Staying strong relating to understanding Scripture and Faith is pretty difficult when there is so much absolute nonsense being hawked around by individuals and churches, much of it based upon assumption or seriously bad teaching. For example, have you heard people say things like; We're all God's children? Well, no we're not. We're all made in God's image, but we're not all His children. Most are the children of the Devil. Just because someone is related to you, or that someone says they are Christians doesn't mean they are God's children or indeed brothers and sisters in Christ, they are merely related by blood.
I remember Obama saying that we're all God's children at a Prayer Breakfast. Of course most the Pastors present were afraid to publicly speak out about this, except Lance Wallnau.
I watched a short video where a pastor said he was going to sue someone and one of his congregation said "how can you sue a brother" and the Pastors response was "but he ain't my brother!". I can confidently say that Obama ain't my brother, he's a committed Muslim and Muslims are instructed to kill Christians and Jews, hence Allah not being the same God we, as Christians, worship.
I also I realised that not everyone can stop the devil. This is because God can only recognise two types of people:
1) Repentant, born-again, spirit filled Christians
2) Non-Christians which include Catholics, CofE, Hindus, Sikhs and so on.
Just because someone says they believe, doesn't change their status. They're expected to act and follow His instructions. And for those who have opened a Bible, some of the writing is in red, denoting that Jesus is speaking.
At the end of the day, we are to make an effort to study, read and live by what the Bible says so that we're all 'singing from the same hymn sheet'. One of the big stumbling blocks is repentance, meaning a 180 degree about-face from sin, yet not many people are prepared to do that. I read Luke 13 last night where Jesus states "repent or perish". Firstly, we are to repent to God. This is who/why John the Baptist was baptising Jews before Jesus ministry started.
Next there's baptism to Jesus, the outward sign that you belong to Jesus (much like a wedding ring or a covenant/seal that shows you're married) however, as I said earlier, people don't what to make the effort, but that normally boils down to poor teaching and a lack of conviction from church leaders.
Many, especially Catholics state that infant baptism is sufficient, however, there is no basis for this in the Bible, anywhere! A baby cannot repent or even understand sin let alone knowingly follow Jesus or speak in tongues!
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:21 "What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?" Back then, Paul would say it as it was, but not now. Even so-called Christians want a 'safe place' if they feel offended!
Finally there is the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which results in speaking in tongues. This happens when you/we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Yet so many so-called Christians choose to dismiss this and also water baptism stating that it's either irrelevant, only for the apostles or- their loss!!!
Once repented, baptised and spirit-filled, only then can a Christian be considered saved. Trouble is, going back to Jesus' teachings, no one wants to be discipled and to follow exactly what Jesus said, therefore, the church panders to the typical left-wing victim mentality and not wanting to upset anyone for fear of a reduction in income! So the result is a bunch of uneducated wannabe Christians who end up making stories from part truths of the Bible because they've never read it or have picked up passages 2nd or 3rd hand. Another word for these people are 'Moral Pagans'.
Jesus said we are to go to the world baptising and discipling (Matthew 28:19). Which bit of what Jesus said did the body of Church not understand? Take a look at www.thelastrefromation.com a growing global organisation I think is doing it right!
It's worth pointing out the in Hebrews 10:26 it clearly states that we can lose our salvation. So, 'once saved, always saved' arguments can be entered below in the Comments!!!…
For unbelievers and those not born-again, the enemy has a field day, and many need what's called 'deliverance' to expel demons etc, but again, if they were prepared to be baptised, they would be free as long as they commit to following Jesus and the Bible.
Non-Christians are an easy target for the enemy, especially if they're in positions of influence, like the media, show business and so on. Satan's objective is to attempt to stop people from following Jesus. He wants us to be separate from God and to be, himself, worshiped. Therefore, his 'big plan' is to deceive the world, which he has become quite proficient at. Note the Jesus did not challenge Satan when he said the kingdoms were his to give to Jesus, if Jesus worshiped him. Jesus did not argue!
