A Reader's Beliefs and Questions

Beliefs and Questions from a Reader

God led me with a miracle to believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1989 after I prayed. I began studying the Bible and church doctrines, but by 1995 I discerned that all the "religious establishment" churches (Protestant/Catholic/Orthodox/Baptist/Pentecostal/etc.) are apostate, deeply ignorant, and involved in all kinds of false teachings and activities. So I settled on self-baptism.

Since 1995, I've visited many supposedly independent churches and ministers, mainly around Pittsburgh. I've also considered thousands of others on TV, radio, shortwave, and the Internet, but have contacted only a minority that seemed possibly genuine (less than 5%). These also have all turned out to be apostate.

Please only tell which (if any) of my beliefs you disagree with, and exactly why:

1) Biblical deliverance of Christians concerns liberation from external, not internal, circumstances (read my Bible Reviews #1 and #2 [follow below]).

2) A generational curse originates with God, and can never consist of sin, a "spirit of rebellion," or originate with Satan, demons, or witches, who also never have any ability to block prayers to God, or issue any valid "prophecies" or "predictions," but only lies and threats which need to be prayerfully resisted, not "reversed" (Eph 6:11; Ja 4:7; 1Pe 5:8-9).

3) Demons or "evil spirits" can not indwell true Christians, or be the "root" of true medical diseases of the body (1Co 3:9,16-17; 6:19; 2Co 6:14-16; Eph 2:19-22; 1Pe 2:5). See also the Bible citations in 4).

4) Pentecostalism and Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are founded upon false beliefs about and manifestations of the Holy Spirit ("speaking in tongues" as primary evidence of Holy Spirit baptism; fixating on letting the Spirit "inside" of you [the Spirit is already within all true Christians: Ro 8:9b; 1Co 12:3; 2Co 1:21-22; Eph 1:13-14]; calling upon, praying to, worshiping, and being "controlled" by the Spirit; so-called "slain" or "drunk in the Spirit" behavior [falling to the floor, convulsive spasms, etc.]; materializations [feathers, gold, gems, cash, vegetable oil, blood, etc.]).

5) Christians are not exempt from all problems, illnesses, pain, generational curses, persecution, suffering, sorrows, negative or unpleasant emotions, adversity, tragedies, etc.; and these are not necessarily sins, Satanic lies, misconceptions, and/or demonic indwellings, nor are they "blessings."

6) All Christians are still personally responsible and accountable to God for dutifully, conscientiously, and faithfully obeying the moral Law (read my Bible Review #3 [follows below]).

7) It's foolish and sinful to divide Biblical truths into "essentials" and "nonessentials" ("minors," "secondary issues"), since all are essential. False teachings and ideas create disunity or false unity, and must not be "tolerated," "appreciated," or argued over, but rather discerned, criticized, and rejected (Mt 5:18-22; 15:19b-20a; Jn 10:35b; Ac 2:42*; 17:29-30; Ro 14:1 [cf. 14:2,5,10,13-14]; 1Co 1:10; Eph 4:25; 5:11-14; Phs 2:1-2b*; Col 1:28; 3:9,16; 1Ti 4:13-16; 6:3-7; 2Ti 2:15,23-26; 3:16-17; 4:2-5; 2Pe 3:14-18; 1Jn 2:21b; 2Jn 9-11).

8) Discernment of others and excluding them from fellowship is not evil, bile, hate, toxic, wrong, poison, destructive, joylessness, self-righteousness, unresolved anger, or an offense to God; or equivalent to gossiping about, abusing, blaming, or condemning them; or having grudges, woundedness, a hardened heart, or a root of bitterness; or being paranoid, prideful, haughty, resentful, faultfinding, judgmental, unforgiving, unmerciful, unloving, or divisive; or living in the past, covering your sins, losing your peace, producing bad fruit, putting yourself in bondage, or closing a door to God.

9) Unrepentant Christians should not be forgiven (Mt 18:15-17; Lk 17:3-4; 1Co 5:9-11; Ttus 3:10-11; 2Jn 10-11). Presumed, pretended, or imagined repentance on anyone's behalf is inadequate and has no validity.

10) There is no "purgatory."

11) There is no "past lives" or reincarnation.

12) It's impossible to save the dead who rejected Christ, change past history, travel back in time, or communicate with the past or future (Mt 11:20-24; 24:21; Mk 13:19; Lk 10:10-15; Heb 9:27-28a). See also 13) and 14).

13) Hell is an eternal, material reality for those rejecting Jesus (Mt 5:22; 8:11-12 [cf. Mt 22:13; 2Pe 2:17*; Jd 13]; 18:8; 23:33; 25:41,46; Mk 9:43-44*-45*-48; Lk 3:17* [cf. Mt 3:12]; 12:4-5; 13:23-29; 16:22-28; 1Co 6:9-10; 2Pe 2:4; Jd 7; Rv 14:9-11; 20:10,14-15). Heaven, angels, and demons are also eternal, material realities. Angels and demons can have a physical appearance and influence on earth (Mt 8:30-32; 12:43-45; 28:1-8; Mk 5:11-13; Lk 1:11-19,26-38; 2:9-15; 8:2b,32-33; 11:42-26; Jn 5:4*; Ac 5:19; 10:3-7 [cf. 11:13]; 12:7-10; 19:13-16*-17; Rv 22:8-9).

14) A Christian can willfully forsake salvation (Ro 11:22; 1Co 15:1-2* [cf. 3:11-15]; Col 1:21-23; 1Ti 3:2-6; Heb 6:4-6*-8* [cf. Ac 2:38; 26:20]; 10:23-29; 2Pe 2:15,20-22; Jd 20-21).

15) Those who reject Christ are not God's children, and not brothers and sisters with Christians.

16) Although Jesus is united with God the Father as part of the divine Trinity (Mt 3:16-17; 28:19; Mk 1:10-11; Jn 1:1-3,14 [cf. Ge 1:26a]; 14:11-17,21,23-26; 15:26; 16:7-16; Ac 2:32-33,36,38-39; 5:30-32; 10:36-48; 1Co 12:3-6; 2Co 13:14; 1Jn 5:1-7), and therefore is "equal" in some ways with Him (Isa 9:6b; 44:6; 48:12 [cf. Ge 35:10-12; Rv 22:13]; Jn 5:18,23; 14:9; Heb 1:3a), the Bible emphasizes he is not "coequal" with Him, but rather is always subordinate in terms of status, sovereignty, power, initiative, knowledge, privilege, and praise (Mt 6:6-13b*; 11:25; 20:21-23; 24:36*; 26:39; Mk 14:36; Jn 2:16; 3:16; 5:19; 6:27,37-40,57; 7:16; 8:54; 10:32; 11:41-42; 12:49-50; 14:2*,10,16,24,26,28; 17:1-4,6-9,11-12,15,21-26; Ac 3:18,20-22,25-26; 10:37-40; 13:16-23,26,32-35; Ro 1:8-10; 2Co 1:3-4; Gal 4:4; Eph 1:17-22; 2:4-10,18-20; 3:2-3,7,9*-11,14b*; 5:20; 1Ti 2:3-5; 6:13,15-17; Heb 1:6; 2:7-10; 5:7-8; 7:23-25; 8:1; 1Jn 4:7-16; Rv 3:21).

17) Prayers should not be made to Jesus, or anyone or anything else, but only to God in Jesus' name (Mt 6:6-13; Lk 11:1-4; Jn 16:22-28; Ac 4:24-30; 12:5; 16:25; Ro 10:1-2; 15:30-33; Col 1:9-14; Phm 4-5; 1Jn 3:21-23). Certain pleas may be made directly to Jesus if he appears in a vision, however (Ac 7:55-60; Rv 1:10-11a*-18; 22:20).

18) Predestination, determinism, fatalism, fatalistic providence, Augustinianism, Calvinism, total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible (sovereign) grace, "perseverance" (eternal security), foreordination, foreknowledge, omniscience, and Arminianism are all false, condemnatory doctrines as far as election is concerned. These doctrines misinterpret, overgeneralize, or take out of context a minority of passages to mean that everyone's salvation or damnation was "set in stone" beforehand, which is the only way it could have either been foreknown or predestined. Nobody is predestined for damnation. Even the most crucial of these passages are actually inconclusive (Ge 25:23; 27:39-40; 49:4,7-8,10-20; Ex 4:21; 7:2-4; 9:12,16*; 10:1,20,27; 11:3,9-10; 14:3-4a,8,17; 33:19b; Nu 23:19; Dt 2:30a; 30:1-3,6,20b*; Josh 11:18-20; 1Sm 15:29; 16:1b; 1Kg 8:58; 12:15; 19:18; 2Kg 8:12-13 [cf. 10:32; 13:3,22]; 19:25; 1Ch 28:9a*; 2Ch 10:15; 25:20; Job 14:5-6; 23:10,13-14; 33:29; 36:7; Ps 22:9-10; 33:11-15; 37:18,39a; 40:5; 49:13-14; 51:5*; 57:2*; 58:3; 65:4*; 138:8*; 139:4,15-16; 147:5; Pr 16:1*,4,9; 19:21; 20:24; 21:1; Ecc 1:9-10; 3:1-15; 7:13-14; Isa 14:26-27; 19:22; 22:11; 25:1; 37:26; 44:2b; 45:7,11-12; 46:9-11; 48:4-5; 49:1; 63:17; Jer 1:4-5; 7:27; 10:23; 15:2; 19:9 [cf. Lv 26:27-29; Eze 5:9-10]; 29:11; 31:31,33; 43:11; La 2:17; Eze 14:9; Da 4:34-35; 5:25-26; 11:36; Jnah 2:9b*; Hg 2:23; Zc 4:6; 13:8-9; Mt 1:21; 10:29b* [cf. Lk 12:6b]; 11:27; 22:14; 25:34; Mk 13:20; Lk 2:14*; 10:22; 19:5-10; Jn 1:12-13; 3:3*,5-7*-8; 5:21; 6:39,44 [see also 17:12b], 63-65; 8:36; 10:8; 11:52; 12:37-40; 15:5,16a,19; 17:2,6,9,20*; 20:23; Ac 2:39,47b; 3:17-18; 4:24-28; 5:31b; 10:40-41a; 11:18b; 13:22,48; 15:18; 16:14b; 17:26; 22:14,18; 28:28b; Ro 1:7,16*; 8:7*,28-30,33,35-39; 9:11-24; 11:2a,4-8,28-29 [cf. 12:6], 32,36a; 16:13a; 1Co 1:1,8,21-30; 2:7; 15:10; 2Co 1:1; 3:3a,5; 5:5*; 5:14; Gal 1:15a-16a; Eph 1:4-11; 2:1-10; 3:10-11; Phs 1:6,28b-29; 2:13; Col 1:1,12,16-17; 1Th 1:4-5†; 3:2-3; 2Th 2:11-13; 1Ti 1:16; 2Ti 1:1,8-10; 2:10 [cf. 2:5], 25; Ttus 1:1-2; 3:5; Heb 1:14; 4:3; 9:15,27-28a; 10:9-10; 12:2a; Ja 1:17-18a; 1Pe 1:1-2; 2:8-9; 2Pe 1:3-4; 1Jn 3:20; 4:19; 2Jn 1,13; Jd 4*; Rv 13:8*,10; 17:8b; 21:6a). An overwhelming majority of conclusive passages refutes these doctrines (Ge 6:5-7; 22:12b; Ex 4:10-17,24-26a; 8:15,32; 9:16*,34; 10:1-2a*; 13:3-5,11 [cf. Nu 14:21-32; 20:12], 17; 19:5; 32:9-14; Lv 26:3-45; Nu 14:10-20; 22:32-33; 35:26-28*; Dt 1:19-2:1; 2:30b [cf. 2:30a]; 5:29; 8:2; 9:13-29 [cf. 10:10]; 11:13-17,22-23,26-28; 28:1-68; 30:4-20b*; 32:20,26-27; Jdg 2:20-3:4; 1Sm 2:30-33; 12:14-15; 13:13; 15:10-11†,35; 2Sm 12:8; 1Kg 3:14 [cf. 3:7; 11:6,42]; 19:18; 20:42; 2Kg 13:18-19; 17:13-23; 20:1-7; 1Ch 21:15; 28:9a*; 2Ch 25:14-16; 32:31; 36:15-19; Ne 9:29-31; Est 4:12-16; Ps 32:8-9; 69:22*; 78:39a; 81:8,10-16; 106:23,32-45; Pr 1:23-24,30,33; 3:1-2a; 6:20-21; 7:1-3; 9:10-11; 16:1*; 19:3a; Ecc 9:11b; Isa 1:19-20; 5:1-7; 26:10; 28:16b; 30:15; 38:1-5; 42:24-25; 45:22; 48:18-19; 49:6b; 65:2; Jer 2:30a; 3:6-7,18-20; 4:1-4; 6:8,16-19; 7:3-7,13-15,23-26,31; 11:7-8; 12:16-17; 15:6-7; 17:21-27; 18:1-12; 19:5; 22:4-5; 23:21-22; 26:2-6,12-19; 32:33,35; 36:3; 48:10; Eze 2:3,7; 11:19-21; 13:19; 18:23,31-32; 22:30; 24:13; 33:5,11; Hsa 11:2a*; Jo 2:13-14,31-32; Am 4:6-5:15; 7:1-6; Jnah 4:2b; Zph 3:7; Zc 7:11-13; Mt 5:19; 10:28b,32-42; 11:15-23,28-29 [cf. 11:7]; 12:31; 13:15,43b; 16:24-26; 18:4-6,12-14; 19:29; 22:9,14; 23:23,37; 25:27; 26:39; 28:18-19; Mk 2:17; 3:28-29; 4:23; 6:12; 8:34-38; 9:41-42; 10:15,29-30; 11:23; Lk 7:30; 8:8; 9:23-26,48-50; 10:13; 11:42 [see also Mt 12:41-42; Lk 11:31-32]; 12:5,8-10; 13:3,5,34; 14:25-35; 17:1-3a*; 22:41-42; 24:46-47; Jn 1:6-7,11-12,29; 3:15-21,36; 4:14,42; 5:23-24,46-47; 6:35-37,40,51,54,56; 7:17,37-38; 8:12,51; 10:9; 11:25-26; 12:25-26,32,44-47; 13:20; 14:12; 17:20*-21; 20:23,31; Ac 2:20-21,38-40,47b; 3:19a,22-23; 7:51; 10:34-35,43; 11:18 [cf. 11:1,17]; 13:46-47; 17:27; 18:6; 26:20,29; 27:21 [cf. 27:10-11]; 28:28a; Ro 1:16*,18-21; 2:4b-5; 3:22-24; 5:18; 6:10; 9:11a [see also Dt 1:39; Isa 7:16]; 10:8-18; 11:5-12,15,19-22,32; 1Co 7:37; 9:27; 15:1-2* [cf. 3:11-15]; 2Co 5:19a; 6:1; 7:11b; Gal 1:15a-16a; Eph 1:14*; 3:8-12; 5:17; Phs 2:12b; Col 1:21-23; 4:12; 1Th 4:3-4*-8; 1Ti 1:15; 2:1-6; 3:2-6; 4:10; 2Ti 2:20-21,25; Ttus 2:11-14; Heb 2:17b; 3:8,12-19; 5:3,9b; 6:4-6*-8*; 7:27; 9:12,26,28; 10:10,26-29,35-36; 11:6; 12:15-17a*; 13:12b; Ja 1:13-14; 1Pe 3:18; 2Pe 2:15,20-22; 3:5-9*-10; 1Jn 2:2,5,24; 4:14-15; Jd 20-21; Rv 2:5,16,22; 3:3,20-22; 14:9-11; 22:17).

19) All Biblical gifts of the Spirit are still in effect, and none has ever "ceased."

20) None of God's promises to Israel was ever revoked or transferred to Christians.

21) Jesus' mother Mary did not remain a virgin (read my Bible Review #4 [follows below]). Therefore, it's sinful to refer to her as "the Virgin Mary," and she shouldn't be worshiped as officially endorsed by Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

22) The Christian faith does not allow pastors to be women (Eph 5:22-28; Col 3:18; 1Ti 2:11-3:13; Ttus 1:5-9; 1Pe 3:1-7), children, or gay. It also excludes the titles "Reverend" and "Father"; posts of "pope," "lay pastor," "worship pastor," or "worship leader"; and gay marriage, sexual relations, and acceptance of such in Christian congregations.

23) Earthquakes, storms, and natural disasters are God's work not Satan's (Ge 6:17; Ex 9-12:30; Nu 16:28-33; Josh 10:11; Job 1:16; 36:27-37:18; Ps 11:6; Eze 38:18-20; Hsa 13:15; Jnah 1:1-16; Mt 27:51-54; Ac 16:25-26).

24) Premillennialism and a pre-Trib Rapture are the only correct interpretations (read my Bible Review #5 [follows below]).

25) The new covenant doesn't forbid unclean foods (Mk 7:18-19; Ac 10:9-16; Ro 14:2-3; 1Co 8:8; Col 2:16), or alcoholic drinks.

26) It's sinful to pronounce unsubstantiated deliverance, healing, or purported blessings or benedictions of conferral/bestowal/impartation upon people (e.g., Abrahamic, Aaronic/Levitical [cf Nu 6:22-27; Dt 10:8; 21:5; 1Ch 23:13], father's/parental, generational, "prophetic" [beatitude], favor/grace), or to assess anyone's faith or spirituality by how much affinity pets or animals show towards him or her, or to pronounce deliverance, unsubstantiated healing, or purported blessings or benedictions of conferral/bestowal/impartation upon pets or animals (cf. Dt 7:12-15).

27) Existing Bibles and ancient manuscripts have discrepancies and inaccuracies (e.g., Ex 13:18*; 15:4* ["Red Sea" should be "Sea of Reeds"]; Mt 17:21*; Mk 16:9-20† [handling snakes, drinking poison]; Jn 7:53-8:11†; etc.).

28) Apocryphal books, gnostic gospels, the Book of Mormon, etc. are erroneous and incompatible with the Christian faith.

29) Polygamy isn't sinful per se, but isn't God's ideal, and tends to become sinful like hoarding wealth. The Bible discourages polygamy (Dt 17:16-17; Mt 19:4-6; Ro 7:3; 1Co 7:2,29-40; Eph 5:31-33; 1Ti 3:2; Ttus 1:6).

30) Sexual infidelity or desertion by the other spouse gives a Christian the spiritual right to divorce and find another mate (Dt 24:1; Mt 5:32; 19:9; 1Co 7:15,39 [cf. Ro 7:1-3]).

31) There is nothing misleading or wrong with using the term "Christians" for believers in Jesus.

32) Christianity is not a religion of pacifism (Lk 22:36-38; Ac 10:1-8; Ro 13:1-4).

33) The Christian faith does not hinge on the creationist interpretation of Genesis 1-11, which might be a poetic mix of fact and metaphorical lore. Certain simple facts and evidence pose insurmountable problems for creation science enthusiasts, who tend to be preoccupied with and overstate unclear bits of evidence as if they were revelations which irrefutably prove creationism. They have no adequate explanations for: a) how neither saltwater nor freshwater animals went extinct in a global Flood, as thoroughly mixed water seems indicated by widespread fossils of ocean animals far inland, and high in the Alps, Andes, Rockies, etc.; b) why none of the 200 species of marsupials managed to leave any offspring to inhabit any part of Asia, Africa, or Europe along any presumed return route from the mountains of Ararat to Australia; c) apparent fossils of the primitive-looking, seemingly transitional species Archaeopteryx (7+ specimens), "Microraptor" (30+ specimens), "Ida," and hominid skulls of "Taung," "WT 15000," "AL 333," "Flores Hobbit," "Selam," and "Sediba."

34) Astrology, and communication or other interaction with the dead are forbidden.

If you don't disagree about Biblical deliverance of Christians, then would you agree to intercessory prayer for my deliverance and healing? Also, what are your other past and present affiliations, communion, and participation with churches, denominations, fellowships, religious and parachurch groups, organizations, institutions, ministerial associations, conferences, councils, fraternal societies, "leaders," ministers, evangelists, prophets, advocates, speakers, "mystics," ecumenical worship or prayer events, etc.?

Bible Review #1: Rediscovering Biblical Deliverance

The churches are claiming that all problems, illnesses, pain, generational curses, persecution, suffering, sorrows, unpleasant emotions, adversity, tragedies, etc. are actually sins, psychosomatic illnesses, lies from Satan, misconceptions, and/or demonic indwellings, which are rooted in spiritual disobedience, emotional "disorders," a rebellious mindset, and/or a deficient relationship with God. They view deliverance and healing as "promotions," "advancements," or "paychecks" (cf. Mt 6:2-4*; 16:27; 18:1-4; 20:25-28; 23:6-12; Mk 9:33-37; 10:42-45; Lk 9:46-48; 22:24-27; Ro 2:6-7; 1Co 3:13-14; Eph 3:8; Col 3:23-24; Rv 22:12) earned by performing a laundry list of required works, particular systematic procedures, techniques, plans, protocols, checklists, processes, supposedly rediscovered Bible interpretations, "revelations," willpower, etc. These amount to legalism and trusting in men instead of God, and practically all are presumptuous and contrary to the Bible, including:

A) focus on having perfect, or enough enjoyable and "positive" consciousness, attitudes, thoughts, possibilities, memories, desires, feelings, moods, perceptions, impressions, opinions, sensations, and emotions (pleasure, delight, upbeat, happy, glad, joy, cheerful, jovial, elated, lighthearted, fun, laughter, merry, celebratory, glee, exuberant, wonderful, marvelous, jubilant, hilarity, ecstatic, exhilarated, euphoric, perky, chipper, excited, zest, eager, enthusiastic, passionate, fervent, boisterous, comfortable, relaxed, peaceful, placid, serene, tranquil, blissful, satisfied, content, carefree, easygo-, fun lov-ing. mellow, effortless, uninhibit-, unconcern-, liberat-ed. nonjudgmental, un-critical, -discern-, accept-ing. flexible, recept-, submiss-ive. acquiescent, nonresistance, conform-, belong-ing. united, communal, ecumenical, equal-, commun-ity. camaraderie, brotherly, harmonious, friendly, peaceful, pacifist, sociable, sweet, nice, cordial, convivial, gregarious, accept-, respect-, approv-, honor-, recogniz-ed. special, important, worthy, brilliant, bless-, talent-, lov-, favor-, privileg-, anoint-ed; grateful, spiritual, glorious, beautiful, charm-, illumin-, entranc-ed. divine, healthy, whole, vibrant, lively, energized, invigorated, vivacious, effervescent, capable, empowered, busy, successful, winning, prosperous, thriving, purposeful, engrossed, fulfilled, confident, optimistic, anticipation, expectant, fearless, courage, valor, strong, mighty, invulnerable, invincible, dominant, masterful, authoritative, royal, regal, kingly, queenly, reigning, supreme, victorious, triumphant, "Jesus-focused," etc.); while simultaneously focusing on suppressing, stifling, erasing, and eradicating all unpleasant, "negative," subtly imperfect, vague, or low-key ones, which are supposedly induced by, controlled by, agreements with, or indwellings of Satan or demons; sinful and inappropriate "garbage," the hidden cause of all your problems, barriers that overwhelm, oppress, dominate, damage, deprive, and condemn you; and prevent or block all miracles, deliverance, healing, mercy, love, forgiveness, grace, growth, and victory (lack of joy, unhappy, upset, distraught, loss, sad, grief, sorrow, mourning, despair, angry, sour, bitter, pride, embarrassed, shame, guilt, regret, repentant, contrite, stress, anxiety, nervous, tense, worry, fear, endangered, suffering, distress, misery, pain, anguish, unhealthy, fatigue, weak, frail, humble, mild, meek, timid, effort, striving, difficulty, temptation, sin, error, problems, evil, Law, demands, rules, self-focused, -hatred, -pity, -denial, -aware. struggles, failure, frustrated, exasperated, patient, endurance, circumspect, astute, shrewd, reluctant, reserved, concern, skeptical, suspicious, leery, distrust, reservations, misgivings, caution, wary, vigilant, uncertainty, doubt, inquiring, introspective, serious, analytical, precise, accurate, unsettled, alarmed, dis-may, -appointed, -pleased, -like, -agreement. detest, revulsion, annoyed, offended, indignant, lament, complaint, objection, correct-, rebuk-, uncompromis-, unbend-ing. dissent, opposed, inferiority, unworthy, condemned, pessimistic, hope-, help-less. empty, lonely, unwanted, isolation, shunned, ostracized, hated, persecuted, "rejected," "emotional bruises," etc.)

B) cease from all self-effort to be righteous or think about or deal with your own problems, needs, pain, or sins so as to make it possible to get right with God, give Him "total control," make the decision to just go out and do evangelism and charity work, and focus only on: faith, love, grace, healing, deliverance, volunteering, living by the Spirit, beholding the cross, having enough love, donning a praise garment, serving other people enough, letting your heart be renewed, being dependable and altruistic, Jesus' righteousness, your spirit's righteousness in Christ, declaring "Jesus is my righteousness," smiling and having a pleasant demeanor, brightening everyone's day while overlooking sins and false teachings; complimenting, "blessing," encouraging, and cheering everyone up; discovering your spiritual gifts, "destiny," and God's plan for your intended life accomplishments; and meeting in fellowship and doing enough gestural acts of "praise and worship" (taking communion, rejoicing, celebrating, laughing, shouting, singing, dancing, clapping, listening to "anointed" music of "supernatural frequency," thanking God, "praising Jesus," "speaking in tongues," etc.)

C) focus on removing, "laying aside," and receiving counseling for your presumed bad attitudes, mindset, habits, selfishness, hangups, obsessions, compulsions, troubled heart, dwelling on your past, fear of deliverance (or healing, etc.), "negativity," "perfectionism," "controlling," "being controlled," "depression," "addictions," "besetting sins," "codependence," bondage, strongholds, enslavement, blockages, roadblocks, baggage, hindrances, limit[ation]s, weights, chains, prison walls, captivity, barriers, walls, "boundaries," and "borders"

D) release your "critical spirit"; bind or cast down your "spirit of heaviness," "evil spirits" and/or demons, or allow them to be exorcised; and break your presumed "yokes," detrimental "soul ties," and generational curses put on you by Satan, demons, or witches

E) pronounce or "release" blessings, and realize you were grafted into Israel's blessings (Ge 12:1-3; 49:28; Ro 11:17-18)

F) accept that the churches have improved upon the Bible to figure out a better, more effective, "do-for-yourself" way of deliverance and healing, which teaches that the only real problem is needing to realize, believe, and become aware that as Christians they should already have enough solitary faith, and be thanking God that He and Jesus love them enough already and never need any persuading; and that no deliverance, healing, prayer, provision, victory, answers, solutions, blessings, favor, or help of any kind at all is ever actually needed; since "by his stripes," "it is finished," etc., God has already redeemed them, and faithfully done everything for them; and fully given, entitled, granted, supplied, equipped, promised, authorized, provisioned, bequeathed, and made it all freely available to them by grace as a "title [purchased] deed," and as their birthright deposited both in their spirits and in "heaven's supply house"; and enabled them to enact stop living under the Law, start living under grace and the gospel, "stand on the Word," "take refuge in Jesus blood," and use their inner faith, ability, power, and authority to "draw it out from within their spirit," and thereby own, take, reap, allow, seize, inherit, initiate, decide, accept, access, choose, release, declare, receive, activate, possess, overcome, appropriate, sow and reap, step or tap into, take advantage of, or consent, submit, respond positively, or say "yes and amen to" it for themselves; otherwise it will "never" manifest externally, and they shouldn't pray for it since God doesn't want them to have it

G) assume that belief is totally separate from faith and therefore unbelief can not reduce faith; admit you have a "problem" with doubt, unbelief, or both, and that all your problems are your own fault; solve things yourself by doing enough speaking, claiming, confessing, affirming, repeating, proclaiming, declaring, commanding, decreeing, cursing evil, and "planting seed" with "certainty" that Jesus is your righteousness and holiness, that God loves you, that your deliverance and healing are guaranteed, and behaving so (ignoring pain, discarding medication, etc.)

