Wednesday, March 22, 2006

# 136: WARNING: Do Not Read

Do not read this post if you feel you are a spiritually spineless sissy. The reason being, the graphic information contained within may upset some to a degree that it will remain vivid for life.

Religion is not just somewhere to go on Sunday morning and then be good the rest of the week; Christian spirituality has a life-or-death implication. Question: If your spiritual life and the lives of others depended on it, would you do everything in your power to make it life for yourself and others? Certainly. But then, you could say to yourself, “Wait a minute; this can’t be true—our lives are not in danger.” To be certain, you consult with several professionals. They say the same thing: “You are in no danger; the recent scare tactics you mentioned are faults.” Reply: “Oh, thank goodness."

Let the original pro (Jesus Christ) ask you several questions: "You say you are a genuine Christian: saved, born again, and Spirit-filled. If that is the case, are you doing everything in your power to promote my cause? If your honest answer is yes, you may be deceiving yourself. Could you do more to further my gospel message? If you say no–except for a rare exception–that is a lie."

If most church-going Christians truly knew the seriousness of the spiritual life, they would start shaking in their boots and never stop. What they believe about the New Testament isn’t worth a pot of beans. What counts is why people live the way they do, and how they live. The “why and how”’ must be to live in obedience to ALL that God commands. The result: When they live as ordered by God Almighty—regardless of the cost or consequence—their LIVES of belief, holiness, obedience and genuine Godly love are the ONLY evidence which can/will unequivocally prove to God, self and others, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their connection with Christ is valid. When any of those qualifying factors are missing, ambivalence may be the reason.

The phrase “make every effort” is mentioned no less than 7 times in the New Testament. Does that tell us anything? That holy book is not a series of friendly suggestions. Its contents are explicit commands from God. Then, some will necessarily say, “Well, that depends on one’s interpretation of what are suggestions and what are outright commands, and if they apply to us.” That type of theology lets everyone off the hook, regardless of what little, if anything, they are doing to further the main cause of Jesus Christ.

The most prevalent form of deceit used by the clergy is to use the word “culture.” When interpreting disagreeable and unnatural verses, the alibi usually is, “That pertained to a culture of 2,000 years ago; that doesn’t apply in 2006.” Another way they eliminate many other hard-edged commands is to say, “That only related to the rich young ruler, and doesn’t concern being wealthy or striving for wealth in general nowadays.” Or “the meaning of ‘Consider others better than yourselves’ only applies under particular circumstances, and doesn’t apply to everyone at all times, etc.” Therefore, many of the New Testament commands that don’t invoke a smiley face are given an interpretation to the point that they no longer are valid, and therefore don’t need to be obeyed in our modern culture. Of course, most of those hush-hush verses are simply not mentioned behind the pulpit. By the way, there is a comprehensive list of anti-wealth verses taken from the New Testament found in post # 127. Also, an excellent section on a self-test of one’s spirituality can be found in post # 112. Click on “Table of Contents.”

Although we are to love our neighbors by feeding them when they are in dire need and be concerned with other critical humanitarian needs, that is not the main thrust (our job) of why Christ came to earth. He came to save us from our ignorance of what is required to live in a way which is pleasing to His Father. Again, those requirements are to live a life of belief in OBEDIENCE and devotion to ALL that His book commands.

Even though I believe the New Testament is inspired by God, there still are some contradictions and errors, mainly because it was written by fallible men many years after the fact; nevertheless, it has proved to be the touchstone of God’s truth, but only to those who are His. To others (agnostics, and even some who call themselves Christians), what the Bible teaches is out-of-date foolishness that is not to be taken seriously.

Repeating, what the religious clergy has done is to emphasize pleasing Bible verses that keep their ministry going and secretly negate those that are out of line with our human nature. And for those who exclusively depend on what is taught from behind the pulpit, without cross-checking with what the Bible teaches, they are going back into the ignorance of the Stone/Dark Ages when the masses could not read for themselves and had to depend on what was taught to them verbally. They are missing the essence of the Gospel message that Christ came to reveal. Christ died to save humanity by His death, and in concert with that, by teaching us the truth, He becomes our supreme example. His death alone will do no one any good if a life of truth doesn’t follow.

And that is what is absent in America and the world. In fact, I truly believe the hearts and minds of most American Christians are impervious to what is needed to live life to the fullest; that is exactly what Jesus Christ teaches, but only to those who are aware of that need. Are you a needy person, or are you content with the life you are now living? Tough question, isn’t it? Most of us would rather be content with the easy-to-live-by junk we are accustomed to than admit we are spiritually needy; if we did admit to our shortcomings, we would have to work our buns off to live up to what is expected of every true believer, as dictated in Scripture.

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that the Christian life would be a “walk in the park” or “a piece of cake.” It is a life dedicated to God’s standards. Some might ask, “How come Billy Graham never preached that kind of stuff?” All he said was to “Come up to the front right now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you will be eternally saved.” That’s it. In that case, the time-honored saying is true, “Easy come, easy go.”

It is hard to believe—with all the knowledge and modern technology we have amassed in the last 100 years or so—how egregiously ignorant most of us are concerning what is required of us by Jesus Christ. As I have already mentioned over a dozen times or more, the culprits for this deplorable condition of the Christian church are the professionals (the clergy). The laity is also responsible because of their naïveté. They go to the professionals every Sunday to hear the truth. What do they get in its stead? A partial truth (a song and a dance) which is worse than no truth at all. Exposing the spiritual killing they are engaged in is the purpose of this blog. Do they know the seriousness of what they are teaching or not teaching? The real treachery is that a church building is where people go to hear truths about God; that is where these deceivers hide.

