Disciples Handbook Complete Version in PDF
Worlds: The Earthly and the Heavenly Realm:
Worlds and the Heavenly Realm: Accessing Heavenly
the Pre Trib Rapture Viewpoint
Kingdom Now or Preterist
Are We to Expect
a World Changing Revival in the Church?
Index of all titles by the author
VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
You Know that human beings in their natural
state are not interested in God. They are really
not interested in learning about deeper spiritual
matters. It is not part of our natures that
we are inclined to live in Godly ways or to
seek after Him!
THEN DOES ANYONE BEGIN TO DRAW CLOSE TO THE
ALMIGHTY, HOLY, GOD OF HEAVEN? HOW CAN SOME
DARE TO TO SAY THAT WE PERSONALLY KNOW HIM?
HOW CAN HAVE PERSONAL FELLOWSHIP OR INTIMACY
PREFACE to "The Gospel Without Religion"
do you think it means to be a Christian? How
does Christianity differ from other religious
beliefs and worship practices? Are you a Christian?
What is your basis for making this statement?
Perhaps you are among those who has rejected
Christianity because you have found the forms
and rituals of the institutional church empty
or uninspiring. Have you searched for proof
that God is real? Where will that search take
you? What will be the end of all of this? What
will be the ultimate destiny of your soul?
To what extent does religion impact eternity?
who has ever entered a book store knows that
there are thousands of books written to address
the questions above. Hundreds more are produced
and sold each year adding to the already glutted
archive called RELIGION. The motivations of
such writers, however motivated, mostly support
traditional doctrines while sharing a new precept
or two that may have arisen through study or
self discovery. I believe that what I share
here echoes many new voices who are beginning
to view the "spiritual life" as something
that can and should exist and flourish outside
of religion. But, make no mistake, I am one
who became a Christian through the grace and
power of God, who has become a believer and
student of the Bible. Prior to this time I
spent a life of being a partaker of traditional
You can find also find links to several of
my video commentaries on essentials of the
faith at http://www.youtube.com/user/cornetcharlie
- - Do not consider these sermons. I would
rather these short passages be regarded as
person to person sharing in a voice and manner
which is without sounding 'churchy.'
the Gospel Without Religion, I will examine
some of the topics below:
Disparity and Contradictions in the World of
Redefining: What is A Christian
The Search For God
Recognizing Features of the True Gospel?
must be cautious in my criticism of traditional
forms of Christianity. The historic reality
is that throughout the history of the USA it
has been the sustaining foundation and moral
backbone of a great nation. For generations
the values system of Christian teachings and
beliefs have provided a positive social framework
having a unique influence to the the nations.
It is apparent that Christianity as Religion,
even despite its detriments has provided a
righteous social foundation for millions for
generations. Children are best nurtured in
a home where traditions of Bible based life
values are practiced.
the fundamental social foundations of Christian
values are rapidly dissolving in a nation speeding
toward secularism. The media for some reason
has chosen a stance that disregards the moral
values of past generations, even omitting any
allusions to traditional truths of Christianity.
Fewer each passing year, will say, I am a Christian
believer. Few even understand what that means.
Church houses are losing membership and seek
new ways to attract congregants. In so doing
churches move further from the essentials of
the Gospel. Knowledge about God will
will not replace knowing God. Those who truly
know God can testify that they've personally
tasted of the supernatural Grace and goodness
of God through Jesus Christ the Messiah.
tens of millions of nominal Christians continue
to be called faithful church goers, but how
many are really passionately interested in
God. We see too little evidence in their lives
outside of church walls that they are different
from the secular-unbelieving masses. The fact
remains that few understand, and few turn to
seek God. This happens only when God personally
draws an individual by His Spirit.
I have heard the stories of many who were converted
dramatically. Some have a testimony similar
to mine. I found God or should I say God allowed
me to find Him - at a time in my life when
I was experiencing a spiritual emptiness, a
hunger, a desperate need. It is at such times
that we make our first serious effort to seek
God desperately. It is then that we ask, and
we knock! The quickening of this inner desire
to know God may well be the result of another
believer's prayers on our behalf.