H) be still, wait, sit with Jesus, "let go and let God," and rest at ease in God's grace

I) receive remedial instruction in Christian basics; know that God has already forgiven you; refuse to continue listening to and believing Satan's lies and deceptions that you have any problem or illness, and correct all your delusional beliefs to this effect; change your perceptions; and correct and improve your supposedly faulty self-image and "image of God" (cf. Dt 4:15-18; 1Ti 6:16)

J) open up your eyes to reach whole new understandings and realizations, expand your consciousness, obtain new "revelations" ("downloads"); and learn who you "really" are in Christ, how to "hear God's voice," and interpret dreams and visions

K) be "spiritual" enough, "put your spirit in charge," and "bypass your mind"

L) refuse to continue to "let" or "permit" anyone or anything hold you back from being delivered or healed

M) "let go" of your past and refuse to "blame" anyone for anything

N) "forgive" everyone for everything; and trust, "have faith in," join in "spiritual unity" with, and participate in fellowship activities with everyone

O) overcome your presumed "spiritual abuse," "spiritual damage," and "spiritual defeat" by "spiritual ('inner') healing," "spiritual resurrection," etc.

P) practice the "laws" of tithing and sowing enough "seed faith" (money), "obey" requests for "love gifts" and "first fruits" (more money) and "investments" (money again), learn the "anointed" teachings and "secrets" of abundant life and prosperity, train for a "wealth transfer," and constantly nurture your expectation to "receive"

Q) command and rebuke Satan

R) "be blessed," "live healed," "live delivered," "forget your cares," "operate in grace," "maintain the correct balance of faith and grace," "call upon God's mercy," "use God's faith which is already in you," "realize you are more than a conqueror," "return to Jesus," "release Jesus," "expose yourself to Jesus," "keep repeating, 'I am the righteousness of God in Christ,'" "feed on God's love," "align with God's will," "use your access to God," "just plug into God's power," "open your hands to receive," "set your mind to it," "get into God's presence," "touch the anointing," "step out and walk in freedom, peace, and victory under an open heaven," "take dominion," "enter the glory cloud," "live near God," "move into God's mansion," "remind God of His promises," "attract angels," "release angels," "use your legal right to ascend into heaven to slay your oppressing dragons with swords and retrieve your blessings," "change your spiritual DNA," "win the key back from Satan," "travel back in time to undo and escape your circumstances," "see yourself as victor, delivered, healed," etc.

S) speak and pray in the "more spiritual" language of Hebrew; observe old covenant ceremonial laws for keeping kosher, Sabbaths, holidays, doorpost mezuzahs, wearing talliths and tefillin (prayer shawls and phylacteries), etc.

T) establish communal, working relationships and partnerships with angels and Jesus in person

U) "get yourself back on track," "focus on what's really important," "press in," "move forward," and "move to the next level"

V) make up for all your foolish choices and bad decisions

W) make promises and "covenants" with God and churches, become "God's friend," and develop a fiery, passionate intimacy with Him

X) "submit" to church and pastoral "authority," and bow, prostrate, or kneel before altars, or go to or build them

Y) fasts, "mandatory daily Bible reading and oral prayer recitations," "devotionals," referrals to get "help" from deliverance specialists, exorcists, mentors, "life coaches," "resources," self-help publications, seminars, classes, 12-step programs, "workshops," "healing rooms," etc.

Z) fixate on letting the Spirit "inside" of you (the Spirit is already within all true Christians: Ro 8:9b; 1Co 12:3; 2Co 1:21-22; Eph 1:13-14); call upon, pray to, and worship the Spirit; be "controlled" by, "slain," or "drunk" in the Spirit, attain "spiritual empowerment"; and receive "impartations"

They call this "doing deliverance" or "deliverance ministry," but Christians in the New Testament never practiced or advocated such rigmarole, and only claimed to minister the word of God, the new covenant, and the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 shows that deliverance is not one of the spiritual gifts, administrations, or operations. Moreover, any spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental "disorders" that are sinful actually require repentance, not deliverance. The reason is that deliverance from sinfulness is already available through choosing not to sin (1Co 10:13). In other words, unrepentant Christians do not need deliverance, but repentance. Their true bondage is actually sinning (despite misinterpretations of Ps 10:2-6; Isa 49:24*-25 [KJV]; Jer 12:1-2; etc.), but the churches are coming up with every conceivable way to not realistically address and deal with sinning (breaking God's Law). Bondage to sinning is always a free will choice. Any problems or illnesses that remain after repenting of sins can no longer be claimed to be rooted in past sins. God will not remove the sinful nature until Christ's return (1Co 15:42-50).

Contrary to popular false teachings that misinterpret certain passages (Ps 16:11; Ro 5:2-5; 1Th 5:16*-18), Jesus and the apostles never criticized or admonished people for merely unpleasant thoughts or feelings, but only for sinful ones. They also did not make any stipulations against having or expressing merely unpleasant thoughts or feelings, or teach people to focus and work on always being happy or pleased about everything. They did not teach or imply that nobody ever has a right to focus on or experience any unpleasant, imperfect, or negative consciousness, attitude, thought, possibility, memory, desire, feeling, mood, perception, impression, opinion, sensation, or emotion. In fact, these typically are not sinful, "toxic," inappropriate, or backward-facing, but instead are actually virtuous, and just a normal part of Christian life and suffering. In some cases, they are even required when addressing or dealing with adversity, persecution, or unrepentance. They can not be eradicated at will, and are not barriers to obtaining God's miracles, deliverance, healing, love, forgiveness, grace, or victory (Mt 5:3-4,22a*; 10:35-38; 14:26-31; 16:11-12,24; 18:17; 28:8; Mk 3:5; 4:40-41; 8:34; 9:24; Lk 1:28-30; 6:21; 7:6-10; 9:23; 14:26-27; 18:9-14; Jn 6:19-21; 11:33-44; 20:19; Ac 10:3-4; 12:9-12; 16:17-18; 17:16*; 20:30-31; Ro 11:20-22; 12:9,15; 1Co 2:3,15; 3:11-15; 5:11-13; 15:1-2*; 2Co 1:8-11; 2:4,13-14; 4:8; 6:4-10,14-17; 7:5-8,11; 11:28-29; 12:8-10; Gal 4:20; Eph 3:8-9; 4:26; 5:11-17; Phs 2:12-13,25-27; 3:8; 1Ti 1:15; 3:2-6; 5:20; 6:20-21; 2Ti 4:1-8; Ttus 3:10-11; Heb 10:26-29; 12:1,4-13; Ja 1:19; 3:1-2a; 4:4,8-9; 5:16a; 1Pe 1:3-6; 2Pe 2:7*-9,15,20-22; 1Jn 1:8-2:1; 3:18-20*; 2Jn 10-11; Rv 6:10; 21:4 [cf. 1Sm 1:2,6-27; Ps 4:4*; 6:6-9; 31:21-22; 56:3; 61:2; 116:3-4; Pr 8:13; 16:32; 25:12; 28:23; 29:11*; Jer 17:9*]).

For example, Peter's doubt and uncertainty about being rescued by an angel (Ac 12:9-12) did not block it from happening. His doubt spontaneously resolved afterwards, which usually occurs when it is caused by an unpleasant emotion or perception, but requires truth and facts in case of mistaken beliefs or confusion (Jn 20:24-27; Ac 12:13-16; 17:23; Gal 4:20), or repentance in case of rebellious unbelief (Ro 14:23; Gal 1:6-9).

Christians do have an ability to willfully resist, influence, or generate thoughts, feelings, or physical conditions, which are either sinful or virtuous (Mt 5:22*; Jn 16:33; Ro 6:12; 12:9-12; 13:14; 1Co 13:4-5; Eph 4:32; Phs 2:17-18; 4:4-6; 1Th 5:16; 1Ti 6:9-11; 2Ti 2:22; Ja 1:19-20; 1Pe 4:12-13). However, in the aforementioned case of Peter, as well as the cases of mistaken beliefs or confusion, this clearly was not any issue at all. Their thoughts and feelings were unpleasant, but not sinful. Therefore, what is actually needed is not to try to control or prevent the unpleasant thoughts and feelings, but rather to recover from them, or deal with their root cause (persecution, mistreatment, generational curses, poor diet, poverty, mistaken beliefs, stress, surprise, sleepiness, insomnia, fever, pain, illness, prescription drugs, injury, concussion, trauma, etc.). If this is not humanly possible, then supernatural healing or deliverance is needed.

There is no necessary cause-effect relationship, "root," "being controlled," or other connection between Satan or demons ("lying spirits"; 1Kg 22:21-23; Eze 13:7-9; 22:28; Jn 8:44; 1Ti 4:1), and spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental problems, or true diseases of the body known to medical science. There is also no Biblical possibility of Satan or demons indwelling or controlling true Christians. It is true that demonic indwelling of non-Christians can produce certain physical afflictions that mimic true disease (Mk 9:25; Lk 9:39; 13:11), and that some people were said to be "healed" of demonic or Satanic influences as their "illness" (Mt 4:24; 15:22-28; Lk 6:18; 7:21; 8:2,36; 9:38-42; Ac 5:16; 10:38). However, true disease and demonic affliction are clearly distinct and independent from each other (Mt 8:16-17†; 10:8; Mk 1:34; Lk 4:40-41; 6:18; 9:1; Ac 5:16; 8:7; 19:12; 1Ti 5:23), even though they sometimes coincided (Mt 8:16-17†; 12:22; 17:14-18; Mk 9:17-29; Lk 4:40-41; 9:38-42; 13:11-16).

In some cases of illness, God's generational curse is a possible cause, since it is in the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:5), which remain in effect for Christians as moral Law. The entire New Testament is full of criticisms and warnings to obey the Ten Commandments and other Old Testament moral laws, and supports that generational curses still occur in the new covenant era (Lk 19:44; 21:22-23*-24 [cf. Mt 24:19*; Mk 13:17*-19]; 23:28-29; Jn 9:2-3; Rv 2:20-23). While it is true that Jesus has provided Christians freedom from the laws of death and curses (Ro 8:2; Gal 3:13), the teaching that it is unlimited or automatic freedom is clearly false (Heb 9:27; Rv 2:20-23).

Other popular false teachings about generational curses do not hold up to scrutiny either. James 1:5b*,16*-17 does not say that God only blesses, never curses. In context, it actually says He does not dispense blessings together with chastisements. It also encourages to keep trusting in His goodness and gift of salvation, in order not to make the mistake of becoming dismayed and doubting them when undergoing many trials and temptations (cf. 1:2-4,12-14,17-18).

Teachings of self-liability (self-responsibility) for generational curses (ascribing them to personal sins, unforgiveness, self-righteousness, feeling guilty or unloved, etc.) are contrary to their occurrence in children too young to sin, or even know right from wrong (Dt 1:39; Isa 7:16; Ro 9:11; 1Co 14:20). Self-liability relies on some passages that are actually inconclusive, either due to imprecise meaning (Ex 20:5b; Dt 5:9b), or rival translations being possible (Lv 26:39b*; Ps 51:5*; Pr 26:2*; 2Ti 3:15*).

Self-liability also misinterprets, overgeneralizes, or takes out of context many other passages (Ex 20:6; Lv 26:39a-b*-42; Nu 23:19-21*; Dt 5:10; 24:16; 1Sm 2:27-36 [cf. 1:3b; 2:12-17,22a-b*-25; 3:12-14]; 2Kg 14:5-6; Job 21:19 [cf. 21:20-21]; 2Ch 25:3-4; Ps 58:3 [cf. fig. embellishments in 57:4; 58:4-7]; 100:5; 109:18 [cf. 109:17,19]; Pr 12:21a*; Isa 49:24a* [KJV]; 65:6-7; Jer 16:10-13; 31:29-30,34 [cf. Mt 27:48; Mk 15:36; Lk 23:36; Jn 19:29]; Eze 18:1-3*-20; Mt 8:17 [see also Isa 53:4-5]; Jn 9:2; Gal 3:10; Heb 8:12; 10:17; Ja 3:10).

The context of Jeremiah 31:29-30 and Ezekiel 18:1-3*-20 shows that they are not actually revoking generational curses, or saying it is impossible to suffer from one. Instead, they are specifically ridiculing a presumption by the people of Israel that God's punishments upon them (famine, slaughter, desolation, oppression, the Exile, etc. [Jer 11-33; Eze 7-24]) were due to generational curses rather than their own sinning. Also, Ezekiel 18:19-20 confirms the principle that a person who suffers from a generational curse is not the one at fault for it, and that if he chooses to live righteously, he will not die from it (see also Dt 24:16). Yet Jeremiah 31:30 and Ezekiel 18:20 are not saying that a person can only die due to his own sinning.

In 1 Samuel 2:27-36, although God did pronounce a generational curse upon the unrepentant sinners Hophni and Phinehas, the context shows that their father Eli actually had primary liability, and that it was upon all of his descendants, not just the sinful ones (cf. Jer 16:10-13). Jeremiah 22:30 clearly demonstrates that generational curses afflict all descendants, without any exceptions (Hg 2:23 does not actually show a reversal of a generational curse for Zerubbabel).

Practically all passages that distinctly deal with generational curses utterly exclude any notion of self-liability (Ex 34:7; Nu 14:18,29-35; Dt 23:2-8 [cf. Ne 13:1-2]; 28:18,32,41,53-63; Josh 6:26 [cf. 1Kg 16:34]; 2Sm 3:27-30 [cf. 1Kg 2:31-33a]; 12:13-18; 24:17; 1Kg 14:9-17; 21:18-28 [cf. 2Kg 9:24-26]; 2Kg 5:20-27; Ps 37:28; 79:2-8*; 109:1-20; Isa 14:20-21; 24:6-23; 65:23*; Jer 9:19-21; 16:3-11; 19:9; 22:30 [cf. 1Ch 3:17-19; 2Kg 24:8-12; Hg 2:23]; 32:18; 49:8-10 [cf. Ob 9-10,18]; Hsa 9:16; Mal 2:3a*; Lk 19:44; 21:22-23*-24 [cf. Mt 24:19*; Mk 13:17*-19]; 23:28-29; Rv 2:20-23). They also show that generational curses only consist of demotion, or physical illness, defects, suffering, or death originated by God (not by Satan, demons, or witches). Although it is true that any illness or suffering can be considered a predisposition to sin, a generational curse can not consist of:

a) a curse, blockage, or hindrance of a person's spirit

b) a "spirit of rebellion" that transfers from parent to child

c) any alleged sins (trespasses, "spiritual issues," "legacy of sinning," "iniquity" [cf. Ex 20:5; KJV])

d) any bondage to, or strongholds or "cycles" of sin, ignorance, unforgiveness, fear, anger, pride, legalism, drug abuse, sexual sins, divorce, idleness, suicide, witchcraft, gossip, condemning others, using any negative or critical words (as in discernment), etc.

Such notions misinterpret certain passages (Ex 20:5; Ps 106:15*; Isa 58:6; 65:6*-7; Jer 32:18*; Ro 9:11-24). There is no indication in the Isaiah or Jeremiah passages, nor in any other of the approximately 40 Biblical occurrences of the Hebrew word hēyq ("bosom"; KJV), of God actually putting any curse within anyone's spirit, will, or volition. God never makes innocent people sin or rebel (1Co 10:13; Ja 1:13-14), "transfers" sin or rebellion from parents to children (Dt 24:16; Eze 18:4,19-20), or puts "evil spirits" into them. For the same reasons, the notion of generational (ancestral) sins is also false.

Since a generational curse originates with God, and only consists of demotion, or physical illness, defects, suffering, or death, nobody can ever "break," "defeat," "destroy," or "be delivered" from one. This would be trying to overpower God. Nor is there any using "tools" to remove one, or doing "inner healing," or pronouncing blessings or benedictions of conferral/bestowal/impartation (e.g., Abrahamic, Aaronic/Levitical, father's/parental, generational, "prophetic" [beatitude], favor/grace). Such pronouncements and teachings are not Biblical (the right way to bless people is by doing good to or praying for them [Lk 6:27-28,35; Gal 6:10; Heb 13:16]). A generational curse is not "special," and does not require special prayers and protocols. Instead, it calls for admitting the father's liability (Lv 26:40; Ne 1:6; 9:2), confessing and repenting of any personal sins, and prayers for healing.

If it were true that God has already granted all deliverance, healing, power, and miracles, and therefore it is entirely up to the individual Christian to just use their "authority" to receive them by grace, or pray and believe for themselves they have already received them (Mk 11:23-24†) as promises and legal entitlements, or "command" them into reality, then there would never really be any need to petition or persuade God by joined prayers of agreement. The Bible shows this not to be the reality (Mt 7:7-11; 9:27; 15:22-28; 17:15; 18:19; 20:30-33; 21:21-22†; Mk 10:46-51; Lk 9:38; 11:9-13; Jn 4:47-49; 15:16; 16:23-24†; 1Co 12:12-31; Eph 6:18; Phs 4:6; 1Ti 2:1; Ja 1:5-8; 1Jn 3:21-22). Also, the specialized gift of healing (1Co 12:9 [cf. 12:7-30]) would be regressive, and a hindrance to spiritual development. In fact it would be sinful, as would any intercessory prayer for other Christians, since either one would essentially mean acting as an accomplice and abetting them in their lack of faith to receive their own miracles. It would be more appropriate to shame and rebuke them instead. This is a teaching of hatred, not love. The Biblical way is always to pray for their deliverance, healing, etc.

Prayers of petition or intercession are not less effective than spoken commands. Silent prayers are less susceptible to being made faithlessly than commands, but are not less effective. Faith is the crucial factor in effective prayer, not speaking out loud (1Sm 1:12-16; Mt 6:6-8; Ro 14:23b). Additional passages further refute these and other similar notions, which are largely ways of feigning hope and faith, and avoiding truly addressing and dealing with problems and needs:

a) solitary or singlehanded faith is all that is ever necessary (cf. Eze 34:2-4; Mt 10:1; 17:20*; 18:19; Mk 5:30; Lk 5:17b; 6:19; 9:1-2; Ac 4:29-30; 10:38; 20:9-10; 1Co 12:7-30*; 2Co 1:10-11; Ja 5:13-16; 1Jn 5:14-16)

b) deliverance, healing, or any other miracles already belong to and are within all Christians as entitlements (cf. Mt 18:19; Mk 5:30; Lk 5:17b; 6:19; 9:1-2; Ac 4:29-30; 9:36-40; 10:38; 14:8-11; 1Co 4:11; 12:7-30*; 2Co 1:8-11; Phs 2:27; 4:5-6; 1Ti 4:1-7,16; Heb 12:1-13; Ja 4:7-10,14-15; 5:13-16; 1Pe 4:16-19; 1Jn 5:14-16)

c) faith is merely belief that can be whipped or perked up by thinking and speaking only "positively," "optimistically," or according to popular misconceptions about having a "good attitude" (cf. Pr 27:1; Mk 9:24; Ac 4:29-30; 10:1-4; Ro 12:3; 1Co 2:4*-5; 4:11,20; 11:28-34; 2Co 1:8-11; 12:9-10; Phs 4:5-6; 1Th 1:5; 1Ti 4:1-7,16; Heb 12:1-13; Ja 2:14-26; 3:2a; 4:7-10,14-15; 5:13-16; 1Pe 4:16-19; 1Jn 1:8-2:1a; 3:18-20*-24)

d) Christians can "never" obtain deliverance, healing, or miracles without having blustery or melodramatic confidence, or supreme certainty that they are inevitable (cf. Ps 146:7-8; Pr 27:1; Mk 9:24; Lk 5:12-14; 9:1-2; 17:6*; Ac 9:36-40; 10:1-4; Ro 8:26; 12:3; 1Co 2:4*-5; 4:20; 11:28-34; 12:7-30*; 2Co 1:8-11; Gal 5:22-23; Eph 4:1-3; Phs 4:5-6; Col 3:12; 1Th 1:5; Heb 12:1-13; Ja 2:14-26; 3:2a; 4:7-10,14-15; 5:13-16; 1Pe 3:15b; 4:16-19)

e) the actual preconditions for faithfulness (individual righteousness, hope, prayers, knowing truth and the Word), are legalistic, unimportant, unnecessary, outmoded, or foolish (cf. Ps 146:7-8; Mt 13:15a-b*; Jn 15:7-8; Ac 10:1-4; 1Co 11:28-34; 1Ti 4:1-7,16; Heb 12:1-13; Ja 2:14-26; 5:13-16; 1Pe 4:16-19; 1Jn 1:8-2:1a; 3:18-20*-24)

Such notions are not part of true (living) faith, and are based on misinterpreting, overgeneralizing, or taking many passages out of context (Ge 32:24-29; 1Kg 17:1 [see also 18:41; cf. Jas 5:17-18]; 1Ch 4:9-10; Ps 5:12; 30:1-2; 34:10*,19; 37:4-5,25; 41:1-3; 91:1-10*; 103:2-3; 105:37; 107:20; 118:17; Pr 3:5-8; 4:20-22; 6:2; 11:6; 14:30; 18:20-21; 22:9; 23:7*; 26:2; Ecc 5:3*; Isa 45:3; 53:4-5; 54:17; 60:1-3; 61:1; Jer 30:17; Mi 3:8a; Mt 7:7-8; 8:17 [cf. 8:16]; 9:21-22,29; 10:1,7-8; 17:20*; 21:21-22†; Mk 5:28,34; 9:23b*; 10:52; 11:23-24†; Lk 4:18-19; 6:38; 8:48,50; 9:1-2; 10:19; 11:9-10; 17:6*,19; Jn 4:50; 8:36; 10:10b; 14:12; 15:7*; 19:30; Ac 1:8; Ro 1:16; 4:17; 5:17; 6:11; 8:11,32b*,37; 10:13,17; 12:2,3b*; 15:18-19; 1Co 2:2; 3:21; 10:13; 2Co 1:18-21; 2:14; 3:7-10 [cf. Dt 7:15-24; 28:12-13; Ps 105:37]; 4:8-9,13-14†,18; 5:17; 9:8; Gal 3:5*,29; 4:7; Eph 1:3,6***,19; 4:24; Phs 4:13* [cf. 4:11-12], 19; Col 1:13-14,27b; 2:6,10*-12,15; 1Th 5:23-24; Ttus 2:11; Phm 6; Heb 2:8a; 11:1*; 13:20-21†; Ja 1:5b*; 5:13a; 1Pe 2:24; 2Pe 1:3-4; 3:9; 1Jn 3:21-22; 4:4,16-17; 5:4b*; 3Jn 2*; etc.).

Certain passages supposedly support the mystical belief that being spiritual, or having faith for deliverance or healing requires being "illogical," or overriding or bypassing the mind, reasoning, and analytical thought (Pr 3:5; Mt 6:25*,34*; 10:19*; 11:25*; Mk 13:11*; Lk 10:21*; 12:11*,22*,29*; Jn 5:39-40; 7:24; Ac 4:32*; 18:24-28†; Ro 1:21-22; 8:6*,26*; 10:8-10; 12:16*; 1Co 1:19-26; 2:1-2,4*-5,12-16; 3:19-20; 4:3-5,10 [cf. 8,18-19], 20; 8:1-3; 13:8-12; 14:14-15†; 15:34*-36; 2Co 4:2*,6,18; 5:7,13; 10:4-5; 11:3-6*; Eph 1:17-18†; 3:19; 4:17-18†,23*; Phs 3:13; 4:8*; Col 2:18b; 1Ti 1:3*-5; 4:13-16†; 6:20; 2Ti 2:23-26†; Ttus 3:9; Heb 3:1*; 5:12-14†; 11:1*; Ja 1:5-6*-8; 3:13; 1Jn 2:27; 3:18; 2Jn 1-2; etc.). In reality, this view misinterprets, takes out of context, or overgeneralizes some of the passages without rival manuscripts or translations, while the rest are inconclusive (Ro 1:21-22; 10:8-10; 1Co 2:12-16; Ttus 3:9; 1Jn 2:27). As for the passages that do have rival translations, it takes some out of context (Ro 12:16*; 1Co 2:4*-5; 15:34*-36; 2Co 4:2*; Phs 4:8*; Heb 11:1* [contextual citations in next paragraph]), while the rest are inconclusive.

The New Testament clearly refutes this mystical belief with an abundance of logical expressions (using "because," "for," "if [then]," "reason," "since," "so," "then," "therefore"), and references to the "mind," "thought," "knowledge," etc. as being intrinsic to spirituality (Mt 10:16; 13:23; 15:10-11; 16:5-12; 22:29,37; Mk 7:14-15; 12:30; Lk 1:3*-4; 10:27; 12:47-48; 24:45-48; Jn 7:21-24; 8:31-32; 10:38; 14:11,26; 16:13; Ac 1:3; 2:42; 4:32*; 6:9-10; 10:19; 12:9-12; 15:38*; 17:2-4,11; 18:24-28†; 19:8; 20:35; 26:24-25; Ro 1:21-22; 2:14-15; 8:6*,26*,38-39; 12:2-3,16* [cf. 12:10-15,18]; 14:5; 15:4,14; 16:25-26*; 1Co 1:10,19-26; 2:12-16; 4:6 [cf. 4:3-5], 9*; 5:6-12; 6:1-5,9-10; 8:1-4; 10:1-15; 11:13-15; 13:8-12; 14:14-15†,20; 15:33-34*-36; 2Co 1:13*-14*-15; 2:11; 4:2*-4; 8:7; 9:5; 10:4-5; 11:3-6*,16 [cf. 12:6]; 13:11; Gal 3:7; Eph 1:17-18†; 4:11-14,17-18†,23*,25; 5:5-17; Phs 1:9-10; 3:13-15; 4:7-8*-9; Col 1:28-29; 2:2-3; 3:2*,16; 1Th 3:1; 2Th 2:3-6; 1Ti 1:3*-5; 3:2,14-15 [cf. 3:2-12]; 4:1-11,13-16†; 6:3; 2Ti 1:7*,12; 2:11-15*-18,23-26†; 3:14-17; 4:2-5; Ttus 1:8-15; 2:2,5*-8,12; 3:1,9-11; Heb 2:1; 5:12-14†; 11:1* [cf. 11:2-40], 6; 13:9; Ja 1:5-6*-8; 2:20-24; 3:13; 4:4-5,17; 1Pe 1:13; 4:7*; 5:8; 2Pe 1:5-9,12-13,15,19-20; 3:1-3,15-18; 1Jn 2:3-6,27; 4:2-3; Jd 3-7; etc.).

Christianity's objective is to obtain deliverance, healing, etc. by prayers and righteousness, not by tithes. Tithing has the inherent defect of not producing righteousness, and also the negative potential of being misdirected. It was not involved or necessary in any Biblical miracle. Money and wealth are supposed to be earned by working, not tithing (Dt 8:17-18; Ps 37:16; Pr 11:4,28; 13:7*; 15:16; 28:6; Mt 6:19-24*-34; 13:22; 20:1-16; Mk 4:19; Lk 3:14; 12:15-31*-34; 16:9*-11*-13*-15; 19:13*-23; Jn 2:14-16; Ac 3:2-6; 8:18-25; 2Co 2:17; 9:7; Eph 4:28; 1Th 2:9; 4:11-12; 2Th 3:7-12; 1Ti 5:22b; 6:5-11; Heb 13:5; Ja 1:9-11). The New Testament has just one money miracle (Mt 17:27).

Many passages confirm that whenever Christians needed or requested intercessory prayers for deliverance, as Paul and his associates frequently did, it was never due to personal "disorders" or problems (sins, unpleasant emotions, a lax relationship with God, lack of faith, misconceptions, evil thoughts, believing lies, demonic indwelling or oppression, "spiritual damage," financial deficits, etc.). The bondage, suffering, or jeopardy they faced was not something they brought upon themselves. Instead, they were innocent victims who needed rescue from circumstances of persecution (direct or indirect), mistreatment, or chance adversity beyond their responsibility or control. The fact that they were victims, and some even martyrs, does not mean they were not "overcomers," which is a separate issue of personal sin. God did not always deliver them, but whenever He did it was always in response to intercessory prayers and personal righteousness (which includes being hopeful and having faith in God), not interpersonal ministry and relying on particular systematic procedures (Ac 5:17-25; 12:1-11; 16:19-28; 27:13-44; Ro 15:30-31; 2Co 1:8-11; Eph 6:17-21; Phs 1:12-20; 2Th 3:1-2; 2Ti 4:17; Phm 22; Ja 5:13).

Their deliverance was never a matter of "deliverance ministry," repenting, asking God to give them a clean heart, whipping up the right feelings or mood, celebrating, removing their "boundaries," binding "evil spirits," "breaking curses," "releasing blessings," counting on their own solitary faith to be sufficient, choosing, declaring, commanding, learning, renewing their minds, modifying thoughts and perceptions, having new realizations, "repairing spiritual damage," tithing, rebuking Satan, reciting prayers in Hebrew, etc.

