WHICH JESUS TO FOLLOW
Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. For I came to divide a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter against her mother-in-law, and the enemies of a man will be the members of his own household." Mat 10:34-36
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of the heavens is forcibly entered, and forceful ones (βιασται = violent/forceful ones ) seize it.
"For [this is what] all the prophets and the law, until John, prophesied. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, one about to come." Mat 11:12-14
In verses just previous to the above statement of Jesus, in verses 2-6, John had sent men to Jesus to ask if Jesus is "the one who is to come, or should we expect another?" Jesus said to tell John about the miracles He was doing. Then He said, "Blessed is anyone who does not take offense in Me." Then Jesus spoke harshly to the people around Him, asking if they came to see a reed shaking in the wind, or perhaps someone in soft robes. His implication was clearly that He and those with Him are NOT soft and trembling, but just the opposite; they are men of power and force. He indicates that, as great as John was, the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than him. So, those words were the lead-in toward His words in verse 12 that from the time of Johnís baptisms to the present moment, men of force are seizing the kingdom of heaven.
Considering His set-up, prior to this statement in which He implies that He and those with Him are men of force, this can only mean that the kingdom of heaven is being seized by force by Him.
Here is a concept which portrays a Jesus very different from that long-haired, effeminate wimp whom preachers cry about. Here is a force greater than nuclear might, whereby the kingdom of World is being defeated and the kingdom of Heaven seized. Who are the forceful-ones who are doing this? I think they are Jesus with the Hosts of Godís warrior-angels, along with us members of the body of Christ who fight alongside them. It is a powerful and mighty sword which Jesus brings to His task. Unfortunately, He gets little help from the sleeping Christians who are more concerned about their worldly security (medical care, nice car & home, insurances, retirement plans, and image) than being willing to die in Godís great battle.
Jesus next words, from verse 16, are: "But to what will I compare this generation [the age/generation of Christianity]? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces who, calling to one another say, ĎWe played the flute for you and you did not dance; we sang a dirge for you and you did not mourn." The children in the marketplace (America today!) are more concerned with music and dancing (TV trash, & show-biz gospel entertainment) than with Truth. More concerned with emotional mourning for the dead than with Him. And in the following verses, Jesus goes on to fault Godís children for their ignorance and blindness. He chastises them for saying John the Baptist had a demon because he neither ate regular foods nor drank alcohol, and then for calling Jesus a glutton and a drunkard because He does do those things. (v. 20)"Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done because they did not repent."
Finally, Jesus says in verse 24: "I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you."
My dear, kind, gentle, and peace-loving friends. Are you comfy? Is your footstool cushioned? Are you content that Sunday church and tithing will get you a free pass into heaven? Do you like to hear prosperity preachers tell you that God wants you to have all the good things of this world because He loves you? Ooooh, you can just snuggle down in your soft chair and feel good about that, because thatís just what you want for yourself, too - all the good things this world has to offer. Yeah, you and God, what a team! both wanting to fill your life with wonderful things to make this your heaven. Well, youíve been led astray by Satanís workers who are even so brazenly arrogant as to claim they come in Jesusí name. "on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you."
The real Jesus? Godís SWORD, His axe, His force of destruction! The real Jesus said He came to set members of a home against each other, even "the enemies of a man will be the members of his own household." The real Jesus calls you to leave everything you value in this world to follow Him. "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Mat 8:20 The real Jesus tells you to hate your mother and father, sisters and brothers - if you want to follow Him.
It is a WAR to which He calls us! But, any preacher who tries to teach about the real Jesus might get to do it one time; then he will be out of a job. The people donít want that! There is the simple truth: the people donít want the real Jesus. They want the prissy wimp they were taught about in Sunday School. When the choice is between Religion or Truth, the people choose religion every time, and turn their heads away from that real Jesus, who is quite opposite from the one they like.
Changing the subject now.
