Posted in Imperfect Prose, James Fowler, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Mosaic Law, Religious Deception, Spirituality, Tell His Story, The Pharisees, Torah

The Seven Dwarfs

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God’s Thoughts to Me

But I warn you – unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:20, NLT).

The Seven Pharisees

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In May 2012 the movie, Snow White and the Huntsman, was released by Universal Pictures. I totally fell in love with the uber-cute real-life little dwarfs in this new release.

Who would ever forget how valiantly Gus fought in the Dark Forest and took the arrow meant for Snow White to save her life.

I had to peck away a tear or two, for just the previous night the two of them danced so beautifully together.

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As I was reading an article of James Fowler called Pharisaism, I met another bunch of seven “dwarfs”, if you would pardon my pun.

I had a good giggle when I read about how the Talmud described the seven types of Pharisees.

The first group they identified was the “Shoulder” Pharisee. These were the guys whose shoulders were never big or wide enough to accommodate all their good deeds, like keeping the Sabbath, feeding the hungry, etc.

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They tithed to the last drop of wine they owned before taking even one sip and prided themselves on the fact that they were not like the scum of the earth such as the publicans and their kind.

It seems to me they were not part of the crowd when our Lord Jesus taught the people not to let their left hand know what their right hand was doing (Matthew 6:3). Nope, they loved blowing their own trumpet!

Then we meet Mr Wait-a-Little. They were the cautious ones who would weigh all their options a few times, and then wait a little more, before they would do a good deed or help someone in need.

I think we can also call them the Forever Sabbatarians; totally ignorant of Solomon’s advice, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them!” (Proverbs 3:27).

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And then, there is the poor Mr Bruised Holier-than-Thou. They walked around with their eyes downcast to avoid looking at women, oblivious to the lustful devils reigning in their hearts, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

Can you imagine how unclean they would have been if they accidentally, mind you, touched a menstruating woman; not to mention a despised Gentile or Samaritan! Gross!!!

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The fourth group they identified was the Hunchbacks. They were not Quasimodo’s ancestors, but the guys who made a big show of trying to be humble.

Perhaps they were trying to win our Pappa’s favor and were well aware that, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble” (James 4:6).

What better way of showing off your humility than walking with a bent back! I am sure they had to endure excruciating back pain because of their hypocrisy.

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Close on Mr Hunch Back’s heels follows Mr Ever-Reckoning. This poor guy was a useless mathematician and was forever tallying his good and bad deeds.

This gentleman never seemed to get the scales to balance and was therefore never certain of his standing before our Pappa. What a God-forsaken place to be!

If you search well enough, you might find Mr Scary-Pants hiding in the closet. These guys were forever trying to hide from the wrath of our Pappa for they were lending out their itching ears to the enemy who slyly told them horror stories about their heavenly Father.

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They were convinced our Pappa was a monster looking for the slightest excuse to annihilate them. It does not seem as if these guys were familiar with the words of King David’s beautiful psalm, “But even in darkness I cannot hide from you” (Psalm 139).

Then there were also the ones who loved their Pappa and respected Him as their God. Nicodemus and Gamaliel were thought to be good examples of this group. The Kingdom of Heaven accommodates all kinds and flavors, it seems!

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Before we shake our heads in innocence, in self-righteousness and with a know-it-all smirk, let us do some serious introspection. Let us ask ourselves how many of these evil dwarfs are hiding in the remote niches of our hearts.

When I was lost in the Kingdom of Insecurity, I used to allow my good deeds to subtly slip into my conversations in the hope of convincing my fellow churchgoers that I was a good Christian.

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I knew my alleged enemies much better than I did my Lord Jesus. In fact, I knew them each by name: the demon called Rejection … Death … Insanity … Condemnation … Illness … Unbelief … Doubt … etc … and the worst of them all; Jezebel!

I was worse than the worst Scary-Pants and petrified of my Pappa, convinced He was a mean, exacting God expecting me to earn even His slightest smile.

I was totally deceived by the archenemy of humanity, Satan, who was conquering my mind with his greatest weapon: religion!

