Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Don't underestimate corruption levels

Christ warns of a time when lawlessness is increasing and the love of many has grown cold: "yet the [one] enduring to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24). I believe, based on my experience, that we are in such a time, so lawless, so unloving, that even our Bible translations have been corrupted, which makes the task of enduring in faith in Almighty Christ much harder than most people recognise. Yes, even the King James Version has grave mistranslations that sponsor satanic behaviours (see my online free book A Guide to Misleading Bible Quotes* for examples.)

Please remember that the Bible warns about massive levels of deception (2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 20). Don't make an idol of the King James Version, or a church tradition going back centuries. Worship Almighty God only, who confirms His word and will by making the believer holy, unable to walk in sin (1 John 3:7-10). 

Notes

* A Guide to Misleading Bible Quotes is available for now here, https://sites.google.com/view/misleading-bible-quotes


Monday, August 10, 2020

What happens when God's children are misled?

When people abuse God's name, teaching falsely and destructively, the logical response from Almighty God, as promised and seen in History repeatedly, is to demonstrate conclusively that Almighty God isn't protecting those people, isn't on their side, isn't with them, but allows them to become a hissing, a horror, an example of tragedy.

"whoever may snare one of the little ones, these, who believe in Me, it profits him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and he be sunk in the depth of the ocean." (Matthew 18:6 CFB)

"our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God.... Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes." (2 Chronicles 29:6-8 AKJV)

"But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee...." (Deuteronomy 28:15 AKJV)

Today, there are people who, in the name of Christ, are teaching that fornication and abortion are permissible. Look for the evidence of how Almighty God is turning them into a hissing, an example of what not to do.

Likewise, there are people who, calling themselves Christians and even pastors, are encouraging people to disregard an ongoing deadly and disabling plague (COVID19), thereby endangering themselves and others, and bringing shame to the name of Christ. We can already see how Almighty God is distancing Himself from such people.

For example, one such "pastor" has quite obviously been deprived of logical comprehension and a sense of decency. "Pastor" John MacArthur has been declaring, without apology or correction, that people can calculate their chance of surviving COVID19 as the percentage of Californians not yet killed by the plague. This "pastor" has declared this atrocious falsehood several times: it has featured on Fox News, on the Eric Metaxas Radio Show, and in The Christian Post

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Do Christians have to gather together physically? No.

Do Christians have to gather together physically? No.

1. If this were true, then a persecuted Christian who sits alone in prison would be in disobedience, and Christians would feel pressured to avoid doing courageous things that risk persecution and imprisonment and thereby being in disobedience.

2. The key Bible text is Hebrews 10:25, which has multiple possible meanings that are honourable, sanctifying, and sound-minded, in contrast to reading it to mean that Christians must gather physically even during a deadly contagion. 

Look at the context (verses 24 through 27):

"And mind each other diligently, to incitement of loving-kindness and good works, not abandoning the gathering up together of yourselves, according to what is a custom to some; instead, appealing to each other even this much more: as much as you see the Day nears. For if we are sinning voluntarily after the receiving of the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins remains: instead, some fearful expectation of judgement, and a jealousy of fire coming to eat the adversarial ones."

What do you think the focus of this text is?

How many ways does this text re-focus attention on the need for caring for each other's holiness, which does not require meeting physically at all. Saints Paul and John and Peter and Jude and James wrote letters to care for people's souls and protect their salvation. So we have a clear approval for caring for each other's holiness using methods that do not involve meeting physically.

What does the phrase "not abandoning the gathering up together of yourselves" refer to? Must it refer to regular, for example weekly, physical meetings by Christians?

No. The Greek word used here is episunagogé  (ἐπισυναγωγή). In 2 Thessalonians 2:1, it refers to the Last Day when Christ's faithful will be gathered up together to Christ. In Matthew 24:31, the verb-form of this word (episunágo, ἐπισυνάγω) also refers to the Last Day and the same action:

"And He will send the angels of His with a great battle-horn. And they will gather up together the chosen ones of His from the four winds, from heavens' extremities unto their other extremities."

A Christian reader then of Hebrews 10:25 is well supported in understanding the verse to mean that they must not abandon the spiritual welfare of other Christians, namely the goal that they too will be gathered up together by Christ's angels on the Last Day. Remember the warnings given in Hebrews 10 and 12 and elsewhere in the New Testament, that Christians can lose their salvation, and depend on the action of other Christians to protect their holiness.

"Pursue peace with all, and the holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; keeping watch so there be not any falling short of the grace of God, nor any root of bitterness that springing up cause trouble and through which many be defiled, nor any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one meal gave away the first-born privileges of his. For you have seen that even afterward, wanting to inherit the blessing, he was deemed unworthy. Indeed he found no place for repentance—yes even having sought it with weeping." (Hebrews 12:14-17)

"And these will go away to an eternal correction, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matthew 25:46)


Scripture quoted from the Christ Family Bible. Copyright © 2020 by J.J. Thomas. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Testimony from 7 years of life in Christ

Humility is what enabled me to be accepted as a disciple of Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, on the very first day I had genuine humility and no ounce of arrogance toward God, 21 April 2013, shown through wholehearted confessions that day, and preceded by years of showing to Christ my willingness to keep His words and commandments. And humility is still the necessary element that I bring to God, that enables me to be an instrument, a worker, and obedient, a new born and growing child of Almighty God.