When I watch people struggling to make happy lives in this world, it seems to me that I am peeking through a window into hell. I see lives of grief, failure, anger, disease, fear, debilitation, insecurity, and pain. Inserted into oneís life is an occasional moment of pleasure, perhaps a delicious food or an erotic emotion or a lust-stimulating TV scene. Emotions, sensual gratifications, and passions Ė those are the pleasures which people think make their lives worthwhile. Their health is being destroyed by chemicals in foods, but they continue to buy at supermarkets. Their health is being destroyed by poisonous pharmaceuticals, but they continue to rely on them anyway. Their lives are being destroyed by deliberate economic policies which impoverish the white worker, but they continue to play the game anyway. Their freedoms, which make success and survival possible, are being erased by politicians, but they continue to vote for them anyway. The sheep are being slaughtered, with nary a whimpering bleat. I watch them dying in agonies, but if I suggest they try a therapy opposite from mainstream medicine, they think Iím crazy. They stay with the doctors who are killing them. And they simply die. Today, Sunday, July 2, 2006, I saw a Day of Discovery presentation on TV which claims that pain is a gift of God, a valuable indicator that one should change something in his life. A book is published, titled The Gift of Pain. I would laugh if it wasnít so tragic. The guy is trying to sell a truth that people donít want to hear. They just want to pray the pain away, or best of all have a miracle done to Ďem which permits them to continue the same practices which caused the problem in the first place. They want their self-destructive habits and desires to be their "heaven" without having to change anything. Itís amazing to me to witness the stubbornness of profligate sensualists who insist that God bless their anti-God practices and make this hell into their personal heaven. I have personally anguished about this for many years, and nearly every attempt to awaken a person to the value of following Jesus has been rebuffed. I want to cease feeling this compulsion to reach out to anyone. But, soon I am back at the keyboard, attempting to reach out again. I know my words are futile, but I canít seem to stop. I speak into a darkness that doesnít return even an echo, and I canít quit doing it. My words rarely get a friendly response; rather, people turn away because I am in conflict with the religion they love and with the mainstream medical butchers and the political despots to whom they have granted control of their lives. It is all that which they want to become their heaven!!!! I am left with but one thing that I can say: Okay, if this world is serving you well, providing you the security, comfort, joy, and a promising future that pleases you, then who can fault you for staying with it. Jesus sure doesnít promise that! He calls you to suffer and die for Godís cause. He calls you away from the worldly pleasures and satisfactions. He tells you not only to die to this world, but to follow Him to Golgotha, and to do that willingly. He tells you of a very different path to victory than your preachers shout.
For me, I canít quit feeling the grief over all the Christians whom I think of as my people. When I watch people struggling to make happy lives in this world, it seems to me that I am peeking through a window into hell. I will keep writing and reaching out and praying that God will revive His children by awakening them to His Truth. Those are my feelings, and I really donít like what Jesus says: "on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you." I'm betting that you donít like what Jesus says, too.
Finally, here He is, at the end, the True Jesus, the One who claimed He came with a sword: From Revelation 19:11 "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and Truth, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. And His eyes are as a flame of fire, and on His head, many diadems, having a name written which no one knows except Himself, and clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His Name has been called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven were following Him on white horses, having been dressed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he may strike the nations, and He will Shepherd them with a rod of iron, and He treads the press of the wine of the fury of the Wrath of the Almighty God, and He has on His robe and on His thigh a Name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
So, if you don't like the idea of following Him into battle against this world, you have many other options. You aren't forced to. And your consequences are your own. You really do have the empowerment to follow whichever path you wish.
The above was an email sent to a list of friends on Sunday, July 2, 2006
Following is a follow-up to the above writing just a few days later.
My dearest friends,
This is a follow-up to an email that I called "Which Jesus to Follow" in which I presented a kind of Jesus very different from the one which the church presents. I guess I've been trying to hint at this Jesus-of-the-Sword for a long time, but the description never developed quite as clearly as it did when I wrote that email. In the big picture, which I see, Jesus is the Captain/leader of His team in a great battle against the forces of Satan, at the end of which there will be a victory for our team and a catastrophic defeat of Satan's forces. Mostly, the battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. Our leader calls us to charge into this battle, not caring about these puny lives, but for a greater goal. Jesus died as a part of this battle, and we are called to follow Him. This is serious stuff for any Christian to consider. I presented the case pretty boldly, and hesitated before sending it out, thinking, "Oh boy, I'm going to lose some friends with this one."
One dear friend responded to it saying, "but I am not totally ready to turn loose of the fellowship of church. My family has had too many strange things that have happened, spiritual wise, for me to turn away. Even in my life, things have happened that let me believe that I am being watched over and cared for. So am I, and is my whole family, being deceived. I am not sure that it is all or nothing. And exactly when would you take up the fight?" Her points are well taken, and probably common to most people. We have lives to live; we have obligations; and don't we need fellowship with like-minded people? These are sensible concerns. What should we do about them? Is there such a fork in one's path that one must choose between Christian fellowship and being a solitary warrior behind Jesus? Is this a problem of "all or nothing," namely of separating oneself completely from society and church and friends and even relatives for the sake of following a radical Lord who calls us to follow Him to the death? This is a tough choice, a really major, life-changing decision. Can't we get approval from God if we do our very best to be good people, going to church, giving to missions, reading the Bible, praying, looking to a God of love and peace, and generally being sincere good Christians? Must one actually decide to be a full-time warrior who follows a Leader in a war? No preacher will ever put such a choice before his congregation because they will quickly fire him. All or nothing? Like I said, this is serious stuff. My heart aches for any person who is confronted with such a call.
I wrote back to my dear friend with the following email. I share it with you, because you also might be pondering that tough letter I wrote on Sunday.
