Are You ‘Blind’? [v252]

FEBRUARY 2020

Has anyone ever called you “BLIND”? After ‘counting to ten’, did you find out specifically what they were talking about? Were they talking about your mental, physical, or spiritual ‘condition’?

Most of the time when you hear, “Are you blind!,” it is usually an exclamation of dismay directed at a referee of some sporting game by a fan that questions the ‘eyesight’ of the official after making—as they see it—a ‘blatantly’ bad call.

[ Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ4IxuOtxJU&feature=youtu.be&t=50 ].

 

Well, some of the time the fan has a different vantage point than the referee does—most of the time it’s one of the network TV cameras broadcasting the game, located where no referee was—and it’s unfair to expect the referee to have ‘eyes in the back of his head’!

However, this ‘condition’ of having a “blind spot” is something ALL OF US have experienced—failing to recognize something because of not noticing it or not having the proper expertise or knowledge.

Since all humans are error-prone, making a ‘bad’ judgment doesn’t mean that you are totally ‘blind’ MENTALLY.

 

MENTAL BLINDNESS
There are an endless variety of ways one can be ‘blind’ to something—failing to notice or realize something:

– Parents can be ‘blind’ to some of the faults of their children (sometimes on ‘purpose’, especially their ‘favorite’!)
– The White House seems blind to the struggles of ____________ (fill in the blank for your ‘pet peeve’)
– We can be blind to our inappropriate actions or anger
– Sometimes because of our infatuation for someone, we can be ‘blind’ to their ‘eccentricities’
– Because the human body is so complex, sometimes doctors are ‘blinded’ because of their own biases
– Sometimes we can be ‘blind’ to the possibilities if they are out of our ‘wheelhouse’
– Most of us are ‘blind’ to our faults

 

There are, of course, many, many more examples all of us could think about. A story I remember reading once does a good job of illustrating what I’m trying to say:

“Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal, they laid down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. ‘Watson, look up and tell me what you see.’ Watson replied, ‘I see millions and millions of stars.’ ‘What does that tell you?,’ Holmes inquired. Watson then pondered for a minute.

‘Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you?’ Holmes said, ‘Watson, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent!’”

Sometimes we are ‘blind’ to what is most obvious and right in front of our faces!

 

In the business world, there are many opportunities to be ‘blind’ to something. One recent example is the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent financial market ‘meltdown’. Though many of Wall Street’s corporate chieftains had reputations for being exacting, detail-oriented, and very ‘clever’, they totally missed the warning signs regarding the housing ‘bubble’ and the mortgage-backed securities until disaster was upon them—overlooking fatal flaws in their own risk management strategies.

Lehman Brothers’ Richard Fuld, nicknamed “The Gorilla” for his intimidating presence, ignored warnings about the investment bank’s risky financial bets from the few brave souls that were willing to speak up. At Merrill Lynch, Stanley O’Neal, a risk-taking numbers guy, was often described as “imperial and aloof,” had an intolerance for dissent that sent much of the firm’s brainpower packing in the years leading up to his departure and the subsequent fire sale of the firm to Bank of America. Bear Stearns’ Jimmy Cayne was quite literally ‘out of touch’, being at bridge tournaments and on the golf course while the bank went over the ‘brink’.

Author of “The Blind Spot,” Max H. Bazerman, explains that “motivational blindness” is the tendency to not notice the unethical actions of others when it is against our own best interests to notice—such as auditors who fail to notice the faulty accounting practices of their clients, since they have the power to fire them if they mention it.

Ernst & Young was an example of this, being charged with contributing to the fall of Lehman Brothers. One can certainly ask whether Ernst & Young didn’t ‘notice’ what was wrong with Lehman’s books because noticing was not in Ernst & Young’s interest. We can tell the same story with the security rating agencies and their role in the 2008 financial collapse.

Many other examples exist related to motivational ‘blindness’, however, two ‘recent’ ones come to my mind: the extensive steroid use in major league baseball, and how universities gave preferential treatment to the children of their alumni. Sometimes is seems that ‘good’ people do bad things without knowing that they are doing so (or they make the excuse that “Everyone is doing it”).

 

However, to ‘flip the script’, another way of being ‘blind’ in the business world is actually done on purpose! It’s a special research study called “blind” or “double-blind.” A blind study is when the participants do not know which of the possible treatments they are receiving, and a double-blind study means that both the patient and the study staff do not know which of the possible treatments the participant is receiving. This is done to prevent the patient or the doctor from influencing the study results with their expectations. [ However, for safety’s sake, if a situation ever arose where it became medically necessary—if the participant is having life-threatening symptoms—the doctor has the ability to “break the blind” and find out what medication the participant was taking ].

So, I guess, some times it is actually advantageous to be ‘blind’, to obtain ‘impartial’ results—however, that is usually NOT the case! Being ‘blind’ mentally IS NOT GOOD, and is something for each of us to address about ourselves!

 

PHYSICAL BLINDNESS
If you are reading this (and not listening), you’re probably not ‘totally’ blind PHYSICALLY. However, you may be using glasses to help correct your far-sightedness—as I need—so you can see the words clearly.

For those of us who have normal vision, blindness is something we rarely consider. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, about 2.2 billion people suffer from some form of visual impairment, of whom about 1 billion have an impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed. They also say that nearly 40 million are “legally” blind. It is estimated that 89% of these people are aged 50 and above.

In the United States, “legal” blindness is typically defined when the person’s central vision has degraded to “20/200” in the better eye (meaning that the letters you can read from only 20 feet away can be read by people with normal vision from 200 feet away).

Another aspect of legal blindness is that one has lost their peripheral vision (“visual field”) such that they see less than 20 degrees outside of central vision. [ Normal vision is 20/20, and their peripheral vision is usually 90 degrees, in each eye ].

Legal blindness also does not mean that a person cannot see anything, but that their vision is so impaired that they need a lot of help perceiving images.

 

It’s difficult for most of us to imagine the challenges a legally blind person face, or what it would be like to never be able to see the faces of loved ones, a beautiful sunset, a movie, their home or work environment, or read a blog post. [ ;^D ] This just might be the reason that Americans regard the loss of vision as potentially having the BIGGEST IMPACT on their everyday life (it definitely would be for me, as a ‘graphic artist’ for work!). This ranked in front of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and HIV—the top four “worst things that could happen to you.”

 

The leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States are primarily cataract, and age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Cataracts is the world’s number one cause of blindness, and more than 22 million Americans have cataracts in one or both eyes. A person’s risk of developing cataracts increases as they grow older, and by the time they are 80 years old, more than half of all Americans have either had a cataract or have undergone cataract surgery (as I have had in my left eye already!).

Macular degeneration involves the gradual deterioration of the nerve endings in the retina that are crucial for sharp central vision. People with this condition deal with blurring and blind spots in their central vision. This is the most common cause of blindness in seniors, affecting more than 10 million Americans.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the systemic damage caused by diabetes begins to affect the retina. Specifically, the blood vessels that nourish the retina can be negatively affected by diabetes, causing vision loss through bleeding and damage to the retina. More than half of the 18 million Americans who have diabetes are affected by diabetic retinopathy to some extent.

Glaucoma usually occurs when the fluid pressure inside one or both eyes slowly begins to increase. This pressure damages the optic nerve and the retina, causing a gradual decrease in peripheral vision. Experts estimate that about 2.3 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with glaucoma, while another 2.1 million have glaucoma, but are not aware of it yet.

People who are going blind often first deal with vision impairment, which then progresses into blindness. Blindness can affect one or both eyes, and doesn’t necessarily cause total darkness. Many people who are considered blind can still see some light or shadows, but cannot see anything clearly.

 

There are a range of different health conditions that can be the cause of eventual blindness, and are impacted more by other factors that include high blood pressure, cholesterol, and a compromised immune system.

Here are the top eight early warning signs of some ‘level’ of blindness:
– Blurred Vision
– Repeated Eye Infections
– Eye Pain or Discomfort
– Night Blindness
– Floaters in the Eye
– Blind Spots in the Eye
– Near- or Far-Sightedness
– Diabetes

As was mentioned, there are many conditions which can cause you to go blind or lose partial vision, however, there are some things one can do to reduce the chances of some level of blindness:
– Use The Right Sunglasses
– Taking Care Of Contacts
– Treating Eye Infections ASAP
– Avoiding Eye Strain
– Avoiding Direct Eye Injury
– A Healthier Diet (especially for those with diabetes)

[ FYI: “Sightsavers” is an organization that works in more than 30 countries worldwide that protects sight by providing eye operations for people who need them, and training eye care workers and surgeons to provide sight-saving treatment. Charity evaluator “ImpactMatters” recently gave “Sightsavers” a five-star rating for its cost-effectiveness and the impact it has on people’s lives: https://www.sightsavers.org/ ].

 

The good news is that 80% of all visual impairment CAN BE prevented or cured, however, what of the remaining 20% of the ‘tough’ cases? Having ‘tech’ for pretty much everything else these days, I wondered how far in the future do experts predict that there will be a ‘cure’ for blindness.

Well, the Mayo Clinic says that they are currently working on new methods to grow stem cells from a patient’s own tissue samples as a regenerative approach that could, one day, lead to the restoration of sight to people that have lost it! Wow…that would be fantastic!

Back in 2015, Allen Zderad, who was effectively blind, was able to make out the outlines of objects and people thanks to his new “retinal prosthesis.” It is a camera connected to a pair of glasses that transmit visual information to a small chip attached to the back of the eye via a small computer worn in a belt pack. The chip can send light signals directly to the optic nerve, bypassing the damaged retina and providing the patient with visual information in the form of flashes of light. He is now able to navigate through crowded environments—such as shopping centers—without the use of a cane!

The retinal prosthesis provides “artificial vision” unlike any form of vision that patients will have experienced before. While this form of vision could be considered basic compared with what normal-sighted people are used to, it is a marked improvement for many without sight.

[ Last month I discussed Elon Musk’s new “Neuralink” company, which is developing implantable brain-machine interfaces, which also may be able to be configured to aid blind people to see ].

 

An ophthalmology consultant with the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Lezzi said, “While this technology restores rudimentary vision, eventually as these devices improve, we may one day be able to treat patients with advanced macular diseases such as Stargardt macular dystrophy or age-related macular degeneration.”

The future prospects of such treatment are truly exciting, but it is likely to be some time before the benefits of this technological breakthrough are widely experienced. Currently, the device costs $144,000, and at this time, something that 90% of the world’s visually impaired living in low-income settings would not be able to afford.

 

While many people believe that the loss of vision is “THE WORST” health problem that would have the biggest impact on one’s everyday life, it is encouraging to think that visual impairment is no longer as absolute a prospect as it once was. Thanks to prosthetics, people who have lost legs can walk around unaided, with most people unaware that they have any limbs missing. So, it is not too hard to now envisage a future world in which people could be cured of blindness, and not have any hints of their previous disability.

[ FYI: There is a company called “eSight” that has developed breakthrough assistive technology for the visually impaired. Using a cutting edge camera, smart algorithms and high-resolution screens, eSight creates a crystal clear, real-time image of what is in front of the person: https://esighteyewear.com/ ].

 

Now, they say that if you lose one sense, the other four become stronger. Looking at the list of famous blind people, it would seem that the old adage is true. Many blind people have become very successful at their craft, and have gone on to do some truly amazing things.

Some of the most ‘famous’ would be musicians like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Andrea Bocelli, Jose Feliciano, Jeff Healey, Diane Schuur, Art Tatum, George Shearing, and Ronnie Milsap. David Paterson served as the 55th Governor of New York from 2008-2010. Aldous Huxley was a prolific writer, and wrote the very popular “A Brave New World” book. John Milton wrote the epic poem, “Paradise Lost.” Claude Monet, the impressionist painter, painted the large water lily murals in the Musée de l’Orangerie when he was nearly blind (which I have a poster of in my living room, that I purchased in that museum).

A local man, who lives in my hometown, Richard Bernstein, is a practicing lawyer in a very large firm, an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan, and a nationally-known advocate for disability rights (and ‘famous’ to us!).

If you have ever heard a religious hymn, it’s very likely that you may have heard one written by Fanny Crosby, who wrote over 9,000 hymns! (“Safe in the Arms of Jesus” was probably her most popular.) [ A rendition of it is in the “Resources” section below ]. As a young girl, she wrote of what others viewed as a disability: “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation.” Wow, such fortitude and faith!

 

However, probably the MOST ‘FAMOUS’ blind person—and arguably the most famous “disabled” person in the world in the early 20th century—would be Helen Keller, who definitely became an inspiration and a ‘voice’ to America (and she was one really good chess player, too!).

Helen Keller was very insightful. As an example of this, here are a few of her most famous quotes. She was once asked, “What could be worse than being blind?” She answered, “Being able to see, but having no vision.”

Another time someone made a comment, “What a pity you have no sight.” She retorted: “Yes, but what a pity that so many who do have sight cannot see!” How true! Many people with perfectly ‘good’ eyes are totally ‘blind’! I think that is where many people are in our world today. They have physical sight, but they really don’t ‘see’ correctly. They’re blind to THE ‘TRUTH’.

 

Maybe not as ‘top-of-mind’ as Helen Keller, but probably the MOST ‘INFLUENTIAL’ blind person—at least for ‘totally’ blind people—is Louis Braille, the Frenchman that invented the system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as “Braille.”

 

Now, looking at the previous discussion about physical blindness from a psychological viewpoint, there now are studies indicating that some people who say they cannot see are actually ‘CREATING’ their ailment ‘in their mind’, since their eyes are just fine physically. Doctors are saying that, even though the patient is able to see objects clearly, they are ‘out of focus’ in their mind.

Doctors are confirming this assertion by asking patients to draw something hanging on a wall. After they produce a faithful rendering of the picture—almost a carbon copy—the patient is asked what they see in the artwork they just created. They say they cannot distinguish it and it just looks like “a meaningless jumble of lines” to them!

This condition is known as “visual agnosia,” a phrase coined by Sigmund Freud meaning “lack of visual knowledge.” It is a condition in which a person cannot recognize or interpret visual information, due to a disorder in the parietal lobes of the brain, even though their eyes are ‘working’ just fine.

Recognition of visual objects occurs at two primary ‘levels’. At an ‘apperceptive’ level, the ‘features’ of the visual information from the retina are put together to form a perceptual representation of an object. At an ‘associative’ level, the ‘meaning’ of an object is attached to the perceptual representation and the object is identified. When a person is unable to recognize objects because they cannot perceive correct forms of the objects, although their knowledge of the objects is intact (i.e. they do not have anomia), they have “apperceptive agnosia.” However, if a person correctly perceives the forms and has knowledge of the objects, but cannot identify the objects, they have “associative agnosia.”

 

What must it feel like to have such a condition, seeing yet not knowing? You can get an ‘inkling’ about this by looking at the famous young lady/old woman illustration.

The first time one looks at this illusion, most see the young lady (looking away). But after a while, they can mentally ‘flip’ the image to see the old lady’s face. (The young woman’s chin becomes the hag’s nose.) Now, when one perceives the face as the young woman, they are also simultaneously seeing the lines and curves constituting the old hag, yet they are not perceiving (or “knowing”) the old woman. In effect, they ‘suffer’ from a temporary form of “apperceptive agnosia” for the old hag.

[ Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQCHWBKrkew ].

 

Intriguingly, some people, get permanently “stuck” on the young lady and cannot see the hag. Psychologist Richard L. Gregory of the University of Bristol in England refers to this inability as “visual hagnosia.” ;^D

 

One can also get a feel for agnosia by thinking of what happens when they listen to a foreign language. They hear all the sounds, syllables, intonations and rhythms of the speech, but none of them makes any sense to them. They simply cannot create a meaningful ‘perception’ from these sensations.

Now, researchers say that normal vision, contrary to intuition, is not a ‘singular’ process. Instead, it involves multiple specialized areas working in parallel. How the outputs of these areas are combined to create a seamless unity of conscious perception, however, is as yet an unsolved mystery (a “God thing”?).

 

What all this says to me is that our human visual ’system’ is a very complex thing: detecting and interpreting information from visible light to ‘build’ a ‘representation’ in our brains, and then the ‘psychological’ process (known as visual perception), to ‘interpret’ what we are seeing. Totally amazing to me!

 

SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
As I mentioned, the World Health Organization tells us that about 40 million people are “legally” blind—not being able to see anything—and another 1 billion or so are “visually impaired.” If that many don’t have their ‘natural’ sight, then how many do you suppose are ‘SPIRITUALLY’ blind?

Well, let me answer that for you from the Bible: 100% OF US!!! Whoa! Why does the Bible say that EVERYONE is ‘spiritually’ blind?

Well, it has to do with what the Devil (Satan) did way back in the ‘beginning’ in the Garden of Eden. He ‘tricked’ Adam and Eve into committing the first “sin,” which every human has ‘inherited’ from them ever since! This has made ALL of us spiritually ‘impaired’, and it’s not superficial—it’s much more profound! It is TOTAL ‘blindness’—essentially living in spiritual ‘darkness’ with no ‘light’ at all—just like it would be if you were totally blind physically.

It’s kind of like driving on the highway when a heavy, driving rainstorm starts impairing your vision. I’m talking about it raining so hard that your windshield wipers can’t ‘keep up’ and are no longer able to aid your ability to see clearly. But, since you are late for your appointment, you just keep on driving. You see other cars pulled over on the side of the road—wisely avoiding the dangers of driving through such a hazardous situation—yet you keep on ‘trucking’.

That is the best way I can describe the DANGER of ‘spiritual’ blindness. Your vision is so impaired, yet because of your own volition, you choose to continue down a dangerous ‘road’. You make decisions like this because you don’t possess the wisdom, or capacity in your ‘temporal’ being, to know what’s best for you. You convince yourself that you do, but the truth is, WITHOUT JESUS you are ‘SPIRITUALLY’ BLIND…WITHOUT A ‘CURE’!

 

When one purposely avoids seeking God in their day-to-day life, I liken that to the unwise driver who keeps trucking down the road despite the blinding rain. This mindset is a result of viewing ourselves “wise in our own eyes” (Isaiah 5:21), and it usually ends in disaster! HOWEVER, Jesus can provide the crucial ‘navigation system’ needed on the ‘road’ of life!

 

DIAGNOSIS
So, I wondered if the method ophthalmologists use to diagnose a ‘physical’ eyesight problem—evaluating the symptoms and tracing them back to the cause—would work to diagnose a ‘spiritual’ blindness problem?

 

BLINDED ‘NATURALLY’
Well, every human being comes into the world ‘blind’ by the virtue of being human—NATURALLY ‘blind’ and having no desire for God. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” [ 1 Corinthians 2:14 ]. We are ALL are spiritually ‘dead’ right from the ‘get-go’!

 

BLINDED BY SIN
We are blind because of SIN. Sin is paralleled in the Scripture very often with darkness, and the Bible says that we walk in darkness. “We walk, who walk in sin, also in darkness” (1 John 1:7).

