Wednesday, January 31, 2007

# 186: The State of America

President Bush gave his State of the Union presentation on January 23, 2007. The next day, on the national news, Brian Williams, NBC news anchor, said that all the combined viewers of NBC, CBS and ABC watching the President’s message did not equal the viewers of “American Idol.” That vividly tells what the state of the union really is. [That is not a verbatim quote].

The $64,000 question: What is happening in America to cause this shocking trend? Which is to say, why is “American Idol” of greater importance to that many Americans than what Bush had to say about the condition of our country? No doubt there are many answers, but is there one theme under which all these different answers could go under?

I believe most people, even if many of them might have been the younger generation, would rather watch “American Idol”; they knew just about what was going to be said by Bush and they just didn’t want to hear it; he was going to attempt to cover his tush concerning the Iraq war and distract the viewers’ attention by telling us what a great, strong and wonderful country we live in, and by talking about a lot of other major concerns that he would fix in the next two years, such as Medicare, Social Security, the environment and rising healthcare costs. Ha!

The biggest problem with this country is that we have Bush as president. I have heard it said several times, and I truly believe it, that Bush has personally done more harm to this great country than any other president or any other action we have ever taken. In fact, I believe he is the worst president we have ever elected, even worse that Nixon, Clinton, etc. Many people won’t say it in so many words, but his miserable approval rating says it for them.

As I have already written several times in other posts, the one thing that enrages me is that this Bush claims to be a born-again Christian; also, that he has the backing of many naive/gullible “evangelicals.” Bush’s religious actions are the greatest crimes that can be committed against our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is a lover; for that reason, He preached love for neighbor and even our enemies. That is the example every disciple of His must follow. Could you see Jesus Christ sending America to fight any war, let alone a war that really was none of our personal business? What does that do to the rest of us who are genuine born-again disciples? He has dragged us so low into the mire of disgust in the eyes of nonbelievers and other religions that the image of Christ may never recover, not to mention the reputation of America.

What is most important to Bush is his legacy, not taking the right action to get our boys and girls out as soon as possible from getting killed in a civil war which has little or nothing to do with us except our occupation of Iraq. It was a super gigantic mistake, to say the least, to start an unnecessary and nonsensical war, and now he wants to somehow convert his stupid blunder into a win. Never! Logic says it is impossible to take a gigantic wrong and turn it into something good.

Now, apart from Bush’s blunder and back to the condition of America and the reason for it . . . The downhill slide of this great country—my country—gained footing between late 1941 and 1945; that was during the 2nd World War. In order to help win this war on two fronts, we drafted just about every male 18 years or older. We amassed an army of several million. With many men and young men away from home, the only possible way we could build the weapons of war for the Allies and ourselves was to somehow entice women to do the work of the missing men.

Now, for the first time in American history, women were working in three shifts alongside men. Almost anyone can guess the outcome: These hard-working women, without their men to comfort them and share a place in their bedroom, naturally got lonely. These mothers, wives and single women became easy prey for any man who wasn’t drafted; that was a great opportunity to take advantage of their female coworkers' vulnerability. This is the first time in American history that marital unfaithfulness accelerated in gigantic proportions. And you can imagine the repercussions when the husbands, boyfriends, etc. came home.

Now back to 2007. The one theme that runs America, with the world following, is money, sex and the desire for fame. Also, an excellent barometer of what America is all about is what type of programming is the most popular on television and the silver screen. From a Godly perspective, with TV and movies as indicators, a large portion of the population in America is emerged in a demonic course. Even much programming on public television is less than conducive to the up-building of moral character.

Another factor is the insipid way the organized Christian religion is presented; one does not have to be even a baby Einstein to know it is not for real. The younger generation can see through the falsehood of what churches are presenting, and what they are all about: $$$. So where do they go in an attempt to find meaning in life? Of course, to the most available source: the fantasy (make-believe) world of television, movies, DVDs, video games, etc.

Another factor that has and will continue to drag America into the pits of hell is how sex is presented, to the point where sexual intercourse is a normal thing for young unmarried boys and girls to engage in. They say, “To keep one’s virginity until marriage is old-fashioned.” The truth is, many girls don’t intend to get married until later in life or not at all. They say, “Why should we abstain from one of life’s great pleasures? Just because Mother or the Bible says so?”

When the young, not to exclude adults, are involved in sex apart from marriage, that is bad enough in itself, but there comes with that casual, promiscuous action which is without plan or purpose) more destructive consequences that make it much more grievous: marital problems when getting married, addiction to sex, sexually transmitted disease, drugs, alcohol, crime, disregard for many laws in later life, and much, much more.

This is the part that makes it unstoppable: It is acceptable and given the okay sign in most avenues of life. A society cannot continue to exist for long in these circumstances. Live for today and don’t think about future repercussions. It undermines all that is or could be good and decent. That is where America is now and is continually heading further downhill.

So what happened to “America the Beautiful”? Does Jesus Christ look at America (its people) as a beautiful and holy country? Absolutely not! The sad thing about it is that this country is looked upon by many nations as a Christian country since it was founded on Christian principles, with at least 300,000 “christian” pulpits. Oh, what a disgrace to the Creator.

Cheating and lying in schools and universities is out of control. High-tech internet fraud and identity theft are growing and getting much more sophisticated. Our government is at a point where voters don’t trust most elected officials: The Jack Abramoff scandal is exposing the rotten stuff going on in Congress—a lot more to surface—along with the Mark Foley ordeal and not a single congressional umpire, including house speaker Dennis Hastert, being accused/indicted of wrongdoing in turning a blindeye to Foley’s conduct with young pages. Finally, the ethics of our most trusted officials in government are now coming into question by the House Ethics Committee.