Besides urging intercessory prayer for other Christians, the Bible urges to care for and heal the sick (Mt 25:34-46; Lk 9:6; Ja 5:14-16), feed the hungry (Mt 25:34-46), assist the needy (Mt 25:34-46; Gal 6:2,10; 1Jn 3:17-18), and comfort the distressed (2Co 1:3-7). It also directs to correct and expel the unrepentant (Ro 16:17-18; 1Co 5:9-13; Ttus 3:9-11). But it is not Christian to tell everyone they are responsible for causing, creating, or perpetuating their own problems, bondage, or illness due to their own faithlessness, mistaken feelings, illusions about themselves, or "damaged spirits"; that God loves them enough, has blessed them, and met all their needs already (cf. Ja 2:14-16; 1Jn 3:18); and so they would receive whatever they need if they would just be joyous and "positive," have love, realize that "God helps those who help themselves," work on "spiritual healing," etc. Jesus and the apostles never promoted deliverance or healing by solitary faith. Jesus used the proverb "Physician, heal thyself" (Lk 4:23) in a different sense.

All Christians are persecuted (Jn 15:18-19 [cf. 16:33]; 1Co 12:26a; 2Th 1:4-8; 2Ti 3:12; Heb 10:32-36), so all Christians need deliverance to at least some degree, and thus prayers for deliverance. Reasonably then, Christians persecuted to a greater degree have a greater need for deliverance and intercessory prayer. For example, Christians tortured in prisons in Saudi Arabia have a greater need than Christian motorists confronted by profane highway signs in the U.S.

Bible Review #2: Rethinking "Spiritual Abuse"

The term "spiritual abuse" and related terms and concepts should not be used, as they are unreasonable and based upon misconceptions. It is impossible to abuse the spirit (soul, heart, inner self) without also abusing the mind or body. Therefore, it is mistaken to try to isolate abuse to the spiritual realm, or define it exclusively that way, just as gnosticism tries to isolate sin to the physical realm. Terms such as "abuse of the spirit," "soul scars," etc. also carry the false idea of a degraded, impaired, or corrupted spirit, as though caused by an external force; and a resultant need for "spiritual repair," "inner healing," or "healing the soul." The Bible does not support these ideas.

The soul, heart, and inner self are not exactly the same as the spirit (Heb 4:12), but overlap with it in the spiritual realm, and are generally synonymous with it. All four have characteristics of:

a) thought (Mt 9:3-4; Mk 11:23; Lk 5:21-22; Ro 7:22; 1Co 2:11; 1Jn 4:1)

b) emotion (Mt 5:3; Ro 7:22; Col 3:16; 1Pe 3:4; 2Pe 2:8)

c) morality (Mt 9:3-4; 15:18; 22:37; Lk 6:45a; 8:15; 10:27; Ro 2:5; 7:22; 10:10; 2Co 4:13; 7:1; 1Th 5:23; 1Pe 3:19; 2Pe 2:8; 1Jn 3:21)

d) direct influence by God (Ro 8:16; 11:8; 2Co 1:22; 3:14-15; 4:16; Gal 4:6; Eph 3:16-17a; 2Ti 1:7; 4:22)

e) judgment by God (Mt 10:28; 16:26; Ac 7:59; 1Co 5:5; Ja 2:26a; 1Pe 3:4; 1Jn 3:21; Rv 20:4a)

Abuse can never degrade or damage the spirit (1Co 4:11-13; 2Co 1:4; 4:6-14; 7:5-6; Heb 12:3; 1Pe 2:19-23; 5:8-9); starve or drain it (Jn 4:13-15; 6:35; 7:37-38), or impair, incapacitate, or neutralize it (Mt 12:30; Mk 9:40; Lk 11:23). Breaking spiritual unity with others can never weaken or create a hole in the spirit of the faithful (Mt 3:1-10 [cf. Lk 1:80]; 18:15-17; Jn 6:66 [cf. 7:1-10]; Ro 16:17-18; 1Co 5:9-11; 2Th 3:6,14-15; 2Ti 3:1-7; Ttus 3:10-11; 2Jn 9-11). If abuse could damage the spirit, then all Christians would always have damaged spirits, since all Christians are persecuted (Jn 15:18-19; 16:33; 1Co 12:26a; 2Th 1:4-8; 2Ti 3:12; Heb 10:32-36).

A Christian's spirit can only be degraded, damaged, or defeated from within by the Christian himself, by giving in to temptation or deception (Mt 10:28; 15:11; Mk 7:15-23; 1Co 3:14-15; 8:4-13; 2Co 7:1; 11:4; 12:18; Col 2:18; Ja 3:6; 1Jn 4:1-6). Correct figurative terms for it are "spiritual backsliding" (cf. Jer 3:12-14; 5:6; 1Co 5:1-5*; Gal 6:1; Rv 2:4-5), "shipwreck" (1Ti 1:19-20), or "twice dead" (Jd 12). Correct literal terms include "sin," "reprobate," "immoral," "unrepentant," "lose salvation," "weaken in faith" (1Co 8:4-13), or "beguiled" (Col 2:18). Spiritual backsliding can be a reaction to abuse, but is never a necessary reaction to it. It calls for correction and repentance, not clinical notions of damage, healing, doctoring, repair, etc., which just feed into "learned helplessness" by perpetuating the misconceptions of "besetting sins" (cf. 1Co 10:13), "passing the blame," and an unrepentant "victim mentality." Claims to the contrary rely on passages that are ambiguous or have rival translations (Jer 3:22; Heb 12:1*).

Christians who do not react to abuse by backsliding just have suffering (distress) of the spirit. The Bible characterizes this as being troubled (distraught), poor, or grieving in spirit (Ps 25:15-21 [cf. 25:1-3]; Da 7:15; Mt 5:3; Jn 13:21; Ac 16:17-18; Heb 13:3; 1Pe 1:6); or tormented, bowed down, cast down, or sorrowful of soul (Job 19:2; Ps 38:6; 42:6; Mt 26:38; 2Pe 2:7-8).

A range of figurative expressions for spiritual suffering includes having a "broken" or "crushed" spirit (Job 17:1; Pr 15:4,13; 17:22; 18:14), a "broken" or "pierced" soul (Ps 119:20*; Lk 2:35), or a "broken," "stricken," "withered," "wounded," "sick," or "heavy" heart (Ps 34:18*; 102:4; 109:16,22; Pr 12:25; 13:12; 25:20*; Isa 61:1; Lk 4:18*). The Hebrew word for "sick" essentially means "suffer" (Isa 53:10; NIV) or "grieve" (Am 6:6; KJV). In the case of a "wounded" heart and the other figurative cases, the context shows that the key to dealing with spiritual suffering is changing or escaping from the external circumstances (Ps 109:1-21,26-31; etc.).

Passages that appear to substantiate healing of the spirit, soul, heart, or inner self are only figurative, not literal (Ps 23:3; 41:4*; 42:11*; 43:5*; Pr 15:4a-b*; 17:22; 25:25; Isa 61:1; Lk 4:18a*), and their context shows that they are only speaking of encouragement, healing the body, or relief from suffering due to external circumstances. Spiritual suffering is analogous to the grieving of the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30), which can not be damaged, and it is proportional to the degree of adversity or abuse (2Co 1:8-9).

The Bible never makes spiritual suffering itself the issue, or identifies it as the root of the problem, or isolates it as anything that requires a direct focus or solution apart from the external circumstances. False notions of healing the spirit, or repairing it, and other common recommendations like being joyful and cheerful singing are not a solution (Pr 25:20* [but cf. 12:25; "a good word" does benefit]; Ja 5:13b). Instead, the external circumstances (persecution, victimizer church leaders, etc.) must be addressed and dealt with Biblically, by prayer (Ja 5:13-18), and by keeping in mind relevant passages (Mt 5:11-12; Jn 15:18-21; Ro 8:35-39; 1Co 4:12-14; 1Pe 4:12-19; etc.).

Regardless of modern vernacular, slang, figurative, emotive (especially of the heart), or comedic use, there is no sensible, valid, Biblical, or Christian basis for describing spirituality, the spirit, Holy Spirit, soul, heart, or inner self as being the object or recipient of certain terms, and/or defined or symbolized by certain other terms; except only in the sense of deceptions, diversions, delusions, and as noted (slashes separates terms closely related in concept, and a backslash follows a wrong term or terms that have no legitimate meaning with the mind [mental] or body):

Wrong terms and ideas:

 abuse/victimize, hijack/kidnap/steal/identity theft, betray, defeat/trounce/overthrow, wound/pierce (exc. fig. as: suffer; virtue or sin), alter/mark/bent/dent/scar/deform/degrade, hole(exc. fig. as: unsaved), trample (exc. fig. as: persecute [virtue]; punish [sin]), harm/damage/broken/the straw that broke the camel's back (exc. fig. as: unsaved, sin/unrepentant/reprobate,
lost salvation [sin; all free will choices]; humbled/distraught/suffer/afflicted [sin or virtue]),
wreck/devastate/despoil/ravage/crush, injure/dislocate/bruise/sprain/fracture, rip/gash, maim/
disfigure/mar/neuter, maul/mangle/mutilate/brutalize, hack/chop/shred/butcher/truncate/amputate,
batter/crash/smash/shatter/pulverize/smithereens/tattered, mayhem/bedlam (right terms: disquiet/
unsettle/unrest/disorderly/chaos/havoc/turmoil/pandemonium [sin, virtue,
both, or unknown]), kill, murder, assassinate, slaughter/massacre/exterminate, die/death/bury
(exc. fig.; sin or virtue), suicide (exc. fig.; sin), destroy/annihilate/erase, reduce/atrophy/wilt/
wither/erode/dissolve/decay/crumble/disintegrate/integrate, collapse/contract/expand, neutralize/
nullify, toss/throw (exc. fig.; sin), molest, rape, overpower/subdue/suppress/dominate/disrupt/
discomfit/shake/unhinge/rattle (exc. unbelievers can be), handle/mishandle, trigger, controlling/
take over/infiltrate/smite (exc. God can), incapacitate/inactivate/deactivate/
short-circuit/disarm, block/cork-, clogg-, stopp-, plugg-, damm-, gumm-ed-up/monkey
wrench, impair/debilitate/handicap/disable/lame/cripple, muffle/paralysis/immobilize/
stuck/halt, cramp/spasm,
stupor, coma, shock, trauma, constrict/choke/strangle/suffocate/oxygen,
dehydrate/rehydrate, battery/alternator/pump/deplete/recharge/replenish/diminish/
jump-start, starve/famine/emaciated (exc. fig. as: unsatiated, restrict God's word),
poison/venom/bane/cyanide/noxious/toxic/intoxicate/detox (exc. fig. of sin and/or suffering ["words
full of spiritual venom," "spiritual detox from religious cults"]), blood (exc. Jesus'
[not still bleeding], or fig. as: communion wine), blood pressure, tourniquet, ill-, sick-ness/
infirmity/malady/pathology/disease/symptom/arthritis/dyslexia/insomnia/amnesia/epilepsy/acold (flu)/scurvy/anorexia/leprosy/gangrene/virus/HIV/cancer/malignant/addict-, inflammat-, infect-ion/
plague/curse (exc. by God as a curse; it can't be sin, rebellion, or isolated to the spirit/soul/heart/inner self), generational curse/unfortunate/misfortune (exc. by God upon the unrepentant and their descendants; it can't be sin, rebellion, or isolated to the spirit/soul/heart/inner self), ancestral-, generational- sin\, hex\spell\jinx\, luck/unlucky,
contagious/epidemic/outbreak/metastasize (right terms: rate/extent/spread/incidence/occurrence),
immune/immunity (right terms: false sense of security [sin]; Christian/saved/holy/
sanctified[virtue]), biology, emergency/CPR/paramedic/life support/doctor/physician/
nurse/patient/clinic/hospital/institute/infirmary/sanatorium/stethoscope/
diagnose/bandage/mend/patch/repair/rebuild/stitch/suture/surgery/trans-,
im-plant/hearing aid/wheelchair/crutch/rehabilitate/recuperate/fix/heal/cure/
care/treat/regimen/therapy/acupuncture/smelling salts/aroma-, animal-,
paro- therapy/seeing eye dog/service capuchin/horse/dolphin/teddy
bear/stuffed animal/doll/transfusion/infusion/inject/IV/inoculate/
vaccine/prescription/drug/medicine/anti-dote, -bodies/remedy/tonic/tincture/
pharmaceutical/pharmacy/panacea/cure-all/chicken soup/recipe/fasting/
laxative/vitamin/balm/hypnosis/massage/beautify/makeover/cosmetics/
sauna/spa/suntan/nutrition/comfort food/creature comforts/baptize/
resurrect/resuscitate (exc. exclusively in the natural to benefit the mind
and/or body; lit. or fig. ["spiritual cure of arthritis by prayer," "Bible study to
cure wrong beliefs," "inoculated as a spiritual act of mercy"]; cf. Ac 7:51; 24:16;
Ro 12:2 [per contra Eze 36:26; Heb 4:12]), emporium/bazaar/merchandise,
boot camp/school/college/university/academic/study/lesson/teach/learn/
know-how/savvy/expert
/class/ABCs/book/workbook/computer/software/app, -aratus, -liance/device/
kit/tool/program/reprogram/formula/equation/code/recipe/method/system/
procedure/technique/mentor/prepare/coach/referee/training/fitness/health/
hygiene/conditioning/calisthenics/exercise/workout/muscle/gym/track record/
martial arts/fight/combat/battle/war/weapon/sharpen/equip/armor/white clothes/
garments/raiment (exc. by the Word, or of the mind and/or body by faith or works;
lit. ["spiritual teachings"], or fig. ["spiritual armor";
Eph 6:11-17]), proficient, score points (right terms: legalism/self-righteous/sanctimonious [sin];
holy/obedient/righteous [virtue]), discipline (exc. as: shunning, self-control, moral Law, Biblical
procedure, God's punishment/chastisement), outrageous/promiscuous/flamboyant/licentious,
ignite/kindle (exc. as: inspire [virtue];
agitate [sin or virtue]), firewood, ignition, engine, fuel/refuel, leak/drain/rupture, oil (exc.
anointing oil), workshop, powerhouse/heavyweight/champion/colossus/superhero,
Mother- Earth, Nature/Father Time, chiefest-, most eminent-, super-, arch- apostle\,
conqueror/reign (exc. God, Jesus, or of personal salvation [Ro 5:17; 7:7-8:37]),
foundation/rock/source (exc. God,
Jesus, or the Bible), the go-to (exc. God or the Bible), golden boy/Mr.- Fix-it, Perfect/
elite/superstar/ballerina/twinkle toes/diva\pantheon\, queen/princess/regent/emperor, prince
/majesty/leader/director/boss/president/commander/general/captain/admiral/officers' ranks
(exc. God, Jesus, evil spirits, or evil people; Christians can only be "church" leaders), king/your
own throne/viceroy/ruler/reign (exc. God, Jesus, evil spirits, or evil people; and Christians
after Christ's return [Lk 22:29-30; 2Ti 2:12; Rv 1:6*; 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4-6]), scepter/
preeminent/supreme/primacy/provider (exc. of God or Jesus), you already have the crown
of- glory (cf. 1Pe 5:4), righteousness (cf. 2Ti 4:8), divine/deity/sovereign/illustrious/first
place/guide/
master/ruler/hero/mighty/creator/world changer/teacher/God (exc. God, Jesus, or the Holy
Spirit; people can only be "church" teachers), coequal, sainted/patron saint, father/mother
/parent/progenitor/beget (exc. God, or Christian discipleship ["fathering," "begotten"; KJV],
or bringing up children ["spiritual parenting"]), birth/spawn (exc. God can; fig.), egg, reproduce (exc.
as: having children, imitating Jesus), rep-, dup-licate (exc. imitating Jesus), protege/clone,
DNA/genetic/gene/genes/genome/chromosome/sequencing/engineering/splice/cells/
species/blood-, pheno-type/pedigree/breed/half-, inter-breed/in-, pure-bred/heredity
/congenital/mutate/defect/dwarf/birthmark/atavism/eugenics/mongrel/
runt/hybrid/chimera/twins/inborn/instinct/reflex/hormone/endorphin, overdue/gestation/
abortion/miscarriage/premature/womb/embryo/pregnant/inseminate/fertilize/ovulate/egg/
sperm/sex/virility/puberty/sterility/vasectomy/menopause, conceive (fetus)/impregnate
(exc. by the Holy Spirit in Jesus' conception), deliver (exc. by God as: rescue, release),
self-deliverance\
(deliverance depends on God, and often requires intercessory prayer [cf. Eze 33:5 (per
contra Pr 11:6)]), self-actualize\, bring forth/bear, labor of childbirth (cf. Ro 8:21-22*-23;
Gal 4:19*; right terms: labor as in childbirth [fig.]/strive/suffer), midwife, baby/infant/nursery
/crib/cradle (exc. of the baby Jesus, or fig. as: immature), offspring/progeny/handiwork (exc. God's),
love child, brainchild, brain (exc. as: mind), craft/create/initiate/originate/found/bring forth/
introduce/establish/generate/proliferate/prolific/compose/author/dispense/disseminate/
endow/empower/supply/radiate (exc. God can), propagate (exc. as: spread), discover/innovate
/pioneer/pathfinder/visionary/seer\luminary, formation/shaping/sculpting
/chisel/architecture/draftsman (exc. God can [fig.]; right terms for people: discipleship/
fathering/begotten [KJV]/teaching, sanctification), potter/gardener/landscaper/vinedresser/
husbandman/graft in/pruning (exc. God can; fig.), lineage/bloodline (exc. as: Levite, Jew,
Christian, Gentile, generational- curse, blessing), headship/covering (exc. God, Jesus, or
a woman's husband), marriage/groom/bride (exc. fig. of Jesus with the Church), personality
(right term: character [virtue or sin]), boundaries/borders/edges/skin/membrane/coating/
contour/shell/hermit/cocoon/dome/circumference/rim/perimeter/outline (right terms:
moral-, relationship- boundaries/guide-, drawn- lines/limits/standards/rules/principles/
parameters/stipulations/ethics/aspects/armor/fortress/walls/barricade/guardrail/fence/
hedges/mosquito net [virtue or sin]), community/a commune/tribe (right terms: cult [sin];
church/communion/fellowship [virtue]),
networking/marketing, advancement/graduate/promotion, breadwinner, paycheck,
money, pauper (right terms: poor [sin or virtue], bankrupt [sin]), orphan (right terms:
reprobate/bastard [KJV]/illegitimate/child of Satan), optimism/optimistic/pessimism/
pessimistic (unrealistic unless based on exclusive circumstances or personal prophecy),
faith in- yourself,
others, country\, fixation, critical/judgmental (connotes sin or virtue; right terms:
accusatory/condemning/hypocritical/legalistic [sin]; alert/discerning [virtue]), liens (exc.
God can have), science, Christian Science, bandwidth, download/revelation (exc. if personal,
and doesn't contradict or add to the Bible), progressive revelation, Rapture,
purpose-driven/intention-,
mission-, non-mission-al/liberation-, prosperity- theology\emergent/new light, old-time
religion, penance, Marian/Pauline ("Marian spirituality"), slain/drunk/a sheet-, three sheets-
in the wind/St. Vitus' dance/shake and bake, interdenominational, burning in the bosom
(connotes Mormonism; right term: heart burning within [Lk 24:32]), raise Cain (exc. fig.; sin
or virtue), hell has no fury like a woman scorned (exc. fig. as: extreme anger), meditate
(exc. using the mind as: think/study/focus/concentrate), seance/spirit-ism, -ualist/Mass\
requiem\limbo\purgatory\, affirmations/transcendental meditation\mantra/chant/higher-,
expanded- consciousness (right terms: wishful thinking, repetitions, altered consciousness/
brainwashing; of the mind or body [sin]), semi-conscious, guru/ashram, karma\Om\,
Zen\, oracle (exc. as: Bible truth, the Temple sanctuary [KJV]), contemplative/mysticism/
guided imagery/dreamcatcher\centering/re-set, -boot/yoga/vision quest/New Age/sweat lodge/
white witchcraft/ouija board/wizard/shaman/incantation/conjure (exc. as: occult, altered
consciousness, witchcraft, spirit-, Satan-ism), possession, transfer, transmigrate,
reincarnate\, zombie (exc. fig. as: lost, ignorant, backslidden), vampire, grim reaper
(exc. fig. as: death), hole/portal/stargate/access point/passageway/interdimensional- grid,
node, matrix, window, triangle, channel/channeling\ley lines/go- into the light, through the
looking glass/fissure
/crack (right terms: door/doorway/gate/gateway/entrance/entry/entryway [the only valid
meanings of these 7 terms are: sin, virtue, Jerusalem, the ark of the covenant,
or Bethel (Ge 28:16-19)]), travel to-, communicate with- the past\, tie/mate/
attachment/umbilical cord, astrology\horoscope\zodiac/god, -dess\Davy Jones\
leprechaun\kachina\nymph/muse
(exc. fig. as: artistically inspired human)/mermaid\, Styx\, coast/cruise/cruise control/
remora fish/surf/ride the wave/wave rider/joy-, thrill- ride/adrenaline- rush, junkie/wild wave
(exc. as: wicked [Jd 12])/tidal wave
(tsunami; exc. as: wicked, God's punishment)/heaven's floodgates are always
open\wave of the future/wavy/bobb-, careen-ing/seesaw/wavelength/frequency/
undulate/oscillate/brain wave/biorhythm/flood-, monsoon- season/seasonal/
Old Faithful (geyser)/waves----, cycles----, ripples----, rhythms---- of totally--- unmerited--,
unconditional--, free-flowing-- grace, rewards
, blessing, restoration, satisfaction, acceptance, forgiveness, impartations, enjoy-,
fulfill-ment\call-, pull- of the sea/salvation--- throws your works overboard, washes
away the sinful nature, drowns all-- sinful-, unpleasant- thoughts and feelings\the waters--
will always part-; are already parted-; every door--- is--, will-- open- for you\watered-down/water-fall, -
slide/flume/
splash/splatter/cannonball/slosh/froth/foam/blow bubbles/whirl-, wading- pool/hot tub/bathhouse/spa-,
party-, tourist-, Roman baths-, Japanese macaque- culture, lifestyle/soak-, dous-, leech-, steep-,
siphon-, marinat-, percolat-, chugalugg-ing/truth--, wisdom--, knowledge--, discernment--
should only come by- osmosis, meditation, downloads, revelations, an inner
voice\waterlogged/flotation-, isolation-, sensory deprivation- tank/flat-, float- on your back/let---
circumstances mold or carry you as they may, your-- DNA-, habits-, reactions-, traditions-,
common sense-, muscle memory- be the guide/go--, swim-- with the- flow, tide, current, path
of least resistance/adrift/self-propelled/operate 100% under your own- steam, power/
all professing churches or Christians-- only have intramural disputes, should stand shoulder
to shoulder, are- family, genuine, in the same boat, on the same team, only beneficiaries not
laborers (harvesters)\blood is thicker than water (not necessarily)/pedalo/yacht/riverboat casino
/Good Ship Lollipop/galleon (pirate)/galley (uni-, bi-, tri-reme)/dredge/shuttle/parent
ship/pleasure-, show-, tug-, tow-boat/tow/haul/drag/stevedore/unsinkable\too big to fail\the bigger
the congregation the closer it is to God (not necessarily)/puffed-up/haughty/arrogant/pomp-, offici-,
imperi-ous/elitist/intrusive/grandiose/domineering/bombast/ego-ist, -trip/rolling on the river/the
Christian---- walk---, race--- is actually only a-- pleasure trip, sea-, river-, water-
ride, visit, shunt, transit, commute/the----- river----, stream---- flows in all directions, is--- wider--,
more inclusive-- than the narrow- way, gate, road, door/heaven-; your conquered territory-;
the--- oasis-; fertile--, sweet-- spot- is everywhere\locks (canal)/landlocked/whitewash/
avalanche/snow-coated, -covered/sleigh/shopping cart seat/p
edicab/rickshaw/sedan chair/palanquin/hitchhike your way through life\you have no control
over steering or propulsion/taxi/limo/self-driving car/GPS navigator/air bag/trailer/auto transporter
(car carrier)/ride-sharing/chauffeur (cf. Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-23)/valet/doorman/porter/quartermaster/
fetcher/concierge/usher/bellhop/busboy/waiter/
maitre d'/escort/chaperone/major-domo/caddie/girl Friday/butler/Jeeves/retainer/famulus/
clerk/consultant/facilitator/enabler/coordinator/inspector/manager/supervisor/foreman
(exc. fig. as: Jesus)/ward/proxy/surrogate/stand-in, -by/avatar/personal- orderly, steward,
specialist, problem solver, decision-maker/attendant/underling/wait upon/cater to/nanny
/nursemaid/wet
nurse/spoon-feed/bib/diaper/papoose/piggyback/stand on the shoulders/elevator, -shoes/
escalator/stilts/pogo stick/trampoline/catapult/bungee/ascend to the mountaintop without
any exertion/people mover/cable car/gondola/conveyor belt/assembly line/control panel/
calibrate/jack (up)/ratchet/crane/pulley/hoist/winch/zipline/monorail/bullet-,
jump a- train/conductor/glide/para-glide, -sail, -chute/skydive/flight of fancy/barnstorming/
jet- belt, pack/rocket/trapeze/airy/fluff/albatross/crow-, skylark-ing/head in the clouds/
lucky-, magic-, good luck- charm, touch, carpet, wand, amulet, rabbit's foot, four-leaf clover,
crystal, idol, paraphernalia, herb, potion, formula\pyramid power\to- spill salt, break a mirror,
knock on wood/icon, -olatry, -ostasis\silver bullet/capture lightning in a bottle/wish--
upon a star, ing- cap, well\genie\power-, guaranteed- prayers\life- verse, group/God's--,
an angel's--, the world's-- at your- disposal, summons, command, beck and call\nothing
can ever- go wrong, stop anything you do\mind over matter/you---- control your reality,
create your own world,

