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This time last summer, I was nearing the end of a 40-day/40-night Bible read-through. Some hardy souls read along with me, while others did the deed at their own pace over the following months. I was thinking about that read-through last night and the unique perspective you get from God’s Word when you read through it without pausing to mull it over. It’s somewhat like the difference between taking a quick shower and a long hot bath. I love taking baths, but a quick shower can also be refreshing.

The Bible is a really, really, really, really, really long book with lots of words in it (around 800,000). Some scholars study the Bible as their life’s work, but most people – including those who call themselves Christian – never bother to read it. As born-again believers, we should be reading scripture every day, not as an obligation, but as something we just do naturally, like breathing.

When I was first born-again, I couldn’t put the Bible down. I read all four Gospels in one sitting within a few hours of being reborn. God’s Word was like mother’s milk to me as a new-born-again. I couldn’t get enough of it.

That hunger for and dependence on God’s Word has not left me in the 23 years since my rebirth. I always have a Bible close at hand, which got me interrogated a few times by Homeland Security for having one in my purse while boarding a plane. For me, scripture is a reminder of who and how I need to be. I sometimes wear a cross around my neck for the same reason – to remind myself, when I’m out in the world, that I’m not of the world, that I need to respond to situations differently than the world.

The very physical presence of the cross and what it represents to me and others has kept many a sharp word from spilling over the boundary of my lips and has also reminded me to say a quick prayer instead of muttering a curse when I encounter conflict. Physical objects that are close to hand are helpful that way. I guess I could just as well tie a string around my finger as a reminder, but the neck cross serves the dual purpose not only of reminding me how I should act in the heat of the moment, but also of branding me as a believer in the eyes of the world. Moses advised the children of Israel to put physical reminders like frontlets on themselves so they would always keep the Ten Commandments in mind and act accordingly. My cross serves the same purpose.

Last year’s Bible read-through left an impression on me that I hadn’t anticipated. When I recall doing the daily readings, I also remember the time of day (almost always the morning), the sunlight streaming through the window, the stillness and quietness of the country setting, and the jumble of boxes and sheet-draped furniture that I sat among to read (I had brought my things out of storage, hoping finally to go through them). It seems that the physicality of my surroundings became part and parcel of God’s Word. In the same way, when I recall my first reading of the Gospels in the hours after my rebirth, I also recall the kitchen table I sat at, and I can still hear the fridge humming and buzzing behind me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that our seemingly random physical realities are part and parcel of our experience and understanding of God. Jesus tells us that God is a Spirit being. But we are very much trapped in the physical realm of time and space, so how can the physical comprehend the spiritual? Or maybe the question should be: How can we move beyond the physical to comprehend the spiritual?

I don’t think God wants us to do that. If he did, he wouldn’t have given us our senses. In many ways, the physical impressions made on us reinforce the spiritual impressions, just as the spiritual impressions reinforce the physical ones. The two work hand-in-hand to impress on our memories the things we need to remember, each working as triggers for the other. So our physicality in the mortal realm, far from keeping us from knowing God, allows us to know him in a way different than we’ll know him in Heaven. But we can still know him while we’re yet on Earth. He is still with us, if we’re born-again. Jesus is, too, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, because he told us he’d be with us until the end of the world.


When I was thinking last night about the Bible read-through and the Bible in general, I asked myself whether I could sum up the Bible in one word, and if I so, what would that word be? I decided instead of taking the Bible as a whole, I would divide it into the Old Testament and the New Testament, and assign one word to each part. The Old Testament I would sum up as “God”, and the New Testament I would sum up as “Jesus”.

That was easy.

But if I moved beyond the personalities that dominate each part of the Bible and looked instead at what those personalities did to dominate it, I found that “promises” describes what God does in the Old Testament and “fulfills” describes what Jesus does in the New Testament.

So, taken together, we have “God promises” and “Jesus fulfills”. That pretty much describes the whole Bible and would have saved us 40 days and 40 nights of reading if I had just posted a blog article with those four words.

But of course, we need to go deeper and look at “promises” as being both an encouragement and a warning, and at “fulfills” as being the very physical walking out of God’s promises over time. Without the intensely physical context of Jesus living and moving and working physically in and through the world, both before and after his resurrection, God’s supernatural promises could not have been kept.

I’ve mentioned before how Jesus is the rubber hitting the road when it comes to God. Jesus not only made real all things pertaining to God, he kept it real. There was no pretentiousness with Jesus. There was no “thee” and “thou”, no demanding that people bow before him. He was just a regular guy, a carpenter’s son from Nazareth who’d turned preacher. Other than for the one time he rode on a donkey to fulfill scripture, he walked or took a boat everywhere he went. He didn’t drive a chariot. He wasn’t carried around by half a dozen slaves. He was very low-key, hands-on, and accessible.

I like knowing this because remember that Jesus did everything that God advised him to do. He took all his cues on what to say and how to act from his Father. Now if Jesus took all his cues from God, then that means God acts very much like Jesus, or better said, Jesus acts like God. If Jesus was without pretentiousness, then so is God. If Jesus was low-key, hands-on and accessible, then so is God.

Scripture shows us glorious visions of God resplendent on a throne, but it also shows us God walking in a garden in Paradise in the cool of the day, God making coats for Adam and Eve, God meeting up with Moses in various places, and God spending time, one on one, with Abraham and Noah. In all those encounters, God is very much like Jesus with people, with a very low-key, rubber-hitting-the-road kind of vibe. That’s the heavenly Father I know. He doesn’t want me to “thee” and “thou” him. He just wants me to be real with him, the way he is with those who love him and do his will.

Our physical bodies during our time on Earth are a rough draft of the perfect bodies we’ll have in Heaven. And just as our bodies now are crude and imperfect compared to what our heavenly ones will be, so are our senses crude and imperfect when it comes to spiritual things. Paul says we see now through a glass darkly, but we’ll be able to see God as he really is when we get Home. The Bible can only show us God through a glass darkly; we can get an idea of him from scripture, but we can’t fully know what he’s like. The way Jesus was during his time on Earth is as close to God as we’ll ever get, not only in how God is in and of himself, but what he wants and expects from us, and what we’ll get in return if we do what he wants and expects.

Jesus famously summed up the Law and the prophets of the Old Testament as “treat others as you want to be treated”. Mind you, that’s more than one word, but it’s a pretty good summation. In fact, I think it’s as good a summation as you’re going to get, and also very characteristic of Jesus’ approach to keep things low-key and accessible to all. Why write (or read) over half a million words when you can say the same thing in less than 10?

Even so, given the choice, I’d rather eat a delicious five-course meal than just swallow a vitamin that has the same nutrients. The Bible is a smorgasbord of wisdom, advice, warnings, history, promises, tragedies and prophecy. It needs to be read, all ~800,000 words of it. Sometimes we graze on it, sometimes we gorge, sometimes we gnaw slowly but steadily on it, and sometimes we do a whirlwind 40-day read-through to get the gist of what it has to say and to note which sections we want to return to later to study more in-depth.

