Sunday, August 10, 2014

Explore Your Spirituality

The purpose of this article is not to persuade you to believe in God. It is to shed light on the difference between Religion and Spirituality, and hopefully be of some help to you in making your own decision about God. 

The aim of religion is to carefully instruct and encourage you to believe in specific doctrines, dogmas and traditions with regards to God. Deviation from these would subject you to prescribed penalties designed to keep you in compliance with those doctrines, dogmas and traditions.

Spirituality, on the other hand, encourages you to ask questions, evaluate the
answers to them, and draw your own conclusion based on what you've heard, read and experienced with regards to God, who is called the "Universal Consciousness" because he is present everywhere.

While religion can open the door to spirituality, spirituality is not necessarily a consequence of religion. Meaning, while religion in itself is not a hindrance to spirituality, it can become a hindrance to the extent that it imposes limitation on thinking outside the box regarding the question,"Does God Exist".

Nowhere is the push for thinking outside the box more telling than in the evolution of the human mind, and its increasing capacity to reason. This is the driving force behind the movement away from religion towards spirituality because the human mind is inquisitive, analytical and solution oriented, and does not uncritically submit itself to doctrines, dogmas and traditions written in stones. 

However, I have found that the pursuit of knowing whether God exists or not can go astray without a guiding light. Through the ages, God has revealed himself and his purpose for humankind to few chosen men and women. These revelations have been codified in the holy books of the major religions.

Since I was brought up as a Christian, the bible is my guiding light for finding the answer to the question, "Does God Exist". I should add that the bible is not the only book of God. It is one among many books of God. Which is to say, it is narrow minded to claim that one religion is better than another, or one holy book is truer than another.

For me as a Christian the bible is the true book of God. Just as for a Muslim the quran is the true book of God. Accepting this takes nothing away from my spirituality, and my pursuit to connect with God in spirit.

For me as a Christian, God's purpose for humankind is revealed in Matthew 7:21-23. The relevant question that arises from the quotation is, "What is the will of God". In Matthew 22:37-40, we read that God's will is that you "Treat your neighbors as you would want to be treated".

Practicing this spiritual principle makes the human soul receptive to the spirit of God. This has been known and taught in all the major religions for centuries. The problem is that the word "neighbors" has often been misunderstood to mean only those in your religion, fraternity or social group. Nothing could be more wrong.

Your neighbors include all people from all religions, fraternities and social groups. When we rise to this level of enlightenment, we are able to find solutions to problems that are mutually beneficial to all. In the process we also elevate ourselves spiritually to the level of God, and are enabled to connect with God in spirit.

The twin rewards from this spiritual enlightenment are peace with our neighbors, and the gift of God's wisdom and power to help us find practical solutions to the problems that torment our minds and bodies. To read more about God's wisdom and power click here. 

The Evolution Of My Thoughts On God And Religion
I was raised a Christian and carefully taught to believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that nobody could connect spiritually with God and be saved except through Jesus Christ. Over the years, I inferred from this that all non Christians would not be saved. In my conversations and writings I have presented my belief as incontrovertible facts to anyone who cared to listen to me, or read my work.

As I matured spiritually, I began questioning the belief that God would save only Christians, and would destroy the rest of humanity because they did not accept Jesus Christ as the son of God. It also dawned on me that people in different parts of the world, influenced by elements unique to their environment would, as a matter of course, develop traditions and cultures different from those in my part of the world. This being true, it is obvious that there would be different religions in different parts of the world, each created by the unique traditions and cultures of its followers. 

Having realized this, it made no sense to me when a Christian says only Christians would be saved because the bible says so. Since followers of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Sikhism, Baha'i, Jainism, Shinto and other religions would also claim they are the only true believers who would be saved because their holy books say so. This argument on who is a true believer and who is not has driven followers of each religion to circle the wagons, accepting those within the circle as true believers, and those outside as infidels. The consequence has been intolerance, wars, mayhem and death, there in the pages of history for all to see.

Meanwhile, believers are asking, "Where is God?" Bad things are happening to good people. They lose their jobs, they lose their health insurance, they lose their homes, their lives fall apart before their eyes. They are involved in violent accidents, or struck down by degenerative diseases that leave them disabled. Their children are born with congenital diseases that deprive them of ever living a normal life, or are struck by a terminal disease like cancer that kills them even before they've had the chance to know what life is all about. 

