(1-O) Stage Size: When you open Stage Builder, there is a ghost image of a stage, along with a ghost image of Mario, to give you a good idea of an appropriate size to start with. This ghost image is the same size regardless of the size of the map you’re building on. It’s always 30 blocks across, and the top runs along the horizontal center line of the building space. This is indeed a good sized stage, as you would probably expect. If you want to build a more intimate stage, you may want to shave 2-4 grid blocks off of both sides. Building any larger than the ghost stage depends on the size of your map. I recommend not building any longer on a small map though.
It’s not a good idea to build much higher, or any lower on a small map. Building too high gives certain characters an advantage over others. It’s okay to build a little high, say 1, maybe 2 grid blocks above center, just to create different ranges to the upper Blast Zone, but I personally stick to center on small maps. Building any lower will cause specific hardships for specific characters. For instance Greninja’s Neutral Air (N-air) has a tremendous amount of lag while airborne. There is almost no landing lag, but performing this move in the air leaves you with no way to act for some time after performing it. I recommend taking Greninja into your stage and see if you can do a walk off N-air, and still recover before you hit the lower Blast Zone. If not, your stage might be too low.
If you are building on a medium sized map, there is a little more freedom to move up and down, but not a ton. And of course, there is even more range when building on a large map.
Each size map has the same length of ghost platform (30 blocks), the same distance from the side green lines (the lines that represent the edge of what can be seen during a match, I call these sight lines) to the side Blast Zone, which is 16 blocks, and the same distance from the bottom sight line to the bottom Blast Zone, which is 12 blocks. The differences in size come in the distance from the top of the platform to the top Blast Zone, the edge of the platform to the side green line, and the top of the platform to the bottom green line. The distance for each size is as follows. From platform to top: Small = 16 blocks, Medium = 22, and Large = 32. From edge to side green line: Small = 15, Medium = 21, and Large = 31. From platform to bottom green line: Small = 14, Medium = 18, and Large = 24.
So let’s say that you feel the distance to the Blast Zone is the most important variable in your stage building, and you think that the distance on the small maps ghost stage is perfect. In that case, if you were building on a medium stage you’d want to raise the top of the stage by 6 blocks, and extend each edge by 6. The distance to bottom has the least affect on a match, as long as it’s not too low, so I’ll ignore that for this scenario. If you were building on a large stage you’d want to build 16 blocks higher than the ghost stage, and extend each edge by 16. As you can see the number for each size map is the same for height as it is for width, so it should be pretty easy to remember. For medium the number is 6, and for large the number is 16. If you can just remember the number 6, then you can just add 10 to the medium stages number (6) to get the large stage number (16).
(2-O) Starting Positions: It is imperative that both player 1 and 2 start at equal distance from center stage. If you have a stage built normally, player 1 will start at center stage, giving them the advantage. In order to cause both players to start an equal distance from center, you’ll need to place an object under the center stage, very close to the topside, but just beneath the surface. This will keep anyone from starting a match there. I tend to use the small moving platforms because I like the distance. I originally used soft platforms, but I don’t like the way they stick out from beveled top stages. If you have a flat top (and in some situations even on a beveled top), a soft platform can be a nice decoration. Here’s an example of a normal platform being used for this. If you use this method, the platform will need to be drawn with the grid off.
If you use the small mover, you will need to place it at center with the grid on, then turn the grid off and starting with the lower part of the mover, nudge each part of the platform down by 1 pixel (the smallest amount possible with the grid off). If the mover is too high, the platform will be visible during game play, which is usually not desirable, although again, sometimes it can look nice. And if it’s too low, it won’t push player 1 away from center. Here’s how it should look when you’re done.
If you want a little more distance between the players, you can place it horizontally, but this might mean you need to accommodate for players 3 & 4 starting positions.
(3-O) Platforms: Some people mistakenly think that competitive stages need to be flat, with no platforms. But anyone who has played a tournament, or at least seen competition footage will know that several stages with platforms are common picks. In fact, some characters thrive with platforms, and others can do cool tricks with them. Also, doing a move with low knockback, that sends an opponent backwards off of a platform will cause them to fall to the ground without the ability to tech, making an opportunity for a reset, which is a common tactic in high level play.
The trick is to try new things with the size, slope and placement of your plats, without creating a stage that’s too busy. This is where your own creativity should be unfettered by my suggestions, so I won’t give you examples, but I will show you one important thing to note.
In competitive play, using your double jump just to reach a platform makes you vulnerable, because if you happen to get hit while airborne, and you are launched far off stage after using your double jump to try and reach a platform, then you are at a severe disadvantage for recovering back to stage. You also don’t want to place it so low that people can’t do short hop aerial attacks underneath it, without landing on it, as this is a major approach option in high level play. Not too high, not too low. There actually is an optimal height, and I’ll show you what that is, but I don’t want you to think that every single platform has to be that exact height all the time. I found a youtube video by Smash Highlights that showcased the jump height for each character, for both hop and jump. Essentially, Greninja had the highest hop, and Ganon had the lowest jump.
FYI: technically Jigglypuff and Kirby have the shortest full hops in the game, but they also have several jumps, so using 2 jumps to get up to a platform isn’t a huge disadvantage for them. Next to them, the shortest jump in the game is Ganon. He can jump up to a platform that is 5 blocks above him. Fortunately, this is high enough to keep the highest hop in the game (Greninja) from landing on the platform during his short hop approaches.
When a platform is 5 blocks above the stage, every character in the game can get to it by jumping but not hopping. Technically Shulk with his Jump Monado activated is the highest hop, and he WILL land on a platform of this height, but raising it up enough to keep him from landing on it after a hop, also means raising it too much for Ganon to reach it with a jump. And, since Shulk only hops that high when one of his Arts are triggered, I’ll give the advantage to Ganon, he needs it anyway.
So it would be a good idea to make the majority of your platforms 5 grid blocks above your stages, and 5 blocks higher than one another. It’s one of those things that isn’t exactly necessary, you could make some platforms a little extra high, but if you want the stage to be fair ground for all fighters, you’ll want to keep to this formula, at least most of the time. Maybe if you have high platforms you could also incorporate an elevator by way of moving platforms, to help out the low jumpers.