One of the most ungodly and unfair practices in this country is the exorbitant prices hospitals and most doctors charge, along with the excessive, budget-busting fees lawyers charge. They go to school a few years more than most students and then for the rest of their lives become legal thieves to those who need their services (the uninsured) even though many can’t afford them. I have a good Christian friend who went to law school for about eight years. He practiced law for about 15 years. Then he quit the law business when his practice was in conflict with his Christian morals. That goes to show that to be a “good” lawyer, one has to walk a crooked path. Also, I heard a story of an old man who, after getting his doctor bill, was super shocked at the doctor’s fee. He said to the surgeon, “Why are you charging me so much for just a two-hour operation?” Surgeon: “Do you realize how much it cost me to go to college?” Old man: “Excuse me. You want me to pay for your whole education with my two-hour operation?.” There is some truth to that story.

“Freedom and justice for all.” Sure! The rich get leniency or get off easy, while the poor, especially minorities, must pay with a long sentence because they end up getting a public defender; they couldn’t afford a high-priced, slick-mouthed attorney. Is that justice?

Lastly, with the million or so “christians” in America that regularly go to a church building, how many OBEY what is taught by Jesus Christ in the New Testament? 1st Corinthians 7-19: “Keeping God’s commands is what counts”; several dozen more verses proclaim the same principle of obedience as a must. I will bet anyone my bottom dollar that not many know what is expected of them as disciples of Christ. They just don’t care, or meekly believe whatever the preachers teach. Just remember this: Every person who claims to be a Christian is also a disciple of Jesus Christ; they are one in the same. For more info. on what a disciple is, click on # 179: “Disciple”: The Forgotten Word and the House Church.

The last few paragraphs tell only a small part of the deplorable condition of our great country. You say, “Let us forget all our faults and just keep singing ‘God Bless America.’” Give me one legitimate reason why God would bless a country like ours, even without mentioning Bush’s ungodly actions. Come on, now; I want to hear your rebuttals. If I am wrong, tell me. That is the reason for this blog; it tells what is seldom mentioned in churches and elsewhere. Just remember, this is my country, and before I knew better, I used to love it. But I can’t anymore. In its stead, I now give my allegiance to Jesus Christ.

Now on the positive side concerning the spirituality of our great, strong and much-desired country, where some foreigners believe our streets are paved with gold . . . I am sorry to say, according to the New Testament, that I don’t believe there are many, if any, things that are happening in which God receives glory. No doubt we are generous when disasters, etc. happen to others. That is good, but the only problem is that God and Jesus Christ are left out in the cold and are seldom or never mentioned or given credit for our goodness. Please—if anyone knows of any noteworthy, holy, and Godly things which are happening in America, and God is given full credit, apart from what organized religion is doing, please make it known.

I expect to receive a good number of revolting responses. The reason is many of us may feel it is anti-American to speak against their country. That may be the reason few if any have the spiritual audacity/nerve to repeat, or let alone, publish our true condition as written in this post.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

#185: Is This for Real?

The question this post will attempt to answer is: Why are there many promises made to the disciples of Jesus Christ (us) in the New Testament (NT) that are not materializing? There are several possible answers, all of which don’t seem to suffice. One answer: Much of what Jesus taught was only meant for His immediate disciples, and does not include modern-day disciples. Another answer: Those promises of the great work disciples would be performing had ended with the death of the original 12 disciples. The third answer: Jesus didn’t know how God through the Holy Spirit would respond to various cultural changes, and therefore just put the best face on the future. The fourth possibility: All those great and wonderful promises were inserted into Scripture by the writers so they could attract many naive and gullible followers.

Truthfully, I don’t believe any of the aforementioned answers are plausible. Before I give you what I believe is the most likely reason, let me present a few of those unfulfilled promises.

Luke 17:6. “He [Jesus] replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed [indicating faith comes in various degrees], you can say to this mulberry tree, “be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.’” [emphasis added].

John 14:12. “I tell you the truth, ANYONE who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” [emphasis added].

Mark 11:22-24. “‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if ANYONE says to this mountain, “Go throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he said will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’” [emphasis added].

John 15:16-17. “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. THEN the father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” [emphasis added]. It sounds conditional, wouldn’t you think?

John 15:7. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.” I will add, as long as it is in accordance with God’s will.

Continuing with what is expected of disciples . . . Matthew 10:8. “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give.” Does this verse include modern-day followers of Christ?

Matthew 17:21: “ . . . Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Mark 9:23-24. “‘If you can’? said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes. . . . help me overcome my unbelief.’”

What is the reason we don’t see any of these supernatural events happening in Christianity, even in my life? If someone could answer that question in an unbiased manner—if that were possible—we might get a more realistic and truthful answer. I will attempt to do just that.

Before I do that, here is a strange twist: Matthew 7:22-23. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.’”

1st Corinthians 11:13-15. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 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.”

Matthew 24:24. “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible.”

The above verses are Biblical proof that miracles alone are not evidence of being one of Christ’s disciples. This reminds me of the fake miracles pastor Benny Hinn attempts to perform on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). He is a disgrace to the Christian faith. All he wants is money and fame so that he can continue his elaborate and flamboyant lifestyle, as was exposed on 60 Minutes and TV News Magazine.

I will now present an answer from a Biblical standpoint and then from a non-Christian vantage point.

There have been—and still are—so many things and attitudes in the world, especially in the U.S., that do not let Christ-like faith materialize but only produce doubt. Of those multitudes of things and attitudes that stymie faith, I really wouldn’t know where to start. If I were to try to cover them all, it would take at least a book length. For that reason I will cover only a few of the major ones.

It all hinges on the definition of faith. There are many degrees of faith. Matthew 17:19-20. “‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith.’” For supernatural phenomena to occur, there must be the highest degree of faith/belief. The most logical explanation for the lack of Christ-like faith, especially modern-day Christian faith, is that it is not made up of the quality that removes all doubt, and doubt automatically weakens or makes faith impotent.

