Christianity -- Christian Living/God speaking?
QUESTION: Dear sir.
Does God speak to us today?
Even today I feel he tells me to pray, have faith, and patience about a situation.
Not only that but he has told me to return to him, am just confused about what church to join
ANSWER: Hello Raul,
Yes, absolutely! God speaks to us today but you have to first understand "who" God is or how to recognize what "he" says. The apostle James gives the answer in chapter one of his letter. Read it carefully from several of the most reliable translations of the Bible such as the ASV, NIV, New NIV, and the New American Standard Version. You'll see, or you should, that he says if you want "wisdom" or if you really want to understand God you need to look into or study the golden rule or the royal law as he calls it. Here's some help for you. The way the Jews traditionally explained the golden rule (you can see it in the book of Leviticus) was actually a serious distortion of what it says and Jesus plainly says so. The Jews practiced what we call the law of reciprocity which says that however you treat other people gives them permission to treat you the same way. It's described as "an eye for an eye" thing and a persons motives are not considered which is a very unjust way to determine right from wrong. The golden rule on which Jesus said the Law and the prophets was supposed to be based, bases right and wrong on why you do what you do rather than on just what you do. The Jews didn't understand this and neither did Jesus disciples for a very long time. Paul realized it and said that the golden rule made all things lawful for those who obeyed it. Things considered sin under the Old Law of reciprocity, things such as lying for example, are not sin if a person is obeying the golden rule. See the case of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and compare it to what James says about what Rahab did in chapter two of his letter. The lie by Ananias and Sapphira was condemned and the lie by Rahab was commended as being the right thing to do because of her concern for the welfare of the spies and not herself. This and other things like this such as David stealing the shew bread from the temple to feed his starving men and of Abraham taking his only son out to murder him on an alter set a precedence that proves that literally all things are lawful for those who obey the golden rule or God in other words so that they are innocent of sin; they are set free from sin by their obedience to the golden rule. See what I mean? This is the good news, this is what God has been trying to explain to people for many thousands of years and people have just been too dumb to understand. Nothing you can do is wrong, except for denying or blaspheming the power of the golden rule (the spirit of God, as long as you do whatever it is that you do, no matter what it is, because you're concerned for someone else's welfare especially if it is for the welfare of a fellow golden rule obeying person.
OK, now you know the real truth. God has just spoken to you. So, what are you going to do now?
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QUESTION: What am I doing now?
I'm trying to find a good church. Been to methodist, and church of Christ. Was at one where people fell down, they were not pushed, they cried, one got sick.
I've been praying mostly. I've been sick often and under attack. Been to the ER often in two months.
ANSWER: I meant What are you going to do now that you know the truth?
Here is a post I put on Facebook.
Someone quoted Jesus' "I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one can come to the Father but by me."
I had to reply to this because it is so misunderstood by almost everyone.
"And what he meant by "by me" was not at all what most people, including his disciples, think he meant. He was talking about the same thing that the rich man in Matthew 19:16 ff and the parallel passages in Mark 10 and Luke 10 was asking about which was about how to have eternal life which was the same as asking about how to be saved or be in the kingdom of God. The answer was that people need first to correctly understand the golden rule and then obey it because it is "the way, the truth, and the life" and Jesus taught it and demonstrated it so that others might more easily recognize the truth. However, his disciples were so blinded by the legalistic way of thinking that was such an ingrained part of Jewish life that it took them a long time to even begin to understand even a little bit as you can see in their writings if you actually understand the golden rule yourself but probably don't. Most of you probably think that the apostles were 100% correct about everything they said because you were taught that by someone you assumed was 100% correct about what they believed too. You fell into a ditch so to speak because you didn't know how to tell if what you were being taught was actually true or not and eventually just assumed that it was. The Jews, as a whole, thought that Jesus was claiming to be God the same way so many people today think but he wasn't. They killed him for the very same thing that so many people today think is true but isn't. He was not claiming to be God in the dualist sense that so many people have. He was claiming to be so totally dedicated to the golden rule, or have the spirit of God in other words, that looking at him was like seeing the golden rule, or God the Father in a dualist sense, in the flesh. To speak of himself as God was merely a figurative way of speaking that might aid others, thinking what they did, in grasping at least to some extent what he was trying to tell them which was truly good news if only they could get past their preconceived and false ideas. But, because they couldn't they killed him instead thinking that he was blaspheming God when, in reality, it was they who were the blasphemers by denying the power of the golden rule or God, which they didn't understand, to save them. As long as a person thinks like that, they can't be saved.