But we need to read the Bible; that is without a doubt. And we should be reading parts of it every day, not as an obligation, but as a need.

It doesn’t matter what time of the day you read the Bible and it doesn’t matter how much of it you read; it just matters that you read it.


For the entirety of his ministry years, Jesus was the sole human who knew beyond a doubt that he was the Messiah. His disciples claimed to know (Peter even once by the power of God’s Spirit proclaimed it), but they didn’t really believe, not beyond a doubt. If they had really believed, they wouldn’t have run away when Jesus was arrested. If they had really believed, they wouldn’t have denied knowing him when they were outed as being his followers. If the Marys had really believed that Jesus was the Messiah, they wouldn’t have shown up at his grave on the third day with spices to anoint his body. All of these actions – running away, denying knowing Jesus, and preparing the body for burial – show that while Jesus’ followers claimed to believe he was the Messiah, they didn’t really believe, not the way Jesus did.

Only after they saw and touched resurrected Jesus did they believe beyond a doubt.

It must have been a peculiar kind of solitude for Jesus, being the only human who knew who he was. Sure, God knew he was the Messiah, as did all the holy beings. The unholy ones knew, too, and were constantly blabbing it before Jesus had the chance to shut them up by casting them out. And there’s the odd thing about Jesus being the only human who knew who he was – Jesus didn’t want anyone else to know he was the Messiah, not until the time was right. So he was OK with his disciples’ and followers’ skin-deep belief in his messiahship, at least in the first few years of his ministry work.

Being the Messiah would have been a big secret to carry around. Even before Jesus started his ministry, his family would have known he was a prophet (imagine how many times he’d healed their illnesses and turned water into wine at home before debuting those miracles in public). But like his followers, his family also didn’t believe he was the Messiah until after his resurrection. They knew he was a prophet, sure, but THE Prophet? The one foretold by Moses and written about by David and Isaiah all the Old Testament prophets? Nah, not our Jesus. Remember how his mother and sisters tried to drag him back to Nazareth, thinking he’d lost his mind, and how his brothers ragged on him to declare himself publicly, if he really was who he said he was. There was no belief in those actions by his family, not belief in Jesus as the Messiah. But after his resurrection, his Mother and his brother James fell into line with his disciples and followers as true believers.   

We, as born-again believers, know what it is to be alone in our beliefs. Most of us don’t have genuine born-again family members, at least not still on Earth, and most of us don’t know any genuine born-again believers in the flesh. Instead, we operate fully by faith, having neither seen Jesus with our own eyes nor being in the company of other true believers. It is a peculiar kind of solitude that we live during our time on Earth that is not unlike the solitude that Jesus experienced. But, like Jesus, we are also never alone: We have our heavenly Father with us always, through his Spirit, and we have the cloud of witnesses.

If I have to sit, stand, walk, eat, pray, worship and sleep alone for the rest of my time here, I’m OK with that. I may be more or less alone in my beliefs and very alone physically, yet I never feel alone, because God and Jesus and all my cloud homies are with me in Spirit. It’s a peculiar kind of solitude, but a fulfilling and a blessed one.

I’m never lonely.

We need to accept being alone in our beliefs because that’s how it’s going to be during our time here as born-again believers. That’s how it was for Jesus and that’s how it is for us.

As Jeremiah put it, I’d rather sit alone than in an assembly of mockers and unbelievers.

Amen to that.


One of the fastest and easiest ways to fail at being a Christian is to expect other people to do all the work for you. Yes, Jesus had to do the heavy lifting to get the show on the road, but it’s done now, and the rest is up to us. But who needs all that hassle? Life is hard enough as it is. Having faith takes too much effort; believing beyond the witness of your eyes just spins your head around. And Jesus already did everything for us and forgave us all our sins, so what does it matter what I do, if I’m once-saved-always-saved? I’m going to Heaven regardless, right? That’s what mainstream churchianity tells me. It makes much more sense to believe what most people believe (rather than scripture) and to rely on the witness of my own two eyes. That’s a classic way to fail at being a Christian.

Have a problem? Go to a minister or a pastor or a Christian counsellor. Talk to a priest. That will guarantee that you’ll fail at being a Christian, because Jesus told us to go to God with our problems, not to people. As born-again followers of Jesus, we have a direct line of communication with God and Jesus through God’s Holy Spirit. But don’t use that, no, go to a person instead. That’s a great way to fail at being a Christian.

Another sure-fire way to fail is to wallow in your sin. Forget about repentance, forget about choosing to forgive before you take your prayers to God. Who has time for that? If you want to fail spectacularly at being a Christian, do a Catholic-style repentance, which is to recite vain repetitions a dozen times, and you’re good to go. Congratulations – you’ve failed at being a Christian! As for forgiving, all you have to do is say you’ve forgiven someone for something they did, and then the next day throw it back in their face. You can do that over and over and over again. And while you’re doing it, don’t forget to tell others about what that person did to you, in all its gory detail, and definitely don’t forget to follow up with a comment about how you’ve forgiven that person. You’re not going to fail at being a Christian unless you claim to have forgiven someone, but by your words and actions show that you haven’t.

Failing at being a Christian comes especially easy when you’re in a group of like-minded people. Make sure they’re nominal Christians who take their cue from the world, not from God. You can drink with them, curse with them, fool around with them (wink wink), do drugs with them, watch porn with them – heck, you can do whatever you want with them, because doing what feels good is one of the best ways to fail at being a Christian.

Jesus told us that our road would be hard during our time on Earth, and that if the world persecuted him, they’d persecute us, too. But who wants to be persecuted? What kind of a life goal is that? It’s much better to fail at being a Christian by always choosing the comfortable way rather than the right way, and by taking movie stars and athletes and YouTube pastors as your models rather than Jesus. If you want to enjoy a whole lifetime of failing at being a Christian, make sure you get a well-paying job with good benefits and a pension, make sure you marry and have kids, make sure you buy a house and a car and have a big investment portfolio, and make sure you confine “being a Christian” to one hour a week on Sundays and the occasional religious holiday. In other words, make sure you live your life totally opposite to how Jesus lived his. Be like most Christians rather than like Jesus. Do that, and I guarantee you that you’ll successfully fail at being a Christian right up until the day you die.

And then, my friend, you’ll get the eternal reward that you deserve.


We sometimes make the mistake, as born-again believers, of thinking that everyone is the same, that everyone deep down has the same common decency or at least the same capacity for common decency, but we’re wrong about that. There are some people who don’t have common decency and don’t even have the capacity for it. They’re more like animal predators than humans. That’s not to say they don’t have a right to live. And yet it is to say that if we try to live among those people, we shouldn’t be surprised if they cut our head off and rape what’s left. If we spend time around them knowing what they’re capable of and yet still insist that they’re “just like us”, then we get what’s coming to us. We get what we deserve, because we didn’t use our God-given common sense and instead tried to superimpose our fantasy world over a cruel reality.

Jesus distinguished two types of people in the world – those who were of God, and those who were of Satan. He didn’t mention that those who were of Satan could switch to become those who were of God, but he did say that those who were of God could end up children of Satan.

