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Published On : July 23, 1998

Last Updated : January 3, 2009

Modern Idol And Building Worship, God's True Temples, Temple
Destroyed, Buddha, Dead Coals Of Judaism, Ashes Under Our
Feet, Gospel To The Jews, Jesus In The Temple, Christ
Rejected, Apostles In The Temple, Apostles Rejected, Cold
Coals And Hot Embers, Persecution, Gospel To The Gentiles,
First Century Compromise, Letters To Seven Churches, Dying
Flames, Deceptive Spirits, Pockets Of The Spirit, Spiritual
Clones, Modern Pharisees, Spiritual Laziness & Worldliness,
Return To The Lord, Weaker Brethren, Rebels, My Personal
Ministry, Dutiful Presence Or Thriving In The Word?, Shine!

From all of the verses I have shared thus far in this
article, it should be clear to you that just because one
happens to be outside of acceptable, politically-correct,
organized religion, does not necessarily mean that he is a
cold and spiritually-dead ember. Quite to the contrary; it
can mean that he still has a lot of spiritual life left in
him; in fact, much moreso than the self-satisfied, fruitless
Gospel-denying, modern, religious corpse from which he has
escaped. While in the following verses, the Apostle Paul is
referring to the idol-worshipping heathen of his day, is it
possible that they could also be applied to religions in the
world today, both Christian and non-Christian alike, which
have set up their own idols; through either actual physical
icons and images, or possibly through the worship of certain
spiritual leaders, or even through the worship of their own
false doctrines and traditions of men which contradict the
Holy Scriptures? Might some of these modern-day religions be
guilty of all of these things?:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for
what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and
what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord
hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth
with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God
with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God
hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I
will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore
come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the
Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive
you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons
and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."
(1 Corinthians 10:14)

As these verses make perfectly clear, and as I explain in
such articles as 'Where Are The First Century Churches?' and
'Is God A Racist?', we 'are the temple of the living God; as
God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I
will be their God, and they shall be my people.' That is why
the Apostle Paul then tells us to come out from among them;
that is, out from among their false worship of buildings,
temples, churches, false idols, and the traditions of men.
As the Apostles Peter and Paul also wrote:

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not
your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify
God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5)

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of
the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

What I find particularly interesting about these verses, is
that they were probably written only a few short years prior
to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Roman
General Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, in the year 70
A.D. Is that merely a coincidence? I doubt it. Perhaps this
is why the Apostles worked so hard to make sure prior to
their martyrdoms, that the First Century Disciples had their
eyes on Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher of their
faith, and not on physical Temple worship. They knew exactly
what was coming; so they wanted to make sure that the
Disciples fully understood that they were the real Temple;
and not some glorious man-made structure in Jerusalem.
Consider the following verses:

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his
disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the
temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these
things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here
one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
(Matthew 24:1-2)

"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his
secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)

----- Begin Quote -----

Despite all of these stern warnings found throughout the
Bible concerning the worship of idols or statues of false
gods, cold dead religions housed in spiritless temples,
etc., modern man, as intelligent as he claims to be with all
of his awesome scientific technology, still insists upon
worshipping and preserving his false religions. Consider the
following news clip which was distributed by the Cable News
Network, (CNN), in the United States of America:

----- Begin Quote -----

Scientists Hope To Preserve China's Giant Buddha

International scientists are working to preserve the world's
largest Buddha statue, which is facing threats to its more
than 1,000-year existence. The 234.3-foot Grand Buddha is
facing threats both natural and manmade. Rain seeping into
the back of the stone statue is causing erosion while
previous repairs used different materials, badly damaging
the statue, said Huang Kezhong, vice director of China's
Institute of Cultural Property.

----- End Of Quote -----

This is precisely why the Lord must blow His Spirit upon His
hot embers in order to stir them up, and to use them to warn
the wicked to repent and to turn from their wicked ways. The
Prophets of old were burning embers to the false religious
system of their day. John the Baptist was a burning ember to
the hypocritical system of the Scribes and the Pharisees of
the New Testament. Jesus Christ, who is the Consuming Fire
in Person, was a burning ember to the same. Unlike the story
which inspired this article, the coals of organized religion
were cold and dead, while the Prophets of the Lord who were
sent to warn them were alive and burning with the Spirit of
the Living God! As I point out in other articles, Jesus told
those false religionists, the false coals, that they were
the children of hell, liars, hypocrites, the blind leaders
of the blind, and the false children of Abraham:

"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if
the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
(Matthew 15:14)

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is
made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than
yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say,
Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but
whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a
debtor!...Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and
swallow a camel." (Matthew 23:15-16, 24)

"They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father.
Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye
would do the works of Abraham...Ye are of your father the
devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a
murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth,
because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he
speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of
it...He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore
hear them not, because ye are not of God."
(John 8:39, 44, 47)

The Scribes and the Pharisees were spiritually cold and
dead; despite the fact that they were huddled together in
their Temple and in their synagogues trying to create false
heat and false light. Like many Christian preachers and
teachers today, they were the false ministers of light who
had exchanged Light for Darkness. There was no spiritual
warmth or Truth coming from them. They were cold dead coals
which would soon be ground to powder, or ashes, only meant
to be walked upon. Consider these powerful verses:

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put
darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter
for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20)

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of
light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also
be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end
shall be according to their works."
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

"And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but
on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."
(Matthew 21:44)

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye
depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a
testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be
more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of
judgment, than for that city." (Mark 6:11)

"And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet
shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Amen." (Romans 16:20)

While some of you may have a difficult time understanding
why I am so vehement regarding my rejection of organized
religion, and why I have no interest in participating in it,
perhaps the information I have now presented will help you
to see that, like those hot embers of old who rebelled
against the religious hypocrisy of their day, I too simply
do not fit in with the churchianity system of our modern
day. My ideas and doctrines are simply too radical for most
people to handle. I would not last in any church for any
appreciable amount of time. I would either be kicked out, or
else I would soon leave of my own accord; simply because I
know what the Holy Scriptures really say concerning the
Doctrine of Christ, and the pattern of the Early Church. I
believe that the Lord is using me much more, and that I am
being a more effective witness of the Truth through this
current ministry.

If you still have difficulty with my position, perhaps the
following Scriptural examples will help you to understand a
little better. As we all know, when the Lord arrived on
Earth during the First Century, He first took the Gospel of
Salvation to His own people; that is, to the flesh Jews. The
Lord had to start His spiritual Kingdom of born again sons
and daughters of God somewhere; and thus it was only fitting
that He should begin with those to whom had been trusted the
very oracles of God:

"Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were
committed the oracles of God." (Romans 3:2)

"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was
necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken
to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves
unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."
(Acts 13:46)

This being the case, the Lord taught openly in their Temple,
and in their synagogues, on many occasions. While the common
people heard Him gladly, the religious Elders didn't receive
Him, or His message, at all. Consider the following verses:

"And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the
sabbath." (Luke 13:10)

"And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and
when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the
eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the
twelve." (Mark 11:11)

"And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple,
How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?"
(Mark 12:35)

"Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto
him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse
thing come unto thee." (John 5:14)

"Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the
temple, and taught...Then cried Jesus in the temple as he
taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am:
and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true,
whom ye know not." (John 7:14, 28)

"These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in
the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was
not yet come." (John 8:20)

"And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch."
(John 10:23)

"Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever
taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews
always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."
(John 18:20)

"...And the common people heard him gladly." (Mark 12:37b)

"He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
(John 1:11)

"Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid
himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst
of them, and so passed by." (John 8:59)

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and,
as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath
day, and stood up for to read...And all they in the
synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with
wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led
him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built,
that they might cast him down headlong."
(Luke 4:16, 28-29)

"In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come
out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take
me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid
no hold on me." (Matthew 26:55)

"Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the
temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come
out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?"
(Luke 22:52)

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the
world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because
their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth
the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds
should be reproved." (John 3:19-20)

After the Lord's Ascension, His followers continued in His
footsteps as burning embers which devoured the lies of the
hypocritical false Jews. At first, exactly as Jesus had
done, they tried to reach their own Jewish brethren by
working from within the established religious system; that
is, from within the very Temple itself. This can easily be
seen by the following verses:

"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying,
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of
the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep
of the house of Israel." (Matthew 10:5-6)

"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat
with gladness and singleness of heart," (Acts 2:46)

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the
hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame
from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at
the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask
alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter
and John about to go into the temple asked an alms...And he
leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the
temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the
people saw him walking and praising God" (Acts 3:3:1-3, 8)

"And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the
captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached
through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid
hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for
it was now eventide." (Acts 4:1-3)

"But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors,
and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the
temple to the people all the words of this life. And when
they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the
morning, and taught...Then came one and told them, saying,
Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the
temple, and teaching the people." (Acts 5:19-21a, 25)

"Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself
with them entered into the temple, to signify the
accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an
offering should be offered for every one of them. And when
the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of
Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the
people, and laid hands on him, Crying out, Men of Israel,
help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where
against the people, and the law, and this place: and further
brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this
holy place. (For they had seen before with him in the city
Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had
brought into the temple.) And all the city was moved, and
the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him
out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut."
(Acts 21:26-30)

"And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any
man, neither raising up the people, neither in the
synagogues, nor in the city:...For these causes the Jews
caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me."
(Acts 24:12, 26:21)

As can be seen, there is a very clear pattern here which has
repeated itself over and over again in Jewish history. Just
as with the Prophets of old, just as with the Lord Himself,
the cold dead coals of Judaism did not want to have anything
to do with these live hot embers within their midst. They
absolutely hated the Love, the Light, the Truth and the
spiritual warmth of the Disciples of the Lord. They didn't
want anyone disturbing their neat little legalistic religion
of self-righteous works and adherence to the Mosaic Law. The
Scribes and the Pharisees had worked for hundreds of years
to perfect their religion of works following their silencing
of the Prophets of the Lord. These glowing hot embers full
of Truth came from the outside, and not from the inside.
Most, if not all of them, were from the Galilee region of
northern Israel, far away from the pinnacle of spiritual
power in Jerusalem. As far as we know, the only one who was
an insider to the spiritually-cold world of the Pharisees,
was the Apostle Paul himself; and look what it took before
the Lord was able to use him in the ministry.

Eventually, as the Lord in His Wisdom had foreseen, the time
arrived in which He directed His followers by the guidance
of the Holy Spirit, to alter their course. As we know, the
rejection by the Jewish Elders resulted in such strong
persecution, that many of the Disciples were forced to flee
from Jerusalem. As I explain in 'Biblical Cafeteria Or The
Whole Course?' and other articles, it was at this time that
the Apostles and early Disciples turned their attention to
the more receptive Gentile nations outside of Israel; all
led of course by the Apostle Paul. All of these events
occurred outside of the established religious order of their
day. Beginning with the Book of Acts, the Lord began to fan
the fire which had been ignited in Jerusalem, so that it
spread first to the North African and Mediterranean nations,
and eventually all around the world:

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

"And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard
that the Gentiles had also received the word of God."
(Acts 11:1)

"And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful
thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto
one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should
not call any man common or unclean." (Acts 10:28)

"I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a
vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great
sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came
even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I
considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild
beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I
heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath
at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me
again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not
thou common. And this was done three times: and all were
drawn up again into heaven...Forasmuch then as God gave them
the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord
Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When
they heard these things, they held their peace, and
glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles
granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:5-10, 17-18)

"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was
necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken
to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves
unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."
(Acts 13:46)

"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle
of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:" (Romans 11:13)

"Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I
speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the
Gentiles in faith and verity." (1 Timothy 2:7)

"Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a
teacher of the Gentiles." (2 Timothy 1:11)

Sadly, despite this powerful burst of spiritual light, heat
and energy which emanated from Jerusalem, it didn't take
long before the creeping paralysis of compromise which leads
to death, crept into the Early Church. While it is indeed
true that the problem grew considerably worse during the
third and fourth centuries when the Roman Catholic and the
Eastern Orthodox churches began to establish their roots,
the truth of the matter is, that it only took a few decades
before the original hot embers had died, primarily through
martyrdom, and their followers began to lose the Heavenly
Vision first established by the Lord.

Even before the Apostle John had breathed his last breath
towards the end of the First Century, we find him and some
of the other Apostles issuing stern warnings to the wayward
Early Church. Aside from the admonitions which were issued
in the Epistles by Peter, Paul and others, which I amply
discuss in other articles, consider the Lord's warnings to
the seven churches in Asia Minor, recorded by John in the
second and the third chapters of the Book of Revelation:

"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things
saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who
walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; ...
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast
left thy first love." (Revelation 2:1, 4)

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These
things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I
know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's
seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied
my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful
martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I
have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them
that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a
stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things
sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."
(Revelation 2:12-14)

"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These
things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a
flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy
works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy
patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the
first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee,
because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth
herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to
commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto
idols." (Revelation 2:18-20)

"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These
things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the
seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that
thou livest, and art dead." (Revelation 3:1)

