Beloved of God, Grace to you and peace from our Father, and the Lord Christ Jesus.
Coincidence or Providence?
I will not say positively that God spoke to me. However, I will confidently state that God has permitted direction into my heart, soul, and mind. Please be aware that this website is "updated" FREQUENTLY! It is not enough to study and learn God's Word. God requires us to apply His Word to our life and respectfully share it with others, hence the frequent updates.
Borrowing from A. W. Tozer, "...I am addressing the thirsting souls who are determined to follow God, and I know they will not turn back because the way leads temporarily through the blackened hills." What I say serves only those that hath ears to hear. I sincerely pray that you are one that can hear with understanding as, because of physical limitations, this is my principle means of applying God's Word and sharing at the present time. As I hurried through my daily life the thought never crossed my mind that I would become a missionary (much less an ordained Pastor!) - yet setting aside the seemingly important personal ambitions of the natural world e.g., my Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate - here I am.
So missionaries cannot really be stereotyped but what we do have in common is the fact that we all somehow were "inspired" to reach out - in our own way using the tools and gifts given us by the grace of God and brought into the natural through the Holy Spirit - to spread the good news of Christ Jesus. Jesus assured us that missionaries will face surrender and suffering. Missionaries leave friends behind for one reason or another, may experience culture shock, rejection, and much worse (Matthew 10:16-31). But instead of falling into self-pity or pride, we learn to delight in serving God.
I do not believe any method of Bible study can replace the teaching ministry of Father's Holy Spirit. You will find your time studying more beneficial and rewarding if you will begin by earnestly praying to our heavenly Father for help in understanding what you are about to study. That step makes such a difference in my studies! Pray in the name of Christ Jesus always. Pray on your knees if at all possible! Silence as best you can your ego and pray to be filled with Father's Holy Spirit. Your ego will place many blocks between your thinking and the Holy Spirit.
So I ask...is this meeting between us coincidence or providence?
Do not be a complacent Christian. Do not be afraid of the truth. Face the truth...there is no place to hide from our heavenly Father! A.W. Tozer put it this way, "He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts." Let me start with - In the beginning God...think about that for a minute - in the beginning...God. Nothing can ever become something by itself in the natural. "In the beginning God." Not matter, because matter is not self-causing. It requires and antecedent cause, and God is that Cause. Man is able to make but not create (more on that later). You MUST come to believe without a shadow of doubt that... In the beginning God spoke to nothing and it became something. Are you prepared to publically state (if asked) that God is the creator of the universe and beyond?
Do not simply take my word for all you are about to read. Open your Bible and prove everything you read on this site or any other site to yourself. The Apostle Paul wrote, "...prove all things and hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).
Do not be a complacent Christian! Henry Miller wrote that the moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribable magnified world in itself. I recommend that everyone give close attention to Spiritual faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do not appear" (Hebrews 11:3, KJV).
I do not have all the answers to everything nor do I know all the details...but for now...my faith, buttressed by my ever increasing belief, is more than enough for me to go on. Please pause and reflect on that for a minute...it is a key to help you later as you study and increase in Spiritual maturity. God said it...I believe it...and that is that! Faith is in the heart and hope is in the mind though the mind is in the non-physical realm of spirit. Faith is a condition of the heart producing belief in God our heavenly Father. Remember to never allow your knowledge to stand in the way of the truth! The world is full of myopic, pedantic, educated derelicts that are blind to their own bias, lack true courage, and refuse to consider change. Learning NEVER ends! Was that too strong and judgemental - okay..I told you I am still working on myself too!
What Happened to the Church Jesus Built?
I borrow heavily upon an article by Ogwyn (2010) in this opening dialog. The Church, as spoken of in the Bible, is not referring to a building or some organization developed by man "incorporated under his secular authority" (Ogwyn, p.3). It is only through the Holy Spirit of God that we become part of the Church that Jesus built (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Confused? Most are, and I was once included in the number. According to Meredith (2011) most genuine religious scholars recognize that vast changes have overtaken professing Christianity-rendering it totally different from the Christianity of Jesus and the Apostles! How can this be? The sad truth is that most professing Christians do not study their Bible. They may go to "church", tithe, volunteer, and try to live by God's Laws, but fail to see that they are really just accepting religious practices passed down to them through their families, friends, or well-meaning ministers and priests. I once heard this described as hearing echoes of others spiritual truths. Christ Jesus never intended our walk in faith to be a comfortable feel-good 24/7 existence. To be present in God's Church one must accept that the discovery of understanding the supreme purpose for mankinds existence will not (can not) be a comfortable care-free journey - personal work and sacrifice is necessary and should be expected! God created the way...but He leaves the work up to us - remember free-will ?