We are even more profoundly blind because we are not only sinners, but we LOVE our sin! It’s our nature to be blind and that is what we love which makes our blindness even more compelling, more profound!

No matter how brightly the ‘Light’ (Jesus) is shining, sinners love the ‘darkness’. Like bugs scrambling back under the rock when you pick it up to let the light in, the sinner ‘dives’ deeper into the darkness to avoid the Light. “The Light came, but they did not comprehend the Light” [ John 1:5 ].

Sin compounds natural blindness. “Men love the darkness rather than Light because their deeds are evil” [ John 3:19-20 ]. We are ‘trapped’ in the darkness of sin!

 

BLINDED BY SATAN
Another contributor to blindness is SATAN. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of them that believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine unto them” [ 2 Corinthians 4:4 ]. Satan then compounds it even more with ‘supernatural’ blindness.

So. there’s the ‘natural’ blindness of man compounded by sin and Satan. However, it can get EVEN WORSE! There’s the blindness of “sovereign judgment.” That’s where God gets into the ‘act’.

 

BLINDED BY GOD
Man is naturally, sinfully, and satanically blinded. HOWEVER, there can be a MORE ‘PROFOUND’ blindness that engulfs the soul…being ‘ABANDONED’ by God!

For example, we find GOD being involved in the blinding process: “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” [ Luke 19:42 ]. At this point, Jesus was approaching the city of Jerusalem (His “chosen people”) and wept because they knew not who He was.

Later, Jesus said that, “because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” [ Luke 19: 44c ], their enemies would destroy their city and they would be driven out of their country!

Jesus was saying to them that since they didn’t perceive the spiritual reality of His coming—by all the ‘signs’ that He had fulfilled—and since they didn’t awaken to His ‘Light’, He was then going to ‘allow’ them to be ‘blinded’.

Trying to explain this, Jesus said to the Jews, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

You might have heard the saying, “Red sky at night, sailor take delight; Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” Well, that’s essentially what Jesus was saying, but then added a bit more: “You’re not bad at the weather, but when it comes to discerning spiritual reality, you have NO INSIGHT—you are stone-blind!” The Jews then just plunged deeper and deeper into their spiritual ‘darkness’.

Jesus then said to them, “You hypocrites, you can discern the changing weather, but you cannot discern the ‘signs’ of the times!” They had been given a multitude of ‘signs’ by the Prophets to make it PATENTLY OBVIOUS who HE was, so He allowed their blindness to be total (and for most Jews today, and still is the case—though that will change during the “Tribulation” period). [ See this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post for more details about the salvation of the Jews: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/ ].

 

You see, if a person’s ‘heart’ has turned to darkness, even when the light comes, they will ‘curse’ the light. Voltaire, the French atheist, I think summed this up when he said, “Even if a miracle should be wrought in the open marketplace before a thousand sober witnesses, I would rather mistrust my senses than admit a miracle.” Now, that’s a man who’s ‘BLIND’ and will NEVER SEE!

[ Note: Voltaire made the statement that, “One hundred years from my day, there will not be a Bible on earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity-seeker.” The thing is, 58 years after his death his former house in Geneva, Switzerland, was serving as a storehouse for Bibles and Gospel tracts—in the very rooms that Voltaire so vehemently opposed and prophesied Christianity’s downfall!

Additionally, the very printing presses which Voltaire employed to print his irreverent works were used to print editions of the Bible and which were printed on paper that had “been especially made for a superior edition of Voltaire’s works.” An ironic twist of divine Providence! ]

 

People who curse the light, plunge themselves deeper and deeper into darkness when finally they are ABANDONED by God! He calls them “wicked” because they’re so evil, and calls them “adulterous” because they have defected from their relationship to Him.

Again, Voltaire, who openly mocked God all of his life, said this when he felt the stroke which he realized was the ‘harbinger’ of his death: “I die abandoned by God and man.”

No wonder Jesus called Hell outer darkness. It is merely the perpetuation of a life that never sees spiritual reality because it never embraces the ‘Light’ (Jesus).

 

Also note that God doesn’t go around trying to ‘convince’ the person not to seek the darkness, curse the light, or plunge themselves deeper and deeper into the pit. God ‘allows’ them to choose how they want to live—without ‘forcing’ Himself on them! (Hell is just a place for people who don’t want to be around God!)

You see, people who are willfully and sinfully blind, don’t come to the ‘light’ for the answer, they go back into the same ‘pit’ they’ve come out of—most of the time being other non-believers—and try to find truth there. The thing is, they find, time and time again, that there’s none there! “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” [ Matthew 14:15 ].

Left to ourselves, we would never even want to be reconciled to God. However, God, being merciful, sent His Holy Spirit to ‘open’ our hearts to understand and receive the message of reconciliation. What a wondrous love and a matchless grace that God would do EVERYTHING NECESSARY to reconcile us to Himself! (It’s just our responsibility to accept this ‘gift’ for Him!)

 

When God ‘abandons’ somebody, that is the MOST SEVERE of all acts! So, if you are not a ‘born-again’ Christian, this should be a STRONG ‘WARNING’ to you. If you do not know the Jesus as your Savior, if you have not received His ‘light’, then you are always in danger of going to the point of “storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5)—where God then ABANDONS YOU into ETERNAL ‘DARKNESS’! How TRAGIC!!! (and I’m trying to help you NOT ‘BE’ a tragedy!)

 

This is the SADDEST kind of blindness, since it CAN’T BE REMEDIED! You had your ‘moment’. You had your opportunity. You had your time and you didn’t respond. IT’S OVER! From now on, you can’t see what you wouldn’t see! Whoa!!!

This post just might be your FINAL ‘VISITATION’ (your ‘last’ opportunity!). If you don’t ‘embrace’ Jesus because you love your ‘darkness’, judgment WILL COME to you, and you will be sent into outer darkness—Hell—when you pass from this life!!!

 

THE PHARISEES
In Jesus’ day, the people who were the MOST ‘BLIND’ to what He was teaching—who had ignorant, cynical, and hardened hearts—were the Pharisees (and the Sadducees, too).

 

IGNORANCE
A decisive cause of spiritual blindness is ‘IGNORANCE’, and it possibly is the greatest cause of spiritual blindness. If one doesn’t open their mind and take the time to learn the truth, they will never learn it by osmosis!

Ignorance is a lack of knowledge or understanding. Ignorant people are either unaware or uninformed. Sometimes we are ignorant because we did not know there was a need to learn something. Other times, we are ignorant because we have chosen not to learn something we need to know. The thing is, willfully rejecting knowledge that God wants us to have is SINFUL IGNORANCE! While unintentional ignorance about earthly topics is understandable, intentional ignorance about spiritual matters can lead to eternal destruction! (Romans 1:18-23).

Now, the Bible makes a distinction between “ignorance” and “innocence.” We can be highly informed about sin, yet remain innocent of it. However, God expects all of us to be ignorant about the ‘practice’ of evil. The Apostle Paul said: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret” [ Ephesians 5:11–12 ].

Ignorance of the true God is unjustifiable, because the knowledge of God’s existence and power is available all around us (Romans 1:18–23). People who substitute false gods instead of pursuing the real God are sinfully ignorant.

However, God has great patience, even with the ignorant. Even when we are willfully ignorant, He still gives us a multitude of opportunities to learn (2 Peter 3:9).

God commands us to repent of our ignorance and seek Him with all our hearts (Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:30). Every time the Bible commands us to “listen” or to “hear,” God is giving us a chance to trade ignorance for His wisdom.

The thing is, when one becomes a “born again” believer, the Holy Spirit ‘indwells’ them, breaks the ‘bonds’ of ignorance, and then ‘instructs’ the believer in all wisdom.

 

CYNICISM
Another one of the greatest causes of spiritual blindness—is simply ‘CYNICISM’—looking at everything with a ‘spurned’ eye. The reason this happens can be that the person got ‘burned’ on something like this in the past, and they don’t want that to happen again. It might have even been a ‘bad’ experience in church many years ago or they read an article about something bad that happens in a church, and now they are ‘suspicious’ about religion. These, and many other experiences, may have ‘closed’ their heart towards Christianity, and they keep the church, and God, at a distance.

This cynicism can be like a cancer or a poison, since it can extinguish whatever ‘light’ is in their heart—and ‘blinds’ them to any ‘sprig’ of goodness that is growing. Not only do they look at the church in that manner, but they tend to look at everything in that manner. They become negative and ‘poisoned’.

Cynicism will never be open to the truth, and in turn, will never be open to that ‘light’ that God wants to give them—the fulfilling spiritual life that God wants them to experience.

Cynicism is the rotten ‘fruit’ of hard-heartedness. Cynicism is ‘death’ to faith. More insidiously, cynicism infects the faith of other people—even entire communities. Cynicism, or active unbelief, is the kind of unbelief that is ever looking for more reasons to not believe. It has the effect of creating passive unbelief in others. It works like yeast to ‘leaven’ unbelief (that’s why Jesus said that we must “be on our guard” for this).

Cynicism also breeds a kind of prideful self-assurance that, over time, will blind people from realizing they are cynical. Worse though, is the way cynical people can actually ‘own’ their cynicism and wear it like a badge of authority. That’s precisely what the Pharisees and Sadducees did back in Jesus’ day. The ‘root’ of cynicism is ultimately the need to be in control, and the ‘crux’ of this insatiable need to be in control is fear. It’s why cynicism, when less bold, operates under the pretense of being a discerning person. Cynicism has a way of excusing itself in quite ‘socially acceptable’ ways.

The bottom line is that cynicism is soul ‘cancer’. It is the ‘yeast’ of the Pharisees, and one must determine to “Nip it in the bud.”

 

A cynic also is someone who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest and that, as a result, no one can be trusted. Cynicism shows contempt for human nature in general and displays a large measure of distrust. Because cynical people are full of disdain for their fellow man, Christians should not be known as cynics.

When Philip went to his friend Nathanael to bring him to Jesus, Philip said, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth” [ John 1:45 ]. Nathanael’s response drips with cynicism: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” [ John 1:46 ]. However, after Nathanael met Jesus for himself, his cynicism melted away, and he became one of Jesus’ closest disciples.

Cynical speech is often a symptom of disillusionment and bitterness in the ‘heart’, and Scripture warns us against such poison: “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” [ Hebrews 12:15 ].

 

The primary basis for cynicism is a lack of love. Pride and a lack of self-awareness also play a part, as a cynic places his opinion of the world on the highest pedestal. For example, a cynic may blame the fact that he doesn’t have a girlfriend on the immaturity of all the girls in his acquaintance, rather than examine his own faults.

Cynicism is a product of our fallen nature, not the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22-23). The thing is, God has better plans for us, and He wants to hear your cries for help to rid your life of cynicism: “Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you” [ Psalm 41:4 ].

Ultimately, the key to dealing with cynicism in our lives is Jesus Himself. We need Him in our ‘hearts’ to remove the anger, dissolve the bitterness, and make us a ‘new’ creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The ongoing prayer of the former cynic could be this: “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” [ Psalm 19:14 ].

 

HARDNESS OF ‘HEART’
The third cause of spiritual blindness is ‘HARDNESS OF HEART’. It could be that cynicism and hardness of heart are related, and maybe one ‘causes’ the other.

If we are unwilling, to “replace your heart of stone with a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26), God will never be able to ‘manifest’ His work in our lives. Because the ‘heart’—the center of our being—is ‘who’ we are, deep down.

When we have this hardness of heart, and are unwilling to ‘soften’ it, spiritual blindness will increase.

Jesus uses the compound Greek term “sklērokardia” to describe the Pharisees’ stubborn failure to recognize who He really was: the Messiah, Who was sovereign. (Mark 3:4-5).

 

Jesus tells us that the ‘heart’ is a repository for good and evil and that what comes out of our mouth—good or bad—begins in the heart (Luke 6:43–45), the hub of human personality, producing the things we would ordinarily ascribe to the ‘mind’.

So, it’s easy to see how a hardened heart can dull a person’s ability to perceive and understand.

Sin causes hearts to grow hard, especially continual and unrepentant sin. Now we know that, “if we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” [ 1 John 1:9 ]. However, if we don’t confess our sins, they have a cumulative and desensitizing effect on the conscience, making it difficult to even distinguish right from wrong. This sinful and hardened heart is tantamount to the “seared conscience” (1 Timothy 4:1-2). Scripture makes it clear that if we relentlessly continue to engage in sin, there will come a time when God will give us over to our “debased mind” and let us have it our way! “Men who suppress the truth” are eventually given over to the sinful desires of their hardened hearts (Romans 1:18-24).

Pride will also cause our hearts to ‘harden’. The “pride of your heart has deceived you… you who say to yourself, ‘who can bring me down to the ground’… I will bring you down declares the LORD” (Obadiah 3). When King Nebuchadnezzar’s heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, “he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory… until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone He wishes” [ Daniel 5:20-21 ].

So, you may ask, what then is the ‘antidote’ for a heart condition such as this? Well, first off, we have to recognize the effect that this spiritual disease has had on us, and ask God to help us to see our heart’s condition: “Search me O God, and know my heart…see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24). Then, repentance will manifest itself in a changed life and a “fleshly heart”: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” [ Ezekiel 36:26 ].

 

Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize when one is becoming callous—because it happens slowly or it is rationalized or excused. So, the following characteristics should be a warning to you that you are probably cynical:

– Insensitivity to what God says
– Resistance to His authority
– Disobedience to what the Lord is instructing you to do
– Justification of sinful conduct
– Rejection of reproof by others
– Preoccupation with worldly things
– Little interest in spiritual matters
– Avoidance of gathering to worship with other believers
– Absence of private devotion (Bible reading and prayer)

 

BUT, there is hope! One can ‘develop’ a tender heart, and God wants to help you do it—so he can form it the way He desires (much like a lump of clay that allows the potter to shape the vessel). To those who have accepted and obeyed previous guidance, the Holy Spirit then can continue to give wisdom and instruction.

Resistance to God will cause a hardening, but those who regularly submit to Him quickly address sin and return to the place of obedience and blessing. When we yield to the Spirit’s promptings, our heart becomes increasingly pliable and sensitive to His ‘leading’. People with a ‘responsive’ heart tend to be receptive to what God wants to tell them. So, listen for God’s instructions, and rely on the Spirit’s power to help you yield. Let Him shape you into a beautiful ‘vessel’.

 

HOWEVER, the Pharisees WERE NOT ‘receptive’ and committed the most egregious sin, called the “unforgivable sin”—the ‘blasphemy’ of the Holy Spirit—so deliberate and hard-hearted that no one would ever repent from it!

Talking to the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people,” (assuming, of course, they repent) “except this one particular sin.” It’s one VERY SPECIFIC sin.

Now, Jesus prefaces this warning with a lavish promise of full pardon and cleansing to anyone and everyone who repents. (He makes a point there about the vast extent of God’s willingness to forgive).

However, Jesus gives one singular exception, the most hard-hearted. He was talking about the Pharisees who had just called Him “satanic”!

They KNEW who He was. They were FULLY AWARE that He had met every claim He needed to prove He was the Messiah.

When Nicodemus went to Jesus at night, he said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with Him” [ John 3:2]. The “we” there, I believe, is a reference to both the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and their ‘understanding’ of who He REALLY was—God in the flesh!

However, even though they knew this, they continued to turn people away from Him, because of their pride. This made their sin a final, whole-hearted, irreversible rejection of Jesus, and they ‘sealed it’ with a blasphemy that was TOTALLY DELIBERATE! From willful hearts that had already seen and understood and knew the truth about Jesus and His glory, they spurned Him anyway! THAT was the “unpardonable sin”!

The Pharisees and Sadducees were the ones that should have known better. They were supposed to ‘know’ God and help others know Him and follow His ways. But sinful pride and the desire for power hardened their hearts—willful ignorance of the Scriptures.

Their ‘religion’ was empty, and it was preventing others from understanding that Jesus was the foretold Messiah! Their religion was external—their hearts were not transformed. They were jealous of Him. They were envious of His popularity. They hated him because He ‘exposed’ them for the hypocrites they were. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside, you appear to people as righteous but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” [ Matthew 23:27-28 ].

They masqueraded as devotees of righteousness and obedience, but in a word, they were COUNTERFEIT, and their phony righteousness was exposed.

They feared that Jesus somehow would lead an insurrection, cause another uprising, and the Romans would that take away their authority: “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation” [ John 11:48]. So, they sought to get rid of Him before He caused them trouble! The fear of losing power and wealth has caused many a person to do some of the vilest and unthinkable things that one could imagine—like crucifying God!

 

Because of our ignorance, cynicism, and the hardness of our heart, our spiritual ‘sight’ is myopic. We are not able to see things the way God wants us to see them, and we might even say, it’s just the way we REALLY ARE. The thing is, it does not mean that we have to be naïve, but it does mean that we have to BE ‘OPEN’ to the truth!

 

What about you? Are you like the Pharisees and Sadducees? Are you full of ‘religion’, but confused regarding who Jesus actually is? Don’t remain ignorant. Don’t die in your ignorance!

 

KINDS OF SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
All of us are ‘spiritually’ blind, and we fall into two categories: the blind who will never see (“permanent”) and the blind who will be made to see (“temporary”).

Jesus proclaimed that the Pharisees and Sadducees were TOTALLY ‘blind’, and that the disciples should ’shy away’ from them. (“Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” – Matthew 15:14).

They and those like them are those who reject the only One (Jesus) who can give them spiritual sight, and they will NEVER ‘see’.

 

PERMANENT BLINDNESS
There are four characteristics of PERMANENT blindness (those who will never see): Fellowship with the darkness; they curse the light; they plunge deeper into sin; and they will be abandoned by God. These would be the PHARISEES and the SADDUCEES in Jesus’ day.

First, they seek ‘FELLOWSHIP’ with the darkness. The Pharisees, all of a sudden, have ‘partnered’ with the Sadducees—normally adversaries—to get ‘rid’ of Jesus. So, we see the blind leading the blind and neither will be able to help the other. (“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not” – Jeremiah 5:21).

As I said previously, people love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19), and coming to the ‘Light’ would expose the evil of their deeds (Ephesians 5:11).

Secondly, people ‘CURSE’ the light. The Pharisees’ whole intent was to curse Jesus, to discredit Him, to shame Him, to embarrass Him, and to mock Him—discrediting of the One who was such a ‘threat’ to their religious security.

The third thing is that they ‘PLUNGE’ deeper into darkness. As I mentioned previously, Jesus said that they were pretty good at forecasting the weather, but really terrible at discerning spiritual reality. They were ‘stone’ blind. They continually plunged deeper and deeper into their ‘darkness’.

The fourth characteristic is being ‘ABANDONED’ by God. Jesus said that, “no sign will be given to [you] except the sign of the prophet Jonah” (which was a ‘harbinger’ of Jesus’ resurrection). However, that didn’t convince them and they ‘ran’ from their only hope!

 

Thomas Hobbes, the famous English philosopher of the 17th century, was totally a godless person, an atheist, and a Christ rejecter. His biographer describes his death in these words: “When the atheist Hobbes drew near to death, he declared loudly, ‘I am about the take a leap into the dark.’” You see, if a person’s heart has turned to darkness, when the light comes, they’ll curse the light.

