Wednesday, August 31, 2005

# 64: Vicarious Exchange

Much of the talk by religious people about “Christians” going to heaven, is most likely erroneous. Here is the reason why: To become a Christian, a person first of all must do one thing. He/she must believe all that Jesus Christ did—the perfect life He lived, the death He died, and mainly, His resurrection from the dead. Now here is the catch: Just believing the preceding accomplishments is of no value if that belief is not verified by the life one leads. What I mean is that if one believes everything there is to believe about Christ yet does not obey what He commands, that belief is in vain.

As most of us know, Christ died a vicarious death for all who believe in Him. Yes, He died in our place because we alone couldn’t inherit what He had waiting for us due to the foul lives we lived before making Jesus Christ our boss. In other words, we deserve some sort of eternal death. Christ took our place, and now we must take His place. Through our belief in His Son, God’s grace is activated and then God can count us as holy and pure as His Son. All that Jesus Christ ever was, all His love and power, is now ours vicariously. We now possess His status of perfection and are free of all wrongdoing (selfishness). We all must constantly remember that a person can easily be tricked into believing he or she is a Christian, yet at the same time be without Christ’s life. I call it “Christianity” without Christ. At this point in time, if one’s life doesn’t start to agree with what God made us into, we are only fooling ourselves and really don’t believe. Let me make it clear. It is impossible to be a real Christian, living in a realm of perfection, while we are not actively heading in the direction of Christ’s perfection (as mentioned previously, we should be becoming more perfect with each passing day).

How else could God continue the work of Christ if He didn’t have an army of Christ’s? We are that army, if we are showing—not so much telling—the world what His pleasures and displeasures are. It is impossible to be doing our own thing and Christ’s thing at the same time. We are either working for Christ, or for ourselves in His name.

We all must reconsider our status. Are we real Christians, or are we fooling ourselves? We must remember that we love to paint ourselves pretty. But, to think we are Christians without possessing the above- mentioned hard-core evidence is a waste of our lives. If we are not going to be in the company of God and we know it, we could be having a hell of lot of what the world calls fun: raising hell while still on earth.

Though it is right to live as God dictates (living the life of another, namely Christ), it is by no means easy. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that the Christian life will be easy. Isn’t it funny that religion says the exact opposite? The genuine Christian life is, in fact, an extremely demanding life. It is easier to die a torturous death in the name of Christ than to live for Christ (actually taking His place) without much, if any, personal attention. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

# 63: Human Value?

What right does anyone have to put us in this world without our permission? Since some might not choose to remain in this senseless—and in many ways worthless—world, what are our options? Our best choice is to live a lifestyle whereby a certain group will desire to kill us—I like that. John 17:17, “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? . . . .” Then in John 6:63, Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.” If one puts the two verses together, Jesus literally is saying that physical life isn’t worth a damn—it is spiritual life with God that is of real value, and I personally can’t wait until I get out of this world. Jesus led His life in such a way that men desired to kill him and relieve Him of the continual agony of putting up with ungodly life in the physical world.

I desire to do the same. If I do and say all that is written in most of my writings, then yes—men will desire to kill me also. Praise God! That will be my way out. Then I can say that the best reason to live in this world is to have a compelling desire to get out. That compelling desire comes from seeing how religious leaders have perverted the true message of Christ to such an unbelievable degree. That fact upsets me more than words can describe.

To make up for not being asked into this world, we are given a choice: continue living as happy-go-lucky, craven cowards in a world without love, or aim in the direction of our glorious death as brave followers of Christ by showing—and I didn’t say “telling”—the world what God is really like. These are the true Christians that the religious clergy, if they are allowed to continue, will attempt to stamp out as soon as they appear.

Why do we consider ourselves valuable? Is it our intelligence that makes us believe we are more valuable than other animals? On close examination, we have the same body parts as most animals, especially the primates. If humanity became extinct, would the world be any worse off? I don’t think so. I truly believe it would be much better off. What is there about us that makes us think we are extremely valuable? We kill an animal for food and think nothing of it. We kill a person for some random reason and we are incarcerated or executed. Again, I ask, what makes us more valuable than an innocent animal?

Yes, there is one attribute that gives humans the ability to have lasting value: We have the ability to believe in the existence of an abstract supreme being (God). As far as I know, we are the only species on this planet with that ability. The reasoning behind that statement is this: Anyone who truly believes in God will live in such a way that is in unison with His desires. God will teach that person how to become like Himself. Under this condition, a human has lasting value; apart from that, as God sees it, human life has the same value as any lower animal.

You may ask, “If the preceding statement is true, why aren’t we allowed to kill, keeping in compliance to what God said (‘Thou shall not kill’)?” The answer is that we don’t know which person will believe and which one will choose not to believe in God. If it were legal to kill anyone, we could kill someone who in the future might have believed in God, and thus we would be hindering the work of God. For that reason and that reason only, humans are counted as valuable, though that value is temporal. Once the godless die, they are of no value; these dead people have no real value except possibly as important historical figures.

Monday, August 29, 2005

# 62: It Wasn't Meant To Be This Way

Since today’s Christian religion in America is mostly oriented toward fulfilling the superficial desires and wants of Americans, there is substantial Biblical evidence that what we call Christianity is far removed from what its original intention was. What I am saying is that there is something dramatically wrong in its structure. First of all, Christianity was always meant to be minute in comparison to the world population. In Matthew 22:14, here is how it reads: “For many are invited, but FEW are chosen.” In the six Bibles I am quoting from, the word “invited” is used in five and the word “called” is used once. The other word that can be disputed is the word “few.” How many are a few? We will rely on Webster again. “Few”: a small number; scarce; rare; a small select group; not many. Another verse that gives substance to my thesis is in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only a FEW will find it.”

Let us add several more verses to corroborate the above verses. “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, FLEE to another.” Matthew 10:23-24. It isn’t that Jesus Christ didn’t desire a large group, as the Apostle Paul says in 1st Timothy 2:4: “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.” But the truth of the matter is this: “Lord, are only a few going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make EVERY EFFORT to enter through the narrow door, because MANY [the religious], I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” Luke 13:23-24. The key words are “EVERY,” “EFFORT,” and “MANY.” Are you and I making every effort to be the absolute best Christians in the world? The answer most likely is no. That is the reason there will be only a few Christians, because most of us take a lackadaisical approach to our religion, and unfortunately depend on greasy grace (which doesn’t exist) to slide us through to heaven.

I truly believe that genuine Christians were never meant to be the majority in a large country like ours. Where can we flee when we are persecuted? Persecuted for what? Our lifestyle blends in so nicely with the ungodly population because we live exactly like them, except we may get dressed up on Sunday morning and do our little thing. There are at least half a dozen verses that say we will be persecuted and hated. Why should we be hated? What are Christians supposed to be doing that would make non-Christians hate us? Jesus Christ was hated and persecuted, and so were many of the early Christians because their strange way of life and their living testimony revealed the evil and hypocrisy of other religious people of their time. Should we be doing the same?