One more thing to note: if a platform has even a 1 grid block high slope, it will eat Megaman’s Buster Shot (His Side Smash). You might think so what, but this important kill move is a smash, so it can’t be performed in the air, meaning he can’t hop and release it, to clear the slope, he has to be grounded to use it.
If you want to create a slope that does not eat this move, simply drop the high end down by a pixel (or raise the low end up by the same). If you want to keep Greninja’s fully charged water shuriken from being eaten, better make it 2 pixels. To learn more about this, see section (1-X) in the next portion of the guide. Below is an angle that I feel is optimal, but don’t be unwilling to try other angles. The length doesn’t matter too much.
(4-O) Combos: I want to show you how to create a stage that makes use of two (or more) different Skins to make one structure.
First I want to do a quick refresher on the 3 main types of Skins. There are (A) Bevels, which have beveled edges along all sides, there are (B) Flat Tops, which only have bevels along the sides and bottom, and there are (C) Squares, which have flat edges on all sides.
Let’s say that I want a stage comprised of the masonry skin, but I want it to have a grassy top. I want the masonry to overlap the grass, so I need to draw the masonry second, since each new piece (usually) overlaps the previous piece. I call this a Combo, since it uses a combination of parts. So, start by drawing the grass. Since this is the highest and smallest part of the Combo, we’ll call it the Head. So of course, the main portion of the Combo will be called the Body.
The angle on the sides of the Head is actually fairly important. If you do a 45 degree angle then some characters will hit their head when recovering, even though the angle is concealed within the Body portion of the Combo. So I use an angle that is 1 block down and 2 blocks in.
One quick side note on the top of your stage, I highly recommend keeping the vast majority of your stages flat. Slopes on the main stage can cause a variety of issues for many characters, but in particular, Greninja suffers greatly. His Up-B can be aimed to the side to escape his opponent, and if he wants to he can then aim it back again, allowing him to dart away and back.
But if the ground he is standing on has even the slightest angle whatsoever, the move will be negated, and he will practically go nowhere. In the picture below, he was standing at the far right edge, and he did his Side-B toward center stage. As you can see, he didn’t travel very far. I’ve also included a close up of just how slight the angle is in the editor.
Back to making the combo. Now, if we were to just draw the Body over the Head with the grid on, the Body would be shifted, causing ledge problems, and hiding the grass. Note in the picture below how the right ledge grab icon is slightly high and to the right of the grid point that it is nearest.
This is because these two pieces share a boarder (their top plane in this example), so we need to eliminate that shared boarder. Let’s start by drawing a temporary platform to the right of the rightmost ledge. This will eliminate the ledge grab icon, allowing us to tap that grid point, which we’ll need to do. Be sure that the temporary platform is not touching the space that the Body will occupy, or else it will cause shifting. Now start as seen below with the left side of the green line. Draw upward into the left edge without picking up the stylus, then turn the grid off, and tap a point directly on the vertical center line of the grid (the one that runs from Ghost Mario’s head to his feet), but make sure that it is just below the horizontal center line (the one that runs from left to right). Then turn the grid on and finish the piece.
Now these two pieces no longer share that boarder! This is actually a poor construction, but I want to show you something that you will need to look out for. If you try to test the stage as it is, you will get a message that says “There is not enough ground for fighters to stand on. Create more platform space inside the green box”. This is because the top plane of the Body is too close to the top plane of the Head. The issue is that players cannot start on a surface that has another surface, or an item, like a spring or moving platform, just underneath it. If the Head of your Combo extends to the edges of the Ghost stage, then you will need to drop that central point of the top plane on the Body down to a certain point in order to make room for 4 starting points. The smaller your stage, the lower you will have to drop that central point, in order to accommodate 4 starting positions. The larger your stage, the higher that middle point can be. Another way around this, if you really want that central point as high as it can be without sharing that boarder, is to add a platform(s) for players to start on.
But let’s assume that you’re trying to make an Omega style stage with no platforms, in which case you will need to drop that center line to a position that will allow 4 starting positions. Let’s start by placing the small moving platform that we talked about in (2-O) that we’ll be using to push Players 1 & 2 equal distance from center. Once we do that, now we have a visual guide for where to place that central point. It should be at the very bottom of the platform. Placing it here will allow room for all 4 players to start. The placement of this lowered center point of the Body will depend on the length of your stage; I’m showing you what is needed for a stage that is exactly as long as the ghost stage. Anyway, here’s what it should look like.
Now the finished stage should look like this.
And here’s what it looks like in game.
Hmmm. I don’t like the way that dirt shows up between the grass and the masonry trim. It looks this way because when drawing certain sizes and shapes, even beveled pieces have flat tops. I want to restore that bevel, so I’ll try this.
Now our bevel is present, let’s finish the rest and see how it looks.
Oh yes, that’s much better. But how does the entire topside look?
Well now I don’t like the way the masonry topside is so prominent on the edges. I’m going to show you how to get a bevel in the middle, and flat tops on both sides.
You’re going to want to draw the exact same shape as before, but instead of starting the drawing with an edge, you start in the center, and move to an edge, then finish the piece. After you’re done, it should look like this.
But that’s kind of a shallow bevel. I want it to be a little deeper, or else some of that dirt is still going to show up. Let’s try this.
Now we have a deep bevel in the middle, and flat tops on both sides. Keep these things in mind, because in some cases you may want a flat top on a beveled piece, or you might want a shallow bevel in the middle, with flat tops on the sides. I generally go with the deep bevel, but I want you to be aware of the varied options. And here’s how it looks in game.
I want to show you a specific problem to avoid if your Head has edges that are too thin and pointy, like the one below.
Even though the ledge grab icons are present in the editor, fighters still won’t grab the ledge, not at all.
(5-O) Underside Slope Angle: Now I want to talk about the underside angle of your stages. Unless you are building a block shaped stage, you need to be aware of certain properties of the slopes under your stage. When most characters hit a sloped ceiling with their Up-B, they should skim along the slope, right to the ledge of the stage. Below you can see Greninja hit the bottom of a slope with his Up-B.