Thinking about these life changing events believers ask, why me? They have become skeptical of God and his relevance in their everyday lives. They are not getting the answers they seek from God, and are venting their displeasure by walking away from organized religion in large numbers, raising the inescapable question, "Does God exist at all?"

I believe the Universal Consciousness (God) exists, on the strength of the argument that the earth and life could not have come from nothing. Even as I write this, I am challenged by the question: if there was nothing before God, isn't it conceivable that God came from nothing? And if this is true, am I not agreeing with Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss that life and the universe came from nothing? I would admit trying to answer this question logically is like entering a black hole where time stops, and light cannot survive.

All the same, while cosmologists work on their mathematical models to prove that everything came from nothing, I believe that in the beginning was the Universal Consciousness from whom came all there is. Your question would be, if so how did the Universal Consciousness come into existence? This question can neither be answered by the tools of science, nor by logic. It is a spiritual question answerable only by faith which is the tool of the spirit. And contrary to the popular notion, faith is not believing blindly. Faith is the pursuit of spiritual knowledge.

The Universal Consciousness
You may have noticed I am calling God by the name Universal Consciousness. I am doing so because I don't want to be tied to any one religion, and secondly, the Universal Consciousness is no respecter of man or woman. He puts no person or group of persons above all others. The Universal Consciousness is absolute good, and he reveals his goodness through love made equally available to all who live by the universal divine law of good and evil which reads, "In everything you do, treat your neighbors as you would want to be treated". And as proof of it's universality, in one form or another this law is found in every major religion around the world. 

Living by the universal divine law of good and evil is the only means by which

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spiritual Exercise

Those who earnestly seek God through faith would be rewarded with the things they ask for in prayers (Hebrews 11:6). We will practice this spiritual principle to find if it works in the real world, and by extension find evidence that God truly exists.

To earnestly seek God, you should have faith, and faith comes by hearing and reading the message of the gospel, which is summarized in Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus replied, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." 

The practical application of these commandments is to treat your neighbors as you want to be treated. Since you cannot see God who is spirit, the only way you can demonstrate your love for God is to treat your neighbors as you want to be treated. This cannot be achieved without dedicated efforts, because you would be veciously attacked by the spiritual forces of evil to force you to go the other way.

When you resist the attacks of the Evil One, and continue treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, this would put you in the path of God's grace, and by his mercy give you faith to prepare your soul to receive the Holy Spirit. Upon receiving the Holy Spirit, which would be an actual spiritual event in your life, you would become three persons in one: body, soul and the Holy Spirit, as God is three persons in one: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, thus sharing the same spirit with God, and connecting directly with him in spirit.

Meantime, the spiritual forces of evil would continue putting temptation and problems in your life to discourage you from treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, for the purpose of weakening your faith and turning you away from God.

If your faith in God begins to shake and crack, it would seem to you that you are gaining nothing by treating your neighbors as you want to be treated. But if you stay the course, strengthened by the truth that it's not you who is acting, but the Holy Spirit who live in you, you would prevail over the spiritual forces of evil, as Job and Jesus prevailed over the Evil One.

Having prevailed over the spiritual forces of evil, and still connected with God in spirit, you can now put the spiritual principles of the gospel into practice to confront and defeat the demons in your life.

We've all encountered the demons of fear, lethargy and depression. These demons stop us in our tracks, and discourage us from taking action to rise from where we are to where we want to be. They come at us in such subtle ways that we are unable to see that we are being manipulated by something outside ourselves. 

If your life is being ruined by fear, lethargy or depression, as they are designed by the spiritual forces of evil to do, the first thing you should do is go see your doctor. Explain your problem to him or her. Where needed your doctor would recommend treatment for your problem. In addition to the medical treatment, I would recommend you undergo a spiritual treatment, so that you would cure your problem both in its physical and spiritual dimensions.

Relating to fear, lethargy and depression, your spiritual treatment begins with believing that the Holy Spirit lives in you, and it's not you who act, but the Holy Spirit who lives in you. With this in mind, you are not depending on your own strength to do the things you need to do to, but on the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you. Believng this to be true, whenever you are discouraged from taking action by fear, lethargy or depression, remind yourselve that it's not you who is acting, but the Holy Spirit who lives in you, then move foreward and act, and continue acting until your task is done.

