A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

THE LADY ON THE BUS

A few years ago, when I was still permitted to ride on public transit, I took a bus one afternoon to the grocery store. I’d gotten on at the beginning of the route, so I was able to nab a comfy seat near the front of the bus; the rest of the seats quickly filled up at each passing stop until it was standing room only.

Around half-way through my journey, an older lady got on. I was in a two-seater and my seatmate had just gotten off, so the lady sat down next to me. It was the only available place for her to sit.

We smiled and nodded at each other the way strangers do when they’re forced into publicly-sanctioned physical intimacy. I could feel her body’s warmth through our winter coats. We then chit-chatted a bit about the weather, and I looked at her and she looked at me. I could tell she wondered if she knew me from somewhere, just as I was wondering the same about her. She said she was on her way to pick up her grand-daughter from school, and did I know which stop was closest to the school’s front door. I gave her instructions to the best of my knowledge, and she thanked me. Again, we looked at each other quizzically, both clearly thinking the same thing (that we knew each other somehow), but neither of us said anything about it. I was enjoying her company, even though all we were sharing were mundane pleasantries. I felt as comfortable sitting next to her as if she were someone I’d known and loved all my life.

When it came time for her to get off, we said our good-byes like the dearest of old friends, waving to each other as the bus pulled away.

I thought about that lady again today, and about what made me feel so joyful and comfortable in her presence, even though she was a stranger. She’s born-again. She’s a believer. I know this because I know it. We didn’t say a word to each other about God or Jesus, but I know she’s a believer. I could tell by how the Spirit in me was responding to the Spirit in her. That’s what made us feel like we knew each other, like we were lifelong best friends.

Over the years when I was still allowed on public transit, I must have stood or sat next to thousands of people since I was born-again. We would chat about the weather or transit delays or the crowded bus or subway or train, but our interchange was only polite and friendly. There was nothing remarkable about it. Sitting next to the older lady on the bus was the only time that I’d felt such joy in a stranger’s presence.

Unlike mainstream Christians, I do not believe that spiritual rebirth is wide-spread and that everyone who identifies as Christian is born-again. I don’t even believe that everyone who identifies as born-again is actually born-again. What I do believe is that spiritual rebirth is incredibly rare, and that those who are reborn recognize each other the same way as John the Baptist recognized Jesus when they were both still in their mothers’ wombs – through a sudden surge in God’s Spirit. The Spirit in John the Baptist rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in Jesus, just as the Spirit in Jesus rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in John the Baptist. In the same way, the Spirit in me rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in the older lady, just as the Spirit in the older lady rejoiced at the presence of the Spirit in me.

Even thinking about it two years later, I’m still smiling about the time I spent sitting next to her. I likely won’t be running into any born-agains on public transit any time soon (or ever again), seeing that I’m banned from it, but God will bring us into each other’s presence when there’s a need or when the time is right. I have no doubt about that.

As for the bus lady, I have a feeling I’ll be meeting up with her one day in Heaven, if and when we make it there. Maybe we’ll be seated next to each other at the wedding feast. I hope so. In the meantime, I’m praying for her as I know she’s praying for me as I know we’re all praying for each other in our cloud of born-again witnesses that is God’s Kingdom on Earth.

THEOLOGIANS

God save us from theologians and from all those who bend and twist God’s Word for money and prestige!

Theologians are the false prophets of academe. They are also the chosen cornerstone of false prophet Christianity and the sand on which Bible colleges and seminaries are built. In Jesus’ day, they were the Pharisees and Sadducees and lawyers and scribes. They were the ones who said they knew, but had learned nothing of real value. They were the ones who were so blind, they even tried to stop Jesus from healing because it was the Sabbath.

Theologians today, and their adherents and cheerleaders, are no better. What I can’t understand is why someone would put so much effort into knowing about God and yet never take the time to get to know him. Theologians know some vague general characteristics about God, but they don’t know him. This is a great mystery to me, why they would stop short of wanting to know him.