Here is one of the most unique questions in the complete NT: Luke 18:8. “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” This verse could, in a way, be predicting the amount and type of faith in the end times. Why is faith weak or nonexistent in the world? No doubt there are a multitude of reasons. Again, let me present a few without interrupting myself.

First let me say, of the seven billion or so humans on this planet and about one billion who claim to be Christians, you would think that Jesus Christ would have a few holy disciples in whom He lives who could produce miracles and other supernatural events on demand, and all for the glory of God the Father. But as anyone can see, that is not the case.

It didn’t happen overnight; over the centuries, the Christian religion has been presented by most churches in a way that would be conducive for people to accept and become members. In other words, they made it as easy as possible, without raising suspicions, for anyone to become a Christian and join in the fun. That was the beginning and the end of genuine Christianity. From then on in, disciplined lives that the supernatural requires wereas not a working part of the “church.”

One of the main reasons dedication, discipline, and miracles are not happening is because we have so many seemingly innocent distractions which we don’t want to/can’t live without in this complex world. All this technological complexity is stealing our attention from faith in Godly matters. These distractions secretly make the supernatural, and even our devotion to Christ, unreal and unnecessary without us being aware of it. Said another way, modern technology, among other things, has replaced faith in God.

The major distraction in the world today is the affluence of industrialized nations. The problem with wealth, as mentioned in previous posts, is that it replaces faith in God, and even God Himself, as a source of security, etc. There is little or nothing in an affluent world that promotes faith. Also in an affluent country like America, life is easy in many, many ways. Some will ask, “What is wrong with having life easy?”

Answer: Easy living not only destroys faith but also willpower. Other than making us lazy—remember, “lazy” is an antonym of “discipline”—that would most likely indicate that there are no disciples of Christ who are lazy. It is easy to become lazy; one does not have to do anything to achieve laziness, since the vast majority of humans don’t enjoy exerting any form of effort, physical, mental, etc. Then the disastrous thing that happens is our devotion and faith in Christ would get in the way of our easy-does-it lifestyle. The genuine Christian life is far from easy; in fact, it is the most challenging life in existence. Faith in God is more than holy words which make us feel holy, of sorts; it is a life dedicated to actively promoting Jesus Christ and His cause. 1st Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. ALWAYS give yourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord.” [EMPHASIS ADDED].

In general, our prayer life in the world is at best anemic, including my own. We thank God for this and ask Him for that; we want Him to bless so-and-so. That may be all well and good, but are our prayers the kind that reach into the core of what Christ desires us to do and be? Is a desire for the supernatural in our prayer life? Mark 9:29. “After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘This kind comes out only by prayer.’” [Some Bibles say “prayer and fasting”]. Without continual fervent prayer, which isn’t easy, that is another reason for the lack of the supernatural. 1st Thessalonians 5:17. “Pray continually.”

Fasting from all food for a time for spiritual reasons is all but non-excitant in Christianity nowadays. In the Bible, fasting is a means of getting the attention of God while gaining entry into His holy place. It is not easy to fast, because in doing so we negate the most important function that keeps us alive. When disciples fast to petition God for holy reasons, God respects that, and when done often enough with faith minus doubt, God should answer that request. If He doesn’t, that would indicate our faith is flimsy.

A good day to fast is on God’s Holy Sabbath—Saturday, the seventh of the week—and not on Sunday, a man-made holy day. The fourth commandment: Exodus 20:-8: “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a SABBATH to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work . . . ” Check your calendar; Sunday is the first day of the week and Saturday is the seventh day of the week. Why do most Christians worship on Sunday, the first day of the week, and call it the Holy Sabbath? Big boo- boo. It is a man-made occurrence. How does Jesus Christ feel about that? Getting back to fasting, the vast majority of Christians overeat instead of fasting. You wonder why our faith is so weak.

The most popular activity in America, and possibly the world, is entertainment. How much of our life is involved in being entertained? There are hundreds of forms of entertainment to steal our devotion and faith from God, if there was any in the first place. How far from a holy life did we stray?

Therefore, from a Christian's point of view, the only reason we see no real Christ-like miracles, etc., is because the type of lives we live produce little or no faith, yet we still call ourselves Christians.

Now the non-Christian perspective: If Christ is for real, it would be most likely that at least a few people out of the one billion who believe that Christ came to earth 2,000 years ago would have the faith required to perform at least a few miracles that Jesus promised. The reason why no one sees any of these miracles—I mean real miracles recorded and reproduced for all to see—is because it is all a hoax. Since the miracles are a big fraud, most likely all the rest of the promises of eternal salvation, etc. are also fairytales. Along with that, there are many contradictions and mistakes in the Bible. Anyone who overlooks these unfulfilled promises and a multitude of errors is a gullible fool. If God really exists, He could have done a better job of leaving us accurate information and promises that would be accomplished. If you must believe in the existence of a god, then you should get another god: one who keeps His promises.

If you are interested in reading a rebuttal to these atheistic thoughts, click on Post # 143: “Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design.”

With all that said, one of the main ingredients in the Christian life is trust in God where human logic doesn’t exist. We must trust and believe as a little child in order to enter the kingdom of God. 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.” Without that trust, we are as good as lost. Remember, if Christianity had empirical evidence of the existence of God and Christ, we wouldn’t need faith, belief or trust.

Although we don’t have solid proof of a spiritual world/life, there is enough circumstantial evidence to convince me that the Bible—with its errors, which was written by fallible humans—is still the best book to live by. How do I know? Because I was a non-believer a good part of my life, and that type of living doesn’t deliver all the good things the material world silently promises through the mouth of the god of this world, the devil. He promises wonderful things will come our way when we put God on the back burner and the “good life” in first place.