There is another verse that I have never heard mentioned by any of the clergy or lay people. In fact, I don’t think most Bible scholars even know it exists. It is in 2nd Timothy 2:3-4. “Endure hardships with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in CIVILIAN AFFAIRS–he wants to please his commanding officer.” Other Bibles say almost the same thing “. . . entangle himself with the affairs of this world.” Another says “. . . tied up in worldly affairs.” In essence, they all say the same thing. [Bible verses are emphasized by using upper case letters.]

If this verse has any value, we missed the mark to such a great degree that a book can easily be written on the subject. To make a long story short, no Christian is to get involved in politics or other worldly affairs, especially warfare. This is why: first, we (genuine Christians) are citizens of another Kingdom that transcends our citizenship as Americans. What interests us—or should interest us—and what interests people of the world are completely contrary. We desire to promote the life and ways of Christ and please our commanding officer (Jesus Christ). On the contrary, the worldly population, led by President Bush, desires to promote the welfare and security of this country by going to war with every nation that may be a “threat” to our national security.

That is the reason we would be persecuted and hated if we were doing our job of being obedient to our Christian Constitution (The New Testament). I am certain these subjects are new to many people who claim to be Christians. What I need from those that believe I am way off base is a good Bible-based rebuttal. If I get no creditable rebuttal, that means the Bible is correct and organized Christianity is in error. I am sure no one expected to click on to such a serious topic, and it is serious. Genuine, American Christians are between a rock and a hard place, with no place to flee.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

# 61: Reproduction & Notes

In the physical world, reproduction is always by chance. Prospective parents never know how their offspring will turn out. In fact, no one was ever asked to come into this world; everyone was forced (so to speak) into a world they might have not chosen to be a part of, especially if they had known about all the pain, sorrow, and uncertainty they might have to experience.

In the world of God, reproduction is always by choice. God makes sure that everyone in His Kingdom actually chooses to be a partaker of His company. He does this by discerning who actively desires to believe and obey Him while on this earth. If we say, “We desire to be with Him in heaven,” but show no evidence of that statement by the life we live, that is proof enough that we are nothing but talk; we will be rejected. If we do not desire to do things God’s way while on earth, what would make anyone think we would change our ways in the new life? Reproduction by chance is not fair. One may be born into an environment that is less than desired; one may be born ugly or fat or stupid or short or mentally impaired or deformed or some other distasteful handicap. What right do some people have to be born intelligent, gifted, good-looking/beautiful, talented, rich, having famous parents, and every other desirable attribute? Reproduction in the physical world is totally unfair. However, there may be at least one good outcome about this unfair world: when people “have it made” in this world, why would they desire to seek anything better in the world to come? Clearly, they may be at a disadvantage when it comes to seeking God and His goodness. Can’t one be rich, good-looking, talented and still seek God? Yes, but that is highly unlikely even though one may seem to conform to all the outward signs of being God-like. Doing things His way (living as God requires) is not an easy task because it requires the abandonment of self-interest and self-accomplishments. This is difficult enough for ordinary people and almost impossible for the privileged. We cannot serve two masters. We must choose: worldly success or God.

If God could somehow make vivid to me the awesome power human belief/faith can generate, I would stop everything and endlessly concentrate on belief in what He said and who He is. Though God is the same yesterday, today and forever, He is not stagnant; He loves to continually reveal Himself to any individual who FERVENTLY seeks Him.

No matter what or how much we know about God, He has so much more to tell us; KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS NEVER COMPLETE. No one should attempt to dogmatically dictate to anyone what God is like, what His ways are, and what his displeasures are, because knowledge of Him may be more complete tomorrow. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25. Was Jesus speaking only to His disciples, or are we also included?

Organized Christianity is a religion of words—“holy” powerless words. I call it holy bull. Much of the Christian religion is a form of atheism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Being loved by the Creator makes people feel truly great. And they actually are remarkable in God’s sight. That is what we secretly desire. All human loves, no matter how wonderful they may seem, will not satisfy completely. Amen and Amen!

The miracles and healing which Jesus performed were kid stuff in comparison to the potential His true followers now have. The reason is that there was only one Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago; now there is a potential for a great number of His disciples who could be doing His miraculous work of displaying His power and love.

Do you and I have a reciprocating hotline with God, one that is not cluttered with self-interest? If not, why not?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

# 57: 1st John Quotations Equal Tough Words

The book of 1st John contains the toughest and frankest teachings of all other New Testament doctrines, though the last few chapters of Luke: 12-24 are almost as bold, yet they express another part of tough Christian love. If your Christianity is marginal (if there is such a thing); if you have a weak spiritual constitution; or if you are a male or female spiritual sissy, it might be best to skip this post. For a fact, the book of 1st John is the most watered-down, neglected, and misunderstood of all Bible writings by organized religion. I am just going to tell it like it is with little personal emphasis or accentuation. “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” 1st John 1: 6. The key word is “darkness.” Whenever “dark” or “darkness” is used in scripture, it always translates to a lack of accurate knowledge. Do we have all the knowledge we need to keep from being deceived? That is the main reason for this blog: to give a personal insight unbiased by the influence of religious affiliation.

In this next verse, the key word is “if.” It is an extremely small word with a gigantic implication, especially in 1st John 2:1: “My dear children, I write this so that you will not sin. But IF anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ , the Righteous one.” [emphasis added]. “IF” does not mean “WHEN.” There is a world of difference between the two. “If” means: most likely we won’t; “when” means: most likely we will. Do you and I truly believe we will never sin again? If we truly do believe we will never sin again, we can claim this verse in our defense. If we believe we will sin again, since we are only human, this verse may not pertain to us. Does anyone see the deadly implication, by the way? The word “if” is used many times in the New Testament, with the same insinuation. Let me give an excellent analogy: When we buy fire insurance for our home, do we buy it so that WHEN we have a fire, we will be compensated? No! We buy it so that IF—just in case—we ever have a fire, we won’t lose everything. Repeating, “if” says we might, while “when” says we will. Religion teaches “when,” while the Bible teaches “if.” I apologize for spending so much time on such a small word. Where do you and I stand? Another small word is “sin.” Definition by Webster: “an offense against God, religion, or good morals.” The “sin” scripture refers to is an offense against God. That opens a whole can of ugly worms. The sins that are committed in religion are not often murder, theft, robbery, adultery or other sins punishable by law, but sins of omission–the things we don’t do that we are admonished to do. This blog is very descriptive on that.

“Whoever claims to live in him MUST walk as Jesus did.” [emphasis added]. 1st John 2:6. The key word is “MUST.” Do you or I know any “Christian” that claims to walk as Jesus did? If you do, please introduce her/him to me, excluding the clergy; they all claim to be Christ-like, while all they possess is holy bull. There are at least half a dozen verses identical to this one in Scripture. Verses like these are a class-action indictment against all organized Christianity. Let’s be honest with ourselves, or should we just delete these type of verses from our Holy Book? I won’t say any more.