When I was a very young born-again believer, I thought that everyone alive on Earth had a shot at going Home. I thought that as long as a person was still breathing or had brain activity, there was hope for that person’s salvation. Now I believe that just like there are animal predators in the wild whose sole function is to keep the ecosystem in balance by killing the weak and infirm, so, too, are there human predators among us whose sole purpose is much the same as their animal counterparts, only on a spiritual level. These human predators can’t be reached by the Word because they have no capacity to receive it. God didn’t give them the capacity.

It’s a shock to the system when this realization hits you. As a born-again believer and adopted child of God, I have to admit it kind of freaks me out to be sharing the air with people who hate God (or, worse, are indifferent to him). They can never love God because they haven’t been created to love him; they’ve been created to deliver punishment.

I’ve known a few of these people intimately. I know I’ve known them, because God tells me not to pray for them. I used to pray for them, when I was newly born-again, but God one day told me to stop, and so I stopped.

I was raised by and around kind people. Being raised by and around kind people, I always assumed that everyone was kind. So I had to learn the hard way that not everyone is, and that some people pretend to be kind just to get what they want from you. Lying is a way of life for some people, so much so that they don’t even know they’re doing it most of the time. They just open their mouth and out comes a lie, because that’s what comes naturally to them. That’s how they were made.

When I lie, my palms sweat, my heart pounds, and I fail miserably at convincing anyone of my tall tale. I was never a good liar as an atheist. I couldn’t look someone in the face when lying to them, let alone look them in the eye. At the same time, I hated being lied to even more than being physically beaten. At least when you’re physically beaten, the evidence is right out there in front of you. But with lies, if the liar doesn’t admit to lying, then it’s just a cat and mouse game, with the liar usually winning by making up as many lies as necessary to wear the opponent down.

Jesus calls Satan the Father of Lies and explains that Satan was created that way. It wasn’t that God created Satan as a truth-teller and then somewhere along the line Satan developed a hankering for lying. No. Satan was created to lie. In the same way, there are people walking among us who are children of Satan not because they chose to be but because they were born that way – without the capacity to love Truth, which means without the capacity to love God.

As I said, I have known some of these people intimately, and as a born-again believer, I know now to keep my distance from them. I would never purposely be cruel to them or name them, but I let them be. Nothing good ever comes from poking a stick in a spiritual hornet’s nest. They have their purpose (otherwise, they wouldn’t be here), but they are not targets for conversion.

There are whole regions of the world that are full of natural born liars without common decency, whole regions that are the territory of Satan’s children. In fact, lying is so much a part of some cultures, that it is ingrained in the people as a cultural value. In those cultures, someone who is particularly good at lying (that is, someone who can fool even born liars) is considered to be highly accomplished. These cultures are now being blended with former Christian cultures, the latter which also have their fair share of natural-born liars without common decency.

When we try to superimpose our understanding of how people should be (kind, decent, honest, hard-working, etc.) over people who have no capacity for those character traits, we do no-one a favour. It’s better to see these people for who and what they are, and to give them a wide berth and stay out of their space, the same as you’d give a rabid animal a wide berth. Those who are born children of Satan will die children of Satan, and there’s nothing we can do to change that.

There was a man several years ago who gained some notoriety for living among grizzly bears in Alaska during the summer months. He talked to them and interacted with them as if they were children, and for the most part the bears tolerated him. However, there was a difference between the bears that lived in close proximity to people and those that did not. The bears that lived in close proximity to people became acclimatized to people and so, while not tame, were at least OK with people being in their vicinity, including the man who talked to them like children. But the bears that lived deeper in the woods and never came into contact with people were a different bear altogether.

The man who spent his summers with grizzlies learned that fact the hard way when he tried to use the same interaction techniques that had been successful with the human-acclimatized bears on bears that were not human-acclimatized. The non-human-acclimatized bears came down from the mountains to spend the colder months on the plains, where it was warmer. The man wasn’t usually in the plains area during the fall months, which is when he encountered one of these ferociously wild bears and met a sordid end. His mistake was in thinking that all bears were basically the same deep down and so could be treated and interacted with the same. Many people make the same mistake by thinking that all people are the same deep down. They are not. Some are born with the capacity to love God, and some are not. Some, as difficult as it may be for us to accept, are naturally-born children of Satan.

Jesus doesn’t tell us to seek out the children of Satan to destroy them. In fact, he tells us in the parable of the wheat and the tares to let them be, that God will deal with them at the Judgment. Meanwhile, as we make our way along the path homeward, we need to be fully aware of the existence of these people so that we can steer clear of them (which is not difficult to do, as they likewise want to steer clear of us). Don’t hate them, don’t publicly expose or ostracize them, and don’t preach to them: just let them be. God will deal with them in his way and in his time.


The best sleep I ever had was in a 4X4 outhouse in Oakville, Ontario. I hadn’t planned on sleeping there, but I got caught in a fall thunderstorm at my storage unit, and by the time the rain had stopped and I’d ventured outdoors, the gates of the facility were shut and locked and there was no way out. I could have spent the night in my storage unit, but it was too cold there, so I went to the outdoor heated bathroom, spread a giant garbage bag over the floor, laid down with my legs propped up on the wall (the floor wasn’t large enough for me to stretch my legs out), and promptly fell asleep. Because the outhouse was only dimly lit, I didn’t realize until the next morning, when I woke up magnificently refreshed and opened the door, letting the daylight stream into the tiny room, that the place was full of spiders. Big ones. Big black ones. There must have been at least a hundred of those big black spiders all over the walls and ceiling, but not one of them bothered me or bit during the night.

I still think of that sleep when I toss and turn in my expensive hotel beds or short-term condo rentals. I don’t think the quality of the bed or the pillow or the bedding or even the sleeping environment is important. I don’t think location is important. I don’t think what you eat or drink or otherwise ingest before you go to bed is important, any more than your bedtime routine is. Based on my own experience over many years of sleeping in thousands of locations, I think you sleep well when you’re good and tired, when you say your prayers, and when God grants you a good night’s sleep.

Some other good sleeps I’ve had were on rock-hard benches at airports, using my laptop as a pillow and surrounded by loudspeaker announcements (not to mention blindingly bright lights and screaming kids) or on sleeping cars in trains. The sleeping cars in trains I paid for and expected to have good sleeps in, but the airport bench sleeps were an unexpected surprise. I also have fantastic naps when I’m riding in one of the older models of subway cars in Toronto, when I have a long journey of at least 45 minutes to an hour. Regardless of how crowded the car is, as long as I can nab a seat, I just close my eyes and I’m out for the duration.

I mention this because Jesus didn’t have much by way of beds during most of his ministry years, and yet every day he put in a full day’s work and then some. So he must have been sufficiently refreshed by his sleeps, even if they were just on cold hard dirt or at the back of a heaving boat.

I also mention this because I’ll likely be starting a regime of camping soon as I relaunch my travels. Hotels and Airbnb’s are too expensive at the moment, so I’ve been exploring the camping option again.