And then some may wonder why I continually vilify these wolves in sheep’s clothing. I can truly understand why more people don’t aim their guns at this villainous group of charlatans. Most likely, the reason is that most don’t know how bad the situation really is, and they don’t want to be hated and rejected or called a religious fruitcake. Even though I am certain a few of the clergy are honest to the Holy Scriptures, the majority are the arch enemies of God and His Son. My love for them is spilling out in the post, thus allowing God to knock some sense into their heads by exposing their shenanigans; hopefully Christ will save some of them, if and when they start telling the WHOLE TRUTH. If not, I believe there will be a special hell reserved for them; if there isn’t, there should be. Check out Luke 12:47-48. These verses tell that there are degrees of punishment, depending on how much people know and don’t know, and why they don’t know.

Also check out post # 107: “Hatred, Persecution and Hardship.” That post will show many of the verses that predict how people who boldly speak out on religion’s atrocities against God (like myself) will be treated, and much more. For those who read # 107, ask yourselves this question: Why don’t we see all this hatred and persecution against Christians in America today? I don’t know what your answer is, although it may be, "We have religious freedom in America." Sure, freedom to be slackers. My answer is this: We are either doing something very wrong, or more rightly, we are leaving out something extremely important. Although this post exposes the errors of the organized church per se, it also gives an unpopular remedy.

After all of this tough talk, I have to say that on the surface they are nice, kind, considerate and loving people. With that type of a genuine facade, deception–whether inadvertent or deliberate—is quite convincing. In my lifetime I have had several preachers as personal friends in a one-on-one friendship. In fact, my father-in-law was a Baptist minister. I think I know them well enough to speak so dogmatically as to what they are made of and what they live for. Of course, I have to say that there are exceptions, I hope.

The most flagrant teaching that many, if not most, churches preach, which is TOTALLY contrary to New Testament instruction, is that it is acceptable, even recommended, to aim for material/financial prosperity. The clergy's alibi for this teaching is this: God wants the very best for His people. Usually the references given come from the Old Testament, referring to Abraham and Solomon, when it was believed that wealth was a sign of God’s approval. They say, “There is no limit as to how rich one can be, as long as they use some of the money to do God’s work; the more one has, the more they can do for God.” For example, look how much more a millionaire can do of God’s work than a poor person, or one who is well-off but still not a millionaire. Sure, how much tithe will the church receive from the rich? A big (meager) 10 %.

Big church politics says, “Wealthy Christians can build orphanages in third-world countries, pay the salaries of missionaries, help build churches where there are none. . .”; this list can go on and on as to all the benefits of being a rich Christian. I am not saying it is wrong to help those in need. The only thing is, this is the problem with that type of theology: Christians have, or should have, Jesus Christ as their primary role model/paradigm. Therefore, when the wealthy are esteemed by the clergy as being pillars of the church and/or members of the board, many make it their goal in life to get rich and become prosperous so they also can help where it takes big money. For that reason, holiness, godliness, and many other Christian attributes are set aside in a quest for wealth so that they too can be generous Christians. Please remember, as some evidently have forgotten: Even though Jesus gave to the poor, if and when He had extra, the main reason He came to earth was to bring salvation to the world. And displaying that salvation to whomever is our primary mission (to continue His work). Of course, some believe that is the clergy’s responsibility. What a sly, although congenial form of deceit, regardless of how or when it originated. Show me one New Testament verse that even implies such a thing.

Wealthy people are usually looked up to by those who would like to be wealthy also; then they, too, will be admired. This seeking wealth for God would become–if it hasn’t already—a vicious, nonstop cycle. One of the most ungodly attributes about being well-off is a silent, secret pride that sets in and says, “God loves me more than you; I am better, smarter, more loving, etc., than you.” Guess what happens to the critical verse, “Consider others better than yourself”? As the Apostle Paul said, wealth brings many temptations that entice followers of Christ to fall from grace—what good is helping a large number of poor people when one is going to hell? All that abundant charity isn’t worth the loss of one's soul. Another problem: When people have more than needed, they usually live an extravagant lifestyle by buying and having much more than they deserve or need (waste and excess).

I could go on and on with this subject. Instead, I strongly recommend for anyone who needs Biblical proof of what is being said in these last several paragraphs—and much more on the dangers for Christians to be wealthy—to click on the Table of Contents, # 116. There is a multitude of New Testament verses in it which make this extremely important subject crystal-clear. Let me end with this short but poignant thought about the false value of wealth in the Christian life.

Jesus Christ was a radical's radical by literally turning the world’s values upside down: His life and teachings destroyed just about every beneficial rule our human nature (survival of the fittest) taught us. In short, ACTUALLY following what the New Testament teaches, without any mealy-mouth (easy-does-it) interpretations, is genuine Christianity. All else is hell-bound, religious heresy.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

# 135: Decoded: the Beast # 666

Revelation 13:16-18. “ He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him CALCULATE THE NUMBER of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.” [emphasis added]

For the last two thousand years, many have attempted to calculate who was, is, or will be the person with a number 666. Have they been correct? I really don’t know. Nevertheless, this blog, with the help of God, will present its version of a code-breaking formula. I guarantee you will be surprised.

A BIBLE CODE: Take the 26 letters of the English alphabet; start with the letter A: It is worth 6 points. Letter B is worth 6 more points than letter A, making it worth 12 points. Letter C would be 6 more points than letter B, making its worth 18 points; and so on with the whole alphabet, until you get to the letter Z, the 26th letter, which would be worth 6 times 26 = 156 points.