They approach knowledge of God like a detective staking out a murder scene. Belief, for them, is the crime, and God the mystery they’re tasked to solve. They use forensic tools and deductive reasoning, but God cannot be found in those things and ways. God purposely made it so that he can’t be found in those things and ways, and yet theologians still try. If they truly knew God, they would know they’re wasting their time.

Faith in God, Paul says, is evidence of God. But theologians are not fans of faith in God. Such faith doesn’t pay their bills or get them tenure. Such faith doesn’t invite them to conferences or publish their books. The world does all that. And so, theologians put their faith in the world without realizing how hypocritical that is.

I don’t curse theologians; I wonder at their blindness, but I don’t curse them. They remind me of people who say they love horses and yet who have never ridden a horse and have no intention of riding a horse or even spending time with one. Their “love” is an ideation, an abstraction based on an idea of a horse, not on a real horse.

The idea of God to me was anathema when I was an unbeliever. I had an image of God like a child would draw a stick figure. I looked at the stick figure and said “that’s God”, and rejected it. All atheism is based on rejection of a stick figure that is not God.

Theologians draw a fancier stick figure of God. They put clothes on it and place it in a scene with birds and clouds and flowers and trees, but it’s still a stick figure and not God. Theologians can’t get past their representation of God as a fancy clothed stick figure, and for some reason they don’t want to.

Scripture says that we need to know Jesus one-on-one, and by knowing Jesus can then know God. How sad for theologians, that they don’t take the advice of the same scripture they scour day in and day out for mere money.

WE FOLLOW JESUS

From the very start of this blog, I have made no secret that it is written for born-again believers. It is not meant for casual Christians or Christians-of-convenience, or for those who support and defend mainstream Christianity. It is not an evangelical outreach. It is meant for hardcore believers. It is meant for genuine followers of Jesus.

If Jesus was a fanatic, then so are we fanatics. If Jesus was a blasphemer, then so are we blasphemers. If Jesus stood alone in Spirit and in Truth, then so do we stand alone in Spirit and in Truth. Following Jesus means you walk God’s path alone with only God and Jesus for companions. That’s why it’s narrow; there’s room for only one body.

This is not a blog for those who believe in or follow false prophets. Mainstream Christianity is a false prophet in precisely the same way as mainstream Judaism was a false prophet in Jesus’ day. Nothing has changed. We fight the same enemies and we do so in the same way that Jesus fought – by refusing to compromise what we know is Truth, and by living and dying for that Truth.

Jesus was a healer. That means he healed sickness. He gave his followers the same ability to heal through God’s Spirit. Jesus healed through God’s Spirit, and his followers heal through God’s Spirit. No drugs required.

Jesus was a healer from his head to his toes. Even his spittle healed. We know that, because he once made a paste of dirt and his spittle and rubbed it on the eyes of someone who believed he could heal him, and that person was healed. Jesus didn’t prevent his spittle from being sprayed by covering his mouth with a cloth. He was a healer from his head to his toes, including his spittle.

Jesus also healed by physical touch. He touched others and others touched him, and they were healed. He gave the same abilities to his followers. Jesus didn’t designate a broad space around him that was not to be breached; he permitted people to press on him, and they permitted him to touch them. He permitted this because he knew they believed he was a healer, and they permitted it because they believed he could heal. Those who did not believe were not allowed to touch him until it was his time.

I mention all this because the false prophets of mainstream Christianity appear to have forgotten that Jesus was a healer and that his followers are also healers. Perhaps it’s not so much that they forgot; perhaps it’s more they never knew, because they don’t know Jesus. If they knew Jesus, they would have left the “den of thieves” long ago, like many priests left it in Jesus’ day. If they are still in that den now, defending it and going along with its decrees, they have aligned themselves with the world and will earn a fitting reward for their allegiance.

This blog is written for born-again believers. I know that others read it, some with good intentions and others with no so good intentions, but it is not meant for them. It is meant for you, if you’re a genuine born-again believer.

Jesus was a healer. We, if we’re genuinely born-again, are also healers. We heal by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, in the same way that Jesus healed and in the same way as his genuine followers in the early church healed, and in the same way as all of Jesus’ genuine followers throughout the ages have healed.