In other words personal effort is expected, necessary, and called for. Just as His followers experienced in the past...we won't always enjoy the lesson - but the reward will make every hardship (mental or physical) worth the experience and then some! By taking the time now to study you can become a voice through which God can speak His truths to an ill-informed,deceived, world. Christ said, "In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men" (Mark 7:7-8). The true Church is built on the foundation of the patriarchs, matriarchs, prophets, and apostles, with Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.
George Gallup Jr. posited "America is a nation of biblical illiterates... the stark fact is most Americans don't know what they believe or why." Originally created by God as a cherub who later rebels against God, is a powerful dark spiritual personality named Lucifer (ironically meaning light bringer). After Lucifer's rebellion against God the name Satan (meaning adversary) is used rather than Lucifer...more on that later as it is a key to answering the question of what happened to the Church Jesus built as well as what has happened to all of civilization! What becomes evident is the extent of deception orchestrated by Satan the Devil. A deceived individual is not aware of any deception!
With this website I pray that I may help others, as well as myself, progress from a seemingly basic or fundamental biblical teaching and understanding to advanced detailed studies and understanding - culminating in personal wisdom. I am convinced that we ALL must honestly answer the Father's call to put an end to ANY and ALL spiritual complacency regularly (at least daily). To remain spiritually energized a constant spiritual regeneration and sanctification is necessary in order to understand Scripture. For that to take place one must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not automatic nor is the Holy Spirit self-sustaining in ANY of us. As believers we are not forced to bear the yoke of any Christian orthodoxy. We need not be limited to ANY church (denomination). All that is required of us is to stay in the Word...which is Christ Jesus. Staying in the Word is NOT easy, free, or given as a perpetual Blessing requiring nothing from the individual. Are you committed to Christ Jesus or are you REALLY a Sunday Christian, a Christian by your speech only, a Christian that bases their Love and commitment to our heavenly Father grounded in your personal convenience?
You will not like everything you read and I do not want to appear mean or as a religious intellectual snob. I am just very serious about trying to get help to and from others in my quest of increasing personal spiritual maturity and restoring spiritual aspects of the original Christianity taught and practiced by Christ Jesus and the Apostles. My writing style in this site will be more along the lines of circular and symphonic rather than linear. You will find many areas introduced and interlaced over and over, but with additional details being added as I procede. This is so that what might not be clear now will be clarified (hopefully) later. I encourage you to reflect on what you are reading but do not let yourself get bogged down over a particular word, sentence, or thought. As you progress through the text remembering that each time you read (reread) your understanding will hopefully become richer and more comprehensive if that is God's will for you at that particular time on your journey. Remember that your intellectual understanding is not the goal here but rather incorporating the lesson or teaching into your life experience is what is intended to be achieved.
I have a strong desire, as a slave of Almighty God, to reach out to anyone who has an interest and invite them to come learn about Christ Jesus, original Christianity, the true Church of God, and some very interesting history! I do not claim any particular religion or author to be the way. I believe we can learn something from anyone if our mind is open as we study. Listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Blessing from The Lord our God.
Following Christ Jesus is not a religion. Man made religion(s), hence the secularization and profound perversion of God's original intent! Prayer, guidance of the Holy Spirit, and remembering to prove all things and hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV) is the key to our plan. One's walk with God (spiritual maturity) cannot be rushed...we are only human. I am on this journey also and would love to share with you as a member of the "little flock" (Luke 12:32). Let's join together and become a force..the majority..the individuals that get our society on track before it is too late. That will only be possible by each of us taking the first steps necessary to straighten ourselves out first though. "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Luke 11:9).
I will include links that I find helpful and hope they assist/inspire you too!