Senin, 26 September 2016

Join with me in a BRAND NEW way!

I have been working on something new for my website for over a year, and it is finally ready to go.
What is it?
I am opening up a new membership area which includes free audio downloads, more free eBooks, and most exciting of all, online Bible and theology courses!
Read below to find out more.

I started a new membership area for you!

I wanted to connect with you better and allow you to connect with others, while also providing some online Bible and theology courses, free audio downloads, and free eBooks. All of this (and more) is available to you through the membership area.

Yes, you can become a member for FREE

There is a free membership area which gives you access to almost everything. You get free course lessons, free eBooks, and free audio downloads. There is no charge for this, forever. Join the "Faith" Membership Level to get all of this.

There are two Paid Membership Levels

There are two paid membership levels. The first is $9 per month, and the second is $89 per year (which gives you two months free). The main difference between the free and the paid membership levels is that you can take all of my online courses for free (valued at $299 each).

If you are unsure what to do...

If you are unsure whether you should become a paid member or not, join the free "Faith" Membership level. This way, you can try out the online courses for free (you get to take the first three lessons for free) to see if they are right for you.
Later, if you want to complete the online course, you can buy it for $97 (saving you over $200), or you can upgrade your membership to the "Hope" or "Love" levels and get the online course for free.

How to Get Started:

There are many more benefits to becoming a member than what is described here, and you can choose which one is right for you by visiting the Membership Registration page on RedeemingGod.com
Choose a Membership Level Here

"God is good."


I've talked at some length on the subject of Christianize elsewhere.

The phrase "God is good" is just another example.

Your friend has a baby and it's healthy. Your friend declares to everyone, "God is good!"

A hurricane is headed toward your city. Against all expert prediction, it passes your town and hits another city instead. You post on your Facebook wall, "God is good." (What about those people who got hammered by the storm? 
Never mind.)

Your favorite football team wins a big game and your prayers are answered. You tell your friends, "God is good." (What about those people who prayed that their team would win, but lost? Never mind.)

You bought an awesome new house which was foreclosed for a steal. You tell your friends and family, "God is good." (What about the people who lost that same house due to a financial crisis? Never mind.)

Whenever I see or hear people say, "God is good" when things go their way, my instant thought is, "What if that baby was born with a deformity? What if that hurricane hit your city and destroyed your house? What if your football team not only lost, but they got decimated? What if someone else bought that dream house you were hoping and praying for?

Is God still good? Isn't He always good, even when He doesn't fulfill your desires?

I've yet to hear someone say, "I lost my job today. My girlfriend broke up with me, and my car blew up. Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible, and God is good!"
Let's think about what we say and the implications.
Quick Humor - It's Now Less Dangerous

Jesus Manifesto - the first volume in my JESUS trilogy with Leonard Sweet - is now less dangerous. The paperback version just came out and it's identical to the hardcover original (2010), except it's cheaper and much safer.

We've received multiple reports from credible sources that Christians on both the Progressive Left and the Conservative Right were routinely chucking the hardcover edition across rooms and dislodging body parts. With the paperback version, there's no risk in taking out an eye if you get angry with what we wrote and fling the book. With the new softcover edition, the damage shouldn't exceed a few minor scratches. 

Also: the hardcover edition will soon go out of print, so if you want to grab a copy before it becomes an ancient relic, you can get one on Amazon.

Recent Articles

Spiritual Blindness



Spiritual Blindness
(No. 25 pg. 1-15)
September 19, 2015
By C. H. James
Teaching Objective:

To remove the scales that cover the eyes of fellow brethren so they see the great truths and revelations found in God’s word, those that heretofore have gone unnoticed or misunderstood.

Central text: 2 Corinthians 4:4

2 Corinthians 4:4
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Confusion Or Clarity

Often in life, for various reasons, we’re tempted to turn a blind eye to the wrong doings of family and friends. We appease our conscience by making excuses for them. Often we’re tempted to ignore or justify the poor behavior of our children, our peers and others with whom we share a close relationship. We often fail to acknowledge the error found in our schools, country, business or church because we have a personal bias.

