Saturday, December 29, 2007

# 233: Supply and Demand

In all things, supply will not appear on the scene unless there is a demand. That fact implies that for every single commodity we have with us at this time, we as a nation/world have created a demand. When the demand slows down, out of necessity, the supply will have to slow down also. This is kindergarten truth, and yet this principle spills over onto spiritual matters.

There is a constant tug-of-war between our human nature and God—the New Testament uses many verses calling our human nature our sinful nature. We all, at one time or another, have experienced the strength of that nature we were born with. The reason it is called sinful is because it is self-centered. And that is sinful in God’s eyes.

In Holy Scripture there are multitudes of verses that do not sit well (are unpleasant) with our self-centered nature. And there are just a few verses which seem to pander to our human nature. This is what religion per se has done out of necessity: It favors hearing the verses which are pleasing to our human desires, and neglects many/most of the verses that demand we make every effort to adhere to, what I call hardcore, distasteful verses.

What the clergy—not all of them—does in a sneaky way is to talk about worldly things that are pleasant to listen to, and then they make them sound spiritual by mentioning the Bible and then injecting the name of Christ or God, or some trivial spiritual matter. On top of that, to make the laity feel good about themselves, they pile up numerous accolades such as “God has many blessings just waiting for you,” and that they (the laity) are the holiest people in this city, etc. A person who is a master of this technique is Joel Osteen. His church is the largest in America, over 30 thousand paying members. When people hear what they want to hear, they come back again and again. The demand for this type of preaching has caught on like wildfire. Preachers aren’t stupid—although, in God’s sight, they are—they go where the money is. Therefore, the supply is great.

It was inevitable that an easy-to-live-by gospel would eventually come to pass. Scripture gives several warnings to us to be on our guard against such preaching and teachings. 2nd Timothy 4:3 predicted this type of gospel, which is no gospel at all. “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers, to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Romans 16:18. “Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” The apostle Paul says in Acts 20:29-30, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and will distort the truth in order to draw disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning you night and day with tears.” It was easier for these early disciples to be led astray, because the New Testament was not yet formulated in the first century. But, there is no excuse for modern-day Christians/disciples to be deceived. Christian Bibles are everywhere. Exposing that type of teaching is what this blog is all about.

Now take a church that preaches what is needed for Salvation; their members are few and far between. The only ones who can tolerate the truth of the good news are genuine disciples of Christ. The demand for this type of truth is not very great; therefore, there is a small amount of supply (Godly preachers who don’t value money). Church leaders are/must be the least in their congregations, and most likely the poorest. Many will say, “That is absurd.” Jesus said in Luke 9:48, “. . . For he who is the least among you all—he is the greatest.”

Another trick is to preach on things that build up individuals in their comfort zone: things like politics, sports, entertainment, current events, etc.; of course, don’t forget music with a worldly beat and a funny story to get everyone in the desired mood. The only distasteful subject most churches bring up is that they need money to meet their expenses. And guess what? The knuckleheads oblige, since the Bible says, “God loves a cheerful giver.” Yes, but not to every phony who claims Christ as his Lord, but to alleviate genuine need. One can quickly spot a phony: those who do not stress obedience to all the teachings of “their” Lord.

I really can understand why modern Americans demand that their devotion to God through Christ be easy and effortless. Most things in our “people-pleaser culture” are “I want it now,” and “I don’t want to pay too much for it,” and “I want it to be effortless,” like putting it in the microwave, or going to a restaurant which has fast service, or driving instead of walking or biking. We have been pampered for so long that we are spoiled rotten. That is why this effortless form of Salvation has caught on, especially in the last 20 years or so.

What can be done about it? Have you ever tried to take a dish of ice cream away from a small child until they eat the healthy food first? If Christ came down to earth in person and preached against the vast majority of people-pleaser Christianity, He would have little or no effect. This blog has been preaching Biblical Christianity for over two-and-a-half years with very little results. I am certain Christ’s teaching would be similar to what this blog teaches.

It is extremely difficult for anyone to change their mind concerning what genuine Christianity is. Even if Christ performed mighty miracles, just like the Pharisees, they would/could not change. There is little hope for the vast majority of easy-does-it churchgoers. What angers me is that Satan is so effective in how he operates. For those who cannot change, one thing I would suggest to these gullible people is to spend their money and devotion on things that give earthly benefits, instead of feeding the clergy the delicacies of life. The New Testament guarantees that all those who don’t live as Scripture dictates will end up in hell to spend prime time with the mastermind of this easy-to-take deception.

Mega-churches are the main culprits for these false Gospels, regardless of the fact that they are increasing by leaps and bounds. They are on a roll. For those who may be slightly aware of their suspicious messages, I strongly recommend this: Read or listen to the New Testament every day. Many will say, “I just don’t have time.” That is a poor excuse. Time can be made by negating things that are important to you now, and making learning what is taught through God’s instruction book for life, a priority. While reading, highlight all the verses that seem unreasonable, unpleasant or impractical for anyone to adhere to. They are the ones of greatest importance, which many never have heard before. No better advice can be given by Christ or this blog. Of course, this reading/listening must be inspired by God’s Holy Spirit/the right motive, which will allow some to change course.

In ending, yes, to a small degree, we can change this supply-and- demand syndrome. But first we must become aware of the demonic deception which is dressed up in godly silk and satin with soothing words of comfort, which so many are engaged in. The best part is the result of those who decide to take the straight and narrow path, where not many travel. For them, the final result will mean a gigantic transformation: eternity with God. My continual prayer is that many bloggers wise up and realize the potential seriousness (a hot burning hell) when going the easy way, where the supply and demand is great.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

# 232: The Faith of a Little Child

There is something very special about little children which is exclusive to them: the ability to believe what they are being taught without doubt. As they mature, their powers of reasoning allow them to doubt and question many things that don’t seem reasonable. And that is good, so they can live a life that is founded on intelligence and understanding, and thus make correct decisions.

What little children do is to have faith/trust in their mom and dad, etc., that they are telling them the truth. Of course, there is an exception: the story about Santa Claus—I have a three-year old granddaughter who, as I was visiting with her yesterday, asked me two tantalizing questions: “How is Santa Claus going to fit down our fireplace?” Along with that, she asked, “Can Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer really fly?” I didn’t know how to answer. So I put the question to her father. He responded, "We don’t know." Even though she had doubt about the answer, she put her doubts aside and believed. She had faith in her father that he was telling her the truth.

Jesus speaking in Matthew 18:3. "And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’" Also in Luke 18:17. "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Now the difficult question: How do adults put their doubts aside concerning the truth of what Jesus is saying and believe a highly unnatural event? Where/how does an adult get this child-like faith?

There is something all children have in common: a need for their parents. Although they may not be aware of it, it is a desperate need. If their parents abandoned them, most likely, they would die. I am certain, as very young babies, they are not aware that their mother and father conceived them, but they are the only things/persons of value to them. Does this information give us a clue as to what is needed to have child-like faith?

We got a little bit ahead of ourselves. As adults, when we are aware that our lives are not what they should be and in need of a change for the better, that may be the first necessary condition for us to be open to the thought of God coming into our lives. That need may be one of many. This may be the reason Christ said, " Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." Luke 6:20. This verse does not say that “all” the poor will inherit the kingdom of God. What that verse implies is that they have conditions in their lives (poverty) that make it more conducive (better chance) to being aware of a need for God, since the poor are always in need of one thing or another.

That may be the reason why many New Testament verses look down on those who have it made on earth. James 2:5. "Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him?"

Concerning the wealthy and prosperous: If Christ asked you to choose one of the two—God, or your wealth and prosperity—which one would it be? Some would say, "What is wrong with having both?" Bad idea. Here is Christ's answer: Matthew 6:24. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Mark 4:19. ". . . the deceitfulness of wealth . . ." There are many more verses that say the same thing. Just one more. What is the most valued commodity in America? Wealth ! Luke 16:15. "What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight." Do we value, or desire highly, that which God detests? Let’s not lie to ourselves; it will do no good, but only bring harm. Let’s be honest, and then pray that somehow God will bless us to make the right but humanly undesirable decision.

Then the question comes up: Why would well-satisfied people desire or have a need for God, when their favorite song is, "Everything’s going my way"? To leave their good life and all the pleasures and security would be a tough decision. If the wealthy profess to be Christians, it is only with high and mighty empty religious words, regardless of how much they say their money is doing to "promote" the works of Christ.

What they are promoting is themselves as role models, silently implying that it is a blessed thing to have money, riches, prosperity and wealth. With such a strong argument, who would win—wealth and prosperity?—or having a wholehearted desire to live the life that Christ represents? Mega-churches are the ones who welcome these people of high standing in their community. Where is their child-like faith? Faith is not necessary for them. Their only need is to hang on to what they have or to get more. I personally guarantee, these faithless people will find "legitimate" excuses to hang on to their wealth and still keep praising God. I am certain there are many of their silent alibis which we haven’t heard yet.