"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that
thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or
hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor
hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest,
I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of
nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"
(Revelation 3:14-17)

Notice that in the above verses we already see the Early
Christians beginning to lose their love for the Lord, His
Word and lost souls. We also see the beginnings of false
prophecies, false doctrine, fornication, idolatry, spiritual
death, compromise, lukewarmness and worldly materialism;
only a few decades after the deaths of the Apostles. If all
it took was perhaps thirty years before the Original Flames
began to die out due to serious compromise with the enemy,
what does that tell us about Christianity today? Some
nineteen hundred years have passed since those lines were
written. Satan has had all of this time to wreak further
havoc upon the Lord's virgin Bride. Can anyone seriously
doubt that he has been successful? Can anyone doubt that
Christianity today is in serious trouble?

If you are one who truly knows and understands the Word of
the Lord, then you cannot deny this truth. If you look at
what is currently happening within many churches which form
a part of organized religion, and then compare those things
with the Original Pattern, you cannot possibly deny that the
situation has grown much worse in our modern day. Just like
cold dead Judaism of two thousand years ago, much of modern
Christianity is simply going through the motions without the
true Spirit thereof. Many modern churches are cold dead
corpses which still appear to have life, because there are
still a few jerky twitches left to them, even though God's
Spirit has already departed from them.

As I explain in some of my other articles such as 'Have You
Been Slain In The Spirit?', 'Are The Gifts Of The Spirit For
Today?' and 'Lying Wonders Of The Endtime', what I believe
is so dangerous about this situation, is that once God's
true Holy Spirit departs due to disobedience to God's Word,
a false deceptive spirit can come in which imitates the true
Spirit of God so that the coals still seem to be alive. Most
common church-goers have so little spiritual discernment,
and understand so little of the Word of God, that they can't
seem to tell the difference; and thus, sometimes unbeknownst
to them, they fall under the strong delusion of the Endtime.
If you would like to better understand these things, I
encourage you to read the aforementioned articles.

It is for these reasons that I, and others like me, prefer
to have nothing to do with organized religion. While some of
their proud self-righteous leaders and members accuse us of
being the outsiders; while they accuse us of being lost and
backslidden from the Lord; while they tell blatant lies by
claiming that we will die spiritually without them; we are
proving by our very existence, and by our very love for and
dedication to the Lord, His Word and lost souls, that they
are absolutely wrong! It is just like Satan to twist and
pervert the Truth, and to turn it completely around. It is
just like Satan to condemn us for the very things of which
he and his cold dead system of organized religion are guilty
themselves. We are live hot embers burning brightly for the
Lord, while they are the cold dead coals who are trying to
deceive people with their false heat and light. It is my
personal observation that many Christians today simply 'play
church'. In other words, as Jesus said of the Jews of His

"...Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is
written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their
heart is far from me." (Mark 7:6b)

Of course, there is a balance to be found in everything that
I say and teach. While my words will undoubtedly seem harsh
and offensive to some people, particularly to those who do
participate in organized religion, please know that they are
not meant to be taken as a blanket statement. I don't like
to speak in generalities. While it is my view that modern
Christianity, or churchianity, is for the most part a dead,
corrupt system, this does not necessarily mean that every
single church is dead. Neither does it mean that all of its
members are wicked, evil and hopelessly lost. I am sure that
there are pockets of the Spirit scattered here and there. I
am sure that there are some churches and church leaders who
are honestly trying to obey the Scriptures to the best of
their knowledge and ability.

Over the years, and even now, I have known some very sincere
Christians who participate in organized religion; however, I
feel that these people are the exception to the rule. After
a certain period of strong indoctrination, most people tend
to become just like their pharisaical spiritual elders. I
have seen this with certain Roman Catholics, Baptists, and
others. It is very difficult to resist this spirit. Before
long, one is parroting the beliefs and attitudes of his
spiritual elders, for good or for evil. They are spiritual
clones just like everyone else in their church. It slowly
and subtly overcomes one before he can become aware of it.
It is like a gradual spiritual blindness. As the Apostles
Peter and Paul wrote in their Epistles:

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the
servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of
the same is he brought in bondage." (2 Peter 2:19)

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of
their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being
alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is
in them, because of the blindness of their heart:"
(Ephesians 4:17-18)

Some of these people have self-righteously judged me because
I don't attend a church building, while others have actually
had the audacity to stop me on the street and ask me with
what authority I pass out my Gospel tracts! These people are
nothing but modern Pharisees. You may recall that the Jewish
Pharisees of old also asked Jesus by what authority He did
the things that He did:

"And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and
the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching,
and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who
gave thee this authority?" (Matthew 21:23)

Of course, within Christian circles, the people who have
challenged me the most concerning my preaching of the Gospel
of the Jesus Christ, have more often than not been Roman
Catholics who have been brainwashed by their clergy into
believing that no one has the right to preach or teach the
Gospel of Jesus Christ except the 'holy mother church'. The
sad thing about this, is that the Roman Catholic Church
seems to know very little about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
They appear to be more interested in teaching the doctrines
and traditions of their 'church fathers' which are quite
often contrary to the true message of the Gospel. I discuss
this topic more thoroughly in other articles.

In some cases, these people have been deceived by their
church leadership due to spiritual laziness on their part.
If they would take the time to study the Scriptures on their
own, instead of trusting in their priest, minister, pastor
or Sunday school teacher to spoonfeed them their poison on
weekends, perhaps they would wake up to the Truth. Sadly,
quite a few modern Christians have forsaken their first
love, just like the church at Ephesus; and instead prefer to
watch their evening sitcoms, or to attend some sporting
event, or to go see the lastest movie, or to waste time with
video games, or to go to a loud rock concert, or to do
whatever it is that Satan has used to cause them to waste
their time on silly, meaningless, worldly delusions. In
other words, they prefer to spiritually fornicate with the
world. Peter goes on to tell us in his second Epistle:

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world
through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter
end is worse with them than the beginning."
(2 Peter 2:20)

Sadly, while all of these things are going on in their
lives, the Lord's Spirit is pulling at their hearts, as He
pleads with them saying:

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
receive you," (2 Corinthians 6:17)

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions,
and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have
redeemed thee." (Isaiah 44:22)

"Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am
married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two
of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:"
(Jeremiah 3:14)

"...Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the
LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?"
(Malachi 3:7b)

To add a final degree of balance to my previous statements,
allow me to also state that there are some people who have
left organized religion who, because that is all that they
have ever known, cannot survive spiritually without it. They
are indeed embers which fade and die when separated from the
coals, assuming of course that those coals are still alive.
Perhaps these people are spiritually handicapped. They need
the crutch of organized religion because they haven't grown
and matured spiritually; and thus don't know how to be fed
by the Lord directly through His Word. They are similar to
the weaker brethren that the Apostle Paul wrote about in
some of his Epistles:

"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to
doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all
things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs...It is good
neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing
whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made
weak." (Romans 14:1-2, 21)

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of
the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us
please his neighbour for his good to edification."
(Romans 15:1-2)

"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly,
comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient
toward all men." (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Perhaps they leave organized religion because they are
totally disillusioned with it, but then they don't look for,
or else they simply can't find something better with which
to replace it. They may look for a time, but eventually they
end up drifting into a spiritual 'no man's land'. Sometimes
they become spiritually weak and end up backsliding all the
way. Other people don't leave churchianity in order to serve
the Lord better; they leave it so that they don't have to
serve Him at all! These people are spiritual rebels. They
simply want the freedom to live their lives as they please
without being plagued by feelings of guilt. They want to
escape the responsibility of having to answer to the Lord.
Of course, this is a ridiculous notion, because eventually,
we are all going to have to appear before the Judgment Seat
of Christ:

"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set
at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the
judgment seat of Christ." (Romans 14:10)

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;
that every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
(2 Corinthians 5:10)

Finally, there are those, like myself, who seem to thrive
spiritually outside of organized religion. Please don't
misunderstand me; I have my trials and temptations just like
everyone else; but by God's Grace, I overcome them. There
are times when I become extremely depressed because of my
own sins, failures, and human limitations. Other times I
will feel like all of my work is just a waste of time, and
that nobody is really listening; or at least not enough
people are listening. In some cases, Satan will tell me that
I have no right to tell anyone anything because I am such a
total mess myself; and I don't deny it. There have been
times in my life when I have really gone back on the Lord. I
am not saying that I denied Him as my Saviour; I don't think
I would ever do that; but I have become very involved in the
things of the world. I have gotten sidetracked in acting and
talking like other worldly people, wanting to earn lots of
money, desiring the things of the world, or wasting my time
with television and other such things. In other words, I
haven't always been a faithful Christian witness.