The Grace of God is set in motion by
these prayers. It is this Divine Grace (an
enabling gift) from God which brings us to
a new awakening. It only takes a moment
for God to answer our heart's cry and bring
us from darkness into light; but, in my case,
it took years to prepare my soul to be ready
for this to occur. Pride and idolatry have
many forms that first need to be addressed.
God has the power to change people! The Gospel
is the Power of God!
Love for Humanity
has always loved us. John 3:16 is often used
to verify God's love toward us: God so loved
the world that He gave His only begotten son,
That whoever believes in Him should not die
but have afterlasting life.” Yet, not
all will acknowledge and receive this redeeming
love. (They are left with the consequences
of this decision, (John 3:18 He
that believeth on him is not condemned: but
he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of
the only begotten Son of God.
loves us all. He grieves humanity's loss of
understanding and weakness. He has made a way
of rectifying this fallen and alienated state.
The way is through Jesus the Messiah. God provides
a necessary 'measure of faith' to help
those who seek to find the answer to their
spiritual hunger. This measure of faith is
what draws us to him and gives us the power
to believe. A supernatural transformation is
available once someone believes in the Gift
of God with assurance. If you believe in the
Yeshua (The Hebrew name of Jesus meaning Jehovah
is Salvation,) God's Son he will open your
eyes. He will speak to you. It is through him
and him only that you will partake in the wonders
of the world to come. Through the Grace (free
gift of God) we experience that supernatural
event, the miraculous change in our spirits
called regeneration into "the new man,
the regenerated spirit, or the new creation.
So re-quickened by Almighty God, we are inwardly
compelled to grow in the knowledge of this
life giver and lover of our souls. We seize
the life ring thrown to us. This is the beginning
of the Spiritual life. We have opened the door
of the Kingdom of heaven and begin gradually
discovering our status as a Son or Daughter
this supernatural beginning we new believers,
are as tender saplings and can be bent many
ways: Since we have so little understanding
of the Word of God, we can be easily be taken
prisoner by those who preach other gospels.
We can be snared by an incomplete "Gospel"
Or we can follow the spirit of Christ with
the spirit of liberty accessing the Word of
Truth with proper mentors who have spiritual
experience and knowledge. There is a whole
new spiritual world OF LIFE to discover. There
is a life of blessing and hope to access. (2
true Gospel hasn't changed but it has been
dangerously distorted or in some cases nearly
lost by religious tradition. The Gospel of
the Kingdom of God remains that which was first
taught to the disciples by Jesus Christ. I
will attempt to share meekly and with simplicity.
I shall do so without motive of gain, what
I consider the simplicity of being a Christian.
I hope it is not too simple, for historically
religion has made believing in Christ into
matters of theology and formalism. Such things
need not be so.
teachings I share on these pages will appear
didactic, meaning that it presented as accurate
and factual. While derived from study, this
knowledge has not accrued from second hand
accounts or through religious indoctrination,
but from serious study of scripture as well
and experiences that bear witness to
the realities of Christ and the "Kingdom"
he rules. Study of Scripture illuminates the
believer as the Holy Spirit brings light and
commentaries are not the product of religious
indoctrination, nor of a denominational slant.
I believe these precepts and understandings
reflect the truths revealed by the apostles
and prophets of Israel who proclaimed the True
and Living Way. For my part, these writings
are only a part of the great revelations of
Truth contained in the Bible. These introduce
Christianity in its basic but essential form.
(The faith first delivered to the saints -
- the faith for which we must contend. (Jude
modern societies have grown to reject a world
governed by facts in favor of a cornucopia
of opinions. Black and white notions are rejected
in favored of the nuanced blend of infinite
points of view. The Gospel however, is born
out by first hand experience but more importantly
is verified by reliable witnesses. These witnesses
are the holy and long standing voices of the
Christian faith, recorded in Scripture. These
voices are a more sure testimony and become
the litmus test of any doctrine or experience
that one might promote.
truth of God is known in varying degrees by
many, though shockingly too few. The masses
have been victims of religious paradigms that
have grown all too familiar over the past 17
centuries. Christian theology today is becoming
increasingly a repudiation of Apostolic doctrine.
religious paradigm is now being challenged
and is slowly passing away. There is more hunger
and thirst for spiritual fellowship, more liberty,
more simplicity and more power. Traditions
are being replaced by the living presence of
God. Simply being a spectator at a church service
(program) is being replaced by the desire to
participate directly as a disciple following
the Spirit of God.
doubt what I write here will be challenged
by religious experts, theologians. academicians,
and others who can embrace the doctrines and
dogma they were taught. Religious people respond
vehemently to any message that assails their
religious paradigm. Here is a profound Gospel
fact, shared by the apostle called Paul in
his first letter to Corinth, "Man through
knowledge can not know God." But the Spirit
of God can turn ordinary people into instruments
of His Glory!
