a rush, and to thoroughly strive to enjoy the small moments or "smell the roses" per say. If you get caught up in enjoying the small things, then you'll avoid getting caught up in the petty things such as stress and worry that bog many people down!

Author, Shay Dawkins said...

4) FAITH (Ephesians 6: 16)

I personally believe that "FAITH" is linked with "the shield" because "Faith or Belief in living by Jesus's message" protects one from losing their happiness, joy, and peace when under attack from spiritual darkness or negativity just as in this verse the shield allows the soldier to deflect the fiery arrows from "the evil one."

(*Side Note* Fire figuratively describes spiritual destruction or emotional agony/sorrow/misery throughout the Bible.)

A modern day example of this could be when someone you love such as a family member is in a really bad/angry mood and is saying a lot of mean/hateful/negative things to you (this would represent the fiery arrows). Your shield of faith would be simply knowing that this person doesn't really mean these hateful things to you as in your heart you know this person is simply being an unperfect human (as we all are unperfect) so you don't give in to the fleshly desire to "fire back" hateful things. You tell the person that you love them, are here for them, and sorry that they are not feeling well as you "turn the other cheek" and walk away from the situation.


5) SALVATION (Ephesians 6: 17, 1 Thessalonians 5: 8)

I personally believe that "SALVATION" is described as "the helmet of salvation" because when you are saved from living a life filled with emotional misery/sorrow which comes from believing and more importantly living Jesus's message, you learn to protect your mind and thoughts by striving to perceive things in a positive and hopeful way. Filling your mind with positive thoughts, allows for your mind to be protected as the helmet protects a soldier's head.

I feel the most important aspect I feel one should understand about "salvation" is that every individual must constantly work out their own "salvation" in the sense that we are all a work in progress as we are all unperfect so constantly protect your mind by striving to perceive things in the most positive, hopeful way you can! I feel the following verse best describes this:

Philippians 2: (12-13) NIV
12continue to work out your salvation (being saved from living in misery , unhappiness, etc.) with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you (God or Spirit dwells within) to will and to act according to his good purpose.


6) Your Words (Ephesians 6: 17)

The Bible clearly uses the sword as figuratively representing one's words as can be seen in Revelation 1: 16 where Jesus is described as "having a double edged sword coming out of his mouth."

I would like to make the point that the sword is the only tool of the soldier being described that can used to attack. The previous 5 tools of the soldier are all used for protection or defense.

So, how do you attack spiritual darkness? You attack spiritual darkness or negativity by being filled up with happiness, joy, love, peace, and all the other "fruits of the Spirit" that come from living a life based upon Jesus's message of love because as Jesus said in Matthew 12: 34 "Out of the heart (what your Spirit is filled up with) the mouth speaks." If your filled with the things of the Spirit (happiness, joy, peace), then you will speak "Spiritually life giving" words which is "the sword of the Spirit" being described here.

A basic, real life example of what is being described here would be you knowing someone you love is miserable/angry and you want them to feel better. The only way to make them feel better or "love your neighbor as yourself" is to make sure you are filled with happiness, joy, love as what you are filled up with will spread everyone around you including that person you love and want to feel better. When you are feeling good, laughing, and enjoying life you will only speak positive, encouraging words which will naturally uplift everyone around you because "out of the heart/Spirit the mouth speaks!"

Anonymous said...

Is it important to have a personal relationship with a living Jesus? Does it involve prayer or not?

Author, Shay Dawkins said...

Yes, I believe it is important to have a relationship with Jesus, but more specifically a relationship with Jesus's living, alive message.

Yes, prayer is important, but prayer should be more of a conversation. One should talk/pray to the heavenly/spiritual Father as one would speak to one's earthly father. I know that when I pray/conversate, I am able to gain clarity on anything that may be troubling me.

Shanna Brown said...

Many Christians believe in the rapture and many Christians feel we will go through the 7 year tribulation and be persecuted. Can you explain the chapter in Thesselonians and being caught up in the air if Christians are not going to be raptured.

Author, Shay Dawkins said...

The Rapture is not a concept that I have spent much time researching up to this point. With that being said, I understand it is a big topic discussed throughout many Christian churches and I appreciate you asking this good question as I needed to do more research on it!

From what I've found, the book of Thessalonians was written by Paul to encourage and reassure the Christians in Thessalonica. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_to_the_Thessalonians)

In 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, Paul's intent is to reassure and encourage the Christians there about believers who have died as verse 13 states, "13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope."

Personally, I do not find the topic of "the rapture" to be overly important as if you believe and more importantly live Jesus's message (Love), then you will not have anything to worry about!

I believe it is important to understand that those who "live in love" now are saved from living a life of emotional sorrow/misery right now yet if you don't "live in love" now then you will continue to live in emotional sorrow/misery and this is what Jesus would want people to understand, first and foremost!

1 John 3: 14
14We know that we have passed from death (“spiritual death” or "Hell") to life (“spiritual life”), because we LOVE our brothers. Anyone WHO DOES NOT LOVE REMAINS in death (“Hell” or “spiritual death” or “emotional agony/misery”).


Lastly, the Bible states that all people will be saved in the end. However, not everyone is saved right now.

The scripture states that no man can say that Jesus is Lord without having the Holy Ghost. Scripture states that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. The scripture states that EVERYTHING in heaven, on earth, and even under the earth will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. By using scripture to interpret scripture, EVERYONE will call on the name of the Lord and EVERYONE will be saved, as anyone who calls upon the Lord shall be saved!

I Corinthians 12: 3
3That no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2: 21
21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10: 13
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

I John 4: 14-15
14the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth
in him, and he in God.

Philippians 2: 10-11
10That at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that EVERY tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, that glory of God the Father.

Romans 14: 11
11says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will confess to God.

I Corinthians 4: 5
5And then shall EVERY MAN have praise of God


Chapter 10 of my book entitled "God Saves All" is devoted with many other Scriptures reinforcing this point as well!

Thanks again for commenting!