The challenge is for born-again Christians who have not been discipled and have no idea how to fight spiritual battles with the enemy.
I realised that every instance in the four Gospels in the Bible where demons were cast out, happened to Jews. When a Gentile asked Jesus to cast out demons from her daughter, Jesus said no! As it was not for dogs. The woman replied, even dogs can eat scraps from the table (Matthew 15:27).
So I continue to learn, especially when I'm asked to join something, i.e. I was asked to join a Spiritual Warfare ministry and felt something was not right. After my research I deduced that it's simply a ruse to get people to become dependent on the Pastor or Leader, something that is apparent with most religion businesses.
A non-Christian can have a demon inside them which needs to be cast out, i.e. for them to be delivered from the demon.
After the enemy has been expelled, then the 'house needs to be kept clean', this means to repent, baptised and receive the Holy Spirit and continue to live a holy life. Otherwise Matthew 12:45 become apparent - one demon leaves and later it returns with seven more demons more evil than the first.
I also understand better about forgiveness and love. Our duty is to forgive as I mentioned, otherwise how can God forgive us. We can love others, but still have nothing to do with them. We were recently being stalked, harassed and threatened by a so-called friend from a church we went to. Eventually she was arrested, charged, convicted and fined. I don't hate her, we pray for her and I 'love' her as we're told to love everyone, but I wouldn't invite her round for diner!
I have realised that part-time Christians love their 'Christianese'. They come out with such nonsense that disempower everyone around and makes people impotent and incapable of living the way the Bible tells us. This causes an imbalance. No one knows how they should behave or how they should be thinking. Most end up waiting for God to do something and when something bad happens, they blame it on Him and not on the enemy or they own stupidity.
God gave us brains and we're expect to use them. If God instructed Man to write His word in sixty six books, then there is a 100% expectation for us to learn to read and learn His ways.
There are some basics we must cover;
Liz and I stopped going to a church building/business some time ago - remember, if there's a building and employed staff, then it's a business! The bible says we are the church, the body of Christ. We now meet with a small group of people at Caffe Nero every Sunday and have been doing so since 2015.
Our plan is to grow the group and to encourage each other to live as the bible says, regarding connection to Jesus through our daily lives, our finances, i.e. making sure everyone has what they need and to pray for each other in everything we do, i.e. work, family, health and so on.
To wrap up, the Bible is a story of love and reconciliation, we turned away from God and Jesus enabled us to get back into a relationship with our Father. It's the same story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11. The bottom line, we can only find the peace we're looking for when we submit to God and in doing so, agree and accept that the 'way' is understanding the Bible and following its precepts and using it as a guide. If everyone is doing the same - life gets better. That's why it says in the Bible about being equally yoked. i.e. Liz and I are both committed to God first and then each other.
I understand that whilst we're living on this Earth, we're in training. We can choose to follow God and accept Jesus as our 'Commander-in-Chief'. Those who have chosen to follow Him on earth will graduate to be with Him in eternity. According to the Bible, it means those who are born-again (John 3:3), no if's, no but's.
So yes, a few things have changed, but more to do with my education. I see things much more clearly now and am at peace with my past and future. As I said, I love what I do and I know we have helped/connected with a great many people from using Google Analytics and seeing how many thousands have visited our website.
For me, I feel relieved that I now 'get' this and it all fits together. Yes, I'll work, do salesXchange and make money. But the point of money is to use it on this planet. God knows we need to use money on this planet which was created in Babylon (by satan), so it's ok to have it, as long as it doesn't have you. I also see it as a necessary mechanism to support those around us and not for churches to shun the local poor and make a big deal of sending money abroad.
If you have been inspired or challenged by this article, please get in touch and do the same for others in the Disqus Comments below or better still, come and join us at Caffe Nero on Sunday's.
Have a fine day.