My life now centered in Jesus Christ is all, if not more, than the Good Book promises, even if my faith doesn’t stack up as to what it should be concerning the supernatural. In fact, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone in the entire world except Jesus Christ. Faith in God can and does produce the most COMPLETE AND SATISFYING LIFE in existence, while having little or nothing of material worth. Can any other type of lifestyle top that?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bush's War

President George W. Bush is not aware of one vital fact when he insists that we must win the Iraq war or the consequences will be disastrous for the whole world. More troops will never win the war and diplomacy won’t do any better. Here is the reason why: this war is not so much a religious war as it is a war of hatred. The Arabs hate the Americans for supporting Israel with money and weapons. Hatred is the one thing that more troops or diplomacy can never conquer. Check back with this website in a few years to see if this prediction is correct. To get more detailed on the war and its outcome, click # 168: “The war With no End.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

# 184: Spiritual Fruit: Why & What

While examining the Old and New Testament, I was attempting to find verses that associated trees which were specifically shade trees or trees that were planted especially for their aesthetic value. To my surprise, I found none. The majority, if not all, of the trees in Israel and Judah at the time of Christ were planted for the fruit they produced. The only other trees that were mentioned extensively in the Old Testament were the cedars of Lebanon, which were used for building; however, I am certain their shade was enjoyed until they were fully grown, then cut down for lumber.

To my knowledge, as I delved through the N I V Concordance, trees in Israel were not planted for the purpose of shade or beauty, as in America. Repeating, they were planted as a source of food.

Here is an example of why: Luke 13:7-9. “‘For three years now I’ve been looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, cut it down.’” The only reason a tree was cut down was if it produced no fruit or bad fruit.

That is the reason the word “fruit” was used at least 49 times in the New Testament as an analogy between edible fruit picked from trees and vines, and what a human life consists of or produces.

The first time the word “fruit” is used in the New Testament is in Matthew 3:8-10. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. . . . The ax is already at the root of the tree, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” The word “repentance” means to be sorrowful and/or contrite for the wrongs one has done (living an ungodly life), implying a change of living: a change that God approves, while giving Him the glory. That is one of the definitions of what it means to produce GOOD fruit. Just remember, a person may live an honest, good, and honorable life without God as the inspiration and source of that goodness. No matter how good a life is, when God is not the dominant force as to what goes on in that life, it is ungodly.

The word “fruit” is used in an extremely strong way, not only in how many times it is used, but how it is used. Let me give you several examples: Matthew 7:15,19-21. “Watch out for false prophets [church leaders]. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit [what they don’t teach, and the excesses in their lives] you will recognize them. . . . Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Those are tough words. Matthew 21:43. “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its FRUIT.” Verse 45. “When the chief priests and Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.”

Here is more: “given to a people who will produce its FRUIT.” Who are these people who will produce its fruit? Only those who live according to God’s will. Listen to how Jesus reprimanded (a good scolding) the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. They are in charge of what is taught according to the Law of Moses. Matthew 23:5-7. “Everything they do is done for men to see . . . they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the market places and have men call them ‘Rabbi.’” Verse 13. “Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourself do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” I say, by what they don’t teach. Verse 16. “Woe to you blind guides!” Verse 17. “You blind fools.”

Continued: Matthew 23:25. “Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees , you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. . . . Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! 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. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Verse 33. “You snakes! You brood of vipers!”

I believe you will get an idea of exactly what the religious leaders of Christ’s time really were like inwardly. Therefore, the word “fruit” in this context is referring to what people (religious leaders) are really like on the inside and not what they appear to be. That is also true of many of the general public who claim to be Christians. I am certain many will say, “That is not true of Christian leaders, or at least our pastor; he/she is the most loving and kind person in the world.” To answer that straw-man statement, let us see what Scripture says. Luke 9:48. “For he who is the least among you–he is the greatest.” Luke 22:26. “Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” Also, there are several more verses displaying the same principle.

It is plain to see that many, if not most, modern religious leaders are in the same mode as 2,000 years ago. They feel that since they are church leaders (big shots), everyone must kiss their butt, as it were. They have two things in mind: that somehow their sermons will attempt to coerce you to dig deeper into your pocket, and that you MUST come back next week or their membership will be sliding. To give the word “fruit” a better definition, again in this context, it means the very core of what people are really like, and how they act when all the coverings/shrouds are taken off.

The reason I say what I say: If the fruit of the Christian clergy were good, they would attempt to preach even a small part of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The only thing is, they can’t do that without losing members and funds. So what are they to do? Become hypocrites by watering down the truth to make it more palatable. Their type of fruit is the most serious of all of religion’s crimes against God.

In the gospel of John, Chapter 15, the word “fruit” is used 7 times, more than any other portion of Scripture. In conjunction with Chapter 14, it is the most conditional chapter in the entire New Testament, using the word “if” in a contingent mode at least 7 times. The condition is that we must bear good fruit in order to remain in Christ and His love. And that good fruit amounts to obedience to Christ’s commands and love for Him.

Although it may bore some, I believe it is important enough to present these pertinent verses at this time.

The word “fruit”:

1). John 15:2. “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit.”

2). Also 15:2. “While every branch that does bear fruit he trims clean so that it will be even more fruitful.”

3). 15:4. “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.”

4). Also 15:3. “Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

5). 15:5. “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

6). 15:8. “This is to my father’s glory, that you bear much fruit.”

7). 15:16. “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.”

The word “if”:

1). John 14:15. “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”

2). 14:23. “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.’”

3). 15:5. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

4). 15:6. “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown in the fire and burned.”

5). 15:8. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, [the next 6 words are extremely important] showing yourselves to be my disciples.” That means, as I have mentioned several times in previous posts, that producing fruit is not to gain salvation, but evidence that we desire to remain in Christ as His disciples.