I say “again”, because two years ago, I spent two nights camping and promptly threw my tent and tarp into a dumpster after the second night, as soon as it was light enough for me to find the dumpster. “Never again”, I swore to myself. But as born-again believers, we know not to swear anything (not to ourselves or to anyone), and common wisdom teaches us through humbling experience never to say “never again”. So I guess the “never again” timeframe I mentioned a few years ago is coming up in a few days, which I am with some trepidation preparing for.

Not wanting to relive my rookie camping mistakes, I’ve been watching “How To” camping videos on YouTube. I can see now why my previous camping efforts failed so dismally, but at the same time, I have to laugh at how much equipment you’re expected to buy and drag around with you if you want a good night’s sleep in a tent. I guess, like a sponsored runner on a coast-to-coast marathon with a supplies van trailing behind, I’ll have to hire someone to drag everything around for me, since I can’t drive and therefore don’t have a car.

Or I’ll just do what Jesus did, which I assume was to lay his robe on the ground, lay down on top of it, say his prayers, and fall asleep.

I’ll let you know how it goes. ;D


“Thou shalt not commit adultery

(Exodus 20:14)

Welcome to the Foundational Tutorial lessons on the Ten Commandments! These lessons are intended for you to learn what you need to learn; they are not meant as a condemnation or judgement. As born-again followers of Jesus, we’re all still here on Earth because we’re all still learning about the Kingdom and how to live in it. As much as he was the Messiah, Jesus was also a teacher during his time here. His followers are likewise expected to teach others, after they themselves have learned what they need to learn, and practiced it.

We aren’t expected to be perfect (even Jesus wasn’t perfect), but we are expected to strive for perfection (“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect”) and to constantly work at improving ourselves.

The foundation of Jesus’ teachings was the Ten Commandments and everything that stemmed from the Commandments, so we clearly need to focus on them. They are the lifeline for staying on God’s Way, particularly in times of trouble and temptation. You’ll note that there are no asterisks (*) on any of the Commandments. That means there are no exceptions to these ten rules. You break them, you pay the price.

For an overview of the blessings that come from keeping the Commandments and the curses that come from not keeping them, see Deuteronomy 28.





What Is Adultery?

Physical Adultery

Spiritual Adultery

Are You Committing Spiritual Adultery?

How to Avoid Committing Spiritual Adultery


Is Your Marriage Adulterous?

Will You Do the Right Thing or Look the Other Way?

3. tl;dr: SUMMARY



When I started this blog several years ago, I made a point of stating that I wouldn’t shy away from speaking God’s Truth, even if it drove people away. My personal experience has been that when I hear something in God’s Word that makes me turn away, it’s because I need to hear it. I’m resisting hearing it because I need to hear it.

I mention this because I’ve been resisting doing something that I should have done months ago, and that’s to present the teaching on adultery as part of the Ten Commandments foundational series. In direct violation of what I said I wouldn’t do, I have shied away from speaking God’s Truth, solely because I knew it would hurt some people to hear it. It wouldn’t just prick them; it would hit them like a tidal wave, and I didn’t want to do that to them. God let me shy away for a while, but now he’s on my case, and I have to go forward with it. I have to speak God’s Truth, because to do anything else is unacceptable to me.

I heard someone ask recently why people don’t preach (or teach) on sin anymore, and I guess one of the reasons is because they don’t want to discourage and alienate anyone, knowing that many people who consider themselves Christians are so deep in sin, they no longer realize that what they’re doing is actually sin.

So without any further ado, and with my apologies both for delaying the publishing of this installment of the series and for any (hopefully short-lived) grief this may cause you, I present the teaching on God’s Commandment not to commit adultery.


As I mentioned in the preamble, I’ve been putting off dealing with this Commandment because I know it’s going to hit some people hard and I don’t, despite the force of my words on this blog, enjoy hitting people. I don’t want to be the bearer of the message that causes them emotional suffering. I understand that people steeped in this sin don’t want to think of their marriage as adulterous and therefore illegitimate in God’s eyes. They don’t want their back pushed to the wall, forcing them to choose between God and their lover.

But I’ve finally gotten to the point where, firstly, I have to do what’s right in God’s eyes (not necessarily in people’s eyes), and secondly, my business isn’t your feelings: My business is your soul. I’d rather hurt your feelings if it leads you to repentance, than to coddle your emotions and leave you wallowing in sin.

If you’re in a relationship that puts you in violation of God’s Commandment on adultery, you need to end it. You can choose to stay in the relationship (you have free will), but it would be the wrong choice and you’ll suffer for it. Every part of your life will be adversely affected by your wrong choice, and you will contribute to the sin of others. You will not only be the sinner in that case; you will also be the tempter.


The Bible defines two types of adultery – physical adultery and spiritual adultery. Both are equally sinful in God’s eyes and both require the sinner to repent and not to sin that sin again.


Physical adultery is illegitimate sexual relations, that is, sexual relations that are illegitimate in God’s eyes. They may be legitimate in the world’s eyes, but if they’re not legitimate in God’s, they are adulterous. Jesus is very clear that marriage forms the sole basis for legitimate sexual relations. His definition of marriage is God’s definition, which is the life-long union of one biological man and one biological woman, joined in a life-long contract with, by, and under God.

Life-long means just that – you remain married until one of you dies. It is not an eternal union, but an earthly union that ends at death. Jesus tells us that in Heaven, there are no marriages and no people living as husband and wife. Marriage is only for our time on Earth.

Physical adultery also includes intense flirting, fantasy, and pornography. As Jesus says, for a person to lust after someone other than his or her spouse is the same as committing adultery with that person. Even just thinking about someone other than your spouse in a sexual way is the same as committing full-fledged adultery. So when those thoughts come to you (and they will come to you as a temptation, be sure of that), you need to pray to God to take them away. Let God know that you don’t want to entertain those thoughts, and he will take them away from you. If you don’t ask God to take them away, if you purposely entertain adulterous thoughts, you are guilty of committing adultery.

God permits you to be tempted, but he will always be there to remove the temptation, if you ask him. And if you do ask him for his help (always recommended), you then need to do whatever he tells you to do.

Fornication, which refers to sexual relations prior to the consummation of a marriage, falls under the category of adultery as well. You don’t have to be married to commit adultery; any illegitimate sexual relationship – however fleeting – outside a God-sanctioned marriage is considered adulterous in God’s eyes.

The devil has been working overtime over the past few centuries to discredit God’s Law on adultery and fornication as “old-fashioned” and irrelevant. People even joke about the word fornication now, the way they joke about the word “sin”. But who cares what the devil is telling people to think and believe; as born-again believers, we should only be concerned with what God is telling us. The world, inspired and guided by the devil, celebrates and encourages adultery through condoning pre-marital sex, multiple marriages and divorces, civil unions of people who are biologically the same sex, civil unions of people and their pets, etc., all of which is adulterous behaviour. We don’t have to participate in what the world encourages us to do; we need to stay on the strait and narrow course set for us by God. Understanding and following God’s Commandment on adultery is part of that course.


The Old Testament is full of warnings against committing spiritual adultery, but what is it, and how do we know if we’re committing it?