 

TEMPORARY BLINDNESS
The people who are ‘TEMPORARILY’ blind and will be made to see, are the ones who, after embracing Jesus as their Savior, will be given ‘new’ eyes. He will be their truth teacher. This would describe the ‘true’ DISCIPLES of Jesus’ day.

Now, there are also four characteristics of the blind who are made to see, and they are the ‘reverse’ of the ones having to do with permanent blindness. They seek the light, curse the darkness, receive greater light, and are adopted and taught by Jesus (and the Holy Spirit).

First of all, those who are made to see, ‘SEEK’ the light. The disciples did this. However, they stood at the ‘crossroads’. Since they had been raised in a Jewish society, they had learned to respect both the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

But, when Jesus came along, He was the antithesis to everything they had taught. He talked about freedom, not law, and all the things they denied, Jesus affirmed. So, it was very clear to see that Jesus was the very opposite of them, and that is why they were so totally threatened by Him.

The disciples were going to have to decide whether they were going to hang onto the system in which they were reared, or if they were going to follow Jesus.

They finally saw that Jesus was the ‘light’ in their darkness, and they eagerly sought to follow Him! They also knew they needed help in ‘seeing’ properly, so they turned their back on the incorrigible Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

That brings us to the second point: they ‘CURSED’ the darkness. They had ‘hungry’ hearts, and were eager learners.

The disciples needed help in ‘seeing’ (as do we!). They seemed unable, on many occasions (as do we), to ‘receive’ the things that Jesus was saying. Even though they were pretty ‘dull’ in the beginning (today we would probably assign them the Charles Schultz moniker of “blockheads”), Jesus was patient and merciful.

Jesus said, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” [ Matthew 13:16-17 ].

 

You see, the Bible is not just a book with good teachings, it’s “living and active…discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). While Jesus was on the earth, He taught them—which is my third point regarding those who are made to see: they ‘RECEIVE’ greater light.

The thing is, one MUST be “born again” to be taught by Jesus. Jesus ONLY teaches His ‘children’!

When you ‘know’ Jesus and read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit ‘opens up’ the Scriptures to you. You then ‘see’, receiving greater ‘light’. The promise is given to the one who seeks the light, that they will be given even ‘greater’ light!

Jesus said, that after He left the earth, He would send to the believer an around-the-clock ‘tutor’: “Now, I’m going to go away, but the Comforter who is the Holy Spirit, who is sent from the Father in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance” [ John 14:26 ]. The Spirit of God ‘indwells’ the believer and He is their resident teacher. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him” [ 1 Corinthians 2:9 ].

 

A reasonably current example of receiving greater ‘light’ is John Bunyan, the 17th-century pastor, and author who wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress”—the second most published book after the Bible—who originally wandered off the ‘path’ leading to Jesus.

During the early period of his life, he wrote, “Then I said unto God, ‘Depart from me, for I desire not the knowledge of Thy ways.’” Because he rejected God, Bunyan had no peace in his ‘heart’. He felt greatly troubled by thoughts of the future, believing he had sinned beyond the possibility of hope. But at last, he read John 6:37: “And the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” He repented of his sins and began to see the ‘Light’ of salvation (Jesus) ‘dawn’ upon him. He had come to know eternal life. (Bunyan wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress” to describe his journey from despair to hope, and sinner to ‘saint’).

Bunyan had learned a great lesson: We are ‘saved’ only by grace, free and unmerited—reminding us that we are only ‘passing through’ this life en route to a greater ‘destination’ (Heaven, if you are born again). Therefore, we must take care to not get ‘sidetracked’ from the straight and narrow path (

Bunyan, after finishing “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” he wrote this: “He [Jesus] hath given me a great by His sorrow, and life by His death.” Quite a change Jesus made in his life, eh? (It CAN HAPPEN to you, too!)

[ For a summary of “The Pilgrim’s Progress” book, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/leaving-a-legacy-v242/ ].

 

Finally, Jesus ‘ADOPTED’ those dull disciples and taught them greater truth.

To teach the disciples discernment, Jesus does a couple of massive miracles—creating enough food to feed multiple thousands of people in the past few weeks (probably 20,00-30,00 minimum).

Then Jesus uses those ‘feedings’ as an analogy. Jesus says, “Be careful. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees” [ Matthew 16:6 ]. He was saying that they really needed to be concerned about was not whether they have physical bread, but whether they were BEING INFLUENCED by the ‘leaven’ (false teachings) of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus also warned that they should not bring any of their influence into their lives—specifically their hypocrisy (Luke 12:1)—phony religion, externalism without the heart, legalism, ritualism, and ceremonialism.

Jesus is kind of saying to the disciples, “Guys, I just want you to know that now that you follow Me and you are pursuing the ‘light’—cursing the darkness—make sure you don’t drag any of their teachings with you. Cut the cord. Have nothing to do with that former life!”

 

Now, just as Jesus was with the disciples, He will be patient with us and take the time and effort, even in our blindness, needed to teach us. “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” [1 Corinthians 2:10 ].

 

There are only two kinds of people in the world: the blind who will never see, and the blind who are made to see. Those of us who pass from darkness to light (from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God), as the Apostle Paul says, “have come out into the daylight!”

 

So then, how ‘hungry’ is your heart? Will you be like the Pharisees and Sadducees and be left in ‘darkness’, or will you be like the disciples who were led to ‘Light’? (Matthew 16:1-12).

You can choose the light, or you can choose the darkness. The choice is yours!

 

PROGNOSIS
A prognosis is predicting the likely or expected development of a disease, including whether the signs and symptoms will improve, worsen, or remain stable over time. I want to show you that apathy and hopelessness are ’symptoms’ of spiritual blindness.

 

APATHY
One cause of spiritual apathy is SIN in the believer’s life. When King David sinned, he felt separated, ‘apathetic’ toward God (Psalm 51:11). As he confessed his sin to God, David prayed for God to “renew a steadfast spirit” within him, and requested that God, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” [ Psalm 51:12 ]. A believer who feels spiritually apathetic should confess any known sin and ask for God’s cleansing and renewal.

Another cause of spiritual apathy is if, “You have forsaken the love you had at first” [ Revelation 2:4 ]. If you are a believer (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16), have you taken for granted what you have in Christ? Are you losing sight of your eternal purpose? Have you lost the vibrant love and passion you once had for Jesus?

Well, the solution for turning spiritual apathy into a renewed love and passion for Jesus is what the Apostle John said to the spiritually apathetic Ephesian church: “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” [ Revelation 2:5 ]. The spiritually apathetic person needs to remember, repent, and renew.

 

First, the spiritually apathetic person needs to ‘REMEMBER’ that they should think back to the time when they sensed the warmth and closeness of Jesus’ ‘presence’. They should realize that they can return to that state of fellowship.

Then they need to ‘REPENT’ and see their spiritual apathy as sin and confess that sin to God (1 John 1:9).

Finally, they need to ‘RENEW’ and cultivate a revived commitment to Jesus—not just serving Him, but ‘knowing’ Him, praising Him, and fellowshipping with Him. They should start again—if they have discontinued—daily Bible reading and prayer. They should let the indwelling Holy Spirit ‘empower’ them so their life will display the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22-23). They should make fellowship with the believers in a Bible-believing local church a priority (Hebrews 10:25).

 

Satan loves apathy. One must stay alert to the temptations of the ‘old nature’, the world, and the evil one. The born again believer must never lose the sense that God is always ‘with’ them. “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” [ 2 Corinthians 4:7 ]. As one begins to worship and praise the Lord and let Jesus control their lives each day, they will rediscover a life of adventure filled with joy and eternal purpose. They will then wonder how they ever became spiritually apathetic in the first place!

 

HOPELESSNESS
Without God and left to ourselves, one will easily succumb to the Devil’s schemes. They can become so mired in the affairs of this world and its moral darkness that, in the end, God turns them over to spiritual blindness and eternal condemnation (John 12:40; Romans 1:24-32).

Spiritual blindness, is ‘stubborn’. “Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, ‘We’re not blind too, are we?’” Speaking metaphorically, they refused to admit their blindness—saying this with disdain, arrogance, and scorn. You’re not saying we, the most learned, erudite, righteous, holy, virtuous, representatives of God, that WE are blind, are You? Well, yes that’s exactly what Jesus was saying. But the idea of spiritual blindness to them is a ‘joke’!

If you—as did the Pharisees in this interaction with Jesus—accept the spiritual blindness ‘condition’ you are in, you are ‘DOOMED’! You are HOPELESS.

If you think you can see, you’re doomed. Jesus said to them: “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” [ John 9:41 ].

Amazing play on words. Your sin remains. There’s a ‘finality’ to this. The ‘light’ shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot extinguish it. The darkness rejects it. Jesus came to His own people (the Pharisees), but they did not receive Him.

They are the religious elite. They are in the darkness. BUT, a blind beggar, who was a total outcast, sees physically and more importantly, sees spiritually—BETTER than they!

 

TREATMENT
Medically speaking, treatment is the use of an agent, procedure, medical care, or regimens—such as a drug, surgery, or exercise—in an attempt to cure or mitigate a disease, condition, or injury. I am going to use examination, recovering, overcoming, and hopefulness to explain how they can be used in an attempt to ‘treat’ spiritual blindness.

 

EXAMINATION
Might I suggest that just as you go to the optometrist for them to conduct an ‘eye examination’ to see if you are physically blind, that you should also ‘EXAMINE’ certain aspects of your spiritual life to determine if you are spiritually blind. Primarily, one could examine if they are producing good ‘fruit’—the ‘fruit of the Spirit’—Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

So, examine the symptoms and trace them back to the cause. Primarily, what are your attitudes and what are your actions? Well, Jesus gavels the “Beatitudes” to help us ‘analyze’ ourselves about these (Matthew 5:1-12). So, how are you doing with the teachings of the “Beatitudes”?

[ View my “Fruits Of The Beatitudes” website for more details on both the Beatitudes and the ‘fruit of the Spirit: http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/ ]

[ Also, for more details about examining yourself biblically, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/knowing-assurance-v243/ ].

 

RECOVERING
When one feels threatened, our adrenal glands flood our bodies with chemicals that produce the “fight or flight” instinct. When this kicks in, we lose our peripheral vision, experience ‘tunnel vision’, and don’t see a lot of detail. Things are ‘fuzzy’.

While everyone can try to identify with physical blindness, it’s a lot tougher to relate to the spiritual blindness we all deal with prior to salvation. Through Jesus’ encounter with the blind man (in Bethsaida), we can discover one of the ‘processed’ through which one can ‘RECOVER’ their spiritual ‘sight’.

 

There’s an account in the Bible that describes Jesus ‘recovering’ the sight of a blind man. After Jesus touched the man for the first time, He asked the healed person a question: “Do you see anything?” The narrative says that, “He looked up.” To us, that means for one to lift their head, but the Greek verb used here is, “anablepo,” which has a ‘deeper’ meaning. It means to “lift up to see,” or “regaining sight.” So, what Jesus is really asking is if his blindness was completely restored.

The man responds, “I see men.” (In the Greek it says, “I see THE men,” maybe talking about the Apostles). He continued, “like trees walking around.” Evidently, they were ‘fuzzy’, out of focus. He had indistinct, imperfect sight at that point.

Then Jesus laid His hands on his eyes once again (this so happens to be the only ‘two-stage’ miracle Jesus did). The man “began to see everything clearly” (“apokathistēmi,” in the Greek, which means “back to perfect vision”). The man’s sight was restored to ‘normal’. I guess you could say, in today’s vernacular, “20/20.”

 

So, why did Jesus heal the man gradually, in two ‘steps’? Well, I think it serves as an illustration of how one receives their ‘spiritual’ sight. A ‘symbolic’ truth. No one sees all of God’s truth all at one time.

In addition to that, as Jesus touched his eyes the first time, the man had yet to fully ‘believe’. Seeing his vision improve, his ‘faith’ was strengthened, and that he received complete healing—when he completely believed.

Then—although I can’t be dogmatic about this, since the text doesn’t say it—it could also have been to show the disciples that they really didn’t see everything clearly at this point, either. They had just recently ‘turned’ from the darkness, and were starting to ‘walk’ into the light—going from death into life—but their ability to see also would come in ‘stages’. It would come gradually—more and more in ‘focus’ all the time. (After the Jesus dies on the Cross and He resurrects, it becomes ‘crystal clear’ to them—they then saw it perfectly.)

 

One writer says, “Like the blind men, the disciples who have eyes but fail to see, the disciples have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear, their ability to see both physically and spiritually, is a gift of God, not of human ability. There’s no hint that as his faith grew, his healing progressed. His healing from failed sight to partial sight to complete sight came solely from the repeated touch of Jesus.”

Isn’t that how it happens for many of us? We start with a little bit of sight, then gain a little more and a little more, until we come to, one day, ‘full’ sight—through the work of God, on behalf of the Holy Spirit.

 

OVERCOMING
If you were blind back in Jesus’ time, according to the Pharisees’ theology, you had been ‘cursed’ by God (basically lining up with Job’s friends who assumed that, because Job was having such trouble, there must be a lot of sin present).

These kinds of people were alienated from normal society (perhaps only their family and friends would even so much as touch them). They were the “untouchables” (almost as bad as lepers). These people were ‘desperate’!

In another account, Jesus and His disciples encounter a man who had been blind from birth in Jerusalem. The disciples assume that his condition was a punishment, the result of a sin committed either by his parents or by him, so they ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should have been born blind?” [ John 9:2-3 ]. Jesus tells them that no one’s sins caused this man’s blindness, rather this was an opportunity for God to make His ‘works’ visible through the blind man—to bring glory to Himself—and He would transform this ‘deficit’ into something remarkable.

This episode illustrates the desperate ‘blindness’ of the human condition. Jesus has offered truth, freedom, healing, and access to God, but those who persist in unbelief will find that sin effectively closes both their ‘heart’ and their ‘eyes’, blinding them from believing in Him.

The Pharisees, however, did not believe that Jesus could have/should have healed the blind man, for they believed Jesus was a “sinner” for not keeping the Sabbath, and that “sinners” could not possibly perform miracles. So, the Pharisees ‘interrogated’ the man.

They already had their verdict before they started the questioning, and believed that Jesus was an insane, demon-possessed, satanic imposter. So, with that conclusion, their ‘investigation’ went nowhere. So, they reject the testimony of the man and of his neighbors.

The Pharisees then summon the blind man’s mother and father, who verified that their son had been blind since birth, and that he said that he had been healed by Jesus. The Pharisees, however, still stubbornly clung to their own ideas, saying that only “God” to perform a miracle such as this. They essentially denied that Jesus was God.

So, this is a man who has been completely rejected by everyone. Now, when he can see, he’s struggling to get people to accept what has happened. Those who are his neighbors can see it, but can’t explain it. The Pharisees saw it but refuse to see it for what it is. His own parents treat him with disdain, and ’throw him under the bus’! (so they are not ‘thrown out’ of the Temple).

Finally, when the interrogation is over, the man asks if they want to become a disciple of Jesus. They respond: “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” (but if they were able to ’see’, they WOULD HAVE become Jesus’ disciples right then!).

So, they eventually end up throwing the man out of the Temple, and essentially out of the ‘life’ of the city. He’s already been an outcast, because anybody who was born blind was believed to have been cursed by God for sin. So, they reject him. They reject the miracle. They reject Jesus.

 

Once Jesus heard what had happened, He met the blind man again and asked him, “Do you believe on the Son of God?” [ John 9:35c ]. The blind man said, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?” [ John 9:36 ]. Jesus responded, “You have now seen Him; in fact, He is the one speaking with you” [ John 9:37 ]. Once the blind man had heard Jesus say this, he became ‘convinced’ that Jesus was of God—that He was the “Christ”—and he knelt down to worship Him.

Here’s a man who was ‘ready’ to believe, someone with a ‘prepared’ heart—good ‘soil’ (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15)—that would “produce a crop some 30, 60, or 100 times.” He just wants to know Who to believe in (the essence of the “doctrine of regeneration”). Spiritual ‘sight’ not only begins as a divine initiative, but it requires faith from us, too (a ‘mystery’ how that ‘works’!).

Now, there’s another opportunity to ‘address’ the Pharisees who stood nearby listening in on their conversation. So Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” [ John 9:39 ]. The Pharisees that heard Jesus say this, determined that He was talking to them asked, “Are we blind, too?” Jesus responded, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” [ John 9:41 ]. Yep, ’totally’ blind!

 

From the attitudes of the blind man and the Pharisees toward Jesus, we can see that when Jesus said, “that those who do not see may see,” He was referring to people like the blind man. Although their physical eyes are blind, their spirits are pure and honest, they yearned for the light and loved the truth. For these kinds of people, their spiritual eyes are opened by God since they recognize God’s ‘voice’ from His words.

However, on the other hand, when Jesus said, “those who see may become blind” and “…but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains,” He was referring to people like the Pharisees. Though their physical eyes may not have been blind, their nature was arrogant and conceited, having not the slightest bit of a God-fearing heart, and their spiritual eyes were then ‘shut’ completely. These are exactly the kind of people whom God detests, rejects, and condemns!

We see, then, an ironic contrast between two groups of people. Some people are born blind and know they are blind—and Jesus is quite willing to open the eyes of these individuals, not merely physically, but spiritually, so that they may see and believe. (The man born blind represents these individuals). Others, however, think that they can see, not only physically but spiritually, and since Jesus came into this world for judgment (John 9:39)—He shows how blind those are who trust in themselves spiritually. (The Pharisees, who are actually blind to the things of God, represent this second group).

So, this miracle to heal physical blindness revealed the spiritual blindness of those who observed it. God, in His divine purposes, uses blindness and darkness as a metaphor for the spiritual condition. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Are you REFUSING to ‘see’ right now?

 

HOPEFULNESS
Physical blindness occurred quite frequently in the ancient world. Poverty, lack of medical care, unsanitary conditions, brilliant sunlight, blowing sand, certain kinds of accidents, war, fighting, and others could cause blindness. But most commonly, blindness was caused because of “gonorrheal diplococci,” that would find its way from a woman’s body into the conjunctiva of the eye of a child at birth, and there it would form a disease, and permanently blind the person.

I suppose today, much of these things are curable because of the drugs that we have available. But back in Jesus’ time, there was not. So, it was not uncommon to be blind. [ Note: It was said of Jericho that there grew balsam bushes, and balsam bushes could be made into a special kind of medicine which was good for the curing of the eyes.].

 

So, on His way out of Jericho, Jesus was surrounded by a huge crowd, when, from the roadside, Bartimaeus was ‘crying out’ for Jesus to stop.

As Jesus was walking by him, Bartimaeus heard who it was that was passing and ‘cried out’ even louder: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). By crying Jesus the “Son of David,” the blind man was affirming that he believed that Jesus was the Messiah. (The word “cry” here is krazō, which means to scream. It’s used in the New Testament of the screeching, screaming, and intense wailing of demon-possessed people.) It was a cry of anguish, a cry of desperation. He thought this was his ONLY CHANCE. (Sometimes we need to ‘cry out’ to God like this!)