If you’re holding directly up on the control stick, he should travel right to the ledge.
If the slope is too shallow, he will hit his head. You could do a variety of slope angles, but I want to show you the shallowest slope that functions properly. Anything steeper than this should also work just fine, but I highly recommend never creating a slope that is shallower than this. This is the same slope that’s been seen on all of the pics in this section so far. It is 2 grid blocks down, and 3 blocks over. As shallow as this slope is, it still allows for wall jumps too, which is very helpful for about half of the cast. I do this because I personally don’t like the look of a 45 degree angle on the bottom of a stage, to me it looks too bulky, and not nearly sleek enough. There is an example of a 45 degree angle below; it’s an angle that dissects a grid block diagonally.
There are a few things to consider for certain characters. The following is in regards to a fighter being very low on a stage that has the down 2 and over 3 angled slope. Some will be able to recover from lower if they do their Up-B while facing the center of the stage; others will be able to recover from lower if they face away from center. This is assuming that they are right up against a low point of a sloped ceiling, under the stage, as seen in the image below. Pac-Man’s trampoline shows where he started his Up-B.
It’s this low and close position that the following information pertains to. The fighters not mentioned shouldn’t have too much trouble in any situation. Those that need to face center when recovering low on this angle are: Ike, Roy and Sonic. And those that need to face away from center are: Robin, Palutena, Meta-Knight (if he’s really low), Charizard, Corrin and Cloud. Fox, Falco and Lucario should aim their Up-B toward the ledge to get the most out of their recovery. There are two special cases to mention, Pikachu and Pac-Man. Pika only moves a certain amount during his Up-B, but can move twice as far, if you input another directional input at the right moment. He should aim his Up-B up and away from the center (angled up a bit more than 45 is best, but 45 works), and then immediately directly toward the ledge. Pac-Man needs to initiate his Up-B and immediately press and hold toward the center of the stage. This will cause him to hug the slope on the way down, allowing him to hit his trampoline for the second and third jump if necessary.
(6-O) Wall Cling: And just in case you want to have a sloped bottom that also allows for a wall cling, you will need it to be 1 block over, and 3 blocks down. This angle won’t hinder Up-B recoveries, and wall jumps will also still work. And if you really want a slightly shallower angle that allows for wall cling, then you can do 4 blocks over, and 11 down.
(7-O) Bells and Whistles: As for the aesthetic details of a Combo stage, you’re going to run into a unique situation. Earlier I said that usually the newest piece appears on top of the previous piece. Well the combo works a little differently, depending on where your detail pieces end up. If your detail piece only overlaps the body, and not the head, then it will end up behind the stage. If it overlaps both pieces, it will end up on top of both. The image below illustrates both scenarios.
If you want a particular detail to be seen in front of the body, but it doesn’t end up overlapping the Head (meaning it will be hidden behind everything else), you can simply draw a temporary piece first (like the one on the right side of the picture above), then draw the detail piece, and it will now be on top. The temporary piece should occupy some of the space of the body, and some of the space where the detail piece will soon be added, but it shouldn’t overlap the head, and it should not share a boarder with the detail piece, or else the detail will be shifted. Now draw your details, then delete the temporary piece. Another thing you might want to try is to give your Head a little more size, so that the details will be more likely to come into contact with both the Head and the Body. If you do this, you may run into problems if your Head happens to share a boarder with your details.
In the image below, the detail piece on the right appears in front of the Body, because the temporary piece occupied some of the space of the Body and of the detail, but not of the Head. The same detail piece was added on the left side to show how a temporary piece that overlaps both parts of the Combo affects details.
Just so you’re aware, there will be some instances where you will want your details to end up behind the Body, so that the only thing that shows up during game play is the trim edge of the detail piece. In the picture below, the piece on the left is behind the Body, so only the trim appears, and the detail on the right is on top of the body. There will be a time for using each of these techniques, so experiment with them often.
One issue that can occur when adding details to your stage, can negatively affect fighters recovery. Take the image below.
Even though the detail piece doesn’t technically stick out from the side of the slope, Greninja’s head still hits it, which cancels his Up-B. If this happens close enough to the top, some fighters can still auto snap to the ledge, but each fighter’s snap range is different, so don’t think that just because one character isn’t hindered by this, that no one will be. I HIGHLY recommend keeping detail pieces at least 2 grid blocks inside, away from the edges of any slope on your stage.
Finally, I’d like to show you a very specific problem that I ran into while making my stage called Bug Back. First I’ll show you the general construction I tried.
The problem is essentially the same as having detail pieces too close to an angled edge. Characters hit their head, and their recoveries are gimped. This is because of the flat underside of the first portion of the Body. Even though it’s buried within the new, second portion, the characters clip into the stage just a bit, and their heads hit the flat bottom, stopping their movement dead in its tracks.
To fix this I simply carried the angle of the 1st segment of the body down a little further than it was previously. See below.
Now there are no troubles.
The construction above doesn’t look all that great, but it illustrates my point.
Hello, I am nicholighkun. I share my original music, & other content online via Hatena and youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/nicholighkun). I have a contribution account via paypal. Contributions will be set aside for a specific purpose; equipment upgrade. Currently I am writing music & painting on a Nintendo 3DS, using Rytmik Ultimate & Rock for music, & Colors! 3D for painting. While these programs are very fun, and excellent for their respective price tags, they are also very limited in scope and options. I would really like to upgrade my equipment, but I am finding that difficult to do. If you contribute to this effort, 10% will go to tithing, 10% will go into my pocket, and the rest of the 80% will go into a special savings account for this planned upgrade. My plan is to get a desktop computer, a laptop, a high quality music making program and a tablet specifically for digital painting and potentially making a comic. If you'd like to make a contribution, please send a donation to email@example.com via paypal.
Thank you for viewing my content, and please also consider praying for me on a regular basis.
Taking the Name of the Lord in Vain
The modern concept of what it means to take the Name of the LORD in vain is completely wrong, and it’s quite an open and shut case, so let’s dive right in and find out what it really means.