We need to know what spiritual adultery is, because like sexual adultery, spiritual adultery is forbidden by Commandment. Spiritual adultery is just as much a sin as physical adultery.

To commit spiritual adultery is to give your love, adoration, and worship to someone or something other than God. The children of Israel were notorious for committing this type of adultery, and they suffered accordingly for it, but modern-day Christians aren’t much better. I know people who call themselves Christians, but who have Buddhist statues in their house and do yoga (including chanting mantras). Then there are the so-called ecumenical Christians who believe that all of the “Abrahamic” religions worship the same God. Or they believe that all religions deserve the same respect, and so bow down to whatever idol is presented to them so as not to offend the idol worshipers.

When you stray from God and embrace other “gods” (a.k.a. fallen beings), even out of politeness, you’re committing spiritual adultery. It’s not only a sin, it’s breaking the Commandment on adultery and so leading you away from God. Your back is to God when you’re committing spiritual adultery: You turn your back on God. That is not the way to Heaven.


Let’s take a moment to take stock. It’s possible that you’re committing spiritual adultery without knowing it.

  • If you do yoga, you’re committing spiritual adultery.
  • If you have a dream catcher, you’re committing spiritual adultery.
  • If you have statues, effigies, or pictures of any “god” or “saint”, and if you defer to those items in prayer or touch them for “good luck”, you’re committing spiritual adultery. The Bible calls such things “abominations” that have no place in the life of believers.
  • Superstitious cultural beliefs are a very deep well of spiritual adultery and should be banished from your mind and heart.
  • Using the services of spiritual mediums is a huge no-no, even when they claim to be channeling God’s Spirit or a holy angel or the spirit of a departed loved one.
  • Anything or anyone that takes your spiritual focus off God and his Word is a temptation to spiritual adultery.


There is only one God and only one Messiah. God should take all your love, adoration and worship, and Jesus is your one and only leader and so the only one you should be following. As a born-again believer who has God’s Spirit with you night and day, you don’t need to go through Jesus to get to God; you can pray to God directly, as Jesus promised us we would be able to do, but you still need to go to God in Jesus’ name, as a follower of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t need to intercede for us (he did that already); we can go to God directly as Jesus’ born-again, Spirit-filled follower. Note that you do not go to God in your own name or in the name of your pastor or priest or in the name of an angel or a saint; you go to God in Jesus’ name and Jesus’ name only. Going to God in any name other than Jesus’ is spiritual adultery.

I could go on, but hopefully you understand. Scripture tells us that God is a “jealous God”. We need to grasp not only that God is intensely jealous over us, but that his jealousy is for our benefit, to keep us on the strait and narrow and from consciously or unconsciously straying down paths of demon worship. We should never invoke or pray to angels or saints or try to ‘make contact’ with a deceased loved one or the spirit world in general. Our prayers should exclusively be directed to God (in Jesus’ name) and to Jesus (as Jesus’ follower and friend). We should NEVER, under any circumstance, talk to the dead or to other spirits, unless we are casting a spirit out (sole exception). We should ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY talk to God and Jesus, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

If we worship only God and follow only Jesus, and if we direct all our prayers to God and Jesus, we’ll be safe from committing spiritual adultery.



Jesus said that divorce, which is the process of ending a marriage before death, has only one legitimate grounds in God’s eyes, and those grounds are fornication. Note that the fornication must occur before the consummation of the marriage. The best example in the Bible of a marriage that could have ended because of fornication was, ironically, that of Jesus’ own parents. When Mary got pregnant with Jesus, she was betrothed (that is, married, but the marriage had not yet been consummated) to Joseph. He could have divorced Mary based on fornication, as he knew he wasn’t the father of her child, which meant she must have had sexual relations with someone else. However, God intervened and assured him that Mary was still a virgin and that the child was conceived by none other than his Holy Spirit.

Based on God’s assurance, Joseph did not divorce Mary. However, you can imagine that the couple would have been the source of village gossip about Mary’s pre-marital pregnancy, and Jesus would have suffered from the gossip as well. Even during his ministry years, Jesus’ adversaries made snide remarks about his parentage. In any case, Joseph could have legitimately chosen to divorce Mary, according to Jesus’ explanation of the one acceptable grounds for divorce, but he chose not to.

Adultery is not grounds for divorce. Adultery is a sin, but it is not grounds for divorce. The mainstream church has for centuries willfully or out of ignorance misinterpreted Jesus’ teaching on adultery, and in so doing has led millions of souls into sin by permitting them to divorce on the grounds of adultery. The mainstream church then throws oil on their conflagration by “remarrying” those who have received an illegitimate divorce, plunging them even deeper into an adulterous situation. Many high-profile preachers are living in adulterous marriages according to Jesus’ definition of adultery and divorce. You can bet that Satan put those high-profile preachers in front of people as a way to normalize and condone adultery through illegitimate divorces.


Jesus’ teaching on adultery is as plain as plain can be. It hasn’t changed for thousands of years and will not change now. If you are born-again and living in an adulterous relationship or engaging in fornication through intense flirting, fantasy, or porn or through a relationship that is illegitimate in God’s eyes, you know you need to stop. I’m not the one telling you to stop – God and Jesus are telling you to stop. I’m just the messenger.

If you’ve divorced and remarried, and your first spouse is still alive, then your second marriage is illegitimate. There is no arguing that; it’s a scripture-based fact.

If you’re in an abusive marriage, you leave the abuser and live separately from him or her, but you don’t divorce and you don’t remarry. You remain living separately and celibately until you reunite with your spouse. If you don’t reunite, you remain living separate and celibate until you or your spouse dies.

Jesus presented his teaching and then left it for people to choose on their own. He didn’t strong-arm them or force them this way or that; he simply made it abundantly clear which choice they should make, which one was the right one in God’s eyes. (That’s what I’m doing here.) But whether they chose to remain in their sin or do the right thing he left up to them, even while strongly urging them to do the right thing in God’s eyes. (That’s also what I’m doing here.)

Jesus told us that considering the dangers of sexual temptations, it’s better not to marry or have children. The path Jesus chose (to remain unmarried and childless) was the optimal one for those in the Kingdom who are Homeward-bound, but he also cautioned that being a spiritual eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake is not for everyone. When the disciples got the call and started following Jesus, the first thing Jesus had them do was to leave their spouse and children, along with their jobs and homes and everything that had previously defined them. So even if you’re married and have children, those ties need not prevent you from following Jesus with the same commitment as the disciples, if you’re called to do so.  You’ll know you’re called because you’ll know: There will be zero doubt in your mind. When Jesus calls, he doesn’t whisper. His call is loud and distinct, and his sheep clearly hear his voice.