The good news is not what is popularly being taught as the gospel. The good news is the fact that if you correctly understand and obey the golden rule it literally sets you free from sin because, as Paul said but didn't fully understand himself, it make all things lawful to you so that you can't sin no matter what you do. How much easier can it be? Jesus tried to tell his hard headed disciples that his way was easy and that the way they'd been taught was as impossible as trying to put a camel through the eye of a needle is. His way was the "narrow" difficult to find way, the way that is free from the burden of sin, that most people miss and who assume that the "broad way" is the right way to live. "There is a way that seems right to people but it's really the way to misery and they never seem to recognize the mistake they're making."
The churches you've gone to do not know the truth, they don't understand the gospel and are a lot like the Pharisees who thought that they were right but were mistaken.
As far as I know, there isn't a church today that teaches the real truth and you will probably have to start one yourself. You can do it by sharing the above letter with people to get them thinking and maybe be converted.
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QUESTION: If there is no church with the truth then what should one do.
I help when I can, but no I don't give to every charity who asks, if I see someone hungry I try to feed them.
What do I do? I just pray.
Raul, I'd like to know if you read my answers and whether or not they make any sense to you. If you have any questions, and I suspect you do, please get back to me because it's very important that you are clear on this matter. Very few, if any, people understand what I've revealed to you.
Whatever you do, no matter what it is Raul, as long as you try to do for others (especially those who know and love the truth or the golden rule in other words)what you think you'd actually want them to do for you if you were in their place then it will be the right thing to do. Remember, what counts is the reason you do what you do and not just the actions you decide to take. This is what is pleasing to God, it's how you establish a good relationship with God. You simply put your trust in the golden rule (or as Jesus said "in him") to work for your salvation from selfishness because you've become a new person that has learned to think unselfishly like Jesus did. Did that rich man have to literally sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor? No, he didn't. What he had to do was simply change his reason for being wealthy from a selfish one to an unselfish one. For example, I still work hard to earn as much money as I can so that I can find ways to help other people in need of help. Do I simply hand out money everywhere I go? No. That kind of help is very temporary at best and very few ever appreciate it and just want you to give them more. They tend to become dependent on you for their living and that isn't good for them. So, what I do is try to save enough money to have a business to be able to provide good paying jobs for those that are willing to work. Remember what Paul said. If someone refuses to work you should not give them food to eat. If you do, you're actually not really helping them except to use you and that isn't a good thing for them nor is it good for your family that needs and has a right to your support of them. There's an old saying, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for one day. Teaching him how to fish and he can provide for himself the rest of his life." That's the kind of help most people need and ought to want. It's what I'd want unless I was on death's doorstep and had to have a little temporary help to get on my feet as they say. Sponging off those who are working is a very bad thing to do. It isn't honest. Instead it's being greedy and lazy etc. Understand? Temporarily help people if you can but don't worry too much if you can't be much help. There will always be poor people and you can't possibly help all of them.
Just learn to understand that right and wrong is based on WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO not on simply what you do. This is what the Pharisees could not understand and it's why they were very meticulous about keeping all their traditional sacrifices etc. that they thought were so important but that Jesus said were worthless because they did them for the wrong reasons. They did not understand the golden rule on which the Law of Moses was supposed to be based but they thought they understood it better than anyone, especially Jesus who called them sons of Satan because of how they misinterpreted it.
When you ask what you should do, it indicates that you still do not understand the golden rule because what you do does not matter in the least. The only thing that matters is that you try to do to or for others the kinds of things you'd like for others to do to or for you in similar circumstances. That's it. That's the gospel. That's how you're saved. If you actually understand this simple idea, you'll be entirely free from sin, totally pure and perfectly innocent. You'll be in possession of eternal life or salvation and in the kingdom of God or "the" church in other words. It's the very same for everyone on earth and everyone who ever lived or who will ever be born and live to be old enough to comprehend it.
Being faithful to God (or the golden rule in other words) has nothing to do with how often you go to church, or take the Lord's Supper, or if you use musical instruments, or how much money you put in the offering plate, or if the women wear scarves on their heads or not, or if men have long or short hair or the women have short or long hair, or you eat and drink the right kinds of food, or on what day you attend an assembly of the church, or any of a vast list of other such things. You do all those things as you like but they are not required for you to be faithful. What's required to be faithful to God is why you do these things or anything else you do whatever it might be. I can't seem to say this enough. As John said in 1st John, the way to know who is a real Christian is not by asking them if they do such things including baptism. It's by seeing how they love each other, the things they do that reveal their attitudes toward each other. See Paul's description in 1st Corinthians 13 about the way people behave who really understand the truth. He doesn't list a lot of specific acts or deeds. He talks about people's attitudes. Love, joy, long suffering or patience, kindness, not quick to anger or too quick to judge if a person is sinning or not. You need to try to understand the reason they do or did what they did not just that they did something. There are lots of reasons for anything you do but the only one that counts toward being faithful is when you do something out of true concern for someone as the golden rule says.
I hope I'm helping you.