Now getting back to child-like faith. Need, either known or unknown, is the catalyst for a desperate desire that removes doubt, since there may seem to be no other viable alternatives. That need is for a heavenly Father who will care for us. In that case, need trumps doubt. Ask yourself this question (no cheating): Do you and I have a desperate need for what God offers? What I mean is a need so urgent that without it being fulfilled, life is if no value. In that condition, nothing can stand in our way, not even doubt.

A sad thing to say is that not many in America have that kind of need for God. The vast majority of church-going American Christians have it made in the shade. How many in that category have childlike faith that removes all doubts?

It is fair to say that most, if not all, American Christians, the wealthy and not so wealthy, believe they are going to heaven when they die. Who am I to say otherwise? But the New Testament says something totally different. What has happened is the Christian life has become a minor addition to our every day lives, with little or no consideration of what the Christian life is all about: Just go to church and be good; that means don’t kill, steal, or commit adultery or any other serious crimes. Sure ! Many ungodly and selfish people believe they are Christians and, are therefore going to heaven. Their only sin may be excluding God from their daily lives, except on Sunday for an hour, which makes them about 99% ungodly. Just for some to say we are going to heaven doesn’t mean a thing to God; "Keeping God’s commands is what counts." 1st Corinthians 7:19.

The question remains: Are there any doubts in your lives that all these Godly words may possibly be a big hoax, propagated by church leaders just to keep us under their thumbs, to enchant their greed for money and power? I hear a few saying, "Well, just in case that is true, we will keep this worldly life worthwhile so that we at least can say we enjoyed life while on this earth." You see, doubt never puts all its eggs in one basket. It always saves a few elsewhere, just in case. Doubt is one of God’s biggest enemies and one of Satan’s biggest allies. Therefore, let us become like little children in our faith, not only with our mouths but with our lives. Let me leave you with this poignant question: Could we or would we continue to desire to live if Christ was not the main focus in our lives? Our answer to this question may tell much more about the degree of our faith and/or doubt than we really desire to know.

Continuing, Christ said in John 7:7, ". . . but it hates me because I testify that what it [the world of religious hypocrites] does is evil.” In the same way, many religious leaders and those who believe their words of pleasant deceit hate me and this Biblical blog for exposing (testifying according to the New Testament) their greed for money and numbers, in the name of Christ.

For more information on the harm wealth may do in the Christian life, click on post # 153: “Anatomy of Wealth,” or post # 116: "What Money Can and Cannot Buy/Do."

For those who got on this blog through a directory, the Table of Contents may be at the very end of the page. An easier method to get to the Table of Contents is to click onto this blog:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

# 231: "Christ in You . . ."

Colossians 1:27. ". . . Christ in you, the hope of glory." That is the open secret which makes Christianity potentially the most powerful religion on this earth. When the New Testament uses the words “‘Christ in you,” it is implying that the Spirit of Christ is in you. The Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, and the word “Spirit” alone (with an uppercase “S”) are one and the same entity.

Since we can’t visually see spiritual entities with our human eyes, this subject can become ambiguous as to who is indwelt with the Holy Spirit and who isn’t. And how do we know with certainty that you or I are indwelt with God’s Spirit? This is a touchy topic which can lead to misunderstandings and false beliefs.

I really didn’t want to write on this topic; that was all the more reason to write on it. It is a difficult topic to explain in a coherent way and even more challenging to verify. The first time the giving of the Holy Spirit is mentioned is in Acts 2:3-4. "They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them [the twelve apostles]. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." The question comes up: Did they know what they were saying to one another? For sure, it was that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, telling them that the promised Holy Spirit was now in their midst.

The next several verses explain the reason for their speaking in other tongues. Even though they, the 12 apostles, were most likely speaking in Aramaic, Jews from sixteen surrounding countries, all of whom spoke different languages or dialects, heard them speaking in their own language. No need for interpreters. Now that is an excellent reason for speaking in other tongues. We could use that today, especially when missionaries go to foreign countries, or in churches where there is a large number of people whose native language is not English. To my knowledge, this is not happening.

Before we go any further, this verse is of vital importance: Romans 8:9. "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." This verse and other similar verses are implying that those who belong to God (disciples of Christ) are indwelt with the God’s Holy Spirit; that is Godly logic.

Romans 8: 8 says, "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." That makes only two groups of people; we are either controlled by the Spirit of Christ or the sinful nature, with no in-between. That is as harsh as a verse can be.

Of course, now the question comes up: How do we know with certainty that we are possessed by the Holy Spirit or by the sinful nature which we are born with? This, most likely, is the question of the century. Another challenging question: Once a person believes he/she is indwelt with the Spirit, is that a permanent union? There is no definite answer in Scripture. But there are two possibilities. A person may be indwelt with the Spirit of God for many years and then it may fall away. Will the Holy Spirit be forced to leave since it is impossible for the Spirit to compromise its holiness with a life of sin, or was it never given in the first place? There are several clues in Scripture.

The apostle Paul had a dear friend named Demas. Colossians 4:14. "Our dear friend Luke, the doctor and Demas send greetings.” This verse implies that Demas was a Christian like Paul and Luke. 2nd Timothy 4:9. "Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved the world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica." Here are a few more: 2nd Timothy 1:15. "You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes." Timothy 6:10. "Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1st Timothy 5:15. "Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan." 1st Timothy 6:21. "Which some have professed and in doing so have wandered from the faith."

Here is another question: Is it possible for a person/s to live a Godly and holy life without being indwelt by the Holy Spirit? I would say yes, good fakers! Did these fakers believe at the time they possessed the Spirit? Your answer is as good as mine. With all these unanswered questions, anyone can understand why I didn’t what to write on this subject.

Now, let’s say these "brothers" were sincere in their devotion to Christ. Did their sincerity come from the Spirit or from their sinful nature? My personal opinion is that they had the Spirit and it left when their lives turned ungodly.

Now, let’s turn to modern-day Christians. There are several denominations, namely the Pentecostal, many of the Charismatic, a few Evangelicals, etc., who believe they have the Spirit. Some of them believe that is why they speak in tongues. There is Scriptural evidence that occurred when hands were laid on them. Acts 10:44-48. "`While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues [other languages] and praising God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?’ So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." Pentecostals call this being “baptized in the Holy Spirit.”

If some are not confused at this time, just wait. Did this water baptism make them disciples for life, regardless of whether some turned away from the faith? I doubt it. You see, I know/knew some people who claim to be Spirit-filled, that live/d such unworldly lives, which make speaking in tongues and being indwelt by the Holy Ghost a sham—the word “Ghost” is the word used in the old King James Bible.

Even though speaking in tongues is validated by Scripture, there is, most likely, no reason for tongues in modern Christianity. The reason I say that is because about 35 years ago, I was marginally associated with them, and when I saw how they lived, I realized speaking in tongues was fake. Here comes that tough question: What is the functional purpose for speaking in tongues in a church building or when one is alone? Quickly some will say, "Others will interpret what is being said to build up the church." Sure!

I ask, What keeps Satan from coming in and screwing up the whole process? The reason I say that is because it was reported by a creditable source, that while a person was speaking in tongues in a church building, a person from the country of Swahili was there visiting, and when the speaker was done speaking in tongues, the foreigner said that person was continually cursing God in the Swahili language. Even though that was an isolated incident, it is possible for Satan to have his way with people who claim to be possessed by God’s Spirit. They may believe, since they can speak in tongues, that they are possessed by the Holy Spirit. Then if they live in a way that displeases God, and they still can speak in tongues, they believe they still have the Spirit of God in them. In such a case, Satan, the great deceiver, is at work.

Therefore, even though I attempt to put Godly logic behind what the New Testament teaches, speaking in tongues by people who claim to be indwelt by the Holy Ghost is something which is beyond my spiritual ability to accept. Therefore, at this time I will reject that speaking in tongues is evidence that one is indwelt by the Spirit until it blends in with other Scripture in a way to help us to become the best Christians possible. Repeating, now I think you will understand why I didn’t want to write on this subject. Now comes the 64-dollar question: Under all the above questionable circumstances, how can anyone know with absolute certainty that the Holy Spirit is living in them? This is a complex question. Some will say, "I just know it in my heart." Another will say, "I believe it because I have faith in God, etc." These reasons may be true, but they all can be potentially faulty.