This next Bible verse will get most of us where it hurts: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1st John 2:15-16. The cravings of sinful man: The main reason we crave so many material things and attitudes in America is because we are attempting to fill that empty space with material stuff, yet only spiritual things can satisfy this space. The lust of the eyes: I believe men are more guilty of this one, but not in every case. When women flirt, most often, they desire a close bond, to feel secure in the arms of another. When men flirt, they more likely want to get laid. Please excuse my colloquial French. Either way, it is lust. Listen to what Webster has to say: “lust” is: 1) a desire to gratify the senses; bodily appetite; 2) a) sexual desire; b) excessive sexual desire, esp. as seeking unrestrained gratification; 3 a) overmastering desire [a lust for power]; b) intense enthusiasm; zest; 4 a) pleasure; b) inclination. Boasting: Most of our boasting is not with our mouths, though we do plenty of that, but by showing off our new motor vehicle, big palatial home, new clothing, etc. This list is endless; boasting usually gives us a good feeling, making us feel superior while making others feel lousy. All of the above are no-no’s. Don’t say I must be some type of killjoy. I am just quoting scripture, and reminding us all that even though we don’t think of these restrictions, they are still staring us in the face. I will bet any church person my bottom dollar that you never heard a sermon on the above subject. And if you did, I am certain the church attendance was much less the following week. American “Christians” just don’t want to hear that kind of verbal, restrictive material.

1st John 2:18: “. . . and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even know many antichrists have come.” Just who are antichrists? Let me jump ahead into 2nd John 1:7 for a second: “. . . and such a person is a deceiver and the antichrist.” Therefore, what John is saying is that deceivers are the antichrists. Is your church leader deceiving you by not telling you the whole story according to Scripture? If I were going to hell, I wouldn’t mind going there if I were an ungodly person, but to go there because of another’s deception? Now that is real spine-tingling treachery. Then the question arises: Are we ourselves deceivers? That is why I am extremely cautious so as not to deceive anyone. Then another question: Why would a preacher even desire to deceive anyone? Ah! Their pay (money). No people in church equals no money in my pocket. It’s a good motive to go easy by deleting the hard stuff. I, on the other hand, desire no compensation whatsoever, so I can, with a clear conscience, “tell it like it is.” I can guarantee that you will not find many who will tell or desire to listen when straight Bible talk is on the agenda. That is why I never expect this blog to win a popularity contest.

Here comes that very small but all-important “if” word again. There are several large denominations that hate this little word and wish it would disappear. They are the eternal-security crowd (once saved, always saved). “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. IF it does, you will remain in the Son and in the Father.” 1st John 2:24. Someday I should make a long list of Bible verses where that word is used in the same context. This erroneous belief is one of the antichrist’s/evil one’s best deceptions. If you are in one of those religious groups, read the New Testament from cover to cover and you will be surprised at how many times you will find the “if” word.

This next paragraph will be a shocker to most readers. There are five verses that say virtually the same thing concerning the best way we can learn the dos and don’ts in the Christian life. Let's start with 1st John 2:27 “. . . and you do not need anyone to TEACH you. But as his anointing TEACHES you about all things . . . .” To give this verse some teeth, I will quote the other four similar verses. “It is written by the Prophets: They will all be TAUGHT by God.” John 6:45. “. . . not in words TAUGHT by human wisdom but in words TAUGHT by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” 1st Corinthians 2:13. “. . . for the Holy Spirit will TEACH you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:12. “. . . for you yourselves have been TAUGHT by God to love each other.” 1st Thessalonians 4:9. (Upper-case emphasis added to all verses). I truly believe that a majority of church-goers, even educated and intelligent people, do not believe they can understand Biblical/spiritual truths on their own. Or, perhaps, they don’t have or don’t make the time, and therefore need a learned person to guide/teach them every Sunday. A common rebuttal: “I don’t go to church to learn, but mainly for the fellowship.” Sure, I may get a few hand shakes and several hellos. Is that fellowship? Learning the truth from a preacher may have been needed, to some degree, a thousand years ago when the printing press was not yet invented; at that time, Bibles were duplicated by hand (a long, expensive job). For that reason, they were not readily available to the common people; but nowadays there is no excuse. The Bible contains just about all we need to know about belief in Jesus Christ and what the Godly life consists of. It also emphatically teaches us to prove to God, men and women the genuineness and reality of our belief by obedience to all God commands—no obedience, no relationship, no ifs, ands, or buts. These are not my words; they can be found in many places in the New Testament. If you own a Bible concordance, look up the words “obey” and “obedience.”

I put a twist on the last paragraph. Seems all we hear about nowadays, no matter where we turn, is the weight and obesity problem in America. And the only reason for the problem is that overweight people disobey one universal law. When they consume more calories than their body needs, they are stored in the form of fat—period. That is not saying that some can eat twice as much as others and still remain thin because they metabolize food faster, or another may have been genetically disposed to being fat, or others have a glandular problem. The basic law still applies in all conditions: eat only what one actually needs and not an ounce more, to compensate for whatever inner circumstances one is blessed or cursed with.

What we seldom hear about is what the consequences are when we disobey God’s laws. Why? Because no one wants to hear them. They may not be as apparent as the result of physical disobedience, but there is a price to pay. And we can clearly see it by looking at the condition of our moral decline and how people are sliding downhill faster than a freight train going downhill without brakes. Are you and I disobedient to what God commands? I am sure the majority would say no. Are we traveling on the narrow road that only a few will find, or are we on the road that is wide to make room for the multitudes traveling on it? This is a critical time to examine ourselves. It is never too late, but the longer we wait, the harder it will be to change. And who desires change? Change is one of the most difficult things to accomplish, regardless of whether it is a physical or spiritual change. Most of us will remain stuck in the situation we are in, whether we like it or not. These unpopular words of mine will most likely be tossed to the wayside for most, but there may be a few that will heed the warnings. That is my most earnest hope and desire, though I may never know about it. I don’t need to know; God knows, and that is all that counts. My job is to make God’s Word clear. No seminary taught it to me. No preacher taught it to me. I was taught by God via the Bible. And if He can teach a numskull like me, he can teach anyone. Concerning myself, I will share a verse I have thought about for years. Luke 19:40: (Jesus speaking) “I tell you,” He replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” What exactly did Jesus imply by using the word “stones”? He may have been referring to Himself, to Peter, or to others that will come later. Jesus was the chief cornerstone, and Peter’s name was changed by Jesus from Cephas to Peter, meaning “stone.” Stones are usually depicted as something or someone that is looked on as worthless. Could I by some chance also be one of those worthless numskull stones that is crying out in this extremely controversial blog? Only time will tell. Please excuse me for getting carried away.