 

Bartimaeus believed that Jesus was not like the other religious leaders, who believed that an individual’s poverty or blindness or bad circumstances were a result of God’s judgment. Bartimaeus appealed to Jesus according to the revelation of God’s character in the Psalms—a God who cares for the poor and the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:6, 18).

 

Bartimaeus could have asked for money or for food, but his faith was bigger than that. He said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” There is no pretension or religious pride in this interchange between God and man. The blind man had a desire, and he ran to Jesus with that desire. He did not preface his petition with a list of good works he had done, or with any false humility—he simply expressed to Jesus his desire, trusting that Jesus was both willing and able to fulfill it. Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has healed you,” and Bartimaeus instantly recovered his sight and followed Jesus (Mark 10:52).

By saying, “Your faith has made you well,” Jesus emphasizes the necessity of faith. This indicated real ‘regeneration’. The word here is “sōzō,” meaning “your faith has saved you, and you are now redeemed!”

Bartimaeus had the kind of faith that pleases God—a wholehearted trust in the ‘Healer’. Jesus showed once again that God “rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Bartimaeus understood this truth, and his actions reflected the kind of faith that is pleasing to God.

 

This story is about more than just one blind beggar getting his sight back. Jesus is traveling with a dozen of his closest followers who are having a hard time seeing what He has shown them. They have their physical sight but they won’t ‘see’ what Jesus is teaching is truly the Good News from God. The irony is that while Bartimaeus was physically blind, he COULD SEE with the ‘eyes’ of his heart—his spiritual sight! He knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of David, the One who could heal his blindness.

 

Whereas faith is not necessary for healing, faith is necessary for salvation. I like to think that when Jesus said, “Your faith hath saved you,” that’s exactly what He meant. Sure, there was physical wholeness there, and they did have faith in that. But it was more than that. You’ll never find salvation without a ‘strong’ faith in Jesus.

 

Every time Jesus healed someone of physical blindness, He was, in effect saying, “That’s only a symbol of what I want to do to your soul.” Jesus was also saying that by showing you My absolute control over the physical world and the natural laws, that I have control over the spiritual world and the supernatural laws, too.

Bartimaeus demonstrates that no matter how ‘blind’ we might be, Jesus—compassion ‘reaches out’ to those who CRY for His help!

While Bartimaeus realized that this just might be the ONLY ‘CHANCE’ he might be able to be healed (and he was correct—Jesus never did visit Jericho again), this post just might be Jesus ‘PASSING’ YOU BY, and this just might be YOUR ONLY OPPORTUNITY TO BE ‘HEALED’ (of your sin, and to be reconciled to God)!

DON’T let this opportunity ‘pass you by’!!! Genuinely repent of your sin and believe ‘in’ Jesus as your Savior! [ A reconciliation prayer is below to help you with this, if you need it ].

 

DIAGNOSIS
Someone who is spiritually blind DOES NOT SEE Jesus for who He is. Jesus is God, and the spiritually blind does not see Him as God.

In addition to that, the spiritually blind CANNOT UNDERSTAND Scripture. They can read it and even make some sense of it, but they cannot ‘understand’ it. Why? Because to understand the Bible you MUST HAVE the ‘indwelling’ of the Holy Spirit—and for that to happen, one must be ‘truly’ “born again.”

The spiritually blind love the sinful world and are heavily drawn to it. “Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” [ 2 Corinthians 4:4 ].

 

HOWEVER, another type of spiritually blind person is the one who ‘thinks’ they are ‘saved’, but never was truly saved (2 Peter 1:8-9).

This happens when a believer stops ‘walking’ with the Holy Spirit. They no longer live as it is described in 2 Peter 1:5-7. Like the unbeliever, they are drawn toward the world and have ‘quenched’ the Holy Spirit to the point that Scripture rarely ‘speaks’ to them. They have become blind, or at best ‘shortsighted’—which means they live only in the present, and only for themselves.

The final form of spiritual blindness is what Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind” [ John 9:39 ]. Their ‘religion’ gets in the way of faith.

 

My friend, you need to quickly—even RIGHT NOW—ask God to TRULY’ save you! Believe on Jesus Christ; trust in Him as your Savior; and ask God to open your ‘eyes’! Then commit yourself as “a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) focusing your attention on God: spend personal time in worship; be thankful and content with what you have been given; ask God for His vision for your life; and ‘minister’ to others that are ‘searching’.

 

THE ‘CURE’
Humanity has a ‘problem’. EVERYONE is going to Hell because they have a real ‘disease’, are ‘blind’ to its effects, and haven’t received the ONLY EFFECTIVE ‘CURE’ for that spiritual blindness!

Some people have symptoms of the disease more obviously or in a greater manner than others. But EVERYBODY HUMAN ‘SICK’—because of SIN—and a Jesus is THE ONLY ONE capable of ‘resolutely’ dealing with the ‘sickness’. Jesus solved the problem. He is THE ‘ANTIDOTE’ for spiritual ‘blindness’.

 

The offer of forgiveness goes out to everyone. The antidote to the deadly disease is available to each and every person. It’s up to them to accept it or not. If one doesn’t, they will perish—not because of God, but because of themselves. If they do accept it, they won’t perish, but will live forever! Again, not because of themselves but because of God and His mercy.

This was an act of mercy and grace, and served to bring glory to God not only in the wonder of the physical healing, but in the greater sense that the man came to possessing eternal life at the hands of his Healer.

 

Remember this: Just like Bartimaeus, when a desperate soul cries out for Jesus, He stops, calls us over to Him, and asks us the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” You see the blindness of Bartimaeus was physical and Jesus granted healing to him. However, the most important healing took place in the ‘soul’ of Bartimaeus when he was given the grace of Jesus in his moral bankruptcy. He experienced personally the love and grace of Jesus. His simple faith resulted in forgiveness, new life as a disciple of Christ, and a new purpose.

Jesus, the ‘Great Physician’ is the antidote to everyone’s spiritual blindness because He is the “light of the world” (John 8:12). He gives us insight (discernment coupled with understanding) and farsighted (see into the future) and nearsighted (see near things clearly) and hindsight (discernment after something happens) and foresight (foreseeing the future in order to act wisely). But first, we NEED TO BE ‘SAVED’ and receive inward spiritual sight and inner vision.

 

Yes, because of sin, we are spiritually blind from our birth, but when we receive our new ‘birth’ from Christ, we can ‘see’ spiritually.

Jesus is the ONLY WAY of salvation. There is NO OTHER WAY! If one rejects Christ, they have rejected the sole means of salvation. How have you responded to His offer of grace? Are you spiritually blind today? If so, respond by faith. Come to Christ and receive the provision ONLY HE can give!

 

SAUL’S EYE ’SURGERY’
Saul was a very ‘important’ Pharisee that ‘breathed’ out murderous threats against any he found that belonged to “The Way” (people following Jesus). When he found them, he would either take them back to Jerusalem as prisoners, or have them killed!

On one of his ‘crusades’ to apprehend ‘Christians’, as he neared Damascus a bright light suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied” [ Acts 9:5 ].

Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes, he could see nothing, so his compadres led him by the hand into Damascus.

A follower of Jesus, Ananias, then went to the house where Saul was and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight” [ Acts 9:17c-18 ].

Saul who had earned himself a bloody reputation for being one of the most cut-throat enemies of Christianity, then spent the rest of his life earning a reputation as the chief-most Christian missionary to non-Jewish people (known as Gentiles). It was such a dramatic about-face, it would take Saul from a position of incredible privilege to a place of extreme poverty and humility, I wonder if Saul (now “Paul”) was not laughed at by those who heard of his life-change. It was not a trajectory anyone could have guessed for Saul’s life, least of all Saul. In addition to all that, his new life would lead him to imprisonment and ultimately, beheading.

Paul’s former peers must have shaken their heads at his fate and probably would have said, “He’s gotten what he deserves.” They must have said, or at least have thought, “What a fool. What a blind fool!” However, that, of course, was precisely what the Apostle Paul had become—a ‘blind fool’ for the sake of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus offering salvation to all!

Later, Paul wrote to the early Christians in Corinth, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” [ 1 Corinthians 15:17 ].

This was, of course, Paul’s way of acknowledging the undeniable ‘foolish’ ‘appearance’ of his life. It was another way of saying, “Look, if the resurrected Jesus did not speak to me Himself on that road all those years ago, then I am a fool—a blind fool.”

 

BUT, what if Jesus really WAS raised from the grave? Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth begs that question. Crazy as it must seem, what if Jesus really is the risen Messiah? What if, through Jesus, God is restoring the world to Himself? What would that mean?

Well, it would mean, as Paul’s life showed, it was living as though once blind being able to see. It would mean living as though all of life’s great pleasures would be considered as loss when compared with the beauty and rich joys of knowing the crucified and risen Jesus—and being called, daily, into ‘life’ with Him.

 

For the believer today, it usually means being considered a ‘blind fool’ by most of their neighbors and acquaintances, for most of our life. It might even mean, as Paul experienced, physical and emotional turmoil. HOWEVER, undoubtedly it would also mean others would ‘wonder’ why the believer was so joyful while going through the travails.

Hopefully, this would also mean that the believer would tell those who are ‘blind’ about the ‘Surgeon’ whose ‘operating room’ is always open, and whose ‘surgeries’ are 100% successful! Because, of course, this ‘Surgeon’ is the SAME ONE that healed Paul in Damascus, who was then later made to ‘see’ what REALLY MATTERS—who Jesus is, and His ‘gift’ of salvation and eternal life!

 

In the latter years of the Apostle Paul life, he was giving his defense in front of King Agrippa and said, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God that they may receive forgiveness of sins” [ Acts 26:18 ].

That is the ‘calling’ of all God’s ‘ministers’ (“born again” believers), to preach the Gospel of Jesus whereby lost and blind sinners can be ‘saved’ and given bona fide ‘sight’ by Jesus.

 

HOW NOT TO BE A ‘PHARISEE’
Have you ever wondered why Jesus was so hard on Pharisees? Well, they were supposed to be the “scholars” of their day—the experts on obedience to God.

So then why didn’t Jesus put His ‘arm’ around the Pharisees and say: “Great effort on the law-keeping guys. You got a few things wrong so let me redirect you a little bit. But, keep up the good work!”

Well, Jesus ‘blasted’ them because, rather than being innocently ignorant of His identity and a little misguided, most of the Pharisees were WILLFULLY spiritually blind. They were duplicitous in front of the crowds, and Jesus told them exactly what they got wrong.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are” [ Matthew 23:13-15 ].

I have always thought the Pharisees simply didn’t recognize their Messiah. Their ignorance seemed innocent, since they were expecting a political savior who would overthrow Rome. Wouldn’t it have been a better strategy to pull them aside in private and prove to them using facts and Scripture that He (Jesus) was their promised Savior?

However, the blindness of the Pharisees toward Jesus WAS NOT confusion or ignorance, it was WILLFUL spiritual blindness for the sake of protecting their money and power (as I detailed above). Like Herod (in Matthew 2:1-6), they ‘RECOGNIZED’ HIM, and THAT’S why they wanted to kill Him!

 

The Pharisees wanted God, on their own terms—terms that would allow them to keep their power, their money and their secret sins. They DID NOT want to go ‘through’ Jesus to get ‘to’ God. The Pharisees thought they could ‘have’ God with external ‘works’.

Willful spiritual blindness denies evidence. The Pharisees didn’t want Jesus as Messiah, in spite of ALL THE EVIDENCE proving who He was. They just didn’t WANT to believe.

 

We all need to recognize that our sins are an affront to a holy God and these sins have cut us off from Him (Isaiah 59:2). HOWEVER, Jesus has ‘bridged the gap’ by dying on the Cross to atone for our sins, and resurrecting from the dead to guarantee the believer that they will also be resurrected and have eternal life with Him in Heaven, forever!

So, after one is “born again,” the INDWELLING of the Holy Spirit IS THE WAY you can guarantee you won’t be a ‘Pharisee’! (He will help you develop the ‘fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – Galatians 5:22-23).

[ For more details on the ‘fruit of the Spirit’, view my “Fruits Of The Beatitudes” website: http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/ ].

 

‘BLINDNESS’ WAS PROPHESIED
The Bible reveals that when God’s people do not obey Him, He allows a ‘spirit’ of blindness to come over them: “Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments… the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear” (Deuteronomy 28:47-48; 29:4).

Moses foretold that Israel’s tendency to rebel against God—and the subsequent spiritual blindness this would bring—would lead to serious consequences “in the latter days” (Deuteronomy 31:24-29).

The Hebrew prophets repeated this same theme, emphasizing that rebelling against God and rejecting His ways leads to spiritual blindness. Isaiah wrote: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me… Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart” (Isaiah 1:2–3; 6:9-10).

The prophet Ezekiel warned that disobedience leads to spiritual blindness, and to false teachings that seduce people to believe lies (Ezekiel 12:2; 13:2-19). This theme runs throughout the Old Testament.

Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 6:9-10) also foretold the spiritual blindness that would affect the Jews of Jesus’ day who would neither recognized Him as the Messiah nor understand His message (Matthew 13:10-15). Theologian John Calvin commented, “Since Christ is, by his own nature, the light of the world (John 8:12), it is an accidental result, that some are made blind by his coming.”

The Apostle Paul revealed that these same prophesies foretold the spiritual blindness of modern nations today (Romans 10:1-3; 11:7-8; 2 Corinthians 3:14-15). He advocated that if you want to break out of the spiritual blindness that afflicts you, you must continually turn to Jesus’ ‘light’ and seek to be guided by it!

 

IS YOUR ‘VISION’ 20/20?
The term “20/20 vision” is for visual acuity—clarity of vision. It is ‘perfect’, high-definition clarity.

The question is: How clear is your ‘vision’? That is how clear is your ‘SPIRITUAL’ vision?

How clearly do you ‘see’ your eternal ‘situation’? Is it clear to you what action(s) you should be taking now? Well, if not, consider doing the following:

– Be persistent
– Call out to Jesus: “Have mercy on me!”
– Repent of your sin
– Believe ‘in’ Jesus as your Savior
– Have faith that you’ve been saved
– Receive your spiritual ‘sight’
– Submit you life to Jesus and commit to following Him all your life!

 

ASK FOR YOUR ‘EYES’ TO BE OPENED
When Jesus spoke of the blind receiving their sight, He wasn’t just speaking of the ‘physically’ blind receiving their physical sight, He was also speaking about their ’spiritual’ sight—which, at that time was ‘darkened’ by the god of this world (Satan) and causing their unbelief.

The moment one ‘comes’ to Jesus and is “born again,” their ‘eyes’ of understanding are OPENED and they suddenly understand spiritual truths. The Gospel is no longer foolishness to them. They then ‘pass’ from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of glorious ‘light’, and we can say, with ex-slave trader John Newton, “I once was blind, but now I see.” When Jesus ‘opens’ our spiritually blind eyes, nothing looks the same!

Have your spiritual ‘eyes’ been opened and your spiritual understanding been enlightened? If not and if you want to acquire spiritual vision, you MUST TAKE ‘ACTION’. So, you may ask, “How can you be set free from spiritual blindness?” Well, consider the following:

– Admit you’ve got ‘blind spots’ (Don’t be like so-called “religious” people who want to constrict God’s work.)

– Don’t be like the Pharisees who were so sure they had God figured out. (Don’t follow your fleshly nature, which wants to assert it’s independence and self-reliance.)

– Recognize you’re in ‘bondage’ to sin! So, if you want to really be able to see your life how God sees it, you’re going to have to admit you’re blind without Him.

– Humble yourself before the ’Surgeon’ (Jesus)

– Spiritual blindness is NOT JUST a condition of unbelievers. The church in Laodicea thought they had it all together, but they were “lukewarm”—spiritually blind! (Revelation 3:14-20).

– Notice the incredible lengths to which the Pharisees go to deny that God could be at work through Jesus. In doing so they missed a great opportunity to worship the ONE TRUE GOD! No wonder Jesus called them blind!

– Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus, and you will be saved!

 

This story, told by author and pastor Max Lucado, might illustrate what I am trying to say about the ‘opening’ of one’s eyes:

“For 51 years Bob Edens was blind. He couldn’t see a thing. His world was a black hall of sounds and smells. He felt his way through five decades of darkness. And then, he could see. A skilled surgeon performed a complicated operation and, for the first time, Bob Edens had sight. He found it overwhelming. “I never would have dreamed that yellow is so…yellow,” he exclaimed. “I don’t have the words. I am amazed by yellow. But red is my favorite color. I just can’t believe red. I can see the shape of the moon—and I like nothing better than seeing a jet plane flying across the sky leaving a vapor trail. And of course, sunrises and sunsets. And at night I look at the stars in the sky and the flashing light. You could never know how wonderful everything is.”

 

Jesus wants to OPEN YOUR ‘EYES’ so that we can see how He’s ‘at work’ in this world. If you want to be ‘healed’ of your spiritual blindness, Jesus the ‘Surgeon’ wants nothing more than for you to repent of your sin, believe He is God and is your propitiation for your sins, submit to his authority, and receive the ‘surgery’ He’s just waiting to schedule for you!

 

AMAZING GRACE
Probably one of the best-known hymn verses is, “I once was lost, but now am found, T’was blind but now I see.” It is the end of the first stanza of “Amazing Grace,” a hymn was written by English poet and clergyman John Newton, that was published in 1779. Newton’s message was that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins people commit, and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the grace and mercy of God.

Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed into service in the Royal Navy and became a sailor. He later participated in the slave trade. One night a terrible storm battered his vessel so severely that he became frightened enough to call out to God for mercy (“O God, if Thou wilt get me safely ashore, I will serve Thee forever.”) This moment that marked the beginning of his spiritual conversion. His career in slave trading lasted a few years more until he quit going to sea altogether and became an ordained minister, where he began to write hymns with poet William Cowper. “Amazing Grace” was written to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773.

 

The following ‘parable’ might just help you understand the concept of God’s amazing grace. This one, limited as it is, helps ‘prep’ my point.

“About 125 years ago in czarist Russia, a Russian nobleman and his faithful servant traveled by dog sled across a vast expanse of frozen wasteland. They had traveled for several hundred miles, and their home lay only twenty miles ahead.

After such a long and treacherous journey, they looked forward to a warm bed and hot food. Suddenly a pack of hungry wolves appeared behind them, apparently having caught their scent. Despite the dogs’ efforts to pull the dog sled as fast as they could, the wolves started closing in.

The situation was hopeless—they had no place to hide and no chance of outrunning the wolves. Suddenly, the old servant threw himself backward, off the dog sled. The wolf pack stopped and attacked the servant, sparing the nobleman’s life.”

