At every turn we feel beset with troubles… something deep in the character of us human beings seems to make it almost impossible to get along with one another. Friendship goes only so far before we start to see things in one another that separate us. Finally we end up drifting apart from even those whom we once called our closest friends. Why does it have to be this way? Surely it is not just everyone else’s fault. It has to be something in me that alienates me from others. In fact, at times I even feel alienated from myself. It even seems like I am my own worst enemy at times. Bad ways in me cause so much trouble for me and for everyone around me. Where do all these maladies that plague our souls come from anyway?
We, who have experienced the depths of sin in the world, are deeply scarred by what we have gone through. The wounds we bear demonstrate the great injustice that rules this planet, for there is an evil mastermind who is destroying and ravaging lives in every dark corner of this society. There is no one on the planet who is spared from its overall, devastating effects. We each, personally, suffer from our own various maladies and weaknesses as a result.
When bad character traits, like greed, selfishness, uncontrolled anger, jealousy, and such things, surface in our lives, we may wonder how we got in this condition. But just take a look at where we came from and how we were raised. No one needs to teach a tiny baby to begin to scream in anger when he does not get his way. In that little babe we can already see something about the innate nature of humans. But, aside from that we must look at how we were trained by this society at the end of the twentieth century. We learned from our parents, our schools, our friends, and our society to love money and to love independence. We were allowed to do our own thing and to disregard anything or anybody that didn’t go along with what we wanted.
Our parents may have tried to restrain us, but there was a driving force leading us to rebel against their control. Many of our parents were just too busy making a living to have much time for us anyway. So without the proper discipline, we grew up being disrespectful and disobedient.
Society trained us to strive to be the best and to envy those who got more than we were able to get. We figured out that deceit was a valuable tool to manipulate others and to get the upper hand.
Terms such a loyalty and fidelity became very old-fashioned concepts that we soon disposed of all together. We quickly learned to pursue our own pleasure ignoring the hurt we may have caused in the lives of those around us. We couldn’t even be faithful to our friends if it cost us anything. Egocentric people rarely have many friends. And when we got older we couldn’t be faithful to our partners, breaking our marriage vows without remorse, seeing the keeping of our covenant as only necessary if it was convenient to us.
We were taught that “variety is the spice of life,” switching from one relationship to another, leaving heartaches and broken families in the wake. And then, sometimes we were the ones who ended up with the broken heart. How can we cope with such senseless pain? What could we have done differently? Our hopelessness got so deep that suicide sometimes seemed to be the only way out of this mess of a life.
No one ever told us that the self-seeking lives we were living was what was bringing such destruction to our lives. Our personal maladies have now become so universal that the social order of this whole world is decaying into confusion, plagued with so many problems. Psychiatrists work overtime trying to help bring peace of mind to the masses stricken with these incurable maladies. From the richest suburbs to the darkest slums, they have had to resort to merely dispensing prescriptions for Prozac and other tranquilizers to dull the souls of their patients to the pain of their maladies, rather than finding a true remedy for them. And the psychiatrists themselves, while trying to help others with their troubles, only ended up being the profession to have the highest rate of suicide, suffering greatly from that helpless feeling of not being able to find the needed solutions.
Many were taught to put on a mask of religion every Sunday to cover up the great damage that was done to our souls from trying to fit into the life of this “society-gone-haywire.” Yet organized religion finds few concrete solutions to the everyday, 9-to-5 troubles of mankind. The plastic smiles at church and synagogue have brought major disappointment to many who were hoping to find a cure for the deep maladies that afflict their souls.
Though since the beginning of history there have been problems, the maladies that plague mankind have been progressively getting worse as the years passed by. Two thousand years ago a true prophet warned that in the “end of time” very difficult and grievous times would come. He said that the great prevalence of these maladies is a sign to us that we are living in the very last years of this age. He said that, because of these bad things that have filled our lives, the world would be on the brink of destruction — filled with war, starvation, terror, oppression, injustice, fear, and horrible, unstoppable epidemics such as AIDS. The predictions of prophetic men and scientists alike make it clear that the signs of the end are evident on this planet.