Now, let’s take several words and give each letter a number, and then add the numbers up in an attempt to get 666. ARAB + RELIGION = 666. DEVIL + DRAGON = 666. Let’s try another name for the devil, which is LUCIFER + HELL = 666. Let me give you a few more. NEW + YORK = 666; COMPUTER = 666; DRAGON + POPE = 666; HELL + CROSS = 666; SHOEL, another name for hell, + DEVIL = 666; HELL + CROSS = 666; LUCIFER + CROSS = 666. Although the cross is a supposedly Christian symbol, like a cross hanging around the neck or a cross put on a wall, the cross was and still is an evil form of capital punishment used by the ancient Romans; it is not to be worshiped. It is our Lord Jesus Christ we worship and not His cross.

It is simply amazing how well this system works to show how synonymous evil words are with the # 666. For that reason I give this code thumbs-up as to its accuracy as being potentially reliable in revealing who # 666 may be. Will the beast # 666–whoever he/she may be—make his/her appearance in the 21st century? It would be nice to know.

Here is how bloggers connected to this site can interactively help identify who # 666 might be. According to the above code, calculate words of political and religious leaders, names of organizations, names of places, entities and any other word/s that might have significance as to what or who is (or will be) the beast of his/her country .

Usually single words that describe evil do not make up the # 666. The word “computer” is an exception. As you probably noticed, usually at least two words are needed, adding their total value together to make 666.

Whenever a single word is being calculated, add up whatever the letters come to. Write the total next to the word; then, next to that total, write how much is needed from another word to make 666. Therefore, each word displays what it needs and what it offers to complete 666. Do that with every word. Don’t discard any words. Keep doing that with every word. As your list gets larger, then you will be able to compare with previous single words to see how much is needed or how much a word offers to complete 666.

No doubt, there may be many combinations of words or names in the English language that will total 666, but let’s pick only those that could be involved as a place or entity that has an evil possibility. Remember that we are looking for who the Beast might be, where he/she comes from, or other pertinent information.

When a word/s with an evil meaning is/are found, address it to the comment section of this blog, or send an email to This is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Nevertheless, it could be a lot of fun for anyone who would like to know how much time we have before this deceptive evil person comes into power. I will continue to search for more evil words also. As new words come in, I will add them to the above list. In time, this might be interesting; that is, if enough bloggers get involved. Remember what the book of Revelation is asking us: “If anyone has insight, let him CALCULATE THE NUMBER of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666." Let’s see how much insight some of us have.

Additional words. Published 3/25/06. This list contains words which total 666 when using the above code. The most prevalent outcome is that man’s # 666 when combined with other word/s has many extremely surprising evil connotations. This list is by no means complete, but gives bloggers a good taste of the implications as to who or what country, city, etc. may end up being the 666 beast.

BEAST 282 + ISRAEL 384 = 666; Another spelling for Muslim: MOSLEM 462 + ALLAH 204 = 666; ALLAH 204 + WRONG 462 = 666; WEALTH 414 + SIN 252 = 666; USA 246 + CURSED 420 = 666; ATOMIC 366 + BUSH 300 = 666; BIN LADEN 366 + AMERICA 300 = 666; USA 246 + WRATH 420 = 666; BUSH 300 + BIN LADEN 366 = 666; CHENEY 360 + DEADLY 306 = 666; HIGHSPEED 480 + DEBT 186 = 666; CRUEL 354 + DEVIL 312 = 666; AGNOSTIC 528 + FAKE 138 = 666; ANGER 270 + BRUTE 396 = 666; PRIDE 312 + CRUEL 354 = 666; NUCLEAR 444 + HELL 222 = 666; HATEFUL 438 + DEATH 228 = 666; UNBELIEF 444 + HELL 222 = 666; WEALTH 414 + WAR 252 = 666; ISLAM 324 + STEAL 342 = 666; LEADER 270 + ABYSS 396 = 666; DECEIVER 426 + LIAR 240 = 666; HELL 222 + CROSS 444 = 666; CRUEL 354 + EARTH 312 = 666; POPE 312 + DRAGON 354 = 666; LUCIFER 444 + HELL 222 = 666; CRUEL 354 + POPE 312 = 666; DRAGON 354 + POPE 312 = 666; POWER 462 + HATE 204 = 666; GLOBAL 294 + CROOK 372 = 666; ARAB 132 + PASTOR 534 = 666; IRAN 252 + WEALTH 414 = 666; CHURCH 366 + AMERICA 300 = 666; BUSH 300 + CHURCH 366 = 666; WEALTH 414 + JAPAN 252 = 666; HELL 222 + LUCIFER 444 = 666; FELON 312 + DEFIANT 354 = 666; ROCKET 432 + ANGEL 234 = 666; SPEND 348 + DREGS 318 = 666; HELL 222 + BRUTAL 444 = 666; SAVAGE 330 + ATTACK 336 = 666; HATEFUL 438 + DEATH 228 = 666; DEBT 186 + DUNGEON 480 = 666; OFFENDER 438 + DEATH 228 = 666; CORPORATE = 666. I hope there are no mistakes in my addition, but if there are, please let me know.

The most surprising finding of all is this: which one I choose as most likely to be/become or have something to do with the beast # 666. The evidence of the above code is displayed in three different settings.

There is a “Christian” television station that is basically Pentecostal/charismatic that has propagated the prosperity/wealth movement for over 30 years. Its owners and founders are Paul and Jan Crouch. Jan is the one most responsible for its success. She can cry tears that can make a hardened criminal send his/her hard stolen money to her. The name of the station is The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). I believe it has the greatest coverage of any other TV station on this planet. For sure, it is the biggest self-perpetuating, money-making machine in the world. I first found this station about 8 years ago. I was infuriated when I heard the garbage they were preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. At that time, they had about 26 satellites in orbit around the earth sending their phony message around the world. Now they have about 46 or 47 orbiting our planet; they now reach every continent and almost every country on the earth. I get it on a UHF station (call # 48). I don’t think it is on cable. Occasionally, I watch it for a short while until I can’t take any more. It actually makes me physically sick to know this station with such widespread coverage is continually, 24 hours a day, sending out a perverted message of the gospel.