This same blindness causes us to miss or overlook biblical inconsistencies and errors planted in our system of beliefs by our spiritual leaders and/or denomination. We also may be inclined to gloss over any scriptural text that might make us feel uncomfortable, texts that focus on our own failure to comply with God’s word.

Sometimes, when examining, reading or hearing the bible we come upon texts that seem confusing or ambiguous. When that happens, we simply roll on past, thinking it’s a mystery, biblical error, or too complicated to understand and so, we promptly forget it. It’s only our spiritual blindness that keeps us from seeing error received in faulty, hand-me-down teaching. It’s blindness that keeps us from confirming its validity. We fail to test the spiritual food received from their hand or consider that it might be tainted. Why?

1 John 4:1
4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 Timothy 2:15
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Philippians 2:12
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Rather than taking the responsibility for our own spiritual health and direction, we prefer to remain ignorant, allowing our church or denomination to transport us safely into God’s kingdom. We allow them to tell us what to believe and so, we sit back on our pew and enjoy the work free, study free ride. This traditional vessel may have carried many of our family members, both living and dead before us, so we think, why not just close our eyes and leave the driving to others who claim to know the way?

Our blind dedication to tradition, coupled with our own church driven denominational pride, may produce in us and obstinate attitude, one that refuses to consider any other teaching or accept any spiritual challenge to our presently held doctrinal position. Even when a challenge is accepted, those challenged often begin to search the scriptures for any half-truth out of context, evidence that may be used to prove them right, and the challenger wrong. In these cases it appears that being right is more important than finding the truth.


John 17:17
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

If the search had been an honest one, then the Holy Spirit would be credited as the teacher and the students he taught, those with opposing views, will have come to agree with each other.

1 Corinthians 1:10
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Read: Ephesians 4:17-25

Ephesians 4:17-25
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Example:

One such, so called mystery, is labeled, “the trinity” and many believe it’s not meant to be understood. But if we fail to understand the trinity, we’ll forever be confused about, who is who, when dealing with the subject of God, the same subject we call theology. Failure here could lead to doubt or disbelief. At the very least, it will have a negative impact on our faith. Remember, without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We’re saved by grace through faith and while grace is God’s free gift to everyone, it can only be unwrapped and accessed through faith.

Ephesians 2:8
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

After all, faith comes from hearing the word of God. When we understand God’s word, our faith is increased and conversely, when we fail to find the simple logic of God’s word, and its harmony, we lose faith, replacing it with doubt and by so doing, jeopardize our relationship with God.

In truth, the trinity is easy to understand, it’s simply common sense and though the word, “trinity” is  not found in scripture, its principle is clearly revealed in the baptism of Jesus and the declarations of the Apostle John in 1 John 5:7.

Matthew 3:16, 17
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Do you see it; three persons in three different places!

1 John 5:7
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
It is re-affirmed again by Christ himself in John’s gospel.

John 17:11
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

John 17:21
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Note:

Jesus is praying for the disciples to be one in the same way that he and his Father are one. Not, to be joined at the hip, but in the same unity they are.

God is not the author of confusion, but there would be a great deal of biblical confusion if we don’t understand the function of the trinity.

1 Corinthians 14:33
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 If we believe God to be one person who reveals himself to mankind through three separate identities, confusion lies ahead and with it, doubt and after doubt has done its work, disbelief will move in and take over. God is not one person, he’s the supreme triune authority of three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and each may rightfully share the title of “God.”

Afraid To Test It

Why are we so afraid to test the bible? I’ve been studying the bible for over half a century and without reservation, I can say, the more I’ve learned, the greater my certainty that it truly is, the word of God. There is no other book on earth like it.