only get what you already have in your spirit, are- Jesus, master of your destiny; own-,
dominate-, can know- everything; have- ultimate power, absolute freedom, what it takes
already to do anything, dominion (exc. over God-given physical things); float--, prance--
through life, above-, away from- all problems; can---, must---, are supposed to--- release
all burdens,
perceive everything with total clarity, get into the sewer to find out it stinks, fold your arms-,
rest on your oars-, kick up your heels- and let God do it all for you; always-- conform, fraternize,
just do it, slay Goliath, hit your stride, have total liberty, join in the chorus, come together with
others, be- in the mainstream, free from persecution, receptive to everything; never--
lose, beware, stand up, make waves, run a tight ship, lock your doors, take
precautions, keep spiritually shipshape, feel like you must do anything, try- to
stem the tide, swim against the current, not to make yourself an easy target; look at-,
deal with-, take into account- the cold hard facts\crystal ball/gyroscope/autopilot/auto-,
self-correcting/guided missile/homing
pigeon/auto-, syste-matic/mechanized/automaton/robot/wind-up toy/marionette/
puppet/to be- the glove on the Holy Spirit's hand, a musical instrument in God's
hands\played like a Stradivarius/set pitch (exc. as: attitude, tone of speech)/
remote-controlled/led by the nose/under the thumb of- God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit/
you---- should never---, never need to---; it is-----
futile----, useless----, fruitless---- to--- try, strive, analyze, apologize, confess sins, say
you're sorry, delay gratification, question authority, roll up your sleeves, sing for your
supper, straighten things out, look before you leap, call a spade a spade, get out of
harm's way, judge right from wrong, stand on your own feet, think about your safety,
get things under control,
use your critical faculties, protect yourself spiritually, put on the full armor of God,
give anything a second thought, make a big deal about anything, fix-, better-, change-,
improve- yourself or your circumstances; defend-, fend for-, take care of-, try to make things
go well for- yourself; be-- careful, vigilant, serious, cautious, proactive, cognizant, on- alert,
guard\keeping
God's law is 100% perspiration and 0% inspiration\law-, aim-, reck-, mind-,
shame-less/simple-minded/empty-headed/snap judgment/knee-jerk reaction/
lockstep/rubber stamp/yes-man/the Force\vegetate/your------ tree-----, branch-----
only needs to gaze at Jesus, should never check with the Bible, has no- free will of
its own, maturation process, need of intercessors,
responsibilities of its own in bearing fruit, independent effort or abilities
(cf. Mt 22:36-40; 25:14-30; Ja 3:2); can---- only thrive or flourish (cf. 3Jn 2), never---
rebel, suffer, backslide, wither in faith, do anything to- be broken off (cf. Ro 11:17-24),
make itself unfruitful (cf. 1Co 14:14-19); be-- attacked, shaded from-, influenced by
anything except- God; never has to---- ask,
walk, seek, take action, strain to grow, weather storms, resist temptation, depend on others,
struggle against evil, address personal faults, put on the full armor of God, run (cf. 1Co 9:24-27
[per contra Ps 55:22*; 112:6*; 121:3*; Pr 12:3*; Jer 17:8]), strive to be holy or righteous
(cf. Ac 24:16; 1Co 9:26-27; Heb 4:11; 12:1-13; Ja 1:12), watch out for itself (cf. Mt 10:17;
Mk 13:9; Ac 20:29-31; 1Co 10:1-13; 1Pe 5:8-9 [per contra 1Pe 5:7-9]), be- vigilant, conscious
of sin; resist--, respond to-- pests, blight, competition, fleshly desires, the- elements,
environment\all sins are leaves that just wither and fall off\green thumb/flora/organic/macrobiotic/
indigenous/aboriginal/biosphere/circle of life\naturalism
/grassroots/ecumenical/inter-faith, -denominational/jump on the bandwagon/follow the- crowd,
masses/unity--, merge--, friendship--, fellowship--, sisterhood--, brotherhood--, at one-- through-
diversity, with- mankind, humanity, everyone, everything, civilization, all professing Christians,
nature (cursed- planet, universe, environment), the- world, people, culture
, society, multitudes, community\the majority is always right\vox populi vox Dei
\everyone is-- God's child, good inside, the- same at heart, disciple whom Jesus
loved\I'm OK you're OK\disunity is always wrong/unity-- at all costs, is always- true,
right, better than disunity/bad company improves good character\universalism\100%--
perfect, stress-free, dead to-,
insulated from- sin; Spirit-permeated, -flooded, -reigned over\immaculate\faith-,
holiness-, goodness-, righteousness- is foolproof, can only increase never decrease\no--
- personal- dignity, identity, character, righteousness, track record; degrees of-- sin, virtue,
righteous-, unrighteous-ness\infinite-, unlimited- grace, chances, forgiveness\blanket-,
unconditional- honor, approval, acceptance/locked in God's- trophy case, cage of
righteousness, irremovable suit of grace\pedestal/ensconced/once saved always saved\
eternal security ("perseverance")\unassailable/airtight-, vacuum-, hermetic- seal, bubble/
unchangeable- fate, circumstances\any event already took place before it happened/que
sera sera\it's all
over/the race is already won/nothing is-- by chance, left that can be accomplished,
an- accident, coincidence\law of- attraction, expectation/Murphy's Law/whatever you--
say-, fear-, think-, visualize-, look at- becomes real, takes you over, prophesies your
future, you become, you are (cf. Pr 23:7*), befalls you (cf. Job 1:1-2:10; 3:25; 42:1-17
[per contra Pr 10:24])\any---
fear--, insecurity--, uneasiness-- feeds-, draws- sin, Satan, failure, adversity\you-- were
hardwired for hell, are always in the right place at the right time, can wash your hands
of-, aren't responsible for- your actions; have no- initiative, self-control, free will, right of
self-defense; can't- help it, overcome your sins, teach an old dog new tricks\God-, the
Devil-, your DNA-
made you do it (re sin)\righteous---, unrighteous---ness is-- not unique per
individual, in your- DNA, blood\irresistible/quicksand/vortex/black hole/no
use trying/basket case/the only thing you're capable of is rolling with the punches/it's
entirely out of your hands/God's will is always unchangeable\glue of-; gravity of-; God--
meets all needs through-, can't meet needs
apart from- church fellowship\no man is an island (to himself; connotes
"you should never be separate"; exc. as "you affect and are affected by
others")/every tub rests on its own bottom-, God helps those who help themselves-
(connotes "you are responsible for all your problems" or "Christians should have no
interdependence"; exc. as "you have responsibility to
God [Gal 6:5]")/it's impossible to bite off more than you can chew\all your----
limitations are only misperceptions, healing---, blessings---, provisions---, answers
to prayers--- are always-- one step away, granted and on the way, a finished work
(cf. Ja 5:14-16 [per contra 1Pe 2:24]), in your- hand, spirit\it will all be OK no matter
what you do\everything in life-- works itself out,
comes up roses, takes care of itself, can only go your way, goes- well,
swimmingly; just- shows up, comes to you; falls right into- place, your lap;
should- be welcomed, never be resisted; only gets- more orderly, better and
better; goes smooth as- oil, jazz, grease, ice skating, a fine-tuned car; is-- fun,
safe, good, fated, settled, perfect, decided, beautiful, harmless,
subjective, ergonomic, convenient, copacacetic, supernatural, up to you,
fair winds, God's will, set in stone, meant to be, done already, in easy reach,
smooth sailing, up to God alone, yours for the taking, written in God's book,
something you walk right into, in the- bag, pipeline; for- the best, your benefit;
pre-destined, -digested, -pared beforehand; a- breeze, illusion,
miracle, blessing, privilege, done deal, fait accompli, finished work, mountaintop
experience\view through rose-colored glasses/led down the garden path/lily
(connotes: pallid, death, whitewashed, beyond reproach; exc. fig. as: pure,
unworried, uncalculating [Mt 6:25-34; Lk 12:22-31])/lotus (connotes: yoga,
drowsy, escapism; exc. perhaps as "lily" [Sg 2:1b***])/
flower power/hemlock/defeat-, pacif-ism/non-resistance, -chalance/freedom is always
free\unilateral disarmament\resistance is futile/problems all- melt away, light as a feather
\all's well that ends well/loosen up/chill out/lukewarm/laid-back/have no cares/not have a
care in the world/devil-may-care/apathy/whimsy/frivolous/flippant/hip/casual (right terms:
simple,
merciful)/fair-weather Christian\no- cost, duty, rules, vigor, needs, vetting, scrutiny,
tenacity, stamina, learning, teaching, obligation, aspiration, benchmarks, expectations,
responsibility, law and order, quid pro quos, marching orders, background checks/blue-,
white- collar/working class/aristocrat/escapism/escapade/parade/circus/carnival/resort/
happy- hour,
go-lucky/gratis/free-bie, -love, -loader, -for-aller/mooch/slouch/slacker/exempt from
serving/unconditional- election, salvation\win the lottery/collect winnings/slot machine/ticket--,
backstage pass-- to- heaven, healing, blessings, deliverance\grace--, health--, blessing--,
salvation--, provision--, protection--, wholeness--, restoration--, righteousness--, God's
favor-- is- on-demand,
unconditional, on tap, a free lunch, in your pocket, as free as gravity (cf. 1Pe 4:18),
a matter of knowing your true self, getting something for nothing (cf. Lk 14:25-33)\it's
more blessed to receive than to give (cf. Ac 20:35)/God--- owes you, is all heart, only
blesses never curses, gives you all the answers, always-- lets you off the hook, gives
you carte blanche, puts
everything right in- your path, the palm of your hand\every Christian's cup always
runneth over\intercessory prayer is always- redundant, superfluous, unnecessary
/entitlement/welfare (dole)/dispensary/stockroom/supply- room, depot, house/
warehouse/customer/the customer's always right/client, -ele/clerk/flattery gets
you everywhere/curry favor/indulgence (fee)/gift-, club-,
ATM-, credit- card/cash cow/money tree\blessings grow on trees\print money/gold-,
diamond- mine/gravy train/guaranteed- wealth, success/all God's people can escape-
being poor (cf. Dt 15:11), needing charity (cf. Ja 2:14-16; 1Jn 3:17)\you can always---
trust others, take a free ride, make concessions, walk on streets of gold, make lemonade
from lemons, pull
yourself up by your bootstraps, depend on the kindness of strangers, have an easy-,
let favor flood your- life; get- a handout, what you want, a blank check from God; reach
into God's- wallet, pocket, heavenly bank account; expect-- grace to solve your problem
for you, a knight in shining armor to come to your aid, to live life being treated- like a king,
with kid gloves\live---
large, it up, the-- high-, good- life/the life of the party/bon vivant/pleasure-seeker/life----
under an open heaven, in- utopia, God's mansion; has no individual - trials, strain,
sweat, danger, conflict, struggle, mishaps, pressure, suffering, concerns, problems,
accidents, deadlines, perspiration, red flags, stop signs, do's or don't's, should's or
shouldn't's; is--- suburbia,
happy valley, only the cream, heaven on earth, singing Kumbaya, the Garden of Eden,
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, always- cushy, sunny, soothing, predictable; non-stop- revelry, reverie,
pleasure, indulging; all- work, gravy, supply, leisure, comfort, demand, about sitting, gain
and no pain, benefits and no costs, green pastures and still waters but no valley of the shadow of death
(cf. Ps 23:2-4); a-- feast, party, romp, yawn, divan, beach, paradise, sabbatical, playground,
hootenanny, smorgasbord, Shangri-la, jog trot, chair lift, field day, feather bed, bubble bath,
beaten path, beer garden, bed of roses, rocking chair, chaise longue, holiday at sea, summer
camp, lavish banquet, bowl of cherries, dinner appointment, palm-lined boulevard,
battle that God fights for you (cf. 2Co 5:2-4), love-, laugh-fest; swim-, country-
club\vacation (right terms: indulgent [sin]; rest/Sabbath-rest [virtue])/Cloud Nine\nine
lives\nirvana\bask in luxury/wallow/the pleasure principle/instant gratification/sensuality/me-,
hedon-, material-, opportun-ism/expediency/full-, self-service (exc. full-service can mean
Jesus' propitiation
)/do-for-yourself/cafeteria/a la carte/everything in life tastes- good, sweet, delicious\
sugar daddy/candy- man, store/cafe/coffee/served to you on a silver platter/piece of
cake/let them eat cake/have it all your-, where there's a will there's a- way/the Christian
walk-- comes- naturally, instinctively, by default; is- easy, innate, unlabored, effortless,
a solo act, spontaneous
(exc. God's part in justification or sanctification)\knack/suave/slick/savoir faire/trade
secret/groove/the God habit\easy---- street, virtue, enough to do- in your sleep, blindfolded;
as--- pie, gluttony, swinging, doing the hokey-pokey, a-- picnic, walk in the park, stroll,
promenade, strut, cakewalk, jig, boogie, waltz, ballet, conga line, dance, automatic
car wash, baptism-,
communion- ceremony; to do as it is to--- fall, speak, recline, breathe, sunbathe, take
a pill, join a club, unwrap a gift, shoo a fly away, build a sandcastle, toss-, catch- a ball;
click your heels together, form your body into a cruciform position, light a match, fire a
distress flare, send an SOS, call- 911, the repairman; push a button, get a good signal,
download a file, enter
a code, withdraw cash from an ATM, cash- a check, in on it; insert a coin, use a--
microwave, vending-, washing- machine; drop your clothes off at the cleaners, pull-,
push- a lever; reel in a fish, trim a sail, turn- a rudder, on a faucet; dive--, jump--, plunge--
into- water, a fountain; pump water into a pail, soak up water in-, squeeze water from- a
sponge; dispense hand
lotion, sprinkle "holy water," spray-- perfume, weedkiller, bug spray, stain remover, breath
freshener, a- garden hose, shower massage, fire extinguisher; plug in a power cord, flip a
switch, open a- valve, umbrella, refrigerator, lock with a key; bake a cake, sit down at the
table, eat to your heart's content, help yourself to- cookies, servings, an all-you-can-eat
buffet; order-
pizza delivery, at a drive-through; pick a- plum, peach; change your- attitude, latitude; step--
out of the dark, under a pouring waterspout, into- rain, sunlight; on the- gas, brake
/monkey-see-monkey-do/facile/child's play/nothing to it/you-- don't have a leg to stand
on, can't-, don't have to- do things to be more righteous\it is more spiritual to----; you-----
can----, must----,
should----, are supposed to---- never make a move, learn how to stay seated, live like the
Tarahumara (re like doing work is beneath you), always-- sit, rest, let go, nod off, sleep in,
hang out, quit trying, do nothing, stay in bed, take it easy, hit the sack, wear flip-flops, cool
your heels, shut out the world, relax your posture, lay down your arms, put your gear in neutral,
cut everyone some slack, say "only God can do this," find diamonds in cesspools, curl up
with the Good Book, throw your arms up in frustration, beat your swords into plowshares,
lean on Jesus instead of taking a stand or walking by faith, fight spiritual battles in silk pajamas
instead of the full armor of God, let it- ride, slide; kick-, lean- back; feel right-, make yourself-
at home; sit- on the sidelines, down and shut up; skip-, sidestep- dealing with difficulties; let-
the good times roll, God be the active one; be- still, limp, slow, docile, listless, retiring, floored,
passive, horizontal, recumbent, loose-lipped, knocked-out, on velvet, sitting pretty, at Jesus'
bosom, carried on Jesus' shoulders, resigned to your circumstances, bowled-over
(exc. as: in awe of God); live--- seated, by-- force of habit, taking a- seat, load off your feet;
plopping yourself-, letting your guard- down\complacent/eat the bread of idleness/idler/sitter/pew-,
fence- sitter/don't be a standup but a sit-- up-, down- Christian\armchair Christian\easy
chair/highchair/wing chair (right term: mercy seat [God's only; Ex 25:22; Lv 16:2*])/God
always makes your enemies your footstool\"dwell" and "abide" (Ps 91:1; etc.) can only
mean "sit"\always sitting under a- sukkah (booth), huppah (canopy)/sit-- back, like a
happy Buddha, in the gap (cf. Eze 22:30; Eph 6:13), on the egg until your blessing
hatches/sitz bath/waiting room/spectator sport/eye-service/couch- body, potato/sack of potatoes
/layabout/do-, know-nothing/bump on a log/stick-in-the-mud/tee (re golf, football)/drone
(bee)/rest on your- laurels, blessed assurance/beached/run aground/mothballed/idle/in-ert,
-action/take things lying down/lying down on the job/the angels sitting at Jesus' tomb were
setting an example for the Christian lifestyle (cf. Mt 28:2; Mk 16:5; Jn 20:12)\loaf-, plank-, loung-,
squatt-, sprawl-, goldbrick-, sleepwalk-ing/carpet knight/army of lovers/splayed out/lizard/
invertebrate/rug rat/pliant like a rag doll/slugabed/drowsy/supine/day bed/pillow/hammock/
repose/sedentary/sleep/fetal position/we-- are-, should be- naked babies cradled in God's
arms\inner child\second childhood\rebirthing\womb of grace\hibernate/the lion (leopard) has
lain down with the lamb (goat; cf. Isa 11:6)/the most apt prayer is "Now I lay me down
to sleep"\rest in peace (R.I.P.)/asleep at the wheel/Jesus carries your cross for you\the
solution's always right under your nose\it's all--- elementary, self-evident, plain as day,
really-- a- snap, cinch, breeze, no-brainer; so- easy, simple, obvious (cf. Jn 7:24; 15:7-8;
1Co 13:12;
2Pe 3:16)/solve any need, desire, problem, or adversity if you simply---- sit, ask, live,
fast, rest, wait, give, tithe, seek, obey, study, laugh, knock, praise, repent, rejoice,
forgive, believe, worship, connect, respond, socialize, meditate, strategize, assimilate,
dig in, reach out, sow seed, shake it off, help others, act blessed, heed the call,
connect the dots, doubt your
doubt, confess your sins, memorize Psalm 23, demand satisfaction, win back lost
ground, tear down your walls, refuse to be a victim, deal with your issues, look within
your spirit, listen to spiritual music, break through your fears, believe you are righteous,
spread your wings and fly, practice good stewardship, cooperate with your angels, seek
first the kingdom of God,
settle-, press- in; enjoy-, simplify- your life; rise-, step-, open-, lighten- up; change your-
tone, words, self-talk, paradigm, emphasis; feel- worthy, unconditionally accepted;
understand the- Word, new covenant's provisions; make a-- pilgrimage-, covenant
with- God, a church; grab-; choose-; call for-; know about-; feed--, fixate-- on-; move--,
operate-- in- grace; drop-,
weigh- anchor; accept- love, help, the truth; bounce back, move forward, go-- faster,
slower, for it, to- bed, Israel, church; do- less, more, cartwheels; get-- up, real, busy,
psyched, involved, informed, empowered, into balance, closer to God, out of God's way,
a- grip, revelation; think- young, positively; renew-, change-, unblock-, shut off-, make up-
your mind; switch-
to grace, on your brain; stop- trying, thinking, worrying, living by moral rules,
remembering the past, dwelling on the present; apply- principles, the Word;
bow at an altar, celebrate victory, shatter your past, speak- in tongues, to your
mountain; wave a- fan, palm branch; reach into heaven, roll away the stone, pray
the right prayer; come- home, to the living water; claim-
sevenfold restoration, God's Bible promises, humble-, rededicate- yourself; believe-,
convince yourself- you are righteous; discern Satan's lies, fight the enemy, realize--
God is good, Satan is defeated, it is- finished, entirely up to you; you- are highly
favored, can get what you don't deserve; anger-, rebuke-, put in his place-, close
the door on- Satan; be- still, calm, joyful,
active, happy, willing, valiant, seated, grateful, positive, yourself, cheerful, carefree,
discipled, optimistic,
transparent, lighthearted, transformed, a Good Samaritan, anxious for nothing, at
peace with yourself,
filled with the Holy Spirit, settled (cf. 2Ti 3:12 [per contra Col 1:21-23a; 1Pe 5:10]); take--- curricula,
authority, communion, your place, up your bed and walk,
advantage of Jesus' sacrifice, a- brisk walk, stand of faith; the-- plunge, initiative, right- path, steps;
follow- your feelings, the Spirit's directions; call on the Spirit, ask-; use-; glorify-; remind-; put first-;
lean--, depend-- on-; get alone--, spend time-- with-; cry out--, draw near--, open the door--, give all
control-- to- God, Jesus, the Spirit; walk in-- the Spirit, God's provision;
stir up God's gift, hear God's word, reap God's promises, dwell in God's presence, see- yourself
God's way, through Jesus' eyes; realize-, discover-, get hold of- the Word, God's heart; use your
God-given- gift, faith, tools, rights, ability, permit, birthright, resources, entitlement, free will, inner
power; trust-, thank-, give it to-, agree with-, stop limiting-, depend totally on-,
cast all your care on-, see yourself blameless before- God; know-- Jesus, it's a free choice,
God's plan for your intended life accomplishments, your- talents, identity; Jesus- is present,
has his arms around you; the- ropes, right name of God for the problem; go to the Father's
house, live in-- God's Sabbath-rest, the- now, kingdom, faith zone; put on faith- glasses,
blinders; close your eyes, take- God's hand, it to God's legal court; use- mind science,
a point of contact, power of attorney; plead-, put it under- the blood; fall into Jesus' arms,
touch the hem of Jesus' garment, behold-; sit with-; focus on-; commune with-; put in the
center-; abide--, learn who you are--, know your position-- in-; run--, turn--, give your problems--,
bring every thought captive-- to- Christ; look to- heaven, the cross; wait for- God to
show up, the clouds to part and a sunbeam to guide you; open your- eyes, heart;
give-- up, thanks, it some- time, space; admit defeat, throw in the towel, surrender-
control, your life; raise the white flag, rest-, sleep- it off; have-- joy, love, mercy, gratitude,
proper honor, solitary-, childlike-,
big- faith (cf. Mt 17:20); correct understanding, the- desire, right attitude; a-
"spiritual father," different perspective, relationship with God, proper understanding
of grace; let-- go, it be, it manifest, the river flow, grace happen, down your defenses,
peace into your soul, the Holy Spirit guide you, God make up for you father's failings,
Jesus- inside you, dominate
your whole self; cry "Grace, grace" (cf. Zc 4:7), say- "go, amen, Hosanna, yes and
amen, it is well with my soul, the battle is the Lord's, God- loves me, will solve it; I--
can, believe, receive, shall have it, lack nothing, must succeed, have the power, can't
do anything myself, am- free, strong, unable, blessed, redeemed, victorious, God's
beloved child, the righteousness
of God in Christ, redeemed from the curse of the Law"; put it in the past tense,
consider it a non-issue, deny-; ignore-; disregard-; forget-; bury-; will-; live-; say-; take-;
allow-; desire-; inherit-; permit-; claim-; expect-; initiate-; divorce-; decide-; dream-; picture-;
choose-; release-; imagine-; visualize-; conceive-; prophesy-; experience-; shrug off-;
pull down-; consent
to-; lay hold of-; let God do-; step out of-; plow through-; name and claim-; set your mind
to-; verbally confront-; snap--, talk yourself-- out of-; actively--, drop your problem so
you can open your hands to-- receive-; realize God--- loves you, already-- did-, gave-,
sees you as having- it (cf. Jn 15:7-8)\"Word of Faith" (word-faith)\miracles are in the
mouth\your words create
reality\words- have no power, matter less than actions/vow of silence (monastic)/the
bigger the problem the easier God's solution\just- let God and Jesus serve you, leave it-
alone, to the Lord; plug into God's power\turn up the power/caffeine/amphetamine/anabolic
steroid/pill-popping/junkie/bionic/let go and let God/ignore-, give God-, God solves-
all problems\cease from all self-effort/never- try, follow through, ask what you can do
for God but only what God can do for you\quitter/weak-willed/always-- look on the
bright side, judge- by appearances, a book by its cover; trust- dreams, intuition,
instincts, impulses, gut feelings, your conscience, conventional wisdom, soft-sell
media productions, first impressions
(cf. Pr 28:26), your heart (cf. Jer 17:9; Mt 13:15; Mk 7:21-23)\perception is reality/
what you see is always what you get\all that glitters is gold/accentuate the positive\
don't worry be happy\he laughs best who laughs last (not necessarily)/nice guys
always finish last\only the good die young\the cross has made Christians flawless\all
you need is love/carpe
diem (exc. as: seize the day)/it is more spiritual to---; you----- can----, must----,
should----, are supposed to---- have sympathy for the devil, wash your hands of
all blame or culpability, always--- smile, laugh, dialogue, compromise, enjoy life,
toss confetti, hate nothing, maximize risk, give a thumbs up, show enthusiasm,
accept differences, jump right into things,
turn a blind eye to sin, keep your mouth shut, express yourself freely, act
like nothing is wrong, feel good about yourself, brush aside any problem,
stay still and let God move, rub shoulders with everyone, speak words of
honey not vinegar, claim to be without sin (cf. 1Jn 1:8-2:1), follow your- bliss,
heart; "see-, hear-, speak- no evil"; love-, embrace-, let go of-,
be cool with- everything; have- no desires, good feelings, statuesque
tranquility; take-- everyone-, everything- at face value; be-- happy, festive,
serene, flexible, positive, uncritical, unfeeling, impulsive, laissez-faire, numb
to pain, relevant to the culture, a- failure, sweetheart, team player; content
with-, totally emotionally detached from- your circumstances\turn your
frown upside-down/slaphappy/nothing should ever- bother you,
weigh on your conscience\strength through joy (Nazism)/positive
Christianity (Nazism)\you can--- choose to have only positive--,
empty yourself of all negative-- consciousness, attitudes, thoughts,
possibilities, memories, desires, feelings, moods, percept-, impress-,
opin-, sensat-, emot-ions\no- regrets,
weaknesses, disappointments/too-, over-, hyper-, overly-, excessively-
sensible, discerning, knowledgeable, reasonable, rational, logical, pure,
holy, spiritual, righteous, obedient\light-, lamp- is too bright/color outside
the lines/little things don't-, dotting your i's and crossing your t's doesn't-
matter/un-demanding, -principled/tolerance/favoritism/permissive/
freethinking/you-- shouldn't-, don't need to- think for yourself\ignorance
is bliss/sins--, circumstances-- are- irrelevant, only a distraction\the----
new---, risky---, easy---, illogical---, exciting---, different---, beautiful---,
unfamiliar---, multicultural---, supernatural--- is always good or superior
and the-- old-, ugly-, safe-, boring-, logical-, natural-, difficult-, familiar-, traditional- is always
evil or inferior\beliefs don't matter\doctrinal differences---, finer points of
doctrine--- all boil down to-- grace, see-, trust-, confess-ing Jesus\God--,
Christ-- is every-where, -thing\all-- faiths-, beliefs-, opinions-, religions-
coexist, are equally valid, worship the same God\many paths-, all roads
lead- to God\liberation-, prosperity- theology\plural-, syncret-ism/cessation-,
believ-, dominion-,
monerg-, gnostic-, quiet-, dei-, antinomian-, panthe-, positiv-, Docet-,
nihil-ism\nothingness/ideal---, healthy---, intrinsic--- conflict--, tension--,
opposition-- between- truths, doctrines, members of Christ's body
(cf. Mt 12:25; 1Co 1:10)/irrational/reality is an- illusion, mirage/shades
of gray/nothing's black or white/no- facts, absolutes/love--, grace-- smoothes over all the
doctrinal differences, means- everything you touch turns to gold, your spirit always bats
1.000 (re baseball)\loophole/indifferent/neutrality/situational ethics\moral relativism\all sins
are equal\being good is just a fable\spiritual-, doctrinal-, behavioral- standards should always
be loosened rather than tightened\balance out good with evil\might makes right\all you ever need to
do is-- receive, hang on, show up, come as you are, leave yourself chained to the chariot,
talk the talk not walk the- talk, walk\you--- have total sanctuary from the Law, can only come
out smelling like a rose, are- infallible, self-justified, Teflon-coated, sinless, intrinsically righteous,
beyond reproach (cf. Ro 3:23; 1Co 3:11-15), above- criticism, the Law; can do--
no wrong, whatever makes you happy, everything at your leisure, as you- please, wish\you
can't go wrong as long as you don't- think, follow any rules\if it feels good do it/whatever------
seems good or lively or enjoyable----; pleases or excites the----- mind----, senses----, emotions----
is--- good--, right-- and whatever doesn't is- bad, wrong, a blessing in disguise
\do your own thing/go your own way/nothing- is ever your fault, depends on what you
do\reck-, heed-less/libertine/softy/let yourself go/anything goes/no holds barred/unregulated
by God\impulsive/suggestible/bite off more than you can chew/wear your heart on your
sleeve/naked (exc. as: shameful)/nudity (exc. as: shameful)/unguarded/vulnerable/take the easy way
out/shortcut/cut corners/whatever works/good and evil all- is in the eye of the beholder,
depends on how you look at it\go along to get along/ends justify the means\do evil that
good may result\rob Peter to pay Paul/if you can't beat them join them/what doesn't kill
you makes you stronger/life's only risk is hurt feelings\always ignore- fear, criticism, warnings,
instructions\throw-- caution-, prudence- to the wind\live- on the edge, with abandon,
like there's no tomorrow/go out on a limb/cast off all restraint (exc. as: negligence,
idleness, laziness, indulgence, or ignorance ["taught to disregard knowledge and
Bible doctrine, and rely on the Holy Spirit as their autopilot through life," "they think
being good is 'no sweat,'" "the truth was
too bright so he 'put the lamp under a bowl'"]; "loosen up," "chill out," "whimsy,"
"do-for-yourself," "tolerance," "permissive," "shortcut," "what doesn't kill you makes
you stronger" can mean virtue; "repose," "sleep," "rest in peace" can refer [fig.]
to the dead in Christ), flow (exc. as: in-; filled--, in fellowship-- with-; led--, live--, moved--,
compelled-- by- the Holy Spirit),
wind/breeze (exc. as: the Holy Spirit), lighter-than-air/helium/in-, de-flatable/balloon
/lifejacket (exc. fig. regarding: indwelling of the Spirit [but not hot-air balloon or
lifejacket], salvation, freedom, joy)
 