Again, the owners are Paul & Jan Crouch. I was absolutely shocked at what the aforementioned code brought to light: TBN 216 + PAUL + 300 + JAN 150 = 666; CROUCH 408 + JAN 150 + BIG 108 = 666; JAN 150 + CROUCH 408 + DIE 108 = 666. Some might say, “It is just a coincidence.” Yes, it might be; but it fits in so neatly that it unlikely could be a coincidence. Don’t put anything past Almighty God.

Here is something that made me believe that an evil person was behind this station: There was a substantial story going around that Paul Crouch was caught in a scandal/affair with a gay man. If that is true or not, I can't say. But while that story was going around, Paul Crouch was not seen on his station for several months. When he did come back on the air, he did not refute the allegations. Another thing that made me believe they are frauds is that their lifestyle is as showy/flamboyant as the rich and the famous, if not more so.

Additional words: 3/27/06. JEW 228 + HATEFUL 438 = 666; WEALTH 414 + SIN 252 = 666; OFFENDER 438 + JEW 228 = 666.

Additional word sent in: SNAKE 300 + BIN LADEN 366 = 666.

I encourage everyone to send in their opinions on the above material. Positive or negative, they mean a lot to me. This material is too valuable to just forget. I spent many hours on these additional words.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

# 134: Competitive Sports: The Sparks Shall Fly

I will likely receive more flak from sports fans and casual athletes for writing these next few paragraphs than from any other topic I have covered thus far. Although I have absolutely nothing personally against athletes or sports fans, I must write on why Christian logic says that sports and godliness do not mix well in the Christian life.

Let us try to determine from whence our desire for aggressive or competitive behavior originated, that which is often displayed in sports. Historically speaking, sports got their first big break in the Greek Olympics. It is no doubt that other cultures before the Greeks were involved in competitive sports also. Competitive desire comes mostly from wanting to be the best, the smartest, or at least good at something. This may not seem that harmful in itself, but if one digs deeper, what they may find is that such competitors desire the perverted worship of others. The need to be worshiped (wanting to be top dog) says that there is a serious shortfall in one’s relationship with God. When our worship of God is correct, that desire to be worshiped is destroyed, but when being best is gained at the expense of someone else's defeat, it comes into direct conflict with New Testament beliefs.

Now, some will quickly offer, "But it's all in fun." Not so. When millions, if not billions, of dollars are spent on salaries for the participants of these sports, other millions are spent by the spectators, and when sports are given the degree of attention they receive by the media, that is big business. Sports have become the most popular form of worship in America. What I mean is that sports and the associated athletes have more followers than all religious denominations put together. Sports heroes are actually worshiped (wanting to be like the superstar) by fans, more than Jesus Christ is worshiped by His so-called “followers”. Who really wants to be like Jesus Christ other than in word and song? What young person doesn’t want to be like one of those great sports heroes that makes millions of $ a year?

Still, some may say, "Where is the harm?" Answer: Well, if we really belong to Jesus Christ and are living to promote His cause on Earth, we love all others and consider them as good as—if not better than—ourselves. We want the best for all others. We want them to be winners in all aspects of life. How can we want them to win when we want to prevail over them? That is where the conflict arises between genuine Christians and agnostics. These days, there is never any real love, or even camaraderie, displayed in sports. Christians don't belong where there is no potential for love.

When distinguished Christians participate in or view sports, we are setting a paradigm for all other Christians. We give sports the go-ahead sign to all who look up to us. The more respected we are in the Christian community, the more damage we do. We are holding hands with the pagan world and doing their thing in the name of Jesus Christ. Shame on us. Now you can see why the world laughs at those who call themselves Christians when we approach them in outreach. We may be fooling ourselves, but not the world, especially when they see little (if any) difference between themselves and people who are called Christians.

I would be the last to teach that if you are a Christian you cannot be involved in competitive sports. Those kinds of rules are for the spineless, and for legalistic religions. What I will say is that we as Christians can’t adhere to man-made religious rules governing what is right and wrong or we will be back to legalistic slavery and outward works. We have the law of the Spirit that lives in us dictating what is right and wrong. As it is recorded in the eighth chapter of Romans, we are controlled by the Spirit of God and not by our human (sinful) nature. Therefore, anyone who is controlled by God's Holy Spirit has their mind set on what the Spirit desires. If you love competitive sports and couldn’t see giving them up, even if the world came to an end, I will say this to you: Check the spirit you have to see if it is God's Spirit or the spirit of the other guy.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that other than the essentials and responsibilities of life (like work and obligations pertaining to keeping the household together), we have no right to get involved in anything that doesn't directly bring glory and honor to our God. That is a hard statement. Are there any grey areas in it? I suppose it depends on one's maturity. The closer we become to Christ, the more we will separate ourselves from worthless worldly activities. When one insists upon living like an immature Christian, thinking that grace will cover their divided fidelity and spiritual ignorance, it is a sure sign to God and others that he or she is being deceived into thinking their Christianity is valid. They may well be the last to know of that deception until it is too late. Words come cheaply, but a life lived in conformity with the desires of God's Spirit is expensive (the expenditure of our time and effort). You have to be the one to decide if being a spectator of or participant in competitive sports is best for your spirituality and that of others who look up to you. Remember, what we do and don’t do is an experiment for others to follow.