No drugs required. No mouth-cloths required. No broad-spacing required. All that’s required is belief. If you’re a genuine follower of Jesus, you know this and follow this. It is self-evident to you. If you are a follower of false prophet Christianity and of the world, you do as the false prophet church does and as the world does, and you have no place here. This blog is not meant for you.

Genuine followers don’t ask: “What would Jesus do?”, they ask: “What did Jesus do?”, because everything we need to know to live our lives on Earth, Jesus did already and showed us in the Gospels.

We do not follow the decrees of false prophet Christianity, which are the decrees of the world.

We follow Jesus.

TIMING

As you’re reading this, there are four angels bound in the Euphrates River waiting to kill a third of the world’s population. God has bound them there to wait for his signal. Even though they’re powerful supernatural beings, these angels have no agency to release themselves or to kill on their own volition; they have to wait for God. Otherwise, their efforts will come to nothing.

The unfolding of God’s plan – and your part in it – is all about timing. There are many lenses to view scripture through, but the lens of timing is one of the most crucial. Jesus was acutely aware of the importance of timing. Despite how eager he was to do his Father’s work, he still had to wait until the time was right. When he tried to start at the wrong time (when he was still a child), he got knocked back. It would be another 18 years before Jesus finally hit the ministry road with God’s blessings.

I think we’ve all experienced getting knocked back by God. I certainly have. The first Bible study I held was a complete bust: Not one soul showed up but me. It was a very sobering and very humbling experience. In hindsight, I’m glad it happened, although I’d be lying if I said it didn’t knock the wind out of my sails for a while. My grandmother used to say “Mistakes keep you humble”, and I was definitely humbled by the sight of that empty room day after day, until I finally accepted that no-one was coming. I was the right person to be hosting a Bible study, just not then.

If you go through the Bible, book by book, and look at the circumstance of timing, you can easily see its significance. Sarah was barren until Abraham’s faith had been successfully tested. In fact, there are many cases of barren women becoming fruitful when the time was right, such as Rachel (the birth-mother of Joseph and Benjamin), Hannah (the prophet Samuel’s mother), and Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother). Moses, at the age of 40, tried to assume a leadership role over the Hebrews in Egypt in a bid to rescue them from slavery, but was knocked back by God. He then fled Egypt and steered clear of it until it the time was right – 40 years later – to lead his people to the Promised Land.

The holy angels also have to wait their turn to help and guide people and to reveal secrets. In fact, we all play our part, whether in God’s Kingdom or in the world. Jesus says that those who are only in the world can play their parts whenever they want to – they’re not restricted by God’s timing – but we and the angels have to wait for God’s signal. God tells us many things and then tells us to wait for the signal before revealing them.

You can always tell a false prophet by the way they release information they allege is from God. They will specify a year or a month or even pinpoint an exact day. That’s one of the main indicators of false prophets. Real prophets point to signs that should be looked for; false prophets give dates.

As the world falls deeper and deeper into the new dark age of tyranny, we need to be acutely aware of God’s timing in everything we do. We need to wait for God’s signal before we act. I know it’s difficult for some of you (it certainly is for me) to stay quiet and keep your head down when all you want to do is shout from the rooftops, but shouting without God’s blessings will accomplish nothing but noise, and noise will get you noticed by the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

We need to be patient.

When the time is right for each of us to act, God will let us know, and he’ll do it in such a way that we’ll have zero doubt that he’s giving us the signal. It will be as blatant as trumpets blasting and as personalized as our own thumbprint. We need to wait for God’s timing, like Jesus did. We need to wait, we need to watch, and we need to be ready.

Wait on the Lord

Be of good courage and he will strengthen your heart

Wait, I say, on the Lord.

(Psalm 27)

SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN 2.0

Back when Jesus was doing his ministry work nearly 2000 years ago, there were many of his people who knew how corrupt the religious powers-that-be were. They were not stupid, these people. They were, however, unprincipled, in the sense that they would go along with the ptb’s edicts in order to get what the ptb were offering them. Or better said, they went along with the edicts in order to avoid what the ptb could do to them if they didn’t go along with them.

In other words, they went along to get along.