Most people would say that using the word ‘God’ in any way other than speaking to or about God is taking the Name of God in vain, i.e. saying GD or OMG. Well that logic falls apart with one simple statement: God is not God’s name; God’s name is Yahweh.
Exodus 6:3 “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH (Yahweh) was I not known to them."
God’s Name is Yahweh. His Name is not God. You may be tempted to say, “Hey, but He just said ‘by the name of God Almighty” but that isn’t actually true. Anytime you see italicized words the King James Version of the Bible, you need to remember that the translators added those words in order to make the passages flow more naturally for modern audiences; they were printed in italics so that there would never be any question as to what was added. A lot of people blast the KJV for its additions, but they are completely unaware that these additions are flagged. The phrase “the name of” doesn’t actually appear in the Hebrew text. However, the second appearance of the word ‘name’ is in the original text; it is the Hebrew word shem (Strong’s concordance #8034), and it means the traditional understanding of the word ‘name’. God is not God’s name; Yahweh is God’s name.
Now let’s read from the Ten Commandments passage.
Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."
In the passage above, the word LORD in all caps. When you see this in the Old Testament it is always in place of the name Jehovah, or the more accurate Hebrew translation of Yahweh (YHWH). The Exodus passage should be read as follows, “Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh thy God in vain; for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” The word God is a title it is not a name. Saying GD or OMG cannot be taking the name of God in vain, because God is not God’s name.
And finally I bring you to the book of Proverbs. Pay close attention to verse 9; I have highlighted the portion that pertains to this study.
Proverbs 30:7-9 “7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD (YHWH)? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
Taking the name of the Lord in vain actually depends on which covenant you are under. If you are under the covenant of the Old Testament law (i.e. if you are a Jew), then calling yourself a Jew and breaking the commands of that law, constitutes the act of taking the name of Yahweh in vain. In the example above the act of stealing is referenced specifically, but basic logic implies that breaking any commandment while calling yourself a Jew constitutes the act of taking the Name of Yahweh in vain. This is evidenced by the fact that taking the name of the LORD in vain (Exodus 20:7) and stealing (Exodus 20:15) are both commandments. If taking the name of the Lord in Vain could only be done when stealing, then why are they two separate commands? Obviously breaking any other commandment constitutes taking the name of the LORD (YHWH) in vain. And to clarify things a bit more, ‘taking the name of the LORD’ actually means to take on his mantle, or to stand under his banner, if you will; it means to take on his name in a familial sense, the way a bride takes the last name of her groom.
As for the Christian, if you are under the covenant of Grace by the Blood of Jesus then breaking the law of that New Covenant could possibly be taking the name of the Lord Jesus in vain. The commandment of Christ is that we love one another John 13:34, and in I John 3:23 we read “And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” Therefore, by calling yourself a Christian without truly believing on Jesus Christ according to the Scriptural account, or if you do not have love for others, then you could possibly be taking the name of the Lord Jesus in vain, but there is also no special command for us on the matter. I’ll touch more on that in a bit.
And because it will likely be rebutted that saying GD and OMG is blasphemy, let’s take a look at what that actually means as well.
In Mark 3:22-30 Jesus was casting out demons, which the Pharisees said He was doing so by an evil spirit, at which point Jesus said that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is unforgivable, "because they said He had an evil spirit". Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is calling him an evil spirit; therefore, blasphemy against the Father or the Son is calling them evil. Saying GD or OMG isn’t calling God evil.
There's no Scriptural evidence that I know of for the concept of blasphemy or taking God's Name in vain to mean anything specific other than the Scriptures I've shown. The modern interpretations of those concepts are nothing more than the traditions of men, in as much as they deviate from, or add on to the Scriptural account.
I’m Not Advocating The Use of These Terms
I hope it is obvious that I am not condoning or endorsing the usage of the word God in the manner that is considered to be offensive today. And the reason I don’t suggest using it is simply because it offends some people; not because the current interpretation is right, because I feel it is pretty clear that the modern interpretation is very wrong. But, there is no profit in offending others, especially in offending fellow Christians. After all, in Proverbs 6:16-19 we read the true list of the seven deadly sins (not the well known list suggested by the Catholic church), and the final item in that list of things God hates is “he that soweth discord among the brethren”. It is good to educate your fellow Christians on this matter, but it is not good to offend them by using these terms unapologetically, since they may believe that this breaks one of God’s commandments.
The Reason For This Study
The main motivation for this endeavor is to keep Christians from being hypercritical when they hear the phrase GD or OMG, and to help you realize that even under the old covenant law, only those who called themselves by Yahweh’s name (the Jews) could even commit this sin. A non-Jewish person isn’t even capable of breaking this commandment, because they are not under the old covenant law. Only Jews can commit this sin, and God is not God’s name. If a non-Jewish person says GD or OMG, they are doubly UN-qualified for candidacy of this sin. There is therefore no reason for anyone to get upset when they hear these terms.
The concept behind this command implies it to refer only to a person that calls himself or herself a Jew, simply for convenience sake, or for some reason other than true worship, having no real love for God. As for the equivalent of this among Christians, Jesus talked about true and false converts among His followers many times, and there will come a day when the wheat and the chaff, the sheep and the goats will be separated by the holy angels. So technically there are some who call themselves Christians who don’t actually believe Jesus to be the Son of God, or who have no love for others and this could certainly be considered the Christian equivalent of taking the Name of the LORD in vain, but they will be dealt with. There is no special commandment forbidding this for us, because there doesn’t need to be. And if this sin is even possible for Christians to commit, it certainly doesn’t pertain to non-believers. There is, therefore no need for Christians to be offended when they hear a non-Christian say GD or OMG. Add on top of that the fact that God is not God’s name, and there should really be no reason to take offense to these terms at all.
So to recap the two most important points of this study; God is not God’s name, and a non-Jewish person isn’t even capable of committing this sin. The Christian equivalent of taking the name of the LORD in vain, although it is not a special command for us, would be to call oneself a Christian but not believe on Christ according to the Scriptural account, or to have no love for others. Instead of being offended when you hear non-Christians say GD or OMG, try considering whether or not you love others, because you may actually be the one taking the name of the Lord in vain (because of your lack of love).