As genuine Christians, when we actively desire all others to be winners in the arena of daily living, we also are winners. When one wants their team to be a winner at the expense of another, regardless of whether or not your team prevails, you will always come up a loser. Sports are only one of many distractions that keep our minds and lives in a spiritually inert condition. As I have said, our time is not ours any more than our lives are ours. We belong to Jesus Christ, for the glory of God. We were bought at a precious price and for a special purpose. Our time is not to be squandered on useless recreation.

True Christ-like recreation gives us a continual vacation from the strife of worldly pleasures. That re-creation process is ongoing as we continually rub shoulders with our great God, Savior, and Lord, Jesus Christ, because we love him. Or do we? It is natural to want to be with the one we love and who loves us. He loves us more than all the cheap words in the human language can express. Do you believe that? If so, let your Christ-like life prove it.

Some might quote several verses from Galatians fifth chapter, saying that we are free to do as we please and are not under law (rules). That is true; we are free to live as we ought to in the sight of God without rules telling us what to do. The freedom we are given also grants us the power and obligation to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are free from the power to do as our human nature dictates. Christians have more freedom than any other people. Is God free? Is Christ free? We have that kind of freedom. Love generates freedom. One thing we must remember is that freedom brings responsibility. This is true not only in a free society, but in the spiritual realm as well. The responsibility of our job as Christians is more enormous than being the head of state of a superpower. We must make prime time to display Jesus Christ to everyone. We must make every minute of the day count for Christ.

I know for certain that some of you are going to come up with many seemingly legitimate excuses to continue in sports. We as humans tend to rationalize when it comes to things that are important to us. If that is the case, it might be wise of those who disagree to prepare their defense ahead of time for when they go before the judge and jury. If I am wrong in saying these things, email me or click on the comment section; explain my error and I may change my mind. If not, your silence alone will condemn you.

On a practical level, if one doesn't want to make enemies, they probably shouldn’t talk down sports, especially if that talk contains Godly, soul-piercing logic. Could that be why the clergy also keeps silent, while some even promote the big games? I don't plan on making many friends with these harsh words, but if I don't say them, who will? As I’ve said before, I have no worldly reputation to care for.

It is said that football is probably the most dangerous sport of all. This post is making another fact clear: Being a sports fan can be even more dangerous spiritually. If, by some chance, God hit a nerve with these words, perhaps He is only trying to jar a few sports aficionados into Christian reality.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

# 133: Who Should Teach Us?

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be PASTORS and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11.This is the only verse in the Bible where the word “pastors” is mentioned. Isn't it funny we have so many pastors? Conversely, “prophet” or “apostle” is found hundreds of times in the New Testament. Where are all of the apostles and prophets?

Members of organized churches almost always depend on the pastors’ interpretation of the true Word of God. These church leaders are supposed to prepare God's people for works of service, and there is no doubt that House Church overseers who truly have the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ living in their bodies can teach newer members many of God's ways. It is apparent, however, that something is out of whack with respect to the Biblical criteria for believers. We clearly need more apostles and prophets and fewer pastors. There is little doubt we need to have order in our House Church meetings. Therefore, we may require overseers of some sort, but never to the point where their attitudes and opinions dominate over the consensus of the majority of mature Spirit-dominated members and, above all, the Bible. Though we will continually learn many truths from each other, the main source of all truth apart from the Bible will always come from God via his Holy Spirit, as long as people are attuned to the voice of God.

Of course, it is easy to see how this sad state of affairs arose. Even in Old Testament times, God instructed His believers to learn from Him. Psalm 119:102: “I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.” Nevertheless, even in Christ’s time on Earth, there were not many scrolls of ancient Scripture, and fewer still people who could read them. Under those circumstances, perhaps it was inevitable that when believers gathered, the ones who could read and had the Holy Scripture shared the Scriptures with others. Indeed, in such an “assumed leadership” role, one can see how this sharing could have led to a greater perceived role, including interpretations and belief imposed on the listeners. But, my, how times have changed. Bibles are now readily available in virtually every language, and most people living in developed countries can read them for themselves and with His Spirit for guidance. There no longer is any reason to rely on the teachings of another, as we did in times past.

We also know much more about the physical universe than we used to. In about the last twenty-five years we have amassed more scientific, industrial and informational resources than in the previous nineteen hundred years. When we look at these achievements from a Godly perspective, they confirm not only the existence of God, but also His vastness. When we examine all of the resources available through man’s achievements in the Christian realm, it is a different story. A few are excellent, and some are good—if one weeds out human flaws—but most have led the multitude astray. Collectively, we share far too much pride in our achievements. In short, we’ve become “too big for our britches.” We must not rely too much on what man says about God, but instead we must rely on what God says about Himself and man.

This blog is a good example of man, namely this author, writing things about God. Do not believe a word in this post just because it sounds good or logical or Godly. Believe only what God allows you to experience. That is when truth comes to life. This is very important: Never believe what any one man/woman says about God. He may be good and holy and trustworthy in what he preaches, but if he is flawed—as we all are—it is best to go straight to God in prayer; then the answer will be given to you, guaranteed. God has said that He will teach you by His Holy Spirit and by His Word, the Bible. Of course, this concept will appear silly to those who do not truly believe, but then, what else might we expect? We must remember that most truths about God are meant to be experienced by those who belong to God. Then we can say that the Christian life is a continual ongoing experience, even an adventure.

Let's let the Bible speak to see if what I have written has any validity. Peter says something of great importance about Paul’s letters that can give us a good clue as to why some of us never come to a true understanding of the Christian life. Listen to what Peter said in this first verse:

*2nd Peter 3:16: “His letters [the Apostle Paul’s letters] contain some things that are hard to understand, which [spiritually] ignorant and [emotionally] unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” [emphasis added].