Many incredible things are recorded in the ancient writings. You can read some of the warnings yourself in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. It will make sense to you. This is why life is so crazy, and why we are lonely and unable to find true meaning and purpose for our lives.
Actually these maladies are the natural outcome of going against the good law of the One who created us. It is like the manufacturer’s instruction manual has been totally disregarded and thus the machine is just not working anymore. The great God who made all of us gave clear advice on how we should live. He had it written in a fine book of clear standards. This law is the perfect standard of what is right, what is absolutely just. It describes the everlasting covenant that God made with all mankind. It is the foundation of His character and the expression of everything that is good. His law is like a charter, a rule of conduct. It is a radical guideline that gives direction and purpose. If the instruction manual is carefully followed the resulting life will fit as perfectly into order as the rotating of the planets in the solar system.
But as a result of going against that law, mankind has gone off the path on which they were created to walk. It’s like trying to go against the law of gravity. It doesn’t work. So when you go against God’s spiritual law it hurts your conscience, making you feel bad inside. The more you go against your conscience, the worse it gets until it is seared and you no longer feel anything.
We are all suffering from the consequential effect of going against God’s instructions. The maladies that plague us are the outward expression of the damage done to our souls from improper use. We were not meant to be greedy and selfish pleasure seekers. It’s just not fair that our bodies and our minds are suffering the repercussions of the awful junk we were allowed to put into them as children and teenagers — Coca-Cola, drugs, alcohol, TV, and cigarettes. So now our livers, our lungs, our veins, our reproductive organs, our backs, our brains, and our nerves are scarred, wounded, and in distress. It’s just not fair that some of us were stuffed with junk food as children causing us to suffer the effects of being overweight to this day. No one was there to tell us that this way of life that we inherited was all wrong. And even those wise older ones who tried to direct us we could not trust. We had learned to hate and mistrust authority so we could not hear their good advice. It’s just not fair! The maladies are deep, and they are all around us! So, what can we do?
The only One capable of finding a solution found one. The Creator himself found a way to fix the malfunctioning creature… He devised a plan, set the parameters for the restoration, and sealed it by a binding contract, a covenant. Now, for those who would volunteer to enter into the covenant with Him, they can become “redeemed man and woman,” so long as they would remain faithful to this new covenant.
We have seen our Creator’s mercy toward us in providing a way out of our past way of life. He provided a sacrifice to remove the guilt we suffer with daily due to our life of blatant disregard for our Creator’s commands for us. The sacrifice was the blood of the Son of God. He gave His pure and innocent life in exchange for our life stained with guilt. His name is Yahshua. He gave us a new life when we cried out to Him and asked Him to rescue us. Now He has written His laws in our hearts and on our minds. Now we have come to know that absolute standard inwardly, in our innermost being, through the voice of our conscience. He gave us His own Spirit to fill us with this life every day.
As a result we live together in communities where we can put into practice this new way of life we have found, as forgiven people who live within the covenant.
We, in the Communities, now dwell in the marvelous light of salvation and have been washed clean of the eternal penalty of our sin. But still in our own physical bodies and in our minds, we suffer the effects of the mire in which we dwelt for many years. Had we been raised our whole lives in this clean and healthy environment, we would have been safe from many of the terrible experiences that we had in the world. Yet even then we would not have been beyond the reach of the inborn aspects of sin. We all need salvation, each one of us, every day.
That’s why we’ve been gathered together as a tribal people, allied in the same purpose, friends united in the same cause. We all need Yahshua. His Spirit is at work in each of us in the Community to restore us from those hurtful character traits, those maladies that ruled us in the past. As friends, we can help one another. But now is the time to be rescued and healed from all our maladies and made fit for the age to come.