A common response among modern people in regards to radical Islam is to wipe them out. Sometimes this may be said in a dark form of jest, or in the passion of anger over a recent event, but I want to remind you of a few things that Jesus said.
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
I STRONGLY recommend that you memorize the following passage and repeat it to yourself constantly.
Matthew 5:44-48 “44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” See also Luke 6:27 & 6:35.
And Jesus also said to Peter after he smote the soldiers ear off in Jesus’ defense in Matthew 26:52 “Put up again thy sword into his place: for ALL THEY THAT TAKE THE SWORD SHALL PERISH WITH THE SWORD."
And finally remember, that vengeance belongs to God only.
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
Muslims are Allowed to Lie for the Cause of Allah or for Their Own Safety
Al-Taqiyya is the Islamic word for concealing or disguising ones beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions and/or strategies by lying to the unbelievers in order to further the cause of Islam and Allah.
The following excerpt is from an online article. – Quote - “The book of Islamic law, Reliance of the Traveller (or the ‘Umdat al-Salik), states on pg. 746: "Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible…” - End Quote
Here’s the article - http://www.clarionproject.org/node/3320#
Also from the article - Quote - “For example, Muslims often will cite verses from the (chronologically) earlier portions of the Qur’an (which generally were moderate, peaceful, and tolerant), while neglecting to mention that this was the period in Muhammad’s life when he and his tiny band of followers lived in Mecca, where they were ridiculed, powerless, and mostly unaccepted. Yet, even as they cite such passages, they are fully aware that most of these early verses were abrogated (cancelled and replaced) by later passages of the Qur’an that Muhammad produced after the hijra (migration) to Medina. The replacement verses, from a time when Muslims grew powerful, reflect harsh intolerance for non-Muslims and command violence to subjugate infidels (unbelievers) to Islamic law (sharia).
Sharia-compliant Muslims do not always express their hostility to unbelievers openly though. This is where taqiyya comes in. Based on verses from the Qur’an and hadiths (sayings of Muhammad), Muslims can pretend to befriend infidels (in violation of the teachings of Islam) and even display adherence with their unbelief, if this will advance the cause of Islam and protect the believer from harm. Here is one of those verses from the Qur’an:
"Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution (prevention), that ye may Guard yourselves from them (prevent them from harming you.) But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah." (Q 3:28)" - End Quote
One major thing to consider with this al-Taqiyya principle is that when Muslims are polled for their stance on “radical” Islam, Jihad and terror, without question, many of those who claim to be moderate are lying, because they feel it will immediately benefit Islam to have the Infidel think that there are fewer “radicals” around.
Before I continue I want explain that I reject the common perception of the term radical and moderate, because the so called radicals are actually adhering to the teachings of their book, where as moderates are rejecting large portions of writings upon which their faith is based, in order to remain peaceful. However, so as not to confuse the audience, I will continue to use these terms radical and moderate as they are commonly defined today.
There are approximately 1.2 billion Muslims around the world, with an estimated 15-25% of them being confirmed radical. That translates to 180-300 million radicals, and that doesn’t take into account that many claiming to be moderates are lying to further the cause of Islam, thanks to the principle of al-Taqiyya.
Most Germans in the time of Nazi Germany could be classified as moderate, yet the minority committed the atrocities of the Holocaust, and they forced the moderate majority to play a part in that. The same is true with all major atrocities in history.
There is no reason to focus on the moderate majority when addressing what to think about, and how to deal with the 180-300 million confirmed radicals (remembering that al-Taqiyya guarantees that many of the self proclaimed moderates are actually radicals). It is an unfortunate response to terrorism that many (most grievously many Christians) will group all Muslims together, but that is not the majority response. Most people recognize the difference between moderates and radicals, and they realize that there are probably more moderates than radicals. However, it is also unfortunate that moderates should raise a fuss over the reactions of some who lump all Muslims together.
We have a problem (radical Islam), and in order to deal with that problem, we need to focus on that problem; we shouldn’t be spending so much time on the group that is not the problem (moderate Muslims). That would be like saying, “Our neighborhood has a stray cat problem. Instead of dealing with that problem, let’s go around the neighborhood to the cats that have homes and tell them that we understand that their position is different than the strays, and when we’re done, the problem will be resolved.” You do not deal with a problem by focusing on Political Correctness for the sake of those who might be offended when you try to deal with the problem. You can make a distinction between moderates and radicals without neglecting to deal with the real problem. It seems that the only real discussion that is allowed or pervaded by the mainstream media is to talk about the difference between the two groups, and to coddle the moderates.
Quran and Hadith Verses on Violence Against non-Muslims
Take special note that the early verses of the Quran enjoining peace with Jews and Christians have been abrogated by the more recent verses commanding Jihad. Here are some verses that are still “in play” with regards to what Islam actually teaches. If a Muslim quotes verses of peace, remember that those verses have been abrogated by the following passages. Don’t be fooled.
Let this first passage be your primary verse to memorize.
Muslim 1:149 “What are the greatest commandments? Belief in Allah, and Jihad in his cause."
Jihad is one of the two great commandments for Muslims. There is no getting around this fact.
Muslim 1:33 “I (Muhamad) have been commanded to fight against people, ‘til they testify that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is his prophet."
Quran 8:39 “And fight with them until there is no more fitna (unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah."
Quran 9:29 “Fight those who believe not in Allah, nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) people of the book (Christians and Jews), until they pay the Jitsya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."
Bukhari 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764 “After amassing a powerful army, Muhammad sent his forces to take the PEACEFUL FARMING COMMUNITY of Khaybar by surprise. In the aftermath, he was dissatisfied with the amount of plunder and felt that the town’s treasurer, Kinana, might be holding out on him. He had the man brought to him: When he [Muhammad] asked him about the rest, he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to Al-Zabayr bin al-Awwam; “Torture him until you extract what he has.” So he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad bin Muslama and he struck off his head."
After this he forcibly married Sofia, the dead mans widow.
Ibn Hishaq/Hisham 819 and Bukhari56:369, 4:241 “. . . two singing-girls Fartana and her friend who used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed. . ."