Perhaps the reason we fear is because we think we might find something within the bible that requires us to make a change in our life, a change we have no desire to make. It is likely this “something” is contrary to God’s will, something sinful. If so, we may have a pre-planned justification, one that provides us with the appropriate excuse we need to continue violating our own conscience or hiding this transgression from others. Our conduct may temporarily hide our sin from men, but it won’t hide it from God.

James 4:17
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Matthew 10:28
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Some simply fear the bible and so, refuse to study it, preferring to let others explain it to them. They’re afraid they might discover some glaring mistake that will cause them to discard it as a myth, bringing down their hope for everlasting life in the glorious kingdom of God. Today, it’s easy to find a teacher or preacher that will confirm all the things we want to believe.

Isaiah 30:9-11
9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:
10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

2 Timothy 4:3, 4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Listen carefully to the messages preached by many of our present day preachers and you’ll discover that what they have to say is all about what God can do for us and little or nothing about what we can do for him. It’s our spiritual blindness and our “itching ears” that keep us from truly understanding what’s going on.

2 Corinthians 4:3, 4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The Confusing Results Of False Doctrine

If we believe that God is one person and attempt to interpret the bible through that understanding, we will ultimately conclude that the bible is ambiguous nonsense written by fools. Have I spoken too strongly? You be the judge!

The bible says that Jesus was sent by his Father.

John 3:17
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 16:28
28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

If he and his Father are the same person, how can he be sent to a different place? While Jesus was here, wasn’t his Father in heaven?

Matthew 6:9
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.




Why did Jesus say to his God, why hast thou forsaken me; can Jesus forsake himself?  

Matthew 27:46
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

When Jesus was baptized, he stood in the river Jordan, his Father spoke from heaven and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove. Three persons in three different places.

Luke 3:21, 22
21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
(Three persons in three different places)

1 John 5:7
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
(Not one, not two, but three)

How can that be? Wasn’t Jesus also God? Of course he was!

John 1:1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 20:28
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

1 Timothy 1:1
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Titus 1:3
3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Titus 2:10
 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Titus 3:4
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Jude 25
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be to suggest that Jesus can stand at the right hand of the Father if Jesus and his Father are one in the same? How does one stand beside oneself? How could we possibly grasp the meaning of John 15:26 or John 16:7?

John 15:26
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:17
17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?

How can you go to your father or come from your father if you and your father are the same person? Ridiculous! If Jesus is sending the Comforter, i.e. the Holy Spirit to his disciples and he’s coming from the Father, then how can these three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be anything but three separate and distinct spiritual beings?


Note:

Though the Holy Spirit is addressed as “he,” we should note that in the Hebrew and the Greek, “he,” is not gender specific. Ref. Strongs Heb #1931 and Gk #846.

Think of how silly it would be to imagine Jesus standing at the right hand of himself.

Romans 8:34
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Ephesians 1:20
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Colossians 3:1
3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Hebrews 1:3
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 8:1
8 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Hebrews 10:12
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;



Hebrews 12:2
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Peter 3:22
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Think of Jesus calling out to God from the cross, “Why have you forsaken me,” when the “you” he’s calling out to, is himself.

Matt 27:46
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The author of the bible is God; this is why the bible is called the “word of God.” It was written to us so that we could gain an understanding of him and he could reveal his message to us. Neither the messenger nor his message was intended to confuse us, but rather, to bring light to our understanding.

Note:

Jesus made it clear that his Father is greater than he and that his Father is also his God. We should, at this point, recognize that the Father is the most prominent member of the Godhead.

John 20:17
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Revelation 3:12
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Because we were fashioned by God, he knows the inner workings of our mind better than we do. He knows that if we attempt to see him as one person it will lead to confusion and confusion, if left uncorrected, will lead to disbelief.

The word, “God” in Hebrew is Elohiym, a plural. It conveys the understanding of an inclusion within it, of more than one. However, there is only one true supreme triune authority in existence with sufficient unity to speak perfectly, as one and it’s known as the trinity and its representative to us is Jesus.