1st John 3:6 goes this way: “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” This is tough language. Let me continue. “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” 1st John 3:9. “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother.” 1st John 3:10. “He who does what is sinful is of the devil . . . .” 1st John 3:8. Could it be any clearer? There isn’t much a person can say to elaborate on these verses. This is the question I ask: Why isn’t this extremely hard theology preached from the pulpit? I have only one answer: if it was firmly preached and reinforced, the pews would be empty in a short while. With these verses in view, it is impossible to make any excuses or alibis. Of course, the most frequent excuse I hear is, “We are only human and WHEN we do sin, we will be forgiven.” There is that evil word again: “WHEN” (we sin), which is used by religion, and “IF” (we sin), which is used by the Bible. This post has clarified the last sentence.

“ If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” 1st John 3:17. This verse seems to imply that Christians must be generous in a personal way to those in need. Is there such a thing as a Christian without God’s love? The apostle John is not talking about giving to your church. He is talking about getting personally involved—one on one—with those in need. Of course, we must save for that needed vacation first, and all the other amenities we “deserve” after working hard all year. And besides that, with the skyrocketing gas prices, who has money to give away? That needy person/s will have to wait for someone else to help him/her. We don’t say that, but that is the way life is in the American Christian community. Shame on us all. And after reading this post, can we still call ourselves Christians? Organized religion has to say yes. Otherwise, you know what will happen. As anyone can plainly see, according to the New Testament, the church is in a deplorable condition that will not go away, even if we try not to think about it and pretend we never clicked onto “ Religion’s Crime Against God.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

# 56: Believe to the Max, & Odds and Ends

Of all that God has created, including the vast universe, His greatest accomplishment is the devising of belief in physical form. Belief is the foundation of all attributes and the most complex of all things in existence. When we talk about intelligent belief, we are tinkering with the stuff which God is made of. Yes, the basic ingredient of God’s makeup is belief. Don’t let this preceding statement surprise you. Though God’s belief and our belief are basically the same, there exists a vast difference. God’s belief is strong–He is sure of Himself. Our belief, most often, is shrouded in some sort of doubt which makes it impotent. In order for our belief in God to be powerful, it must be continually and single-mindedly nurtured. This type of belief has power over the physical world. Sadly, powerful God-type belief is as scarce as hen’s teeth, especially in this faithless world. Most of humanity does not believe in the existence of this sort of belief, nor belief in its availability to normal people. But that does not have to be the case. No one said that it would be easy to acquire this powerful belief; in fact, it is most likely more challenging than any other accomplishment one can embark on. If it wasn’t so challenging, every Tom, Dick, and Mary would be performing God-like miracles.

A wise person learns from experience; a wiser person learns from the experience of another (Jesus Christ). We can learn from Jesus’ teachings, because His teachings came from His experience.

Most of what I (jc) write will be met with cries of “impossible!”

Without using too many words to explain what real Christianity consists of, here is a short and sweet definition: making Christ’s business our business. No more, no less; giving God a human nature. In other words, how would God live if He had a human nature?

Christian Love is having an active desire to take another’s pain, sorrow, anxiety and needs, and make them our own. Love is to be motivated to give the best of whatever we have when the need arises. Love is not so much what may seem good for us, but what is best for the next person in dire need. If only a few of us who call ourselves Christians possessed this kind of love, what type of impact would it have on this selfish world?

Godless religion teaches that Christianity should feel good or one’s life is in error. What a lie. Christ’s life and teachings are the standard for all who desire to be Christians.

We desire too much to be something we are not. One problem with the world today may be the desire for instant gratification.

The biggest problem for many who desire to become good Christians is that they must get out of their own way; their way stops Christ from emerging.

Try not to think what we dare not say out loud.

God can possess anyone’s body. All that is needed is for the individual to relinquish his or her own life, thus making room for the life of God. One can know with certainty whether he/she is possessed by God’s life when all his/her attention is doing God’s business and not much more. God’s business is to show the world His love, power, and displeasure. Genuine Christianity is actively making God’s business our business. No less will do.

The universe is full of thoughts. Their only desire is to gain life by manifesting themselves in people who will accept them by making them part of their lives.

How we live will always reflect what we believe.

God will judge everyone according to the quality of their belief. That quality will be determined by how people live their lives. Genuine belief will always produce a corresponding action.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

# 55: Postiche

Physical life is a necessary precursor to God life. That is the reason for a physical universe. Though physical life is vastly inferior to the splendor of God life, physical life is necessary for God to find out, through obedience and belief in Him, who would desire to become His partner. Though I have made it sound simple, it is quite complicated. In a physical form, intelligent life has free will; when converted into God life, which is most often invisible, that free will still dominates. God must be certain that the physical life He chooses to share with His company will do things according to His law of love. Once physical creatures who desire to share God’s life have even a small taste of Him in this world, the joys and sorrows of the physical become trivial.

I don’t want to live just for the sake of living; I want to live for a purpose that consumes me beyond human description. To put it in different words, I desire to have a purpose or reason for life which is above and beyond the care and betterment of self. When life has a non-ending, controlling, and dominating vision, all other aspirations in life become nonsensical. If there is not a universal purpose for the existence of intelligent life other than caring for NUMBER ONE, then as complex and versatile as life may seem to be, it is all foolishness. Without an all-consuming goal, life is of little or no lasting value. All intelligent life has the potential to demonstrate God life, thereby making the invisible God visible. Though I rip on the value of physical life, God needs it to fully express Himself. Yes, the existence of the physical universe is essential. It is the best, if not the only, way for God to propagate his eternal nature. That commodity is too valuable to waste, to say the least. Its potential has no end. It must be used in order for God to remain eternal. For God not to be able to utilize His goodness is like having trillions upon trillions of dollars and no way of spending or giving away a cent. The end result is that God would cease to be a God of love. What I am writing is beyond easy description, but I hope I have made it clear.

There is no size, shape, distance, limit or time in the spirit realm of God. And that is exactly where belief in God will allow us to dabble. I have been dabbling there for a short while. In that realm, the abstract rules over the visible world which we humans live in. This is what I mean by rules: Abstract belief is in control of all physical things animate and inanimate, though it may not seem that way in this world.

Knowledge of what God is like, his likes and dislikes, has absolutely no value if it is not used in some way to advance the cause of Christ. It could rightfully be called useless knowledge. What is so tragic or fearful about a Christian’s personal death, other than the pain and sorrow that may be experienced by those left behind? When a nonbeliever dies, they have nothing to lose but God.

Friday, August 19, 2005

# 54: Authenticity of Jesus

Can the Bible prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus Christ really existed and that He did everything the New Testament claims? No. But there is credible evidence besides the Bible to substantiate His historical existence and the truth behind his actions as described in the Bible. Reading from the “Funk & Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia #14,” “Today, however, scholars generally agree that His existence is authenticated, both by Christian writers and by a number of Roman and Jewish historians.” One of those Jewish historians’ names was Josephus. He was born in Jerusalem and he made friends at the court of Emperor Nero. He therefore enjoyed imperial patronage under Vespasian. Josephus lived in Rome and devoted himself to his writing. Though he was not a friend of the early Christians, he writes in the latter part of the first century. While still in Rome, he wrote about a man from Galilee that did many miracles and how His followers thought of Him as the Son of God. Though that is not conclusive proof of His existence, it does, to a degree, substantiate the Bible message."