A better way of knowing is to follow New Testament Scripture and the requirements commanded for all Christians. In order to do that, we have to know Scripture like we know the palm of our hand. If we don’t know the ins and outs of Biblical decrees, we have to rely on what others tell us. In these circumstances, we may expose ourselves to credulity (gullibility), especially when this teaching comes from professional Christians.

If we believe we have the Holy Spirit and don’t adhere to what is commanded, it is almost a sure thing that we are being deceived. And even when we attempt to live in a way that is in accordance with the New Testament, the motive behind our actions is a determining factor. The motive must be genuine faith and Agape (Godly) love.

I am not a professional Christian. The motives of professionals, most likely, are financial—I receive no financial compensation whatsoever. For that reason, my motives to write according to God’s Word are, most likely, closer to divine truth than you would get from most Christian organizations. Therefore, when digging for what is required to make as humanly certain as possible that we have God’s Spirit, this blog will be an indispensable source. I have been diligently studying the New Testament for about 43 years, make certain that many of the ambiguities in Scripture are slanted toward becoming the very best Christians possible. That is not a heresy. Many may believe it is impossible to live as is required; therefore, God’s grace will cover that impossibility. I will continue to challenge that false belief by saying it is God’s grace that gives us the power to live as required.

Another question: Can a person have God’s Spirit without knowing it? I have to say yes. To possess that Spirit is to be in the loving control of another entity (God). He will not force anyone to do anything they disagree with, as holy as it may be. But we must remember, the reason He entered our bodies was because of our desire, which was prompted by faith in Christ and our love for God and our needy neighbors, along with our wanting to be obedient.

As previously mentioned: "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." For the life of me, I can’t see how anyone can believe, live and love as the Holy Spirit desires without His Spirit. A person can’t even fake it to a point that it won’t be made known to those who are indwelt with the wisdom of discernment. There is that much difference between what the Spirit desires and what our human nature desires.

I believe if we have a wholehearted desire to stick to the aforementioned rules of how we can know with a certain amount of confidence, concerning our status with God through Christ, we will be on the straight and narrow road to eternity. This I can say with no ambiguity: It will be the greatest challenge of our lifetime to abandon our human nature in exchange for God’s Divine nature. That change is what starts and continues to happen when God through His Spirit enters our being.

Even though I brought up many unanswered questions, as I am about to bring this post to a conclusion, I now don’t regret bringing many unanswered questions to the surface. You see, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what makes the Christian religion so special; it actually is Christ doing His work through our mortal bodies, as it says in 1st Corinthians 6:19-20. "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price." There is no other religion which can claim that God is walking this earth at this time through His Spirit-filled people. Amen!

I will continue to pray that many bloggers will take this post to heart, and desire to live in a way that will welcome the Holy Spirit into their lives; that is, if He is not already there.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

# 230: Satan Doesn't Care!

Satan is not fussy and has no guidelines for anyone to join him in his seductive work. He prides himself on religious people of any religion joining his league. They could be Buddhists, Hindus, Islamists, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Christians, atheists, Mormons, agnostics, skeptics, or whatever other types of religions and cults there are in this world.

Satan doesn’t care what type of stature or fame they have risen to in life. He especially loves to attract famous people like George W. Bush, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, and the majority of popular televangelists.

He doesn’t care if people claim to be born-again Christians, as long as they don’t obey all of the teachings of Christ.

He doesn’t care if a person was voted the most loving person in the world, as long as he/she disregards most New Testament commands.

He doesn’t care if they are affluent philanthropists like Bill Gates, as long as they are unaware of the importance of adhering to N.T. decrees.

He doesn’t care what Christian church we go to, as long as we believe we are destined for heaven, without knowing what the criteria are concerning what is commanded in Holy Scripture.

He doesn’t care if a preacher has millions watching him/her on T.B.N. while he/she rips off their hard- earned money and promises them a ten- fold return on their money, as long as they aren’t told about all the hard-edged verses that are unnatural to our sinful human nature .

He doesn’t care if people have given 10% or more of their money all their lives to their church, as long as they believe it is unnecessary to obey Christ’s commands since they are already saved Christians.

He doesn’t care how obedient people are to man-/woman-made religious rules, as long as they believe that obedience is just to gain rewards in heaven.

He doesn’t care if we give all our money to the poor and for other Godly purposes, as long as we believe it is impossible to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

He doesn’t care if we desire to be the best Christians possible, as long as we believe obedience is a trivial matter and Jesus will have to just keep forgiving us.

He doesn’t care if we appear to be the best Christian in our church, as long as we keep watching porn on the Internet.

He doesn’t care if we pray and read the Bible every day, as long we skip over the verses that command obedience to all that Jesus teaches.

He doesn’t care if the most respected Christians in the world, people like Mother Teresa or Ruth Graham, live only, as it seems, to please God, as long they continue to obey and propagate the teachings of their churches. Mother Teresa is a Catholic; that church rejects no one as long as they keeping going to church every week with money in hand; Ruth Graham, a Baptist, believes “once saved, always saved,” thus negating all or most of the verses stressing the importance of obedience till the end.

Actually, this list of excuses and alibis for ignoring the commands in the N.T. could just about be endless. Get this: For anyone who believes obedience is not an intricate part of God’s plan of Salvation, the N.T. has at the least 124 verses using the word “obey” or variations of it, including the word “disobedience.” And the Old Testament has that many, if not more. Those verses say that obedience of what is taught in the N. T. is of absolute importance.

Click on post # 215: “Obedience” to view 45 of the 124 verses which emphasize obedience and much more.

One of my biggest personal concerns is that complacency doesn’t creep into my life without my knowledge. Then, I would be doomed while still praising Jesus Christ. That is why Satan loves complacency in people who call themselves Christians; it is one of his favorite silent killers.

Never, ever forget this: Satan never gives up on anyone, regardless of how holy and saved they may be. Scriptural proof: When the devil was tempting Jesus, the devil said to Jesus in Luke 4:7, “So if you worship me, it [all the kingdoms of the world] will all be yours.” Verse 13. “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” Repeating, if Satan didn’t give up on Jesus, the holiest man that ever lived, he will never give up on the whole seven billion of us.

With this in mind, what complacency does is allow us to lower our guard. And that is when Satan comes in and has a silent feast on our souls as we keep on singing, “Everything’s going my way,” all the way to the gates of hell. Webster says this about complacency: “quiet satisfaction: self-satisfaction or smugness.” When we feel secure with our spiritual position in the arms of Christ, we must never take advantage of our security by disobedience to Christ’s teachings. The apostle Peter says this in 2nd Peter 17: “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men [who might they be?] and fall from you secure position.” This verse and many more are evidence that no one is exempt from falling away, and usually for lack of obedience because of complacency.

Though there are 12 verses warning us to be on guard at all times, I will quote just two of them. 1st Corinthians 16:13. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”

2nd Timothy 2:14. “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in you.” We never could do it alone; the Holy Spirit must continually inspire us.

Here is a down-to-earth illustration of why obedience is so important. Let’s suppose a philanthropist who owned an auto dealership gave you an expensive sports car, free of charge. Only two conditions: You must have a driver’s license and you must drive the car every day as a form of advertising, so that those who see it might ask you about it and want to buy one.

Now let's say that car is the gift of Salvation, given to us free of charge (grace). Driving that car is the way we show the love we have for the giver. Only one thing is missing: the gas to run the car. If we don’t, for whatever reason, put gas in the car, it just won’t run. And if we don’t drive the car, the wealthy auto dealer will take the car back. The only reason the car was repossessed was because we didn’t buy gas to run it, and thus show it off. That fuel is obedience. The fuel, though not mentioned in the initial agreement, was implied, although it was mentioned later that we must buy the fuel with our own money. Under those conditions, with no fuel, that car is of no use to us or the giver while it just sits in our garage, hidden from view.

In the same way, the free gift of salvation was God’s (the Spiritual Philanthropist’s) response to the faith and love we have for Him and His Son Jesus Christ, which in turn will produce obedience, which is no more than the vital evidence to God and man/woman that our belief/faith and love is genuine. Without obedience to Christ’s commands, the initial part of God’s plan for Salvation (the free gift) becomes nonexistent and worthless to God, to you and anyone else. The only way to display obedience according to N. T. Scripture is through production of holy, selfless results (good works, fruit and deeds), which are one and the same.

To learn of the many verses that expose the silence of the clergy, click on post # 142: “Conspiracy of Silence.”

Don’t let Satan trick us; he doesn’t care how holy and religious we may be, as long as we believe we are secure (unmovable) in the grace of Jesus Christ; and we should be secure in our Salvation. But with that security, we must be on guard against complacency in that security, and never, ever neglect the necessary ingredient: the fuel (obedience).

To learn more of Satan’s tricks, click on post # 227: “Exposing Satan’s Schemes.”