Muslim 4645 “Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in paradise by 100 fold."
Bukhari 52:220 “Allah’s apostle said . . . ‘I have been made victorious by terror."
Tabari 9:69 “Killing unbelievers is a small matter to us."
Quran 9:123 “O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find you in hardness."
Abu Dawud 2150 Muslim 3433 “Some of the companions of the apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse IN THE PRESENCE OF THEIR HUSBANDS who were unbelievers. So Allah, the exalted, sent down the Qu’ranic verse: (4:24) “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you, save those (captives) whom your right hands possess."
The Syrian Refugee Crisis of 2015
The reason I am putting this together is to open people’s eyes about what Islam is. Today in the US and around the world, we are being pleaded with to take in Syrian refugees by about 10,000 at a time, into any one city or state. Approximately 87% of the Syrian population is Muslim. With a wave of 10,000 refugees and assuming that 87% of them are Muslims, then we take in 8,700 Muslims per wave. If 15-25% of those Muslims are radical then that means that with each group of 10,000 refugees there will be at least 1,305-2,175 radical Muslims in each wave of refugees. Remember, that’s ignoring the certainty of Muslims who identify as moderate in order to further the cause of Islam. So, almost certainly the actual number of radicals is much, much higher than even that. I will say that polls can be misleading in general, and are never an exact science, but they can be well handled, and they can give you a good idea of the state of things. I don’t want you to think that these numbers are concrete, because opinions and people change every day, and polls are only valuable to a certain extent depending on the questions and the people polled, but this is a good jumping off point to recognize just how deadly an affair this can possibly be.
Here’s The Rub
I want to remind you of a passage of Scripture. One of the two main points I want you to see is verse 42, which I will highlight, but I want you to know the full context of that verse as well.
Matthew 5:38-48 “38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye RESIST NOT EVIL: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
The issue for Christians is that of - the Spirit verses the flesh. Jesus has said, love your enemies, and give to them that ask something of you. Radical Islam is the expressed enemy of the Christian, and they are among the group that is asking us for asylum. We have to fight our flesh and recognize our call from God to give what is asked of us, and to love our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we have to be stupid about it. We can love and help our enemies while still being wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.
The real problem with the refugee plan is that the rules for this asylum are either too vague, or too lenient for them. Should we let them in? The Christians answer should be yes. Should we give them citizenship or the freedoms that being a US citizen includes? Absolutely not.
Matthew 10:16 “. . . be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
Just to give you a clear idea of how radical Muslims use refugees as cover for invasion, hear of the recent past of Lebanon. It was a Christian majority country; it was a democracy; and it was one of the most, if not the most wealthy country in the Middle East at one time. During this period of prosperity, they took in a large number of refugees and one day those refugees declared Jihad in the name of Allah (one of the two greatest commandments for the Muslim according to Muslim 1:149) and they over took the country in order to use it as a base to attack Israel. During this siege they also brutally murdered people, most especially Christians, in very horrific ways. One story told is that of a mother whose son was placed in her lap, and a knife was forced into her hand as a Muslim man, guiding the mothers hand by force, cut her sons throat while he sat in her lap. The stories are many and they are horrific. To hear of this tale from a first hand survivor of the siege, please watch the following video of an interview with a Lebanese Christian woman named Brigitte Gabriel. If you are not a fan of Jimmy Swaggart, don’t let that stop you from listening to this woman’s incredible story.
And also note that Lebanon was used as a base to attack Israel (the little Satan according to Radicals), so what do you think will happen in the US (the great Satan)? Be as wise as serpents, and as gentle as doves.
I am not well versed in the political process, so I will not give an account of what can be done, I will only say that the Christians response should be based in Scripture, and Scripture says to love your enemies and give to those that ask of you; giving more than they ask. This generosity should be tempered by wisdom like the serpent and the gentleness of a dove. Don’t be fooled by the myths surrounding the so called moderate Muslims, because the moderates are not the problem, and the moderates are not the tiny minority that most people would have you believe. If jihad is declared in the US (or anywhere), without question, many of the self proclaimed moderates will show their true stripes and they will be the ones in the streets with guns and knives killing men women and children. Be loving, be gentle, but be smart.
I Pledge Allegiance to the Black Flag . . .
A quick final word about Muslim allegiance: All Muslims allegiance is to Allah and to Islam, so when a Muslim holds a job in any political party or on the staff of the police, or as a teacher, or anywhere else, their number one allegiance is to Allah and Islam, and their faithfulness to our country and our political system is secondary. Remember that. This means that a Muslim holding one of these offices absolutely cannot be trusted, knowing that their primary allegiance is not to our country it is to the same religion as the terrorists we fight, and that they are permitted to lie to further the cause of Islam when that aim cannot be attained by the truth.
Some might argue that a Christian’s allegiance is to Christ, so the same warning should apply to us. It is true that our first allegiance is to Christ, but Christ’s command is to love, not Jihad; the greatest commandments for the Muslim are to believe in Allah and jihad in his cause (Muslim 1:149). Taking someone who follows a religion that not only demands their allegiance, but that also teaches the overthrow of the entire world, most notably the very country they are supposed to be serving (in our case the US, AKA the great Satan) and placing that person into any office of power, that is the absolute height of stupidity. It’s like saying “Maybe the wolf won’t eat us if we give him power over us.” Love your enemies but remember, giving your enemies power over you, or equal to you, isn’t love, it is stupidity.
The religion teaches war and conquest through violence, it does not teach not peace. A truly peaceful Muslim is going against the teachings of their holy book the same way a war mongering Christian is going against the teachings of Christ.
Muslim 1:149 “What are the greatest commandments? Belief in Allah, and Jihad in his cause."
Jihad is one of the two great commandments for Muslims. There is no getting around this fact.
Love your enemies; give to those that ask of you, more than they ask; and be as cunning as the serpent but as gentle as doves.
King’s Pardon (Uncensored) Building Instructions and Details
After posting my Smash Brothers stage called King’s Pardon, it was reported by a user and deleted by an admin for having religious content. I then posted an edited stage, linked below.
After that, I took some snap shots to show you how to build the uncensored version, and that’s the purpose of this entry. I will also go over the symbolism behind the design.