Once you begin to act, and decide not to stop until your task is done, the Holy Spirit would strengthen you to do so. But remember the Holy Spirit would support you only when the things you do are legal, realistic and do no intentional harm to your neighbors. When you diligently perform this spiritual exercise you would get the desired result, if you don't, say so in your comment to me, so that I would assist in getting you the result you seek. Meantime, strengthen your faith at:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What Must I Do To Receive Faith

This blog got its name from John 4:24 which reads, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." Worshiping God in spirit presupposes you believe you are two persons in one: body and  soul, and you are seeking a union with the Holy Spirit to transform you into three persons in one, as God is three persons in one.

But first these questions. What must I do to invite the Holy Spirit to live in me? The second question is, how do I know the Holy Spirit is living in me?

You can invite the Holy Spirit to live in you by doing the will of God, as summarized by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Laws and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." 

On the second question. You would know the Holy Spirit is living in you when, regardless of all the spiritual and physical obstacles put in your path by the Evil One you succeed in demonstrating your love for God by treating your neighbors as you want to be treated. By this single act you have fulfilled the two greatest commandments which are: loving God and loving your neighbors.

Although the Holy Spirit connects you directly with God, you need faith to remain connected. By faith you would receive God's wisdom to see through the lies of the Evil One. You would also receive God's power to stand firm against the temptation of the Evil One, in order to continue treating your neighbors as you want to be treated. In other words, when you stop treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, you give the Evil One access to infiltrate and control your mind toward evil.

You may ask, if everything depends on faith what must I do to receive faith? In Romans 10:17 we read, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing and [reading] the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." What is the message of Christ that summarizes the entire gospel? It is this: "To love God and love your neighbors". 

When you live by Christ's divine message, you would receive faith. The Holy Spirit will come and live in you. You would be connected directly with God and receive His wisdom and power. You would not be alone when the Evil One comes knocking at your door with temptations. And you would be empowered to continue treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, and as a result guarantee your happiness here on earth and your salvation in the after life. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Is The Meaning Of Life

If life is all about been born, becoming an adult, having children, working hard to raise them, becoming old and dying; only for our children, grand children and great grand children to go through the same process as we did, until a time comes when the very earth on which we stand self-destruct and cease to exist.  

If this is what life is all about then life is meaningless. I would go even further and agree with you if you said God did not exist, because why would a living God create the earth, its vegetation, animals and people only for the purpose of destroying everything he had created.

It doesn't make sense that a living God would destroy everything he had created without a grand plan for making something better from what is destroyed. This reasoning argues against the view that the earth created itself according to the Big Bang theory. It also argues against the view that God does not exist.

If the Big Bang created the earth, the animals and people who live on it, then it would follow logically that life has no meaning, that we are born simply to live and die like flowers of the field. 

Conversely, to argue, as I do, that life has meaning requires that we look elsewhere, other than the Big Bang Theory, for the creator of life. In my search for the creator of life, I found the explanation given by the bible most persuasive; perhaps more so because I am a Christian.

From my research I found that in the beginning was the essence of God, which is love. By God's will his Word came into being, and from God's breathe came into being his Holy Spirit. Together the three became one in the God Head. The God Head expresses his will by his Word, and the Word is given physical form by his Holy Spirit.

In Genesis 1:11 we see the three persons in God at work,"And God said, let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so." Here, God's will was made known by his Word, and the things commanded by his Word were instantaneously given physical form by his Holy Spirit. 

Now that we know God is the creator of life the next question is, why do our bodies, healthy and beautiful during our prime years, slowly deteriorate in health and vigor, until at last, are destroyed in death? Is God any different from the Big Bang, since both eventually destroys life? 

As I have said before, if we accept the Big Bang as the creator of life, we are compelled by logic to also accept that life has no meaning, because in the hands of the Big Bang life was created for no other reason than to be destroyed. On the other hand, if we agree that God has a higher purpose for life then we can also agree that physical life is a transitional state of existence to be replaced by spiritual life upon its end in death. 

The transition from physical life to spiritual life is analogous to how a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. In the body of the caterpillar the butterfly has limited mobility, it is slow and clumsy, vulnerable, and constantly in fear. Upon the death of the caterpillar, comes into being a very mobile butterfly, evading birds of prey and expressing its freedom and beauty in flight.