Scripture mentions these people as being afraid to openly acknowledge or follow Jesus because they knew if they did, they’d be kicked out of the synagogue. Being kicked out of the synagogue was essentially being kicked out of society. You became a social outcast, and you could no longer work or shop or even openly show your face.

(Sound familiar?)

Not much has changed in the nearly 2000 years since Jesus walked the earth. Today, many people who can see through the obvious lies being blasted at them by politicians, “experts” and the media, have chosen to suspend their disbelief in the same way that people who secretly knew Jesus was speaking God’s Truth chose instead to remain in the synagogue, to remain in good standing with the ptb, and so to be able to continue to access all facets of society.

I was appalled at how many alleged Christians have chosen this course, this unprincipled course of knowing something is suspect but going along with it anyway because going along with it is easier than questioning or defying it. I talked to God about this, and he showed me something that I hadn’t considered: that most people are cowards. I don’t say that in a mean-spirited way, but as a Truth from God. They’re cowards in the sense that they’re constantly afraid. They don’t know God (although many of them call themselves Christians), and not knowing God, they don’t have access to his strength. They’re relying on their own strength, which is poor at best, and so feel they have to lean on each other and on society in general if they’re to get through whatever hardship they’re encountering. Otherwise, they’re too afraid to go on.

Like lies, fear that makes you do something that you know is wrong comes from the devil. God can also strike fear in your heart, but the fear that God strikes in you is holy fear of not doing what’s right. It’s the exact opposite of the unholy pall of fear that now hangs over the world and that has its source in evil.

Just as the people in Jesus’ day were being sifted to see whether they wanted what God was offering or what the world was offering (that is, whether the fear in them was a fear of God or a fear of the devil, and whether that fear made them worship God or the devil), the same sifting is going on now. The obvious lies, half-truths and contradictions constantly being spun and presented as “science” are so blatantly suspect that no-one in their right mind can actually believe them. Even so, the majority has agreed to believe, if in exchange for their consent they can continue to remain in the synagogue.

Jesus was an outsider, even though he was the son of God and the Messiah. The ptb and society treated him as an outsider, and then they hounded him as an outcast and criminal, and then they killed him. Most of his early followers suffered the same treatment.

God has given us all free will, so we all have the ability to choose. We may not like the consequences that some choices bring, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we have free will. We have the option of being like the cowards who choose to remain in the synagogue of Satan (that is, to choose lies), or we have the option to follow Jesus (that is, to choose Truth).

What you choose to do with your free will is up to you, but I would heartily recommend choosing Truth. For me, there is no other option.

GOD IS DOING MY PREPPING

Back in 2014, I moved to Truro, Nova Scotia, for the summer. I couldn’t find an apartment right away, so I decided to stay at a motel for a while. The suite had a full kitchen and bath, a separate living room and bedroom, and standard TV, internet and phone. About a week after I’d moved into the motel, a summer storm was forecast to hit the next day. I didn’t really think much about storm preps, as all my emergency supplies were in a storage unit on the other side of town. I thought I’d just ride it out with the supplies I had (meaning, just the food and water I had in the fridge).

The next day was a Saturday, and the storm hit as scheduled, but it had been upgraded to a hurricane. The wind was ferocious, uprooting trees and hurling the motel’s flower pots and Adirondack chairs across the parking lot, but thankfully the power didn’t go off and my internet stayed connected. I did, however, lose the phone and TV. I don’t watch TV, anyway, so I didn’t care about losing that, but the phone I did miss.

After the third day of no phone service, I walked over to the motel office to try to find out when the phone would be back on again. The guy who owned the motel told me that the phone would only come back on when the power came back on, and that likely wouldn’t happen for another few days.

I looked at him for a second and said: “The power’s off?”

He said: “Yeah. It’s been off since Saturday.”

I said: “But I have power. My power never went off.”

He said: “That’s because you’re in a power default. It has something to do with the convergence of power lines. You just lucked out with your unit.”

“So the rest of the motel doesn’t have any power?”

“Nope. The power went off during the storm and hasn’t been on since. It probably won’t be back on until Thursday.”