6). 15:10. “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remained in His love.”

7). 15:14. “You are my friends if you do what I command.”

Although, what Biblical fruit consists of is implied but not unequivocally mentioned in the gospels; the epistles have much to say as to what fruit the disciples will/must produce.

Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love [the most important of all: to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors in need], joy [the joy we receive from God for allowing us to be part of His eternal plan of Salvation], peace [peace with God and with ourselves, knowing we are becoming all we were meant to be], patience [to be patient with all people who continually test our patience], kindness [a kissing cousin of love when it is not deserved], goodness [continually doing good deeds, even to those who don’t deserve goodness], faithfulness [to make sure we don’t deviate from our initial commitment to Jesus Christ with disobedience], gentleness [to treat all others as gentle as a newborn baby in all circumstances], and self-control [to do what is correct even when we don’t feel like it]. That type of fruit is a mouthful, and it all springs from our Godly love. Without love for God and our fellow man/woman, none of the above would materialize.

Ephesians 5:9. “Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness [previously mentioned], righteousness [God considers our faith in Christ of such importance that He credits us with Christ’s righteousness; that is a perfect incentive to do what is right], and truth [are we true to Jesus Christ in how we live, or are we fooling around with another: the world?]) and find out what pleases the Lord.”

Colossians 1:10. “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every GOOD WORK, growing in the knowledge of God.” This verse combines all the fruit previously mentioned as good works. In other words, whatever fruit we produce is in one way or another a form of much good works. Therefore, if we don’t produce good fruit (good works), we are as good as dead while still praising God.

In ending, read John 15:8 again. Bearing much fruit is a sure way, if not the only way, Christ and His people know that we are “showing ourselves to be His disciples.” It couldn’t be much simpler than that. And yet, how can a truth as simple and in plain sight as that be avoided in most churches?

Answer: quoting Jesus in Matthew, Chapters 7 & 23, they water down the word “fruit”’ (good works) to the degree that it ceases to exist. They say, “We are saved by grace; therefore, good works can’t save us more than that.” Those who teach this way are a brood of vipers, wolves in sheep’s clothing. They created an attitude that being a disciple of Jesus Christ is as easy and effortless as possible, even though the New Testament teaches the exact opposite.

Not only are the clergy to blame, but the laity is as guilty by not bringing them to task on this soul-devouring heresy. The laity (you) are the ones that pay their wages, and it is your divine duty to check on what is being preached from the pulpits of America and the world to make sure it is in accordance with the New Testament. Again, how can you do that if you don’t know what is taught in God’s instruction book? Put another way: The clergy lies and the laity swears to it.

If you get a bit grumpy with me for being so bold, somehow prove the Bible and this author wrong. I accept your challenge—or any “learned” church leader’s—concerning the necessity of producing much good fruit.

The best thing to do is to start to change your ways to conform to Christ’s teaching. It won’t be easy or quick; in fact, it will be more challenging than anything else in life. Do you want to be one of the vast majority in the Christian religion that is on an easy downhill slide that will end up in the fiery arms of the great deceiver? Eternity and God are super serious business. I pray a few bloggers will diligently examine the Scriptures and be convinced of what is required by God. I guarantee it is not going to church on Sunday and being “good” the rest of the week.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

# 183: Running on Empty While in the Clutches of Desire

Most of my life, up until the last six years or so, I had been running on empty without even knowing it. This is what I mean by running on empty: wanting things, material or otherwise, and when getting them, still having a desire for more of whatever. I was dominated by desires. Nothing seemed to satisfy my inner needs, whatever they were. I found out that my worldly desires could never be completely satisfied, regardless of what they were, although they may have been appeased in the short term. Later in life, I found out otherwise.

When in my twenties, I became a carpenter and house builder. I thought, just like everyone else, that if I had money and a good reputation I could acquire the American dream. I had a good wife, money in the bank, several children, new automobiles, just about everything a person could dream of—I thought. Then, in my early thirties, that dream was coming to an end when our marriage was falling apart.

How could this happen to me? It felt like the end of the world. And still in time, much good came from that breakup. For the first time in my life, I started thinking seriously about God and spiritual matters. I was raised a Catholic; therefore, as a young boy, I knew little or nothing about what real worship of God was, except Father Defranco peeking out of the confessional curtain when young girls got done candidly telling tell him their sins since their last confession. All of us boys knew what was on his mind. I was almost certain I would find the answer to what Christianity consisted of in a church that had an honest and forthright pastor as its leader.

I was given a Bible by a J. W. and started reading it. I was fascinated and surprised at what I was reading. For the next ten years or so, I went to a variety of large and small churches, made up of both non-denominational and denominational. I was truly disappointed with what I found. Finally, I gave up hope of finding a church that preached and practiced what the New Testament taught. All this time, I was still seeking to find something that would satisfy my gnawing desires. During this period, I don’t think I was experiencing any of God’s love or any other Godly gifts.

I still was woman- crazy and money-hungry, but mostly I was looking for a satisfying love which would make me feel wanted and needed. The song Brenda Lee sang in the early 1960s sure got it right. The title was, “I Want to be Wanted.” It was number one on the charts for many weeks. That was a song I could identify with. The only thing was, I personally didn’t find lasting contentment in women, church, money or good times. I was at my wit’s end as to where to go to find satisfaction. I knew some vital component was missing in my life, although I never had any idea that I was running on empty. I knew absolutely nothing about having a satisfied spirit.

When I read verses on how God regarded money, and other hard-edged verses, I just ignored them and said, “I am not there yet.” Verses like, “What is highly valued among men [money] is detestable in God’s sight.” I was really screwed up as to what to believe and how to live.