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In conclusion, be certain of this: Our Almighty God also never gives up on us, but is adamant, even more so than the father of lies, about lovingly coaxing us to Himself. If there is a ghost of a chance, we will become aware of our sins of neglect concerning obedience and repent; then we will have a merciful God who will forgive all our foolish mistakes and be there by our side, actually in us, to encourage and strengthen us in our endeavor to continually overpower the deceitful works of the evil one. Satan doesn’t have a chance, even with all his persistence, when we have a wholehearted desire to be obedient to Jesus Christ. Let this be our prayer, that God will bless us all with His power and love. Hallelujah!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

# 229: To Judge or Tolerate?

The liberties and equal rights given to us by our Constitution are precious. And yet there is a dark side to these wonderful rights. The result of that seemingly priceless gift is in conflict with much of what is taught in the Christian’s only instruction book, something many of us forgot: Every and any Christian teaching must come only from the original source (the New Testament).

And yet, in America and the world, we see many versions of that teaching which are in discord with what is unequivocally commanded. Since they (all unbiblical “christian” groups) have the liberty to believe as they like, who is there to stop them from calling themselves genuine Christians?

That has been the biggest failing of Christendom. Then we say to ourselves, "If they choose to believe as they do, no sweat off our backs." That type of tolerance for all types of Christian religions condones (it’s okay and acceptable by me) the evil they do, and the good they don’t do. Then you wonder why many thinking people (intellectuals, etc.) call the Christian religion and our God a lot of hogwash. And they have a right to believe that way. Deviating from obeying the actual words of Scripture by many/most “christian” groups has been the fuel needed by atheists to believe as they do. The apostle Paul writes to believers in Rome to reprimand them concerning ungodly actions: Romans 2:23. "God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles [non-believers] because of you."

Of course, no genuine Christian should or could use force to get anyone to believe as the Bible dictates. But we have an alternative: Openly rebuke them as to the error of their beliefs. 1st Timothy 5:20. "Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly so that others may take warning." Do we do that? Absolutely not. We say, "Who are we to judge?" And in its place we tolerate any belief system, insisting, “It is none of our business.” We have freedom of religion in the U.S.

Along with that, they say (according to Matthew 7:1-2), "Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Only thing is, go down to verse 5. "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." (First we must clean up our own lives, and then we will be able to judge the other person/s correctly.) This section is instructing us that we must judge others who are not living according to Christ’s commands, thus keeping the Christian religion pure and holy.

Of vital importance, our judgment must be with loving concern and compassion for the spiritual welfare of those we are critiquing, and at the same time we must welcome with open arms the judging of ourselves, if and when others see we have wavered from Scriptural truth. This type of attitude would, most likely, keep Christianity in its highest degree of purity to its original intent. Then those who don’t adhere to Biblical- based judgments should be classified by those who do as belonging to a religion other than Christianity, to their dismay.

On the other hand, tolerance—which accepts many/all beliefs and actions as acceptable even though they may be contrary to New Testament truths—is a ferocious enemy of all that is holy and true. America coddles this type of action under the guise “freedom of religion,” which our Constitution mandates.

How would Jesus Christ respond to all the false varieties of the religion which uses His name, if He was living in the 21st century? He would do just one thing and continue doing it: harshly denounce them, in no uncertain terms, as He did to the religious leaders of His day. Let’s quote just a few verses from Matthew, Chapter 23, verse 24. "You blind guides. You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel." Verse 25. ". . . but inside you are full of greed and self-indulgence.” Verse 27. "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean." Verse 28. “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." Just one more: Verse 33. “You snakes. You brood of vipers."

Also see Matthew 11:20. "Then Jesus began to denounce (judge) the cities in which most of His miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.” Verse 23. “If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day."

It is no wonder the religious leaders so desperately wanted to kill Him, and finally did. He would not and could not tolerate all the evil they were doing—mostly being hypocrites—in the name of Jehovah God.

Another thing to consider: Just about all the writers of books of the New Testament criticized/judged its readers as to correct teachings in accordance with The Father’s Will. For the most part, those holy men would/could not tolerate erroneous beliefs or actions, again, using corrective words (judgment) to counter their false beliefs and actions.

In the 21st century, the damage the Christian religion is doing now—again, not telling what needs to be told—is many times worse, since there are millions more people who call themselves Christians but are not. They believe “Once a Christian, always a Christian,” regardless of whether they obey Christ’s commands or not.

How would Christ treat the religious leaders of today who live like hypocrites by not telling their listeners the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but only what they desire to hear, which many times is personally up-building? Answer: The same way He denounced the leaders 2,000 years ago. Again, our mission as disciples of Christ is not so much personal up-building, but furthering the cause He started (making our Father known) with all our energies.

Listen to the words the risen Christ says to the churches in Revelation 2:2. "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested [judged] those who claim to be apostles but are not."

Christ speaking to the church at Thyatira: Revelation 2:20. "Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess." How many modern-day Jezebels does the "christian" church not only tolerate but embrace?

Since we are His ambassadors and disciples, we must act the same way, since Jesus Christ is, or is supposed to be, our only role model (paradigm).

Concerning 1st Corinthians 3:15: "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment." The question comes up, How can we tell a spiritual man/woman from the counterfeit? Only one way: by the type of fruit, good works or deeds one produces, thus having a wholehearted desire to obey all the commands in the New Testament, regardless of how absurd they may seem. That obedience must come from the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus, and not from just blind obedience. The only thing I would add to the aforementioned verse is this: The spiritual man/woman in all his/her purity and honesty must not only welcome, but animatedly desire, judgment/critique by others who are spiritual, since we all have the potential to be less than Christ desires.

In ending, starting 2,000 years ago, if lack of tolerance was practiced and Godly judgment was welcome as described herein, our Christian church would, most likely, be one united in faith, love and holiness. As it is, regardless of what we do at this time, the problem of favoring tolerance and not judging all who disregard what is commanded in New Testament Scripture is beyond repair. All we can do about it at this time is to point “christian” denominations, cults, etc. to the Word of God, hoping a few will realize what it means to be genuine Christians, and not to mimic the truth with just empty words of faith, love and obedience. Amen.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

# 228: A Ticket to Heaven

There is a teaching among much of mainstream Christianity which needs serious Biblical examination. The teaching is this: After our initial conversion, the good we do or don't do cannot adversely affect our eternal destiny. To believe and live that way is an extremely deadly teaching, which this Biblical post will unequivocally refute.

It concerns six words in New Testament Scripture: “prize,” “crown,” and “reward,” which essentially mean the same thing; and “works” or “good works,” “fruit,” and “deeds,” which all basically are synonymous with each other. This post will examine these words to be certain we understand them in the context in which they are used.

Kindergarten knowledge says that a person’s works, fruit and deeds are what a person’s life produces: good, evil, or doing nothing good (the omission of doing good is evil in God’s sight). The last is the most prevalent.

There are several verses in the New Testament, using the aforementioned three words, that when taken without regards to other verses using the same words, imply something totally erroneous—namely, that a person who claims to be a Christian can have a lesser place in heaven if they don’t engage in Christian-type good works, fruit or deeds. That statement is a lie. There is not one verse in the New Testament to back that false belief. And if they were actively engaging in all good works, they would receive a prize, crown or reward and thus receive a greater place in heaven. According to Scripture, this last sentence is true but somewhat misunderstood.

Mark 10:43. "Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." Also, Luke 6: 35. "But love your enemy, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High . . ." The reward spoken in this verse explicitly says greatness is the reward of becoming sons of the Most High. By the way, the word “reward” is always used in the singular, and never in the plural. What does that tell you?

Guess what the vast majority of those who believe in this way choose: to do nothing actively to promote the works of Christ and thus take a lesser place in heaven. This is one reason why most church-going, one-hour-a- week "christians" are spiritually lethargic. This type of false teaching caught on like wildfire, and has been burning out of control ever since.

There are so many verses which contradict that belief, that if all of them were mentioned, it would take 6 or more full pages and bore us all. But anyone who desires to be the best Christian possible, which should be all of us who are indwelt by God's Holy Spirit, will understand that any “do little or nothing” teaching is a gigantic heresy.

Romans 2:6-7. "God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life." In this verse the good a person does is not for rewards, a crown or a prize. Our persistence in doing good is required for eternal life, even though that good we do does not justify us, but is only proof to all that we have already been justified by Christ’s blood.

3rd John 11. "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." Again, doing good is a display of our connection with God, which all of us must actively engage in.

1st Peter 4:19. "So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their Creator and continue to do good." Again, it is necessary to do good.

1st Peter 2:12. "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." This verse says good deeds are mandatory.

James 3:17. "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is . . . full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."

1st Timothy 6:18. "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share."