Right terms and ideas (see also "exc." [exceptions] and "right terms" noted above):

mistreat, oppress, dictator/tyrant, legalist, nanny/disciple of- Moses, Peter (only fig.; sin), lawyer (sin or
virtue), confront/challenge,
intimidate/harass/threaten/bully/assault/scheme/fiery darts/flaming arrows, attack/combat/war, torture,
danger/peril, draw-, shrink-
back/retreat, cave in (only fig.; sin or virtue), burden/yoke/take up your cross/thorn in the
flesh/mountain/giant (usually only fig.),
mirage, blind/myopia (deceived/ignorant), eyes/see/ears/hear/perception, lie/falsely
accuse/trick/fool/dupe/scam/take advantage
of/manipulate/mislead, mask/masquerade/disguise, flimflam/bunk, garbage/dross (only fig.),
tempt/persuade/drawn,
cheat/beguile/disqualify/outwit/devour, separate/divisive/schismatic (sin or virtue), quench/defy, mean-
spirited,
sin/disobedient/evil/rebellion/apostate, self-destructive, -degradation, -defeat, -deception, -absorbed, -
punish,
error/blunder/fail, ritualism, idolatry, succumb/regress/dull/dissipated/unspiritual/enslaved
(sin)/free/freedom/liberated/
degenerate/perverse/compromise/jeopardy/capitulate/waver/hindrances/demoralized/corrupt/mess/lazy/
foolish/folly/humiliated/defile/defeatist/discouraged/bigot (all free will choices),
prison/captivity/incarcerated
("sinful" [fig.], or "hell" [lit.]; all free will choices), concern/anxiety/nervous/worry/fear/care/zeal/slave
(virtue or sin; all free will choices), revival/awaken/alive to God (all free will choices), clean/wash/dead to
sin
(usually fig.; all free will choices; virtue only),
wedge/detour/dilute/saturated/overflowing/sweet/fresh/hardened/hot/fever/chill/weather/season/rest
(not lit.; all free will choices, virtue or sin), backslide/derail/shipwreck/ruin/harlot/adultery/fornicate/
bondage/stronghold/blockage/roadblock/diversion/baggage/weight/chain/dam/capture/
snare/rot/stagnate/corrode/weaken/soft/contaminate/dirty/unclean/purge/bankrupt/ghetto/empty/
barren/dry/desert/desolate/bitter/stale/calloused/shriveled/cold/lukewarm/weary/faint/exhausted/
burnout/thin/lean/gluttony/fat/obese (not lit.; all free will choices, sin only), fasting, temperance,
temperature/thermometer/barometer (only fig.; level of virtue or sin),
lift/uplift/refresh/boost/renovate/overhaul (only fig. as: encourage, improve, reactivate, inspire, restore;
all free will choices), limit[ation]s ("self-imposed" [sin], or "impossible without God's help" [not sin]),
win/lose/forsake/buy/sell/saved/unsaved/circumcised/uncircumcised/complete/incomplete (can only
mean salvation status;
all free will choices; "lose" can't mean accidental or missing), lost/wandering/wilderness (virtue [as:
solitude, suffering, trials], or sin [as: wayward, unsaved]), uncertainty/doubt/assurance, double-minded,
adversity, scourge/gall (evil or God's punishment; lit. or fig.), hardship/suffer/grieve/sick/bowed down,
misery, distress/wrench, pain, anguish/affliction/hurt/ache,
sorrow, upset, exasperate, disturbed/cast down/downcast, offend, scandalize, provoke/annoy/violate,
vex/torment, wretched (vexed by the sinful nature), heavy/weighed down (virtue [as: suffer, grieve, mourn,
distress, troubled, anxiety], or sin [as: guilt, worry, punished]), crisis, troubled, disorder, unbalanced,
darkness, ignorance, desire, thirst/pant/hunger/crave/vacuum
(desire or need; only fig.), resist/struggle/contend/wrestle/stand
against/withstand/persevere/steadfast/overcome,
power, truth, righteous, reborn/born again (only fig.), pray, guard/safeguard/heed/watch
out/oversee/shepherd/protect,
breakthrough, improve, perfectionism (virtue or sin), manner/lifestyle/habit/routine/custom (virtue or sin),
wellbeing/prosper,
anointing/gift/blessing/favor/grace/unfavored,
encourage/hearten/comfort/console/love/help/aid/ministry/counsel/
correct/rebuke/exhort/edify/strengthen/build up, enlighten, inspire, repent, renew, reactivate, restore
(hearten/correct/repent),
transform, clay (virtue or sin), plow/sow/plant/cultivate/grow (usually only fig.; only God can be the doer if
spirit/soul/heart/church
is the object ["church planter"]),
seed/soil/fertile/water/harvest/thresh/fruit/fruitful/harvester/tractor/field/bread/meat
/milk/fisherman/fish/feed/nourish (virtue or sin; usually only fig.),
work/effort/plant/plow/harvest/run/compete/win/strive/
struggle/wash/purify, overwork, sow (virtue or sin; usually only fig.),
reap (reward or punishment; usually only fig.), boat/train/plane (virtue or sin ["his train's on the wrong
track"]),
mature/immature/weak, progress, regress (backslide), positive/Christ-centered (virtue [as: good], or sin [as:
foolish, naive,
undiscerning, Pollyanna]), negative (sin [as: bad], or virtue [as: discerning]), live/life, compass (can also
mean faith or the Bible),
upright, pure, spiritual, glad/joy, rejoice, take away (2Co 12:2)/teletransport (Ac 8:39-40)

Bible Review #3: Faithful Law-Keeping Is Not a Sin

The New Testament relates that the ways of gaining God's favor have changed from the old covenant ways of high priest rituals, and Law-keeping focused on Law and old covenant terms, to the new covenant ways of putting faith in Jesus, and Law-keeping focused on faith and led by the Holy Spirit. In doing this, the New Testament often appears to warn strongly against the Law, doing works, and physical circumcision.

Many isolated passages, most written by Paul, seem to assert that Christians are "dead to," "set free from," or "redeemed from" the Law itself (Mk 2:23-27; Ro 3:19; 7:4,6a; 8:2-4; 10:4-7; 1Co 9:20; Gal 2:19*; 3:10,12-13,23-25; 4:3-5,9; 5:1-6; Col 2:20; Ja 2:10-13); and that it has been "abolished" (Jn 1:17; Ro 3:21,27-28; 4:13-15; 6:14-15; 7:6b; 10:4; 2Co 3:6b-11; 5:17,19; Gal 2:15-21†; 3:9-12*-14,19,23*-25; 5:1,18; Eph 2:14-18; Phs 3:6b-9a*-b; Col 2:14-15; 1Ti 1:5*; Heb 7:15-18*-22*; 10:1-2,8-9; Ja 2:9-10).

Likewise, many other isolated passages seem to forsake, repudiate, or condemn doing works (Mt 19:16-17b* [per contra Mk 10:17-18; Lk 18:18-19]; Ro 4:4-5; 9:31-32; 11:6; Gal 3:9-12*-14; Heb 4:9-10; 9:13-14*), and physical circumcision (1Co 7:19; Gal 2:3-5,11-14; 5:1-6; 6:12-15; Phs 3:2-9a*-b; Ttus 1:10-14).

Upon closer examination, however, every one of these isolated passages or its context of surrounding verses makes it clear that Paul was only speaking of the Law, doing works, and physical circumcision as references either to the old covenant, or to legalism. The old covenant and legalism were infiltrating and misleading the churches, which consisted not only of Gentiles who were falling under these old ways and principles, but also many Jews who had been deeply influenced by and had strong attachments to them, as Paul had before he became a Christian (Ac 8:1; 9:4-5a; 22:2-5; Gal 1:13-14; Phs 3:4-6).

More specifically, these isolated passages are actually only:

a) saying the old covenant was imperfect, or has been abolished

b) refuting the legalistic misconceptions that Law-keeping is a means of earning or attaining:

   1) sufficient righteousness (sanctification), if you do not truly believe and rest (trust) in the grace of Christ's atonement

   2) salvation (justification)

   3) God's promises to Israel

c) exposing and rebuking the utter futility, inadequacy, imperfection, and mercilessness of living by the Law exclusively, or seeing the Law as being superior to Jesus; and the conceit, egotism, hypocrisy, frustration, smugness, arrogance, superficiality, self-deception, presumptuosness, and slavery to sin that this produces; which are expressions of not believing and resting (trusting) in the grace of Christ's atonement

d) revealing that Christ's atonement is what removes the Law's curse (penalty)

e) reframing the ceremonial Law (ritual [e.g., circumcision], dietary, kosher, purification) and civil Law as a nonbinding matter of discretionary faith (see also Mt 5:38-39; 28:20a; Mk 7:15-23; Lk 6:29; Ac 10:9-16; 15:3-4,12-29; Ro 7:13; 14:2-3,5-6; 1Co 8:8; Gal 3:15-18; Col 2:16,20-23 [cf. Ex 21:23-25; 31:14-15; 35:2; Lv 7:21,27; 17:13-14; 19:7-8; 24:19-20; Nu 15:32-36; Dt 19:21]).

In fact, the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that all Christians are still subject to the moral Law and its criteria (standards) of sin and virtue, and that regardless of their emotions, they must heed their personal duty to obey and keep its commandments, rules, regulations, and restrictions; and recognize God's authority to judge them accordingly, and must continue to accept, endorse, quote, and promote it as vital, useful, and essential to personal Christian faith (Mt 5:17-22; 19:17-21; Mk 10:17-21; Lk 18:18-22; Jn 12:50a*; Ac 5:1-11; 17:29-30; 24:14*; Ro 2:6-11,13*-16; 7:25b*; 11:17-22; 12:17-19; 13:3-4,12-14; 14:10-12; 1Co 3:11-17; 5:9-13; 6:15-16,18-19; 7:10-13,19; 8:12-13; 9:21; 10:1-15; 11:28-34; 15:34; 2Co 5:9-10; 6:14; Gal 6:1; Eph 4:21-32; 5:3-7; 6:1-3; Col 3:8-9; 1Th 4:1-8; 1Ti 5:20,22; 2Ti 2:5; Ja 3:1*; 5:8-9,15-16; 1Pe 1:17; 2:1,11; 4:17-18; 2Pe 3:17; 1Jn 3:4; 5:2-3,21; Rv 20:12-13).

Thus, the new covenant has not abolished the Law, but rather has retained and "changed" it by making it part of the "law of Christ" and "law of the Spirit" (Ro 8:2*; 1Co 9:21; Heb 7:11-12,18*-19), as well as by amplifying, expanding, and emphasizing it (Mt 5:17-48; Jn 13:34). The establishment of a new dispensation or covenant in the Bible does not negate the truths revealed in previous ones.

Although salvation can not be earned by works, it incorporates works. Developing and maintaining personal righteousness (merit, virtue, ethics, morality, holiness, devotion) by doing works is not futility or folly. Certain Old and New Testament passages show most clearly and unequivocally that it is a practical necessity, which continues under the new covenant (Lv 18:4-5; Nu 14:8-11; Dt 4:1-14; 6:1-3,20-25; 10:12-13; 26:16-18; 30:11-20; Josh 1:7-8; Jdg 2:7-23; 1Sm 12:14-25; 1Kg 2:1-4,32; 2Ch 31:20-21; 34:31-33; Ne 1:7; 9:29; Ps 1:1-2; 2:10-12a*-b; 7:8-9; 11:4b-5; 18:20-26; 19:7-14; 24:3-5; 26:2-6; 32:5; 41:1-3,12; 78:5-7; 112:1-3; 119:1-176; 125:4-5; 139:23-24; 146:7-8; Pr 2:1-8; 3:1*-2; 4:1-4,20-26; 6:20-26; 7:2; 10:8,16; 11:5-6,18; 13:21,24; 15:32; 20:11; 22:15; 23:13-14; 25:12; 27:5-6; 28:4-26; 29:15,18; Isa 32:17; Jer 8:6-12; 17:9-10*-11; 18:7-9; 32:18-19*; 35:1-19; Eze 16:52; 18:23-32; Da 9:9-13; Mi 4:2; 6:8; Mt 3:7-8; 5:18-22; 7:4-5,12,21; 10:38,41; 15:11; 16:11-12,24,27; 20:25-27; 22:36-40; 23:5-12,23,25-26; 25:14-30; 28:20; Mk 8:34; 9:35; 10:42-45; 12:28-34,41-13:2; Lk 1:6; 3:7-8; 6:31,41-42; 7:44-47a; 9:23; 10:27; 11:5-8*; 13:1-9; 14:25-33; 17:1-3a*-4,7-9b*-10b*; 18:1-8,13-14; 19:12-27; 21:1-6; 22:25-26; Jn 5:14,44; 6:27-29; 7:24; 9:31; 14:15*-24; 15:7-8,10,18-19; 16:33; Ac 5:1-11,29; 8:22; 9:16; 10:1-4,22,34-35, 14:22; 17:29-31; 20:28-31; 22:12-15; 23:3-5; 24:16; 26:20; Ro 2:7,9-10,13-15; 3:19b,31; 4:20; 6:16-19; 7:21-25b*; 8:12-14; 11:17-24; 12:1-3,9,16; 14:1 [cf. 14:2,5,10,13-14], 10-12; 1Co 1:10-14 [cf. 3:18-23]; 2:15; 3:11-17; 5:1-13; 6:4-11,18-19; 8:9-12; 9:24-27; 10:1-13; 11:2,28,31-32; 12:26a; 15:34,42-50; 16:13; 2Co 1:6-8,11; 2:5-7; 4:2; 5:9-10; 6:4-17; 7:1; 9:3-4; 10:3*-5b*-6b*; 12:19-21; 13:5; Gal 1:10*; 2:11; 5:7-10,13,17,25-26; 6:1b,3-4,7-10; Eph 4:25-28; 5:5-9,11-17; 6:7-8,18; Phs 1:28-30; 2:4,17; 3:2-8,12a,13a,16a,17-20; 4:18; Col 1:24,28-29; 2:5b; 3:2-13a,16-17,23-25; 4:12; 1Th 2:4b; 4:1*-8; 5:17,19-23; 2Th 1:4-8,11a; 3:14; 1Ti 1:19-20; 3:9-10; 4:7-8,11-12b*-16; 5:9-15,20; 6:3-5,20-21; 2Ti 1:5-14; 2:14-15 [cf. 2:2], 20-26; 3:12,15-17; 4:2-5; Ttus 2:4-7*,11-12; 3:8 [cf. 3:10,14]; Heb 4:11; 5:12; 6:1,12; 10:23-26a*-29,32-36; 11:8-11*,17-19; 12:1-13; 13:15-16; Ja 1:2-6,10,12-16,21-27; 2:9-10,14-3:1*-2,13; 4:1-4,7-10,17; 5:8-9,14-16a,19-20; 1Pe 1:6-7,17,22*; 2:1*,11-12; 3:10-13,17; 4:12-19*; 5:6; 2Pe 1:5-8; 3:13-14,17; 1Jn 1:8-2:1,3-5a; 3:4,7-10,18-20*-24; 5:2-3,21; 2Jn 5-6,8*-11; 3Jn 11; Jd 20-21; Rv 2:5-6,14-16,20-23; 3:2-3; 9:20-21; 14:13b; 16:11).

Works are expressed as faithful and persistent self-effort, self-awareness, self-appraisal, vigilance, thought, conscientiousness, consciousness of sin and virtue, making free will choices, struggling, and striving in order to: be mindful of and heed the moral Law; learn and recognize right from wrong; identify and face problems and errors; resist and counteract temptation, intimidation, deception, and the sinful nature ("the flesh"; KJV); confess and repent of sins; be sanctified and transformed by renewing your mind; make correct and reasonable choices, judgments, and decisions; try to be pure, valuable, and acceptable to God; serve, please, make costly sacrifices for, and maintain a good relationship with Him; cooperate with His will, petition Him repeatedly in prayer, endure suffering, set a good example, warn against false beliefs and breaking the Law, and walk in love.

Hebrews 10:1-2 is not saying that Christians should never feel guilt or shame for breaking moral laws (cf. 10:3-10; 1Jn 1:7). Properly understood in context, it is saying that the old covenant necessity of yearly Temple sacrifices was a reminder of their insufficiency and short-term effectiveness, in contrast to Jesus' sacrifice under the new covenant.

Law and grace are not mutually exclusive, nor is their relationship oppositional. The Law is not incompatible with or in any way contrary to grace (Ro 7:12-13; Gal 3:21). Grace has not taken away the Law, but rather the Law and sin remain the reason for grace (Ro 3:31; 5:20; 1Ti 1:13-16). The Law is not incidental to grace, but rather is essential to it, as grace is grounded in the morality of the Law (Ro 3:31; 5:15-21; 6:14-15; Ttus 2:11-12; Jd 4). The Law does not block grace, or curse, defile, kill, condemn, or disqualify when it works together with grace within the context of faith (Ro 5:20; 7:12-13).

Faithful Law-keeping and faithful works never minimize, counteract, or in any way exclude grace, love, truth, knowledge, spiritual thinking, spiritual guidance, the Word, the Holy Spirit, or the spirit of the Law, but rather are always in perfect balance and harmony with them (Mt 12:25,30; Lk 11:17,23; Ro 3:31).

Faith is not a gift merely to be chosen and received, without actively using it to struggle against evil, and strive to do works and keep the Law. A passage that supposedly says grace has freed Christians from these things actually only says it has freed them from bondage to sin and death (Ro 7:21-8:6b*-9a*-11 [cf. Ro 7:24b; 8:12-13; 1Co 10:12-13; 2Co 1:8-11; 2:4; Ja 1:14-15; 1Pe 2:11]).

Some other passages also supposedly advocate passive spirituality by instructing simply to sit, rest, dwell, or be settled. These are not actually instructions on how to live in grace, but rather descriptions of what it means to be faithful to God: having God's favor and protection (Ps 91:1-2), being unburdened of worry and legalism (Isa 26:3; Mt 11:28-30), having salvation that is secure in heaven (Eph 2:6), and needing to keep steadfast in your faith (Col 1:23a).

The churches distort the above passages and ignore their plain, contextual sense to promote a glut of false teachings and ideas concerning grace and faithful Law-keeping, including these examples:

1) You must always have a 100% clear and unburdened conscience; and sense of peace, security, and forgiveness (cf. 1Co 10:1-13; 1Jn 3:18-20 [per contra Gal 5:22; Heb 10:1-2]).

2) You need an air of royalty (cf. Ps 37:10-11; Mt 5:3-5; 18:4; 20:25-27; 23:5-12; Mk 9:35; 10:42-45; Lk 9:48; 14:7-11; 18:14b; 22:25-26; Eph 4:1-3; Phs 4:5*; Ja 4:6; 1Pe 5:3-6).

3) Replace your identity with Christ's (cf. Gal 6:4; Phs 2:4; Jd 20-21).

4) Purge your conscience of old sins (cf. Ro 3:23; 1Co 3:11-15; Heb 9:13-14b*-15).

5) Address God only as "Father (Abba)," not as "God" (cf. Ro 15:6,30; 2Co 1:3; 13:7; Eph 1:3; 5:20; Phs 4:20; Col 1:3; 3:17; 1Th 3:9-10; 2Th 1:11; 1Ti 5:5a; 1Pe 1:3).

6) Don't be transformed by actively renewing your own mind, but only by passively receiving a new mind, or letting your heart or "spiritual DNA" be renewed (cf. Ac 24:16; Ro 7:24-8:6b*-9a*; 12:2; Ja 1:5-6).

7) You must say and proclaim "I am the righteousness of God in Christ" and "my righteousness is done," rather than "Jesus is my righteousness" (cf. 1Co 1:30-31; 4:3b-5; 2Co 5:21; 10:17-18; 1Jn 1:8) and "I'm supposed to do righteous works" (cf. Eph 4:25; 5:11-17; Heb 10:23-26a*-29).

8) Move past the Bible, which is a lovely book but only brings death, to embrace the true living Word and enlightened revelations of Jesus (cf. Ro 15:4; 2Ti 3:15-16; Ja 2:8; Jd 3 [per contra 1Co 2:2]).

9) The unrepentant are your spiritual equals (cf. Gal 6:10).

10) Don't discern according to the Law or the Bible, but rather by feelings, radiance, popularity, sensations, the Spirit, good vibes, who God is, majority opinion, personal magnetism; and visible power, praise, worship, and success (cf. Jn 7:24; Gal 2:6* [per contra 2Co 5:16*; Ja 4:11-12]).

11) Discern others only by their hearts, motives, and "who they really are," not by their beliefs or what they do (cf. 1Co 4:3-5).

12) You must always trust, greet, thank, cheer, affirm, attract, impact, include, tolerate, comfort, impress, endorse, encourage, compliment, accommodate, believe the best about, cut some slack for, put your arm around, defer to, be loyal to, invest yourself in, bring out the best in, speak well of, put yourself in the place of, give liberally to, and give the benefit of the doubt to everyone; and sing, unite, bond, share, honor, debate, partner, dialogue, fraternize, cooperate, play well, be family, get along, break bread, shake hands, and stand together with them (cf. 2Jn 10-11 [per contra 1Co 13:4-7; Eph 4:32; Col 3:12-13; 1Jn 4:7-8,16]).

13) Recognize, sit under, and submit to all those claiming to have spiritual authority (cf. Ac 4:18-20; 2Co 11:12-15).

14) Live out your "spiritual kingship" (cf. Eph 4:1-3; 2Ti 2:12; 1Pe 5:3-6).

15) Let go of all your pain, hurts, suffering, and moral rules (cf. Ac 9:16).

16) Forget, discard, unthink, subtract, sacrifice, cast out, put away, shake off, rise above, cut all ties to, obey the Spirit not, wash your hands of, tear yourself away from, and build walls between grace and: a) any ABCs of faith except for grace, so that you can constantly fixate on reminding yourself of the elementary principles of grace, and reassuring yourself of your salvation by grace (cf. 1Ti 1:19-20; Heb 6:1-2; 1Jn 3:18-20*-24); b) the Law, your past, and all your concerns (cf. Dt 4:1-14; Mt 5:17-22; Ac 5:1-11; 17:29-30; Ro 12:17-19; 1Co 5:9-13; 6:15-16,18-19; 7:10-13; 8:12-13; 10:1-15; 15:34; Gal 6:1; Eph 4:21-32; 5:3-7; 6:1-3; Col 3:8-9; 1Th 4:1*-8; 1Ti 5:20,22; 2Ti 2:5; 1Pe 2:1,11; 2Pe 3:17; 1Jn 3:4; 5:21 [per contra Jn 7:45-52]).

17) Stop discerning and understanding things by analyzing, reasoning, or using your critical faculties, and instead do it only by meditating and clearing your mind (cf. Mt 22:36-40; Mk 12:28-34, Lk 10:27; Ac 17:11 [per contra Pr 3:5-7; 1Ti 4:15*]).

18) Doctrinal agreement is not necessary (cf. 1Co 1:10).

19) 1 John 1:9 only applies to unbelievers (cf. 1:8,10-2:5).

20) Hagar represents the Law, not the old covenant (cf. Gal 4:23-24).

21) "The Fiery Furnace" is only about grace, not keeping the Law (cf. Da 3).

22) Titus 1:15 actually deems all acts, not ceremonial things, pure (cf. 1:10).

23) Eliminating moral rules enables you to live life to the fullest (cf. Heb 10:16; 2Pe 3:13-14,17).

24) Peter erred by following the letter of the new covenant, rather than its spirit (cf. 2Co 3:6; Gal 2).

25) Noah's favor from God was not due to his personal holiness (devotion) and righteousness (cf. Ge 6:5-13).

26) Christian growth means less and less competency and self-confidence (cf. Ac 4:13; 2Ti 3:15-17; Heb 4:14-16).

27) Hebrews 9:28 says Christians will not be judged for their sins at Christ's return (cf. Ro 14:10-12; 1Co 3:11-17; 2Co 5:9-10; Ja 3:1-2; 5:8-9).

28) A little leaven does not leaven the dough (sinning does not affect holiness [devotion] or righteousness; cf. 1Co 5:6-8 [per contra Ro 11:29*]).

29) Whenever you sin, you should only perceive and be pleased about being the righteousness of God in Christ (cf. Ja 4:7-10; 1Jn 1:8-2:1 [per contra Isa 45:24*; Jer 23:6; Ro 3:21-24]).

30) Being conscious of the Law is the same as eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, instead of the tree of life (cf. Jn 12:50a*; Ac 7:53; 2Ti 2:9b; Heb 10:16).

31) "Fear and trembling" (Phs 2:12) can only mean awe, not a warning (cf. Ac 5:11 [has the same Greek word for "fear"]; Phs 2:3-4; 1Pe 1:14-17 [per contra Isa 26:3; Jer 33:9]).

32) 1 Timothy 1:9 actually means the righteous don't need to act or judge things in cognizance of the Law (cf. 1Co 5:6-12; 6:9-10; 10:1-15; 15:33-34*; Heb 10:16 [per contra Ro 7:24-8:6b*-9a*; 14:4; 1Co 4:5]).

33) Nothing happens unintentionally or by chance (cf. Lv 4; 5:14-19; Nu 15; 35:11,15,22; Dt 4:42; 19:4; 22:8; Josh 20:3,9; Jdg 5:18; 2Sm 17:17; 1Ch 11:19; Ecc 9:11-12; Eze 45:20; Ac 15:26; 20:9-10; Phs 2:30*).

34) Job was afflicted for his self-righteousness, not as a test of faith (cf. 1:1-2:10; 42:1-17; his real sin was discouraged, reckless speech once afflicted [3:1-10,25; 9:23; 13:24; 19:11; 33:10; 34:5; 35:15-16; 40:2-8; 42:3b-7]).

35) Old covenant blessings were all conditional, but new covenant blessings are all unconditional (cf. Ne 9:16-35; Ps 116:5-6; 146:7-8; Mt 18:19; Lk 5:17b; Jn 15:7-8,10; Ac 4:29-30; 10:1-4; 1Co 4:8-13; 11:28-34; 12:7-30*; 1Ti 4:16; Heb 12:1-13; Ja 1:5-8; 5:13-16; 1Pe 4:16-19; 1Jn 3:21-24 [per contra Ro 8:32-33*]).

36) Being "poor in spirit" can not mean suffering for righteousness (cf. Ps 146:7-8; 1Pe 3:17; 4:16-17).

37) People only think and do opposite as they're told, warned, instructed, or commanded (cf. Jn 14:15*-24; Ac 17:29-30).

38) Guilt, anger, regret, and feeling convicted of sin are always evil or Satanic emotions (cf. Ro 6:21; Ja 4:7-10 [per contra Ps 119:165; 2Co 7:10*; Heb 10:1-2]).

39) Matthew 5:48* says perfection comes by "being" not "doing" (cf. 5:40-44).

40) Matthew 9:13 actually means that all of Jesus' sheep are sick (cf. Mk 2:17; Lk 5:31-32).

41) Ephesians 1:6*** in Greek says you're already highly blessed (cf. 1:3-5,7-10).

42) Hearing, speaking, and believing God's word ("faith") bring life, and have replaced doing God's word ("Law"), which brings death (cf. Lk 8:15; Ja 1:23-25 [per contra Mt 7:22-23*]).

43) Ephesians 1:20-21*; 2:6 means you're seated above the Law's, not earthly, authority (cf. 6:12).

44) Isaiah 9:6 refers to the Law, not government (cf. 9:7).

45) Acts 10:28 says nobody is impure or unclean (cf. Mt 15:11).

46) Philippians 2:3*** doesn't actually say to prioritize others' needs over yours, but rather not to compete to be righteous (cf. 2:4; Pr 27:17; 1Co 9:24-27).

47) Faith is only concerned with seeing and knowing Jesus, not doing works (cf. Ro 2:7,9-10,13-15; Ja 2:17,22 [per contra Lv 13:12-13; Ecc 1:14; Mt 7:22-23*; Jn 19:30a]).

48) Romans 3:19a says only Jews are subject to the Law (cf. 19b).

49) Romans 8:15 refers to dread of God, not bondage to sin (cf. 7:21-8:14).

50) Christians are not supposed to repent to be healed (cf. Heb 12:13; Ja 5:16a).

51) Christians never need to increase their faith in order to build up their righteousness (cf. Ro 15:1-2; 2Co 12:19-21).

52) Christians only have an unrenewed mind and body to choose to renew, not a persisting sinful nature and fleshly temptations to deal with (cf. 1Ch 28:9*; Ro 6:16-22; 7:25; 8:12-13; 13:12-14; 1Co 10:12-13; Gal 6:1b; 2Ti 2:22; Ja 1:14-15; 4:1-4; 1Pe 2:11 [per contra Jn 15:3; Ac 15:9; Ro 6:6-7,18,20-22; 8:10-11; 1Co 1:30; 2Co 5:17; Heb 10:1-2; 1Pe 2:24*]).

53) Loving others isn't about doing good to them (cf. Lk 6:27).

54) Righteous people in the Bible always exalted, glorified, and spoke well of grace, but never the Law or observing it (cf. Ps 119:1-176; Ac 22:12-13; 24:14*).

55) Sin and evil are non-issues for Christians (cf. 1Jn 1:8-2:1a,3-5a [per contra 2Co 5:19]).

56) Repenting only means turning to God not away from sin, and is only about making a decision for serving God not against doing evil (cf. Mt 3:7-8; Lk 3:7-8; 13:1-9; Ac 8:22; 17:29-31; 26:20; 2Co 12:21; Heb 6:1; Rv 2:21-22; 9:20-21; 16:11).

57) No sin is worse than another sin (cf. Mt 23:14*; Mk 12:40; Lk 12:47-48; 20:47; Jn 19:11).