If one could miniaturize the entire universe down to a size that would fit under an electron microscope, the earth, and possibly our sun, could not be found—they are that small in comparison to the size of our universe. That tells me that we should see ourselves in a humble manner and put our planet in a realistic context with the rest of our environment. This thought is worth exploring. We think our planet is of unique value and importance. But is it really? I don’t think so. Our greatness is less than that of peons even though we look at ourselves as oh-so-important. And yet, even though as physical beings we are so infinitesimal (size does not exist in the spirit realm), because of God’s awesome grace, He actually counts genuine Christians as kings and queens. On that same note, of all the infinite number of God-like beings in the universe, just one is of more value to the Creator than all the inanimate galaxies put together.

Note this: In this dog-eat-dog world, a self-centered person in essence believes, without even whispering so much as a word to anyone, that he or she is the most important and valuable person in the universe. That could mean that being SELF-CENTERED is an extremely critical position to be in. And who will the first to openly admit that they are self-centered?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

# 52: Intelligent Design

Much of the information in this post is similar to that which is in our companion blog “Unlocking the Mystery of Life’s Origin,” but with more boldness in the implication of a spiritual realm. Can the Bible conclusively prove that God exists? No. The Bible message is made into reality through the beliefs of those who have faith that it happened the way the Bible says. But that in itself is not proof that there really is a God. And yet there is collaborating, empirically and scientifically rigorous criteria that give credence to most of what the Bible teaches.

It is thought by some that evolution and science are enemies of the Bible. To the contrary, they are the very things that can prove the existence of a metaphysical force which has come to be known by some as God. Evolutionary biology has advanced 1000-fold in the past 50 years, as it is now able to peer into the functions of complex ultramicroscopic molecules. The evidence lies in the structure of life’s most basic unit: the cell. All cells are made up mostly of proteins, and proteins consist of nothing but amino acids. It was thought in Darwin’s time that the cell was nothing more than a glob of protoplasm. It is now known that the cell is a miniature molecular factory. In the lowly cell, protein is assembled from amino acids. (It was thought for a number of years that the assembling of protein was brought about by a chemical process without genetic instructions.) If the chemical process was formed via genetic information, how did that information get its origin, and from where? If one said the origin was DNA, then where and how was DNA formed? As we now know, the DNA molecule provides the instructions for assembling each of 30,000 different proteins and much more.

Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection does work in the development of different species, but natural selection only works when there is a functional advantage. In other words, natural selection could not have created the extremely complex DNA molecule based on natural selection. What I am saying is that a complex, information-rich DNA molecule must have had an intelligent author or designer since information cannot create itself, even with millions of years of random selection. It’s similar to saying that if one takes the 26 letters of our English alphabet and randomly keeps scrambling them, eventually, given eons, one could end up with an unabridged dictionary or the complex DNA molecule. Impossible!

Then, others may believe, it is possible for DNA to have been formed from chemicals arranging and rearranging themselves until finally the complex strand was formed. Since DNA is encoded with such complex, versatile information, that theory has been abandoned by many, evolutionary biologists.

Here is an even stronger case against chemical evolution: Some single-celled bacteria have what is called a flagellum, allowing them to maneuver in their surrounding fluid. This flagellum is, for all practical purposes, a well designed, miniaturized outboard motor which can function at 100,000 revolutions per minute in either direction. This motor is made up of 40 different complex protein parts. If so much as one part is removed from this molecular motor, it will not work. That principle is called “irreducible complexity.” The same is true of most intricate mechanical or electronic equipment. This is only one of many organs that cannot function unless everything is in place. Since natural selection only works when there is a functional advantage, that theory could not have had anything to do with its design and construction. It needed intelligence. There is no way this molecular motor could have designed itself. The implication it gives is that it had an intelligent metaphysical designer (God) from a realm that is not physical. This seems to be conclusive evidence, in addition to the Bible and other spiritual writings, that there is a force which exists beyond what we humans can understand or see.

Unlocking the Mystery of the First Appearance of Physical Matter

Where did the Big Bang stuff–regardless of how small it was–originate, since that is the prevalent theory behind our universe’s genesis? Well, it is sad to say, but that is where our laws of physics break down. As I have mentioned previously, and as everyone knows, matter cannot create itself. Again, the only logical answer is that a metaphysical force must now enter the picture. No matter how one looks at it, this force must be in a realm beyond the physical. And until that force (which is the intelligent designer) is recognized as God, the story is incomplete.

Monday, August 15, 2005

#51: Our Intelligence is Being Used Nonsensically: Not So Much How, But Why?

To my knowledge, the Bible (Old Testament and New) is the best written source of who God is and what He expects from intelligent life in physical form. And yet, our Bible does not mention other worlds that most definitely support intelligent life. The writers of the Bible knew absolutely nothing of the possibilities of intelligent life in our Milky Way galaxy or in the rest of our vast universe. Their conception of the universe was that the flat earth was the center of the universe and the stars in our Milky Way Galaxy were just small objects to light up the night skies as they revolved around the earth. The Bible seems to portray God’s concern with life only on this planet. Well, that portrayal is incomplete.

Could anyone imagine what the result would have been if God somehow attempted to reveal to Paul or Jesus the vastness of our universe and the potential for intelligent life in these other worlds? My theory is that there is an infinite amount/number of worlds which God has created, or is in the process of creating, which are capable of supporting intelligent life. It is now believed that there are 400 billion stars in our galaxy and 50 billion galaxies in the universe. Of course, that is according to the distance our present-day telescopes can peer. Again, I believe, there is an infinite number of galaxies in an infinite universe, which in turn supports an infinite number of intelligent God-like beings.

Though the physical makeup of that intelligent life may be extremely different than our human race, most may have the ability to believe in an abstract God. I ask this question: What is our connection with inhabitants of these other worlds? Answer: Once intelligence is developed, through the process I have coined as God’s evolution process, most, including ourselves, have the ability to believe in an abstract God. Before a person is able to live in a way that could bring completeness of life, one must in no way attempt to evade this most crucial question: What is the reason for the existence of our vast universe, or does it exist for no apparent reason, as some believe? If one says that this fact is beyond our understanding, that answer is unacceptable. They are evading the question that can tell us more about ourselves than any other question. I truly believe that the universe was created by God through the laws of physics for one explicit reason: as a means for God to infinitely duplicate himself.

That seems to imply that God is made up of an infinite number of beings like Himself. Every God has its own world to govern and must somehow continue duplicating Himself, like the ameba. Since all these entities (Gods) are unified with one purpose, we must go to the singular and say, “There is and always will be but one God.” Jesus Christ is the God of planet Earth. Let me elaborate on the aforementioned and possibly repeat myself in the next few paragraphs of the next post.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

# 50: Jesus is Alive/The Secret/A Problem/Gods

Having a noble aspiration of becoming a follower of Christ doesn’t come cheap. Although grace is free and gives us entry into God’s kingdom, the Christian life doesn’t end there. It requires that a person’s goals of self-interest be abandoned (having no personal agenda for life). The reason is because a person cannot allow God to take over one’s life while self-interest dominates, regardless of how good and honorable that interest may be. Repeating, one cannot live for material self-betterment and at the same time for the betterment of Christ’s cause; they are in conflict.