Similarly, in our human form we are limited in what we can do by time, space and resources. We are vulnerable to temptations, we are beset with material needs and diseases, and in constant fear, regardless whether we are rich or poor. And please, do not buy the argument that our purpose on earth is to endure hardship in order to be purified for eternal happiness in heaven.

Jesus debunked that argument in Luke 12:29-31 when he said, "And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."

My friends, Christians are not condemned to enduring perpetual hardship on this earth. If it were so, nothing could more effectively drive a wedge between God and man. The reality of human life is that people who are hungry, cold, constantly worried about keeping a roof over their heads, getting medical care, or finding jobs, would not for long believe in a God who is suppose to help them get these things. 

Which is why Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of heaven; meaning seek first the indwelling and baptism of the Holy Spirit, and along will come God's wisdom and power to help us create the conditions in which the things we need for our comfort and happiness would become ours.  

We know this to be true because it is not God's plan that people should be poor, that people should constantly worry about losing their jobs and livelihood, that people should work hard, and yet not earn enough money to meet the basic needs of their families, or that people should die from curable diseases for want of affordable health care. 

But we live in a world governed by the laws of nature, and the relationships those laws create. Those born into rich families would become rich enjoying all the advancement and comfort of wealth, while those born into poor families would become poor, and suffer the emotional and physical pain of poverty.

This been said, if left alone, the laws of nature would produce increasing misery on the face of the earth, which is why God stepped in to empower everyone to meet the basic needs of life. He is a fair God. He will not sit by while billions of people struggle under the crushing weight of poverty and powerlessness. 

Through out history, God has touched the hearts and minds of dedicated men and women who have worked to smooth out the sharp edges of the laws of nature, opening multiple paths for the poor and needy to rise into the middle-class. Yet there is more to be done. In fact, some would argue we are currently experiencing a retrogression in the upward mobility of the poor and needy, particularly in developing countries.  

As individuals we have access to the means to change the course of our lives. And although God has made these means available to us, he will not force us to accept them. We are free to accept the opportunity God has given us, or reject it; keeping in mind that in both the physical and spiritual worlds everything has its opposite. Just as darkness opposes light, so too the evil one opposes the Holy Spirit.

This struggle between the Holy Spirit and the evil one is seen in our daily interact with each other. If you look carefully, you will notice that all the advancement humankind has made in science, technology and philosophy have done little than bend us toward the dictum: "each for him or herself"; or to put it bluntly: "the survival of the fittest." God is telling us to choose a different path. He is telling us to let love guide how we interact with each other; meaning to use human knowledge to bend us toward doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us.

Why is love, as defined by Paul in First Corinthians 13:4-7, relevant in the search for the meaning of life? When love is expressed by doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, it purifies our hearts and opens our souls letting the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Once the indwelling occurs, our minds are infused with divine wisdom to help us understand that the meaning of life is to have a spiritual relationship with God.  

Evidence of this spiritual relationship with God would come to us in a vision. We will see God, as Jesus promised in Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." But, we will see God not as we would see a physical person. We will see him in spirit form, and the elevated consciousness given us by the indwelling Holy Spirit would enable us feel the presence of God as though we were seeing and talking with a physical person. 

All this is happening because God is spirit, and as we grow in our understanding that death is not the end of life but the beginning of a spiritual life, we would see the relevance of God in our lives, and the reason we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

I know you cannot wait to ask, what would happen to those who do not have a spiritual relationship with God? In Luke 3:16 we read, "John answered them all, I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

Everyone would be given the opportunity during our earthly lives to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. The requirement for this baptism is to do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us. This baptism would not only connect us directly with God, but also give us God's wisdom and power to enable us meet all our needs here on earth.

Fast forward to the end of time, we would all be dead. We would have lost our physical bodies, and exist in spirit form. Those baptized by the Holy Spirit would become one with God in spirit. This spiritual life with God would not be limited by time, space and resources. Consequently, whatever we hope for would instantaneously become our reality. There would be no lapse in time between when we want something and when it becomes ours. 