3. tl;dr: SUMMARY

  • If you’ve been breaking the Commandment on adultery without knowing it, now is the time to stop; tomorrow may be too late for you.
  • Marriage is a life-long contract between a biological man and a biological woman that only ends with the death of either of them. The marriage does not continue in Heaven.
  • Adultery is a physical (sexual) relationship that takes place outside of marriage, and spiritual adultery is the spiritual worship, adoration, or reliance on anything or anyone other than God. Spiritual adultery is just as sinful as physical adultery.
  • Divorce is only valid in cases of proven fornication, which must take place prior to the consummation of the marriage. Mary falling pregnant while betrothed but before consummating her marriage with Joseph is a good example of the one legitimate grounds for divorce in God’s eyes.
  • The best way to avoid all these potential problems is to live single and celibate – to become, as Jesus called it, a eunuch (spiritually) for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake.


“I have sworn and I will perform it,

that I will keep thy righteous judgments.”

Psalm 119:106


So many people praying for a miracle, praying for healing, praying for the cancer to go away or at least to go into remission. Praying for relationships to be healed. Praying for enough money to pay the bills or maybe a lottery win.

Praying for a miracle.

And then, when the requested miracle doesn’t come, so many people crying to God: “Why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this?” and cursing him, or worse, swearing he doesn’t exist.

But God answers all prayers, including those made in the agony of the soul. You might not get the exact miracle you requested, but you will get a miracle. God will intervene, if you ask him to. Through divine intervention, he’ll give you the strength to endure whatever it is you’re going through, whatever it is you’ve brought on yourself, whatever it is you have to suffer. There’s your miracle. The miracle is in the power of your strength to endure, which you wouldn’t have had if you hadn’t prayed to God for help. Your strength to endure is God working through you. There’s your miracle.

People ask me if God works miracles in my life, and I say yes, every minute of every day. Every minute of every day God works through me. Every day I witness his intervention, because I constantly ask for it and thank God for it. Every day I see his miracles.

I may not get precisely what I ask for, but I do get what God knows I need to stay on the path Home. And sometimes he’ll throw in a little something extra, something he knows I’ll know could only have come from him, just to make me laugh. God loves it when he can make us laugh.

The night before Jesus was crucified, he prayed to God that there would be some other way for him to complete his mission without his having to be crucified. He didn’t want to be crucified. He didn’t want the agony and very public humiliation of that kind of death. But note that he qualified his prayer with “not what I want, but you want”, and he prayed the same prayer three times in succession, showing us that we need to be persistent in prayer, so that God knows we mean what we say and that it’s not just a passing fancy.

Jesus didn’t get specifically what he asked for; he was crucified. But immediately after Jesus prayed, God sent an angel to strengthen him. There was the miracle he needed – not the miracle he wanted, but the miracle he needed to get through what he had to get through in order to get Home.

Our strength to endure whatever we have to endure is not our strength; it doesn’t come from us, no matter how strong we think we are. That strength to endure comes from God. That is divine intervention. That is a miracle.

So whatever you pray for, pray like Jesus – qualify your prayers by telling God not to give you what you want, but what he wants. God loves you even more than you love yourself, so if you give God leave to give you what he wants rather than what you want, you’ll always come out ahead. Yes, Jesus had to deal with being crucified, but he was crucified while also strengthened by God to endure it. Imagine how much worse it would have been for Jesus without God’s help.

I know how bad things can get when you don’t pray for God’s help, because I lived the first 36 years of my life on Earth without praying to God, and I stumbled from one disaster to the next. I was constantly an emotional basket case, constantly flailing in pain, and constantly casting blame like an AK-47 spraying bullets.

But on that day when I finally called out for help, not even knowing who I was calling to, God heard, and he answered immediately. He offered me the option of choosing to forgive or choosing not to forgive, showing me the outcome of each choice and shining a bright light on the choice to forgive as the right one and the one that would stop all my pain. Thank God I cried out for help that day. Thank God God heard me, and thank God he answered.

God always hears our prayers and always answers them. Always. There is never a time when he doesn’t. When you give God leave to intervene, he might not do exactly what you want him to do, but he will do what’s best for you. That’s his job description as your Heavenly Father.

So pray to God like Jesus prayed – not demanding, not expecting, not threatening or negotiating, but humbly giving into God’s will for you, whatever that may be.

That’s how you pray, and that’s how you get the miracle you need.


Jesus lived outside the economic system during his ministry years. He didn’t participate in the labour market, he didn’t own a home, and he moved from place to place, never staying anywhere for very long. He also lived outside the cultural system, alienating himself from his family and friends, withdrawing from routine participation in his hometown synagogue, and refusing to marry and have children, which would have been expected of him as the eldest son.

When you don’t participate in the economic or cultural systems within which you live and move, they have no power over you. The relevant authorities can’t fire you, they can’t unhouse you, they can’t dictate that you socialize with certain people, and they can’t force you to marry against your will. The world and all those who are in agreement with it essentially have no right to your consent, your presence, or your services. Their only claim on you is to demand that you pay some form of tax or custom when you enter an area or purchase something.

By choosing not to participate in the world’s systems, Jesus was silently declaring two things: 1) that he operated outside the systems, as he wasn’t in agreement with them, and 2) that neither the world’s systems nor the people in them had any power over him, unless he chose to let them have power.

Jesus’ silence was particularly thunderous during his trial. It was so unusual for a prisoner to remain silent in the face of death that Pontius Pilate openly wondered at it. He was impressed; he’d never encountered anyone with such extraordinary self-discipline. Jesus’ only words during the proceedings were to remind all those present that the only power they had over him was the power that God gave them, by Jesus’ permission. Without this permission, they would not have been able either to arrest him or try him.

As Jesus’ followers, we should either be living outside the world’s systems or preparing to live outside them. Note that living outside the world’s systems doesn’t mean you have to physically live outside of cities, towns or communities. You can live in Manhattan and still be outside the world’s systems, as the homeless people living on the streets of the lower east side can attest. Those in the upper echelons of the deep state also live outside the world’s systems. They delegate and authorize those who work within the systems, but they stand removed from them and are beyond the reach of worldly justice.

So, both those at the very bottom of the socioeconomic scale and those at the very top live and move outside the world’s systems, though in different ways. Followers of Jesus should also live outside the world’s systems, but not like the destitute homeless who beg for a living or the uber-rich who have sold their souls to attain their wealth. As Jesus’ followers, we live in the Kingdom, which overlays the world but isn’t controlled by it. That means we can freely move through the world, being provided for from its resources and not owing it anything beyond an occasional gold coin from a fish’s mouth. Think of how Jesus and his disciples moved through the farmer’s field, picking the corn when they were hungry, or how David and his men ate the altar bread that was meant only for the priests to eat. God provided for Jesus and his disciples and David and his men, permitting them even to violate religious rules and customs to get what they needed to survive.

My grandmother always used to say “the good Lord provides”. When you live in the Kingdom, you don’t have to participate in the world’s systems. God has put them there for you to use, as the need arises, but you don’t have to rely on them, you don’t have to contribute to them, and you aren’t controlled by them. You don’t have to make a big deal out of living outside the world’s systems; you just do it. Jesus didn’t make any grand announcement; he just separated himself from all worldly influence and worked from there. Nothing and no-one had any hold on him except God, which is how it should be for us as his followers. Jesus said not to swear any oaths or make any promises, and he might just as well have warned us not to sign any contracts, including lease, employment, and marriage agreements.