2nd Timothy 3:17. ". . . so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

I believe it is evident with these 7 verses that good fruit, deeds and works are an essential part of the Christian life. There are many, many more verses—over a hundred—that essentially tell the same story.

1st Corinthians 3:8 and 3:14-15. "The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. . . .if what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escapes through the flames." These verses are a good example of what some rewards are: When someone is saved by another’s efforts, the one who is saved will be that person’s reward. Evidentially, there are heavenly rewards which are things other than just eternity with God.

Matthew 5:11-12. "Blessed are you when people insult you, and persecute you and falsely say all kind of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven. . . . " And what will be our reward in heaven? Eternal life with God and Jesus Christ.

1st Corinthians 10:27. "No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." Let us throw in a few more similar verses that Paul is talking about to be certain the prize is eternal life.

Philippians 3:14. "I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Colossians 2:18. "Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize."

Along with several more verses, the above all use the term “the prize,” which is also used to mean just one prize: eternal life.

1st Corinthians 9:18 "What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my right in preaching it." In this verse, Paul’s reward is preaching the gospel free of charge without being compensated for it.

Colossians 3:23-24. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." The inheritance is eternal life.

The following verses using the word “crown” will show that the word “crown” is an eternal blessing.

1st Corinthians 9:25. "They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." Eternity with God and Christ.

2nd Timothy 4:8. "Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

James 1:12. "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those that love him."

1st Peter 5:4. "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade."

Revelation 2:10. "Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Revelation 3:11. "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown."

In ending, this last verse will summarize the controversy between being slackers, which is in contrast to being like those who make every effort and do all in their power to live as is required in New Testament Scripture. And when we believe we are doing everything possible, there is still room for more. There is no ceiling to doing good works, deeds and producing good fruit.

Never forget, as previously mentioned, that all this good we do is no more than evidence that we believe Christ as our Lord and Savior, love God and our fellow man/woman, and obey all Christ’s commands, and not for justification. We continually do all this good because we have already received God’s free gift of grace: eternal life. As Christ said in Luke 13:24, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, [slackers], I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." Living the Christian life could not be made more obvious. Everyone has to decide for themselves if the words in this post are true and correct. If anyone believes Scripture says otherwise, please let us know.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

# 227: Exposing Satan's Schemes

# 227: Exposing Satan's Schemes This subject is rather lengthy; although it is one I really don’t care to write about, it is essential that we all know the subtle ways the evil one gets us on his side, most often without our knowledge. The reason we are prone to believing his deceptive ways is because his evil nature and our sinful nature are one and the same. That fact in itself is frightening. Therefore, when we do what comes naturally (feels good), many times, it’s playing into the devil’s hands.

For that reason, the father of lies doesn’t care one bit when we believe in Christ and God or if we claim we are Genuine Christians, as long we continually and actively participate in worldly activities and all the fun things this world offers. Though there are many activities, the majority of us are addicted to entertainment of all sorts, professional sports, and indulging in too much and the wrong type of food that our bodies must put up with, etc. These are just a few of Satan’s favorite schemes which we have a difficult time living without. In essence, they are no more than distractions to keep our minds off of the things of God.

I am certain some will say, "If that is the case, then living the Christian life is a full- blown ‘kill-joy.’" Just remember what the word “ungodly” means: not godly or religious; impious. And impious means: lacking reverence for God. How many things do we do in the course of the day that have absolutely nothing to do with God? Other than the things that are absolutely essential (the things we must do to sustain life), most other activities—if they have nothing to do with God—are ungodly. They are the things we do which divert our attention from a Godly life. And if we are mingling our lives with ungodly activities, although they may not seem sinful in themselves, we, without knowing it, are playing with Satan’s fire.

This teaching is somewhat new to this author. That means to conform, I must do away with a few of the activities I now enjoy, meaning I will have more time to engage in things that bring glory to God.

You see, Christ said, "A little yeast works through the whole dough." Get a fruit or vegetable that has a little rotten spot on it and in a short time the whole fruit will be consumed with rot. That little rotten spot looks harmless, but if left unchecked, that is when it does its dirty work.

Of course, our activities which have absolutely nothing to do with Christ’s holiness are more than a small rotten spot. Many who believe they are Christians are consumed with many, many activities that are ungodly and sinful for the simple reason that God is not included in those particular activities. And the devil is the one who is shrewdly and surreptitiously behind this sort of life.

Another thing to remember: That invisible tyrant who loves to make his abode in our physical body is more intelligent—in an evil way—than any other being, physical or spiritual. The only possible way we can outsmart him is to stick close to God by obedience to all that He commands. In other words, if our belief in God does not coincide with how we live, our faith in Christ is in vain. The holiness we model in life (our fruit) is the only thing that will verify our words of faith. Luke 6:44. "Each tree is recognized by its own fruit."

Satan plays both sides of the fence. If he can’t inspire us to live in a worldly way to get us to do things that please him, he will allow pain, sorrow, trouble, hardships, etc. to come our way. Then we may get fed up with life in despair and say to ourselves, "This Christian life is for the birds," and leave God altogether, and go the way of the world. James 4:4: "Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."

The list is endless in the ways he can trick Christians into living in ways that please him. The sad part is that many times it is without our knowledge. The reason is that he can transform himself into an angel of light . 2nd Corinthians 11:14. "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." How, then, can we distinguish the difference between the good and the bad, since Satan is such a great imposter? Only one way: become familiar with the ways of God and Christ by reading His Word every day and then putting them into practice.

It is impossible for evil to flourish or even get a foothold in our lives when we continually live with an active desire to be the very best Christians possible, as described in the New Testament. Any less will always leave room for the great deceiver to silently and insidiously worm his way into our Christian lives, making our faith and connection with Christ null and void. This type of teaching will not be accepted by all since there is nothing easy about it; it needs constant dedication and vigilance. It may mean a drastic life-change for some who already believe they are living holy lives. Only thing, a life is holy when that life is permeated through and through with the holy life of Jesus Christ. Satan detests this sort of stuff being revealed about his tactics.

Another way that evil brute wins over atheists and Christians alike is to get them to believe he is not a real entity but a representation of evil, and therefore, doesn’t really exist. He loves to constantly whisper in our ear that “the evil—which we shouldn’t call ‘evil’—we engage in is just the working of our selfish nature; that’s the way we humans are." And it is; only thing is, our selfish nature is inspired by him.

Here is another one of his ploys: Other than in rare and isolated cases, he wants everyone to think of him as a wicked-looking creature with horns and a pitchfork in his hands. That is the farthest from the truth. He wants us to enjoy ourselves when we are doing things that are not acceptable by God, which, without our knowledge, is the omission of doing what is right and replacing it with what is enjoyable. The song by Debbie Boone goes this way: "How can it be wrong when it feels so right?" Moses’ inspirations are quoted in Hebrews 11:15. "He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." Yes, most sins do feel good at the time, and the more we do them, the easier and more natural they become.

This is his most hidden secret of all: That devil doesn’t want anyone to know how powerful he is in getting the vast majority of humanity to do things his way. His tremendous power is made into child’s play when we believe, love God/neighbor, and obey all that God commands in the Bible. Therefore, we who are genuine disciples of Christ have no reason to fear Satan; the one we must fear is God alone. Luke 12:4-5. "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those [evil humans] who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: fear him [God], who after killing the body, has the power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." Nowhere in Scripture, to my knowledge, does it say Christians should fear Satan. But if we are doing things our own way, which may not seem all that bad, we better fear that evil creature because of what he has planned for us: an eternal furnace.

A group of evil critters we don’t hear much about in our modern times are demons. They are the devil’s work force. A better way of classifying them is to call them evil spirits. They secretly indwell only those who don’t belong to God through Christ. If one believes he/she is in dwelled by evil, the solution is found in James 4:8-9. "Submit yourself, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Peter has good advice (commands) also in 1 Peter 5:8. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in the faith . . ."

Even though Christians shouldn’t fear the devil, we must at all times be aware that he is waiting for us to slip up. And if that slipup in time becomes an addiction, Satan can remove us from our secure position. It can happen, and that slipup may be only a trivial matter at the time, which can grow into a serious violation. Result: Satan has us in his grips without our knowledge, since we believe we are safe and secure in the arms of Jesus. And the devil wants us to continue to believe we are still Christians. In this situation, God is powerless to help us without our own effort. Even though God is Almighty, he does not and cannot use magic.

Remember, sin is what keeps us from God. 1 John 3:9-10. "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." This next verse is extremely important. "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." This is the New Testament (God) speaking, not this author.