Take a look at the image below.
(above) First draw the highest platform, the blue one, and then the cross. Then take the small magma tool and draw the inner lava. The lava represents the Holy Spirit. Then draw the flat platforms of the scales, followed by the wide ‘V’ shaped bottoms. Now place the lower springs, then turn the grid off and place the springs that are stacked on top of the first two. Place them as close as you can, and make sure that they are perfectly lined up.
(above) As for the main stage, draw the ‘G’ and the ‘M’ first. They will help you draw the larger chunks more easily. The two main sections, representing God and Man would be divided if it weren’t for the bridge that Jesus built with His Blood. Now draw the soil cross first, then the stone cross. The soil cross represents Jesus the son of man, and the stone represents Jesus the Son of God. The Holy Spirit indwelt Jesus, and that is why the stone cross is inside the one of soil.
(above) Now draw the “corks” under the letters. These will stop Hotheads from having to travel quite so far during their journey around the bottom of the stage. The corks will also keep Bombchu’s from getting stuck on or around the letters. The two corks are identical in structure, but the one made of soil is easier to see, so use that one as a guide.
(above) And finally place a small soft platform to keep players from falling through the tiny gap between the stone and soil. This should be the same skin as the stone. Below is the full grid after the stage is complete.
There are no gimmicks with this stage that need an explanation, but I do want to give a shout out to RetroStu for coming up with the idea of using springs as a sort of wall that you can pass through. The link below is to his miiverse profile page. He makes some really great stages if you haven’t seen them already!
As for the overall message of the stage, it is in relation to what I feel is one of the most egregiously understated facts about what being a Christian is really all about, and that is the notion that Jesus didn’t just die to save us from the punishment for our sins (which we deserve), but that when we are saved, our relationship with God is restored; not just in heaven after we die, but while we are here on earth. Among other reasons, Jesus died because God wanted a relationship with you, but your sin caused a divide between you and He. Only a man can pay for the sins of men. But a sinner can only pay for his or her own sins, only a sinless man can pay for the sins of all mankind. But only God can live a sinless life. Therefore, the Son of God, who left heaven where he was worshiped day and night by holy angels, to put on the flesh of men and live as a servant, and die as a criminal; living the sinless life that only God can live, paying the price that only a man can pay, in order to restore YOUR relationship with the Father. He now resides at the right hand of the Father, in a flesh body that he will dwell in for all eternity, which he willingly wears for our sake.
Yes God loves you. There is only one unforgivable sin, and that’s blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. No matter what you’ve done other than that, including murder and adultery, you can be forgiven for it, but you have to accept this free gift.
When you are saved, your life isn’t suddenly peaches n’ cream either. Yes hard times will find you until the day you die. Instead of blaming or blaspheming God for it, try recognizing that evil is brought on by satan and his angels, or by flawed people (all too often even those who call themselves Christians), and that blaming God because trouble finds you is like blaming your real life dad because the bully down the street knocked you down. God is good, and he works all things together for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), and that includes working the schemes of the devil to bless you. One Biblical principle that is as old as time is that a man’s traps that he lays for another, especially traps laid for believers, will always end up ensnaring the one who laid it in the first place. So, instead of getting your feelings hurt, or retaliating, or defending yourself, lean on God and trust that He is bigger than your problems. Don’t let the evil deeds done to you cause you to mistrust God. Walking away from the only one capable of helping you in the midst of ANY situation is just not logical.
And just in case you are not saved, and your primary opposition is that you believe what you have been told about science successfully destroying God, you have been lied to. You’ll never learn the truth from the Discovery channel or the History channel or from textbooks; you will have to find the information yourself. I recommend checking out Ian Juby (Wazooloo) on youtube, and browsing some of his content. He is a good hub for finding all kinds of information, resources and people that will blow your mind. His youtube account will be linked below. A fair warning, I think he’s much too snarky sometimes, so don’t let that detract from the content.
Below is a link to a hub of my own writings that I recommend as well. These are divided up into sub groups to make things easier to find. Each link is to an article that I wrote, so please check them out. I have a few articles on science that supports the Scriptures, but there is so much more out there. Don’t let the lies of wicked men rob you of eternal life; seek the truth for yourself.
On the Nintendo service miiverse I stumbled onto a user who posted the following – “My mom is cheating on my dad! ;^; she's messing our family up! My dad doesn't deserve this..."
I’m going to reply to this using Scripture, because that’s all I know for sure.
John 5:26-27 “26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.”
Doctrinal implication: Only Jesus can execute judgment.
John 8:7 “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
Implication: a sinful person (that’s everyone except Jesus) is not qualified to exact judgment.
Matthew 19:3-8 “3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife (divorce) for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses >>>because of the hardness of your hearts<<< suffered (allowed) you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so."
Implication: The only reason that God allows divorce is after adultery, but even that is only allowed because of the hardness of men’s hearts. God’s perfect Will is that we would endure and continue loving faithfully, even when the other person is not faithful.
I don’t know your situation, but it could be your mom’s fault entirely, or it could be that your dad doesn’t show your mom that he loves her and she went to where she could find that. It’s still not right and there is no excuse, but it is possible that the blame doesn’t rest entirely on your mother’s head, so be cautious not to judge, only Jesus can do that. You can say that cheating is wrong, and it is, but beyond that, you are not qualified to judge her.
That being said, God never promises in His Word that our lives will be peaches and cream if we believe in Him. In fact, we are warned that our lives will be filled with trouble, and more so when we proclaim the Name of Yeshuah (Jesus). God does however; promise that He is with those who confess Jesus as Lord. If you are saved, then God is with you.
If you are not saved then you need to call on the Name of the Lord. He didn’t die only to save you from the penalty for your sin, He also died to restore a relationship between you and God. John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, >>>and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.<<<"
I’m here to testify to you that His Word is true. Please check out the following link to read of a supernatural experience of my own - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/nicholighkun/20150605/1433535260
His Hand over your life is not an idea, or some religious talisman; it is the tangible work of the living God.
Don’t blame Him when bad things happen, but rather turn to Him for comfort and guidance, and you will see for yourself that He is very good.