Though seldom mentioned by true disciples of Christ, most of the world’s religions, including much of Christianity, are a tranquilizing, SELF-SERVING device that exploits human gullibility with FALSE HOPE by pretending to pacify the shortcomings and inabilities of spiritually naive individuals.

Most anyone who reads the New Testament, even for the first time, can easily spot a deadly flaw in Christianity: Most who claim to be Christians don’t even start to resemble what the Gospels call “disciples of Jesus Christ.” I call it “Christianity” without discipleship. This is the type of Christianity we have had with us for almost 2000 years. You wonder why it is in shambles.

Intelligent life almost always thinks it is right (or desires to be right) regardless of its actions, in most everything it says, does, thinks or believes. Why is it this way? I believe it is because human life is inherently made up of the same stuff which God almighty is made of: God is always right about everything, so in that way, we are a chip off the old block. When life and intelligence similar to God’s are combined in physical form, there is a potential for God to emerge. And if He doesn’t get activated, a problem arises. When God does not manifest Himself in our lives, that fact doesn’t eradicate our deep inward compulsion to be gods (better than everyone else). This seems to indicate that all humanoids were meant to become powerful gods of selfless love similar to God Almighty.

If the preceding statement is true, where are all the so-called gods? Could the vast majority of humanity be in error? Is it only fair to say that we humans missed the boat? Is there a way to amend the world situation? In a very, very small way, I say that there is. It can only come through the belief process. This is where a belief system similar to most of the instructions in the New Testament can be activated to produce small groups of real followers of Christ. They, for certain, will be the most hated people in religion because they will expose the deadly flaws of the clergy and others who are continually spewing out words that I call “holy bull.”

That system of belief is simple in formula and yet extremely difficult in practice. Trying to make ourselves powerful gods to conform to the above through good works will end in failure. The only possible way is for someone to actually make us sons and daughters of God. Jesus Christ does this for us through His grace and our belief. We must believe we were made into powerful gods of selfless love possessing Christ’s status, and then start to live accordingly. At this time, we are not living to become children of God, but are living up to the type of life Christ said we, as gods, should live. It is that simple.

Remember that whatever people believe about themselves is the way they will live. If we are not living like powerful gods, it is only because we don’t believe we can. To live in this manner is to live life to the fullest. All other lifestyles will fall short regardless of the wealth, power, fame, etc. they produce.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

# 49: What is Public Enemy Number One?

Is it the war on terror? No. Is it the Iraq war that is out of control? No. Is it the drug problem in America? No. Is it our national debt? No. Is it the decline in morality (free sex)? No. Is it the problem of obesity? No. Is it the rising price of oil and gas? No. Is it global warming? No. Then what is public enemy number one? It has been with us so long that it is not recognized. It is laziness.

To many, if not most people, being called lazy is worse than being called a dirty four-letter-word. Why is that? In a way, it is as bad as being labeled a sex offender. It is a word that is never mentioned in the media and seldom mentioned in books. It is an extremely sensitive word that is used mostly in a derogatory or insulting way. In fact, most of us will not admit to the many ways we ourselves may be lazy. Our whole commercial establishment is geared toward capitalizing on our lazy human nature. Everything is advertised as being faster, easier, more efficient, etc.

We live in an “I want it now” generation. If, by some chance, we don’t have the money, we will charge it. Of course, it is true that some people are lazier than others. But the worst thing about laziness is that it is almost impossible to recognize and even harder to eradicate. Yes, we are all born lazy. As we mature into adults, our family environment and upbringing will dictate, to a large degree, just how lazy we will end up. To reiterate what was written in an earlier post, laziness in this modern age can be tolerated to a degree, but in most areas, it has hidden and devastating consequences. Of course, though it is not labeled as laziness, enjoying “The Good Life” or “The American Dream” is one example.

People can be hard workers and still be extremely lazy. That sounds like an oxymoron. We may work full steam ahead on the job or in our own business just to get ahead, and then enjoy a lazy life of leisure off the job. Let me mention only a few of the consequences of being lazy and then I will get to the spiritual aspects. Of course, poverty in most cases is evidence of laziness; being out of shape for lack of exercise leads to a myriad of sicknesses and diseases; not finding time to cook leads to restaurant eating (good-tasting food but not too healthy); using all our automatic appliances robs us of exercise; being mentally lazy (many would rather watch T. V. or a movie than read or learn more about ourselves and our world, which can lead to Alzheimer’s before one’s time); many would rather drive the car than walk or ride the bike, wasting gas along with causing wear and tear on the car. I could go on and on with this list, but it won’t do much good because we live in a society where laziness is a result of living in an affluent society. You may say, “Can’t we find time for fun things?” I say that we can have a lot of fun doing constructive things. Again, as I mentioned, we have labeled and made laziness into a good thing (leisure).

As I have already mentioned briefly in this blog, the real public enemy number one is in the spiritual realm because of this kind of Christian mindset: since I am saved, born again, and going to heaven, why should I do this or that if I don’t have to when I am still going to heaven? We must remember that the evil one is smarter than a fox and much more deceptive than any human can imagine because his evil and lazy desires are ingrained in our human nature. Allowing people who claim to be Christians to fall into the devil's laziness trap is his main line of deception. There is not even an inch of room for laziness in Christianity. I can just hear some saying, “Well, that is something new."

Another aspect of Christianity is that many of us have the wrong motive for being Christians: going to Heaven and avoiding hell—whatever that will consist of, other than an absence of God. The real motive should/must be love and obedience as a result of God's grace and our belief in what God said and who He is, through Christ. Wrong motives will most certainly lead to the wrong place. If these last few words are not a wake-up call for the masses, nothing is. Here is a thought that might help some to walk the straight and narrow: Since belief in God may be here today and possibly gone tomorrow—who really knows?—the following is an excellent mindset: pretend there is no Heaven or hell (no eternity). You are only a Christian because you desire to live as God commands, because He knows what the best life is for us. That way one can’t lose. Following His ways allows us to reach our greatest spiritual genetic potential.

Living the Christian life as the New Testament dictates may not seem the best because there will be hardships and other disagreeable circumstances. But here is where trust, faith and belief come into play. If we have them, we will win. And if God decides you and I are worthy of His presence, so be it. If not, while at it, let us invest in an eternal lazy-boy air-conditioner. Ha-ha. The punch line is this: avoid laziness in Godly matters, and we will be on the right track.