Colossians 1:19
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Colossians 2:9
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

There are many words in the English language, used in the singular, that approximate the same idea of plural inclusion, words like family, group, team, etc, but none convey with it the message of perfect unity. Only the word “Elohiym” carries this unique message.

When God speaks in the first person as “me,” the pronoun “me” fails to render the same meaning normally associated with it.

Exodus 20:3
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

When this word “me” pertains to God as translated into Hebrew, it becomes “Yechdiyahaw” (Ref. Strongs Heb dictionary #3165) and combines two other Hebrew words from which its meaning is extracted. These words are “Yachad” meaning to be one, i.e. joined or united (Ref. Strongs #3161 and 3162) and “Yahh” meaning, the same, and this word, “Yahh” is widely used also as the sacred name of God, ref. Psalms 68.4. (Yah, is translated “Jah” in English bibles.)



Psalms 68:4
4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

Conclusion

We’ll never know the worth of a recipe until we taste the end product. Likewise, we’ll never be sure of the spiritual food served, unless we first taste it for ourselves. As Christians, we must test the spiritual food no matter who prepared it for us.

If we fail to study the word, we’ll never experience the joy of discovery. We may have read the same verse or text many times, but there may come a moment when the Holy Spirit illuminates our mind and we see and understand it as though for the first time. The adventure of biblical study is without equal, for it is impossible to discover all the unsearchable, spiritual riches contained in God’s word, but our Teacher, Comforter and Guide will open up to us those that we search for, if we will simply seek him and ask.

Jeramiah 29:13
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

James 1:5-8
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Final Note:

Language has some minor obstacles when it’s translated into another tongue. Certain cultural changes must be taken into account as well. When these are not taken into consideration, confusion or misunderstanding may occur.

One of these is the way pronouns and adjectives are used in reference to the triune deity we call God. The pronouns of he, him, me, etc. are often used when  God is spoken of or when God is speaking, as in the previously mentioned example found in Exodus 20:3 (“me”).

Exodus 20:3
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

The word “God,” i.e. Elohiym is a plural and the three within this Godhead are addressed in the masculine gender as “he” or “him” or as Father and Son. This is especially true when this trinity, who together bear witness in heaven, speak as one, the oneness of absolute unity.

It should also be noted that in the English language, “he” is also used when gender is unspecified or a living being is without gender, such as the Holy Spirit.

Example:

“He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.” (William Blake)

Some no doubt, will find this concept difficult to fully comprehend. It would make more logical sense if words like “they,” “them,” or “we” were used, as opposed to “he,” “him” or “me.” How can we reduce this conflict of concepts into terms that are easy to understand? This, is not beyond our ability to grasp. We’ve been able to understand similar biblical concepts without any confusion.

Example:

The church is called the body (singular) of Christ and as such, is viewed as one body having many parts. We might also remember that the church (singular) universal, is the betrothed of Christ. Therefore, if the church, the intended bride of Christ were to speak, the pronouns used would have to be “she,” “her” or “me.”

Consider also that those within the church are called to speak the same thing (as one), have the same mind (as one), and be perfectly joined together (as one), sharing the same judgement (as one) as stated in 1 Corinthians 1:10.


1 Corinthians 1:10
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one, one in unity, in the same way that he and the Father are one in unity.

John 17:11
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

John 17:21
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

We will only discover these things when the scales fall from our spiritual eyes and our blindness of mind is lifted. Then and only then, shall the Spirit illuminate our understanding. This will, most likely come, at a time in our life, when we search for God with all our heart.

Jeramiah 29:13
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

You see, though the word “God” appears to be singular, like the word “group,” it conveys the message of more than one within it. The use of pronouns when studied, informs us of the absolute unity of those represented by this word, those who alone may legitimately wear the title of “God.”

There are many other wonderful truths that now await our discovery, truths that will unlock things we’ve never seen before. I have coined a new word for this type of search, a search based on biblical common sense and I call it “Theologics.”

Happy Hunting!