For three whole days and nights since the hurricane hit, I had been blissfully unaware that I was the only guest in the entire motel who had power. Everyone else had lost everything in their fridge and had no stove, no air-con and no lights, while I was sitting well-fed and cool in my bright little self-contained unit, completely insulated from the darkness and misery around me.

I remembered this tonight when I was watching the first few minutes of a doom-and-gloom YouTube video about the coming “dark winter”. Yet another false prophet was urging viewers to prep materially for power outages and food scarcity. And then I remembered the Hebrews when they were in Egypt just before the exodus, and the plague of darkness that left all the Egyptians groping in pitch black, while only the Hebrews had light in their homes.

And that’s when I thought about what Jesus says about prepping. He tells us not to worry about food or anything else, because God knows what we need even before we do and is preparing it for us now. God is doing our prepping. Jesus tells us instead to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and everything we need will be provided.

I’m not going to say that what happened to me at the motel in Truro is an instance of God doing my prepping, but it sure looks like it. God takes care of his children today in the same way he took care of the Hebrews during the plagues of Egypt nearly 3500 years ago. The Hebrews didn’t prep materially, but they still had everything they needed and were well-protected. God will look after us, too, if we do as Jesus says (seek God’s Kingdom and his righteousness).

Keep in mind that God’s prepping is supernaturally perfect, and that we can never prep better than God, no matter how many batteries and cans of beans we stash away.

I don’t know about you, but I follow the advice of Jesus, not the advice of YouTube doom-and-gloomers, most of whom just want to sell me something. If Jesus says only to prepare for the needs of today, then I’m only going to prepare for the needs of today. If Jesus says to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, then I’m going to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, confident that if I do what Jesus says, God will provide whatever I need when I need it.

Amen.

ON THE MOUNTAIN

We don’t know exactly what Jesus did when he took off by himself for a few days every now and then. Scripture just says that he went up to the mountain to pray, so I guess we should take that at face value. Except I won’t, because I think whatever Jesus did on the mountain when he, according to scripture, went off by himself to pray needs to be talked about. Because we also need to be making our little escape trips every now and then, and what we do up there on our mountain should reflect what Jesus did on his.

Ministry work is oftentimes like performing – exhilarating and draining at the same time. It also puts you constantly in fast-forward mode, so that you’re never really you and never really in the moment. You’re always anticipating, always considering the impact of this or that word, this or that gesture, always aware that the spotlight is on you, exposing you, and that even as some people hang onto your every word, others are lurking in the background waiting for you to mess up. It’s like a tightrope act that requires you to be assiduously careful even while appearing to be carefree and spontaneous. Only there’s no safety net under you in ministry work, and when you fall, you may take others down with you.

It’s no surprise that Jesus needed to get away from the performance pressure every now and then, to realign himself with himself and with God. I think the Jesus who taught in the synagogues was not the same Jesus who taught his disciples privately and also not the same Jesus who spent time with Mary and Martha and Lazarus. These were all different Jesuses. I think the real Jesus is not in scripture and only appeared on the mountain when he was alone with himself and with God.

That is the Jesus that I want to get to know and that I’m getting to know – the Jesus on the mountain. There are flashes of him in scripture, but the real Jesus – the one God knows inside and out – is elusive because he can’t be captured in words. Imagine that – the Word can’t be captured in words! You need to get to know Jesus one-on-one, and only when you’re on your mountain, and only when you’re you.

It’s tempting to want to stay on your mountain, to just go there and stay there. I’m sure there were times when Jesus wanted to stay on his mountain and not go back down for the next performance or the next work shift. Remember that ministry, if done properly, is work. It’s not play. If you approach ministry work as something that should always be enjoyable, you’ll eventually give it up, and likely sooner than later. Jesus was very clear that he was doing his father’s work, not his father’s hobby or his father’s playtime. He was doing God’s work, and work is by definition mostly hard, tedious, and frustrating, even when it’s for God. It’s also done mainly for the reward, not for the work in and of itself.