Faith and Belief
God an interesting subject? Yes, Infinitely.
Do questions about the reality of God affect
us or impact our lives? Yes, absolutely and
eternally! Is the subject one that we should
resolve within ourselves? Yes, absolutely!
Religion abounds in the societies of the world.
It is inextricable in the cultures of every
nation. It is a full time concern to many who
see religion as a life style or a career path.
My definition of
is a codified belief system. It is the
platform from which debates and disagreements
launch with the result too often being from
vehement disagreement to genocide.
of books continue to be written about God in
an attempt to offer spiritual answers to those
who are seeking a spiritual life. Subjects
might range from World Religions, Comparative
Theology, Biblical Study or Analysis, and of
course prescribed pathways to enlightenment
by self promoting gurus. This is not a book
about theology. I am not a theologian, I have
none of the required credentials, nor do I
have any desire to become one, to seek certification
or to be validated or approved by theologians.
I am, therefore, one tiny voice in the marketplace
of ideas.. another voice, crying out in the
wilderness, So now I give thanks to God the
Father for allowing me to experience His living
presence and guiding hand. This is a testimony
of God's interaction with the human race we
call 'grace.' Moreover, his love and grace
have empowered me both to seek him and to know
him and draw wisdom from His Word. Moreover,
I believe that this message can encourage and
aid those thousands who, like myself, were
never given answers to deep spiritual questions
but who remain hungry, asking, "Is there
is a God, and if He is, how can I get Him to
in Dead Religious Tradition
questions and spiritual curiosity were not
answered by denominational churches that I
attended from my youth to adulthood. The services
or ceremonies that were offered on meeting
days revealed nothing of God's reality nor
demonstrated his 'presumed' love and power.
It was however, God whom I ultimately met and
who impacted my life, outside of religion,
personally and powerfully. I hope sharing these
experiences bring hope and assurance to others.
don't know how will you respond, whether with
indifference or interest. Some who are perfectly
happy with their beliefs may register mere
disinterest, indifference; Others who have
already established their own theological conclusions,
particularly through formal theological training,
may register disdain believing that my assertions
are un-scholarly, presumptuous, misleading
or even dangerous. Yet there may be some who
have been looking for a spiritual life without
the flimflam of religion who will receive this
account with gratitude.
Gospel (good news) has always been gentle
and peaceable, it none the less, always been
met with resistance and "offense."
It appears that a simple gift is too often
rejected even when wrapped in the promise of
hope, love and comfort.
belief systems do not give up without a fight.
Our highly charged human egos are born and
nurtured within the domain of materialism,
worldliness, and self-absorption. Religious
institutions today, are deeply imbued with
values derived from worldliness, worldly
power, worldly recognition, and earthly reward.
The world's religious systems have their own
vested interests. To be blunt, religion as
we know it represents a significant economic
and political power.
book is written principally for believers.
Unbelief is still rampant in church-goers to
the extent that they have been blinded by orthodoxy.
For unbelief is the enemy of God's people as
much as for 'unbelievers.' Unbelief is not
limited to the un-churched but also remains
a constant foe in living the Christian life.
For church house Christians, both laity and
clergy it is a terrible thing to know only
religion and not God! The Lord declares, "Many
will say in that day, Lord, Lord -, but I will
say, "Depart from me I do not know you."
all the billions of people upon the face of
the earth, it is ultimately a matter of knowing
God. Scripture teaches that everyone will eventually
be confronted by this reality as every knee
will bow before Him, the Lord of all life.
But for millions this knowledge will come too
late and the door of life will have been closed.
There is a difference between knowing about
God and knowing God.
