We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The Declaration of Independence, 1776
The United States of America is built upon words such as these. They are fine sounding words, but are they right? The Declaration calls these “rights” truths, but are they truths; are they true before God?
I find it strange that the only true statement in the above paragraph is the one thing that the founding fathers did not actually believe in, and that is that all men (and women) are created equal in God’s eyes. It is clear to me that by their actions they have shown that they did not see all men as being created equal. And I do not see that God has given mankind the “right” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That is, at least after the form that the founding fathers were thinking.
I have been reading the Bible for many years and all during that time I have endeavored to understand precisely what the Bible means and I have come to many conclusions that are not popularly held and among those are that we do not have a right to be happy. We do not have “unalienable right” to our own life nor do we have a God-given right to liberty, at least not in the manner that the founding fathers meant. We want these things, to be sure, but we attain them only as God gives them to us, and he gives them to us for his purposes and not ours.
One person is born “free,” and another is born into bondage and in each case it is meaningless. Everything under the sun is meaningless.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (NIV84)
People read this sentence and say that this is poetry and does not mean what it says, but it does mean exactly what it says, people just don’t understand how it can be true. I am not saying that if you find yourself under bondage that it is meaningless in every way. There is meaning in that, but the meaning is not what people usually think it is.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (NIV84)
Everyone living in a separated-from-God state is actually dead, and therefore have no “rights.” Death is a great mystery. People of the world think that because they have biological-life that they are alive, but they mistake animal life for true eternal life. God is eternal, and those that are one with him are eternal too. Those that speak of our rights do so in the light of biological factors and understand nothing of the eternal consequences of spiritual disobedience.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (NIV84)
I want you to see this same statement as recorded in Mark…
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (NIV84)
These two passages illustrate a technique used by God in the Bible to reveal the meaning of special words or phrases. By looking at both you can see and understand that your life is connected to your soul, or rather if your soul is united to God by faith, then you are said by God to be one of the living. If your soul is not joined to God, then you are spiritually dead. Eternal life and eternal death are conditions of your soul. You are a soul and not a Homo sapiens animal. You are a spirit being that resides within an animal body. The biological state of your animal body is of little importance compared to the state of the life of your soul. I know and understand that my words are not politically correct in the world at this time, but politics is a thing of the world and is, therefore, passing away. God is not politically correct; he is entirely accurate and knowledgeably correct. God speaks words of eternal truth and words of eternal consequences.
As Jesus says above; what does it ultimately benefit a man if he founds a thriving business worth a trillion dollars if, in the end, he passes away at the end of his biological life? You are a spiritual being, a soul, and whether or not you accept it the world belongs to God, and his plan, and only his plan shall prevail, whether or not it is politically correct to say such. The truth is the truth whether anyone knows it or not.
The Bible reveals spiritual truth. The Bible’s revelations are not worldly truths. God is not concerned about your natural comfort and prosperity. He is worried about the real you, and what is best for that person. Jesus Christ lived in total poverty his entire life and never had anything, but in the end, everything is his. He inherits everything because during his biological life he valued nothing above God.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIV84)
Almost everything you see in the world is wrong. The world is built upon a foundation of sand. Those words in the Declaration of Independence sound good and sound, but they are meaningless because the world is temporary and is passing away, and you are eternal. In my youth I was a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln and especially of his Gettysburg Address, but as I began to understand the Bible, and through it the spiritual perspective, I can now see that he and his speeches were so popular with man because they were like the Declaration of Independence that is, they were about worldly things. God has called us to rise above the world, all the way to heaven.
Looking back to the Declaration of Independence there is another thing I would like to point out, and that is the phrase, self-evident, means evident to man and not necessarily to God. What man holds as self-evident is frequently not true at all.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NIV84)
His instincts greatly influence unspiritual man, but these instincts are usually at odds with the spiritual truth.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (NIV84)
This passage is talking about those that follow their instincts as opposed to those that follow the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is utterly selfless. He does nothing for himself. He is all about working in harmony for the good of all. The human instincts drive men towards selfishness. Our natural drives drive is towards a successful life upon this world. They urge us to have an attractive spouse, to build formidable defenses and durable housing. Our instincts drive us to dominate the world to our advantage. The person that follows their instincts will find that they cannot please God because they have become hostile to God. This is why things that appear to be self-evident are sometimes in actuality at odds with God’s way.
God’s way is the way of eternity. If you stop and think about this, you may be able to see that the way of the world could never work in a society that would last forever. Look at our history upon this world. Again and again, a society rises with reasonably good policies but then the society degenerates into corruption, and the society is weakened by its corruption enabling the next up and coming society to seize control for a while. God is eternal, and the following passage shows us the sort of person God is.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. (NIV84)
These qualities describe God and are the same qualities that God wants to operate in you. If everyone lives by these qualities only, then that society will prosper eternally. That society will live with constant healing. The strengths of the strong will be used to help the weak. And the abilities of the weak will be there for the strong. We are called to live as one body with Christ Jesus as the head (see 1 Corinthians 12:12–31).
As far as I can see mankind has only one unalienable right, and that is to seek God and obey him in all things. God is right. His ways are the ways of life.
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (NIV84)
Our instincts drive us away from God, but that is only from your body. You are a spirit being that is hidden within an animal body. Your body can never inherit eternal life, but you can. You must resist the selfish desires of the body and embrace the eternal God.