58) No Christian is responsible for their sins (cf. Ja 3:1-2).

59) No Christian is more holy or righteous than another (cf. 1Co 3:11-17; Gal 6:1; Ja 5:16; Rv 2-3 [see also 1Kg 2:32; Eze 16:52]).

60) God's relationship with you is never active (responsive) based on what you do, but only passive based on being "settled" (Col 1:23a; KJV) in what Christ already did (cf. Ps 66:17-19; Pr 28:9; Jn 6:27-29; 9:31; Col 4:12; 1Jn 3:22; Rv 2:5,16,22; 3:3 [per contra Jn 6:28-29; Ro 8:32-33*; Eph 2:6; Phs 2:13; Col 1:21-23a; 2:6-7; 1Pe 5:10; 1Jn 4:17*]).

61) What should be the only foundation and important thing you need to be doing in your spiritual life is dedicating yourself to celebrating, enjoying life, experiencing God, and habitually going off into His presence (cf. 139:7-10; 140:13*; Heb 9:24).

62) Holiness comes by hearing the Word, not by learning, believing, or doing it (cf. Pr 4:20 [per contra Mt 7:22-23*]).

63) Peter often spoke from conceit, egotism, smugness, arrogance, and self-righteousness; not uneasiness, unsophistication, inept loyalty, and lack of self-control (cf. Mt 16:22-23; 17:4a-b*-7; 26:33-35; Mk 8:32-33; 9:5-6; 14:29-31; Lk 9:33-34; 22:33-34; Jn 13:8-10,37-38).

64) Conscientiousness, self-effort, and self-righteousness are the only true evils, and are always your pretending; and are rooted in your jealousy, rejection, backsliding, and "spiritual damage"; and are symbolized in the Bible by working, fig leaves, and hands—which would mean laying on of hands is evil (cf. Ps 24:3-5; 1Co 4:12; Eph 4:28; 1Th 4:11; 2Ti 1:6).

65) If you try to preserve your life, you lose it (cf. Mt 10:23; Mk 12:31,33; Ac 9:22-25).

66) If you accept Jesus then you are Jesus, not merely part of him (cf. Mk 13:21-22; Ro 8:1; 1Co 12:12-27 [per contra Gal 2:20]).

67) Breaking the moral law is never a moral issue, but always only ignorant or innocent; an illness, weakness, or quirkiness; or merely stupidity, diversity, or outward appearance; or an accident, addiction, idiosyncracy, spiritual identity crisis, naive lamb going astray, immaterial insult to the Spirit of grace, mystery of how God uses people to do His work, or cry for help or love (cf. Ro 1:18-32; 1Co 5:9-13; 2Pe 2:1-22; Jd 7-15*-19 [per contra Jd 15*]).

68) John 1:17 actually says that grace and truth exclude the Law, and that truth is contrary to the Law in principle, and is only on the side of grace not the Law (cf. Ps 119:29-32; Isa 59:12-15; Da 9:9-13; Ro 2:2-3,6-11; 1Co 5:1-13; Gal 5:7-10; Eph 4:21-32; 5:5-9; Ja 5:19-20; 1Jn 2:3-5a).

69) John 12:32 in Greek means Christians can't lose their blessings by breaking the Law (cf. Ro 11:17-22; 13:4; 1Co 3:11-17; 10:1-13).

70) John 15:15 means you're not supposed to be Jesus' slave/servant (cf. 1Co 7:22; Phs 1:1 [the same Greek word for slave/servant is in all 3 verses; per contra Ro 4:4-5]).

71) Nobody is ever to be blamed or judged for committing sins, except Adam and Satan (cf. Ro 14:10-12; 1Co 3:11-17; 13:5b*; 2Co 5:9-10; Ja 1:14-15; 3:1-2; 5:8-9 [per contra Ro 5:19; Eph 2:1-3]).

72) Nobody can repent by free will (cf. 1Co 10:13), or do anything to tame the tongue (cf. Ps 34:12-13; Pr 10:19; 21:23; Ja 3:1-2).

73) Nobody can keep the Law perfectly, so nobody should try to keep it at all (cf. Heb 12:1-13; Ja 3:1*-2 [per contra Isa 64:6; Ro 3:23-24; Ja 2:10]).

74) All who believe Jesus is the Son of God are saved (cf. Ja 2:19).

75) All suffering and enjoyment is a choice (cf. Ac 9:16).

76) All anyone can offer God is sin, worry, nothing, and wretchedness; and all your good works are evil unless you're a Christian (cf. Mt 7:11; Lk 8:15; 11:13; Ac 10:1-4,22,34-35; Ro 2:7,9-10,13-15 [per contra Ecc 1:14; Isa 64:6]).

77) Faith, integrity, learning, holiness, believing, character, obedience, justification, sanctification, reconciliation, righteousness, God's love, living by faith, serving the Lord, doing good deeds, abiding in the vine, walking in the light, commitment to God, the fruit of the spirit, relationship with God, cooperating with God, embracing God's word, and spiritual growth and warfare: a) just happen to you through "spiritual formation," and only require a reminder of who you are in Christ (cf. 2Th 3:14), and seeing and getting closer to Jesus (cf. Mt 14:25-31); b) are 100% free, reflexive, foolproof, automatic, involuntary, spontaneous, a birthright, birthed into you, a byproduct of faith, the result of your sin not your virtue, and an unconditional gift (cf. Lk 14:25-33; Ro 11:22; Ja 2:24 [per contra Mt 10:8; Lk 15:3-7; Jn 16:8,10; Ac 15:9; Ro 3:21-24; 5:17; 1Co 1:30; Phs 2:13; 1Jn 4:9-10]); c) are mindless, effortless, and something you allow, permit, experience, fall into, and to which you awaken (cf. Mt 22:36-40; Mk 12:28-34, Lk 10:27; 2Pe 1:5-8 [per contra Mt 6:26-29; Lk 12:24-27]).

78) Guilt, logic, works, regret, shame, criticism, self-effort, discretion, contrition, reasoning, self-discipline, determination, the mind, your will, trying harder, human striving, personal ability, confessing sins, assigning blame, awareness of sin, giving of yourself, your performance, or applying Biblical Law and morality to your life: a) is evil, filth, futile, death, carnal, idolatry, negative, transient, temporal, judgmental, insignificant, all for naught, only condemnatory, the mark of a fallen Christian, 100% your flesh and 0% your spirit, a sure sign that you are in dire lack and need of grace, or professing yourself to be wise but becoming a fool (cf. 1Ti 6:18-19); b) ruins, voids, denies, lessens, negates, opposes, and is contrary to and incompatible with faith, grace, holiness, discernment, selflessness, righteousness, spiritual gifts, the Christian walk, and Jesus' finished work (cf. Mt 22:37; Ac 24:16; Ro 2:7,9-10,13-15; 8:12-13; 1Co 6:5; 9:24-27; 15:34; Gal 2:11; 2Th 3:14; Ja 2:14-3:1*-2; 1Jn 1:8-2:1 [per contra Ps 73:13-14; 91:1; Pr 3:5; Isa 26:3; Mt 11:28-30; Jn 19:30a; Ro 3:21-24; 6:21; 7:24-8:6b*-9a*-11,28*; 1Co 1:4-8; 2Co 5:21; Eph 1:3; 2:6; Phs 2:13; 3:3; 4:6a*; Col 1:21-23a,29; 2:6-7; 1Th 5:24; 1Pe 4:19*; 5:10; 2Pe 3:18; 1Jn 1:9]).

79) There is no moral Law in love, faith, training, holiness, character, believing, sanctification, righteousness, transformation, the gospel, spiritual discipline, submission to God, or living by faith (cf. Gal 5:6).

80) It is more blessed to receive than to give (cf. Ac 20:35).

81) It is only possible to exaggerate, overestimate, make an idol of, and be Pharisaic (smug, formulaic, preoccupied, self-righteous, presumptuous) about the Law, not grace (cf. Col 2:18; Ja 2:20-24; 1Jn 1:8-2:1,3-5a; Jd 4).

82) It is impossible for anyone to: a) willingly live righteously like Christ by their own ability (cf. Ac 10:1-4,22,34-35); b) grow or weaken in faith (cf. Lk 22:32 ; Ro 15:1-2; 2Co 12:19-21; Jd 20-21; Rv 3:2-3); c) veer from the narrow way (cf. 2Pe 2:15).

83) Paul never told any Christians to "do" things in order to be spiritual, but only to "be" spiritual (cf. Eph 6:5-8; Ttus 3:8,14).

84) Paul never promoted apologizing, saying you're sorry, asking for forgiveness, or a lifelong confessing and renouncing of personal sins by Christians (cf. Ac 23:3-5; 24:16; Ro 7:21-25; 1Co 5:1-2; 2Co 4:2; Phs 3:2-8 [see also Pr 28:13; Lk 17:3-4; Ja 5:16a; 1Jn 1:8-2:1]).

85) Paul never promoted guilt, shame, or a lifelong repenting of personal sins by Christians (cf. 1Co 1:10-12 [cf. 3:18-23]; 3:1-3; 5:1-2; 6:5-10; 14:20; 15:34; 2Co 2:5-7; 12:19-21; Gal 2:11-14; Col 3:1-13a; 2Th 3:14; Ttus 3:10 [see also Mt 11:20-24; Mk 6:12; Lk 13:3,5]).

86) Paul never warned, judged, shamed, rebuked, accused, or excluded others for their actions or beliefs, but only for their sin-consciousness and Law-consciousness (cf. 1Co 3:1-3; 4:14; 6:5-10; 14:20; 15:34; 2Co 13:2-3; Gal 2:11-14; 1Th 4:3-6; 2Th 3:14; 1Ti 1:20 [cf. Mt 18:15-17]).

87) Love, faith, truth, grace, Jesus, fellowship, repentance, Christianity, and the gospel are all about indulging in life (Lk 9:23), going with the flow (cf. 1Co 2:15; Eph 4:14; 1Th 5:21), getting something for nothing (cf. Lk 14:25-33), total unconditionality (cf. Ro 11:22; 1Co 1:10; Gal 6:9), and enjoyment (cf. Mt 10:35-38; Lk 14:26-27; 2Co 1:8-11; 6:4-10; 2Th 1:4-8; 2Ti 4:5; Heb 12:4-11; Ja 4:8-9; 1Pe 3:17; 4:16-17); not about tough love, enduring trials, informed choices, pursuing holiness, morals and ethics, carrying your cross, cooperating with God, competing in the race, making improvements, taking strong moral stands, walking in the steps of the faith, or addressing issues and problems.

88) Your heart is the center of revelation (cf. Ac 17:11-12).

89) Your sacrifices are not actually your own sacrificial offerings (cf. Mk 12:41-13:2; Lk 21:1-6; Ro 12:1).

90) Your foes, enemies, and adversaries can never be people, but only Satan and demons (cf. Mt 5:25,44; 10:34-36; Lk 6:27,35; 12:58; 21:15-17; Ro 11:28; 12:20).

91) Your relationship with God and Jesus does not depend on your morality or performance, but only on emptying yourself and losing your own identity (cf. Mt 5:18-22; 19:17-21; 22:36-40; 28:20; Mk 12:28-34; Jn 14:15*-24; 15:10; Ac 24:16; Ja 2:14-26; 2Pe 1:5-8; 1Jn 1:8-2:1a; Rv 2:23 [per contra Pr 16:6*; Ro 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 1Co 15:9-10; Gal 2:6*,21*; Phs 2:13; 3:6b-9a*-b; Col 2:6-7]).

92) Your faith isn't partly a product of your free will, and is already irreversibly strong, and perfectly equal with all others' (cf. Ro 4:20; 12:3,6*; 14:1-2; 1Co 12:9; 2Co 10:15b; 1Th 3:10; Ja 3:1*; 5:8-9; 2Pe 1:5-8).

93) Your spiritual responsibility is not to do or strive, but only to receive and experience unconditional grace (cf. Jn 3:27; 14:15*-24; Ac 20:35; 2Co 8:5; 1Th 4:1*-8; 2Ti 2:15,20-22; Heb 10:23-26a*-29; 11:8-11*; Ja 1:5-6; 1Jn 3:22; 2Jn 8* [per contra Jn 1:16; 16:24; 20:22; Ac 1:8; Ro 5:17; 15:7; 1Co 2:12; 2Co 5:21*; Col 2:6-7]).

94) Your holiness, performance, and personal righteousness are "caught," but your healing is taught (cf. 1Co 12:28-29; 2Ti 3:14-17; Heb 5:12).

95) Your true value, worth, identity, blessing, standing, holiness, and righteousness are only gifts, which you actively take by effortless rest (cf. Ac 14:22; 3Jn 11).

96) Your spirit can be diseased and damaged (cf. 1Co 4:11-13; 2Co 1:4; 4:6-14; 7:5-6; Heb 12:3; 1Pe 2:19-23; 5:8-9), nevertheless is 100%, totally, perfectly, absolutely, and thoroughly holy, clean, flawless, spotless, righteous, discerning, eternally sinless, and identical to Jesus' spirit (cf. 1Ch 28:9*; Mk 7:15-23; Ro 11:17-22; 1Co 3:14-15; 2Co 7:1; 11:4; 12:18b; Col 4:12; 2Ti 2:20-22; 1Jn 1:8-2:1a; 4:1-6 [per contra Ps 103:12; Pr 3:5; Jer 23:6; Jn 5:39-40; 7:24; 15:3; Ac 15:9; 1Co 1:30; 2Co 5:7,21; Eph 1:4; 2:6; 1Ti 3:2a; Heb 1:3*; 10:1-2,14; 1Pe 2:24*; 1Jn 3:9; 4:17; 2Jn 1-2]).

97) The Law and self-righteousness, rather than sinfulness, are the only things separating man from God (cf. Isa 59:2).

98) The Law leads the unsaved to Christ and salvation, but the saved away from them to Satan and destruction (cf. Mt 12:25; Lk 11:17).

99) The Law must be suppressed and kept in the closet (cf. Mt 5:17-22; 2Ti 2:9b).

100) The Law always makes you feel bad about yourself, and gives you a sense of being condemned (cf. 1Co 4:3-4; 2Co 9:3-4; Gal 6:3-4; 1Jn 3:18-20).

101) The Law veils, ruins, nixes, voids, blocks, dilutes, erodes, drowns, distorts, stymies, cancels, hinders, nullifies, disrupts, defaces, restricts, negates, shatters, reduces, opposes, crucifies, subverts, impedes, replaces, unravels, prevents, removes, weakens, excludes, obscures, damages, preempts, frustrates, precludes, enfeebles, undercuts, dissipates, contradicts, adulterates, suppresses, counteracts, marginalizes, walls off, stops dead, detracts from, takes a toll on, interferes with, deprives you of, exalts itself over, gets in the way of, and can't work together with: a) God's grace and glory (cf. Ro 5:20); b) receiving from God (cf. Dt 28:1-14); c) the Holy Spirit's power (cf. Ro 8:4; Eph 6:17).

102) The Law has no wisdom for daily life (cf. Dt 4:1-6; Ps 19:7-14; 119:98; Pr 7:5; 10:8; 29:3; 1Co 10:1-15; Eph 5:11-17).

103) The Law was promoted by angels (Gal 3:19; Ac 7:53), but now is promoted by demons.

104) The Law was only a temporary, interim revelation (cf. Heb 10:16 [per contra Mt 5:18; Jn 19:30a]).

105) The Law was a tutor which no longer abides in your house or heart (cf. Jn 8:34-35; 2Ti 3:16; Heb 10:16 [per contra Gal 3:25]).

106) The Law kills, robs, gags, mars, fillets, binds, beats, blinds, taunts, sullies, harms, drains, blocks, biases, teases, defiles, derails, injures, judges, diverts, dooms, tempts, inhibits, chokes, divides, entices, detains, freezes, hinders, defeats, sickens, pollutes, cripples, crushes, deafens, enrages, corrupts, accuses, destroys, deadens, shackles, sidelines, weakens, enslaves, deceives, exhausts, strangles, castrates, scourges, ensnares, damages, degrades, paralyzes, disorients, brutalizes, imprisons, cheapens, victimizes, squelches, debilitates, misdirects, handicaps, tyrannizes, condemns, diminishes, subjugates, hamstrings, dehydrates, disqualifies, demolishes, overpowers, discourages, demoralizes, desensitizes, brainwashes, overburdens, extinguishes, monopolizes, incapacitates, dehumanizes, shortchanges, contaminates, disenfranchises, trips up, wears out, weighs down, eats away at, puts in bondage, makes mincemeat of, oppressess, suppresses, and overstresses: a) you; b) Christians; c) the world; d) the Church; e) your core, spirit, heart, identity, humanity, self-esteem, personhood, and conscience (cf. Ro 7:12-13).

107) The Law makes you impure, but grace makes you pure (cf. Ja 4:7-10).

108) The Law only commands, operates on, and should be in your flesh and heart; not in your mind, spirit, or consciousness (cf. Mt 7:14-23; Lk 12:47-48; Ro 2:15; 1Co 5:6-12; 6:9-10; 10:1-15; 15:33-34*; Eph 4:17-18†-19; 5:5-17; Phs 1:9-10; 1Ti 3:2-3; 2Ti 3:14-17; Ttus 2:12; Heb 5:12-14†; 10:16; Ja 2:20-24; 3:13; 4:4,17; 1Jn 2:3-6; Jd 3-7 [per contra Phm 6*]).

109) The Law only brings you to despair of keeping the Law, which causes compelled, irresistible acceptance of Christ (cf. Mk 10:17-23).

110) The Law is unprofitable (useless, unhelpful, detrimental) for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (cf. 2Ti 3:16).

111) The Law is not connected with grace (cf. Ps 119:29), or mercy (cf. Ex 25:21-22).

112) The Law is the Word with no Spirit (cf. Jn 17:17b; 1Jn 5:6).

113) The Law is only supposed to be kept by God, not people (cf. Ja 2:9-10,14-3:1*-2; 1Jn 2:3-6; 5:2-3).

114) Adam's disobedience (cf. Ro 5:19a) makes you utterly dead and powerless to: a) repent, better yourself, resist the flesh, do or choose any good; b) do anything to train your mind, crucify your flesh, clean up your act, maintain godliness, or position yourself favorably; c) earn any love, value, or respect; d) fix, help, better, change, sanctify, manage, improve, transform, straighten out, or keep in check anyone, anything, yourself, or your walk, spirit, mind, mouth, conduct, behavior, character, or circumstances; e) help, serve, please, be right with, or keep the favor of God; or stay loyal, close, or connected to Him (cf. Ac 10:1-4; Ja 3:2).

115) Jesus plus nothing equals the gospel (cf. Ja 2:14-3:1*-2,13).

116) Jesus used hyperbole, symbolism, and double meanings to imply that the Law's commands are excessively difficult to obey, and are inferior to his commands, which have replaced them (cf. Mt 5:29-30; 6:28-34; 7:1-5; Jn 2:7-11; 6:32-33).

117) Jesus didn't require Peter to make any effort to receive his money miracle (cf. Mt 17:27).

118) Jesus was always happy, relaxed, sociable, palsy-walsy, and easy to get along with (cf. Mt 10:11-16,34-37; 16:24; 18:17; 21:12; Mk 8:34; Lk 3:7; 9:23; 11:29; 14:26-27; Jn 8:59).

119) Jesus isn't a judge (cf. Ac 10:42; Jd 15).

120) Jesus never stressed doing your faith, not just saying it (cf. Mt 7:21).

121) Jesus never judged those who rejected the gospel (cf. Mt 10:14-15; Lk 10:10-15).

122) Jesus never approved of being regarded as Teacher (Mt 22:36-40; 23:8-10; Jn 13:13-14).

123) Jesus never taught, preached, or commanded: a) to repent (cf. Mt 4:17; 18:6-9; Mk 1:15; 6:12; Lk 5:32; 17:1-4; 24:45-47; Jn 5:14; 8:11*); b) to obey moral rules, or how to live or behave, but simply how to believe in and see him, yourself, and the glory (cf. Mt 5:17-22,27-44; 22:29,36-40; 24:45-51; Lk 6:46-49; 12:16-20; 13:22-27; Jn 7:24; Ac 1:1-2).

124) God, Jesus, and Paul never gave warnings or negative commands to believers (cf. Mt 17:9; 23:3b; Mk 9:9; Lk 12:4-7; Jn 7:24; Ac 17:29-30; 20:31; Ro 11:20-22; 1Co 14:20; Eph 4:26-31; 5:11-17).

125) Anger, tough love, discerning faults, preaching on hell, laying down the law, righteous indignation, warning, judging, shaming, rebuking, criticizing, correcting, upbraiding, scrutinizing, and admonishing always nags, rejects, curses, argues, corrupts, schemes, alienates, damages, backfires, dishonors, sidetracks, misquotes, obfuscates, lashes out, robs dignity, empowers sin, faces backward, poisons the well, counteracts grace, muddies the water, severs relationships, boomerangs on you, blows up in your face, grieves the Holy Spirit, gives place to the devil, means you have an evil spirit, curses the image of God in others, requires prefacing assurances of non-condemnation and the gospel, misrepresents God, diverts everyone away from God (cf. Pr 27:5-6; Gal 2:11; Eph 4:26; 1Th 5:19-22; 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 4:2-3; Ttus 3:10), and is a failure to set your mind on things above (cf. Col 3:2-13a).

126) Grace, the cross, God's love, and Jesus' atonement have: a) solved the sin problem (cf. Gal 6:1b; 1Pe 2:11); b) mean you should act like you've never sinned (cf. 1Jn 1:8-2:5); c) had no power under the old covenant just as the Law has no power under the new covenant (cf. Mt 25:34; Rv 13:8*); d) by themselves spell out the whole faith and entire gospel (cf. 2Ti 3:15-16); e) make your life go smoothly (cf. Ac 9:15; 27:7-44; 2Co 6:4-5; Ja 3:2 [per contra Ps 27:11*; Isa 26:7*; 42:16b*; 45:2]); f) mean you can't reap your iniquity, wickedness, or the whirlwind (cf. Gal 6:7-10); g) have put all Christians on the same level of spiritual maturity (cf. Eph 4:11-13; Heb 5:12-6:3); h) are as free and universal as gravity (cf. 1Pe 4:18); i) walk your upright walk, take the plank out of your eye, and do all your perfecting and transforming for you without any effort on your part (cf. Phs 3:12a; Col 1:28-29); j) have legally excluded, eliminated, disposed of, and liberated you from any shame (cf. Ro 6:21) or moral rules including the golden rule (cf. Mt 7:12).

127) God disapproves of conscientious people (cf. Ac 24:16; Ro 2:7,13-15).

128) God changed His original plan and replaced kind grace with cruel Law to punish the Israelites' self-righteousness and condemn them (cf. Ex 16; 19:4-9; Ro 5:20; 7:12-13).

129) God washed you clean of all your sinning so you don't have to work at it (cf. 2Ti 2:20-22; Ja 4:8 [per contra Ac 15:9]).

130) God sees no, forgets all, and has already judged all guilt, sinning, and falsehood (cf. Ac 5:1-11).

131) God actually only sees, tests, praises, and rewards His own faith and righteousness, not yours (cf. Ge 22:12,18; Pr 13:21; Heb 11:17-19 [per contra Jer 23:6]).

132) God does not regulate the world based on the Law (cf. Ps 2:10-12a*-b; 9:7-8; Ac 17:29-31).

133) God does not examine your heart or mind (cf. 1Sm 16:7; Ps 26:2-6; 139:23-24; Jer 17:10; Lk 16:15).

134) God only approves never disapproves of you (cf. 1Co 10:1-13).

135) God never changes His good opinion of Christians (cf. Rv 2-3).

136) God never gave any negative command to Adam and Eve (cf. Ge 2:17).

137) God never deals with Christians based on works (cf. Ps 7:8-9; 1Co 11:28-34; 1Pe 4:17-18; Rv 2-3).

138) God never rejected or punished people for their sins before He gave the Law (cf. Ge 6:5-17; 18:20-19:26).

139) God never wanted anyone to think about the Law, or expected them to keep it successfully (cf. Ex 20:20; Dt 26:16-18; 30:11-20).

140) God never takes away from people or curses them, only the Law does (cf. Nu 14:18,26-35; Dt 32:39; 2Sm 12:13-18; Job 1:21-22; Rv 2:20-23).

141) God never holds Christians in disfavor, or punishes or judges them for their sins (cf. Ro 11:17-22; 1Co 3:11-17; 11:28-34; 1Th 4:3-6; Heb 12:5-11; Ja 3:1*; 5:8-9; 1Pe 1:17; 4:17-18 [per contra Isa 54:9; 1Jn 4:8b]).

142) God never intended for Christians to struggle against their sinful nature, but only to choose to have faith in grace; and thus let grace, the Word, the blood, the anointing, God's work, resting and receiving, and the Holy Spirit's leading take care of it (cf. Ac 24:16; Ro 8:12-13; 1Co 10:12-13; Gal 6:1b; Col 3:5-13a; Ja 4:1-4; 1Pe 2:11­; 5:5 [per contra Ps 91:1; Isa 26:3; Mt 11:28-30; Jn 19:30a; Ro 3:21-24; 7:24-8:6b*-9a*-11,28*; 1Co 1:4-8; 2Co 5:21; Eph 1:3; 2:6; Phs 2:13; 3:3; 4:6a*; Col 1:21-23a,29; 2:6-7; 1Th 5:24; 1Pe 4:19*; 5:10; 2Pe 3:18; 1Jn 1:9]).

143) God only draws a dividing line between grace and faithful Law-keepers. They are the only ones who He excludes, segregates from the sheep, and loves less than the righteous. God is not friends with, did not make heaven for, and does not admit, welcome in, or unite or commune with them; but rather the liars, guilty, goats, wolves, sinners, pagans, ungodly, evildoers, reprobates, unrepentant, lawbreakers, transgressors, bad people; spiritual dregs, riffraff, messes, enemies, weaklings, train wrecks, or deniers of Jesus; wicked or unrepentant, and anyone else claiming to be a Christian (cf. Mal 2:17; 1Co 6:9-10; Ja 4:4 [per contra Mt 9:10-13; Mk 2:15-17; Lk 5:29-32; 1Co 1:26-27]).

144) God has made all faith, healing, blessings, deliverance, spiritual gifts, and spiritual power freely and equally available by grace to each Christian (cf. 1Ti 5:23; Ac 4:29-30; 8:14-16; Ro 12:3; 1Co 4:11; 12:28*-31*; 2Co 1:8-11; Eph 6:18; Phs 2:25-27; 4:6; 2Th 3:1-2; 1Ti 2:1; Ja 1:5-8; 4:13-15; 5:13-16; 3Jn 2 [per contra 1Pe 2:24-25b*]).

145) God wants you to love, obey, and dwell in Him and His Word, but not His Law (Ps 1:1-2; 119:1-176; 1Jn 5:2-3).

146) God only wants there to be rest, grace, praise, festivity, surrender, submission, relationship, and communion; not Law or obeying it (cf. Nu 14:8-11; 1Sm 12:14-25; Ps 19:7-14; Jer 8:6-12; 18:7-9; Jn 14:15*-24; 1Pe 1:13-17; 1Jn 5:2-3; 2Jn 5-6 [per contra Eph 1:3; 2:6]).

147) True sinning is actually observing the Law, not breaking it (cf. 1Jn 3:4).

148) True forgiveness, holiness, righteousness, love, faith, virtue, peace, morality, character, obedience, repentance, and Biblical knowledge can only be received, can not be learned or expressed under the Law, and are things that just come to you; and never come by trying but only unconsciously as a side benefit by accident and not trying (cf. 2Pe 1:5-8); and are automatic, inadvertant, and things you already have, and do not need to prove or demonstrate to God (cf. Lk 5:18-20; Jn 6:27-29; 9:31; 15:10; Col 2:5b; Ja 1:5-8; 1Jn 3:22; Rv 2:5,16,22 [per contra Ro 3:21-24; 5:17]).

149) True Christians are never the object of God's evaluation, anger, curses, chastisement, punishment, or judgment, since these are the same as wrath, and would mean God isn't good (cf. Ro 13:4).

150) The Pharisees observed the Law conscientiously and correctly, but this was their big mistake (cf. Mt 23:1-14*-35; Lk 11:39-52).

151) The difference between right and wrong is as insignificant as between clean and unclean food, or fine and shabby apparel (cf. Ja 2:1-6).

152) The stories of the rich ruler (Lk 18:18-30) and Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-10) show that the test of faith is only about choosing Jesus and to let God do everything for you, not about resolving to do good works (cf. Lk 14:25-33).