To serve God in his Kingdom means to be free of any obligations to the world and to those who are in the world. We should at all times be able to walk away from wherever we are and from whatever it is we’re doing without worrying about leaving anyone or anything behind. We should be living day-to-day (“sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”), ever mindful that we’re on God’s clock and our time could be up at any moment. It was crucial that the disciples leave their jobs and their families and their homes and their communities when they started to follow Jesus. In fact, it was the first order of business for each of them, after they got the call. Whatever defined them in their previous life, whatever ties bound them, whether business or personal, had to be cut. They had to walk away from ALL their obligations and make following Jesus their one and only focus. That’s why, as a born-again believer, you need to live and move outside the world’s systems. Otherwise, your mind may slip and slide back to worldly matters instead of remaining firmly on God.

Again, there’s no reason to make a grand announcement about choosing to remain silent. Jesus didn’t. Just cut your ties with the world. Owe nothing to anyone, beyond a day or two’s lodging. Sign no contracts. If you’re in a contract, get out of it. A contract is an oath, and we’ve been warned not to swear those. The aim is to live entirely outside the world’s systems so that you can’t be accused of agreeing with the sin the world condones. If you live within the world’s systems, contributing to them and participating in them, you are also contributing and participating in its sin by proxy.

Don’t do that.

We should be following Jesus in his silent rebuke of the world and its systems, just as we follow him in everything else. We need to cut our ties to everything and everyone who is not of the Kingdom, like Jesus and his early followers did. We need to keep it simple. Living in the Kingdom means always being ready to leave wherever we are – including the mortal realm itself – at a second’s notice.

This is a heads-up for someone reading this. If it’s you, please take it heart. There should be no difference between the way Jesus’ early followers lived and how you live. If there is a difference, you need to correct it.



Back when the term was first coined, “Christian” was synonymous with “death sentence”, which is why anyone who identified as Christian in those days lived undercover and on the run. Jesus warned his followers that they’d be considered outlaws, and so they were. Most were killed for the sole reason that they were Christians, but they willingly chose death rather than renounce their faith and lose their place in God’s Kingdom. This shows how highly valued being a Christian once was to those who were Christians.

Nowadays, the standard definition of “Christian” has significantly changed from the original incarnation. A Christian in today’s post-modern world is someone who attends church on Sundays, follows the Commandments (more or less), gives to charity, lives a comfortable if somewhat bland life, but is otherwise indistinguishable from non-Christians. Post-modern Christians easily blend in with the same world that once persecuted and killed them. They marry, they divorce, they have careers, they have children, they have mortgages, they have pensions, they have investments, they retire, until finally they go to their eternal reward never really understanding or even wanting to know what it means to be born-again or to follow Jesus. This is a standard-issue Christian in the 21st century.

So what happened? How did Christians go from being #1 enemies of the state to being dismissed as inconsequential?

We could say “the devil happened”. Without a doubt, the worldly church has been infiltrated by the devil to the point that it is now more the congregation of Satan than of God, but that’s only part of the equation. The devil can influence, tempt, coerce and threaten, but he can’t force people to do anything against their will. He can’t force people to stop being Christians in the original meaning of the term (that is, he can’t stop them from being born-again followers of Jesus). He can’t force people to water down their faith or adjust their lifestyle to where it is indistinguishable from that of unbelievers or even outright Satanists. Only individual Christians themselves can choose to do that.

Which brings us back to the question: What is a Christian?

Christians were persecuted and killed because their beliefs were considered a threat to the status quo of the powers-that-be, who were then (as now) under the authority of Satan. Jesus, whose most violent act was to overturn a few tables, was considered such a major threat that he had to be eliminated, on the assumption that eliminating him would also kill the movement he’d started. Ironically, eliminating Jesus in the mortal realm only succeeded in unleashing him in the spiritual one, where his influence was exponentially stronger. You can’t kill God’s Spirit; get rid of one genuine believer, and others will stand up in his place.

Knowing that he was not going to succeed at eliminating Christians, the devil focussed instead on compromising them to the point where they would no longer be a threat to him. He did this through infiltrating the worldly church with anti-Christ doctrine and splitting into denominational factions what was originally the same church at different locations. He also did this by making Christianity the official religion of many countries and regions, which was accomplished by blending Christian traditions and beliefs with pagan traditions and beliefs, so that the “NEW & IMPROVED!” Christianity would be more easily accepted by the non-Christian masses.

Somewhere along the line, being born-again and following Jesus were dropped from the definition of being a Christian. Those prerequisites were still in scripture, but they weren’t in the state-created, state-sanctioned, mainstream church. Instead, you were a Christian if you lived in a certain country or region, or you were a born a Christian if your mother was a Christian. Genuine spiritual rebirth was no longer needed, because allegedly you were automatically reborn at baptism (a few weeks after birth) or at confirmation (around age 12 or 13). As for following Jesus, the Gospel was essentially replaced by creeds that differed from denomination to denomination, but were the same in that they introduced lies that denominational adherents were forced to recite, memorize, and regurgitate. Some of the creeds even stated that if you didn’t believe them, you were eternally damned.

Again, the devil can seduce and bully you, but he can’t force you to do something you don’t want to do. Sometimes the consequence of not doing the devil’s bidding is torture and death at the hands of the state or other worldly authority, but that’s how it is. Jesus warned us it would be that way, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it is. He also taught us that the world is under the authority of Satan, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we find that to be the case. The Catholic organization’s nearly 1000-year reign of terror against genuine Christians, called the Inquisition, was dressed up to look like a holy war, with the papacy and its adherents heralded as the good guys and genuine Christians framed as the bad guys. The torture inflicted by the so-called good guys on the so-called bad was so heinous, I refuse to describe it here. Let’s just say it involved demon-level atrocities that only demon-infested people could have devised and carried out. And yet the people promoting the torture and those carrying it out considered themselves to be Christians doing God’s will.

I have a love-hate relationship with the word “Christian”. Jesus never used the word, but the early born-again believers claimed it. So the love part of my love-hate relationship is using “Christian” the way the early believers used it – to identify genuine born-again followers of Jesus who were so committed to serving God in Jesus’ name, they would rather be killed than renounce their faith. These were true believers who were worthy of being called followers of Jesus, and of calling God their Father and Jesus their friend.

On the other hand, the “hate” part of my relationship with the word “Christian” flows from how watered down to the point of meaningless the term has become today. What value is there in identifying as a Christian if the word is synonymous with someone who is, at best, well-meaning but impotent or, at worst, a hypocrite or con artist?

So what is a Christian? Is it time to reclaim the term, to bring it back to its roots and original meaning, or is it too late for that? Has too much damage been done, too much water flowed under the bridge for the notion of Christian ever again to mean what it did 2000 years ago? The devil has been busy over the millennia, knowing that while he can’t prevent conversions and rebirths, he can muddy the waters and poison the wells so that the converted and reborn have a hard go of it and nominal Christians just spin their wheels, getting nowhere.