On the other hand, those with no spiritual relationship with God would be baptized with fire. Since they would not have human flesh that can be burned with fire, the current state of the human mind cannot fully comprehend the nature of baptism with fire. But we are certain it would be a purification process, which off course, would be more challenging, to say the least, and different from baptism by the Holy Spirit. 

With so many moving parts, the meaning of life cannot be understood without first knowing the creator of life. I have argued in this article that God is the creator of life. But there are still unanswered questions like: why would God create and put us into a world where we must toil day and night to feed ourselves? What wrong did we do that made God to banish us from heaven? Certainly, our condition of life would have been better in heaven. Why are we here?

These questions have something to do with the "fallen angels" before the earth was created. After God banished them from heaven along with their leader Lucifer, overwhelmed by the terrible lost they had suffered, some of the fallen angels pleaded with God for forgiveness. Being infinitely good, God created Adam and Eve from the dust of the ground and put into them the spirits of the repentant fallen angels, with the condition that they would be allowed back into heaven only by baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

My dear friends, as we write the content of our lives with what we say and do, we are moving toward God in two major streams. In one stream are those baptized by the Holy Spirit, and in the other stream are those to be baptized with fire. We will all arrive before God, but how we get there is what the meaning of life is all about.

If you have come this far, I know you have some questions. Send them to me for answers. Meanwhile read my articles on The Meaning and Application of Faith. Be blessed and be well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Can God Heal Me

I received an email three years ago from a young man in India. He said, "I'm lamed, I walk with sticks, can God heal me?" I replied, yes God can heal him. I also send him several quotations from the gospel pointing out many occasions when Jesus healed the blind, the lamed, the deaf, and those possessed by evil spirits.

He wrote back reminding me that he wasn't interested in what happened 2000 years ago. He wanted to know if God can heal him today. Adding, he is embarrassed by his handicap that he hardly goes out. He feels very uncomfortable among people, is lonely, miserable and has no friends.

It was obvious my Indian friend had heard about the healing miracles of Jesus in the 1st century. He wanted to know if those miracles could be repeated in the 21st century. In his own life experiences, and the experiences of people he knew he could find no evidence of a lamed person who threw away his crutches, and walked on normal healthy legs. He is right, there is no religious institution where you could find a priest able to heal the blind, the deaf, or make a lamed person walk again.

What perplexes my Indian friend is that if it's true that Jesus healed the sick, made the blind to see, the lamed to walk and raised the dead 2000 years ago, why are priests, praying in the name of Jesus, unable to repeat those miracles in our time? The difficulty of finding a satisfactory answer to this question led the German philosopher Nietzsche to claim that "God is dead."

Nietzsche implied that God once lived, but is now dead. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nietzsche is wrong  because he misunderstood the death of Jesus on the cross. Consequently, he couldn't accept the resurrection of Jesus, and failed to see the difference between the body and the spirit.

My friends, God is not dead. His Holy Spirit lives among us, and those who seek him in spirit do hear his voice, and do see him. The reason some people hear and see God, while others don't depends on how we seek God. Many believers think that praying, fasting and mentioning the name of God in every conversation is the path to God. These religious activities are important, but more important is practicing the word of God. 

Without practicing the word of God, all else fails in relating us to God in spirit. In the gospel you will find many laws and rules of conduct, among them are two divine laws that connect us directly with God in spirit. These are: to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The other is to love your neighbors as you love yourself.

When you love God, you would want to know his will by reading the gospel daily. This would lead you to the next level in your spiritual development, and that is to demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as you love yourself; meaning to do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you.  

Why are these two the most important laws in the gospel? They open the doors of our souls and let in the Holy Spirit to live in us creating a direct connection with God, and opening our eyes and ears to see and hear spiritual revelations. These spiritual revelations present to us the evidence that God exists. The indwelling Holy Spirit also brings us God's wisdom and power to enable us create the conditions in which what we pray for takes on physical form.

While the Holy Spirit lives in our souls, we are informed by revelations of our power to heal the problems in our minds, body and souls. But just as our bodies and minds when ill need medications or surgery to return to good health; so too our ailing souls need the word of God, to help us do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, in order to invite the Holy spirit to dwell in our souls. 

While the two mentioned cases may seem separate, they do overlap with each other. When your soul is healed by the gospel, your mind is informed by God's wisdom toward righteousness, and your body is strengthened by God's power toward good health to enable you create the conditions where the things you hope for your happiness will become yours.

