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.”

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