 

Now, that’s an amazing sacrifice that the servant made for the nobleman, BUT consider if it was the nobleman that threw himself off the dog sled to save the servant. THAT’S just what Jesus did for us! He gave up His life FOR US, so WE CAN BE ‘SAVED’! An AMAZING ‘gift’ of GRACE, something Jesus ‘gave’ to us that we don’t deserve—since we are sinners—and something we don’t have to ‘do’ anything to get (since it’s a ‘gift’).

When you ‘come’ to Christ, you ARE FORGIVEN—you make a clean ‘break’ from ALL your SINS!

 

Have you ‘accepted’ God’s grace, so that you can live with Him eternally? If not, what is stopping you from doing so RIGHT NOW?!

 

The born again Christian can say with the man whom Christ healed of blindness: “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” [ John 9:25 ]. Whereas we were DEAD in trespasses and sins and now we are ALIVE unto God!

If you do not know that you have become a new creature in Christ, I urge you to find a quiet place, get on your knees, repent of your sins, and believe on Jesus is your Savior and your propitiation for your sins. Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:3). Born again describes what happens to you when you have true salvation. When this happens to you, then you too can say, “Whereas I was blind, now I see.” Like John Bunyan, you can truthfully sing… “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.”

 

WRAP UP
So then, which is the most ‘terrifying’? Mental blindness, physical blindness, or spiritual blindness? Well, ‘MENTAL’ blindness can be definitely be cured. ‘PHYSICAL’ blindness can sometimes be cured (and it looks very promising that medical science may be able to do it in the near future). HOWEVER, ‘SPIRITUAL’ blindness can only be ‘cured’ by a SOVEREIGN ACT of God. One cannot ‘force’ themselves to be cured, they can only, like blind Bartimaeus did, CRY OUT FOR MERCY, persistently and ‘believingly’.

 

Now, be honest with yourself, after reading this post, do you consider yourself spiritually ‘blind’? Are you ’TOTALLY’ blind, in that you are an UNBELIEVER and you currently do not have a ‘relationship’ with Jesus? Are you ‘PARTIALLY’ blind, in that you ‘think’ you are a ‘BELIEVER’ but are not sure? Or, are you “BORN AGAIN” and are ‘sure’ that you are a BELIEVER?

 

Well, spiritual ‘blindness’ is a grievous condition (Romans 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:12). Those who reject Christ are ‘lost’ (John 6:68-69), and are ‘perishing’ (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Revelation 3:17). They are described as a “natural person [that] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” [ 1 Corinthians 2:14 ].

The Apostle Peter spoke of such people that, “in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires” [ 2 Peter 3:3 ]. Those who reject Jesus and His Word are spiritually blind and cannot understand the truth of the Scriptures. The truth sounds foolish to them (Isaiah 37:23; 1 Corinthians 1:18). The Bible describes those denying God as fools (Psalm 14:1; Matthew 7:26). They are blind to the manifestations of God as revealed throughout His Word and Jesus (John 1:1; Acts 28:26-27). Because of their blindness and rejection of God and His Word, they are in a PERILOUS, unsaved condition (John 12:48; Hebrews 2:2-4)—on their way to an eternal Hell!

SADLY, I can say with absolute certainty that MOST of you reading this are ‘TOTALLY’ blind spiritually, MANY are ‘PARTIALLY’ blind spiritually, and just a FEW of you are truly “born again” BELIEVERS!

[ FYI: Here’s some research from which I based my statement above:
http://churchinfluence.com/barna-group-the-state-of-the-church-2019/;
https://thestateoftheology.com/;
https://lifewayresearch.com/2017/12/06/many-evangelicals-dont-hold-evangelical-beliefs/;
https://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/;
https://www.gotquestions.org/fake-Christians.html;
https://www.gotquestions.org/born-again.html ].

 

Research like this IS WHY I write this post! I TRULY want EVERYONE to go to Heaven with me! (My personal “mission statement” for my life has been to “Take as many people to Heaven with me as I can.”)

 

It’s ALL ABOUT if you are ‘blind’ to who Jesus really is. Typical responses to the life and claims of Jesus Christ sound something like this:

– Jesus Christ was a great man
– Jesus Christ was a wonderful moral model
– Jesus Christ was an enlightened religious teacher
– Jesus Christ was an esteemed prophet

Unlike any other widely followed religious leader in history, Jesus Christ made a unique claim. He ‘declared’ Himself TO ‘BE’ GOD. Not ‘a’ god or ‘god-like’, but God ‘incarnate’—the Creator of the universe in human flesh! Intellectually, for many people that’s disturbing—especially in this ‘politically correct’, relativistic world we live in today. However, spiritually, it is the MOST ‘LIBERATING’ thing that could ever happen to humankind!

 

Jesus Christ, has caused more division, agitation, and controversy than any other name in history. If you bring up “god” in a casual discussion, nobody is really offended. If you speak about Confucius, Buddha, Gandhi, Mohammed, and Moses, you really don’t irritate many people. However, if you mention Jesus Christ, it seems to ‘aggravate’ some and ‘infuriate’ others. Why is Jesus more ‘contentious’ and convicting than all the others combined?

Well, in the past, scholars have proposed something called the “Trilemma.” They say that there are really only three alternatives for who Jesus Christ really is. Either He was a “liar,” a “lunatic,” or “Lord.”

Josh McDowell, in his book “More than a Carpenter,” said, “The issue with these three alternatives is not which is possible, for it is obvious that all three are possible. But rather, the question is ‘which is more probable?’ Who you decide Jesus Christ is must not be an idle intellectual exercise. You cannot put Him on the shelf as a great moral teacher. That is not a valid option. He is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God. You must make a choice. ‘But,’ as the Apostle John wrote, ‘these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and’—more important—‘that believing you might have life in His name’ (John 20:31).”

C.S. Lewis, a popular British theologian, popularized this “liar, lunatic, Lord” apologetic argument for the deity of Jesus in his book “Mere Christianity,” back in 1952. He said, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Now, some have criticized the ‘logical soundness’ of his argument, and some have proposed the “Tetralemma,” (Liar, Lunatic, Lord, or Legend), but I’m not here to argue that right now. I just want to point out that, just like the Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus’ day, EVERYONE MUST make a determination of WHO they think Jesus is. This ‘3-legged stool’ argument does quickly get to the ‘heart’ of the matter: Will you ‘accept’ Jesus or not?

 

So, I’m thinking all of us want to be quoted accurately and ‘in context’, so here’s what Jesus said about Himself (related to our ‘spiritual blindness’ topic): “I am the Light of the world; whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness” [ John 8:12 ].

Jesus later said, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” [ John 12:48 ].

In just these two verses, it is pretty clear what Jesus is saying. There’s only ONE WAY OUT of the ‘darkness’, and that’s to ‘FOLLOW’ HIM!

 

To ‘follow’ Jesus, all of us must answer the question that Jesus posed to the man that was born blind from birth (the one the Pharisees ‘interrogated’): “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” [ John 9:35c ]. What is YOUR ANSWER? Well, the previous blind man just wanted to know Who to believe in (the essence of the “doctrine of regeneration”). He was ‘ready’ to believe. He was someone with a ‘prepared’ heart—good ‘soil’—with the ‘humility’ to hear, the ability to ‘understand’ what had happened, and the ‘conviction’ to act. He had become ‘convinced’ that Jesus was of God—that He was the “Christ”—and he knelt down to worship Him.

Jesus then said (essentially directed to the Pharisees standing nearby), “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” [ John 9:39 ]. Which are you? Spiritually ‘blind’ now who WANTS to ‘see’ (Jesus is THE only way), or someone that thinks that there are many ‘paths’ to God (Jesus is A way)?

 

I’m sure you have the impression by now that I believe Jesus Christ is THE ONLY WAY, the ONLY TRUE CHOICE for have my sins forgiven and for being ‘reconciled’ to God, and a ‘guarantee’ for eternal life in Heaven. Now, YOU NEED TO CHOOSE!

A variety of authors and motivational speakers have made some ‘insightful’ comments on the need to choose. John Steinbeck said, “Man has a choice and it’s a choice that makes him a man.” Edwin Markham said, “Choices are the hinges of destiny.” Tony Robbins said, “Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said, “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” Graham Brown said, “Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” Nelson Mandela said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” John C. Maxwell said, “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.”

Again, IT’S YOUR CHOICE—who or what do you want to be THE ‘influence’ in your life to ‘MAKE’ YOU? The ‘world’ (man’s wisdom) or Jesus (God’s wisdom)?

When one is ‘IN’ Christ (“born again”), they WILL BE GIVEN spiritual ‘sight’. They then ‘exercise’ that sight by allowing God to reign in their life by following His commands. This will also ‘shield’ them from Satan’s ‘traps’ (1 John 4:13). Satan, sometimes called the “Prince of Darkness,” sometimes appears good and even as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:4). BUT, the Devil and his demons really hate the ‘light’, so they will try to keep them in ‘darkness’ and unable to see the ‘Light’. HOWEVER, God has overcome the darkness ‘in’ Jesus (John 1:4-5), and will give ‘light’ to all of His ‘children’!

 

Today, if you ‘hear’ His voice, do not harden your hearts. The more you suppress God’s ‘voice’, the harder your heart becomes—until it reaches a point where you will not hear His voice anymore! Your heart hardens and your eyes become blinded to the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Remember what Helen Keller said to someone that commented to her, “What a pity you have no sight”? She quickly retorted, “Yes, but what a pity that so many who do have sight cannot see!”

Similarly, the Apostle Paul was pretty direct about all of this: “That men walk in the emptiness of their mind, and their understanding is darkened, and their hearts are blinded” [ Ephesians 4:18 ]. The Psalmist also said that, “They have eyes, but they cannot see” [ Psalm 135:16b ].

 

Have you ever been in a pitch-black room with absolutely no light in it? It is as if you are blind! You need LIGHT to see! Spiritually, THE ‘LIGHT’ is Jesus!

Like the analogy I used above about being ‘blind’ in a driving rainstorm, are you heading down that precarious ‘road’, without Jesus as your ‘driver’? If so, you are in a PRECARIOUS SITUATION!

Don’t let your ‘vision’ be impaired by not understanding what Jesus did once and for all on the Cross! He ‘paid’ for ALL OF YOUR SINS, made it possible to be ‘reconciled’ to God the Father, and punched your ‘ticket’ for entrance into Heaven and eternal life! You just need to accept His ‘gift’!

If you have not yet repented of your sins, and believed ‘in’ Jesus, DO SO NOW, before it’s TOO LATE!!! Get rid of your spiritual ‘blindness’ NOW, once and for all!!!

 

[ Excerpts from: Marci Preheim; Greg Koukl; Mike Storti; Michael Houdmann; Brandon Crowe; Laurence Fox; R.C. Sproul; Max H. Baserman; John MacArthur; Phil Johnson; Sean Silverthorne; Don Jaques; Medical News Today; Greg Koukl; National Geographic; Britton Taylor; Fritz Chery; Jamie Janosz; Robert Cox; Douglas S. Winnail; John Piper; Donald Grey Barnhouse; Daniel Merritt; Greg Outlaw; Jack Wellman ]

 

RELATED POSTS:

‘Heed’ The Warning!”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/heed-the-warning-v251/

Being A ‘Watchman’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-a-watchman-v250/

‘Last’ Generation”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/

Mankind’s ‘Destiny’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mankinds-destiny-v247/

‘Final’ Tribulation”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/

‘Blessed’ Hope”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/

Knowing ‘Assurance’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/knowing-assurance-v243/

Leaving A ‘Legacy’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/leaving-a-legacy-v242/

‘Outworkings’ Of Grace”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/outworkings-of-grace-v241/

Amazing ‘Grace’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/amazing-grace-v239/

One’s ‘Last Words’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ones-last-words-v232/

The Greatest ‘Gift’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-greatest-gift-v226/

A ‘Place’ To Retire”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/

‘Saved’ From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ FYI: This is a great sermon on the “Call to Repentance” by John MacArthur from his book “The Gospel According to Jesus”: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-22/the-call-to-repentance
(Transcript: http://www.spiritedesign.com/TheCallToRepentance-JohnMacArthur(Jul-27-2019).pdf) ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

—————-
Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do About It
By: Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel

When confronted with an ethical dilemma, most of us like to think we would stand up for our principles. But we are not as ethical as we think we are. In Blind Spots, leading business ethicists Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel examine the ways we overestimate our ability to do what is right and how we act unethically without meaning to. From the collapse of Enron and corruption in the tobacco industry, to sales of the defective Ford Pinto, the downfall of Bernard Madoff, and the Challenger space shuttle disaster, the authors investigate the nature of ethical failures in the business world and beyond, and illustrate how we can become more ethical, bridging the gap between who we are and who we want to be.

Explaining why traditional approaches to ethics don’t work, the book considers how blind spots like ethical fading—the removal of ethics from the decision-making process—have led to tragedies and scandals such as the Challenger space shuttle disaster, steroid use in Major League Baseball, the crash in the financial markets, and the energy crisis. The authors demonstrate how ethical standards shift, how we neglect to notice and act on the unethical behavior of others, and how compliance initiatives can actually promote unethical behavior. They argue that scandals will continue to emerge unless such approaches take into account the psychology of individuals faced with ethical dilemmas.

Distinguishing our “should self” (the person who knows what is correct) from our “want self” (the person who ends up making decisions), the authors point out ethical sinkholes that create questionable actions.

Suggesting innovative individual and group tactics for improving human judgment, Blind Spots shows us how to secure a place for ethics in our workplaces, institutions, and daily lives.

—————-
What Are Your Blind Spots? Conquering the 5 Misconceptions that Hold Leaders Back
By: Jim Haudan and Rich Berens

Uncover your blind spots and reset your leadership approach for long-lasting success in any business

Far too many business leaders today are using outdated practices to engage and motivate their people―and they’re failing miserably. Truly resilient, thriving organizations are those that are purpose driven and focus on more than pure profits. Purpose, or an underlying company philosophy, not only drives strategic change, but also encourages customer loyalty and employee engagement. In order to succeed, leaders must be willing to discard old ways of thinking and detrimental business habits―and recognize their blind spots.

Authors Jim Haudan and Rich Berens identify the five most common leadership blind spots that hamper success: Purpose, Story, Engagement, Trust, and Truth. They take you straight into the board room of well-known leadership teams to illustrate how these blind spots play out and the impact they have on organizations. You’ll learn how to identify and overcome your own blind spots and embrace positive, forward-thinking new practices.

What Are Your Blind Spots equips you with the tools needed for a personal leadership reset. You’ll discover how to increase engagement, productivity, and growth in your own organization. This is an invaluable guide for executives, managers, team leaders, and human resource professionals looking for an effective way to engage and motivate employees at every level of an organization.

—————-
Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril
By: Margaret Heffernan

“With deft prose and page after page of keen insights, Heffernan shows why we close our eyes to facts that threaten our families, our livelihood, and our self-image—and, even better, she points the way out of the darkness.” — Daniel H. Pink

In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Margaret Heffernan’s Willful Blindness is a tour de force on human behavior that will open your eyes.

Why, after every major accident and blunder, do we look back and say, How could we have been so blind? Why do some people see what others don’t? And how can we change? Drawing on studies by psychologists and neuroscientists, and from interviews with business leaders, whistleblowers, and white collar criminals, distinguished businesswoman and writer Margaret Heffernan examines the phenomenon of willful blindness, exploring the reasons that individuals and groups are blind to impending personal tragedies, corporate collapses, engineering failures-even crimes against humanity.

We turn a blind eye in order to feel safe, to avoid conflict, to reduce anxiety, and to protect prestige. But greater understanding leads to solutions, and Heffernan shows how-by challenging our biases, encouraging debate, discouraging conformity, and not backing away from difficult or complicated problems—we can be more mindful of what’s going on around us and be proactive instead of reactive.

—————-
Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face—and What to Do About It
By: Richard S. Tedlow

Denial is the unconscious belief that a certain fact is too terrible to face and therefore cannot be true. It turns challenges into crises, dilemmas into catastrophes. It’s the single greatest obstacle business leaders face.

Now Harvard business School professor Richard S. Tedlow tackles two essential questions: Why do so many sane, smart leaders often refuse to accept and act on the facts that threaten their companies and careers? And how do we find the courage to resist denial when facing new trends, changing markets, and tough new competitors?

Tedlow highlights strategies the best leaders use to face hard facts and turn challenges into opportunities. His book will help you become one of them.

—————-
Creative Blindness (And How To Cure It): Real-life Stories of Remarkable Creative Vision
By: Mr Dave Trott

Creativity is all around us. Not in art galleries. But on the train, at work, in the street outside, and in schools, hospitals and restaurants. Creative vision exists wherever people are.

In this entertaining collection of real-life stories, Dave Trott applies his crystal clear lens to define what genuine creative vision looks like. It is problem solving, clarity of thought, seeing what others do not see, and removing complexity to make things as simple as you can.

The timeless lessons revealed here can be applied in advertising, business and throughout everyday life. By seeing things differently, you can think differently, and change the world around you.

Dave Trott shows you how.

—————-
Thriving Blind: Stories of Real People Succeeding Without Sight
By: Kristin Smedley

Blindness. A tough topic to discuss? Not anymore. In this groundbreaking book, readers will see blindness in a whole new light. In fact, the compelling and entertaining stories will not only change perceptions of blindness, they’ll make readers forget the people featured are actually blind.

Author Kristin Smedley’s journey began with devastation and tears after her two sons were diagnosed as blind when they were each just four months old. Eventually, she met a few people would who change her perception of what is possible for those navigating the world without sight. Those role models were the tipping point for Kristin and her sons to move from surviving blindness, to thriving. Thriving Blind introduces the reader to thirteen of those pivotal people–including a reality tv star, YouTube sensation and Teacher of the Year!

While the stories in Thriving Blind demonstrate how blind people used creativity and determination to live the life of their dreams, the lessons they convey about facing fears and crashing through society’s barriers are transformative for all who experience struggles. Kristin herself applied these lessons to her own journey. She has testified at the FDA for the first ever treatment for vision loss, coordinated the first legislation in US history to be submitted in Braille, and is a highly influential voice around the world for those living with rare eye diseases.
Thriving Blind will transform your idea of what is possible for people who encounter a devastating disability or life challenge and will catapult your motivation to set extraordinary expectations for your own life.

From the Foreword by Erik Weihenmayer (blind Author, Filmmaker, International Speaker): “In Thriving Blind, Kristin beautifully presents how her beliefs and fears, her perspective and mindset could become either her boys’ biggest barrier or the boys’ most powerful catalyst. My mom believed in me. She saw strength, opportunity, and promise, while others saw only problems, obstacles, and limits. My dad taught me a lot about what I now call ‘a No Barriers Mindset.’ With the right support, encouragement, and belief, your child will survive (blindness). In fact, as Kristin so poignantly describes, ‘They’ll do better than survive. They will thrive.’”

—————-
I Can See Clearly Now: Blessed by Blindness
By: Andi Mills

This book is about an amazing journey, from a sighted world, to blindness and back to the sighted world. It details how one woman made the journey with the help of people, animals and organizations that were there for her. It is a story about growing closer to God, experiencing miracles, and sharing the lessons learned along the way. At a time when most would abandoned life-long dreams, she found a way to accomplish them. This book is an inspiration and a road map to a destination she never imagined. It will make you laugh, make you cry and allow you to feel the triumph of reaching seemingly unattainable goals.