Thank the Lord I believe that those days are behind me now.
The Lord has given me a real spirit of sobriety and urgency
concerning my current work for Him. He has given me the
strength and the vision to perform this ministry faithfully
on a daily basis. I look forward to it every day and every
night; whenever He has me work. I never know what He is
going to have me write; and sometimes I work on projects
which I would have never have had the faith to write on my
own. As I have mentioned before, I am only a high school
graduate. I don't possess any fancy diplomas or degrees from
some renowned university, or from some theological seminary.
Some people have told me that I shouldn't even be doing this
kind of a ministry since I don't possess such 'important
documents'. Well, I suppose the Lord knows better, for as
the Apostle Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Corinthians:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to
confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of
the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base
things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God
chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought
things that are: That no flesh should glory in his
presence." (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

If you would like to learn more concerning this topic, I
encourage you to read such articles as 'The Only Credentials
You Need!' and 'The Wisdom Of God vs The Philosophy Of Men'.

Before concluding this article, I would like to stress a few
important points. First of all, you can survive spiritually
outside of organized religion. Throughout this article we
have seen that when cold organized religion died, it was
from the outside that the Lord ignited His hot embers in
order to bring new life. As I have pointed out in many of my
articles, the key to your spiritual survival is not just in
your physically gathering together in some church building
or anywhere else, just so you can say that you have obeyed
the 'Pauline Law', but rather it is in continually studying
and dwelling upon His Word. This is where the true Spiritual
Power resides. It is only from His Word that we derive our
spiritual fortitude and stamina to fight our daily battles
for the Lord. If that church doesn't even emphasize the pure
Word of God, then you are much better off staying home and
reading it for yourself; for as Jesus said in the sixth
chapter of the Gospel of John, His words are Spirit, and
they are life:

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth
nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit,
and they are life." (John 6:63)

Dutifully bowing to pressure by assembling in a local church
building is not the key source of your spiritual life; His
Word is. God's Spirit is not bound by the four walls of a
church building. His Spirit dwells in our hearts. That is
the true Temple. Let me remind you again of Jesus' own words
to the woman of Samaria found in the fourth chapter of the
Gospel of John:

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh,
when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at
Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what:
we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But
the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall
worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that
worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
(John 4:21-24)

If you are the Lord's child who is filled with His Holy
Spirit, then He will touch your lips with His hot ember, so
that you too will be purified in His sight, and will speak
His pure language of Truth. If you are continually reading,
studying and memorizing His Word, you will emanate the
white-hot heat of His Love, and the brilliant Light of His
Truth no matter where you are; even if that cold dead church
down the street criticizes and condemns you for not joining
their little club. If you fill your heart and your mind with
His Word, this is what will come out of you when you open
your mouth; for as Jesus said, it is out of the abundance of
the heart that the mouth speaketh. It is out of our hearts
that we draw treasures new and old; and those treasures are
the wonderful treasures of His Word which we have hidden
there. Consider the following verses:

"Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man
of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of
unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of
hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live
coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off
the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this
hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and
thy sin purged." (Isaiah 6:5-7)

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin
against thee." (Psalms 119:11)

"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy
neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:"
(Proverbs 3:3)

"Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of
thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the
table of thine heart." (Proverbs 7:2-3)

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good
things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth
speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart
bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil
treasure bringeth forth evil things." (Matthew 12:34-35)

"Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is
instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man
that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his
treasure things new and old." (Matthew 13:52)

For more information on this topic, I encourage you to read
the article 'Speak The Pure Language of Truth'.

Whether you choose to worship and serve the Lord inside or
outside of organized religion is entirely up to you. It must
be according to your faith, and not mine. If you have found
a church or fellowship where the Lord and His Word are being
exalted and obeyed, then perhaps you should remain where you
are; however, if this is not the case, then perhaps you
should begin to look elsewhere. If you are not knowledgeable
of the qualities which should be present in a good church or
fellowship, then I again encourage you to read such articles
as 'Where Are The First Century Churches?', as well as the
list of questions found at the end of part four of 'Have You
Been Slain In The Spirit?'. Collectively, I believe that
these will give you a solid basis upon which to determine
the Scriptural purity of your church or fellowship. Wherever
and however you decide to worship, I pray that you too will
be a burning ember who will shine forth His Love, Light and
Truth. Don't ever allow anyone to quench the fire of His
Spirit which burns in your heart. Continue to be a burning
ember for the Lord:

"Quench not the Spirit." (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

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

With these final verses, I am going to bring this lesson to
a close. I pray that this article has been a blessing and an
inspiration in your life.

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