Confusing Disparities of Christian Religion
world of religion, What a world! Almost everyone
is in their own particular place regarding
a search for a personal belief system. How
would we graph our place as a believer or an
unbeliever? Do you know what you believe? Do
you know why you hold these beliefs? Some have
a belief in a God of some description,
others may not. Some pray, some believe in
an afterlife, while others have no faith in
any God nor any life following this one. There
are so many religions inside and outside of
Christianity. There are so many named Gods
and paths to appeasing them. Within these myriad
forms of belief or worship some have developed
a set of moral values in accord with these
beliefs. Indeed many of these values promote
peace and brotherhood toward the greater community.
Meanwhile, other religious beliefs may generate
hatred and intolerance toward those outside
of that faith. Now some religions compel its
followers to convert the world to their viewpoint
and to, in a word, cause the whole world to
believe according to that religion.
may be an intellectual study for some, a mandatory
career indoctrination for others. From an anthropologist's
point of view, religion simply revolves around
the belief in "spirits" as defined
by Margaret Mead. Religions lead to wars and
conflict The crusades were a demonstration
of wrong Christian beliefs. The inhumanities
done were executed through a form of religion
and not in conformity to the Gospel of Christ.
The crusades and the inquisition were chapters
in Catholicism that further demonstrated an
abuse of power that is presumed when the rule
of God on earth is already manifest in
a political church on earth.
in the age of grace presents a message of love,
acceptance and forgiveness. There is no violence
or reprisal allowed in the practice of Christianity.
Destruction and judgment against unbelievers
has never been a part of the true Gospel. Where
this has occurred was not a conformity to Bible
teaching. In the Gospel of Grace, there is
an invitation to come freely and receive. We
partake in the power of Jesus' love, and forgiveness.
There is no sword to convert the unbeliever,
but rather the demonstration of the supernatural
power of God motivated by Love. It is this
power that converts the heart and persuades
each that there is a loving God in heaven.
This is the loving Father who desires that
no one dies under condemnation. "God so
loved the world - - ," John 3:16 is the
often quoted basic text.
is to reveal those who you can pray for. Condemnation
never comes from the hand of a believer who
is commanded to walk in the same love and forgiveness
that Jesus modeled to all.
is still great ignorance and confusion about
Christianity. Christianity is something that
has come to be viewed within the limiting frame
of institutional religion not its true spiritual
aspect which is both simple and profound. The
world knows Christianity as a system of belief
but more than that as traditions and lifestyles
which surround particular churches. America
was founded as a Christian nation as our founding
fathers made clear testimony. The United States
has a history of goodness founded on the belief
in, and standards of, Biblical truth. But at
the present time, if the truth were known,
I believe that we would have far fewer who
would qualify as Christians than census documentation
reveals. Those who are called Christians in
polls and surveys most often reflect an involvement
with church organizations through membership
and activities. This, I assert, is quite irrelevant
to the nature of being or not being a Christian.
Among those who profess to believe in Christianity
I denote three distinct breeds:
Christians: This category designates to
distinguish them from other ethnic or cultural
sects. We see these referred to frequently
in the media to designate the sects within
countries or political regions. Most of the
time these are contrasted with contrary ideologies;
often at war, or embroiled in strife with other
groups. Typical of political religious rivalry
is that of the current 1990s conflict in the
former Yugoslavia, dated back to the factional
disputes of the 15th century. Here were three
ethnic factions, Muslims, Serbs and Croats,
religious- political groups seemingly without
true knowledge of a spiritual life that brings
peace. In Ireland divisions remain after generations
of religious and political strife, Irish Catholics
in hatred and strife continue to war against
Irish Protestants and Protestants against Catholics.
In the decade prior to World War 2, so-called
German Christians began to commit outrages
against German Jews in the name of racial purity.
A practice that was totally UN-Christian spirit.
in Earlier in the 12 and 13th centuries
'Christian' crusaders waged Holy Wars against
the Muslim Turks in the Holy Land and at the
same time thought it was pleasing to God to
torture and destroy any called Jews.