*Philippians 3:15: “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”

*John 14:26: “The Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things....”

*John 16:13: “But when He the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

*Philemon 1:6: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. No sharing, no understanding...”

*1 John 2:27: “And you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things…”

*1 John 5:20: “The son of God has come and has given us understanding.”

*1 Corinthians 2:13: “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit....”

*John 6:45: “They will all be taught by God.”

*1 Thessalonians 4:9: “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God.”

*Luke 12:12: “For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

When a man/woman teaches you, even if he/she is a man of God, it may be hard to understand to the point that you can apply such teachings to your life. God, however, will always make it clear as to the understanding. Still, if we don't obey all His commands, the Lord cannot teach us or give us understanding. 1st John 2:3. "We know we have come to know him if we obey his commands." As one can clearly see, according to the New Testament, God Himself will teach His true believers, not the clergy. Why should things be different now? A partial answer is that, in general, people are lazy. It is easier to go listen to someone talk than to go to God in prayer, or to study God’s Word for hours on end with an inquisitive heart. I can offer this thought, but it is up to you to accept it: Laziness is addicting and more spiritually life-threatening than almost any other destructive habit. Most of us seem to choose the course of least resistance. Most often the easy way is not the right way.

Why do so many need to be taught by other human beings? Because the organized church, in general, is so far from God that its spiritual receptors are on “good” earthly things this world offers. I am not just talking about prosperity-seeking churches. Let's not forget that the paid church leaders (clergy) make it very conducive to listen to them by their flattery and affirmation of the listeners’ sanctities. You are saved, baptized, born again, and heading for heaven to be with Jesus and don't you forget it. Not to sound sinister, but once again: The main thing on their minds is to have their listeners back next week to keep their church membership up and running. Ignorance on the part of their followers to the true nature of Scripture is to their benefit. One must keep in mind their priorities: Paying the bills is very important and necessary to churches: bills they shouldn't have in the first place, such as mortgage payments for a big, stupid building; elaborate homes for the pastors; insurance of all kinds; maintenance of property; wages for hired help; the expenses of keeping up with the Joneses (other clergy); and so forth. With this ongoing debt and liabilities, they have to say and do whatever it takes to keep the ball rolling, at the cost of our souls. It just isn’t financially expedient for them to tell the whole truth.

According to the Bible, there were no church buildings in which early Christians could worship. They met in small groups in each others’ homes, and outside when necessary. The first large church buildings were erected in Rome by Constantine, the first pagan Christian to enter the scene and make his demonic religion compulsory, ironically, in the name of Jesus Christ. One all-important thing to true worship groups is maintaining intimacy among believers. There can be no true intimacy in large groups. The best, if not the only, way to accomplish it is with small groups that meet in each others’ homes. This is the House Church concept: worship without denominational affiliation. I am not referring to small circles within a large church which break away after the service, or the Wednesday night Bible study or prayer meeting. Worship and fellowship is a sham when members do not know one another in an intimate way. In a nucleus or extended family, everyone knows each other like no one else knows them. That is the way it should be, and to an even greater extent in our spiritual family.

In my estimation, this type of Christian life is virtually nonexistent at present, but is starting to catch on. But it may be a long time before it makes a large impact on the world for the cause of Christ. This is not to say that a large group of sisters and brothers from different House Churches who have a common denominator can't meet occasionally in a large rented hall (or even outdoors), in addition to maintaining the small groups that meet weekly or daily, like an ordinary extended family gathering for a family reunion. I truly believe genuine Christianity cannot exist apart from this close contact environment. We need this closeness to continually encourage—and when necessary, rebuke—each other, but always in love. We will desire everyone else to be better than ourselves in every way, while lifting the Christian life to its highest standard of perfection, devoid of all fakery.

Aside from exposing the sham of organized Christianity, the main intention of this post is to initiate the worldwide formation of House Churches consisting of genuinely closely-knit Christians, all independent of each other, but submitting to one entity: God, who Himself will dictate what and how to believe and live. Through following the Bible and the formula in this blog, they will still possess the unity of the Spirit of Jesus Christ; this will be the dominating force in each person. When it comes to loving and caring for each other, mediocrity and compromise must be totally eliminated. The money that could be saved in not supporting organized churches might then go to promoting Jesus Christ and caring for the less fortunate. Such a deal.

It is shameful that this so-called Christian country assented to the establishment of a Social Security and Welfare system. If this was a Christian country in the true sense, we would have cared for our own without the need of government. If we were to add up the cost of building and maintaining all of the churches, the cost of wages for full-time pastors, and all the money given to churches by ordinary people worldwide, it would run into the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars. Imagine if that money had been put into the hands of real men and women of God, how much more God could have done in helping the poor and in the outreach to the lost. This fact puts tears in my eyes.

When we were young and our parents were not able to be at home with us for whatever reason, they would hire a babysitter. As we grew up, we didn't need a sitter anymore; we could care for ourselves according to our parents’ instruction and our maturity. Similarly, a new Christian needs a spiritual babysitter or two (other mature Christians to watch over us). When we become mature in the things of God, however, we automatically become babysitters of sorts. At such time, we don't need a babysitter (pastor) to tell us partial truths every week with timely sermons on what to do (and how tight finances are at this time of the year, in an attempt to bleed us of our very last penny). As we grow in maturity, Christ (the true pastor) will continue to teach us by His Holy Spirit. This is His promise, but only to the degree that we seek the Lord with all our heart.