This spiritual principle brings me back to my handicapped Indian friend. He wants to be healed by God because the gospel tells him God can heal him. However, it's important to know that God heals us in two ways. He may take away the effects of our problems, or take away the problems. In the first case, the problems remain, but their negative effects on us would go away. In the second case, both the effects and the problems go away. Not surprisingly, believers prefer the second case, but this does not always happen.

Concerning my Indian friend, I will say his physical handicap does not cause him as much problem as the effects of the handicap. The effects are that he has limited mobility and suffers from self-pity. He sees himself less than people around him, and consequently is discouraged from lifting himself off the ground and pursuing his dreams and happiness. 

Let's assume for a moment that the effects of his handicap were taken away, he would still be a handicapped person, but his mobility wouldn't be limited because he would have a motorized wheelchair, a car he can operate with his hands, and handicap ramps on every building he wishes to enter. His enhanced mobility would boost confidence in his ability to do what others can do, and end feeling inferior to others. He would feel comfortable among people, and begin to attract new friends into his life.

These are the things my Indian friend wants and hopes for, and as I said before, the Holy Spirit can help him give physical form to these things. But, the Holy Spirit wouldn't intrude into my friend's life, and take away the effects of his handicap. Through prayers, he has to invite the Holy Spirit into his soul. Not only that but he also has to cleanse his soul by reading the gospel daily, and doing onto his neighbors as he would want done onto him.

I agree that this spiritual principle is unsophisticated, but Jesus intended it to be so. He wanted every body to understand and benefit from it, regardless of one's station in life or education. Unfortunately, due to the simplicity of this spiritual principle many have missed the mystery in it, and have gone after exotic and sophisticated spiritual principles that have led to confusion and break in the relationship with God.

More than anything the foundation of our relationship with God is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we can have no spiritual relationship with God. In Mark 1:7-8, we read that John baptized with water, but Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.

John's water baptism is for the repentance of sins, but baptism by the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, connecting us with God in spirit, empowering us to resist the temptation to do verbal or physical harm to our neighbors, and bringing to fruition what Jesus said in John 14:23, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit cannot be had with money, or prayers, fasting and being a devout servant of the church. Only a heart purified by loving God, and loving your neighbors as you love yourself can transform your soul into a comfortable dwelling for the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately, many believers miss what has to be done to realize the transforming effect of loving God and their neighbors, as we read in First John 3:18,"Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth."

In verses 21-24 John added, "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his command and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."

Whatever the size of your problems, I want you to be certain beyond any doubt that the Holy Spirit, working through your thoughts and actions, can help you eliminate those problems, or their negative effects on your life. If you have questions regarding how this could be done, send them to me for answers. Meantime, get more detail on the power of love and faith at:  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Understanding The Mystery Of the Gospel

When you read the gospel as historical events that happened 2000 years ago, you would gained some knowledge alright, but would miss the substance of the gospel. What is the substance of the gospel?

The gospel is spiritual food for your soul. As you read the gospel and understand it, the words are transmitted from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind which is the mind of your soul. During the transmission from your conscious to your subconscious mind, the words of the gospel are transformed into spiritual food for your soul.

How the words of the gospel are transformed into spiritual food for your soul is a mystery. Unlocking this mystery requires the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to elevate your consciousness to see, hear and understand spiritual things. This is not as hard as you might think. While the words of the gospel are transformed by your subconscious mind to spiritual food for your soul, the words also inform your conscious mind to demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as you love yourself.

In other words, you cannot receive the Holy Spirit without demonstrating your love for God, just as you cannot demonstrate your love for God without loving your neighbors as you love yourself. Many believers mistakenly think they are demonstrating their love for God by praying, fasting and living piously. While these religious activities are important, they are significant in the eyes of God when accompanied by practicing the words of the gospel.

However, you cannot successfully practice the word of God without involving your soul in the process, which is why it's necessary to hear and read the gospel daily to provide your soul the spiritual food it needs to cleanse itself for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

I know you may find the transforming of the words of the gospel into spiritual food hard to believe. I will go further to say it's alright if you are skeptical about the notion that words printed on the pages of a book could be transformed into spiritual food for your soul. I say this because I was once just as skeptical until I learned to elevate my consciousness.