153) Early Christians had no awareness of sins, and did not expect gentile Christians to know or keep the Law (cf. Ac 15:13-24b*-31).

154) The fire, smoke, thunder, and lightning on Mt. Sinai signify that God's revelation of the Law to the Israelites was actually Him cursing and putting them in bondage (cf. Ex 19-20; Dt 26:16-18 [per contra Ne 10:29; Heb 12:18-21]).

155) The New Testament only instructs Christians to believe they are good Christians, not to do works or keep the Law in order to be good Christians (cf. 2Ti 2:15).

156) The grand struggles of life are never good vs. evil, flesh vs. spirit, or right vs. wrong; but instead only grace vs. Law, positive vs. negative, Jesus' duty vs. individual duty, celebrating victory vs. defeatism, focusing on Jesus vs. addressing issues, and God's responsibility vs. individual responsibility (cf. Gal 6:8-9; Heb 12:1-13; Ja 1:12-15).

157) The only true Laws or commands God gives Christians are not moral ones, which are impossible to keep, but spiritual ones which they can always obey perfectly: sit, rest, sow, give, reap, unite, share, submit, believe, receive, hold on, enjoy life, feel good, don't worry, slay Goliath, go to church, rejoice always, look like Jesus, study the Bible, praise the Lord, motivate others, live your dream, stand in the gap, hear God's word, simplify your life, expect a miracle, forget your cares, indulge your spirit, get right with God, make a difference, plan your finances, tear down the walls, eliminate all religion, conquer all problems, reflect God's holiness, stop trying to be good, live happily ever after, use your spiritual gifts, stay connected to God, believe you're forgiven, change your self-image, maintain Jesus' victories, achieve your full potential, remember you're cleansed, cease from your own effort, pay no mind to your problems, put all others' interests above yours, fully appreciate how much God loves you, properly follow the rules for receiving grace by faith, experience the privileged existence of being God's child, eradicate all consciousness of sin and Law yet recognize that there is no such thing as a good person, love yourself, love one another, have revelations, have enough faith, walk in God's power, walk in the light, walk in the Spirit, give thanks, give yourself away, give your heart to Jesus, know God's love, know God's plan for your intended life accomplishments, use grace, rely on grace, have a conviction of grace, run to the throne of grace, let not your heart be troubled, shift into higher status positions, let the Holy Spirit give you perfect understanding, let God be God, let God be intimiate with you, let God make all your decisions, let God empower you to live righteously, never fail, never doubt, never mix religion and politics, never have any shame or regrets, never perform any religious works, never try to win, never try to make things turn out well, never try to better yourself or your circumstances, be flexible, be positive, be blessed, be confident, be promoted, be energized, be Christ-centered, be conscious of God, be in God's presence, be anxious for nothing, be relevant to the culture, be who God created you to be, be more spiritual, be more liberated, do life, do the work of God, do business with God, do not keep the Law consciously, do a balancing act between faith and grace, do your part, do your work, do your utmost for everyone else and nothing for yourself (cf. Ja 3:2).

158) The more you are conscious of sin, judgment, the Law, or individual righteousness, the more like a Pharisee you are, the less faith you have, and the less holy and spiritual you are (cf. re John the Baptist: Mt 3:7-16; 11:7-14,18; 17:12-13; 21:32; Mk 1:7,9; 6:18,20; Lk 1:15; Lk 3:7-9,12-14,16-17,19; 7:24-28,33; Jn 1:26-27; 5:35; Ac 13:25 [per contra Heb 10:1-2]).

159) You never need to forgive in order to be forgiven yourself (cf. Mt 6:14-15).

160) You have no part in and deserve no credit for your works, holiness, righteousness, or sanctification (cf. Dt 6:20-25; Gal 6:3-4 [per contra Ecc 1:14; Isa 64:6; Jer 23:6; Ro 3:23-24; 5:17; Ja 2:10]).

161) You can never find God, He can only find you (cf. Ac 17:27).

162) You can never turn away from sin, but only to God (cf. Jn 5:14; Ja 5:19-20).

163) You have a crown of glory (cf. 1Pe 5:4), and righteousness (cf. 2Ti 4:8).

164) You have no independent abilities (cf. Mt 22:36-40; 25:14-30; Ja 3:2 [per contra Ro 7:24-8:6b*-9a*]).

165) You must not do anything except believe that you must not do anything except believe in Jesus (cf. Ja 2:27).

166) You must believe only in grace, not the Law (cf. Ac 17:29-30; Ro 2:6-11; 1Co 3:11-17; 5:9-13; 6:18-19; 7:10-13,19; 10:1-15; 2Co 5:9-10; Eph 4:21-32; 6:1-3; 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 2:5; 2Pe 3:17; 1Jn 3:4; 5:2-3,21).

167) Never allow your discerning to be anything that in any way comes between you and others, limits your relationships with them, or causes you to reject, break fellowship with, or establish lines, walls, or fences between you and them (cf. 1Co 5:9-11; Ttus 3:10-11; 2Jn 10-11).

168) You are "as Jesus is," thus making you sinless, and above any reproach or criticism (cf. Heb 4:15; 1Pe 4:17 [per contra 1Jn 4:17*]).

169) You are already maximally sanctified (cf. 1Th 5:23).

170) Believe the whole living New Testament, except the dead parts from the Law (cf. 2Ti 3:14-17).

171) You should bow the knee and submit (be subject) to God, and to Jesus as your Lord, but must never feel, fear, or think that you have any duty or obligation to obey or please them (cf. Jn 5:44; Ac 5:29; Eph 6:5-8; Phs 2:17; Col 3:22-24; 1Pe 2:13-15; 5:3-5 [1Pe 2:13; 5:5 have the same Greek word for "submit" as Lk 2:48-51; Ro 13:1]; 1Jn 2:3-5a; 5:2-3 [per contra Ecc 1:14; Jn 19:30a; 1Pe 5:2*]).

172) You should always agree with your enemy (cf. 1Ti 6:3-7; 2Ti 2:23-26; 4:2-5; Ttus 3:10-11 [per contra Mt 5:25*]).

173) You can always have a clear conscience, even if you don't repent (cf. Lk 17:3-4).

174) Faithful Law-keeping only makes Christians want to be Jews, not vice versa (cf. Ro 11:13-22).

175) You should always think and be confident that you are standing firmly and can never fall from grace (cf. 1Co 10:1-13; 2Pe 3:17).

176) You should only set spiritual not moral boundaries (cf. 1Co 5:1-13).

177) Always trust and live by your heart, not your mind; and never guard your heart (cf. Pr 4:20-26; Jer 17:9; Mal 2:15b-16; Mt 13:15; Mk 7:21-23; 1Co 4:5; Ja 4:8; 1Jn 3:19-20).

178) Worship and serve only in your "perfect" spirit, not your "imperfect" mind, soul, body, or flesh (cf. Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27; Jn 4:22-24; 1Co 14:14-19; 2Co 2:13-14; Col 1:28; Ja 3:2b; 1Jn 1:10).

179) Never separate yourself from others (cf. 2Co 6:15-17).

180) Never doubt your ability to deal with any problem (cf. Mt 10:23; Ro 12:3).

181) Never give it your all, or do everything you can (cf. Ac 24:16; Mt 22:36-40).

182) Never hate anything consciously (cf. Pr 8:13; Ro 12:9; Rv 2:6 [per contra Phm 6*]).

183) Never imitate anyone except Jesus as a role model (cf. 1Co 11:1; Phs 3:17-18; 1Th 1:6; 1Ti 4:11-12b*-13; Ttus 2:6-7).

184) Never hurry or act quickly (cf. Lk 1:39; 15:20,22*; 19:5-6; Ac 12:7; 17:13-15; 20:16; 22:18; 2Ti 4:9 [per contra 1Co 13:4a; 1Ti 5:22]).

185) Never beseech or plead to God (cf. Mt 9:27; 15:22-28; 17:15; 20:30-34; Mk 7:25-30; 10:46-51; Lk 9:38-42; 11:1-12; 18:1-8; Jn 4:47-49; Ac 12:1-11; Ro 15:30; Eph 6:18; Phs 4:6; 1Ti 2:1).

186) Never love or consider yourself (cf. Mt 19:19; Phs 2:4).

187) Never correct or rebuke anyone except children, whether in public or private (cf. 1Ti 5:20).

188) Never strive to enter God's rest (cf. 2Th 1:6-7; Heb 4:11), or for any holiness, approval, or righteousness (cf. 1Co 9:26-27; Heb 4:11; 12:1-13; Ja 1:12 [per contra Eph 1:3; 2:6]).

189) Never be aware, proud, or boast of works, self-effort, or personal righteousness (cf. 2Co 9:3-4; Gal 6:3-4 [per contra Ro 3:27; 1Co 1:29*; 2Co 10:17]).

190) Never think about if what you do, did, or will do is right or wrong; or examine yourself (cf. Ro 2:14-15 [per contra Heb 10:1-2]).

191) Never do anything to resist your flesh, but just choose to have faith in grace; and thus leave it all up to grace, the Word, the blood, the anointing, God's work, resting and receiving, and the Holy Spirit's leading (cf. Ro 8:12-13; 1Co 7:5,9; 2Ti 2:22; 1Pe 2:11 [per contra Ps 91:1; Isa 26:3; Mt 11:28-30; Jn 19:30a; Ro 3:21-24; 7:24-8:6b*-9a*-11,28*; 1Co 1:4-8; 2Co 5:21; Eph 1:3; 2:6; Phs 2:13; 3:3; 4:6a*; Col 1:21-23a,29; 2:6-7; 1Th 5:24; 1Pe 4:19*; 5:10; 2Pe 3:18; 1Jn 1:9]).

192) Never try, pray, want, strive, or work harder to: a) live for God but only let Him live through you (cf. Mt 22:36-40; Mk 12:28-34; Lk 10:26-28); b) be careful (cf. Lk 10:41*); c) be a good servant (cf. Mt 20:25-28; Mk 10:43-45); d) be a doer, but rather only a hearer, speaker, and believer of the Word (cf. Ro 2:13; Ja 1:21-27 [see also Mt 7:24-27; Lk 6:46-49]).

193) Never see, focus on, or talk about sins, facts, faults, striving, yourself, problems, behaving, difficulties, circumstances, or shouldn't's (shall not's/don't's); but instead only love, God, grace, Jesus, receiving, believing, fellowship, enjoyment, the spiritual, God's majesty, should's (shall's/do's), and things of true importance (cf. 1Co 2:15; 2Co 6:4-17; 1Th 5:21).

194) Keeping the Law is the same as prejudging yourself (cf. 1Co 4:3-5; 11:28-31 [per contra 1Co 4:3]), keeping the old covenant (cf. Mt 22:36-40; Mk 12:28-30b*-34; Lk 10:26-28); or trying to be first or greatest (cf. Mk 9:33-35; Lk 9:46-48; 22:24-27); or being your own potter (cf. Ro 9:21); or being a city, house, or kingdom divided against itself (cf. Mt 12:24-25); or leaving your first love (cf. Rv 2:4); or causing divisions contrary to doctrine (cf. Ro 16:17); or looking into the ark (cf. 1Sm 6:19); or putting new wine into old wineskins (cf. Mt 9:14-17; Mk 2:18-22; Lk 5:33-39); or making the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition (cf. Mt 15:4-9; Mk 7:9-13).

195) Keeping the Law means you put your confidence in the flesh or legalistic works (cf. Phs 3:2-6), or think God only accepts 100% perfect obedience and performance (cf. Ro 3:25; 15:1; Gal 6:1-2; Col 3:13; 1Th 5:14).

196) Keeping the Law is the same as serving two masters (cf. Mt 6:24), or other gods (cf. Ac 7:37-40), or the creation more than the Creator (cf. Ro 1:21-26).

197) If you observe the Law you are just like: Hagar (bondwoman)/Ishmael (cf. Gal 4:24 [per contra 4:21-23,25-31]), Jacob (pre-Ge 32), Joseph and his brothers (Ge 43:32 [pre-50:15-21]), Aaron/Miriam (Nu 12), ten of the spies sent to Canaan (Nu 13-14), the man who worked on the Sabbath (Nu 15:32-36), the Ephraimites (Jdg 8), Ruth (pre-Ru 2:8), Naomi (pre-Ru 4:9), any of Israel's kings (usually Saul, Absalom, Solomon, Jeroboam I [1Kg 11-13], Jehu, or Herod [the Great, or Agrippa I or II]), Mephibosheth (pre-2Sm 9), Naaman (pre-2Kg 5:14), Nebuchadnezzar/satraps (Da 3; 6), Mary ("handmaid" of the Lord [pre-Lk 1:48b]), the children of the kingdom (Mt 8:12), the lawyer (Lk 10), the man beaten by robbers (Lk 10), the prodigal's brother (Lk 15), the rich ruler (Lk 18), the jailer (Ac 16:23-28), Saul/Paul (pre-Ac 9:3), James and the Jerusalem church (Ac 15:13-24b*-31), the church of Ephesus (Rv 2:1-6); not like Hezekiah/uncleansed Israelites (2Ch 30:16-20), the Rechabites (Jer 35), Daniel (Da 6:22), the Samaritan woman (Jn 4), the centurion with the sick servant (Mt 8; Lk 7), the Good Samaritan (Lk 10), the publican (Lk 18), or the men of Judea Ac 2:14,37-38,40).

Bible Review #4: The Myth of Mary's "Perpetual Virginity"

The official Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief that Mary never lost her virginity, which is termed her "perpetual virginity," presumes Jesus' "brothers" and "sisters" mentioned in the Bible were not Mary's biological children. This would mean they were her nieces and nephews, adopted children, parthenogenic (asexual reproduction) children, Joseph's children from a previous marriage, or Jesus' disciples. The weight of contextual details in the Old and New Testaments refutes all such alternative explanations. If any of these explanations were true, then the New Testament's portrayals of these people would amount to a fraud. The Bible alone is the source of all spiritual revelations, principles, and wisdom (Ac 17:11; Col 1:25-28; 2Ti 3:14-17; Jd 3).

The Bible's authors did not state, identify, prophesy, or imply in any way that Mary remained a virgin after Jesus' birth, but rather left the door wide open to the interpretation she lost her virginity. Matthew evidently knew Mary and her history particularly well, but his gospel leaves her totally unprotected against the danger of such an easy interpretation. Most notably, Matthew 1:25's statement that Joseph "knew her not till she had brought forth…," (KJV) is easily understood, even in the Greek text, to mean that she lost her virginity following Jesus' birth (the same two Greek words for "till" show a change of state in Mt 17:9; 18:34; Lk 24:49; Ac 23:12,14,21). Likewise, Luke 2:7's reference to Mary's "firstborn son" is easily understood to mean she gave birth to other children (see also Mt 1:25b*).

The people of Jesus' hometown (Nazareth) and environs (Capernaum, etc.) pointedly remarked to the effect that he seemed unexpectedly different from his siblings, based on their familiarity with his family circumstances, which they regarded with ordinariness (Mt 13:54-57; Mk 6:1-3; Lk 4:16,22; Jn 6:24-25,42). This is compelling evidence that they believed at least some of Jesus' "brothers" and "sisters" mentioned in Matthew and Mark were Mary's biological children. Matthew and Mark must have shared their belief, since they included no kind of correction or clarification to deter the natural inference that they were her biological children.

It was customary for an individual in the New Testament to be identified with his or her father, or a genealogy (Mt 1:1-17; 10:2-3; 16:17; 23:35; Lk 1:5,27; 3:23-38; 6:15-16; Jn 6:71; 13:2,26; 21:15-16; Ac 1:13; 20:4; Ro 11:1). Therefore, if Jesus' "brothers" and "sisters" had had other fathers or genealogies besides Joseph and his genealogy, then there would have been good reason to identify them, or at least account for them. No such identification or accounting appears. Joseph is the only possible father with whom they are linked. Also, if Jesus' siblings had been Joseph's children from a previous marriage, then the absence of this piece of information would be a senseless omission by the New Testament's authors.

John 7:5* says Jesus' "brothers" did not believe in him. This fulfills a prophecy in Psalms 69:8, one of the many prophecies about Jesus in Psalms, which were fulfilled (cf. Lk 24:44) even if not directly quoted (Ps 16:10* [Ac 2:25-27*-31*]; 22:7-8 [Mt 27:39-44; Mk 15:29,32; Lk 23:36,39], 14-18 [Mt 26:28; 27:35*; Jn 19:34]; 55:22 [Mt 11:29-30]; 68:18* [Eph 4:8]; 69:21 [Mt 27:48*; Mk 15:36*; etc.]; 72:10-11 [Mt 2:7-11]; etc.). The only reasonable interpretation is that the "brothers" and "mother's children" of this prophecy had the same biological mother as Jesus.

Jesus' "brothers," but not his "disciples," closely accompanied Mary in several instances, and in other instances were distinctly noted with her if other disciples were present (Mt 12:46-50; Mk 3:31-34 [cf. 3:21*]; Lk 8:19-21; Jn 2:12; Ac 1:12-14). Their special distinction and conduct is more consistent with them being Mary's biological children.

Paul wrote that spouses should not deprive each other's sexual needs, except by agreement for a short time (1Co 7:5). Hence, if Joseph and Mary had not had a normal fulfillment of sexual relations, then the Bible's lack of the slightest indication of such an unusual exception would be all the more careless.

Mary's "perpetual virginity" is further undermined by certain details about James, who leads the list of Jesus' "brothers" (Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3), and who became prominent in the New Testament as pastor of the Jerusalem church. The apostle Paul singled him out from all the other apostles as "the Lord's brother" (Gal 1:19), even though he conceivably could have used the precise Greek word for "cousin," which he used in Colossians 4:10. The Bible never refers to James as Jesus' "cousin."

Since Mary the mother of Jesus did not remain a "perpetual virgin," it is sinful to use designations like "Virgin Mary," "the Virgin, Mary," "the virgin Mary," (audibly similar), "the Virgin," "the Virgin Birth," "Mary the Virgin," "ever-virgin," etc., as these distortions endorse (or seem to) the Catholic/Orthodox error. They contribute to an atmosphere of distortions, and violate the principles of not causing others to stumble, and not wounding their weak conscience (1Co 8:4-13). Similarly, it is sinful to designate Mary "the Mother of God," or for example:

Joseph: Father of God

Joseph, Mary, Jesus: Holy Family

Paul: Chosen One, Mediator of the New Covenant, Church Planter, Director of Faith Formation, Visionary, God's Commander

James: His Eminence, The Most Reverend James, Patriarch of Jerusalem, Father/Papa/Dad

Peter: Chosen One, Rock-, Father- of the Church; Holy Father, Father/Papa/Dad

James, Peter, John: Pillars of the Church, Co-Creators, Spiritual- Leaders, Kings, Royalty

God, Jesus, Paul, James, Peter: Holy Spirit Fathers

John the Baptist: Greater One, Heart of Baptism

Theophilus, Felix, Festus: Most Excellent

Jesus, Moses, Elijah: Triune Lords

Moses: Lawgiver, Author of the Law, Deliverer, Savior

Solomon: Wise King, King of Wisdom

Abraham: Father of the Faith, Our Spiritual Father, Ancient of Days

Not even the slightest chance should be taken on misleading anyone about Mary. So when referring to Jesus' virgin birth, acceptable designations for her would be "a virgin, Mary," or "Mary, a virgin."

Bible Review #5: Two Raptures, Not Just One

Bible prophecy reveals two separate Raptures and their timing relative to the 7-year Tribulation. Rapture #1 is a pre-Tribulation Rapture for the Church (Christians of the Church Age), and Rapture #2 is a subsequent, post-Tribulation Rapture for believing Israel and the Tribulation saints. These Raptures are part of a closely interrelated set of apocalyptic events, others of which have never occurred before in history either, and are clearly not just figurative or symbolic (Isa 11:9-12; 24:1-23; 60:15-16,18; 65:17-25; Jer 30:1-20; 31:31-34 [cf. Heb 8:8-12]; Eze 11:17-20; 36:15,24-37:14; 38-39; Jo 3:9-17; Am 9:14-15; Zc 12-14; Mt 24:15-21; 25:1-13,31-46; Mk 13:14-19; Lk 21:24b; 1Co 15:51-55; 1Th 4:15-17; Rv 1:7; 5:9-10† [cf. Mt 24:30; see also Mk 13:26; Lk 21:27; Ac 1:9-11]; 20:4,12-15 [Dt 4:27-31 also has not been completely fulfilled]).

Certain Bible passages may at first appear to easily confirm a pre-Trib Rapture, but can be forced with more or less difficulty to support a Rapture that is mid-Trib, pre-Wrath, post-Trib, or occurs at Revelation 11:15-18 or 14:14-16. Although these passages help confirm there will be a Rapture, by themselves they are actually inconclusive as to its timing (Ge 5:21 [cf. Heb 11:5; Jd 14-15]; Lv 23:1-24 [no indication of Tribulation preceding Feast of Trumpets]; Nu 9:1-11 [cf. Lv 23:5; two 7-day Passovers a month apart for clean and unclean people corresponding to pre-Trib and post-Trib Raptures]; Mt 24:36-51; Mk 13:32-37; Lk 12:35-48; 17:26-36*-37; 21:28,34-35†-36; Jn 14:1-3 [cf. Ac 7:55-60; Rv 21:2-3]; Ro 5:9; 1Th 4:17 [cf. Zc 14:4-5; Mt 24:27; Jn 14:3; 1Th 1:10; 3:13; 5:9; Jd 14-15; Rv 19:14]; 5:1-9; 2Th 1:4-10; 2:1-8; Ttus 2:12-13; Ja 5:8-9; 2Pe 2:5-9; Rv 3:10***; 4:1-2).

Moving on to all the passages that work either alone or together to conclusively establish two Raptures and their timing, it should first be noted that the phrase "the day of the Lord," which appears in two of these passages (1Th 5:2-4; 2Pe 3:10), refers not only to the day of Jesus' return to earth, but also to the preceding Tribulation (see also Isaiah 2:12-21; 13:9-16; 34:1-8; Eze 30:3-4; Jo 2:28-32; Am 5:18-20; Ob 15-17; Zph 1:7-18; Mal 4:5).

The two aforementioned passages and three others show that "the day of the Lord" is an imminent event, meaning that exactly when it begins remains unknown and unexpected, even by Christians, coming as a sudden surprise like a thief in the night (Mt 24:42-25:13; Lk 12:35-40; 17:26-36*; 1Th 5:2-4; 2Pe 3:10 [see also Mk 13:32-37; Lk 12:42-48; 21:34-35†]). Of these passages, Matthew and Luke also show a coming of the Lord that itself happens as a sudden surprise, besides the Tribulation itself being a sudden surprise.

Matthew 25:1-13 further reveals that this surprise, imminent coming of the Lord is part of a Rapture. The Lord Jesus, represented as a bridegroom, suddenly awakens the "wise" virgin brides, the ones who have prepared themselves spiritually (cf. 5:14-16; 6:22-23). He awakens them from their drowsiness and sleep brought on by a long preceding time of undisturbed activity and monotonous waiting, and secludes them away from the careless virgins. This long preceding time can only be symbolic of life as usual prior to the Tribulation, since there is no trace of the Tribulation's persecution, upheaval, or cosmic disturbances, which would be circumstances that would hardly allow for the virgins' untroubled dispositions and behavior, or be so conducive to their peaceful sleep (Da 7:21,25; Mt 24:21-29; Mk 13:19-25; Lk 21:10-26; Ac 2:17-20; Rv 13:7,16-17; 14-18). The wise virgins do not appear to experience any of the Tribulation at all, indicating they are taken away in a pre-Trib Rapture.

In addition, a mid-Trib or post-Trib Rapture could not really be a sudden surprise to virgins who are "wise," since they would know from Bible prophecy to expect it exactly 7 years (post-Trib) or 3.5 years (mid-Trib) after the Antichrist signs a treaty with Israel (Da 9:24-27 [cf. 7:25; 12:6,11; Mt 24:15; Mk 13:14*; Rv 11:2-3; 12:6,14; 13:5]). "Wise" virgins would also be able to fairly accurately anticipate a post-Trib Rapture in another way, since it would have to follow soon after other specific, precursor events in the Tribulation timeline (Da 9:27; Mt 24:15; 2Th 2:4; Rv 6-18; etc.).

A pre-Wrath Rapture (cf. 1Th 1:10; 5:9) could not really be a sudden surprise to the wise virgins, either, since a Rapture that precedes the Wrath (beginning at 2Th 2:3, Mt 24:15, 24:16, Rv 6:2, 6:4, 6:16, or 15:1) would have to follow soon after one or more of the same specific, precursor events as a mid-Trib or post-Trib Rapture. The last of these timing possibilities is situated near the end of the Tribulation (Rv 15:1), but all the rest are clustered within a relatively short, approximately 3.5-year period from when the Antichrist is revealed (2Th 2:3) to the events in Revelation 6.

As a result, the only way the Rapture in Matthew 25:1-13 could suddenly surprise the wise virgins is if it is pre-Trib. If it is pre-Trib, then the wise virgins can only represent the Church, not Israel, since Zechariah 12:1-10 clearly shows that Jesus' arrival for Israel is post-Trib. Isaiah 26:15-21 and Joel 2:15-17 are not about a pre-Trib Rapture of Israel, or even about a Rapture, but instead relate to Israel's crisis during the Tribulation, and God protecting them in the desert (cf. Mt 24:15-31; Mk 13:14-19; Lk 21:20-28; Rv 12). Therefore, Matthew 25:1-13 can only be referring to the pre-Trib Rapture of the Church, Rapture #1.

Several passages clearly show that Rapture #2 occurs at the end of the Tribulation (Mt 13:24-30,36-43 [cf. Da 12:1-3]; 24:29-31; 25:31-34,46; Mk 13:24-27). Tribulation believers and believing Israel are gathered from earth into heaven at the call of a trumpet. Angels gather them from "the four winds" (Mt 24:31), representing the four cardinal directions (Isa 11:12; Jer 49:36; Eze 37:9; Da 8:8-9; Zc 2:6). Although Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 seems to indicate a post-Trib Rapture of the Church, it does not really do so, nor does it rule out a pre-Trib Rapture of the Church. Matthew 13:43 echoes Daniel 12:3 regarding Israel's deliverance at the end of the Tribulation, indicating that Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 actually relates to Israel, not the Church. The other post-Trib Rapture passages in Matthew and Mark relate to Israel more clearly. Although Matthew describes Rapture #2 before Rapture #1, this does not mean they must happen respectively in that order.

Another passage that may seem to indicate a post-Trib Rapture of the Church (Lk 17:26-36*-37) actually supports a pre-Trib Rapture equally well, since the phrasing and symbolism of the parables in it are imprecise. This is similarly true of Jesus' parables in the apocalyptic discourse (Mt 24:36-51; Mk 13:32-37; Lk 12:35-48), as well as his analogy of separating the wheat from the chaff (Mt 3:12; Lk 3:17). In any case, Luke 17:37 does clearly show that it is the wicked who are left behind (cf. 17:27,29); therefore, it is the righteous who are taken.

A trio of passages further establishes Rapture #1 (1Co 15:51-52; 1Th 4:15-17; Rv 15:5-20:6). Revelation shows the Church in heaven participating in the wedding supper of the Lamb (19), but during the extended period leading up to this event, does not mention any Resurrection or Rapture taking place, or even indicate that the Church is on earth (15:5-19). This is inconsistent with a post-Trib Rapture of the Church.

Paul's two passages of the trio explain that the Resurrection immediately precedes the Rapture of the Church. Around the closing events of the Tribulation, however, Revelation only shows a resurrection that takes place (Rv 20:4-6) after the Church has already been raptured to heaven, and participated in the wedding supper of the Lamb. Therefore, this resurrection can not be the one that immediately precedes the Rapture of the Church. Instead, verse 4 clearly shows that this is a resurrection of Christians who are persecuted and martyred during the Tribulation (cf. 6:9-11; 13:7,10,15; 14:13; 16:6; 18:20; 19:2), without any indication it includes any Christians who died before the Tribulation. Evidently, Revelation 20:5b-6 only calls this "the first resurrection" to distinguish it from a secondary post-Trib resurrection (20:5a,13), not to identify it as the very first resurrection of apocalyptic events.

In a similar way, "the last trumpet" in 1 Corinthians 15:52 must only refer to a last trumpet call for the Church before the Tribulation, not to the last trumpet call in Revelation 11:15 (despite the notable parallel appearance of the word "mystery" in 1Co 15:51 and Rv 10:7), or to the very last trumpet call of apocalyptic events in Matthew 24:31. Thus, the Bible reveals two separate Raptures, and two separate trumpet calls associated with them.