Here are our choices: Go to a church building, give our hard-earned money and listen to the pastor say whatever crosses his mind in order to get us back next week or, we can get our act straight and allow God to make us aware of our need for Him. As long as we are not aware of a need for God, He cannot teach us a thing. The evil one has conditioned us against the need for God in this affluent country of ours, where independence of the individual instead of dependence upon God is the priority.

If God were teaching the church, there would be no need for this blog. There are, no doubt, some who are reading the information herein, surely considering this author a heretic, one who thinks he is living 2,000 years ago. I will gladly accept being a classified as a heretic according to the majority of the Christians in the world today. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." Romans 8:9: "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." As I have mentioned several times: To have (be filled with) the Spirit of Christ means to have the same motives for living that Jesus had. If, by some chance, you don’t have His motives dominating your life, don’t kid yourself—you don’t have His Spirit no matter how loud you shout it from the rooftops. 2 Corinthians 5:17. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." That’s one extra-tough Christian concept that the majority don’t care to hear.

The question remains: If we truly have Christ’s Spirit in us, will we have even a close resemblance to how the Christian world at large looks and acts? No. Christianity is not just something to do, or a certain way to live; it is something very special to be. Repeating: When Christ’s motives, aspirations, and desires are ours, then we can know for certain that we have His Spirit. With His Spirit to empower our motives, we will be living for His cause, which is much more important than our own personal lives, to say the least.

Our human nature’s main concern lies with self and family, quite often in the name of Christ, while His cause—which we, who belong to Him, live for—concerns making the love and power of Jesus Christ known for the Salvation of all who will believe. Is there any comparison? Can they both be classified as genuine Christianity, just different ways of believing? Never. At this time we will allow Jesus Christ to live on this earth again through our bodies. If that is not our reason for life, then forget it; we do not belong to Christ even in a small way. We must always remember that there is another spirit in the world and he is the unholy spirit. That spirit, when dealing with Christians, takes the identity of our Holy Spirit.

Another way we can tell which spirit we have is to ask these questions: 1) Do we live according to all that God’s Word commands (Him teaching us)? 2) How are we receiving God’s Word? To pick and choose what feels good and to disregard the unpleasant parts of Christianity is a farce, and this is precisely what organized worship promotes. If anyone wants to know the destiny of those who lived like that, just read the Old Testament. Satan, the god of this world, who always displays himself through our concern with bettering self, has his way through the desires of our ego (the desire to do what feels good). In fact, “self-first” and Satan are synonymous. If somehow self-interest could be destroyed worldwide—which is Christ’s work—Satan would vanish. With this in mind, who are we really working for?

One last pertinent statement: We who are true Christians believe, through our faith in Christ, that we were made to live like Him. When this belief is valid in our heart, that is what gives us the power to live that life through the Holy Spirit. Without that kind of belief, the life that follows may be religious and good, but it will be without any spiritual substance.

People always live up to what they believe about themselves. Titus 1:6. "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him." Luke 11:13. “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" We must ask with our heart and life. GOD WILL PERSONALLY TEACH US, and hopefully, without much help from man/woman. If we had this type of Christianity in the world today in large numbers, who do you think would take notice? You guessed it, skeptics and atheists. To them, seeing is believing. When they see Jesus Christ walking this earth again in your body and mine, one they can even touch, my guess is that they will knock down our doors wanting to be part of this living Christ.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

#132: When Love Must Get Angry

Anger is mainly an undesired emotion; although it can be used in a constructive manner, most of the time it is destructive in nature. What is the deep-seated cause of anger? I believe that the main reason we become angry is because things don't go the way we think they should, right or wrong, and we have little or no recourse. Anger can manifest itself in many forms: hate, revenge, violence, silence, a deceptive smile, separation, love, and of course, the most popular kind: indifference or apathy, which often follows one or more of the above. It can be expressed through words or physical action. When anger is expressed in hate, as mentioned above, it usually destroys, but it can be quite constructive when used in love.

I am basically a joyful person, but I do have an active anger that is being expressed in this blog. It is an anger directed at the ideas which paid religious professionals have been espousing for years: that a person can live and believe as they please (of course, with the pretense of righteousness) and still take on the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All religions basically are self-centered (“How am I going to make out?”), including organized Christianity. There is at least one exception. To display that exception and expose the religious fraud is one of the driving motives for the origin of these writings. Other than having an active desire to live in conformity with God's Word and being vocal in my dissent with half-baked counterfeit Christians, I have been frustrated in my God-given ability to actively do much about it; I have been a voice of one calling in the wilderness, with not many to listen. But not for long.

This anger is not directed at individuals, and yet it is. How can so many extraordinary, talented, intelligent, educated people be so ignorant of what God requires to please Him? I personally cannot figure that one out. I am angry that God can't have things His way at this time. His will is my will. As to the anger of love, I am forbidden to do anything forceful or violent to change that deplorable situation. I have come to this heartbreaking conclusion: The majority of people who call themselves Christians may be good, decent, generous, loving, considerate, honest, and sincere people, but they don't have a clue as to what God is like or what He expects of them because He must be unreal to them. There can be no other logical reason.

My/our anger toward bogus “Christians” will do no good until ego, pride, vanity, pleasure, worldly contentment, and things that bring material security are abandoned. Jesus Christ cannot reveal Himself until we start to cleanse ourselves, or more rightly, allow God to cleanse us. When the awesome power associated with Christ is revealed, we cannot help but desire to become like Him. What I have said is no riddle, yet it is a riddle to anyone who is not aware of their need for more meaning and purpose to their lives than they are now experiencing.