Satan gets his power from us being unaware of how he is continually looking over our shoulder, as it were, through his evil spirits. For that reason, we must be conscious that the whole world is full of sin, and that prevalent attitude could overwhelm us by its sheer size—we become like those we gaze at. In short, initially becoming a Christian is no challenge, just accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior; but to continue in Christianity, we must make every effort to keep in the grace of God by avoiding all kinds of sins (evil), especially those that don’t seem as if they are sin, like mediocrity in spiritual matters.

I am thankful the devil does not know the complete future. I mean, he doesn’t know who will remain in his custody, who will desert him for Christ, and who he can continually trick into joining and remaining in his spell, thus joining forces with the remainder of his intellectuals, along with the unschooled and unbelieving idiots.

Here is something that should have all of us shaking in our boots: He knows our every weakness/es. These are the areas where he will continue to badger us. When they are weaknesses which pertain to spiritual matters, as the song says, ". . . round and round I go, down and down I go, I am in a spell, I love the spell that I am in, under that old black magic called love," then we will be exploited in areas of weaknesses in the things we love. This is bad news. Our only defense is to draw close to God by obedience, and He will draw close to us. All our follies are derived from our disobedience to the very commands that are for our benefit and protection.

By now, some of you already guessed who the devil’s most prolific advocate is when it comes to Biblical teaching: much of organized religion, especially Catholicism, which can’t even be classified as a Christian religion. Next in line, most certainly, are the Baptists. And the champion of Baptist teachings has been Billy Graham for the last 50 years or so. They teach that once a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they cannot lose their Salvation (once saved, always saved). Many of the remaining denominations follow close behind. The reason many of them are condemned by New Testament Scripture is because of what they don’t teach, which this blog brings out in the open.

A lawyer friend of mine taught me a great lesson some years ago: “The devil is in the details.” This is what he meant: In most legal contracts, "The big print giveth and the fine print taketh away." Lawyers are taught to make the language in the fine print of a contract so obscure (legal mumbo-jumbo) that even a seasoned judge has a difficult time figuring out that the fine print is taking away all that the big print giveth. They are taught to take away, with complex legal terms, what was given in the big print.

We know that Almighty God is infinitely more powerful than Satan, but as almighty as He is, it is impossible for God to bend holy rules by violating His divine nature and exerting His mighty power (grace and mercy) on our behalf when we do not actively desire to live as His Holy Book clearly displays "in fine print," if you will.

The same is true with Satan. He wants us to believe all the good and easy things the Bible offers (the passive part of Christianity) and then make them invalid by inspiring us to ignore, either knowingly or unknowingly, the fine print (the requirements that are not pleasant and contrary to our sinful nature)—the term “sinful nature” is used 16 times in the New Testament. That chief of demons performs this deadly deception, mostly through clergymen/women who desire large numbers in their churches, and then they believe God is blessing them with such great numbers. They should remember that Satan counts his cohorts, while God weighs His holy disciples, for their faith, love and obedience.

There are over half a dozen verses in the New Testament saying God’s people will be filled with the Holy Spirit. The word “filled” implies that a person can have less than the filling of the Holy Spirit. This says when a person leaves even a little room in the area where the Holy Spirit resides, that evil scoundrel can come in and attempt to inspire us with evil that sounds good—isn’t that what is happening in the world today? Namely, what was called evil just a few decades ago is now called acceptable, good and even desirable. When that Holy Spirit area is filled, Satan cannot even squeeze a toenail into that area which belongs exclusively to God. This is how we can be certain we are filled with God’s Spirit: Read and obey post # 225: "Be Like Jesus?" And put into practice what it teaches, regardless of how impossible it may seem to the human mind. And God and this author guarantee that we will have a full measure of the Holy Spirit, to the point the devil can’t inspire us with his lovely shenanigans.

Just as God is omnipresent, the spirit of Satan is also ubiquitous. Just to think we can move to a better location where evil is not so prevalent (and therefore, escape Satan’s evil works), we are only kidding ourselves. He will be right there waiting for us. Much of the evil he inspires is not blatant offenses against civil laws, but candy-coated evil, which most do not classify as wrongdoings; things like lack of love for neighbor and no visible love for God. Remember, the genuine Christian life is a life of active love. Without that love, regardless of how good a Christian may seem, they are in the clutches of the one responsible for this planet in rebellion.

Humanity is weakest when it comes to obedience in how the New Testament views material wealth and prosperity. For that reason, Lucifer makes a massive killing on this weakness of ours. I won’t say much on this subject since post # 175 and # 153 are quite descriptive in telling the dangers of wealth. God favors the weak, poor and most of the dregs of humanity to be His people since they have a genuine need for what Christ offers. When it comes to the wealthy who claim to be Christians, their wealth will condemn them, with one exception: When the wealthy decide to accept Christ as their Savior, they must be generous and willing to share with those without. Check 1st Timothy 6:17-18. The reason for that is: How can a rich person have love for the less fortunate without helping them? And there are more needy in the world than any one person’s money can ever eradicate. Does anyone truly understand what this last sentence means?

This command is and may always be the most difficult for the majority of people who claim to be genuine Christians to believe and obey. The goal in the Christian community is equality. Check 2nd Corinthians 8:13. To put it another way, how can we have our treasures (wealth) on earth, which always says, "More," and at the same time have treasures in heaven, which always says, "Give"? They will be in competition/conflict with each other, and the winner will always be the most tangible.

For that reason, Satan has a bonanza when it comes to convincing us that wealth is okay to have; he says, "Look at all the help wealthy Christians can give to many ‘christian’ causes. Therefore, the wealthier they become, the more help they can give." To our human nature, that is the most convincing argument of all his lies, which the principles of Scriptural love refute.

In ending, I am certain Satan, the king of all who are/do evil (nonbelievers) has many more truly deceptive schemes in which to trip us up than this post reveals or anyone can ever imagine. And I am sure those gimmicks are of a subtle sort, not able to be recognized for the lovely evils he diligently shrouds. Deception is his trademark. When people are being deceived, they will be the last, if ever, to know they are being deceived. Are you and I in that category?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

# 226: The Most Rampant Lifestyle?

We don’t very often hear it mentioned in the negative, or accuse anyone, at least in public or to a person’s face. It has been mentioned in this blog numerous times, but since it is one of our most natural inclinations, it would be worthwhile for all of us to be confronted again about its deadly outcome. The reason we don’t hear it often mentioned is because it has been given so many positive disguises/attractive euphuisms. In fact, it, most likely, is an intricate part of our human makeup, and was necessary for our survival when we were no more than cavemen/women. It is mentioned frequently in Scripture but avoided like a plague as a teaching by "holy" clerics.

It is a common word known as GREED. Webster defines greed as: "excessive desire for getting or having, esp. wealth; desire for more than one needs or deserves."

Greedy: "wanting or taking all that one can get, with no thought of others’ needs; desiring more than one needs or deserves."

Let us attempt to understand where greed comes from and why it is so prevalent. I am certain there are many answers as to why greed is the “in thing” in this modern world. Let us examine a few. The main reason is because greed and wealth—which are usually close partners—are thought of as being synonymous with wisdom and intelligence. Who doesn’t want to be wealthy as a display of their smarts? Only a fool would say, "not me." Wasn’t it the wise man of his time, Benjamin Franklin, who said we should seek to be “healthy, wealthy and wise”? Isn’t that what all the world is seeking? Isn’t that why most high school students are encouraged to go to college? Are there many, if any, who don’t desire to enjoy an easy life? This list can be endless. The only thing is, wealth, an easy life, the good life, and freedom from want may lead to a path of greediness, with no thought of others’ needs.

It is totally natural to desire security from want and hard times. Only thing, there is a fine line between having our needs met and greed. Saving for a rainy day is one form of greed. Our silence in not exposing how we really feel about others (“Hurray for me and boo for you”) is another form of greed. No matter how we live, greed is constantly beckoning us to come to the best and biggest party in town.

There are several degrees of greed: small-time, big-time and in- between. The majority of us are small-time, while the big-time are the wealthy and the super-wealthy; either way, it is all greed. I am certain the vast majority of us who claim to be Christians would deny that we are greedy. But if we truly and honestly examine our deepest inward desire, which is next to impossible, we would see greed in every corner of our lives. That is the way we humans are. Some wealthy "christians" may even make the pretense of being generous (philanthropists) by giving to the needy and worthwhile charities to make themselves believe they are not greedy. But most often, at the end of the day, the one who inspires greed will outsmart them.

One reason greed has gotten the best of many Christians is because it seems every other church, especially Evangelicals and conservative Christians, are preaching a message of prosperity (material and financial). What these people have done is to circumvent the word “greed” by giving it many appealing and enticing euphemisms. The apostle Paul puts it this way:

1 Thessalonians 2:5-6. "You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up (disguise) greed—God is our witness." Paul is saying it also is easy to flatter people with pleasant-sounding words. That is the major type of message preached in many churches.