It seemed that every time a got involved with a woman, I put God on the back burner and went the way of the world. Like the song says, “Where the wine is flowing, the girls are glowing, I’ll dance till the break of day.” At this time, I knew I was on the wrong track, although I tried making the best of it.

Then about fifteen years ago, I started to get really serious about Godly matters and committed my life to Christ. The only thing is, I still was running on empty, and still didn’t know how empty I was. This tells me a person can be interested in pleasing God and accepting Christ as Lord and Savior and still be empty of spiritual substance that makes a person feel complete.

At this time I still lived in a palatial mansion with new cars, money, good times and a sexy girl friend. Then after a couple more heartbreaks, somehow I was becoming aware that I had to make a 180-degree turn in the way I was living. I thought I knew the right way to live as the Bible dictated, but at that time, it didn’t fit my lifestyle.

Well, I can’t tell you exactly how it happened—if Christ came in my life with a bang or subtly in order not to rattle me into confusion—I wish I really knew—although I think it was subtly. John 15:5. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man REMAINS IN ME and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,” [emphasis added]. This above verse sort of told me that the Spirit of Jesus Christ was somehow in me. At that time, I started having inner compulsions that seemed to tell me it would be advantageous for me to get serious as to the changes I had to make in my life in order to please God.

My question was this: Why would Jesus Christ want a person with a reputation/repertoire like mine to serve Him? I am certain He could have chosen a person that was more educated, intelligent and holier than me. I also have asked this question about why Christ chose a person like the apostle Paul, a murderer of early believers in Christ, a hater of all believers who followed the “The Way.” Acts 9:1-2. “Meanwhile, Saul [Paul] was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.” Also, Acts 22:20 (The apostle Paul speaking to the Lord): “And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.” In fact, Paul called himself the worst of sinners.

Evidently, since God knows the future, there was no better qualified person to fill the bill needed to bring the Gentiles' world to repentance. As is very evident, God knows the future of all the people He chooses. It is not how one starts that God is concerned with, but how one ends.

To my knowledge, I had no love for beast, man or God, although I did have love for myself and my children. My attitude was “survival of the fittest.” If I had one good quality to my credit, which I believe I was born with, it was empathy that produced tears for abused children, innocent adults that are suffering, and hurting people in general. Of course, without Christ in one’s life, empathy was of little value.

I quickly realized something strange was and still is happening to me. It felt/feels as if some benevolent force was in control of my life. Soon I realized for certain that the Spirit of Jesus Christ was living in me. The reason was that most of the things I desired and valued dearly were relinquishing their hold on me. I was finding out the only way a certain desire can be obliterated was to find something which promises a greater degree of satisfaction. And the things I started to value were according to Scripture. This attitude started to intensify about 6 or 7 years ago.

I said, “Yes, this is what I was looking for.” The reason: The contentment and satisfaction I was desperately seeking was starting to manifest in my life through belief in Christ as my Lord and Savior and obedience to His commands. I asked, “Why, Lord, should I be so fortunate?” I said to myself, “Everyone needs to know what I am experiencing and what is taught by Christ, which most churches don’t teach.” That might have been the first time I was serious about somehow letting as many people as possible know more of what the Bible teaches.

Let me tell you a few of the major changes in my life: The most dramatic change was that I found contentment with little or nothing, whereas before, I needed things, wealth, worldly friends, pride, vanity, greed—I called it prosperity–always having to go somewhere or do something, always trying to impress others as if I were someone of importance. Now I know for certain that most things in this world that promised happiness and satisfaction were all lies.

In short, I am more content, to put it mildly, with the very little I have in material things than with the much I had that never fulfilled what I needed most, as previously mentioned—to be belong, be loved, needed and wanted.

Let me deviate from my experiences to talk about the root of why many of us may be in the sad shape we are in, without being aware of it.

The love we so desperately long for, that lets us know we will be continually needed and wanted, must come exclusively from God; the only thing is, when we attempt to substitute God’s love with worldly love, regardless of whether it is from people, things or money—like the prosperity movement that is being widely accepted—thatis where the problems start and never ends. When a person firmly says, “I don’t need to be loved, needed or wanted. That is for people who can’t stand on their own two feet,” they are lying with all their heart.

God is waiting, as it were, to give us the love we so badly need. But there is a process. Listen to what John’s gospel has to say about that process: 14:21. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” Did you get that?

That unequivocally says: 1) first we obey His commands. Biblical logic says: only validating that our initial commitment of becoming a disciple of Christ was genuine; 2) by displaying our love for Jesus Christ, 3) then the Father will love us, 4) Lastly, Jesus will love us and show Himself to us (lets us see Him spiritually, as He really is). If you disagree with the above statement, don’t pick on me; argue with God.

Therefore, the reason many of us may be running on empty and living as “worldly christians”—if there is such a thing—is because we may say we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and truly believe we are Christians, but then don’t follow through by obeying what is commanded by the one we call Lord (boss). That means we may not be experiencing that necessary love from our God and Savior, which keeps our spiritual tank full to the rim.

Now back to my wretched condition before the Holy Spirit made His home in me. . . While living in new homes all my life, I thought I was living on top of the world. If someone told me I was running on empty, I would have said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about; you must be crazy. I have what the majority of the world desires.” Sure, emptiness.

To put it bluntly, most, if not all, things the world has to offer will start and end with emptiness as to what truly brings inner contentment. I always had new cars and new homes. I now have a 14-year-old motor vehicle and am more grateful for it than I was with all my new cars. In fact, someone couldn’t give me a new motor vehicle free of charge. Don’t try to figure that one out. I now ride an old bike or walk, while driving my car only when absolutely necessary. A plus is that I now get plenty of much-needed exercise, sunshine and fresh air. I am extremely grateful I live in a one-room studio apartment in a panhandler part of town and love it and am more thankful for it than for the big homes I previously lived in.