Christians are actively involved with some
form of institutional Christianity. Within
this group are tens of millions of churchgoers
who fill the pews in myriads of church congregations
each week. Each of these religious 'churches'
or denominations follows long-held traditions
of their respective denomination. Christian
denominations have extensive power and interests
both social and economic. The business of
religion founded in an orthodoxy that is morally
well founded and righteous. These traditions
are rarely questioned within the established
clergy, religious leadership, has long been
esteemed has a high and noble calling, although
an occasional skeleton may turn up in the closet
of some clergy person now and then. The lands
and real estate assets of churches are immense.
Each denomination builds great buildings as
centers of worship and strictly supervise and
train their clergy to act as priests or
overseers of the faith. The sad reality
is that the denominations of today are little
different from any ancient priesthood, the
Scribes, and Pharisees of Jesus' day, of whom
the Lord Jesus had little good to say.
I believe that traditional forms of religious
(program and formalistic) Christianity
may be the single greatest hindrance to anyone
effectively experiencing God in this nation
as well as in all the nations where that institutional
Christianity has been exported. Why? Because
the Gospel is not philosophy nor an intellectual
concept. It is rather the Power of God that
impacts lives at the deepest possible level;
transforming a man or woman into an adopted
son or daughter of God. Church is not meant
to be a place where Christianity is practiced
and administered by priests but a means of
growing through sharing your life and experience
with others as our knowledge of God increases
(edification by/of the body.)
a metaphor: It seems as though "religious"
Christians have been injected with something,
religious formalism, which seems to make them
immune to experiencing the authentic Spiritual
Life of the Kingdom of God. I must hasten
to say however, that there are believers among
the denominations, these men, women and children
have received the knowledge of God through
the Lord Jesus Christ in a profound and intimate
way, not because of their religious
affiliations necessarily, but in spite of that
affiliation. The kingdom and the power of God
are not the privy to any brand of religion
but work around and through it.
Category: True Christians
is A Christian? Are we born Christians,
Are we Christians because we were not born
Buddhist or Muslim? Are we Christians because
our parents were Christians? Are we Christians
because of a religious rite? The Bible
reveals that we become Christians not by a
religious rite, but by a spiritual encounter
with God. God receives us in "friendship"
and extends fellowship to us. This fellowship
is granted in the name of the only begotten
son of God, Jesus, Jeshua of Nazareth.
is one thing but the actualizing power of Grace
is quite another. The Gospel is a gospel not
only conceptual fact but actualized in power.
It is a life-changing, spirit-renewing power,
that sets on fire the love and life of God
within a believer. This life-changing encounter
is central to what I hope to present in this
writing, and I will cover it broadly if the
following pages. A believer, in actuality,
has no religious rites or obligations or rules
to follow in order to win God's approval. A
believer's job is to believe. Faith is choked
by unbelief! Through faith we gain access to
the scriptural promises of God. These promises
are awesome and spectacular and when apprehended
can lead us to experiencing the kindnesses
of God and entering into our divine inheritance.
That is the long and the short of it. Religion
in any of its many aspects has entered in obtrusively
to complicate or confound the simple way and
truth that Christ has declared and made known
for all; that each man, woman, and child can
know God and experience wholeness through Him.
hope and prayer is - - May those seeking
truth, both religious and non religious, Christian
and non Christian, continue in the Word which
can open the door to the Kingdom of God, with
its power and glory. May the God of all creation
reveal Himself to you, draw you into His family,
and bring forth his kingdom, his love, his
life and liberty in your life.
of the Human Spirit
Christians are created and established only
by Divine will and action. Those who constitute
the membership of the Kingdom of God, without
regard to any earthly institutional affiliation.
The true church is a spiritual body, it is
called the "Body of Christ. " This
apart from any designation of race, creed or
nationality, it is without any denominational
labels and without sectarian or geographical
boundaries. The Bible reveals that we become
Christians not by a religious rite, but by
a Spiritual encounter with the person of God.
God receives us in "friendship" and
extends the fellowship of his family to us.