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Let us bare our hearts to the Light of Heaven, allowing Him to chase away and destroy all the gremlins incubating and hatching in the humid darkness of our souls.

Oh, that He would capture and destroy all those pestering little foxes who ruin the vineyard of our Love!

Let us come to Him with the candor of a little child assured of His waiting arms longing to envelop us in His Loving Embrace.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Posted in Girl Meets Paper, Legalism, Religious Deception, Soli Deo Gloria, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Empty Lamps

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16, NKJV).

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord (Proverbs 20:27, NKJV).

Religious To-Do Lists

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The world commends busy people. Being without a to-do list as long as your arm at least, brands you as a failure, disqualifying you quickly from climbing the ladder of success.

To have a fulfilled life and to experience the satisfaction of a job well done, you need to be able to tick off the last item on your list by the end of the day or run faster tomorrow!

A list to help you organize your day is good, but our Lord advised us not to be worldly-minded as far as His Kingdom is concerned.

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I have observed this peculiar ladder-climbing phenomenon in the Christian world as well. And it just gets progressively worse with all the new programs entering the Christian scene left, right and center.

Every true believer often experience a spiritual dryness or winter season. It is necessary for the deep inner growth, which cannot happen during times of prosperity.

Do we suffer the germination process of new seeds in our lives gladly while we allow our roots to grow deeper into the life of our Lord?

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Do we eagerly look forwards to the lush new growth or do we mumble and grumble, if not complaining bitterly, when we experience suffering?

The only result we get from complaining and resisting the discipline of our Pappa is harming and stunting the growth of the fragile new sprouts!

The colder the winter and more severe the drought, the more we are sorely tempted to revert back to a “religious to-do list”. We hope that being especially good will make Pappa smile at us again.

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It seems as if we believe that our God’s presence is a bartering commodity with which we can earn His love and blessings by submitting to a few religious exercises!

We suffer from this life-threatening disease that makes us susceptible to thinking God needs anything from us before He would look at us with love and favor or rejoice over us with singing.

Yet, Solomon tells us that mans’ spirit is the lamp of our Lord. In the same way Jesus told us to let our lights shine before others so that it will bring all the glory to our Pappa and not ourselves in a crooked world and perverse society.

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Paul told the Corinthians,”But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV).

We need to do stock-taking of all the items on our religious to-do lists to keep our Lord happy and to fill up the empty lamps of our hearts.

A long repertoire of things to do can effortlessly cause us to stand out like sore thumbs by our weird expressions and programs of piety.

It is so easy to become a social nuisance when our lamps burn with the religious oil of the world.

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Our evangelical zeal and our insistence that others do things our way, have caused so much spiritual abuse that people don’t want to have much to do with that god.

Does the fruit of our lives bear the stamp of Jesus or do we strive in our own strength to be a light in the darkness or salt to give flavor to those around us?

Do the lamps of our hearts burn with the oil of church attendance every Sunday as well as a few times during the week and serving in a ministry? Can our lamps even begin to burn on that fuel?

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Do we rely on good things like Bible reading, having long quiet times, praying for a certain amount of time per day, being kind to the poor, tithing, attending all the new conferences, memorizing scripture, etc. to enable us to bring glory to our God?

It is so crucial not just to know of,  but also to experience our Lord Jesus living His life and godly character in and through us.

Only as we come to Him with empty hands and He draws us ever closer, are our feeble hearts readied and opened to be filled with the oil of His Spirit.

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Only as we empty our hearts of the oil of our own efforts, can we shine as godly lights in the world and be a pinch of salt that adds a flavor to a tasteless existence.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Posted in False Prophets, Garden of Eden, Michelle De Rusha, Monday Morning Meditations, Relationship vs Religion, Religious Deception, Soli Deo Gloria, Spirituality, The Life, The Truth, The Way

Fools Gold

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, NLT)

Don’t bother! It is not me that matters; it is my teachings that should be propagated and adhered to throughout the world (Buddha’s words, James Fowler).