Christ-like prosperity—which is a holy form of poverty—is what we must be striving for: where we store our riches as treasures in heaven. James 2:5. "Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"

What much of clergy has done is to combine the worldly and spiritual prosperity into one. Why should the parishioners not believe their honest and loving pastors? They tell it just like it is! Sure they do! Ha-ha. The gospel the majority preach is a gospel of greed, in the name of Jesus Christ. How many Evangelicals would openly admit they are greedy? I can speak for them since I have been associated with them in the past; the answer is not one.

I believe it is only natural for atheists to be greedy; since they are not under Christ’s law, greed cannot condemn them since they are already condemned by unbelief in Christ as Lord and Savior of life. Why shouldn’t they be greedy? John 3:36. ". . . but who rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him." They make their own rules. The reason I am saying this is because this post is not aimed at them, but only at those who claim to be genuine Christians.

The problem originates when some ungodly action that doesn’t seem ungodly—and there are multitudes—is not classified as sin; that is when it becomes widespread and deadly; repeating, for the simple reason that it doesn’t look as if it is a transgression against Christ’s law. Greed fits into this category with flying colors.

Then we have to ask, Why are we greedy? Other than being a large part of our sinful nature, it displays our spiritual emptiness. The more we are filled with the security and works of the Holy Spirit, which are goodness, love, obedience, etc., the less we will have the need to accumulate worldly wealth for whatever reason.

Greed by itself is sinful, violating the command "Love your neighbor as yourself," making a person parsimoniously stingy. But the greatest harm is that it can cause people to become silently proud and secretively boastful. This is where God’s jealously is revealed. All our pride and boasting must go to God. Who is greater than Him? Greed can, in one way or another, make people wealthy. And it is the wealthy who rule the world, which belongs to the Lord. And they rule it so they can become even wealthier, while ignoring the downtrodden and common people. It gives them a posture of success and influence. That is another reason God draws lowly, weak, poor and despised people to believe, love and obey Him. Listen to this rather lengthy piece of Scripture that many have never heard of or have simply ignored:

1st Corinthians 1:27-29. "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." This type of thinking does not sit well with modern Christianity. This is the category this author fits into.

Other than for the reason to save for a rainy day, the reasons for greed are wanting to be looked at as a success in life, and most often wealth makes people demand respect and honor. When people who claim to be "christians" are claiming success because of all they have accumulated, they become pillars in their community and are looked up to by many and possibly even the whole country. Thus, they become models for other wannabe wealthy (greedy) Christians. That is one of the main reasons why God condemns greed, other than not sharing one’s good fortunes with others in need. In stronger words, how can one have love for the less fortunate (love your neighbor as yourself), repeating, which is the second greatest command, and be greedy, regardless of what euphemism one uses to describe it? They are in total conflict with love for our neighbor. It can be said that even an active desire to want more than one needs (attempting to grasp greed by the throat) may lead to destruction.

I am certain there are many reasons for greed, again, which are not called greed, but are the pleasant trappings of our “me-first” culture. When we get caught in greed’s grip, it is not very easy to be freed. Greed is addicting; the more one has, the more one wants. In fact, it might be impossible to escape from.

Since many Christians may not be aware of the fact that greed is condemned by God, let's bring out what is said in the Word of God. Isaiah 57:17. "I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his sinful ways."

Matthew 23:25: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."

Mark 7:21-22: "For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly." Did you notice how greed was compared with many other grievous sins?

Luke 11:39-41 is similar to Matthew 23:25, but adds a little more . "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. . . . but give what is inside the [dish] to the poor, and everything will be clean for you."

Luke 12:15. "Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’"

Romans 1:29. "They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity."

Ephesians 5:3. "But among you there must not be a even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people."

Colossians 3:5. "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."

2 Peter 2:3. "In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up."

2 Peter 2:14. "With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed."

1 Corinthians 5:11. "But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother [Christian] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler." This is a tough one.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10. "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

1 Peter 5:2. "Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; . . ."

Enough is enough; even though there are many more verses in the Old Testament, I believe you get the message on greed as God and Christ see it, and how we must view it.

In conclusion, a few ending thoughts: The question remains, How could Christianity have gotten so far off the mark from what is commanded in the Holy Christian Bible? Are we too far gone to the point where we can never conform to the principle of actual love for God and our fellow man/woman? I hope and pray not. Please remember this: Any form of greed contradicts any and all types of genuine love, except the love we have in word alone. And with all the desperate needs in this world, what right do we as American Christians have to possess more than our immediate needs? It is no wonder why many other religions and atheists can see through our hypocritical ways. They have good reasons not to join in our self-centered way of life. And one thing that could help us to get on the right track is to somehow recognize our greed as the sin that can send us to the place where God does not exist, and PRAY that God gives us an active desire to do something about it. If we desire to be with Almighty God and Jesus Christ for eternity, we must not believe what the majority of churches are teaching or not teaching, and conform to God’s way while in this life, regardless of how ridiculous His ways may seem to the unregenerate. God’s ways are also openly revealed in this blog. If this post is wrong or exaggerating any part of greed, please leave a comment.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

# 225: Be Like Jesus?

We sing, "Be like Jesus is my song." To be Biblically correct, that song should go this way: "Be like Jesus is my life." I am certain many have wondered what Jesus Christ would teach if He came to earth for the second time in human form in this 21st century—even though we know His actual second coming will be at the end of time—with superhuman power to reward His chosen and condemn those who did not believe and obey the gospel. But let’s just suppose this premature coming of Christ would be advantageous for His cause to straighten up a few of the mis-beliefs being practiced by 21st-century Christians.

Jesus Christ did come back to earth as a human through the lives of His followers. Colossians 1:27. "To them [saints] God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is CHRIST IN YOU the hope of glory." [Emphasis added]. John 14:17. "But you know him, for he lives with you and will be/is in you." Yes, Christ is back on earth in the lives of His genuine followers. That is a somber truth that should shape how we live. Since Christ is living His holy life through our physical bodies, we must conform how we live as if Jesus Christ, not ourselves, was actually living again. Are we who call ourselves Christians living in that manner? It is sad to say, but the answer is no, not many. Why not?

You see, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. Therefore, perfection must be our constant goal. Whether we believe it or not, we live in a realm of perfection. You may ask, "How so?" Answer: Luke 17: 20. "The kingdom of God does not come visibly, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you." The kingdom of God is where perfection exists. If that is so, we are living as if perfection is the core of our lives.

Why don’t we hear this call for perfection from the pulpit? Response: Some will say, "You must be kidding. How can we be like Jesus, since He lived the perfect life?” Others will say, "Regardless of what scripture commands, that bar for perfection is unreachable for the Christian community." Regardless of what we believe, this is what the New Testament commands with the following verses:

Matthew 5:48. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

2nd Corinthians 13:11. "Finally, brothers, goodbye. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal . . ."

2nd Corinthians 7:1. "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

2nd Corinthians 13:9. ". . . our prayer is for your perfection."

Hebrews 10:14. "Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."

You see, since we have been made perfect by the sacrifice of Christ, now we have the perfect incentive to put into action what was freely given to us. It is like someone giving us a billion dollars; and if we actually believed it, then and only then would we start to spend that money. The perfection which was given to us by Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross is synonymous with all that money. The only way we wouldn’t start to live in that realm of perfection is if we didn’t believe we were made holy. Webster’s dictionary describes holy as: "spiritually perfect or pure." When people believe they were made holy and perfect but don’t desire to live a holy life, they would be classified as hypocrites—the greatest enemies of God. Yes, even worse than ungodly atheists.

The following verses are commands which imply/infer that we must/can now live like Jesus.

1st John 2:6. "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus walked."

Ephesians 5:1. "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love . . ."

Philippians 2:5. "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."

1st Thessalonians 1: 6. "You became imitators of us [Paul and other saints] and of the Lord in spite of severe suffering . . ."

2nd Thessalonians 3:9. ". . . but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow."

2nd Thessalonians 3:7. The apostle Paul speaking: "For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example."

1st Peter 1:16. "For it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’"

1st Corinthians 11:1. The apostle Paul speaking: "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ."

John 13:15. Jesus speaking: "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."

Philippians 3:17. "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you."

1st Peter 2:21. "To this we were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his footsteps."

2nd Peter 3:14. ". . . make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."

Colossians 1:28. ". . . so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ."

Matthew 19:21. "Jesus, answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.’"

1st John 3:2-3. "But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

Galatians 4:19. "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you."

As any fool can tell, there is overwhelming evidence that we are to "be like Jesus." When we have an all-consuming faith and desire to live in that fashion, it can be said that we are living and heading toward perfection, becoming more Christ-like every day.