Additional passages in Revelation confirm Rapture #1. In chapters 1-3, the Church is frequently noted on earth as the "seven churches" and "seven lampstands" ("candlesticks"; KJV). Then abruptly it seems to be represented in heaven as the "seven Spirits" and "seven lamps" (4-5), being closely associated with the Holy Spirit (cf. 2Th 2:7). This marks the end of the Church Age, and there is no such further mention of the Church as a distinct entity until the very end of the Tribulation, apparently still residing in heaven (Rv 19:5-18).

Revelation 2:1-3:10 congratulates Church members for being obedient and righteous, such that God will protect them during the Tribulation (cf. Lk 21:36). Then, without exception, God curses and pronounces multiple "woe[s]" upon all the earth's inhabitants during the Tribulation (Rv 6-9 [cf. Isa 24]; 8:13; 12:12). Isaiah 24 confirms a few of these curses, mirrored in Revelation 6:12, as earthquakes and obscuring of the sun and moon (see also Mt 24:29; Mk 13:24; Lk 21:25; Ac 2:20). There is no reason why God would congratulate the Church for their obedience and righteousness, and then pronounce curses and woes upon them. In the approximately 100 instances elsewhere in the Bible that God pronounces woe/s, He never pronounces them upon His obedient and righteous servants, but only upon those who have been unfaithful or rebellious. The Rapture of the Church must therefore happen prior to the onset of curses and woes in Revelation 6:12 and 8:13. This rules out a Rapture of the Church that is post-Trib, or happens after 6:12 (some pre-Wrath scenarios), or happens at 11:15-18 or 14:14-16.

Revelation uses much symbolism, and some Biblical and historical evidence supports the possibility that two basic Greek words appearing in this book are symbolic distinctions. One of them would strongly indicate a pre-Trib Rapture of the Church, and the other would not be inconsistent with it. Before Revelation begins describing the Tribulation, it says the Church receives white "garments" or "raiment" (Rv 3:4,5,18; 4:4; KJV), which are translated from the Greek words himatia and himatiois (pl. forms of himation). Martyrs who die during the Tribulation, however, receive white "robes" (Rv 6:11; 7:9,13,14; KJV [see also 22:14a*]). "Robes" is translated from the Greek words stolē (s.), and stolas (pl.).

Revelation might use himatia to signify higher status, which stolas or a few other possible words would not signify, in order to indicate that the Church will be raptured before the Tribulation as a reward for their greater faithfulness (regardless of what stolē might signify in chapters 6-7). Greek culture often depicted a god or godlike person wearing a himation. It possibly can represent higher status, since the New Testament often notes that it, but never a stolē, was worn by priests, royalty, Paul, or Jesus (Mt 17:2; 23:5; 26:65; 27:35a; Mk 5:30; Lk 7:25; Jn 13:12; 19:5; Ac 18:6; Rv 19:13). Revelation 16:15 might be a literary aside advising the Church before the Tribulation, rather than believers during the Tribulation, to keep their himatia.

At about the time of Christ, the Roman poet Ovid mentioned the practice of wearing a white robe (stolē), representing ripe grain, for the feast of Ceres, the popular Roman goddess of the harvest (Fasti and The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice). In a sense, harvesting grain involves an act of "violence" to "kill" it, so widespread familiarity with this practice may have contributed to Revelation using the word stolē to signify martyrdom of Tribulation believers, which himation or a few other possible words would not signify. Revelation clearly does use other harvest symbolism in reference to killing, God's wrath, and possibly martyrdom (14:14-20). Another possibility, but in the same vein, is that there may have been a well-known, but now historically unknown tradition of being martyred, executed, or sacrificed in clothing like a stolē.

Overall, these details in Revelation strongly support pre-Trib Rapture #1, showing that the Church will not experience any of the Tribulation events prophesied in the intervening chapters 6-18, and that these events are not very significant or relevant to it. In contrast, Israel is the focus of 7:1-8, and all of chapter 12, which shows them taking refuge in the desert. Unquestionably, the Church is distinct from Israel (Ac 2:36-41; Ro 9-11; 15:25-27; etc.), and the details of God's prophetic plans differ for each.

Israel (Jacob) is also prominent in the other New and Old Testament prophecies about the Tribulation, which repeatedly, unequivocally state that it is the focus of the testing and trials (Dt 4:27-31; Jer 30; Eze 20:32-44; 38-39; Da 7:7-27; 9:24-27; 12:1-11; Jo 3; Am 9:8-15; Zc 12-14; Mt 24:16,20; Mk 13:14; Lk 21:20-21). There is no such passage regarding the Church. Remarkably, Daniel 9:24-27 specifically defines the purpose of the entire 7-year Tribulation, not just the final Wrath portion of it, as a resumption of God's purification of rebellious Israel. There is no corresponding passage that specifically states or implies the Church will go through any of the Tribulation, or that clearly suggests a need for the Church to go through any of it. These details help rule out anything but a pre-Trib Rapture of the Church.

* (verse) or † (verses specified by preceding hyphen) denotes some degree of rivalry in translations or manuscripts concerning the given view, from among the KJV, and editions of the NKJV (1982) and NIV (1984) with both the alternate and variant translation footnotes; *** or ††† denotes it from among these and other common sources.

Response From Christian Data Resources

Thank you for your questions and for your sharing—both your biblical knowledge and your personal situation.  I apologize for my delayed response, but it took much time to study your e-mail and prepare my reply. I learned a lot from considering your apologetics of the Scriptures. 

I agree with you about biblical deliverance of Christians, and I want you to know that I prayed for you today, and I plan to continue to do so.  I pray for your physical healing, for your comfort from Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirt, and for your increased understanding of Bible doctrine.  

I do not say these things lightly. Although I continue to struggle with my understanding of prayer and answers to prayer, I truly believe that God has taught me one thing in my experience with prayer: Intercessory prayer is the most power kind of prayer, perhaps because of its unselfish nature. You and I will probably never meet in person, and I have nothing to gain personally from your healing (other than a strengthening of my faith), so I believe that God hears this prayer (James 5:13-18) and He will answer (Matthew 7-8) according to His perfect will (1 Peter 3:12).

I praise God that you became a believer in 1989 and for your fervent Bible study.  I share your concern that most churches are ignorant, apostate and involved in false teachings. Please see my related article at http://www.christiandataresources.com/whyidontgotochurch.htm. 

You asked about my past and present participation with churches and organizations. I am an active member of Gideon’s International, distributing copies of the Scriptures throughout the world. I learned much Bible doctrine from Dr. John E. Danish, former pastor at Berean Memorial Church, a very small autonomous church in Irving TX, and I include some information from him on my website. I learned much about prayer from Pastor V.J.H.S Nelson, pastor of the Gethsemane Evangelical Free Church in Hyderabad, India. I have also learned much Bible doctrine through many thousands of hours of personal Bible study and prayer.

I was raised in the First Baptist Church (Southern Baptist) in Okeene, OK, a very small town. My mother led me to Christ as a young child. After marrying and having young children, my wife and I decided to leave the Baptist church because of false and legalistic teachings.  We visited many area churches, searching for those that taught the truth, and we joined Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, a non-denomination Bible church in Carrollton, TX when it was still quite new and small. Before long however, it also seemed to turn from the truth in favor of “growth”—seeking more money, increased staff salaries, bigger buildings, and larger crowds of either unbelievers, apostates, or indifferent believers who were more interested in making business contacts than they were in Jesus Christ—hardly any different from the atmosphere one might find in any secular organization.  As a result, we stopped going to any specific church on a regular basis. Although I have struggled with my critical assessment of today’s churches, and my inability to be comfortable in them, I believe it is best both for those churches and for myself that I do not attend.  I supposed that I consider those who visit my website to be my church.

In your e-mail, I see an understandable pattern of emphasis upon this apostasy and also upon healing and obedience.  You asked me to tell you only which of your beliefs I disagree with, and exactly why, and I have attempted to do so below. I agree with most of your beliefs whole-heartedly. As a result, since most of my response deals only with areas of disagreements, they may seem numerous. However, please remember that with respect to the total content of your original e-mail, my disagreements are minimal.  For example (if you will allow me the liberty), here are some things about which I adamantly agree with you: 

Agreements: 

The churches are claiming that all problems, illnesses, pain, generational curses, persecution, suffering, sorrows, unpleasant emotions, adversity, tragedies, etc. are actually sins, psychosomatic illnesses, lies from Satan, misconceptions, and/or demonic indwellings, which are rooted in spiritual disobedience, emotional "disorders," a rebellious mindset, and/or a deficient relationship with God. They view deliverance and healing as "promotions," "advancements," or "paychecks" earned by performing a laundry list of required works, particular systematic procedures, techniques, plans, protocols, checklists, processes, supposedly rediscovered Bible interpretations, "revelations," willpower, etc. These amount to legalism and trusting in men instead of God, and practically all are presumptuous and contrary to the Bible...

I agree that many churches teach false doctrine regarding problems, illnesses, deliverance, healing, etc.  I am particularly put off by:

     - Their methods of collection money (tithing, pressure on giving, etc.). 

     - The way they spend their money—mostly to sustain their own existence—salaries, buildings, etc.

     - Recommending counseling for everything.

     - Justifying one’s physical healing based on Isaiah 53:5.

     - Justifying any action by putting the word “Christian” in front of it.  I’ve even heard terms such as “Christian lying.”

You might enjoy my article on healing at http://www.christiandataresources.com/giftofhealing.htm. 

3) Demons or "evil spirits" cannot indwell true Christians, or be the "root" of true medical diseases of the body.

     I strongly agree that demons cannot indwell believers, but perhaps they can influence believers. Also, I wouldn’t rule out that they can cause sickness in some people. 

4) Pentecostalism and Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are founded upon false beliefs about and manifestations of the Holy Spirit…

     I express my agreement with you in my related articles on Spiritual Gifts on my Basic Bible Doctrine page at http://www.christiandataresources.com/basicbibledoctrine.htm. 

10) There is no "purgatory."

The myth of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… and she shouldn't be worshiped as officially endorsed by Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

     I agree and stand firm against much of Catholic doctrine.

11) There is no "past lives" or reincarnation.

     Yes, I stand firm against most of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. 

12) It's impossible to save the dead…

     Yes, I stand firm against most Mormon doctrine.

17) Prayers should not be made to Jesus, or anyone or anything else, but only to God in Jesus' name…

     Well said:  This is often misunderstood and falsely taught to children.

22) The Christian faith does not allow pastors to be women (Eph. 5:22-28; Col 3:18; 1Ti 2:11-3:13; Titus 1:5-9; 1Pet. 3:1-7), children, or gay. It also excludes the titles "Reverend" and "Father"; posts of "pope," "lay pastor," "worship pastor," or "worship leader"; and gay marriage, sexual relations, and acceptance of such in Christian congregations.

     I agree completely that pastors are not to be women, children, or gay.  I am opposed to the titles of “Father”, “Pope”, and “lay pastor”, but not so much to “worship leader.”

     However, perhaps you can enlighten me on this.

     I am adamantly opposed to gay marriage as I believe that God has gone to the trouble to spell out His particularly contempt for homosexuality (Romans 1:24-27),

     and gay marriage violates His institution of marriage.

24) Premillennialism and a pre-Tribulation Rapture are the only correct interpretations.

     Yes, I oppose amillennialism and post-millennialism.

29) Polygamy isn't sinful per se, but isn't God's ideal, and tends to become sinful like hoarding wealth. The Bible discourages. 

     I totally agree, and you have summarized this subject in a concise way that I’ve never been able to. Thank you.

     It simply was too prevalent and accepted in the Old Testament to argue otherwise.  However, I believe that it would tend to arouse jealousy and stability in the household. 

     However, perhaps as a future topic of conversation, can you apply the same arguments to slavery?

32) Christianity is not a religion of pacifism (Lk 22:36-38; Ac 10:1-8; Ro 13:1-4).

     Definitely, and you can read my related article at http://www.christiandataresources.com/killing.htm.   

34) Astrology, and communication or other interaction with the dead are forbidden.

     Yes, the only time that communication with the dead really happened was when King Saul called up Samuel, and that was a fiasco. Please see my related articles on Speaking with the Dead at

     http://www.christiandataresources.com/basicbibledoctrine.htm.  

19) (Some churches falsely teach that) 1 John 1:9 only applies to unbelievers (cf. 1:8, 10-2:5).

     I not only agree, but I believe that 1 John 1:9 only applies to believers. 

52) (Some churches falsely teach that) Christians … (do not have) a persisting sinful nature and fleshly temptations to deal with. 

     I agree.  Sometimes we forget to tell new Christians that God doesn’t remove their flesh (old sin nature) at salvation. 

88) (Some churches falsely teach that) your heart is the center of revelation (cf. Ac 17:11-12).

     Yes, and, along with their misunderstanding of their “heart” (their mind), this leads them to being led by their emotions instead of by their thinking. 

137) (Some churches falsely teach that) God never deals with Christians based on works (cf. Ps 7:8-9; 1Co 11:28-34; 1Pe 4:17-18; Rev 2-3).

     I agree. 

If you have not already done so, please refer to my Basic Bible Doctrine web page at http://www.christiandataresources.com/basicbibledoctrine.htm for more detailed understanding of my beliefs.  Also, if you look through index on my web site, you should find many other articles related to the issues you cited.  Incidentally, my passion is promoting life and condemning abortion. For example, you will find many of my articles like this one: http://christiandataresources.com/bibleblog/unborn-black-lives-matter. 

Please see my specific responses below. 

Love in Christ,

Owen

Disagreements:

My points of disagreement (along with some additional commentary):

9) Unrepentant Christians should not be forgiven. Presumed, pretended, or imagined repentance on anyone's behalf is inadequate and has no validity. 

Although your proof passages of 1Corinthians 5:9-11, Titus 3:10-11, and 2 John 10-11 are valid, I tend to err on the side of Matthew 6:14-15: 1) I try to consider the imperfections of others because I have imperfections of my own.  I try to be forgiving just as I would hope that I could receive forgiveness from.   2) I do not know (and am not overly concerned with) someone else’s heart regarding their repentance. As long as it is not harmful to others, that is between him and God. 

13) Hell is an eternal, material reality for those rejecting Jesus. Heaven, angels, and demons are also eternal, material realities. Angels and demons can have a physical appearance and influence on earth.

I fully agree that hell, heaven, angels, and demons are all eternal material realities, and that angels and demons can and do have a physical appearance and influence on earth.  However, perhaps you can help me with one issue about which I seem to have more questions than most people. I have struggled in recent years to confirm my belief that unbelievers will spend eternity in the lake of fire. My conflict here has to do with the word “destruction” (“olethron” in the Greek), as found in 2 Thessalonians 1:9, 2 Peter 3:7, and Revelation 17:11.  2 Thessalonians 1:9 says, “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…” I am torn about the true meaning of this word “olethron.” It seems that this word can indicate destruction, ruin, or death.  It would seem here to indicate death (separation), as it goes on to connote separation (“away”) from God which could support the belief of eternal suffering.  However, it seems to me that it could also mean that one is “destroyed”—as in the more contemporary meaning of “extinguishes,” as meaning that something no longer exists. This could support the notion that such a person no longer exists (rather than eternal suffering), and still be consistent with the notion of death (separation from God).

Consider some passages for the end times: Revelation 19:20 and Revelation 20:10 tell us that the beast, the false prophet, and the devil are thrown into “the lake of fire and brimstone.” Revelation 19:20 notes that the beast and the false prophet were thrown “alive” into the lake of fire, and Revelation 20:10 notes that “they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:14 says that death and Hades were also thrown into the lake of fire, and it notes, “This is the second death, the lake of fire.” 

Then comes Revelation 20:15, which says, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” It says nothing here of being thrown “alive” into it, or being “tormented day and night forever and ever.” Could it be that these unbelievers are destroyed (extinguished out of existence), still suffering death (eternal separation from God), but leaving the “day and night torment forever” only for Satan, the beast, the false prophet, death, and Hades? 

14) A Christian can willfully forsake salvation.

Unless I misunderstand what you mean here, I disagree with you on this one because I believe in eternal security.  If one becomes a believer, he is always a believer (John 10:28-29), and he will always have eternal fellowship with God. However, as believers, we all still sin and drift away from God. John 1:9 tells us that confession of our sins to God restores our temporal fellowship with God. Furthermore, Galatians 5:3-6 talks about those who fall from grace; i.e., drifting back into legalism, or salvation by works. Again, confession and repentance is the answer.

In order to understand the part that works play in Christianity, I like to use the analogy of concentric circles. The outer circle is eternal fellowship with God, and the inner circle is temporal fellowship with Him.  When we believe the gospel message, God moves us into the inner circle, with both eternal and temporal fellowship with Him. When we sin, we fall out of the inner circle of temporal fellowship, but by His power (not by our works) we never fall out of the outer circle of eternal fellowship.  He has given us a method for entering back into the inner circle of temporal fellowship; namely, by confession of sin according to 1 John 1:9. Only God can save us, and the Holy Spirit seals us in His salvation forever (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30). Our works can neither save us nor cause us to become lost again.  For a more detailed explanation of my views here, please see the section on Eternal Security in my article at http://www.christiandataresources.com/bd24-02_backgroundofchristianservice.htm. 

18) Predestination, determinism, fatalism, fatalistic providence, Augustinianism, Calvinism, total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible (sovereign) grace, "perseverance" (eternal security), foreordination, foreknowledge, omniscience, and Arminianism are all false, condemnatory doctrines as far as election is concerned. These doctrines misinterpret, overgeneralize, or take out of context a minority of passages to mean that everyone's salvation or damnation was "set in stone" beforehand, which is the only way it could have either been foreknown or predestined. Nobody is predestined for damnation. Even the most crucial of these passages are actually inconclusive. 

I disagree. Please see my article at http://www.christiandataresources.com/predestination.htm. 

19) All Biblical gifts of the Spirit are still in effect, and none has ever "ceased."

I disagree. Please see related articles at

http://www.christiandataresources.com/temporaryspiritualgifts.htm and my articles on Spiritual Gifts at http://www.christiandataresources.com/basicbibledoctrine.htm. 

23) Earthquakes, storms, and natural disasters are God's work not.

I believe your statement here is incomplete, right? Otherwise, I don’t understand what you mean.

27) Existing Bibles and ancient manuscripts have discrepancies and inaccuracies (e.g., Ex 13:18*; 15:4* ["Red Sea" should be "Sea of Reeds"]; Mt 17:21*; Mk 16:9-20† [handling snakes, drinking poison]; Jn. 7:53-8:11†; etc.).

I agree, but I believe that the original manuscripts were inerrant.

28) Apocryphal books, gnostic gospels, the Book of Mormon, etc. are erroneous and incompatible with the Christian faith. 

I totally agree that the Book of Mormon is a fraud. Regarding the Canon of Scripture, I believe that God has given us the Scriptures that we should have in the 66 books of the Bible. Regarding the apocryphal books, there are some (especially among the New Testament apocryphal books) that are simply silly and should obviously be disregarded. However, with all intellectual honesty, some could be considered to be canonical if we applied the criteria fairly.  Please see my related article at http://www.christiandataresources.com/canon.htm.  Also on this topic, you might enjoy my article on the book of James at http://www.christiandataresources.com/jamescanon.htm. 

33) The Christian faith does not hinge on the creationist interpretation of Genesis 1-11, which might be a poetic mix of fact and metaphorical lore… 
I agree that the Christian faith doesn’t hinge on creationism. However, I believe in creationism. Please see my related article at http://www.christiandataresources.com/uniquecreationtheory.htm where I attempt to reconcile science with the Bible on this topic. 

Bible Review #1: Rediscovering Biblical Deliverance

X) (Some churches falsely teach that we should) "Submit" to church and pastoral "authority," and bow, prostrate, or kneel before altars, or go to or build them.

I agree that altars are forbidden. Their purpose was for animal sacrifices. Submitting to pastoral authority would be OK if you could find a decent pastor. Even if you could, he is ultimately subject to the authority of the congregation anyway. Unfortunately, I believe that the right action is sometimes to stop going to church, thereby removing any pastor as an authority. Too many people seem to think of their pastor as a priest—an intermediary between them and God, removing their own responsibility and accountability for Bible study.  I’ve often wondered if many people will find themselves separated from God throughout eternity and blaming their pastor because he misled them.

Y) (Some churches falsely teach) fasts, "mandatory daily Bible reading and oral prayer recitations," "devotionals," referrals to get "help" from deliverance specialists, exorcists, mentors, "life coaches," "resources," self-help publications, seminars, classes, 12-step programs, "workshops," "healing rooms," etc.

I agree except that I do believe that fasting can be justified in some cases.

 
Bible Review #2: Rethinking "Spiritual Abuse"

I have no major disagreements here, but some which may only be a matter of terminology. I see us made up of body, soul, and spirit (spirit for believers only).  The soul is made up of a mind (or the biblical term for heart—“kardia”), of emotions, and of a will. The goal of the Christian life is that God should possess each of these—that He should control and He should direct it. Now what is the way this is achieved? How does God control my mind? By learning doctrine.  How does God control my emotions?  By learning doctrine so that my emotions can be guided. How does God control my will, in the decisions I make? Through learning doctrine so that consequently I’m phased in with His will.

Furthermore, we all here have three factors that deal with our being: 

1) A temperament consists of certain qualities we are born with. We inherit these genetically from our parents. They’re determined by various factors on that level, of race, physical structure, and other backgrounds. We have these qualities of strengths and of weaknesses. These remain with us of our life. Everybody here has a certain basic temperament.  There are about four basic temperaments, and usually we’re a combination of some of these.

2) Out of the temperament comes a character. Our character is the result of how our temperament factors have been influenced by our education, by our family background, by the influence of the society in which we live, and the factors to which we respond or to which we refuse to respond in that society.  The character is the “you,” consisting of your mind, your will, and your emotions, so it is the area of your soul.  It is the expression of your total being.

3) My character is the real me, but one’s character is always expressed in a personality. The personality is what other people see (sometimes called our “mask”). Basically, in most people, the personality is an image which is not the same as our character. Now when you’re a Christian, the ideal is to come to a point where your personality is the same as your character. 

Bible Review #3: Faithful Law-Keeping Is Not a Sin

The New Testament relates that the ways of gaining God's favor have changed from the old covenant ways of high priest rituals, and Law-keeping focused on Law and old covenant terms, to the new covenant ways of putting faith in Jesus, and Law-keeping focused on faith and led by the Holy Spirit. In doing this, the New Testament often appears to warn strongly against the Law, doing works, and physical circumcision.

We must be careful about speaking of “gaining God’s favor.” I proclaim that Christianity is not a religion. The various religions of the world do seek to find ways of gaining God’s favor through works, including the securing of eternal fellowship with Him (salvation) through one’s works. As opposed to all other faiths, Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ by grace through faith I Him.  Grace is the precept that sets Christianity apart from all other faiths; i.e. all religions.

It is within this context that we can understand the very important part of works on the part of the believer.  We are saved eternally by grace through faith in Christ, and we are kept there by the same (the sealing of the Holy Spirit). Once saved, our divine good works (those performed under the power of the Holy Spirit) are of eternal value to us as well because it is on the basis of those works what we will receive heavenly rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  So, works have nothing to do with gaining or securing salvation, but everything to do with heavenly rewards.

So, when Paul speaks of Christians being "dead to the Law," "set free from the Law," or "redeemed from the Law," he is simply saying that obeying the works of the Law cannot save us. Likewise with other passages that seem to forsake, repudiate, or condemn doing works, I take all of these to mean that such works have no saving power, although they do have virtue in obedience to Christ that results in heavenly rewards.

In fact, the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that all Christians are still subject to the moral Law and its criteria (standards) of sin and virtue, and that regardless of their emotions, they must heed their personal duty to obey and keep its commandments, rules, regulations, and restrictions; and recognize God's authority to judge them accordingly, and must continue to accept, endorse, quote, and promote it as vital, useful, and essential to personal Christian faith.

Of course, Christians are still subject to God’s moral law.  Insofar as the Law of Moses represents God’s moral law, we are subject to it as well, with some exceptions that were specifically ceremonial law for the Israelites, although a principle may still be at work even with these. We must take great care not to take liberty with the latter, and this represents one of many great challenges for the biblical scholar.  I’ll give a couple of examples of my views on this:

1) Of the ten laws of Ten Commandments, nine of them are reinforced in the New Testament. The exception is “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.”  Not only is this commandment not reiterated in the New Testament, but Colossians 2:16 warns us of elevating any day above another, including “a Sabbath day.” Now, for the Christian, there still may be a principle here concerning one day of rest each week.

2) Are we subject to the dietary laws of the Old Testament?  I would argue that we are not, although maybe it’s not healthy to eat pork and shrimp every night. 

Law and grace are not mutually exclusive, nor is their relationship oppositional…

I agree that the Law and grace are not mutually exclusive in terms of the obedience of the Christian life and earning heavenly rewards. Again, however, the Law and grace are indeed mutually exclusive in terms of somehow meriting salvation by works of the Law. For the latter, I offer Romans 4:4-5 and Romans 11:6 as proof passages. 

The churches distort the above passages and ignore their plain, contextual sense to promote a glut of false teachings and ideas concerning grace and faithful Law-keeping, including these examples:

4) Purge your conscience of old sins (cf. Ro 3:23; 1Co 3:11-15; Heb. 9:13-14b*-15).

I believe that when God forgives sin, He also forgets it, and so should we.

27) Hebrews 9:28 says Christians will not be judged for their sins at Christ's return (cf. Ro 14:10-12; 1Co 3:11-17; 2Co 5:9-10; Ja. 3:1-2; 5:8-9).

I disagree that this is false teaching. Christ has already died for all of our sins. What we will be judged upon is our works, good or bad.

Now, this may be a little tricky. Nothing good comes from our corrupted flesh, including both sins and human good works.  The only good works that we can do are those that are divine good works, inspired by the Holy Spirit—not by the flesh.  For example, any unbeliever can do a good work such as giving to charity or helping someone in need. However, being an unbeliever, such works will be fruitless.  They have no saving merit, and thus no merit for heavenly rewards because the unbeliever is disqualified for such rewards.

Here’s my understanding of what will occur for the unbeliever at the Great White Throne judgment according to Romans 20:11-15:  The unbeliever will be judged from his deeds “which were written in the books, according to their deeds.”  All of his deeds, whether good or bad, will be found lacking (because of lack of faith in Christ).  As a result, his name will not be found in the book of life, and he will be eternally separated from God. 

57) No sin is worse than another sin (cf. Mt 23:14*; Mk 12:40; Lk 12:47-48; 20:47; Jn. 19:11).

I believe this statement has some validity. All sin misses the mark of God’s righteousness. Any sin is big enough to separate us from God. I believe this is a good approach when a Christian is witnessing to a gay person.  The believer has sin in his life—maybe greed or lust, etc., and the homosexual unbeliever has sin in his life as well, including the homosexual lifestyle. Both are wrong, and both can be forsaken through faith in Christ, but the important thing is to acknowledge that they’re both wrong (Romans 3:23). 

115) Jesus plus nothing equals the gospel (cf. Ja. 2:14-3:1*-2, 13).

Well, almost, but I might say it a little differently: As I have previously indicated, Romans 4:4-5 and Romans 11:6 tell us that adding anything to grace nullifies the grace. This is one of my big problems with Roman Catholicism. Many Catholics believe that salvation is equal to faith in Christ plus certain works such as infant baptism; i.e., God does some of it and we do the rest, where I believe that God does it all.

161) You can never find God, He can only find you (cf. Ac 17:27).

I believe this to be a true statement. Again, please refer to my article on election.

Bible Review #5: Two Raptures, Not Just One

Bible prophecy reveals two separate Raptures and their timing relative to the 7-year Tribulation. Rapture #1 is a pre-Tribulation Rapture for the Church (Christians of the Church Age), and Rapture #2 is a subsequent, post-Tribulation Rapture for believing Israel and the Tribulation saints…

I believe in premillennialism and a pre-tribulation rapture. There may well be a second post-tribulation rapture for believing Israel and the tribulation saints. However, after having spent much time trying to understand this in the past, I have decided that my time is better warranted in studying how to live the Christian life.  I base this on several observations: 

     - Scriptural arguments on these various positions seems inconclusive and sometimes result in circular reason.

     - This seems to have limited bearing for we Christians who will be raptured at the beginning of the tribulation.

     - The significance of a post-tribulation seems quite limited since it would parallel the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom on the earth.


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