Very few ministers talk about this, about how tedious and frustrating ministry work can be at times, and how the only way you can get through those times is to focus on your reward. In Jesus’ case, his was a Heavenly reward, and so is ours. Our reward will not be given to us on Earth for doing God’s work. Certainly, God will provide for us, in the same way as companies provide their employees with food, shelter, medical care, and other necessities when they work long shifts in remote locations, but our reward for our labour is in Heaven. Our paycheck is in Heaven. That’s what we’re aiming for and what we’re working for. Whatever God is providing for us now is not our reward. It’s our room and board.

There were times on the mountain when Jesus met with others from Heaven besides God. This was also one of the reasons why he went up to the mountain. He took a few of his disciples with him once to show them what he sometimes did there. The so-called transfiguration wasn’t a one-off event. I believe it happened many times, but only once was it witnessed by the disciples. Moses shone when he came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments, just like Jesus shone during the transfiguration. The remoteness of the mountain is ideal for meet-ups with Heavenly emissaries.

The different things Jesus might have done during his time on the mountain (and why he went up there in the first place) is something we need to think about because we need to be doing whatever he did if we’re to succeed at our ministry work. We need to take time every now and then (and we’ll know when it’s time to take time) to get back to ourselves as God knows us, not as the world knows us. We need to take time away from the performance exhilaration and the work tedium so that we can again, for a time, be who we are. We must never lose touch of who we are, as it is the true measure of our soul. We need to know where our soul is in relation to where it needs to be if we’re to be fit for Heaven.

So the next time you feel called to go up to the mountain to pray, make sure you go by yourself and make sure you be yourself. It’s a very great privilege and honor to be called exclusively into God’s presence over a period of days, to recoup and regroup as only can be done with God’s help and guidance. And who knows – you might even meet with a surprise guest or two while you’re up there.

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up his countenance, and give thee peace.

THE FAMINE OF HEARING GOD’S WORD

The devil has an easy go of it these days. He knows that all he has to do is deliver his lies through an accepted authority, and people will bow down and worship him. Because that’s what it is when you adhere to the devil’s lies – you’re worshiping the devil. Adherence is a form of worship. Nearly the whole world is now bowing down in worship of the devil.

Even Christians are an easy target for the devil’s lies, as most of them don’t know scripture. Three of the biggest lies that are held as sacred truths by the majority of Christians – that Jesus is God, that Jesus is coming back soon to set up an earthly kingdom, and that all you need is “belief” and “faith” to get into Heaven – can easily be refuted with even a passing knowledge of scripture. But most Christians would rather swallow what is spoon-fed to them by their respective authorities than to take the time to read the Bible and learn the Truth for themselves.

Most Christians take the easy way out because they’re spiritually lazy. The devil knows this and is using it to his advantage.

Before I was born-again from atheism 22 years ago, I knew very little scripture beyond that the Bible existed: What was in it was a mystery to me. Within half an hour of my rebirth, I started reading the New Testament. I read all four Gospels in one sitting, and then read the rest of the New Testament the next day. I couldn’t put the Bible down. It was like spiritual mother’s milk to me, and I was ravenous. I learned about Jesus and his teachings from Jesus’ recorded words in scripture, not from someone else’s misinterpretation or misquoting of them.

I’m grateful that I learned that way. I’m still learning. You never stop learning about the Word while you’re on Earth in human form. But you can’t learn if you don’t pick up the Bible and read. That’s how you gain knowledge. And then you take the knowledge that you’ve gained and apply it to your everyday life. That’s how you endure to the end. If you don’t read the Bible and learn from it, and don’t apply what you’ve learned to your everyday life, and then don’t endure to the end, the odds are not in your favour that you’ll make it home to Heaven.

Most Christians don’t know the meaning of spiritual rebirth and/or don’t know if in fact they’re actually reborn. This is a sad and sorry state. Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice to pay the sin debt we inherited from Adam, so that those who chose God’s Way could be cleansed of their sin and have the same relationship with God as Jesus did. This relationship is enabled through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit in a born-again soul. God’s Spirit won’t live where sin lives; spiritual rebirth is like deep-cleaning of the soul. Without it, God’s Spirit won’t come and live with you. He might make cameo appearances, like he did with Balaam’s ass, but he doesn’t move in with you unless you’re genuinely reborn.