Lisa and I also wish we could have fellowship with a church group. We have tried to be part of a church group at several different times. It just doesn't work when we know we are not able to share our convictions that we believe, while we must sit and listen to the ignorant jibberish of mindless religionists. That is NOT fellowship! It is a social life, which is good, but at a high cost. We must stay silent and pretend that we are their "fellow believers." That is a hypocrisy that we just can't do. As for spiritual blessings that you have witnessed, we also live by them. We think God is dynamically active in our lives all the time, and we certainly would never turn away from that. I hope that all of my writings promote an ever closer relationship and dependence on God as a personal Father, who does far more than just watch over us, but rather, lives in and through us. "In Him I live and move and have my being." If you think about that, you finally get to the realization that God experiences life through us individuals.
As for being deceived, I don't think preachers are the deceivers. Satan has done that. We are the innocent sheep who fail to recognize the wolf. Satan's children have influenced church beliefs and most people end up believing the great lie. Our preachers have been deceived and then preach the lies, down through the generations. It is only as a solitaire that one can find that Truth which is Christ. Jesus only calls individuals to follow Him. Only rare individuals are willing to pay the high cost of being a follower of Jesus, and willing to see through the great lie to find the Truth. The Bible says many people turned away from Jesus and followed Him no more, after hearing some of the things He said. Today, churches offer a watered down message of evangelism and fellowship that makes a solitary path impossible. Warriors are not welcome in the churches where peace and the good-life are the gospel message. Jesus would have to leave His sword outside and stay silent in today's churches. When we understand what Jesus is really saying, it becomes clear why so "few are chosen." It's a rare person who will follow Jesus away from the mindless sleep of modern Christianity, to challenge the enemy and go into battle for God's cause. A battle which will cost one his life!
There is more to this than just an "all or nothing" stand. God has been instrumental in blinding His own children to the Truth, and that has been done for a purpose, just like He divorced the entire Northern Kingdom of Israel for a purpose. He sent them away where Satan would not be able to destroy them. He even caused them to believe in other gods during that time. And so it is with the blindness that results from not seeking Truth (see II Thess. 2:10). Without being unified behind Christ-the-Truth, our people have no head which can be cut off. We are disparate, fractionalized, dysfunctional, and thereby we don't offer Satan a clear target to attack. That saves the Christ-sheep from total destruction. But, it still is our people's fault that they chose not to seek Christ the Truth, after which God who sent them a powerful delusion which causes them to believe the lie. Our people are deluded, and it is God's doing. That doesn't mean that He has written them off, for He still watches over them, and still answers some of their prayers, and still maintains them - until the moment comes when He will awaken them to Truth and then they will arise to overthrow their deceivers. If one realizes that this is what God is doing, a person might be tempted to just join the blinded ones and enjoy a comfy social fellowship that has no real substance. But, that is terribly dangerous, for once one knows the Truth, if he then rejects it he is guilty of rejecting God in a way that the blinded ones never did. See the first few verses of Hebrews 6 for interesting information about this. "It is impossible to restore once again . . .who have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt."
As you can see, I have great love for our blinded people, and I tend to excuse them. I argue with God that He has blinded them, so how can they find the Truth. Still, we must always admit that each person who refuses to search for Truth, as Jesus commanded, must bear responsibility for that.
You ask when would I take up the fight. The fight began with John the Baptist, and Jesus then marches onto the stage as the warrior who calls us to follow Him against the enemy. The battle has been raging for nearly 2,000 years. We fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers (Satan). And just like Jesus had to die, so have all the members of the body of Christ had to die. The Roman Catholic church killed about fifty million Christians during the Inquisitions of the Dark Ages. The Zionist Jewish movement under Stalin killed more than sixty million white-race Christians between 1920 and 1940, with a goal of exterminating the German race. Until Germany reacted against them. In 1897, the Zionist Congress set forth a project of exterminating the entire white race through several different methods, one of which is race-mixing, and that is why Europe and America are being flooded with other races today. The battle against us is still raging. Any Christian can take up the fight whenever he learns what is really going on. Most sheep won't even look up to see that they are being destroyed. If one does look up, and cries out "Wolf!" the other sheep will try to silence him. So, you can see where the battle is happening, can't you? In the hearts and minds of our people who "perish for lack of knowledge." I, personally, have taken up the battle years ago when I started exposing the lie and pointing to what Jesus is really saying. That is not welcome news to Christians who are lazily content with a nice social club and don't want to be disturbed. I fight in my way, but each person must find his own way to do it, if he chooses to do so. Is it "all or nothing?" I can't answer that. Ask Jesus. He's the guy on the white horse with a robe covered in blood, the one with a sword in His mouth. Don't be afraid; you are one whom He loves. Just step right up and ask Him.
As for being a heretic, those are the ones on the horses who are following Jesus. A heresy is any teaching that the organized church disagrees with. Welcome to a very different social club. Unfortunately, heretics get crucified or burned at stakes so we can't get together much for fellowship this side of heaven. But, we will later.