There are many different categorizes of people on this earth. The majority are “run-of–the-mill” types, just settling for whatever comes along. Then there are the mediocre. They settle for just getting by in life. Then there are those who will settle for nothing but the best. This type of lifestyle requires much effort. The best of anything doesn’t come easy. If they are not genuine Christians, they will become famous in one way or another by their achievements.

This may be the main reason there are thousands of different types of Christians. The entire Bible is written by fallible humans—though the author is God—in such a way that most of us have a different picture of what the Bible is all about. I believe a perfect God can take advantage of human frailties that pop up mostly throughout the New Testament. That said, almost anyone can make the Bible say what they want by picking and choosing only the verses that fit their human makeup. For God, that is no problem. There are many verses that, when over emphasized, ignored or misunderstood, will become more than enough rope, if you will, for all "christian" heretics to hang themselves.

Christianity can be summarized with these words: The first and all- important area is having faith in all that Christ did to purchase our Salvation (the new birth). If that faith does not produce love for God, Christ and our fellow man/woman, along with obedience to all Biblical commands, that faith in Christ as Lord and Savior does not exist except as a form of worthless words.

The Christian life is the most complex and demanding life in existence. There isn’t much that is easy when living as God dictates. The reason is because authentic Christians are sharers of the life of Christ/God. 2nd Peter 1:4 "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." The Godly life is not only something to learn about, but it is a continual “in-the-first-person” experience. If it is not being experienced, it is not Christianity. And a person knows with certainty that they are experiencing the life of God if their desires and actions are Christ-like. Romans 8:9. "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."

Since this is a Biblical blog, we have to make certain we are including all verses in the Christian Bible pertaining to the subject at hand. In other words, we are condensing all the information on this subject from the 26 books of the New Testament into one short post. When this subject of “be like Jesus” is omitted or underemphasized by any Christian organization, you can be sure those church leaders are propagating a deadly heresy. That is the reason we must become familiar with all the different aspects of living the Christian life, and there are many. Lack of understanding, disobeying, or avoiding just one segment can create a slippery slope ending in the arms of the great deceiver.

Putting together this Biblical blog has become an astronomical, life-or- death responsibility for this author. Believe me: This blog, as you can tell, is not being written to pamper the readers by telling them what they want to hear. The professional clergy does more than enough of that.

Many Bible truths, which this blog brings to the surface, are hard, if not seemingly impossible, to put into practice. Those who are offended and think that these somewhat sarcastic/caustic words are the work of a disgruntled lunatic should compare your lives with the New Testament. If your lives are not in unison with the written Word of God, then you have the right to believe as you do, and eventually pay the price with the possible destruction of your souls.

Finally, “be like Jesus” is the foundation holding up the holiness and perfection of Christianity. The only thing is, Who’s making every effort to live a holy life? Modern Christianity has been made into this mediocre saying: "I have been saved years ago, and therefore have been a Christian for many years, so leave me alone with all this talk about living a life that is on the path to perfection."

Yes, the "religious" have made the most precious and important aspect of life into a formality of going to church on Sunday and being "good" the rest of the week, if even that. This fact says that Satan, the father of lies, has won the battle for human souls, except for a very few dedicated followers who desire with all their heart, soul, mind and strength to “be like Jesus.” No easy task.

The epilogue of this post is this: When anyone is about to do or avoid doing anything, be it good or bad, we must ask ourselves, Would Jesus Christ be doing this or that? Would He avoid doing this or that? If we truly know Him, love Him and obey His commands, we cannot “be like Jesus” without doing what He would and would not do. These are tough but necessary words, which is the highest form of Christianity. Jesus Christ had to live it. We must emulate it. Will you and I conform to such a rigorous standard? It is possible, but never will it come naturally and never will it be easy. “Be like Jesus”’ is the backbone of genuine Christ-like Christianity (becoming the best Christians possible). This is a far cry from what the majority of organized religions have been, and still are, preaching. Why is that?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

# 224: Spiritual Substance

This post is extremely short and to the point. As we understand the word “substance,” it is something real. Basic matter is real. Substance has solid qualities. That would seem to disqualify anything that is spiritual as having substance. Not so. The best example of spiritual substance is the God who made the universe out of nothing physical (spiritual substance). That is the Almighty God many of us put our faith in. Of course, atheists, etc. believe life ends when we die; they believe genuine Christians are having delusions. If they only knew what they are missing out on: life at its best.

Also, good evidence of spiritual substance is our thinking process. Although our ability to think in cognitive ways originates in our mind, thoughts and memory, etc. are the workings of a physical instrument which encases the mind, our brain. A better definition of the mind: thoughts, perception, feels, wills, intellect and the seat of our consciousness. None of these attributes are physical. Therefore, the workings of the mind are spiritual, yet they all exist. What I am attempting to say is that invisible attributes do exist which have spiritual substance.

Another aspect of the spiritual realm is sin. What is sin? A condition of being guilty of continued offenses against God, religion or good morals. Sinners may forget or not be aware of their sins. People may be forgiven of their sins by the one offended, and yet those sins are spiritual stuff that does not go away. Therefore, at death, the sins we committed—whether they are forgiven or not by God or man/woman—still cling to the sinners (complete and detailed files compilied on every individual that always did and always will exist). They are in the hands of the creator, God Almighty. We will all be judged according to what those files tell the Judge on the last day, the judgment day.

All the good a person does is also spiritual substance. Whatever good Christians have done, which is also part of the spirit world attributed to the Holy Spirit, even if forgotten, at death, they still cannot be taken from our files. As it says in Galatians 5:22, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." ------ All of these are evidence of our love, belief and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. These virtues are all part of the spirit world, which display themselves with action. This is also the place where God and all His angels abide, along with Satan and his evil angels. Ephesians 6:12. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

All that has ever been done or thought of since the beginning of time is recorded in the spirit realm for eternity. No one can keep any secrets from this Godly spirit world. Therefore, if you desire to please God and be obedient to His will, before you think of or do anything that is contrary to what is good and holy, think again. It is being recorded verbatim for all to see when the time comes.

Now the question comes up: What is going to happen to the sins of those who belong to God and will live for eternity? This is the wonderful part of God’s plan. There is a way to remove the wrongdoings of God’s saints. All the sins of genuine believers were taken by Jesus Christ and became a part of Him. For our sins, He was killed and sent to a spiritual prison in hell. 1st Peter 3:18-20. But because of His perfection, that eternal death could not hold Him. He had to be freed; death had no power over a sinless person. [Paraphrased]. That was the only way to obliterate our sins for all eternity.

A nice part of being freed from our sins is that we will never be reminded of them, since they won’t exist anymore. We will be in that spiritual place we have been longing for: God’s presence, where even the thought of sins is eradicated. We will be given spiritual amnesia concerning the evil that was so prevalent on this earth.

As you can tell, the spirit world of God is eternal and invisible, which we cannot see with our earthly eyes, and is made up of invisible substance, while the physical world is inferior and temporal. Scripture is silent, to a large degree, as to the spirit world, other than calling it heaven. The little we may have learned from this post can help us to realize that even though we are continually surrounded by the physical world, it should not be the primary realm of importance for us to strive for. We worship a God who is invisible; therefore, let us dwell, pray and meditate on things that will make the invisible substance as real—which it is—as the material world. I am sure there is so much more to the spirit world which is not mentioned in this post. But possibly this post may give us food for thought and action.

In ending, when it comes to what does and doesn’t have substance, physical substance—with which we are well acquainted—will be abolished and everything will be made new. Revelation 21:5. "He who sits on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’" That “new”’ stuff is made of spiritual matter, our new home, and will be with us forever. Amen.

This next paragraph is taken verbatim from post # 210: "Forty Interesting and Shocking Notes." I thought it would add a few thoughts to spiritual matters.

42) Thoughts are a critical component of God’s invisible realm. They have an extremely long shelf life, till the end of time (judgment day). They just hang around waiting to manifest themselves, by making their home in receptive individuals. For that reason, whatever we wish on others will in time come full-circle and we will pay the price/receive the benefits—good or bad—when what we secretly wished on others ends up in our lives. Galatians 6:7. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." Actually, this is a universal law. For that reason, and for love’s sake, we should wish good things on all other people, if possible, even our enemies. That also is a variation of this principle: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If we love, we will be loved, if not by humans, by God. This is something to remember: Once a thought is manifested, try to destroy it. It can’t be done! (I didn’t say to forget it.) Have we ever wondered why a certain disagreeable or blessed event may have happened to us? Think back; most likely, we wished that same thing/s on a certain person or persons, possibly years ago. This principle is for real; believe it.