We should—or better yet, we must—have a justifiable anger at all “Christians” who disgrace or deny the name of Jesus with a life that has little or nothing to do with actively promoting His holy cause. This anger is of little value unless it is vigorously expressed through our displeasure with their lives. They may question our right to be judgmental in this area, to which I respond: If our own lives are not lived in a Christ-like manner, we have no right to get angry or judge. One can't solve the problem, let alone see the problem, if he/she is part of the problem. For that reason, it becomes evident that the reason some may get angry but do nothing about it is because they may not be much different than the fakes.

The love and goodness that we receive upon redemption (God's goodness) cannot be contained within ourselves. We feel like exploding, and we do explode with deliberate righteous anger–the truly perfect motive for evangelism. We want the whole world to have God's love and life, so we demonstrate that desire not within our minds, but by example with our lives. And this is what we see in its stead in the rest of the Christian world: religion’s busywork and hard-shelled spiritual devotion to self and family. They have the nerve to call these kissing cousins Christians? Yes, I am mad, mad, mad, and we (God and I) won't take it much longer. We must allow God to inspire us to do great things by making every effort, fighting tooth and nail, with all the power of God in every possible way–except violence—to make Jesus Christ known in truth. Tough though it may seem, we will win. I know the outcome. That is my belief. This blog is only one of God's many efforts to decimate the unbelief of people who only call themselves Christians. I do it with angry words of God's love.

Christ is no wimp, though He is merciful and compassionate beyond words. Yet, that mercy cannot be activated toward those who continually resist the logic of His ways. With even a little spiritual insight, His ways will be made known through the New Testament and hopefully this blog. It is said that the Bible is the world’s best-selling book and yet—though I can hardly believe it is the least read. How can this be true? It is the road map to living the high life. It is our instruction manual as to how a person is supposed to function. There will be vengeful anger for all who call on His name with only words; with no mercy, grace, or forgiveness, no matter how much they verbally rely on greasy grace to slip into God's heaven. A person’s life, not what they say, is the evidence of belief.

Do yourself a favor; get angry with someone—especially with yourself, if need be—for having a deadly dullness in comprehending the implications of the Christian walk. God's love makes the “spiritual needy” (so-called Christians) our business. Godly anger gets concerned. Get mad and stay mad (in love) with those who don't really know our Lord Jesus Christ, and see the results. In some cases, the result will be Jesus Christ walking this earth again in our shoes. There are great things waiting for all who allow God to do great things for Christ through our lives. Sometimes very little things are great things in God's sight.

Our attitude toward agnostics: Our anger must never be impulsive or aggressive; however, when people who do not call themselves Christians act in a way that makes us angry, our anger must stay hidden, but not fester. We have no right to impose or get angry because they do not embrace God’s standards. We must try to understand where they are coming from and why they act the way they do. It is natural for them to make us angry, and many of them would love to get our dander up. They live in a totally different world, the world of winning at the game of life on earth (“Hooray for me and boo for you”), and watch out if we get in their way. How do we love these people that antagonize us? We shut our mouths, and if the opportunity comes up, we demonstrate to them why and how we are different from them and the world. To carry out this type of response to the merciless wretches of unbelievers will not be one bit easy, but we can’t do it through arguments and accusation. To argue with them and become demonstrably angry at them will put us on their level and totally defeat the cause of Christ.

We must have an active anger, one that is expressed with a sensitive yet relentless force at people who call themselves Christians. The sad part is, of course, that when we believe and live this way, we will receive only anger and hate from most, despite our going softly, while only a very few may respond to Jesus Christ. By nature, we don't want to be hated, but if we belong to Jesus Christ, we will endure whatever anger and hatred comes our way because we will be doing it with His nature and His spirit. That is exactly what is missing in most of us: His nature and life. When people are truly aware of the immense love God has for them, it doesn’t matter if everyone else in the world hates them with a passion; they would still know and feel completely loved by God in that hateful situation.

At this time, many might be saying, “It is not like me to get angry at people for the way they believe and live. I am a peaceable and loving person. I say, ‘live and let live.’” You said it; that is the main problem with the whole of Christianity: indifference. I believe that indifference will be the most predominant reason for the damnation of the majority. Indifference is a candy-coated hatred that separates real gold from fool's gold. Indifference can be classified as anger without action. “Live and let live”? Would you say that about a cult that sacrificed children to their god? Well, they’re out there. The playacting Christians and their leaders are guilty of murder on a much larger scale; it’s just a slower process.

Jesus had a calculated, legitimate, and appropriate anger at most, if not all, of the legalistic orthodoxy of His day. From His righteous anger as He overturned the tables of the money-changers to the calculated and compelling way, He showed the true ways of the Pharisees and Scribes, He expressed legitimate anger and they ultimately killed Him for it. If we belong to Him, we will continue His work. It won't come easy or naturally, and we won't be popular, so you may not like it. If we are as adamant as Christ was in exposing their emptiness, they may also kill us, though we will live on. It is our job, like it or not.

As the saying goes, “You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.” There is no in-between. Love is not harmless. Love is sometimes angry. When you love someone, they are your business. That kind of loving anger will disrupt and disturb the schemes of those who work for and through man-made, self-inspired efforts of goodness and Godliness.

If only half of the above is true, we can see why Christ said we will be hated. He didn't say we may be hated. The irony of it is that we will be considered to have done great things, but only to the degree that we are hated. While I write these last few words as God dictates them, they don't sit well with me. I would like to have God do great things through me, but it is not my nature to want to be hated. I want to be loved, even though I know it is only my human nature speaking. God will win and do great things in my life, and I hope in yours, no matter how much others get angry and hate us. It will hurt, no doubt about it. But with God’s love in our heart, He will give us the strength to thrive in the midst of the storm. It is His promise.