The Crux of Christianity

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Siddharta Gautama, better known as Gautama Buddha, is thought to have lived approximately 400 BC. He was the founder of Buddhism. When he was dying, his adherents wanted to perpetuate his memory.

He was adamant that he didn’t want to be memorialized, but gave his own “great commission” to preach his teachings throughout the world. This sounds so noble and self-effacing.

Yet, it is extremely dangerous and deceptive, for his teachings ushered in one of the greatest religions of all time into the world, Buddhism.

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Contrary to the teachings of Gautama Buddha, we find the words of Jesus, who told His disciples just prior to His crucifixion, that HE IS the Way, the Truth and the Life.

He invites us with such tenderness and love when He sees us bogged down and heavy-laden with religion to come to Him. He invites us to follow Him for He wants to give us rest and peace beyond our finite comprehension.

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Can you imagine where we would have been if Jesus told them not to bother to remember Him, but only His teachings? That would just have been a whole new bunch of disastrous laws that kill and contain no life (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Jesus did not tell us that He would show us the way to our Pappa. Neither did He teach us new truths about God or gave us a new way to eternal life.

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No, He boldly proclaimed, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). He boldly proclaimed that many will come to Him on judgement day saying to Him, “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed miracles in your name” (Matthew 7:22).

Allow me to add another few favorite things that we might want to add today: we were teachers or preachers, pastors or priests, reverends or bishops, leaders of a worship team, taught Sunday School, spread the Gospel, spoke in tongues, didn’t drink … or danced … or smoked.

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We faithfully went to church every time the doors were opened, we attended all the prayer meetings, we selflessly served the saints in a church ministry, etc. Oh, the sorrow these ones will experience when He tells them He didn’t know them for they were mining for fools gold.

These things are not wrong in and of itself, but that is building on sand as far as Christianity is concerned. Christianity is built only on the Eternal Rock, the Sure Foundation; our Lord Jesus. He is the capstone rejected by the religious builders (Mark 12:10).

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In His wonderful prayer just before He was arrested, Jesus told us that eternal life is that we might know our Pappa and Him (John 17:3). Christianity IS Jesus Christ!!! HE IS the Great I AM.

If this is the truth, which it is, where does the approximately 41000 Christian denominations come from? This “knowing” is such an intimate union of our spirit with the glorious Holy Spirit.

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I personally think we will find the answer to this question in the Garden of Eden when the great deceiver deceived Adam and Eve into believing that they could be like God, knowing good and evil! In a human way I think we can compare this union to sexual intimacy between husband and wife; oneness personified.

Denominationalism is the result of that lie and the age-old characteristics of the flesh: pride, selfish ambition and dissension (Galatians 5:20). It seems that every denomination proudly proclaims that their doctrine/teachings of Jesus will show us the way, the truth and give us eternal life.

Not so! The person of Gautama Buddha might not be of much importance in Buddhism, but our living, resurrected Lord Jesus IS the crux of Christianity.

imageIn total contradiction to Gautama Buddha is the story of Sadhu Sundar Singh. He was a Sikh who converted to Christianity. A European professor of comparative religions, an agnostic himself, repeatedly asked Mr Singh during an interview why he exchanged one religion for another.

When Mr Singh answered him that he now had Jesus, the professor became quite impatient and wanted him to be more specific about the different principles or doctrines of the two religions. Mr Singh’s only answer was that the particular Person he had now found, was Jesus (James Fowler, Christ in You).

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The words of a friend of mine describes this so vividly, “You cannot eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and expect to live in the Tree of Life”. Thanks Grace Ann!

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Posted in Catholicism and Protestantism, Ellen G White, False Prophets, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Legalism, Mosaic Law, Old Testament Dietary Laws, Peter's Vision of the Sheet, Relationship vs Religion, Religious Deception, Religious Deceptions, Seventh Day Adventism, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, Spirituality, Tell His Story, The Bereans, The Truth, The Way, Torah, Uncategorized

Sly Deceptions

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1, NIV).

Test everything. Hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIV).

The Noble Bereans

I used to be good friends with a lady who was a member of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church. She had a very difficult childhood and subsequently grew up into a very insecure, vulnerable young woman.