—————-
Overcoming Spiritual Blindness
By: James P. Gills

All too often our modern society lacks both sight and insight resulting
from a refusal to see the reality of creation. Such lack of recognition
and appreciation for the Creator is spiritual blindness. Yet, the fruits
and evidence of His love and wisdom are clearly demonstrated
everywhere we look. Author Dr. James Gills, a world-renowned
ophthalmologist with a deep love of the Bible, writes about spiritual
blindness with stunning clarity and relevance.

This book illustrates a powerful biblical theme, often repeated
throughout the Scriptures: the analogy between the physical and the
spiritual realms regarding blindness and sight. From Isaiah’s vision of
a day when God’s Messiah would be “a light for the Gentiles to open
eyes that are blind” to the fulfillment of the prophecy when Paul was
sent to the Gentiles “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness
to light, and from the power of Satan to God.”

Overcoming Spiritual Blindness emphasizes the power and work of
the Holy Spirit. What the surgeon does for cataracts that hinder sight
in the physical eye, the Holy Spirit does for the cataracts of the heart.

Overcoming Spiritual Blindness exposes obstructions to spiritual
sight that cloud the lens of the soul. Such “cataracts” include pride,
misguided concepts of money, preoccupation with work, distorted views of sex, and a critical spirit. The description of “the cataract of bitterness and an unforgiving spirit” gives such powerful insight that the reader must gain a new perspective of total forgiveness. The list of spiritual cataracts is vast and painfully relevant, highlighting the need for spiritual surgery to those who do not realize they are blind.

—————-
Man’s Natural Blindness In The Things of Religion
By: Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards was a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards “is widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian,” and one of America’s greatest intellectuals. Edwards’s theological work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. Recent studies have emphasized how thoroughly Edwards grounded his life’s work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central The Enlightenment was to his mindset.

Edwards played a very critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first fires of revival in 1733–1735 at his church – First Church – in Northampton, Massachusetts. Edwards delivered the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, a classic of early American literature, during another wave of revival in 1741, following George Whitefield’s tour of the Thirteen Colonies. Edwards is widely known for his many books: The End For Which God Created the World; The Life of David Brainerd, which served to inspire thousands of missionaries throughout the nineteenth century; and Religious Affections, which many Reformed Evangelicals read even today. Edwards died from a smallpox inoculation shortly after beginning the presidency at the College of New Jersey (later to be named Princeton University). He was the grandfather of Aaron Burr, 3rd Vice President of the United States.

—————-
Spiritual Blindness: Find Your Spiritual Eyes and Open Them
By: Mark Allison

The New Testament teaches three specific things how individual Christians in the church are to conduct themselves;

– Love one another as Christ loved us
– How men and women treat each other outside of marriage
– How husbands and wives treat each other inside of marriage.

These three basic human relationships serve as a witness to those outside the church as an evangelistic tool. How we deal with each other has ramifications for how we conduct ourselves spiritually before a lost world. We have failed in these three basic relationships. We need someone to step unafraid from the background and face down criticism and perhaps ridicule, even persecution from the self-righteous who continue to lead the church away and resist the necessary course corrections in these final days. Who will be willing to confront the issues head-on in order for the world to know Christ? Are you, as part of His church, ready for the second coming of our Lord? Would you be willing to face discomfort and ridicule if you knew that God had called you to such a fate? What discomfort are you willing to endure for the cause of Christ?

—————-
From Victim to Victor: Walking by Faith and Not by Sight
By: Dr. Deandre Collier

From Victim to Victor: Walking by Faith and Not by Sight was written for the Christian believer, communities of faith, churched and unchurched populations, and the person who is wrestling and struggling with faith issues that challenge them in their every day spiritual walk of life. This book will introduce the reader to Jesus Christ through Dr. Deandre Collier’s testimony, use of Scripture, and discussion of Christian traditions. Further, Dr. Collier will demonstrate, through his shared experiences, the meaning of the phrase walking by faith, not by sight.

This spiritually-inspired memoir argues that, even during the worst of times, maintaining faith can ensure that our best days lie ahead. Victimization presents opportunity for victory, but with God all things are possible because He is the essence of faith.

From Victim to Victor is designed to reach out and target audiences of all persons in a real, personal, spiritual, and intimate way. Dr. Deandre Collier has written this book for all regardless of education, race, social and economic status, denominational affiliation, and religious and cultural tradition.

—————-
The Keys to Spiritual Growth: Unlocking the Riches of God
By: John MacArthur

John MacArthur explores a range of biblical passages to reveal the riches of God in Jesus Christ, riches that will help us continue to grow in faith and spirit.

—————-
Spiritual Blindness: Find Your Spiritual Eyes and Open Them
By: Mark Allison

The New Testament teaches three specific things how individual Christians in the church are to conduct themselves; o Love one another as Christ loved us o How men and women treat each other outside of marriage o How husbands and wives treat each other inside of marriage. These three basic human relationships serve as a witness to those outside the church as an evangelistic tool. How we deal with each other has ramifications for how we conduct ourselves spiritually before a lost world. We have failed in these three basic relationships. We need someone to step unafraid from the background and face down criticism and perhaps ridicule, even persecution from the self-righteous who continue to lead the church away and resist the necessary course corrections in these final days. Who will be willing to confront the issues head-on in order for the world to know Christ? Are you, as part of His church, ready for the second coming of our Lord? Would you be willing to face discomfort and ridicule if you knew that God had called you to such a fate? What discomfort are you willing to endure for the cause of Christ?

—————-
Real Christian: Bearing the Marks of Authentic Faith
By: Todd A. Wilson

The evangelical church is home to many who claim to follow Christ but who show little evidence of a truly transformed life. Todd Wilson’s Real Christian: Bearing the Marks of Authentic Faith biblically defines what it means to be a true Christian, calling readers to look at their own lives and diagnose where they aren’t living authentically for God. With a prophetic voice, Wilson looks at how we deceive ourselves into thinking we are really living for God through believing the right things or doing lots of spiritual activities. In contrast, real Christians are marked by five key qualities: broken-hearted joy, a humble disposition, a readiness to acknowledge sin, an ability to live balanced and avoid legalism, and a deep spiritual hunger that drives growth. All of these qualities culminate in the single defining mark of a real Christian—love.

To help in distinguishing genuine faith from counterfeit spirituality, Wilson draws upon the gospels, the writings of Paul, and the insights of theologian Jonathan Edwards to help readers understand the necessary marks of an authentic, transformed life, marks that show evidence of a new heart and bear spiritual fruit through the work of the Holy Spirit.

—————-
Undaunted By Blindness
By: Clifford E. Olstrom

The purpose of this book is to provide concise biographical information about 400 notable blind persons. The people in this volume are but a small sample of many thousands of notable blind persons in history. Most of the information about their lives comes from secondary sources. Where feasible, some of the subject’s own words were used.

—————-
The Story of My Life
By: Helen Keller

When she was 19 months old, Helen Keller (1880–1968) suffered a severe illness that left her blind and deaf. Not long after, she also became mute. Her tenacious struggle to overcome these handicaps — with the help of her inspired teacher, Anne Sullivan — is one of the great stories of human courage and dedication. In this classic autobiography, first published in 1903, Miss Keller recounts the first 22 years of her life, including the magical moment at the water pump when, recognizing the connection between the word “water” and the cold liquid flowing over her hand, she realized that objects had names. Subsequent experiences were equally noteworthy: her joy at eventually learning to speak, her friendships with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edward Everett Hale and other notables, her education at Radcliffe (from which she graduated cum laude), and-underlying all-her extraordinary relationship with Miss Sullivan, who showed a remarkable genius for communicating with her eager and quick-to-learn pupil. These and many other aspects of Helen Keller’s life are presented here in clear, straightforward prose full of wonderful descriptions and imagery that would do credit to a sighted writer. Completely devoid of self-pity, yet full of love and compassion for others, this deeply moving memoir offers an unforgettable portrait of one of the outstanding women of the twentieth century.

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My Religion” Helen Keller’s Astounding Triumph Over Deafness and Blindness
By: Helen Keller

A woman who lived in silent darkness describes a world of love, light, and color. Where did Helen Keller find the strength and courage to break out of her silent and dark world and discover light? What inner resources of faith helped her overcome the limits of her physical body? In My Religion, this dynamic woman describes the spiritual odyessy that brought her to a faith that opened her spiritual sight.

This recording was originally made in 1960 by actress Lillian Gish and remastered for a new release.

Audio: https://www.amazon.com/MY-RELIGION-ASTOUNDING-DEAFNESS-BLINDNESS/dp/0877854637/

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Fanny Crosby Story” (DVD)
By: Video Vision

This is the amazing biography of the blind hymn writer, Fanny Crosby. As the writer of more than 10,000 hymns, all penned after the age of 40, she is credited with authoring more verse than any human in history.

The tragic mistreatment by a charlatan masquerading as a doctor blinded Fanny shortly after birth. Nevertheless, she learned to function as a sighted child except for her inability to read. She was an extraordinary child filled with joy and mischief! At her grandmother’s knee, she began to demonstrate an exceptional memory, and memorized several complete books of the Bible, including Ruth and Proverbs.

She left home at age 15 to begin her formal education. One of the most notable pupils of the New York Institute for Special Education, Fanny was also the first woman to address the US Congress. Fulfilling the roles of wife, mother, friend, teacher, nurse to the sick during the cholera epidemic, humanitarian to the poor and disenfranchised, and friend of presidents — Fanny Crosby was an exceptional woman by any standard. And her legacy lives on through the thousands of hymns that are still sung today.

DVD: https://www.amazon.com/Fanny-Crosby-Story/dp/B0006A9I7A/

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Fanny J. Crosby: An Autobiography
By: Fanny Crosby

Here, in Fanny Crosby’s own words, is the story of her life, from birth and the event that caused her blindness at six weeks of age, to her eighty-sixth year. With warmth and sensitivity she recounts how she began to write poetry and went on to become the most prolific hymn writer of the late 1800s. Fanny Crosby writes, By including even some incidents that, in themselves, may seem trivial, I have tried to make this account a full and accurate biography. In modesty, however, I have also desired to render my story as simple as possible, in fact, to give a vivid picture of my work, my opinions and my aspirations, not only as a teacher but also as a writer of sacred songs. In her first chapter Fanny Crosby describes her own story as flowers plucked from the garden of memory. Her recollections are truly a bouquet of memories. Both text and photos capture the multicolored hues of nineteenth-century life and the career of a beloved hymn writer who was wholly dedicated to her craft. Included are personal insights about noted politicians, generals, evangelists, and fellow hymn writers.

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“THE SEARCH FOR MEANING” WEBSITE

This site presents discussions on the 12 most commonly asked questions about the Christian faith.

The 12 discussions are accessed by the “tabs” at the bottom of the page. The tabs are numbered 1-12. Roll your mouse over them and you will see the question displayed at the right. Click on the number to select that question.

Within each question (i.e. tabs 1-12), there are subtopics (or dialogues) to select that appear as smaller tabs underneath the numbered tabs. Roll your mouse over them and the title of these topics is also displayed to the right. Click on the open rectangle to select that dialogue.

For each question (1-12), a link to related resources and an optional flowchart is provided. To access this material, click on the respective words, “Related Resources” or “Options Flowchart.”

To play a more detailed discussion of the subject, between two people, select the desired dialogue and click on “Play Audio Dialogue.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the page, there is an icon that looks like binoculars looking at a question mark. Click on this icon to return to the homepage.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Related Resources” page, there is an icon that looks like some books. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the resources for all of the questions. There also are additional “appendices” for most of the questions.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Flowchart” page, there is an icon that looks like an Org chart. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the flowcharts.

http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q1_d1_1of10.html

[ Content by: Bill Kraftson and Lamar Smith; Website by Mark Besh ]

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further the claims of Jesus, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q6_d6_1of10.html ].

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ARTICLES:

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“Blindness and Vision Impairment”

Key facts
– Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.

– This 1 billion people includes those with moderate or severe distance vision impairment or blindness due to unaddressed refractive error, as well as near vision impairment caused by unaddressed presbyopia.

– Globally, the leading causes of vision impairment are uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts.

– The majority of people with vision impairment are over the age of 50 years.

[ World Health Organization ]

Website: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment

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“The World Report on Vision”

The World Report on Vision seeks to generate greater awareness and increased political will and investment to strengthen eye care globally. The report sets out concrete proposals to address significant challenges in delivering eye care. Its key proposal is to integrate and scale up ‘people-centred eye care’, embedded in health systems and based on strong primary health care.

For the first time, the World Report on Vision begins to capture the global need – including the backlog of people who have yet to be helped, those whose needs have been met, for instance with glasses and contact lenses, and those who still need to interact with the health system and could benefit from rehabilitation.

Web page: https://www.iapb.org/resources/the-world-report-on-vision/

“VISION 2020: The Right to Sight”

Web page: http://www.iapb.org/vision-2020/

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“Sightsavers”

Protecting sight

Sightsavers aims to prevent avoidable blindness and save the sight of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Website: https://www.sightsavers.org/protecting-sight/

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“Helen Keller, 1880-1968: She Became the Most Famous Disabled Person in the World”

“Although deaf and blind, Helen Keller graduated from college. She wrote about her life and became an activist for the disabled. Second of two parts.”

Transcript of radio broadcast: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/a-23-2009-11-13-voa9-83142907/130246.html

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“Why Is Helen Keller the Only Blind Person Anyone Knows?”

Reprinted from the Blog on Blindness, blog.pdrib.com, April 14, 2015

Helen KellerFrom the Editor: This article is adapted from a presentation given at a meeting of the Greater Louisville Chapter of the NFB of Kentucky. Mike Hudson is the director of the museum at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville.

Founded in 1858, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) embosses more than 16 million pages of Braille and better than 14 million pages of large print a year. We record hundreds of Talking Book titles, and we manufacture hundreds of educational and daily-living aids annually. The APH museum celebrated its twentieth anniversary this past fall, and the team developed accessible, traveling exhibits to bring the history of blindness education to those unable to visit APH in person.

When we first started asking ourselves how to market education for the blind to the broader public, we began with what we knew—or what we thought we knew.

We know blindness scares people. According to the 2010 Eye on Eyesight Survey, 79 percent of Americans say that other than their own death or the death of a loved one, losing their eyesight is “the worst thing that could happen to me.”

We know that most sighted people don’t know anyone who’s blind. [more…]

[ Mike Hudson ]

Web page: https://www.nfb.org/sites/www.nfb.org/files/images/nfb/publications/fr/fr37/3/fr370317.htm

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“Dust storm plunges Australian city in brief darkness”

A massive dust storm covered an Australian town and plunged it into darkness as it rolled through on Tuesday evening. A time-lapse video shared which showed the storm quickly dimming the skies. Andrew Thomas, who filmed the footage, told that the storm lingered for about an hour, before moving on and the skies became clear again.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuche7q8WbA

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Young Lady/Old Hag’s Faces

The first time you look at this illusion, you probably see the young lady (looking away). But after a while, you can mentally ‘flip’ the image to see the old hag’s face. The young woman’s chin becomes the hag’s nose, and the young lady’s ear becomes the old hag’s eye.

Now, when you were perceiving the face as a young woman, you were also simultaneously seeing the lines and curves constituting the old hag, yet you were not perceiving (or “knowing”) the old woman. In effect, you ‘suffered’ from a temporary form of “apperceptive agnosia” for the old hag.

Young_Lady-Old_Hag-Faces-Optical_Illusion

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“Blind Mind’s Eyes: Aphantasia and Our Diverse Inner Lives”

When you visualize something just by thinking about it, you’re using what’s often called the “mind’s eye.” Did you know that the mind’s eye can “go blind,” and that some people are unable to create mental imagery?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1cEwBAJ03o

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“Hey Ref Are You Blind”

T-shirt

Hey_Ref-Are_You_Blind-Tshirt

Website: https://www.garagecotton.com/products/e48705-g20547?_pos=2&_sid=480100e63&_ss=r

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“Eye Chart”

In the United States, “legal” blindness is typically defined when the person’s central vision has degraded to “20/200” in the better eye (meaning that the letters you can read from only 20 feet away can be read by people with normal vision from 200 feet away).

Eye_Chart

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“Are You Actually Color-Blind?”

Color blind test video

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOOVjf9dCLg

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“The Ishihara Color Blind Test (Are You Colorblind?)”

Test your color vision! A quick walkthrough of the Ishihara Color Blind Test!

[ Doctor Eye Health ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUq_Y3sUYO4

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“Blindness” (Movie)

A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant white blindness.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px5LBgsKuiI

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“The Blind Side”

This remarkable true story of All-American football star Michael Oher. Teenager Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is surviving on his own, virtually homeless, when he is spotted on the street by Leigh Anne Tuohy

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvqj_Tk_kuM

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“Blind Spot Commercial | Allstate Mayhem”

I’m your blind spot. And my job is easy- hide big things. Mayhem is everywhere.

Commercial Ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_5IdWWRL4w

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“Flying Blind”

Four people face the inevitable consequence of ignoring life’s warning signs. Watch what happens when God breaks through their blind spots–and be challenged by a compelling message from Franklin Graham.

[ Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ]

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“Blind to the Truth”

This week Pastor Troy Cameron continues through the book of Acts with a teaching from chapter 13:1-12. In this teaching Troy focuses upon truth and how it’s been comprimised in the church and how we need to stand firm in biblical truth.

Sermon: https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/294417-blind-to-the-truth

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“Jesus Heals a Blind Man”

John 9:1-34

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBvf7Voj9i4

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“Blinded by the “god” of the Age”

Why don’t people believe the Gospel? The reason is actually very simple.

[ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF61DDUyaPc

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“Blinded by the Light: Paul the Blind Fool”

Things were business as usual for Saul—not yet Paul—when he was making his journey to Damascus. He had already earned himself a reputation for squashing out uprisings from men and women of the Way, and he was on a mission to keep up his reputation. But that’s when everything changed for him.

The Book of Acts says Saul was blinded by a great light, and that from this blinding light came a voice crying out, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

It was, we’re told, the voice of the Resurrected Lord, calling out to—of all people—Saul. [ more…]

[ Ryan Pemberton ]

Sermon: https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/jesus-economy/blinded-by-the-light-paul-the-blind-fool.html

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“I Was Blind, But Now I See”

This week I was having a conversation with a man. He’s a good friend. Most days I love the guy. He has some wonderful qualities.

But may I be honest? Some days I find him to be one of the most annoying people on the planet. He can be proud. Stubborn. Full of himself. Selfish. Not wanting to serve or give. On those days I simply don’t want to be around him.

Do you want to know who he is? He’s actually here in this room this morning. It might not be kind to say who he is, but I will.