This fellowship is granted in the name of the
Begotten son of God, namely Jesus, Jeshua of
Nazareth, Jesus the Messiah. Acknowledging
this doctrine is one thing, the actualizing
power of it is
another. The Gospel is a gospel not only of
historical fact but of power. It is a life
changing, spirit-renewing power, that sets
on fire the life of God within a believer.
is an admixture that infuses the gospel that
confounds the simple truth that Jesus Christ
has made a way for each man, woman, and child
to know God and experience wholeness in Him;
to experience peace, joy and liberty in a meaningful
life with Him. My hope
prayer is that those seeking truth, both Christian
and non Christian will continue in the life
giving word which opens the door to the Kingdom
of God. May the God of all creation reveal
Himself to you in order for you to continue
to bring forth His kingdom.
and Byways in the Quest Some of us, in our
individual quest for truth, look for a religion
that will accommodate our own world view or
moral viewpoint, though in our natural state
we are all morally distorted and unregenerate
in nature. Some others search for a religious
form which promises personal power and influence
over others. This power quest has one end;
corruption of the soul. Personal aggrandizement
leads toward corruption and pride, the domain
of the enemy of God, Lucifer. Power to control
or influence others, power to get wealth for
its own sake is as witchcraft, a rebellious
snare. Some search for a religious program
which accommodates fame, personal notoriety,
adulation or self-worship. Self enhancement
is acquired at the expense of coming under
others the search is to find personal healing
or inner contentment to salve the aching of
their souls. In Him we find solace, peace,
love and wholeness. There are numerous motivations
which lend themselves to religious choices.
While we say we search for God are we really
or insincere? In the final analysis it is we
who must conform to God's book and acknowledge
His rules and plan for ourselves and not visa-verse
a Spiritual Search
we are shopping this smorgasbord of religion
there are many choices. How will you choose?
What are your resources and criteria to make
these choices? Can we choose using our own
intellectual equipment? Those who are proud
of their intellectual achievements will
choose wrongly; since they will choose to remain
in control of their own lives through the exalted
faculty of reason. The wise of this world say,
"Only a fool denies reason."
religions make no demands upon us to give up
anything, idolatries, pride, sin, hatred, etc.
When we are well satisfied with who we are;
when we are pleased with ourselves, with our
name, rank, and achievements; When we are puffed
up with our own sense of superiority, looks,
talents or strengths; How can we choose to
believe something which asks us to, "deny
yourself, take up a cross and follow me?"
How do we choose a belief system which states,
"In myself, I can do nothing;"
or " - unless a seed falls and
dies it abides alone, but if dies it brings
forth much?" Is there any beauty in
sacrificing our selves? How can we as 20th,
soon to be 21st Century beings, choose to decrease
to ourselves and choose that which is meek
and lowly of heart, not arrayed the outward
trappings of finery; not displaying intellectual
cleverness, nor personal flamboyance. "He
had no beauty that we should desire Him."
(Isaiah 53:3) So we seek. We shop and we
look and we ask about. During this time we
continue to have as much power and self control,
self satisfaction, and personal liberty as
any other human seeker. When does the seeking
come to an end? Is their a priceless pearl
to be found? What is the nature of this pearl
which beyond price? How do I begin my quest
asks this question,
does a profit someone to gain the whole world
but lose his or her soul?" There is
a risk associated with a search thwarted or
the search incomplete. There is a risk associated
with substituting the true with the counterfeit
and the living with something tainted with
corruption and death. There is indeed a true
Gospel, having the right Jesus, the right Gospel
and the right Spirit. (2Cor 11:3)
There is also a counterfeit gospel, awaiting
any who choose an alternative to the previous
3 criteria. Among these alternatives lies the
way to deception or possible destruction.
this process of seeking, some who hear the
message, come to believe in the Lord Jesus,
Jeshua of Nazareth called the Messiah or Christ.)
The Word of God declares, "Those who seek
will find." Those who seek and continue
seeking, will find that pearl of inestimable
value. It remains hidden to those who are lost.
Great hunger is rewarded with satisfying 'manna'
from God and great thirst is rewarded with
a satisfying drink that Jesus called 'living
others never come to believe in or profess
biblical Christianity but another belief system.