Friday, August 12, 2005

# 48: More Important Than Self—Greatness & Notes

As long as we are living for ourselves and company (family), our human nature will always flourish, no matter how good, generous, loving or religious we may be. The only way to weaken—let alone destroy—the power of the animal nature is to have something in life that is of greater value than ourselves. There are always small groups of people who in the past and present (Islamic radicals) have sacrificed their lives for what they believe is a great and noble cause. But to live for that great cause without the hope of experiencing an imminent martyr’s death is a different story. Death may come easy, but to live for something beyond self may be the most demanding life one could experience.

The question arises: What is out there that can become of greater importance than ourselves? I believe the greatest cause on earth is, through faith in Christ, to become a god (child of God) in human form; a god that is not concerned with self but with propagating the reason for our existence, which is to show and tell others the reason for the God-given, purposeful existence for humanity.

Though the above is much easier said than done, belief in one’s ability to achieve that goal must be believed without a shadow of a doubt. Any doubt would continue to keep self-interest of greater importance than that cause. Then the result, most likely, would be that life will continue on a religious though animalistic level.

Accurate knowledge of God can be dangerous in the hands of the clergy. They may use it to somehow propagate their own misguided religion. In the hands of atheists, knowledge can potentially allow them to look at God with some sort of beneficial logic.

We cannot find lasting contentment and completeness until we start to live for that which we were meant to be.

Human life is invisible, but it uses the physical being to accurately manifest and display itself.

The name of my God is love, although He comes in many forms and guises.

To love God means for one’s WHOLE LIFE to be geared around God’s plan for humanity.

When it comes to one’s own religion, we love to lie to ourselves. And what makes matters worse is that we wholeheartedly believe the lies. Could the religious rightly be classified as pathological liars?

Belief, holiness and love are measured by what one does and not by what one says. Without coinciding action, those necessary attributes don’t exist.

We humans don’t like to be called animals. But we are only hybrid animals with a little bit of intelligence and much cunning.

When someone claims to be a Christian but whose life is not actively heading in the direction of reproducing Christ’s perfection—Jesus is our only example of how a true Christian is to live—he or she is either a liar or is being deceived. In other words, the Christian life consists of no more and no less than actively desiring to duplicate, TO A GREATER DEGREE EVERY DAY, the perfect life of Jesus Christ. That must be every genuine Christian’s Holy Grail.

There is nothing in this world to live for that has true meaning and lasting value except to live under the control of Jesus Christ. As humans, we inherently were meant for greatness whether we admit it or not and, if we believe it or not. One might ask why. The answer is because we truly were created in the image of a great, great God. That creation must have taken millions of earth years and not just a twenty-four-hour period; the eternal God is never in a hurry. Since the vast majority of us never acquire much of any greatness, that feeling of inadequacy may be the main reason for much of the turmoil in the world. Human greatness most always desires to be richer, smarter, or more powerful than the masses and always, in some way, better than others. The greatness that we were specifically designed for was to experience the same greatness and humility of our Lord, although greatness and humility seem to be at odds with each other. That kind of greatness doesn’t desire to be better than others, but for all others to share in that same Godly greatness.

Here is another way of putting it: a truly great person will not be afraid of losing any of his/her greatness by washing/kissing (figuratively speaking) another's feet. What a wonderful world this would be if that type of greatness was prevalent, even if it only existed in the Christian community.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

# 47: What is the Duty of Evangelicals?

The words “evangelical,” “evangelist,” “evangelize,” and “evangelism” are all derived from the root word “angel.” According to Webster’s College Dictionary (4th Edition), the word “angel” means a messenger of God. The word “evangel” means: 1) bringing good news; 2) any of the four Gospels; 3) an evangelist. “Evangelical” means in, of, or according to the Gospels or the teaching of the New Testament. “Evangelize” means a preaching of, or zealous effort to spread, the Gospel. “Evangelist” means a bringer of good news (in the N.T., “evangelist”). “Evangelize” means to convert to Christianity. There are three references to “evangelist” in the New Testament, and they all refer to doing the work of evangelizing. Eph.4:11- 2Ti. 4:5 and Ac.21:8.

I am certain most readers knew what the above terms were, but I gave their meanings to stress a point: they all refer to being messengers of God. Are evangelicals (those who are members of evangelical churches) messengers of God? I don’t think so. Never in my entire life have I had one of them knock on my door on a Saturday or Sunday to offer the Good News as several other religious groups do. Supposedly, their only “job/duty” is to attend church every Sunday, shake hands and say good morning to a friend or two, make a visitor feel welcome, sit down, recite a prayer, sing a song or listen to some live “sacred” music, and donate one’s tithe. By the way, has anyone ever wondered why the collection is always taken before the sermon? Important things first, as in movie theaters: pay admission, then watch and be entertained. In this case, after tithing, listen to an ear-tickling sermon—or, if the sermon is nothing but blase platitudes, it’s time for a little shut-eye—and finally, bid a hardy goodbye until next Sunday.

Here is a timely place for a poignant question: Are evangelicals encouraged by church leaders to go and share the Good News (Gospel) with the lost world? The answer is an emphatic no. Maybe they have nothing to share. What, then, are they supposed to be doing to fulfill their obligation as Christian evangelicals? Nothing. They are already saved, born again, and have received the Spirit. What else is there? If that is not the answer, your guess is as good as mine. These are the 40 million simpletons who helped elect George W. Bush, our warmonger and President of the United States, into office. This is an appalling affirmation of just how far off base these church people are from the truth. Do they know what the Gospel emphatically teaches about how to respond to one’s enemy? No. Do they know what the Christian life consists of? No. Do they know how far off base America is from being a Godly country?

Please note that I am switching to first person. You must remember that this is my country also, and it is heart-wrenching for me to preach these nasty things about my president and my country. Although my life is centered around being an active messenger of God (a true evangelical Christian), I don’t want to be associated with those 40 million gullible, easy-chair “Christians.” These types of hard-edged words will not win me any points or make me a popular follower of Christ with that crowd. That is okay, because I am not looking for human adoration; I only want to tell it like it is according to the New Testament. And besides that, I don’t have the clergy to answer to, save Jesus Christ. Who am I to judge 40 million people? It is not I, but the Bible who is their accuser. I am only a voice of one crying, “REPENT” in a vast wilderness of excess.

Switching back to the third person: When they get home from church, they should read the Christian Constitution for themselves—not just once but over and over again, especially the Books of Luke and 1st John. See what it actually says instead of watching sports, junk T.V. or other nonsensical entertainment. I am certain that a majority of them are sincere, though sincerely wrong, in their feeble worship because that is what they were taught by their hierarchy—without a word being spoken—about what is expected of them. It is a crying shame that most will remain comfortably seated.

Writing in the second person: If you are one of those 40 million people I referred to above, a strong defensive rebuttal from many of you is in order. If I don’t get any/many negative responses, that is a vivid indication to me that the aforementioned Godly words will be added to your eternal obituary/epitaph, as you (plural) are condemned on judgment day as having been do-nothings (slackers).