Your reality depends on the level of your consciousness, or on what you are aware of, therefore it's reasonable to say other realities exist of which you are not presently aware, but could become aware of. For example, without the microscope you couldn't have known about the micro-organic world. Similarly, without faith you cannot become aware of the spiritual world.

Listen to what Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24, "Have faith in God, Jesus said. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, go throw yourself into the sea, and he does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen,it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

This spiritual principle is the most misunderstood among believers. What do we pray to God for? Do we pray for bread and meat to feed our families? Do we pray for shelter to protect us from the weather? Do we pray to God for good health? 

All these things are necessary for our survival, but have you ever heard of a starving man who prayed to God, and suddenly bread and meat appeared on his table, or a family who prayed to God, and suddenly the leak in the roof of their house stopped during a heavy rain, or a man who prayed to God, and suddenly got healed from diabetes, tuberculosis or cancer?

Very few people, if any, would say they have heard about or seen such miracles, and the reason is miracles are not every day events. Yet, if we shouldn't pray to God for material things, then what should we pray to God for? In answering this question it's important to know that God is a spirit, he is not a magician. 

When Jesus said, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," he meant when you pray to God, you will receive the Holy Spirit who will give you God's wisdom and power to enable you create the conditions in which the material things you need would become yours. 

This view is supported by Matthew 6:28-33 where Jesus said in part, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Here, God is telling us to first seek the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, then we will have divine wisdom and power to enable us get the material things we need.

You see, God does not ordinarily find jobs for the unemployed, or put bread and meat on the table of starving men. Off course, God could if he wishes to do so; in which case he would perform a miracle. But again, miracles are not every day events. Miracles happen only when your thought and God's thought coincide, in which case your thought is lifted to the level of God's, making what you hope for to instantaneously become yours.

Therefore be wary of people who tell you, all you need do is pray to God and you will have what you ask for. Also be wary of people who tell you to send them a certain amount of money and God will give you what you pray for. Again, remember God is not a magician. He is a caring spiritual father who wants to empower you with his spirit to help you create the conditions where you can put bread and meat on your table, stop the leak in the roof of your house, and afford to see the doctor when you are sick; not by wishfully thinking the things you need for your survival and happiness would miraculously appear in your hands, but by applying God's wisdom and power through your thoughts and actions.

I have spent my adult life thinking about the mystery of the gospel, and have found that faith is the key to understanding that mystery. The argument that faith is to believe blindly is wrong. When you go back to read the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, you will find that faith is the pursuit of knowledge. Faith asks us to seek and find the substance of what we hope for, and the evidence that God exists. I see nothing related to blindness in the pursuit of knowledge. Meanwhile, you can begin your search for spiritual knowledge through faith by reading my articles on The Meaning and Application of Faith.

Let me add that regardless of what you feel about God and the gospel, don't be content with the notion that God exists, end of story; or that God does not exists, end of story. In which camp you find yourself, it's important to seek more knowledge about God either to confirm what you believe, or to change what you believe. And you can begin with asking questions.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Receiving The Holy Spirit

When the Holy Spirit enters your soul, you will be changed. You will see and hear things that others don't see and hear. You will experience an elated state of mind convinced that you have found the solutions to all the problems in your life.

Unfortunately, seeing and hearing things and elation are also indicators of schizophrenia and mania. So how do you distinguish between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the effects of a mental illness?

In the case of schizophrenia, the affected person suffers from hallucination. He sees, hears, smells and feels things that others don't. These effects of schizophrenia become a problem and indicate a mental illness when they begin disrupting the normal life of the person. When he cannot properly function in school, at work, or maintain relationships, its time to seek psychiatric help.

Under schizophrenia the affected person also suffers from delusion. He refuses to change what he believes to be true even when presented with irrefutable evidence that his belief is not true or logical. For instance, he may believe people around him are cheating, plotting to poison, or spying upon him. He may also have delusion of grandeur and believe he can accomplish things beyond his immediate resources and ability.

In the case of mania, the affected person may be either elated, or irritable and angry. He would have racing thoughts, increased talking, faster speech than normal, risk taking, grandiose plans and impulsive behavior. Normal people do experience some of these characteristics of mania, but these become indicators of mental illness when they disrupt the person's normal life.