Almighty God has shown this to me through many proofs. For example, one teaching/warning of Christ has been particularly hard for me to apply (Luke 6:25, the warning against consuming more food than one needs). But when I take time to ask Christ to help me keep this word of His, having recognised my own inability, then the power comes.

Likewise, when I have confessed like many Christians in the Bible, that I am a bond-servant (a slave) of the Lord of Heaven and Earth, Jesus Christ, and that I am thankful to be Christ's bond-servant, thus humbling myself, amazing things begin to happen.

Tragically, it seems that we live in an age where Satan is very effectively dropping the poison of pride into most everyone's heart and mind, even of people and churches who call themselves Christians. For these 7 years, I have been heartbroken and shocked many times by the behaviour, seemingly incorrigible due to pride, of people who profess to be followers of Christ. So, I must say, that alongside the value of humility, I have painfully learned the value of seeking truth, distinguishing between fact and falsehood, especially in regard to people's claims to be Christian, born anew in the Holy Spirit, and moral, etc.

Lastly, let me say that working in ministry now for about 7 years, with many years prior in close contact with churches, it has become a fairly strong hypothesis that there is a great need for humility and reform for Protestant as well as Catholic and Orthodox churches. That is to say, it seems that for centuries, ungodly pride, going beyond what is written in Scripture and being puffed up one in favour of the other, has worked its way deep into the marrow of all 3 church groupings. (See 1 Corinthians 1-4 for an excellent discussion of the problem of schism and how to solve it: do not go beyond what is written in Scripture.)

Friday, July 3, 2020

"woe to you the rich for you have received the consolation of yours"

Christ warns rich people that they should grieve, because they have received their consolation.* The clear implication is that being rich is so immoral that it leads to being condemned to hellfire. The explanation is provided many times elsewhere in the New Testament: God demands that people prioritise the basic wellbeing of others.**

Christ's warning can imply, further, that a rich person receives literally no other consolation other than what earthly wealth can provide. That is consistent with what we see in experience, where so many wealthy people struggle against depression, terrible relationships, and bad health. They are tormented.

Also our entire national societies are afflicted, when we glorify the rich lifestyle, against God's condemnations of it. When people are encouraged rather than discouraged to be rich, the door is opened in their lives and our shared national life for 
- corruption: people making immoral, even illegal choices for money
- division and even collapse of society
- self-destructive short-sightedness: short-term money gains blind people to the long-term environmental, social, economic and institutional destruction they are sowing.

Notes
*Luke 6:24
**Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 3:11, James 5:1-5

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Homesteading for Heaven

What if all Christians heeded Revelation 18:4 in a precautionary way, as a commandment that is valid and to be obeyed from the moment that it was published, circa 100 AD?

Right now, looking at our era with its challenges, it is worthy to consider that millions of Christian homesteads would

(1) boost food security for Christians and the nations where they're located
- moral people owning the land and producing food

(2) boost national security for the nations where they're located
- the Second World War confirms the logic of Christ's word about going to the hills when there is a clear signal of national spiritual perversity and coming catastrophe: the loyal, patriotic nation can survive as a loose network, able to feed itself and hide outside of the urban systems.

(3) boost spiritual security for Christians
- false-teaching churches thrive on exploiting people's weaknesses: their need to belong to a social network, their tendency to depend on others for basic survival necessities (food, water, safety etc., and so therefore "let the pastors read the Bible for you; you don't need to do the work of learning the Bible for yourself."). Homesteaders are largely immune to those two types of weakness.

See also an earlier post on this blog, "If Christ's disciples moved "off grid" and cared for Nature...".

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Goals: Peace with God, everlasting life with God

You're not going to have peace with God if you are disobeying God. Our modern era does not usually understand, that in God's household, disobedience isn't tolerated. 

Christ makes that clear.* Likewise the apostles of the New Testament.**

You will stumble† and make mistakes, and in such a way disobey God. But if it was not done willingly and knowingly, there is a way to be forgiven, likely alongside painful punishments designed to teach you and others not to make such mistakes.††

What this means is: you need to have a fearfully respectful relationship with the written word of God. Try: a billion times more careful than you are with the laws of the nation where you live.

How do you overcome the problem of mistranslation of the Bible? Likewise, with tremendous care. Your soul and wellbeing now and forever depend on such carefulness, not to be in disobedience to Almighty God.°


Notes
* Matthew 12:48-50, Luke 6:46-49
**1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-7, Hebrews 5:9, 1 John 3:7-24, 2 Peter 2:20-21 etc.
† James 3:2
†† Hebrews 10:26, Luke 12:46-48, 1 John 2:1
° For brief discussions of this challenge and how the Bible guides respectful readers out of danger, please see "The Christian Bible's Guide to Reading the Christian Bible", "Reading the Holy Bible Sympathetically", and "Why is the NT ambiguous, and pseudo-Christianity so common?"