The White Family
The White Family

When she desperately needed love, she met a few Seventh-Day-Adventists and they welcomed her with open arms. As she didn’t grow up in a church and didn’t know our Lord, she accepted their teachings and married their young pastor.

The founders of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church were Ellen G White, her husband, James White and Joseph Bates. The Adventists consider the teachings of Mrs White, which are based on visions she apparently received from God, to be just, if not more, reliable and true as the Bible.

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These precious people are heavily bogged down under the yoke of legalism. Yet, they consider themselves to be the remnant spoken of in Revelation 12:17.

This belief can easily scare the living daylights out of a naive, gullible person, like my friend, and make them a life-long member of this church.

Their teachings are very dangerous and the fact that they celebrate their Sabbath on a Saturday, is only a small fish in the ocean of deception.

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My friend tried her utmost to convert me to Seventh-Day-Adventism, but when she realized she was wasting her time, she sadly ended our friendship. I did a thorough study of their teachings and our Pappa protected me from believing lies.

I am amazed how educated, intelligent people use a single Scripture verse as the basis for a whole new doctrine and subsequently a new church!

Just to give you an idea how easily a Scripture verse can be taken out of context and manipulated to create a whole new doctrine, I want to mention their teaching about dietary laws.

According to them it is sinful to eat pork, but conveniently ignore Paul’s warning, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink… (Colossians 2:16)”.

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When Peter received the vision from heaven of the sheet containing all the “unclean” animals, according to the Old Testament laws, our Pappa told Peter to eat these unclean food. We know our Lord wanted to show Peter that, contrary to their belief, He didn’t consider the Gentiles to be unclean.

The Seventh-Day-Adventist believe He was referring only to people and not animals! Pigs are still happy and safe in Jerusalem and amongst these folks! The dietary laws of the Old Testament are still operative to them today.

Their teachings made me realize how easily one can base many false, deceptive doctrines on a few Scripture verses taken out of context and by implication deceive millions of people. The fear factor and the false security it offers keep many earnest seekers of God chained to these false doctrines.

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The greatest danger lies in the fact that nearly every lie can be defended from Scripture and the adherents usually valiantly claim to be just as noble as the Bereans who eagerly listened to Paul and Silas and searched the Scriptures daily to if what they preached was in fact the truth.

When I came to realize that countless, terrible lies were being nobly taught straight from the Bible, I seriously looked at what the Bereans were really doing. I found the secret lying not in what they were doing, but in what Paul was preaching.

Paul and Silas were in Thessalonica before they came to Berea. There was a Jewish synagogue and for three Sabbaths in a row, Paul reasoned with these Jews.

He used the Torah to explain the prophecies about the Messiah who had to suffer and rise from the dead. He informed them that Jesus was this promised Messiah.

Jewish Children Learning The Torah
Jewish Children Learning The Torah

The Bereans were more open-minded than the Thessalonians and eagerly listened to what Paul was preaching. Yet, they didn’t just gobble-up everything Paul said, but searched their copy of the Torah daily to make sure of the truth of their words. Paul commended them for this (Act 17:11).

Paul warned the Thessalonians to test everything and only hold on to what is good and true. In the same manner we find John warning the believers not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they were from God. Even then many false prophets were claiming to preach the truth of Christ.

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Today were are in the midst of a great apostasy and we have greatly stifled the Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment. We believe left, right and centre everything that is taught in the name of our Lord Jesus without testing anything.

I know that if people are like me, we often cry this great battle cry of  “Sola Scriptura”. Yet, we are clueless about the battle we are so valiantly fighting for! No wonder the Roman Catholic papacy, at the time of Martin Luther, used to say that the Protestants only exchanged their idol of the Pope for another, the Scriptures!

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I invite you to accompany me as I investigate, like the Bereans, for another few posts and test a few of the subtle false spirits doing the rounds today and which are difficult to discern as falsehood.

I want to delve deep into the Gospel Paul was preaching and hold onto our Lord Jesus who is the only Way … the only Truth … and the only Life.

Blessings and love.

Mia

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