The way of the Christian life once discovered
provides a feast for the body, soul and spirit,
a feast that brings eternal satisfaction, the
knowledge of the friendship of Jesus is thirst
Way, however, remains a narrow one, it is self
limiting. It does not accommodate those who
wish to take their own intellectual baggage
in, this burden of extraneous stuff must be
unloaded. Who among the seekers is willing
to do this? Who are really sincere and not
looking on a superficial curiosity level. Jesus
has counseled to walk the crucified life. Daily
carrying our cross, dying to self, turning
from the raucous cries that would distract
us in this world.
am reminded of the interview which King Herod
of Judea attempted to have with Jesus on the
occasion of Jesus' trial and Pilate's disposition
of this matter of legality. What possible need
or interest could this powerful, worldly, self
indulgent, sensuous monarch have in questioning
Jesus, the Messiah of the Jews? Herod had indeed
heard of Jesus. He had heard of his influence
upon the people and heard of the signs and
wonders worked by his hand. Herod probably
was reminded of John the Baptist whose head
was the price paid for his stepdaughter Salome's
sensuous dance performance. Vain curiosity
was probably the motivating factor. Herod may
have had some guilt or even fears associated
with destroying the non conformist, unyielding,
cooperative prophet, John the Baptist.
interviews Jesus: The world against the spirit
was time for a confrontation, though perhaps
not yet a showdown, It was a face-off between
worldliness, sensual opulence, and temporal
power and the veiled spiritual wonders of the
Kingdom of God; it was flesh against the Spirit.
What happened in this confrontation of flesh
and spirit? How did Jesus respond to the queries
of the coarse and curious Herod, did they share
an intellectual discourse? Jeshua remained
silent not a word was offered. What place has
the kingdom of God with worldliness or idolatry?
Jesus had not one word to share. There was
no dialogue. There was no effort made to plead
the case for a religious or political agenda.
No. Jesus answered not a word! The kingdom
of God and Herod's world were irreconcilable,
worlds apart, kingdoms apart. You see, Jesus
will not respond to those whose lives are filled
with surfeiting, with self importance or with
insincere curiosity. Jesus answered the worldly
Herod, not a word!
doorway opens unto repentance
my case, I had reached a crossroad in my middle
years that led to 'an end of myself:' When
my need was greatest, ground down to nothing,
I finally believed, and was willing to take
the next step to cry out, "Jesus, son
of David, have mercy on me!" So? Let
us see where the inquiry will take you. Will
it be into the wilderness (outside of the distractions
of worldly distractions, where intimacy with
God is finally revealed? Or will you be lured
into the another wilderness imbued with worldly
values having no intimacy with God, having
no power to fulfill Christ's hope and calling.
in "The Gospel Without Religion"
is a series of commentaries compiled from this
believer's study of the "Word of God"
and his personal spiritual insights and experiences
thereafter. I was not always a believer. What
was I before I became a believer, before becoming
a Christian? I was the same as many of you
are. Before becoming a believer I practiced
a form of Godliness; I too was religious.
I was actively involved in institutional forms
of Christianity with its many traditions, forms,
and flavors and yet without knowing Christ.
Before becoming believers, we called ourselves
by any of hundreds of denominational names,
not realizing that Christ is One and can not
be divided. If this state, we had no true witness
of the reality of God; we had no true witness
of our own spiritual nature and destiny. We
may not have known that God is real or that
He rewards those who seek him with wonderful
gifts. Before becoming a partakers in the "gift
of God", we called ourselves Christians.
not knowing that being a Christian meant more
than just attending church, more than learning
a catechism, more than going through a rite
of membership. Being a Christian is not
an intellectual assent to a doctrine or belief
where you can say,
that sounds like it might be true, I guess
I join up and become one of those. "You
don't join an institution or a church to become
a Christian, rather, you are "translated"
into becoming a son or daughter of God. You
are translated into a different kingdom and
a different reality; You become a new order
of being. You are translated from death into
life, from darkness into light. We who once
cared nothing for the life and properties of
God now share in that life and are consumed
by it. It is a work that God does in us and
not one that we do on our own.
the True Gospel, 3 factors determine its authenticity:
right Jesus: Jesus the Messiah is not an angel,
not a mere prophet; not a great man, not merely
a teacher of moral excellence; Not a highly
evolved illuminate; but The only begotten Son
of God, the Jewish Messiah.
right gospel; The Gospel is a gospel of good
news; that humanity may come to the giver of
life to receive a supernatural gift; eternal
life and forgiveness without cost, without
the mediation of a priest; It is not a gospel
of works, nor is it a gospel of faith and good
works; the door is open to any who call upon
the name of the Lord. The source of truth and
understanding of this gospel is the Holy Bible.
right Spirit; There are many spirits in the
world, some of God, others demonic. Spirits
abound in the atmosphere in individuals, in
communities, of every nation. The church houses
of religions can nurture or teach a doctrine
which has a wrong, (un-Christ like)
sort of subtle spiritual influence has existed
for thousands of years leading people away
from the God-life. The reality of demonic spirits
addressed by Jesus and his disciples are still
present to seduce, impede, and steal from the
life, liberty and spiritual potential of all.
kingdom of darkness has this agenda; to steal,
to kill and to destroy, especially a believer.