I have no desire whatsoever for a personal relationship with the opposite gender, while before I was not complete without a woman by my side, and whatever else they offered. I now live on a meager S.S. pension whereas before I always had money to blow. I could go on and on as to the many unbelievable changes in my life. And I attribute it all to the one who is in me: Jesus Christ/Holy Spirit.

Let the truth be known. The apostle Paul put it this way: 2 Corinthians 6:1 & 6:10. “As God’s fellow works we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” That verse jarred my spiritual senses when it hit me across the side of the head. The truth is: Grace, among other things, enables us to believe and continue doing Christ’s work. If we don’t do our share, we are throwing grace out the window. Ouch. Then Paul starts to reveal the hard times He went through in 6:10. “ . . . poor, yet making others rich, having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”

Let me paraphrase that verse to make it more understandable. “. . . poor [concerning material stuff and worldly desires], yet making others rich [with heavenly treasures]; having nothing [that other people desired], and yet possessing everything” [Godly attitudes and the love of God we so dearly need which makes a person feel complete]. If you don’t understand or believe the aforementioned, that’s okay; it has to be experienced to become believable. If anyone forced these changes on themselves or others, it would all be in vain. I truly believe it must come from true worship of Christ through God.

When God makes His home in someone’s physical being, they will know it. Like myself: At this time I am not the same person I was years ago, although I may resemble him, as to his outward appearance.

I am certain many bloggers haven’t been able to figure out where I get the audacity to write about esoteric Godly matters. It may sound a bit pious, but I have an inner compulsion to write that way. It is either the Spirit of God, or a darn good counterfeit (the devil). Would a counterfeit have this type of attitude: eliminate as many things and attitudes as possible (excess baggage) that don’t somehow benefit the promotion of Jesus Christ and His cause; LIVING LIGHT; and devoting prime time to the things of God, along with exposing Satan’s best-kept secrets? Revelation 2:24. “. . . and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets.”

My main objective in this blog is not so much to tell what the Bible teaches—although I do, which most “christian” churches avoid—but to EXPLAIN what the New Testament teaches to those who are accustomed to living according to the standards of our modern culture, and also telling them the implications of non-adherence to what is commanded in the Bible.

Some may ask how I get the information I emphatically write as truth. I don’t hear any verbal voices, but out of the blue, as it were, it is the Holy Spirit silently telling me exactly what to write. Wow. I often silently say, “Now what, Lord?” Often, and almost instantly, words and concepts are given to me, which many times are new revelations. I then compare them with Scripture to see if they contradict it, which really is necessary just in case I am writing according to my own ideas, or the great deceiver—the prince of this world—is attempting to corrupt my alma mater, which is telling it like it is, regardless of what anyone thinks of me.

If, by some chance, my life is being lived in error (sin), even small errors, and not according to Christ’s teaching, that is a great opportunity for Satan to sneak in some of his perversions into my writing. That is why all disciples of Christ must walk the line of holiness, honesty and purity. Let me repeat the above sentence: If something is ungodly in my life, even the smallest thing, that is an open door for me to write pleasing but erroneous/Satanic stuff (lies).

That is why it is so important for anyone who desires to follow the truth of Christ to live a life as pure and holy as humanly possible; otherwise the devil has/may have his foot in our door and all it takes to get completely into our life is a strong push. When living in God’s kingdom, little things mean a lot, both to Christ and to Satan. It takes just a little mold to contaminate the whole house. Of course, many of us attempt to justify what we do and don’t do, with the saying, “No one is perfect.” That is one of the devil’s favorite clich├ęs. So beware. Click on post # 181 and 182 for more new information on perfection.

Just remember that most established churches which claim to be Bible believing—or as I say, Bible-corrupting because of what is not preached—tell the laity whatever is needed to have them back next week. As my mother would always say, “That is their job.” If churches preached what is contained in this blog, most, if not all, would soon be out of business. Why? A good portion of the New Testament is extremely hard-edged—the type of stuff Ted Haggard and other “evangelicals” never preach about.

Therefore, if the majority of bloggers don’t come back in a day or two to see what Christ will present on this blog, no problem. Unlike churches per se, we don’t need a large presence or anyone’s money. There is hopefully enough internet access and advertising funds to keep this blog—which is a non-profit foundation (Religion’s Crime Against God)—going after I am dead and gone. In fact, the fewer hits we get on this blog, the more certain we are that we are leading a few of God’s people to travel the narrow road with a small gate. This may be the only blog or website that glories in a small number of hits. That may sound strange to some, but God’s ways are not our ways.

Just think about this: Are you and I one of the many or one of the few? Matthew 7:14. “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” And Matthew 22:14. “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” We must be honest with ourselves. Our choice of spirituality is a matter of eternal life or eternal death. It is our choice. If our choice is the correct one, we are the ones that God will choose or has chosen.

In conclusion, this post will have more than enough information to unequivocally make readers aware of the fact that they may be running on empty without their knowledge—and all because of the inability of worldly niceties to fill up the spirit being inside of us. You can do something about it. Even though it doesn’t take much effort to say, “I believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior,” it will take more effort than many desire to muster up when it comes to being obedient to all that Jesus Christ commands.

Don’t let your worldly desires, which most likely are according to the on going status quo, control your life, which undoubtedly will end in disaster. Continually seek the best of Christ-like desires; they will abolish those deceptive worldly desires which falsely promise to give us inner contentment.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

# 182: Hearing is Believing

This post is a sequel to # 181: “Christian Perfection.” It might be best to scroll down to post # 181 and read that first, thus giving you a better understanding of this section.