Sunday, August 07, 2005

# 43: God's Love, Wrath and the Book of Revelation

Is the Divine Creator a God of love or a God of wrath? In the Sermon on the Mount, God is portrayed by Jesus Christ as a God of love, mercy, and grace. In the Old Testament, when The Lord commanded the Israelites to murder thousands, maybe millions, of people who possessed the land of Canaan, He showed no mercy on any of those inhabitants (even babies and children) except Rahab and her family. Weren’t those lives precious to Him? In all the other battles that the Israelites fought for The Lord, where was His mercy? “Jesus Christ [God] is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. Since God is always the same, do we worship a vengeful God? “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” Hebrews 10:30. Since God displays Himself many times as a God of wrath in the book of Revelation, do we now worship a God of wrath?

In the Gospels, God is portrayed as a God of love. Is that love a wimpy kind of love, or is it tough love? When a child is caught playing with matches in the house after being admonished several times, does a loving parent just take it lightly? Or does the parent let the child know in no uncertain terms on his or her bare bottom that they must stop or a near-death experience may be next? If a person is continually disobedient to God’s purpose, with no chance of conversion, that life is of no value to God, and He can and will wipe them out without a tear or blink of the eye.

Yes! God is never changing. Life is of no more value to him today than it was when He wiped out multitudes in the Old Testament. The religious will say, “That was before the time of grace.” God had a righteous purpose for that mass murder. When Christ came on the scene, He showed us another real side of God. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” That doesn’t mean God’s tender mercy for humanity negates His tough love.

Now, let’s take a good look at our God of love as He displays Himself in the Book of Revelation. Starting with chapter four, the words “love,” “mercy” and “grace” are not mentioned once; the words “God’s wrath” are mentioned ten times. Is this the same God of love, when through His angels and Spirits, He kills billions of people? The good along with the wicked may be slaughtered mercilessly. Possibly, some of God’s people will be spared harm according to Revelation 9:4. “They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”

Yes, God’s people will be with Him, but oh, what they/we may have to go through before that time. Some religions say that the righteous will be taken up with Him before the great tribulation, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and Matthew 24:39-41. I am sure there is some type of mix-up in the time frame responsible for the contradiction. Listen to the following verses in the Book of Revelation. In the very middle of God’s wrath in Chapters 13 and 14, listen to what it says: “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Also, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.” Revelation 13:10. This sounds to me like God’s people will still be here in the midst of God’s wrath. Though most, if not all, that is mentioned in Revelation of the last days is symbolic or figurative, the message is loud and clear: God is full of rancor.

Here is the point: a God of love, in order to fulfill the law of love, can’t help but hate evil—not just evil, but the source (which is ungodly and self-centered people). He shows this anger by this last slaughter. Love cannot tolerate and be merciful to evil forever. Evil must be destroyed. Though some will say, “The Devil made me do it,” the fact is that we all have a free will that is disposed to self-glory. To put it in colloquial terms: “there ain’t no scapegoat for our ‘legitimized’ misbehaving.”

Throughout this terrible period, it will be the last chance for the religious to repent. Three times it states that ungodly people continually failed to repent of their evil ways. Revelation 9:21, 16:9-11. Who is it asking them to repent, if not God’s people? True disciples of Christ will be His witnesses, and they will be preaching and prophesying to repent.

Here is a Bible verse that needs some serious explaining: Revelation 9:6. “During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.” Here is an off-the-wall thought which most never considered: all the humans from the beginning of time may have been raised from the dead and therefore may be on earth during this tribulation period. I am sure they will not be able to die a natural death. That figure has been estimated to be as many as seventy billion human beings. Can anyone imagine that many people on earth at one time?

Since God is just, no one is exempt from His wrath before being sentenced. Most people living on earth when God’s wrath comes are not that much worse than those who lived several thousand years ago. What’s fair is fair. When these really difficult times come, it will be a very special time for the real Christians to stand up and shine in the midst of hell on earth.

This question may come up as it did in ancient times: Does the book of Revelation really belong in our Holy Bible? In the second and third centuries when the “established church” was deciding which books were fit to be part of the Holy Canon (what we now call the Bible), some of the regional churches rejected Revelation, saying it w as unworthy of the Canon. However, right or wrong, the majority ruled, and it was finally accepted as a part of our present-day Bible. Could those ancient church fathers, as fallible human beings, have been wrong? I am sure most religious people would say, “They were inspired by God when they made that decision.” Others say, “Some religious nut who was hallucinating wrote the Book of Revelation.” Personally, I don’t think so. Though some of the symbolic content is confusing, there is much authentic portrayal of God and Christ, too much for any deranged person to be aware of. Even if it is a total fabrication, God will capitalize on whatever was written to His glory.

Since wrath is a natural part of love, there is nothing in it that defaces the nature of God. I will put it another way: If it was written by a holy man or not, its function is being fulfilled by letting humanity know that for love to be true to itself, it must somehow destroy all selfishness and evil. Are you and I on the right path? To write these holy words is a piece of cake, but to live as God required is the most challenging lifestyle in existence. Why? Being a disciple of Christ is contrary to what most, if not all, people call normal.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

# 42: Was Jesus a Pauper? And More

True wealth is not how much one has, but what one is. That kind of wealth can’t be lost. Nobody was wealthier than Jesus Christ, and He owned nothing more than the clothing on His back. What made Him wealthy was that He knew He was the Son of God, and lived accordingly. Why did Jesus come as a pauper and not with the material wealth and dignity we have come to know as royalty? One reason: Jesus was the epitome of selfless love. If Jesus came as a wealthy messiah, as the Jews expected, how long could He hang on to His material wealth while living in a palatial mansion and with all the needy in Israel, and still be able to say that He loved the poor? Could He have eaten a scrumptious meal while watching bystanders who were hungry and without fish or bread and still say, “I love you and have come to tell you how important the poor are to my Father”?

It is impossible to have many more possessions than one’s immediate needs and still honestly say, “I care for the needy as Jesus did, whenever I have extra.” The main part of His ministry was not feeding the poor; although, if He and His disciples had extra, they did give to the poor.

His main purpose was to display the power and love of God; that is the job He left for us. Along with that, He proclaimed that mankind was made to become powerful gods—our spiritual genetic inheritance. He was a God man. He came to us as an EXAMPLE of the potential that humans have through the power of belief in—and obedience to—God. Are you and I a god men/women? If not, why not?

In a perfect environment where everyone is concerned with everyone else’s needs, a person would not desire to do evil, though because everyone has free will, they still could be disobedient. That is the reason God must be absolutely certain that we are not in the least bit selfish before He brings us with Him. SELFISHNESS is the root of all evil, although in America we have changed its negative connotation into a positive one, by calling it “The good life.”

All the goodness that Jesus accomplished in His thirty-three years on earth, He, by God’s grace, gives to us. If we can believe that fact, then what we do with it depends on whether we truly believe those words of Jesus. That is the primary and transcending motive to live like Jesus Christ. How else could anyone live and still believe they actually possess the life of Jesus? The lost don’t care to hear any more about Christ; they have heard enough of that baloney. What would truly knock them of their feet would be to see Jesus in person (in us).