He’s the Man in the Mirror. He’s the one I stare at every morning in the mirror.
On those days when I really annoy myself, it’s because I have qualities that are anti-God. Qualities that reflect the opposite of the beauty and glory and goodness of God. Particularly qualities of pride. Arrogance. Even a spiritual blindness. [more…]

[ Brad Barrett ]

Sermon: https://vimeo.com/324957068

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“I Once Was Blind But Now I See”

[ Kevin DeYoung ]

Sermon: https://vimeo.com/324957068

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“Jesus Heals a Blind Man”

Movie snippet

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBvf7Voj9i4

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Nick Vujicic: Jesus is the Cure”

Nick Vujicic rallies the whole church to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a world in need of a cure from the curse sin. This message was shared live at Foursquare Connection 2018, which took place in Seattle.

Presentation: https://vimeo.com/272303547

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The Blind Beggar”

The Blind Beggar – Charles Spurgeon Audio Sermons

Mark 10:46-52 New King James Version (NKJV)
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has [b]made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

[ Charles Spurgeon ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHzNtTwQOVQ

Transcript: https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-blind-beggar#flipbook/

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“The Only Solution to Spiritual Blindness”

[ John Piper ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8NaRTQ_t8A

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“Jesus Christ – Scripture That Reveals His Divinity”

Hebrews 1:6 reads, “And again, when He bringeth in the Firstbegotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.”

Who is the Firstbegotten? Jesus Christ.

Paul writes in Colossians 1:15, referring to Jesus, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature…”

Jesus Christ is the Firstbegotten. That means God is commanding all of the angels of God to worship Jesus Christ in Hebrews 1:6, “He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.” Therefore, the Bible declares that Jesus is worshipped. [more…]

Article: https://www.allaboutgod.com/jesus-christ-2.htm

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“Jesus Christ – Scripture That Reveals His Son-ship”

In John, chapter 5, Jesus Christ heals a man on the sabbath day (verses 8 and 9). The Pharisees find out Jesus healed on the sabbath and want to kill Him (verse 16). Jesus responds to their threats, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (verse 17). The key verse in this passage is the next verse, John 5:18: “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)

The Jews recognized Jesus was claiming to be equal with Jehovah by claiming to be His Son. Even the Apostle John recognized it, including it in His Gospel. [more…]

Article: https://www.allaboutgod.com/jesus-christ-3.htm

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“Jesus Christ – Scripture That Reveals His Role as Redeemer”

God the Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth as a man…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-3, 14)

And taking on the likeness of man, Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the death of the cross…

“But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) [more…]

Article: https://www.allaboutgod.com/jesus-christ-4.htm

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“Jesus Christ – Scripture That Reveals Him as Savior”

The deity of Jesus Christ is revealed throughout the Old Testament scripture. The Old Testament prophecies foretelling the coming of the Messiah claimed God Himself would be the Messiah:

The Spirit through Isaiah names the Messiah “Immanu El”, translated “God with us”. (Matthew 1:23)

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Again, the Spirit through Isaiah calls the Messiah “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father.”

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) [more..]

Article: https://www.allaboutgod.com/jesus-christ-5.htm

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“Jesus Christ – Scripture That Reveals His Part in the Godhead”

As we have seen in the prior scripture, Paul quotes Jehovah and applies it to Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear — Jesus Christ is the name above every name.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:8-9)

The fullness of God was in the flesh in Jesus Christ. The Greek word translated “Godhead”, theotes (theh-ot’-ace, Strong’s 2320), means “Deity” or “God,” as in Jehovah God. The fullness of Jehovah God was in Jesus Christ. [more…]

Article: https://www.allaboutgod.com/jesus-christ-6.htm

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“Jesus Christ – The Beginning and the End”

The nature of Jesus Christ is revealed in the last book of the Bible, Revelation.

Revelation 1:8 reads, “‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,’ saith the Lord, ‘which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.'” (Revelation 1:8)

The “Alpha and Omega” is clearly a title for Jehovah.

Revelation 21:4-7 reads, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said unto me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said unto me, ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.'” (Revelation 21:4-7) [more…]

Article: https://www.allaboutgod.com/jesus-christ-7.htm

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“Jesus Christ – Discover HIM Now!”

All about Jesus Christ. [more…]

Article: https://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/jesus-christ.htm

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“SATAN Has Blinded The Minds of the JEWISH People To The Truth About Christ (Messiah)”

It is important to note here, that the majority of Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is the true, and promised Christ (Messiah). The Bible makes it very clear that there is a spiritual veil which remains upon their hearts which can only be removed, when they turn to Jesus Christ. Listen to these powerful words from the Jewish apostle Paul, a man who had that same spiritual veil removed when he turned to Jesus Christ.

But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:14-16)

The Jewish apostle Paul knew exactly what he was talking about, because he had that same “spiritual veil” upon his own heart, up UNTIL the moment when he “turned to the Lord Jesus Christ” for salvation. Paul wrote the following words in that very same letter.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

The gospel of JESUS CHRIST is what people need to hear in order to get SAVED. When a person turns to the Lord for salvation, there is a “spiritual veil” which is lifted from the mind (heart), and that is a work of Almighty God himself. That is EXACTLY what happened to me when I got saved. If you have NEVER had that “spiritual veil” lifted from your mind (heart), then YOU are NOT saved at all! Paul said that the “god of this world” has blinded the minds of those which BELIEVE NOT, and you must understand that Paul was talking about Satan (the Devil) when he said that. I had my own mind (heart) blinded by Satan until the moment of my salvation. Satan is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY mind blinder, and he blinds the minds of both the JEW and the GENTILE! That book contains simple teachings from the Bible, and it is CHOCK FULL of scriptures, so that anyone can KNOW the TRUTH and be set FREE!

[ Soul Refuge ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxZ8A1eWP8Q

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“Visibility Zero”

How good is your eyesight? Billy Graham talks about spiritual blindness in this 1988 message from Hamilton, Ontario.

[ Billy Graham ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37qGXJtYe4E

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“Safe In The Arms of Jesus”

Safe in the arms of Jesus
Safe on his gentle breast
There by his love o’er shaded sweetly
My soul shall rest.

Hark ’tis the voice of angels
Born in a song to me
Over the fields of glory
Over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus
Safe on his gentle breast
There by his love o’er shaded sweetly
My soul shall rest.

Safe in the arms of Jesus
Safe on his gentle breast
There by his love o’er shaded sweetly
My soul shall rest…

[ Written by Fanny Crosby ]

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“How Great Thou Art”

O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The works Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout
The universe displayed,

When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze,

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
“My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

[ Performed by Chris Rice – Written by ]

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“Blinded Eyes”

Don’t know where you’re going but you think you know the way
20-20 vision but you can’t see the light of day
Road is wide or narrow but you can’t tell which is which
Blind will follow blind and you’ll both end up in the ditch
Can’t you see you can’t see? Don’t you know – you don’t know?

Blinded eyes can’t see the light
When it’s glowing in the night right in front of you
Blinded eyes can’t see the truth
When it’s written on the wall in plain view
Blinded eyes can’t see the Son
Or the work that He has done out of love for you
Blinded eyes

Groping in the darkness searching for the missing switch
Come up empty-handed try to scratch the endless itch
There is only one light that can penetrate your mind
Just one look at Jesus could leave their scales behind
Can’t you see – you could see? Don’t you know – you could know?

[ Petra – “Not Of This World” album ]

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“Amazing Grace”

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

[ John Newton ]

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“In The Light”

I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from You
I am the king of excuses
I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do

What’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a Savior

I want to be in the Light
As You are in the Light
I want to shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light

The disease of self runs through my blood
It’s a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control

Tell me, what’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a Savior

I want to be in the Light
As You are in the Light
I want to shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light

Honesty becomes me
[There’s nothing left to lose]
The secrets that did run me
[In Your presence are defused]
Pride has no position
[And riches have no worth]
The fame that once did cover me
[Has been sentenced to this Earth]
Has been sentenced to this Earth

Tell me, what’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a Savior

I want to be in the Light
As You are in the Light
I want to shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light

I want to be in the Light
As You are in the Light
I want to shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light

[ D.C. Talk – “Jesus Freak” album ]

*****************************
“More Than a Healing”
(Parody of “More Than a Feeling” by Boston)

I hooked up this morning with the Son of God
It turned out He knew me and called my name
“You’re lost, ” He said, “but I can heal your soul.”
And now my eyes see a different way.

It’s more than a healing (More than a healing)
Yes, the Lord’s something more than a healer
And I think He’s really (More than a healing)
Everything I’ll ever want
I see my friends and they’re walkin’ away

So many things that I’d done were wrong
My faith was faded, my tears run dry
But God still recalled when I was so young
The prayer I’d begun when I was a child

It’s more than a healing (More than a healing)
Yes, the Lord’s something more than a healer
And I think He’s really (More than a healing)
Everything I’ll ever want
I see my friends and they’re walkin’ away

Man, I’m tired of sinkin’ low
I’ve had it with useless regret-filled days
I’m leavin’ the world I used to know
‘Cause now my eyes see a different way
A different way

It’s more than a healing (More than a healing)
Yes, the Lord’s something more than a healer
And I think He’s really (More than a healing)
Everything I’ll ever want
I see my friends and they’re walkin’ away

[ ApologetiX – “Future Tense” album ]

*****************************
“The Spittle”
(Parody of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World)

Hey, don’t write your songs ‘bout spit
It’s only in your head to fill your mouth – well, look out, Mom The Bible says Christ healed a sightless man
With only dirt and spit He twirled Himself – He cured this way

He just takes some grime, lets it swirl in the spittle
Rubs his eyes with it and then the man could see just fine Cause he left everything to Jesus Christ in John 9

Hey, you know this song is strange
I know you’re droolin’ at the thought of more (thought of more) I know I am
So get a Bible out and just brace yourself
Because in chapter eight the book of Mark (book of Mark) There’s somewhere else

He just takes some blind little-known individual
Rubs his eyes with His spit, then He says, “Are you all right?” Then the man said it looked like trees – oh my! Hold tight!
It just takes two times – didn’t have to double-dribble
Touched the guy just once again and he could see just fine
Yes and the medicine was real saliva, no lie

Hey, don’t write this song off yet
There’s one more incident that we left out (we left out)
So look that up
This dude was deaf (both mute and deaf)
Christ put his fingers in (He put his fingers in)
And don’t you worry ‘bout the spitting part (spitting part)
I’m gonna say

He just takes saliva – yeah, the Lord spit a little
Then applied it to the deaf man’s tongue and Jesus sighed
And said “Ephphatha” and his ears were quite all right
So just take some time in the Word, read a little
Of the Bible – Mark chapter 7’s where you’ll meet the guy Then read the rest of it you’ll see the light

[ ApologetiX – “Adam Up” album ]

*****************************
“Enter Sampson”
(Parody of: “Enter Sandman” by Metallica)

See my hair, it’s so long! How’d I get so strong?
There’s a clue in this song
I’ve got you pinned! Always win! Rip you limb from limb When old Samson is done!
See this one guy only whippin’ your Philistines!
Exercise isn’t why! Shave my head!
I’ll be just another man!
Something’s wrong ‘cause my might headed south tonight In the arms of Delilah
She was a thorn in my side, she would nag and cry
And I think she’s a spy
Sleepin’ when I woke up, in came the Philistines
Exit might! End of sight! Chained my hands!
Took me to another land!
SPOKEN:
Now they made me blind and weak
They cavort and hold a feast
If I die a foreign slave
Pray the Lord these poles to shake
Watch little pagans! Don’t fail me Lord!
They made me blind I’m sure you’ve heard
Make this a feast they won’t forget
Bring their bloodshed on their heads!
Make things right! End their lives! Take a stand!
Take this life! End it right! Take my hands!
Crush them into desert sand! Boom!

[ ApologetiX – “Hits: The Road” album ]

*****************************
“Temple Physician”
(Parody of “Pinball Wizard” by The Who)

Ever since I was a young boy I prayed in the synagogue
That somehow the Messiah would rush to save us all
But I ain’t seen nothing like Him in any Jerusalem hall
The deaf, dumb and blind came – the Lord Jesus healed them all They says He’s got an attitude – He’s not part of the regime Healin’ all the lepers – although they’re unclean
Breakin’ men’s traditions – that didn’t count at all
The deaf, dumb and blind came – the Lord just healed them all
He’s a temple physician; a pastor to the sick
A temple physician – one touch just does the trick
Why do they think He’s trouble? I don’t know! Some say He’s no good And when John the Baptist was havin’ some doubts in jail
He sent people to Christ to ask Him, “Hey, Christ, what’s the deal?” All Jesus said was, “Relay – everything you saw
The deaf, dumb and blind came – the Lord just healed them all”
The Romans want a very evil king
But God just handed down Israel’s crown to Him
Even Sabbath Day He’s available – Jesus needs no rest
His disciples believe in Him – and we just must confess
If God’s savin’ sick and sinners – maybe we should call
The deaf, dumb and blind came – The Lord Jesus healed them all

[ ApologetiX – “Jesus Christ Morningstar” album ]

*****************************
“Nicky”
(Parody of Parody of “Mickey” by Toni Basil)

Oh, Nicky, you’re so blind – Open wide your soul and mind, hey, Nicky, hey, Nicky Oh, Nicky, you’re so blind – Open wide your soul and mind, hey, Nicky, hey, Nicky Oh, Nicky, you’re so blind – Open wide your soul and mind, hey, Nicky

Hey, Nicky – you come around at night and ask about the Law You like to talk to Christ ‘cause you think He comes from God Why can’t you see the light so you can teach them all, Nicky? The wind blows where it wills and no one sees it blow
The same with those He fills – they believe, they just know Every night you still leave with heart of stone, Nicky

O, Nicky, what a pity, you don’t understand
Salvation’s kind of hard when you ain’t been born again
No, Nicky, there’s some things you can’t do as a man
But God likes you, Nicky
He’ll help you through, Nicky, through, Nicky, open your heart, Nicky

Hey, Nicky – now when you take these Bible truths Then you’re gonna know
Every time you do you’ll get a little more shown There’s nothing to confuse – so don’t play dumb, Nicky So come on now, Nicodemus, anybody can
Any man or woman who believes is born again
The breeze in the trees still leaves its evidence, Nicky

O, Nicky, what a pity, you don’t understand
Salvation’s kind of hard when you ain’t been born again
No, Nicky, there’s some things you can’t do as a man
But God likes you, Nicky
He’ll help you through, Nicky, through, Nicky, open your heart, Nicky REPEAT OPENING CHANT

O, Nicky, what a pity, you don’t understand
Salvation’s kind of hard when you ain’t been born again
No, Nicky, there’s some things you can’t do as a man
But God likes you, Nicky
He’ll help you through, Nicky, through, Nicky, open your heart, Nicky O, Nicky, John 3:3 through 21 expands
You take this all to heart and you’ll take the Promised Land

O, Nicky, 7:50 there in John again
We find out you, Nicky
Still want the truth, Nicky, truth, Nicky, open your heart, Nicky
Oh, Nicky, John 19 verse 39 I scanned
You play a vital part in the Savior’s burial plan
Oh, Nicky, when it’s finished then you’ll understand
What God must do, Nicky
He loves you, too, Nicky, too, Nicky, open your heart, Nicky

[ ApologetiX – “You Can’t Say Euphrates Without the 80’s” album ]

*****************************
“Wish You Could Hear”
(Parody of “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd)

Oh, don’t you see for yourself?
You’re headed for Hell
Mute, blind and lame
Can you smell or even feel?
Can your soul read braille?
You smile through a veil
Don’t you think I can tell?
Did you get what I said?
Your hearing is gone
Can’t actually see
Caught up in a cruel scheme
All covered with chains
Will you escape?
In second Corinthians four*
I believe Paul will explain

How I wish – how I wish you could hear
But so few lost souls in the devil’s control
Clear up their ears
He’s blinded all of them – they don’t know
They’re headin’ south – and they can’t steer
Wish you could hear

[ ApologetiX – “Soundproof” album ]

*****************************
“Straight Street”
Parody of “Mainstreet” by Bob Seger)

I remember starin’ when He called and said, Ananias!
It’s time to get your courage up
There is this road in Damascus that you must go down
Got a rendezvous that’s rough
Get along, Ananias!
You still must leave
You’ve got a job there prayin’
For that bloke you’ll meet
Down on Straight Street, down on Straight Street

And he’s called Saul of Tarsus
And I’ll use him
He used to torture you in the past
But the man’s gone blind
He knows he’s Mine
Just you watch, He’ll catch on fast

I’ll take Saul to all the nations
So folks will come and see
The amazing grace of God
Found with empathy
Down on Straight Street, down on Straight Street

LEAD

Saul’s blind, but even now
If you’ll pray and only believe
He’ll get back his sight
And you’ll finally see
Down on Straight Street
Down on Straight Street
Down on Straight Street
Down on Straight Street
Down on Straight Street
Down on Straight Street

[ ApologetiX – “I Know You Are But What Am I?” album ]

*****************************
“Ain’t That a Miracle”
Parody of “Pink Houses” by John Cougar Mellencamp
(John 9)

Well, there’s a blind man – just a sad sack
Livin’ in a blindness since birth
He’s gonna demonstrate something to us from God
You know, ’cause Jesus just brought him the cure
He made some ointment with His spittle
Said “Clean it up” and He went off
And he looked up after he had bathed, shoutin’
“I can see everythin’ real good – because of God”

Ah, but ain’t that a miracle? Yes, indeed
Ain’t that a miracle? Now he can see, baby!
Ain’t that a miracle? Totally free, yeah!
Little things happen when you believe
Oh, yeah, when you believe!

Now when the young man met the teachers
They said “This is an impossible occasion
He’s not the creepy man that was recently blind”
They said, “No, he must be some imitation!”
But he told them, “Yeah, I’m the one, sirs
The same boy who couldn’t see till presently”
But just like everything else those old Pharisees
Just tried to explain it away
CHORUS (Oh, yes, they do for faithful folks like you and me)

Well, yes, Jesus can cure people
Some still say no, no, no
God’ll work into some guy’s life
And they chase you down if you call it a miracle – ooh yeah!
And they witness and excuse it
And say it’s no big deal
But the simple man, baby, knows He still can heal
If it’s God’s will
CHORUS

[ ApologetiX – “Soundproof” album ]

*****************************
“Seek Out God to Be Free”
(Parody of “People Got to Be Free” by The Rascals)

Go the world over, go preach in the streets
People need aware of just what is decreed
Listen, please, Christians, spread the Word like good seed Peace is available with God completely free
Ha ha yeah
Ha ha yeah

You can see – what a lovely, lovely world this would be
If everyone were to live forever – uh huh
Seems to me – stuff that Jesus preached can bring you peace Uh, why can’t you and me learn to trust in the Father?
No, now …

Go the world over, go preach in the streets
People need aware of just what is decreed (what is decreed) The heavenly plan is so simple to me (it is)
People everywhere, trust God to be free
Ha ha yeah
Ha ha yeah

If there’s a man who is bound up in some filthy sin
God has grace so you can come to him and to pull him through – uh huh Seems to me that God absolves us unconditionally, uh huh
So go tell ‘em the truth that can set you free
Yes, go …

You can shout unto a mountain, “Go into the sea” Don’t you ever doubt it – it will actually be
Ask if I’m a sinner – I’m a sinner indeed (uh huh) That’s our situation but a man can be freed
Get right with the Lord now

All of the freedom that someone could need
Comes to you from One who made the blind man see (made the man see) Everybody sins but c’mon and don’t weep
Peace is available with God through J.C.