On the other hand, while the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would enable you to see and hear things that others don't, you would have this experience no longer than a few days. Better still the experience wouldn't disrupt your normal life. If these revelations begin to disrupt your normal life know that they are not from God, they may be the effects of a mental illness, or from evil spirits.

This is the reason priests don't normally teach the mystical underpinnings of the gospel. If they did, they would be introducing us to the activities of spirits. And since in the spiritual world there is no telling when we would run into evil spirits and be misled or harmed, priests seek to protect us from direct contact with spirits, and when we do come into direct contact with spirits the experience is gently explained away.

Priests have a good reason for protecting us from receiving direct revelations from spirits. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would occur in the church if half the congregation began seeing and hearing things that others don't see?

Well meaning as the priests are, we don't need that protection. We need to know the mystical underpining of the gospel in order to understand who is God, and his relevance in our lives. Agreeing with this is why Jesus spoke in parables telling us earthly stories to explain spiritual principles aimed at helping us understand the nature of God, and his relevance in our lives, and letting us know we can have direct relationship with God by worshiping him in spirit and in truth.

Matthew 13:3-23 is one such parables. Jesus told the story about a farmer who went out to sow seed, pointing out that the seed stood for the word of God, and those who hear, understand and apply the word of God in their daily lives would receive the Holy Spirit.

Before I lose you let me say quickly that receiving the Holy Spirit, or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a mystical process. In our conscious state of mind, you and I cannot understand this process. To understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we need help from the word of God.

By hearing, reading and practicing the word of God we prepare our souls for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but practicing the word of God is not easy. If it were human relationships would be far better than they are today, and consequently most of the problems we face would have been solved.

Still, practicing the word of God is doable when done on the foundation of love. A love that is willing to give without expecting something in return. I know I've caught your attention because what I'm saying is very seldom done. In the natural course of our lives when we give we expect something in return. For example, when you treat your neighbor kindly, you expect him to treat you kindly in return. If he doesn't you would stop being nice to him.

But the gospel teaches differently. It encourages us to treat our neighbors kindly, regardless whether they treat us kindly or not. This is hard stuff to swallow, and is the reason so many people are unable to practice it in their daily lives. Instead, we practice the dictum: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth which leads to spiritual emasculation and blindness. We are forever hearing but not hearing what matters, and forever seeing but not seeing what matters for our happiness.

Knowing that humankind was headed for disaster is the reason God came in the person of Jesus and lived among us, so that we might receive the Holy Spirit by hearing and practicing the word. By hearing and reading the word, we acquire faith by which we can see God, and strengthen our love for him.

Our love for God can be demonstrated only by practicing his word. And what is the word of God? In the form that matters the most, the word of God is this: love your neighbors as you love yourself, meaning do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you. Loving your neighbors as yourself is the mystical underpinning of the word of God.

If you love your neighbors as you love yourself, you wouldn't accept any revelation that told you to do onto your neighbors what you wouldn't want done onto you. For example, you wouldn't accept as a legitimate revelation to steal your neighbor's property, or take his wife or husband, or do harm to your neighbors, because you wouldn't want your neighbors doing these things to you. The mystery in this spiritual principle is that love opens the door to your soul for the Holy Spirit to live in you, protecting you from been misled or harmed by evil spirits.

By this spiritual principle God has revealed to you and I the mystical underpinning of his word. You don't need a PhD, or a Masters Degree, or even a high school diploma to understand the word of God, and have a direct spiritual relationship with him. Certainly, Jesus and his twelve disciples didn't have PhD and Masters degrees, yet they understood the mystical underpinning of the gospel, and taught it to all who had ears to hear.

To be sure, the word of God is a mystery, but by his grace we now know that by doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, we can transform our souls into hospitable dwelling for the Holy Spirit, making us three persons in one, as God is three persons in one; making us children of God, as Jesus is the son of God.

As a child of God, remind yourself daily that the Holy Spirit lives in you. Know that the Holy Spirit will not make you do what you don't want to do. The presence of the Holy Spirit in you, makes available to you God's wisdom and power. It's your choice to use them to create the conditions in which the things you hope for will become real in your life.

If you have questions send them to me for answers. I don't charge for answering your questions. I received the Word freely and freely I give it to you. Meanwhile, read my articles on "The Meaning and Application of Faith."

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