It’s critically important to be genuinely reborn and to have God’s Spirit living with you, because without God’s Spirit guiding you, you can’t understand scripture. You can read words without the help of God’s Spirit – you can memorize them verbatim and quote them backwards and forwards, if you want to – but you cannot understand them in the way they were meant to be understood. This is the core reason for the misinterpretation and misapplication of scripture, and the devil has had a field day with it for thousands of years.

In Old Testament times, God sent prophets to interpret his Word for the benefit of God’s people. The prophets weren’t born-again, but God’s Spirit was with them from time to time, some more often than others. During the times when the Spirit was with them, the prophets were able to perform miracles, hear directly from God, and interpret scripture.

As born-again followers of Jesus, we always have God’s Spirit with us. That is the definition of being born-again. The measure of God’s Spirit we have depends on how much we choose to submit to God. Jesus humbled himself entirely under God’s mighty hand, and so God was able to work powerfully through Jesus, through his Spirit. However, most born-agains have not made the same commitment to God that Jesus made. They’ve made a partial commitment, but not a full one. They’re holding a part of themselves back. And because of that, the miracles are few and far between with them, they rarely hear from God, and they have difficulty interpreting scripture.

When we give everything we are and everything we have to God, like Jesus did (and like he advised us to do), miracles follow. One of those miracles is being able to understand scripture as it was intended to be understood. This is important, because without understanding scripture, the devil will put his lies into your mouth, you’ll swallow them down, and then you’ll regurgitate them, thinking what’s coming out of you is God’s Truth.

Nearly all of what passes for Christianity today is devil spew. This would not be the case if Christians were actually born-again (which is the very definition of being a Christian) and had committed themselves fully to God. If they were born-again and fully committed to God, they would know scripture as God intended it to be known, that is, through the help and guidance of his Spirit.

The Bible is a holy book. It’s called the “Holy Bible” for that reason. As such, it contains elements that are holy. What is profane cannot understand what is holy. You can’t approach God’s Word through the eyes of the world and still be able to read scripture as it was intended to be read. You’ll see words, but you won’t see the Word. For instance, those who only see words believe that God’s Kingdom will be established by Jesus as an earthly kingdom at his second coming, whereas those who see the Word know that the Kingdom was already established when Jesus started his ministry nearly 2000 years ago, and that the Kingdom is a spiritual realm, not an earthly one, and will never be an earthly one. As Jesus said repeatedly: “My Kingdom is not of this world.”

It’s easy for the devil to fool people who don’t know the Truth. Scripture tells us of a time when there’ll be a famine not of food but of hearing God’s Word. Even though Christianity is supposed to be the prevailing religion today, there is in fact a famine of hearing God’s Word, because most Christians are spiritually lazy and are not genuinely born-again. This makes them prime receptacles for the devil’s lies. They think they’re hearing God’s Word, but what they’re actually hearing are words that have been twisted to mean something that God didn’t intend.

We have a profound responsibility as born-again believers to deliver the Gospel message as it was intended to be delivered. That means we have a profound responsibility to know scripture as it was intended to be known – not as words, but as the Word.

As the world descends deeper and deeper into tyranny, we need now more than ever to know God and his Word. If you haven’t yet committed everything to God, don’t wait another day to do it. You won’t endure to the end unless you’ve given everything you are and have to God, as a follower of Jesus. Once you give him everything, the devil will have no toehold in you. You’ll easily be able to discern the devil’s lies, just as you’ll easily be able to read and speak God’s Word as he intended.

ARE YOU DOING YOUR JOB?

If you’re not being called a religious fanatic, you’re not doing your job.

If mainstream Christianity hasn’t labeled you a heretic, you’re not doing your job.

If people in general don’t think you’re crazy, you’re not doing your job.

If some aren’t openly accusing you of being certifiable, you’re not doing your job.

Being a born-again believer living in the world and preaching and teaching the Word should be earning you every insult and slight and accusation in the book, if you’re doing your job. Jesus says you’ll be hated and persecuted, and that you should expect these things and be happy when they occur, because it means you’re doing your job.