Spoken:
Look! See that man over there?
That’s a man that needs Him
He’s about to expire any minute now
You know it’s in John 8:32
Look out now ‘cause he’s comin’ right over to you

[ ApologetiX – “Unconditional Releases” album ]

*****************************
“Some Sign from Above”
(Parody of “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream)

It’s written in John
When Christ opened blinded eyes
How soon they’d refuse my Lord
He’d given them tons of signs
But people still wanted proof
That Jesus was sent by God our Father

Why’s it taking so long
To declare, they told Him
Give us some sign from above

I gave you enough
And one sign will do for you
Yes, I’ll give you just one
It’s in Jonah, so just read through
The Pharisees start to frown
But it was fulfilled by Jesus risin’ up

Why’s it taking so long
To declare, they told Him
Give us some sign from above

LEAD

He’s given enough
So what kind of proof want you?
Yes, come lift your eyes up
For a moment and you’ll see, too
The atheists doubt Him now
And they refuse still to see what Christ was

Why’s it taking so long?
Why’s it take them so long?
Why’s it take them so long
To see what God’s shown them
With His Son’s sign from above

[ ApologetiX – “Singles Group” album ]

*****************************
“You Gotta Go”
(Parody of “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette)

I want you to know that I have prayed for you
I wish nothing but the best for your soul
I know you’re worried prob’ly — you’ll get converted like me
When it comes down to it there’s a fear there
Cause you say, “Hell — it can’t be”
You should play poker, baby
You sure do make a really excellent bluffer

Those who call on His name will be saved by His grace
Cause He paid quite enough for you when, you know, He died
And every time you speak His name it’s in vain, what a shame
Cause His arms are still open wide — open wide — while you’re still alive

But I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

You say there’s no Hell — you’re not evil
I’m not nice to tell you that you could go
If you forget about me — you can do as you please
I ain’t above you — I’m a miserable sinner
But there’s a path we must take
Now if we wanna be saved
And if you think it’s a joke — then you’ll suffer

Those who call on His name will be saved by His grace
Cause He paid quite enough for you when, you know, He died
And every time you speak His name it’s in vain, what a shame
Cause His arms are still open wide — open wide — while you’re still alive

But I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

There’s no one who can say that He sent them away
Cause an offer was made to you and you closed your eyes — and you knew it
And everyone says that’s not fair, that’s someone else’s fault
That’s not appealing — I hurt your feelings

But I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

I-I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

[ ApologetiX – “I Know You Are But What Am I?” album ]

*****************************
“Bathwater”
(Parody of “Backwater” by The Meat Puppets)

When will you wake up to the warning
‘Cause Jesus may come back today
Like the flood of Noah, His appearing
Will surprise the world and happen suddenly

Some think He never came
And they say He won’t come back here but He’s going to just the same
The date’s been prearranged
He’ll be back in a hurry – there are some people who’d better change

And when they say He’s been gone a long time
They laugh and say He’s kinda late
Just when they say there’s peace and safety
Destruction comes on them suddenly

Some think He never came
And they say He won’t come back here but He’s going to just the same
I maybe see a drain
With the bathwater circling – there are some people who’d better change

They are blind to the signs
Now’s the time for you to decide

You’d better wake up to the warning
‘Cause Jesus may be on His way
Though we might not know the day or evening
We’re still one day closer now than yesterday

Some think He never came
And they say He won’t come back here but He’s going to just the same
The date’s been prearranged
He’ll be back in a hurry – there are some people who’d better change

Some think He never came
And they say He won’t come back here but He’s going to just the same
I maybe see a drain
With the bathwater circling – there are some people who’d better change

[ ApologetiX – Apoplectic” album ]

*****************************
“For Just You”
(Parody of “Forget You” by See Lo Tree)

Would Jesus Christ have come down from His throne above To come die for just you? (ooh ooh ooh)
Well, if a sheep in His flock is wanderin’ off, He’ll find
And get you like good shepherds do
Well, you’ll find in Scripture, He’s real efficient
(At catchin’ sheep, at catchin’ sheep)
And though it’s strange to suggest
We’re like fish in His nets, we’re lives He rescued He’ll hold a soiree when He finds where you are, eh? But that don’t mean He’ll just let you there
You could be next door, or on a safari
But on the day you pray He’ll pay your fare
Like Pepé Le Pew – nobody wanted you
(Although we was both stinkers, His love still grows bigger)
Oooh! When God’s son chooses you
Yeah, go on, and tell me you ain’t a bit important
Would Jesus Christ have come down from His throne above
To come die for just you? (ooh ooh ooh)
Well, if a sheep in His flock is wanderin’ off, He’ll find
And get you like good shepherds do
Well, you’ll find in Scripture, He’s real efficient
(At catchin’ sheep, at catchin’ sheep)
And though it’s strange to suggest
We’re like fish in His nets, we’re lives He rescued
Well, I know it’s hard to swallow
But, babe, He’s skilled at findin’ sheep
Christ can reach ya, Christ can keep ya
‘Cause Jesus’ love is everlasting deep
Like Pepé Le Pew – nobody wanted you
(Although we was both stinkers, His love still grows bigger)
Oooh! So what’s your new excuse?
Oooh! I really hate to ask right now
Would Jesus Christ have come down from His throne above
To come die for just you? (ooh ooh ooh)
Well, if a sheep in His flock is wanderin’ off, He’ll find
And get you like good shepherds do
Well, you’ll find in Scripture, He’s real efficient
(At catchin’ sheep, at catchin’ sheep)
And though it’s strange to suggest
We’re like fish in His nets, we’re souls He rescued
Amazing grace that saved me I was blind and such a jerk and so bad (So bad, so bad, so bad)
When I was still a prodigal, He told me, kid, don’t run from your Dad (Your Dad, Your Dad, Your Dad)
Like uh – Why? (uh) Why? (uh) Why evade Him?
(Uh) God loves you! (Uh) God still loves you!

[ ApologetiX – “Hot Potato Soup” album ]

*****************************
“Look Yourself”
(Parody of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem)

Look, if you have one God and one offer of eternity
That exceeds everything you’ve ever wanted, with one opponent
Would you ask for it … or just let it slip? Yo

He parks his Chevy, needs sleep, heart is heavy
He’s thought about repentin’ already, sun is setting
This church is not having service it looks almost dead as he
Drops by but they keep on the electric
What a ghost town, he knelt down, don’t know how
He opens his mouth just the word “Help” comes out
He’s broken down, yet his heart is open now
The lost one’s found, winds up homeward bound
Heads back to his family – Look who’s home, daddy
And, look, he’s so happy, he chose his own path but he
Won’t give up babbling, he broke his old habits they
Don’t seem so bad to me, hope it’s some fad like new Coke or Shaun Cassidy Don’t need no radical holy-rollin’ masochist quotin’ old passages
That’s what’ll happen then, though, he’ll go fanatic-y
Better go batten the hatches and hope it don’t last

You’d better look yourself in the mirror
You know that you wanted to get to Heaven when you’re old
Do you really want God or not? Is it yes or no?
It’s awful soon you say, but what is the right time?
You’d better look yourself in the book since you own it
In Romans, you never read it yet I know
You only get one shot to God, here’s your chance to know
His offer to you may come once in your lifetime

His soul’s been saved even though his whole family’s gaping
This world is blinded by Satan – they can’t see
As he moves forward – it’s true George Orwell
The moral of the story is truth’s ignored, emotion’s most important
He’ll only cause problems, the Holy Ghost got him
He blows him all over, he knows the call’s on him
Goes to go show his bros at his Alma Mater, “Welcome Back, Kotter”
They know he’s just one of their own, so don’t bother
Said, “Go home you barely know the Our Father”
Well hold the phones cause he knows it holds water
If those don’t want him no more he’ll go farther
And he moved on and he read the Romans Road
Till he knows it cold and shows others
He’s on his soap box and his tone becomes bold, I suppose he’s no martyr But the weak grows strong and the dumb becomes smarter

You’d better look yourself in the mirror
You know that you wanted to get to Heaven when you’re old
Do you really want God or not? Is it yes or no?
It’s awful soon you say, but what is the right time?
You’d better look yourself in the book since you own it
In Romans, you never read it yet I know
You only get one shot to God, here’s your chance to know
His offer to you may come once in your lifetime

No more names, I’ve been changed, but you call it strange
To tell my mother ‘n father truth off the true God’s page
I was saying if you’ve been sinning pursue God’s grace
I’ve been shooed off and spit at like Rudolph the Reindeer
But I kept shinin’ a lamplight that I can’t stifle,
You best believe somebody paid for my revival
Call the name of Christ and go find a Bible
Fact is I can’t deny that I’m liable
To die if my plans collide with life’s iceberg
Like the Titanic ‘cause man needs God and you can’t go buy a lifeboat And it’s no movie; there’s no surprise survivors
This is high tide and you’re tryin’ to row hard
And you’re hittin’ deeper waters tryin’ to flee piranhas I see
Plus seaweed’s got ya caught up between PBJ Otter and Bikini Bottom Babe it’s not a submarine you’re on and you must believe the Son
He’ll save you on the spot, He’s comin’ ready or not
I’ve got to be to the point just like a nail on the cross
I formerly was lost, horrendously frail and fraught
With questions I know how Mother Hubbard’s dog felt – famine, drought Mom, I love you but this world has got to know
I cannot grow cold when Hell is hot
So please don’t go into shock, let the family talk
This way is their only opportunity to find God

You’d better look yourself in the mirror
You know that you wanted to get to Heaven when you’re old
Do you really want God or not? Is it yes or no?
It’s awful soon you say, but what is the right time?
You’d better look yourself in the book since you own it
In Romans, you never read it yet I know
You only get one shot to God, here’s your chance to know
His offer to you may come once in your lifetime

You can do anything if He gets inside you, man

[ ApologetiX – “Adam Up” album ]

*****************************
“The Stuff That God’ll Watch”
(Parody of “The Stuff You Gotta Watch” performed by Joe Bonamassa
and written by Muddy Waters)

You know the ones you love don’t see inside your mind
(Shouldn’t be blind, shouldn’t be blind)
You know the ones you love don’t see inside your mind
(Shouldn’t be blind, shouldn’t be blind)
That’s the stuff that God’ll watch ’cause He knows whenever you’re lyin’

You know the ones you love ain’t up all night long
(Shouldn’t be blind, shouldn’t be blind)
You know the ones you love ain’t up all night long
(Shouldn’t be blind, shouldn’t be blind)
That’s the stuff that God’ll watch ’cause He knows all the deeds you’ve done

Get the facts (Get the facts)
You need to know (Need to know)
He found out what David did with Bathsheba so
That’s the stuff that God’ll watch
Stuff that God’ll watch
That’s the stuff that God’ll watch so you don’t wanna lose control

LEAD

You know the world’s no good, so you ain’t so strange
(Shouldn’t be blind, shouldn’t be blind)
You know the world’s no good, so you ain’t so strange
(Shouldn’t be blind, shouldn’t be blind)
That’s the stuff that God’ll watch
But He know-oh-ohs men can change

I said He knows
Your secret sins
You go to Him He’ll help not to do it again
That’s the stuff that God’ll watch
Stuff that God’ll watch
That’s the stuff that God’ll watch so you don’t go and lose control

[ ApologetiX – “Churchigo” album ]

*****************************
“Bartimaeus’ Eyes”
(Parody of “Bette Davis’ Eyes” by Kim Carnes)

He heard ’em holler, “Ho!”
Here comes Jesus Christ.
The man would never know,
He’s got Bartimaeus’ eyes.

He turned and looked around,
He don’t have any sight.
He’s sure he soon will though
He’s got Bartimaeus’ eyes.

He says, “Jesus, if He sees me,
I’ll be better, yes indeedy.
‘Cause they told us,
that He knows just what it
takes to make us whole, yes.”

You gotta get a Bible,
look up that Guy,
who’s got Bartimaeus’ eyes.

[ ApologetiX – Second song of the “80’s Medley” song ]

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“A blind person who sees is better than a seeing person who is blind.”
[ Iranian ]

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
[ Albert Einstein ]

“If the blind put their hands in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see but have not faith or purpose.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”
[ Isaac Newton ]

“Better to be blind and see with your heart, than to have two good eyes and see nothing.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.”
[ Daniel Kahneman ]

“But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”
[ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ]

“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”
[ Isaac Newton ]

“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.”
[ Blaise Pascal ]

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“I suppose that the greatest blindness is to assume the absence of blindness.”
[ Craig D. Lounsbrough ]

“Blind party loyalty will be our downfall. We must follow the truth wherever it leads.”
[ DaShanne Stokes ]

“Love isn’t blind. Maybe we are all born blind and love finally gives us sight.”
[Kamand Kojouri ]

“How can we lead the blind, if we are blind ourselves? His wine is coming to blur our vision, so that we can receive His vision.”
[John Crowder ]

“There is none so blind as the one who does not want to see.”
[ Paulo Coelho ]

One great power of sin is that it blinds men so that they do not recognize its true character.”
[ Andrew Murray ]

“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.”
[ Blaise Pascal ]

“The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.”
[ Mark Venturini (?) ]

 

RELATED SCRIPTURE VERSES:

SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS

2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Matthew 15:14
Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

John 9:39
Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Revelation 3:17
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

Luke 4:18
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

John 12:40
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

1 John 2:11
But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

John 9:39-41
Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

Zephaniah 1:17
I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.

Psalm 146:8
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Romans 11:25
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Isaiah 35:5
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

Matthew 23:16
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’

Ephesians 5:8
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

Psalm 119:18
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

Acts 26:18
To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

John 1:5
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Romans 8:7
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

John 9:1-41
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” …

John 9:25
He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

1 Corinthians 1:21
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

2 Peter 3:3
Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.

Romans 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

John 12:48
The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

Deuteronomy 29:4
But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

2 Corinthians 11:14
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Matthew 13:13
This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

1 John 2:9
Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.

Isaiah 37:23
“‘Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel!

John 8:44
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Psalm 14:1
To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.

Jude 1:18
They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”

Deuteronomy 28:29
And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you.

Isaiah 42:16
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

Matthew 9:27-30
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.”

Matthew 13:15
For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

John 8:1-59
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” …

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 9:35-41
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” …

Isaiah 42:18
Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!

Psalm 82:5
They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

2 Corinthians 2:11
So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

Isaiah 42:7
To open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

John 6:44
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

2 Corinthians 3:15
Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.

Romans 11:8
As it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”

Romans 1:1-32
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, …

John 9:35
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

Isaiah 43:8
Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!

John 1:12-13
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Matthew 9:27-31
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

Romans 8:7-8
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

2 Thessalonians 2:12
In order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 3:16
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

John 14:20-23
In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 9:11
He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”

John 3:19
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

2 Peter 1:9
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Colossians 1:13
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,

Matthew 23:1-39
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, …

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

1 Corinthians 11:30
That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

Acts 17:10-11
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

John 6:68-69
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

John 3:19-20
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

Acts 9:8
Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

Colossians 1:15-16
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Ephesians 4:17-19
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, …

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Hebrews 2:2-4
For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

1 John 4:13
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

1 Corinthians 5:5
You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:5
Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Romans 1:24-32
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. …

1 John 2:10
Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

Acts 28:26-27
“‘Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Matthew 13:16
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

John 14:15-17
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

2 Timothy 2:26
And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Hebrews 4:7
Again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

1 John 4:15
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

1 John 2:15-16
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Romans 8:8-9
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Ephesians 4:14
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Matthew 13:10-16
Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. …

Romans 1:28-32
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Matthew 6:23
But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Acts 9:5
And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

Isaiah 29:10
For the Lord has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has closed the eyes of your prophets and visionaries.

———————

GOD BLINDED

2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

John 9:39
Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

1 John 2:11
But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
And with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Romans 11:7
What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,

John 12:40
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

John 9:1-41
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” …

Revelation 21:8
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 3:17
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

2 Corinthians 2:11
So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

Romans 11:25
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Romans 11:8
As it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”

John 12:48
The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

John 8:44
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Matthew 13:15
For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Isaiah 43:8
Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!

Deuteronomy 29:4
But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

Revelation 2:1-29
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. …

2 Peter 1:19
And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,

James 4:8
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Hebrews 10:26
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

Hebrews 9:27
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:7
Again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

Titus 2:13
Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Colossians 1:27
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 4:13
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Ephesians 2:2
In which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

Galatians 5:16
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:12
When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord,

1 Corinthians 2:2
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Romans 11:32
For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:2
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Romans 9:18
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

Romans 8:7
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Romans 8:6
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 1:28
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

Romans 1:26
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;

Acts 11:1-30
Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” But Peter began and explained it to them in order: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. …

Acts 9:1-43
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. …

John 8:24
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

John 3:19-20
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

John 3:16-17
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Luke 24:45
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Luke 4:18
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 6:52
For they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Matthew 15:14
Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Matthew 13:16
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 13:13
This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 5:48
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Ezekiel 18:20
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Lamentations 4:14
They wandered, blind, through the streets; they were so defiled with blood that no one was able to touch their garments.

Isaiah 35:8
And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

Isaiah 6:10
Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Isaiah 6:9-10
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Isaiah 3:1-26
For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable. …

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 23:1-6
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. …

1 Kings 22:22
And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’

Joshua 11:20
For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the Lord commanded Moses.

Deuteronomy 28:28
The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind,

Exodus 14:17
And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen.

Exodus 14:8
And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly.

Exodus 14:4
And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

Exodus 11:10
Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

Exodus 10:1
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them,

Exodus 9:12
But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses.

Exodus 7:13
Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

Exodus 7:3
But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt,

Exodus 4:21
And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

Genesis 1:1-31
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. …

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“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ’pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

FOCUS VERSES:

“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”
[ Isaiah 42:16 ]

“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” [ Jeremiah 5:21 ]

“The Lord is my light and my salvation”
[ Psalm 27:1a ]

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
[ Psalm 119:105 ]

“The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.”
[ Psalm 146:8 ]

“But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
[ Matthew 13:16-17 ]

“Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
[ Matthew 14:15 ]

“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”
[ Luke 19:42 ]

“The Light came, but they did not comprehend the Light.”
[ John 1:5 ]

“Men love the darkness rather than Light because their deeds are evil.”
[ John 3:19-20 ]

“One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”
[ John 9:25 ]

“For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
[ John 9:39 ]

“If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
[ John 9:41 ]

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
[ 1 Corinthians 2:14 ]

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of them that believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine unto them.”
[ 2 Corinthians 4:4 ]

“Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight.”
[ Acts 9:17c-18 ]

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God that they may receive forgiveness of sins.”
[ Acts 26:18 ]

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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