If you want to learn more about my own testimony, check out the following link and look near the bottom for the headers “Supernatural Experiences” and “Prophetic Dreams” - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/nicholighkun/20120320/1332275332
This post is in regards to my Smash Brothers 4 custom stage called Concerto de Trois, which means a concert of three in French, as most probably know. The Three in question is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and the concept is that their roles interact and intertwine in perfect concert with one another, weaving the tapestry of mankind’s history. The empty tomb of the Son, Jesus Christ is the centerpiece for this stage. Jesus’ name in Hebrew, Yeshuah, is scrolled under the tomb. Below is a link to the stage on miiverse.
Most people, including the majority of Christians don't know the Gospel message beyond the notion that Jesus died for their sins. They don't fully understand what that means, or how to share it sufficiently, so I wanted to share something that will hopefully paint a full and complete picture, to the best of my limited ability to do so.
Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of The Living God (Matthew 16:16-17), and faith in Him is the only means of eternal salvation and the only means of escaping eternal damnation. Man cannot be righteous by the standard of God’s law because man cannot keep God’s law (Romans 3:19-31, 9:31-32); God will only see one as righteous when they believe on Christ (Romans 3:22, Philippians 3:9), so that Christ’s Righteousness can be transferred to them (I Corinthians 1:30). Punishment for refusing the sacrifice of the Son of God is real (II Thessalonians 1:8-9, Revelation 14:11). The lake of fire was made for the devil and his angels, not for us, (Matthew 25:41), God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11), and He is not willing that any man should inherit the lake of fire, but that all should come to repentance, (II Peter 3:8-9), Sin cannot go unpunished, (Romans 6:23), unless the blood of a sacrifice is shed, (Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22), but the Blood of Christ was shed once, (Hebrews 7:27-28, 9:27-28, 10:9-21), so that we may live, and not die, (Romans 6:23, 10:9). No one can enter into the presence of the Holy Father except through Christ, (John 14:6), that is, to enter into the Holiest of Holies which is the presence of God, (Exodus 25:22, 26:31-34, Leviticus 16, Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45, Hebrews 6:19, 9:1-9, 10:19-20). Man can only enter in thanks to the covering Blood of Jesus Christ, (Hebrews 10:19-20). Righteousness was by faith from the beginning, (Genesis 15:6, Psalm 106:31, Romans 4:3), it is not by works (doing good deeds, or by keeping the law) (Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:21). Along with Christ’s new covenant in His Blood, there was also a need for a new law (Hebrews 7:12), which is, that we would love one another as Christ has loved us, sacrificially (John 13:34). Keeping this law is how we show God that we love Him, and Christ will manifest Himself to those that do (John 14:21). Keeping this law is also how we receive what we ask for (I John 3:22-24), if it is according to God’s Will (I John 5:13-14).
What does it mean to believe on Christ? After all, even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). True faith is more like trust, and obedience, read Matthew 7:20-27, and Matthew 25:32-46.
The children of Israel wondered around the desert for 40 years after being liberated from slavery in Egypt. If I remember correctly it could have been an eight-day trek for them. The lesson of the dessert (or any period where things never seem go right or where money is or work is scarce) isn’t to punish, it is to show you first hand that God is your provider and protector. Instead of praying for food or water, Israel blasphemed God and railed against Moses. All they needed to do was to pray. Faith is opening your eyes and allowing God to show you how faithful he is to His Word, and He has promised to provide for you and to keep you. You will likely never know anyone who is abundantly blessed by God in all that they do, who has not first been obedient in faith within the wilderness to turn to God for every need during times of trials that were too great for them. Don’t break down or give up when opposition comes; man’s days are filled with trouble. Instead, pray and let God be faithful to his Word to keep you and provide for you. The unfaithful generation of the children of Israel died in the wilderness, having never seen the promise land, because they refused this lesson. God will only fight a stiff necked, hard-hearted person for so long.
It is death to regard sin in your heart; that is to say, to excuse any sin as “no big deal”, or “It’s just who I am”, but it is life to be broken and pray for strength from God to endure in faith until that sin is broken. Pray for a change of heart toward that sin if it is too embedded in you for you to just walk away from it. God isn’t looking to make you a better person; He’s looking to make you a brand new person, in the image of his Son. Blessing comes from being honest with God when you have fears, doubts and weaknesses, and then praying that He would strengthen the areas where you are weak.
God’s love for you isn’t expressed in words by another human being; it is expressed by Him, specifically and directly to you, in real time, after you turn to him. I can only tell you specifics of the real life expression of His love for me, but only He can tell you of His love for you; it began at the cross, but it does not end there.
He died on the Cross to pay your fine. Only one person can die for your sins; either it is you, if you refuse His sacrifice on your behalf, or it was paid on the cross. And we need to recognize that our sins don’t disappear after a certain amount of time. If a man commits murder, and he is not brought to justice for several decades, and he is now an old man, is he still held guilty? Yes, of course, and your sins are no different. All of your past sins are tied to your sentence, and they will be unless you accept the free gift that Jesus paid for with His very life.
Also, you cannot bribe the Judge with good works. If the murderer goes to trial and shows the judge evidence of all the good things he’s done since the murder, will those good deeds change the verdict? Certainly not. And so our good deeds mean nothing if we are outside of the covering of Christ’s Blood.
A sinner can only die for his or her own sins. Only a sinless man can pay for the sins of all mankind, but only God can live a sinless life. So, God put on human flesh, taking on the form of a servant, which He will wear for eternity, in order to live and die as a man, to pay for the sins of mankind. That’s just the beginning of His love for you, but like I said before, His love doesn’t end at the cross.
Tomorrow isn’t promised to you, many who read this will not die of old age, and I pray that you recognize the severity of refusing the sacrifice of the Son of God. But I also want you to know that no human that has ever lived will even come close to being able to express to you, just how much God loves you; that is something that only He can do. But the first step is kneeling at the cross, and recognizing your sins before a holy God, and accepting His sacrifice as payment of your sins, having faith that His Blood is sufficient to save you. All those who believe on the Lord Jesus and confess Him with their words will be saved.