Jesus was considered crazy by the world. Jesus was labeled a heretic. Jesus was even accused of being demonically possessed. Because the world is by definition opposed to the message of the Gospel, and so those who adhere to the lies of the world will abhor those who adhere to the Truth of God.

So embrace being called a religious fanatic. Revel in being dismissed as a Bible thumper. Agree with those who call you crazy, and tell them you’re crazy like Jesus and you wouldn’t want to be any other way.

I can’t imagine wanting to fit in with the world or wanting to get the world’s approval, knowing that the world is under Satan. The more the world laughs at me and rejects me and bans me and considers me a threat simply for speaking God’s Word, the happier I am and the more I know I’m doing my job.

I hope you’re doing your job, too.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Matthew 5:11-12

HOW TO DEAL WITH UNBELIEVING LOVED ONES

One of the most difficult things you’ll have to do as a born-again believer (besides being kind to those who are unkind to you) is to separate yourself from those who are not born-again. At some point, you’ll have to leave them behind, including family and friends. Jesus did, and so did all of his early followers. If you don’t leave them behind, they’ll hold you back and drag you down. And while they’re doing it, they’ll compromise your witness.

Oh, you say, I’m not worried about that. My faith is strong. My witness isn’t affected by my family and friends.

Really? Your witness isn’t affected by your family and friends? Then why did Jesus cut his ties with his family and then with everyone in his hometown? Was his faith not strong enough? Why did all the disciples leave their wives and children when they started to follow Jesus? Going back further, why did the Jews who’d married non-Jews leave their wives and children when Judah returned to Jerusalem after the exile in Babylon? The reason is because having close relations with people who do not share your beliefs negatively affects you. You may not think it does, but it does. You are constantly compromising what you believe in order to keep the peace. Your spiritual growth is stunted, or worse, you risk falling away.

Think about what happened to Solomon because of his unbelieving wives. He eventually became a demon-worshiper.

Paul says not to separate from unbelieving spouses IF the spouse wants to remain with you. But the unspoken proviso here would be that the spouse should in no way interfere with the believer fully living his or her faith. I know many believers who live with unbelievers, but the unbelievers hold sway over them, so that the believers can only “be themselves” when they’re not around their spouse. This is not what Paul intended.

Scripture is clear that being a follower of Jesus requires us to die to who we were in order to come back to life as an entirely new creation. Most (if not all) of our family and friends are not born-again and so no longer have a place in our life. Does that mean we should shut them out completely? Of course not. Jesus provided for his mother by giving her into the care of John. Mary later became his disciple, as did his brother James. Jesus didn’t run them off like diseased dogs; he separated himself from them so that he could do the work appointed him by God. The same with the disciples.

The same should be with us.

In the Gospels, Jesus tells his followers that their new family are believers who do the will of God. Jesus is very clear about this. Of course, you have God-given free will so you can defy Jesus and keep on living and socializing with those who are not born-again, but you’ll suffer for it and eventually you’ll regret it, likely forever. That’s a long time to wish you’d done what God had advised you to do when you had the chance.

Again, I’m not the one who’s telling you to leave your family and friends, God is, through Jesus. As I mentioned earlier, this is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to do as a born-again believer. There is no easy way around it; it just has to be done, and the sooner, the better.

Scripture says not to go to them, but to let them come to you. Mary eventually turned and came to Jesus, as did James. Chances are that your family and friends may yet turn, if there’s still time for them, but being with them as a compromised believer and tolerating their sin is not going to help them turn. You need to separate from them, and then let them come to you if and when they become believers.

Jesus extended the redemption invitation to us when we were still in our sin, but he didn’t live with us while we were still in our sin. He only started to live with us when our sin was purged from us through spiritual rebirth. Effectively, then, we went to Jesus spiritually; he didn’t downgrade into sin to live with us while we were still in our sin. He stood apart from us, let us know he was there, and waited for us come to him.

We need to separate ourselves and let our unbelieving loved ones – if they turn – come to us, just like we went to Jesus when we turned.