Was it not Marx who said, “Tell a lie often enough and soon the masses will believe the lie”? How much more believable would it be to tell the truth over and over again? It will be even easier to believe. Most of us are gullible in certain areas of life; if we want to believe a certain “whatever” badly enough, we will accept it as truth whether it’s a lie or the truth.

Usually the young are more inclined to believe most of what they hear. That does not exclude adults. They are more apt to believe lies when it comes to spiritual matters, where hardly anything is cut and dried.

The very young are the best of believers. They will believe almost anything their parents tell them. Case in point: When parents continually tell their children positive things about themselves, they will believe and follow through by making what they were told about themselves a reality.

A real live case: In an average household, two run-of-the-mill parents had a daughter. From when she could start to understand, this little girl was continually told what a good girl she was. She became the best child any parent could ever expect. As the little girl grew older, she was always told what a good job she was doing, at whatever she was engaged in. She always wanted to please her parents, even if it wasn’t what she desired. Very often she was told that she would succeed at whatever she attempted. She became receptive in learning many academic skills. Repeating, she always was told what a great job she was doing. At a very young age, she felt extremely secure in whatever she tackled.

This little girl not only knew she was loved by her parents, she also knew she was needed; there is a big difference. She never was shooed away at bedtime or at family affairs, but was always included in all that was going on in that home. Frequently, she was told she was the best and smartest little girl in the world—an exaggeration. This went on as she grew older. When she entered school, she was always in the top of her class and finished school with honors. She went on to college and still excelled in all she touched, until finally, after ten years of college, she earned her degree. Everything the parents told this girl, she believed and acted accordingly.

Now, let’s go to the very opposite end of the spectrum; I don’t know of any specific case, but I’ve heard of families that continually said negative things to their children, like, “Oh, you are so stupid, disobedient, lazy, a pain in the butt,” and so on. Guess what? Children that are treated and talked to that way believe their parents and act accordingly. As is very evident in the above illustrations, most often, we as adults also act out what we are told concerning the type of people we are.

Now to the spiritual implications concerning this axiom, God uses the same principle in dealing with those who belong to Him (His children). When someone decides to live and believe as God requires: CONVERSION. Right off the bat, through Scripture, God tells this individual that he/she is perfect in His sight. If that individual truly believes what God said, he/she will think, “Wow. If God sees me as perfect, I better start changing my ways," and she/he does. Now here is the catch: If that person isn’t continually reminded of his/her new status with God, it might slip her/his mind as life goes on.

Now the question is, how do we keep on the tip of our mind how God sees us and what He expects from us? Easy question. Read the Bible daily and memorize key portions that will remind us of how God considers us as perfect. Memorizing portions of the New Testament works like magic: As we continually review those verses, we become a part of whatever we are reading; those verses become ours. We must continually be reminded of how God desires us to live up to the HIGHNESS STANDARD OF HOLINESS. Because he made us holy, now it is our part to live up to that holiness like that little girl who was continually reminded of what a perfect girl she was.

Here is what God said in the Old Testament concerning how we must be constantly reminded of what He requires. Deuteronomy 6:5-9. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your forehead. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” The part I like best is still good advice today: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit down and when you walk along the road.”

Of course, at that time, there were no Bibles in book form as we know them, only Scriptural scrolls that were not available to the common people—just to the religious leaders. Now that we have the Holy Bible readily available almost everywhere, the Bible is all we need to keep reminding us of all that God has for us and what He expects from us. Only thing is, the Bible is of little value if it is not read and practiced daily. When one makes every effort to truly believe they possess a perfect standing with God, then one’s life will/must start to change dramatically. Whatever you do, don’t expect your church leaders to encourage you to live up to the perfection we were given. They will undoubtedly say, “That perfection is only positional in heaven and not a reality here on earth,” or something of that sort.

Let us not forget; we must continually be reminded of our perfect standing with God. First we must verbally acknowledge in our conversations with others and in our prayers how God sees us; and second, repeating, we must confirm that life-giving belief by reading and memorizing those portions of Scripture. Like that little girl, we eventually start living a holier and more perfect life, day by day. Guaranteed. Don’t live that way and it is guaranteed you will live as the world dictates. And I hope you know what the final result will be.

Belief in what God has said and done is the motivating factor for acquiring holiness (living a life of love for God, which is evident by obedience to Christ’s teachings). Hebrews 10:14. “. . . because by one sacrifice he has MADE PERFECT forever those who are BEING MADE HOLY.” [emphasis added]. God does not want us to merely be in a perfect honorary position with Him via the perfection He freely gave us; He also wants us—a must—to experience that perfection. Matthew 5:48. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Do you think Jesus Christ/God would give us commands that were impossible to keep? Absolutely not. Jesus was asked by an expert in the law, in Matthew 22:36-40: “. . . ‘which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” These commands are repeated over half a dozen times. As it says, they are the basis for all other commands, making love for God and neighbor the most crucial/imperative ingredient in the complete Holy Bible.

Christ implies by those commands, “If you believe what I teach, you have or I will give you the ability to live in accordance; remember, I made you holy so that you can and will continually make every effort in perfecting your love for Me and neighbors. That is what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. When God speaks, his disciples listen and act.” Where do we stand? Check out this verse in Luke 19:28. “Do this and you will live.”

In conclusion, remember that it is only natural to live up to what one believes about oneself. It is a law of nature that God uses to get us to love and live as He commands. Therefore, we must listen to God as He continually tells us (his disciples), via His Book, how holy we are, perfecting love and holiness through the process of belief. We have been told since who knows when, by organized religion, that those commands are impossible to keep. That is a lie fabricated by Satan himself. Remember, we only attempt to live up to what we believe about ourselves. We must believe what God tells us about ourselves, that WE CAN LOVE God and neighbor as He requires. If you believe what religion teaches, that is the mother of all excuses to live as one sees fit.