If you ask me, as a born-again believer, what a Christian is, I’ll tell you this: It means, first and foremost, to be genuinely reborn through a genuine rebirth experience. Being genuinely reborn, Christians then have God’s Spirit with them 24/7, to varying degrees (never as much as Jesus had, but still enough to guide them in the Truth along the Way and to enable them to communicate with God and Jesus constantly and directly, through prayer). Being reborn and having God’s Spirit with them 24/7, Christians can then take their place in the Kingdom of God, surrounded by their brothers and sisters in Spirit in the cloud of witnesses mentioned by Paul and described by John. They can also either prepare to teach and preach the Word, or actually teach and preach it. They should be doing one or the other: preparing to teach and preach, and then, when emboldened by the Spirit, actually doing it.

Born-again Spirit-filled Christians who live in the Kingdom and who are either preparing to teach and preach or are actually doing it also take their cue entirely from Jesus on how to act in and interact with the world (e.g., follow the Commandments, love their enemies, treat others as they’d want to be treated, etc.). Christians, in the truest sense of the term, don’t make choices based on how they feel or what the world says is OK to do – they look to Jesus to see what he did when he was on Earth in a human body. Jesus is their sole example of how to live their lives. In the Gospels, Jesus first taught them theoretically what they should do, and then he walked it out practically for them to see the theory in action. He told them, and then he showed them; he told them, and then he showed them. This is the hallmark of a great teacher and preacher.

Finally, Christians always have their eyes on the prize, which is Heaven. Living their lives day by day, as Jesus showed them to do, the only long-range plan they make is getting to Heaven. Making it to Heaven is the overarching goal and guiding light that draws them ever forward and upward, no matter how bad things get on Earth.

This, then, is what a Christian is – one who is a born-again, Spirit-filled believer who lives in the Kingdom and is always consciously in the presence of God and Jesus, who either teaches and preaches the Word or is preparing to do so, who follows in Jesus’ footsteps according to his example of how to live in the world, and who is aiming for Heaven and therefore only does and says those things that are worthy of someone aiming for Heaven. This, to me, is a Christian, and I base my definition on scripture.

Even so, I also know that the term “Christian” will never again mean to the world what it meant at its inception, and that lamenting how cheapened the worldly definition of Christian has become will not change worldly Christians into authentic ones. Only they can choose, on an individual basis, to want that change to happen, and only God can make it happen. So while I distance myself from using the word “Christian” to describe myself to the world, I still use it with God and Jesus; I still stand among my Christian brothers and sisters in the cloud of witnesses as one of countless Christians who have stood before God throughout the ages, following Jesus’ example of how to live in the world and being guided and emboldened by God’s Spirit as I make my way carefully, carefully, and with fear and trembling, Home.


You can’t teach people who don’t want to learn.

Jesus said to feed his lambs and to feed his sheep, not to force-feed them.

He himself only taught and preached to those who came to him to learn.

We have to be mindful to do the same.

“But” (someone will inevitably say), “God’s Truth must be spoken both in and out of season”.

That’s true – Jesus’ brilliant responses to the religious powers-that-be are legendary, but he didn’t go looking for a fight. He didn’t seek out his enemies or confront them. He didn’t poke a stick into the proverbial hornets’ nest. His enemies attacked him with lies and provocations, and Jesus responded with just enough Truth to set the record straight. More would have been wasted on them.

I mention this as a caution against street preaching and witnessing to strangers. People get deeply discouraged by trying to force-feed God and Jesus to people who have no appetite for them. There is a misconception among many evangelical Christians that they need to harass people on public streets, shoving pamphlets in their faces and waving Bibles at them. This approach has never worked to sway people, other than to sway them to curse you.

Jesus was not an evangelical preacher, he was an itinerant one. He only went where he knew people wanted to hear what he had to say. He instructed his disciples to follow his example by moving around from village to village and staying only in those places that welcomed them. Those homes or villages that didn’t welcome them were to be avoided. God would deal with them in his time.

When Jesus, at his ascension, instructed his disciples to first wait for the “promise of my Father” and then to go out into the world to preach the Good News, he did not mean they should go out to people who did not want to hear the Word or who would feel coerced into hearing it. His earlier instruction to the disciples still stood: to go only where people wanted to hear what they had to say. He also did not mean they should go out willy-nilly, on their own steam and motivated by their own ego. These two factors – 1) only going to people who are receptive to God’s Word and 2) waiting for God’s Spirit to embolden you – are foundational tenets for preaching the Word.

I converted to Christianity from atheism, so I am intimately acquainted with how unbelievers react spiritually to the Word of God. It’s not a pretty thing, their reaction, and it shouldn’t be provoked. No-one who ever tried shoving God in my face when I was an atheist succeeded in anything but getting laughed at or cursed out for their efforts. They accomplished nothing, because God’s Spirit was not with them. They were operating on their own steam. You accomplish nothing when you attempt to preach God’s Word where it’s not welcome and on your own steam.

It’s better not to preach at all then to preach without the blessing and power and guidance of God and Jesus, through God’s Holy Spirit. It’s better to remain silent than to cheapen God’s Word. It is the highest privilege and office in the mortal universe to be a prophet of God and to preach and teach God’s Word. There is no higher privilege, but it isn’t self-bestowed or bestowed by another person: It is bestowed by God.

This is why Jesus cautioned his followers to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit before starting their ministry. When they initially went out in twos, Jesus was physically there with them to guide them, correct them, and oversee their progress, and they also had their partner as a fallback. But this approach to preaching was meant only to be temporary, as a form of training for the time when Jesus would not physically be among them. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, which gave them a direct line of communication with God and Jesus, later emboldened them to speak without the safety net of a partner and with miracles accompanying their witness, like they accompanied Jesus’ witness. The miracles were God’s very public seal of approval and evidence that the followers spoke not from their own power, but from God’s.

I do not know you and you do not know me, but God knows us and also knows whether or not we are equipped to preach his Word. You’ll know whether or not you’re equipped to preach the Word because you’ll open your mouth and God’s words will come out, not yours. God will speak through you. That is the very definition of a prophet – one who speaks God’s Truth – and born-again believers are prophets by spiritual nature. If they’re not a prophet, they’re not born-again.

So before you take to the streets or to a virtual format to preach and teach the Word, first make sure you’ve been sent by God – not by your Bible college or your pastor or yourself – BY GOD. If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve been sent by God, you haven’t been and should remain silent. Otherwise, the devil will put his words in your mouth and you’ll turn into a false prophet.

These words are meant to discourage you from doing something you know you shouldn’t, and to encourage you to do something you know you should. The guidance to “tarry in Jerusalem until you receive the power from on high” is as much meant for us today as it was meant for the disciples nearly 2000 years ago. We dare not go where we have not been sent, and we dare not speak in God’s name unless we do so with God’s words, put there by God himself. If we presume an office and a privilege that God has not given us, we will not succeed in our preaching and we will place ourselves firmly in the camp of Satan, who also presumed an office and a privilege, leading to his fall.

“Wait on the Lord:

be of good courage, and he will strengthen thine heart:

wait, I say, on the Lord.”

Psalm 27