The spirit of the world is a spirit of self
exaltation and pride. Of course modern thought
and psychology discredits belief in spirits
as a primitive and obsolete belief system.
However, it is to be noted that Jesus the Messiah
came to "destroy the works of the devil,"
Satan, the ruler of all fallen beings. It is
God's ultimate purpose to restore the proper
line of earthly rule under the dominion of
Jesus Christ. In due time, nations will recognize
him as the Holy One of God, appointed Lord
of all things. Evil or wrong spirits include,
pride, rebellion, witchcraft, defilement,
gluttony, drunkenness, etc.
common Secular Argument: One god equals any
broad-minded, ecumenical world would
like to assert that any God is essentially
on a par with any other. They declare that
there are many paths and they all eventually
lead us to the sublime higher One. Today,
I am a Christian believer, but was not always
so. Disillusioned by religion, sensing its
superficiality, the hypocrisies, and lacking
any proof in the God of the Bible I went on
searching and doubting, and trusting that I
was good enough not to fall into condemnation
in if and when I came face to face with my
Creator. I had heard the term "Good News"
referring the Gospel of the Messiah Jeshua
(Jesus). But my experience in Christianity
was valued only in a sentimental way. I had
memories of church experiences with my family
in youth. During these days I yearned to touch
and experience something that was real, powerful
and persuasive. This, I believe, is exactly
where so many seeking people are at today.
Hopeful, wanting to believe, but without proof
that God is real or reachable. My religious
experience offered no proof of God's reality.
Any Gospel expressed as the Power of God
able to transform human life, was outside
of my religious experience.
Gospel, is denoted as the power of God,
(1Corinthians 1;2.5) powerfully persuades us
to believe, in a God of love and a God who
can impact human lives in remarkable life-changing
ways that exist out of the realm of church
life. This Gospel is not a shallow, tradition-ruled
religion. Rather it teaches knowing God who
reveals himself as Savior and sovereign of
the universe. Even more amazingly, the Bible
proves itself to be entirely believable and
consistent in spite of its progressive detractors.
Theologians who work continuously to discredit
any belief in Biblical accuracy or consistency.
Today when I hear of a God who walked with
man in a spiritually perfect world, called
Eden. I believe it; when I hear of a God who
did wonders in the days of Moses or the prophets
I do not doubt that fact for one moment; when
I read the infallible prophecies of appointed
men of God who declare the end from the beginning
I have no doubt in the veracity of any of those
spoke through prophets with inerrant accuracy
to declare the coming Messiah and his mission
to redeem fallen humanity and all these prophecies
came to pass. Jesus as the lamb of God came
to close the divide between God and humanity.
The resurrection of Jeshua, as irrational scientifically
unsound it sounds on the surface, remains the
foundation of Christianity. Resurrection establishes
the "Power of the Gospel" and enables
any believer to partake in His divine nature.
of the world may vary in name and beliefs but
all seek to establish a worldly kingdom. They
aspire to have a launching pad to promulgate
those beliefs and in many cases, beliefs that
are contrary to the Gospel. Christian religions
sects, including, Catholicism, LDS Mormonism,
Jehovah's Witnesses, and most of the protestant
denominations distort the simple Gospel. They
bring forth errant doctrines, formalism, and
(See the characteristics of Religion in
book two. "The attributes of Religion"
(buildings with congregations) are what people
usually think of when we imagine Christian
practices. When ceremony and ritual are the
practiced, and where obligations or extraneous
demands are taught, these are contrary to the
original Gospel, e.g. the Apostolic epistles
found in the New Testament.
The Gospel Without
in the Bible
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